Buncombe parents worry schools are testing too much

(Asheville Citizen-Times) In Buncombe County, parents and teachers met earlier this year to talk about testing, and school board members are expected to hear more on the issue at a meeting next month. Beyond end-of-grade tests, the many assessments designed to track a student’s progress during the year are also causing problems, some parents say. “I’m not saying they don’t need to do it because children need to be assessed,” said parent Evelyn Burns, of Arden. “We don’t want them to be afraid to go to school and hate school.” Meanwhile, a state Board of Education task force is reviewing state summative assessments, those end-of-grade and end-of-course requirements.

Read the full report HERE>

Cam Newton pen’s powerful message to fans after accident

(USA Today) Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton suffered two transverse process fractures in his back Tuesday when he was involved in a traffic accident in Charlotte that left his truck overturned on the road. Newton was taken to the hospital and kept overnight, but discharged the following day. On Wednesday night, Newton posted a harrowing photo from his accident on Instagram and challenged fans to live life to the fullest.

Read his letter to fans HERE>

Asheville Metro Area shows lowest unemployment numbers in the state

(Mountain XPress) According to the October County and Area Employment Figures, released Dec. 9 by the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the Asheville area shows the fewest unemployment cases for any metropolitan statistical area in the state.  Buncombe County’s unemployment rate fell from 4.4 percent in the spring to 4.0 (4.1 when grouped with other counties included in the Asheville Metropolitan Statistical Area, which adds Madison, Henderson and Haywood).  While Asheville showed the lowest rate of any metropolitan area, Chatham County, showed the lowest number of cases in a county-by-county analysis, at 3.8 percent. Buncombe, Henderson and Orange tied for second, all at 4 percent unemployment.

Read the full report HERE>

Mission Health Limits Visitations for Patient Safety

Increase in Flu Incidence a Concern 

Staff Reports, 1350 WZGM (Asheville, NC) – Due to an increase in influenza (flu) activity throughout North Carolina, Mission Health asks that family and friends limit their visits to patients in the hospital. In particular, Mission Health suggests that children under age 12 and people who do not feel well should call patients rather than visit them at the hospital. Mission Health is implementing this precaution at Mission Hospital and all Mission Health member hospitals and affiliates in western North Carolina including CarePartners in Asheville, McDowell Hospital in Marion, Transylvania Regional Hospital in Brevard, Blue Ridge Regional Hospital in Spruce Pine, Angel Medical Center in Franklin and Highlands-Cashiers Hospital in Highlands.

In addition to limiting exposure, the spread of the flu can be controlled with frequent hand washing.  All hospital visitors are urged to wash their hands before and after visiting.

“The decision to limit patient visitations is based on recommendations from Mission Health’s Infection Prevention Committee in a system-wide effort to minimize the spread of influenza among our patients. Moreover, we don’t want healthy visitors picking up the flu and then spreading it throughout the community,” said William Hathaway, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Mission Hospital and Mission Medical Associates. “Our patients are our first priority and their health and safety is vital as we work toward our goal of achieving our BIG(GER) Aim: to get each patient to the desired outcome, first without harm, also without waste and with an exceptional experience for the patient and family.”

Limiting visitations is a precaution often taken during flu season when flu activity reaches a certain level.  Should the flu activity level increase, further restrictions may be recommended or implemented.  As a reminder, Mission asks that those who do not feel well at any time, and not just during flu season, refrain from visiting loved ones in the hospital for infection prevention reasons.

For more information, please visit mission-health.org or@MissionHealthNC.

Providing A Memorable Christmas For Local Children

(WLOS Channel 13 News) With Christmas just a few weeks away, some parents worry about how they’re going to is provide Christmas gifts for their children. The Third Annual Ingles Magical Christmas Toy Drive kicks off Thursday, with the goal of providing Christmas gifts for thousands of children across the mountains. News 13 is teaming up with Ingles, Eblen Charities and Clear Channel Radio to make it happen. News 13 is live all morning and evening Thursday, with a look at the drive and how you can help. The Ingles Magical Toy Drive will be held at the Ingles on Tunnel Road in Asheville. It kicks off at 4:30am Thursday, December 4th and runs through 2pm Saturday, December 6th.

See the full report HERE>


Asheville Deemed One of America’s “Smartest Cities”

Photo by Derek Olson

(WLOS Channel 13 News) According to a new list by Forbes, Asheville is one of America’s smartest cities. It ranked eighth on the list of small towns which also includes St. George, Utah (1st), Ocean City, New Jersey (3rd), Wilmington, North Carolina (5th) and Redmond-Bend, Oregon (9th). Forbes compiled the smart city list by looking at the growth of the cities’ college-educated population, saying the small towns have “lured many down-shifting, but often well-educated baby boomers.”

Read the full story HERE>

AdvantageWest gets $1.2 million for ScaleUp WNC

(Asheville Citizen-Times) With 14,000 gallons produced this year, Noble Cider is not the same company it was two years ago when the market’s big thirst for their small batch of 2,000 gallons caused the barrels to run dry before the next apple season.  In less than two years, the local hard cider company has grown its production by 700 percent, increased its contracts from 5 to 75 and is in the process of opening a 9,000-square foot facility in the former Carpet Connection building in West Asheville. The startup phase is over. However, a new opportunity to help Western North Carolina businesses like Noble Cider to grow has just begun.  AdvantageWest, the nonprofit economic development partnership for the state’s 23 westernmost counties, was recently awarded a five-year, $1.2 million contract to develop ScaleUp WNC. The initiative will provide intensive growth strategy development and implementation assistance to 150 local, high-growth entrepreneurs — a resource that Matt Raker, vice president of entrepreneurship at AdvantageWest, said the region sorely needs.

Read the full story HERE>

Cold Snap Prompts “Code Purple”

(WLOS Channel 13 News) Area homeless shelters are opening their doors and making extra room to help people stay warm. They’ve issued a “code purple” alert, which means extra cots for people showing up during this cold spell.

“We’re going to find space and we’re going to make sure that people are taken care of and we have extra people who actually volunteer to step up and be able to handle the crowds,” Micheal Woods said, with WNC Rescue Ministries.

See the full report HERE>

Chocolate Lounge to open soon in Asheville

(Asheville Citizen-Times) The heart of Asheville is about to be a hub for chocolate, with a seven-flavor hot chocolate dispenser and a chocolate bar library. Jael and Dan Rattigan, owners of the French Broad Chocolate Lounge since 2006, will open their new 4,200 square-foot chocolate boutique and lounge Nov. 28 at 10 Pack Square. The original Lexington Avenue Lounge will hold its last service Nov. 22, according to Jael Rattigan, who owns the growing chocolate business with her husband Dan Rattigan. The Rattigans do not know what will take over the 10 S. Lexington building.

Read the full story HERE>

Police Request Surveillance After Body Is Dropped Off at E.R.

(WLOS Channel 13 News) Asheville Police say they are still working to identify the man who dropped off a body at Mission Hospital around 1 a.m. Saturday. Law enforcement said Tuesday afternoon they have requested hospital surveillance video via a search warrant. The body was identified Monday as 26-year-old Logan Pittman of Bakersville. Friends said they were stunned to hear the news. “Getting dropped off at a hospital, I mean that’s what shocked me the worst,” Logan’s friend Allen Cason said. “If you’re going to take somebody to the hospital, at least make sure they’re all right and stay with them – don’t just leave them.”

See the full report HERE>


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