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Asheville, North Carolina News

Archive for July, 2011

Lake Eden Arts Festival – LEAF – October 20-23, 2011

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – LEAF [Lake Eden Arts Festival] from October 20th-23rd 2011 at Camp Rockmont in Black Mountain, NC.
Ticket Info: theLEAF.org • 828/ 68-MUSIC (686-8742)
Advance tickets only. Under 10 FREE! Visit LEAF.org for variety of tickets|prices. Volunteering Available or you can join the LEAF memberSHIP for discounts & more.

LEAF restored my LOVE for festivals!” Luis Guerra, Texas

Thank you for hosting the most amazing festival! We had the BEST time and cannot believe it has taken us 16 years to get there. Every inch of LEAF was filled with positive energy, it was magical!”  Sarah & Russ, NC

LEAF is one of the treasured fall traditions for families and friends across the southeast and beyond the weekend of October 20th-23rd at Camp Rockmont in Black Mountain. LEAF appropriately will be falling on the “PEAK LEAF” weekend, and the fall colors complement the stunning beauty of Lake Eden with Mt. Mitchell standing tall in the distance. A weekend at LEAF is the equivalent of going on a year-long multi-cultural music, arts, dance, and outdoor adventures journey, which “recharges our batteries”. A few aspects that make LEAF “one of the best fests in the country” [re: Johnny Irion] is the FAMILY friendly atmosphere, the diverse sampling of arts and music, the setting, and the intimate size. Map out your weekend “travels” at theLEAF.org.


The LEAF crew is thrilled about the Fall LEAF line-up! Make sure your FUNKy dancing shoes are tied extra-tight for this fall. Discover the magic of LEAF and these performing artists at our 33rd festival with Sweet Honey In The Rock® • Galactic • Leo Kottke • Wanda Jackson • 7 Walkers [featuring Bill Kreutzmann, Papa Mali, George Porter Jr & Matt Hubbard] • Abigail Washburn • Toubab Krewe • The Infamous Stringdusters • The Infamous Krewe • Bassekou Kouyate [Mali] • Vishten [Prince Edward Island] • The Mighty Diamonds [Jamaica] • Contra with Perpetual e-Motion & Hot Point Stringband • Rising Appalachia • David Wax Museum • ArtOfficial • The Legendary JC’s • Bearfoot  • Songs of Water  •  Peter Mawanga [Malawi] • TURKU, Nomads of the Silk Road & many more announced on our website. LEAF creates a performance lineup that introduces you to lots of new bands, represents many genres and cultures, and contributes to the positive community. Many of the artists will also participate in LEAF in Schools & Streets programs.


The stages keep up dancing, listening, and grooving and are complemented by a host of creative experiences: Unifire Theater • Contra Dancing • Poetry Slams• Puppetry Slam • Music Jams • Parade • Fiddle Contest • Circus Arts • 50+ Healing Arts Workshops & so much more to explore & experience!  LEAF’s music is but one thread that holds together the cloth of a weekend experience that includes art and culture from around the world, and right here, for the entire family.  NEW! Runners bring your shoes for the 4th Annual “Rock the Quarry” 4-Mile Trail Challenge during LEAF Saturday. The path is so beautiful as it goes through woods, along streams, and has one of the most stunning views in WNC when you reach the top peak.

LEAF in Schools & Streets at FESTIVAL & in the COMMUNITY!

perf_sweethoney_linkLEAF is honored to welcome Sweet Honey In The Rock® as the finale’ and a special LEAF in Schools & Streets [LSS] community concert on Monday October 24th. This internationally renowned all-woman, African-American a cappella ensemble is known for their powerful Civil Rights and African American culture work. Each concert is educational and includes cultural insights, call & response, and audience participation.  “The metaphor, Sweet Honey In The Rock®, captures these African American women whose repertoire is steeped in the sacred music of the Black church, the clarion calls of the civil rights movement, and songs of the struggle for justice everywhere.” The group stays “rooted in a deeply held commitment to create music out of the rich textures of African American legacy and traditions.” Sweet Honey In The Rock® possesses a stunning vocal prowess that captures the complex sounds of Blues, spirituals, traditional gospel hymns, rap, reggae, African chants, Hip Hop, ancient lullabies, and jazz improvisation. It is said, “Sweet Honey’s collective voice, occasionally accompanied by hand percussion instruments, produces a sound filled with soulful harmonies and intricate rhythms. In the best and in the hardest of times, Sweet Honey In The Rock® has come in song to communities around the world raising her voice in hope, love, justice, peace, and resistance.”

One of the key LEAF achievements is Empowering Youth in WNC through Festive Arts with LEAF in Schools & Streets programs. LSS is currently working weekly with 15 music and arts programs in local public housing communities and center for after-school programs. Surrounding the festival, over 20 of the LEAF artists will also be participating in LSS through arts-in-education workshops, residencies, and enrichment concerts in local schools and centers. Over 25,000 YOUTH and community members have been involved in LSS!

LSS is making residencies, workshops and performances available to local schools and community centers ranging from Malawi, Hoop Dancing, Acadian Traditions, Spoken Word, Blues, a Cappella, Theater, Hip Hop & World Dance, Maritime Folk Song, Audio Production, Jazz, Breakdancing, New Orleans Drum Line, Youth Poetry Slam, Mural Project, and World Choral Traditions to West African Dance & Drumming.

LEAF in Schools & Streets Presents:
A family-friendly outreach performance and school field trip opportunity:
Sweet Honey In The Rock®, Internationally renowned all-woman, African-American a cappella ensemble
Monday, October 24, 2011 | The Orange Peel downtown Asheville, NC
11:00 am. All Ages: $3 for children under18| $8 for adults
Q&A will immediately follow concert. Groups are encouraged to bring|submit questions early.
Tickets: Orange Peel Box office, theorangepeel.net, Ticket web (866) 468-7630
[email protected]This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it | 828/68-MUSIC (686-8742) | theLEAF.org & click on Press, then on Events

NEALogoColorLSS provides this special low cost event to make this outreach performance accessible for schools, families & the community. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works. LEAF finds the project “Sweet Honey In The Rock®” artistically important, as it is poignantly relevant to our mission of “creating communities and connecting cultures through music and arts”.

Asheville’s Diana Wortham Theatre Announces Upright Citizens Brigade Touring Company

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Catch the Upright Citizens Brigade Touring Company, the greatest producer of comedians in America and whose touring troupe brings its very funny improv and sketch comedy to clubs, theatres, and now our own Ashvegas (the upright citizens of which they may rip to shreds). Named “Hot Farm Team” by Rolling Stone, this group births some of the funniest actors and writers found on Saturday Night Live, The Office, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, 30 Rock, and more – “ . . . the type of manic, original, inventive stuff I’m always interested in” (Conan O’Brien). Intended for adult audiences only. Performance September 24, 2011 at Diana Wortham Theatre, 8 pm.

Arrangements for AFD Capt. Jeff Bowen announced

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Memorial services for Captain Jeff Bowen have been set for next week. The Memorial Service is scheduled for 11 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 2 at Biltmore Baptist Church located at 35 Clayton Road, Arden.

Firefighter Jay Bettencourt, injured yesterday and transported to the Augusta, Georgia Medical Center for treatment, is in the process of being discharged and returning to Asheville. He is reportedly feeling well.

Two AFD firefighters remain hospitalized at Mission Hospital.  Both are in stable condition and are awaiting discharge.
The investigation continues as to the cause of the fire.  Updates will be provided to the media when new information becomes available.

Asheville’s Grove Park Inn Rolls out the Red Carpet for Pets

Friday, July 29th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Asheville‘s legendary resort is now pet friendly. The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa is now accepting guests of the four-legged variety for the first time in its almost 100 year history. A new section of “pet-friendly” rooms in the Vanderbilt Wing of the Resort will come with a special turndown amenity. The Inn is offering guests who bring their pets on vacation a variety of trails and walking routes for exercising, as well as a special walking area for pets near the new pet-friendly rooms. “More and more of our guests were telling us they love to come to The Grove Park Inn on vacation, but they hated leaving their precious pets behind,” said Kevin Cross, Director of Rooms for The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa. “This is the perfect solution for a stress-free vacation for a lot of pet lovers. Now they can come enjoy pet-friendly Asheville and the scores of outdoor activities in the area without having to worry that their dog or cat is back home and lonely.” In addition to the many in-room amenities for guests and their pets, The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa will also provide guests information on local pet stores, vet clinics and other pet-related services to help support other local pet-friendly businesses. To make sure that pets of guests at The Grove Park Inn will experience the Resort’s legendary service, there’s even a special in room dining menu for pets now, featuring such items as Chicken “Pup” Pie and Meat Woof. While in public areas, pets must be kept on a leash or in a carrier. Restrictions to locations within the Resort for pet access include the Great Hall Lobby, any Food & Beverage outlets, the Sports Complex, The Spa and pool areas. This exclusion does not apply to service dogs. 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. Deborah Potter, Public Relations Manager (866) 474.6680 (828) 210.7840 [email protected] The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa 290 Macon Avenue, Asheville, NC 28804

Asheville’s Summer Reading Events for August

Friday, July 29th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Asheville‘s Summer Reading Program August 2011 One World, Many Stories

* Wednesday, August 3 at 2 p.m. One World, Many Stories with the Balloon Lady South Asheville/Oakley Library ages 3 & up, with an adult No groups please

* Wednesday, August 3 at 10:30 a.m. SWEDEN: Stories and Legos Black Mountain Library all ages

* Thursday, August 4 at 11 a.m. Around the World with Mountain Story Magic Leicester Library all ages

* Thursday, August 4 at 2:30 p.m. Clowning Around with Storyteller David Novak South Buncombe/Skyland Library ages 5 & up

* Saturday, August 6 at 11 a.m. ASIA: Tanabata Festival East Asheville Library all ages

* Wednesday, August 10 at 10:30 a.m. MOROCCO: Stories, belly dancing and Khamsa Good Luck hands art Black Mountain Library all ages

* Saturday, August 13 at 11 a.m. SOUTH AMERICA: Brazilian Carnaval! East Asheville Library all ages

* Wednesday, August 17 at 10:30 a.m. United States: Multicultural “salad bowl” & Library Garden Harvest Black Mountain Library all ages

Texting While Driving is the New Drunk Driving

Friday, July 29th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Texting while driving has become an epidemic in the Carolinas and AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety aims to educate the public about the dangers associated with this reckless behavior.

“Texting while driving is the new drunk driving,” said Tom Crosby, president of the AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety. “Studies have shown that you are just as likely to be in an accident texting while driving as someone who is legally intoxicated.” This behavior is incredibly prevalent and its frequency is growing.

It is against the law to text or email while operating a motor vehicle in North Carolina. Violators will receive a $100 fine and are responsible for court costs.

Distracted Driving Facts: Texting while driving makes you eight times more likely to be involved in a crash.

Nearly one in four drivers in NC admits to texting while driving and an online survey found South Carolina the worst state in the nation for texting while driving. Texting while driving causes drivers to leave their lane 10 percent more often than normal. Traffic accidents are the number one cause of death for individuals under 30.

Asheville Police Department Seeks Assistance in Home Invasions

Friday, July 29th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Police Department has responded to and continues to investigate a number of home invasions, particularly in West Asheville. Detectives are seeking any information that may assist in identifying the offenders. In all the cases, the offenders were asking for electronics, money and drugs.

Below is information regarding locations and suspects:

May 13, 12:10 a.m.
*386 Kenilworth Road
Suspects are three black males who were all dressed in black clothing, wearing black bandanas. A handgun was displayed. They were described as follows:
1) 5’9” to 5’11”, light-skinned Black or Hispanic, with a five-inch long ponytail at the nape of his neck, wearing a black hoodie and a black bandana with white on it.
2) 5’ 8”, about 215 -225 lbs., with a chubby build, wearing black Nike tennis shoes with a white “M” shape or design, a black shirt, black pants.
3) 6’ to 6’4”, 170-180 lbs., wearing a solid black ball cap, and Nike Air Force tennis shoes
*This incident is not believed to be related to those in West Asheville.

June 7, 12:30 a.m.
20 Michigan Ave
Four offenders involved. Victim recalls only dark clothing, bandanas, and two handguns.

June 25, 12:45 a.m.
102 Burton St.
Three offenders involved, who displayed a handgun. They were described as:
1) A “skinny” white male, 5’7” – 5’ 10” tall, with blonde hair, eyes described as light blue-green or bright blue. He was wearing a T-shirt and blue jeans.
2) 6’2” tall black male with an average build. He has short hair, a red (possibly a Cardinals) baseball cap, and was wearing a T-shirt and blue jeans.
3) 5’10”-6’ tall “chubby” black male, with short dreadlocks with beads on the ends. He was wearing a T-shirt and jeans and his face was covered.

June 29, 4:27 a.m.
436 Pearson Drive
Two offenders involved. They did not display a handgun.
They had T-shirts wrapped around their faces. Investigators do not believe this incident is related to others in the city.

July 5, 2:30 a.m.
326 Riverview Drive
Three offenders who displayed a handgun. They are described as:
1) White male with blue or green eyes, with a thin build, wearing a green bandana.
2) Black male, medium build, wearing sunglasses, a blue hat and light colored clothing.
3) Dark-skinned black male wearing dark clothing.

July 6, 3:15 a.m.
146 Logan Ave.
Three offenders, all wearing T-shirts and baggy jeans, who displayed a handgun. They are described as:
1) Black male with short dreadlocks, wearing a green bandana over his head and face. He wore rectangular framed glasses and had a tattoo on his right forearm that may have been a female’s name.
2) Black male with short hair, wearing an unknown color bandana.
3) White male with a thin build, wearing a bandana covering face and head.

The above incidents are being investigated as residential burglaries, robberies and assaults – which would be referred to as home invasions when occurring simultaneously.

Residents are asked to contact officers if they would like to have someone speak to their group and/or if they see unusual activities taking place in their neighborhoods.

Residents are also invited to attend the next Weed & Seed crime prevention meeting in the Pisgah View Apartment complex in West Asheville, scheduled for noon on Monday, Aug. 22. Call Weed & Seed Coordinator Rebecca Byrn for details at 828-552-1311.

APD Community Resource Officers
East and North Asheville:
CRO Brien Griffin                                                        828-552-1467
CRO Jeremy Woody                                                    828-552-9423

West Asheville:
CRO Josh Simpson                                                      828-251-4032
CRO Chad McCall                                                        828-251-4032

CRO Jackie Stepp                                                        828-337-7478
CRO Evan Coward                                                       828-777-4505

Anyone with information on the above cases is asked to call Asheville-Buncombe Crime Stoppers at 828-255-5050 or the APD at 828-252-1110.

Moment of Silence to be Observed Before Official Beginning of Bele Chere

Friday, July 29th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – A moment of silence, in honor of fallen firefighter Captain Jeff Bowen, will be observed before the official beginning of the Bele Chere festival today.  Capt. Bowen, 37, went into cardiac arrest after succumbing to intense smoke and heat yesterday during a four-alarm fire at 445 Biltmore Avenue.

Each entertainment stage throughout the festival will observe a moment of silence today at noon.  All vendors, merchants, Bele Chere guests and the community at large are invited to participate.

“Behind the scenes, Bele Chere has always been a celebration of public service and unity.  As we begin the celebration of Bele Chere, of coming together to celebrate the goodness and diversity of this community, we hope to do so in Jeff’s honor – by carrying forth his compassion and kindness to all with whom we gather,” said Councilman Jan Davis.  “We hope to take this opportunity to be reminded of the importance of service and to celebrate the life of a true hero.”

In a show of solidarity, Asheville Fire Department will be assisted by City of Greensboro Fire Department and City of Charlotte Fire Department over the course of the festival weekend.

City staff has been invited to come together on the Roger McGuire Green in Pack Square Park at 11:45 a.m. to observe a moment of silence before the festival begins.

Information on any public memorial for Capt. Bowen will be released once details have been confirmed.

Asheville Firefighter Perishes in Line of Duty

Friday, July 29th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Asheville firefighter perishes in line of duty Several others injured in blaze at medical building UPDATE: 7/28/11 10 p.m. – The fire has been contained. Firefighters remain on scence, checking for hot spots. At about 12:30 p.m., fire crews responded to a call at 445 Biltmore Ave., which houses medical offices near the Mission Hospital campus. Capt. Jeff Bowen, 37, went into cardiac arrest after succumbing to intense smoke and heat. Bowen has been with the department since 1998. He lived with his wife Stacy in Alexander. They have three children. Seven other firefighters were transported to Mission for treatment of heat exposure and other injuries. One other firefighter, Jay Bettencourt, was transported to a burn center in August, Ga., for treatment. He was in stable condition at the time of the transport. Fire Chief Scott Burnette spoke about the pain of losing Capt. Bowen. “We are devastated by the loss of our brother Jeff,” he said. “He dedicated himself to protecting the people of Asheville, and this is a terrible tragedy for our city, for all of us in the Asheville Fire Department, and most importantly, for his wife Stacy. We are praying for her, and offer our deepest condolences to all who knew and loved him as we did.” “Jeff was a hero whose sacrifice will be forever honored.” Mayor Terry Bellamy has ordered that flags at all city buildings be flown at half-staff until further notice. “I am deeply saddened by the death of Capt. Bowen, who today made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty,” she said. “This is a tragic reminder of the daily risks the heroic men and women of the fire department face each day, for our safety. “My fellow council members and I send our thoughts and prayers to his loved ones and to his colleagues in the Asheville Fire Department, who are mourning this terrible loss.” The building where the fire occurred is owned by Biltmore Condominium Associates. It broke out on the top floors, and more than 200 people were evacuated. No civilian injuries were reported, and Mission Hospital was not impacted. The cause of the fire is under investigation. The city has not experienced a four-alarm fire in at least the last 30 years. Some 60 Asheville firefighters ultimately responded to the call. They were assisted by fire crews from departments in Buncombe County, as well as Asheville police.

Asheville’s Missions of Mercy Dental Clinic Returning to A-B Tech Campus

Friday, July 29th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – For the second year, A-B Tech will host the North Carolina Dental Society’s Mission of Mercy, a free dental clinic for individuals in need, beginning at 6 a.m. Aug. 5 and 6 in in the gym in the Coman Student Center.

In addition to the state Dental Society and A-B Tech, the clinic is offered in conjunction with the local Dental Society, Eblen Charities, Three Streams Family Health Center, Asheville-Buncombe Community Christian Ministry, and others.

Missions of Mercy, or MOM, are sponsored by the North Carolina Dental Health Fund, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization whose mission is to provide free dental services to those in financial need with few or no other options. The program is a grassroots effort that depends on volunteers, with funding from grants and donations.

Currently, NCMOM has enough equipment to set up a 45-chair full dental clinic, including digital x-ray, sterilization, and all instrumentation and supplies. Clinics generally have 20 to 45 chairs and services are provided for 300 to 600 patients during the two-day event. Volunteers include dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, dental students and members of the general public.

In 2010, the free clinic at A-B Tech proved to be one of the largest dental outreaches of its kind in the state’s history. The event served more than 750 patients, providing dental x-rays, extractions, fillings, restorative care, and cleanings, with more than $450,000 worth of dental care being provided at no cost during the three-day clinic. Jack Teague, DDS, and nearly 50 dentists and more than 300 volunteers provided the services.

Partners in the 2011 Missions of Mercy Free Dental Clinic include: Buncombe County, the Buncombe County Dental Society, Ingles Markets, Three Streams Family Health Center, Hearts With Hands, ABCCM, M B Haynes, Arby’s, Chick-fil-A, Tarheel Physicians Supply, Lowe’s, Pepsi, Hampton Inns, the Cliffs at Walnut Cove, Able-Rent –A- John, Rent-All, Biltmore Oil, Atlanta Bread Company, Extended Stay Hotels, Moe’s, Provience 620, Olive Garden, Leslie and Associates, Inc, Party Blvd, Dunkin Doughnuts, and the Janirve Foundation.

To learn more about receiving treatment or serving as a volunteer during the A-B Tech clinic, visit http://www.ncdental.org/ncds/NCMOM.asp?SnID=1065378988.