ADDRESSING A CRISIS: State Attorney General Josh Stein speaks about the opioid crisis and listens to the problems facing Buncombe County at a conference in Asheville on Tuesday.

Attorney General Josh Stein discusses opioid crisis in WNC

State Attorney General Josh Stein visited Asheville on June 6 to discuss the region’s efforts to combat the far-reaching effects of the opioid crisis. While not alone among North Carolina counties in dealing with drug abuse, overdoses and drug-related deaths, Buncombe County’s problem is significant, local representatives and Stein said.

Members of the Reuter Center Singers sing the national anthem as the Asheville High School JROTC present the colors during the annual Memorial Day ceremony.

Asheville and Buncombe County pay tribute to fallen veterans and emergency responders

Despite gray skies and sporadic rain showers, a crowd of more than 200 gathered in Pack Square Park on May 29 to pay tribute to fallen veterans and local emergency responders. Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer, Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Chair Brownie Newman and representatives from different branches of the military, as well as local police and fire departments, presented a wreath to honor the fallen.

BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER: While community members largely spoke out in favor of Alternative 4B for Section B of the I-26 Connector Project, several aspects of NCDOT’s design, such as the three bridges that would span the French Broad River near Montford (above), have a coalition of Montford neighbors and others questioning the scale and scope of the design. Image via NCDOT; courtesy of DWAC

Despite progress, concerns about the I-26 Connector persist

When the DOT finally decided on a design for Section B of the Connector project in 2015, many stakeholders thought they saw light at the end of a very long tunnel. Other residents, however, see serious flaws in Alternative 4B, questioning whether the project’s long-term benefits will justify the sacrifices their neighborhoods must make to see it completed.

BUDGET FINALIZED: The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved a budget during its meeting June 21. The spending plan includes a property tax hike of 2.6 cents per $100 of assessed property value.

Schools may be key to property tax relief

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners held a nearly five-hour budget workshop May 16, a forum dedicated to presentations and requests from county departments. However, talks also showed a possible path toward nudging closer to a revenue-neutral property tax rate. A taxing issue County Manager Wanda Greene’s proposed budget for next fiscal year is $419,289,728, […]