When Xpress asked each of Buncombe County’s state-level representatives if they would support the new transparency measures contained in House Bill 64, only Republican Sen. Chuck Edwards gave an unequivocal yes.
At a June 10 meeting of the Council of Independent Business Owners, Republican Sen. Chuck Edwards said he had “come around to the way of thinking of the folks in the county” who want less of the tax to go toward tourism marketing.
2020 was the year of the nurse, proclaimed Greg Lowe, the president of HCA Healthcare’s North Carolina division. But Mission’s eight hospitals are now gearing up for a major nursing shortage, he told members of Asheville’s Council of Independent Business Owners.
Conserving Carolina kicks off its 2021 Habitat at Home photo contest, the Coalition for a Bird-Friendly Asheville is advocating for bird-safe window treatments and Asheville welcomes Tracy Swartout as the Blue Ridge Parkway’s new superintendent. This and more in the latest Green roundup.
Proposed state legislation filed in response to a years-long feud between an Asheville neighborhood and a local needle exchange could threaten syringe exchanges across North Carolina.
“This is not the time to talk about redistribution in any manner,” Republican Sen. Edwards told the Council of Independent Business owners regarding changes to the allocation of Buncombe County’s occupancy tax revenue. “The tourism industry has just been destroyed.”
Victoria “Vic” Isley, the new president and CEO of the Explore Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau, says new paid advertising for Asheville, an expansion of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority board to include short-term rental owners and changes to occupancy tax allocation are all on the table in 2021.
Chief among the issues facing the General Assembly next year, said Sen. Chuck Edwards, would be balancing the state’s next budget to reflect pandemic-driven downturns in revenue. He estimated that the shortfall compared to current spending levels could be as much as $8 billion.
Xpress has compiled election night summaries for each of the contests previously included in our general election voter guide. The Buncombe County Board of Elections will not officially certify results until Friday, Nov. 13, and the state board will not issue certification until Tuesday, Nov. 24.
Addressing the Council of Independent Business Owners, Republican Sen. Chuck Edwards argued that Asheville was “bowing to the radicals that are asking for police departments to be defunded.” To ensure law and order, Edwards continued, he is developing legislation that would strip state funds from cities that cut law enforcement.
Buncombe County Health and Human Services Director Talmadge “Stoney” Blevins gave North Carolina lawmakers limited details about his agency’s decision to place a 9-year-old girl in a drug- and needle-filled hotel room during a hearing on Oct. 13.
Candidates in the 2020 general election for N.C. Senate Districts 48 and 49 give their answers for the Mountain Xpress voter guide.
Confidentiality rules preventing discussion of child welfare cases may limit much of the testimony NC legislators seek.
President Donald Trump, accompanied by his daughter, Ivanka, and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, toured Flavor 1st Growers and Packers in Mills River on Aug. 24 to see firsthand how local farmers are working to feed individuals in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A bill that would have changed the distribution of Buncombe County’s controversial hotel tax to better benefit local government is likely dead until at least next year. The change would have reduced the share of room tax money to market and advertise Asheville as a tourist destination.
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.
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.
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.
More Buncombe County voters — 81,887, or 41.79% of all eligible residents — took part in the primary elections that wrapped up March 3 than in any previous primary in the county’s history. Xpress outlines the winners and losers for levels of elected office from president to Asheville City Council.
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.