Ashvegas: The City You Love. The News You Want.Some of what’s going around:

-Tarwheels Skateway is for sale. The Swannanoa skating rink is for sale for $935,000, according to this post at beveryly-hanks.com. Tarwheels has been in business for 35 years and is Buncombe County’s only skating rink. (Hat tip to Northern Buncombe Happenings for the heads-up.) The property, listed by Tim Harrison of Whitney Commercial Real Estate, is under contract to be sold.

-From Venture Asheville: “A new Asheville startup, Lever Studios, is launching its first product on Kickstarter coming March 10 with a launch party at Twin Leaf. The stainless steel, credit card-sized multi-tool features over 40 functions. Join founder and designer Mike Scully at One Million Cups on March 2 for a presentation on his Kickstarter campaign.”

-Alan Muskat, a nationally recognized expert in foraging wild foods, including mushrooms, is running what it calls the first wild food instructor training program in the country. It is an intensive course: 300 hours over seven months. There are only a few slots left.

-The WNC Cheese Trail will host the second annual Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 24 at Highland Brewing Company in Asheville, according to a press release. More:

The family-friendly festival includes hands-on activities for kids and adults, demonstrations, cheese and beer pairings, workshops, vendors and cheesemakers. The first annual festival held in 2015 attracted over 1500 attendees and over 20 cheese makers from across the south. Tickets will go on sale mid-February.

The Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest advances the mission of the WNC Cheese Trail, a 501 c6 non-profit organization that promotes the production and sale of local cheese, facilitates consumer education and encourages tourism to the region. The festival will highlight WNC Cheese Trail cheesemakers and members with numerous opportunities for festival goers to learn more about, taste and purchase local, artisan cheeses. The festival aims to connect the attendees to the local cheese making community.

The festival will also include a wide variety of producers from the industry such as bread and crackers, meats, pickles and jams. Festival attendees can sample and purchase cheeses, speak with cheesemakers, attend workshops, observe demos on cheese making, cheese pairings, and cooking demonstrations using local cheeses.

-Asheville Music School is holding auditions on Feb. 28 for a new student jazz ensemble with Jacob Rodriguez, a saxophonist with Michael Bublé, and Ben Bjorlie, a bass and drum player extraordinaire. More

Led by local jazz artists who have performed on national stages, Jacob Rodriguez (saxophonist with Michael Bublé) and Ben Bjorlie (bass and drum extraordinaire) will guide young musicians through a large repertoire of jazz standards. Genres may include big band swing hits, bebop tunes by Charlie Parker, and ballads from the great John Coltrane. Jazz band welcomes all wind and brass instruments, piano, guitar, bass (upright and electric), percussion, and vocals.

Previous knowledge of jazz and improvisation is welcome, but not required. Our jazz educators will walk students through the theory and various approaches of improvisation. Students entering the program should have at least one year of experience on their instrument and experience reading sheet music.

AMS ensembles have graced the stages of The Orange Peel, Downtown After Five, Isis Music Hall, and more. Students will also participate in a community outreach concert, using music to bring joy to those in need in our community. Recent sites include hospitals, assisted living centers, and soup kitchens. Through this experience students learn the valuable lesson of giving back, and can also earn volunteer hours!

CONTACT: Gabrielle Tee, AMS Outreach Manager: outreach@ashevillemusicschool.org/ or call (828) 252-6244. Auditions for Spring 2016 will be held on February 28.

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