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 In the News, October 23, 2017 

Leaves, colors bring bucks to western North Carolina

Like many small towns and villages across Western North Carolina, Burnsville — population 1,800, town seat of Yancey County, population 18,000 — is capitalizing on October as the biggest month of the year for business, banking on a colorful fall leaf season. According to Brandi Burleson, Yancey County finance officer, while July has traditionally had more tourists, October is starting to boom. The occupancy tax increased from $6,131 in October 2015 to $8,101 in October 2016, and gross sales increased from $204,000 to $270,000, a 32 percent jump, she said.

Asheville officials say changes could be coming for city's bus system

Asheville city officials announce changes could be coming for the bus system. The Transit Master Plan will shape how and where transit service will be provided by Asheville Redefines Transit (ART) going forward. Officials say the public will have a chance to weigh in, with dates for public meetings to be announced later this week. The meetings will begin in November. There will also be an online survey, and direct feedback through a rider questionnaire.

Newton Planning Department honored

The City of Newton Planning Department was recently honored with an innovation award from the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association. The Planning Department is the recipient of the 2017 North Carolina Marvin Collins Planning Award in the Special Theme/Innovations category. The award recognizes an outstanding innovation in technology, techniques, or processes implemented. Newton received the award for the installation of a streetscape demonstration in October 2016.

Charlotte DOT testing out bike lanes in uptown

The Charlotte Department of Transportation has blocked off one lane of a street in uptown with cones and haystacks for a test run for bike lanes. There's also new signage to remind drivers and cyclists where they need to be.  City officials said they plan to use feedback from the trial to figure out if they can set up permanent bike lanes. The test bike lane runs almost 2 miles along 6th Street starting at North McDowell and ending near the Irwin Creek Greenway.