Around town: Emerging Artists exhibit returns to Black Mountain Center for the Arts, plus free kids workshops, virtual fundraiser­s and more

Nationally recognized wildlife artist Bob Travers returns with his latest batch of students for the 15th annual Emerging Artists exhibit. Also: Wortham Center for the Performing Arts extends free online workshops through the spring; the Center for Craft partners with Mountain BizWorks for a new online series; and more!

Richard Houck, Fred Jones and José McLoughlin

Wellness in brief: Dogwood Health Trust shifts board makeup

Retired Rear Adm. Richard Houck of Transylvania County, attorney Fred Jones of Macon County and Bishop José McLoughlin of Henderson County will join the board of Western North Carolina’s largest nonprofit as Buncombe County’s Dr. John Ball departs. The change fulfills requirements stipulated in N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein’s approval of Mission Health’s sale to HCA Healthcare.

Local domestic, sexual violence rise during pandemic

For many, Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home order was a protective measure to keep the community safe from COVID-19. But for others, home isn’t safe: If someone is trapped in close quarters with an abuser, social distancing becomes incredibly dangerous. With no end to the pandemic in sight, local organizations are preparing for a rise in domestic and sexual violence despite their limited resources.

Proposed Buncombe County N.C. House district map

News Briefs: New N.C. House maps for Buncombe, Eastern Band re-elects Sneed

As currently drawn, the proposed districts would shift representation for large areas of Buncombe County. A 2011 state law also required that districts for the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners match those of the county’s House representatives. As currently drawn, the maps would move Commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara from District 1 to District 2, shift Al Whitesides from District 1 to District 3 and reassign Amanda Edwards from District 2 to District 1.

Sexual assault kit press conference at U.S. Cellular Center

AG Stein, local law enforcemen­t give rape kit update

James Baumstark, deputy chief of the Asheville Police Department, declared that all of the backlogged kits in his department’s possession had been reviewed — nearly 600 in all — with 414 already sent in for testing. Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller also said that his office was evaluating and prioritizing a backlog of 201 untested kits.

Women’s March on Asheville fills downtown streets

Thousands participated in the Women’s March on Asheville today, in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington. According to the event’s Facebook page, its goal was for “community members [to] march peacefully to show our new administration that we stand with our families and friends for the protection of our rights, safety and health.” A number […]