Local residents start petition to fight state takeover of water system

As of Jan. 7, nearly 800 people have signed a petition that declares their opposition to North Carolina legislators making “any mandated takeover” of “any local government infrastructure systems or assets (in this case Asheville’s 20,000 acre pristine watershed).” Last year, a state committee — chaired by Buncombe County Rep. Tim Moffitt — mandated that […]

WNCA offers six-session, climate-change discussion, starting Thursday, Jan. 24

Press release from the Western North Carolina Alliance The Western North Carolina Alliance is offering a great six-session discussion course on climate change, “Global Warming: Changing Course.” The course runs from Jan. 24-Feb 28. Participants will explore the history and science of global warming, personal values and habits as they relate to climate change, and […]

Local AdFed group relaunches Tuesday, Jan. 8, with event at Bonefish Grill

Press release from the American Advertising Federation Asheville Asheville AdFed is out to get you. With a Relaunch Party scheduled for January 8 at the Bonefish Grill, they’re certainly on the right track. The event, sponsored by PaleoSun will offer appetizers and drink specials as well as door prizes from local businesses. The new AdFed […]

North Carolina officials issue quarantine on walnut lumber, firewood, Citizen-Times reports

News report from the Asheville Citizen-Times (Jon Ostendorf) Sawmills and firewood dealers in Haywood County won’t be able to sell walnut to customers in other parts of North Carolina under a state-issued quarantine on the wood. … The N.C. Department of Agriculture quarantine applies to walnut tree material — ranging from firewood to boards and […]

NC Press Association protests private swearing-in for Gov.-elect McCrory

Press release from the North Carolina Press Association The North Carolina Press Association has joined other media organizations in asking Gov.-elect Pat McCrory to allow full public access to his private swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 5. McCrory is to be sworn into office during a private ceremony in the former House chamber of the old […]

North Carolina among states where telecom companies, legislatures limit broadband, Bloomberg reports

In “U.S> Internet Users Pay More for Slower Service,” Susan Crawford, writing for Bloomberg, outlines the state of broadband deployment and access in the United States: The tale isn’t promising, and part of the problem: Legislators and telecom companies working to block getting high-speed service to Americans. Crawford cites the case of North Carolina legislation […]

PARI presents guide to winter night-sky Friday, Jan. 11

Press release from PARI December 26, 2012) – The public is invited to a special presentation Friday, January 11 at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) concerning the wintertime night sky and celestial objects visible in Western North Carolina. The evening’s activities will include a tour of the PARI campus and celestial observations using PARI’s […]

Local group planning a public charter middle, high school; seeks public comment

Press release The Franklin School of Innovation A group of local parents and educators are preparing to take the first formal step toward opening a public charter middle and high school in the Asheville/Buncombe County area. Founder Michelle Vruwink, an education policy consultant and parent, said The Franklin School of Innovation will file a Letter […]

Six-week women’s career exploration group starts Jan. 23

Press release Women face numerous challenges managing a career in today’s labor workforce. With women comprising 46 percent of the U.S. workforce, having solutions for these challenges can create a solid foundation for planning a career that is a good fit both personally and professionally. With all the career options now available to women, it […]

Progress, Duke Energy want lower solar-energy payments, News&Observer reports

From the Raleigh News&Observer “Progress, Duke want to slash payments for green energy,” by John Morawski At a time that Progress Energy is seeking a 14 percent rate increase for residential customers in North Carolina, the Raleigh power company wants to slash payments as much as 29 percent for electricity it buys from solar generators […]

Asheville on Bikes:  1,800 bikes corralled in 2012, thanks to volunteers

Newsletter excerpt from Asheville on Bikes During this year’s six-month-long corral season, AoB expanded its corral services, adding dates like RiverMUSIC and Tour de Toubab. Corral numbers increased dramatically, thanks to volunteers’ efforts to educate the public on the availability of free, secure bike parking. Some individual events saw as much as 90% growth over […]

ACT: Jury says insurance not liable in Richmond Hill fire; owners “participated” in blaze

The Asheville Citizen-Times’ Clarke Morrison reports, A federal jury ruled that the former owner of the Richmond Hill Inn participated in the intentional burning of the historic structure nearly four years ago. The judgment in a lawsuit means the ownership group, The Hammocks LLC, won’t be able to collect on a $6 million insurance policy […]

The end of the world’s a new beginning: Local group hosts “Birth 2012” celebration Saturday, Dec. 22

Press release Forget the Doomsday prophets and end of the Mayan Calendar: One local group is coordinating an event tied into a Global 24-hour Celebration called “Birth 2012: A New Beginning,” with activities now planned in 26 countries — and that number is growing! Local organizers suggest that as many as 100 million people will […]

N.C. Gov. Perdue sets aside $1 million to help keep group-home residents in their homes

Press release from Gov. Perdue’s office Gov. Bev Perdue today announced her proposed solution for the consequences of a change in the way residents in group homes qualify for Medicaid-funded personal care services (PCS). The change is a result of the General Assembly’s budget and will lead to a significant number of group home residents […]

Let’s Talk Quilts: WNC Historical Association hosts Saturday, Jan. 12 interactive presentation

Press release from the WNC Historical Association The Western North Carolina Historical Association will host a presentation and open forum entitled “Let’s Talk Quilts,” presented by Connie Brown, an American Quilter’s Society Certified Appraiser. The program will be held at the Smith McDowell House Museum on Saturday, January 12, 2013, at 2:00 pm. Participants are […]

Health-care prices soar as doctors move away from private practice, join hospitals (News&Observer)

from the Raleigh News&Observer “Doctors Join Hospitals, and Prices Soar,” Dec. 16, 2012, by BY JOSEPH NEFF, AMES ALEXANDER, KAREN GARLOCH AND DAVID RAYNOR In April, The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer published a five-part investigation showing how nonprofit hospitals in N.C. cities have become hugely profitable. Here’s the latest article in the […]

ACT: Nearly 2,000 Buncombe residents set to lose unemployment benefits if Congress doesn’t act

From the Asheville Citizen-Times “Thousands to Lose Unemployment Locally,” by Jon Ostendorff Nearly 2,000 people in Buncombe County will be without unemployment checks at the end of the month unless Congress moves to extend the program again. … Senate Democrats have said they would support another extension, though the push will probably be wrapped up […]

MSD board approves $57 million offer for Asheville water system, ACT reports

News report from John Boyle, Asheville Citizen-Times The Metropolitan Sewerage District board might not like the idea of a forced merger with the city of Asheville water system, but members nonetheless approved a proposal this afternoon that would offer the city $57 million in compensation and create one entity for water and sewer. Board members […]

Part of Davis Creek Road in Nantahala National Forest will be closed until Sept. 1, 2013

Press release from National Forests in North Carolina (U.S. Forest Service) The USDA Forest Service today announced that a portion of Davis Creek Road on the Tusquitee Ranger District, Nantahala National Forest, will remain closed to thru traffic until Sept. 1, 2013 to complete road improvement work. Residents of the Tipton Creek Community will be […]