Tornados aren’t common here western North Carolina, but they are in the southeast and when they strike, they tend to be deadlier and more destructive
Some students at UNC Asheville are part of VORTEX-SE, a national research effort to help figure out why southeastern storms are so lethal and how to better protect communities. WCQS’s Helen Chickering reports.
Death, it’s a subject that is often hard to think about, let alone talk about. A movement, called The Death Café is working to change the dialogue around the inevitable event. It’s a social gathering of sorts that started in Europe in 2011, spread quickly to the U.S. including Western North Carolina. WCQS’s Helen Chickering attended a recent Death Cafe at UNC-Asheville.
Mountain views, hiking trails an exploding food scene and more breweries per capita than anywhere else in U.S. It’s easy to see why the Asheville area is spilling over with tourists and newcomers. The boom is a boost for the economy but often makes for a busier and sometimes more challenging day for police and other first responders whose job it is to care for both tourists and the people who live here. WCQS’s Helen Chickering reports.
Asheville has been dubbed Beer City, Bee City and even Climate City. In the future, Dog City may be added to that title. A local dog behavior specialist is on a mission to make the area the most dog friendly place in the country.
But this isn’t a campaign to encourage more water bowls and dog biscuits, it’s about retraining people. WCQS’s Helen Chickering explains.
Kim Brophey, “I’ve got the Elmo voice down, Look at the little puppy!”
There's the pile of old electronics that got replaced with the newest version over the holidays. The toaster that no longer works, and the dead computer that's been collecting dust for years. Random items that shouldn’t go in the trash, and can’t go into the recycling bin. Items Eric Bradford says fall into the hard to recycle category.
The Waze travel app gives directions and also allows users to report traffic conditions and road hazards that alert other drivers. But unless that information is updated, and most drivers have no idea how long a roadblock will be in place, it eventually goes away. Cities and counties however, do know, and now the city of Asheville is integrating its road closure information into the app through the Waze Connected Citizens program. Christen McNamara is a GIS programmer analyst with the city.
As an applied environmental economist, UNCA’s Leah Mathews is interested in the value of things you can’t buy on the store shelves like scenic quality, cultural heritage and social interaction. Much of her research focuses the local food system in Western North Carolina, looking at the benefits that residents and visitors receive from farmland, the value of social interactions at farmers markets, and the veracity of the Appalachian Grown local food label.
The ongoing drought has led to water restrictions being in some communities in North Carolina. According to NC Division of Water Resources, a total of 43 public water systems, or 8% of those tracked across the state, have instituted voluntary conservation measures while 12 systems, including Woodfin, are under mandatory conservation because of the drought.
The sound of chainsaws echoed through the AB Tech Asheville campus. It wasn’t a construction crew, but a culinary arts class, learning how to sculpt ice. Fourteen students paired in teams of two were scattered across the porch of the Magnolia building. Instructor Chef John Hofland was overseeing the students as they sawed and chopped their way through blocks of ice.
Firefighters battling several wildfires throughout western North Carolina report progress in getting those fires contained. But air quality in the region remains poor, especially the further west you go from Asheville. Buncombe and surrounding counties have air quality labeled "unhealthy." The four westernmost counties - Macon, Cherokee, Clay, and Graham - have air quality labeled "very unhealthy."