ASHEVILLE NC – October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The National Breast Cancer Foundation estimates that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. We want people to know that a yearly checkup can save your life! In addition to a yearly exam by a healthcare professional, women should know the risk factors, early symptoms and signs of breast cancer as well as perform a monthly breast self-exam. When breast cancer is detected early, the 5-year survival rate is 98%.*
What Can I Do To Reduce My Risk of Breast Cancer?
Although you cannot prevent cancer, some habits that can help reduce your risk are:
Maintain a healthy weight
Stay physically active
Eat fruits and vegetables
Do not smoke
Limit alcohol consumption
Early Detection Saves Lives!
Find out how to do a monthly self-exam from your primary care physician. You can also find information on self-exams at www.nationalbreastcancer.org. Schedule a yearly check-up with your healthcare professional to make sure that there are no significant changes in your health that you might not be aware of. For a list of questions to ask your healthcare provider about breast cancer, click here: Questions for Your Doctor.
Get a Mammogram Somewhere!
Buncombe County Health and Human Services offers the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program (BCCCP). BCCCP helps to save lives of women through early detection. The program provides free breast exams, PAP tests for cervical cancer, and mammograms for women who are 18 – 64 years of age who meet certain eligibility requirements. If you have questions about breast cancer, or want to find out if you are eligible to receive a life-saving screening, please call (828) 250-6006 or visit www.buncombecounty.org/pink.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death for women in the United States. Simple choices such as becoming educated about breast cancer, frequent self-exams, and mammograms can save a life!
*according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation
ASHEVILLE NC – Known as one of the Southeast’s most beloved and storied holiday vacation destinations, Christmas at Biltmore daytime tours begin on Nov. 7, 2014, and will run through Jan. 11, 2015. Candlelight Christmas Evenings, offering evening candlelight tours of Biltmore House, take place Nov. 7, 2014 through Jan. 3, 2015.
This year’s Christmas displays throughout the estate will draw inspiration from the theme “A Vanderbilt Christmas Celebration.” Décor will trend toward the opulent to create a sense of the Gilded Age, while incorporating elements that nod to George Vanderbilt’s legacy in Western North Carolina.
Having made an impression on the locals upon his arrival to the area in the 1880s, Vanderbilt hosted his first family Christmas celebration in Biltmore House in 1895. The event attracted media attention. According to the Asheville News and Hotel Reporter, “Tastefully draped garlands of evergreen and mistletoe, interspersed with the shining leaves and red berries of holly, created a scene beautiful to look upon.”
Biltmore’s modern-day Christmas celebration is modeled on that first Christmas – and this year, that newspaper description influenced the design scheme. The Banquet Hall’s look will mix vintage and opulent accents with burgundy, red, gold and blue ornaments tucked into the centerpiece 34-foot tall Fraser fir Christmas tree. Two 14-foot trees will flank the triple fireplace, each bestowing the same colors for uniform effect. A deep red velvet runner edged with holly and red berries will accent the Hall’s dining table, with potted poinsettias and fresh cut flower arrangements completing the look.
Guests will see 60 trees throughout Biltmore House, each intricately designed and decorated by members of Biltmore’s floral team. Miles of fresh garland and wreaths draped throughout the house yield a nostalgic yuletide scent.
Candlelight Christmas Evenings, Nov. 7 through Jan. 3, 2015
A 55-foot Norway spruce tree, lit by 45,000 tiny white lights, displayed on Biltmore’s front lawn welcomes guests who visit Biltmore House for Candlelight Christmas Evenings. This unique holiday experience features local choirs and small musical ensembles stationed in the Winter Garden and throughout the house, performing music of the season. Candlelight Christmas Evenings includes an evening reservation to tour Biltmore House as well as daytime admission to Biltmore’s gardens, Antler Hill Village and Winery.
Around the estate
In Antler Hill Village, Santa will visit with children and families from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 8 through Dec. 21, and also on Friday, Nov. 29. Cedric’s Tavern will host live music nightly. The village links to the Winery where visitors may take guided tours, enjoy free wine tastings and purchase wines from Biltmore’s diverse portfolio, including the limited release Christmas at Biltmore blend. Special wine seminars are available by reservation.
Biltmore’s floral arranging and gardening experts will conduct free, daily seminars at A Gardener’s Place retail gift shop from Oct. 17 through Jan. 11. Seminars are “Winter Wreaths” at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and “Front Door Swags” at 1 and 3 p.m.
Holiday dining and lodging on the estate
Guests may enjoy a festive holiday meal at the estate prepared by award-winning chefs. Select from the Bistro, Deerpark Restaurant, Stable Café, Cedric’s Tavern or The Dining Room at Inn on Biltmore Estate. The Inn will offer its annual Gingerbread House Tea on Dec. 18, 19, and 20. Guests can assemble a gingerbread house with the help of a pastry chef while enjoying afternoon tea.
Located in Asheville, North Carolina, Biltmore was the vision of George W. Vanderbilt. Designed by Richard Morris Hunt, America’s largest home is a 250-room French Renaissance chateau, exhibiting the Vanderbilt family’s original collection of furnishings, art and antiques. Biltmore estate encompasses more than 8,000 acres including renowned gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture. Today, Biltmore has grown to include Antler Hill Village, which features the award-winning Winery and Antler Hill Farm; the four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate; Equestrian Center; numerous restaurants; event and meeting venues; and Biltmore For Your Home, the company’s licensed products division. To learn more about Biltmore, go to www.biltmore.com or call 877-BILTMORE.
ASHEVILLE NC – Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College and Buncombe County are dedicating a new $5.9 million building Tuesday that will house A-B Tech’s emergency services programs.
The new, 41,000-square-foot structure was built at the county Public Safety Training Campus in Woodfin. Officials will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m.
“This classroom building is building on a vision that will set A-B Tech apart from the rest of the state and the southeast,” said Skye Myrick, dean of emergency services for A-B Tech.
One thing that sets the building apart is its location on the 30-acre campus which has a driving track, burn buildings and other structures for hands-on emergency training, Myrick said. Those other facilities opened in 2012.
The new building includes classroom space as well as lab space for emergency sciences such as a cardiac lab.
It also includes a “crime scene apartment” that can be used to replicate real-life scenarios. The space include a fuming hood for processing of fingerprints.
“In the Hemlock building, we had a crime scene lab, but this is much more state-of-the-art than we had in the Hemlock building,” Myrick said. “And since we’ve been out of the Hemlock building, we have not had a crime scene lab.”
The emergency services programs moved out of the Hemlock building in 2011 after lead contamination from a firing range was discovered inside that building. The programs are currently housed on the Enka campus.
The new building will house fire services technology, criminal justice, basic law enforcement, emergency medical sciences and critical care transport. It will allow A-B Tech’s Emergency Services Division to grow by 2.5 percent annually, according to Myrick.
A-B Tech’s Emergency Services Division includes both curriculum programs and continuing education. The division has 565 curriculum students and 6,700 professional continuing education students, according to Myrick.
“We will start some of our professional continuing education classes the week of Oct. 27th,” Myrick said. “And then all of our curriculum will move out here in January.”
“It’s going to be really exciting for people to see when we have all of our students here in the building,” she said.
One feature is a “tiny town,” a model that allows emergency services personnel to practice responding to an emergency.
“It looks like a train set or a model set someone would have at their home, and it’s very much like that,” said Tommy Brooks, fire coordinator for A-B Tech’s Emergency Services Division.
But in this setting, instructors can use the model to stage an accident.
“We can also use the structures to establish a fire scene where we have a structure on fire. The fire officers will come in. They will stage their equipment just as if they were in a real incident. Except they can do it here, make the mistakes, correct those and then when they go on the real call, they will recall those actions they had to take. Things that worked, things that didn’t,” Brooks said.
Brooks said the new facility was needed.
“They can come here, they can start teaching a ropes class inside the classroom then go to the training center and put it to actual use. It’s very valuable to have this,” he said.
The new facility is one of several projects being paid for with the sales tax approved by voters in 2011.
ASHEVILLE NC – UNC Asheville will host an observation event to safely view the partial solar eclipse occurring just before sunset on Thursday, Oct. 23. This free, public viewing event will begin at 5:58 p.m. in UNC Asheville’s parking lot P8, uphill from the Reuter Center.
Participants will have the opportunity to watch the partial solar eclipse using telescopes equipped with solar filters. The location also provides a low view of the western horizon, which is difficult to find in the Asheville area and necessary for viewing this eclipse. The event will end with the sunset at 6:44 p.m.
This event is sponsored by UNC Asheville’s Physics Department and the Astronomy Club of Asheville. For more information, including the latest updates regarding cloudy weather and possible cancellations, visit the Astronomy Club of Asheville website.
ASHEVILLE NC – Runners will get coated in color as they pass through color stations during the Fun Run 5K on Saturday, Nov. 1, at Western Carolina University.
The event is part of activities associated with WCU’s 125th anniversary and the university’s annual Love Your Body Week. The race will begin at 9 a.m. near the Alumni Tower at the center of campus.
The event is open to runners age 10 and older, and it is limited to the first 250 participants. The registration fee is $12.50 for WCU faculty, staff, students and alumni and $20 for all others. Participants will receive a free T-shirt at check-in to wear during the race.
ASHEVILLE NC – Two of North Carolina’s leading local food and farmer advocacy organizations have joined forces on a major new initiative to increase farmer direct sales and expand local food access. ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) and RAFI-USA (Rural Advancement Foundation International) have partnered on the project, Connect2Direct. The goal for the collaboration is to support and build equitable community-based local food economies through the development of direct markets for farmers in North Carolina. ASAP has nearly two decades of local food systems development experience and RAFI is a national leader in farmer-led policy and market reforms.
Demand for locally grown food continues to grow and direct farm sales are an important connector between farmers and the community. North Carolina is home to a variety of direct markets including on-farm stores, roadside stands, community supported agriculture programs (CSAs), and according to the USDA’s Farmers Market Directory, nearly 250 farmers markets. Despite this, according to the USDA Census of Agriculture the combined sales of these outlets increased only slightly from 2007 to 2012 to $31.8 million.
“There are tremendous opportunities for farmers to increase direct sales” said ASAP Executive Director Charlie Jackson. “We’ve just scratched the surface of potential for North Carolina farms and communities and efforts to expand access through outreach and food assistance programs are good for our farms, our health, and our local economies” notes Jackson.
Over the past few years efforts in North Carolina to increase access to fresh farm products through supplemental nutrition assistance programs such as SNAP/EBT and the Farmers Market Nutrition Program have grown. From 2010 to 2013, the number of NC farmers markets authorized to accept SNAP/EBT increased 175%, from 24 to 66 markets. “Ensuring that all North Carolinians have access to health foods, particularly direct from the farmer, is central to the Connect2Direct mission and good for communities” said Scott Marlow, Executive Director for RAFI-USA.
Connect2Direct aims to dramatically increase farm to consumer direct sales and the usage of EBT/SNAP at farmers markets in NC – by over 100% within two years – by providing training and technical assistance to markets and market vendors, creating effective marketing and outreach campaigns, facilitating the transactional process for EBT/SNAP, and building statewide capacity and efficiency to sustainably ensure that all North Carolinians have access to fresh foods grown by local farmers. A Farmers Market and Direct Sales Conference is planned for November 2015. Find out more about the initiative at www.connect2direct.org.
Funding partners include the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, Southern Risk Management Education Center, USDA’s Farmers Market Promotion Program, and Wholesome Wave. Additional partners include UNC’s Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, NC Department of Health and Human Services, North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, and select farmers markets across the state.
About ASAP: ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. To learn more about ASAP’s work, visit asapconnections.org, or call (828) 236-1282.
About RAFI: RAFI’s mission is to cultivate markets, policies, and communities that sustain thriving, socially just, and environmentally sound family farms. To learn more about RAFI’s work, visit rafiusa.org. or call (919) 542-1396.
ASHEVILLE NC – The Friends of Chimney Rock State Park will host Park in the Dark, an after-hours event on Halloween night Friday, October 31, from 7:30-10pm. Fun for the whole family, Park in the Dark will feature storytelling, campfires, night hiking, wildlife encounters, costumed characters and more. The 491-step Outcroppings trail and the elevator, both of which lead to the top of Chimney Rock, will be open, providing the opportunity to experience the beauty of Chimney Rock State Park under the stars. Membership in Friends of Chimney Rock State Park is required, and guests must pre-register; folks who are not currently members of the Friends should sign up to join in the fun!
Park in the Dark will launch this year’s membership drive for the Friends of CRSP and will also appreciate the individuals, families and corporations who have already joined the Friends to support their efforts. Friends of CSRP is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to partner with the state park to sustain and cultivate the rich diversity of the Hickory Nut Gorge region for generations to share and enjoy. Its primary goal is to support the reopening of Chimney Rock State Park’s Skyline trail, which leads to a view of the top of the Hickory Nut Falls. Membership to the Friends of Chimney Rock State Park is $35/year for an individual, $60/year for a family. Additional corporate and other sponsorship levels are also available.
Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park will open its gates at 7pm to admit event-goers. Gates will remain open for 30 minutes, after which no admittance will be permitted. Activities and hiking will take place at the Chimney from 7:30-10pm. Call 800-277-9611 to pre-register; Friends pay just $5 per car parking fee to attend. This event is available to the first 70 registrants only.
About Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park
Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is a developing international outdoor destination located 25 miles southeast of Asheville on Highway 64/74A in Chimney Rock, N.C. It is recognized as one of the Southeast’s most iconic sites and popular travel destinations. The Park’s 535-million-year-old monolith called Chimney Rock offers guests 75-mile panoramic views of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure. Hickory Nut Gorge, one of the state’s most significant centers of biodiversity, is home to 36 rare plant species and 14 rare animal species, and the second highest waterfall of its kind in the eastern United States. A destination for travel groups, weddings and special events, the Park also hosts innovative educational programs for schools, homeschoolers, scouts and summer camps. Visit Chimney Rock’s website at chimneyrockpark.com. More information on current Capital Improvement projects at chimneyrockpark.com/progress or by calling 800-277-9611.
ASHEVILLE NC – Western Carolina University’s social work program is the recipient of a federal grant of more than $1.1 million to expand the number of social workers qualified to practice in the areas of substance abuse prevention and behavioral health in Cherokee and other underserved areas of Western North Carolina.
The grant, totaling $1,177,354 and to be awarded to WCU over a three-year period, is from the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Working in collaboration with the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians and the Center for Native Health, the university will receive $321,764 in the initiative’s first year, $420,902 in its second year and $424,688 in the third year.
The grant will provide up to $10,000 in individual stipends to students in WCU’s master’s degree program in social work who plan to serve the behavioral health needs of the people of WNC. It is designed to produce social workers with the skills to prevent and intervene in the high-risk behaviors of youth by using a family-focused health care model that is sensitive to the culture and needs of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and other youth populations across the rural Southern Appalachians, said Pat Morse, head of the social work department and director of WCU’s graduate program in social work.
“It is a pleasure and honor to collaborate with the Center for Native Health, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the behavioral health services agencies across Western North Carolina on this important project,” said Morse.
Douglas Keskula, dean of WCU’s College of Health and Human Sciences, said the grant will fund an innovative project that will contribute to promoting, supporting and sustaining a much-needed behavioral health workforce in Cherokee and across the mountain region.
“This will be an exciting project for the university and for the region we serve,” Keskula said. “This initiative will provide critical behavioral health services to a medically underserved region while providing an exceptional educational experience for our students. This is a tremendous opportunity for collaboration between WCU, the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians and regional providers with the shared goal of building and training the behavioral health workforce of the future.”
The funding marks the 13th grant awarded by federal or regional agencies for research conducted by faculty in WCU’s College of Health and Human Sciences to date since the 2012 fiscal year, with nearly $6 million in grants for projects ranging from improving diversity in the region’s nursing workforce to health care assessment for older adults.
ASHEVILLE NC – Everyone needs to get around. That’s the simple idea behind Asheville In Motion, an evolving and exciting community-based initiative designed to increase access to all forms of transportation.
On October 25, the public is encouraged to participate in a symposium on Asheville’s transportation future. The event will feature a panel discussion, community exercises and opportunities to let the community know your biggest priorities for mobility in Asheville.
Input and information will become part of the city’s AIM mobility plan, which will meet Asheville’s growth and transportation needs by changing how we think about getting around.
“In the past, we have thought of sidewalks, bicycle infrastructure and streets as being in different silos,” says Transportation Manager Mariate Echeverry. “The best way to build a mobility network that gives attention to all forms of transportation is to examine them in a holistic, interconnected way.”
Better mobility means easier access to jobs, better neighborhood connectivity, a boost to business, and a safe, healthy, sustainable transportation system. Help Asheville take AIM at the future of mobility by attending this exciting event.
The Asheville In Motion symposium will take place Saturday, October 25 in the U.S. Cellular Center Banquet Hall from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Find more information about Asheville In Motion here.
ASHEVILLE NC – Students in a senior-level “Tourism Strategies” class taught by Steve Morse, economist and director of the Hospitality and Tourism Program in WCU’s College of Business, are predicting even more “green” this fall, as their analysis of October travel and tourism trends portends an increase in hotel occupancy rates across 21 WNC counties.
The students analyzed data supplied by Smith Travel Research, a leading source of information for the hospitality industry, to develop the second annual “October Tourism Forecast for Western North Carolina.”
In addition to travel data from previous years, the students’ forecast also is based on declining gasoline prices, new tourism marketing campaigns by the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau and by Smoky Mountain Host promoting WNC as an outdoors destination, improving economic conditions and “pent-up travel demand,” Morse said.
“The federal government shutdown during the first 15 days of October in 2013 resulted in little growth in tourism last year because of the closure of campgrounds and visitor centers in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway,” he said. “Our analysis indicates those who did not travel to the mountains last October may have a stronger desire this year to feed their fall foliage yearning.”
Another factor, Morse said, is the improving outlook for leaf-lookers in the mountains, as WCU fall foliage forecaster Kathy Mathews, associate professor of biology, says the chances are increasing for a brilliant fall color season this year. “Brighter colors should attract even more tourists this year,” Morse said.
In the tourism study, the WCU students divided 21 WNC counties into five groups; examined the total number of hotel rooms sold and the overall occupancy rates for October 2013; compared weekday and weekend occupancy rates from last October; and determined the average change in the number of hotel nights sold for October during the previous three years. The students’ predictions, by region:
Region 1 – Cherokee, Clay, Graham and Macon counties: A 2.7 percent increase in October 2014 tourism compared to last October.
Region 2 – Haywood, Jackson, Transylvania and Swain counties: A 3.3 percent increase in October 2014 tourism compared to last October.
Region 3 – Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Watauga and Wilkes counties: A 2 percent increase in October 2014 tourism compared to last October.
Region 4 – Burke, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell and Yancey counties: A 1.7 percent increase in October 2014 tourism compared to last October.
Region 5 – Buncombe and Henderson counties: A 3.7 percent increase in October 2014 tourism compared to last October.
Ty Marion, a senior from Hendersonville majoring in hospitality and tourism, said the project provided a new perspective on the annual fall color show. “Since the leaves start changing colors in early October and continue for the rest of the month, tourists travel from all over, which increases everything from the demand of hotel rooms to revenue,” said Marion, a 2007 graduate of East Henderson High School and the son of Jim and Lisa Marion.
“I think this study is important because many people overlook how much of an impact is made from fall foliage,” he said. “Being from Hendersonville, I never thought much of the yearly change, but from a business standpoint October is the month you wait an entire year for. Tourists flock to see the colors of the leaves, which means they stay at a hotel, spend money in local businesses and help our economy.”
The “October Tourism Forecast for Western North Carolina” is part of a series of reports about travel trends in the mountain region to be provided by Morse and his students. For more information about WCU’s Hospitality and Tourism Program, visit the website hospitalityandtourism.wcu.edu. For a copy of the tourism forecast report, call 828-227-3386.