June was one for the history books here in Asheville. From standing strong during a pandemic to coming together to support Black lives, there were so many opportunities to strengthen our community. We wanted to look back on a few of our record-setting conversations this month – and see which stories inspired and engaged you, our loyal readers.
Didn’t get a chance to read AVLtoday regularly in June? We totally get it – so here’s a chance to see what Asheville was talking about.
Top conversations Black-owned businesses in Asheville We asked you to tell us about the Black-owned businesses you frequent in Asheville and the surrounding area, and y’all delivered. Check out our list for where to shop, eat, and drink, plus who to hire when you need everything from a new hairstyle to landscaping, event planning + more. Almost 30,000 of our readers checked out this piece, and many of you added more businesses in the comments.
Asked: The Vance Monument As this monument downtown faces close scrutiny from the city + county, we wanted to check out the history behind it – and get your thoughts on what, if anything, should be done with it. We got almost 600 responses to our question about what you would like to see happen to the monument, with answers ranging from removing it to renaming it and leaving it be.
What businesses have outdoor seating? After moving into Phase 2, North Carolina restaurants were allowed to reopen with limited capacity. We got a lot of questions about which restaurants offer outdoor seating, so we created a list to help you decide where to eat al fresco when the weather’s fine – and close to 7,000 of you found it useful. Be sure to check out the comments for more reader additions to this ongoing conversation.
On ‘Asheville protest art’ “🖤 🖤 heart warming we are so close to being united.. So many people are ready I feel change is coming!!” – @thecakestudio_ashevillenc
Have a friend who might need to catch up on all that’s happened? Pass this newsletter on by forwarding the email their way. 💌
○ NC’s Department of Health and Human Services reported atotal of 63,484 cases of coronavirus in North Carolina as of Monday afternoon. 574 cases and 36 deaths have been reported in Buncombe County. Check stats for other counties, total tests, and more in NChere.
○ There are exceptions to Gov. Cooper’s mask mandate. These include folks with medical conditions — such as those with behavioral or physical disabilities and those on oxygen — and kids under 11 years of age. Officials say those who can’t wear facial coverings do not need to show documentation, and note that if you can’t wear a mask outside, you should avoid going places where they are required. (WLOS)
○ Buncombe County has a new Public Health director. Stacie Saunders, the president-elect of the NC Association of Local Health Directors, comes from Alamance County (about three hours east), where she also served as Public Health director. She replaces Jan Shepard, Buncombe’s previous health director, who retired March 13. Stacie was selected from a field of 60+ applicants. (Asheville Citizen-Times)
○Manna FoodBank has seen record-breaking donations during the pandemic. Last week, the nonprofit picked 103,000 pounds of food in one day, which beats their previous record by 20,000 pounds. Want to help keep their momentum going? See how to help here. (WLOS)
○Asheville Community Theatre’s extended intermission will likely last through the end of the year. After shutting down earlier this year due to the coronavirus, the theatre has reduced their operating expenses and laid off staff members. The remaining employees are working reduced hours, and they plan to continue offering online performances + classes. (WLOS)
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
Not only was this picture of Lake Jocassee the most popular this month, with 22,900 impressions – it’s also the most popular post of the past year. We can’t blame y’all for loving that #lakelife. Be sure to check out our full roundup of lakes within two hours of Asheville here. 🛶
#DYK that your photo could be featured in our newsletter? Just use #AVLtoday on social media.
Civic ○ Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller – the first Black sheriff elected in the county’s history – shared his perspective on police reforms, including the movement to defund the police, as well as racial inequity + his own decision to go into law enforcement. He hopes that a county task force will be created to address the community’s concerns about racial disparity, poverty, education + more. 🚓 (Asheville Citizen-Times) ○ The Asheville Police Department is asking for help identifying a subject after a fire in the alley between Salsa’s + Farm Burger (10 Patton Ave.). The fire happened on June 20 at 2:12 a.m. when a dumpster was lit on fire, causing property damage but no injuries. You can contact the Asheville Police Department at (828) 252-1110 or Asheville-Buncombe Crime Stoppers at (828) 255-5050. 🔥 (WLOS)
Region ○ Madison County commissionersvoted 3-2 last week to agree to settle out of court with Madison Asphalt, which plans to build a controversial asphalt plant right outside of Marshall. Last Oct., the county’s board of adjustment denied the plant a conditional use permit, but the county now states they didn’t find enough evidence for the denial. Citizens will speak against the permit when the case goes to Superior Court.(Asheville Citizen-Times)
Edu ○ United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County’s annual School Supply Drive is running until July 24. The drive helps provide students in elementary + middle school with the materials they need to be academically successful. You can help by purchasing backpacks full of supplies for $23+, hosting your own Virtual Drive by creating a team on Roonga, or donating.🎒
WaterCooler ○ Former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton — who was released from the team last spring — has been signed by the New England Patriots. The deal is for one year and $7.5 million + incentives. 🏈 (CBS 17) ○ 187 Western Carolina student-athletes were selected to the Southern Conference academic honor roll for the 2019-20 academic year. Western Carolina football led all Catamount teams with 32 honor roll students. Women’s Soccer came in second with 27 honor roll students. 🎓 ○ Former UNC Asheville Men’s Basketball player Ahmad Thomas has launched the nonprofit Athletes Mentoring Our Youth, LLC, which pairs professional athletes who are home for the summer or whose eligibility or careers have ended with less fortunate + at-risk kids. To help offset costs, Ahmad created an enrichment sponsorship program. Want more info? Email Ahmad here.🏀
Arts ○ Today is the last day of the WNC QuickDraw fundraiser. Proceeds go towards funding art education in Haywood County schools. There are pieces available from 45 regional artists including fine art pieces, jewelry, fine craft decor, fashion pieces, unique experiences + more. 💎
Outdoors ○ A law firm representing some Transylvania County residentsreached an agreement with the developer of a Dollar General. Mill Cove residents claimed that construction of the store would affect endangered Appalachian elktoe mussels in the area. To help protect the mussels, builders will plant native flora in the floodplain, install stormwater improvements + make changes to the store’s design. 🌊 (WLOS) ○ The traditional Picnic for the Parkway will be held virtually this year as a part of National Picnic Month. For the month of July, participants can sign up to host a picnic + make donations to support the Parkway. Picnic hosts and donors can win prizes for raising certain amounts, like a picnic blanket for raising or giving $469. The overall goal is$46,900, $100 for every mile of the Parkway. 🌄
Cause ○ Asheville Gay Men’s Chorus is asking for donations as a part of Give OUT Day. National Give OUT Day gives LGBTQ organizations a chance to promote their mission + ask for donations. The chorus expects a loss of revenue close to $12,000 due to the pandemic.Their donation goal is $1,000. 🎤
DYK ○ Thousands of starfish, specifically Gray Sea Stars, have washed up on beaches across the Grand Strand in SC. These starfish bury themselves in the sand, but are uncovered as tides fall quicker than they can move. They are more prevalent now because there are more living organisms in the intertidal zone for them to feed on. In the winter, they will return closer to the ocean shelf. Be careful, their tentacles are still capable of stinging after they die. 🐚 (WLOS)
We’re raising a glass to June in Asheville. This July, Ali hopes to finally hull enough dandelions to make her dandelion wine, and Brook wants to fill her bathtub with Chemist Gin and drink her way out. 🌻
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