Ashvegas Hot Sheet: Asheville skatepark sanitized after dead body found nearby


More of what’s going around:

-The Food Lion Skatepark is closed for cleaning after a dead body was found nearby. Loyal reader Rick wrote in to ask me why the skatepark would be closed for “decontamination” cleaning. He said he’d heard a dead body was found nearby. I asked the city, and here’s the statement from Asheville Police Department spokeswoman Christina Hallingse:

Good morning and hope you’re doing well. Sunday at approximately 1:00 p.m. the Asheville Police Department received reports of a suspicious vehicle at the skate park on Cherry Street. Upon arrival officers located a deceased subject. Due to the decomposition of the body a biohazard was present after removing the subject from the van. The park is closed in order to clean and properly mitigate the hazard. No foul play is suspected and the death was been ruled natural by the Medical Examiner.

Here’s the information from city of Asheville spokeswoman Polly McDaniel:

After discussions with Asheville Police and Fire officials and a visual inspection of Asheville skatepark, a contractor was hired to clean and sanitize a portion of the skatepark adjacent to the area where the van was located. Asheville Parks & Recreation reopened the skatepark this afternoon and the skate camp operator has been notified that they can resume operations there Wednesday.

-UNC Asheville will hold a neighborhood meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 29, in the Reuter Center, Manheimer Room on campus, to provide an update on current university construction projects, according to a press release. Here’s more:

The projects include construction of new residence halls adjacent to Brown Hall; the renovation of Highsmith Student Union and connecting an existing university parking lot at W.T. Weaver Boulevard.

At the meeting, neighbors will have an opportunity to see site plans, learn more about the construction schedule, and hear updates about the next phase of the project.

“We are building new residence halls to meet student-demand for housing on campus, and we are excited to update our campus neighbors on this project and the renovations to Highsmith Union. You’ll see a transformed campus and, as a result, a transformed student experience, when construction is completed,” said UNC Asheville Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Bill Haggard.

The new student residences will provide affordable high-quality housing for students while helping reduce the high demand for rental housing off campus. Clustered in a community of three-and-four-story buildings, the new residences will become home to 294 students. The renovations of Highsmith Union will modernize the space and bring the student experience to the front and center of the building.

-The Asheville Museum of Science (43 Patton Ave. in downtown Asheville) has announced the opening of a new installation, “The Southern Appalachian Forest Exhibit.,” according to a press release. More:

AMOS invites the community this Saturday (6/24) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to explore their newest exhibit.

Grown-ups and children alike are invited to climb into the canopy of the Southern Appalachian Forest Exhibit while exploring the biodiversity of the western North Carolina region. Visitors can view the exhibit floor from a one-of-a-kind bird’s nest, nestled amongst the trees as they climb around the forest maze and slide from canopy to forest floor on a 10 ft. custom slide.

Built by Vaden Custom, this instillation is entirely unique to the Asheville Museum of Science. “It’s a privilege to create this one-of-a-kind piece that allows children to learn about our diverse forests while fostering a sense of creativity and play,” says Blake Vaden, owner of Vaden Custom.

Locally sourced Locust, Southern Yellow Pine, Sycamore, Ash, and Chestnut wood were used to construct the forest and bird’s nest. Large replicas of Sycamore, Poplar, White Oak, and Black Oak leaves hang from the canopy providing a fully immersive experience. The forests of western North Carolina have over 130 tree species, 65 more tree species than in all of Europe.

-Spellbound Children’s Bookshop, Asheville’s locally owned independent bookstore just for kids, is offering a summer day camp in computer coding, according to a press release. More:

Registration is open now for the camp taking place Tuesday July 11th through Friday July 14th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the bookstore at 640 Merrimon Avenue.

This is a wonderful introduction to coding for kids led by Lisa Sellers, who taught this very popular class at UNCA’s Super Saturday program. Using the Parallax Scribbler Robot, kids learn the basic logic behind computer coding and program the robot to follow orders — to draw, follow lines, flash LEDs, avoid objects, follow a flashlight, and play sounds. If time allows we may explore additional programming languages like Scratch and Logo. Laptops will be available for student use, but feel free to bring your own. (Requires laptop, not tablet.)

Pre-registration is required to attend, and it’s for rising 3rd- to 5th-graders only. Enrollment is limited to ten students to ensure plenty of time for individual attention. The cost is $250/student with $20 discount for siblings.

Full details and registration form online at