Blue Ridge Pride, a nonprofit supporting the LGBTQ community in Western North Carolina, launched an online business directory for LGBTQ-owned and inclusive businesses called the Blue Ridge Pride Business Alliance on June 25. The directory, available at BlueRidgePride.org/Business, includes retail, food and drink, leisure and services and other categories. Businesses listed in the BRPBA directory […]
Author: Jessica Wakeman
Showing 148-162 of 162 results
Q&A with Kareen Boncales, director of entrepreneurship at Mountain BizWorks
Many people who volunteer with the Peace Corps consider it a life-defining experience. Kareen Boncales is one of them. She served in Cameroon from 2009-11 in small enterprise development, teaching basic business skills to everyone from farmers to boutique owners. “I really admired that entrepreneurial spirit of turning challenges into opportunities,” she recalls. “I knew […]
A recent Tuesday afternoon at the Western North Carolina Birth Center was unusually quiet. The birthing rooms were empty. No laboring mothers paced the halls; no infants wailed. The staff arrived for work, but the mood was forlorn. July 20 marked the close of the WNC Birth Center, the only 24/7 midwifery option in Asheville. […]
Community paramedicine program addresses opiod overdoses
Buncombe County experienced a 147% increase in overdose deaths between 2015 and 2017, the most recent period for which data is available from the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. According to Emergency Services, Buncombe averages six-to-eight deaths monthly from probable overdoses.
Q&A with Justin McVey, regional wildlife biologist with NC Wildlife Resources Commission
Justin McVey of Horse Shoe looks at the world differently than do most people. A bird feeder and a trash can are a potential buffet for urban black bears scavenging residential properties in search of food. A dead deer on the side of the road might be roadkill — or an indication that disease is […]
Wellness roundup: Local domestic, sexual violence nonprofits lose funding; Dogwood invests $25M into Pisgah Fund
State funding for local domestic, sexual violence nonprofits to end Sept. 30 The N.C. Governor’s Crime Commission informed four WNC nonprofits on June 16 of the discontinuance of nearly $2.3 million in grant funding previously available through the Victims of Crime Act and the Violence Against Women Act. Existing VOCA and VAWA grants are scheduled […]
Western North Carolina is a health-conscious place, but one that hasn’t always been welcoming for the LGBTQ community. And without health and wellness opportunities that provide care, while also affirming sexuality and gender identity, some LGBTQ folks may not share essential information with their providers or avoid health care settings entirely. Numerous local organizations and […]
Q&A with Mac Franklin, director of horticulture at the NC Arboretum
Since he was a teenager in Charlotte, Mac Franklin knew what his life’s work would be. He began landscaping during high school and continued the career while studying art, industrial art and design at Appalachian State University. After college, Franklin moved west to work for a landscape architect in San Francisco and a nursery in […]
Canton and Maggie Valley consider additional occupancy tax
House Bill 412 would enable the two Haywood County municipalities to levy a 2% occupancy tax on accommodations like hotels, motels and Airbnbs, which would then be managed by new town-specific tourism development authorities.
Buncombe among state’s leading counties in elder abuse
As of 2019, the latest year for which data is available, Buncombe County had the largest population of adults ages 60 and older in the state with 71,578 people, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. And in 2000, the county received 1,190 reports allegations of abuse of older residents.
Q&A with Joshua Darty, director of Riverside Cemetery
When Joshua Darty moved to Asheville in 2006 with a freshly minted forest management degree from N.C. State University, an open position at the city’s Parks and Recreation Department seemed like a potential fit. But when he showed up for his interview at 53 Birch St., he was in for a surprise. “I’m like, ‘This […]
Q&A with Chief District Court Judge J. Calvin Hill
In June 1995, a young lawyer named J. Calvin Hill parked his car in downtown Asheville and walked toward the Buncombe County Courthouse. Hill, who had been working for several years as a defense attorney in eastern North Carolina, had been recruited by the Buncombe public defender’s office. As he strolled to his job interview […]
WNC health care providers work to cut opioid prescriptions
Drug abuse changed during the 13 years that Adam McIssac has been working as a drug and alcohol counselor in Asheville. At the beginning, McIssac mostly saw clients who were addicted to methamphetamine. But over time “pills,” including opioids like oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin), became the main drugs that his clients abused. Opioid abuse […]
Wellness roundup: Vaya to consolidate with Cardinal; MAHEC receives doula grant
Asheville-based Vaya Health and Charlotte-based Cardinal Innovations, two of North Carolina’s largest managed care organizations, announced on June 1 that they will consolidate ahead of the state’s transformation to Medicaid managed care. Vaya will assume responsibility for coordinating services for Cardinal Innovations members once the organizations are consolidated. Vaya Health currently manages services for individuals […]
Asheville Grown passes the baton
After 12 years helming the Asheville Grown Business Alliance, founder Franzi Charen is stepping aside. Her role will go to Sherree Lucas, who has served on the alliance’s steering committee for two years.