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Monday, July 31, 2017

What's Happening Around North Carolina: July 2017 Edition

Here’s the latest buzz on what’s been happening in Charlotte and elsewhere in the Carolinas…


Charlotte is Getting a Dose of Kittens & Caffeine

Yup, you read that right. Charlotte, NC is becoming the newest addition to the US's collection of over 20 cat cafes. The owner of these cafes, Lori Konawalik, a wedding photographer and mother-of-three, is very happy to have her business making its way to Charlotte, North Carolina.

"Mac Tabby," as it is called, is a one-of-a-kind cafe that offers a relaxing area for people to mingle both with each other, and with cats, while getting their favorite drinks and listening to live music.
The café is expected to open up sometime this fall in the NoDa area of Charlotte.

Bigfoot Creates Big Laughs in Catawba County

Imagine seeing Bigfoot as you are driving down Startown Road in Maiden, NC. Eerie, right?
Well, that is exactly what's been happening in Catawba County, where a 7-foot tall half-ape, half-man "Bigfoot" has been frequently spotted. Although many locals know the monster, they have no idea as to where he came from.

This prompted WBTV to don their investigation caps, who later found out that "Bigfoot" is actually just a plywood cutout that has been painted black, made by a fun-loving local Morris Isenhour, who lives around a mile away from the "monster's" frequented spot.

People don't seem to mind Bigfoot so much though; in fact, many actually like being chased by him!! This friendly neighborhood monster makes for a fun selfie photo if you happen to spot it.

Slow Yet Steady

You all know about 2016's historic North Carolina wildfires. However, you may not know that those blazes almost destroyed an entire animal species. All of the noonday globe snail's only known habitat, a two mile section of a Nantahala river valley, had been devastated by fire which placed this already federally threatened snail on the brink of extinction –Or so it was thought.

During the spring following the wildfires, extensive surveys conducted by U.S. Fish and Wildlife biologist revealed that some young snails actually survived in the original known habitat of the Nantahala Gorge. Even more surprising, the freshwater snail were discovered in previously unrecorded areas, showing that their range had expanded.

One biologist, Jason Mays said that although some snails did die, there was not dramatic change in the overall count of the species. This goes to show the power of nature, and how the seemingly destructive force like fire can breathe new life into the forest.

A Charlotte French Favorite adds New Location

If you are already a fan, you will be happy to learn that the 6th Amelie's Cafe is all set to open on Park Road. The French Cafe, which is famous for whimsical-yet-comfortable décor, such as creative fireplace mantles, striped blue-color walls and pots-and-pans chandelier, will also be adding a USB enabled outlets for a laptop bar. This convenient amenity allows guests to easily work while they are in the dining area.

The cafe will be offering its trademark sweet and savory items such as the colorful French macaron and pressed sandwiches, fresh soups, and others. Meanwhile, beverage options range from coffee and tea to beer and wine.

Google's YouTube TV Comes to Charlotte

This is being considered great news for TV buffs in Charlotte, NC. Google has launched its YouTube TV service in the city’s metro area. The service, which targets the budget-conscious family and millennials, will allow access to 6 accounts per household.

In addition to over 50 networks (FOX, CBS, ABC, AMC, and the like), YouTube TV will feature a cloud DVR that provides limitless storage for users. Furthermore, there will be no contract commitments for the service, which means that customers will be able to cancel (or join) any time they want!

This has been an interesting development in the city in addition to Google's fiber service, which was introduced in parts of Charlotte the summer of 2016. In addition, a promotional location called a Google “Fiber Space” was created in the Queen City’s downtown area within the specially refurbished walls of the Dixie’s Tavern.

New NC Island Bears New & Dangerous Discovers

North Carolina's Outer Banks just got a brand new island, and it is unlike anything ever seen before.
This area of the coast is used to seeing new sands make rise as the turbulent chill waters of the southbound Labrador Current crash into the warmer waters of the Gulf Stream. However, this most recent formation, nicknamed “Shelly Island”, is quite rare for its size. Almost a mile long, the crescent-shaped spit of sad looks comparable to a football field.

According to Danny Couch, local tour guide, historian and lifelong resident of the neighboring Hatteras, the new island is a "hoss." While he said that it wasn't anything totally new, it was most certainly the largest island he had seen in his lifetime.

The poet might say that ‘a moon has come up in the Graveyard of the Atlantic’ – a fair and ominous message to those wishing to visit the new island.

For the second time in one week, an unexploded World War II-era ordnance was found washed ashore Friday on Shelly Island. The potentially lethal discovery promptly lead to the subsequent evacuation of the area including public beaches.

An ordnance disposal team later removed the ordnance.

The new and ever popular island is a magnet for anglers and shell collectors, but Shelly Island has proved to be dangerous in many ways and that includes getting there. Officials have urged members of the public ‘do not attempt to swim or walk to the island’. Aside from the area having a history of washed up, unexploded WWII bombs, the surrounding waters have become abundant with tiger sharks and other potentially dangerous marine life. In addition, the area between the island and the point is often run over by a strong and wide rip current.

Big Changes Planned for RAD of Asheville

Anyone who would walk by Lyman Street in the River Arts District of Asheville today would see the street-art and graffiti-covered crumbling warehouses and perhaps feel sorry for what was once there. David LaFave, however, has a very different opinion to offer.

According to the Stoneyard apartments developer, that place has unbound potential. He sees it as an affordable artist studio space, a management office and a restaurant.

Lafave is the managing director for AltInvest Partners LLC, which has developed a 133-unit apartment complex at 175 Lyman St. - right across from the old 12 Bones. Along with Charlotte-based partner developer Gingko residential, it plans to develop another 4 buildings which would house single and double-occupancy units.


LaFave, however, is very interested in maintaining the warehouse aesthetic of the area and to that end, wishes to construct the building with brick and steel. Additionally, he also plans to raise the buildings 14 feet above land grade to keep away flooding issues, and constructing parking spaces between the buildings and underneath the raised struts.

Local residents, artists and fans of the graffiti gardens, as expected, have expressed strong reasons why they are either for and some are against the redevelopment project. Once the project receives City Council approval, construction would be expected to start in April 2018.


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