(Mountain XPress) Crowdfunding platforms make it possible for individuals and organizations of any size to harness social networks and raise start-up capital for projects that might otherwise fail due to lack of funding. Each week,Xpress highlights notable WNC crowdsourcing initiatives that may inspire readers to become new faces in the crowd.
BROTHER WOLF ANIMAL RESCUE CALENDAR
Brother Wolf Animal Rescue is a local no-kill animal shelter and adoption center. The well-known nonprofit operates 365 days per year under the motto “uncompromised compassion,” pairing rescued animals with forever homes. One of Brother Wolf’s largest fundraisers is its annual calendar, a high-quality, 11-by 17-inch calendar featuring organizational success stories alongside animal pictures. This year’s calendar, themed “who saved whom?” will “melt your heart and uplift your soul,” according to organizers. Brother Wolf aims to raise $5,000 by Sept. 24, in support of its shelter and adoption operations. Warning: adorable animal slideshow below.
Read the full report HERE>
(Asheville Citizen-Times) Gov. Pat McCrory signed a bill into law Saturday that increases funding for industry to modernize and allows Evergreen Packaging in Canton to tap into $12 million to help pay for new gas-fired boilers. Surrounded by legislators representing the mountain region, the governor signed the bill at a brief ceremony at the Governor’s Western Residence. The governor said the measure, which modifies the Job Maintenance and Capital Development Fund, is all about jobs and keeping and retaining a manufacturing base in North Carolina while boosting the environment.
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(Smoky Mountain News) Western North Carolina is no longer on State Geologist Ken Taylor’s schedule for this fall’s tour de hydrocarbons in North Carolina. Taylor had planned to come to WNC in September to collect rock samples from road rights-of-way to test their carbon content. That initial test would have determined whether there was any point in pursuing shale gas exploration in the region any further. “The priorities outlined by the General Assembly and outlined in the budget have directed us to look at the basins in the central portion of the state where we’ve already been conducting analyses and testing,” said Jamie Kritzer, public information officer for the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. In other words, the 2014-15 budget came in a little tighter than expected, so studies will focus on the Dan River, Deep River and Cumberland-Marlboro basins, which are thought to have the greatest potential of any area in the state.
Read the full story HERE>
(Ashvegas) The Buncombe County Economic Development Commission has released the results of its economic impact study of this year’s Moogfest music festival. This year was the first year that Moog Music Inc., based here in Asheville, took on the festival itself (with the help of a music-booking agency and local PR). Mike Adams, Moog’s CEO, has said the company spent about $3 million to put on the event, and that it would take a hiatus next year and return in 2016.
Read the entire report HERE>
(Asheville Citizen-Times) The biggest change in nearly 100 years is coming to the former factory district, where graffiti covers the ruins of agricultural and manufacturing warehouses and trees grow from abandoned buildings. Narrow sidewalks come to abrupt halts in some places, forcing visitors into streets where cut-through drivers whiz by at 40 miles over the limit. Parking can be a nightmare. The city and the federal government this week announced a combined $30 million dollars to fix infrastructure problems, including straightening Riverside Drive and completing an interconnected 6-mile network of pedestrian, bicycle, and roadway improvements.
Read the entire story HERE>
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(Winston Salem Journal) Lower gas prices are expected to encourage motorists in the Triad and statewide to pack in one more summer trip during the extended Labor Day weekend, according to a AAA Carolinas report released Wednesday. More than 1 million North Carolinians are expected to travel at least 50 miles from home during the five-day period, which begins Thursday. That’s up 1.3 percent from a year ago. Of those travelers, 870,000 will be driving and 81,000 will be flying. Gas prices, as of Wednesday, were down 3.4 percent statewide to an average of $3.349 a gallon for regular unleaded. Prices were down 22 cents since the July Fourth holiday and down 12 cents year over year.
Read the full story HERE>
One month after City Council says Pack Board unfit to run facility, County Commissioners commit nearly $400K of tax payers money toward Pack Place
(Asheville Citizen Times) The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved a motion 7-0 to maintain about 96 percent of the funding it originally tabbed for Pack Place. During the 2015 budget process, the commissioners and the Culture and Recreation Authority Board approved an appropriation of $409,076 for Pack Place, and that money could only be paid to the Pack Place board. The funding includes $185,000 for utilities; nearly $181,000 for operations and maintenance to be split among three entities based on square footage, unless the partners come up with a better plan; and $3,925 per month for July and August for the Pack Place board. County manager Wanda Greene made a presentation showing that the county made a $6.9 million cash investment to Pack Place from fiscal year 1988-2008 while the city contributed $6.8 million during the same time period. Since fiscal year 2009, however, the county has given about $2.5 million while the city has given $284,000, according to the county.
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(Asheville Citizen-Times) City government is considering paying the developer of apartments and retail space planned for the River Arts District more than $760,000 in return for limits on residential rents in the project. City Council has set an Aug. 26 public hearing on the proposed incentive grant for RAD Lofts, to be located on the former Dave Steel property at the “five points” intersection where Roberts Street, Depot Street, Lyman Street and Clingman Avenue meet. The development will contain 209 apartments, 48,500 square feet of commercial space, including a community grocery store and a two-story underground parking deck at a development cost estimated at about $52 million. Developer Harry Pilos said he hopes to begin construction by November. RAD Lofts promises to significantly increase activity in the neighborhood, bringing what Pilos said would be about 350 residents to what is now an empty lot. It has also prompted worries that it will contribute to gentrification.
Read the full story HERE>
(Staff Reports, 1350 WZGM) ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The Mission Center for Telehealth has received a two-year grant of more than $700,000 from The Duke Endowment to make comprehensive healthcare for children in rural communities more convenient and accessible by expanding the Health-e-Schools program, a collaborative telemedicine effort with The Center for Rural Health Innovation (CRHI).
Telehealth is the method of providing health care, health information, and health education across a distance. Using secure telecommunications technology physicians, nurses, and health care specialists can assess, diagnose and treat patients without requiring them to be physically present in the same location. In the Health-e-Schools program, a student or faculty member joined by a school nurse is connected to a healthcare provider at another location. School based telehealth provides access to acute care visits, primary care visits, and specialty visits. The collaborative approach between the Center for Rural Health Innovation and Mission Children’s Hospital allows patients to access providers with both organizations.
“School-based centers have been proven to also improve academic outcomes by increasing attendance, grade point averages and high school graduation rates. In our communities, it can be difficult for working parents to ensure their children receive preventative healthcare or follow-up care, leading to missed days of school and higher use of hospital emergency departments,” said Steve North, MD, MPH Outpatient Medical Director at the Mission Center for Telehealth and Founder and Medical Director of The Center for Rural Health Innovation. “Telehealth is emerging as the preferred solution to improve access to care and improve health outcomes, especially in rural communities.”
The Health-e-Schools program helps bring exceptional care to young patients by increasing classroom attendance for students and decreasing time away from work for the parent or student caregiver. With this grant, the program will increase access in public schools, further improving comprehensive health outcomes and academic outcomes and decreasing overall health expenditures. Mission Children’s Hospital and the Mission Center for Telehealth have been collaborating with the CRHI to provide pediatric cardiac care through its primary program, MY Health-e-Schools, since early 2014.
“This Duke Endowment grant will assist Mission Health in providing the best evidence-based care to patients regardless of where they may be located. It will help assure improved care, cost savings and convenience for patients,” said Bryan T. Arkwright, MHA, Director of the Mission Center for Telehealth. “The expansion of the Health-e-Schools program will help bring exceptional care to some of our most vulnerable, our children.”
The Duke Endowment grant is to be disbursed in two installments, $401,207 in 2014 and $300,000 in 2015. The MY Health-e-Schools established by the CRHI is currently available to approximately 4,000 school-age students in rural school districts in Mitchell and Yancey counties. By 2016, this endowment will allow the MY Health-e-Schools program to be available in at least 12 new public schools in another two rural school districts, reaching a potential 5,000 additional school-aged children. The first district targeted for implementation is McDowell County Schools.
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