Ashvegas Hot Sheet: Red Cross volunteers head to Texas for Hurricane Harvey relief

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:

-Some local craft breweries are beginning to use the national Brewer’s Association seal that indicates they are a “certified independent” craft brewery, the Mountain Xpress reports.

-Red Cross volunteers in the Asheville area are headed to Texas and Louisiana to help victims of the Hurricane Harvey storm. At least 16 volunteers from the Western North Carolina region are making their way to Texas to support a variety of roles, according to a press release.

-School is back in session for Asheville City Schools and Buncombe County Schools.

-An HGTV post on Facebook about a treehouse that’s available for rent via Airbnb has gone viral. The Aug. 23 video post has more than 1.7 million views and more than 27,000 shares.

-Momentum, a new gallery, is opening soon at 24 N. Lexington Ave.

-Asheville city bus riders will see Sunday and holiday service for all routes in 2018, and the city is adding eight additional hours of evening service hours Monday through Saturday along several routes. City officials want to hear from bus riders as they choose which routes should benefit from the additional evening hours of service. There’s an online survey here (and a survey in Spanish here). Surveys will also be available on buses. Finally, the city will hold drop-in meetings:

· 5-7 p.m. Sept. 11 in Lord Auditorium at Pack Library, 67 Haywood St.
· 1-3 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Edington Center, 133 Livingston St.

-The Buncombe County Audit Committee held a special meeting this morning “to discuss new management priorities, internal structure, and increased independence of the Internal Auditor within the organization,” according to the meeting announcement.

-The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation and National Park Service are teaming up for the 2017 Centennial Challenge program to address high priority needs at sites along the Blue Ridge Parkway: Humpback Rocks Farm (milepost 5.8), Sharp Top Shelter (milepost 86), Mabry Mill and Groundhog Mountain (mileposts 176 & 188), and Moses H. Cone Memorial Park (milepost 294), according to a press release. More:

This year, Congress provided $20 million for projects across the country through the Centennial Challenge program. These funds will be matched by $33 million from more than 50 park partners to improve trails, restore buildings, and increase visitor access to parks. As the primary fundraising partner of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is raising $287,358 to be matched with Centennial Challenge Grants for a total impact of $747,000 toward critical projects.

“Our national parks span 12 time zones and attract more than 330 million visitors every year. This puts an incredible stress on the aging infrastructure at our parks and thanks to Centennial Challenge Grants and the generosity of public-private partners, we are able to distribute funds to rebuild our parks,” said Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “Using public-private partnerships to help address the deferred maintenance backlog remains a priority for the Department and the Trump Administration. Park infrastructure includes trails, signage, restrooms, lodges, roads, bridges and waterlines. These funds will help us continue to provide a world-class experience to visitors and ensure that these amazing places are around for future generations.”

Past Parkway projects selected for the grants include the rehabilitation of Abbott Lake Trail for handicap accessibility, upgrades at Mount Pisgah Amphitheater, and the restoration of historical structures at Johnson Farm.

“We are proud to work with the National Park Service for the third straight year to make the most of this matching opportunity,” said Carolyn Ward, CEO of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. “Thanks to donors and the Centennial Challenge program, we’ve seen many large projects move toward completion.”

The 2017 Centennial Challenge projects were selected to preserve important historical sites and improve the experience for the millions of people who visit the Parkway each year.

“The Parkway projects awarded for this cycle of Centennial Challenge funding highlight some of the most iconic natural and cultural resources in this park. Completing these projects protects the resource and insures a new generation of visitors will be able to enjoy these special places,” said Acting Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent John Slaughter. “The tradition of partnerships in the National Park Service, and specifically on the Blue Ridge Parkway, is strong. The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation’s matching support of these projects allows us to accomplish needed work in a way that would not be possible otherwise.” For more information and to give, visit

Jason Sandford

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

  • 1

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