News in brief: Police chief, HCA monitor announces community meetings

David Zack
ON THE JOB: David Zack, chief of the Cheektowaga Police Department in New York, will serve as the new chief of the Asheville Police Department starting Tuesday, Feb. 4. Photo courtesy of the city of Asheville

Campbell selects David Zack as Asheville Police Chief

After a two-month national search, City Manager Debra Campbell announced that David Zack will serve as the chief of the Asheville Police Department beginning Tuesday, Feb. 4. Zack currently works as the police chief in Cheektowaga, N.Y., and was first introduced as a finalist for the position Dec. 17. The search for a new police chief launched in November following the abrupt resignation of former Chief Chris Bailey in September after less than two months on the job. (See

HCA independent monitor announces community meetings

Gibbins Advisors, the New York-based health care consulting firm tapped to oversee commitments made as part of HCA Healthcare’s purchase of Mission Health System, has scheduled a series of public meetings across seven Western North Carolina counties to discuss the firm’s role and answer questions. No reservations are necessary for the events, taking place Tuesday, Jan. 28, through Thursday, Feb. 13; however, seating is limited. More information at

Asheville Mall launches youth escort policy 

The Asheville Mall introduced a new youth escort policy Jan. 17 in response to several incidents at the shopping center, including a fight among teenagers in December that resulted in an early closure of the mall. The new policy will require those under 18 to be accompanied by a parent or guardian over 21 on Friday and Saturday nights after 5 p.m. More information at

Buncombe County names Van Taylor Jones as emergency services director

Buncombe County has selected Van Taylor Jones to serve as the director of emergency services beginning Tuesday, Jan. 21, after a nationwide search to fill the position. Jones previously worked as the emergency services director in Anderson County, S.C., for almost 12 years and replaces outgoing Emergency Services Director Jerry VeHaun, who announced his retirement in December after serving in that role since 1972.

Blue Ridge Community College receives largest-ever individual donation

The Blue Ridge Community College Educational Foundation received a $1.75 million bequest from the estate of Liselotte Wehrheim, the largest single gift from an individual in the college’s history. The donation will provide scholarships and other program support for health care training programs. Wehrheim died in Tryon in August 2019 at the age of 103. 

Chow Chow selects Rebecca Lynch, Shay Brown for leadership positions

Nonprofit festival Chow Chow named Rebecca Lynch, formerly the fundraising campaign director for the Asheville Art Museum, executive director of the organization. Shay Brown of Shay Brown Events of Asheville, an event design company that specializes in destination weddings, was also picked to oversee festival operations as festival director. This year’s Chow Chow is scheduled for Thursday-Sunday, Sept.10-13; tickets are expected to go on sale by late March or early April.


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