Entrance of Mission Hospital's Emergency Department

Patients, staff challenge quality of care at Mission Hospital under HCA management

Since investor-owned HCA Healthcare bought nonprofit Mission Health System in 2019, stories are increasingly common of long waits in the emergency room, unsanitary conditions, broken or missing equipment, patients having to lie in their own urine and feces, doctors leaving because of pay disputes and nurses weeping in the hallways because of stress and chronic understaffing.

Vance Monument removal

Vance Monument removal begins

Work started May 17, and demolition of the 123-year-old monument to Zebulon Baird Vance in downtown Asheville is expected to take two weeks to complete, says city spokesperson Polly McDaniel. Costs to take down the structure block by block will reach roughly $114,000, while an additional $25,500 has been allocated for site restoration following the monument’s removal.

Residents, law enforcemen­t explore video doorbells for fighting crime

The latest video surveillance products offer cloud-based data management and high-quality video footage that streams directly to a user’s smartphone. While local detectives express enthusiasm about adding the video footage captured by the cameras to their crime-fighting arsenal, they also note the limitations and privacy concerns of the technology.

Light a Path helps incarcerat­ed people take the next step

Sybriea Lundy counts herself lucky to have been able to participate in programs offered by Light a Path, an Asheville-based nonprofit that brings yoga and movement to underserved populations, while serving the final 2 ½ years of her sentence for drug trafficking at the Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women. The organization also helped Lundy reenter and connect with the Asheville community upon her release.

Tony McDowell

Asheville projects higher taxes for budget priorities

The proposed tax rate of 41.3 cents appears lower than the current rate of 42.89 cents, explained city Director of Finance Tony McDowell. However, the median tax bill will still go up from $995 to $1,215 — more than 22% — due to the 27% increase in median property value for Asheville residents assessed by this year’s Buncombe County revaluation.

Ellen Frost

Frost sentenced to six months in prison for Buncombe fraud

In July 2019, former Buncombe County Commissioner Ellen Frost was charged with 11 federal crimes related to her misappropriation of roughly $575,000 in county funds in 2015 and 2016. Without obtaining board approval, Frost partnered with former County Manager Wanda Greene to spend taxpayer money on sponsorships of three equestrian enterprises in the name of the Asheville Regional Airport.