In this screen grab from the below video, Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan dumps a bucket of ice water on North Carolina Senator Terry Van Duyn to help raise awareness and money to fight ALS.

Video roundup: Locals take the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’

Over the last few weeks, a range of local notables have been participating in the “Ice Bucket Challenge.” Started by the nonprofit ALS Association to raise money and awareness to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a lethal disorder also know as Lou Gehrig’s disease, participants agree to be dumped with a bucket of ice water. […]

Dr. Jennifer Mullendore is currently the medical director for Buncombe County Health and Human Services and a member of the Western Carolina Medical Society.

Buncombe County ranks lowest for immunizati­ons in NC

Buncombe County usually ranks high in the state for healthy behaviors and quality medical care. Unfortunately there is one area where we are dead last: immunizations. The percent of Buncombe County kindergarteners who have not received all their required immunizations is about five times higher than the North Carolina average. Most of these children’s parents claimed a non-medical reason for not vaccinating their children. Our goal at Buncombe County Health and Human Services is to assure that parents and our community understand the benefits of immunizations.

EPA releases final risk assessment on trichloroe­thylene, a lead contaminan­t at local CTS site

From the EPA Headquarters: EPA Releases Final Risk Assessment on Trichloroethylene (TCE) Agency begins process to address potential human health risks WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a final risk assessment for trichloroethylene (TCE). The assessment identified health risks from TCE exposures to consumers using spray aerosol degreasers and spray fixatives.  It […]

An interfaith program will educate attendees on end-of-life planning on Monday, May 5.

In the end

Kristin Scott’s mother had strong preferences about her own medical care as she neared the end of her life. She was able to make those wishes clear in an advance care directive, sometimes called a living will. When she passed away two years ago, Scott, facilitator for the WNC Health Network, says, “It was so much easier for us knowing what she wanted.”

Photo by Sarah Shoen

The feast in the fast

It was the first day of spring. I packed away the last of my sweaters and scarves in the boxes labeled, “stuff to wear when it’s too cold to do anything.” Cleaning my apartment, I noticed dust in the corners of my kitchen floor and piles of stuff I hadn’t bothered to look at in months. When I opened my refrigerator, empty containers and a carton of expired milk stared back at me. It was time to dig deeper and continue my spring cleaning beyond my floors and countertops. It was time to cleanse my body.

Photo by Taylor Johnson

Watch and learn: Playback Theatre creates community healing

“Let’s watch.” These words commence the evening’s performance at Playback Theatre. Actors come forward, improvising as they go to illustrate a story. Audience members will likely resonate with the unfolding tale because it is, after all, their story. Within this theatrical environment, actors and audience participate in a night of theater and storytelling that can […]

Rebuilding Dreams-attachment0

Rebuilding Dreams

Roxann Colwell knows the challenges of raising a child with special needs firsthand. Colwell, who has a 30-year-old daughter with Down syndrome, created the Family Support Network of Western North Carolina 15 years ago as a parent-to-parent support and mentoring program for caregivers of children with special needs. The organization offers a community resource guide, hosts support groups for families and establishes support networks for parents whose children have received similar diagnoses. From July 2012 to July 2013 the Family Support Network served 901 families.

A new kind of CSA: Community Supported Apothecary-attachment0

A new kind of CSA: Community Supported Apothecary

As cold and flu season lingers on, herbal medicine is “definitely a frontline treatment,” says Ceara Foley, director of the Appalachia School of Holistic Herbalism (ASHH). Jamie Sparks, owner and director of Herban Farmacy, agrees, and shares what she has been offering customers in her herbal CSA. Both women tout the healing powers of herbs for winter wellness and offer different suggestions for herbal remedies.

Buncombe County seal

Buncombe Commission­ers approve incentives­, new hires, zoning regulation­s

At their first meeting of 2014 on Jan. 7, Buncombe County Commissioners unanimously agreed to give $1.12 million in cash grants to Jacob Holm Industries to help it expand local operations. They also agreed to spend $213,726 to hire 17 new county workers at the Health and Human Services Department and approved new zoning regulations governing renewable energy facilities.