Wow, Asheville. Does it blow your mind that we’re about to bid July adieu? You’re not the only one. July ushered in the dog days of summer and its scorching temps 🔥, as well as plenty of equally hot topics of conversation. From face masks + mental health to plans to reopen schools + historic government action, Asheville was positively on fire this month.
Before we leap into August, let’s take a brief look back at the issues that sparked sizzling discussions throughout Asheville in July.
Top conversations 15+ swimming spots to cool you down Asheville City Pools are closed due to the pandemic, and Buncombe County Pools are open and operating at reduced capacity (and recommending reservations), so we put together a list of area pools, lakes + swimming holes to help you beat the heat — and just under 15,400 readers checked it out.
28 businesses that have closed, opened, or are coming soon Sadly, the pandemic caused numerous businesses to close. By the same token, others have chosen this time to launch, and there are still more that are down the pike. We compiled a list of all three, and over 5,070 of you dug into it. Check out our list to find out which bizzes you need to reminisce about, as well as those that you can patronize now or plan to visit in the near future when they officially open — and peep the comments, where y’all added even more spots.
Outdoor workouts in Asheville Gyms + indoor workout facilities have been closed since March, and while we know you have been getting your virtual fitness fix, a lot of you told us you were ready to get outside for a workout and some vitamin D — and you wondered where you might go to get it. We created a list to tell you where you could go for an outdoor sweat sesh from area gyms, and we know your mental + physical health says thank you. You’re welcome.
Elk bear masks (WLOS)These eye-catching face coverings — featuring images of elk + bears — came in second place, and it’s no wonder: in addition to being cute and functional, their sales also go to support the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Pass this newsletter on by forwarding the email to anyone who might need to look back at everything that went down here in July.
○ NC’s Department of Health and Human Services reported a total of 120,194 cases of coronavirus in North Carolina as of Thursday afternoon. 1,576 cases and 45 deaths have been reported in Buncombe County. Check stats for other counties, total tests, and more in NChere.
○ Although coronavirus cases are still on the rise, with 2,000 new cases reported yesterday, hospitalizations have decreased across the state after two days of record-setting numbers. Reported hospitalized patients fell by 52, down from 1,239. Eighty-nine percent of hospitals in NC reported numbers. The current rate of positive test results is eight percent statewide. (News & Observer)
○ Ads from the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (TDA) restarted, then stopped as coronavirus cases rose in NC and the county. The TDA started a new ad campaign in early July, but five days later – after state officials warned of accelerating cases – they pulled the ads. Half of all counties targeted by the ads have been classified as COVID hot spots according to a threshold set by the TDA. (AVL Watchdog)
○ COVID-19 is still affecting the state + local judicial system. Currently, jury trials are on hold, increased use of teleconferencing has been allowed, notary requirements for court filings have been waived, and other steps have been taken to limit potential exposure to the virus. The orders have been put into place by the chief justice and the Supreme Court of North Carolina. (WLOS)
○ Due to COVID-19 restrictions, UNC Asheville will host its first virtual commencement this Saturday at 9 a.m. in celebration of 565 May graduates. Dr. Patrice A. Harris, immediate past-president of the American Medical Association, will deliver the commencement address. Anyone can watch the virtual ceremony, which will also be streamed via social media.
○ Trying to keep track of each school district’s reopening plans?Check here for an updated list of WNC counties and their schedules for the fall – including whether they’ve elected Plan B(mixed in-person + virtual) or Plan C (all remote learning) and what additional choices parents have. (BPR News)
○ Sylvan Learning Center(1070 Tunnel Rd.) is launching a new School Support Program for students + parents this fall. The program is an enhanced study hall for virtual learners that will be offered on weekdays from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.Staff will offer support for students in a safe and physically distanced environment.
Click the button below for local resources regarding the coronavirus.
Hey, there. Looking for today’s #MustDo events? In accordance with the
CDC’s recommendations regarding public gatherings, we have decided to postpone public event coverage for the time being. We look forward to bringing you Asheville’s #MustDo events soon (until then, feel free to submit your virtual events
We don’t wanna come across as braggarts, but we know our Instagram account is one good looking place. And this month, y’all really loved this pic of DuPont State Forest — it got over 13,000 impressions. And who could blame you? The image is wholly refreshing + serene, which are two things we could likely all use more of about now. Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re just gonna have a little moment of Zen and ogle this lovely pic.
#DYK that your photo could be featured in our newsletter? Just use #AVLtoday on social media.
Weather ○ 86º | P.M. Thunderstorms | 50% chance of rain ○ Tropical Storm Isaias is causing widespread flooding + power outages and small landslides on the island of Puerto Rico. Isaias is on a track toward the US mainland, and may even reach North Carolina. (WLOS)
Open ○ Need a sweet treat? Ashe Hole Doughnuts & Coffee (42 Water St.) is a brick + mortar shop and mobile donut truck founded by Chef Gene Ettison offering made-to-order mini donuts, coffee, and merch. They have 20 flavors — including maple bacon, peanut butter cup, and cookies n’ coffee. They’re open Mon.-Sat. from 6:30am – 2pm. 🍩
Civic ○City Council voted 5-2 to fund the Asheville Police Department + most other departments for three months, then decide how to allocate funds as part of a “divest/invest” strategy on Sept. 22. The city will also hold community meetings on shifts in policing. Vice Mayor Gwen Wisler and Vijay Kapoor voted no to the temporary budget. After the meeting, protestors marched through the Beaucatcher Tunnel and onto I-240. (Asheville Citizen-Times) ○ After setting double-digit records in April + May, unemployment in Asheville and Buncombe County dropped under 10% in June. Officials attribute the surge in employment to the return of tourism + service industry jobs — such as those at the Biltmore Estate — which have reopened since the state entered Phase 2 of the governor’s reopening plan. 💼 (Asheville Citizen-Times) ○ Applications to replace council member Vijay Kapoor’s position in City Council are now open and run through Aug. 20. Eligible candidates applicants must be residents of the City of Asheville + be registered to vote there as well. Applicants must submit a resume + application and complete six essay questions. Need more info? Email the city clerk. City Council will appoint the new member, who will serve the remainder of Kapoor’s term, which ends in December, 2022.
Dish ○ Calling all carnivores. Hickory Nut Gap has released two new Italian sausage flavors: hot + mild. Made with heritage breed pork and savory spices and herbs, the 12 oz. packages contain four three-ounce sausages a piece and are available online and at select local retailers. 🌭
Biz ○ Ever wanted a taste of Asheville in a basket? The recently launched Asheville Picnic Companycreates + delivers picnics made up of local goodies to you so you can nosh outdoors at a social distance. They even include a picnic blanket. The baskets are made for events ranging from leisurely meals to outdoor adventures. Find out more here. 🧺
Arts ○ The Wortham Center Special Events outdoor series continues today with drive-up music + dance performances. This weekend’s performance features WNC-based Stewart/Owen Dance at 9 p.m.(the 7 p.m. shows for both days are sold out). The drive-up concerts are July 31-Aug. 1 at Asheville Outlets(800 Brevard Rd.) Tickets are $40. 🎵
Active ○ The Asheville Chamber of Commerce’s annual Chamber Challenge 5K is going virtual this year. Wanna participate?Register online, and between Sept. 14 and 25, walk or run your course of choice, and report your finish time to the Chamber. They’ll recognize the top 50 finishers at a virtual awards ceremony Sept. 28. They’re also offering training tips here. 👟
Drink ○ Oskar Blues Brewing(345 Mountain Industrial Dr., Brevard) has partnered with French’s mustard to produce a limited edition mustard beer. The beer is described as a 5.2% ABV hazy golden wheat beer brewed with lime, lemon, tangerine, passionfruit, and French’s mustard. The beverage will be available starting Saturday, August 1 (National Mustard Day) in the Oskar Blues taproom in Brevard or online at beer retailer Craftshack. 🍺 (The News & Observer)
WaterCooler ○ Sixty percent of UNC Ashevillestudent-athletes have been named to the Big South Presidential Honor Roll. In order to be named to the honor roll, student-athletes must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or better for the recently-completed academic year. #KeepClimbing, Bulldogs. 👏 ○ The NCAA will allow student-athletes in all sports to wear social justice statements on their uniforms, including patches, replacing last names with words to celebrate or memorialize people, events, or other causes.
Health ○ Skip the supplement aisle. Tell Care/of about your diet, health goals, and preferences and their team of nutritional experts will send tailored vitamins, collagen + more right to your door. Take their quiz to get started. Ⓟ