-There’s a new pet rescue group in town. It’s called Mountain Pet Rescue, and it operates right now as network of folks who foster adoptable dogs and cats. It has been organized in part by Jenna Yarosh, the owner of Patton Avenue Pet Company. Through the rest of this month, Patton Avenue Pet Company is accepting, and matching, donations to Mountain Pet Rescue. The new pet rescue organization comes on the scene following big changes at one of Asheville’s most well-known pet rescue groups, Brother Wolf Animal Rescue. Earlier this year, Brother Wolf announced it was closing down its adoption center and shelter, moving pets to foster homes and selling the property to help finance the construction of a new animal sanctuary in Leicester.
-Here’s the stat of the weekend regarding the surprise snowstorm that hit Asheville and Western North Carolina: Mount Mitchell recorded 25 inches of snow in the Friday/Saturday storm.
-Recapping another big weekend event: The 29th annual Warren Haynes Christmas Jam went off without a hitch. JamBase reports that Haynes made an extra effort to pay tribute, in song, to Greg Allman and Butch Trucks, his former bandmates with The Allman Brothers who both died earlier this year. Gov’t Mule, Les Bros, Marcus King, Trey Anastasio and Classic TAB, The Avett Brothers, Margo Price, Jake Shimabukuro, Holly Bowling and Ann Wilson also starred. Scott Bernstein, the editorial director at JamBase, tweeted the following quote from Haynes during the show: “This has been the best Xmas Jam ever and I’m jaded, I’ve been to a lot of them.”
-News obit: Dorothy “Kati” Phelps, a beloved and active member of the Weaverville community who was perhaps best known for her love of trains and for playing “Mrs. Santa Claus,” died Saturday. She was 70. Phelps and her husband portrayed the Clauses at the Craggy Mountain Line in Woodfin and at the Greenville & Western Railroad. Her full obituary is here.
-The Asheville Citizen-Times has hired a new reporter to cover breaking news. Sam DeGrave is a N.C. State graduate who formerly worked as a reporter with the Juneau Empire newspaper in Alaska and as a legislative fellow with the Texas Observer.
-Police are investigating a report of vandalism at Vance Birthplace outside of Weaverville, the Mountain Xpress reports. Somebody spray-painted “Black Lives Matter” on the side of a cabin at the North Carolina historic site, which is the birthplace of Zebulon Vance, known as North Carolina’s Civil War governor and a slaveholder.
-Asheville police are investigating the mysterious weekend death of a 24-year-old man, the Asheville Citizen-Times and the Mountain Xpress report. Jonquise Lamont Freeman was found dead on Lyman Street about 6 p.m. on Sunday, according to an Asheville Police Department press release. They were called to the area Saturday about midnight after reports of a fight and gunshots at the RAD Skatepark, the same night as a concert featuring rapper Blac Youngsta, according to the Citizen-Times. (The concert marked the one-year anniversary of the skate park.) Police found evidence of gunshots, but that was it. Police followed up by reporting that there were no obvious signs of visible trauma to Freeman.
–Vivian, the new restaurant going into the former Junction location on Depot Street, will hold its grand opening Thursday.
-Quentin Miller, a decorated Asheville Police Department officer, is running for Buncombe County Sheriff next year, according to a press release. Miller, an Asheville native, is a Democrat. The Citizen-Times reports that a total of seven candidates have filed paperwork to run in next year’s election to fill the seat being vacated by outgoing Sheriff Van Duncan. The other candidates are Democrats Randy Smart, Chris Winslow and Daryl Fisher, and Republican Shad Higgins and two candidates who did not list an affiliation: Rondell Lance and Tracey DeBruhl.