Thanks to a second round of state grant funding announced in early August, area students will have access to an expanded series of coding programs and courses at the high school and middle school levels. Local employers and economic development boosters say tech skills are vital to securing good jobs now and in the future.
Thanks to funding approved by the the Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, Sept. 4, the system will soon have six additional SROs in its elementary schools — an expansion that carries an estimated recurring cost of more than $400,000 per year.
Commissioners will vote Tuesday, Sept. 4, whether to commit to a forensic audit of Buncombe County finances.
A new political action committee wants to flip the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners, which currently has a 4-3 Democratic majority, to Republican. Their motivation? Democrats controlled the board and, they claim, provided poor oversight during a period of alleged corruption.
The Weaverville session was the first of three that Buncombe County will host to cover each of the board’s three election districts. District 2 Commissioners Mike Fryar and Ellen Frost were in the hot seat on Thursday evening.
Commissioners spent a large chunk of their meeting on Aug. 21 weighting the merits of implementing several changes to the county’s personnel policy — including one that would do away with automatic cost of living adjustments for county employees.
With the county’s commitment to running all county operations off renewable energy by 2030 still an open question, Buncombe County is poised to take a step this week towards fulfilling that goal.
Buncombe County has terminated contracts worth more than $550,000 with two companies associated with Joseph Wiseman Jr., who the county has identified as the contractor who allegedly paid kickbacks to three former county officials.
Two local agencies, the Needle Exchange Program of Asheville and The Steady Collective, provide clean needles and other supplies to help reduce the negative health effects of habitual drug use in Western North Carolina. Now Buncombe County is considering starting a program of its own to combat an increase in diseases transmitted by reusing and sharing needles.
Even as elected officials and county staff digested word of new indictments of former county employees released less than four hours before the regular meeting of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners on Aug. 7, efforts to select a new county manager continued to move ahead.
A federal grand jury returned a bill of indictment on Aug. 7, bringing charges against three former Buncombe County officials: former County Manager Wanda Greene, former County Manager Mandy Stone and former Planning Director and Assistant County Manager Jon Creighton.
Michael Greene, a former Buncombe County employee who has been accused of misusing county purchase cards, on July 27 pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit an offense against the United States.
Asheville City Council unanimously approved an expansive new transit master plan on July 24 — a vote that drew applause from citizens sitting in the audience. The plan will increase the number of buses in the fleet to 36 (plus an extra 16 in reserve) and more than double the number of service hours to about 225,000 by 2029.
Members of Asheville City Council will hear an update on Tuesday, July 24, on efforts to boost transparency of policing data and will decide whether to approve an ambitious new plan for the city’s mass transit system.
On July 19, the Asheville Planning and Zoning Commission approved a rezoning request against the recommendation of city staff that would allow two properties on Maxwell Street to serve as short-term vacation rental properties.
Sylvan Sport founder Tom Dempsey says the inspiration for his company’s adventure camping trailers comes from spending time outdoors — and there’s no better place to find inspiration than this area. “We couldn’t do what we do anywhere else,” he says.
Buncombe County is one step closer to recouping the money it claims was misappropriated by former County Manager Wanda Greene and her son, Michael Greene, who served as a county employee until August 2017.
During their meeting on July 10, commissioners approved an increase in monthly Waste Pro rates and took the first step in their formal search for a new county manager.
The next major step in the selection of a new county manager involves deciding whether to hire an executive search firm. That’s an issue commissioners will discuss during their meeting on Tuesday, July 10.
During their June 19 meeting, Buncombe County commissioners approved a 1-cent increase for the 11 fire districts that requested at least that amount from the county this year. The officials then picked through the requests to identify districts they believed deserved more than the 1-cent baseline.
A new study sponsored by a coalition of local organizations and funded by Mountain BizWorks and the City of Asheville identifies a long list of markets where Asheville has room for local expansion. The New Economy Coalition hopes to use the study to boost the number of minority-owned businesses in Western North Carolina.