News in brief: I-26 connector meeting, Hump Mountain, veterans train service dogs

According to the project website for the planned Interstate 26 Connector project in Asheville, the N.C. Department of Transportation has been meeting with community groups about the roadway since 1989. On Tuesday, Dec. 4, NCDOT will again convene local stakeholders. Also: a major public land acquisition in the Cherokee National Forest, and a new community service option for veterans involved with the criminal justice system.

New facility in Columbus aims to increase number of rural dentists, dental assistants

“Poor dental care leads to poor health and poor dental care is also a social poverty stigma that makes it hard for people to get jobs,” says Dr. Jeff Heck, Mountain Area Health Education Center’s CEO. In line with MAHEC’s mission of increasing access to primary and preventive health care services to people in rural areas, the organization will partner with St. Luke’s Hospital and Isothermal Community College to open a new dental and primary care center in Columbus next spring.

CrossFit for all abilities, health happenings­, AIDS Memorial Quilt returns to Asheville

Since the inception of a new adaptive exercise program for athletes with intellectual and developmental disabilities in October, a core group of about six athletes with a variety of abilities and challenges have made “incredible” progress, reports Karla Furnari of Buncombe County Recreation Services. The program meets on Wednesdays at 3 p.m. at South Slope CrossFit and is free to attend.

News in brief: TDA grants, ACA open enrollment

The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority announced its 2018 tourism product development funding grant awards, to the tune of nearly $10 million. Trained staff are standing by to assist with Affordable Care Act enrollment through Saturday, Dec. 15, and residents can learn more about plans to widen Sweeten Creek Road in South Asheville at a meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 13.

News in brief: NCSSM raises funds for western campus, controlled burning in area

A second campus of the N.C. School of Science and Math is on tap for 2021 in Morganton, and fundraising is underway to assemble the final pieces of the puzzle to bring the plans to life. Montreat College announced a new student loan repayment program, local elected officials came out to oppose all six constitutional amendments on the ballot in the 2018 general election and a major controlled burning training exercise will take place through Friday, Nov. 9 in the area.

Business in brief: Regan joins Chamber, entreprene­urship conference

Returning for its second year, Hatch This combines techie business tropes including an accelerator, a hackathon and, of course, a party. The event takes place Friday-Sunday, Nov. 2-4. Participants will compete for $20,000 in prizes, including a $5,000 seed funding package. Also: who’s on the job, a state program to match federal business grants.

Business in brief: Haakon Industries comes to Asheville, cybersecur­ity conference­, apply for Elevate program

Canadian Haakon Industries announced plans to locate a manufacturing facility to build air handling units at Enka Commerce Park. The company says it will employ up to 160 workers within the first five years of operation in Enka. For the fourth time, Montreat College will host a cybersecurity conference.

News briefs: Build a playground­, equal representa­tion urged for Mission successor foundation

In a Sept. 25 open letter, ten local organizations called on the Dogwood Health Trust, which would come into existence to receive the proceeds of the proposed sale of Mission Health to for-profit Healthcare Corporation of America, to ensure proportional representation of women and nonwhites on its board. The signatories also called for all geographic areas served by the trust to be represented.

News in brief: Legislativ­e wrap-up, teachers honored

In this week’s news in brief, read about the Sunday, Sept. 30, event that promises to help you get more engaged in shaping city government. Learn which Buncombe County teachers won top honors, and check out the initial results of Warren Wilson College’s initiative to offer all eligible incoming North Carolina students four years of tuition-free education.