News briefs: City plans Haywood Street improvemen­ts; announces affordable housing work session

Council to discuss temporary hotel ban The city’s Planning and Economic Development Committee voted on Aug. 29 to put the question of imposing a temporary moratorium on new hotel construction to the full Council at an upcoming meeting. First proposed by Council member Julie Mayfield, a moratorium could give the city time to develop new […]

Avril Pinder and Debra Campbell

Greene retaliatio­n tactic still available to county manager

Potentially without review by other county staff members or commissioners, former County Manager Wanda Greene cut Stacey Woody’s pay by nearly $16,000 after Woody questioned an allegedly illegal $125,000 invoice for sponsorship of the Tryon International Equestrian Center. The relevant section of Buncombe’s personnel ordinance still stands, giving the same power to current County Manager Avril Pinder.

Rafter in the Nolichucky Gorge

Outdoors advocates seek protection for Nolichucky River

The proposed Wild and Scenic River designation would require the U.S. Forest Service to develop a specific watershed management plan for a half-mile corridor along about 7 miles of the Nolichucky River running through the Nolichucky Gorge from Poplar, N.C., to Chestoa, Tenn. The move would also permanently prohibit federal support for dam building and other actions that could change the river’s flow.

Federal courthouse in Asheville

Prison for all in Buncombe corruption scheme

Calling former County Manager Wanda Greene’s activities a “tragic waste on a personal level” with “horrific consequences for the county of Buncombe,” U.S. District Judge Robert Conrad sentenced her to 7 years in federal prison and ordered her to pay a $100,000 fine. Co-conspirators Michael Greene, Mandy Stone, Jon Creighton and Joseph Wiseman, Jr., all received active prison time, a year of supervised release and a financial penalty.