LET US SWIM, LET US SWIM: Goggled swimmers and their parents flowed into the Buncombe commissioners' chambers Feb. 3.  “We know because we swim [at the Zeugner Center] everyday. It needs to be shut down, but not before we have another place to swim,” said Camille Long, a sophomore at T.C. Roberson High School.

From goggles to land conservati­on, Buncombe commission­ers get an earful

The public-comment stretched nearly three hours at the Feb. 3 Buncombe County Board of Commissioners meeting, as a tsunami of local residents expressed their displeasure with two recent and highly controversial county decisions — the planned closure of the county’s only indoor aquatic center, Zeugner, and the equestrian revisions to the animal-control ordinance. Citizens — including goggled […]

Buncombe commissioners voted 6-1 in favor of a $48.5 million expansion of the county's Department of Health and Human Services facility. (Photo by Jake Frankel)

Commission­ers approve animal ordinance, new human services facility

Buncombe commissioners don’t often hold marathon sessions, but on Jan. 20, their agenda started at 8:30 a.m. and took all day: By the end, they had waded through an overview of several county departments, heard preliminary funding requests from local nonprofits, taken a second vote on the changes to the Animal Control Ordinance, directed staff to look for inexpensive […]

Board of Commissioners Chairman David Gantt presents departing Commissioner David King with an award for his service on the board.

County approves economic incentives­, King bids farewell

Counting on a longterm return and benefit to the area, Buncombe County commissioners approved two economic incentive packages today, Nov. 18, in exchange for the creation of new jobs and millions of dollars of investment in the county economy. Commissioners unanimously approved a $9 million economic incentive for gear maker Linamar North Carolina Inc., to […]

Left to right: Democratic candidates Cindy McMahon, John Ager and Ellen Frost celebrate their wins on election night. Photos by Halima Flynt, Jesse Farthing, Pat Barcas

A deeper dive into the Democratic blue: Analysis of Buncombe Commission­, NC House elections

Despite rightward-streaming state and federal political currents, Buncombe County stood out on election night as a small sea of Democratic blue. In several important local races, Democratic candidates toppled Republican incumbents or maintained their positions of power. Here’s a look at some of those key local races, with an analysis of what happened and the consequences going forward.

A capacity crowd of students attended a candidate forum at Warren Wilson College. Buncombe County Board of Commissioner candidates from left to right: Ellen Frost, Brownie Newman, Christina Merrill. Photo by Petras Barcas

Frost and Merrill debate voting rights at Warren Wilson College

Students at Warren Wilson College delivered a contentious 18 vote win to Ellen Frost in 2012, giving Democrats a one seat majority on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners. She faces a rematch with Republican opponent Christina Merrill this year for control of District 2, and the two candidates returned to the decisive campus in Swannanoa for an Oct. 29 forum. (Photo by Petras Barcas)

Later today: Commission­ers deliberate on funding for YMCA, Mountain Mobility

County commissioners will convene today, Oct. 21, to consider two financial decisions related to county and city institutions. The first concerns the Buncombe County Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) of Western North Carolina, which is seeking financial assistance for various upgrades and improvement projects, by way of Wisconsin: The organization is seeking the proceeds of […]

Graphics by Lance Wille

Buncombe commission­er candidates fight for control

Four candidates are battling for two seats on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners. In each case, these contenders hold vastly different views on a range of issues, from taxes and spending to growing the economy and protecting the environment. Also at stake is which party holds a voting majority on the board. Here’s a closer look at those races.

Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger. File photo

Buncombe Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger takes the heat for snow days

It’s been a hard few months for Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger. His office remains under intense scrutiny following the news that Reisinger, an elected official, closed the Deeds office in February during inclement weather and a governor-declared State of Emergency. No other Buncombe County department closed at the time. Buncombe officials later responded to the apparent […]