WHO YOU GONNA CALL: Leicester Fire Department medical and fire service, protecting people in parts of three counties around the clock. Chief Chris Brown, in white, commands the growing department and works with a board of directors to manage the finances and policies that govern the part paid, part volunteer department. Photo by Cindy Kunst

How local fire department­s keep residents safe in changing times

As population grows in WNC’s once-rural areas, the model of volunteer-based fire and rescue services is giving way to bigger budgets, more training and significant numbers of paid staff. How are the departments keeping up with the changes, and should they be required to conform to the same requirements for transparency and public oversight as other organizations funded by property taxes?

LIKE A ROCK: Skyland Fire & Rescue was one of the first Buncombe County volunteer departments to hire firefighters and medical personnel, but they still are governed by the same rules as small volunteer departments. Photo by Able Allen

Chief Presley retires from Skyland FD amid controvers­y over families in fire service

Chief Dennis Presley will retire from the Skyland Fire and Rescue Department as of Aug. 20. His announcement came on Aug. 2, the morning after Weston Hall of Black Mountain spoke during the public comment period at the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners meeting. Hall said that nepotism was creating a hostile work environment at nonprofit fire service departments. He pointed out that Presley’s wife, son, daughter and son-in-law all hold paid positions with the Skyland department.

Air quality forecast for Thursday, Aug. 03: Moderate (YELLOW)

Thursday, Aug. 03, 2017, is a code yellow air quality forecast day for the valleys and ridge tops of Asheville and Buncombe County.  Unusually sensitive people should consider limiting prolonged outdoor activities. Click on the map below for an updated, detailed forecast. WNC Regional Air Quality Agency 125 South Lexington Avenue, Suite 101 Asheville, NC 28801 Phone: 828.250.6777 […]

Image courtesy of Neol Bailey

Vermont ceramicist Noel Bailey presents his newest wintery work at In Tandem Gallery

Press release from In Tandem Gallery: In Tandem Gallery in Bakersville, NC will be exhibiting the newest work of ceramicist Noel Bailey for our August gallery show. Noel, who is a native of Waitsfield, Vermont, creates amazing work that epitomizes the area he lives. The light to dark color transition, altered contours, and smooth surfaces reminds […]

Asheville Humane Society

Humane Society to organize volunteers to fill gap left by Brother Wolf Adoption Center closure

Press release from Asheville Humane Society: The announcement of Brother Wolf Animal Rescue’s plans to close their Adoption Center has made our community question the impact it will have on other animal welfare groups in WNC and the animals who will need help. To bridge the gap, Asheville Humane Society is hosting multiple Volunteer and Foster Information Sessions at their […]

Environmental Studies student, Noah Poulos assisted with the mountian seep research. Photo courtesy of UNCA

UNC Asheville environmental scientists continue grant-funded research of rare mountain seep communities along Appalachian Trail

Press release from UNC Asheville: Reed Rossell, adjunct instructor in UNC Asheville’s Department of Environmental Studies, has completed the second year of his project to document and study the condition of rare seep communities along the Appalachian Trail corridor. The second year of work was funded with a 2017 grant of $2,588 from the North […]

BUILDING ON SOMETHING: Before a house can be raised or a unit can be repurposed, land use has to be sorted out. A group of affordable housing activists are in the driver’s seat to spend $1 million of Asheville’s general obligation bond money on a community land trust. The fledgling group will grow into a membership organization that will own pieces of land on behalf of the community, to be used to help address the city’s affordable housing problem. Photo courtesy of Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity

Community land trust project has bumpy launch

If trust is a function of time, an innovative approach to affordable housing may already be in trouble. On July 13, about 30 community stakeholders gathered in an echoey auditorium at the Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Center and took the first meandering steps toward establishing a community land trust. But the two-hour meeting produced […]

Air quality forecast for Wednesday, July 26: Moderate (YELLOW)

Wednesday, July 26, 2017, is a code yellow air quality forecast day for the valleys and ridge tops of Asheville and Buncombe County.  Unusually sensitive people should consider limiting prolonged outdoor activities. Click on the map below for an updated, detailed forecast. WNC Regional Air Quality Agency 125 South Lexington Avenue, Suite 101 Asheville, NC 28801 Phone: 828.250.6777 […]

Air quality forecast for Saturday, July 22: Moderate (YELLOW)

Saturday, July 22, 2017, is a code yellow air quality forecast day for the valleys and ridge tops of Asheville and Buncombe County.  Unusually sensitive people should consider limiting prolonged outdoor activities. Click on the map below for updated forecasts over the weekend. WNC Regional Air Quality Agency 125 South Lexington Avenue, Suite 101 Asheville, NC 28801 Phone: 828.250.6777 […]

Air quality forecast for Friday, July 21: Moderate (YELLOW)

Friday, July 21, 2017, is a code yellow air quality forecast day for the valleys and ridge tops of Asheville and Buncombe County. Unusually sensitive people should consider limiting prolonged outdoor activities. WNC Regional Air Quality Agency 125 South Lexington Avenue, Suite 101 Asheville, NC 28801 Phone: 828.250.6777 Air Quality Forecast for Friday, 07/21/2017 Last Updated: […]

Air quality forecast for Wednesday, July 19: Moderate (YELLOW and GREEN)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017, is a code green air quality forecast day for the valleys of Asheville and Buncombe County.  No health impacts are expected when air quality is in this range. For the ridge tops, it is a code yellow air quality forecast day.  Unusually sensitive people should consider limiting prolonged outdoor activities. WNC Regional Air Quality Agency 125 South Lexington Avenue, […]

Health officials encourage caution as temperatures rise

Press release from N.C. Health and Human Services: Public health officials at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services are urging citizens to take extra precautions against heat-related illnesses as daytime temperatures are heading into the mid- to upper-90s as parts of the state face the warmest temperatures of the year.There were 263 […]

The mission of Wheels 4 Hope Asheville/dba Working Wheels is to provide affordable, reliable transportation to economically vulnerable families and individuals referred by a partnering agency.  The nonprofit received a $40,000 grant to build capacity.  Photo courtesy of Wheels for Hope/dba Working Wheels.

Asheville Merchants Fund of The Community Foundation awards $405,000 in grants to support youth success and economic growth

Press release from CFWNC: The Asheville Merchants Fund of The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina has awarded grants to nine Buncombe County nonprofit organizations. A total of $405,000 was distributed for innovative projects designed to strengthen community and stimulate economic growth. The Asheville Merchants Fund supports projects such as community asset development and entrepreneurship; […]

An outfit worn by Kate Winslet in “Titanic” will be on display in Biltmore House as a preview of the upcoming exhibit, “Glamour on Board: Fashion from Titanic the Movie.” The exhibit opens on Feb. 9, 2018, and will run through May 13, 2018. Photo courtesy of Biltmore

New exhibition “Glamour on Board: Fashion from Titanic the Movie” coming to Biltmore in 2018

Press release from Biltmore: The first large-scale exhibition of fashions from “Titanic,” the Oscar-winning film that celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, will launch at Biltmore in February 2018 in “Glamour on Board: Fashion from Titanic the Movie.”   Set for Feb. 9 through May 13, 2018, the exhibition represents the extensive wardrobes preferred by […]

Locally Brewed Asheville Comedy Showcase hits The Grey Eagle on Friday, July 28

Press release from The Grey Eagle: On Friday, July 28th, Funny Business at The Grey Eagle will present a hand-picked selection of Asheville’s best and brightest stand-up comedians, featuring fresh faces and returning favorites. Locally Brewed Comedy: Asheville Comedy ShowcaseCome experience a hand-picked selection of some of Asheville’s best and brightest stand-up comedians – all in […]

Asheville Museum of Science to co-host Asheville’s Solar Eclipse Festival in Pack Square, August 21

Press release from Asheville Museum of Science: The Asheville Museum of Science (AMOS), Asheville City Schools, Buncombe County Schools, UNC Asheville, Mix 96.5, and the828.com are pleased to announce they will be co-hosting Asheville’s Solar Eclipse Festival on August 21st. From 12pm-3pm the community is invited to join in the festivities at Pack Square Park with music, food, […]

United Way celebrates ribbon cutting of Born Learning Trail

Press release from United Way of Henderson County:  On Friday, July 14th, United Way of Henderson County will celebrate the opening of their new Born Learning Trail on the Oklawaha Greenway. Sponsored by Park Ridge Health and in partnership with the City of Hendersonville, UWHC’s new Born Learning Trail will encourage families with young children […]

Hazel Errett and Phillip Poole do research on invasive species. Photo courtesy of UNCA

UNCA named a “Best Buy” in Fiske Guide to Colleges 2018; Environmental Studies Program cited for strength in career preparation

Press release from UNCA: UNC Asheville has been named to the very select list of “Best Buy” universities in Fiske Guide to Colleges 2018, released on July 11. The guide, created by former New York Times education editor Edward Fiske, calls UNC Asheville “one of the best educational bargains in the country.” Additionally, for the 14th consecutive year, […]

Air quality forecast for Wednesday, July 12: Moderate (YELLOW)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017, is a code yellow air quality forecast day for the valleys and ridge tops of Asheville and Buncombe County. Unusually sensitive people should consider limiting prolonged outdoor activities.  WNC Regional Air Quality Agency 125 South Lexington Avenue, Suite 101 Asheville, NC 28801 Phone: 828.250.6777 Air Quality Forecast for Wednesday, 07/12/2017

New website to publish commentaries about NC public policy issues

Press release from Carolina Commentary: Carolina Commentary, a not-for-profit platform established for the purpose of commenting on North Carolina public policy issues, launched today with a commentary about the deportation of the undocumented parents of American born children. This and other commentaries can be found at carolinacommentary.com. Writers for the site hope to contribute to more […]

Air quality forecast for Tuesday, July 4: Moderate (YELLOW)

Tuesday, July 4, 2017, is a code yellow air quality forecast day for the valleys of Asheville and Buncombe County.  Unusually sensitive people should consider limiting prolonged outdoor activities. For the ridge tops, it is a code green air quality forecast day.  No health impacts are expected when air quality is in this range.  WNC Regional Air Quality Agency 125 South Lexington Avenue, […]