Politely postal: Asheville residents rallying outside the downtown post office on Sept. 26 against possible cuts to the USPS. Photo by Jake Frankel

The Beat

About 30 people gathered outside the downtown Asheville Post Office Sept. 27 to rally against possible cuts to the U.S. Postal Service and the local mail-processing facility on Brevard Road. Organizers touted the USPS as the successful centerpiece of a $1.3 billion mailing industry that supports 8 million American jobs. They have an ally in […]

The Beat

City looks into regulating street preachers The presence of street preachers (and people opposing or arguing with them) is a fixture at the annual Bele Chere festival. Now, after complaints, the city of Asheville is looking into ways to regulate or curb the activity. A statement from City Attorney Bob Oast reveals that the city […]

A tragic fire: A blaze in Mission Hospitals’ building on 445 Biltmore injured almost a dozen firefighters and took the life of Capt. Jeff Bowen. photo by Arnie Packerson

The Beat: Biltmore Avenue blaze claims firefighte­r’s life

There’s more news than what Xpress can fit in print each week: Here are some excerpts from mountainx.com, where you’ll find the full stories. Asheville firefighter dies in Biltmore Avenue blaze Capt. Jeff Bowen, a 13-year Asheville Fire Department veteran, died of cardiac arrest after succumbing to smoke and intense heat while responding to a […]

The Beat: Suspects charged in alleged hate crime

Asheville police arrested 25-year-old Weaverville resident Lamon Lewis Hopkins July 19 in connection with an assault on Asheville resident Luke Hankins at the Ingles on Patton Avenue. “As soon as I got out of the car, they started yelling at me, calling me ‘faggot’ and ‘bitch’ with no provocation,” Hankins reports. Hankins says the group […]

The race is on: Council member Bill Russell and candidate Marc Hunt (in background) were among the first to file for the race on July 1. At the end of filling July 15, nine candidates had joined the contest. photo by Jerry Nelson

The Beat: The Asheville City Council race is on

Nine candidates — including two incumbents — will vie for three Asheville City Council seats. As of the July 15 filing deadline, the candidates are: Council members Jan Davis and Bill Russell, Greenway Commission member (and former chair) Marc Hunt, libertarian activist Tim Peck, Haw Creek Community Association President Chris Pelly, engineer (and active Republican) […]

Boxed in: Newspaper boxes were piled next to a Valley Street storage unit after Buncombe County workers removed them from the sidewalk in front of the courthouse. photo by Jeff Tallman

The Beat: Racked

Buncombe County’s removal of 17 newspaper boxes in front of the courthouse was illegal, attorney Amanda Martin of the N.C. Press Association maintains. “There’s absolutely a First Amendment issue here,” she asserts. “Newspapers have the right to be on public property.” County Manager Wanda Greene ordered the move late last month. “We removed them because […]

Job jubilation: An exuberant Buncombe commissioners’ Chair David Gantt praises the county’s purchase of the Volvo plant, a key part in the deal for Linamar bringing 363 manufacturing jobs to Asheville. photo by Jonathan Welch

The Beat: An inside job

Buncombe County buys former Volvo plant. County sells Volvo plant to the Linamar Corp., a Canadian manufacturer, the following year. Asheville gives Linamar $2.2 million in incentives over four years. Buncombe kicks in $6.8 million in incentives. North Carolina pitches in $9 million. The hoped-for result? Almost 400 local jobs paying, on average, more than […]

Solar-powered: While it may look like your average mobile retail station, this Spiritex cart is a green machine under the hood (or the roof, really). photo courtesy of Spiritex

The Biz

At first glance, the Spiritex pushcart looks fairly unremarkable. Parked on the corner of Patton and Biltmore avenues most weekends, the cart displays the company's locally designed and manufactured organic cotton T-shirts and other apparel. But behind its T-shirt-hawking façade, it's a green machine. Conceived and designed by Spiritex employee Derek Sanders, the cart sports […]

photo courtesy of Relay for Life — Asheville

The Beat: Asheville’­s Relay for Life raises money to fight cancer

So far, the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life of Asheville has raised $100,000 for the national organization's research, education, advocacy and service programs. Though the initial event was held at A.C. Reynolds High School on June 3, fundraising continues through August 31. Donations can be made online at www.relayforlife/asheville or at the American Cancer […]

Bikes, buses and sidewalks, oh my: Rachel Reeser of the cycling-advocacy group Asheville on Bikes helped lead local officials on a tour of recent multimodal-infrastructure improvements. photo by Jake Frankel

The Beat: A week of striving

A group of local elected officials and community leaders gathered May 18 for the Mayor’s Leadership Ride, an annual bicycle tour designed to highlight recent transportation-infrastructure improvements and upcoming projects in Asheville. For the second consecutive year, Vice Mayor Brownie Newman rode for Mayor Terry Bellamy. City Council members Cecil Bothwell and Gordon Smith and […]

The Beat: The race is on

Asheville City Council member Cecil Bothwell’s decision to run against Rep. Heath Shuler in the 2012 Democratic primary made the top online news at mountainx.com last week. Bothwell had previously announced he’d run against Shuler as an independent. In “Bothwell Now Running Against Shuler as a Democrat,” Xpress Reporter David Forbes quotes Bothwell: “I’ve heard […]

HATCH-ing new ideas? Fast Company magazine editor and writer Jeff Chu conducted a journalism workshop in the Mountain Xpress conference room as part of HATCH. photo by Jonathan Welch

The Beat: HATCH-ing a plan?

HATCH took over downtown Asheville, April 14-17. The annual networking event aims to be a “creative-idea and business incubator,” energizing "creative professionals and thought leaders who are serious about transforming their ideas and talents into bold action, while inspiring others to do the same," according to the event’s website. This year's festivities encompassed four days […]