Bat with white-nose syndrome

News Briefs: Buncombe maintains state’s lowest unemployme­nt, bat fungus spotted in Madison County

Buncombe did see its unemployment tick up from the 2.8% April rate; the May rate was also higher than the 2.8% reported for the same month last year. However, the Department of Commerce noted that all of the state’s other metro areas also saw rate increases, and the Asheville metro area actually added about 1,900 nonfarm jobs in May.

Deadly bat disease suspected in Buncombe County

The deadly bat disease known as white-nose syndrome is probably present in Buncombe County, according to a new report from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. The news raises the number of affected counties in Western North Carolina to four. Since its initial appearance in a New York cave in 2006. the fungal disease has killed bats at a startling rate. Biologists worry that mortality from the disease is so high, we may be witnessing an extinction event.
Photo by Jonathan Welch