Do you have anything to do for valentines day? If you don’t, then here are some things you can do with your friends and love ones.
1) You can go to the Valentines dance at Asheville middle school at 4:00pm - 6:00pm on February 16, 2018. Tickets on sale in the Cougar Den for $6, or at the door for $7!
2) You can visit the Biltmore House (1 Lodge St). It is beautiful in many ways; there is a very romantic garden which is great for photo opportunities, very pretty trails to walk, and it makes you feel like you are in another time period.
3) You could go to the Chocolate Lounge (10 S Pack Square). They have amazing chocolate that is made in Asheville, plus you're supporting a local business. It feels very classy, and perfect for valentines. Also, you don't have to spend that much money!
4) Last, but definitely not least, you can go to the local business called Well Played. It is a restaurant with a combination of over 500 bored games and snacks! This place is perfect for a date if you don't wanna go somewhere super fancy, or if you just want to hangout with friends on valentines. It is located at 58 Wall St.
Story by Aiyana Childs
Saturday, January 19th: Over 7,000 men, women and children gather at memorial stadium. They all have a common goal, equality of the sexes. We Interviewed two of the four high school girls who put this event together, and they helped us understand how they made this massive event a reality.
The first young woman we interviewed was Sawyer Taylor Arnold. She is a junior at Asheville high, and an avid supporter of women’s rights. When she was asked how she started the planning of the march, she said “I started planning shortly after Thanksgiving with Sarah Kate Head, one of the organizers.” She also said she worked on t-shirt orders, answering emails and taking phone calls.
Organizing such a large public event had some struggles, some of these included lack of funding, getting permits, and finding a space to hold 7,000+ people. In Sawyer’s words, “Because we didn't have the funds to get permits this year, we had to be very strategic about the placement of the march and we had to run things by the city a lot of the time to make sure that they were legal and/or safe”.
The other organizer we interviewed was Sarah Kate head, a sophomore at Asheville High School. When we asked her about who some big supporters were in Asheville, she said “Our mentor throughout the process was Marie L. Germain, who organized the very successful Women's March on Asheville in 2017. She was most definitely our biggest supporter throughout the organization of the march; always being there when we faced any issues or had any questions. She is a big influence to me and the girls, and motivated us as we went along. We are very grateful to have had her by our side, especially due to the fact that she was busy taking over the march in Philly.” We also asked her how they were able to get speakers to talk at the Women's March, and she responded with “When we were thinking about who we wanted to speak at the march, we first had to think about what we wanted them to say and who would fit best for it. We have so many amazing women in office around us and the girls and I are so inspired by them. Honestly, we started to shoot out emails here and there, and we were so lucky to have found those who we did to speak at the march. We wanted inspiring women; women who would have a strong voice to speak up about the goals of the march and the goals of the movement in general!”.
This march was an overwhelming success, and could not have been possible without the strength, charisma, and determination of these young ladies. They proved that anything is possible when you put your mind to it, which is such a valuable lesson for girls all around the world. When we asked Sarah Kate for any advice she may have to other girls who were looking to make a change in the world she said “The biggest advice I can give young women is to not be afraid; to not back down under the pressure that society build on top of our shoulders. Speak up! Talk to people about it, look around for clubs or organizations where you can feel comfortable and open. I think that every young women has the capability of moving people's minds and hearts, but the first thing one has to do is shed the anxiety, insecurity, or fear that has been layering and replace it with confidence, with courage, and with a voice.” Sawyer had some great advice for young girls as well, she said “Some of the best advice I've ever gotten was from my dad, who told me that if you don't feel uncomfortable, it means your not growing. That doesn't mean you have to feel uncomfortable all the time, but push yourself to do things you haven't done before and don't be afraid of the unknown!” Both of these quotes had a common theme, working through the unknown always pays off. These ladies did an amazing job taking their own advice and planning the Women’s March on Asheville!
Story by Alana Kendrick and Ginger Hanlon
Asheville is a community full of foodies and restaurant owners, and Asheville Middle has a small paradise of families in this category: restaurant owners. Throughout every grade at Asheville Middle, there are students with families that own these restaurants. These restaurants include a very large variety of food all around town; they include food categories such as southern comfort food, pizza places, Chinese food, and even Thai food.
Southern comfort food, a delicious range of mac and cheese, mashed potatoes and chicken and waffles. Southern comfort is made by home cooks all over the south, but some of the best darn chicken and waffles you can get aren’t homemade at all, they are made right here in Asheville, North Carolina at King Daddy’s. They offer a large variety of waffle flavors and other comfort foods. Another delicious comfort restaurant is Early Girl Eatery. Early Girl is located in the heart of downtown and offers a wide variety of food, and they serve anything from breakfast food to salads and sandwiches.
Another type of food that is in the Asheville city schools restaurant family is Chinese food. Asheville middle has 2 different families with Chinese food restaurants. First off there is Metro Chinese in North Asheville, and China Taste in West Asheville. Both are local and offer delicious Chinese food. Another delicious restaurant featuring Asian cuisine is Little Bee Thai on South French Broad. Little Bee Thai is a small restaurant with big flavor, they offer delicious Pad Thai and other great Thai appetizers and entrees.
Another Asheville Middle family owned restaurant is Barley’s Taproom and Pizza. They are located in Downtown AVL and offer a variety of dinner and lunch foods ranging from hot and cheesy pizza to awesome subs and salads. Another delicious downtown Asheville Middle family owned restaurant is Limones, offering modern Californian and authentic Mexican food. They serve delicious brunch, amazing lunch, and delectable dinner.
No matter which of these AMS family restaurants you chose, you can’t go wrong. They offer all different kinds of scrumptious meals and styles. So get out there and try some delicious Asheville food, AND support your cougar family!
Story by Ginger Hanlon
On the evening of December 31, 2017 (New Year's Eve), Western North Carolina experienced what was described as an ‘ice storm.’ A down fall of sleet covered the streets and froze over forming a layer of ice. This layer of ice made it near impossible to drive anywhere in the area. Due to the circumstances however (it being New Year's Eve), the number of cars on the roads was dangerous. There were 56 car accidents in Haywood County alone. The surprising hit of winter weather on the region brought a trail of cold temperatures along with it. One teacher at Asheville Middle School said on social media that she saw over 100 accidents on her way from Tennessee to here home near Hendersonville. They shut down the freeway leaving people trapped. One AMS student says “On our way home from Michigan the weather got so bad we were trapped in Kentucky because we knew we wouldn't be able to make it home on New Year's Eve." The strange weather front has taken a toll on Asheville and schools in the area causing multiple cancellations and a huge amount of delays.
Story by Aislinn Nash
Usually when you think of ginger, you think of ginger root, or the ginger mints they sell at Trader Joe’s. I personally don’t like ginger, the only time I enjoy ginger is around the holidays. When it gets close to Christmas time in Asheville, that's all anyone can think about. The reason is because of the Omni Grove Park Inn. Every year the Omni Grove Park Inn has a Gingerbread House Competition.
It began in 1992 with a small group of people celebrating the holidays with gingerbread houses for fun. This year there were 170 entries from 17 states! Every year people travel to see the Grove Park's Gingerbread Houses, I myself go to see the houses and the cool Christmas trees. Every year you can see the different themed Christmas trees inside, next to the gingerbread houses. When you are walking through the Inn you can: buy hot cocoa, sit by a warm fire in rocking chairs, sit in sleigh pulled by (statue) reindeer, look at the view, and admire the gingerbread houses. If you are looking for a fun, laid back thing to do on a weekend or during Christmas Break, this the thing for you.
Story by Margaret Derry
Asheville's Biscuit Head is a very popular restaurant located on Haywood Road in West Asheville. It is known for its amazing breakfast/ brunch menu, but also serves other amazing things like sandwiches, appetizers, and more. Only about 6% of people who left reviews on Yelp were negative, mostly because of the long line. "Why is there always such a long line", you may ask; because everyone loves it! Every lucky soul who gets the opportunity to work there are always warm and welcoming and help you with whatever you need to make your experience better.
Outside they have comfortable outdoor seating with beautiful plants that insure that you are and not only enjoying the food, but the setting as well. I recently went to Biscuit Head and was delighted with the food and service. Prices are very reasonable and fair. Staff members are very kind and welcoming. Its decorated very nicely and comfy. I urge you to consider to take some time out of your day or just to grab a bite to eat at Biscuit Head and see for yourself.
Story by Mekada Wickliffe
In Western North Carolina counties, such as Buncombe, the opioid overdose rate has spiked and is at an unsettling rate. It has overwhelmed social workers, law enforcement, and multiple other local civilians affected by the epidemic. In the first eight months of the year there were 230 opioid overdose cases in our county, with dozens resulting in death.
Synthetic opioids are a drug that relieve pain as well as produce euphoria. Euphoria is a feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness. Opioids can be used safely when taken for a short amount of time when prescribed by a doctor, but because of the euphoria that they produce they can easily be abused. Even when opioids are used properly and prescribed by a doctor, one can become dependent on the drug and can lead to addiction, overdose, and potentially death.
It is estimated that between 26.4 million and 36 million people abuse opioids worldwide. It's estimated 2.1 million people in the United States suffer from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers. In Buncombe County opioid abuse is most common in 25 to 34 year old white adults. Opioids have 230 deaths to its name in the past 8 months in Buncombe County alone.
A recent survey conducted at Asheville Middle School shows that not just authorities, but everyone, thinks that opioids are a problem in Buncombe County. Recently in Buncombe, a meeting was held to discuss the epidemic. Representatives for multiple parties affected by the epidemic told Attorney General Josh Stein about the problem and what they think needs to be done. Stein also met with multiple groups of current and previous addicts of the drugs, “Ive met addicts who would have sold their mothers for their next fix.” said Stein.
Children and infants being tested for drugs in their system are being found to have methamphetamine, ecstasy, and multiple other different types of opioids mixed in. Ninety percent of children coming in to be tested are testing positive.
Ten Buncombe County school officers were trained to reverse overdoses recently in order to help prevent death by overdose in middle and high schools in the area. They were trained on how to administer overdose reversal kits, also known as Narcan kits. They will also know be provided with naloxone nasal spray, which can almost instantly reverse an overdose.
It is clear to many, if not all, that opioids are a serious problem in the US and Buncombe County. Many citizens are actively working to help with the epidemic and try and slow the death by overdose rate in Buncombe County.
Story by Aislinn Nash
MOD Pizza, a pizza place known for their super fast, super good pizza. MOD is located on Merrimon Avenue, in Asheville, NC, and is known for its delicious pizza. MOD is a relatively new pizza place, opening slightly over a year ago, and has stunned the public with its wonderful pizza. Once you walk in to MOD you will have two choices of pizza, a mod or a mini. Both options have 4 slices, the only difference being the size. Once you walk in you turn right, then go through the buffet-like order place, where you get to order your pizza.
The first time I went into MOD I had a feeling that reminded me of a Subway type restaurant, with a bar that you walk down choosing which items you want on your pizza.
MOD also has an online order option, which when you go on their website you can order pizza, salad, beverages, sides, milkshakes, or desserts. MOD claims that in only minutes, they can prepare an artisan-style pizza or salad, but can they really do it in minutes? I have eaten at MOD many times and most of the time it takes about 5 minutes to order and have your food ready. However, my most recent trip wasn't as fast. I ordered a mini pepperoni pizza, and it wasn't ready for around half an hour which led me to think that there was an error while making it, for example a shortage of ingredients. Overall though, they have fast and friendly service that keeps you coming back! For more information visit MOD pizza's website.
Story by Stephen Koerschner
Ever slept alongside a snake? According to a report from WLOS, The Asheville Police Department posted to Facebook on Monday that officers were called to the hotel when a boa constrictor was found in a bed. The police did not name the hotel yet, but the Boa actually had a name, Chuck. He was left by a guest, Neil Miller. He stated that he was visiting a friend when he "accidentally" left Chuck, his 3-year old boa constrictor, in the room. "I set him down for two minutes and forgot about him, walked out," Neil said.
This Asheville hotel is currently making a new pet rule due to the incident. The housekeeper who came across the Boa halfway under the sheets, says “it was the most terrifying yet hilarious thing I have ever come across when cleaning hotel rooms.” The owner of the snake, Neil Miller, said when he realized he had forgotten Chuck, it felt as if he lost his son. Don't leave your pets in hotels please!
Story by Mekada Wickliff
Due to all of the rain that has happened yesterday, lots of areas have been affected by flooding and other issues. The Biltmore Village has been severely affected, with lots of roads VERY flooded. Lots of cars have to drive through this water but, at least people can still move through the water. There were 4 inches of rain that fell since yesterday.
Some roads in that area were underwater this afternoon, making for dramatic social media videos as lots of vehicles tried to make the trek across flooded roads. That means people will have a hard time getting to work and walking through the water. It was so high that it went up to some adult's waists. Stay safe out there!
Story by Jacob Francis