Conservati­on groups say forest plan could be the last straw for four bat species

The Southern Environmental Law Center and five other conservation groups issued the USFS a notice of intent to sue in July on the grounds that it ignored its own scientific findings suggesting that logging in certain areas could drastically harm the habitat and feeding grounds of four already endangered species, therefore violating the Endangered Species Act. If filed, the case will be heard in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.

Community build

More than 1,000 volunteers gathered Oct. 4-9 near Ira B. Jones Elementary School in North Asheville to rebuild a community park, organizers estimated. The site, formerly known as Jones Park, has been renamed Candace Pickens Memorial Park. In 2016, Pickens was shot and killed at the location. Her 3-year-old son, Zachaeus, was injured during the […]

Buncombe approves final settlement with former County Manager Wanda Greene

Wanda Greene, her son Michael Greene, who also worked for the county, and daughter-in-law, Celena Greene, have agreed to pay the county $502,500 by December 2025, said Philip Anderson, an attorney representing Buncombe County in the case, at the Oct. 3 board meeting. The payments are related to the improper use of county funds to purchase sponsorship and advertising at equestrian-related venues, he said.

Protecting Buncombe children and families requires passion

“This is a really hard job,” says Rutha, who requested her last name be omitted for safety reasons. “So there has to be a desire to want to help people and to want to intervene and keep children safe and support families.” That desire has been tested lately, as the investigations division has struggled with staffing shortages, peaking in May when 11 of the department’s 29 positions were vacant.

Coalition urges county to push for plastic bag ban despite pending state restrictio­ns

“It’s a cynical and shameful ploy to deny you the ability to serve your constituents. It’s anti-democratic, and I look forward to working together with you to reject this encroachment on our rights to protect our health and the health of our mountains, rivers and streams,” Karim Olaechea, deputy director of strategy and communications for MountainTrue told commissioners during public comment.

Questions persist about county property appraisals

Tax Assessor Keith Miller says he is “very confident” that the changes he’s implemented will improve the process used in the next reappraisal in 2025. However, consultant Joe Minicozzi of the Asheville-based Urban3, whose unsolicited, unpaid analysis was what prompted the commissioners to establish the reappraisal committee, says those changes haven’t gone far enough and that the committee itself wasn’t given a sufficient opportunity to review his firm’s work.