Commission­er candidates split over teacher pay

“It is the responsibility of the Legislature to fund teacher pay,” District 2 incumbent Democrat Ellen Frost declared at the July 30 Council of Independent Business Owners candidate forum. But though most school funding comes from the state, the county does provide a supplement each year, usually about 20 percent of total school funding. In […]

Preview: Buncombe commission­ers meet Tuesday, Aug. 5

A month after contentiously approving the 2015 budget, the Buncombe Board of Commissioners’ Tuesday, Aug. 5, meeting is shaping up to resemble nothing if not a game of Monopoly. Most of the new business before the board concerns various ins-and-outs of real estate. First, commissioners will be considering three rezoning requests. Two of these are […]

APD unveils new operations plan

In an age of instant communication and social media, Asheville Police are still stuck in the 20th century. “The Asheville Police Department does a lot of good,” said Police Chief William Anderson. “What we’re not good at is getting that information out to the public.” Anderson was speaking to the 20 attendees of the department’s first meeting […]

Buncombe County seeks community involvemen­t on new poverty plan

Buncombe County is taking new steps to alleviate poverty, and it’s looking to the community for ideas. Representatives of 22 organizations attended a July 15 Buncombe County Health and Human Services (BCHHS) meeting, where they learned of Buncombe’s new Request for Information (RFI) on poverty remediation. County leaders are interested in community practices to remedy poverty and are seeking information […]

Poetic mayhem at Thrashvill­e, the secret world of WNC skateboard­ing

Skateboarding’s stereotypical image hovers somewhere between Fast Times at Ridgemont High and the Sex Pistols. And while that would seem to make it a natural fit for the fringe-blender that is Asheville, there are challenges — including hefty fines. But beneath its surface madness, skateboarding girds itself with a subtle but very real prosody.

Hero worship

Editor’s note: In a series of articles, Cameron Huntley is exploring a particular niche in the area’s economy: comic book and gaming stores. In this installment, he chronicles the passing of the torch at one local comics shop. “See you next week,” Will Hessling tells a customer as he gathers his pile of comics, straightens […]

Across the multiverse

Editor’s note: This summer, Cameron Huntley explored a niche in the Asheville-area economy — comic-book and gaming stores. In this installment, he takes a close look at one store’s weekly tournament. Jacob Wishon shuffles a five-card hand. The plastic sleeves gleam in the fluorescent light as Carla Schlueter winces across the game table: "Oh God,” […]

Duty calls

Rich Simpson, owner of Game Xcape, still remembers his first system: an original Atari. He and his brothers played Pong on it religiously. Little did they know that they were architects of the machine’s demise. "We went outside and left the game on, and when my father came home the image had burned onto the […]

The gathering place

The skeleton shambles forward, red eyes burning like rubies in the dungeon's twilight contours. It must be defeated before the hunt for the jade katana can continue. The dwarf has failed to decapitate the fleshless specter. Now it's up to the gunslinger. Gamemaster James Becker quickly scans his laptop. "Roll to hit.” The player tosses […]

Fantastic store

Walking into Comic Envy is like entering an Alex Ross book with all the colors from thousands of saddle-stitched, glossy booklets: Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Manga. And there are just as many from less mainstream publishers: Top Shelf, Fantagraphics. For every Spiderman or Spongebob Squarepants there is a 10-foot-tall homunculus in a flat cap and […]