Local Scoop


Asheville, North Carolina News

Archive for August, 2014

City Government Offices Closed Monday Sept 1

Friday, August 29th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Asheville city government offices will be closed Monday, September 1 in observance of the Labor Day Holiday.

All City of Asheville Parks and Recreation Department recreation centers will be closed.  The following specialized recreation facilities will be open: city parks, the Riverside Cemetery, Asheville Golf Course, Food Lion Skate Park, Aston Park Tennis Center, Recreation Park Pool, and the Western North Carolina Nature Center. For hours of operation and other information about the WNC Nature Center visit www.wncnaturecenter.com.

The City of Asheville ART service routes and facilities will operate on a reduced holiday schedule Sept. 1.  The Labor Day holiday is one of six holidays throughout the calendar year that ART offers bus service. For route info, go to: www.RidetheART.com.

Water Resources staff will be available for water related emergencies 24 hours a day over the holiday weekend.  Customers can call the customer service line at (828) 251-1122 to report water related emergencies, leaks, breaks, and no water calls.

Garbage collection schedules will continue as normal over the holiday.  All public safety services, including police, fire and emergency response, will operate according to normal schedule – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Update on Vermont Avenue Repaving

Friday, August 29th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – City crews milling and patching Vermont Avenue over the past several weeks found that the sub-grade of the West Asheville road was in much worse shape than expected, requiring extensive patching in order to ensure the quality of the new surface. In this video, Director of Public Works Greg Shuler explains how extra crews are working extra hours with a goal of completing the patching within the next two weeks, at which time, the contractor can put down new asphalt.

Thank you to all of the residents for your patience during this process.

NC Mountain State Fair Sept 5-14 with Discount Tickets Now

Friday, August 29th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The N.C. Mountain State Fair will return to the Western N.C. Agricultural Center for another run of family fun Sept. 5-14, and advance tickets are now available.

“There’s no time like fair time, and with savings of $2 on admission tickets and 50 percent on ride tickets, there is no time like right now to buy advance tickets,” said fair manager Matt Buchanan.

Advance tickets are available through Sept. 4 at the WNC Agricultural Center, WNC Farmers Market and area Ingles stores. Advance tickets are not available online this year; however, additional Ingles ticket locations have been added in the mountains and upstate South Carolina.

Advance tickets are $6 for adults 13-64, and $2 for children 6-12 and seniors ages 65 and older. Groups with 30 or more people can purchase advance tickets for $5 per person. Ride tickets are available in advance for $7.50 for a sheet of 12 tickets. Family Fun Packs are also available for $35. The cost includes five admission tickets, tickets for four rides and food coupons for a selection of fair vendors.

“With more than 100 acts performing throughout the fair, we’re one of the best entertainment values in the area,” Buchanan said. “Buying in advance or as a group makes it even more affordable.”

This year’s entertainment lineup will feature a mix of new attractions and traditional favorites. Stilt Puppets, a roaming band of acrobatic stilt walkers, will make its fair debut. Other new acts include illusionists Josh Knotts and Lea, dog stunt show K9s in Flight, and naturalist Carlton Burke. Sea Lion Splash, which debuted in 2013, will return for another year of playful antics.

In addition, there will be live music on the Heritage Stage, racing pigs at the Hogway Speedway, newborn calves in the Mooternity Ward, and other fan favorites during the fair’s 10-day run. More information is available at www.mountainfair.org or by calling 828-687-1414.

Mountain Heritage Day Celebrates 40th Year at WCU

Friday, August 29th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Thousands gather on the Western Carolina University campus in Cullowhee each year on the last Saturday in September to be a part of the region’s rich history of mountain culture at Mountain Heritage Day. This year, those attending on Saturday, Sept. 27, can be part of history by just being there, as the festival marks both its own 40th anniversary and the 125th year of the university that hosts it.

The event began as Founders’ Day on October 26, 1974, at the inauguration ceremony of Chancellor H.F. Robinson. It became known as the annual Mountain Heritage Day the following year.

This year, multiple Grammy Award-winning David Holt of Fairview – one of the musical performers from the early years of the event – will be making a return appearance with WCU alumnus Will McIntyre. Holt has recorded with mentors whose listed names read like a “Who’s Who” of bluegrass, folk, country and blues artists. He and McIntyre, once a student photographer with WCU’s public relations office and now a professional photographer, have performed together in several countries.

Local favorites Mountain Faith, Jeff Little Trio, Buckstankle Boys, Roan Mountain Hilltoppers, Whitewater Bluegrass Company, Foxfire Boys, Crooked Pine Band, Phil and Gay Johnson, the Deitz Family, the Queen Family and Woody Pines also will perform bluegrass, country, gospel and mountain music on two stages. A dance floor will be available for audience dancing when not in use by clogging teams, including Smokey Mountain Fire Cloggers and the Dixie Darlin’ Cloggers.

Two exhibits in the free-admission Mountain Heritage Center, located in the nearby H.F. Robinson Building, celebrate 125 years of university history and 40 years of Mountain Heritage Day. The university began in a one-room schoolhouse, from which four women and one man graduated three years later. Artifacts ranging from photographs and commencement programs to cheerleader, sports team and mascot uniforms tell the school’s story as it grew. The festival’s exhibit commemorates long-gone events like candidate stump speeches, moonshine-sniffing and tobacco-spitting.

More than 100 booths will line the festival’s “midway,” offering handmade arts and crafts, also in juried competition. Bordering activities will feature living history and craft demonstrations; shape-note singing; cooking, canning and baking contests; beard-and-mustache and chainsaw rivalries; an antique auto show; tractor and horse- or mule-drawn wagon rides; plus a tent featuring children’s activities all day.

Punctuating the day’s sounds will be the report of black powder rifles, the rhythm of a logger’s mule engine, the clang of a blacksmith’s hammer and the slide of a shuttle through a loom.

Because the campus is located in Cullowhee, land of the legendary giant Judaculla, local Cherokee arts and culture will be celebrated by the Tsa-la-Gi Touring Group as well as games of 11-man Hummingbird team stickball.

The tempting fragrances of festival foods – from traditional to historic to ethnic, offered by vendors in trucks and booths – will blend in the fresh mountain air.

Other traditions that will not change include free admission and free parking. Visitors are encouraged to bring a blanket or chair, and an umbrella to shed unwanted sunshine or rain. Service animals are welcome, but guests are asked to leave pets at home.

To learn more about how the festival will turn back the calendar starting at 10 a.m. on Sept. 27, visit www.mountainheritageday.com.

Public Hearing on NC Oil and Gas Rules at WCU

Friday, August 29th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – A Sept. 12 public hearing devoted to North Carolina’s oil and gas rules is being moved to another spot on the Western Carolina University campus – the Liston B. Ramsey Regional Activity Center, 92 Catamount Road.

University officials opted to move the venue of the hearing. The original plan was to have the public hearing at the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center.

The hearing is scheduled for 5‒9 p.m. with registration for those who wish to speak starting at 4 p.m. The event will mark the public’s fourth and final opportunity to comment in a public hearing forum on the state Mining and Energy Commission’s draft rules for oil and gas development in North Carolina.

In addition to the public hearings, the commission has set a Sept. 30 deadline for people to comment in writing on the proposed rules. Written public comments are also being accepted at the hearings.

Hard copy written comments should be sent to:

DENR-Division of Energy, Mineral, and Land Resources

Attn: Oil and Gas Program

1612 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC  27699-1612

Written comments may also be submitted electronically through the state Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources’ website at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mining-and-energy-commission/public-comment-meetings.

The complete text of the proposed rules and proposed revisions to existing rules is available online at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=812822fd-9e97-4359-8935-4f07e713f0b1&groupId=8198095.

The Cradle of Forestry Hosts Afternoon Tea with Llamas

Friday, August 29th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The Cradle of Forestry in America will offer “Afternoon Tea with Llamas” on Saturday, Sept. 13 at 11 a.m. and again at 2 p.m. The llamas will carry your lunches or snacks on this easy walk along the Forest Discovery Trail at the Cradle of Forestry. Organizers will provide ice tea and cups.

George Appenzeller and Sarah Meadows, founders of the nonprofit Challenge Adventures, will lead the program. The nonprofit organization provides hiking and camping adventure programs for youth groups.

Appenzeller and Meadows will explain traits that make llamas good pack animals, and also good trail companions. Visitors will hear about the llamas’ cooperative social structure that presents humans with an example of teamwork and caring.

As the group walks the Forest Discovery Trail, children can take turns leading the llamas. The group will stop and picnic along the trail. This moderate, two-mile walk travels through scenic woods and by the 1914 Climax logging locomotive.

Admission to the Cradle of Forestry is $5.00 for adults. Youth 15 and younger are admitted free. Golden Age passports and America the Beautiful passes are honored. In addition to the llama program, this fee includes the Forest Discovery Center with 15 hands-on exhibits, two films, historic cabins and antique equipment on two paved trails, the Adventure Zone, and living history interpreters.

      The Cradle of Forestry is located on Hwy. 276 in the Pisgah National Forest, six miles north of Looking Glass Falls and four miles south of the Blue Ridge Parkway. For more information call 828-877-3130 or go to www.cradleofforestry.org.

French Broad Brew Fest Celebrates Fall by the River

Friday, August 29th, 2014
ASHEVILLE NC – Just north of Asheville, Hot Springs is a destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking whitewater, fishing, hiking, biking, or just relaxing at the Spa by the river.  With the festival grounds located on the banks of the French Broad and it’s intersection with the Appalachian Trail, what better way to celebrate Fall in the Mountains?   Beautiful scenery, live music, great craft beer, and food on one glorious afternoon, camping included!  See details below:
Brew15+ breweries will be onsite and festival-goers will receive a commemorative souvenir glass for sampling from noon to 10 pm on Sat. Sept 27.  Breweries include Asheville Brewing, New Belgium, One World Brewing, Pisgah Brewing, Catawba, Highland, Oskar Blues, Foothills, Sierra Nevada, R.J. Rockers, Natty Greene’s, Lagunitas, Sweetwater, French Broad Brewing, Holy City Brewing, Widmer Brothers, Shock Top, Abita, and don’t forget about the FBBF Homebrew Invitational organized by “The Godfather”!
EntertainmentSee Lineup with bios including Yarn, Jonathan Scales Fourchestra, Tony Trischka & Territory, Hymn for Her, Wick-it the Instigator, Empire Strikes Bass, and the Mountain Top Polka Band in the Brew Tent . . . and more! (see band info below)  Hiking, biking, paddling, fishing, soaking in hot tubs, and spa appointments are optional.
Environment:  Where the French Broad River intersects with the Appalachian Trail . . . beautiful campsites included (see Relax).
Relax:  No worries about driving, because camping is included with private campsites, rv sites and cabins available on the festival grounds.  Lodging is also available within walking distance at one of the hotels or B&B’s in town.  In addition to the festivities, festival-goers can also enjoy the 100 acre resort & spa’s modern Jacuzzi style hot tubs, positioned outside along the river and supplied with a continuous flow of Natural Hot Mineral Water and a staff of massage therapists on hand to compliment your soaks.  If you’d like to reserve a soak in the mineral springs or a stay in the campground in advance of the festival (to reserve your spot), go to www.nchotsprings.com or call 828-622-7676.
Check out our YouTube page to see what it’s all about!

Details about campground, parking, etc.
  • Festival gates open at 8 am Sat. 9/28 and tickets include camping for Sat. night, but if you want to arrive earlier (and secure a prime campsite) you can reserve a site for Friday 9/27 or earlier by calling the Hot Springs Campground & Resortat 828-622-7676.  Note: If designated sites fill up, there will still be plenty of room to camp!
  • The brew tent will be open from noon to 10 pm
  • You will be allowed to enter the campground and unload your vehicle at your campsite, but will need to buy a $25 parking pass to remain parked in the festival grounds.  Unloading and parking in parking area is free
  • If you don’t want to camp, check out other accomodations in Hot Springs here.
  • As of now, RV spots are still available but it is recommended that you call and reserve a spot through the campground for Friday night to ensure a site.  On Sat. all sites are 1st come 1st serve.
  • Sorry but NO DOGS allowed in festival grounds!
  • If you have any questions, send email to [email protected] or be sure to like us on Facebook for updates also.

Fall outdoors in Hot Springs
Earn your brew.  What a perfect fall weekend it will be to enjoy the outdoors and all Hot Springs has to offer.
  • Hiking:  Hot Springs is a favorite with hikers on the Appalachian Trail (AT), which runs through town and right by the festival grounds.  Lovers Leap Rock , one of the most popular AT side hikes in the area, offers a grand view of the French Broad River and the festival 500 feet below!
  • Biking:  Follow the French Broad about 7 miles down River Road to Paint Rock or head up to the Mills Ridge Bike Trail for singletrack.  An informal pre-festival bike ride is being organized Sat. morning around 9 am.  If interested call 828-230-4054.
  • Whitewater:  It is a River Festival, and Section 9 from Barnard to Hot Springs is what the Cherokee called “Tahkeyostee” or “where they race”.  For a much calmer float but still very scenic, put in at Hot Springs and float to Paint Rock (Section 10).  Check out French Broad Rafting in Hot Springs for a guided trip
  • Fishing:  The French Broad River has great Smallmouth Bass fishing, or catch Trout in nearby Spring Creek or The Laurel River.
  • Spa / Hot Tubs:  The Hot Springs Spa, located across from the festival grounds, features modern Jacuzzi style hot tubs, positioned outside along the tranquil banks of Spring Creek and the French Broad River; the tubs are supplied with a continuous flow of World Famous Natural Hot Mineral Water. They have a nationally certified & state licensed staff of massage therapists on hand to compliment your soaks or for separate service altogether.
For more details or for shuttle services, check out Bluff Mtn Outfitters (http://www.bluffmountain.com/) in downtown Hot Springs

Writers on the Rock at Chimney Rock

Friday, August 29th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – On September 7 from 1-4pm, ten renowned authors who have written about Appalachia will gather at Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park to autograph books, give readings and be available for one-on-one chats with fans. Diane Norman, Managing Editor of the Hendersonville Times-News, will host the event and local poet Eddie Cabbage will provide Poetry on Demand. Books will be available for sale at a table manned by event sponsor Fountainhead Bookstore of Hendersonville. Writers on the Rock is included with Park admission, which is $15 for adults, $7 for youth ages 5-15 and free for children ages 4 and under.

“Writers on the Rock give guests a unique opportunity to see their favorite authors in person and to meet new ones,” says Shannon Quinn-Tucker, Public Relations and Promotions Manager. “Appalachia is rich with history and culture, and we’ve invited authors who have made their mark in the literary world, using Appalachia as a backdrop for their stories. We’re excited to be able to offer this event to the public and give folks the chance to meet some of the authors they’ve read and loved for years.”

Bibliophiles can view the soaring cliffs and stunning valleys of Chimney Rock and the surrounding Hickory Nut Gorge as they browse dozens of titles; they can also purchase books the authors have signed. Genres ranging from memoirs to cookbooks, suspense to poetry will be available. Local poet Eddie Cabbage will provide Poetry on Demand, improvisational poems for guests typed on the spot on his trusty vintage typewriter.

Fans are encouraged to come early, as authors will begin speaking shortly after 1pm.

WAYNE CALDWELL: Cataloochee; Requiem by Fire

Wayne is a native of Asheville NC and is a product of Enka High School. His academic training happened at UNC-CH, Appalachian State University and Duke University. Since 1976 he has worked in the family’s furniture and interior design business, Ambiance Interiors. He is the author of prize-winning short stories and two novels, Cataloochee (2007) and Requiem by Fire (2010), the latter of which won the 2010 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award from the WNC Historical Association. He wrote the sixth chapter of a collaborative novel, Naked Came the Leaf Peeper (Burning Bush Press, 2011). A poem, “Woodsmoke,” appeared in Appalachian Heritage (Fall 2011). “Rattlesnakes,” a short story about Asheville’s proposed 1980 downtown mall, appeared in 27 Views of Asheville (Eno Publishers, 2012). A short story, “Donation Jar,” was published in Drafthorse’s Winter 2013 issue (www.drafthorse.org). He received the James Still Award, for excellence in writing about the Appalachian South, from the Fellowship of Southern Writers in 2013. A third novel, Memoirs of an Unambitious Lawyer, was a finalist for the Lee Smith Fiction Prize from Carolina Wren Press and is seeking a publisher. In his spare time he works up firewood.

MARK DE CASTRIQUE: A Murder in Passing

Mark was born in Hendersonville, NC.  He went straight from the hospital to the funeral home where his father was the funeral director and the family lived upstairs. The unusual setting sparked his popular Barry Clayton series and launched his mystery writing career. Mark is the author of thirteen novels, most of which are set in western NC. His novels have received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and Booklist. The CHICAGO TRIBUNE wrote, “As important and as impressive as the author’s narrative skills are the subtle ways he captures the geography – both physical and human – of a unique part of the American South.” Mark lives in Charlotte, but he and his wife Linda can be often found in the mountains of NC.

TOMMY HAYS:  What I Came To Tell You; The Pleasure Was Mine; In the Family Way

Tommy’s first middle grade novel, What I Came to Tell You, was chosen as a Fall 2013 Okra Pick by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA), received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, and was recommended by The Atlanta Constitution as one of 12 books of 2013 for younger readers. His novel, The Pleasure Was Mine, was a Finalist for the SIBA Fiction Award and has been chosen for numerous community reads. His other novels are Sam’s Crossing, which has been recently re-released, and In the Family Way, winner of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. He directs the Great Smokies Writing Program and is Core Faculty for the Master of Liberal Arts program at UNC Asheville. A member of the National Book Critics Circle, he received his BA in English from Furman University and graduated from the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.  For more information please go to www.tommyhays.com.

JEREMY B. JONES: Bearwallow: A Personal History of a Mountain Homeland

Jeremy’s essays have been named Notable in Best American Essays and are published or forthcoming in Oxford American, Brevity, and Our State Magazine, among others. He received his MFA in nonfiction writing from the University of Iowa and teaches creative writing at Western Carolina University. He hails from Henderson County, NC, where his people have been digging into the soil for over two centuries. Visit thejeremybjones.com for more information.

VICKI LANE: The Day of Small Things; Signs in the Blood

Vicki is the author of The Day of Small Things and the Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries which include Signs in the Blood, Art’s Blood, Old Wounds, Anthony-nominated In a Dark Season, and Under the Skin. She also teaches in UNC-Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program. Vicki draws her inspiration from rural western North Carolina where she and her family have tended a mountainside farm since 1975.

ROBERT MORGAN: The Road from Gap Creek


Robert is the author of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, most notably his novel Gap Creek and his biography of Daniel Boone, both of which were national bestsellers. A professor at Cornell University since 1971 and visiting writer-in-residence at half a dozen universities, his awards include Guggenheim and Rockefeller fellowships and an Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature. He was inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame in 2010. Find him online at www.robert-morgan.com.


HEATHER NEWTON: Under The Mercy Trees


Heather’s debut novel Under The Mercy Trees (HarperCollins 2011) won the 2011 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award, was chosen by the Women’s National Book Association as a Great Group Reads Selection and named an “Okra Pick” by the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (“great southern fiction fresh off the vine”). Her fiction has appeared in 27 Views of Asheville, The Drum, Crucible, Encore Magazine, Lonzie’s Fried Chicken and elsewhere. She is a founding member of the Flatiron Writers, a writers’ collective that sponsors workshops, salons and other events for the western North Carolina literary community. She works full time as an attorney and teaches creative writing for the Great Smokies Writing Program in Asheville, NC, where she lives with her husband and daughter. You can learn more about Heather at www.heathernewton.net.


LEANNA SAIN: Gate to Nowhere; Return to Nowhere, Magnolia Blossoms


Leanna earned her BA from the University of South Carolina and has lived in the mountains of western NC for twenty-three years with her best friend and husband. She has two grown sons whom she homeschooled and her first grandson on the way. Her Gate trilogy (Gate to Nowhere, Return to Nowhere, Magnolia Blossoms) captures readers with its strong, sometimes snarky characters, gripping dialogue, and vivid descriptions set in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina. Readers who enjoy regional fiction or suspense with a magical twist will love her books. Beginning with Emma Franklin’s journey through a rusty iron gate into the past, the saga follows the fictional Scottish emigrant-turn-apple farmer, Gavin MacKinlay and family from the early 1800’s to the Civil War. The books have received a historical stamp of approval from the North Carolina Society of Historians by winning the Clark Cox Historical Fiction award. Other awards include Foreword Magazine’s Book-of-the-Year, and nominations for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award and the Global E-book Award. Contact Leanna by visiting her website: www.LeannaSain.com and send her an email. She especially loves public speaking and meeting with book clubs.

ROSE SENEHI: Dancing on Rocks

Rose is known for her romantic thrillers told against a backdrop of environmental concerns. The last four of her seven novels are centered around the Hickory Nut Gorge, Chimney Rock State Park and the surrounding Southern Blue Ridge Mountains. Dancing on Rocks, that takes place in the village of Chimney Rock, is the latest stand-alone book in the series, which also includes Render Unto The Valley (Winner of the 2012 IPPY Gold Medal for Fiction-Southeast), In The Shadows of Chimney Rock and The Wind In The Woods. In her Blue Ridge series of stand-alone novels, Senehi gently reveals the story of the heroic efforts of the land conservancies and the people who stand behind them. And, of course, these historically accurate novels are threaded through with suspense, romance and the unique flavor and history of the beloved mountains of the southern Blue Ridge.

Senehi, who resides in the village of Chimney Rock, very much enjoys public speaking, meeting with book clubs, and hearing from her readers, and can be contacted by email at: [email protected]. She invites you to visit her two websites: www.rosesenehi.com and www.hickorynut-gorge.com.

ELIZABETH L. SIMSTupelo Honey Café: Spirited Recipes from Asheville’s New South Kitchen; Tupelo Honey Café: New Southern Flavors from the Blue Ridge Mountains

Elizabeth is a communications professional with a background in strategic marketing, brand management, advertising, public relations, journalism and published writing. She began her communications company in 2009, following her role as Vice President of Marketing Communications for The Biltmore Company in Asheville, NC. She is the past president of the Southern Foodways Alliance and worked on behalf of the Blue Ridge Parkway 75th Anniversary. She is the Vice President of marketing communications for Tupelo Honey and co-authored the Tupelo Honey cookbooks with chef Brian Sonoskus. The cookbooks capture the creative and independent spirit of Asheville NC through full-color photos of the food, locals, area farmer’s markets and farms, in addition to vintage photography of the city. Tupelo Honey has expanded from two locations in Asheville to Knoxville, Johnson City, Chattanooga, Greenville SC and Charlotte and will soon open restaurants in Raleigh, Myrtle Beach, Arlington and Virginia Beach VA and Atlanta.

EDDIE CABBAGE: Poetry on Demand

Eddie Cabbage grew up in Central Florida and moved to the Blue Ridge Mountains in 2003. He splits his time between Chimney Rock/Lake Lure and Asheville. He is a nationally published freelance writer, wordsmith, and typewriter poet and can be found busking on the street or in many regular Asheville venues. He creates custom poetry for strangers and new friends with his Poetry On Demand using one of his many vintage typewriters. His poetry and prose is influenced by the mountains, travel, adventure and sometimes delicious Asheville craft beer.

Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park has been one of the Southeast’s most iconic and popular travel destinations for more than 100 years. Beyond its stunning 75-mile views of Lake Lure and Hickory Nut Gorge, Chimney Rock offers scenic hiking, rock climbing, animal habitats and educational events year-round. The Park’s 404-foot waterfall was featured in The Last of the Mohicans’ final 17 minutes. Chimney Rock is located only 45 minutes southeast of Asheville on Highway 64/74A in Chimney Rock, NC. Call 800-277-9611 or visit chimneyrockpark.com.

WCU Appoints Kevan Frazier to Lead Programs at Biltmore Park

Friday, August 29th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Western Carolina University did not have to go far to find the new executive director for its programs at Biltmore Park – just as far as the northern side of Asheville.

Kevan Frazier, who served four different divisions during a 17-year career at the University of North Carolina at Asheville before embarking upon a private business venture, joined WCU on Monday, Aug. 18, to lead the university’s instructional site at Biltmore Park Town Square.

Frazier is succeeding Patsy Miller, who is retiring this month after more than 30 years of service to WCU, all of them in administrative roles with the university’s programs in the Asheville area.  Miller joined WCU in 1984 as program coordinator for the Asheville office, where she worked with the late Harry Ramsey, assistant to the chancellor for WCU programs in Asheville. She became director upon Ramsey’s retirement in 1997.

“Kevan brings extensive experience and very strong connections throughout the Asheville-Hendersonville area, especially in the banking, finance, legal, medical, government and entrepreneurial sectors,” said Alison Morrison-Shetlar, WCU provost. “He also brings tremendous energy and excitement as he begins to build upon the solid foundation that Patsy Miller is leaving behind, as well as those with whom she has worked over the years.”

Frazier served as associate vice chancellor for university advancement at UNC Asheville from 2012 until the fall of 2013, stepping down to start a small business in the tourism sector, Asheville by Foot, which provides historic and architectural walking tours of the city’s downtown. At UNC Asheville, he also had served as associate vice chancellor for alumni relations from 2004 until 2012, director of student life and the Highsmith University Union from 2001 until 2004, and coordinator of the Honors Program and associate director of undergraduate research from 1999 to 2001.

In addition, Frazier taught history at UNC Asheville, having earned his doctorate in U.S. and African history at West Virginia University. He received his master’s degree in history from Kent State University and his bachelor’s degree in history from UNC Asheville.

“While I was not on the job market, when I learned of WCU’s opening at Biltmore Park, I could not pass up the extraordinary opportunity to lead and grow one of the cornerstones of economic and community development in Western North Carolina,” Frazier said.

“As the leading provider of graduate education in Western North Carolina, WCU is positioned better than any other institution in the area to offer the curricular breadth and depth needed to support economic and community development in the region,” he said. “As a native Ashevillian, my roots are deep in this community and my commitment to its success is very strong.”

Frazier is taking over the reins of WCU Programs at Biltmore Park as the university is on the verge of implementing a long-range strategic plan for the instructional site in order to strengthen the university’s contribution to economic and community development in the greater Asheville-Hendersonville area. Carol Burton, associate provost for undergraduate studies, and Doug Keskula, dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences, have led a long-range planning process to determine the future mix of academic programs that will be offered and enhanced at Biltmore Park.

The newest addition at the site is engineering, as on Aug. 18, WCU began offering undergraduate engineering in nearly 11,000 square feet of space at 28 Schenck Parkway in Biltmore Park Town Square. Expansion of WCU’s engineering degree was made possible through an appropriation of more than $1.4 million in the state budget for the 2013-15 biennium. The N.C. General Assembly approved $698,962 for start-up costs and laboratory equipment for the 2013-14 fiscal year, with $719,844 in recurring funds to cover faculty positions and ongoing operations.

WCU Chancellor David O. Belcher, who credited N.C. Sen. Tom Apodaca (R-Henderson) with ensuring that the state budget included funds for the expansion, said additional engineering education opportunities in the fast-growing corridor between Asheville and Hendersonville will help meet increasing industry and business demand for a highly qualified workforce.

Biltmore Park also will be one of two venues for WCU’s new lifelong learning institute aimed at people age 50 and older. The institute, titled [email protected], will feature weekly interactive seminars in Cullowhee and Asheville. Sessions will focus on a wide variety of topics spanning business, history, science, literature, politics and personal development.

Western Carolina has offered a variety of programs in Asheville since 1937, and previously provided more than 20 academic programs at various sites in Buncombe County, including at UNC Asheville and Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College’s Enka campus. WCU consolidated graduate and undergraduate academic programs that were offered at locations across Buncombe County to Biltmore Park in August 2012, a move designed to expand access to university-level programming to better serve the educational needs of Western North Carolinians in the Buncombe-Henderson corridor, while also improving operational efficiencies.

For more information about WCU Programs at Biltmore Park, visit the website biltmorepark.wcu.edu or call 828-654-6498.

US Forest Service Job Corps Celebrates 50 Years of Transforming Lives

Friday, August 29th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Local leaders will join Forest Service officials and many others on Aug. 22, 2014 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Job Corps program. The celebration will be held from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Schenck Job Corps administration building off of Highway 276 near Brevard, N.C. The event will include speeches and a tree planting ceremony.

We invite members of the public to join us for this very special celebration,” said Tammy Wentland, director of Schenck Job Corps Center.  “This is a great opportunity for people to learn more about a program that makes a difference in the lives of young adults. Every success is a life saved from poverty, crime, or a life of hardship and hopelessness.”

Read the story in its entirety at: