GET UP AND DANCE: Asheville City School's director of human resources Mark Dickerson, aka "Dr. DJ Mark," dances with students during this year's anti-bullying rally. Photo courtesy of Asheville City Schools

Buncombe County schools teach strategies­, raise awareness about cyberbully­ing

Cyberbullying is an issue that comes up all too often. It can include any type of intimidation with electronics or internet use, from texting to posting on social media. Research shows that it has doubled among middle and high schoolers in the U.S. from 2007 to 2016 — from 18 to 34 percent. But research also shows that North Carolina has the second lowest rate of cyberbullying — 30 percent, higher only than Massachusetts at 23 percent. Since October is National Bullying Prevention Month, Asheville City Schools held a rally to create awareness of the issue.

IT'S EVERYWHERE: A view of Chimney Rock surrounded by kudzu. Photo courtesy of Chimney Rock State Park

Krazy with Kudzu looks at good and bad of invasive vine

While pretty much everyone agrees kudzu is a big problem across the South, there seem to be as many philosophies for dealing with it as there are leaves on the vines. At Chimney Rock State Park’s Krazy with Kudzu event on Aug. 12, park visitors can learn about a variety of approaches to living with — or destroying — the pervasive plant.

ELEVATED LIVING: The 133-unit Stoneyard Apartments proposed for 175 Lyman St. in the River Arts District must be elevated above flood level. Design by Form & Function Architecture

P&Z votes in favor of new RAD zoning code, 133 apartments

A proposed form-based zoning code for the River Arts District passed its final hurdle before moving on to Asheville City Council for consideration. At a well-attended meeting of Asheville’s Planning & Zoning Commission on June 7, a 133-unit apartment complex on Lyman Street, a self-storage building on Gerber Road and a zoning change on Forsythe Street also got the commission’s nod.

"This was a personal satisfaction to know that you were the owner of your things," Guerra, a member of the Emma community said. Photo by Kari Barrows

Housing co-ops, a potential affordable housing solution

The second in a three-part series on innovative models for promoting affordable homeownership sponsored by the city of Asheville focused on housing cooperatives. The May 4 education and information event provided perspectives from national experts as well as representatives of the Dulce Lomita Mobile Home Cooperative in Asheville.

The site of a 112-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel on Meadow Road. The Planning & Zoning Commission unanimously approved the hotel application. Graphic courtesy of the city of Asheville

P&Z approves its final big hotel

Asheville’s Planning & Zoning Commission heard the last hotel zoning application submitted under the city’s previous zoning rules, which changed on Feb. 14. The commission approved a 112-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel planned for 26 Meadow Road. Moving forward, any hotel project with more than 20 rooms will have to make its case to City Council as a conditional zoning application. The conditional zoning process gives the elected officials more discretion than P&Z’s guidelines allow.

SEW SUSTAINABLE: Asheville's sewing scene is growing, both for businesses and hobbyists. Photo by Kari Barrows

Local businesses aim to make clothing more sustainabl­e

Industry studies show consumers are growing tired of fast, disposable fashion. In addition to a greater awareness of where clothes come from and the impact of their production, a new interest in extending the life of clothing or reusing materials to create new garments is fueling a resurgence of sewing skills in this region and around the country.

Funding applicants present to the Housing and Community Development Committee on March 24. Photo by Kari Barrows

City Council subcommitt­ee reviews nonprofit funding requests

Nonprofit organizations made their best pitch to City Council’s Housing and Community Development Committee for a share of federal and city funds for the 2017-18 fiscal year at a day-long meeting on Friday, March 24. Some left happy, while others expressed dissatisfaction with a process they said favored established city partners who had received funding in prior years.

OTTER-LY ENGAGING: The Nature Center’s otter inhabitants draw kids and adults alike to watch their antics, which can be playful, cuddly and athletic, all in the space of a few minutes. Photo courtesy of the WNC Nature Center

The incredible shrinking subsidy: WNC Nature Center achieves 3-year reduction goal in one year

When the WNC Nature Center learned the city of Asheville’s subsidy for the facility would shrink by more than half over three years, the environmental education attraction wasn’t immediately sure how it would make up the funding shortfall. But it didn’t take long to figure it out: the Nature Center met the three-year goal in only one year. The attraction is expanding to meet demand, and visitation is setting new records nearly every month.

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P&Z says yes to Asheville Art Museum expansion, 117-room hotel in Biltmore Village

Asheville’s Planning & Zoning Commission approved all five zoning requests presented at the board’s March meeting, including the Asheville Art Museum’s expansion, a five-story hotel on Hendersonville Road, an apartment complex in South Asheville, expansion of the day care center at the Jewish Community Center and a new use for the Patton-Parker House property on Charlotte Street.