Congressman Mark Meadows (R-NC) introduced the Eliminating Pornography from Agencies Act on Wednesday, which would prohibit federal employees from accessing pornographic or explicit material on government computers and devices.
Last year, an Inspector General report revealed that one Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employee was viewing as much as 6 hours of pornography a day in his office on his government computer. The same federal employee was found to have downloaded as many as 7,000 pornographic files onto his government computer. To date, this employee has yet to be fired and we continue to learn of similar bad actors.
“It’s appalling that it requires an act of Congress to ensure that federal agencies block access to these sites,” Congressman Meadows said.
“While there are rules in place at most agencies to ban this kind of unprofessional and potentially hostile workplace behavior, it continues to take place. There is absolutely no excuse for federal employees to be viewing and downloading pornographic materials on the taxpayers’ dime,” Meadows added.
“Further, downloading these files, which are often ridden with viruses and malware, poses a cybersecurity threat at our federal agencies. This commonsense legislation ensures that federal workers have a comfortable, safe work environment and protects taxpayer resources from being misused,” Meadows said.
Mark Meadows serves on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee where he chairs the Subcommittee on Government Operations.
St. James Episcopal School for Little Folks has implemented a new program called LifeCubby. LifeCubby is a highly-organized online portfolio that offers parents and teachers a simple and new way to electronically chronicle all aspects of a child’s life, from birth through the teen years.
LifeCubby is a parent planning tool and early childhood teacher journaling tool different from any other online portfolio, child’s historical record book or social networking site because of its breadth of capabilities and ease of use.
“LifeCubby is all about leveraging the Internet and the electronic age to simplify the lives of parents and teachers,” said LifeCubby founder Sue Testaguzza. “Parents crave opportunities to capture special moments in the lives of their children. Teachers are looking for easy and convenient ways to document the progress of students. We bring all these elements together in real time.”
Parents become “cubby managers” by creating a private and secure "cubby" to organize and store information electronically for their children. Parents store everything from journal entries, medical records, keepsakes and school papers to videos and photos. With mobile apps, LifeCubby can be accessed anywhere, anytime. Parents can restrict their child’s cubby to themselves, or they can grant others access to share in creating the child’s biographies through inviting "cubby pals."
“We are so excited about having Life Cubby and our parents are, too,” said Denise Purcell, Executive Director of St. James School for Little Folks. “It’s a great organizational tool for us and a convenient way for parents to stay tuned in to their children’s progress.”
St. James Episcopal School for Little Folks, an outreach ministry of St. James Episcopal Church, is a Christian pre school, child care and day care for ages 12 months to 5 years for St. James Parish and the greater Hendersonville, NC, area. The program has been awarded a 5-star rating by the North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education. The academic preschool program prepares children for the future by building a solid foundation of Christian values and school readiness skills.
TO EASE CONGESTION AROUND WEST HENDERSON HIGH AND RUGBY MIDDLE SCHOOLS
Steve Cannon, who is the District Engineer for NC DOT in Henderson County, tells WHKP News that some major improvements are coming to Highway 191 in the vicinity of West High and Rugby Middle Schools to ease the traffic back-ups especially in the hours just before and after school each day.
Cannon said the traffic back-ups are obvious and have resulted in numerous rear-end collisions.
So NC DOT plans to construct a third lane in 2016 that will stretch from Mountain Road to the intersection with North and South Rugby Roads. Cannon said bids for the project will likely be let in January of 2016, and the whole project may take a year to a year and a half to complete.
In addition to the third lane, Cannon said longer turn lanes into both schools will be constructed, along with a walking trail along Highway 191 that will connect the two schools.
Traffic typically backs up along that stretch of Highway 191 between 7 and 8am and between 3 and 4pm on school days.
By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman
ON PROPERTY WHERE THE 55 YEAR OLD, 13,000 SQUARE FOOT ATHA PLAZA IS NOW
A Publix store is more than likely coming to the south end of Hendersonville in the not too distant future…and with it a new shopping center where the 55 year old Atha Plaza is now. City Council members were told Thursday night that to make this happen, Publix will need a small parcel of floodplain land along Mud Creek behind the El Paso restaurant.
Acting on the advice of the city attorney, the city has started the open bid process for selling that land…they hope to Publix.
The site for the new Publix, if it happens, is at the intersection of Greenville Highway and White Street…and its currently owned by Mr. and Mrs. Larry Baber, their daughter and son-in-law Scott and Carol Anne Surrette, by Gerald Rhodes of Saluda, and by Pro-Source Land Holdings of Greenville, South Carolina.
Negotiations for the property have been under way for some time involving the city, Publix attorneys, and the property owners.
This spring, folks in Henderson County can expect to see Bold Rock Hard Cider begin to zero in on the Mills River area as a new local “home base”, and on the county’s annual multi-million dollar apple crop in particular to produce Bold Rock’s product that is daily growing in popularity and that’s already on the shelves of local grocery stores.
With craft beer and wine already becoming local products, hard cider seems like the next logical step for a promising and booming beverage industry in Western North Carolina and centered in Henderson County.
John Washburn is the founder and chairman of Bold Rock, whose original facility is in rural Nellysford, Virginia. As plans were unveiled in 2014 by Washburn, by the local Partnership For Economic Development, and by the Town of Mills River for Bold Rock to locate a facility here, Washburn told WHKP News that “we go where the apples are…and Henderson County has some of the best apples we’ve ever tried”. Washburn is no stranger to Western North Carolina. He has a family history and strong ties just a few miles down the road in Rutherford County. So, with that in his background, with an already successful hard cider product, and with Henderson County’s leadership in the apple industry it was inevitable that Washburn and Bold Rock would find a home here.
Way out in front in the hard cider industry, Bold Rock produced over 200,000 cases of hard cider in 2014 and is on track to make more than 350,000 in 2015.
Washburn teamed up with international cider maker and consultant Brian Shanks, who serves as Bold Rock’s president and CEO. Under their direction, Bold rock has made a significant land purchase for a local site in Mills River and is negotiating for another…as Washburn puts it, to get up and running as soon as possible this spring.
Describing his developoing relationship with Mills River, Washburn says “…Mills River has this wonderful blend of moving forward but it also has ties to the past in agriculture so it’s just a perfect scenario. I think it’s unique, I really do, and I think it’s going to become more unique”.
Bold Rock Hard Cider, in several varieties, is already available in local stores…and Washburn and Shanks hope to be “in production” making more, in co-operation with local Henderson County apple growers such as Greg Nix, by this summer and fall.
By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman
Photo of John Washburn and Bold Rock Hard Cider by the Times-News
As Henderson County commissioners begin work on a budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year that starts on July 1, the commissioneres are apparently considering the possibility of charging the municipalities in the county for some sheriff's department services. The City of Hendersonville and the Towns of Laurel Park and Fletcher have their own police departments. The Town of Mills River has a contract with the county sheriff's department for a deputy and additional patrols, and apparently commissioners are discussing a similar contract...for a fee...with the Village of Flat Rock.
On WHKP's local news this week, Flat Rock Mayor Bob Staton, a retired lawyer, says there is no way he knows of that Flat Rock can be forced into such a contract with the sheriff and the county. Staton says this has been discussed by the Village Council before with the sheriff and the commissionersm, and Council members are "adamantlly" opposed to it.
Such a contract, says Staton, would cost the Village about $100 thousand per year, which would require a substantial tax increase for Flat Rock taxpayers and he says the citizens and taxpayers continue to be opposed to it.
County Commission Vice Chairman Charlie Messer, though, tells WHKP News this week there are several ways the county can go about this. Messer indicates that the commissioners will be looking at "call volume"...the number of calls-for-service" in each municipality. Then, he says, the commissioners and the municpalities will "work something out".
The property owners in the county, including those in all five municipalities, currently pay for all the county services they receive, including sheriff's services, with the property, sales, and othes taxes and fees they pay. What Hendersonville, Fletcher, Laurel Park, and Mills River receive in additional law enforcement services are paid for by their individual muniucipal tax levies.
In its budget request for the 2015-16 fiscal year, the sheriff's department is asking for a significant increase...at least in part for additional personnel.
At their first budget retreat earlier this month, the county commissioneres turned "thumbs down" on the Town of Fletcher's request of a new county library facility, implying that if Fletcher wants a new library, the Town and its taxpayers will have to pay for it. On a WHKP newscast last week, Fletcher Town Manager Mark Bieberdorf countered that libraries are a "county service." That request from Fletcher for a library to replace their current aging facility had been pending for some time, and Mayor Pro Tem Eddie Henderson had asked the commissioners for a decision. Bieberdorf said Fletcher was grateful the commissioners had considered the request, but was disappointed with the decision.
The county commissioners will continue discussing the 2015-16 budget this month.
Preparations for preservation work on the Sandburg Home at Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site is underway. Throughout 2015 most of the furnishings inside the Sandburg Home will be inventoried and packed away. During this packing process visitors on tour will have an opportunity to see museum object preservation in person. The home’s interior will start to look more like the Sandburg’s are just moving in with boxes still packed as the year goes on. This will be a fun time to visit the home to see the activity and to feel like the Sandburg’s when they first moved to Connemara. After the furnishings are packed and removed visitors will really have an opportunity to “go behind the scenes” and see the home in a very unique way. During this time exhibits inside the home will help to recreate the feel of how the Sandburg’s lived at Connemara.
The furnishings are being packed to prepare the interior for several preservation treatments. Windows in deteriorated condition will be repaired, the conservatory or greenhouse attached to the east side of the house will be rebuilt, walls will be painted, some of the wood floors will be refinished, and a dehumidification and air ventilation system will be installed. There will not be a cool air conditioned system installed, but a system that will dehumidify the air and push it through the house. This will better protect the furnishings from mold and mildew and provide a cooling effect for summer visitors to the home.
The park’s information center and bookstore in the ground floor of the Sandburg Home will remain open throughout the work. The upstairs will remain open for tours as much as possible during the next three years. The home will only close to tours for short periods when safety issues arise from the painting or installation work. To best plan your visit, please check the park’s website and facebook page for up-to-date information on work that is underway and any changes in tour schedules.
Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, is a unit of the National Park Service. The park is located three miles south of Hendersonville off U.S. 225 on Little River Road, and is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., daily. For further information, please telephone 828-693-4178, or visit our website at www.nps.gov/carl
The Henderson County Chamber of Commerce, Morris Broadband, and Judy Stroud/State Farm Insurance are pleased to announce the 8th annual ATHENA Leadership Award® in Henderson County in memory of Vanessa Y. Mintz. Nominations are ow
being accepted for the ATHENA Leadership Award®, which will be presented during Small Business Week at the Professional Women's Luncheon on May 14 to an exemplary leader who has achieved excellence in their business or profession, served the community in a meaningful way and, most importantly, actively assisted women to achieve their full leadership potential.
The program is facilitated locally by the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce, a licensed ATHENA host organization. Nominations are sought throughout the community and recipients are selected by a diverse group of community leaders based on the criteria above. Past Henderson County ATHENA Recipients Include:
Caroline Long, St. Gerard House (2014)
Annie Fritschner, First United Methodist Church (2013)
Myra Grant, Pardee Hospital Foundation (2012)
Joyce Mason, Four Seasons Compassion for Life (2011)
Pat Shepherd, Pat's School of Dance (2010)
Ragan Ward, Carolina Alliance Bank (2009)
Robin Reed, Bares It All (2008)
Deadline for 2015 nominations is April 17. A nomination form can be downloaded below. For more information, call the Chamber at 828.692.1413.
THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION CONTINUES THE CHALLENGE TO IDENTIFY HISTORIC LOCAL PEOPLE, PLACES, AND THINGS IN THE TREASURED BAKER-BARBER COLLECTION
Gifted to the Community Foundation by the late Joseph “Jody” EgertonBarber and maintained at the Henderson County Public Library, the Baker-Barber Photo Collection is a treasure trove of thousands of images documenting people, places and events in and around Henderson County from 1884 to the mid-1990s.The collection’s images illustrate the changing face of our community through the years and include pictures of rural life, urbanization, transportation, recreation, tourism, families, businesses, news, events, and formal portraits of area residents.
A member of the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors, Ron Partin has been leading a renewed effort, with the assistance of volunteers, to digitally scan, catalog and identify images in the Baker-Barber Photographic Collection.
Ron invites the community to attend the weekly slideshows held every Thursday from 1:30-3:00 pm at Henderson County Public Library at 301 N Washington Street in Hendersonville.Please note the time for the slideshows are moving earlier in the day to 1:30 pm
Flat Rock Playhouse announced today the revised 2015 season lineup for both the Mainstage and Playhouse Downtown locations. Previously announced titles The Wizard of Oz Young Performer’s Edition, Always…Patsy Cline, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Driving Miss Daisy, Gypsy, Fly, Pump Boys and Dinettes, and Oliver!, as well as the Music on the Rock Series has been augmented by the addition of three new titles for the Playhouse Downtown: Over The River and Through the Woods, Crimes of the Heart and Catfish Moon.
“The 2015 season is programmed with a variety of titles that will surely appeal to all,” says Flat Rock Playhouse Artistic Director Lisa K. Bryant. “Local youth will charm you as they whisk you over the rainbow in The Wizard of Oz while our country and blue grass roots will keep your toes tappin’ long after you leave the theatre with such shows as Always…Patsy Cline and Pump Boys and Dinettes. Soar to new heights with the Tuskegee Airmen in Fly while Mama Rose encourages us all to ‘Sing out Louise!’ and poor orphaned Oliver heartbreakingly dares to ask for more.”
Bryant continues, “I’m also overjoyed to be adding these three new titles to the Playhouse Downtown lineup. Both Over the River and Through the Woods and Catfish Moon have played to packed houses here at Flat Rock Playhouse and at many regional theatres across the United States. AND this is the first time that we’ve ever produced the Pulitzer Prize winning hit Crimes of the Heart – a title that will surely garner much interest from our local community.”
THE WIZARD OF OZ – YOUNG PERFORMER’S EDITION Follow the yellow brick road for we’re off to see the Wizard this March as we kick off our 2015 season with The Wizard of Oz Young Performer’s Edi6on. Journey over the rainbow into the merry old land of Oz with Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion and Toto too as they jitterbug through the haunted forest, tangle with winged monkeys and confront the Wicked Witch of the West. Together, we’ll share in the timeless message that “there’s no place like home.” Bring your family and friends and visit us in our home at the Playhouse Downtown. Ruby slippers not required for this journey. The Wizard of Oz is a one-hour adaption for Young Performers.
March 12 – 29, 2015 Flat Rock Playhouse Downtown
ALWAYS…PATSY CLINE A country music superstar. A housewife from Houston. An unlikely and unforgettable bond. With such hits as Crazy, Walkin after Midnight, Sweet Dreams and I Fall to Pieces, Patsy Cline was the first country music singer to cross over to pop music, solidifying her position as a legendary icon for all time. But what you may not know is that she struck up a friendship with fan Louise Seger, with whom she corresponded until her untimely death in a plane crash at the age of 30. More than just a concert, Always...Patsy Cline is based on this true story of this relationship and features 27 of her hits. A heartwarming celebratioon of down home country humor, true emotion and timeless classics.
May 7 - 31 Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage
OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS From the Tony Award winning Joe DiPietro, the author of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, All Shook Up and the smash musical Memphis, this uproarious family comedy centers around Nick Cristano and his Italian American grandparents, Frank, Aida, Nunzio and Emma, as they scheme to thwart his upcoming move from Hoboken, New Jersey to Seattle. Faith, family and food are central themes in this long running Off Broadway hit which returns to Flat Rock Playhouse for the first time since it’s box office breaking run in 1999. Think you’ll find a more heart warming and hilarious show? Fuggedabout it.
June 4 – 21 Flat Rock Playhouse Downtown
HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING A satire on office politics and corporate culture, H2$ will have you humming memorable songs such as I Believe In You and The Brotherhood of Man for days! Armed with his handy book entitled How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and unbridled charisma, Finch catapults from window washer to Chairman of the Board at the World Wide Wicket Company. However, when his ad campaign goes terribly awry, his job and new romance hang in the balance. Finch must rely on his own wits to save the day. This fun and hilarious musical is a story about the triumph of the common man.
June 18 – July 21 Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage
DRIVING MISS DAISY Both humorous and heartwarming, Driving Miss Daisy will leave you touched and wanting more. Atlanta, 1948. After demolishing yet another car, Daisy Werthan, a 72 year old, wealthy, Jewish woman is forced to rely on the services of a hired chauffer; a thoughtful and good-natured man named Hoke. Despite her rancor at the loss of her independence and initial prejudice toward her new driver, Daisy and Hoke develop a close, mutually dependent relationship spanning 25 years. Driving Miss Daisy is an evocative tribute to friendship and human dignity. Brilliantly absorbing and tender, this engaging and timeless story demonstrates the healing powers of love and friendship.
July 9 - 26 Flat Rock Playhouse Downtown
GYPSY Curtain up! Light the lights! Ready or not...here comes Mama! Often referred to as the greatest American Musical, Gypsy brings to life the memoirs of real life vaudevillian, Gypsy Rose Lee, and her ultimate stage mother, Mama Rose. Rose is wildly determined to turn her two young daughters, Dainty June and Louise, into stars – at all cost. Relive the unforgettable moments made famous by the incomparable Ethel Merman with such showstoppers as Let Me Entertain You, Everything’s Coming Up Roses, Let Me Entertain You and the dazzling and dizzying Rose’s Turn. Returning Vagabond Klea Blackhurst stars as Mama Rose.
July 23 – August 16 Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage
CRIMES OF THE HEART Meet Meg, Babe and Lenny, the Magrath sisters. Just your typical southern sisters who reconvene in their hometown of Hazlehurst, Mississippi at the home of their Old Grandaddy. Oh, but this is not your typical family reunion. Babe has just shot her abusive husband. And their mother has hung herself...and the beloved family cat. What unfolds is a beautifully rendered, often heartbreaking, often hilarious story of love, compassion and sisterhood. Offered for the first time ever on the Flat Rock Playhouse stage, Pulitzer Prize winning Crimes of the Heart promises to be a huge hit that you will not want to miss.
August 20 – September 6 Flat Rock Playhouse Downtown
FLY An important and inspiring story about the experiences and challenges of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American flyers in the U.S. military during World War II. Hailing from Chicago, Harlem, rural Iowa, and the Caribbean each arrive at boot camp with a dream to serve their country as combat fighter pilots. But they find that they must first combat racism and prejudice in the very military they have volunteered to serve. This raw tale of courage and triumph is brought to life through a powerful combination of speech, multi-media, and tap-dance. Revel in the accomplishments of these men and soar along with them as they achieve great heights of distinguished service and forged brotherhood.
September 10 – 27 Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage
PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES Somewhere between Frog Level and Smyrna, North Carolina, way down on Highway 57, the Pump Boys sell high-octane gasoline, while the Dinettes serve up plenty of pie and sass at the Double Cupp diner next door. Come sit a spell as the Pump Boys and Dinettes share their stories of heartache and hilarity with songs, live-instruments, and even a kitchen utensil or two. Pump Boys and Dinettes is one of the most frequently requested shows by Flat Rock Playhouse audiences. It’s a countrified musical packed with original and highly entertaining, toe-tappin’ tunes, presented as a love song to family and friends, both old and new.
October 1 – 25 Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage Presented by Morris Broadband
CATFISH MOON Skipping school, skinny dipping, kissing your first girl and, of course, fishing off the pier out on the end of Cypress Lake. Rites of passage for childhood best friends Curley, Gordon and Frog. But life happens and time has driven a wedge between these now, middle aged men who have come together for one last overnight fishing trip to patch old wounds brought about by anger, jealousy and betrayal. Penned by Laddy Sartin, who hails from Rock Hill, South Carolina, this bodacious southern fried bro-mance of a comedy is sure to delight.
October 29 – November 15 Playhouse Downtown
OLIVER! The Timeless and classic Dickensian tale of the poorhouse orphan boy who wanted more. Join us as we vividly bring to life the story of Oliver, the Artful Dodger, Fagin, Nancy and the menacing Bill Sykes in our holiday offering at the Flat Rock Playhouse. This performance will feature the talents of local youth working alongside our professional company. Filled with such memorable songs such as Consider Yourself, You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two and the hit As Long as He Needs Me, Oliver! is sure to delight your whole family this holiday season.
November 27 – December 20 Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage Presented by Pardee Hospital
MUSIC ON THE ROCK SERIES
Flat Rock Playhouse ushers in the 6th season of Music on the Rock with the following musical celebrations. All performances at the Playhouse Downtown.
The Music of ABBA February 12 – 15
The Music of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons April 16 – 26
The Music of Carole King & James Taylor April 13 – 15
The Music of Chicago October 8 – 18
The Christmas Concert that Never Was – Barbra and Frank December 10 – 12
TICKETS AND SCHEDULE All subscriptions packages can be purchased by calling the Playhouse box office at 828-693-0731, toll-free at 866-732-8008. Individual ticket sales can be purchased online at www.flatrockplayhouse.org.
Discounts are available for seniors, AAA members, military personnel, students and groups. The Flat Rock Playhouse downtown is located at 125 South Main Street in Hendersonville, NC.