After failed merger, Montreat looks to the future

 (Asheville Citizen-Times) Montreat College has always relied on its donors.And after a merger with a Georgia-based school fell through, the college is again looking to its supporters — launching an effort to raise $8 million. What we learned from this experience, in part, is there was a lot of support out there for what we’re doing, but we had to commit,” said Kevin Auman, chair of Montreat’s faculty executive committee. “And frankly, for a lot of these folks (donors), it was commit to residential education, not being the only thing we do but at the center of it.” At the same time, “We have to recognize we can’t do things the same way we always did,” Auman said. Montreat isn’t alone.

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Learning How to Protect Local Waterways

(WLOS Channel 13 News) The environmental-and-conservation organization Eco taught community members in Henderson County how to monitor waterways. Volunteers learned about insects living in streams are how they are indicators of water quality. The program plays a crucial role in Eco’s effort to keep an eye on the health of area rivers-and-tributaries. Volunteers got to put their skills to work later in the day, taking samples from the big hungry river.

See the full report HERE>

Biltmore Company seeks property rezonings

(Ashvegas) The Buncombe County Planning Board will consider a rezoning request from the Biltmore Company at the board’s April 7 meeting. The Biltmore Company wants three lots, designated with the names Fish Pond Road, Biltmore Estate Drive and Brevard Road rezoned from commercial service district to conference center/resort district. The last major development on the Biltmore Estate was completed in 2010, when the estate opened Antler Village and remodeled its winery. The Inn on Biltmore is the Estate’s upscale, four-diamond hotel on its property, opened in 2001.

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City schools announce superintendent finalists

(Asheville Citizen-Times) The Asheville City Board of Education announced three finalists Friday in the search for the district’s next superintendent. The three candidates are Ronald Hargrave of Statesville, N.C.; Jeff Cox of Sparta, N.C. and Pamela Baldwin of Laurinburg, N.C. The three were chosen from more than 100 applicants in a national search managed by HYA and Associates. The board hopes to name the new superintendent by mid-April with a projected start date of July 1.

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Asheville looking to tighten vacation rental rules

(Asheville Citizen-Times) Dozens of homes in Asheville rent for periods as short as a night or two despite city zoning rules that prohibit the practice in most residential neighborhoods. That’s prompted a push by owners of some of the properties to loosen the rules and a push back from neighborhood advocates who say short-term vacation rentals can be a nuisance. City staffers plan to bring options for dealing with the issue to a City Council committee within three months.

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Thousands Pay Tribute To Fallen WNC Officer

(WLOS Channel 13 News) A solemn and emotional farewell as an officer who paid the ultimate sacrifice is laid to rest. Thousands of law enforcement, state officials, friends and family crowded into McDowell High School to say their final goodbyes to Officer Jason Crisp and K9 Officer Maros. His loved ones spoke at the memorial service and friends had tearful words for the fallen officer. Officer Crisp was described as Christ-like, loving, giving and dedicated. It was evident by the packed room, including hundreds of uniformed personnel and dignitaries, that Officer Crisp made a major impact on the community.

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A dedication Facebook page has been set up for Officer Crisp and Maros.
Click HERE for the page.

Asheville groups object to I-26 Connector move

(Asheville Citizen-Times) It is too soon for local governments to endorse a proposed route for the I-26 Connector, neighborhood groups that could be affected by the project said Monday. “It is premature to ask the city and the county to endorse an alternative prior to the completion of the environmental impact statement and a full understanding of the relative impacts and benefits of each alternative,” says a statement released by I-26 ConnectUs Project, composed of neighborhood groups organized by environmental organization Western North Carolina Alliance. Buncombe County commissioners are scheduled to consider a resolution Tuesday that backs a route called 3C for the portion of the connector that includes a new crossing of the French Broad River north of Bowen Bridge.

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Asheville gets faster broadband service

(Asheville Citizen-Times) After four years of laying fiber-optic lines underground, RST Fiber switched on its broadband pipeline from Murphy to Manteo on Tuesday, making North Carolina the first “gigabyte” state.With the 3,100-mile 100-gigabyte pipeline looping beneath downtown Asheville, area residents and businesses could be among the first in the state to upload and download video, files and data hundreds of times faster than broadband speeds now offered by telecom and cable companies.

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I-26 Connection Challenge

(WLOS News 13) Community leaders are working together, under deadline, to decide on the controversial Interstate 26 connector. City and county leaders have until March 31st, to decide on one route for the connector. DOT says this is the deadline that will make the project a priority for state funding. Some community leaders say, by backing one connector route, the project will move higher on the priority list. But others say the deadline is unfair.

See the full report HERE>

Apartments planned on Asheville’s South Slope

(Asheville Citizen-Times) Owners of a vacant lot on Coxe Avenue propose putting an eight-story apartment building there, potentially giving a big boost to the ongoing transformation of downtown’s South Slope. If the proposed project by companies from Charlotte and Wilmington gets built, the South Slope “is going to start feeling really different,” said Alan Glines, a city planner.There are already five craft breweries within a couple of blocks of the site.

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