The group behind the I-26 push-attachment0

The group behind the I-26 push

After being off the radar for years, both the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners and Asheville City Council are voting to push the Asheville section of Interstate 26 connector forward. This new push is in part the result of a small group of local officials and leaders who have met to draft a new resolution and make some sort of I-26 overhaul a reality.

Designing frameworks: Council readies for legislature’s return

Last year, relations between the North Carolina General Assembly and the city of Asheville were marked by hostility, public wars of words and even a lawsuit. At a special meeting yesterday, March 18, however, multiple Asheville City Council members expressed a desire to improve things this year, even though looming legislation could cost the city further revenue. They also signed off on efforts to better coordinate the city’s own lobbying efforts in Raleigh.

Mandates and precedents: Around 100 gather for update on water system fight

About 100 people gathered tonight for a forum updating locals on the dispute over the fate of the city’s water system from local government and activists. Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer said the public has given city leaders a clear mandate to continue its lawsuit and fight to preserve local control of the water system against state legislation seeking to seize it and turn it over to a regional authority.

Creative Sector Summit aims to help bridge tourism industry and artists-attachment0

Creative Sector Summit aims to help bridge tourism industry and artists

Tourists spend about $1.5 billion in Buncombe County every year and the fourth annual Creative Sector Summit will explore opportunities for local artists to raise that number and better benefit from it. The series of panel discussions, workshops and other events will unfold Thursday-Sunday, March 20-23, at venues throughout downtown Asheville.

French Broad Chocolate Lounge announces move to new location-attachment0

French Broad Chocolate Lounge announces move to new location

“For six years, residents and visitors of our fair city have come for chocolate and fellowship to French Broad Chocolate Lounge at 10 South Lexington Avenue. This, our original location, has served us very well, despite the building’s age and unique quirks. The summer of this year, 2014, will be our last in this spot! We have signed a 10 year lease to relocate French Broad Chocolate Lounge around the corner on Pack Square! This spring, we are renovating the first floor of the historic Legal Building, formally SunTrust Bank, to be our permanent home.”

Survey evaluates local judges; Clontz faces primary challenge-attachment0

Survey evaluates local judges; Clontz faces primary challenge

A new survey by the N.C. Bar Association rates the performance of local judges, shedding light on elected officials that are often hard for voters to evaluate. Judge Ed Clontz received the lowest scores of any Buncombe County District Court justice. And he’s the only incumbent facing a fight to keep his seat on the bench.

Portrait of CIBO: Council of Independent Business Owners rallies Asheville business community-attachment0

Portrait of CIBO: Council of Independent Business Owners rallies Asheville business community

The Council of Independent Business Owners has been called a lot of things over the years.

Few could argue that the nonprofit — whose members serve on such powerful public bodies as Asheville’s City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission, the Western North Carolina Regional Air Quality Agency’s board and the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners — lacks influence. But how far does it reach? And does the group still have the kind of impact that it did in the past?