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Archive for December, 2009

Asheville Fire Department Offers Holiday Safety Advice

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – Festive decorations are hallmarks of the holiday season, but according to the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), they also play a role in many U.S. home fires during this time of year. Fires involving Christmas trees, decorative lights, as well as those associated with holiday activities like cooking and candle usage, significantly contribute to seasonal fire rates as well.

“It’s easy to understand that many holiday traditions have the potential to put us at an increased risk for fire, and during the holidays it can be especially challenging to keep fire safety in mind with many other things competing for our attention,” said Lorraine Carli, NFPA’s vice president of communications. “By understanding where holiday fire hazards exist, and taking some simple preventative steps to avoid them, people can greatly reduce their risk to fire and keep everyone in good cheer.”

Christmas Trees:U.S. fire departments annually respond to 250 home structure fires caused by Christmas trees. Nearly half of them are caused by electrical problems, and one in four resulted from a heat source that’s too close to the tree. Here are some guidelines for picking, placing and lighting a tree:

* If you have an artificial tree, be sure it’s labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as fire-retardant.

* If you choose a fresh tree, make sure the green needles don’t fall off when touched; before placing it in the stand, cut 1-2 inches from the base of the trunk. Add water to the tree stand, and be sure to water it daily.

* Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit, and is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, space heaters, radiators, candles and heat vents or lights.

* Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory, and make sure you know whether they are designed for indoor or outdoor use.

* Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords, or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than three strands of mini-string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs.

* Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.

* Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving the home or going to bed.

* After Christmas, get rid of the tree. Dried-out trees are a fire hazard and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside the home.

* Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make them last longer.

Cooking:According to NFPA, unattended cooking is the leading cause of U.S. home fires and home fire injuries. Stay in the kitchen while you’re frying, grilling or broiling food. As most cooking fires involve the stovetop, keep anything that can catch fire away from it, and turn off the stove when you leave the kitchen, even if it’s for a short period of time. If you’re simmering, boiling, baking or roasting food, check it regularly and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking. For homes with children, create a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around the stove and areas where hot food and drinks are prepared or carried.

Candles: Candles are widely used in homes throughout the holidays, and December is the peak month for home candle fires. NFPA statistics show more than half of all candle fires start because the candle was too close to things that could catch fire. Consider using flameless candles, which look and smell like real candles. However, if you do use traditional candles, keep them at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn, and remember to blow them out when you leave the room or go to bed. Use candle holders that are sturdy, won’t tip over and are placed on uncluttered surfaces. Avoid using candles in the bedroom where two of five U.S. candle fires begin or other areas where people may fall asleep. Lastly, never leave a child alone in a room with a burning candle.

For more information, please contact the Asheville Fire Department at 828-259-5640.

Annual Asheville Junior League Diamond Ball Scheduled for New Year’s Eve

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The third annual Diamond Ball is a Community Benefit held on December 31, 2009 in the Burghley Ballroom at the DoubleTree Biltmore. The black-tie evening kicks off at 9 pm with the music of Kat Williams filling the night. Guests will enjoy food, a cash bar and a silent auction throughout the evening. At the stroke of midnight, accompanied by a champagne toast to bring in the new year, we will draw a name to win a beautiful 1-carat Lazare diamond dontated by Wick & Greene Jewelers.

Tickets to attend this event are $100.00 per person and raffle tickets are $25.00 each. You need not be present to win. All event and raffle tickets purchased after Wednesday, December 23 will not be mailed. Your tickets will be available at Will Call the night of the event, Thursday, December 31 beginning at 8:30 pm.

For more information please visit, www.juniorleagueasheville.org.

Asheville Mall Extends Holiday Hours

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – To make up for a slow weekend caused by bad weather and to accommodate those shoppers who could not make it out due to icy roads, the Asheville Mall is now open for extended hours.

Starting on Monday and continuing through Wednesday, the Asheville Mall will be open from 8am-midnight and from 8am-6pm on Christmas Eve.

Winter Weather Delays Garbage and Recycling Collection

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – Sanitation crews began collecting trash Monday afternoon on primary roads only. Trucks were unable to collect on icy roads. If you have not received service today due to icy road conditions, trash being blocked or if trash was not out, it will be collected on the next scheduled collection day. Brush collection and leaf collection will be suspended this week so crews can concentrate on collecting household trash.

Curbside Management, the City’s recycling contractor, will operate on a delayed schedule. Recycling customers scheduled for pickup today are requested to place their recyclables out today. In the event that they are not collected today, they will be collected as soon as road conditions improve.

Road conditions will delay the white good and scrap metal collection scheduled for today. Please have these items out for collection on Tuesday, Dec. 29.

For further information contact the City of Asheville at 251-1122.

Grove Park Inn Announces Lineup for Big Band and Swing Dance Weekend

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – Bring your dancing shoes and hit the dance floor for a weekend of great Big Band & Swing Dance music January 22 to 24, 2010 at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa. Event activities include dance instruction and workshops, an afternoon tea dance, a special reception for package holders, and two or three fantastic nights of dancing with amazing music groups—The Charles Goodwin Orchestra featuring vocalist Maddy Winer, The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra, and The Russ Wilson Orchestra. This weekend contains enough melodies and music to satisfy any Big Band & Swing Dance lover.

By popular demand, The Charles Goodwin Orchestra returns to The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa for our annual Big Band & Swing Dance Weekend. With skilled tempos and elegant phrasing, this group will display once again why it is a favorite among dancers everywhere. Joining the group will be feature vocalist Maddy Winer.

On Saturday night, the unique sound of The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra will ring off the walls and reverberate from the dance floor of the Grand Ballroom. Don’t miss this opportunity to dance or simply listen to what is considered “one of the greatest bands of all time.”

Swing dancers will take center stage on Sunday night, as the music of The Russ Wilson Orchestra and the talents of DJ Michael Gamble bring to life our newest event—Swing Dance Sunday! Join us for one, two or three nights of music and dancing—the choice is yours.

Other weekend activities include guided history tours, ballroom and swing dance instruction, a cooking demonstration, chair massages, and live music throughout the resort.

For more information, please contact The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa at 800.438.5800 or 828.252.2711 or visit www.groveparkinn.com.

Larry Keel to Perform at The Grey Eagle on New Year’s Eve

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Grey Eagle has confirmed its New Year’s Eve entertainment. Larry Keel will headline the evening with his band Natural Bridge. In addition, the evening will feature performances by Bawn in the Mash and Dwayne Brooke of The Woodshedders. In addition, Larry Keel and his brother Gary will offer an opening set of bluegrass songs as The Keel Brothers.

Connecting traditional songs of yesterday with their own original and inventive sounds of today, Larry Keel & Natural Bridge create astonishingly powerful acoustic music rich in heritage, heart and hot licks! With a style that evokes both atomic rock energy and dynamic tonal purity, Keel and his ensemble are intent upon taking their instruments and their voices to their fullest potential for emotion and amazement. While paying respect to the legacy left by the forefathers of bluegrass, Keel bridges the gap between traditional and contemporary American Mountain Music. Larry Keel & Natural Bridge includes flatpicking guitar master Larry Keel (guitar, vocals), Jenny Keel (bass fiddle, vocals), Mark Schimick (mandolin, vocals), and, Jason Flournoy (banjo, vocals).

The show begins at 9pm on December 31st and tickets $25 in advance and $30 day of show. Advance tickets available online at www.thegreyeagle.com.

Some WNC Residents Going Days Without Power

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – Some residents in rural areas outside Asheville are into their fourth day without electricity after a winter storm that utility officials say caused the worst damage in years. As of early Tuesday morning Progress Energy still reported about 7,600 customers in Western North Carolina without power.

The Raleigh-based utility reported about 67,000 outages at the peak of the storm over the weekend. Since the storm started on Friday the highest number of outages have been in Buncombe County. Progress Energy officials says crew members continue working around the clock to restore service.

UNCA Bulldogs Edge Gardner-Webb, 58-56

Monday, December 7th, 2009

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C – Chris Stephenson’s tap-in basket with 1.6 seconds left gave UNC Asheville a thrilling 58-56 Big South Conference win over Gardner-Webb Friday night before a stunned crowd of 2,200 at Porter Arena.

The Bulldogs (1-6, 1-0) won their Big South Conference opener for the fifth straight year and are 13-1 in league-opening games under head coach Eddie Biedenbach. Sean Smith led Asheville with a game-high 18 points. Stephenson added 13 points, all in the second half.

The Runnin’ Bulldogs (3-3, 0-1 BSC) were led by Aaron Silver’s 14 points and all of those came in the second half. C.J. Hailey contributed 11 points. The Bulldogs led 55-50 with 1:03 left but Gardner-Webb forced two turnovers and got a bucket and two free throws from Silver to cut the lead to 55-54.

Stephenson was fouled with 20 seconds left. He made the first free throw to pad the lead to 56-54 but missed the second. Hailey hit a 10-footer in the lane to knot the score at 56-56 with 10 seconds remaining. Out of timeouts, Asheville quickly brought the ball down court. Matt Dickey fired a 15-footer that missed with three seconds left but Stephenson was there to tip the ball back in to give Asheville the winning points.

“I’m so proud of our guys to hang in there on the road and find a way to win,” said Biedenbach. “It wasn’t pretty, and we had way too many turnovers to allow them to get back into the game. But when we struggled to score in the second half, we battled on defense to keep us in the game.

“When you start out 0-6, you can’t help to start doubting yourself but our guys have kept plugging and got rewarded with a win,” added Biedenbach. The Bulldogs won despite being out-rebounded 45-30. Gardner-Webb had 23 offensive rebounds. However, Asheville’s defense limited the Runnin’ Bulldogs (17-of-55) to just 31 percent shooting from the field for the game. The home team also made 23 turnovers

Junior forward John Williams had a solid game for the Bulldogs with nine points, six rebounds, three blocked shots and four steals. D.J. Cunningham added eight points. Asheville struggled from the field on the night, too. The Bulldogs shot just 38 percent (20-of-52) from the field and made 19 turnovers. Asheville went eight minutes in the second half without scoring. Smith knocked down three 3-pointers in the first half as the Bulldogs went on a late surge to take a 33-29 halftime lead.

Asheville got a lay-up from Stephenson and a trey from Smith to quickly build the lead to 38-29 early in the second half. Silver entered the game for Gardner-Webb and immediately knocked down two treys. Asheville then went ice cold from the field and allowed the Runnin’ Bulldogs to eventually take the lead at 45-42 on two free throws from Silver at the 9:56 mark.

Trailing 49-48 with four minutes left, the Bulldogs went on a 7-1 run to grab a 55-50 lead with 1:10 left as Smith scored on a lay-up. UNC Asheville plays next on Sunday, Dec. 13 at home against Montreat starting at 4:30 p.m. The Bulldogs have the next week off due to exams.

The Asheville Art Museum Plans to Expand

Monday, December 7th, 2009

ASHEVILLE, NC – The Asheville Art Museum, celebrating its 60th anniversary and its extraordinary growth and success since it relocated to Pack Square in 1992 as a founding partner in Pack Place, is pleased to announce plans for a future expansion. These plans were discussed at a meeting with the Asheville City Council and Buncombe County Commissioners on Tuesday, July 14, 2009.

As Pack Place partner The Health Adventure plans to leave downtown, the Asheville Art Museum is taking advantage of this opportunity to expand and create larger, state-of-the-art galleries, public art-filled space and education space to meet the demands of the large and diverse audiences it serves. With the agreement of all Pack Place partners, the Asheville Art Museum determined that it could develop its facility creating a central arts destination and 21st-century museum for the community by expanding in its current location.

“The new design will bring a contemporary feel to the most important corner of downtown. It will also honor our great history of architecture and the sense of place on Pack Square. My dad, Roger McGuire, helped found Pack Place, and he hoped that Pack Place would grow and change. This is exactly the kind of exciting evolution he would have wanted,” said Kim McGuire, a community leader and Museum supporter.

After an exhaustive recruitment process conducted by the Asheville Art Museum staff, board and a building committee of local design professionals including Jim Samsel, John Rogers, Peter Alberice and others, the renowned firm Polshek Partnership Architects of New York has been chosen to design the new Asheville Art Museum and restore the historic Pack Memorial Library building. Polshek is continuing to work with John Rogers, Beverly-Grant and the building committee.

The Museum needs to expand in order to better serve Western North Carolina and visitor audiences of all ages and to help Asheville remain competitive with other cities’ as a top arts destination. A study completed by the Asheville Art Museum documented the overall economic impact of the Museum’s current activities and the future increase that will be generated by the expansion. The Museum’s planned expansion project is anticipated to generate as much as $31.7 million in local economic impact with up to 80% of construction funds spent regionally. The new Museum will be a destination and art-filled civic center.

The Pack Place Board and the Asheville Art Museum are planning with all of Pack Place’s partners for a successful transition and even more success in the future. The new building will anchor the new Pack Square Park and continue to be the central arts destination spurring economic and cultural activity in the region and downtown Asheville.

Woodfin ABC Store Shows Holiday Spirit

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

WOODFIN, NC – The Woodfin Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has introduced two new features designed to make customers’ lives a little easier, just in time for the holidays, free gift wrapping and a free e-newsletter to keep customers up to date on when their favorite items are going on sale.

With the holiday season in full swing, Woodfin ABC wants to take a little of the stress out of holiday shopping season. Customers purchasing spirits as a gift this year will be offered their choice of colorful gift bags in order to avoid the hassle of gift wrapping the present themselves. “Our Board is committed to earning the business of our customers, this is just one small way of us saying “Thank You!” for shopping with us,” said store Manager Tammy Massey Ballew. “We know that people have a choice in where they shop and we are grateful when customers choose to give us their business.”

Woodfin ABC has just stocked its shelves with a fresh supply of holiday gift sets for customers interested in giving spirituous liquor as a gift this year.“Most ABC stores put their Christmas gift sets out a month ago, by now their selection is pretty slim. We wait until after Thanksgiving to put our gift sets on the shelf so that customers will have the widest range to choose from when their doing their holiday shopping,” added Ballew.

“If you’re looking for a gift for someone who drinks alcohol, then we’ve got something for almost everyone. Environmentalists might like to try 360 the world’s first organic and carbon neutral vodka, art lovers and history buff’s should be delighted with Grand Absinthe- a true absinthe- that comes with a reproduction of  Toulouse Lautrec’s personally designed absinthe spoon, and as always we offer the region’s widest selection of traditional eggnog’s.,” said Ballew.

Starting in December, interested customers can also begin receiving a free electronic newsletter delivered to their inbox which will outline items that are currently on sale, new products, and special offers from suppliers. “Just drop by Woodfin ABC and ask a staff member to sign you up. It’s free, it’s easy and it just might help you save some cash,” said Ballew.

Woodfin ABC is located at 142 Weaverville Road just of US 19-23. The store is open Monday-Saturday 9 AM –9 PM.  Call 828 -658-9300 for more information or to inquire about particular products.