Last school year, Buncombe County Schools saw an average daily membership drop of over 1,500 students, its biggest in the past six years and about 6.4% from its 2019-20 figure of 23,712, with nearly 450 students moving to home schools. At the same time, area private, parochial and charter schools have also seen gains in enrollment.
A $25,670 grant from The Community Foundation of WNC is helping MountainTrue continue testing begun last year; eventually, the group wants to be able to give rivergoers up-to-the-minute information about E. coli levels.
The Asheville-based Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture project has found that the number of Western North Carolina tobacco farms declined by 97% between 1997 and 2012, largely due to the federal tobacco buyout. But Matthew Vann, extension specialist and assistant professor at N.C. State University, believes a different variety could make the crop more economically viable for local growers.
Sybriea Lundy counts herself lucky to have been able to participate in programs offered by Light a Path, an Asheville-based nonprofit that brings yoga and movement to underserved populations, while serving the final 2 ½ years of her sentence for drug trafficking at the Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women. The organization also helped Lundy reenter and connect with the Asheville community upon her release.