Blue Ridge Parkway is getting its own quarter

(Asheville Citizen-Times) The Blue Ridge Parkway is getting into the money-minting business. The Parkway Quarter Launch and Coin Exchange commemorating the release of the 2015 Blue Ridge Parkway quarter will be 10 a.m. June 25 at Pack Square Park downtown. The quarter, which features one of the parkway’s many iconic tunnels, is the 28th coin to be released in the United States Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters Program. Festivities will include music by David Holt, Blue Ridge Parkway partners, and parkway rangers, who will have activities to “bring the parkway into the city,” said Leesa Brandon, parkway spokeswoman.

Read the complete story HERE>

Meet Asheville’s new police chief: Tammy Hooper

(Asheville Citizen-Times) The city of Asheville has announced it has hired Tammy Hooper, currently deputy chief of the Alexandria, Virginia, Police Department, as the city’s new chief of police. The announcement comes after a national search that generated 141 resumes for the position, vacated when chief William Anderson resigned last year after a bumpy tenure. Hooper, a 26-year veteran of police work, will start work July 20, according to a press release from the city of Asheville.

Read the full story HERE>

Duke Announces Plan to Replace Lake Julian Coal Plant with Natural Gas and Solar Facility

(1350 WZGM) Duke Energy today announced plans to retire its Asheville, N.C., coal-fired power plant in four to five years and modernize its generation and transmission system in western North Carolina and upstate South Carolina – significantly reducing environmental impacts, improving system reliability and minimizing long-term costs to customers. “We’ve developed an innovative plan that’s a ‘win-win-win’ for consumers, the environment and the economy,” said Lloyd Yates, Duke Energy executive vice president of market solutions and president of the Carolinas region. “With the availability and near record low cost of natural gas, this comprehensive project will transform the energy system in the region to meet the growing needs of our customers and significantly reduce emissions and water use. We’re eager to move ahead quickly on these projects and complete the key components of the plan by the end of 2019.”  The plan’s major components include retiring the 376-megawatt Asheville coal power plant, investing approximately $750 million to build a 650-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant, and installing solar generation at the site – one of the first combinations of its kind.

Read the entire announcement HERE>

Review the plan details HERE>

Tests to look for contamination spread from CTS site

(Asheville Citizen-Times) CTS Corp. will expand testing near its long-closed manufacturing plant, agreeing to a federal government request that raises concern over whether underground contamination from the Superfund site might be more widespread than once thought. Representatives with the Indiana-based company in a March meeting with the Environmental Protection Agency said CTS would conduct more testing on the western edge of an underground contamination plume covering 119 acres. That plume — about the size of 90 football fields — pushes into the backyards of some homes in Southside Village, a gated community near the former plant off Mills Gap Road.

Read the full report HERE>

Hillcrest Apartments get an organic boost from GreenWorks

(Mountain XPress) Asheville GreenWorks partnered up April 11 with volunteers to transform an empty green lot at Hillcrest Apartments into an orchard. GreenWorks received a grant to plant its sixth community orchard at Hillcrest, with 24 ball-and-burlap apple trees and 36 blueberries. The goal is to promote better access to food, greenspace, shade, community pride and jobs.

See a full photo essay on the day HERE>

RiverLink to host North Fork tours

(Photo courtesy of RiverLink.)

(Photo courtesy of RiverLink.)

(Staff Reports) Join RiverLink for a tour of the North Fork Reservoir, and discover the process by which our water is treated and distributed. The tour will last about two hours and will address watershed dynamics, filtration and chlorination, water quality testing, distribution and control operations.

They have two available tour dates: Tuesday April 7th and Tuesday April 14th. 
There will be a carpooling meet-up location at 1:30pm and the tour will start at 2pm.
 
If you are interested in attending one of these tours please email their education coordinator, Alex Guyton at education@riverlink.org or call (828) 252-8474 x.18 to sign-up. Spaces are limited and fill up quick!
For more information about RiverLink, click HERE>

WNC Home, Garden and Green Living Show This Weekend in Downtown Asheville

The WNC Home, Garden and Green Living Show will feature products and services for the home, garden and an eco-friendly lifestyle. Asheville home builders will display the latest in home construction techniques, materials, products, green building and more. Companies will be exhibiting home furnishings, eco-friendly transportation, lawn and garden equipment, landscaping, clean energy products, pools and spas, home financing, health & wellness, educational institutions, appliances, home security and entertainment, decorating ideas, decks and patios, sporting goods, heating and cooling equipment, pet products, green businesses, home repair and renovation, and much more.

Various Hosts from Independent Asheville Radio will be on hand for ‘elevator pitch’ recordings and conversations all weekend. Stop by our remote broadcast booth!

Learn more about the event HERE>

Get in Gear Fest celebrates WNC’s outdoors

(Asheville Citizen-Times) The outdoors scene is blowing up across the mountains and the Outdoor Gear Builders of Western North Carolina is happy to be igniting part of the blast. The family-friendly festival will feature product demos, gear clinics, beer from local breweries, raffles and the opportunity to try out things you might never have done before, from a sling shot range to a pump track to a “squeeze box.” A portion of proceeds from beer sales will benefit RiverLink, a nonprofit that works to revitalize the French Broad River.

Read the full story HERE>

PROGRAM NOTE: Our very own Dale Stewart and Matt Mittan will be at the event recording syndicated broadcasts. Stop by and say hello!

Storm dumps heavy snow on Asheville area; ice threat remains

(Asheville Citizen-Times) Heavy snow that brought many government offices and businesses to a standstill Thursday had the potential to create havoc for travelers on the roads — except for one thing.

Many people apparently heeded officials’ advice and stayed home, law enforcement officers said.

But officials were advising motorists not to let their guard down on the highways Friday morning because of the potential for black ice, particularly on secondary roads.

“That’s going to be a threat tomorrow (Friday) morning,” National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Horne said.

Read the full story HERE>

Here comes more housing: 45-lot Craggy Park receives zoning approval

(Mountain XPress) A 45-lot subdivision that had a contentious public hearing over traffic congestion and density received zoning approval at the Feb. 24 Asheville City Council meeting.

The Craggy Park subdivision will be located in two phases in the Falconhurst neighborhood in West Asheville, at 95 Craggy Ave. Council voted 6-1 to approve the conditional zoning, with Council member Cecil Bothwell returning the only no vote.

The 8.58-acre wooded site has a few homes on the property currently, and a stream running through the center. David Tuch of Equinox Environmental reported that his firm’s goal is to help make the development environmentally friendly.

Read the full story HERE>

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