Buncombe County Veterans Treatment Court debuts podcast

TOUGH TALK: The Buncombe County Veterans Treatment Court debuted a podcast, "Voices of Recovery," about the unique issues facing veterans in recovery. Army veterans Michael White, left, and Travis Raxter, right, recorded an episode with VTC director, podcast host and Marine Corps veteran Kevin Rumley, center. Photo courtesy of Rumley

The Buncombe County Veterans Treatment Court debuted “Voices of Recovery,” a podcast hosted by program director, licensed clinical social worker and Marine Corps veteran Kevin Rumley.

The podcast addresses mental health treatment and recovery from substance misuse as alternatives to incarceration. The Veterans Treatment Court, a voluntary program for U.S. veterans who are facing certain charges and experiencing addiction or mental health issues, is a program within the Buncombe County Courthouse.

“Voices of Recovery” is available for free on Apple, iHeart, Spotify and other podcast streaming services.

Sponsors needed for kids summer meals

The N.C. Department of Public Instruction is seeking community organizations and schools to sponsor the 2024 N.C. Summer Nutrition Program. When school is out of session, the program provides free meals to children ages 18 and younger who may not have access to food at home.

The greatest needs are in rural areas, Indian Tribal Territories and areas with a concentration of rural farm workers. Public or private nonprofit schools, camps, universities and organizations, as well as units of local, municipal, county, tribal or state government may be sponsors. Sponsors must attend a state agency training, hire, train and supervise staff, and arrange for meals to be prepared or delivered, among other responsibilities. For more information, visit avl.mx/dbf.

JCC hosts girls swim camp

The Jewish Community Center of Asheville, 236 Charlotte St., is hosting several swim camp events for girls in honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day.

A free introductory swim camp about basic skills and water safety for females ages 5-18 who do not have the ability to swim will be offered Friday, Feb. 9, 5-6 p.m. The class will be led by Asheville JCC swim instructors and members of the UNC Asheville women’s swim and dive team.

A swim camp for girls ages 6-11 focusing on starts and finishes will be held Saturday, Feb. 10, 10-11:30 a.m, and another focusing on free stroke and backstroke skills will be held Sunday, Feb. 11, 10-11:30 a.m. Participants for these camps must be able to swim independently for 25-50 yards.

A swim camp for girls ages 12-18 focusing on turns and crossovers will be held Saturday, Feb. 10, 2-4 p.m., and another focusing on underwater kicks will be held Sunday, Feb. 11, 2-4 p.m. All participants must be proficient swimmers.

Swim coach Abbie Fish and USA swim and Olympic coach Kathleen Prindle are the instructors for the weekend classes. Each class is $50 for JCC members and $80 for nonmembers. Learn more and register at avl.mx/dat. For more information, contact Wendy Lawrence at 828-785-5036 or wendy@jcc-asheville.org.

HCA independent monitor schedules 2 meetings 

Gibbins Advisors, the independent monitor hired to monitor HCA Healthcare’s compliance with obligations it made upon the 2019 purchase of Mission Hospital, will hold two community meetings this month.

A meeting about Mission Hospital McDowell will be held Tuesday, Feb. 27, 5:30 p.m., at Marion Community Building, 191 N. Main St., Marion. A meeting about Blue Ridge Regional Hospital will be held Wednesday, Feb. 28, 5:30 p.m., at Yancey Public Library, 321 School Circle, Burnsville. (A community meeting about Mission Hospital was held in October. Learn more about it at avl.mx/db0.)

Space is limited at each location, so registration is strongly encouraged. To register for these community meetings, visit avl.mx/daz.

YMCA introduces EGYM technology

On Jan. 26, Reuter Family YMCA and Woodfin YMCA introduced EGYM Smart Strength Circuits. The strength-training service is free for all YMCA of Western North Carolina members over age 13, over 5 feet 2 inches and between 110-330 pounds.

A free RFID-enabled wristband guides the user on each strength machine on weight level and range of motion. The wristband will also alert the user to change machines after 110 seconds, ensuring a 30-minute workout. Information about the workout will be logged into an app.

All members must complete an onboarding session to use EGYM. For more information, visit avl.mx/dau.

Cardiology preactice opens

Pardee Cardiology Services opened Jan. 24 at 45 Hendersonville Highway, Suite B, Pisgah Forest. The practice, run by UNC Health Pardee, is staffed by board-certified cardiologists Dr. Holly Humphrey, Dr. Lillia LaPlace and Dr. Marian Taylor. Pardee Cardiology Services offers adult inpatient and outpatient diagnostic testing and procedures. To schedule an appointment, call 828-435-8080.

Free hot lunch downtown

First Presbyterian Church at 40 Church St. is offering a free hot lunch and warming center in the fellowship hall on Saturdays through Feb. 24, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sanctuary Saturday will feature access to restrooms and phone charging, cards and games, and a safe place to rest. For more information or to volunteer, contact David Germer at dgermer@fpcasheville.org.

Free acupuncture sessions

The YWCA of Asheville at 185 S. French Broad Ave. is offering free 10-minute acupuncture sessions for members and nonmembers on Thursdays Feb. 13, 20 and 27, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sessions are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, and pre-registration is not required. Participants can sign up for a slot on the day of the session in the YWCA fitness studio. For more information, contact Megan Smith, co-owner of Affordable Acupuncture of Asheville, at info@acuavl.com.

Musical opportunity for veterans

Veterans Healing Farm at 38 Yale Road, Hendersonville, is seeking teachers who are interested in teaching veterans how to play the guitar in an effort to decrease anxiety. Instruction will take place at the farm. For more information, contact Alan Yeck at veteranshealingfarm@gmail.com.

Grants available for recovery projects

Investments Supporting Partnerships in Recovery Ecosystems is accepting grant applications for projects that support workforce reentry for people recovering from substance use disorder. The INSPIRE initiative is run by the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Projects should involve job-focused training, initiatives to link recovery services with employment training or investments in health care networks that support substance use recovery.

Letters of intent are due Friday, Feb. 16, and applications are due Friday, March 8. For more information and to submit applications, visit avl.mx/daw.

Herbal school to open

Twin Star Tribe, a school offering herbal education and flower essence certificate programs, will open at Art Garden, 191 Lyman St., studio 320 A, in February. Classes at Twin Star Tribe will be taught by founder Lupo Passero. For more information, visit avl.mx/dbd.

Community kudos

  • Sen. Julie Mayfield, D-Buncombe, has been named a Health Policy Fellow for the N.C. Institute of Medicine. Mayfield is among 22 bipartisan members of the House and Senate who will attend educational sessions meant to further understanding of health issues facing the state. NCIOM is an independent organization created by the N.C. General Assembly to provide analysis on health policy.
  • North Carolina’s Human Rights Campaign has honored Blue Ridge Pride, a nonprofit advocating for LGBTQ+ equality in Western North Carolina, with its Dan Mauney Equality Award. The organization will accept the award at an annual NCHRC dinner on Saturday, Feb. 10. Mauney, who died in 2020, volunteered for HRC and Regional AIDS Interfaith Network in Charlotte to advocate for the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS.
  • AdventHealth Hendersonville has named Larissa Bright, RN, BSN, director of medical surgical nursing. Bright started at AdventHealth as a floor nurse in the medical surgical unit and then progressed to assistant nurse manager and nurse manager.
  • All Souls Counseling has named Mary Waller as development director. Contact her at mary@allsoulscounseling.org or 828-259-3369, ext. 109.
  • Asheville Poverty Initiative and 12 Baskets Cafe have  named Ben Williamson as executive director. Williamson is a former organizer, educator and Mountain Xpress reporter.
  • The Nantahala Health Foundation, a nonprofit that addresses health and wellness in Western North Carolina, has named three new volunteer board members: Clarissa Ashe of Sylva, business manager for the Jackson County Health Department; Ann Lukens of Murphy, a paramedic with Hiwassee Dam and Unaka volunteer fire departments; and Paul Worley of Murphy, who works at Tri-County Community College.

Mark your calendar

  • Shakey’s, a bar at 38 N. French Broad Ave., will host free line dancing lessons on Sunday, Feb. 11, 4-7 p.m. No registration is required.
  • Youth OUTright WNC will host a Valentine’s Day party with card and friendship bracelet-making on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 4-6 p.m., for queer, trans and allied youth. This is a free event with a meal; masks will be provided. RSVP at avl.mx/dbe for the event address.
  • Reuter YMCA, 3 Town Square Blvd., will host a free self-defense class Saturday, Feb. 17, 10:45 a.m.-noon. The class is free and open to everyone. To register, visit avl.mx/dav.
  • Camden’s Library Coffee House, 40 N. Main St., Mars Hill, will host a Huntington’s disease social meetup Saturday, Feb. 17, 2-3 p.m. The organizer, HD Reach, is a nonprofit dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by Huntington’s disease.
  • Kristin Hillegas from Serenity Sound Healing of Asheville will hold a sound bath Sunday, Feb. 18, 1-2 p.m., at Center for Spiritual Living Asheville, 2 Science of Mind Way. The event is pay-what-you-wish. Participants must bring a yoga mat, pillow or blanket, and should wear warm, comfortable and flexible clothing. No registration is required.
  • The YWCA of Asheville, 185 S. French Broad Ave., will hold a free community dinner in its multipurpose room Tuesday, Feb. 20, 5:15-6:15 p.m. Roasted butternut squash soup, salad and baked maple pears will be served. Speakers and referrals to community resources will also be available. To register, visit avl.mx/day.
  • Western Carolina School of Nursing is holding a free health fair Friday, Feb. 23, 3-6:30 p.m., at the YWCA of Asheville, 185 S. French Broad Ave. Drop-in blood pressure, blood sugar, cancer and mental health screenings are available, as well as referrals to community resources.
  • La Leche League of Buncombe County is holding a free monthly meeting Tuesday, Feb. 27, 1-2:30 p.m., at Homegrown Families, 201 Charlotte St. The discussion topic will be “Life with a New Baby.” Breastfeeding and chestfeeding parents, expectant parents and babies are welcome. Advance registration is not required. For more information, call 828-318-3332.

Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Jessica Wakeman
Jessica Wakeman is an Asheville-based reporter for Mountain Xpress. She has been published in Rolling Stone, Glamour, New York magazine's The Cut, Bustle and many other publications. She was raised in Connecticut and holds a Bachelor's degree in journalism from New York University. Follow me @jessicawakeman

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.