(Asheville Citizen-Times) Caleb Johnson’s biggest competitor on Wednesday’s “American Idol” performance show was — Caleb Johnson. Johnson turned the levels up to 11, as Spinal Tap might have said, for “Sting Me,” his rock selection. Even better — although home viewers could barely see it — he dropped his microphone and slid on his knees toward the back of the stage to grab it off the floor without missing a word of the lyrics. Judges Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban were nearly delirious with excitement at his delivery. It was “the mark of a true professional,” J. Lo. said of Johnson’s mic recovery in her remarks after the prolonged audience cheering that followed Johnson’s number. (Lopez had to keep repeating “OK” while waiting for quiet so she could speak.) “It was a real moment. You created a moment. It was awesome.” Even mentor and former judge Randy Jackson chimed in from the edge of the stage. “That’s rock ‘n’ roll right there,” he said, almost yelling. “He was so reckless and wild. That’s what it’s all about.”

Read the full story and see video HERE>

Independent Asheville Radio Host Susan Reinhardt had an exclusive interview with Caleb’s Mom yesterday. You can listen to the Podcast HERE>

(Mountain XPress) A vibrant restaurant, brewery, wine, spirits, and boundless downtown scene have placed Asheville in the national spotlight time and again. Underground supper clubs, James Beard-nominated chefs, nationally recognized distilleries, and boasting more breweries per capita than any U.S. city, Asheville is the culinary destination. And there’s no better opportunity to sample it all in one place than during the 6th annual Asheville Wine & Food Festival, held August 21-23 at the US Cellular Center in downtown Asheville. Multiple days of events highlight the area’s top chefs, artisan food producers, craft brewers, distilleries, as well as regional and international wines. Look for our Festival App produced by UGO Tour for both iPhone and Android in July. (The event is owned and led by WZGM Host Bob Bowles and sponsored in part by Independent Asheville Radio.)

Read the full story HERE>

(Hendersonville Times-News) Almost 8,000 more people were either working or looking for jobs in March, a shift from a trend that indicated people were dropping out of the labor force, the state Commerce Department reported Monday. In the past year, only March and January showed an increase in the number of North Carolina residents working or hunting for jobs. The state’s labor force of potential or active workers shrank by nearly 50,000 since March 2013. The report showing both the state’s employment and its workforce increasing diminishes, at least for a month, arguments that the sharply improving unemployment rate was due largely to discouraged job-seekers giving up than finding jobs that are becoming increasingly available.

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WNC counties focus on truancy

Posted: April 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

(Asheville Citizen-Times) Schools, mental health providers, social workers and other agencies in seven Western North Carolina counties are working to identify problems that might be leading to truancy and to get families the services they need before the problem gets worse. The Western Region Continuum Early Intervention Program, which began this school year, includes a variety of agencies working in Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties. Their focus is on elementary-age students.

Read the full story HERE>

(Mountain XPress) The following roads will be closed during Moogfest 2014 in downtown Asheville: The outdoor stage and art exhibits during Moogfest will require the closure of Broadway and Lexington Avenue between Starnes Avenue and Hiawassee Street from 6 p.m., April 24 to 12 a.m., April 28. The I-240 onramp will remain open with the Asheville Police Department regulating pedestrian crossings during operating hours. Programming at the U.S. Cellular Center will require the closure of Hiawassee Street between Flint Street and Rankin Avenue from 8 a.m., April 22 to 6 p.m., April 27. The street may be opened from time to time based on necessity at the promoter’s discretion.

Follow all event details at http://www.moogfest.com

(Asheville Citizen-Times) Pamela Baldwin was named Asheville City Schools superintendent Tuesday morning. Baldwin, the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for Scotland County Schools in Laurinburg, was chosen over two other finalists, Ronald Hargrave of Statesville, and Jeff Cox of Sparta.  The announcement came at an Asheville City Board of Education meeting.  In her interview for the position earlier this month, Baldwin said: “I want to be a leader in a school district that matches my beliefs and values. Why Asheville City Schools? Because we match. I believe we could move from what is already excellent to phenomenal.”

Read the full story HERE>

(Asheville Citizen-Times) Mike Adams is betting serious money the revamped Moogfest that opens April 23 is not just going to attract thousands of music fans and tech geeks. If successful, the five-day event could become Asheville’s next signature event, possibly bringing new jobs, better wages and high-growth tech companies to the mountains, according to Adams, president and CEO of Moog Music, the private manufacturer of electronic musical instruments and the festival’s prime sponsor. “This is about economic development,” Adams said. “This is about whether my children’s children can find good jobs in town.”

Read the full story HERE>

(Ashvegas) Asheville police recently made two arrests, while someone tagged a beautiful landmark mural on the side of Hunter Banks on Montford Avenue. In addition to increased police patrols, City staff members across the organization have been working with business owners and community leaders to address the graffiti problem. Efforts are aimed at both immediate and mid-to-long term solutions.

See mug shots and additional information on efforts HERE>

(Asheville Citizen-Times) Should city government require housing developers to include a certain percentage of affordable units when they build a new project? A City Council committee batted the idea around a bit Tuesday after hearing a staff report on how such a requirement could work. But the committee took no action. Councilman Gordon Smith, chairman of council’s Housing and Community Development Committee, said after the meeting that instituting what is called mandatory “inclusionary zoning” is a possibility, but that city government will probably look first to other solutions to the city’s shortage of affordable housing.

Read the full story HERE>

(Ashvegas) The event, organized by Jessica Tomasin of Asheville. She’s known for her work with Echo Mountain Recording Studios, but she’s branching out with her a new event production and business development company called Jet Up. It’s a tribute to Motown Legend Eddie Holland and features some of Asheville’s finest, such as River Guerguerian, Jim Arrendell, Debrissa McKinney, Chuck Beattie, Josh Blake, Ryan Burns, Casey Cramer, Steve Cohen,Michael Selverne, Mike Rhodes and more. There’s a girl who just moved to town from Chicago named Jeanine Smith who will be performing and also this killer young girl we’ve been working with over here at the studio named Indigo De Souza. We’ll be raffling off some pretty cool prizes as well. The ticket is $20 and includes two drinks which are being provided by Asheville Brewing Company and Joni Artisanal Wine and Beer and food is being provided by Taste & See. We’ll have an area set up as with some photos from the Motown Records days. The main technician from Motown Records lives here in Asheville and he’s provided us with some photos to display.

Read the full story HERE>