White irisette

Polk County hosts nationally significan­t species diversity

“The vagaries of climate and geology and time and the dispersal mechanisms of plants and animals too — all of those things, just over vast eons of time, have given Polk County this sweet spot,” says botanist David Campbell. His inventory of the county lists 32 significant natural heritage areas, as well as 127 rare or watch-list plant species found at those sites.

New report examines health care disparitie­s among transgende­r population­s

Asheville-based nonprofit Campaign for Southern Equality, along with Western North Carolina Community Health Services, released a study last month detailing the health care experiences of transgender and nonbinary people. Transgender Health in the South centers on the experiences of a diverse focus group of people from transgender communities across six Southern states, including North Carolina. […]

Josh Stein and community health advocates

Attorney general approves ‘rearticulated’ Mission-HCA deal

Josh Stein announced that his office had developed a new agreement after months of “extensive negotiations” involving Mission, HCA and the Dogwood Health Trust. He explained that the changes would strengthen HCA’s community commitments, make the DHT board more representative of its service area and ensure greater accountability for both organizations.

Rep. Brian Turner at Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon

Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce pivots agenda at legislativ­e luncheon

The document, set by the chamber’s advocacy and policy committee, adds opioid and substance abuse prevention to the docket for the first time. Affordable housing and expanded transit options throughout the Asheville metro region also made the cut, while Medicaid restructuring and the Interstate 26 Connector Project were both removed from last year’s list.