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Current weather in Hendersonville, NC 43° Friday's Weather
Increasing clouds
HI: 49 LOW: 33
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LOCAL MAN KILLED IN ALCOHOL-RELATED CAR WRECK EARLY THURSDAY

North Carolina State Highway Patrol.jpg

The NC Highway Patrol says says a deadly mix of alcohol and speeding led to a single-vehicle wreck that stole the life of a Hendersonville man in the very early hours of Thursday morning on Crab Creek Road.

Trooper Kelly Rhodes said that Matthew Jones, 32, of Crab Creek Road was driving east toward downtown Hendersonville when his car veered off the right side of the road. The car then rolled over and struck a tree.

Troopers say Jones’ passenger, 22-year-old Michael Clayton of Francis Road, was wearing his seatbelt, but was partially ejected in the crash. Clayton died at the scene.

Jones and another passenger, 25-year-old Justin Burris of Chimney Rock Road, were not injured in the collision, which troopers suspect involved speeding and alcohol, Kelly said.

Jones was charged with felony death by motor vehicle.

First responders say the accident happened in the vicinity of Ben Ray Lane around 2 a.m.

 

SYSTEM FORMING IN THE GULF STILL LOOKS LIKE RAIN FOR US FOR THE WEEKEND

Hendersonville , NC

Forecast Last Updated at Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 12:33PM

More Clouds Today

A weakening system moving through today will make for cloudier skies at times compared to yesterday, but other than a few sprinkles, it stays dry. With the clouds, temperatures will be a touch cooler today as well. Clouds decrease tonight leading to a mostly sunny start to the day Friday. However, clouds quickly increase in the afternoon with light rain breaking out late Friday night. Light rain showers continue on into Saturday, tapering off by late-afternoon. The next system is quick on the heels of Saturday’s system and is expected to bring another round of rain to western NC late Sunday afternoon into early Monday morning. For details on the all-important Christmas Day forecast, check out the discussion section below.
Just in time....

Thursday Hi:  52 Lo: 29 Partly sunny; Can't rule out a few sprinkles; NW wind 5-15 mph Friday Hi:  49 Lo: 33 Increasing clouds; Light rain develops late Fri. night; North wind 5-10 mph Saturday Hi:  39 Lo: 33 Cloudy with daytime rain showers (snow may mix in on the highest ridge tops); Light south wind Sunday Hi:  46 Lo: 35 Mostly cloudy; Rain possible late-day through Sun. night Monday Hi:  46 Lo: 36 Mostly cloudy; Cool; AM rain showers possible

Further Out

Tuesday - Mostly cloudy; Showers possible in the afternoon & Tue. night; High near 50 degrees; Low in the upper 30s Wednesday - Mostly to partly cloudy; High in the mid 40s; Low near 30 degrees

Forecast Discussion

An upper level disturbance is moving across the southern Appalachians early this afternoon. There is a lot of dry air across western NC which we expect will limit any precipitation to just a few sprinkles.
Attention then turns to an area of low pressure that is forecast to develop along the Gulf Coast tonight, and then move east to off the SE coast by Saturday. We have been talking about this system for several days now. The forecast really hasn’t changed that much. We still expect light precipitation to break out late Friday night and continue on into the day Saturday. This system is looking weaker now which we expect will keep precipitation amounts on the lighter side. The system still doesn’t have much cold air to work with either and because of this we continue to expect mostly rain across the SW NC mountains and on into the NC Foothills. Of note, though, the highest elevations of SW NC (ie. above 5000’) could see some snow mix in at times. While things could change, confidence is growing that this system won’t be that big of a deal for SW NC and the Foothills.
The weather pattern remains active on into Christmas week. The next system is forecast to ride up along the East Coast Sunday and Monday bringing another round of rain. The heaviest rain will likely hold off until Sunday night, but light rain could arrive as early as Sunday afternoon. The rain tapers off on Monday, but clouds will stick around for awhile. Yet another system is forecast to move through Tuesday / Tuesday night with more rain showers possible. On the back side of that system, enough cold air may work in for flurries or snow showers Tuesday night in the mountains. Flurries or snow showers may linger into Wednesday across the mountains, but otherwise dry conditions can be expected into Christmas Eve. Right now, Christmas Day looks mostly dry and cool.

 

LOCAL MAN CHARGED WITH SEX OFFENSE

 

 

Investigators from the Henderson County Sheriff's Office Violent Crimes Unit have charged Albaro Luna Zepeda, age 46 of 118 Southern Drive  in Hendersonville

with two felony counts of First-Degree Sex Offense With a Child. The charges were brought after the victim met with investigators concerning inappropriate contact by Mr. Zepeda when she was under the age 13. Zepeda was interviewed by investigators and is currently incarcerated in the Henderson County Detention Facility under a $150,000 secured bond.

He was to have his first appearance in District Court of Henderson County Thursday.

 

LOCAL PEOPLE BEING VICTIMIZED BY IRS SCAM

LOCAL PEOPLE BEING VICTIMIZED BY IRS SCAM

 

 

Major Frank Stout was the sheriff's department says a variety of scams are currently going on...many victimize elderly people in the local community.

The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office has recently received calls of concern from Henderson County residents inquiring about the current scam going around the country from the Internal Revenue Service. Henderson County residents are experiencing these calls and Sheriff Charles McDonald is urging residents not respond or give any information to these callers.

In their latest release the IRS says they have received in excess of 90,000 calls about this scam. The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office has had complaints about calls made by aggressive call solicitors, emails and automated phone messages.  Listed below are some tips from the IRS in case you are contacted by a caller, email or automated phone message:  

  • The IRS will first contact you by mail if you owe taxes, not by phone.
  • The IRS never asks for credit, debit or prepaid card information over the phone.
  • The IRS never insists that you use a specific payment method to pay your tax.
  • The IRS never requests immediate payment over the telephone.
  • The IRS will always treat you professionally and courteously.  
  • Scammers use fake names and IRS badge numbers to identify themselves.
  • Scammers may know the last four digits of your Social Security number.
  • Scammers spoof caller ID to make the phone number appear as if the IRS is calling.
  • Scammers may send bogus IRS emails to victims to support their bogus calls.
  • Victims hear background noise of other calls to mimic a call site.
  • After threatening victims with jail time or driver’s license revocation, scammers hang up. Others soon call back pretending to be from the local police or DMV, and caller ID again supports their claim.
  • If you know you owe taxes or you think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 800-829-1040. IRS employees can help you with a payment issue if you owe taxes.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or don’t think that you owe any taxes, then call and report the incident to TIGTA at 800-366-4484.
  • If scammers have tried this scam on you, you should also contact the Federal Trade Commission and use their “FTC Complaint Assistant” at FTC.gov. Please add "IRS Telephone Scam" to the comments of your complaint.

Scammers may tell would-be victims that they owe money and that they must pay what they owe immediately. They may also tell them that they are entitled to a large refund. Other characteristics of these scams include:

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:

 

PARK RIDGE DEMOLISHES OLD THEATRE

PARK RIDGE DEMOLISHES OLD THEATRE

Making room for a four-story medical complex, Park Ridge Hospital President and CEO, Jimm Bunch greeted bulldozers and a small crowd of 'well-wishers' in 'signaling' the demolishing effort of the old Four Seasons Theatre on Seventh Avenue East in Hendersonville.  Link to Full Story

LOCAL DOMESTIC ANIMALS REPORTEDLY ATTACKED BY MOUNTAIN LIONS; WILD HOGS ON THE INCREASE

LOCAL DOMESTIC ANIMALS REPORTEDLY ATTACKED BY MOUNTAIN LIONS; WILD HOGS ON THE INCREASE

Eastern Mountain Lion Mystery    

EVIDENCE INDICATES MORE LIKELY A LARGE BOBCAT

Reports have been circulating in the community for weeks about wild animals attacking some domestic animals. The reports usually involve what some believe to be “mountain lions”.   In fact, a photo was circulated earlier in the year of a mountain lion apparently stalking cattle near a local dairy farm.

The latest reports are of a mountain lion reportedly attacking a dog in the Laurel Park area, and of one attacking horses in the Willow Creek area.

Andy Unguris with Henderson County Animal Services tells WHKP News they have received these reports and have investigated, but they can find no evidence of a real mountain lion attack. He said the Laurel Park incident was believed to involve a large ”bobcat” and the paw print of the wild animal involved seems to support that .

WILD HOG POPULATION IS UP

There have also been reports of an increase in the wild boar, or wild hog, population…especially in the Mills River area. Unguris says wild hogs have been on the increase for a number of years in the mountains of Western North Carolina, but he’s quick to point out that in most cases, the hogs involved are tame ones from hog farms that have gotten loose and escaped into the woods. And usually, they shy away from people and are not dangerous.

Unguris also says that the internet and increasing use of social media has led to a lot of speculation and rumors about wild animal sightings and attacks, but again, there is little or no evidence to back them up.

He explains that according to North Carolina wildlife officials, mountain lions in the mountains of Western North Carolina are a thing of the past and simply no longer exist.

BLACK PANTHERS (PAINTERS)?

There have been some recent reports too of panthers, or what mountain folks used to call "painters", sighted in the area.  One in particular was in the Forge Mountain section of northwestern Henderson County a few months ago.  But in the opinion of NC wildlife officials, the black panthers or "painters" that once roamed the mountains threatening livestock and humans alike, and that had a piercing, horrifying scream, no longer exist in this area..

    A BLACK MOUNTAIN PANTHER OR "PAINTER"

By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman

12/12/14  Updated 7:30pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

IT'LL BE "A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS" AT THE HISTORIC COURTHOUSE

Title frame from A Charlie Brown Christmas.jpg

In anticipation of the upcoming Holiday season, Henderson County Government will host a “Children’s Day” at the Historic Courthouse in downtown Hendersonville on Monday, December 22rd. We would like to invite parents and children of all ages to attend a special showing of A Charlie Brown Christmas in the Board of Commissioners Meeting Room. Popcorn will be shared with all attendees.

The movie will begin at noon.

We ask that individuals who wish to attend gather in the front lobby of the Historic Courthouse approximately five minutes prior to the movie start time.

 

 

HOLIDAY SAFETY REMINDERS FROM THE HENDERSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT

 

"The holiday season is right around the corner and shoppers are crowding malls and discount stores to buy the latest gadgets and find the best deals," said Sheriff Charles McDonald of Henderson County.

According to Sheriff McDonald "This time of year attracts more shopping-related criminal activity because of the larger crowds and the extended store hours.  These factors and the usual distraction of shopping, creates a more favorable environment for petty thieves and other offenders.

The Sheriff reminds all Henderson County residents to follow these safety tips:

Shopping Safety

 

 

A single shopper is the best target for theft.  Always shop with a friend or relative.

When going shopping, tell someone where you are going and what time to expect you to return.  Also, make sure they know what you are wearing, as well as the type of vehicle you are driving.

Shop during daylight hours.  If you shop at night, park your vehicle in a well-lit area.

Dress casually and comfortably and avoid wearing expensive jewelry.  If carrying cash, keep it in your front pocket rather than in a purse or wallet.  This makes it much more difficult for a pick-pocket to remove.  Also store car keys in a pants or jacket pocket.  If your purse is stolen, you will still be able to drive home.

Pay careful attention to your surroundings and avoid overloading yourself with packages.  It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.

When returning to your vehicle, check around it and in the back seat.  Be aware of strangers approaching you for any reason.  Have your car keys in your hand to avoid spending unnecessary time unprotected from the security of your vehicle.

If you feel uneasy returning to your vehicle alone, find a security guard and ask them to walk you to your car.

According to Sheriff McDonald "During this time of year, busy holiday shoppers become vulnerable to other crimes as well.  Credit card fraud and gift card fraud are on the rise.  However, taking a few preventive measures can help."

Credit Card Fraud

Keep a close watch on your credit card every time you use it, and make sure you get it back as quickly as possible.

Never write your PIN number on your credit card.

Never leave your credit cards or receipts lying around.

Shield your credit card number so that others around you can’t copy it or capture it on a mobile telephone or other camera.

Only carry credit cards that you absolutely need.

Shred anything with your credit card number written on it.

If you’re planning to purchase online, make sure the web page where you enter your credit card information is secure through SSL (Secure Socket Layer).  You can tell if the web page is secure by looking for the gold lock or key icon at the bottom corner of your browser window.

If you’re not comfortable submitting your information through the internet, call the seller and give them your information over the telephone.  Never send your credit card information via email.

Check the company out.  Only do business with companies that provide a physical address and telephone number. 

Keep good records.  Always print out a copy of any online products or services you purchase.

Gift Card Fraud:

 

Never buy gift cards from online auction sites.  This is a large source of gift card fraud.  Many of the gift cards are stolen, counterfeit or used.

Only buy gift cards directly from the store issuing the gift card or from a secure retailer’s website.

Don’t buy gift cards off of publicly displayed racks in retail stores.  Only purchase gift cards at the sales terminal from the cashier.

Always carefully examine both the front and back of a gift card before you buy it.  If you see a PIN number, ask for a different card.  If the card looks like it has been tampered with in any way, put it back.

Always ask the store cashier to scan the gift card in front of you.  This will guarantee that your card is valid when you buy it and that it reflects the balance you just charged it with.

Always keep your receipt as a proof of purchase as long as there is money stored on the gift card.

If possible, register your gift card at the store’s website

Never give your Social Security number, date of birth or any other unneeded private information when purchasing a gift card.  No reputable company will ask for this information.

In light of these problems, Sheriff McDonald warns shoppers to be careful so that they don’t become the victim of criminal activity.  "Unfortunately, when shopping, people have a tendency to let their guard down," said Sheriff McDonald.  "However, paying attention and taking precautions can help eliminate their chances of being victimized."

 

 

EXPANDED EVENING HOURS ANNOUNCED FOR LIBRARY BRANCHES

 

 

On Monday, October 6th, the five Henderson County Public Library branches extended their evening hours in response to a community needs survey.  Library administration surveyed patrons at the five branches in July and results overwhelmingly indicated that more evening hours would help patrons take advantage of library services across the county.

Fletcher and Etowah are now open Mondays and Wednesdays until 7:00 p.m.  Edneyville is open on Mondays and Tuesdays until 7:00 p.m. Green River stays open until 6:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Mills River stays open until 6:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Fletcher, Etowah, and Edneyville have also adjusted their Saturday hours.  Fletcher is now open from 10:00 a.m. till 4 p.m., two hours longer than the previous schedule.  Etowah and Edneyville are open from 10:00 a.m. till 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Please contact Interim Library Director Trina Rushing or Branch Coordinator Sara Hyder McGough at (828) 697-4725 with any questions or comments about the new branch hours.

 

 

 

SIERRA NEVADA NOW HIRING 150 MORE FOR RESTAURANT AND TAP ROOM

SIERRA NEVADA NOW HIRING 150 MORE FOR RESTAURANT AND TAP ROOM

 

 Sierra Nevada Brewing is hiring another 150 employees at its Mills River operation as it prepares to open a brewery restaurant and taproom in early 2015.

The hiring blitz, now underway, will “effectively double our staff” at Mills River, Sierra spokesman Bill Manley said Monday. Full- and part-time jobs listed on Sierra’s website include host, server, busser, bartender, line cook, prep cook and dishwasher.

Some of the jobs require previous restaurant experience, others do not. Hiring will continue through Nov. 19, according to the website. Applications should be submitted online at www.sierranevada.com/careers

Sierra looks to open the taproom and restaurant in January “if all goes according to plan,” Manley said. The restaurant and taproom building is “up,” and a 20-barrel German-made pilot brewery is being installed.

The small brewery will make specialty and one-off brews, some just for the taproom, which will have 16-20 taps, Manley said. “As soon as you are through the doors, you will be in the (pilot) brewery,” he said.

The restaurant will have 100 tables and specialize in American classic food with an organic and sustainable twist, he said. The restaurant will be similar to an operation at Sierra’s Chico, California, brewery, but with a North Carolina focus. Some of the produce will be grown at the Mills River brewery, he said.

The taproom will include an upstairs music room, but that will not open until the restaurant is running, he said. An amphitheater is also being built at the site for concerts when warmer weather returns in the spring.

Sierra’s tasting tours of the main brewery have become so popular that they are booked solid several weeks in advance. “We can’t accommodate walk up visitors” right now, Manley said. To reserve a tour, visit www.sierranevada.com/brewery/north-carolina/brewery-tour.

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Sierra Nevada Brewing is hiring another 150 employees at its Mills River operation as it prepares to open a brewery restaurant and taproom in early 2015.

The hiring blitz, now underway, will “effectively double our staff” at Mills River, Sierra spokesman Bill Manley said Monday. Full- and part-time jobs listed on Sierra’s website include host, server, busser, bartender, line cook, prep cook and dishwasher.

Some of the jobs require previous restaurant experience, others do not. Hiring will continue through Nov. 19, according to the website. Applications should be submitted online at www.sierranevada.com/careers

Sierra looks to open the taproom and restaurant in January “if all goes according to plan,” Manley said. The restaurant and taproom building is “up,” and a 20-barrel German-made pilot brewery is being installed.

The small brewery will make specialty and one-off brews, some just for the taproom, which will have 16-20 taps, Manley said. “As soon as you are through the doors, you will be in the (pilot) brewery,” he said.

The restaurant will have 100 tables and specialize in American classic food with an organic and sustainable twist, he said. The restaurant will be similar to an operation at Sierra’s Chico, California, brewery, but with a North Carolina focus. Some of the produce will be grown at the Mills River brewery, he said.

The taproom will include an upstairs music room, but that will not open until the restaurant is running, he said. An amphitheater is also being built at the site for concerts when warmer weather returns in the spring.

Sierra’s tasting tours of the main brewery have become so popular that they are booked solid several weeks in advance. “We can’t accommodate walk up visitors” right now, Manley said. To reserve a tour, visit www.sierranevada.com/brewery/north-carolina/brewery-tour.

From The Asheville Citizen-Times