Cansler, Nesbitt forecast better days for mental health

Lanier Cansler, North Carolina’s new secretary of health and human services, minced no words, proclaiming, “I’ve made it clear: Mental-health reform is over.” Citing a pattern of “constant change and problems” since 2001’s failed attempt to transition patients from state hospitals into community-care networks that never adequately materialized, Cansler declared, “We’ve got to create the […]

Legislatur­e looks at absentee voting, animal tethering, mandatory testing in schools

Among the far-ranging topics of legislation submitted in the N.C. General Assembly over the past week were bills that would amend the absentee voting law, permit immediate euthanization of stray animals that bite humans, limit mandatory testing in the public schools, and provide written parental notification when a student is recommended for expulsion or suspension.

Gov. Perdue addresses General Assembly tonight; new legislatio­n could aid state’s food banks

The new governor of the state of North Carolina will deliver her first biennial State of the State address tonight to a joint assembly of the N.C. Legislature—and to the public via live television. Meanwhile, legislative bills have moved forward to aid the state’s food banks, including WNC’s MANNA FoodBank. Also, Perdue will speak in Asheville on Thursday.

Seeking higher ground

The city of Asheville has announced it will appeal its challenge of the Sullivan Acts to the N.C. Supreme Court by Sept. 23. But it is not entirely clear that the court will hear the case. “City Council feels obligated to proceed with an appeal to the Supreme Court, but we are still committed to […]

Asheville Chamber sets legislativ­e goals

Transportation, health, economic development and work-force expansion were the legislative priorities highlighted at the annual Legislative Luncheon for regional state legislators and the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce on April 24 at the Crest Center. Key items on the legislative agenda were briefly outlined by LaVoy Spooner, chair of the Chamber’s Governmental Affairs Task Force, […]

The Green Scene

A half-dozen environmental groups say the state has mismanaged a fund established to ensure safe drinking water for residents using wells. Last August, the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources allocated $300,000 from the Bernard Allen Emergency Drinking Water Fund—the entire initial allotment for the fund—for a two-mile water-line extension that benefited just four […]

Back from the dead?

Marcus Robinson is scheduled to die in the pre-dawn hours of Jan. 26. If the 32-year-old is killed that day, he’ll become the youngest person executed in North Carolina since 1977, when a 10-year U.S. Supreme Court-mandated moratorium ended. Robinson’s case involves most of the issues that have fueled a nationwide moratorium movement in recent […]