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Historically Black Community In Asheville Faces Another Destructive Highway Project

DeWayne Barton in the Burton Street Peace Gardens
Angeli Wright
Asheville Citizen-Times

A highway expansion project in Asheville is set to destroy several homes in a historically black community for the third time. Parts of the Burton Street Neighborhood in West Asheville were demolished by state highway projects in the 1950s and 1960s. Now the proposed Interstate 26 connection project will go through the neighborhood again.

This time the Burton Street Neighborhood qualifies as an environmental justice population, which guarantees it state support for funding and improvements.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Asheville Citizen-Times city reporter Joel Burgess about his reporting on the community improvement plan for Burton Street. The Asheville City Council approved the plan in late September. And DeWayne Barton shares his work in the community, from creating the Peace Gardens to creating opportunities for the youth in the neighborhood. Barton is the founder and CEO of Hood Huggers International.

Amanda Magnus is the executive producer of Embodied, a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships and health. She has also worked on other WUNC shows including Tested and CREEP.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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