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DeBruhl resigns; drops out of election
Monday, 06 June 2016 11:59

From Staff Reports

Miranda DeBruhl, who recently was in the center of a political tsunami with her Democratic foes who blamed her for wrecking an economic development deal with Deschutes Brewery (an assertion that she vigorously has disputed), announced on May 16 that she is withdrawing from the Buncombe County political scene — to pursue a business opportunity.

Therefore, DeBruhl said, she no longer will be vying — as the Republican nominee — to become the first woman chair of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners in November’s election.

DeBruhl also noted that she was resigning from her position as a commissioner.

“Over the past few weeks and months, a business opportunity for my family has slowly developed from a small probability to a near certainty,” DeBruhl said in an e-mailed announcement.

She characterized the opportunity as an “exciting prospect” but gave few other details. “It will create meaningful jobs and have significant economic impact. However, it will not be located in our county or even our state,” she said.

The new work will require her to spend a significant amount of time away from Buncombe, DeBruhl noted.

“Therefore, I strongly believe it would be irresponsible and disingenuous for me to continue this campaign. I firmly believe that elected officials should reside in the same jurisdiction as their constituents.”

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I-26 Connector Alternative 4B chosen for route through W. AVL, downtown
Monday, 06 June 2016 11:56

From Staff Reports

Following a ringing endorsement by representatives of local environmental regulatory groups and other government agencies during a May 18 meeting in Asheville, Alternative 4B has been chosen for the new I-26 Connector to be built through Asheville.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation announced during the meeting that it will proceed with 4B over other options that it previously favored, which pleased those who had contended that there was no chance of influencing DOT on its plans. 

A DOT engineer working on the massive projected said that, in part, the decision was based on overwhelming public support for Alternative 4B. 

The new I-26 Connector will divert much through-traffic off Bowen Bridge, just west of downtown, making the bridge more of a connector between downtown and West Asheville. The route will include facilities for pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as cars. 

The new section of Interstate 240, as a bypass, will route traffic across the French Broad River on an arc-shaped freeway running north of the bridge and just to the east of Westgate Shopping Center.

Local residents have long advocated the separation of Patton Avenue and Interstate 240 traffic in the area, but that concept was not part of DOT’s original plans.

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