After announcing a plan to crack down on restaurants violating COVID-19 safety guidelines last week, city and county officials have yet to issue any citations to area businesses.
Asheville made national headlines the night of June 2, when Asheville Police Department officers destroyed medical supplies and forcibly handled volunteer medics during international protests for racial justice. Xpress spoke with several people present at the medic station; they say the reasons for their outrage go far beyond the damage to supplies.
Starting this weekend, a task force of public health and law enforcement officials will begin issuing citations for restaurants and breweries in violation of COVID-19 safety guidelines.
While Asheville and Buncombe County K-12 schools are planning to start the academic year with heavy reliance on remote learning due to COVID-19, the area’s colleges and universities are taking a more aggressive approach in returning to campus. Western North Carolina’s higher learning institutions are bringing back students from across the state and around the country.
The Asheville Police Department is still fully funded — at least through September. On July 30, Asheville City Council voted 5-2 to adopt an annual operating budget that will allocate three months of funding for the operation of essential services, including the APD.
Tiffany Iheanacho has big plans. As Buncombe County’s first justice services director, she intends to turn innovative ideas into action aimed at eliminating barriers within both the local criminal justice system and the broader community.
Saunders, who has served as the health director for Alamance County since 2014, will replace Dr. Jennifer Mullendore, Buncombe’s interim public health director since March 9. Mullendore will continue her duties as the county’s medical director.
Community members claim Asheville City Council tried to limit opportunities for public comment during its meeting of July 28 by introducing several new policies to regulate callers.
Hendersonville resident Nancy Patterson has Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes an overactive thyroid. She founded a nonprofit foundation to help support others, and has spent the last three decades spreading awareness about the condition.
After a contentious public hearing earlier in the week, Asheville City Council voted 5-2 to pass a 2020-21 fiscal year budget with three months of funding allocated for essential department spending at its July 30 meeting.
Limited COVID-19 testing supplies at commercial and hospital laboratories are causing significant delays in results. In turn, hospitals like Pardee in Hendersonville are forced to wait to administer COVID-19 treatment to suspected patients.
As Buncombe’s COVID-19 case count grows, there is little data on cases in individuals who live in another county but travel to Buncombe for work or leisure. Plus, North Carolina’s metrics may indicate some relief statewide.
After two months of community pleas to defund the police, Asheville City Council will hear even more comment on the city’s spending at a public hearing for the fiscal year 2020-21 budget on Tuesday, July 28. Members of the public who wish to speak at the meeting must now sign up in advance.
A statewide mandate has prompted COVID-19 testing for all incarcerated individuals in state prisons, but local jails — Buncombe’s included — aren’t obligated to test everyone in custody. Instead, facilities have been directed to mitigate spread of the coronavirus through screening, isolation and social distancing.
For many, Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home order was a protective measure to keep the community safe from COVID-19. But for others, home isn’t safe: If someone is trapped in close quarters with an abuser, social distancing becomes incredibly dangerous. With no end to the pandemic in sight, local organizations are preparing for a rise in domestic and sexual violence despite their limited resources.
N.C. Department of Health and Human Services unveiled an expanded dashboard detailing hospital capacity in different parts of the state. Of the 1,086 North Carolina patients hospitalized for COVID-19 on July 19, 41 were in Western North Carolina.
East Asheville resident Gloria Pincu lost her husband, Daniel, to COVID-19 while she also battled the disease. As she slowly regains her strength, Pincu is struggling to make sense of everything that’s happened since the pandemic began in March.
According to preliminary results from surveys sent to families with children in the younger grades, roughly 40% of those attending Buncombe County Schools and 38% of those attending Asheville City Schools are opting for all-virtual classes.
Asheville City Council unanimously adopted a resolution supporting reparations for Asheville’s Black community at its July 14 meeting. Members also moved to table a $83,000 contract with risk-management firm Hillard Heintze to investigate Asheville Police Department’s response to recent protests after listening to community concerns.
As calls continue for Asheville City Council to listen to the demands of protestors, Council members are poised to take the next step. At their meeting on Tuesday, July 14, members will vote on reparations for the Black community, a Black Lives Matter mural and a contract with a firm to investigate Asheville Police Department’s actions during recent demonstrations.
In the last week, Buncombe County’s percentage of positive tests has jumped from 2% to 4%. Although North Carolina’s statewide positivity rate hovers around 9%, the local increase indicates a rise in the coronavirus’ community prevalence.