IN FERNCLIFF INDUSTRIAL PARK IN MILLS RIVER, START OF OPERATIONS IS PLANNED FOR THE MIDDLE OF THIS YEAR
INITIAL INVESTMENT OVER $100 MILLION
WILL CREATE OVER 340 MANUFACTURING JOBS
SITE WORK HAS BEEN GOING ON ALL WINTER; THE MANUFACTURING FACILITY IS NOW UNDER CONSTRUCTION
Some months ago,GF Automotive, a division of GF, and its joint venture partner Linamar Corp. selected Henderson County (North Carolina, US) as location for GF Linamar LLC’s first light metal die-casting plant.
The official signing of the contract by the management of Linamar Corp. and GF Automotive was attended by a delegation of representatives of North Carolina which included governor (at that time)P at McCrory and elected officials from both the Town of Mills River and Henderson County.
GF Automotive and Linamar announced their joint venture named GF Linamar LLC in mid-July 2015 to combine leading expertise in casting and machining. The new plant is now under constructionb on a 57-acres site at the Ferncliff Industrial Park in Mills River. It will produce light metal components for the North American market, starting with body and structure parts for a European car manufacturer. The initial investment amounts to approx. USD 100 million. Start of operations is planned for mid-2017.
“We appreciate very much the warm welcome and the support from the state of North Carolina, the Town of Mills River, and the Henderson County authorities”, comments Yves Serra, CEO of GF. “The location is ideal for us and we look forward to a prosperous future for our joint venture in the US”. He made those remarks as plans were announced many months ago for the new plant.
The site is adjacent to the Ashville Regional Airport and will eventually create over 300 top quality, good paying manufacturing jobs.
Blue Ridge Community College began a new high-tech molding training program earlier this year to help train plant employees when the facility beginds operation.
“We are very pleased to announce that we have selected Henderson County, North Carolina, as the site of the GF Linamar LLC plant,” stated Linda Hasenfratz, CEO of Linamar. “This will be our fourth plant in North Carolina, an area where we have thrived thanks to a fantastic workforce and a great business environment. It is rapidly becoming an important hub for us to serve our customers in the southern US and North America overall.”
Linamar Corp. was founded in 1966 by the Hasenfratz family and is listed at the Toronto Stock Exchange. With its 48 worldwide manufacturing facilities and a workforce of 19 500 employees the company generated sales of CHF 3.1 billion (CAD 4.2 billion) in 2014. Its reputation is built upon its expertise in precision machining of metallic powertrain products for the automotive industry.
GF Automotive is one of the leading automotive suppliers worldwide and specializes in lightweight solutions for the automotive industry. It produces more than 600 000 tons of iron, aluminum and magnesium components at nine production plants in Germany, Austria and China. With 5 000 employees, GF Automotive generated sales of about CHF 1.4 billion in
FLOOD ****ADVISORY*** ALONG THE FRENCH BROAD AND OTHER WNC RIVERS AND STREAMS
The National Weather Service in Greenville-Spartanburg SC
has issued a Flood Advisory for the French Broad River...
French Broad River At Blantyre affecting Henderson and Transylvania
Heavy rain moving across the area has saturated the ground and caused
river levels to rise. Additional rainfall will likely cause the river
to crest just below Minor Flood Stage. Minor Flooding is also likely
along the Little River near Penrose.
A Flood Advisory for a river forecast point means that nuisance
flooding is expected to occur along the river when the river level is
forecast to be just below or at the official Minor Flood Stage.
Caution is urged when walking near river banks...keep children away
from drainage areas and culverts.
National Weather Service Greenville-Spartanburg SC
Mon Apr 24 2017
...FLOODING WILL LIKELY DEVELOP AND WORSEN TODAY ACROSS WESTERN
NORTH CAROLINA AND UPSTATE SOUTH CAROLINA...
.An upper-level low pressure system will move very slowly east
over Georgia today before reaching South Carolina and Georgia
coast this evening. Abundant moisture will pump into the western
Carolinas ahead of this system today, falling on ground already
saturated from late weekend rainfall. Very high rainfall rates
will continue today, with the most serious flooding developing in
regions affected by the heaviest repeated shower bands. Current
expectations are for the worst conditions to occur over the
Interstate 77 corridor back toward the North Carolina Foothills.
Heavy rain could linger into the evening over the Interstate 77
corridor as well.
Mecklenburg-Cabarrus-Union-Caldwell Mountains-Greater Caldwell-
Burke Mountains-Greater Burke-McDowell Mountains-Eastern McDowell-
Rutherford Mountains-Greater Rutherford-Polk Mountains-
Eastern Polk-Oconee Mountains-Pickens Mountains-
Greenville Mountains-Greater Oconee-Greater Pickens-
Including the cities of Ingalls, Banner Elk, Newland, Bethlehem,
Ellendale, Millersville, Taylorsville, Hiddenite, Stony Point,
Statesville, Mooresville, Farmington, Fork Church, Mocksville,
Advance, Faust, Mars Hill, Marshall, Walnut, Allenstand,
Hot Springs, Luck, Swiss, Burnsville, Celo, Micaville,
Ramseytown, Busick, Mount Mitchell State Park, Spruce Pine,
Poplar, Newfound Gap, Alarka, Almond, Bryson City, Luada,
Smokemont, Wesser, Waynesville, Waterville, Canton, Cruso,
Cove Creek, Lake Junaluska, Asheville, Hickory, Newton,
St. Stephens, Salisbury, Robbinsville, Stecoah, Cullowhee,
Tuckasegee, Sylva, Franklin, Rainbow Springs, Kyle,
Nantahala Lake, Highlands, Wolf Mountain, Cashiers, Brevard,
Cedar Mountain, Little River, Hendersonville, Fletcher, Dana,
East Flat Rock, Tuxedo, Etowah, Shelby, Kings Mountain,
Lincolnton, Crouse, Gastonia, Charlotte, Huntersville, Matthews,
Concord, Kannapolis, Monroe, Trinity, Indian Trail, Weddington,
Patterson, Kings Creek, Lenoir, Sawmills, Granite Falls,
Jonas Ridge, Morganton, Pleasant Grove, Valdese, Ashford,
Sugar Hill, Woodlawn, Old Fort, Marion, Nebo, Dysartsville, Fero,
Glenwood, Lake Lure, Forest City, Rutherfordton, Spindale,
Saluda, Tryon, Columbus, Lake Adger, Mill Spring, Mountain Rest,
Walhalla, Westminster, Pumpkintown, Tigerville, Gowensville,
Caesars Head, Cleveland, Marietta, Seneca, Oakway, Easley,
Dacusville, Clemson, Greenville, Taylors, Greer, Mauldin,
Fork Shoals, Simpsonville, Berea, Spartanburg, Gaffney, Catawba,
Rock Hill, Anderson, Abbeville, Calhoun Falls, Laurens, Clinton,
Union, Monarch Mills, Blackstock, Chester, Cornwell, Great Falls,
Ware Shoals, and Ninety Six
350 AM EDT Mon Apr 24 2017
...FLOOD WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS EVENING...
The Flood Watch continues for
* portions of North Carolina and upstate South Carolina,
including the following areas, in North Carolina, Alexander,
Avery, Buncombe, Burke Mountains, Cabarrus, Caldwell
Mountains, Catawba, Cleveland, Davie, Eastern McDowell,
Eastern Polk, Gaston, Graham, Greater Burke, Greater Caldwell,
Greater Rutherford, Haywood, Henderson, Iredell, Lincoln,
Macon, Madison, McDowell Mountains, Mecklenburg, Mitchell,
Northern Jackson, Polk Mountains, Rowan, Rutherford Mountains,
Southern Jackson, Swain, Transylvania, Union, and Yancey. In
upstate South Carolina, Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee,
Chester, Greater Greenville, Greater Oconee, Greater Pickens,
Greenville Mountains, Greenwood, Laurens, Oconee Mountains,
Pickens Mountains, Spartanburg, Union, and York.
* through this evening
* Several periods of showers, possibly with embedded
thunderstorms, are expected across the area through the day
today. Additional rainfall amounts of 1 to 4 inches are expected
by the time the heavy rain ends this evening, which could bring
totals in some areas near the Interstate 77 corridor to around 6
inches for the entire event. Locally higher amounts will be
possible with smaller scale bands of showers and thunderstorms
that repeatedly develop over any one area.
* The long duration and widespread nature of the heavy rain threat
is expected to result in significant rises and likely flooding
on areas streams and creeks. The Charlotte Metro Area will be
particularly susceptible. Minor flooding will also be possible
along some main stem rivers, particularly the South Fork Catawba
River, the South Yadkin River, and portions of the French Broad
River. Additionally, heavier short term rainfall rates
associated with bands of heavy rain showers and embedded
thunderstorms could result in localized flash flooding along
small streams and in urban areas.
A Flood Watch means there is a potential for flooding based on
You should monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible
Flood Warnings. Those living in areas prone to flooding should be
prepared to take action should flooding develop.
THAT COULD BE DONE ONLY BY THE NC GENERAL ASSEMBLY...AND STATE REPRESENTATIVE CHUCK MCGRADY SAYS HE MAY CONSIDER OPTIONS
Even though Hendersonville city council’s May 4th meeting is two weeks away, when some critical decisions will likely be made concerning the proposed new $53 million campus for Hendersonville High School, emotions---and threats—are ramping up.
It has been rumored that if city council rejects the proposed zoning changes and closing a portion of Ninth Avenue West for the new school, state Representative Chuck McGrady is prepared to introduce legislation to de-annex the current high school and Boyd property from the city, thus eliminating the need for city zoning changes and shifting control of the whole HHS issue from the city back to the county. If such de-annexation did pass in the General Assembly, it would also leave a huge hole in the middle of town…that would no longer be part of the City of Hendersonville city but only a part of Henderson County.
WHKP News texted McGrady late Thursday…and he responded, “I have told Hendersonville that they need to apply their ordinances to the decisions relating to the renovation of the high school.” McGrady added, “There are several decisions they need to make to handle it in the normal course of business.”
We asked McGrady if de-annexation of the school and Boyd property from the city is a possibility…and he responded…”If they deny the zoning changes simply because they don’t like some aspect of the school design, that isn’t a zoning matter.” McGrady added, “Then, I’ll consider options.”
McGrady, in a text to us late on Thursday, said again, “If they apply their ordinance and handle it in the normal course of business, then I’ll have no problem.”
The whole issue will be decided in a quasi-judicial public hearing before city council on May 4th.
County commissioners are threatening to build the new school on one of seven possible site, all 5 to 10 miles outside he city, if the zoning changes ar rejected. Commissioners are also threatening to put the Boyd property up for sale, and had earlier threatened to drop the whole prospect of a new school if the changes were not approved. The county school board was given a similar ultimatum before they agreed to go along with the county’s proposed new campus…which does not include use of the historic Stillwell building that had been the main concern driving much of the opposition to the new campus by HHS staff, students, and alumni.
All this, along with the county’s move to take control of the city’s water system away from the city, has led to all-time low and further deteriorating relations between local city and county governments…and possibly between the city administration and the elected state representative.
And a decision and possible resolution of the issue is still at least two weeks away.
By Larry Freeman
IT COULD BE BEARCAT BLVD...WITHOUT THE BEARCATS ALL SEVEN SITES ARE FIVE TO TEN MILES FROM DOWNTOWN HENDERSDONVILLE AND THE CURRENT HHS
"SO WE DON'T HAVE TO DEAL WITH THEIR ZONING AND THEIR QUIRKS."---COUNTY COMMISSION CHAIRMAN MICHAEL EDNEY
IF CITY COUNCIL REJECTS ZONING AND OTHER CHANGES FOR THE PROPOSED $53 MILLION FIVE POINTS CAMPUS
Faced with the possible rejection by Hendersonville city council of the Boyd Five Points site for a new Hendersonville High School campus, county commissioners and staff are reportedly looking at seven other possible sites, all some five to ten miles outside the city, for a new HHS campus.
The city’s planning board, in a split 5 to 3 vote, turned thumbs down this spring on zoning changes for the proposed $53 million campus at the Five Points site citing safety and incompatibility with the surrounding neighborhoods as well as other concerns. The whole issue now moves on to city council at their meeting on May 4th. Council, as part of what’s called a quasi-judicial public hearing, will have to decide whether to over-rule the planning board and approve the necessary zoning changes and the closing of a portion of Ninth Avenue West and allow the new campus as proposed.
County commissioners earlier threatened to drop the whole possibility of a new HHS campus unless the city agrees with their plans for the former Boyd Automotive property. But News 13 is reporting this week that county commission chairman Michael Edney says if the city turns down the Five Points site and one of the seven possible sites outside the city is selected, “we (the county) don’t have to deal with their zoning and their quirks.” And Edney is quoted as referring to the seven sites, all of them five to ten miles outside the city, as a “contingency plan”.
County manager Steve Wyatt confirmed for News 13 that he had visited the seven sites, and apparently would not identify their locations. Edney said “If they (apparently the landowners) know its government, generally the price doubles or triples.”
City council member Ron Stephens told News 13 this week that “It’s very upsetting…they are threatening us”. Stephens pointed out that three of the five sitting county commissioners are up for election this year, and speculates it will be political suicide for the commissioners to move Hendersonville High School outside the city. Stephens earlier expressed opposition to the county’s proposal for the new campus, which does not include the historic Stillwell building as part of it…but Stephens says he’s not sure how he’ll vote on May 4th because, he says, “we’ll be getting additional information and facts.” At least one other city council member, Jerry Smith, a teacher at Hendersonville High School, has expressed his opposition to the proposed new Five Points campus and Mayor Barbara Volk reportedly expressed her opposition to the proposal.
Edney’s “contingency plan”, at least in News 13’s report, does not mention the historic Stillwell building…which has been the main concern and cause of opposition to the proposed new campus by staff, students, and alumni at Hendersonville High School.
By Larry Freeman
Photographs from the Baker Barber collection will be featured in a special presentation that honors the African American members of the Henderson County community.
The slideshow entitled “Unlocking the Mysteries of the Baker Barber Photos” will take place on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 from 5 to 6:30 pm in the Kaplan Auditorium at the Henderson County Public Library. The show is free to the public and will feature Baker Barber photographs of African Americans living in the Henderson County from the 1890’s to the 1970’s.
The show is facilitated by volunteers Ron Partin and Ronnie Pepper. Partin and Pepper hope that audience members will be able to assist in the identification of the unknown individuals in the photographs. Partin describes the significance of the presentation. “One of the main purposes of the project is to preserve the stories behind each photo. We hope volunteers can help identify people and events recorded in the photos.”
Gifted to Community Foundation of Henderson County by the late Joseph “Jody” Egerton Barber and maintained at the Henderson County Public Library, the Baker Barber Photo Collection contains thousands of images documenting people, places and events in and around Henderson County from 1884 to the mid-1990s. Over the past three years, local residents have attended photo viewing sessions at the Henderson County Public Library in a community-wide attempt to identify the nameless people and places captured in a collection of over 65,000 photographs.
The presentation celebrating African American members of the Henderson County community is a result of increased public interest in the collection. The January 2017 edition of Our State magazine featured an article by local author Jeremy B. Jones that detailed the significance of the Baker Barber collection in the Henderson County community. The Baker Barber collection is currently being featured in a special exhibit at the Henderson County Heritage museum. Volunteers will celebrate the collection’s 100th photo viewing session on June 1, 2017 at 1:30 pm in the Kaplan Auditorium at the Henderson County Public Library.
Previous grants from the Community Foundation of Henderson County funded positions to assist resulting in the digitization of 4,843 photographs which are now available to the public on the Henderson County Public Library website. Additional donations will ensure the care of the collection such as the continuance of the digital conservation effort and future Baker-Barber exhibits. To view the digital images currently available please view the Henderson County Public Library website at: http://www.henderson.lib.nc.us/bakerbarber_about.html.
Any donations to the Baker-Barber fund at CFHC will ensure that the historical memory of Henderson County continues to be preserved for posterity. Donations can be delivered or mailed to Community Foundation of Henderson County or made electronically at https://www.CFHCforever.org/BakerBarberFund.
PERHAPS WNC'S GREATEST NATURAL DISASTER IN MODERN TIMES
ENCORE PERFORMANCE OF THE GREAT FLOOD OF 1916 FILM
(HENDERSONVILLE, NC, April 17, 2017) – Since the highly acclaimed documentary about the Great Flood of 1916 began its statewide tour from Mt. Airy to Haywood County, thousands of people have been touched by the power of our history and the lessons that it holds. To celebrate the end of the statewide tour and to raise the finishing funds for the Center for Cultural Preservation’s new film on mountain music, the Center is presenting a special encore screening of the film. The program will include musical performances by acclaimed folksinger David Wiseman and local bluegrass performers Rocky Fork Bluegrass Band. Included in the event is light hors d'oeuvre and hard cider from Bold Rock Cidery.
Come Hell Or High Water, Remembering The Flood Of 1916, tells the story of the worst natural disaster to hit Western North Carolina and the thousands of people whose lives were upended when homes were destroyed, roads became rivers and rivers became oceans and hundreds of people lost their lives nearly 101 years ago. But the film’s most important question is, what have we learned?
As bad as 1916 was, with 22 inches of rain in a 24 hour period in some places, the French Broad at 17 feet above flood stage and the Swannanoa River a mile wide, people who lived through the storm were able to overcome. They rebuilt their lives and learned where to rebuild to avoid the powerful landslides that were the primary danger. Most importantly, given the strong sense of community, people helped each other get back on their feet again.
According to filmmaker David Weintraub, “The flood is about a natural disaster but the biggest concern isn’t about future storms but how do we apply the lessons of history to our lives today and learn from the elders of this community who faced the storm head on and carried on.”
The encore presentation of COME HELL OR HIGH WATER with music, food, drink and discussion with the filmmaker and other experts following the program is scheduled for Saturday, May 6th at 7PM at Tiggs Pond Retreat Center in Zirconia. There is a suggested donation of $15 or more to help raise the finishing funds for the Center’s new film, A Great American Tapestry on the roots of mountain music. Since the program is expected to sell out, advance registration is strongly recommended. Reservations can be made through the Center’s website, www.saveculture.org or by calling the Center for Cultural Preservation at (828) 692-8062.
The Center’s World Premiere of its new documentary, A Great American Tapestry, the Many Strands of Mountain Music is scheduled for Thursday, June 22nd at 7PM at Blue Ridge Community College’s Bo Thomas Auditorium. Tickets are now on sale at saveculture.org
The Center for Cultural Preservation is a cultural nonprofit organization dedicated to working for mountain heritage continuity through oral history, documentary film, education and public programs. For more information about the Center contact them at (828) 692-8062 or www.saveculture.org
The Free Clinics is having its 11th Annual Spring Salon on Friday, April 28 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm at The Art House, 5 Highland Park in East Flat Rock. Tickets are $75 per person and proceeds benefit The Free Clinics’ mission of providing medical care for our neighbors in need.
Catering is being provided by Budy Finch Catering, and participating restaurants include Fresh Market Sushi Catering, Hubba Hubba Smokehouse, Season’s at Highland Lake, and Sol Y Luna. Desserts are being served by The Baker’s Box and Appalachian Coffee Company is providing the coffee. A diverse collection of quality wines from around the world will be served, with beer provided by Sierra Nevada and apple and pear ciders offered by Bold Rock Hard Cider.
Entertainment will be provided by Todd Hoke (folk and blues), Steve Newbrough (classical guitar), and Noelani Perry (violin), from the Hendersonville Symphony Youth Orchestra. Guests will also be welcome to engage with others in playing chess, checkers, and assembling picture puzzles.
There will be a 50/50 raffle where The Free Clinics receives half the pot and the other half is won by one lucky guest. The Free Clinics will use its portion to create an Urgent/Emergency Needs Fund for its most vulnerable patients.
Norm’s Minit Market is the premier sponsor, with additional major support provided by Edward Jones, Morrow Insurance, Hendersonville Radiological Consultants, Shuler Funeral Home, PrintVille, and from generous couples and individuals in our community.
There will be on-site parking at The Art House for guests with mobility challenges and Shuler Funeral Home will be providing a continuous shuttle from the parking lot at Hope United Methodist Church, 2443 Spartanburg Highway (corner of Spartanburg Highway and West Blue Ridge Road. Volunteers will be available at both sites to assist guests.
The Free Clinics was established in 2001 and enhances the healthcare system in Henderson and Polk Counties to ensure the accessibility of quality healthcare for uninsured, low-income clients. The Free Clinics works with volunteers and partnering healthcare providers to provide healthcare, prevention, education, medication access, and case management services, including specialty referrals.
In partnership with Henderson County Public Schools, the Henderson County Education Foundation (HCEF) is launching a campaign to bring “The Leader in Me” program to more elementary schools in Henderson County.
Two Henderson County schools, Sugarloaf Elementary and Dana Elementary, currently incorporate “Leader in Me,” FranklinCovey’s process that transforms and uplifts an entire school. The nationally acclaimed program teaches 21st century leadership and life skills to students and creates a culture of empowerment based on the idea that every child can be a leader.
HCEF is hosting breakfast tours for the community to learn more about “Leader in Me” at Sugarloaf Elementary on two different dates: Friday, April 28 and Friday, May 19, from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Last year, Sugarloaf Elementary was named a Lighthouse School by the FranklinCovey Institute, the highest honor a “Leader in Me” school can achieve.
The mission of the Henderson County Education Foundation is to develop resources to support educational excellence in the Henderson County Public Schools.
In their meeting Wednesday morning, Henderson County Commissioners sold the former “Clubhouse” property on Sixth Avenue West to Dr. Leon El1iston for $286,000. Dr. Elliston had originally offered 172,000 for the 112-year old house that had previously been used by a mental health provider. But the upset bid process required by state law raised the final sale price for the county-owned house and the entire tract of land across from the new Health-Science Center to $286,000.
Commissioners were also scheduled to get updates Wenesday morningfrom the Asheville Regional Airport and from the Henderson County Department of Social Services.
ATHENA Award Nominees Announced
The Henderson County Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the following nominees for the 10th Annual ATHENA Award presented in memory of Vanessa Y. Mintz by Pardee Hospital, Morris Broadband and Judy Stroud/State Farm Insurance:
Tanya Blackford, Alice Cochran, Joanne Helppie, Lynn Killian, Denise Medved, Elizabeth Moss, Dot Moyer, Roxanna Pepper, Paige Posey, Amanda Stansbury, Hollie Storrier, and Fair Nabers Waggoner.
The nominees will be honored at a reception presented by Judy Stroud and State Farm Insurance on Tuesday, May 2nd. The winner of the 10th Annual ATHENA Award presented in memory of Vanessa Y. Mintz will be announced at the Business and Professional Women’s Luncheon on Wednesday, May 10th at Kenmure Country Club. The ATHENA Award honors individuals who strive toward the highest levels of personal and professional accomplishment, who excel in their chosen field, devote time and energy to their community in a meaningful way, and forge paths of leadership for other women to follow. The award is co-sponsored by the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce.
For more information on the ATHENA Award or to make your reservation to the Business and Professional Women’s Luncheon, please call the Chamber at 828-692-1413.