From Asheville Watchdog: Down 40% in numbers, Asheville police are overstretc­hed

Today, Asheville Watchdog continues its series Down Town, with an examination of the impact of a diminished police force especially downtown, where — as The Watchdog reported in Part 1 — merchants and residents have complained of increased break-ins and shoplifting, of human waste and needles in doorways, and of aggressive panhandlers.

From Asheville Watchdog: Merchants describe downtown Asheville’­s descent into squalor and lawlessnes­s

Today, Asheville Watchdog begins Down Town, a series that examines crime and the effects of a diminished police force; the consequences of increased homelessness and devastating drug addictions; the impact on tourism; the response by Asheville’s leaders; and the approaches used successfully in other cities.

From AVL Watchdog: Board turmoil, employee complaints and lack of transparen­cy on display at Asheville Art Museum

The nonprofit museum has collected millions of dollars in donations, admissions, grants, and memberships, and includes among its supporters Buncombe County and the City of Asheville, courtesy of the taxpayers. In charge of it all is a board of trustees with full authority over the museum’s affairs, and one that operates out of public view, often yielding to the will of its long-time executive director, Pamela Myers.