Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Stories of Mountain Folk for 3-22-14

Stories of Mountain Folk is a weekly podcast produced by Catch the Spirit of Appalachia and archived at Western Carolina University.

March 22, 2014:
Storytelling: Today Amy Talks about the inspiration of her grandfather, as she tells the story of "Grandpa Told Me Stories."  Music:  “A Rose in a Fire”
Creative Corner:  Doreyl's guest is Brenda Deyton from Robbinsville, who shares her personal story of how she came to write a book on finances. Music: “Moose” by Banjo Mania.
Stories of Mountain Folk: Amy's guest is  once more 71-year-old Phyllis Fox from Savannah Community in Jackson County, who shares her experiences as a volunteer in the county.  Music: "Lost All My Money But A Two Dollar Bill" by Earl Taylor & Jim McCall
Stories of the Cherokee:  Today we introduce Shawn Crowe as our new interviewer/storyteller from Cherokee, who shares stories about "witches" and then presents Jerry Wolf with an original Cherokee legend.  Music is by Bo Taylor.
Going Down Another Road: Judy shares some memories of her uncle and aunt who have made an impression upon her life.  Music:  "Silent Night" and"This is My Story" by Judy's family.
Closing Song: "Old Friend" by Terry Edwards.

CLICK HERE to listen to Stories of Mountain Folk 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Carolina Public Press Reports Asheville Metro and WNC Countywide Joblessness Increases

March 25, 2014 - Unemployment across the 18 westernmost counties of North Carolina increased in January -- just as it did in the Asheville metropolitan statistical area -- according to data recently released by the state employment office.

Unemployment rates ranged from a low in Polk County of 4.9 to a high in Graham County of 14.4. The majority of WNC Counties continue higher rates than the national average although current rates are improved in the area from this time last year. 

Get the full report and READ MORE on Carolina Public Press...

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Adventure Center of Asheville Offers New Features for 2014

Get ready for three exciting new adventures coming this spring to the Adventure Center of Asheville Not only is ACA adding 10 new elements to the popular Treetops Adventure Park, but construction will soon be under way on the KidZip zipline tour, a full zipline tour for kids.

Also coming this spring, The Tree Climbing Adventure.  A tree based vertical climb using rock holds (like on a climbing wall) secured onto trees. For more information on these exciting new activities contact The Adventure Center of Asheville at 225-2921 or reservations at 800-451-9972.

The Asheville Treetops Adventure Park is a relatively new Asheville Attraction comprised of 50 unique climbing, zipping, walking, jumping, swinging, and rappelling challenges anchored to over 30 trees and towering poles tucked into a wooded park just minutes from downtown Asheville. Asheville Treetops Adventure Park has four different adventure trails that allow Park Guests the choice to challenge only the obstacles they feel comfortable with. While you explore the park you will move at your own pace and tackle challenges as an individual, instead of in a group, like the canopy tour experience. Think of it as ski slopes in the trees and a true "Jungle Gym" for all ages, strengths, and adventure levels.  Challenges include zipline kayaking, snowboarding, hula hoop swinging, and many more unique elements.  The Center and Park is located adjacent to the Crowne Plaza Resort at 1 Resort Drive in Asheville. Take Exit 3A off of I-240,  Off Patton Ave behind Regent Park.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sci-Fi Movie Features Brown Mountain Lights

April 1, 2014 Burke County Tourism will be hosting the official Premiere of "Alien Abduction" at Marquee Cinemas in Morganton, the home of the BROWN MOUNTAIN LIGHTS. Followed by a Q&A with Director Matty Beckerman.  Nationwide release of the film is April 4.

The film was shot on location in Burke, Avery and Watauga counties.  Burke County's mysterious Brown Mountain Lights,  a natural phenomenon seen for centuries near their namesake mountain, play an integral role in Alien Abduction, a highly-anticipated sci-fi thriller.

Director Matty Beckerman and producer Cathy Beckerman, both of Los Angeles, will be on hand for the premiere, and will host a Q-and-A session following the 7:00 PM screening.

Beckerman grew up on the East Coast and learned about the Brown Mountain Lights as a kid visiting his grandparents' house in Blowing Rock. During those visits he also experienced the remoteness of North Carolina's mountains, and combined those two ideas into a fictitious story that involves the lights and the disappearance of people.

"We would often get lost on some of the back roads. I remember sitting in the car and daydreaming about what would happen if we really got lost," Beckerman said. "What would happen if our entire family got lost? That was the inspiration. That's where I started."
The movie uses the found-footage format to tell the story from the viewpoint of a family on a camping trip to Brown Mountain. Beckerman describes it as a "psychological thriller" that does not rely on blood and gore to stir emotion. "Sometimes the things you hear affect you more than the things you see," he said.
Burke County tourism director Ed Phillips was instrumental in bringing the world premiere to Morganton, and feels it will generate renewed interest in the mysterious lights.

"Even though the film is spooky and scary, it will definitely bring attention to the lights. We already have a business in Morganton offering guided tours to try to see the lights," Phillips said. "IFC Films is distributing this worldwide. It's a big deal. I recently read a review that said it's probably the best found-footage film since the genre was created by The Blair Witch Project."
The movie also interviews the two people most associated with studying the lights - scientist Dan Caton of Boone and paranormal researcher Joshua Warren of Asheville.

"Making this movie in Burke County and being able to debut the film there is a special moment for me," Beckerman said. "I believe people are going to really react to it. People will see this worldwide and it will draw attention to the Brown Mountain Lights. This will be great for tourism. The movie is fiction, but the lights are there; they're real. Anyone can go to see them."

Monday, March 17, 2014

Last Week for Skiing at NC's Appalachian Ski Mountain

Recent cold temperature and more natural snow are sending the NC Ski Season out "with a bang".

March 21
Event: St Patrick's Day Park Jam
This year, the Alpine Ski Shop will collaborate with the High Fives foundation and Nighttrain Clothing to bring you a better St. Patrick’s day Park Jam than ever and support a great cause. Bring your green hat. This will be the second season of the Park Jam, which was conceptualized by the Alpine Ski Shop, who will be providing some terrific prizes for standouts thanks to Line, Saga, Anon, Burton, Roxy, Giro, and Nighttrain. 

March 22
Event: Red Bull Schlittentag
Schlittentag may be the German word for “sledding day”, but the best way to describe it is “daredevils willing to propel themselves down a snow-covered hill and over a jump on a sled they built themselves”. All you need is a little imagination, courage, a couple of friends and off you go. This wacky event includes three person teams willing to stretch their imagination to build the wildest, fastest sled possible. One member will act as driver as the other two will give their sled the push it needs to win the race and the fame and fortune that follows. The sleds will be judged on artistic merit, innovation, team spirit and race results. The winners will receive VIP Passes to Moogfest April 23-27th.

March 22 - 23
Meltdown Games at Appalachian Ski Mountain Come enjoy Appalachian’s classic end of the winter celebration with a full weekend of crazy events you won’t see any other time of the year including with lots of snow, sun and skin. All events are free with your ski ticket. Take your best shot at lots of prize categories. 

March  23
Neff Beach Bash   Appalachian has partnered up with Neff to host a Neff Beach Bash as part of our annual Meltdown Games. The Neff Beach Bash will be going on all day long with fun events like the Impossible Rail Jam, Annual Pond Skim and Costume Contest, High Ollie, and Chinese Downhill – with up to $500 in prize money! Neff will be providing judges for these events and everything will sport a fun beach theme all day long. Bring your Beach Balls, sunscreen, bathing suits, etc.

March 23
Appalachian Ski Mountain scheduled closing day  

Find local lodging and information on the Blowing Rock NC Guide. 


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

NC Hiking: Friends of the Smokies FIrst Classic Hike of 2014

March 11  - Little Cataloochee Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Friends of the Smokies' first Classic Hike of the year. Renowned outdoor author and hiking expert, Danny Bernstein, will lead a guided hike to Little Cataloochee. Participants will enjoy a 6.1-mile hike on Little Cataloochee Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP). This hike is easy in difficulty, with a total elevation gain of 1,100 feet. Cost is $35.00

Each 2014 Classic Hike will highlight a park program that Friends of the Smokies has supported. In March, participants will learn how donations made to Friends of the Smokies benefit efforts to preserve the park's treasured historic structures. Hikers will visit Hannah Cabin, Cook Cabin and Little Cataloochee Baptist Church along the trail.

Meeting locations for the hike will be in Asheville and Waynesville. To register for this Classic Hike of the Smokies, contact or 828-452-0720.  Information about support for trail improvements in GSMNP may be found at

Monday, March 10, 2014

Calorina Public Press Headlines and News for March 10, 2014

Burr-backed bill could change decades-old child care subsidy program
Along with requiring employees of participating child care providers to undergo background checks, the bill also calls for new health and safety benchmarks to be met.     READ MORE
Duke CEO: Customers will pay coal ash clean-up costs     READ MORE
Director: State wants 4 groups to manage mental health in NC     READ MORE
Honoring, remembering Sen. Martin Nesbitt
State Sen. Martin Nesbitt, a mainstay in the Democratic Party and longtime representative of Buncombe County, died Thursday after battling stomach cancer. He was 67 years old. As the news spread, so did remembrances, photos, thoughts and reactions -- from across the political spectrum. His funeral is set for Tuesday.     READ MORE
A curated selection of the day's top local, regional and statewide news:
  • An exceptional kid; Bradley "Soul Man" Guffey is the No. 1 Cavalier fan (Daily Courier)
  • Asheville's Larchmont apartments largely welcomed; concerns about impact mostly unrealized (Citizen-Times – subscription required)
  • ASU leaders alter planned program cuts (Watauga Democrat)
  • Chief’s Garden Kits will be distributed early this year (Cherokee One Feather)
  • Gloria Steinem lectures at Western Carolina University (Western Carolina Journalist)
  • Madison County candidate controversy (WLOS)
  • NC Democrats promote Casey Mann to executive director post (News & Observer – subscription required)
  • NC dental board seeks public help with new rules after suspected sedation deaths (Charlotte Observer – subscription required)
  • New leak found at Dan River coal ash spill (WRAL)
  • North Carolina deciding again on film incentives (News & Observer – subscription required)
  • Possible Webster bird sanctuary designation raises specter of peacocks past (Sylva Herald)
  • Primed for a fight: Buncombe Commissioners face primary challengers (Mountain Xpress)
GO TO THE REGIONAL BUZZ (direct links in the right column on the homepage)
Judge: Duke must take 'immediate action' on coal ash groundwater contamination     READ MORE
State finds coal ash dam 'deficiencies' at Rutherford's Cliffside Steam Station     READ MORE
Report: Blue Ridge Parkway visitors spent $902M in area in 2012    
CPP issues RFP for development consultant
Carolina Public Press requires a fund development contractor or consultant to support its efforts in creating and implementing a development plan that results in a written operational proposal that clearly articulates measurable goals, objectives and strategies.    READ MORE
CPP seeks development assistant to join its team
Carolina Public Press seeks a highly motivated, professional and experienced Development Assistant to join its nonprofit organization’s award-winning team.     READ MORE
CPP seeks investigative journalist to join its team
The freelance investigative reporter will join its news team in producing enterprise, investigative and policy-oriented news with a regional focus but, often, including research and reporting on statewide impacts and implications.    READ MORE
Throughout the last year, we've published county-by-county resources highlighting Western North Carolina's elected officials, key agencies and public data on crime, homelessness, health care, education, demographics and more.
Bookmark them, share them, and let us know what you think. We'll be refreshing these profiles regularly.
With the start of the new year, many elected officials have changed; we'll update those as soon as possible. Contact us with questions, suggestions and updates. 
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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Banff Film Festival at Brevard College

March 14 - 15   Banff Film Festival    Enjoy a weekend full of adventure. While Brevard College hosts the Banff Mountain film Festival, local restaurants, outfitters and accommodations will welcome you in a big way.

The two-day event, presented by Brevard College’s Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education Program, will feature the latest award-winning films and audience favorites from hundreds of outdoor films entered in the annual festival in Banff Alberta, Canada. This is the 19th year Brevard College has hosted the international film festival. Each evening features a different set of inspiring and thought-provoking mountain environment, adventure and educational films.

The film showing will begin at 7 PM at the Porter Center.