ICYMI: Last week’s best reads from Xpress

Crowds came out to enjoy the midway at the Mountain State Fair. Photo by Cindy Kunst.

As residents and visitors took in the fleeting sights, sounds and smells of the Mountain State Fair last week, local musicians struggled to find practice space and legal eagles from the city of Asheville and Buncombe County dug through dusty old deeds to research the ownership of the site of Asheville’s Vance Monument.

In case you missed them, here are some of Xpress‘ most intriguing stories from the past week.

A mystery in-deed: Who owns Pack Square?

by Max Hunt

Pack Square lies at the center of Asheville’s sense of itself as a city, but recent attention to the area — and the monuments to Confederate figures located there — has highlighted a curious anomaly of history and law: No one can say for sure who owns the piece of land where the Vance Monument sits. Read more

OUT LOUD: Drummer Claude Coleman Jr., left, and bassist Brett Spivey turned their own needs for affordable practice space — and a dearth of such rentals in Asheville — into an opportunity to start SoundSpace, a rehearsal facility. The new business is currently in development. Photo by Cindy Kunst
OUT LOUD: Drummer Claude Coleman Jr., left, and bassist Brett Spivey turned their own needs for affordable practice space — and a dearth of such rentals in Asheville — into an opportunity to start SoundSpace, a rehearsal facility. The new business is currently in development. Photo by Cindy Kunst

Local musicians struggle to find affordable practice spaces

by Alli Marshall

Unlike most U.S. cities with music scenes, Asheville doesn’t offer lockout spaces or practice facilities for local or touring artists. When a storage unit facility asked local bands to leave, it left many musicians scrambling for creative solutions. Read more

City passes two hotel projects under new policy

by Carolyn Morrisroe

In the seven months since the city of Asheville altered its regulations to give City Council more oversight over large building and hotel projects, Council has approved two proposed hotels. Xpress takes a closer look to see what it looks like when hotels try to pass muster before Council. Read more

ADDING IT UP: Former Buncombe County Manager Wanda Greene doled out $118,366 in salary increases intended for the county’s lowest earners. Data from the county about the raises show 36 percent of that money went to employees making between $40,001 and $75,000, and 48 percent went to those making more than $75,000. In all, 16 percent of raise money went to county employees making less than $40,000. Photo by Arianna Moore; graphic by Xpress
ADDING IT UP: Former Buncombe County Manager Wanda Greene doled out $118,366 in salary increases intended for the county’s lowest earners. Data from the county about the raises show 36 percent of that money went to employees making between $40,001 and $75,000, and 48 percent went to those making more than $75,000. In all, 16 percent of raise money went to county employees making less than $40,000. Photo by Arianna Moore; graphic by Xpress

Raising questions: Past pay increases present puzzles

by Dan Hesse

As questions swirl around an ongoing FBI probe into former Buncombe County Manager Wanda Greene, some top officials are scrutinizing the results of a directive they say was meant to boost the earnings of the county’s lowest-paid employees. Read more

Fire it up: Outdoor grilling law opens up new options for Asheville restaurate­urs

by Jonathan Ammons

State legislation passed at the end of May offers an affordable way for eateries to expand their menus and draw more customers. Read more

GET YOUR KICKS ON STREETCAR SIX: This photo, believed to have been taken in 1910, captures the No. 6 streetcar, which ran along Biltmore Street.
GET YOUR KICKS ON STREETCAR SIX: This photo, believed to have been taken in 1910, captures the No. 6 streetcar, which ran along Biltmore Street.

Asheville’s streetcars take a farewell tour, Sept. 6, 1934

by Thomas Calder

After 45 years of service, the final seven street cars departed from Pritchard Park on Thursday, Sept. 6, 1934, heading toward West Asheville for one last ride.

Read more

Beacon site in Swannanoa subject of public comment period

by Virginia Daffron

The contaminated former site of the Beacon Manufacturing Co. in Swannanoa has stood vacant since a massive fire destroyed the plant in 2003. The property’s owners are asking state regulators for permission to redevelop the site, and the public has until Sept. 29 to submit comments on the proposal. Read more

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About Virginia Daffron
Managing editor, lover of mountains, native of WNC. Follow me @virginiadaffron

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