Sexual transmissi­on of Zika, rise of STDs have health officials on alert

With numbers of sexually transmitted illnesses rising across the nation, local and state public health officials are particularly worried about the impact of a new and unique illness: the Zika virus. Zika is transmitted by infected mosquitoes, but unlike other such illnesses, it can also be transmitted by sexual contact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. The […]

Asheville press conference­: Power-plant carbon rules will promote better health

Clean Air Carolina and its MAHA initiative (Medical Advocates for Healthy Air) held an Asheville press conference Wednesday. Sept. 17, to  highlight President Obama’s latest proposal to limit carbon pollution from the nation’s power plants — and the positive health impacts of the plan. Power plants are responsible for 52 percent of North Carolina’s carbon pollution. “Climate change […]

Vital signs: Taking Buncombe County’s pulse

In less than 10 minutes, a doctor or nurse can get a read on a patient’s overall health and well-being just by checking a few key indicators: pulse, blood pressure, temperature and respiration rate. But how do you assess an entire community’s vital signs? And if you don’t, how will you know what the biggest problems are and how best to allocate scarce resources? (cover design by Emily Busey)

Photos: Local mothers graduate from nurse-family partnershi­p program

As children played and laughed, proud mothers and nurses smiled, too. After spending more than two years together, 10 local mothers graduated from the Buncombe County Nurse-Family Partnership program. The public health program pairs registered nurses with low-income, first-time mothers. As one mother said, “It is a bond that I will never forget.” (photo by Caitlin Byrd)

Smoking is not a protected right

It's spring and the weather is perfect for a nice long walk around downtown Asheville. I love walking down the sidewalk on Broadway, seeing the trees in bloom and breathing in the sweet mountain air … blech, cough cough! Oh wait, what do you know? Another rude person standing and smoking on the sidewalk, ruining […]

Smoked out

In January, something once considered unthinkable will come to pass. Across North Carolina—once the heartland of tobacco—smoking will be banned in bars and restaurants. Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em (for now): Hookah Joe’s owner Joseph McHugh and bartender Cara Diggins enjoy a puff. Hookahs fall under the new state smoking ban, which will take […]

Getting the lead out

New lead-testing rules due to take effect Feb. 10 have local booksellers, toy retailers, crafters and even libraries struggling to understand what the regulations mean for them. Ruled out?: Leslie Hawkins, owner of Spellbound Children’s Bookshop on Wall Street in downtown Asheville, worries that new lead-testing regulations could her force her out of business. Photo […]

A great day for quitters

An estimated 45 million Americans still smoke cigarettes, but come Thursday, Nov. 20, those numbers might drop a bit. It’s the American Cancer Society’s 33rd annual Great American Smokeout—a day when anti-tobacco forces rally on behalf of smokers, and would-be ex-smokers are encouraged to spend the day puffless in solidarity with each other. Puffed enough?: […]

Buncombe Commission­ers

CTS contamination spreads New storm-water rules approved The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners sold a piece of parkland to developer Stewart Coleman; now they want it back. But they’re asking the city of Asheville to make it happen. At their June 24 meeting, the commissioners unanimously approved a resolution encouraging the city to agree to […]