Category: Buncombe County


hannah_randall_manna_asheville_2020-768x554-1(Ashevegas)  The main floor of Manna FoodBank’s warehouse in Asheville is a beehive of activity as scores of staff and volunteers pack, load and wrap food for distribution. Boxes, pallets, and forklifts still abound, but the vibe has changed.

In her office, Manna CEO Hannah Randall shifts in her chair. The data points she sees on her computer screen are staggering. The pandemic has amplified the scope of poverty and hunger in Western North Carolina like nothing before.

The data is also forcing a stark realization that both sourcing and logistics must be reimagined on the fly. Randall estimates that to meet the spike in demand for Asheville and Buncombe County in coming months, Manna will need to distribute at least 508,968 pounds of food each month representing more than 424,140 meals.

Read the full report HERE>

7a7dbf3c-5313-4863-8c7e-49c70d50b007-downtown_coronavirus_006(Asheville Citizen-Times)  A bill to redirect $5 million in Buncombe County hotel taxes to aid local tourism-related businesses has been signed by Gov. Roy Cooper as part of a larger coronavirus relief package.

Buncombe County Tourism Jobs Recovery Act sponsor NC Sen. Chuck Edwards, R-Flat Rock, said grants of up to $50,000 given to eligible small businesses and nonprofits will help them restart once the recovery begins, “in turn providing jobs and allowing workers to return to the workforce.”

Even before the economic shutdown the hotel tax had been the subject of a heated debate with critics saying the millions of dollars used for boosting tourism should be redirected to services for locals. The hotel tax-controlling body, the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority, has defended the expenditures saying economic benefits ripple throughout the region.

Read the full details about the program in the article HERE>

cd936a03-842a-4134-8199-f65e908bebde-greenesentencing_08282019_142(Asheville Citizen-Times) A former Buncombe contractor serving 37 months in prison for participating in a fraudulent kickback scheme with the county’s highest-appointed officials will serve significantly less time after a federal judge reduced his sentence.

His attorney, David Brown, told the Citizen Times that he hopes to get the former engineer out of prison altogether due to the risk of COVID-19.

Earlier this month, prison administrators denied Wiseman’s request for a compassionate release, Brown’s letter revealed. The attorney said Wiseman, who has Type II diabetes, is at high-risk in the Butner facility.

“Mr. Wiseman received an appropriate sentence of 37 months, but he did not receive a death sentence,” Brown said.

Read the complete report HERE>

636108390688545055-hoodtalkforum-0013(Asheville Citizen-Times) The chief deputy at the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office is accused of stealing a firearm from a local firearms store, according to the State Bureau of Investigation. No charges have been filed to date, an SBI representative said.

Don Eberhardt serves as second-in-command under Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller, according to a command structure provided on the BCSO website.

The larceny allegedly occurred on April 9, according to the SBI’s Angie Grube. On April 21, Buncombe County District Attorney Todd Williams requested the SBI investigate the incident, she said.

Eberhardt was placed on paid administrative leave effective April 24, the BCSO said. “The Sherriff’s Office will have no further comment pending the conclusion of this investigation,” according to an April 25 release.

Read the full story HERE>