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Asheville, North Carolina News

Archive for August, 2012

lululemon athletica Coming to Historic Biltmore Village

Monday, August 20th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – Local real estate investment firm, Biltmore Property Group (BPG), is pleased to announce the addition of lululemon athletica to Historic Biltmore Village.  The 2,700 square foot store will be located next to Jos. A. Bank Clothiers and White House/Black Market.  Renovations to the historic building on Kitchin Place are being done by local contractor,

Beverly-Grant, Inc. with a grand opening expected in November, 2012.

“We are proud to welcome lululemon athletica to Historic Biltmore Village. Lululemon athletica will be a great addition to the exceptional collection of both local and national retailers, restaurants and hotels that Historic Biltmore Village has to offer.”  said John W. Bell, CEO of Biltmore Property Group.

Alan McGuinn and Bryan Moffitt with ARCA Design are the architects of record. The original building was constructed in 1925 and housed Biltmore Drug Store, for over 45 years. In addition to the interior renovations that will be made to the building, there will be several restorations to the facade including window repair, a new roof, and restoration of the existing copper awning.  On the rear of the building a new elevator and stair tower will be added to the building to service 6,000 square feet of newly remodeled Class A office space on the 2nd floor.  For leasing information, contact Curtis Williams at (828) 450-4253 or [email protected]

About lululemon athletica inc.

lululemon athletica (NASDAQ:LULU; TSX:LLL) is a yoga-inspired athletic apparel company that creates components for people to live a long, healthy and fun life. By producing products that help keep people active and stress free, lululemon believes that the world will be a better place. Setting the bar in technical fabrics and functional designs, lululemon works with yogis and athletes in local communities for continuous research and product feedback. For more information, visit www.lululemon.com.

About Biltmore Property Group, LLC

Based in Asheville, NC, Biltmore Property Group is the management and development arm of Biltmore Property Group Real Estate Trust, a fully-integrated privately held company with offices in Asheville and New Orleans. It has more than 15 properties across several real estate platforms: retail, warehouse, office, mixed-use and multi-family. BPG is one of the most active developers in the Southeast and the largest real estate owner in Historic Biltmore Village (Asheville). Additional information can be found at www.biltmorepropertygroup.com.

About Beverly-Grant, Inc.

Beverly-Grant provides development and construction services in the Southeastern United States and is headquartered in Asheville, North Carolina. In business since 1955, Beverly-Grant is the largest general contractor based in Western North Carolina and specializes in medical, commercial, residential and industrial construction. More information at


About ARCA Design, PLLC

ARCA Design, PLLC seeks to partner with our clients to bring about innovative and inspired designs through an inclusive process.  ARCA Design is located in Asheville, NC and provides architectural services throughout the Southeast.  For more detail, please visit


Lake Craig Flood Management-Azalea Road Project

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – On Tuesday, September 4, the City of Asheville will host a community meeting for the Lake Craig Flood Management-Azalea Road Project.  The meeting will be held from 4-7 p.m. at the East Asheville Center, 906 Tunnel Road.  The open house event will be in a drop-in format and is free and open to the public.

The flood management project also includes water line installation to the John B. Lewis Soccer Complex as well as proposed roadway improvements on Azalea Road.  The consultant team will be available to meet with the community, present the current project alternatives, identify potential impacts and discuss the project timeline.  This is the third of three community meetings for the project.  The first meeting was held on Nov. 4 and the second on March 1.

Parking is available at the library with overflow parking available at the bank next door after 5 p.m. (NOTE: Bank parking is available only after the close of business at 5 p.m.)

For more information about this project, visit ashevillenc.gov/projects.

Launch a Startup in 54 Hours

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – If you’ve ever wanted to create your own startup, here’s your chance. And, in only 54 hours. Participants in Asheville Startup Weekend, Aug. 24-26, will work with a team to convert an idea into an operating business in 54 hours.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 24 at A-B Tech’s Enka site, where attendees will go through six steps to build a new business by 5 p.m. Aug. 26. The event is designed for anyone who wants to learn or loves the process of creating a new product or service and turning it into a business.

For more information and to register, visit http://asheville.startupweekend.org/

Students should use the promotion code, “STUDENT,” to receive a special discount.

UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program Fall Workshops

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program (GSWP) has announced its fall lineup of workshops for local writers in poetry and prose. Classes will be held in Asheville, Black Mountain, Burnsville and Hendersonville.

10-week courses for writers of various levels of experience:

Tina Barr, a newcomer to GSWP, presents a poetry workshop, “Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!” She will lead writers through a series of exercises using the external natural world as inspiration for poems which bridge into writers’ internal arenas of place. Barr is the author of “The Gathering Eye” (Tupelo Press 2004), a book of narrative poems selected from among 1,000 manuscripts by the publisher as winner of the Editor’s Prize. This 10-week course meets from 1-3:30 p.m. Thursdays, beginning September 13, at Black Mountain Center for the Arts, 225 W. State St., Black Mountain.

Novelist Christine Hale will lead “Remembering, Misremembering, Disremembering: Our Memories Have a Story to Tell.” Using brief examples from published memoirs and in-class writing exercises, this class will model techniques for turning memory’s mischief to literary advantage. Hale is the author of “Basil’s Dream” (Livingston Press, 2009), which received an honorable mention in the 2010 Library of Virginia Literary Awards. This 10-week course meets from 4-6:30 p.m. Thursdays, beginning September 13, at the Mountain Heritage Center, 113 Green Mountain Dr., Burnsville.

“We Are What We Eat: Let’s Write About Food!” is a workshop led by novelist and creative nonfiction author Marjorie Klein. Participants will use food as a touchstone for fictional narratives and memoir. Klein’s novel, “Test Pattern” (Wm. Morrow, 2000; HarperCollins/Perennial 2001), was a Barnes and Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection. Her narrative nonfiction has appeared for 20 years in “Tropic,” the Miami Herald’s Sunday magazine. This 10-week workshop meets from 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, beginning September 11, at Randolph Learning Center, 90 Montford Ave., Asheville.

Brian Lee Knopp, will teach two workshops: “The Devil You Know: The Art, Skill and Thrill of Writing Your Memoir,” and “Detective Fiction: How to Bury the Bodies with Style and Credibility.” Knopp is the author of the memoir “Mayhem in Mayberry: Misadventures of a P.I. in Southern Appalachia,” (2010 and 2011 Malaprop’s bestseller), and also the creator and first-chapter author of the collaborative 2012 mystery novel “Naked Came the Leaf Peeper.”

“The Devil You Know: The Art, Skill and Thrill of Writing Your Memoir,” involves in-class “lifestorming” sessions and writing, at-home writing and reading assignments, and says Knopp, a chance for “a daring rescue of the truth trapped inside your life’s labyrinth.” This 10-week class meets from 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, beginning Sept. 11, at Randolph Learning Center, 90 Montford Ave., Asheville.

In “Detective Fiction: How to Bury the Bodies with Style and Credibility,” participants will mine the pages of Asheville newspapers for crime stories and lawsuits providing material and inspiration in creating compelling fictional characters and plausible, intriguing mysteries. By class end, a 3000-word first chapter will be reviewed by classmates and instructor Knopp. This workshop is intended for writers with prior creative writing courses, and meets for 10 weeks, 6-8:30 p.m. Mondays, beginning September 10, at Grateful Steps, Inc., 159 S. Lexington Ave., Asheville.

Vicki Lane, author of the Elizabeth Goodweather mystery series (Bantam Dell) and the stand-alone novel, “The Day of Small Things” (Dell, 2010), will lead “The First Forty: A Fiction Workshop for Intermediate or Advanced Writers.” This course is for writers with a novel in progress or in need of final polishing who want their first 40 pages to catch the attention of agents, editors and publishers. This 10-week class meets 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, beginning September 11, at Randolph Learning Center, 90 Montford Ave., Asheville.

“Terra Story: Setting Personal Narrative in Place,” will be taught by Sebastian Matthews, author of a memoir and two books of poems. He teaches at Warren Wilson College and the Low-Residency MFA in Creative Writing program at Queens University, Charlotte. Matthews will begin with cinematic techniques and then lead participants through a series of fiction-based exercises to help develop sense of place. Participants should come away with a completed, revised personal essay, memoir chapter or autobiographical short story. This 10-week class meets from 6-8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, beginning September 12, at Black Mountain Center for the Arts, 225 W. State St., Black Mountain.

Jennifer McGaha will lead “Digging Deep: The Difficult and Delightful Art of Writing Memoir.” The course will focus on delving deep into past events participants have forgotten or avoided, to discover the stories that linger there waiting to be told. Sessions will include in-class writing, workshopping of memoirs, and exploration of craft issues. McGaha’s memoirs about relationships, parenting, and growing up in Appalachia have appeared in over two dozen magazines and literary journals. She also serves as creative nonfiction editor for The Pisgah Review. This 10 week class meets from 2-4:30 p.m. Tuesdays, beginning September 11, at UNC Asheville’s Kellogg Center, 11 Broyles Rd., Hendersonville.

Joy Neaves will teach “Heart of the Story: Writing for Young Readers,” for serious writers working on picture books, poetry, or longer works of fiction intended for children and young adults. Students will explore writing exercises related to various aspects of craft, read and critique each other’s work, and discuss how to break into publishing, how to think like an editor, and how to market published work. Neaves was senior editor at Front Street for a decade and is now freelance editor at namelos.com, and assistant director of the University Writing Center at UNC Asheville. This 10-week class meets from 6-8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, beginning September 11, at Montford Books & More, 31 Montford Ave., Asheville.

“Use of Imagery and Simplicity in Writing Poetry and Flash Fiction” will be led by Katherine Soniat, whose fifth collection of poems, “The Swing Girl” (Louisiana State University Press), was given the A.O. Young Award as Best Collection of 2011 by the Poetry Council of North Carolina. Using photographs and Jung’s “The Book of Symbols: Reflections on Archetype,” the workshop will help participants create a rich visual context for their work, and allow a starkness and simplicity to arrive in their poems. This 10-week course meets 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, beginning September 11, at Randolph Learning Center, 90 Montford Ave., Asheville.

15-week courses for advanced, experienced writers only:

Novelist Tommy Hays, executive director of the GSWP and lecturer in the Master of Liberal Arts Program at UNC Asheville, will lead “Keeping Ourselves Company: An Advanced Creative Prose Workshop.” This course, with an emphasis on reading and critiquing each other’s work, is for advanced prose writers embarking on new works or with projects in progress. Hays, the author of “The Pleasure Was Mine,” “Sam’s Crossing,” and “In the Family Way,” will respond at length to participants’ submissions. This course meets from 6-8:30 p.m. Thursdays, beginning August 30, at Asheville School, 360 Asheville School Rd., Asheville.

The “Prose Master Class,” taught by Elizabeth Lutyens, is a next step for experienced writers working on or about to begin a substantial project – essays, stories, a novel or memoir – looking for an intensive writing and critiquing experience. This workshop is for those who are committed to writing well and writing a lot, who are ready to commit to giving the best possible attention to others’ works. Lutyens is editor of “The Great Smokies Review,” and a graduate of the MFA in Writing Program at Warren Wilson College. A draft of her in-progress novel was semi-finalist for the 2011 William Faulkner – Wisdom Competition. Admission to this “Prose Master Class” is by invitation from Lutyens or Tommy Hays. This course meets from 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, beginning August 28, at Asheville School, 360 Asheville School Road, Asheville.

The 10-week courses qualify for two UNC Asheville credit hours in Literature and Language; the 15-week courses earn three credit hours. In-state cost for 10-week courses is $ 260.82 and cost for 15-week courses is $391.23. The costs are higher for out-of-state residents. A $20 non-refundable application fee for new students will also be charged.

For more information or to register, visit the program website or call 828.250-2353.

UNC Asheville is Greener and Ready for Freshmen

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – UNC Asheville is preparing to welcome 550 new Bulldogs to the campus community this Friday as freshmen move into their residence halls and get ready to start classes on Monday, Aug. 20. And when freshman and returning students arrive, they will find new, top-notch science labs, a modern new residence hall, and a greener, more energy-efficient campus.

“We are expecting a freshman class that is remarkably able academically,” said UNC Asheville Provost Jane Fernandes. “The students we have accepted have strong academic profiles, with excellent high school preparation and notable college entrance exam scores.”

The average SAT for the incoming freshman class is expected to be about 1188, surpassing last year’s average of 1174. For more than a decade, UNC Asheville has consistently been among the top three or four campuses in the UNC system – along with UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. State and UNC-Wilmington – when ranked by entering freshman SATs.

The new science labs are part of the state-funded, $8.8 million renovation of Rhoades Hall, the campus’ first classroom building. The vintage 1961 building is now upfitted for the current century with nearly a dozen new classrooms, and five new teaching and six new research labs, including a high-tech robotics lab for engineering students, high-end computational labs for physics students, and server-based computer lab for environmental science students studying GIS.

White boards along the hallways provide informal space for student-faculty exchanges as does the new, two-story glass-walled study area at the building’s entrance.

“With the completion of the Rhoades Hall renovations this fall and the opening of the Zeis Science and Multimedia building in 2009, UNC Asheville now has some of the best undergraduate science and math facilities in the Southeast,” said Keith Krumpe, UNC Asheville dean of natural sciences and professor of chemistry.

The Rhoades Hall renovation itself is a study in green retrofitting. A geothermal field under the Main Quad now provides the building’s heating and cooling and a 10,000-gallon underground rainwater cistern collects water for the building’s low-flow toilets. There are occupancy monitors to control lighting, an improved building envelope and larger windows to add daylight and reduce energy costs. Project architects were PBC+L of Asheville.

A new five-story residence hall, which opens this week for 300 returning students, has numerous green features as well, from geothermal heating to in-room energy sensors so students can monitor their own energy usage. With the addition of Overlook Hall, some 1,400 students, or almost 40 percent of the student body, will live on campus.

The new residence hall, designed with student input, has four- and six-person suites that combine single and double rooms with a shared living area and bathroom. Students will also have a food court, kitchenettes, laundry rooms, study areas, meeting space and a rooftop study area and lounge with views of campus and Mount Pisgah.

Overlook Hall’s geothermal field is designed to supply heating and cooling to six adjacent residence halls for much of the year, with backup heating and cooling available during the heaviest demand. The university expects the system to operate at 40% of the cost of traditional systems. The nearby residence halls will also share Overlook Hall’s new solar-heated hot water system.

Overlook Hall construction cost $16.7 million. State funding is not provided for residence hall construction in North Carolina. Residence hall construction projects are self-liquidating, with debt service funded through residence hall fees. The architects for the new residence hall were Gantt Huberman Architects of Charlotte, with design consultant by KieranTimberlake Architects of Philadelphia.

Make the Most of Your Biltmore Visit

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – Vacations are front and center as summer is officially in the air and heralding the busy travel season. First-time visitors to Biltmore, and even those who visit regularly, may be surprised to learn of all the different things to do during a summer trip to the estate. Biltmore offers these insider tips to enhance your experience while visiting America’s Largest Home this summer.

•    See the estate from an awe-inspiring location: the top of Biltmore House! The guided Architect’s Tour takes you up to the roof for a close look at details… and long views of Mount Pisgah.

•    Explore a mile-long sunflower patch where the sunflowers grow up to 6 feet tall. Enjoy three blooming times this year – early June, early July and early September.

•    Dance the night away at a new event in Antler Hill Village and Winery — “Fridays After Five” every Friday evening through the end of July. Live music, Biltmore crafted wine and beer, and fun for kids with our popular Grape Stomp make for lively evenings for the whole family. Bring a picnic and take in the sunset or choose from dinner menus at elegant estate restaurants.

•    Visit the Antler Hill Farm barnyard animals and their babies for a chance to pet chicks, roosters, goats and lambs.

•    Enjoy a Winky Bar Sundae from the Creamery in Antler Hill Village. This treat is made from the original vanilla ice cream recipe from the historic Biltmore Dairy.

•    Attend summer concerts by award-winning artists. Concerts are held on Biltmore House’s South Terrace and at Diana at Biltmore, an intimate setting on the vista overlooking Biltmore House. Stunning views of Biltmore House and the Blue Ridge Mountains from each site offer a perfect place to see a show under the stars. Go to Biltmore.com for performers and dates.

•    Pack a picnic and enjoy it at the lagoon where the reflection of Biltmore House shimmers on the water.

•    Stop by the Historic Rose Garden, planted exactly as it was when George Vanderbilt lived at Biltmore. It’s filled with roses in more than 50 varieties.

•    Feel like you’re in France’s Versailles with a stroll through the Italian Garden. Statuary and lilypad-filled reflecting pools conjure a European atmosphere.

•    Get some exercise with your dog in Biltmore’s 8,000-acre backyard.

Special pricing is available on select dates through the summer season:

•    Kids ages 16 and younger get in FREE with a paying adult this summer (valid through Sept. 3).

•    Admission is $15 off the regular gate admission price if tickets are purchased at least seven days in advance (valid through Sept. 3).

•    Guests ages 65 and older save $10 on admission every Tuesday and Wednesday. Tickets may be purchased at Biltmore’s Reservation and Ticket Center with photo ID. Not valid with any other offer.

•    The four-star Inn on Biltmore Estate is offering three nights for the price of two on select dates this summer.

•    Enjoy a second, consecutive day for only $10. Upgrade on your day of visit at any of the Guest Service locations on the estate. Includes access to Biltmore House, Gardens, Antler Hill Village & Winery, and all shops and restaurants.

August 7 is National Night Out

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – The Asheville Police Department and Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office, with the sponsorship support of Target, Inc., will host a local National Night Out (NNO) kick off event from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7.

NNO is a nationwide, annual crime prevention and community policing event.

The local kick off will be at the Dr. Wesley Grant, Sr. Southside Center at 285 Livingston Street, Asheville, NC.

Neighborhoods are encouraged to participate in the family oriented kick off celebration, which will feature food, backyard games with law enforcement officers, public safety vehicles and a canine demonstration.  Police officers will also be available to offer tips and facts about crime prevention. NNO events are designed to strengthen neighborhood spirit and community-police collaboration by promoting crime prevention.  After the kick off, neighbors are also encouraged to host picnics, block parties or simple meet and greets to increase community building and solidarity against crime.

More than 35 million people across the nation are anticipated to take part in NNO events. This year’s sponsorship is part of the ongoing support that Target, Inc. provides to local law enforcement agencies and community groups throughout the country.

For more information about local National Night Out activities, contact Officer Allen Dunlap, APD Crime Prevention Unit, at (828) 552-1517 or [email protected].

For more information about the national initiative, visit http://www.nationalnightout.org/nno/.

A-B Tech Earns Exceptional Rating

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – A-B Tech Community College is one of 16 community colleges in the state to be recognized for exceptional performance for the 2010-11 school year by the North Carolina Community College System.

“We’re very proud to be among an elite group of colleges earning an exceptional rating on the state’s performance standards,” A-B Tech President Hank Dunn said. “With A-B Tech’s quality and affordability, we have become the college of choice for more than 27,000 students each year and the trainer of choice for hundreds of local businesses. This rating assures them that the training and education they receive from us not only meets but in some cases exceeds the highest state standards.”

The NC Community College System evaluates the performance of each of its 58 colleges in seven core areas. Those areas are the passing rates on licensing and certification exams, the performance of college transfer students, the passing rates of students in developmental courses, the success rate of developmental students in subsequent college-level courses, curriculum student retention, graduation and transfer; the satisfaction rate of graduates and early leavers, and client satisfaction with Small Business Center services.

To obtain Exceptional status, colleges must meet or exceed all eight standards.

They must also meet or exceed the performance rates of students who began in, rather than transferred to, the UNC System and achieve at least a 70 percent first-time passing rate on all state licensure and certification exams.

Any college not achieving any of the standards is required to submit an action plan for improving performance to the State Board of Community Colleges.

A-B Tech students had the second-highest passing rates in the state on licensing and certification exams, at 95 percent. Three programs, Radiography, Veterinary Medical Technology and the Cosmetology Esthetician, posted 100 percent passing rates. A-B Tech also had the fourth-highest student persistence rate in the state, meaning more students graduated, transferred or returned the following semester.

Other highlights of A-B Tech’s performance measures include:

  • 92 percent of students who transferred to a public North Carolina university performed as well or better than students native to the four-year institutions.
  • 97 percent of graduates and early leavers said they were satisfied with the quality of the College’s programs and services.
  • 95 percent of the businesses and industries surveyed reported satisfaction with the services provided by the College.

UNC Asheville in Forbes Magazine’s “Best Buy”

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – UNC Asheville has moved into the 21st spot in the nation in this year’s “Top 100 Best Buy Colleges” roster, published this week by Forbes magazine. UNC Asheville had been ranked 26th last year.

The “Best Buy” ranking is part of Forbes’ larger annual ranking of the nation’s best 650 undergraduate institutions. Forbes based its rankings of best undergraduate colleges on the quality of teaching, career prospects, graduation rates, and student debt levels. The Forbes rankings were prepared by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, in Washington, D.C.

UNC Asheville is one of eight universities in North Carolina included in the Forbes “Top 100 Best Buy” list. Also included are: UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, Appalachian State University, UNC Wilmington, East Carolina University, UNC Greensboro, and UNC Charlotte.

Earlier this summer, the “Fiske Guide to Colleges” listed UNC Asheville among the nation’s top colleges, and named UNC Asheville’s Environmental Studies Program to its list of pre-professional programs with unusual strength in preparing students for careers.

Also this year, Princeton Review rated UNC Asheville as a “Best Value” public college – one of only 75 institutions nationwide to earn this distinction – and listed the university among America’s “green” colleges. In January, Kiplinger Personal Finance ranked UNC Asheville as one of the nation’s 50 best values in public colleges. Last fall, U.S. News & World Report ranked UNC Asheville eighth in the nation among Public Liberal Arts Colleges.

Tomato, Tomahto, Call the Whole Thing Get Local

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – Tomato lovers have, without exaggeration, nearly 1,000 varieties from which to choose a favorite – there are thought to be 600+ heirloom varieties alone. While every single one isn’t available locally, tomato month in ASAP’s Get Local initiative presents the opportunity to buy and taste an impressive number.

Tomatoes will abound at tailgate markets throughout August; shoppers can stock up for summer and to store for winter. And, Appalachian Grown™ partner restaurants will serve delicious dishes.

The Market Place will feature local tomatoes heavily on their menu this month. William Dissen, executive chef/owner, is currently purchasing ‘maters from at least five area farms. Look for dishes like tomato bruschetta and a colorful heirloom tomato salad.

Dissen even plans to serve local tomato cocktails at the upcoming Homegrown Tomato Contest and Party on Saturday, August 11, 2-5 pm, hosted in honor of Get Local and in partnership with ASAP. Home gardeners are invited to bring their two best tomatoes to be judged by a panel including a representative from local seed company Sow True Seed and Ingles’ dietitian, Leah McGrath. They can also bring tomatoes gone slightly awry for an Ugly Tomato Contest. Prizes include a $100 gift certificate to the Market Place, $25 Market Bucks to Asheville City Market, a pass to ASAP’s Farm Tour, and a Sow True Seed fall/winter seed collection and gift certificate. Everyone is invited to attend to enjoy the special cocktails and local tomato hors d’oeuvres, mingle with fellow gardeners and local food enthusiasts, and get great gardening advice and resources.

Tickets for the public are $20, $10 for contest entrants; contact the Market Place at (828) 252-4162 or [email protected]. A portion of proceeds will support ASAP. More places to get a local tomato fix are listed in ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org.


ASAP’s mission is to help local farms thrive, link farmers to markets and supporters, and build healthy communities through connections to local food. To learn more about ASAP’s work, visit asapconnections.org, or call (828) 236-1282.