Here’s more of what’s going around, including
-Officials are investigating reports of racial slurs and some sort of confrontation that led to the cancelation at half time of a high school basketball game last week between North Buncombe High School and Polk County High School. The game was held at North Buncombe, and an online petition seeking “a ban on high school sports at North Buncombe High” says that some in the North Buncombe crowd had ropes tied into nooses and directed racial slurs at the Polk team. The Tryon Daily Bulletin reports that the game was ended at halftime following a confrontation between students. The newspaper reports that it confirmed the reports of nooses. The story also quotes the Polk head basketball coach as saying that school suspensions and criminal charges may result from an ongoing investigation into the incident, which he said upset his players. The Polk players faced a similar incident in Landrum, S.C., two days after the North Buncombe incident, according to the Hendersonville Times-News, which reports that Polk postponed all of the high school basketball team’s games this week as the investigation continues.
-The new Cambria Suites hotel has opened on Page Avenue. The 136-room hotel has a fourth-floor restaurant called Hemmingway’s Cuba that’s open now, as well. A second, ground-level restaurant will open next year. The hotel is the latest to open in a wave of new hotel construction downtown, as well as other pockets of the city.
-Comic Envy comic shop on Tunnel Road in east Asheville is moving to 333-A Merrimon Avenue in north Asheville. Owner Darrin Williams says the shop offers “a variety of books, collectibles, posters, statues, as well as comics and toys for kids of all ages,” according to a press release. The new shop’s first official day open to the public will be Dec. 31.
-Chef Justin Burdett, formerly of Local Provisions downtown, is now working as executive chef at The Admiral in West Asheville, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports.
-The owner of the Asheville Pinball Museum in downtown, has expanded into Hendersonville, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports. T.C. DiBella has opened the Appalachian Pinball Museum at 538 North Main St.
–Date Night Appetite is the name of a new food review website that bills itself as “an Asheville couple’s guide to a great night out.” Check out reviews of Smoky Park Supper Club, The Admiral and Night Bell. The site also welcomes suggestions from readers, as well as reader reviews.
-If you’re looking for last-minute gift ideas, here are a couple that I stumbled across that look like fun. For the adventurer, check out Sandy Bottom Trail Rides. They bill themselves as “Asheville’s premier horseback riding destination.” And for a young person that’s into playing with dolls, check out the adorable pixies and animals from Forest Creature dolls. Like I said, I have no experience with either of these companies, but they sure look cool.
-If you want to hear me ramble on about news and community, check out the interview I did with my friend James Navé, the host of the Twice Five Miles show on WPVM, 103.7 on the FM dial. Navé is a writer, poet and spoken word performer who has conducted about 80 interviews with a variety of interesting folks.
–Land and Lore Ecotours looks cool.
-In case you missed it: Favilla’s New York Pizza recently closed its Merrimon Avenue location, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports. The newspaper quoted the owner as saying rent and upkeep were too much. The newspaper also noted that the N.C. Department of Revenue had posted a notice on the former location’s door “indicating the personal property within has been seized for nonpayment of taxes.” Favilla’s location on Patton Avenue near the intersection with Leicester Highway is open.
The Favilla’s New York Pizza Merrimon Avenue location had some extremely miserable employees the times I tried to order which may have contributed to the final closing verdict. On the two occasions I attempted to order delivery the staff were just rude impatient and lacked “paying attention detail” skills. Circle in the Square also had issues with rude employees…but I have never had a problem when calling the Patton Ave. Favilla’s location however I would rather drive across town than fight lunch or dinner traffic on that side of town coming from downtown…