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Asheville, North Carolina News

Archive for May, 2010

Asheville Based FLS Energy to Install Solar Panals at AB Tech

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – A-B Tech has entered into an agreement with FLS Energy, Inc., to have 39 thermal collectors installed on four campus buildings to provide hot water heated by solar energy.

Funded by a U.S. Department of Energy appropriation from 2008 secured by U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, the College’s Global Institute for Sustainability Technology project will provide 1,885 gallons of hot water a day. The panels will be installed starting later in the spring and the installation should be complete by the end of the year.

FLS Energy, a solar energy generation company based in Asheville, will own, maintain, and operate the solar thermal systems throughout the 10-year lease agreement. FLS Energy will then sell the energy used to heat the water back to the College at approximately one-half the current rate paid for natural gas. The total potential savings is about $22,000 over the next 10 years.

Bill Bondurant, project developer for FLS Energy, collaborated with members of A-B Tech’s leadership team, including Max Queen, vice president of Risk Management and Operations; Richard Mauney, executive vice president of Finance and Information Systems Technology and Vernon Daugherty, dean of Engineering and Applied Technology, to determine the College’s needs.

“It’s been a long process, but we have had lots of support. The bidding started in September of 2009 and our Board of Trustees approved the project in February,” Queen said.

An assessment found that the Magnolia Building, housing the culinary program, and the Birch Building, housing cosmetology programs, were the largest consumers of hot water. They will receive 26 and seven thermal collectors, respectively. Fernihurst, with its culinary kitchen, and Blue Ridge Food Ventures at the College’s Enka site, will also have solar panels installed.

“We have installed 30 large-scale solar energy systems across the state and I am pleased to see A-B Tech taking a leadership role in sustainability and environmental impact reduction,” Bondurant said.

Bluegrass and BBQ Make Memorial Day Sizzle at the Grove Park Inn

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – Join The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa celebrate the best of our Western North Carolina heritage and the start of summer during Memorial Day Weekend!

The weekend salute to culture and history begins on Friday with a cooking demonstration of Appalachian Paella and Civil War period music from the Carolina Fifes & Drums. Grove Park Inn mascot, Major Bear, will make an appearance to welcome young guests while adults may enjoy a complimentary five-minute chair massage from our Spa therapists.

Saturday brings more adventure with a guided history tour and the opening of our outdoor pool. Guests may also enjoy a behind-the scenes look at our kitchens, complete with tasty samples, during the guided culinary tour or an educational and delicious experience at the Summer Grilling Series presentation.

Package holders and BBQ fans will love our “North vs. South (Carolina)” BBQ Buffet in the Blue Ridge Dining Room, with all of your summertime favorites. We’ve also got a children’s buffet to keep everybody happy. Tap your toes to the award-winning bluegrass music of The Grascals at a complimentary concert for resort guests (while tickets last). The best of North Carolina’s history, food and music await you at our historic resort!

The Memorial Day Weekend Package Includes:

-Two nights of resort accommodations

-Breakfast daily per adult

-“North vs. South (Carolina) BBQ” buffet in the Blue Ridge Dining Room

-Complimentary admission to many of the weekend’s events and activities

-Complimentary tickets to the Grascals concert on Sunday night

Two night package price starts at: $579

Three night package price starts at: $689

For more information, please contact The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa at 800.438.0050 or 828.252.2711; visit www.groveparkinn.com, or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ewgrove and Facebook at www.facebook.com/groveparkinn.

UNCA Kicks Off 28th Annual Concerts on the Quad Summer Music Series

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – Music lovers of all ages will enjoy free concerts at UNC Asheville’s 28th annual Concerts on the Quad summer music series. Concerts get under way at 7 p.m. each Monday evening June 14-July 21 on UNC Asheville’s Quad. The series will conclude with special, ticketed performances of the Folkmoot USA Festival on July 24-25.

Concerts on the Quad is fun for the entire family. The public is invited to bring picnics, blankets and lawn chairs. Sorry, no pets allowed. With nearly 2,000 attending each concert, lawn-chair seating will be separate from blanket seating to preserve sight lines; please look for signage when arriving on the Quad. Check the Cafe a la Quad tent for snacks and beverages.

In case of rain, the concerts will be held in Lipinsky Auditorium. A limited menu will be served on rainy evenings. Concert location decisions are made at 5 p.m. the day of the show. Patrons may call 828/232-5000 line 3 after 5 p.m. each Monday to hear a recorded announcement about the location of that evening’s performance.

Concerts in the 2010 season include:

– June 14: Cool John Ferguson – blues, gospel and funk

– June 21: ELM. Collective – world music, jazz and fusion

– June 28: Pan Jive – energetic, genre-defying steel drums

– July 5: April Verch – traditional roots, fiddle and step-dancing

– July 12: One Leg Up – Gypsy jazz

– July 24-25 — The 27th annual Folkmoot USA festival, the only ticketed event of the series, will feature folk dance and music from around the world. Folkmoot tickets range from $10-$25 and are available online or by phone at 877/FOLKUSA.

Concerts on the Quad is presented in part with generous support from Biltmore Farms Hotels, Greenlife Grocery, WNC Tents, Mast General Store, Musicians’ Workshop, Smoky Mountain Living, Clothes Encounters, Ray and Allen Funeral Service, and Town and Mountain Realty.

For more information about Concerts on the Quad, call UNC Asheville’s Cultural Events & Special Academic Programs Office at 828/251-6991 or visit www.unca.edu/summerquad.

Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Leads off 2010 Biltmore Concert Series

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – Biltmore kicks off its 2010 Concert Series on June 4 with an expanded lineup and second estate venue.

Up first is legendary country-rock group the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band performing June 4 at Diana at Biltmore, a new outdoor concert setting on the Vista overlooking Biltmore House.

The 10-concert series, which this year stretches into fall, includes “American Idol” favorites Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard, Grammy-winning artists Mary Chapin Carpenter and Kathy Mattea, and some of the best from R&B, Motown and contemporary Christian music.

The concerts are set against the backdrop of Biltmore, America’s largest home and gardens, and the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Tickets are on sale now. All concerts start at 8 p.m.

The Biltmore Concert Series line-up is:

– Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, performing June 4 at Diana at Biltmore.

– The Original Drifters, performing June 11 at Diana at Biltmore.

– Brandon Heath, performing July 16 at Diana at Biltmore as part of the Faith Renewed Celebration Weekend.

– Gaither Vocal Band, performing July 17 on the South Terrace as part of the Faith Renewed Celebration Weekend.

– An Evening with Mary Chapin Carpenter, July 22 on the South Terrace.

– Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard, performing July 23 on the South Terrace.

– An Evening with Steve Miller Band, July 29 on the South Terrace.

– The Legendary Temptations, performing July 30 on the South Terrace.

– Christopher Cross, performing Sept. 24 at Diana at Biltmore.

– Kathy Mattea, performing Oct. 1 at Diana at Biltmore.

A variety of ticket, dining and accommodations packages are available for all of the concerts. Tickets do not include or require estate admission. Performers and dates are subject to change. Biltmore Twelve-Month Passholders receive a discount on general admission and reserved seating. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.biltmoreconcerts.com or call 866-336-1255.

Dinokinetics Brings Interactive Art to Town Square

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – Jurassic Park meets Asheville. Even for such an artistic town, it’s not a picture that is easily imagined, but for one Biltmore Park Town Square tenant, the combination makes perfect sense. Dinokinetics, an interactive exhibit that combines engineering, art, and science, opened its doors earlier this month to art enthusiasts, curious onlookers, and everyone in between.

Designed and executed by the late and well-known River Arts District artist John Payne, the exhibit, which is now being generously displayed by his family, is comprised of large, steel dinosaur skeletons that visitors can move using pulley systems and gameboy controllers. But while the creatures sound fun, they are also quite beautiful.

Inspired by his love for natural history, Payne completed the dinosaurs over the course of four years, fulfilling his dream to be both an educator and artist. Dinokinetics is just as versatile and has enjoyed success in Chicago’s Field Museum as well as among groups of young school children. With a location in Biltmore Park Town Square, the exhibit promises to have the same widespread appeal in Asheville, and the space is open to everyone from field trips and retirement groups to fundraisers and cocktail parties. Dinokinetics even offers the opportunity to book a birthday party where a prehistoric safari tour guide will lead children around and teach them about the different dinosaurs on display.

To learn more about Dinokinetics, call 828-676-1622 or 828-301-3797. Admission is $5 per person, and children under the age of three are admitted free of charge.

Tourists Hang on 4-3 Against Greensboro, Win Sixth Straight

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – Juan Gonzalez (2-0, 2.96) pitched longer than any Tourists pitcher has all year Wednesday night. Gonzalez went 7 and 2/3 innings and retired the first 17 batters he faced. His perfect game was spoiled with two outs in the sixth inning when he hit Terrence Dayleg with an inside curveball. The very next hitter, Chad Wade, ended Gonzalez’s no-hit bid by doubling down the left field line. The Tourists held on 4-3 to give Gonzalez his second win on the campaign.,/p>

Asheville began their scoring with an RBI single from Nolan Arenado in the third, plating Eliezer Mesa. The two combined again in the fifth when Arenado drove in Mesa on a sacrifice fly, giving Asheville a 2-0 lead. In the sixth, Joe Sanders led off with a solo home run, his sixth of the season. Sanders continues to swing an incredibly hot bat; he is 11 his last 20 with five doubles and two home runs.

Asheville scored once again in the seventh. Mesa hit a one-out single, stole second, advanced to third on an errant throw, and came home when Angelys Nina grounded out. It was Mesa’s third run of the game and run number 36 the Tourists lead-off hitter has scored this year.

With the Tourists up 4-0, Gonzalez gave up a two-run homer to Tom Hickman in the eighth, the last batter Jose would face. The Tourists had runners at second and third with no outs in the eighth, but were unable to score and it almost cost them. Sheng-An Kuo allowed a solo home run in the ninth, but managed to strike out Chad Crayger to end the ballgame and earn his fourth save of the season.,/p>

Asheville will go for their seventh straight win Thursday night and eighth straight at McCormick Field. Wes Musick (4-3, 5.14) will start for the Tourists and he will be opposed by the Grasshoppers Jose Alvarez (2-1, 3.90).

Asheville and Buncombe County Hold Memorial Day Day Ceremony

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – The City of Asheville Mayor’s Committee on Veterans Affairs, in conjunction with Buncombe County, will host the annual Memorial Day ceremony at 3 p.m. on Monday, May 31, 2010 at the Veteran’s Memorial at Memorial Stadium, located at 32 Buchanan Place in Asheville.

The event highlights will include:

– Presentation of Colors by Enka High School ROTC

– Recognitions of Service by Buncombe County Chairman David Gantt and Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy

– Performances by Taylor Whiteside, Connell Sanderson, the Reuter Center Singers

– A 21-Gun Salute by Asheville Police Department Honor Guard

The public is invited. For more information on the event, please contact Pam Kelly at 552-9226 or email at [email protected]

City Government Offices Closed May 31

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – Asheville city government offices will be closed Monday, May 31 in observance of the Memorial Day holiday.

All Asheville Transit routes and facilities will also be closed May 31. Memorial Day is one of 8 days throughout the calendar year that Asheville Transit does not operate. For a complete list of Holiday closures please go to: www.ashevilletransit.com.

Garbage collection schedules will continue as normal over the holiday. All public safety services, including police, fire and emergency response, will operate according to normal schedule – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

WNC Nature Center Begins Renovations on Popular Turtle Exhibit

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – One of the most popular exhibits at the Western North Carolina Nature Center is about to go through an extensive renovation. For over 20 years, the turtle pond has looked pretty much the same and has provided an excellent opportunity for guests to view 7 species of turtles commonly found in the Southern Appalachians. “Guests love the turtle pond because it allows them to get very close to the animals and to compare several species that might live right in their own backyard” notes Chris Gentile, the Director of the Nature Center. Last winter played havoc on the pond though and staff at the Nature Center noticed the water level falling at an alarming level each day. “It got to the point where we had to fill the pond constantly to keep it at a safe enough level to keep from disturbing the hibernating turtles” says Gentile.

The Nature Center consulted several animal exhibit experts from zoos throughout the country and called on Platinum Ponds of Greer SC to design and construct a new exhibit for the turtles. “We needed a Certified Aquascape Contractor to lead the design” says Gentile, “these professionals are experts in not only creating waterscapes, but have an advanced knowledge of the life support needs of aquatic animals such as turtles”. The new exhibit calls for the construction of a natural filtration wetlands that will prevent the need for a “conventional” filter cutting down on maintenance costs dramatically. There will also be a cascading waterfall that will naturally oxygenate the water as it recycles through the system. “The new turtle pond at the Nature Center will look as if its been there for years, but will feature the latest design in eco-friendly waterscapes” says Richard Panten, Owner of Platinum Ponds, “we will create a habitat that will provide all of the areas the turtles need including sunny basking spots and deep water hibernation areas where they can sleep away the cold winters”.

Work on the renovation begins on May 31st and should be completed in a few weeks. While the turtles are off exhibit, the Nature Center veterinary staff is outfitting all of them with microchips to help better identify them.

For more information, contact Chris Gentile, Director of the Western North Carolina Nature Center, at 828-298-5600 ext 303.

WWE Raw World Tour coming to the Asheville Civic Center

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

ASHEVILLE, NC – On Friday, June 4th, James Askins of Weaverville will find out whether his hero will triumph in battle. It will be a defining moment in this young man’s life. For on this night he will witness the stars of his universe come to life at the Asheville Civic Center when the WWE Raw World Tour pulls into town.

James is all of seven years old. And according to his dad, James is a wrestling fanatic, despite the fact that his bedtime often cuts short his ability to watch the twice weekly broadcast of WWE Raw. But that bedtime will be put on hold on June 4th so James can watch wrestling live at the Asheville Civic Center. Best of all, James’ all-time favorite grappler will be part of the main event. “John Cena’s gonna be there and I’ll be up close and see him for real,” James recently commented, adding, “He’s so cool and the best ever. I can’t wait!”

The wrestling kicks off at 7:30p.m. and features some of the WWE’s biggest stars, including: Mark Henry, The Miz, The Hart Dynasty, R-Truth, Ted Dibiase, William Regal, Evan Bourne, Yoshi Tatsu, The Divas, and Superstars from NXT! At the top of the card is a lineup featuring the kings of the WWE, including “The Champ” John Cena vs. “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus; and “The R-Rated Supersta” Edge taking on Chris Jericho.

And just like his wrestling heroes, young James has also earned a cool nickname. According to his dad, when bedtime rolls around while he’s watching WWE Raw on TV, James is quick to offer a litany of reasoned arguments as to why he should stay up. “We’ve started calling him ‘The Attorney.'”

“Tickets are $60, $45, $35, $25 and $15 — great seats are still available. Visit the Asheville Civic Center Box Office, any Ticketmaster location, or visit Ticketmaster.com or charge by phone at (407) 839-3900.

For more information about the Asheville Civic Center visit www.ashevilleciviccenter.com or www.facebook.com/ashevillecc.