Here’s more of what’s going around, including news that Asheville Brewing is dropping plastic straws in favor of compostable paper straws. Here we go:

-Hundreds of school students in Asheville walked out of classes on Friday to urge new gun control measures. The National School Walkout coincided with the anniversary of the school shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999.

-Hundreds of people gathered at New Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church on Saturday to remember Erica Smith and her two children, 15-year-old son Keithan Whitmire and 13-year-old daughter Harmony Smith, who were all shot and killed Wednesday night. Asheville police say Maurice Garner killed his ex-girlfriend and her children, then killed himself.

-Asheville Brewing has announced that, in honor of Earth Day 2018, it is getting rid of plastic straws at all of its locations and moving to use compostable paper straws, according to a press release. More:

The pizzeria and brewery also requests that customers ask for a straw if they want one to decrease waste.

“This is just another step in Asheville Brewery’s ongoing effort to become greener. As an environmentally conscious small business, we feel it’s our responsibility to do what we can,” said Mike Rangel, Asheville Brewing president and co-founder. “We’re concerned about the environmental hazards caused by plastics, and this seems like one solution.”

As of Sunday, April 22, which is the day after Earth Day and the night that Asheville Brewing is throwing a celebratory 20th anniversary party with a musical performance by Ghostland Observatory, there will be no more plastic straws.

In recent years, Asheville Brewing has moved to compostable paper to-go containers and worked to decrease the amount of water used in the brewery. Our pizza boxes have always been recyclable. The company will continue to look for ways to decrease its environmental impact, while still providing some of the best craft beer and pizza in the nation.

-The long-awaited RAD Lofts project is moving ahead. New permits have been pulled for construction work on the project, the biggest residential development ever in the Asheville River Arts District. The high density mixed-use development will bring 225 apartments and other commercial space to a lot on Roberts Street known as the old Dave Steel property. The parcel is a triangular-shaped vacant lot that sits across from Ultra Coffee at the intersection of Clingman, Roberts, Lyman and Depot streets. Developer Harry Pilos, who announced the project five years ago, has had trouble securing financing.

-UNC Asheville’s 34th annual Economic Crystal Ball Seminar will be held on Thursday, May 3, at UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky Auditorium, according to a press release. Noted economists David W. Berson and James F. Smith will make forecasts on the business and financial outlook for the coming year, taking account of new federal tax policies and Federal Reserve decisions about interest rates. The seminar, sponsored by the UNC Asheville Department of Economics and Parsec Financial, begins with a 6:15 p.m. reception, followed by the speakers at 7 p.m., and a question-and-answer period at 8 p.m. The seminar is free and open to the public.Admission is free, but seating is limited. To register, contact UNC Asheville’s Economics Department at 828.251.6550 or email kmoore@unca.edu.

-Anna Priest has left her job as executive director of the Asheville Museum of Science, and Amanda Bryant has been named interim executive director while the group searches for a new permanent director. Priest helped steer the museum’s transition from the Colburn at Pack Place to AMOS in the current location in the Wells Fargo Building, a press release notes. Bryant recently served as an external affairs officer at FEMA and brings extensive experience from her role at the National Oceanic andAtmospheric Administration (NOAA), according to the release.

-The 7th annual Zipping for Autism will be held at the Adventure Center of Asheville on June 3, according to a press release. In its first six years, the event has raised more than $200,000 to support autism programs and services in Western North Carolina. More:

“We invite individuals, businesses, schools, and community groups to form teams and raise money to support autism services and programs in Western North Carolina, all as part of a joyful day celebrating autism and the autism community,” says Jeff Greiner, managing owner of the Adventure Center of Asheville.

“Teams of up to 10 people fundraise $800—the cost of zipping for 10 people. 100 percent of the money then goes to autism programs, and the teams get to participate in a fun day of zip lining.”

The fundraiser was created in 2012 by Jeff and Sheena Greiner, owners of the Adventure Center of
Asheville. The event is held on the first Sunday in June to honor their son O’Reilly’s birthday. O’Reilly, now a student at T.C. Roberson High School, is autistic.

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