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AB-Tech’s literary arts journal, The Rhapsodist, launches 2014 edition

AB-Tech’s literary arts journal, The Rhapsodist, includes original art, poetry, short fiction, creative non-fiction and dramatic dialogue. A faculty advisor and three other college staff members assist in the process of selecting material as well as the layout and printing of the journal. The publication is distributed on the A-B Tech campus at no cost […]

Fryar apologizes for harsh words, calls for A-B Tech trustees to resign

In a letter sent to several local media outlets, Buncombe County Commissioner Mike Fryar apologized for calling A-B Tech President Hank Dunn a “little Hitler” and a “sick little puppy.” But the freshman commissioner continues to lambast the president in the new letter, arguing that Dunn acted outside his job description in a way that “undermines the authority of the full Board of Trustees.” He also calls for trustees who worked with Dunn on the maneuver to resign.

Inversion and balloons (much better than inverted balloons)

Fall brings many changes to Western North Carolina, from the turning of the leaves to the turning up of the thermostat. These cooler nights mean that many of us are heating our homes with wood-burning stoves and fireplaces to ward off the chill. Most of the time, the wood smoke (along with other particulates that are in the air) mix through much of the lowest layer of our atmosphere, called the troposphere.  But when the air is cool and the winds are calm, we can occasionally see those tiny particles concentrated in the early morning air under what meteorologists call a radiational temperature inversion. Such was the case this morning, as you can see in the image below from Madison County, looking to the southeast across the valley toward the Craggies (image center) and the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Early fall color at the higher elevations

It really is a magical time of the year, as our once deep-green mountainsides begin to show their fall color. The reduced daylight hours have triggered the deciduous trees’ preparation for the coming winter and, at times, it seems like the changes happen so quickly that you can see them occur overnight. I took this image Thursday morning — amazed at just how fast these trees seem to be changing.

Isaac takes the coast by storm (at night!)

This amazing image of Tropical Storm Isaac was captured just after midnight on Tuesday, Aug. 28, by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi-NPP satellite. Still off the Gulf Coast, Isaac’s clouds were lit by moonlight and the lights of cities across the Southeast U.S. are clearly visible. I’ve added labels for some of the more visible metropolitan areas, including Asheville.

It’s the summer of the Haves and the Have Nots – with a meteor shower to boot

The story of this summer has certainly been that of climate extremes. In Western North Carolina, we’ve had quite a bit of rain, while well over half of the lower 48 states remain in drought. Our moist summer has produced jungle-like conditions in many of our yards (errr — maybe just mine), but has also produced some breathtaking sunsets with all the moisture in the air.

Xpress Files: Mike Fryar’s complaint to Board of Elections over Buncombe tax referendum

Here’s a copy of Mike Fryar’s letter of complaint to the Board of Elections in regards to the manner in which the Nov. 8, 2011 sales-tax referendum was conducted in Buncombe County. Also, a scanned copy of the check used to pay the costs of holding the referendum as promised by the J.O.B.S. committee that waged the campaign in support of it.