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Asheville, North Carolina News

Archive for April, 2013

French Broad River Fest May 3-5

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – The 16th Annual French Broad River Festival will take place on May 3th-May 5th, 2013 in beautiful Hot Springs, North Carolina. The festival, a benefit for American Whitewater, The Mountain Area Child & Family Center and Hot Springs Community Learning Center, is located just 35 minutes north of Asheville at the beautiful Hot Springs Campground and Spa. Come spend the weekend with family and friends listening to great regional and national recording artists including Langhorne Slim and the Law, Col. Bruce Hampton and the Realms of Ventilation, Sol Driven Train, Snake Oil Medicine Show plus many more. . Enjoy shopping for new outdoor gear at the Live Auction or with one of our many art and craft vendors. Try participating in the “Paddle with the Pros”, the 8th Annual FBRF Mountain Bike Race, or the 16th Annual French Broad River Raft Race. Come on out for a weekend of fun, family, art, music and adventure! For more information about the festival, please check our website at www.frenchbroadriverfestival.com

Medicare Choices Made Easy – May 7

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Medicare logo ASHEVILLE NC – These classes will explain how Medicare works, the enrollment process, how to avoid penalties and ways that beneficiaries might save money.

The classes are free and open to the public. People new to Medicare, caregivers and others who help senior citizens with their Medicare insurance should consider attending this informative class.

The information presented is unbiased and accurate. No products are sold, recommended or endorsed. The class will also cover additional coverage options that are available, ways to save money and answer general questions regarding the program.

Class Schedule:

  • May 7:     6-8 p.m.   Swannanoa Branch Library
  • May 14:   6-8 p.m.    Fairview Branch Library
  • May 21:   5:30-7:30 p.m.   Weaverville Branch Library
  • June 7:    2-4 p.m.    UNCA/Reuter Center

Space is limited, so call The Council on Aging at 277-8288 today for further information and to reserve your place.

Sponsored by The Council on Aging in conjunction with Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP).

Biltmore Announces Summer Concert Series Line-up

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Fresh after their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year, Heart will kick off Biltmore’s 17th annual concert series on Thursday, July 25.

In addition to Heart, a mix of Grammy Award-winning acts, as well as a contemporary Christian group, will highlight the series. Staged on the South Terrace of Biltmore House, the concert series will feature its own award-worthy views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. All shows will start at 8 p.m.

The full Biltmore Concert Series line-up is, with ticket prices:

Thursday, July 25: Heart
Adult Premium    $87
Adult Reserved   $72
Adult General     $62

Sunday, Aug. 4: Sheryl Crow
Adult Premium    $85
Adult Reserved   $70
Adult General     $60

Friday, August 16: Casting Crowns

Adult Premium    $70
Adult Reserved   $55
Adult General     $45

Friday, August 23: The Four Tops and Temptations
Adult Premium     $75
Adult Reserved    $60
Adult General      $50

Friday, August 30: The Beach Boys
Adult Premium     $78
Adult Reserved    $63
Adult General      $53

Saturday, August 31: Comedian Bill Engvall
Adult Premium     $70
Adult Reserved    $60
Adult General      $50

Tickets will go on sale for Heart and Sheryl Crow on June 5. Tickets for the rest of the line-up will go on sale on June 12. Ticket purchases will be available at www.biltmore.com/concerts, or by calling 866-336-1255 on the appointed dates.

A variety of ticket, dining and accommodations packages will be available for all of the concerts. Tickets do not include or require estate admission. Performers and dates are subject to change.

City of Asheville is Asking Artists for Public Art

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – The City of Asheville is seeking to commission a qualified artist to create an original terrazzo floor design as public art for the U.S. Cellular Center lobby floor.

The U.S. Cellular Center, located in downtown Asheville, is a regional venue for entertainment, trade shows and events that is undergoing a series of renovations. A major component of the renovation is the installation of a new epoxy terrazzo floor depicting integrated artwork located at the entrance way of the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium.

The project is open to all qualified artists with experience in pubic art. Artists who have experience designing or installing terrazzo floors in high traffic settings are preferred. The commissioned artist will work collaboratively with the U.S. Cellular Center renovation architect, floor construction contractor, and a citizen review team.

Artists’ proposals will be accepted electronically through May 5, 2013 at CallforEntry.org, also known as CaFÉ™. Project specifications and instructions on how to apply are located at www.callforentry.org. For information about the call for artists, contact Basil Punsalan at 828-259-5552 or [email protected].

The City of Asheville Public Art Program oversees Asheville’s public art collection with assistance of the Public Art & Cultural Commission. The collection includes the popular Urban Trail, a historic walking tour of downtown Asheville; along with other prominent works in the downtown area including but not limited to the Pack Fountain, Energy Loop, Deco Gecko and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.

“Write Now” Creative Writing Program for High School Students at UNCA

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – “Write Now,” a creative writing program for high school students, will return to UNC Asheville this summer with workshops held weekdays, June 17-28, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. “Write Now” offers each participating student experience in different styles of writing – fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry – under the tutelage of three of Asheville‘s finest writing instructors.

Students will have workshops each day with memoirist Janet Hurley, feature writer and novelist Elizabeth Lutyens and poet Vievee Francis. Joining these three experienced instructors in shaping the program is Tommy Hays, executive director of UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program. Students will participate in discussions, activities and exercises, share and critique each others’ writing, and read works on writers’ craft.

Hurley will lead sessions on creative non-fiction, including memoir, magazine features, multi-media essays and explorations of historical events. With discussions of the ethics of “true stories” and how craft considerations of fiction and poetry apply, as well as experiential activities and writing exercises, the first week will prepare students for producing and workshopping one complete creative non-fiction work in the second week. A freelance writer who has published articles in Our State and VERVE magazines, Hurley is a teaching artist in Asheville City Schools, as well as founding director of the True Ink program for young writers.

Lutyens’ sessions will tap students’ own experiences as sources for creating fictional characters, settings and a plot with a clear beginning, middle and end. Participants also will read published stories and novel excerpts, learning to read from a writer’s perspective. By the end of the program, students should have completed a first draft of at least one short story. Lutyens teaches the Prose Master Class at the Great Smokies Writing Program and led a writing/critiquing exchange program between her adult students in Asheville and 11th and 12th graders at Boston Latin Academy. Her novel-in-progress was a semi-finalist in the 2011 William Faulkner-Wisdom Competition.

Francis’ contemporary poetry sessions will use reading, writing exercises and games to jump right into today’s literary practices and approaches. Students will look at pop culture’s influence on poets, from comic books to coffee, movies to improv, fastidiousness to fast food. Francis will invite students to muddy the lines between what is spoken and what is written and have fun while writing. Francis has authored two books of poetry – Blue-Tail Fly (Wayne State University Press, 2006) and Horse in the Dark (Northwestern University Press, 2012) – and formerly taught high school poets through the InsideOut Literary Arts Project in Detroit.

“Write Now” is a program of the Asheville Graduate Center at UNC Asheville. The session fee is $445, which includes course instruction, materials, required books and lunch each day. For more information and to register, visit the Asheville Graduate Center website, or contact Nancy Williams at [email protected] or at 828.250.2353.

ASAP to Host First Local Food Fest

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Farmers are planting and starting to pick from their hoophouses and fields, tailgate markets and roadside farm stands are opening with garden starts and early produce, and Appalachian Grown™ partner restaurants are featuring local spring veggies on their menus. In other words, the harvest season has arrived in the Southern Appalachians. To celebrate, ASAP will host their first Local Food Fest Saturday, April 27, from 2 until 6 pm on Wall Street in downtown Asheville. The free family-friendly event also marks the release of ASAP’s 2013 Local Food Guide.

“In the past, we’ve hosted a Local Food Guide release party,” explains Scott Bunn, ASAP’s development director. “This year, we wanted to create an event where local food supporters of all ages could come together to celebrate not only the guide, but also this exciting time of bounty and many of the key players that make up our thriving food community.”

A farmers market at the event will feature farmers and artisan food producers who sell to Wall Street restaurants, including Sunburst Trout Farms, Rise Up Rooted Farm, Looking Glass Creamery, Farm & Sparrow, Imladris Farm, and Hickory Nut Gap Farm. Wall Street restaurants—all Appalachian Grown partners: Early Girl Eatery, The Market Place, MG Road, Cucina 24, and Laughing Seed Cafe—will whip up delicious local specials during their regular hours on April 27. Early Girl and Laughing Seed are open throughout the fest. The Market Place will open early for the event, offering a special local taco from 2 to 5 pm; they will serve their regular menu with local specials beginning at 5 pm. Cucina 24 and MG Road open at 5 pm; MG Road will also offer goodies outside of their restaurant throughout the event. A percentage of the day’s sales at these eateries will benefit ASAP.

The fest will also feature live music by Galen Kipar of Galen Kipar Project from 2:30 to 4:30 pm; a children’s area with a local food tasting, face painting, and story time once an hour from Malaprop’s, Spellbound, and Buncombe County Library; a countertop chopping block demonstration from local artist Steven Tengelsen; and the opportunity to enter raffles with prizes ranging from a free pass to ASAP’s Farm Tour to a free night’s stay at Hawk & Ivy B&B, and gift certificates to Asheville City Market and Livi’s Pantry to a gift box of salsa and hot sauce from Smoking J’s Fiery Foods.

Of course, the fest is also a chance to grab ASAP’s 2013 Local Food Guide hot off the press, as well as an opportunity to talk with the organization about their work and learn how to get involved. The twelfth edition of the Local Food Guide contains 800+ listings of farmers markets, CSAs, u-pick farms, restaurants, groceries, and more—the most to date—along with articles from area food and farming experts. Those unable to make it to the event can browse the 2013 guide online at appalachiangrown.org. Print copies are also distributed to 400+ locations around the region; find these locations at asapconnections.org.


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.


Playing Healthy Outdoors

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – The return of warmer temperatures offers the opportunity for relaxation and exploration outdoors. Whether you’re relaxing in the backyard, turning up your garden, enjoying the pool or taking part in another outdoor activity, you’ll want to be sure and keep your distance from disease-causing pests. Here are some ways you and your family can remain healthy while outdoors this spring and suMosquitommer.

Prevent Mosquito and Tick Bites

Warmer temperatures aren’t just attractive to people, but to mosquitoes and ticks as well. Small as they are, these tiny creatures can cause severe illness, and in some cases, even death. There are several simple and effective ways to avoid their bite without missing out on your favorite outdoor activities.


One of the most recommended ways to avoid mosquitoes is to avoid going outdoors when they are most likely to bite – from dusk to dawn. Unfortunately, in Western North Carolina, we have some mosquitoes, such as the tree-hole mosquito, that tend to be out and bite all day.

To enjoy your outdoor activities at any time, repel mosquitoes by regularly using a mosquito and tick repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus.

  • In addition to using mosquito repellant on exposed skin, wear long pants tucked into your socks and long sleeves to protect yourself from bites.
  • Treat clothing with permethrin (which protects through several washings) or buy clothes that are pre-treated with permethrin.
  • Always follow the directions on repellent packages carefully and use caution when treating small children.


Ticks are out all the time. Young ticks are so small that they can be difficult to see, but both young and adult ticks look to animals and sometimes people to bite.

Keep ticks at a distance by avoiding tick-infested areas, especially places with leaf-litter, brush, and high grasses.

  • Use a mosquito and tick repellent containing 20% DEET.
  • Shower as soon as possible after coming indoors and check your body for ticks. Make sure that your children also bathe or shower and check them for ticks as well.
  • Wash and tumble dry your clothes.
  • Don’t forget to check your pets for ticks.
  • If you find an attached tick:
    • Carefully remove it with a pair of fine-tipped tweezers.
    • Call your healthcare provider if you develop symptoms of a tick-borne illness 1 – 3 weeks following a bite. Symptoms may include rash, fever, body aches, fatigue, headache, stiff neck or disorientation.

Keep Mosquitoes and Ticks out of Your Yard

Look around your yard and neighborhood and remove any items that may collect standing water, such as buckets, old tires, toys and flowerpots.

  • Mosquitoes can breed in small amounts of water in just a few days.
  • Replace or repair torn window screens to keep mosquitoes out of the house.
  • You can reduce the likelihood that ticks will live around your home by removing leaf litter, brush and woodpiles around your house and at the edge of your yard.

Beware of Bats

Bats are fun to watch as they flutter around at dusk. In many camp areas, the sighting of bats is common and normal; however, bats can be infected with rabies and may pose a risk for exposure to humans.

What To Do If You Find a Bat

  • Get everyone out of the room, cabin, or tent and close the bat inside.
  • Whenever possible, the bat should be captured and sent to a lab for rabies testing. Follow instructions for capturing bats.
  • Knowing if a bat has rabies helps those who may have been exposed decide if they should get rabies post-exposure vaccines. This is especially important if someone was sleeping in the room where the bat was found because the bite of a bat can be very small and go unnoticed. Once symptoms of rabies begin, it is almost always fatal.
  • If you are bitten by a bat, wash the affected area thoroughly and get medical advice right away. In Buncombe County go to the Emergency Department at Mission Hospital.
  • Remind children to never touch a bat.

If you find a bat in your residence, do not release it. Leave the room, closing the bat inside if possible, and call animal control or law enforcement for your area.

Don’t forget to protect your pets!

While you’re outside enjoying the weather, remember to protect your pets too. Keeping healthy pets will help keep you and your family healthy.

Dogs, cats and ferrets need to be kept up-to-date on their rabies vaccines. In Buncombe County you can get low-cost rabies vaccines for your furry friends at clinics sponsored by Buncombe County and the Asheville Humane Society. Click here to learn more.

Protect family pets from ticks and fleas by keeping them on a flea and tick control program. Talk to your veterinarian for advice on the appropriate anti-bug products to use on your pet.

You don’t have to let the threat of illness from mosquitoes, ticks or bats dampen your outdoor fun in warm weather. Take these simple precautions, get on outside and enjoy! Have a safe and healthy spring and summer!

For More Information

If you have questions or concerns about diseases that may be transmitted through bites, contact your healthcare provider or the Buncombe County Communicable Disease Program at 250-5109.

For questions about eliminating ticks or mosquitoes from your yard, you may call Buncombe County Environmental Health at 250-5016.

Other resources:

  • Fight the Bite!
    Use repellent to protect yourself from mosquitoes and ticks.
  • West Nile Virus
    Find where recent outbreaks of this mosquito-borne disease have occurred and how to protect yourself.
  • Lyme Disease
    Includes prevention, transmission, and symptoms
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
    Includes prevention, transmission, and symptoms
  • Ticks
    Includes prevention tips, information on ticks found in the US, the diseases they spread and symptoms
  • Healthy Pets, Healthy People
    Enjoy your pets while protecting yourself against diseases they carry.

City of Asheville to Host Reverse Vendor Fair and State Agency Workshops

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – The City of Asheville is excited to invite area vendors interested in doing business with the city to participate in the first Reverse Vendor Fair on April 10. This is a great opportunity for vendors to speak directly with city department representatives and to find out more about what contract and bid opportunities the City of Asheville offers.  Departments will also provide information about upcoming projects and bidding opportunities. The vendor fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the U.S. Cellular Center and admission is free.

Additionally, on April 9, representatives from the State of North Carolina Office of Historically Underutilized Businesses, the Office of Purchase and Contract and the N.C. Department of Transportation will provide training sessions on doing business, vendor registration, and HUB certification. Workshops will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the 6th floor training room of Asheville City Hall. Attendance is free, but RSVP is required as space is limited.

Workshops are scheduled as followed:

Session 1: 9 a.m.-noon: NC DOT –  “Update to NC DOT Regulations” & “Doing Business with DOT”

Session 2: 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. :  State HUB Office – “HUBSCO Reporting”

Session 3: 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.: State P&C – “Doing Business with the State”

For more information about the vendor fair and how you can participate and RSVP for the training opportunities on event day, please contact Amy Patterson at (828) 259-5953 or [email protected] or Brenda Mills at (828) 259-8050 or[email protected]. Information and updates can be found at the city’s website at www.ashevillenc.gov.

New Volunteer Roles Opening at A-B Tech

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – In its drive toward assuring student success, A-B Tech Community College initiated a volunteer and intern program last fall to support students and staff. The College’s Volunteer and Intern office is recruiting volunteers to fill the increased demand in additional roles.

Pet therapy teams – volunteers and their dogs registered with a therapy dog organization – are asked to join A-B Tech’s volunteer program and be part of a small but growing facilitated pet therapy service to supply emotional support to students and staff.

Following orientation and introduction to the campus, the teams will volunteer in Compensatory Education in the Basic Skills division, Student Services and common areas as requested.

Volunteers with or without counseling and advising skills are being sought in the financial aid office to help students complete their FASFA for federal financial aid. All training is provided. Good computer skills and patience to be able to assist students complete the form are necessary

An administrative volunteer is needed to help at A-B Tech’s Madison site in the GED classroom on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 3 p.m. This individual would be working with the instructor to address post cards to students, sort files, run copies and perform other duties so the instructor can focus more time on students.

Additional volunteers are needed in the Vet Connections Café where veterans enrolled at the college come for tutoring, networking, camaraderie and computer assistance.

To learn more about these and other volunteer opportunities, call Jeralie Andrews, A-B Tech’s Campus Coordinator of Volunteers and Interns, at 828-398-7761, or email her at [email protected].

“Dead Man Walking” Opera Come to UNC Asheville

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Sister Helen Prejean, the author, activist and nun who sparked national dialogue on the death penalty and whose book inspired the film “Dead Man Walking,” will speak at UNC Asheville, and the university will host a concert-style performance of the opera of the same name. Prejean’s talk, “The Journey Continues,” will take place at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, April 26, and is free and open to the public. The concert starts at 8 p.m. Both events take place in Lipinsky Auditorium.

Prejean began ministering to inmates on death row in 1981 and served as chair of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty from 1993-95. Her book “Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States” (Random House, 1993) was adapted for the screen in 1995, and the film “Dead Man Walking,” starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn, was seen by millions and nominated for four Academy Awards.

Prejean also is the author of “The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions” (Random House, 2004) and is the honorary chairperson of Moratorium Campaign, a group gathering signatures for a world-wide moratorium on the death penalty.

“Dead Man Walking,” which speaks of faith, redemption and the struggles of families of murder victims as well as death row inmates, became the basis of an opera composed by Jake Heggie, with libretto by Terrence McNally. The opera, which premiered by the San Francisco Opera in 2000, will be presented concert style at UNC Asheville by The Modern American Music Project.

The performance will feature Jane Bunnell, Elise Quagliata, Christiaan Smith-Kotlarek, Simone Vigilante, and children’s and adult choirs. Tickets for the public range from $25-$40 and are available online at tmamp.org/productions.html or by phone at 800/595-4849. A limited number of tickets for UNC Asheville students are available for $5; and $15 for faculty/staff/OLLI members. For UNC Asheville affiliate tickets, visit the Cultural Events and Special Academic Programs website or call 828.251.6674.