Jason Sandford

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

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More of what’s going around:

-Asheville sports and tourism officials on Tuesday announced that Asheville would host the first round of the Fed Cup women’s international team at the US Cellular Center on Feb. 10 and 11. The event will match the USA team, including Sloane Stephens, this year’s U.S. Open champion, and CoCo Vanderweghe, against the Netherlands team. The US Cellular Center’s full capacity each day is 5,000 spectators, and local officials say they hope to fill it up. The event will have a $2.5 million economic impact. Tickets go on sale Friday, and start at $25 for single-day entry. The event will be televised live on the Tennis Channel. How did Asheville land a big-time international sporting event? Here’s one clue: US Cellular Center General Manager Chris Corl used to work for the USTA before he came to work in Asheville.

-A lawsuit filed Tuesday on behalf of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners takes aim at the manufacturers and distributors of opioids, the Mountain Xpress reports. From January through August of this year, the county had 230 opioid-related emergency department visits, compared to 84 such incidents during the same time period last year, according to the N.C. Division of Public Health. That’s a 173 percent increase, Xpress reported. The McHugh Fuller Law Group is partnering with a collective of law firms representing the county, according to the report.

-Asheville City Council plans to miss a Nov. 15 deadline imposed by state legislators to have new City Council districts drawn for 2019 council elections, according to a report by Joel Burgess of the Asheville Citizen-Times. The N.C. General Assembly earlier this year passed a law requiring district elections for City Council, a move that’s incensed council members who have called it government overreach driven by Republicans seeking to get more Republicans elected at the local level. City Council put a referend

-A constitutional watchdog group called the Freedom From Religion Foundation is calling on the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority to rescind its recent $72,500 grant to the Haywood Street Congregation, according to a press release. The organization says that it’s unlawful for the TDA, which collects hotel room tax and spends it to attract visitors to Asheville, to spend money to fund  what it calls a religious mural.


-Isa’s Bistro restaurant in downtown Asheville has changed its name to Isa’s French Bistro and launched a full French restaurant menu. Asheville Grit has a full report on the new food offerings.

-Highland Brewing, in its recent email newsletter of events and happenings, included this mysterious line: “Be on the lookout for big changes from Highland in 2018! More details to come…” Word on the street is that Highland plans to undergo a major rebranding effort that will be unveiled next year.

Range Urgent Care, which offers flat-rate urgent care visits for for $149, which includes all charges for the visit, including in-house x-rays, labs and prescriptions, has opened at 674 Merrimon Ave. in the former TD bank space. More:

The facility will be open from 8am to 8pm Monday through Friday and 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday. Patients can walk-in to the clinic anytime and also schedule appointments. Range Urgent Care offers flat rate urgent care visits for $149, which includes all charges for the visit, including in-house x-rays, labs and prescriptions. Patients will not receive any additional bills after leaving the clinic. Range is out of network with insurance companies but can submit claims on behalf of the patient as needed. In that case, the patient may be reimbursed directly by their insurance company according to their insurance plan.

-Another reminder on one of the best holiday pop-up shops in Asheville: More than 30 designers and makers will be featured in a three-day Holiday Pop-Up shop and five-day online shop co-organized by Asheville-based design firm SHELTER and national non-profit the Center for Craft, according to a press release. More:

The shop will feature unique, limited edition, and one-of-a kind handcrafted goods made by local and national makers as well as exclusive fine art, jewelry, home goods, holiday items, and more. The Holiday Pop-Up will begin November 30 with an opening reception from 6-10pm and run from December 1-3, 10am – 6pm at the Center for Craft’s gallery in downtown Asheville. For anyone unable to make it to Asheville for the big event, a five-day online shop will follow from December 6-10 at

Jason Sandford

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

  • 1

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