REVIVING THE HOMESTEAD: North Carolina has long been defined by its agriculture industry. As development pressures and rising land costs threaten to consume viable farmland acorss the state, public officials and private land trusts are working to preserve N.C.'s farming heritage and revitalize existing farms. Photo courtesy of Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy.

Eyes on the future: Saving WNC’s farms

Robin Reeves is the sixth generation to grow up on her family’s Madison County farm — a lineage that dates back to before the Civil War. Reeves spent much of her youth helping her parents raise cattle, burley tobacco and tomatoes as well as her extended family in Sandy Mush. As an adolescent, she sold […]


Breaking through: Local women challenge political glass ceiling

While the number of women in politics has definitely grown over the last few decades, “Politics is still a gendered space,” says Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics. “Women see these institutions and don’t see a lot of people that look like them in charge, and that may lead to a reluctance to run for office.”

Standing before the board: Parker Cove resident Nancy Nehls Nelson speaks before the Buncombe County Planning Board.

Weavervill­e residents voice concerns about subdivisio­n developmen­t

The Buncombe County Planning Board initially approved the plans for the Maple Trace subdivision in November 2014. At that time, the design called for 140 household units to be built in a rural Weaverville community with traffic directed through two exists. However, revisions to the plan have residents concerned that poor visibility and high traffic may result in dangerous driving conditions.

ADDING IT UP: According to the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits, Buncombe County is home to 449 nonprofit organizations. To fund their work, each organization must come up with creative solutions that helps them stand out from the crowd.

Nonprofits seek creative funding in Buncombe County

On April 14, representatives from 43 nonprofits requested funding from Buncombe County, as part of the county’s community development grant program. But these organizations make up only 9.6 percent of the total nonprofits in the county. Others rely on privately funded grants and donations, as well as individual donations — both small and large. Each organization must constantly work to grab and hold the public’s attention. And in a city like Asheville, it seems there’s never a shortage of worthy causes.

A 500 acre fire tore through the slopes above Ridgecrest on Tuesday afternoon. As of Wednesday at noon, the fire has been 50% contained.

UPDATED The morning after: Photos from the Black Mountain/R­idgecrest Wildfire

Around 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31, a brush fire caused by unknown sources in the Ridgecrest area of Buncombe County erupted across the ridgeline. Spurred by gusty winds and dry conditions, the blaze soon spread across the mountains bordering Black Mountain, destroying several homes and forcing residents to flee to safety as state and federal Park Service officials, along with firefighters from across Western North Carolina, came in droves to battle the wildfire.

The county's industrial and pollution control financing board will consider the approval of issuing $4.2 million in industrial revenue bonds to pay for new machinery at Plasticard-Locktech International.

County’s industrial board to consider approval of industrial revenue bonds

The Buncombe County Industrial Facilities and Pollution Control Financing Authority will hold a meeting on Tuesday, March 31, to consider the approval of financing new machinery for the Plasticard-Locktech International facility at 605 Sweeten Creek Road. The meeting will be held at noon at 46 Valley Street in downtown Asheville.

A caller impersonating a member of county government or law enforcement has been threatening arrest to victims if he or she does not pay a made-up amount of "owed" money. Photo by Flickr user Philippe Put

Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office warns of new scam affecting the area

“There is absolutely no validity to this whatsoever,” the sheriff states. “If somebody calls you and tries to collect money, [saying they’re] from any government entity at the threat of arrest — [know] that [neither] the IRS nor the Sheriff’s Office call and give you an opportunity to pay … any kind of fee or fine that would result in you being arrested.”

What’s our grade? School leaders anticipate release of state grades

The 1.5 million children enrolled in North Carolina’s public schools this year will not be the only ones receiving grades soon. State officials plan to release a performance-based, letter-graded report card for each school, starting Feb. 5, and for some education leaders in the Asheville area, anticipation is high. Chip Craig, vice chairman of the […]