Fuel leak: Cleanup crews used booms to try to skim diesel fuel out of Hominy Creek, but many citizens reported seeing and smelling the fuel beyond the containment measures in the French Broad River. Photo courtesy of Hartwell Carson, Western North Carolina Alliance


On Feb. 15, roughly 5,000 gallons of fuel oil spilled in West Asheville, much of it flowing into Hominy Creek and the French Broad River. The source was an above-ground tank owned by Harrison Construction, which could face fines from the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection […]

Students in the In Real Life after-school program pose with one of their projects. From left to right: Ayla Dunham, Alex Mottershead, Lauren Cox, Sidney Mottershead.

Code pink

“What did you learn in school today?” “Nothing.” If this sounds familiar to you, you probably have a teen or tween. The good news is, it’s not “nothing” that your child is learning every day in our Asheville City Schools (ACS) 180 days of the year. From Lego-robotics to coding to iPads in the classroom, […]

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From coal to clean energy

On Oct. 22, Asheville City Council unanimously passed a clean energy resolution that affirms our mountain city's commitment to reduce our carbon emissions, transition away from coal and move towards clean-energy solutions. I received this great news while attending a “Coal to Clean Energy” conference in Chicago, Ill., where more than 300 top lawyers, organizers […]

Walking in community

Walk any day along the Hominy Creek Greenway (not to be confused with Hominy Creek River Park) and you’ll pass scores of walkers, nature lovers, runners and families. To me, this represents quite an achievement. For years, West Asheville residents have walked and jogged the narrow path cleared by the Metropolitan Sewerage District between Sand […]

Acceptance: Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger’s decision to accept same-sex marriage licenses pending legal advice from Attorney General Roy Cooper set off a torrent of media coverage and debate. photo by Max Cooper


On Oct. 15, Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger became the first in the South to accept same-sex marriage licenses, as 10 couples requested them as part of an effort organized by the Campaign for Southern Equality. In an online article that day, Xpress Senior Reporter David Forbes noted that, since 2011, the Asheville-based […]

The Gospel According to Jerry

Ladies and gentlemen!!!! From the producers of “Murdock Madness,” “Kimberly KonKrete Kar Krushers” and “Macon Mayhem” now comes their final (we hope) chapter: “Charlotte Street Constipation,” featuring “multimodal” (which sounds like a laxative but, when combined with reducing Charlotte Street to three lanes, is actually the perfect recipe for gridlock). This exciting scenario is part […]

Ginseng City, USA

Beer City, Bike City, Bee City … But did you know that Buncombe County also produces the most ginseng in the state? Compared to the materials behind those other appellations, however, the ginseng trade is a more fragile instance of local manufacturing. Despite restrictions on its harvest and distribution, ginseng is the center of a […]

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The day lady died

Although myth has it that Bele Chere translates to “beautiful life,” for many locals the three-day festival spelled ambivalence. Of course there are as many who feel otherwise ― not all of those people are from out of town. Read on for a selection of reader responses to Xpress’ coverage, mock obituaries and calls for remembrances for the discontinued tradition. Where do you fall on the Kübler-Ross grief cycle? (Photo by Max Cooper)

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Chick-fil-yay, Chick-fil-nay

Rumors that the developing Harris-Teeter complex on Merrimon Avenue would include a certain Southern fast-food drive-thru chain have been wafting through town for some months, and on July 15, food writer Emily Patrick verified the news. While there are existing Chick-fil-A locations in Asheville already, the proximity to downtown Asheville perhaps rekindled the ire some residents felt when the Georgia-based restaurant’s chief operating officer Dan Cathy made public comments in June 2012 opposing same-sex marriage. But not everyone’s feathers are ruffled. A few readers welcome the establishment. What do you think? (Pictured: A mural from 2012 by Gus Cutty satirizing Cathy.)