After protesting the policies of North Carolina's Republican legislators, freelance state government reporter and contributing editor for Xpress Nelda Holder was charged with second-degree trespassing. Consequently, she says she acknowledges the larger implications the arrest has for her as a journalist and her work for the Asheville-based publication.
At a meeting with newspaper representatives this morning, Downtown Commission members and city of Asheville planners presented ideas for restrictions on newspaper boxes, including limiting locations, height, and how many could be grouped together. The commission hopes to test the voluntary rules over the next 45 days.
Today, an array of local media has united in a call for District Attorney Ron Moore to release the audit of missing guns, drugs and money from the Asheville Police Department evidence room. A joint statement declares that Moore's actions in ignoring open records requests for months "are not in compliance with either state law or the practices of transparent government."
At a sometimes tense meeting this afternoon, representatives from local publications — including Xpress — met with city staff, who broached possible restrictions on newspaper boxes in downtown Asheville. Also: A city staffer's deletion of citizen complaints about the boxes may have violated open-records law. (Photo by Bill Rhodes)
Last month, the City of Asheville issued a request for proposals for Community Media Development Initiatives, with the winning project(s) receiving $120,000 over a three-year period. Xpress was one of nine groups to participate in this process, and was selected earlier this week as one of the two finalists. Here is the complete text of our proposal submission.
Last week, Buncombe County Manager Wanda Greene's office ordered the removal of 17 newspaper boxes in front of the courthouse, claiming they were unsightly. The move, according to North Carolina Press Association attorney Amanda Martin, was illegal and violates First Amendment protections on newspaper racks on public property. The newspaper boxes after their removal. Photos by Jeff Tallman
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