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:

-Convicted murderer Robert Jason Owens was indicted Monday on a first-degree murder charge involving the Asheville cold case of Zebb Quinn, according to WLOS and the Asheville Citizen-Times. Quinn went missing in January 2000. He was just 18 at the time, and he was friends with Owens, who at the time was the last person to see him alive. Back in April, Owens pleaded guilty to killing Cristie Schoen Codd, 38, Joseph “J.T.” Codd, 45, and their unborn child in March 2015. He also pleaded guilty to two counts of dismembering human remains. In the plea deal, he avoided the death penalty and was sentenced to a minimum of 59.5 years in prison. In a statement, the Asheville Police Department said the indictment was the result of years of investigative work and persistence by detectives, as well as ongoing partnerships with members of the Quinn family and the Buncombe County District Attorney’s Office.

-The two finalists for the new city of Asheville position of equity and inclusion manager were introduced Monday night. Alaysia Black Hackett currently works as director of Diversity & Multicultural Affairs at Mars Hill University. Kimberlee Archie is a consultant who lives in Charlotte and previously worked as human resources manager and change manager for the city of Seattle.

-The annual WNC Magazine photo contest is now open for submissions.

-ICYMI: Dalton Distillery in Asheville is actually making and selling its own rum. (i totally missed this)

-A collection of images documenting sights and personalities in Western North Carolina will go on display starting Aug. 2 when “Walking Through WNC 2.O: An Exhibit of Images by Vagabond Photo Walks Group” opens with a reception at 7 p.m. at THE BLOCK off biltmore, located in downtown Asheville at 39 South Market Street, according to a press release. More:

Photographs in the show are the results of Vagabond Photo Walks Group members roaming together with cameras through Black Mountain, Waynesville, Weaverville, Brevard, Hendersonville, Old Fort, Spruce Pine, Marshall and Hot Springs. Asheville is represented with images of downtown, the River Arts District, the South Slope, and West Asheville.

Professional photographer and instructor David Simchock started the group in 2014 and serves as its walk guide and mentor.

The Vagabond Photo Walks Group is made up of beginning photographers, hobbyists, and professionals. For many of the artists, this is the first time they have exhibited their work. The group is part of, a network of local groups aimed at revitalizing local communities and helping people around the world to self-organize.

Opening reception attendees will see images of urban scenes depicting street festivals, construction sights, breweries, musicians, and markets. Photo styles range from minimalist interpretations to dynamic storytelling. About 40 photographs by 20 group members will be on display. The exhibit runs through Sept. 7, 2017.

Many of the artists will be attendance at the reception. Refreshments will be served, and the event is free and open to the public. In addition to the reception, guests may view the exhibit during THE BLOCK off biltmore’s regular open hours: Monday-Thursday, 5-midnight; Friday & Saturday, 5pm-2am; and Sunday, noon-until. All art is for sale, unless other wise specified by the artist.

-Nicole Rotundo, a 33-year-old woman with Down Syndrome and a native of Asheville, has published a book about her life and will hold a book signing event from 4-7 p.m. on July 27 at Open Hearts Art Center on Coxe Avenue in downtown Asheville, according to a press release. More:

Nicole’s goal is to inspire others to live their own fabulous life and to help change public perceptions about people with disabilities. Working with Open Hearts Art Center, a community based nonprofit providing opportunities for differently-abled adults to express themselves through the arts, she was able to realize her 10 year dream of writing and publishing her book.

In addition to recently publishing her book, Nicole was also crowned Senior Miss Amazing in the 2017 NC Miss Amazing Pageant held in Charlotte in April. As NC queen, she will be competing in the national Miss Amazing Pageant being held in Chicago in August. Nicole also designs her own note cards and sells them in Asheville and Weaverville.

-Asheville Outlets and Anytime Fitness on Patton Avenue are offering a free Healthy Hikers Walkers Club now through Sept. 17, according to a press release. The on-going walkers club is open to the public. More:

The club is an on-going, set-your-own pace and track-your-own-mileage club. Members who turn in their weekly mileage at Customer Service on Wednesdays from 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m. will be entered to win a special gift bag full of valuable prizes from Anytime Fitness – Patton Avenue and Asheville Outlets retailers.

-Asheville Outlets will team up with OpenDoors of Asheville to host Flea for Y’all the last Sunday of each month through October 2017. The Flea takes over the tree-lined lot next to Field & Stream. The next Asheville Outlets Flea for Y’all will be held on Sunday, July 30, 2017 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Jason Sandford

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

  • 1

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