Dozens of APD Officers Publicly Call for Chief Anderson’s Immediate Resignation

(WLOS News 13) A 4 page petition has been delivered to the Asheville City Manager’s office this afternoon demanding the APD’s leadership problems be addressed immediately. The petition was signed by 44 APD police officers within the past two days, shortly after News 13 Investigates exposed problems including an officer shortage, morale issues and expired radar guns.  In the petition, officers state they, along with the citizens of Asheville, are not being best served by the current APD leadership. As a result, they are requesting these issues be addressed immediately. Several officers interviewed with News 13 and are now publicly demanding the Chief hand in his resignation immediately. Officers say although 44 signed the petition, twice that number have endorsed it but will not add their signatures for fear of retaliation. For the first time, nearly a dozen APD officers have agreed to come forward, explaining how the APD’s current atmosphere is putting public safety at risk.

See the full coverage of the controversy HERE>

Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands set for Oct. 16-19 in downtown Asheville

(Ashvegas) Join the 67th Annual Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands at the U.S. Cellular Center in downtown Asheville, NC, July 17 – 20 and October 16 – 19, 2014. Nearly 200 juried artists of the Southern Highland Craft Guild will be selling works of clay, metal, wood, jewelry, fiber, paper, natural materials, leather and mixed media. With styles ranging from traditional to contemporary, the Fairs showcase the rich talent, diversity and craft mastery of Guild members. The Craft Fairs have a proud tradition and history of excellence by representing the Southern Highland Craft Guild, a non-profit organization formed in 1930. The Fairs began in 1948 as a way to provide a regional market for the mountain craftspeople. Since that time, the Craft Fairs have set the standard for fine craft shows across the country. Each year in July and October craft collectors and gallery owners from across the country come to Asheville to see the show. They are joined by western North Carolina residents and tourists who appreciate the quality and history of the show, knowing it is an ideal destination for shopping and inspiration. Nearly 20,000 visitors to the Fairs each year invest in the regional and local economies while supporting artists working in the Appalachian mountains, and by spending a summer or fall weekend in beautiful Asheville, NC.  [Press Release]

Read the entire report HERE>

Metro Wine’s “Sip and Speak” language series pairs wine and words

(Mountain XPress)  “This is about the fusion of two passions,” says French instructor and wine enthusiast Allison Weems, explaining the inspiration behind her new continuing education series, Sip and Speak. The Asheville French School founder approached Metro Wines owners Gina Trippi and John Kerr earlier this year with the idea of offering in-store classes exploring basic language skills and regional wines of France. So far, classes have been a hit, with the store’s certified specialist of wine, Andy Hale, calling the pairing “the perfect marriage.” “It’s like a virtual trip,” says Weems, describing her classes. For eight consecutive weeks, Weems covers a new region, from which Hale presents several wines. “We talk about the history of the grape itself and the history of the region,” says Weems, who bases her lesson content on Hale’s selections. According to Tippi, the lessons are a casual alternative for adults who may be intimidated by studying in a more formal classroom environment. “It’s a good, comfortable atmosphere,” she affirms. Intermediate student Gary Gress couldn’t agree more. “Parlant français avec un verre de vin est la combinaison parfaite!” he says. (Translation: “Speaking French with a glass of wine is the perfect combination!”)

Read the full story HERE>

Asheville Mayor defends pride flag at City Hall

(Asheville Citizen-Times) A decision allowing that a two-story rainbow flag be flown at City Hall had more to do with supporting civil rights than jumping into political conflict over same-sex marriage, Mayor Esther Manheimer said Friday. Manheimer said she didn’t have a discussion with City Manager Gary Jackson about displaying the flag, symbolizing gay pride, a move that drew some criticism. City Council unanimously approved the action, she said. “I recognize that people have different views on these issues, and I’m sensitive to that,” Manheimer said. Former City Councilman Carl Mumpower and Chad Nesbitt, a former chairman of the Buncombe County GOP, said council violated state open meetings law by not holding vote during an official meeting in public. “There is a reason that North Carolina instructs local elected bodies to handle their affairs in an open and deliberative way,” Nesbitt and Mumpower said in a statement. “Otherwise, they would be free, such as in this case, to indulge their personal feelings and conduct business behind closed doors and over private phone lines.”

Read the full story HERE>

Permit pileup: Following the paper trail for Asheville’s growing food economy

(Mountain XPress) Nicknames like “Beer City USA,” “Foodtopia” and “Paris of the South” all acknowledge Asheville’s increasing significance as a food and drink haven. But for city development officials, keeping pace with the permitting needs of a burgeoning food industry has been a hard bite to swallow. A certificate of occupancy must be obtained and displayed prominently in commercial establishments, but for some restaurateurs, the legal document also serves as a battle scar of sorts. In business settings, the CO states that a building is fit to be occupied by a certain number of customers, and this human-safety aspect makes it more troublesome to acquire than most food and alcohol licenses. In the simplest terms, the quest for a CO consists of two phases — the planning stage and the build-out — and the approval of both can require smaller prerequisite permits and months of collaboration between city officials and a restaurateur’s team. “We had a very difficult time in the permit process during plan review,” says Hole doughnut shop co-owner Caroline Whatley. Typically, plan reviews are facilitated by a single reviewer, but in Whatley’s case, a sudden reassignment added more than 20 new items to Hole’s to-do list, tagging an extra month onto the plans-approval process.

Read the full story HERE>

Expired APD Radar Guns Exposed, Speeding Tickets in Asheville on Hold

(News 13 WLOS) Cases involving speeding tickets are put on hold in Asheville after a News 13 investigation reveals radar guns may were not certified for accuracy. New information uncovers problems with the department’s radar guns. News 13’s investigative reporter Mike Mason tells us the District Attorney is now investigating and city officials are demanding answers. The Chief says his Command Staff never told him about this. Mike asked the Chief, “Your Lieutenants were made aware of that on August 21st, I have the memo right here, the email.” Chief Anderson replied, “Do you see my name on that?” Mike pressed the Chief asking, “I thought your Lieutenants would report to you. Isn’t that what they do?” The Chief then acknowledged, “They do.” News 13 obtained minutes from two separate staff meetings last month showing the Chief was present when radar issues were being discussed. At one point, Byrd announced the expired ‘guns were getting re-certified’. Still, the Chief denies knowing about it. Mike asked him once again, “So you haven’t heard of that?” The Chief answered, “No, I haven’t.”

See the entire report HERE>

Green Day, Nine Inch Nails among Rock Hall nominees

(USA Today) The pantheon of rock ‘n’ roll legends just might be seeing Green. Green Day, Nine Inch Nails, The Smiths and Bill Withers are among the first-time nominees for 2015 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The field also includes German electronic band Kraftwerk, hip-hop collective N.W.A., blues singer/guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan and Motown girl group The Marvelettes, all of whom show the versatility of rock ‘n’ roll, says Joel Peresman, president and CEO of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. This year’s ballot “represents a broad, diverse group of artists and demonstrates how rock ‘n’ roll has evolved over the years,” he says.

Read the entire article HERE>

Biltmore Debuts First Dressing Downton Costume

A costume worn by actress Dame Maggie Smith for her character Violet Crawley on the PBS series Downton Abbey is now on display in the Second Floor Living Hall in Biltmore, a preview for the exhibition, "Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times," which opens Feb. 5.

A costume worn by actress Dame Maggie Smith for her character Violet Crawley on the PBS series Downton Abbey is now on display in the Second Floor Living Hall in Biltmore, a preview for the exhibition, “Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times,” which opens Feb. 5. Photo courtesy of ©Carnival Films

(1350 WZGM – Staff Reports) On Wednesday, October 1, Biltmore’s conservators debuted the first costume within the “Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times” exhibition premiering at Biltmore Feb. 5, 2015. The costume is on display for visitors to view in the Second Floor Living Hall in Biltmore House now until the exhibition’s opening day on Feb. 5.

The preview costume was worn by Dame Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, during season one of “Downton Abbey” covering the years 1913-1914. Violet’s wardrobe is designed to enhance the character’s imperious nature and to reflect an earlier Edwardian style, rather than following the modern fashions of the younger members of the family. Maggie Smith wore this costume for the flower show and garden party in episodes 5 and 7. The alpaca coat and silk skirt were newly made by costume house Cosprop for Susanna Buxton, the show’s Emmy award winning designer, whereas the cotton blouse is a melding of old lace and contemporary fabrics.

“Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times,” opens Feb. 5 and continues through Memorial Day, May 25, 2015. Designed by Exhibits Development Group in cooperation with Cosprop Ltd., London, the exhibition features more than 40 costumes from the popular PBS series “Downton Abbey.” The clothing will be showcased in rooms throughout Biltmore House in groupings inspired by the fictional show and by real life at Biltmore, the grand Vanderbilt estate of the same era. For more information CLICK HERE.

Local CEO Hector Romero Named WNC Minority Entrepreneur of the Year

romero(1350 WZGM – Staff Reports) Hector Romero, President and CEO of Sanesco International, was recently named the Phyllis J. Sherrill Minority Entrepreneur of the Year at the 31st Annual WNC Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Awards in Asheville. A natural-born leader and savvy businessman, Romero built Sanesco from the ground up with the vision of improving global healthcare and optimizing clinical outcomes for individuals and families worldwide. Romero, a native of Venezuela and longtime resident of WNC, is specifically interested in the patient-driven demand for natural options and the growing need for healthcare practitioners to identify the underlying root causes of their patients’ symptoms and conditions, rather than treating or masking symptoms solely with pharmaceuticals. Romero has been working with the SBTDC for over five years, and is pictured above with SBTDC Assistant Regional Director Annice Brown. Last Fall, Sanesco took part in the WCU College of Business Management Capstone Program, which matches teams of students with regional businesses in order to work on business-related projects and develop skills that are readily transferable to industry.

Find out more about Romero and his amazing contributions to the field of neurotransmitters in a recent press release featured in the Mountain Xpress and the MED Week Committee’s web site.

Meteorologist and UNC Asheville Alumnus Presents Lecture on 2013 Tornado

Damon Lane, chief meteorologist at KOCO 5 News in Oklahoma City, will discuss the 2013 tornado disaster in Moore, Okla., in his lecture,Moore: Tornado Emergency 55,000 Survived, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2 in UNC Asheville’s Highsmith University Union, room 221. Lane, a resident of Moore, will focus on the positive aspects of the event, including the media’s role leading up to, during and following the emergency. This event is free and open to the public.

Lane’s coverage of the 2013 Moore tornado earned him an Emmy nomination. The massive tornado struck his neighborhood as he covered it live on-air, and his wife rode out the storm in their tornado shelter. Lane holds the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal of Approval from the American Meteorological Society. He has previously served as chief meteorologist in KTXS-TV in Texas, and as a guest meteorologist for ABC’sGood Morning America. Lane graduated from UNC Asheville with a degree in atmospheric sciences in 2005.

For more information, contact Doug Miller at dmiller@unca.edu or 828.232.5158.

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