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Civic center ‘rebranded;’ upgrade planned
Monday, 03 February 2020 12:45

It’s now Harrah’s Cherokee Center-Asheville, under an up to $5.75M, 10-yr. pact

From Staff Reports

he City of Asheville and Harrah’s Cherokee held a grand opening of the Harrah’s Cherokee Center-Asheville with a public civic dedication on Jan. 10.

The newly rebranded, mixed-use, 130,000-square-foot venue, formerly known as the U.S. Cellular Center Asheville, houses the Arena and Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, and is the home of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, Warren Haynes Christmas Jam, and the Ingles Southern Conference Men’s & Women’s Basketball Championships presented by General Shale. 

The venue also recently hosted the Federation Cup in back-to-back years, a first in over 30 years on U.S. soil for the international tournament, as well as blockbuster performances from internationally renowned musicians like David Byrne, The Lumineers, Kacey Musgraves, Bob Dylan, and Luke Combs and comedians including Kevin Hart, Dave Chappelle, and Jerry Seinfeld. More event and venue information available at

“The City of Asheville is looking forward to growing our relationship with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians through the naming rights of our entertainment facility,” said Mayor Esther Manheimer. “We appreciate the investment they are making in downtown Asheville and the Western Carolina Region.”

Harrah’s Cherokee Center-Asheville is the design of an up to 10-year, $5.75 million license agreement between Harrah’s Cherokee and the City of Asheville. The partnership, approved by city officials in May 2019, includes an additional first year payment of $750,000, two-thirds of which will be financed by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. 

UNCA keynoter: MLK Jr.’s model provides ‘armor’ to survive, thrive
Monday, 03 February 2020 12:41


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Charlayne Hunter-Gault addressed a full house during her keynote speech that highlighted UNC Asheville’s Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Week on Jan. 21 in UNCA’s Highsmith Student Union’s Blue Ridge Room.

About 400 people filled all of the seats, leaving standing-room-only. The crowd appeared to be racially diverse, with an unusual mix of mainly college students and retirees.

Kate Johnson, UNCA’s director of the Key Center for Community Engaged Learning, opened the event by welcoming everyone, noting that Hunter-Gault and her address “is guaranteed to inspire us all.”

Johnson also noted that, earlier that afternoon, more than 50 students and others, engaged in a masters class with Hunter-Gault.

Following Johnson, UNCA Chancellor Nancy J. Cable , who gave a lengthy introduction of Hunter-Gault, began by noting that the night’s event focused on “Dr. Martin Luther King (Jr.), who we should commermorate and celebrate today… and every day.”

Edwards unveils N.C.’s good (and bad) news
Monday, 03 February 2020 12:39

From Staff Reports

An “update from the state legislature” was presented by state Sen. Chuck Edwards, R-Hendersonville, to the Council of Independent Business Owners on Jan. 17 at UNC Asheville’s Sherrill Center. 

About 80 people attended the address by Edwards, who announced on Sept. 4, 2019, that he is running for re-election in November in a bid for a third term.

Edwards began his roughly 15-minute address with a few jokes, some of which prompted some laughter and others that were greeted with silence.

The punch line of one of his jokes was “Tell new hires, ‘Don’t think of me as your boss, but rather as a friend who can fire you.’”

Another Edwards’ joke went along the lines of: “I used to be a banker, but I lost interest.”

Turning serious, Edwards then said, “So I’ve got some good news and some bad news this morning.

“The good news is North Carolina continues to do very well. In the most recent fiscal year, ending June 2019,” the state “ended with a budget surplus of $900 million. If you want to applaud that, I’ll pause.” At that, many in the CIBO audience applauded.

Edwards also added that “North Carolina has its lowest employment rate” ever. “In general, North Carolina is doing really great.”

Conversely, he said, “The bad news is politics is alive and well in North Carolina. I’m particularly frustrated wth some of the results of this past season, primarily in terms of the budget.

“We still don’t have a budget in North Carolina... I know this is an astute group of folks. I’m sure you know North Carolina has a statutorily approved budget.” Therefore, he noted, “all those keys things are happening” on which the public — and businesses — depend, resulting in many people being unaware of the budget standoff.

“The unfortunate thing is ... we’re missing a lot of things. A lot of it comes down to politics.... I probably slept about an hour last night after thinking about what I could tell you after what I’ve seen lately in Raleigh....

“We (the Republican legislators) had a good budget” (proposal) that totaled $24 million. The govenor (Roy Cooper, a Democrat) immediately came out” against it — and “there were all kinds of political threats made against Democrats who voted for the budget.”

Love Bubble ripples with fun
Monday, 03 February 2020 12:35

REVIEW: Stellar harmonies fuel trio’s dreamy toast to 1960s-70s

HENDERSONVILLE — Love Bubble, billing itself as “the freshest harmony-driven trio in WNC” and as “a quintessentail musical menagé trois,” finished with a bang — or pop — in its second-ever show Jan. 3  at Southern Appalachian Brewery in Hendersonville.

The evening ended on a surprising note, as Love Bubble — with gusto and no hint of what was to come — launched into The Patridge Family’s rollicking hit, “I Think I Love You.” Some in the audience appeared virtually ecstatic at the daring selection of the rarely performed, but much-loved, song from their past, coupled with the trio’s super-revved-up performance of it.

Despite much cheering and applause from the crowd, the trio then smiled and waved — and there was no encore. 

About 70 people attended the Jan. 3 show featuring two 50-minute sets, split by a 20-minute intermission. (The trio’s debut show was Dec. 22 at a — reportedly —  sold-out Grey Eagle Music Hall & Pub in Asheville’s River Arts Distict.)


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