SOCIALLY CONNECTED:
AARP volunteers host workshops throughout WNC such as this Twitter training. AARP and YMCA of WNC are hosting a three-month program called Disrupt Aging Community Health Challenge. Pictured are 
AARP volunteers, from left, Bob Tomasulo, Deborah Wagner and Judy Williams. Photo courtesy of AARP North Carolina Mountain Region

Challenge aims to improve fitness, combat social isolation in older adults

A “health-meets-social” approach to aging rolls out this month at the YMCA of Western North Carolina, in collaboration with AARP. The partnership has created a three-month program, dubbed Disrupt Aging Community Health Challenge, that combines a fitness challenge with social involvement for people 50 and older. The YMCA of WNC was one of 10 YMCAs across the country […]

WASTE WATCHERS: Largely unheralded, the Buncombe County Metropolitan Sewerage District ensures that the waste generated by its approximately 130,000 customers is properly treated and disposed of before it enters local waterways. The agency is currently in the midst of a $266 million capital improvement project that will upgrade its plant facilities for the future. Photo courtesy of MSD

MSD upgrades its infrastruc­ture with capital improvemen­t projects

To fulfill its critical mission and increase its capacity to deal with a growing service area and customer base, MSD is in the midst of a $266 million capital improvement project, which will help ensure that the community’s waste is properly handled and safely disposed of.

CHANGE THE STORY: Gov. Roy Cooper signs the proclamation designating September as Drug and Alcohol Addiction Recovery Month in at Vaya Health on Thursday. Photo by Leslie Boyd

Cooper advocates a multi-pronged approach to addressing opioid addiction

Gov. Roy Cooper came to Asheville on Thursday to proclaim September as Drug and Alcohol Recovery Month in the state and to pledge his support for efforts that would effectively increase access to treatment for substance use disorder. “Every day in North Carolina, four people die from opioid overdose,” Cooper said before reading and signing the […]

The Seasons of Grace garden at the Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women produced a bumper crop of squash and other fruits and vegetables in its first season. Photo courtesy of the Seasons of Grace garden project

Inmates grow through gardening program

Sally Reeske has been teaching horticulture at the Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women, a minimum-custody prison, for the past two years. While the vocational course through A-B Tech offers inmates hands-on learning and training opportunities via an instructional plot, Reeske wondered if she could do even more for the incarcerated women and the community at […]

IN THE BEGINNING: Reputed to be the third oldest river in the world, the French Broad has gone from a polluted industrial dumping ground to a key cog in Western North Carolina’s outdoor and tourism industries. This renaissance is a result of government, nonprofit, and individual efforts to improve water quality throughout the watershed. Photo by Mike Belleme; courtesy of Transylvania Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Development Authority

Communitie­s along Upper French Broad work to restore water quality

In this two-part series, Xpress invites you on a guided a trip down the river as we examine the work of various communities to write the next chapter in the French Broad’s history, beginning with Transylvania and Henderson counties.