Both candidates for Chair of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners have loaned themselves $272,000. Democrat Brownie Newman loaned his campaign $42,000 and Republican Chuck Archerd loaned himself $230,000 according to the candidates' campaign finance reports.

UPDATED: Spending takes off in Buncombe commission­er races; Chair candidates loan campaigns big bucks

The two candidates for Chair of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners have loaned their campaigns a combined total of $272,000. Democrat Brownie Newman loaned his campaign $42,000 and Republican Chuck Archerd loaned himself $230,000 according to the candidates’ campaign finance reports.

PIPE DREAMS: Natural gas fuels a third of the nation’s electricity generation and heats half of America’s homes. Natural gas supplier Williams would like to see those numbers climb even higher. Historically low gas prices driven by shale gas production through hydraulic fracturing are behind thousands of miles of new gas pipeline projects. Photo courtesy of Williams

Duke Energy’s planned power plant tied to fracking

Natural gas will dethrone coal as the fossil fuel generating most of WNC’s electricity when Duke Energy’s new Lake Julian plant goes online in 2020. But how does natural gas get to this area, and where does it come from? Though tracing the gas molecules to their source is tricky, Xpress found that much of the area’s gas supply comes from hydraulic fracturing, and new pipeline projects are in the works to bring more fracked gas into the region.

COUNTY BUDGET APPROVED: The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved a $413,574,951 budget along party lines during its Tuesday, June 21, meeting. Pictured are Democratic Commissioners Holly Jones, David Gantt, Brownie Newman and Ellen Frost.

Commission­ers approve budget; ax proposed tax cut, gun range

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners wrapped up the budget season during its Tuesday, June 21, meeting by approving a $413,574,951 spending plan for fiscal year 2017. During a more than five hour meeting Commissioner Tim Moffitt proposed an alternate budget, that would lower the property tax rate, but it was shoot down, via party lines, in favor of the approved budget.

POWER PLAYERS: Recent travel companions Brownie Newman (l), Buncombe County Board of Commissioners; Julie Mayfield, Asheville City Council; and Jason Walls (r), Duke Energy represent the three convenors of the Energy Innovation Task Force. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Energy task force holds first meeting

The new Energy Innovation Task Force — which brings together representatives from electric utility Duke Energy, elected officials, the private sector, nonprofits and alternative energy providers — held its first meeting on May 13. In addition to the task force members, a sizable group of citizens and energy advocates also turned out for the public kickoff of the one-of-a-kind initiative, which aims to slow the growth of local energy demand and avoid the construction of a third natural gas generator.

HOMECOMING: The staff of Mountain Housing Opportunities celebrated the grand opening of The Villas at Fallen Spruce Apartments along with their partners on the project and local and state representatives on Thursday, Dec. 3 with a tour of the facility and housingwarming fundraiser. Photo courtesy of Mountain Housing Opportunities.

Home, sweet home: Mountain Housing Opportunit­ies celebrates The Villas at Fallen Spruce Apartments

In its latest efforts to increase the availability of affordable housing, the nonprofit organization Mountain Housing Opportunities hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony and gift registry drive Thursday evening at its brand new apartment complex, The Villas at Fallen Spruce Apartments, just off New Leicester Highway. MHO staff, partner organizations, sponsors, local and state government officials were […]

Brownie Newman, Democrat running for Chair of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners.

Brownie Newman

Brownie Newman, Democrat brownienewman.com Place of residence: Asheville Occupation: Partner at Headwaters Solar Political experience: Two terms on Asheville City Council and currently serving second term on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners. Endorsements: Buncombe County Association of Educators; N.C. Sierra Club; Asheville Citizen-Times Amount of money raised: $25,000 Top three donors and amount contributed: […]