Meagan Gosiewski and family

WNC teens face additional struggles during COVID

While the overall number of emergency department visits was lower in 2020 than in 2019, potentially due to people avoiding hospitals out of COVID-19 concerns, the proportion of visits by teens with thoughts of suicide increased. Among North Carolina kids age 10 to 14, suicidal ideation visits accounted for 3.5% of all ED visits in 2020, up from 2.4% in 2019.

Local resources support WNC’s first-generation college students

In April, Tanya Ledford left a 22-year-long education career teaching history and English at public schools in Henderson and Polk counties. But Ledford’s new job hasn’t taken her far from the classroom. She is now assisting Hispanic high school students, many of them the first in their family to seek a  college education, through the […]

Signage at closed Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education

Pisgah wildlife education hub to close after flood damage

When Tropical Depression Fred tore through Western North Carolina in August, among the casualties was the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s executive board has moved to close and demolish the facility, replacing it with an expansion to the adjacent Bobby N. Setzer Fish Hatchery.

Former Asheville Council member sues city, Asheville City Schools Foundation over scholarshi­ps

A $10,000 scholarship for local Black students is the subject of a lawsuit by a group headed by a former Asheville City Council member. Carl Mumpower, president of WNC Citizens for Equality Inc. and a former chair of the Buncombe County Republican Party, filed a civil suit Oct. 11. It names the city of Asheville, […]

Q&A with Joseph Jamison, United Way equity and network specialist

“One of the biggest challenges students face is a lack of voice in a lot of decision-making within our schools and the community at large,” Jamison explains. “For example, debates over masks or virtual over in-person learning. We’ve all heard a lot of loud adult voices at the table, but I think most people would be hard-pressed to recall a news clip or an article where they heard what students thought about those decisions.”

Classical Scholars classroom

Some local schools reject COVID advice from health officials

Xpress has identified at least seven local K-12 institutions that are not requiring all students to wear masks as recommended by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services StrongSchoolsNC toolkit and county public health leaders. Some have rejected other coronavirus measures as well, including isolating individuals with COVID-19 and recommending vaccinations.

Celebration of Isaac Dickson solar system

Green in brief: Isaac Dickson solar system goes online

Six years in the making, a 300 kilowatt-hour solar array at Asheville’s Isaac Dickson Elementary School was officially dedicated Sept. 24. The $428,000 project is expected to save the school over $1.3 million in utilities costs over its 30-year operational lifespan.

Buncombe County IT scam warning

Local government­s, businesses grapple with cybersecur­ity

Once viewed as a problem primarily affecting national governments, global banks or multinational businesses, cyberattacks have started to hit closer to home. An August 2020 attack shut down classes at Haywood County Schools, while an attack earlier this year attempted to extort Asheville-based Allergy Partners for $1.75 million.

Carol Stefaniak

Wellness in brief: Pardee expands monoclonal antibody infusion clinic

From February through early August, the Emergency Department at Pardee administered 400 infusions of the Regeneron antibody therapy, says chief nursing officer Carol Stefaniak. But following the infusion clinic’s relocation to an outpatient facility in Hendersonville Aug. 11, another 350 infusions were administered, reflecting high demand for the drug.