Cawthorn Mingles With Far-Right Fringe

Conservative congressional candidate Madison Cawthorn, scheduled to speak Wednesday at the GOP national convention, traveled to Texas last month to visit a private border wall and echoed discredited child sex trafficking claims promoted by the extremist conspiracy theory movement. The July 30 event, billed as a “political seminar,” was held at the border wall built… READ MORE >

Candidate’s claim creates false impression

The narrative created by Republican congressional-candidate Madison Cawthorn paints a picture of a bright, young man headed to the U.S. Naval Academy until he was severely injured in an auto crash.  “Madison was homeschooled in Hendersonville and was nominated to the Naval Academy by Rep. Mark Meadows in 2014,” according to the 11th district candidate’s… READ MORE >

Cawthorn Takes a Hard-Right Turn

When then 24-year-old Madison Cawthorn easily defeated a Trump-backed rival to capture the GOP nomination in Western North Carolina’s 11th congressional district, he declared that his mission would be to rescue his party from a “generational time bomb.” Charismatic, telegenic, social media-savvy and deeply rooted in the region, the Hendersonville native reveled in the national… READ MORE >

Come Back Tourists; Oops, Never Mind

Buncombe County’s Tourist Development Authority began advertising for tourists to visit Asheville again – on the same day that the county’s top public health official said coronavirus cases were “rising at an alarming rate.” The ad campaign, designed to promote “the safe and responsible return of visitation,” featured social media posts like one picturing a… READ MORE >

Asheville Police calls: Roadmap for Defunding?

Of 911 calls and requests for assistance to Asheville Police, less than 1 percent involve a violent crime, an AVL Watchdog analysis of police dispatch data shows. Much of the time, police are summoned to routine calls such as traffic accidents, domestic disputes and loud parties or non-violent crimes like shoplifting, trespassing and prostitution, according… READ MORE >

Travel industry controls North Carolina’s room tax laws

A bill that would have changed the distribution of Buncombe County’s controversial hotel tax to better benefit local government is likely dead until at least next year. The change would have reduced the share of room tax money to market and advertise Asheville as a tourist destination and increase the amount that could be used… READ MORE >

Entwined With Slavery: A Brief Local History

By 1860, about 15 percent of the population of Western North Carolina was enslaved. Only a small percentage of the White settlers, who had pushed out Indigenous Native Americans,  owned slaves — about 2 percent of households, according to Katherine Calhoun Cutshall, collections manager, North Carolina Room, Pack Memorial Library — and of those, most… READ MORE >

What’s In a Name? For Asheville, Signs Point to History of Racism

Vance, Patton, Woodfin,  Henderson, Weaver, Chunn, Baird — their names are familiar  to anyone living in Asheville and Buncombe County today. All were wealthy and influential civic leaders honored by having their names bestowed on statues, monuments, streets, schools, parks, neighborhoods, and local communities. They were also major slaveholders or slave traders and white supremacists… READ MORE >