Buncombe County

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 […]

A sign for Asheville's Aston Park

Asheville journalists convicted of trespassing again, this time by jury

BY: - June 19, 2023

Two Asheville reporters were convicted of trespassing in a jury trial in Buncombe County last week, a conviction scorned by press freedom advocates across the U.S. “The two journalists should never have been on trial. They were performing a public service and recording police activity,” Katherine Jacobsen, U.S. and Canada program Coordinator for the Committee […]

A sign for Asheville's Aston Park

Asheville reporters scheduled for trial this week as a related one about protestors begins

BY: - April 19, 2023

Two reporters for the progressive online news source The Asheville Blade are scheduled to go on trial Wednesday after being arrested for covering a police sweep of Aston Park. Matilda Bliss and Veronica Coit are each facing misdemeanor trespassing charges, a low-level crime that can carry up to 20 days in jail and a $200 fine. […]

Dispatches from the North Carolina court system: responding to racism in a Buncombe County courtroom

BY: - January 26, 2023

All that separated Reece from freedom was just $300. But he couldn’t afford to post the bond, so on the morning of Jan. 25 he appeared via video, streamed from the Buncombe County Detention Center to the courtroom of Chief District Court Judge James Calvin Hill.

a picture of dollar bills stuffed into a model house

Voters embraced affordable housing initiatives. Advocates say Congress should do the same.

BY: - December 15, 2022

Bond referenda successes in Buncombe County and Charlotte seen as emblematic of growing national support Voters in Colorado approved a statewide affordable housing initiative in November; while voters in nine communities across the country (including two in North Carolina) OK’d measures to finance the construction of affordable housing, preserve existing rental properties and support renters. But as housing costs soar, analysts and advocates say more needs to be done and argue that federal action is needed.


Monday numbers: A closer look at how Buncombe County women are criminalized for poverty and substance use

BY: - November 21, 2022

A new study finds authorities rely on police and jails to address low-level charges that don’t threaten public safety. Drug abuse and violence are experiences commonly shared among the women detained at the Buncombe County Jail, according to a study released last week by the Vera Institute of Justice.  Of the 40 women surveyed in the Buncombe County Detention Center in September 2021, all but one said they struggled with drugs or alcohol use.

Buncombe County passes first LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance in Western NC

BY: - April 21, 2021

The Buncombe County Commission unanimously passed a LGBTQ-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance Tuesday night, becoming the 7th local government to do so since a statewide moratorium on such protections was lifted late last year. Similar ordinances have passed in Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Durham, Greensboro, and Hillsborough, as well as Orange County. “As a lifelong Buncombe County resident, I […]