The Beat

Two days after downtown Asheville was the scene of a two-and-a-half hour standoff between police and a man from South Carolina, big trucks arrived at the renovated Pack Memorial Library: “The Books Are Back,” Mountain Xpress staff photographer Jonathan Welch reported in a Thursday, Sept. 2 blog post. But earlier in the week…

All’s well that ends well

On Tuesday, Aug. 31, when employees of RBC Bank’s downtown Asheville branch prepared to leave work on Tuesday, Aug. 31, they had a bit of a surprise: Local police had pulled over 54-year-old, South Carolina resident Kenneth Allison, who parked near their teller window and refused to cooperate with law enforcement. As the Asheville Police Department cops and armored Emergency Response Unit personnel swarmed the site, Asheville Citizen-Times staffers were told to clear away from their rooftop vantage point (their building is next door to the bank). For the next two hours, they covered the story via a live-feed video in their second-floor computer room.

Allison — involved in a similar incident in his home state earlier in August — surrendered peacefully about two hours later, the Citizen-Times reported in its cover story the next day (“Police Offer of Cigarette Ends Downtown Asheville Standoff”).

Another AC-T story (one of several) details how police were alerted about Allison (“Suspicious Customer Prompts Call on Asheville Standoff Suspect”).

Mountain Xpress covered the standoff too; see Senior News Reporter David Forbes’ “Anatomy of a Standoff” elsewhere in this issue and his Aug. 31 blog post “Standoff Ends in Downtown Asheville.”

The wrong kind of take-out

An as-yet unidentified suspect took a rock, smashed the glass door at a downtown food-delivery service on Friday, Sept. 3, and took off with something other than fine food, Xpress Food Coordinator Mackensy Lunsford reported in the online post “Valet Gourmet on Broadway Has Front Door Smashed, Safe Stolen.”

What (animals) to eat (or not)

In a different kind of food news, Western Carolina University psychology professor Hal Herzog has stirred up some early interest in his newly released book, “Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why’s It’s So Hard to Think Straight About Animals,” according to the faculty-and-staff publication The [WCU] Reporter. “Is it OK to kill animals just because they taste good? Why is it OK to feed a mouse but not a kitten to your pet boa contrictors?” These are the questions the Herzog addresses in his book. He’ll talk about his findings on Sept. 16 at Malaprop’s in downtown Asheville.

People need more than a goat walk

And back to the day of the downtown standoff: About the same time police were negotiating a peaceful resolution (and diners enjoyed outdoor meals and wondering what the sirens and helicopters were about), Haw Creek residents pitched for pedestrian safety. Asheville City Council members were holding a neighborhood meeting on the east side of town, repeating their request for more sidewalks.

Earlier that day, Xpress reporters David Forbes and Jake Frankel spoke with Haw Creek representatives Chris Pelley and Kim Engel for the weekly news podcast, Local Matters.

Cats, dogs and horses

And finally, BlueRidgeNow.com (the online version of Hendersonville’s The Times-News) reported on Sept. 3 that the town’s council had approved an ordinance that could have residents and visitors “hear[ing] the clip-clop of horseshoes” — “Carriage Rides Might Be on Way to Hendersonville.” The media outlet also reported on a change in state law: Cats and dogs are allowed at outdoor dining establishments, provided certain standards are met, Leigh Kelly reported in “Animal Law’s Change Brings Out Pet Owners, best Friends.”

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About Margaret Williams
Managing Editor Margaret Williams has been at Xpress since 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987.

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