White Duck Taco Shop

From AVL Watchdog: $5M TDA relief bill for small businesses helps hotels too

Coronavirus relief is just the latest topic in an ongoing debate over whether the Tourism Development Authority, with its mission to bring ever more overnight guests to Buncombe County, is good for county residents — or just good for the hotel industry that has controlled it since its inception nearly four decades ago.

Weaverville downtown

News roundup: $5M in tourism relief passes GA, Pack Library launches senior outreach

The legislative change allows the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority to use $5 million from its Tourism Product Development Fund — which previously had to be allocated to nonprofit entities or local government and spent on capital projects — for grants of up to $50,000 in support of tourism businesses other than lodging.

Mission Hospital campus

Mission Health to resume elective services within 10 days

Cancer therapies, joint replacements and other elective procedures that had been postponed due to the initial COVID-19 response will be the first to return. Since North Carolina’s first confirmed case of COVID-19 was announced on March 3, the Mission system has treated just over 20 inpatients for the disease.

Chuck Edwards at Oct. 4 Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce breakfast

Edwards won’t rule out reversing Asheville charter change

Sen. Chuck Edwards, who represents Henderson, Transylvania and eastern Buncombe counties in N.C. Senate District 48, said he remained firm in his desire to see the city of Asheville take a different approach to electing its council members. “I get constant feedback from constituents in Asheville that they can’t get City Council folks to pick up the phone, let alone to listen to a specific concern that they might have in their neighborhood,” he said.

Generation­s of failure: A plea to reform Asheville City Schools

“Oversight in this kind of system — where the board is appointed by a body with no regulatory authority, in a process closed to school employees, families and the community as a whole — is more than a little messed up. It is completely unaccountable, open to all kinds of corruption and anti-democratic, not to mention a lousy use of resources.”

Rep. Brian Turner at Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon

Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce pivots agenda at legislativ­e luncheon

The document, set by the chamber’s advocacy and policy committee, adds opioid and substance abuse prevention to the docket for the first time. Affordable housing and expanded transit options throughout the Asheville metro region also made the cut, while Medicaid restructuring and the Interstate 26 Connector Project were both removed from last year’s list.

Angry Taxpayers PAC sign

2018 in review: Partisansh­ip alive and well in WNC politics

As the Democratic Party retook control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm elections, Buncombe Dems managed to hold onto a few key positions in local elections — perhaps most notably that of county sheriff. Politics also seeped into the Board of Commissioners race, where Republicans fell short in their bid to flip the party composition of the board.

Candidates for N.C. Senate District 48, 2018 general election voter guide

Norm Bossert Democrat Website: Norm4NC.com Occupation: Retired educator Previous candidacy or offices held: Ran for state Senate in 2016; ran for state House 2014; ran for Transylvania County school board on two occasions Key endorsements: N.C. Association of Educators, Planned Parenthood, AFL-CIO, Equality North Carolina Amount of money raised: As of Sept. 8, +/- $47,000 Top three donors: Audrey Stelloh; Carter […]

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.

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.

Lines in the sand: Fight brews over Asheville districts

Sen. Chuck Edwards of Hendersonville explains some of the considerations that led him to introduce a bill that would compel Asheville to institute district elections for seats on its City Council. And Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer lays out the reasons the city plans to follow a “parallel process” that may include a referendum on the issue, despite Raleigh’s insistence that the city knuckle under by Nov. 1.