What could make living through a house fire worse? How about lost pets, a struggling business and a pandemic that canceled a family member’s high school graduation ceremony? Melissa Meyer faced all these and more, but there’s a bright spot: After nearly four months’ absence, Oliver the cat was found. The Black Mountain community pulled together to support his recovery, and now the beloved feline is back home and on the road to health.
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.
Christopher Hickman’s period of supervised probation for the 2017 assault of Johnnie Rush might have ended this month if not for delays in the community engagement portion of his restorative justice plea deal. COVID-19, as well as other obligations for the Raleigh-based program director, disrupted the yearlong schedule and will lead to an extension of Hickman’s probation.
With concerns over a new voting law, an agricultural recession and ongoing exploitation through the state’s crop lien system, roughly 50,000 African Americans left North Carolina between 1889-90.
Some kids have faced social isolation during the pandemic with schools closing and being unable to see their friends. Some youth camps opened their doors in the summer so kids could engage with peers and learn instead of having their eyes glued to a screen.
Together, the city of Asheville and Buncombe County approved over $11 million in funding to install roughly 7 megawatts of solar power at public facilities and area schools. The projects are anticipated to save the governments and local schools roughly $650,000 in electricity costs in the first year and more than $27 million over the installations’ 30-year operational life.
The pandemic has isolated rural residents with mental health needs. But these North Carolina providers are finding creative ways to connect.
With the area’s formerly booming tourism industry mostly on hold as COVID-19 infection rates in nearby markets remain high, the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority faces an uncertain future. Add in a leadership transition, potential changes to the legislation that controls the distribution of local occupancy tax revenues and public hostility to the industry, and more questions than answers emerge.
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.
Registered nurses at Mission go public with frustrations over alleged staff shortages and safety concerns during pandemic, as the National Labor Relations Board says votes on union representation will be counted Sept. 16.
Al Whitesides, the sole Black member of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners, and his three Democratic colleagues approved the resolution over the opposition of the board’s three Republicans. The county government is now aligned with Asheville City Council, which unanimously passed a similar measure on July 14.
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.
Many religious leaders in Western North Carolina are using the pulpit to call for racial justice. For some, the message predates the killing of George Floyd; for others, the issue is a new and delicate topic.
Between 1930-70, some local churches joined in participation of the annual “Race Relations Sunday” sermon held each February.
Jennifer Pharr Davis, owner of Asheville-based Blue Ridge Hiking Company, says there’s a simple reason behind the pent-up demand for outdoor recreation: In a world where many activities are either unsafe or unavailable, going for a hike is very appealing.
According to a factual basis document filed on July 30 with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Ellen Frost will likely admit to one count of conspiracy to commit federal program fraud, for which the maximum prison term is five years. Frost’s court date is scheduled for Monday, Aug. 17.
After the city of Asheville enjoyed widespread national and international press for adopting a resolution in support of reparations for the Black community on July 14, Buncombe County may be next in line.
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.