After approving the franchise in a split vote during their meeting on March 5, county commissioners will vote on contract terms to allow private ambulance provider Medic to respond to emergency calls when one of the company’s units is closest to an incident. The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will meet on Tuesday, March 19.
A new play for children, It’s Just a Pill, premiered at A-B Tech’s Ferguson Auditorium on March 8. The 55-minute musical confronts the opioid epidemic from the perspective of a 10-year-old girl. The production will now travel around North Carolina to reach over 4,000 young people.
In Buncombe County, manufactured housing is limited to certain zoning designations, but the county planning board recently voted in favor of an amendment that would expand the list of areas where manufactured homes would be allowed. The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing about the change in the coming weeks.
The sale of Mission Health to HCA Healthcare means several changes to organizations and services once affiliated with Mission, including a shift of adult day care services from CarePartners to a new nonprofit, MountainCare.
With James Lee opting out mid-term to take a job in another state, Asheville City Council will soon select at least one new member to serve on a board that will be compelled to turn the ship around. Two other members, Martha Geitner and board Chair Shaunda Sandford, are completing their first terms on the board and seeking reappointment. Meanwhile, in a process that will play out in the coming weeks, 11 other community members have applied to be appointed.
The 2019 Appalachian Studies Association conference returns to Asheville after 27 years. The annual gathering brings together an eclectic mix of scholars, educators, activists, students, groups and institutions to discuss and present on a wide range of topics related to life in the region.
Grants to help agencies providing health care services and studying better ways to deliver those services continued to flow in Western North Carolina. Some recent examples include a grant to Project Dignity for feminine supplies, funding to expand how telehealth services might be expanded in rural areas and support for a study of resources available to kidney patients.
Although some commissioners remain concerned the agreement could cut into revenue generated by local volunteer fire departments, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners decided in a 4-3 vote on March 5 to grant an expanded franchise to private EMS service Medical Emergency Ambulance, also called Medic. Commissioners Brownie Newman, Jasmine Beach-Ferrara and Amanda Edwards voted in the minority.
In an effort to address what he sees as needs in the department, which includes increasing the number of patrol officers, Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller asked the board for additional funding to pay for 21 new positions and an increase in the number of vehicles that the county refreshes on an annual basis. The sheriff’s office anticipates that the requests would produce a total recurring cost of approximately $3.2 million per year.
Women make up over half of the local nonprofit’s construction staff and work in roles that provide new construction, home repair, volunteer coordination and construction administration. Each year, the Women Build Advocacy Team — aka WomBATs — recruits female volunteers and raises funds. This year’s Women Build House will come together on May 7.
On Tuesday, March 5, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will consider a proposal to award an updated franchise to Medic, allowing the company to use the county’s 700 mhz radio system and respond to calls when its ambulance crews are closest to an incident.
Author Lynne Forrest will present a three-hour workshop Sunday, March 10, at Jubilee! Community in downtown Asheville. The goal, she explains, will be to help participants “get in touch with the limited story they are believing about themselves in the world, and then I will give them tools to see it in a different light.” The event is a fundraiser for Woman to Woman WNC, which promotes women’s self-empowerment.
The local hospitality industry got together for a look back at 2018 and forecast of industry conditions for 2019 on Feb. 22. Buncombe County announced it has named Diana Sierra family justice coordinator and Mike Mace general services director.
The four-phase, roughly $440,000 project is set to begin this spring and conclude in April 2020. Those funds will come from occupancy tax revenue in the Tourism Product Development Fund budget. Funding for community projects will then resume at a time yet to be determined after the planning is complete.
Since beginning her new job as Asheville’s city manager in December, Debra Campbell — the first woman and person of color to permanently occupy the position — has inspired appreciation, as well as sky-high expectations. In our Q&A, learn about Campbell’s priorities and principles.
“I think you can see by the turnout here, the phone calls to City Council, our emails, our response, that Vance in general — I don’t speak for every parent here or every student — does not feel like this is a win-win,” said Vance parent Marissa Brooks at the Feb. 27 meeting.
The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office will no longer honor requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold detainees on ICE’s behalf without a valid criminal warrant.
By reaching out to African-American residents in rural parts of WNC through surveys, conversations and community meetings, a new three-year, $350,000 fellowship aims to raise awareness and reduce racism in the region’s nonurban health care delivery system.
Beverly-Hanks Realtors celebrated a big year with an awards ceremony Feb. 12. Mega Networking returns to the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce on Mar. 14. And the cost of renting an apartment rose nearly three percent over the past year, according to an industry website.
Politicos of all stripes have begun gearing up for a 2020 election that looks to be a broad moment of opportunity. In Asheville, ballots will include offices from president on down to City Council. Experienced campaign runners and elected officials are teaming up to try to recruit new candidates or train and encourage those already considering a run.
Commissioners voted 4-3 to approve a plan that dedicates $3.13 million in Article 46 tax revenues in fiscal year 2020 for capital expenses at the college. The money would keep coming in each of the next seven years, increasing 5.5 percent annually to account for anticipated increases in construction costs. The county would also cap transfers from Article 46 tax revenue to the general fund at $5 million and would limit the use of that money to operations at A-B Tech.