State house committee unveils new House district maps
The N.C. General Assembly’s House Redistricting Committee has released a map containing newly proposed House districts, including those for Buncombe County’s three representatives. As currently drawn, the proposed districts would shift representation for large areas of Buncombe County; while an earlier version would have placed Democratic Reps. Brian Turner and Susan Fisher in the same district, the most recent maps keep both representatives in separate districts.
A 2011 state law required that districts for the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners match those of the county’s House representatives. As currently drawn, the maps would move Commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara from District 1 to District 2, shift Al Whitesides from District 1 to District 3 and reassign Amanda Edwards from District 2 to District 1.
Abdallah named Peacemaker of the Year
Said Abdallah was named 2019’s Peacemaker of the year by WNC 4 Peace, Veterans for Peace Chapter 099 and Elder and Sage Community Gardens. A public celebration of his achievement takes place during the 10th annual International Day of Peace on Saturday, Sept. 21, beginning at 11 a.m. at the Elder and Sage Community Gardens at 37 Page Ave.
Asheville City Council member Brian Haynes will read the city’s Peace Proclamation, which brings together 30 local organizations supporting efforts for peace in the community. Other speakers will include N.C. Rep. Susan Fisher, Voices for Creative Nonviolence founder Kathy Kelly and human rights attorney Daniel Kovalik.
Eastern Band re-elects Sneed as principal chief
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians re-elected Principal Chief Richard Sneed to serve another four-year term, defeating challenger Teresa McCoy by a 10 percentage point margin. Alan B. Ensley was elected to serve as vice chief, besting challenger Jim Owle. The Eastern Band also elected six Tribal Council seats and three school board representatives; full election results are available at avl.mx/6il.
Leadership Asheville to hold higher education forum
Leadership Asheville, a program of UNC Asheville, will hold a public forum on higher education focused on affordability, accessibility, economic issues, faculty retention and university governance. Speakers will include former Asheville Mayor W. Louis Bissette Jr., former UNC Board of Governors member Paul Fulton, Higher Ed Works President and CEO Emma Battle and William Sederburg, senior scholar for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. The forum will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 2, from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Center.
Community Foundation awards $380K in focus area grants
On Aug. 28, The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina awarded nearly $380,000 in grants to six regional projects. Grant recipients include the Mountain Area Health Education Center, McDowell Local Food Advisory Committee, Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, Green Built Alliance, National Trust for Historic Preservation and RiverLink. The foundation also contributed $200,000 to OnTrack Financial Education and Counseling to expand a matched-savings program.
Our VOICE presents Survivors’ Art Show Nov. 22-23
Local nonprofit Our VOICE will offer an opportunity for those impacted by sexual assault and abuse to present their works at the annual Survivors’ Art Show, taking place at the Asheville Masonic Temple on Friday-Saturday, Nov. 22-23. Artists interested in submitting pieces can bring their work, along with a completed submission form, to the Family Justice Center at 35 Woodfin St. in Asheville, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.The deadline to submit performance art works is Tuesday, Oct. 15; the deadline for visual art is Thursday, Oct. 31. More information is available at avl.mx/6ig.
Warren Wilson adds varsity lacrosse
Warren Wilson College announced that it will add lacrosse to the college’s varsity sports programs. The addition is a requirement for the college to qualify for exploratory Division III membership in the NCAA. Once hired, coaches for both men’s and women’s teams will recruit players during the current academic year and begin competition during the 2020-2021 academic year. Warren Wilson currently supports men’s and women’s basketball, cross country, cycling, soccer, swimming and tennis teams.
Phase two of CTS Superfund cleanup to begin in October
In October, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will begin phase two of cleanup at the CTS of Asheville Superfund site at 235 Mills Gap Road. Officials plan to treat the area, which is contaminated by the volatile organic compound trichloroethylene, by injecting chemicals into the ground to break down the toxin into harmless byproducts like carbon dioxide and water. The interim cleanup, which is expected to take several years and cost a total of $9 million, will be followed by a final site-wide cleanup to address any remaining contamination.
Updated at 11:12 on Sept. 23 to reflect the most recent updates to N.C. House district maps.