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Asheville, North Carolina News

Archive for June, 2011

Asheville Airport Opens Cell Phone Lot

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – As part of its customer service initiative, the Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) has opened a Cell Phone Waiting Lot for individuals visiting the airport to pick up arriving passengers. The Cell Phone Lot, which is free of charge, replaces the “first 20 minutes free” in the airport’s short-term parking area, with the major advantage being that there is no time limit in the new space.

The idea behind a Cell Phone Lot is that a guest may stay in the space as long as necessary, provided they remain with their vehicle. Once the guest is contacted by the arriving passenger, it’s easy to leave the lot and pull around to the front of the terminal to pick up the traveler.

“Excellent customer service is a top priority for us, and a Cell Phone Lot is certainly an added benefit for travelers and their loved ones,” said Lew Bleiweis, A.A.E., Airport Director. “The prevalence of mobile devices makes instituting this service a perfect next step for AVL, and we’re happy to add this convenience for our customers.”

Visitors to the airport will find the lot located past the main terminal and down the hill on the right side of Terminal Drive.

UNC Asheville Named One of America’s “10 Best Colleges for the Money”

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – UNC Asheville has been named one of America’s “10 best colleges for the money,” by Bankrate.com, a leading online source of financial information. UNC Asheville was the only college in North Carolina to earn a place on this list, which was released this month.

Bankrate.com examined the admissions selectivity at the nation’s colleges, and net cost for middle-income families, and listed UNC Asheville among the 10 best. “For students with good grades, these institutions are educational steals, thanks to their low tuition costs, generous financial aid packages or innovative aid opportunities,” wrote study author Christina Couch.

According to Bankrate.com, UNC Asheville’s in-state tuition “is a breeze,” and once financial aid is factored in, the University is a significant value for out-of-state students as well: “This public liberal arts school provides enough need-based aid to bring the net price of the school down to less than $8,800 for families with combined incomes of $75,000 or below.”

Bankrate.com noted that “small schools provide students with greater one-on-one professor attention,” and stressed that UNC Asheville’s size, with fewer than 4,000 students, contributes to the high quality of the educational experience.

Others who assess the nation’s colleges have come to similar conclusions. In its 2011 “Best Colleges” guidebook, U.S. News and World Report listed UNC Asheville among the nation’s liberal arts colleges with the strongest commitment to undergraduate teaching. UNC Asheville was also one of only 25 universities in the nation to make the U.S. News & World Report list of “stellar” schools for undergraduate research/creative projects. UNC Asheville has also been praised as a best value in the most recent rankings from Princeton Review, Fiske Guide to Colleges, and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

To see the complete “10 best colleges for the money” list, go to the Bankrate.com website. The study was also picked up by the Fox Business website and can be accessed there.

See unca.edu for more information.

Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN, NC – The 56th Annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games will be held this year July 7-10. The Scottish Highland Games bring together Clans, families, visitors to celebrate the Scottish traditions of drumming, dancing, athletics and culture to provide scholarships for students to attend college.  The image seen here depicts the Sunday event, in which men from each Clan march in the parade.

July 10th at 8:30 am, Grandfather Mountain adds to the Highland Games with a Scottish Breakfast at Mildred’s Grill, with grilled tomatoes, sausage, beans, just to name a few delicious specialties.  Chelsea House Orchestra will perform afterward in the auditorium.

For more information, http://www.gmhg.org/

Asheville Tourists Celebrate July 4th

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Asheville Tourists announce Independence Day celebrations, July 4-10.

July 4th at 7 pm, the Asheville Tourists play against Greenville Drive.  Fireworks and festivities on July 4th and July 5th at 7, gates opening at 5pm.

July 6th will bring yet another day of Independence Day celebrations by the Asheville Tourists, with the game sponsored by Goodwill.  Those who bring in 3 articles of (slightly) used clothing will receive a free ticket to the game, and Seniors 65+ will receive free tickets.

July 7th is Thirsty Thursday in Asheville at the Tourists stadium, with half priced drinks.

July 8th is a Asheville Tourists’ family night with $1 hot dogs!

July 9th, festivities at the Tourist stadium begin at 6pm, and July 10th even earlier, the Tourists play at 2pm, with a family day of kids running bases, and autograph signings after the game.

For more information, see www.theashevilletourists.com

5th Annual Laugh Your Asheville Off Comedy Event

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Diana Wortham Theatre announces Asheville‘s 5th annual Laugh Your Asheville Off Comedy Festival. With more comedians and performers than ever, this event is 5 days, starting July 12, 2011.  This Asheville event has quickly gained respect and interest as a stand-up comedy event, and is growing to be one of the largest in the country.

July 12 commences the comedic festival at the Magnetic Field, in an event “Local Laughs for Brother Wolf Animal Rescue”, starring local Asheville comedians, and all proceeds will benefit the Brother Wolf Animal Rescue.

July 13: Highland Brewing Company – the brewery will feature many comedians including Kyle Kenan from Comedy Central

July 14, 15, 16, the comedy continues with Sam Morril, Rory Scovel, and Carl LaBove, just to name a few.

For more information and locations, see our events.

Get Local With ASAP: Summer Squash Heralds Summertime

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Crooknecks, patty pans, zephyrs, and zucchinis: All varieties of summer squash are celebrated throughout June in ASAP’s Get Local campaign—a year-round initiative that brings together farmers, chefs, and community members in celebration of a featured local food. And, the veggies are ready for all cooking preparations.

Executive Chef Camp Boswell of The Junction, one of Asheville’s newest restaurants, is looking forward to starting summer by firing up the grill and throwing on local summer squash picked up at area farmers tailgate markets. The restaurant promises a constantly changing menu of in-season, local ingredients. Look for a grilled local summer squash salad with roasted red peppers, eggplant, spinach goat cheese cream, basil, and smoked tomato vinaigrette on their menu likely mid-month.

At the Red Stag Grill, Executive Chef Adam Hayes plans to highlight summer squash in a ratatouille along with other seasonal vegetables from Jolley Farms in Canton. And, of course, there’s the Southern must: squash casserole. Look for local squash casseroles at some of the area’s best-loved comfort food haunts: Early Girl Eatery and Luella’s Bar-B-Que.

Want to grill, sauté, or bake the summertime staple yourself? Find all types of local squash direct from the farmer at your neighborhood tailgate this month; they’ll remain a market constant through September. Also be on the lookout for local squash in the produce section of your favorite grocery.

For a complete list of participating restaurants, visit the Get Local page of asapconnections.org. There, you’ll also find the 2011 calendar of featured foods and a Get Local school calendar; participating schools are also serving local squash this month. Browse the nearly 400 farms and businesses offering local squash this season in ASAP’s Local Food Guide online at buyappalachian.org.

July 9 Tomato Pruning Workshop at Manna Food Bank

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – A FREE 30-minute workshop at Manna Food Bank will be held at on Saturday, July 9 at 10 a.m., rain or shine. No registration required.

For more information, call Buncombe County Cooperative Extension at 255-5522.

Free Summer Concerts Groovin’ on Grovement

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Friends of the Swannanoa Library and the Swannanoa Community Council present the 9th annual Groovin’ on Grovemont summer concert series in Grovemont Square adjacent to the Swannanoa Library. These free shows will be July 12, July 26, and August 9 and will begin at 6 p.m.

Bring a blanket or lawn chair and come enjoy these family-friendly evenings of great music! Concessions including hot dogs, pizza, home-baked goods and ice cream will be available for sale with proceeds benefiting the Friends of the Swannanoa Library and the Swannanoa Emergency Assistance Program.

Admission to Groovin’ on Grovemont is free, but donations are always welcome. Individual and business sponsorship opportunities are still available.

Bonus feature: GIANT HALF PRICE BOOK SALE at the Swannanoa Library during each Groovin’ concert. Thousands of great books at unbelievably low prices!

Concert Schedule:

  • Tuesday, July 12 at 6 p.m.
    The Groovemont Players – Rock, soul, blues, country and beyond!
  • Tuesday, July 26 at 6 p.m.
    Ahora Si – Latin/Cuban-style jazz
  • Tuesday, August 9 at 6 p.m.
    Red June – Acoustic Americana/bluegrass/roots rock

For more information, call 250-6486 or email [email protected].

Buncombe County Government Office Closings July 4th

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – All Buncombe County Government Offices and libraries will be closed on Monday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day.

Household Hazardous Waste and Electronics Recycling Day at the Buncombe County Landfill will be cancelled Friday, July 1 due to the Fourth of July Holiday.

The Landfill and Transfer Station will be open regular hours on Friday, July 1, Saturday, July 2 & Monday, July 4.

Buncombe County Gas to Energy Project Nearly Complete!

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Buncombe County Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project is nearly complete. The generator, which is powered by landfill gas, will begin producing electricity in September.

The Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project began in 2010 with the installation of additional gas collection wells at the landfill. These wells tap the methane gas that is produced as trash decomposes in the landfill. Instead of releasing this powerful greenhouse gas into our air, which can negatively affect air quality, the wells capture it and divert it to the generator. Creating electricity from this gas reduces the demand for coal or natural gas, which are both non-renewable resources.

The generator at the landfill will produce 1.4 megawatts of electricity for the next several years, enough to power about 1,100 homes per year.

$3 million in federal stimulus grant and loan monies were awarded to Buncombe County, and have mostly funded this green project. The electricity generated will be sold through a joint venture between Progress Energy and French Broad Co-op. The renewable energy credits will be sold to GreenCo Solutions, covering the cost to repay the loan and operate the project and resulting in annual net revenue of at least $200,000 to the County.