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>

Suspect in Biltmore Village shootings surrenders

(Asheville Citizen-Times) A man wanted in connection with a double shooting in Biltmore Village surrendered to authorities Wednesday afternoon. Bryant DeAngelo Sanders, 21, turned himself in at the Buncombe County Courthouse, Asheville police Sgt. Dave Romick said.

Warrants against Sanders included two counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, and two counts of discharging a weapon into occupied property inflicting serious injury.

The victims and the suspect were involved in some sort of altercation right before the shots were fired, Lamb said.

According to Lamb’s account, “Multiple witnesses reported seeing a burgundy sedan pull alongside the victims’ vehicle, which was stopped in traffic in front of 10 Brook Street. Then the suspect fired into the car.”

The victims managed to drive their car to a parking lot at nearby Rezaz restaurant, 28 Hendersonville Road.

Read the full report HERE>

State task force recommends ending end-of-grade testing

(Winston-Salem Journal) North Carolina students could face fewer tests as early as next year. A state task force reviewing how and how often North Carolina public school students are tested is recommending a drastic reduction in the number of state-mandated exams. A.L. “Buddy” Collins, vice chair of the North Carolina State Board of Education, said the recommendations are still in the early stages but that the group’s first draft proposal calls for massive changes in how the state tests and calls for cutting out nearly all end-of-grade and end-of-course exams. “I don’t think anyone thinks we’re testing too little in North Carolina,” Collins said. “Everybody thinks we’re testing too much. It’s about how to accomplish the many different goals (that tests) are trying to achieve.”

Read the full story HERE>



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