Local Scoop


Asheville, North Carolina News

Archive for March, 2012

Egg Hunt at the Zeugner Center

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Get ready for a hoppin’ good time!ASHEVILLE NC – Get ready for a hoppin’ good time on Saturday, March 31 at the Zeugner Center. It’s time for Buncombe County Parks, Greenways and Recreation Services Annual Egg Hunt and Indoor Swim! Don’t forget to bring your egg collecting basket and a swim suit.

Registration begins at noon and the hunt begins at 12:15 p.m. After the Egg Hunt, all participants are invited to a party that includes crafts, face painting and games. The indoor pool is open to swimmers from 1 – 3 p.m.

Admission to the egg hunt and activities afterward is FREE. Admission to the indoor pool is $2 per person.

For more information, call The Zeugner Center at 684-5072. The Zeugner Center is located in South Asheville behind TC Roberson High School at 50 Springside Drive.

Find out about more Asheville events and Asheville things to do.

Free Tax Assistance

Friday, March 30th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – Do you have questions about your taxes? Would you like assistance in completing your income tax forms?

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide, in cooperation with the IRS, N.C. Dept. of Revenue, the Council on Aging and Buncombe County Public Libraries is offering free tax preparation for taxpayers with low and moderate income, with special attention to those age 60 and older.

For 2012, this service will be available through Tuesday, April 17. Both Federal and N.C. State returns will be electronically filed for safe and accurate preparation and faster refunds.

Tax Assistance Sites

Pack Library

67 Haywood Street, Asheville

*Free parking for the 1st hour @ the Civic Center Parking Garage behind Pack Library.

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

West Asheville Library

942 Haywood Road, Asheville

9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Weaverville Library

41 N. Main Street, Weaverville

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Black Mountain Library

105 N. Dougherty Street, Black Mountain

10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Taxpayers should bring the following documents:

  • Social Security cards and Identifications for taxpayers and all dependents
  • Previous year’s (2010) tax return
  • W-2 forms from each employer
  • 1099 forms for income from Social Security, Pension, Interest, Dividends, Brokers/Mutual Funds, Miscellaneous Income, etc.
  • Any other tax forms or information for both income and expenses
  • Detailed list and receipts for Medical Expenses, Charitable Contributions, Real Estate Taxes, Mortgage Interest, if claiming itemized deductions.
  • A blank check for direct deposit of any refund to your checking or savings account.

Questions and requests for homebound individuals can be directed to the Buncombe County Council on Aging at 277-8288.

CAYLA Student is a Finalist for Top Scholarship

Friday, March 30th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – The City of Asheville announced today that a City of Asheville Youth Leadership Academy (CAYLA) student has been named a finalist for the Gates Millennium Scholarship. Brianna Rock, a senior at Asheville High School, will find out in April if she is one of 1,000 students nationwide awarded the “good-through-graduation” college scholarship.

In addition to CAYLA, Brianna is also an active member of National Honor Society, Triple S (Sisters Striving to Succeed) and FYI (For Your Information). Last fall, Brianna was one of only eight students selected from Buncombe County to participate in the Minority Medical Mentoring Program, which enabled her to intern each afternoon at a variety of physician’s offices. Through her involvement with the CAYLA, Brianna has volunteered regularly at the ABCCM Women and Children’s Shelter, MANNA FoodBank, and other nonprofit organizations. She has been accepted to the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill as well as Berea College in Kentucky. Brianna plans to pursue a career in medicine. She is the daughter of Jennifer Garcia-Rock and Timothy Rock, Sr.

The Gates Millennium Scholars (GMS) program is the country’s largest scholarship program and awards full-ride college scholarships to an annual cohort of 1,000 students. The scholarships can be used to pursue degrees in any undergraduate major at the accredited college or university of the recipients’ choice. Established in 1999 with the goal of developing the next generation of America’s leaders, the Gates Millennium Scholars Program is funded by a $1.6 billion grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Gates Millennium Scholars Program provides recipients with leadership training, mentoring, and academic and social support as well as financial support. The Program is known for its recipients’ high graduation rates–a six-year rate of 90 percent (45 percent higher than the national graduation rates for all students) and comparable to the rates for students from high-income families.

To learn more about the City of Asheville Youth Leadership Academy, visit http://www.ashevillenc.gov/Departments/HumanResources/YouthLeadershipAcademy.aspx.

Keigwin and Company Perform at Diana Wortham Theatre

Friday, March 30th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – Keigwin and Company perform at the Diana Wortham Theatre March 30 and 31. A knockout fusion of pop culture and high art. The smart, sexy, and entertaining works of Larry Keigwin gorgeously blend contemporary dance and cabaret flare with the verve of New York Fashion Week and MTV. The New York Times has called this provocative and engaging company “witty, kinetic and musically responsive” and “a parcel of pure explosive energy.” Keigwin’s work embodies a theatrical sensibility, overflowing with both style and heart, which has led to rave reviews and invitations to perform at great venues such as the Kennedy Center, Summerdance Santa Barbara, New York City Center, The Joyce Theater, the American Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, and now Asheville.

Pre-show discussions: For insight and increased enjoyment of the performances, ticket holders can attend free pre-performance discussions led by Larry Keigwin, company founder and choreographer, in The Forum at Pack Place at 7:00 p.m. before both performances.

K+C in the news: Click here to read the featured article in this week’s Mountain Xpress.

March 30 & 31, 2012 • 8:00 p.m.

Tickets: Regular $35, Student $30
Groups of 10-19: $32 each
Groups of 20 or more: $30 each
No child ticket price available. Some parents may find portions of this performance unsuitable for children.

Chimney Rock Hosts 57th Annual Easter Sunrise Service April 8

Friday, March 30th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – A legendary annual community event in Western North Carolina, Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park’s annual Easter Sunrise Service attracts more than 1,000 early risers from around the Southeast each year. The free interdenominational Easter celebration features live instrumental music, spiritual songs and a spectacular sunrise ascending over Lake Lure. The Park offers free entry 5-6 a.m. for the 6:30-7 a.m. service held at the top parking lot below the Chimney on April 8, rain or shine. Guests are invited to eat at the Old Rock Café’s 7-11 a.m. breakfast buffet and may stay to enjoy the Park all day. The Ticket Plaza will be open 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for normal business hours.

“Our annual Easter Sunrise Service is a special tradition for our guests and a memorable event for the entire family,” said Mary Jaeger-Gale, General Manager at Chimney Rock. “There’s no better way to celebrate the beauty of Easter morning.”

The public is invited to join in celebrating Chimney Rock’s Easter Sunrise Service with song, scripture and spiritual music as the sun rises over Lake Lure. Bat Cave Baptist Church is coordinating the music and the musicians, in addition to John Mason, the Park’s featured entertainer on hammered dulcimer. The Easter service will air live on 1450 WHKP-AM Radio and rebroadcast the entire service starting at noon for those unable to attend.

Limited parking is available in the top lot. When the lot is full, parking will be available on the Meadows, with shuttle buses transporting guests to/from the top lot. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early, dress warmly and bring a flashlight. Guests are invited to the 7-11 a.m. all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet at the Old Rock Café for $9.79 for adults and $5.79 for children (ages 10 and under), including beverages.

About Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is a developing international outdoor attraction located 25 miles southeast of Asheville on Highway 64/74A in Chimney Rock, N.C. It has been recognized as one of the Southeast’s most iconic and popular travel destinations for more than 100 years. In 2012, the Park is celebrating the 20-year anniversary of the release of The Last of the Mohicans, which was filmed in Chimney Rock. The Park’s 535-million-year-old monolith called Chimney Rock offers guests 75-mile panoramic views of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure. The Park features one of the highest waterfalls of its kind east of the Mississippi River, Hickory Nut Falls, at 404 feet. 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.

“Simon Says” Bird Walks Begin at Chimney Rock April 1

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – An early spring is causing wintering birds in the Southern U.S., including Blue-headed Vireo and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, to migrate north ahead of their normal migration schedule, says local expert Simon Thompson. Birds that typically migrate to Western North Carolina from the Tropics in the spring, however, will most likely be on time.

To learn more about spring migration and birding, bird watchers of all levels are invited to join world-traveled ornithologist Simon Thompson for the “Simon Says” Guided Bird Walk: Early Bird Arrivals 8:30-11:30am on Sunday, April 1 at Chimney Rock State Park. The cost for each three-hour bird walk is $23/adult (16 and older) and $6/Annual Passholder and includes Park admission for the day. Registration is required three days in advance; register online at chimneyrockpark.com/events or call (828) 625-9611.

“Many of our resident birds, such as Carolina Wrens, Chickadees and Eastern Bluebirds, are starting to search for places to nest now,” said Simon Thompson, Ornithologist for Chimney Rock. “On our first birdwalk, we can expect to see some Black-and-white Warblers, Black-throated Green Warblers and Blue-headed Vireos. And if we’re lucky, we might see large flocks of Broad-winged Hawks migrating north.”

Simon Says Guided Bird Walk: Early Bird Arrivals

April 1, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Many of the Park’s breeding birds are singing and wildflowers are starting to bloom now. Join Simon Thompson in seeking out Black-and-white Warblers, Black-throated Green Warblers and Blue-headed Vireos along the Hickory Nut Falls trail, as well as many of our resident birds that are looking for places to nest. Now is the perfect time to learn bird songs that will help you identify these feathered friends.

Chimney Rock is an official site on the NC Birding Trail and hosts the region’s premier fall migration event, Flock to the Rock. Learn more about birding at Chimney Rock and download the complete Guide to Birding at Chimney Rock online at http://chimneyrockpark.com/park/nature/northcarolinabirds.php.

Next Bird Walk:

Simon Says Guided Bird Walk: Breeding Birds

June 3, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

It’s a time of frenzied activity for many resident birds. World-traveled expert Simon Thompson will identify several of our local woodpeckers including Downy, Hairy and Pileated. Some are already nesting and may be feeding their young. Meanwhile, songs of Yellow-throated and Red-eyed Vireos can be heard throughout the Park. You might spot one of their camouflaged hanging nests along our trails!

About Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park is a developing international outdoor attraction located 25 miles southeast of Asheville on Highway 64/74A in Chimney Rock, N.C. It has been recognized as one of the Southeast’s most iconic and popular travel destinations for more than 100 years. In 2012, the Park is celebrating the 20-year anniversary of the release of The Last of the Mohicans, which was filmed in Chimney Rock. The Park’s 535-million-year-old monolith called Chimney Rock offers guests 75-mile panoramic views of Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure. The Park features one of the highest waterfalls of its kind east of the Mississippi River, Hickory Nut Falls, at 404 feet. 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.

About Simon Thompson

World-traveled birding expert Simon Thompson has been leading guided bird walks at Chimney Rock since 1989 and is the author of the guide “Birds of Chimney Rock.” He is the owner and guide of Ventures Birding Tours based in Asheville, N.C. Ventures offers local bird watching trips to many local WNC birding hotspots, as well as tours throughout the U.S. and overseas. From looking at warblers in the Blue Ridge to big game safaris in Africa, Ventures offers a wide range of bird watching and nature activities. Learn more or book a tour at www.birdventures.com.

Mr. Thompson is also co-owner of Wild Birds Unlimited Asheville. In addition to selling excellent quality bird seed and feeders, they offer a great selection of bird houses, bird books, nature-related gifts and much more. Simon, Chris and the rest of the WBU staff can help you with any of your bird questions. Check out their website at www.asheville.wbu.com.

YWCA Black and White Gala April 19th

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – The YWCA Black & White Gala will feature high energy dance music by Westsound, a silent auction, and delicious food from local restaurants. The Gala also serves as the kick-off to the Stand Against Racism.

Festive black and white attire is encouraged!

Tickets are $50 each. All event proceeds will go to support YWCA programs which bridge gaps in child care, education, health care, and earning power.

To reserve tickets, call  254-7206 x 207 or go to www.ywcaofasheville.org

A special thanks to our Gala Sponsors:
Alan’s Jewelry & Pawn
Biltmore Iron & Metal Company, Inc.
Biltmore Oil/Eblen Short Stop Stores
Crowne Plaze Tennis & Golf Resort
David Gantt Law Offices
Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa
Hoyle Office Solutions
Montford Park Players
Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company
Progress Energy
Silver-Line Plastics
WNC Parent


WNC Honey Bee Festival

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – Honey bees are so busy pollinating the apple trees and other plants in Western North Carolina that they do not have time to raise money. So, Fletcher Valley Natural Foods is doing that for them through its First Annual Honey Bee Festival, Sunday, April 15 from 2-5 p.m.

The Honey Bee Festival is being held at Fletcher Valley Natural Foods store and the grounds. At the Festival, people will enjoy a tailgate market, car show, bounce house, soap makers, face painting, music, food by Sweet Monkey Bakery, educational talks with beekeepers, a coloring contest for local elementary schools, and of course the chance to name a bee in the Fletcher Valley Natural Foods observational honey bee hive. For $1, you can “name” a bee and for a second dollar, you can enter your name idea for the queen. The queen’s name will be determined by a random drawing from all entries and the winner will receive a $10 gift certificate to Fletcher Valley Natural Foods. All proceeds will be donated to support bee research and conservancy.

Fletcher Valley Natural Foods plans to make the Honey Bee Festival an annual event which coincides with the blooming of the apple trees and the beginning of planting season here in the mountains.

At Fletcher Valley Natural Foods, since installing the observational honey bee hive in October under the care of official beekeeper Ken Arany, hundreds of people have spent countless hours watching the bees at work in the hive. Now, with warm weather, the bees are active going in and out of their clear Plexiglas walk-way to the great outdoors to gather pollen which will in turn be made into honey. Even before the installation of Fletcher Valley Natural Foods’ permanent honey bee hive in the store, the store promoted and sold many types of honey and especially local honey. In addition, all the breads made in the store’s own bakery are sweetened using local honey.

“Operation Medication Drop-Off” Collects Gallons of Pharmaceutical Waste

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – Park Ridge Health pharmacy staff collected 25 gallons of unused medication at the 4thannual Poison Prevention Week “Operation Medication Drop-Off,” which took place at The Health Adventure’s new location at Biltmore Square Mall. Officers from North Carolina Highway Patrol and the Henderson County Sheriff’s Department were on-site to provide support and safety at the event.

“This year’s event was a huge success, and I want to thank everyone who volunteered their time to provide support, and also those who stopped by,” said Kosha Parcell, CPhT, a pharmacy technician at Park Ridge Health and coordinator of the event. “This is a great way to ensure that expired and unused medications don’t become a poison risk in our homes, and also keep potentially dangerous substances out of our landfills and water systems.”

Despite rainy weather, approximately 30 people dropped in at Operation Medication Drop-Off to safely dispose of prescription and non-prescription medications they no longer needed.

“The Health Adventure was pleased to distribute 25 free day passes as a way to thank those who took advantage of this great service,” said Paige Wheeler, Executive Director of The Health Adventure. “We are looking forward to hosting this event again in the future!”

About Park Ridge Health:

Park Ridge Health was built by Henderson County residents, and more than 100 years later, they are still a beloved piece of the growing community’s health care network – providing quality, compassionate care in a Christian environment. In 1986, Park Ridge partnered with Adventist Health System, joining more than 43 exceptional not-for-profit community hospitals in the U.S., and leading the way in many medical firsts for the region.  For more information about Park Ridge Health or to find a physician, please visit parkridgehealth.org or call 855.PRH.LIFE (774-5433).

Asheville City Installs Bicycle Repair Station

Monday, March 26th, 2012

ASHEVILLE – City of Asheville employees recently installed a “Fixit” bicycle service station at the Clingman Avenue roundabout. It is a repair stand with an attached air pump and hand tools, including screwdrivers, wrenches and a tire lever. The station provides an opportunity for a cyclist to make minor repairs and adjustments on the road rather than having to carry tools or walk an ailing bicycle home.

“The city consulted with members of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force and other cyclists about whether they would thought this was a good investment in encouraging bicycling, and to find the best location to test one of these stations,” said City Transportation Planner Barb Mee.  “This was the consensus.”

The River Arts District is a destination and a bicycle crossroads.  It is at the bottom of two long hills that join West Asheville and downtown, and near the Lyman Street and Riverside Drive bicycle lanes.  The location is also next to a transit stop that serves downtown and West Asheville.

People have already noticed the repair station.  Area resident Kelly Ingram noted, “the bicycle service station is incredibly helpful!  I can use it when I bike to and from work and when I’m commuting around town.  It is at a very convenient location so I don’t have to worry if my tire gets low or I need a few tools while I’m in the River Arts District or biking to West Asheville!”

The station is an investment aligned with city goals of integrating non-motorized modes into the city’s transportation network and providing Asheville’s residents and visitors with transportation options.  It also makes the city friendlier to bicycles, another City Council objective.  According to Mee, “An area where bicyclists feel welcome is one where they will patronize area businesses and spend their money.  This, along with good bicycle parking, is a way to make cyclists feel welcome.”

“The cycling community is thrilled by the fix-it station in the River Arts District.  Cyclists can tune up their bicycles after a ride along the river and greenway.  The fix-it station also strengthens Asheville’s commitment to multi-modal transportation as it’s located at a bus stop on the recently improved sidewalks of Clingman Ave. I’m proud of our city’s expansion of infrastructure that supports the many modes people use throughout the day.  The fix-it is a winner,” said Mike Sule of Asheville on Bikes, an area advocacy group.

Bicycling for transportation is a way to incorporate physical activity into someone’s day.  Studies have found that people who use active transportation are, on average, more physically fit and have a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease compared to people who use only motorized transportation.

“Kudos to the City for the installation of the Bicycle Fix-It Station in the River District.  People of all ages and sizes can reap the benefits of feeling good about their health and themselves by engaging in active transportation.  Studies show that the risk of chronic disease is reduced and that individuals report greater vitality and a sense of well-being when they walk or bicycle regularly”.  Vicki Rowe-Currence, Health Promotion Educator and member of the Asheville Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force.

These public bicycle service stations have been used in other cities, including Wilmington (NC); Cambridge, Mass., and Omaha, Nebraska.