Earl Hunter Jr. of Black Folks Camp Too

Green in brief: Black Folks Camp Too gains national partners, Hendersonv­ille kicks off bee mural project

Black Folks Camp Too founder Earl B. Hunter Jr. said new marketing collaborations would help him develop more interest in camping among the Black community. And later this month, Asheville-based artist Matthew Willey will begin work on a giant mural of honey bees at Hendersonville’s Hands On! Children’s Museum.

Cawthorn with veterans at Point Lookout Vineyard

COVID-19 campaignin­g divides local candidates along partisan lines

Many Republican candidates have continued to build voter support through traditional in-person campaign events such as rallies and fundraising concerts. In contrast, Democrats have largely relied on virtual efforts such as phone banking or Zoom calls, eschewing big events out of concern they might encourage spread of the coronavirus.

Democrats find widespread success in county races

Robert Pressley, incumbent Buncombe County commissioner for District 3, was the only Republican to win a county race in the hotly contested 2018 midterms. Buncombe County Democratic Party Chair Jeff Rose said the party’s unprecedented midterm voter outreach had helped propel Democratic candidates to wins in nearly all local contests.

Candidates for N.C. House of Representa­tives District 116, 2018 general election voter guide

Marilyn A. Brown Republican Website: marilynbrownfornchouse.com Occupation: Former music teacher Previous candidacy or offices held: Unfortunately no, but I’m looking forward to winning this seat in the legislature Key endorsements: U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore, National Rifle Association and N.C. Right to Life. Amount of money raised: Approximately $44,000 total Top […]

Reid Thompson before Council

City could face equal protection suit after short-term rental vote

Reid Thompson has lost the most recent battle in his 13-plus-year fight with the city of Asheville. But the war, suggested Thompson’s representative and urban planner Joe Minicozzi, is far from over. “He’s got to file a civil suit to get his civil rights upheld,” Minicozzi said. “You can’t enforce the law on one side of the street and not enforce it on the other.”

League of Women Voters of Asheville-Buncombe County candidate forum at Leicester Public Library

League of Women Voters cuts short Leicester forum

Four candidates, including three Democrats in contested races, showed up to the event. Their three Republican opponents — Senate incumbent Chuck Edwards, House candidate Marilyn Brown and Commissioner Robert Pressley — didn’t appear. According to League policy, candidates without an opponent present are limited to a two-minute opening statement.

Stephanie Pace Brown at podium

BCTDA shares tourism growth plans at annual meeting

Roughly 1,600 new hotel rooms have opened in Buncombe County since late 2015 — an increase of approximately 15 percent over that period — with 1,900 still planned. “Since the start of this construction cycle, we’ve been able to fully absorb a pretty enormous supply,” said Explore Asheville President and CEO Stephanie Pace Brown. “We just need to do that over again in the next three or four years.”

WNC environmen­tal programs and agencies could see more cuts in new state budget

Local legislators and environmental advocates share their thoughts on which state budgetary and policy decisions could have a big impact on WNC’s environment in the coming fiscal year and beyond. They cited issues including the state’s response to novel contaminants like GenX chemicals, the budget for the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality and funding for the Clean Water Management, Parks and Recreation and Farmland Preservation trust funds.

Edwards rails against Buncombe news coverage

At a meeting of the Council of Independent Business Owners on July 14, Sen. Chuck Edwards, Rep. Brian Turner and Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer briefed the crowd on issues including the state economy, taxes, judicial matters, education, Asheville district elections and the River Arts District Transportation Improvement Project. Edwards also used the forum to complain about bias in local media coverage.

NC House District 116: Turner running unopposed

Democrat Brian Turner is running unopposed. Read his thoughts on district-based City Council elections, HB2, the economy and more below. There are two ways to view Xpress’ Q&A with the candidates: Either click the candidate’s picture to see a text version of their answers or click the grid below. The text versions have extra questions […]