Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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

The Smoky Mountain News reports that Nantahala Brewing in Bryson City, the largest brewery west of Asheville in North Carolina, is buying a 10,000-square-foot building that it will use for production, cold storage and bottle manufacturing for the brewery.

“Between our current brewery and this new facility, we could see upwards of 35,000 barrels of production in the next few years,” co-owner Joe Rowland told the newspaper. “We’ve waited very patiently for a long time, making the right moves at the right times, watching others expanding their breweries, and now we’ve put together a strong enough brand and infrastructure to get to this point.” Coming into 2016, Nantahala will be found in 41 counties around North Carolina. And as the company enters its sixth year of operation, the brewery has stuck to the three traits of a successful craft beer company — “good liquid, great marketing, and a unique story.”

-Bhramari Brewhouse, the newest brewery on Asheville’s South Slope, says in a Facebook post that it plans to open Friday.

-Quintin Ellison, a former reporter and editor at the Asheville Citizen-Times, will take over as editor of the Sylva Herald newspaper following the retirement of long-time Editor Lynn Hotaling. Hotaling will stay on as a senior editor and columnist. More from the Sylva Herald:

Ellison, who grew up in Bryson City, studied music at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She began her journalistic career at The Franklin Press in 1992 as a general assignment reporter. After leaving the Press in 1996, Ellison was first a reporter for the Asheville Citizen-Times and then editor/manager of the newspaper’s Haywood County News. She spent two years (2010-12) at the Smoky Mountain News before joining The Sylva Herald.

-A post at the U.S. Department of Labor blog updates how Alia Todd, an employee at Tupelo Honey Cafe in Asheville fought for improved pay at the restaurant. Snippet:

In 2014, Tupelo Honey Cafe chose to cut wages for these support staff from $5.15 to $2.13, the federal minimum for tipped employees.

I and many of my fellow coworkers were unhappy about the changes. Some of these support staff could no longer pay the bills or keep food on the table. And a lack of information from management had a negative effect on morale. When the only response we received from management was, essentially, “It’s out of our hands,” I knew that the only way to make real change was to stand up together for higher wages.

So in 2015, I launched a campaign on asking my employer to reinstate wages for support staff in all of their locations across the Southeast to their original levels.

As of today, Tupelo Honey Cafe has raised the wages of support staff in their downtown Asheville, Raleigh and Virginia Beach locations back to $5.15 per hour. I’m incredibly proud of the success of this campaign and more than ever, I am convinced of the power working people have when they stand up and work together to demand more.

-Local doll artist Karen Hawkins has won a national art contest for Serafina and the Black Cloak, a book written by Asheville author Robert Beatty and published by Disney-Herperion, according to a press release. The story is a mystery about an unusual girl who lives secretly in the basement of the grand Biltmore Estate, adds the release. More:

Karen Hawkins’ entry “The Encounter In The Woods” will be on exhibit the entire month of April 2016
​in conjunction with “Storybook Characters on Parade” sponsored by GoFigure, a local figurative art group and Pack Memorial Library. “The Encounter In The woods” sculpture can also at be seen online at Please check web site for additional exhibits where this award winning sculpture can be see first hand.

-The next Writers at Home reading is set for Jan. 24 at Malaprop’s in downtown Asheville. More:

Faculty members in UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program (GSWP) will read from their works when the Writers at Home series resumes at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 24, at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, 55 Haywood St., in downtown Asheville. This event is free and open to the public.

Tina Barr, Kenneth Chamlee, Brian Lee Knopp, Vicki Lane, Megan Shepherd, Katherine Soniat, Eric Steineger and Molly Walling will present their recent works in fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry, and Tommy Hays, novelist and GSWP executive director, will host.

All presenters are teaching GSWP classes this spring semester and course registration is now open. The workshops, which begin in late January, are designed for writers of all levels seeking to practice and improve their craft under the careful eye of professional writers.

-Anam Cara Theatre Company is accepting play proposals for its 2016-2017 season, according to a press release. More:

Proposals will be accepted from directors interested in directing a specific play, directors open to directing any play, and playwrights interested in having Anam Cara Theatre Company produce a play they have written. Performances will occur between October 2016 and September 2017; most performances will take place at Toy Boat Community Art Space (101 Fairview Road in Asheville). Shows with casts of 10 or fewer are encouraged. Directors and playwrights are encouraged to visit for detailed submission guidelines. All proposals should be submitted to Erinn Hartley at [email protected] by January 31, 2016.

Anam Cara Theatre Company produces experimental theatre that empowers artists, promotes equality, challenges thinking and transforms community. We provide a safe space for artists and audiences to take risks, grow, and collaborate. For more information, contact [email protected], visit or call us at (828) 633-1773.

-Asheville GreenWorks holds its first Hard 2 Recycle event of 2016, according to a press release. More:

Environmental nonprofit Asheville GreenWorks is working in collaboration with several partners to hold the first Hard 2 Recycle event of the new year. BIMCO, the Open Box Moving Company, Curbie, Blue Ridge Biofuels, Habitat ReStore, Asheville Humane Society and the Snake, Rabbit and Snail Bookmobile will be on site to collect items that cannot go into residential recycling bins.

Hard 2 Recycle events are free-to-the-public collections of items that would normally end up in the landfill, such as Styrofoam, electronics, books, batteries, cooking oil and much more. In 2016, each event will host two collection sites to make it even more convenient for the public to access recycling.

The January H2R event will be held on Saturday, January 16 at two West Buncombe locations: Main Collection in West Asheville – Aaron’s Rent to Own Parking Lot – 1298 Patton Ave (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and a Satellite Collection in Candler – Enka AB Tech Campus – 1461 Sand Hill Road, Candler NC (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.). The collections will be held rain, snow or shine.

NOT ACCEPTING THE FOLLOWING ITEMS: Paints, stains, sealers, CFL / Fluorescent / incandescent bulbs; chip & snack bags; petroleum products; hard plastics; vinyl / PVC / VHS / cassette tapes; plate glass, foam; wooden items or cement. A full list of what is and is not accepted can be found on GreenWorks website:

The Details:
What: Hard 2 Recycle event with Asheville GreenWorks
When & Where: Saturday, January 16; 1298 Patton Ave (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and 1461 Sand Hill Road, Candler NC (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.)
More information: Contact Asheville GreenWorks at 828-254-1776 or [email protected]

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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