Here’s more of what’s going around, including news about the official launch of the Mandara Hospitality Group by Asheville restauranteurs Peter and Martha Pollay:

-Asheville restauranteurs Peter and Martha Pollay, owners of the popular Posana Cafe, have announced that they’ve formally launched their hospitality group, Mandara Hospitality Group. Here’s more:

First up this fall, we consulted on the launch of Capella on 9 at the new AC Marriott in Asheville. Chef de Cuisine Jordan Arace and I are quite proud of the menu we helped develop. Working alongside the team at McKibbon Hospitality, we merged the signature tapas-style menu of the AC Marriott restaurants with locally-sourced ingredients from the mountain region of North Carolina. Plus, we focused heavily on making it an inviting lounge space to compliment the incredible view. For us, that translated into creating a menu of hand-crafted cocktails which has always been a highlight of the bar at Posana.

And we aren’t stopping there. We’re currently working as the consulting chefs on two new McKibbon Hospitality projects. We will be lending our expertise toward developing the food and beverage program for both the AC Lounge at the soon to open AC Marriott Charlotte City Center as well as the rooftop bar located atop the dual-branded hotel tower above Charlotte’s uptown entertainment complex, the EpiCentre. Those two projects are slated to open in early 2018. Shortly thereafter, we are opening two new independent restaurants of our own in Asheville in the Hotel Arras.

-Asheville Savings Bank is now officially First Bank. The banks announced in the spring that First Bancorp, the parent company of First Bank based in Southern Pines, had acquired Asheville Savings Bank for $175 million. The deal was technically termed a merger and just finalized.

-Cornerstone Restaurant has reopened after an extensive renovation.

-The Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office, Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office and the Asheville Police Department will announced a new initiative Tuesday in the battle to curtail trafficking in heroin and opioid related drugs.

-The annual WNC Garlic Fest will be held Saturday from noon until 6 p.m. at 243 Haywood Street. The event attracts a host of vendors.

-The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is celebrating 20 years of protecting one of the nation’s most visited parks with an anniversary reception at 6 p.m. on Nov.9 at Lioncrest at Biltmore, according to a press release. Tickets are on sale now for dinner, drinks, and an awards ceremony. Cost is $100. The festivities will include a brief performance by National Heritage Award recipient and luthier Wayne C. Henderson and Helen White, founder of the Junior Appalachian Musician program. Foundation CEO Carolyn Ward and Chase Pickering, great-great-grandson of George W. Vanderbilt, will speak about the importance of the Parkway and the role everyone can play in its future.

-Buncombe County Health and Human Services is working on reducing rabies in the community, according to a press release. Here’s more:

In North Carolina, the most common type of rabies is raccoon-variant rabies. It is found commonly in raccoons, skunks, red and grey foxes, coyotes, wolves, groundhogs and beavers but, can infect any mammal, including household pets and humans. To prevent the westward spread of raccoon rabies, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, USDA APHIS Wildlife Services, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission are in their 12th year of coordinating oral rabies vaccine (ORV) bait drops in our state. The bait consists of a small packet similar to a ketchup packet, coated with a mixture of fishmeal and fish oil known to attract raccoons. Raccoons that eat the vaccine-laced bait become immune to rabies. The vaccine and bait are not considered dangerous. The ORV bait drops will occur via aircraft in parts of Buncombe County and surrounding WNC counties. Please visit the NC Department of Public Health website for more information here. You may also call the N.C. Veterinary Public Health program at (919) 733-3419 with any questions about the ORV bait drop.

There were seven documented cases of rabies in Buncombe County in 2016. BCHHS urges all citizens to vaccinate their pets regularly to protect against rabies. There are low-cost rabies clinics held throughout the year in Buncombe County. Prices for pet vaccinations range from $10 to $15 per vaccination. The dates and times of the next low-cost rabies vaccination clinics are:
· Sunday, October 1, 2017 – 11 AM – 2 PM
Asheville Humane Society, 14 Forever Friend Lane, Asheville NC 28806
· Saturday, October 28, 2017 – 11 AM – 2 PM
Leicester Community Center, 2979 New Leicester Highway, Leicester NC 28748
If you or your pet comes in contact with a wild or strange animal, avoid contact with both animals. If this occurs, residents in Buncombe County should call the Buncombe County Sheriff’s office at 250-6670. City of Asheville residents can call the Asheville Police Department at 252-1110.
If you are bitten or scratched by any animal, clean the wound out well with soap and running water for 15 minutes and contact your doctor. Do not try to catch any wild animal that bites or scratches you. Call animal control immediately to capture the animal for rabies testing. If the animal is someone’s pet, get the owner’s name and address and give their address to the animal control officer. Medical providers that treat animal bites are required to report all animal bites. The form for reporting bites can be found at www.buncombecounty.org/health.
For more information on rabies, go here.

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