FORENSIC FOLKLORIST: "I'm excavating [folk] practices from older generations," says Byron Ballard, known as Asheville's village witch. Photo by Machaela Treadway

Byron Ballard keeps Appalachian folk magic practices alive

Known as Asheville’s village witch, Byron Ballard practices what she calls “hillfolk hoodoo,” a form of Appalachian folk magic. Ballard came by hoodoo naturally, growing up in a poor community in the mountains of Western North Carolina where hoodoo was practiced. She laments that the practice is disappearing: “Local hillfolk are no longer practicing hoodoo, […]

North Carolina falls behind in mental health funding

From  press release:  Momentum for reform of the nation’s mental health care system slowed in 2014 as a result of failure by Congress to enact comprehensive mental health care legislation and a decrease in the number of states strengthening investment in mental health services, including North Carolina, according to a report released by the National […]

Bednarek to serve as McDowell Hospital’s interim President Jan. 1

From a press release: Mission Health has announced the appointment of Bob Bednarek as interim President of McDowell Hospital, beginning January 1. Bednarek will assume this interim role upon the departure of Lynn Boggs, who has been President and CEO at McDowell since 2012.  In September Boggs announced that she would step down from her […]

New Year’s Day run to benefit WNC women with breast cancer

From a press release: Interested in a New Year’s Day activity that combines fun, philanthropy and fitness? Registration is now open for a run to benefit Western North Carolina women with breast cancer. Proceeds will benefit local journalist and cancer survivor Karen Chávez and the non-profit, Hope Chest for Women. The Karen Kicks Cancer event […]

MICROBIRTH film screening in Asheville, Dec. 14

From a press release: “Microbirth” is a new 60-minute documentary investigating the latest scientific research about the microscopic events happening during childbirth. These events could have life-long consequences for the health of our children and potentially could even impact mankind. The film will be screened on Sunday, Dec. 14, at 10 a.m. at Asheville Brew […]

Tea and mindfulness workshop at Dobra Tea, Black Mountain, Dec. 13

From a press release: Join us for a calm and mindful tea drinking workshop at Dobra Tea, 120 Broadway St., Black Mountain, on Saturday, Dec. 13, 10-11:30 a.m. The experience will create a profound shift in how we respond to our surroundings, while giving us insights into how our mind works. Enjoy this heightened awareness. It […]

Mission Hospital named among top 50 heart hospitals in U.S.

From a press release: Hospital Spends Thousands Less Per Procedure, Releases Patients Sooner than Peers  Mission Heart has been named one of the nation’s Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospitals by Truven Health Analytics, a leading authority on clinical quality.  Mission Heart is the only hospital in the Carolinas to receive this recognition.  This marks the 9th time […]

Mission Health’s heart center receives multiple top ratings

From a press release: Mission Heart has received its 16th “3 Star” rating from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for its Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) surgery, placing it once again in the top tier of heart surgery centers across the United States that perform such procedures.  In addition, STS has recognized Mission Heart […]

Transgender Day of Remembrance observed Nov. 20

From a press release: Transgender, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer groups Just Us for All, Tranzmission, and Campaign For Southern Equality have organized a day of events to focus the community on the needs of transgender people as and most importantly the persistent murders and mistreatment of transgender people. Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) is […]

Smoky Mountain LME/MCO observes National Alzheimer’s Month

From a press release:  This November, Smoky Mountain LME/MCO (“Smoky”) is recognizing both National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Caregiver Month by highlighting how Smoky’s geriatric teams are helping both professional and family caregivers better understand and respond to older adults under their care. An estimated one in seven adults age 71 or older in […]

Asheville VA Hospital laboratory gains national recognition

From a press release: The Accreditation Committee of the College of American Pathologists (CAP) has awarded accreditation to the Charles George VA Medical Center (CGVAMC) Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Service based on results of a recent on-site inspection as part of the CAP’s accreditation programs.             The CGVAMC’s Chief of Pathology and Laboratory, William E. […]