The Beat: Cold rain and snow

Last week was marked by record rainfall and what could possibly be the last snowfall of the season.

Asheville received 2.63 inches of rain March 5 and 6 — and another 1.44 inches of rain on March 9, which broke the precipitation record for that date set back in 1927, according to the Asheville Citizen-Times.

In “Record Rain in Asheville, But Flooding Woes Limited in WNC,” the daily paper reported that after an unusually dry January and February, the wet week put the region only 0.08 of an inch below its normal rainfall for the year. The rain resulted in some minor flooding along the French Broad in Henderson and Transylvania counties, although no damage was reported.

In the higher elevations, some of that precipitation fell as snow, with Mount Mitchell receiving about 12 inches over the course of the week. And on Friday morning, March 11, Asheville residents woke up to find a dusting of white covering grassy areas. The fresh snow wasn’t enough to prolong the ski season for most area resorts, however, with all but Sugar Mountain Resort and Appalachian Ski Mountain now closed.

The cold rain and snow also didn’t interfere with Mike Huckabee‘s March 8 visit to the Asheville Mall’s Barnes & Noble. The former Arkansas governor, Republican presidential candidate and current Fox News host came to town to sign copies of his new book, A Simple Government: Twelve Things We Really Need From Washington (and a Trillion That We Don’t!).

He was greeted by a big turnout of about 600 people, several of whom encouraged him to take on President Obama in 2012, according to “Mike Huckabee Book Signing in Asheville Draws Crowd” in the Asheville Citizen-Times. Huckabee reportedly said, “I am very seriously considering it, and my time frame is this summer to make the decision.”

A recent Gallup poll showed him to be in a statistical tie with other possible 2012 Republican hopefuls Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin.

In another big story of a very different sort, the Citizen-Times devoted several cover articles to the passing of Bob Ingle, who founded Ingle’s Markets in 1965. Ingle went on to build the supermarket into a regional powerhouse, with 203 stores in six states. He died of cancer on March 6, at the age of 77.

“At 1 a.m. on Sunday morning, he called for his beloved wife Laura to be by his side,” Ephraim Spielman said as he delivered his eulogy. “He remarked in his typical understated manner that they had done good and it had been a good ride, but now it was time for a new adventure — no more fighting.”

Robert Ingle II took over as chief executive officer after his father passed.

In another story, the Citizen Times reported “Former Asheville Mayor Charlie Worley Recovering After Big Heart Scare.” Mayor from 2001 to 2005 and a six-year veteran of City Council before that, Worley is recovering from a quadruple heart bypass surgery. His blocked artery came as a surprise to the 65-year-old avid runner and soccer player, who has never smoked and had excellent cholesterol readings.

“Pay attention to the little things,” advised Worley, who went in for tests after noticing that he was having a difficult time catching his breath while running. “Don’t wait until they become big problems.”


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About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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