Asheville Inline Hockey League youth players get ready to defend their goal at the rink at Carrier Park. Photo/Krista L. White

Asheville Inline Hockey League offers free youth summer clinics

What started as a small group of youths back in the ’90s has evolved into a vibrant league, with around 100 players signing up each spring and fall. The arrival of the Asheville Smoke, an United Hockey League team, arguably had an influence on the creation of the youth league, which “officially” began in the parking lot of the Salvation Army on the west side of town almost 17 years ago.

TELLING THE STORY: Accented with reclaimed furniture, wood and stained glass, Cam MacQueen's new vegan bar and coffee shop, The Block off biltmore, is designed to pay tribute to the historic YMI Cultural Center and the neighborhood in which it is located. “This bar is about telling the story of this space," says MacQueen.

The Block off biltmore: New vegan bar celebrates diversity, history

Reminiscent of an Prohibition-era speakeasy with its cream and burgundy walls, vinyl club chairs, old church pews and dark brown circular tables, the bar and event center pays homage to the history of the building and its surrounding neighbors. “This is an event concept bar,” says owner Cam MacQueen. “This bar is about telling the story of this space, of this block, of bringing people together.”

RECLAIMING LIFE: After losing her husband at age 55, Donna Marie Todd created A Widow's Tale retreat to help other widows heal from the loss of a spouse. Photo courtesy of Donna Marie Todd

Widow’s Tale retreat leads to rediscover­y and recovery

When Donna Marie Todd’s husband died, she was 55. Bereavement counseling helped her begin to heal and understand her grief, but she found a lack of resources when she set out to rebuild her life. A professional storyteller, singer, writer, teaching artist and retreat leader from Black Mountain, she decided to create a one-day retreat for women — A Widow’s Tale.

A HIGHER STANDARD: In opting to purchase mostly non-GMO and organic products for his restaurant — including only non-GMO corn chips and fryer oil — Mamacita’s owner John Atwater says he is trying to use his purchasing power to send a message. “The more interest we place on holding products up to a higher standard, I think that educates everyone, from the employees that work with us to the vendors that sell the products,” says Atwater.

GMOs: Yes or no? Local restaurant­s seek to meet demand for non-GMO foods

Chipotle Mexican Grill became the first national restaurant chain to ban genetically modified ingredients from its menu. But while the company has made headlines across the U.S. for its bold stance against the industry’s claim that all food is created equal, many Asheville restaurants have been waging a much quieter war of their own for years.