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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Desiree Delbert, who works as an American Sign Language teacher at Asheville’s Franklin School of Innovation, normally runs her classroom with lots of student-to-student conversation and feedback — an experience that proved hard to replicate online.
Mary Wells Letson has been giving away free flower bouquets from a stand on Kimberly Avenue since June 1. The arrangements also include a flyer that highlights the work of social justice organizations the teen supports.
East Asheville resident Gloria Pincu lost her husband, Daniel, to COVID-19 while she also battled the disease. As she slowly regains her strength, Pincu is struggling to make sense of everything that’s happened since the pandemic began in March.
Restaurants, brewers, hoteliers, tour companies and retailers were all among the 449 named Paycheck Protection Program beneficiaries with headquarters in Asheville. At least 46 of those entities also received help from the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority to fill needs unmet by the federal loan effort.
Of 911 calls and requests for assistance to the Asheville Police Department, less than 1% involve a violent crime, an AVL Watchdog analysis of police dispatch data shows. Much of the time, police are summoned to routine calls such as traffic accidents, domestic disputes and loud parties or non-violent crimes like shoplifting, trespassing and prostitution.
Two new programs, High Intensity Parenting and Lifeline, will provide enhanced training and round-the-clock access to supportive resources for foster parents, including financial incentives.
With more numbers than ever, it can be hard to understand the magnitude of the pandemic in North Carolina. N.C. Health News created three charts to help make sense of coronavirus in the state.
The Farm at Pond Road, to comprise 575 apartments, 80 townhomes and 32 single-family homes, will be one of the largest residential projects in Buncombe County in recent years. It is to be built in two stages over the next few years.
In Western North Carolina, the main regional hospitals say they currently have more than enough capacity to provide care for area residents. But their approaches, protocols and treatment options for COVID-19 vary.
After reviewing death records, a county long-term care facility is now regarding 10 deaths previously attributed to COVID-19 as not caused by the coronavirus. The change will lower Buncombe’s total COVID-19 deaths to 30.
Independence Day will look different this year. Faced with the challenge of preserving tradition while also protecting public health, many community celebrations have pivoted to allow attendees to socially distance as they celebrate the country’s founding — but fireworks can be found at a couple of locations in Western North Carolina.
Vance, Patton, Woodfin, Henderson, Weaver, Chunn, Baird — their names are familiar to anyone living in Asheville and Buncombe County today. All were wealthy and influential civic leaders. They were also major slaveholders or slave traders and white supremacists.
Masks are required, bars are closed and isolation fatigue is setting in. As Buncombe enters this new phase, Xpress took a look at the COVID-19 stats — both in Western North Carolina and in some likely points of origin for short-term visitors.
With farmers losing access to customers and many people facing food insecurity during pandemic, the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project offers a solution.