Flag fight

The July 25 arrest of a West Asheville couple for desecrating the flag has sparked a storm of controversy, including doubts about the constitutionality of the rarely enforced state statute. The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the handling of the matter, and Sheriff Van Duncan has expressed regrets about the incident, telling Mountain Xpress […]

New bill would benefit public-access channels

A bill co-sponsored by state Sen. Martin Nesbitt would boost funding for public-access channels like Asheville’s URTV while increasing broadband and Internet access throughout the state. Funding for local public-access channels was limited last year when the state took control of local cable franchises away from local governments. Some of those franchise fees are later […]

New plan for The Block unveiled

After years of infighting and stalled proposals, a $20 million plan aimed at revitalizing “The Block,” a historically African-American downtown neighborhood, calls for adding new commercial space and 52 condominiums within the next two years. The plan, a partnership between a nonprofit arm of the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church and the Landmark Group, a […]

Proposed broadband/­wireless bill sparks controvers­y

A bill now before the General Assembly that would place sharp restrictions on the local governments’ ability to offer broadband and wireless services has come under fire from municipalities across the state. The Local Government Fair Competition Act, which had just passed the House Public Utilities Committee at press time, would require municipalities providing Internet […]

The other S-word

If you’ve picked up a newspaper or tuned into an Asheville City Council meeting in recent months, you’ve probably run into the word: socialism. Workers of the world … debate: City Council member Carl Mumpower, left, says he see socialist impulses behind some city policies. Fellow Council member Brownie Newman was described by one critic […]

The incredible expanding town

The town of Woodfin has been perched on Asheville’s northern border since 1971, when it incorporated to avoid annexation by the city. High on the mountaintop: Reynolds Mountain, which has raised the ire of some activists, as seen from Woodfin. The developer will own and fund much of Woodfin’s new downtown. photos by Jonathan Welch […]

Right on target

Political activism is alive and well among Asheville/Buncombe’s substantial cohort of conservatives and libertarians. Organized by groups such as the Buncombe County Republican Action Club, given voice by outlets such as The Asheville Tribune and conservative blogs, and energized by the efforts of individual activists, these folks tend to oppose what many see as the […]


“I grew up here: I went to private school here, I was a cheerleader, I rode in the Christmas Parade. … I’ve been really disappointed in this city, in how it’s treated me since I’ve become homeless.” — homeless woman Billie Riddell Asheville native Billie Riddell had run out of gas. She is homeless, and […]

Somewhere over the rainbow

“If a minority student were to … ask me if they should come to UNCA … I would tell them to pack up and take their money somewhere else.” — UNCA junior Rachael Williams UNCA junior Rachael Williams was sitting in a humanities class when she heard the remark. “A nontraditional student who was right […]