Board chair Brownie Newman, Vice Chair Jasmine Beach-Ferarra and member Amanda Edwards have placed a resolution endorsing the Sheriff’s Office’s use of MAT on the commission’s agenda for Tuesday, Aug. 20. The treatment is currently offered to the jail’s pregnant female inmates, but Buncombe officials hope to expand its availability to all incarcerated individuals.
Civil Service Board Chair Carol Goins voted against her colleagues in a 4-1 decision finding that former Asheville Police Department Capt. Mark Byrd’s firing by former Chief Tammy Hooper was not justified and ordering the city to reach “a just conclusion of the matter.” The board’s reasons for that decision were discussed during its first closed session in at least three years.
While the trust’s professional leadership remains under consideration, board chair Janice Brumit confirms that its board has filled out its inaugural complement of 14 members from WNC. After the nonprofit hires its inaugural CEO and finishes its strategic plan later this year, she estimates that other organizations will be able to apply for its grants starting in the spring of 2020 and receive money the following fall.
Republicans Mike Fryar and Robert Pressley, as well as Democrats Amanda Edwards and Al Whitesides, stood against the 1.05-acre rezoning, while Democrats Brownie Newman and Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, along with Republican Joe Belcher, gave their approval. The county planning board had recommended against the proposal, citing concerns over steep slope development.
In a presentation at the Aug. 6 pre-meeting of the Board of Commissioners, Director of Intergovernmental Projects Tim Love said that the county misses out on roughly $1,600 of federal funding annually for every resident who goes uncounted. Buncombe is aiming to increase its census participation by roughly 10,000 residents over the 2010 effort and reach an 80% participation rate.
Last October, the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality placed stricter controls on what outside materials MSD could accept, thus barring the plant from taking Asheville’s treatment residuals. The city’s current plan is to landfill the sludge in Buncombe County and Concord, N.C. — at over 2 1/2 times the cost of its previous disposal arrangement.
Habitat plans to use the money to provide down payment assistance for 38 affordable housing units at its proposed Old Haywood Road neighborhood in West Asheville. Households earning 80% or less of the area median income ($52,800 for a family of four) would receive $20,000 toward a home purchase.
The board tagged a higher overall population, greater burdens associated with chronic health conditions and obesity, growing racial gaps in academic achievement, a rising jail population, loss of farmland, higher housing costs and increased public health care spending as high-certainty, high-impact trends.
The 10th Congressional District representative’s constituents challenged him on issues including climate policy, Israel-U.S. relations and the behavior of President Donald Trump at his annual Buncombe County town hall on July 31 at the Riceville Community Center.
At the Black Mountain Public Library on July 23, Sheriff Quentin Miller spoke to roughly 35 people in the first of five planned listening sessions meant to build relationships with community members around public safety. Topics included compliance with Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers, school resource officers and transparency in the Sheriff’s Office.
“We have to start looking at what is nature at this point? What is the nonhuman world?” maintains “Mountains Piled Upon Mountains” editor Jessica Cory. “We’ve affected the air, which affects everything else. We’re really getting to the point where we have to look at things a little differently.”
At the heart of the case against Ellen Frost, who was first elected to the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners in 2012 and served through 2018, are roughly $575,000 in county funds that she and former County Manager Wanda Greene allegedly funneled to support “various equestrian enterprises in North Carolina and Florida.”
Republican members of the board argued that their Democratic colleagues were out of place in issuing official letters against pending state HB 370, which would require Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller and other sheriffs throughout North Carolina to comply with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests on penalty of removal from office.
Buncombe did see its unemployment tick up from the 2.8% April rate; the May rate was also higher than the 2.8% reported for the same month last year. However, the Department of Commerce noted that all of the state’s other metro areas also saw rate increases, and the Asheville metro area actually added about 1,900 nonfarm jobs in May.
The four Democratic board members — Chair Brownie Newman, Vice Chair Jasmine Beach-Ferrara and Commissioners Amanda Edwards and Al Whitesides — have all signed letters asking state officials to withhold their support from the proposal. In February, Democratic Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller announced that his office would no longer honor ICE detainers.
Rep. Patrick McHenry, whose 10th Congressional District represents most of Asheville and stretches east through Western North Carolina, will hold a town hall at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, July 31, at the Riceville Volunteer Fire Department in Asheville. Buncombe County Republican Party Chair Jerry Green confirmed that the meeting would take place in a July […]
According to Barry Lawson, president of Curbside Management, the Woodfin recycling company — better known as Curbie — will no longer accept containers or mixed paper from the general public at its drop center as of Monday, July 1. Area residents will still be able to deposit cardboard in the large green collection bins located outside […]
“Building a Climate-Resilient Asheville,” debuted during a June 19 meeting of the city’s Sustainability Advisory Committee on Energy and the Environment at The Collider, focuses on practical steps individuals can take to reduce their vulnerability to extreme weather.
James Baumstark, deputy chief of the Asheville Police Department, declared that all of the backlogged kits in his department’s possession had been reviewed — nearly 600 in all — with 414 already sent in for testing. Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller also said that his office was evaluating and prioritizing a backlog of 201 untested kits.
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved the proposal — including over $334.5 million in general fund spending, the portion primarily funded by property taxes — in a 6-1 vote at its June 18 regular meeting. Only Commissioner Mike Fryar cast his vote in opposition to the plan.
The county’s strategic thinking on tourism, explained Director of Intergovernmental Projects Tim Love, has focused on “the circulation of tourists to our unique, eclectic and vibrant community destinations.” That mission is driving Buncombe’s current input on the Tourism Development Authority’s Tourism Management & Investment Plan.