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Buncombe County, North Carolina

Buncombe CountyNorth Carolina, is in the western portion of NC and has the City of Asheville as the county seat.  Buncombe County, population 218,199 (US Census estimate, 2009), is one of four counties that make up the Asheville Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Buncombe County, NC, is part of The Land-of-Sky Regional Council, one of the 17 regional North Carolina Councils of Governments; Region B was established by the North Carolina General Assembly for the purpose of regional planning and administration.

The county is divided into sixteen townships: Asheville, Avery Creek,Black MountainBroad RiverFairviewFlat CreekFrench Broad,  IvyLeicester, Limestone, Lower HominyReems CreekSandy Mush,SwannanoaWoodfin, and Upper Hominy.

Buncombe County, and the city of Asheville in particular, is on the ‘crossroads of America’, Interstate Highways I-40 and I-26. The Interstate 26 section north of Asheville from Mars Hill north to Johnson City, TN, took 20 years to complete, at a cost of a half-billion dollars, due to terrain across the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Buncombe County, NC, was formed in 1791 from parts of Burke County and Rutherford County. This new parcel was named for Edward Buncombe, a colonel in the American Revolutionary War. Many of the settlers in Buncombe County were Baptists. In 1813, David Benedict, in his writings said, “Although some of their ministers were evangelical and pure, and the members regular and devout; yet, on the whole, it appears to have been the most negligent and the least spiritual community of Baptists, which has arisen on the American continent.”

Two US National Protected areas are in Buncombe County. The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of them. This National Parkway is noted for its elevation and scenic beauty. It runs for 469 miles, mostly along the famous Blue Ridge, a major mountain chain that is part of the Appalachian Mountains. The southern terminus is on the boundary between Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Cherokee Indian Reservation in Buncombe County, North Carolina.

The other protected area in Buncombe County, NC, is the Pisgah National Forest in the southern Appalachian Mountains of western North Carolina. The Pisgah National Forest is completely contained within the state of North Carolina. Elevations reach over 6,000 feet and include some of the highest mountains in the eastern United States.

Buncombe County is designated as Judicial District 28, part of the North Carolina State Court System and is located in Asheville, NC, at 60 Court Plaza. The jurisdiction of the District 28 Court is extensive and is divided into four categories: criminal, civil, juvenile, and magisterial. The Buncombe County District Court handles general civil cases where the amount sought is $10,000 or less, as in minor personal injury or many small business violations. Civil cases in Buncombe County District Court may be tried before a jury, with appeals available through the Court of Appeals. The Buncombe County Superior Court presides over civil actions in which the amount in controversy exceeds $10,000 such as in settlements related to car accidents, tractor-trailer accidents, motorcycle accidents, wrongful death, medical malpractice, and nursing home negligence. Superior Court has original jurisdiction over special proceedings and felony cases. Most misdemeanors are tried in the District Court first, from which a conviction may be appealed to the Superior Court for “trial de novo” by a jury.

Buncombe County residents have great choices in healthcare to fit a lifestyle in general, as well as immediate health needs. Mission Health Systems’ aim is to serve people as a not-for-profit health system by improving the health of the people of Western North Carolina. The MAHEC Family Health Center, is a group practice offering care for the entire family. The Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care, Inc., exists to provide cost-effective, quality-oriented, health care to residents, businesses, and industries of Buncombe County.