Invitation to readers: Soup’s on!-attachment0

Invitation to readers: Soup’s on!

With winter now in full swing, many locals are cutting the chill by turning on their slow cookers or looking for the daily soup specials at their favorite local eateries. From borscht to beef-and-barley, area residents and restaurants are cooking up spoon-friendly nourishment in myriad forms. Xpress invites readers to share tried-and-true recipes and write about their favorite soup and stew offerings at local restaurants. Send your soup submissions to

New Year’s Eve eats and drinks-attachment0

New Year’s Eve eats and drinks

Are you trying to decide what to do for New Year’s Eve? If you want to buffer your midnight toast with a good meal, several local bars and restaurants are serving up interesting eats along with liquid cheer. There is even an Asheville-style take on the Times Square ball drop for those who are in the mood for something completely out of the ordinary.

Dancing with spirit: Birth dancing fosters a connection among women-attachment0

Dancing with spirit: Birth dancing fosters a connection among women

Michelle Dionne, who teaches birth dancing and belly dancing classes in Asheville and the surrounding area, says that giving birth doesn’t have to look like it does in the movies. In classes and workshops, Dionne encourages women to give birth standing up and teaches core-based movements derived from ancient belly-dancing techniques. The goal is to help ease the pain, quicken labor and “keep [women] in their bodies, keep them focused where the action is.”

Two Hall Fletcher fourth graders use an iPad to show how they solved a math problem as part of a grant-funded pilot program at Hall Fletcher Elementary. Photo by Carrie Eidson

Teach and tech

In a fourth-grade classroom at Hall Fletcher Elementary, two boys are huddled around the pint-sized table they use as their desk. One is reading from Page 72, problem No. 4, in his math book. As the pair work through the problem, the second boy chronicles the process, recording each step on an iPad cradled in his hands.