Buzzworm news briefs

A shot at the spotlight

Sick of obscurity? Tired of unappreciative karaoke-bar audiences? Hard at work on a brilliant clogging routine to “Dancing on the Ceiling”? Or maybe you have particularly talented chickens but no place to show them off?

Well, here’s your chance. The Instant Theatre Company is looking for talented folks to audition for the Cabin Fever Variety Show, scheduled for Saturday, March 20 at the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center in Highlands, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The winner will walk away with $500, and a DVD of their performance will be sent to a major talent agent. All other contestants will have the option of purchasing a DVD of their own act.

Auditions will be held Saturday, March 13 in the same venue; the deadline for signing up is Saturday, March 6. In general, all types of performers are welcome to try out — amateurs and professionals, young and old — but only acoustic musicians will be used in the show.

To sign up for an audition time, call (828) 526-1687 (e-mail:

— Lisa Watters

WCU business program wins national attention

With its 31 professors, $25 million endowment and 50-year track record, it’s not surprising that Harvard University’s entrepreneurship program took top honors in a recent competition recognizing exemplary MBA programs across the nation. What was unexpected was the second-place winner, a much smaller program that’s barely a year old: the Master’s Program in Entrepreneurship at Western Carolina University.

“We feel that it’s quite an accomplishment,” said Leroy Kauffman, dean of WCU’s College of Business. “We came away with our heads held high, and proud of ourselves and our program, which is still in its infancy. The judges encouraged us to apply … again next year” for the competition, which is sponsored by the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

In the future, WCU plans to offer its master’s degree in entrepreneurship in both online and traditional residential formats.

For more information about the program, call 227-7398 or 369-9854.

— Lisa Watters

Desperately seeking new feeding grounds …

There’s nothing quite so bleak as the yawning chasm of an empty refrigerator when you don’t feel like cooking.

But here at Mountain Xpress, we feel your pain.

Each year, Xpress publishes Blue Ridge Flavors, a guide to dining and summer fun in Western North Carolina. In it, we aim to provide a comprehensive list of all the restaurants in WNC.

So, all you restaurant owners and managers out there: If you have a new restaurant (or one that’s never been listed in Blue Ridge Flavors), we want to know.

We invite you to submit your info online (go to:

You can also write to: Dining, Mountain Xpress, 2 Wall St., Asheville NC 28801. At the very least, please send the restaurant’s name, address and phone number, plus a contact person’s name. Information about the menu, hours, dress code, rules and the like would also be helpful.

The directionless diners among us will thank you.

— Tracy Rose

State takes aim at public-health system

Even as North Carolina’s massive overhaul of its public mental-health system proceeds, the state has already set its sights on yet another ambitious reform project: revamping the overall public-health system.

Back in August, a statewide task force was convened to evaluate the state/county public-health system and make recommendations on how to improve both infrastructure and health outcomes, while eliminating health disparities. Those recommendations have been posted online (at

Consolidating small, rural health departments is likely to be one of the issues on the table.

Three Public Health Town Meetings have been scheduled (in Asheville, Greenville and Winston-Salem) to present the task force’s recommendations and elicit feedback from the public. One of the speakers will be N.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Carmen Hooker Odom.

The WNC meeting is slated for Wednesday, March 10 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Mountain Area Health Education Center auditorium (501 Biltmore Ave. in Asheville).

The meeting is open to the public, but organizers are encouraging advance registration to ensure a seat. Registration can be done online (at or by calling (919) 966-4032.

— Tracy Rose


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