Local Scoop


Asheville, North Carolina News

Archive for the ‘buncombe county’ Category

City Hosts Business Forum on ARRA Opportunities

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The City of Asheville is partnering with regional business support agencies to host a forum on the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) on businesses Thursday, October 15, at the Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College’s Enka campus.

Representatives from various agencies involved in business development will be on hand to provide information on services available to business owners. Participating agencies include: the City of Asheville, Buncombe County, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the A-B Tech Center for Business & Technology Incubation, the Small Business and Technology Development Center, Asheville SCORE, Mountain BizWorks, and the Procurement Technical Assistance Counselor Office, among others.

In addition to providing information throughout most of the day, service providers will take part in two panel discussions. The first panel discussion, “An Overview of the Recovery Act and Accessing Contracting Opportunities,” will take place from 10-11 a.m. followed by “Current Loan Opportunities,” at 1:30-2:30 p.m.

“The city is hosting this event to make sure local businesses understand how to participate in government contracting and can take advantage of any opportunities that become available under the economic stimulus program,” said Brenda Mills, the city’s ARRA project manager. “We also want to make information about other business support services widely available, even those that exist outside of ARRA.”

The event will take place at the A-B Tech Enka campus’s Haynes Conference Center with opening remarks delivered at 9:45 a.m. The forum will close at 3:30 p.m. Attendance is free of charge and open to the public.

For more information, contact Brenda Mills at (828) 259-8050 or [email protected]

UNC Asheville and City of Asheville Agreement Sets Stage for New Partnerships

Monday, October 5th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The long-standing, informal partnership between UNC Asheville and City of Asheville took a step forward with the signing of a joint agreement that sets the stage for future collaborations.

UNC Asheville Chancellor Anne Ponder and Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy, who signed the agreement, were joined by UNC President Erskine Bowles and city, university and elected officials at the ceremony, held at the Grove Arcade in downtown Asheville. The memo of understanding provides a framework for further collaborations in a number of areas important to the city and the region: environmental sustainability, health and wellness, culture and recreation, economic development and technology, and public safety.

“I am really excited about this collaboration because it is with one of the best universities in the country,” said Mayor Bellamy. “Today goes beyond liberal arts studies, today we are talking about economic development, keeping people healthy, promoting education and working together.”

“What we’re doing at this very moment is more than signing a piece of paper,” said Chancellor Ponder. “The University of North Carolina Asheville and City of Asheville do work together, are working together and will work together. Whether it is climate and technology, sustainability, health and wellness, public safety, this is exactly what Asheville needs.”

Chancellor Ponder noted that the partnership agreement fits perfectly with the university’s strategic plan, the city’s goals, and UNC Tomorrow, the UNC system’s plan for responding to the needs of North Carolina.

President Bowles agreed. “I think the real benefit of the signing of the memorandum of understanding is that it will enable us to leverage the fabulous resources and people we bring together as a group. More will come forward from it and benefit the people of this region,” he said.

The signing was followed by the official opening of the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) at UNC Asheville Engagement Site at its new location at the Grove Arcade. RENCI is a multi-institution virtual organization headquartered in the Research Triangle that provides high performance computing technologies and a diverse research faculty to address important problems in North Carolina. The engagement site is one of several in the state established through university-RENCI partnerships.

In its new location, the RENCI at UNC Asheville Engagement Site will provide leading edge technology for area decision makers and other collaborators in the areas of disaster research, mitigation and preparedness, taking advantage of Western North Carolina’s expertise in weather and climate modeling, visualization and public outreach.

Locating the engagement site in downtown Asheville, in close proximity to its many users, is a primary example of the benefits of cooperation and collaboration between the UNC Asheville and the city.

Jim Fox, director of the RENCI at UNC Asheville Engagement site, noted that over 20 partners – including the city, National Climatic Data Center, U.S. Forest Service, Land of Sky Regional Council and Buncombe County — are involved in the work at RENCI.

“What we’re doing is addressing key societal issues: climate change, land use change, economic development, water resources. These are all challenges that cannot be handled individually. We need to provide the tools for local decision makers – the city, the county, the state – to be able to access those trusted sorts of information and make the critical decisions as we move ahead. The key is the people, all working together,” Fox said.

The city and UNC Asheville’s National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center (NEMAC) began working together after the widespread flooding that occurred in the wake of a series of hurricanes in 2004. With technological assistance from RENCI at UNC Asheville, which is part of NEMAC, the group developed a 3D watershed tool that shows the location of flood-prone areas, impervious surfaces and the effect of future building in the watershed. This set of tools is being used to create a new plan to mitigate the effects of the floods and to avoid flooding in the future.

“I am really excited to have these tools available, accessible and affordable for the City of Asheville and the County of Buncombe,” Mayor Bellamy said.

“Even in times like these, when we have to discern very carefully what we can invest in because we can’t do everything, we are choosing to do this with the City of Asheville because it is so important,” said Chancellor Ponder.

Board of Elections Seeking Poll Workers

Monday, September 28th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – Buncombe County Board of Elections is partnering with local schools and institutions to institute a poll worker recruitment program in Buncombe County. This program is an effort to ensure better representation of young citizens, and citizens with diverse backgrounds in future elections.

Despite an impressive record of professionally-run elections in our county, it should be noted that the average age of active poll workers in Buncombe County was 60 years of age in 2008.

Recruits will be offered the opportunity to serve as poll workers in one of the two elections scheduled to take place in the fall of 2009. Other local institutions participating in this program include A-B Tech, UNC-Asheville, Montreat College, and Western Alliance Center for Independent Living.

Buncombe County Elections (2009)

* October 6th – Asheville Primary

* November 3rd – General Municipals


Assistants must report to the precinct to which they have been assigned by 6:30 a.m. and are required to remain at the precinct until after the polls close at 7:30 p.m., and all votes have been counted.

Assistants are also required to study educational materials provided by the county board of elections office and may be trained to check voter’s registration or to demonstrate the use of voting systems.


Election Day Service $115.00

Training (if required) $15.00

Total $130.00

For more information on serving as a poll worker please contact the Buncombe County Board of Elections at (828) 250-4200, or visit the website Board of Elections For other questions on the College Poll Worker Recruitment Program please contact the program coordinator, Sami Disu, at (828) 275-4908 or email [email protected]

Asheville Hosts ‘Community Economic Forum’

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The City of Asheville and Asheville City Council will host a public forum on Friday, June 19 at 10 a.m. to discuss current economic conditions in Asheville. The event will be held at the Asheville Civic Center Banquet Hall.

Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy will be joined by a panel of local speakers to discuss economic conditions and their impact on key public and private sectors in the community. North Carolina Senator Martin Nesbitt is expected to speak about the status of the state’s budget as well as implications of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Representatives from the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners, Advantage West, the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Asheville Board of Realtors are also expected to participate on the panel.

“The city is hosting this event so citizens can hear from local industry leaders about the state of our economy and what the outlook holds in the coming months,” said Mayor Bellamy. “By coming together and sharing information, our city will be better positioned to take advantage of economic opportunities and to support the local businesses and families that make up the backbone of our economy.”

The event is free and open to the public.

Asheville-Buncombe Memorial Day Ceremony Scheduled

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Memorial Day

ASHEVILLE. NC – The City of Asheville Mayor’s Committee on Veterans Affairs, in conjunction with Buncombe County, will host the annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Memorial Stadium on Monday, May 25 at 1 p.m. This event is open to the public.

Event highlights will include the unveiling of the Veteran’s Memorial at Memorial Stadium, Presentation of Colors by a local high school ROTC, Recognitions of Service by Buncombe County Chairman David Gantt and Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy and performances by Rockell Whiteside and the Reuter Center Singers.

For more information on the event, please contact Jessica Dunlap in the Mayor’s office at (828) 259-5600 or [email protected].

Despite the Defeat of the State Slope Bill, Local Leaders Press On

Monday, May 11th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – Buncombe County Commission Chairman David Gantt says he’s very disappointed the General Assembly did not approve legislation this session to regulate steep slope development.

But he says the county won’t fail to act. Gantt says in the coming months, he hopes to assemble a group of builders, developers, landowners and environmentalists to come up with a Buncombe County standard that will be a model for the rest of the mountains. Mars Hill Representative Ray Rapp’s Safe Artificial Slope Act faced opposition from the building and real estate industries, and lawmakers who worried it would hurt the mountain economy. Rapp says he hopes to re-introduce it next year.

Buncombe County Kicks Off 2010 Census

Friday, February 27th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – Beginning April 6, 2009, employees of the US Census will begin canvassing Buncombe County neighborhoods to get address information. They will be cross-checking address information into hand-held computers and will be identified by a name badge and windshield tag. They will not be knocking on doors, but will be in neighborhoods.

Officials heard about this canvassing while attending the first Complete County Committee meeting held in Buncombe County on February 24 by the Office of the US Census to kick off the 2010 Census in Buncombe County. Representatives of various community organizations, schools, local governments and religious organizations attended to hear from census officials the importance of a complete count in April of 2010. A complete count will impact the amount of federal money the County receives and could impact the number of congressional seats from our area.

Officials were urged to begin spreading the word about the canvassing and the importance of encouraging everyone to be ready and willing to fill out a 10 question, 10 minute census in 2010. The impact of this 10 minutes will impact our county for the next 10 years. The census will be completely confidential and is required by the US Constitution.

The first census was completed in 1790 and has been carried out every 10 years since. The official count day will be April 1, 2010. For more information about the census call Andrea Robel, Partnership Specialist with the US Census Bureau at (828) 423-4633 or email her at [email protected]

Law Enforcement Agencies Join Western Carolina Gang Task Force

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

ASHEVILLE – Three local law enforcement agencies will hold a press conference at 8:30 AM Wednesday, Feb. 18 to formally enter into membership on the Western Carolina Gang Task Force.

The press conference will be at the Asheville Police Department in the third floor training room. The APD is located at 100 Court Plaza in downtown Asheville.

Participating agencies are the APD, the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office and the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office. Chief Bill Hogan, Sheriff Van Duncan and Sheriff Rick Davis will sign an agreement Wednesday morning to signify formal efforts to collaborate on gang investigations and reducing gang crime.

Gang investigators from all three jurisdictions have moved into a common office, which allows them to more closely communicate and collaborate on investigations.

The three agencies have worked together in an informal manner on identifying gang members, tracking gang trends, gang investigations and sharing gang information that is relevant to all three jurisdictions.

The primary goal of this task force is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle area gangs to end their negative impacts on the community.

Asheville’s Meals on Wheels Names New Executive Director

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Board of Directors for Meals On Wheels of Asheville-Buncombe County has announced the appointment of Dianne Trammel as Executive Director. Mrs. Trammel first joined the agency in 1993 as an Administrator and later became Finance Director during her 16-year tenure. Mrs. Trammel is excited about the promotion and noted that "These are challenging times and the demand for our services continues to grow. We’re fortunate to have a supportive staff and group of dedicated volunteers who really care about the people we serve. Together with the community’s support, we’ll work hard to meet those demands."

Meals On Wheels of Asheville-Buncombe County is the largest at-home meal delivery service provider in Western North Carolina. Each weekday, Meals On Wheels provides a hot, nutritious lunch to over 500 home-bound seniors. The agency also offers several services to help enhance the quality of life for home-bound seniors and insure that they can remain safely in their own homes to age with dignity.

To volunteer or donate, contact Meals On Wheels of Asheville-Buncombe County at 146 Victoria Road, Asheville, NC 28801 or call (828) 253-5286.