Buncombe County’s removal of newspaper boxes may violate First Amendment

Last week, Buncombe County Manager Wanda Greene‘s office ordered the removal of 17 newspaper boxes in front of the courthouse, claiming they were unsightly. The move, according to North Carolina Press Association attorney Amanda Martin, was illegal and violates First Amendment protections on newspaper racks on public property.

The newspaper boxes after their removal. Photos by Jeff Tallman

Kudos to Nelda Holder on home rule

Kudos to Nelda Holder for her column on home rule, pointing out how the N.C. Democratic Party is merely getting a taste of its own medicine [“You Say Po-tay-to,” June 22 Xpress]. Her departure from Mountain Xpress editorial power has been a huge loss. Home rule is a big part of the reason I left […]

The big deal: Linamar will bring almost 400 jobs to Asheville

County buys Volvo plant. County sells Volvo plant to Linamar Group, a Canadian manufacturer, the following year. Asheville gives Linamar $2.2 million in incentives over four years. Buncombe puts up $6.8 million in incentives. North Carolina pitches in $9 million. The hoped-for results? Almost 400 jobs for the Asheville-Buncombe area that pay, on average, more than $39,000 a year.

Governor Bev Perdue announces Linamar’s expansion. Photo by Jonathan Welch

Never again: Concerns about the massive 88-foot-high retaining wall along Highway 74 in Reynolds spurred commissioners to pass an ordinance to improve the safety and appearance of any large new retaining walls in Buncombe County. photo by Jonathan Welch

On retainers

Buncombe County Board of Commissioners June 21, 2001 meeting $303 million budget approved Emma Elementary gets sidewalk New rules triggered by the “Great Wall of Reynolds” aim to improve the safety and appearance of large retaining walls. The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted the rules at their June 21 meeting. The changes had […]

Buncombe Commissioners vote to buy former Volvo site for $7 million-attachment0

Buncombe Commission­ers vote to buy former Volvo site for $7 million

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously June 28 to purchase the former Volvo plant at 2169 Hendersonville Road for $7 million in taxpayer funds. In the weeks leading up to the vote, county, city and state leaders have hinted that the purchase is part of a larger, multifaceted arrangement with a private employer to take over the site. And in the hours leading up to the vote, WLOS News 13 began reporting that the employer is the Canadian-based Linamar Corporation, a large manufacturer of engines, transmissions and drive trains.

photos by Halima Flynt

Balancing act?

Depending on whom you ask, a recent change to Buncombe County's election law is either a blatantly partisan Republican dictate from Raleigh or a much-needed adjustment to restore balance and fairness to local government after an unduly long period of Democratic rule. Ratified by the state Legislature May 19 after House and Senate votes that […]