PITCHING IN: Chattanooga-area creative professionals volunteered their time to benefit local organizations through a 12-hour design marathon in 2017. This year, the Make a Mark organization expanded to Asheville and will host its first “make-athon” on Saturday, June 23. Photo courtesy of Make a Mark Foundation

Make-athon leverages top-notch talent to benefit local nonprofits

On Saturday, June 23, 30 local creative professionals will gather at Hatch AVL, volunteering their time, energy and expertise. And at the end of that very full day, each of the nine chosen groups will walk away with a completed creative product or plan that’s specifically designed to support their work in ways they wouldn’t have been able to achieve on their own.

Kimberlee Archie, Asheville's equity and inclusion manager.

Human Relations Commission holds first meeting on Thursday

Established based on recommendations from a special Council-appointed Blue Ribbon Committee, the new group will be charged with improving human relations and equity throughout Asheville’s government — including the Asheville Police Department, which has drawn fierce criticism in recent months from Council and the public over its response to the beating of a black Asheville resident by a white former APD officer last year.

Mission Health CEO Dr. Ron Paulus shares his rationale behind the health system's intended sale to Hospital Corporation of America.

Mission Health sale could create massive community nonprofit

HCA’s purchase price for the system, plus Mission’s remaining net cash and investments, would fund a nonprofit foundation specifically devoted to boosting public health in the region. At a meeting of the Council of Independent Business Owners, President and CEO Ron Paulus claimed that the new organization’s assets, which could range from $1 billion to $2 billion depending on the final sale price, would make it one of the three largest foundations in North Carolina and the richest foundation per capita anywhere on the planet.

SMALL YET MIGHTY: The power line serving an emergency radio tower atop Mount Sterling near Cataloochee experienced frequent outages related to bad weather and downed trees, so Duke Energy decided last year to replace it with a self-contained microgrid consisting of a solar array and battery system. Photo courtesy of Duke Energy

Storing power key to expanding use of renewable energy

The success of the county’s and city’s goals to increase their use of renewable energy, say local experts, hinges on the availability of battery storage — and lots of it. With one very small local battery installation under its utility belt, Duke Energy Progress is developing two storage projects in Western North Carolina — but will those and future projects be large enough to make a meaningful difference?

BUYING TIME: While some requested data about the Asheville Police Department will be released soon, city staffer Scott Barnwell, right, told City Council, other records requested by activists and Council members will take longer to be made public. Photo by Daniel Walton

Police accountabi­lity and transparen­cy focus of City Council meeting

Amid calls for increased public access to policing data, Asheville City Council left the city’s volunteer board dedicated to hearing residents’ concerns about law enforcement in place for now. At the same time, the elected officials noted many vacancies on the Citizens Police Advisory Committee and signaled their longterm intent to dissolve the body once the newly forming Human Relations Commission has gotten up and running.

OPEN SEASON: Tailgate market season is getting into full swing in Western North Carolina, with new markets opening and others celebrating milestones.

Tailgate market season is here: Where to get the goods

(Go to the bottom of this article for a listing of local tailgate markets) Winter has finally loosened its grip on Western North Carolina, and that means tailgate market season is underway. While there is still some time before the full abundance of the growing season hits the markets, many farmers are already selling their […]