Weekend reads: A fiscal warning, growing hate crimes, and cleaning-up a toxic legacy

BY: - November 5, 2023

1. Veteran State Auditor issues stern warning, announces she will not seek re-election By Clayton Henkel Beth Wood, the first woman to hold the office, has held agencies accountable since 2009. One of the most recognizable figures in the North Carolina Council of State offered a blunt assessment of one state agency and many local […]

Zebulon Vance Monument -- a gray obelisk photographed in front of an office building

State Supreme Court hears arguments in Confederate monument case

BY: - November 2, 2023

Imprisoned by federal troops shortly after the end of Civil War, North Carolina Gov. Zebulon Vance wrote his friend from jail in a state of despair. “There are indications that the radicals intend to force perfect Negro equality upon us. Should this be done, and there is nothing I can do to prevent it, it […]

Registered nurses rally outside Mission Hospital in Asheville.

Some states back hospital mergers despite record of service cuts, price hikes

BY: - September 7, 2023

Some illnesses and injuries — say, a broken ankle — can send you to numerous health care providers. You might start at urgent care but end up in the emergency room. Referred to an orthopedist, you might eventually land in an outpatient surgery center. Four different stops on your road to recovery. But as supersized […]

Ruling explains why Asheville Blade reporters’ charges weren’t dismissed on First Amendment grounds

BY: - July 11, 2023

A Superior Court judge who refused to dismiss a case against two Asheville reporters convicted of trespassing based his decision on the First Amendment — not as protection for the journalists, but as grounds for him to uphold their conviction. In a ruling issued June 22 obtained by Newsline, Superior Court Judge Tommy Davis wrote […]

A sign for Asheville's Aston Park

Lawyer asks court to delay, dismiss Asheville journalists’ case as trial nears

BY: - June 2, 2023

An attorney for two journalists convicted of trespassing while reporting in a public park after-hours has asked a Superior Court judge to dismiss the case, or at least delay their looming appeal trial, based on the claim that the City of Asheville and Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office haven’t complied with his subpoenas or discovery […]

Asheville Blade reporters Veronica Coit and Matilda Bliss

Asheville journalists convicted of trespassing for covering police action at public park

BY: - April 20, 2023

Two Asheville journalists were convicted of trespassing Wednesday for covering the city’s police presence in a public park on Christmas night 2021. Chief District Court Judge James Calvin Hill found Veronica Coit and Matilda Bliss, two journalists for the self-described leftist news outlet The Asheville Blade, guilty of second-degree trespassing for failing to leave Aston […]

Asheville police at a homeless encampment

Pointless trial of Asheville journalists will undermine city’s progressive image

BY: - April 17, 2023

Authorities in Ohio dropped charges within days of the arrest of a journalist at a February press conference. Phoenix’s mayor personally apologized in January to a reporter detained while conducting interviews. In December, the Atlanta Police Department said it would investigate officers who threatened charges against a filmmaker documenting a protest.  But Buncombe County prosecutors […]

A sign for Asheville's Aston Park

Newly released body cam footage shows Asheville Police arresting journalists

BY: - February 27, 2023

Shortly after Aston Park had closed on Christmas night 2021, several Asheville Police officers surveyed the tents on the park grounds and strategized how they were going to get everyone off city property. “Why don’t we deal with the standing first, since they’re videotaping?” one officer asked. The people who were standing were Matilda Bliss […]

Homelessness and the First Amendment on trial in Asheville

BY: - February 17, 2023

City draws fire for its treatment of unhoused population and arrest of journalists attempting to cover police sweep of city park It was Christmas night, so Veronica Coit hadn’t expected to stay at Aston Park for long. They had come to bring their colleague, Matilda Bliss, a plate from dinner: turkey, sweet potato- and green bean-casseroles, collard greens and a slice of pie.


Mark Meadows skates on voter fraud charge. Yes, it stinks

BY: - January 13, 2023

Republished from the Asheville Watchdog. I’m going to take a wild guess here and surmise you haven’t heard about former western North Carolina Congressman and Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows getting a free pass on his voter fraud case. You know, the one where Meadows claimed, for voting purposes, that his primary residence was […]