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WEST HENDERSONVILLE APARTMENT BUILDING BURNS IN EARLY MORNING FIRE FRIDAY

WEST HENDERSONVILLE APARTMENT BUILDING BURNS IN EARLY MORNING FIRE FRIDAY

The Ivy Terrace Apartments off West Allen Street on Hendersonville’s west side was destroyed in an early morning fire. Hendersonville firemen described it as a working structure fire in the early morning hours…and it was confirmed that the building is a total loss. Firemen say it is believed there were some minor injuries suffered by those in the structure at the time…none of the injuries was believed to be serious. And all occupants of the ivy Terrace Apartment5s were reportedly able to get out of the structure safely. Traffic on Hendersonville’s west side is being affected by this…West Allen Street was blocked off along Spring Street to Justice Street as the fire was being dealt with. There was no official word from firemen this morning about the cause of the fire. Again, the Ivy Terrace Apartments is described as a total loss from the early morning fire…and everyone got out of the structure safely....some minor injuries were reported. Stay with WHKP and whkp.com for complete details.      

SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT SEIZES VIDEO GAMBLING DEVICES; OWNERS CHARGED

SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT SEIZES VIDEO GAMBLING DEVICES; OWNERS CHARGED

After citizen tips and investigation by the Henderson County Sheriff's Office, Criminal Investigations Division,  search warrants were issued and served this evening on two local businesses for the Operation of Video Gaming Machines and Gambling.  Today officers seized 8 video gaming machines and U.S. currency at 2113 Spartanburg Highway from a business called “The Pool Room”. Officers arrested Jimmie Dean Franklin age 52 of Easley, South Carolina on one felony count of Operation of Five (5) or More Video Gaming Machines and one misdemeanor count of Gambling. Franklin's bond was set at $2000 and he has been released from the Henderson County Detention Facility pending his first appearance Monday morning.   Officers simultaneously served a search warrant  at 2000 Spartanburg Highway at the business called “Tobacco Outlet”.  A total of seven video gaming machines  and U.S. currency were seized there. The owner of this business was not present at the time the search warrant was served but officers have spoken with the owner and arrangements have been made to turn them self in at a later date. The owner is facing the same charges listed above. More information as to other charges, amounts of currency seized  and pending arrests will be forth coming as the investigation continues into Illegal Video Gaming Machines and Gambling in Henderson County.  

OVER $9000 WORTH OF STOLEN CONSTRUCTION MATERIAL RECOVERED; ARRESTS PENDING

OVER $9000 WORTH OF STOLEN CONSTRUCTION MATERIAL RECOVERED; ARRESTS PENDING

  Henderson County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Frank Stout has announced that on April 8th 2014, a trailer loaded with tools and approximately $9,000.00  worth of metal rods used for the stabilization of a road bank were reported  stolen from a construction site on Howard Gap Road.   Detectives from the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office have located and recovered the trailer, tools and metal rods from various locations in Buncombe and Henderson Counties. Stout said on Thursday that arrests in the case are pending and the investigation continues.      

DR. DON JONES RETIRING AS HEAD OF HENDERSON COUNTY EDUCATION FOUNDATION

DR. DON JONES RETIRING AS HEAD OF HENDERSON COUNTY EDUCATION FOUNDATION

     Longtime education champion and community leader Dr. Don Jones announced his retirement this week after more than a decade of service as Executive Director of the Henderson County Education Foundation with a total of 14 years service including 4 years as President and Board member. “Dr. Jones created a profound legacy in Henderson County and I am confident that he will remain active in supporting education in our community,” said Graham Fields, President of Henderson County Education Foundation. “His work has left an indelible mark on Henderson County and positively impacted the lives of numerous local students over the last 10 years.” The Henderson County Education Foundation experienced unprecedented growth under Dr. Jones’ leadership as a board member and executive director. He oversaw the expansion of the Henderson County Education Hall of Fame, dramatically increased the number of college scholarships for students in the county and helped create numerous grant programs that directly impacted teachers and students. “The Henderson County Education Hall of Fame is the only one of its kind in Western North Carolina and one of only a few educational hall of fames in the entire state,” said Dan Poeta, Vice-President of the Henderson County Education Foundation. “The Fall Golf Classic he worked to develop has become one of the largest golf tournaments in the region and the new School Sponsorship program will partner businesses with local schools.” A coach, teacher and motivational speaker, Dr. Jones worked tirelessly to connect local companies and philanthropists with deserving students in the area. Even the business community recognized his contributions to workforce development by honoring him with the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce’s Education Champion Award.     “Dr. Jones is a natural fundraiser and his passion for education is evident to everyone he meets,” said Steve Gwaltney, Treasurer of the Henderson County Education Foundation. “He used his many gifts and talents to better the lives of countless students and teachers in our county.” Community partners have always been a key part of the Henderson County Education Foundation’s work to enhance the quality of life in Henderson County by enriching the education of students, teachers and the community.   “Dr. Jones was always very proud of how Historic Johnson Farm and Bullington Gardens both provide unique educational experiences for people of all ages in our community,” said Henderson County Education Foundation Board Member Tracy Townsend. “Henderson County is blessed to have both a working educational farm that preserves and celebrates the history of this region and a world class horticultural center that offers seminars and programs to help children and adults connect with the natural world.”   The Henderson County Education Foundation has helped hundreds of students—many of whom were the first members of their family to attend college—through scholarships. The Foundation has also provided numerous grants to classroom teachers and schools for needs ranging from technology to music programs.        

WORK TO BEGIN ON NEW I-26-AIRPORT INTERCHANGE

WORK TO BEGIN ON NEW I-26-AIRPORT INTERCHANGE

    WHKP News has been reporting for over a year that plans are in the works for a new interchange at the i-26 and Airport Road interchange at the Asheville Regional Airport.  The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that work on the project will begin soon.   Construction to rebuild the Interstate 26/Airport Road interchange is scheduled to begin during the second half of May and take roughly two years. The state Department of Transportation has awarded an $8.8 million contract to build new exit ramps and reroute Airport Road traffic to create what is called a "diverging diamond" interchange. Once it is completed, drivers approaching the interchange on Airport Road will veer to the left near one end of the bridge over I-26, cross above I-26 on the left side of the bridge and then either turn onto a ramp to get on I-26 or move back to the right to continue on Airport Road. Motorists making left turns at the interchange will not have to cross in front of oncoming traffic to do so. The unusual layout was first used in a Missouri interchange that opened in 2009 and has been copied elsewhere. Engineers say diverging diamond interchanges result in smoother traffic flow and are cheaper than other fixes for crowded interchanges. The interchange often gets congested during morning or afternoon rush hours. DOT says Airport Road, which is N.C. 280, averaged 32,000 cars a day northeast of the interchange and 26,000 to the southwest. "We know it's busy. That's the reason we're building this thing is to help with the congestion that's out there," said Rick Tipton, division construction engineer for DOT. The contract with Young & McQueen Grading Co. of Burnsville says workers must keep all lanes on Airport Road, I-26 and exit ramps open 6:30 a.m.-7 p.m. daily. Tipton said he expects most of the work to be done in the evening or at night, reducing the impact on traffic. However, toward the end of the project, "There'll be a time, a weekend or two out there, when we have to essentially do the traffic change" and close lanes, he said. "That's something that you can't just snap your fingers and make happen." The existing bridge over I-26 dates from 1991 and will remain. Tipton said he expects through traffic on I-26 to be affected only slightly by the project.  

SPRING TOUR OF HISTORIC HOMES IS MAY 4TH

SPRING TOUR OF HISTORIC HOMES IS MAY 4TH

     Spring Tour of Historic Homes Hendersonville, North Carolina   Date: May 4, 2014, 1pm-5pm Tickets: $15 per person Organization: Hendersonville Historic Preservation Commission   This May, join us for a self-driving/walking tour through one of Hendersonville’s lovely historic districts, Hyman Heights. This year’s tour features homes built between1856 and 1930, showcasing Craftsman, Gothic, and Colonial Revival Styles. A highlight of the tour will be Killareny House, a pre-civil war home remodeled by Richard Sharp Smith in 1910 (pictured on flyer).   Hyman Heights was platted in 1908 but much of the growth started in 1913 with the opening of Patton Hospital within the neighborhood. This district and its 123 contributing structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Hyman Heights was designated a Local Historic District by the Hendersonville City Council in 1997. Advanced tickets will be available The Bee Hive (449 N Main), Mia’s Martketplace (241 N. Main) and City Hall (145 5th Ave East).Tickets will be available the day of the tour at Killarney House, 322 Killarney Street (off Patton Street in Hyman Heights).              

DSS TO CREATE SPECIAL GARDENS FOR CHILD ABUSE AWARENESS

DSS TO CREATE SPECIAL GARDENS FOR CHILD ABUSE AWARENESS

   Today the Henderson County Department of Social Services (DSS) will join thousands of communities across North Carolina, and the nation, in recognizing Child Abuse Prevention Month with a pinwheel garden. The pinwheel is the symbol of child abuse prevention, representing community efforts to provide children with the safe, stable, nurturing, and healthy relationships they need to thrive. The pinwheel garden will be located at the entrance of the Human Services building located at 1200 Spartanburg Highway. DSS Director Eric Bush states, “The pinwheel represents the bright future all children deserve. It represents our hope that all children in our community have the stable, loving relationship they need to become successful adults who contribute to our community. When we support policies and programs that give parents the support, knowledge, and skills they need to parent effectively, we encourage the healthy development and future success of our children.” Henderson County DSS is dedicated to the responsibility of assisting and providing opportunities for all individuals and families in need of protection, economic support, and social work services to become self-sufficient and achieve a stable and satisfying family life.                

ORAL ARGUMENTS TO BE HEARD NEXT MONTH IN REGIONAL WATER CASE

ORAL ARGUMENTS TO BE HEARD NEXT MONTH IN REGIONAL WATER CASE

         Asheville's North Fork Water Reservoir   The North Carolina General Assembly passed a law in a recent session creating an all new regional water and sewer "authority", based around the existing Metropoilitan Sewage District which serves Asheville, Buncombe County, and some parts of northern Henderson County.  The new "authority" would take control of the Asheville water system away from the City of Asheville and place it under the new "authority".  The City of Asheville is taking legal action to hold on to its water system...and the Asheville Citizen- Times reports that some early court action will be coming this spring: A judge will hear oral arguments May 23 in city government’s lawsuit seeking to block the forced transfer of its water system to the Metropolitan Sewerage District. Attorneys for the city and state government have been trading written legal briefs in the case, which is being heard in Wake County Superior Court in Raleigh, for several weeks. A 2013 law mandates the transfer without compensation to city government. Judge Howard Manning Jr. last year ordered that the transfer be put on hold until at least 30 days after he hears oral arguments in the case. It says Manning could extend that period if he wants more time to render a decision. Mayor Esther Manheimer said recently that she expects whichever side loses at the Superior Court level to appeal to the state Court of Appeals. The legislation creating the new "authority" had the backing and sponsorship of Henderson County Representative Chuck McGrady.  Parts of Fletcher and Mills River inside Henderson County would be served by the new "authority".            

A WEEK TO APPRECIATE LOCAL SHERIFF'S AND POLICE EMERGENCY DISPATCHERS

A WEEK TO APPRECIATE LOCAL SHERIFF'S AND POLICE EMERGENCY DISPATCHERS

The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office is recognizing National Public Safety Telecommunicators’ Week, April 13- 19th.  National Public Safety Telecommunicators’ Week is a time when citizens can thank public safety communicators who respond to emergency calls and dispatch emergency professionals and equipment during times of crisis.  Citizens can express their gratitude for all of our 911 call takers, dispatchers, technicians that maintain our emergency phone systems and other communication center personnel by posting a message of appreciation for communicators to the National Public Safety Communicators Face Book page at https://www.facebook.com/ntw911 .  Sheriff Charles McDonald and the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office would like to extend a special thank you to all of our Public Safety Telecommunications personnel in honor of National Public Safety Telecommunicators’  Week. The Henderson County E911 Center is the Primary Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for Henderson County. 911 Center employees are responsible for providing dispatch services for four law enforcement agencies, 13 fire departments and four EMS stations. The 21 people on staff in Communications are on the front line dealing with life and death situations every day, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  The Henderson County 911 Center processes an average of 200,000 emergency and non-emergency phone calls annually and dispatches over 128,000 Calls For Service (CFS). During National Telecommunicators’ Week please let these dedicated professionals know how much their service is appreciated.    

NC HIGHWAY PATROL'S "OPERATION SLOW DOWN" IS TARGETING SPEEDERS

NC HIGHWAY PATROL'S "OPERATION SLOW DOWN" IS TARGETING SPEEDERS

The No. 1 job of the Highway Patrol is not to be a ticket-generator, said North Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Michael Baker. “It’s to gain compliance, so that (drivers) will slow down,” he said. The Highway Patrol launches its annual Operation Slow Down 2014 campaign to catch excessive speeders on North Carolina’s highways April 14. The campaign will end April 20 and was created as an effort to reduce traffic collisions across the state, through enforcement and awareness. Speed remains the leading cause of traffic collisions and fatalities in North Carolina and across the country. Last year, the Highway Patrol investigated 815 fatal collisions on North Carolina highways statewide. In 208 deaths, speed contributed to the accident. During Operation Slow Down 2013, troopers issued more than 19,581 citations for numerous traffic violations, including 8,634 speed-related charges. The total charges for Buncombe County during last year’s campaign was 439, Baker said. Operation Slow Down 2014 enforcement efforts will be conducted across the state. The campaign will focus on motorists exceeding the posted speed limit on interstates and major four-lane highways. Troopers will be using marked and unmarked patrol vehicles to target the most dangerous roadways in each county. They will also be looking for commercial motor vehicle drivers who may be committing serious traffic violations. These violations include following too closely, improper or erratic lane change, careless and reckless driving and any violation of the motor vehicle laws that can result in serious injury or death. Motorists may report dangerous driving to the Highway Patrol by dialing *HP on their mobile phones from anywhere in the state.