Healthy knowledge: whooping cough and you

Earlier this week, North Carolina health officials confirmed eight cases of whooping cough and suspect 23 more at an Almanace County elementary school. Though Alamance County is about three hours away from Asheville, the fears about this infectious disease are not isolated to county lines. Disease control supervisor of the Buncombe County Health Department, Sue Ellen Morrision, tells us more.


These days, Asheville is a national hub for alternative medicine. That makes it hard to imagine what the local health-care landscape was like back in 1985, when Mary Cissy Majebe opened the city's first Chinese medicine and acupuncture clinic. Photo by Jonathan Welch And the ensuing two-and-a-half decades were not without their challenges: In 1990, […]


Let’s get one thing clear from the start: Cara Oshiver is selling poles. Pole-dancing poles. Portable pole-dancing poles. Cara Oshiver When the 30-year-old walked into the Mountain Xpress offices recently looking for someone to tell her story, though, it was her sincerity more than her sales pitch that grabbed our attention. Oshiver wants nothing less […]


Brandee Ponder has a lot in common with many other young women. She likes to go clothes shopping, watch movies (mostly comedies and romances), help with church activities and attend country-music concerts. But in some ways she stands apart: Perhaps most notably, the 26-year-old Weaverville native is the reigning Miss Wheelchair North Carolina. Ponder, who […]

The magnolia watchers

No one seems to know exactly how long the magnolia tree has graced City/County Plaza, a stone’s throw from the Asheville City Building. Based on old photos, most interested parties have guesstimated it to be more than 100 years old. Steve Rasmussen, Dixie Deerman And Clare Hanrahan Predicting the date of the magnolia’s demise entails […]

Gyrate for your rights

Rebecca Willis used to love dancing a Friday night away at the Marshall Depot. Bobbing and weaving, dipping and twirling, an exuberant Willis would wheel around the former train depot, now leased by the town for community gatherings. But for Willis, the music stopped seven years ago when the town of Marshall formally banned her […]

The kilt wanderer

Tom Troop is probably most recognizable by his wardrobe. Even in a town known for offbeat fashion statements, his full-dress kilt and cane make him stand out. Having moved here within the past few years, Troop is testament to the theory that today’s tourists are often tomorrow’s residents. He spends his days volunteering for several […]

Arms and the man

A native of Washington, D.C., Robert Levy now divides his time between homes in Asheville and Florida. But the 66-year-old is far from retired. A self-made multimillionaire who created and later sold CDA Investment Technologies, Levy has spent the second half of his life as a lawyer, author and senior fellow at the libertarian-leaning Cato […]

Re-energizing Asheville

About a year ago, the Asheville City Council set an ambitious long-term goal for reducing the city’s contribution to climate change: an 80 percent cut in city government’s carbon emissions by 2050. That means looking for ways to conserve, retrofitting city facilities with more energy-efficient technologies, and generally shrinking Asheville’s carbon footprint at a rate […]