North Carolina National Guard members receive the Secretary of the Army Environmental Award from Jordan Gillis

Asheville National Guard unit wins major environmen­tal award

On Aug. 3, Jordan Gillis, acting assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment presented N.C. National Guard Field Management Station No. 1 with the Secretary of the Army Environmental Award, given annually to just nine individuals, teams or installations from Army operations across the country.

Aura Foundation helps homeless women veterans

In 2009, Alyce Knaflich began volunteering to help women, veterans and homeless people. In 2014, she created the Aura Foundation, a nonprofit that serves homeless women veterans in Buncombe, Haywood and Henderson counties. Two years later, the group bought a building on Meadowbrook Terrace in Hendersonville to house the dream: a place women veterans can call home while they find the resources needed to regain independence.

Balance is crucial for avoiding falls as we age

Impaired balance brings with it a higher risk of falling and all that a fall can entail. According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the No. 1 cause of both injury and death in older adults. State data indicate that the rate of fall-related death and injury is increasing among both men and women and in all age groups 65 and older. But falling isn’t inevitable, and several programs in WNC are working to reduce the number of falls older adults experience, helping avoid injury and boosting quality of life.

Trinity United Methodist Church meeting

West Asheville needle exchange, free café raise community complaints

Some say The Steady Collective, Firestorm Books and Coffee, Kairos West Community Center and 12 Baskets Café have reduced the area’s safety by offering services to drug users and homeless clients. The Asheville Police Department has claimed that the number of complaints filed in the neighborhood — including drug use, trespassing and syringes discarded on a nearby playground — have risen dramatically in recent months.