Archive for July, 2009

NC Governor Announces Sales Tax Holiday

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

RALEIGH, NC – Gov. Bev Perdue has announced that North Carolinians can save money by purchasing items such as clothing, school supplies and computers during the state’s sales tax holiday that begins on Friday, Aug. 7 and runs through Sunday, Aug. 9.

“Especially during these tough economic times, it’s important that we provide families with a break when it comes to buying school supplies,” said Perdue. “The sales tax holiday will make it easier for families to buy the supplies they need, and I encourage all North Carolinians to take advantage of it.”

During the sales tax holiday weekend, consumers will not pay sales tax on the following items: clothing, footwear and school supplies of $100 or less per item; school instructional materials of $300 or less per item; sports and recreational equipment of $50 or less per item; computers of $3,500 or less per item; and computer supplies of $250 or less per item.

For more details on the 2009 sales tax holiday – including a list of the items that are exempt from sales taxes during the holiday – visit the N.C. Department of Revenue’s web site: http://www.dor.state.nc.us/taxes/sales/salestax_holiday.html.

The holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 7, and lasts until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 9. The sales tax holiday was first enacted in 2001.

AB-Tech President Appointed to State Board

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

K. Ray Bailey

ASHEVILLE, NC – A-B Tech President Emeritus K. Ray Bailey was sworn in to the State Board of Community Colleges July 17 in Raleigh. Members of the N.C. House elected Bailey for a six-year term on the 21-member board.

The Board serves as the governing authority for the North Carolina Community College System. The Board is empowered by General Statutes to adopt and carry out the policies, regulations and standards necessary for administering and operating the nation’s third-largest system of community colleges.

Bailey served as president of A-B Tech from 1990 until he retired in August 2007. He was elected as a Buncombe County Commissioner in November 2008. He was A-B Tech’s longest-serving employee, having been hired in 1966 as the director of Adult Basic Education. Under his leadership, the College grew into a three-campus institution that enrolled more than 25,000 students each year in more than 50 curriculum programs and 1,200 Continuing Education courses.

Bailey served on the boards of numerous civic organizations and has been widely recognized for his community service. Among the honors he received are the title of 2005 President of the Year for the North Carolina Community College System, the 2005 Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Asheville-Buncombe Community Relations Council, and the Rotary Centennial Service Award for Professional Excellence. In 2006, he received The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of the most prestigious awards presented by the Governor of North Carolina, for extraordinary service to the state.

Bailey also received the Spirit of the Civitan Award, a Professional Achievement Award from Western Carolina University, the Leadership Asheville Circle of Excellence Award, the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce Chairman’s Award, the Buncombe County Partners in Education Volunteer of the Year Award, and a Special Contributor Award from Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina.

In addition, he holds honorary doctorates from Western Carolina University and Mars Hill College in recognition of his efforts to improve the quality of education not only for A-B Tech students, but all of Western North Carolina.

Sign Up Now for the Fall Citizens Police Academy

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Police Department is now inviting residents to apply for the fall semester of its Citizens Police Academy.

The academy, offered for free twice a year, gives participants insight into the philosophy, policies, and guiding principles of law enforcement and the ethical conduct governing the APD’s services in the community. The class is designed to give residents an appreciation for the problems and challenges facing law enforcement, as well as an up-close opportunity to offer insights, ideas and solutions. No law enforcement background is required.

The academy lasts for 11 consecutive weeks, with three-hour classes on Thursdays. The course consists of basic classroom instruction, presentations, and demonstrations on topics such as criminal investigations, constitutional and criminal law, use of force, departmental structure and defensive tactics. Participants will also be able to ride with police officers on patrol.

The final day of the class ends with a graduation ceremony and the awarding of framed certificates. Classes begin Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. at the police department. Those wishing to participate must apply and be accepted. For more information on the academy, contact Officer Allen Dunlap at 828-259-5834 or adunlap@ashevillenc.gov.

‘Doors of Asheville’ Scheduled for November 19th

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – HomeTrust Bank has stepped forward again this year as the platinum sponsor to present the Doors of Asheville, an annual fundraising art auction whose proceeds benefit the services of Mountain Housing Opportunities (MHO)

The 2009 event will take place November 19 at The Orange Peel and will feature a live and silent auction of over 30 works of art with doors and housing as the central theme. Live entertainment will be provided by Ol’Hoopty.

Dana Stonestreet, President and COO, HomeTrust Bank commented, “HomeTrust Bank and Mountain Housing Opportunities share a common goal; to help families realize their dreams of owning a home. We are pleased to sponsor the Doors of Asheville event again this year and applaud Mountain Housing Opportunities in all that they do to help so many deserving family members in our community.”

The 2009 Doors of Asheville marks the fifth year that HomeTrust Bank has provided crucial sponsorship of the event. The funds raised will help benefit the 500 families and individuals served each year by MHO’s programs of emergency home repair, rural home rehabilitation, and affordable rental and homeownership development.

“‘We’ll make it home together,’ is what we tell the community,” said MHO Executive Director Scott Dedman. “No where is this concept more evident than in the coalition of businesses, artists, volunteers and friends who come together year after year to support the Doors of Asheville and demonstrate their commitment to affordable housing in our community.”

Artists from around the region are supporting MHO by creating themed work for the event.

Asheville City Sponsors Lawful Employment Seminar

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The City of Asheville, AB Tech, and the Department of Homeland Security are co-sponsoring an “Understanding Lawful Employment” seminar Aug. 4, 9:30 a.m.-noon in Room 200 of the Haynes Building on the AB-Tech Enka Campus.

The seminar is designed to give local employers an opportunity to learn how to file and use new federal employment forms with expected topics to include I-9 Preparation, E-Verify, and the IMAGE (ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers) program. The seminar will begin with a presentation from the Department of Homeland Security followed by a question and answer session led by a panel of service providers. The panel will include representatives from the Small Business and Technology Development Center, State Human Resources Professional Local Chapter, Western Carolina Industries, and Department of Homeland Security.

There is no cost to attend, however, pre-registration is required. To register, contact Janet Dack at (828) 232-4505 or jdack@ashevillenc.gov

Fiske Guide Names Warren Wilson One of Nation’s "Best Buys"

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009


SWANNANOA, NC – For the fourth consecutive year, the Fiske Guide to Colleges has named Warren Wilson College as one of its 24 “Best Buy Institutions” among private colleges and universities nationwide.

According to the 2010 guide, schools “qualify as Best Buys based on the quality of the academic offerings in relation to the cost of attendance” – in other words, “outstanding academics with relatively modest prices.” With tuition and fees of slightly more than $24,000 for the 2009-10 academic year, Warren Wilson is rated as “inexpensive” compared with other private colleges and universities in the selective guide.

In its narrative on the college, the Fiske guide says Warren Wilson is the “best of schools where students combine academics, community service, and on-campus work…. It promotes global perspectives, puts students to work on the campus farm, and makes service-learning a central part of the educational experience.”

The guide also notes, “Success at Warren Wilson is measured not only by grades, but by community service and a sense of stewardship.” It quotes a student as saying, “Students come here for all different reasons and are allowed to shine in all different areas.”

In addition to giving the college high marks for its academics and social life, the Fiske guide awards Warren Wilson the highest possible rating for its overall quality of life: five stars, as opposed to the guide’s norm of three.

The Fiske Guide to Colleges, first published in 1982, has been called “the best college guide you can buy” by USA Today.

Historical Marker to Honor Chimney Rock

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009


RALEIGH, NC –Described by a British traveler as “an isolated rock, looming against the sky which is of circular form, and resembles the principal turret of a stupendous castle,” the 315-foot Chimney Rock monolith remains awe inspiring today. The natural marvel is a major tourist destination, and will be recognized by the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources with a N.C. Highway Historical Marker on Aug. 3. The 11 a.m. ceremony will be at the Esmeralda Inn. The marker will be placed at US 64/74A in Chimney Rock.

Chimney Rock towers over the 14-mile long gorge in Rutherford County, in an area settled in the 1780s. Henderson County native Jerome Freeman devised a plan to build a stairway up to its summit and build a park around it in 1880, and made the necessary purchases. The stairs and a trail to the breathtaking Hickory Nut Falls, known as the “Appian Way” also were completed that year. Tourists began paying to climb to the top, including the physician Lucius Morse, who had moved to Hendersonville to relieve the symptoms of tuberculosis. The weakened Morse paid a man 25 cents to complete his ascent to the rock’s summit on a donkey. In 1902, the captivated Morse and his brothers purchased Chimney Rock in a 64-acre tract for $5,000.

The automobile age made Chimney Rock a successful tourist destination. Completion of a bridge across the Rocky Broad River and the Chimney Rock Motor Road increased accessibility in 1916. Morse increased tourist appeal when he had the river dammed to create Lake Lure, and later added an elevator, driveway and parking lot. Environmental attractions and trails were added, including a Nature Center and guided walks, and educational opportunities. In 2007, the State of North Carolina purchased Chimney Rock from the Morse family. This 1,000 acres is the focal point of the still developing Chimney Rock State Park.

For information on the dedication, contact Mary Jaeger-Gale at (828) 625-9611, x 813. For information on the Highway Marker program, contact Mike Hill at (919) 807-7290.

Asheville Art Museum to Showcase Permanent Collection

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Art Museum will highlight 60 works drawn from its permanent collection on Saturday, September 12, 2009 – Sunday, February 14, 2010. The exhibition will provide an overview of the collection which focuses on American art of the 20th and 21st centuries with an interest in art of the Southeast and Western North Carolina.

Looking Forward: New Works and New Directions for the Permanent Collection will bring to light the significant growth that has occurred in recent years. It will also showcase some of the areas in which the Museum has collected in depth, including work by Black Mountain College artists, Cherokee artists and Western North Carolina crafts.

This exhibition will feature works in a variety media such as painting, sculpture, ceramics and drawing. Included in the exhibition will be photography by Larry Clark and paintings by Thornton Dial, Kenneth Noland and John Urbain.

In 2008, Museum staff, board and volunteers examined the Museum’s collection focus and works in the collection to create a collection growth plan. The growth plan was developed to identify the strengths of the permanent collection and areas where the collection needs further advancement. Looking Forward: New Works and New Directions for the Permanent Collection will note the significance of the Asheville Art Museum’s permanent collection as it exists today and look forward its continued growth in the coming years.

For more information please visit, www.ashevilleart.org

Annual Village Art & Craft Fair Comes to Biltmore Village This Weekend

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009


ASHEVILLE, NC – On August 1st and 2nd New Morning Gallery and Bellagio sponsors the Village Art and Craft Fair on the grounds of the Cathedral of All Souls in Biltmore Village. In its 37th year, the VACF continues a long tradition of bringing high-quality crafts to Biltmore Village.

The fair will host 125 artists from 17 states, representing the full spectrum of craft media – jewelry, ceramic, wood, fiber, metals, two-dimensional art and more. The craft fair is a great opportunity to encounter new artists (15 are first-time exhibitors) and to talk with crafters one-on-one. Most exhibitors are not represented at New Morning Gallery, so visitors are sure to find new treasures along with a few old favorites.

Over the years, the fair has gained a reputation as one of the finest craft fairs in the area has spread (along with the ubiquitous cat posters and T-shirts , colors are White, Black, Stone Blue, Serene Green, and Cinnamon; sizes sm-2xl). Thousands of shoppers from all over the southeast arrive to stroll through the fair, discovering unique gifts for friends, family and themselves!

For more information visit, www.newmorninggallerync.com.

The Cliffs Residents Raise $50,000 for Local North Carolina Charities

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

ARDEN,NC – The Cliffs Communities residents at Walnut Cove in Arden, N.C., raised more than $50,000 for local charities through an auction and a charity golf event last month. “It tells you something about the people we have here at Walnut Cove that we tripled the $16,000 we raised last year,” said Koni Findlay, co-chair of the event. The monies are channeled through the Eblen Charities Foundation.

Individual charities will be selected by a joint associations committee, with a focus to help specific projects in need, including support for the arts and children’s initiatives. Charities supported in the past two years include Asheville Performing Arts Center, Eliada Homes for Children, First Responders, MANNA Food Bank, Riverlink, WCCJ Women at Risk and the Western North Carolina Rescue Mission.

“We are pleased to be able to raise this kind of money to help those in need in our community, especially in these economic times. My concern now is, what can we do to top this next year?”

For more information on the Walnut Cove Members Charitable Association, contact Bill Murdock at (828) 255-3066, ext. 29, or write to bmurduck@eblencharities.org.