Rev. Jim Abbott

Asheville shows proposals for affordable housing on city-owned land

The three parcels currently being considered for affordable housing are on South Charlotte Street, where the city currently has its Public Works Garage and Fleet Management facilities; on Biltmore Avenue at the old Matthews Ford site and on Riverside Drive at the “Ice House.” Up to 550 new affordable rental units could be developed.

Cars on highway

Three WNC counties to be removed from vehicle emissions program

As of Saturday, Dec. 1, vehicle owners in Haywood, Henderson and Rutherford counties will no longer have to submit their cars and light-duty trucks to an annual emissions inspection. Inspections remain in place for Buncombe and 21 additional counties, while the three other counties bordering Buncombe — Madison, McDowell and Yancey — have never required them.

Asheville Police Department Chief Tammy Hooper

Asheville City Council split over Hooper resignatio­n agreement

According to interim City Manager Cathy Ball, Council held a closed session vote on the amount of Hooper’s $118,000 compensation. Mayor Esther Manheimer, Vice Mayor Gwen Wisler, and Council members Keith Young, Sheneika Smith and Brian Haynes all voted in favor of the agreement, while Vijay Kapoor and Julie Mayfield voted in opposition.

News in brief: I-26 connector meeting, Hump Mountain, veterans train service dogs

According to the project website for the planned Interstate 26 Connector project in Asheville, the N.C. Department of Transportation has been meeting with community groups about the roadway since 1989. On Tuesday, Dec. 4, NCDOT will again convene local stakeholders. Also: a major public land acquisition in the Cherokee National Forest, and a new community service option for veterans involved with the criminal justice system.

New facility in Columbus aims to increase number of rural dentists, dental assistants

“Poor dental care leads to poor health and poor dental care is also a social poverty stigma that makes it hard for people to get jobs,” says Dr. Jeff Heck, Mountain Area Health Education Center’s CEO. In line with MAHEC’s mission of increasing access to primary and preventive health care services to people in rural areas, the organization will partner with St. Luke’s Hospital and Isothermal Community College to open a new dental and primary care center in Columbus next spring.

Solar house

Duke solar rebate program leads to call for ethics in renewables

As demand for solar energy increases, members of the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association worry that negative word-of-mouth about experiences with renewables could undermine trust in established installers. In August, the trade group developed a “Solar Business Code” establishing fundamental professional standards.