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5/21/2012 - Happenings around WNC!
by Asheville Citizen Times

A chance to own a piece of Richmond Hill Inn

 ASHEVILLE - OM Sanctuary, the new owners of the historic Richmond Hill Inn estate, will host an estate sale 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday.

 Antique and contemporary furnishings, flatware and stemware and Victorian decor will all be sold. Proceeds from the event will help OM Santuary pay for deferred maintenance and restoration work. 

When it was first built in 1889, the Richmond Hill mansion was home to former congressman and ambassador Richmond Pearson. It later become a well-known bed-and-breakfast and tourist draw. The property went into bankruptcy after a 2009 arson and was purchased last year by Oshun Mountain Sanctuary Inc. for $4.5 million. The nonprofit plans to turn the property into a wellness center.

For more information write to info@omsanctuary.org or visit the website at www.omsanctuary.org. OM Sanctuary is located off Riverside Drive, across the Pearson Bridge. Follow Richmond Hill Inn signs to 87 Richmond Hill Dr.

YWCA of Asheville accepting TWIN award nominations

ASHEVILLE - The YWCA of Asheville is now accepting nominations for the 16th annual YWCA Tribute to Women of Influence Awards event, which will be held Sept. 20 at Pack Place and the Diana Wortham Theatre.

The TWIN award recognizes women who are role models in their professions and the community. Each nominee must fit into one of three categories: equality, empowerment and transformation.

The deadline to submit nominations is June 1. The nomination form is available on the YWCA website, www.ywcaofasheville.org, or call 254-7206, ext. 206. Proceeds from the TWIN event go to support YWCA programs that bridge gaps in education, earning power, health and child care.

HCC to host tax seminar May 23

CLYDE - The Small Business Center at Haywood Community College will host a free seminar by the N.C. Department of Revenue 10 a.m.-noon Wednesday in the student center auditorium.

Seating for the seminar is limited. Send an email to SmallBusinessSeminar@dornc.com and include "Clyde" and date to attend to reserve a spot. You can also call HCC's Small Business Center at 627-4512.

Participants will also receive information about the Small Business Taxpayer Recovery Program, an initiative that is helping thousands of small businesses that have fallen behind on sales, withholding and other trust taxes by offering penalty and fee waivers, as well as longer-term repayment plans.

Chamber seeks nominees for small-business awards

ASHEVILLE - The Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for its 2012 Small Business Leader of the Year awards.

The Small Business Leader of the Year Award program recognizes two individuals (one from a company with 16 or more full-time employees and one from a company with 15 or fewer full-time employees) who clearly reflect quality and dedication in the operation of business in the Asheville area and provide leadership accomplishments, including innovation, initiative and civic responsiveness.

Nomination forms are available at www.ashevillechamber.org/awards and should be submitted by Friday. Nominees will be notified and asked to submit a nominee response form (also available online) by May 31. The award winners will be recognized at the chamber's annual meeting on June 21.

Get your dance on

ASHEVILLE - The Decentralized Dance Party is coming to town 8 p.m.-midnight Tuesday.

The Canadian-based organizers of the dance party held a successful Kickstarter campaign earlier this year that raised $1,024. The party consists of hundreds of people carrying boomboxes and a DJ who wears a backpack containing an FM transmitter. The boombox carriers tune into the DJ's broadcast to create a mobile, synchronized sound system, according to the dance party Kickstarter site. The party will roam around downtown to "create an infectious epidemic of fun," according to the site.

New video games may break through sales slump

USA Today reports that two much-anticipated games, "Ma x Payne 3" and "Diablo III," due in stores today, could bring respite from a five-month slump in video game retail sales.

The arrival of the third-person action game and the PC-based fantasy role-playing game will be welcomed by game fans and retailers, because the release schedule of potential hits so far in 2012 has been underwhelming.

Another sign of slumping sales: Retailer GameStop reported last week that first-quarter sales fell 12.5 percent on a drop in store traffic due to fewer blockbuster titles.

Overall April retail sales were $630.4 million, down 32 percent from $930.9 million in April 2011, reports market tracker the NPD Group.

"When we see compelling content come into the market, the games are still selling as well as ever," says NPD analyst Anita Frazier. "We just saw a lot less this April as compared to last."

Other factors in the slump: growth in sales of downloadable games and add-on content, as well as a casual gamer shift to mobile and Web games. Some developers have turned design efforts to the next generation of video game consoles, even though only Nintendo's Wii U has been announced, says Geoff Keighley, host of Spike network's GameTrailers TV.

"Really, the only big game this year," he says, "has been Mass Effect 3," BioWare's science-fiction role-playing game, which has sold about 4 million copies in two months.

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