Cindy and Ted Hady

Duke deploys herbicide helicopter­s in WNC

Since Duke first began using the practice in WNC in 2016, said company spokesperson Jeff Brooks, helicopters under the utility’s direction have deployed herbicides across more than 500 acres. That number may increase in the future as Duke pursues what it calls “an effective alternative” to ground-based management of vegetation along power lines.

Rachael Nygaard

Buncombe considers changes to nonprofit grant process

Commissioner Amanda Edwards and Rachael Nygaard, the county’s director of strategic partnerships, proposed substantial revisions for Buncombe’s approach to Strategic Partnership Grants. The changes, which will likely be put to a vote on Tuesday, Nov. 5, included the establishment of a volunteer grant review committee, strict adherence to deadlines and standardized criteria for judging applications.

MAHEC students

Statewide symposium spotlights narrative health care

“Medicine Beyond Medication,” North Carolina’s first statewide symposium on narrative health care, will take place at the Mountain Area Health Education Center’s Hendersonville Road campus on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 18-19. Presenters, including Dr. Rita Charon, will focus on how an understanding of story can lead to better outcomes for patients and practitioners alike.

Curbie accepted recyclables list

Green in brief: Recycle Right NC campaign kicks off, climate change predicted for WNC fall

Using the slogan “When in doubt, throw it out,” the statewide Recycle Right NC initiative aims to reduce contamination and improve the economic value of recyclables. Additionally, according to the National Weather Service’s Greenville-Spartanburg office, Western North Carolina is likely in for warmer-than-usual conditions over the foreseeable future.

Chuck Edwards at Oct. 4 Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce breakfast

Edwards won’t rule out reversing Asheville charter change

Sen. Chuck Edwards, who represents Henderson, Transylvania and eastern Buncombe counties in N.C. Senate District 48, said he remained firm in his desire to see the city of Asheville take a different approach to electing its council members. “I get constant feedback from constituents in Asheville that they can’t get City Council folks to pick up the phone, let alone to listen to a specific concern that they might have in their neighborhood,” he said.

Public commenters at Buncombe County Board of Commissioners

Waste Pro woes continue for Buncombe County

Nine residents spoke at the Oct. 1 meeting of the Board of Commissioners about the county’s new agreement with residential waste collection contractor Waste Pro, the second consecutive meeting at which the issue was on the agenda. All of the commenters were critical of the contract, which requires customers to use Waste Pro-provided carts for their trash and recycling.

Ribbon cutting for new American Airlines flights at Asheville Regional Airport

Asheville Regional Airport plans for future growth

Last year, AVL hosted over 1.13 million passengers, an 18.6% jump from 2017’s total and over 67% more travelers than used the airport five years prior. Tina Kinsey, the Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority’s director of marketing, public relations and air service development, says the airport is now striving to manage its expansion and ensure its long-term path maintains a steady cruising altitude.

Asheville Youth Climate Strike

Environmen­tal groups unite for Climate Justice Rally

Taking place at the Vance Monument from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20, the rally brings together 15 area organizations in a call for change. The speaker lineup includes Anita Simha with the North Carolina Poor People’s Campaign, Lucia Ibarra of Dogwood Alliance, the Rev. Scott Hardin-Nieri from the Creation Care Alliance, UNC Asheville Assistant Professor Evan Couzo and Sunrise Movement member Shane McCarthy.

Waste Pro cart sizes

County clarifies Waste Pro service changes

Dane Pedersen, Buncombe County’s solid waste director, said many residents were confused over what would be included in the $19.21 monthly service fee. He explained that the cost covers the required rental of two containers from Waste Pro, one for trash and one for recycling, as well as weekly trash pickup and recycling collection every two weeks.

Buncombe County seal

Fee increases on county commission­ers’ Sept. 17 agenda

Building permits and inspections, birth control through county Health and Human Services and disposal of solid waste are all slated to become more expensive in Buncombe County’s newly proposed fee schedule. The Board of Commissioners will vote on the new fees during its regular meeting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17, in room 326 at 200 College St.

Avril Pinder and Debra Campbell

Greene retaliatio­n tactic still available to county manager

Potentially without review by other county staff members or commissioners, former County Manager Wanda Greene cut Stacey Woody’s pay by nearly $16,000 after Woody questioned an allegedly illegal $125,000 invoice for sponsorship of the Tryon International Equestrian Center. The relevant section of Buncombe’s personnel ordinance still stands, giving the same power to current County Manager Avril Pinder.

Federal courthouse in Asheville

Prison for all in Buncombe corruption scheme

Calling former County Manager Wanda Greene’s activities a “tragic waste on a personal level” with “horrific consequences for the county of Buncombe,” U.S. District Judge Robert Conrad sentenced her to 7 years in federal prison and ordered her to pay a $100,000 fine. Co-conspirators Michael Greene, Mandy Stone, Jon Creighton and Joseph Wiseman, Jr., all received active prison time, a year of supervised release and a financial penalty.