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Asheville wins court reversal in water fight
Monday, 02 January 2017 12:45

From Staff Reports

The state Supreme Court issued a 5-2 ruling on Dec. 21 that allows Asheville to maintain control of Western North Carolina’s biggest water system.

 The court overturned a Court of Appeals ruling favoring the state General Assembly and its 2013 law to strip Asheville of the water system. 

After learning of the decision, Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer was delighted, saying it allows the city to maintain “robust” water services.

“This ruling ensures that Asheville can continue to own this great water system and continue to provide safe drinking water for years into the future,” Manheimer said.

The local top-notch water quality has been praised by industries, particularly breweries, in deciding to locate in the Asheville area.

Meanwhile, state Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Hendersonville, said the court decision may not be the final word and that there may be other ways to restrict — at least somewhat — the city’s control.

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Lonely Planet names Asheville top U.S. destination for ‘17
Monday, 02 January 2017 12:44

From Staff Reports 

The travel guidebook publisher Lonely Planet has selected Asheville as No. 1 on its top 10 U.S. travel destinations for 2017.

“The vibrant small city is known for its welcoming, creative spirit and eclectic architecture,” Lonely Planet’s travel experts said of Asheville in its news release. “Its thriving artistic community and booming food and drink scene – all surrounded by spectacular natural beauty – is putting it firmly on the map.”

Following in second place is Western Washington, where iconic landscapes made their way into popular consciousness in “Twin Peaks,” the television drama making a comeback in 2017.

In third place is heartland hub Lincoln, Nebraska, hosting festivals throughout the year to celebrate its 150th anniversary. Other notable or surprising places that made the list include the southern desert area of California (No. 4), Texas’ relatively unknown wine country (No. 8) and a picture-perfect strip of Florida coast (No. 10).

Asheville won the top designation — despite HB2, a state law limiting LGBT rights that has led companies, entertainers and others to boycott the state — because the city “has always been an open, welcoming place, and continues to be after the legislation,” Lonely Planet magazine managing editor Rebecca Warren said.

She added that “while Lonely Planet doesn’t condone the political exclusion of others,” Asheville “thrives on diversity and tolerance. 

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