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On Sunday, October 1, at 2:15 p.m., a guided walk in Historic Oakdale Cemetery will be presented.

Participants will gather at the octagonal building in the Cemetery, located on U.S. 64 West at Valley St., about one-half mile from downtown Hendersonville. Cost is $10 per person 10 years and older. Children under 10 are free with a paid adult.

Oakdale Cemetery's establishment coincided with one of Hendersonville's most prosperous periods between 1879 and the early twentieth century, when the Spartanburg and Asheville Railroad reached Hendersonville from the east and the railroad connected Hendersonville to Asheville in 1886. In December 1885, the City of Hendersonville purchased 5.5 acres and physically established the cemetery at its present location. The cemetery now encompasses 22 acres with more than 8,000 burials.

“The most famous grave marker in Oakdale is the large Italian marble angel which inspired Thomas Wolfe’s book Look Homeward, Angel,” tour leader Mary Jo Padgett said. “The angel has recently been freshened up and repaired, and we’ll learn more about her. Some of our most interesting historic figures of various races and ethnic backgrounds lie in rest at Oakdale, with markers and monuments that tell stories and whisper secrets ... so we’ll take some time to explore Hendersonville’s buried past. ”

Groups of eight or more can make arrangements for a private tour in Oakdale Cemetery and also for Padgett’s Guided Walks on Historic Main Street.
Padgett served on Hendersonville City Council for eight years, is a journalist and public relations consultant, co-founder and former executive director of ECO, was associate editor at The Mother Earth News magazine, and conducts programs and guided tours in Paris, France, on the American Revolution. Her parents spent their honeymoon in the Skyland Hotel on Main Street. She grew up on a farm in Rutherford County, and has lived in a 100-year-old house in downtown Hendersonville for 34 years. “I believe that knowing our history enriches our lives,” she said.

To make reservations or for more information, phone Padgett at 828-545-3179 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Visit and click on Guided Walks for a complete schedule. # # #





An Evening of Celtic Music Hosted by St. Gerard House

Join St. Gerard House for “Sounds of Hope,” a benefit concert featuring internationally known Celtic musician William Jackson. “Sounds of Hope” takes place Thursday, September 28 at Blue Ridge Community College in the Bo Thomas Auditorium, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

William Jackson has been at the forefront of Scottish traditional music for nearly 30 years. In addition to his stature as one of the leading harpers and multi-instrumentalists in Scotland, William has gained an international reputation as a composer. His "Land of Light" won the international competition in 1999 as the new song for Scotland, announced on the eve of that Parliament convening for the first time in 300 years.

William was a founding member and creative tour de force of Ossian in 1976, which became one of Scotland's best-loved traditional bands. The band, whose music influenced a generation of musicians, extensively toured the U.S. and Europe. Besides harp, he also plays tin-whistle, bouzouki and piano.

He has composed music in Scotland for the BBC and Scottish television and directed and performed the music for "The Battle of the Clans" for the History Channel. William's performance on harp, whistle and bodhran is featured on the soundtrack of the movie “A Shot at Glory”, starring Robert Duval and Michael Keaton, which was filmed in Scotland.

William is also a trained Music Therapist since 1993 and has worked with children with Autism and Cerebral Palsy, as well as in a psychiatric setting, in hospitals and schools in Edinburgh and Aberdeen, Scotland, and in Asheville, North Carolina. In addition to his performances on Celtic Harp, William teaches and gives workshops on Harp, and Music Therapy.

Admission for “Sounds of Hope is a suggested donation of $20 at the door. Reserved VIP seating and an opportunity to meet the artist is $40. Complimentary appetizers and drinks will be served from 6:30 -7:15 pm; the concert will be from 7:30 - 8:30pm.

100% of the concert’s proceeds will go directly to St. Gerard House. The mission of St. Gerard House is to help individuals with autism and their families experience more joy and achieve meaningful life outcomes. St. Gerard House is a non-profit organization in Hendersonville, North Carolina offering evidence-based treatment for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other behavioral health needs. St. Gerard House provides programs for individuals of all ages as well as programs for family members, guardians, caregivers, teachers, and others involved with care of the individual.

To reserve VIP seating for “Sounds of Hope” call St. Gerard House at 828-693-4223.




Arts Council of Henderson County announces Awards for

Hendersonville, NC – The Arts Council of Henderson County has announced the winning artists for its current exhibition, Bring Us Your Best XIV. Winners were announced at the opening reception for the exhibition on Friday, August 4. Bring Us Your Best XIV is on display in the Blue Ridge Conference Hall of the TEDC Building on the Blue Ridge Community College campus through Friday, August 18.

The awards were announced by Arts Council Board Chair, Pat McAfee, and presented by Joan Jackson, who represents the Wax Family Memorial Funds, a sponsor of the awards. The following artists received awards:

1st Place/2-dimensional – Diane K. Southen, “Being There”
1st Place/3-dimensional – Holland Van Gores, “Ascension”
1st Place/Photography – Ken Weaver, “Blue Shell in Surf”
1st Place/Fine Craft – Jo-Ann Jensen, “Converging Spirits”
2nd Place/2-dimensional – Kate Thayer, “Water’s Wonders”
2nd Place/3-dimensional – Bonnie Joy Bardos, “Walela: Spirit Guide”
2nd Place/Photography – Deborah Anderson, “Pensive”
2nd Place/Fine Craft – Rodney H. Leftwich, “Appalachian Noah’s Ark”
3rd Place/2-dimensional – Gary Cooley, “Kate in Red”
3rd Place/3-dimensional – Janet Leazenby, “Hare Day”
3rd Place/Photography – David Simchock, “Ben’s Tune Up”
3rd Place/Fine Craft – Karen-Eve Bayne, “Umbrella Magnolia”

First place winners received $250, 2nd place winners received $150, and 3rd place winners received $100.

In addition to the above awards, Joe Criscione, President of the Board of Directors for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hendersonville, presented a special award of $250 to Bonnie Joy Bardos for her sculpture entitled “Walela: Spirit Guide.” This “One Planet, One World” award was selected based on how well the artwork is representative of a world community recognizing the inherent worth and dignity of all beings, the oneness and interdependence of all life. The award is sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hendersonville.

The Starving Artist Fine Art Supplies and Custom Framing Shop awarded ten Honorable Mention awards. $25 gift cards for the Starving Artist Shop were awarded to the following artists: David Adler, William Asman, Cathryn Cooper, Susan Goodman, Hamed Mahmoodi, Bobbie Polizzi, Megan Richard, David Vandre, Ken Weaver, and Barbara Zimmerman.

Henderson County photographer, Walter Arnold, and John Patrick McAfee, author, sponsored an “Artist’s Choice” award, which was selected and announced during the opening reception. Artists who have artwork in the exhibit voted for their choice to win the Artist’s Choice award at opening reception. Hamed Mahmoodi won the $300 cash prize for his dry pigment with aquatint painting entitled “The Cellist.”

The People’s Choice Award, based on the votes of all gallery visitors, has yet to be awarded. The winner will receive a $250 gift certificate from The Starving Artist Fine Art Supply & Custom Framing Shop, and will be announced after the last day of the exhibition, August 18th. The public is invited to visit the exhibition and cast their ballots for the People’s Choice Award.

Gallery hours are Monday - Friday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. All artwork is for sale during this exhibition which is free and open to the public, and accessible for all.

For more information contact the Arts Council of Henderson County at 828-693-8504 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Visit our website at
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In addition to The Wax Family Memorial Funds, Bring Us Your Best XIV is also sponsored by The Starving Artist Fine Art Supplies and Custom Framing Shop, the Dr. Minor F. Watts Fund at the Community Foundation of Henderson County, and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hendersonville.

The Arts Council of Henderson County is a community organization that promotes, advocates for, and nurtures the arts in Henderson County and Western North Carolina. Its office is located at 401 N. Main Street, 3rd floor Hendersonville, NC 28792 (entrance on Fourth Avenue West).

The Arts Council is supported in part by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources; several funds administered by the Community Foundation of Henderson County, Henderson County Government, and Henderson County Travel and Tourism.




August 17, 2017

Sheriff Charles McDonald and the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office would like everyone in Henderson County to make safety a priority as the new school year kicks off. The traditional school calendar begins on August 28, 2017.

As parents prepare to send their children off for the new school year, motorists are urged to use caution on roadways packed with school buses, cars and pedestrians.  Always stop for pedestrians in crosswalks and obey the reduced speed limits in school zones during school hours.  Deputies will be stepping up patrols in school zones and following school buses to help ensure the safety of our children.

Always stop when a school bus’s lights are flashing in the following situations:
If you are traveling a two-lane road, all traffic in both directions must stop.
If you are traveling a two-lane road with a center turn lane, all traffic from both directions must stop.
If you are traveling a four-lane road without a median separation, all traffic from both directions must stop.
If you are traveling a divided highway of four lanes or more with a median separation, only traffic following the bus must stop.
If you are traveling a road with four or more lanes with a center turn lane, only traffic following the bus must stop.

Other school safety traffic considerations:
Be prepared to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.
Never pass a vehicle that is stopped for pedestrians.
Before making a turn, be sure the path is clear of any pedestrians.
Slowdown in areas where you are likely to find pedestrians, such as near bus stops, schools and playgrounds.
Avoid distractions such as food, passengers and using mobile devices.
Be patient; the safety of children is always more important than arriving to your destination on time.

Penalties for school safety traffic violations:
There is a $500 penalty for drivers who pass a stopped school bus, with the possibility of driver license revocation.
The penalty for speeding in a school zone is $250 in North Carolina.
Passing a stopped school bus can cost motorists five points on their driver’s license and eight points for commercial vehicles.

Sheriff McDonald also encourages all parents and guardians to discuss the following safety measures with their children prior to the first day of school:
Always arrive at the bus stop at least 5 minutes early.
While the bus is approaching make sure to stand at least three giant steps away from the curb, wait until the bus has come to a complete stop, the door opens, and the bus driver says that it’s OK to board.
Always walk on the sidewalk when preparing to cross the street near a bus. Make eye contact with the driver so that you are sure he or she sees you.
Never walk behind the bus.

If you are walking beside the bus, walk at least three giant steps away.
Use the handrail when entering and exiting the bus. Take extra precautions to make sure that clothing with drawstrings and book bags do not get caught in the hand rail or door.
Never stop to pick something up that you have dropped when a bus is stopped. Tell the bus driver or wait until the bus has driven off to avoid not being seen by the driver.
Don’t approach or exit the bus while texting, talking on the phone or wearing headphones; make sure to be alert to your surroundings.
In times of low visibility, students need to wear clothes that can be easily seen (bright colors, neon, NOT black, etc.).

Let’s make safety our number one priority this school year!




U.S. Forest Service Proposes Recreation Fee Changes
Asheville, NC, August 11, 2017 - The U.S. Forest Service is proposing to change recreation fees at several sites on the Pisgah National Forest and the public is invited to provide input to proposed fee changes for 46 days beginning on August 11, 2017 and ending on September 25, 2017.

The goal of these proposed changes are to establish a consistent pricing for developed recreation sites for the National Forests in North Carolina. In addition many day use sites will now accept the suite of "America the Beautiful, the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands" (Interagency) passes. This provides extra value to holders of these passes.
Current pricing at many Forest sites have remained static for over a decade and have not kept pace with other recreation sites with similar services and amenities. In addition, many sites have received various improvements and upgrades.

These fee changes are only proposed. After public comment is received, the Forest will assess the comments and concerns and then present the fee proposals to the Southern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee (RRAC) in Fall 2017. This committee will provide recommendations on the fee proposals and the Regional Forester will make a decision on the proposals. The Recreation RAC is a citizen's advisory committee that represents a broad array of recreation interests.

"We are very blessed to have so many outstanding recreational sites for visitors to enjoy. Unfortunately the costs of properly maintaining, modernizing, and being present at these facilities is beyond what we can accomplish with our current fee structure," said Dave Casey, District Ranger on the Pisgah Ranger District. "By increasing these fees we can continue to provide safe and well-maintained sites that are still a great value for our visitors. The fees collected stay on the Forest and help us continue a legacy of providing great places to explore and enjoy the Pisgah National Forest."
The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act of 2004 allows the Forest Service to keep 80-95 percent of fees collected to operate, maintain, and improve the recreation sites.

The proposed fee changes are:
Rocky Bluff - increase from $8 to $15/night
Curtis Creek - increase from $5 to $10/night
Mortimer - increase from $10 to $20/night single site, and $20 to $40/night double site
Wolf Ford Horse Camp - new $10/night fee

Day Use Areas
Roan Mountain - increase from $3 to $5/vehicle or new $30 annual pass

Major Visitor Center
Cradle of Forestry in America Historic Site - increased array of special programs and events offered, including workshops and musical performances. Prices will range from $8 up to $40 per person, depending on event

For more information visit our webpage at To provide comments about this fee proposal for the RRAC to consider, please contact Logan Free at 828-257-4256, by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by mail at:
ATTN: Recreation Fee Proposals
160A Zillicoa Street
Asheville, NC 28801