More of what’s going around:
-A federal court has ordered a special election in 2017 for the N.C. General Assembly, the Charlotte Observer reports. The election will come late next year after 28 state House and Senate districts are redrawn to comply with a gerrymandering ruling. Federal judges earlier this year threw out the current legislative district map, ruling that 28 of them were unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. They allowed the 2016 election to continue under the old maps, but ordered legislators to draw new districts in 2017, the newspaper reports.
-Three people died in the fires that burned through Gatlinburg on Monday, the Knoxville News reports. “This is the largest fire in the state of Tennessee in 100 years,” said Gov. Bill Haslam, who visited the city Tuesday afternoon, according to the newspaper.
-The Asheville Holiday Parade was a big hit again this year, and I had the privilege of helping judge the more than 100 entries. After the all the numbers were crunched, we have the winners. Here you go:
A New Hope Home Care
Ridin’ on Faith Cowboy Church
Asheville 2nd Line
ART (city bus)
Asheville Middle Cheer
Hominy Valley Youth
Asheville Youth Football/Cheer
Professional/High School Groups:
Asheville Dance Theatre
Asheville High Dance and Katsumi Martial Arts (TIE)
-The Asheville Citizen-Times will make a concerted effort to do a better job covering all of Western North Carolina, while also covering local governments more closely, writes the newspaper’s news director, Katie Wadington. The newspaper has re-assigned reporter Tonya Maxwell “from a purely investigative role to a regional reporter position,” Wadington writes. Also, reporter Emily Patrick has picked up coverage of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners, a beat that reporter Joel Burgess had covered while also covering Asheville City Council. The changes also appear to be aimed at satisfying those newspaper readers that also happen to be Donald Trump supporters. A simple look at election statistics “doesn’t tell their stories. It doesn’t give our readers a chance to empathize with voters who were frustrated by the economy or hated Hillary Clinton or simply were ready for a change, ” Wadington writes. She added: “I’m not saying we didn’t cover the campaign season effectively. But we didn’t cover it as deeply as we could have, relating more of the greater region’s hopes and frustrations.” The changes at the newspaper also come after the Citizen-Times cut six employees from its newsroom in October, including editor Jim Buchanan and reporters Mike Cronin, Dale Neal and Tony Kiss.
-Comedian Josh Gondleman will perform in downtown Asheville at 7 p.m. at The Millroom on Saturday, Dec. 3. Gondelman lives in New York City and works as a writer for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Onstage, Josh charms audiences using his good-natured storytelling and cracks them up with his sharp, pointy wit, according to a press release. Go here for ticket info for Josh Gondleman.
-Gov. Pat McCrory and his wife, Ann, will host an annual open house at the Governor’s Western Residence on Town Mountain in Asheville from noon to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports. Shuttle service will be provided to the home, which is located off Town Mountain Road 2.3 miles northeast of downtown. Shuttles will leave from the Asheville First Baptist Church parking lot at 5 Oak St. The last shuttle will leave the parking lot at 4:30 p.m. each day.
–The Talent Jam job pitch event will be held at 6 p.m. on Dec. 5 at Isis Restaurant & Music Hall on Haywood Road. General admission tickets are $5 in advance and $8 at the door. Tickets to pitch cost $15 for “have talent” folks and $25 for “need talent” folks.
-Echoview Fiber Mill will hold its annual Christmas Bazaar from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2-3, at its location in Weaverville. Visitors can shop local artists and vendors at the event.
-Biltmore Village will celebrate the holiday season with Dickens in the Village on Friday and Saturday. There’s a 25-foot-tall tree going up, and on Friday, the streets will be lined with 1,000 luminaries. On Saturday, there will be more music, horse-drawn carriage rides and store specials.