Jason Sandford

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

  • 1

Here’s more of what’s going around:

-The first planting of industrial hemp seeds in the Asheville area is set for Franny’s Farm in Leicester under a pilot project overseen by the new N.C. Industrial Hemp Commission. The federal government outlawed hemp in the 1930s, but in 2014 approved a bill that allows universities and state agriculture departments to begin growing it for research and small pilot projects. Hemp, which contains almost none of the chemical that gives the buzz of marijuana, is used to make a number of products, including fabric and clothing. The growing marijuana industry has allowed for more products like Marijuana Seeds to become mainstream and be used more often. The N.C. Industrial Hemp Commission just this year started approving pilot project plantings around the state.

-A new grocery delivery service is starting in Asheville this month. Instacart will delivery groceries from stores including Publix, Whole Foods, Petco and more. Instacart offers same day deliveries in as little as one hour, according to a press release, and will cover more than 110,000 households in the Asheville area. The company also promises to provide more than 100 jobs, according to the release.

-Model, author, entrepreneur and enviro Summer Rayne Oakes will be the special guest speaker Wednesday morning at the 1 Million Cups meet-up in downtown Asheville. Josh Dorfman, director of Venture Asheville, will host Oakes for the talk, where she’ll discuss her insights into entrepreneurship, media, the environment and her latest book, “SUGARDETOXME: 100+ Recipes to Curb Cravings and Take Back Your Health.” Oakes will be signing copies of her book at Malaprop’s on Saturday.

-Mandy Stone has been named the new county manager for Buncombe County. Stone has worked for Buncombe County government for three decades, most recently serving as manager of its Department of Social Services. Stone replaces outgoing county manager Wanda Greene.

-Frosty Mountain Ice Cream and The Game Outlet are now open at Asheville Outlets, according to a press release. Frosty Mountain Ice Cream, a locally owned ice cream shop, serves Hershey’s ice cream in a variety of flavors, in addition to serving root beer floats, milkshakes, sundaes and banana splits. The Game Outlet offers a wide variety of popular video games and electronics.

-Continuing on the grocery beat, here’s an update from loyal reader Tiger:

Harris Teeter #348 is adding a pharmacy department. A “Harris Teeter Food & Pharmacy” monument sign is out along Merrimon Avenue. Harris Teeter Pharmacy #348’s pharmacy permit is yet to be issued by the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy.

Over in Haywood County, Waynesville Town Council has given initial approval to Waynesville Pavilion, a 49,098-square-foot Publix supermarket-anchored retail center at the northwest quadrant of Russ Avenue and Frazier Street.

Construction should begin this week of Publix’s South Market Plaza store in Hendersonville. Delayed, the South Market Plaza store will open in the first half of 2018.

Durham City Council denied plans for North River Village, a retail center that would have been Durham’s first Publix. Publix has removed North River Village from its announced store locations page. Forty stores have been announced with 24 in operation.

Publix #1569, Greenville Square, Greenville, will open Saturday, 1 July 2017 as Publix’s 25th store in North Carolina.

Ingle’s #129, Magnolia Plaza, Morganton, closed in May with an expiring lease.

Ingle’s #150, 722 Sullivan Road, Statesville, should begin construction soon. It is an additional store in Statesville.

-Blue Ridge Public Radio (WCQS FM) has announced the hiring of journalist Matt Peiken as the station’s first arts producer. More from the NPR station’s press release:

Peiken, whose entire journalism career has concentrated in covering arts and culture, will produce segments for Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and will develop a range of digital elements for BPR’s web and mobile platforms. He’ll also lay the groundwork for a new, weekly arts and performance showcase for BPR.

Earlier in his career, Peiken spent ten years at the St. Paul Pioneer Press in Minnesota writing profiles, opinion columns, and trend stories on visual, literary and performing arts. At WCPO Television in Cincinnati, Ohio, he produced videos and created podcasts for about area artists and cultural events. Returning to Minnesota, he created an independent online arts television series, 3-Minute Egg, which he expanded into a weekly broadcast series on Twin Cities Public Television.

Peiken has served as a regional editor for, part of a national network of hyperlocal news sites. He was also the managing editor of the Walker Magazine, the bimonthly publication of the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis.

Blue Ridge Public Radio General Manager and CEO David Feingold said “We like Matt’s willingness to take chances. Last year he experimented with a weekly, hour-long talk show interviewing Twin Cities artists from his car and video streaming it over Facebook Live.”

Jason Sandford

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

  • 1

You Might also Like

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Stories