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Archive for September, 2014

Cradle of Forestry to Host Monarch Butterfly Program

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The Cradle of Forestry invites the public to attend the “Bring Back the Monarchs” program on Sunday, Sept. 21 at 2 p.m. in the Forest Discovery Center.

Noted naturalist and educator Ina Warren will present this lively multimedia program with assistance from master gardener Joyce Pearsall. Both presenters are official conservation specialists with the Monarch Watch program at the University of Kansas.

The program will cover biology basics of the monarch’s life cycle and annual migration. The event offers information on threats these butterflies face in central Mexico in the winter as well as in their summer breeding habitat in the United States. Additionally, the program will cover the importance of their sole larval food source, milkweeds. Discussions will include the technique of tagging monarchs, sharing ideas for raising monarchs in the classroom and at home, and ways to grow native milkweeds and other native nectar-rich plant species for establishing Monarch Waystations vital to monarch survival. A tour of the Cradle’s Monarch Waystation will be offered after the presentation.

Admission to the Cradle of Forestry is $5 for adults and free for youth under 16 years of age. America the Beautiful and Golden Age passes are honored with free admission. 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 milepost 412. For more information, call 828-877-3130 or go to www.cradleofforestry.org.  For information on the Monarch Watch program visit www.monarchwatch.org. Click here for information about the role of butterflies and other pollinators in plant reproduction.

WCU Physical Therapy Students ‘Zombie Chase Race’

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Runners will have a chance to outrun zombies during a 5-kilometer race that is being sponsored Saturday, Oct. 4, by the Student Physical Therapy Association at Western Carolina University.

The Zombie Run 5-K Chase Race will begin at 4 p.m. near the WCU picnic area. Runners will be given flags that zombies along the course will try to steal. Runners who complete the 5-K with at least one remaining flag will be considered “zombie apocalypse survivors,” said Chris Garcia, a student in WCU’s doctoral program in physical therapy who is helping organize the race.

Proceeds from the race will be used to provide physical therapy services to the community and to support physical therapy research. Prizes will be awarded to overall winners.

Race registration is available on active.com by searching for “Zombie Run 5K Chase Race.” The fee is $20 through Friday, Oct. 3. On race day, the fee will be $25 as registration is held from 2 until 3:30 p.m. at the race site. Runners who register by Monday, Sept. 15, will be guaranteed a race T-shirt.

Following the race, a “Zombie After Party” with live music and chicken wings and pizza will be held at Tuck’s Tap and Grille in Cullowhee from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for race participants and $10 for non-racers, with proceeds from the ticket sales also being used for physical therapy services and research, Garcia said.

For more information, contact Garcia at 828-803-0552.

Tails and Trails 5k Adventure Run Register Now!

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Do you and your dog like to run together? Join us on Saturday, October 4 for the 7th Annual Tails and Trails 5K Adventure Run at the Buncombe County Sports Park in Candler. The run starts at 9:30 a.m. and is open to adults, children and dogs of all ages. Put your paws to the pavement and come join us for this unique fun run!

Register in advance with the mail-in registration form attached below (if you register by September 22 you’ll receive an event T-Shirt), or register the day of the race.

Check in and late registration is at 9 a.m. on October 4. The cost is $20 for adults, $10 for children ages 4 – 12, and 2 cans of dog food, which will be donated to the Asheville Humane Society. A portion of the proceeds from the event will also be donated to Asheville Humane Society.

Dogs must remain on leashes at all times. The run will be on the Buncombe County Sports Park track.

For more information, call Jay Nelson at 250-4269.

U.S. News and World Report Ranks UNC Asheville as One of Nation’s Best

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – UNC Asheville was ranked as the nation’s eighth best public liberal arts college in U.S. News and World Report’s new “Best Colleges 2015” rankings, released online today.

UNC Asheville also is included on the U.S. News & World Report list of national liberal arts colleges, private and public, “where the faculty has an unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching.” Based on surveys of college presidents, provosts and admissions deans, UNC Asheville is tied for eighth in the nation in this category and is the only public university on this exclusive list.“Self-discovery and intellectual exploration are what define a great liberal arts college experience,” said UNC Asheville Provost Joseph Urgo. “I see that happening at UNC Asheville with our small classes and with so many students engaged in undergraduate research with a faculty mentor. The faculty works continually to reexamine and improve student learning and the overall student experience, especially when it comes to fostering critical thinking and creativity.”

U.S. News & World Report ranked 236 national liberal arts colleges, 212 private and 24 public, in its survey, using a weighted formula that includes academic reputation, graduation and retention rates, commitment to instruction and class size, student abilities and admissions selectivity, college financial resources and alumni financial support.

The U.S. News & World Report rankings are among several accolades UNC Asheville has recently received. In August, The Princeton Review noted the “top-notch academic experience” that UNC Asheville students receive and ranked the university 14th nationally on its “Town-Gown Relations are Great” list.

In July, the Fiske Guide to Colleges named UNC Asheville a “Best Buy” among the nation’s top colleges, and for the 11th consecutive year, UNC Asheville’s Environmental Studies Program was highlighted as showing unusual strength in preparing students for careers.

In the past year, UNC Asheville also was cited as a “best value” by The Princeton Review and by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine.

UNC Asheville Art Exhibition Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014
ASHEVILLE NC – Works by Latino artists in Western North Carolina will be on view at UNC Asheville as the university celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15-Oct. 15. The exhibition is free and open to the public in the adjoining galleries in Highsmith University Union: the Highsmith Art and Intercultural Gallery and the Intercultural Center Gallery. A public reception with the artists will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 17 in the galleries.

Victor Palomino, a native of Colombia who has worked as an artist and journalist in North Carolina for more than a decade, will display his works in wire sculpture, mixed media and ink in the Intercultural Center. Sandra Garcia will also display the Kaleidocycle, a project that documents the lives and journeys of immigrants in Western North Carolina.

Artwork by Chris Corral and by Gustavo Villota (mask, above left) will be part of UNC Asheville's Hispanic Heritage Month exhibition.In the Highsmith Art and Intercultural Gallery, works in a variety of media will be on view by Luis Martinez Cruz and Victor H. Verde of Mexico, Chris Corral of Texas, and Gustavo Villota of Ecuador. The exhibition will also include Mi Historia, stories of the lives of Latinos in Western North Carolina that have been collected at prior exhibits.

UNC Asheville’s Office of Multicultural Student Programs and the student organization HOLA ([email protected] [email protected] en las Americas) are joining to present the university’s Hispanic Heritage Month activities, which include discussions, videos, food events, fairs and parties for students, and this art exhibition.

For more information, visit the Multicultural Student Programs Office website

Metro Economy Outlook to Feature Pulitzer Prize Winner

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The Annual Asheville Metro Economy Outlook has announced it will feature Greg Ip, renowned economics expert at The Economist and a Pulitzer Prize winner. As the keynote speaker, Mr. Ip will present an insightful analysis of the latest national economic indicators and their impact on the regional economy at 5 p.m. on Thursday, September 18, 2014, at The Omni Grove Park Inn. Chris Cavanaugh, president of Magellan Strategy Group, will highlight trends in the Asheville Metro economy.

Greg Ip is U.S. Economics Editor for The Economist, based in Washington D.C. He is a regular on-air contributor to CNBC and has also appeared on  BBC, CNN, NBC Nightly News, MSNBC, the PBS Newshour, and National Public Radio. Ip has won and shared in several prizes for journalism, including a Pulitzer Prize awarded to his former team at The Wall Street Journal. He created Real Time Economics, WSJ’s online blog of Fed and economic news. Ip is an established expert on the U.S. economy, financial markets, monetary, fiscal and regulatory policy. He is author of The Little Book of Economics: How the Economy Works in the Real World (Wiley, 2010).

Chris Cavanaugh is a strategic planning and marketing consultant with more than 25 years of marketing experience in Western N.C. and across the southeast. He is the president and founder of Magellan Strategy Group in Asheville, N.C. Called the “Swiss Army knife of strategy and marketing skills,” Cavenaugh has presented at numerous conferences across the country. He has served as chairman on North Carolina’s state travel and tourism board, the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority and Blue Ridge Mountain Host, a regional marketing association.

“In the face of a historically slower recovery and with global uncertainty as the new paradigm, we’ll be looking at data and trends that shed light on the economy’s latest developments and opportunities,” said Cavanaugh. “Building on its reputation as a great place to live and conduct business, Asheville has become a competitive player in growing areas of the U.S. economy, including advanced manufacturing, climate science, entrepreneurship and craft brewing.”

“Business owners, managers, investors and anyone in sales or marketing has to keep their fingers on the economy’s pulse to be successful in business,” said Heidi Reiber, Director of Research for the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and EDC. “We’re excited to hear from a distinguished expert such as Mr. Ip on national economic factors impacting our region’s economy at the Metro Outlook this year.”

The Asheville Metro Economy Outlook, presented by Parsec Financial Management, is offered by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Coalition for Asheville-Buncombe County (EDC). The event is open to the public and will be held in The Omni Grove Park Inn’s Grand Ballroom starting at 5 p.m. with networking, followed by the program from 5:30-7 p.m. Cost to attend is only $10 for Asheville Chamber members, $15 for non-members and registration is free for students. Attendees should register in advance on the Chamber’s website at http://web.ashevillechamber.org/events.

Sponsors for the 15th Annual Asheville Metro Economy Outlook include: Parsec Financial Management, The Omni Grove Park Inn, Asheville Citizen-Times, ERC Broadband, Carolina Alliance Bank, Duke Energy Progress, Roberts & Stevens, P.A., Asheville Savings Bank, HomeTrust Bank, Dixon Hughes Goodman, UNC Asheville, McGuire, Wood, & Bissette, PA; BMW of Asheville, TD Bank, BB&T, WNCW 88.7 FM, BP Solutions Group, Blue Moon Water, and FASTSIGNS.

The Economic Development Coalition (EDC) for Asheville-Buncombe County is a public-private partnership committed to: creating and retaining high quality jobs, community leadership, and being a resource for better business decisions.  The EDC accomplishes this mission through its four core services: business retention and expansion, small business and entrepreneurship, research, and marketing and recruitment.  The EDC is funded by Buncombe County, the City of Asheville, the Town of Weaverville, the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and the AVL 5×5 Campaign. Visit www.ashevillechamber.org/economic-development.

The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce is a member organization with over 1,800 member businesses and organizations. Chamber members collaborate with community organizations and coalitions to support the community and each other with the mission of building community through business. The Chamber is home to a 4,000 square foot Visitor Center which welcomes over 200,000 visitors per year. To get active in the Chamber, visit www.ashevillechamber.org.

ASAP’s 2014 Farm Tour Announced

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – On September 20 and 21, from 1 until 6 pm, the gates and barns of 37 Appalachian Grown certified farms across Western North Carolina will open to the public for ASAP’s annual Farm Tour. The self-guided tour offers a chance for locals and visitors alike to learn how food grows, taste farm-fresh products, see farm animals, and meet the community’s food and fiber producers.

Advance passes are on sale now for $25 at asapconnections.org and at select area businesses and tailgate markets (a list of vendors can be found online). One pass admits an entire carload to any participating farm both days. Passes can also be purchased the day of the tour at the first farm stop for $30, or individual farms can be toured for $10. Farm Tour guides are available online and from pass vendors. Guides include a map, directions, tour tips, and a list of family friendly activities.  The guide also includes information on ASAP’s Farm Tour Photo Contest.  Visitors can submit their tour photos for a chance to win great prizes, and have their photos printed in the 2015 Farm Tour guide!

September 21 and 20 aren’t the only important dates when it comes to this year’s big event. On Friday, September 19 at 7:30 pm, ASAP will partner with the OM Sanctuary to offer the Taste of the Tour, a cooking demo provided by ASAP’s Growing Minds Program. Participants can learn simple cooking techniques to prepare seasonal foods found on the tour. Tickets are $45, which includes a pass to the Farm Tour. Go to omsanctuary.org for ticket purchase and more information. For additional pre-tour activities visit asapconnections.org.

2014 Farm Tour Participating Farms*

Buncombe
Addison Farms Vineyard
Adelbert Farm
Amusing Farms**
Becki’s Bounty
Eagledove Greenhouse and Farm**
Flying Cloud Farm
Franny’s Farm**
Full Sun Farm**
Gaining Ground Farm
Good Fibrations
Hickory Nut Gap Farm
Imladris Farm
Ivy Creek Family Farm
Long Branch Environmental Education Center
Meadow Cove Farm**
New Sprout Organic Farms**
Round Mountain Creamery
Smoking J’s Fiery Foods and Farm
Venezia Dream Farm

Haywood
Sunburst Trout Farms
Two Trees Farm**

Henderson
Justus Orchard
Living Web Farms**
North River Farms**
Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards

Madison
Doubletree Farm**
Dry Ridge Farm
East Fork Farm
Farmhouse Beef
Root Bottom Farm**
Wake Robin Farm Breads

McDowell
Farm Fresh Ventures
Vandele Farms on Cedar Creek

Yancey
Duck Dance
Farm
Mountain Gardens
Wellspring Farm
*Click name for farm information via ASAP’s online Local Food Guide.
**New to the tour this year.

Those interested in taking the tour can find more information, including details on volunteering and attending the tour for free, at asapconnections.org. ASAP’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as their community website fromhere.org, will feature event information and stories leading up to the tour. Participants are also invited to share their journey via social media using #asapfarmtour during the weekend.

Event sponsor for the 2014 Farm Tour is Ingles Markets. Other tour sponsors include Carolina Farm Credit, Green River Picklers, Greenlife Grocery, IWANNA, The Laurel of Asheville, WNC Magazine, WNC Woman, ImageSmith, Knox Mason, and Sierra Nevada.

ABOUT ASAP (APPALACHIAN SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROJECT)

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 in the region, visit asapconnections.org, or call (828) 236-1282.

US Forest Service Web App Features Trails for Leaf Viewing

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The U.S. Forest Service invites national forest visitors to use the new NCtrails.org web application for planning their fall foliage adventures.

Unveiled in May 2014, the searchable web application (web app) offers details on three popular trail systems in western North Carolina, as well as state-of-the-science information on the region’s forests.

The Browse Trails section of the web app includes information on trails in the Tsali (pronounced “SAH-lee”) Recreation Area, located in the Nantahala National Forest Cheoah Ranger District, and the Jackrabbit Recreation Area in the national forest’s Tusquitee Ranger District. The site also features two large sections of the Appalachian Trail that pass through the Nantahala National Forest.

The Forest Service’s Southern Research Station and National Forests in North Carolina produced the web app in cooperation with the University of North Carolina Asheville National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center.

WCU Enrollment Hits 10,382 for Another Record Year

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – One year after total student enrollment at Western Carolina University topped 10,000 for the first time in the institution’s history, records continue to tumble at WCU as this fall’s official enrollment stands at 10,382.

University officials say the 2.7 percent jump in the total student population over last year’s tally of 10,107 is driven in part by an increase in the size of the freshman class and another year of improved retention rates.

That’s the word from WCU’s Office of Institutional Planning and Effectiveness, which compiles official census statistics for reporting to the University of North Carolina system.

The number of first-time, full-time freshmen at WCU this fall is 1,745, up 8.1 percent from the fall 2013 freshman class of 1,614, said Tim Metz, assistant vice chancellor for planning and effectiveness.

The university’s freshman retention rate – the percentage of first-time, full-time undergraduate students who returned for their sophomore year – is nearly 78 percent, comparable to last year’s record of approximately 79 percent, Metz said.

The average high school weighted grade-point average for the freshman class this year is 3.74, up from last year’s overall freshman class GPA of 3.67, he said.

Although classes began at the university Monday, Aug. 18, enrollment numbers are not official until after the 10th day of classes, referred to as “census day.” Even then, the numbers are not considered final until any errors have been corrected and the files have been submitted to UNC General Administration.

Adjustments do need to be made on occasion, as was the case last year when the university announced a fall 2013 enrollment of 10,106 students, only to find that a coding error resulted in one student being missed in the preliminary count – and to an actual enrollment tally of 10,107.

Despite the fact that the dust barely has settled on the 2013-14 student recruitment cycle, the Office of Undergraduate Admission currently is at work sorting through applications for WCU’s freshman class of 2015.

In fact, more than 2,000 high school students already have submitted applications for admission for next fall, said Phil Cauley, director of student recruitment and transitions.

“Enrollment growth can’t be attributed to any one thing,” Cauley said. “Certainly, as the student enrollment has grown, word of mouth is a great advantage as there are more WCU students who are back in their hometowns talking up WCU. The momentum we’ve enjoyed from the growth helps with continued momentum, but that momentum didn’t just happen and can be attributed to a mix of strategies and many factors.”

Among those strategies, he said, is increasing the size of the overall pool of prospective students, emphasizing the importance of “fit” so that students select a college that is right for them, and focusing on university programming aimed at helping first-year students successfully make the transition from high school to college life.

The Office of Undergraduate Admission encourages students to visit campus, either through attendance at one of several Open House events held throughout the year or by participating in expanded weekday campus tour options, to see if WCU is the right fit for them, Cauley said.

The first of four scheduled Open House events for prospective WCU students and their parents is set for Saturday, Sept. 20. Additional events at WCU are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 22; Saturday, Feb. 14; and Saturday, March 21.

For more information on Open House at WCU, visit the website openhouse.wcu.edu.

Enjoy Fall Foliage in the Mountains

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The U.S. Forest Service National Forests in North Carolina unveiled its Fall Foliage 2014 webpage, which features scenic drives and other activities for enjoying autumn‘s colorful splendor in the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests.

The feature is posted at http://www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc, click on “Fall Foliage in Western North Carolina – 2014.”

The webpage describes scenic drives and popular locations for viewing mountain plants at high, middle and low elevations this fall. For example, driving along NC 28 and 143 in Graham County from Fontana Village to Stecoah Gap will allow visitors to see vibrant fall colors at the mid-elevation level. The webpage also includes links to webcams, maps and other useful online sources.