BULLET PROOF VESTS PROVIDED FOR HENDERSONVILLE POLICE OFFICERS
A recent campaign by STAND T.A.L.L. (Thank A Local Lawman) raised more than $3,600.00 to pay for bullet proof vests to outfit 15 local city police officers.
STAND T.A.L.L. previously helpeds the Henderson County Sheriff’s Departmen with funds to pay for retreats for deputies They also helped the Laurel Park Police Department raise money to pay for ammunition so the officers could maintain their shooting skills.
STATE REPRESENTATIVE CHUCK MCGRADY FROM HENDERSON COUNTY SAYS IT'S HIS UNDERSTANDING THIS WILL ***NOT*** EFFECT HIS STATE HOUSE DISTRICT, THAT OF NEWLY-ELECTED REPRESENTATIVE CODY HENSEN, OR THE DISTRICT OF STATE SENATOR CHUCK EDWARDS.
MCGRADY SAYS THE NEW DISTRICT LINES WILL ONLY APPLY IN THE 30-ODD DISTRICTS IN NORTH CAROLINA WHERE THERE HAD BEEN AN ISSUE....MOST OF THOSE ARE ***NOT*** IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA
WHEN THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY GOES BACK TO WORK IN JANURY, THEY'LL HAVE NEW DISTRICT LINES TO DRAW
Federal judges have told the North Carolina legislature to redraw its own districts by mid-March to replace ones the court struck down and to hold a special election under redrawn maps in November 2017.
The ruling Tuesday means those elected to the state House and Senate a few weeks ago would serve just one year, not two as expected.
The same three-judge panel last summer said nearly 30 legislative districts were illegal racial gerrymanders but decided it was too late to hold elections under new maps.
Attorneys representing legislative mapmakers wanted more time to redraw and the next election in 2018. Those lawmakers now say they'll appeal Tuesday's decision. But a lawyer who successfully sued over the districts says a special election is the best way to protect the rights of North Carolina residents.
IT WAS SUNSHINE AND BLUE SKY FOR THE RIBBON CUTTING AND GRAND OPENING OF THE NEW 100 THOUSAND SQUARE FOOT HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER LATE TUESDAY MORNING
“The Grand Opening of this new facility is the culmination of many long hours and hard work. We hope that the community will join us to celebrate this great day for HendersonCounty. This partnership of health care and education is an asset that will pay dividends for generations to come,” said Steve Wyatt, Henderson County Manager.
"We invite you to join us for the much-anticipated grand opening of the new Health Sciences Center on the campus of PardeeHospital," said James M. Kirby, II, president and CEO of Pardee Hospital. "This building represents our community's commitment to excellent health care and educational programs for Western North Carolina residents. Our new CancerCenter is a testament to the quality, personalized patient care we strive to achieve at Pardee. Every detail has been designed with our patients in mind. We hope the community will stop by to see how the CancerCenter and Pardee Surgical Associates will create a truly seamless experience for those who need care within our facility."
“WingateUniversity is tremendously excited to be a part of HendersonCounty and this HealthSciencesCenter,” said Kurt Wargo, PharmD, associate professor and regional dean of WingateUniversityHendersonvilleHealthSciencesCenter. “Through the Doctor of Pharmacy and the Master in Physician Assistant Studies degrees, we are helping to shape future health care leaders. Our students are held to high ethical standards and use the very best judgment in all aspects of their lives. They are honest, trustworthy and have a work ethic second to none. We help instill in our students the belief that it takes a collaborative team of experts to care for patients. In addition, community engagement and civic-mindedness are core values of the students of WingateUniversity. Our students understand the importance of assisting the communities of Western N.C., and give back often. We hope you take the time to stop by our floor and learn more about our current programs of study, tour some of our state-of- the-art classrooms, and partake in free wellness checks."
“The HealthSciencesCenter is truly an investment in our future and in future generations of students," said Blue Ridge Community College President Molly A. Parkhill. "It brings a tremendous opportunity for our students to learn in a state-of-the-art health education facility with modern technologies and access to a quality, world-class workforce for employers -- both locally and regionally."
The 100,000+ square foot building is located adjacent to PardeeHospital’s campus and will house a new CancerCenter, including medical oncology, radiation oncology, cancer research and surgical office space. The building will also carry the existing student programs in allied health care for both Blue RidgeCommunity College and WingateUniversity, as well as the Wingate Pharmacy and PA programs. Once the building is completed, students taking nursing and a full array of allied health professions can have access to PardeeHospital for training through its programs.
PardeeHospitalis a not-for-profit community hospital founded in 1953 and is managed by UNC Health Care. The hospital is licensed for 222 acute care beds. PardeeHospital has several locations separate from the main campus, including a comprehensive physician practice network, two urgent care locations and five orthopedic clinics. For more information or tofind a physician, visitwww.pardeehospital.org.
Blue RidgeCommunity Collegeis a two-year, comprehensive post-secondary institution serving Henderson and Transylvania counties in North Carolina. The College offers more than 100 programs of study, a wide range of college transfer courses, and one of the largest continuing education programs in the state. Its mission is to provide quality education and training opportunities that support student learning, enhance student advancement and success, and meet the workforce needs of the community. To learn more about Blue RidgeCommunity College, visitwww.blueridge.edu.
Wingate University, consistently ranked as a top-10 “best value” in the South byU.S. News & World Report, serves nearly 3,200 students on three campuses in Wingate, Charlotte and Hendersonville, N.C. Founded in 1896, the University offers 35 undergraduate majors, 35 minors, 12 career concentrations and nine pre-professional programs; master’s degrees in accounting, business, education, sport management and physician assistant studies; and doctorates in education, pharmacy and physical therapy. With a 14-to-1 student/teacher ratio, Wingate students gain the tools and support needed to excel in academics and apply that learning toward an extraordinary career and life. To view current news
NOW THAT THE SCHOOL BOARD HAS ENDORSED, IN A SPLIT VOTE, THE COUNTY'S PLAN FOR A NEW HENDERSONVILLE HIGH SCHOOL CAMPUS ON THE BOYD PROPERTY AT FIVE POINTS, IT ALL WILL LIKELY COME DOWN TO CITY ZONING CHANGES THAT WILL BE REQUIRED TO BUILD THE NEW CLARK NEXSEN-DESIGNED HHS CAMPUS
As the issue of deciding the fate of HHS may well move from "county" to "city", city officials seemed prepared in recent days with "no comment". Councilman Jerry Smith, a teacher at HHS, told News 13 some days ago that state law would not permit him to comment on a zoning request prior to a hearing. In a text message, Councilman Ron Stephens told WHKP News the same thing...adding that he does have an opinion on the issue, but the city attorney advises him that if he expresses that opinion, he will have to recuse himself from voting. Stephens was one of those who spoke in favor of leaving school decisions to the elected school board at this week's school board meeting. Councilman Jeff Miller recently told WHKP News he doesn't think it's appropriate to comment on pending rezoning "...before we see everything."
Other issues have surfaced in connection with the controversial county HHS plan, including the need for a new Edneyville Elementary School which school board members have consistentlky said should be the greater priority; what opponents of the new HHS plan say is inadquate parking at the proposed new facility; and safety concerns due to the proposd new facility's close proximity to the busy Asheville Highway. Another contentious issue has been which board has authority over school building decisions---the elected school board or the county commissioners.
So now, the battle over a new campus for Hendersonville High School on the former Boyd property on U.S. 25 at Five Points will likely be shifting in the new year from the Historic Courthouse to Hendersonville City Hall, and away from county commissioners---who have solidly committed three times to the new high school campus---and also away from the county school board that this week endorsed the commissioner's plan---and ultimately onto Hendersonville city council.
While presenting formal plans for the new school to county commissioners, architect Chad Roberson (with the county's "architect of record" Clark Nexsen) said the next step in the process will be obtaining the necessary re-zoning, variances, and special use permits from the city.
And it’s being reported now that at least some members of the high school’s alumni association, who have opposed county plans for the new campus and who are pushing for the continued use of the historic Erle Stillwell main HHS building and for an all new building for Edneyville Elementary School, are actively lobbying city officials to oppose the necessary zoning changes…and block construction of the new $53 million high school campus.
In a statement quoted by News 13, alumni association member and former contractor Carey O'Cain called the commissioner's plans for the new campus “ridiculous”…and said that commissioners are planning to put the new school within 30 to 50 feet of the Asheville Highway which will cause the new school to vibrate, be unsafe, and it will not be conducive to a student’s education. O’Cain and the alumni association had offered an alternative proposal for the new campus, which the commissioners turned down. The county’s architect, Chad Roberson, disagreed with O’Cain’s claim that the school would be 30 to 50 feet off the Asheville Highway…and Roberson said, in a recent presentation to commissioners, that the main building itself would be 100 feet back from the highway.
Any requests for re-zoning for the new campus would have to come first before the city planning board…then for final approval, before city council and there is nothing to do with the proposed new HHS campus on the agendas for either the planning board or city ouncil for what’s left of 2016.
It is worth noting however that city officials agreed several years ago to block off and close that strip of Ninth Avenue West in between the current campus and the Boyd property to facilitate construction of the new campus. That agreement had been indicated when the county first acquired the property from the Boyd family, and the closing of the street had been put “on hold” pending final plans and approval for the new campus.
The $53 million dollars committed for the new campus by commissioners does not include money to renovate the Stillwell building, and no definite plan has come forth from the commissioners or the school board for future use of that 90 year old building. And even though commissioners say they are committed to addressing the situation at Edneyville Elementary School, there is no definite plan for a new facility in place, no "start" date, and no funding approved for it.
The likelihood that the dispute between commissioners and the school board over which board has authority over school buildings and construction could end up in court was diminshed this week when the school board, in that split 4-2 vote, officially endorsed the county's plan for the new HHS campus.
As the battleground over a new HHS may well be shifting from the courthouse to city hall, a lot of related issues remain unresolved going into the new year. City Councilman Jeff Miller summed up the whole matter by saying..."This thing seems to have a life of its own."
By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman Updated 12/13/16 5 AM.
TUESDAY'S GENEAL ELECTION VOTE CANVASS IN HENDERSON COUNTY DID NOT CHANGE ANY "WINNERS AND LOSERS"....BUT IT DID ADD TO THE VOTE TOTAL...FOR A 71% VOTER TURNOUT ON NOVEMBER 8TH
Incumbent Republican Gov. Pat McCrory has formally requested a recount of votes in his close race with Democrat Roy Cooper.
Two weeks after Election Day and counts of provisional and absentee ballots, McCrory’s vote total continues to lag, but appears to be within the 10,000 vote range that allows for a recount.
In his letter to the State Board of Elections, McCrory wrote, “With serious concerns about potential voter fraud emerging across the state, it is becoming apparent that a thorough recount is one way the people of North Carolina can have confidence in the results, process and system.”
Republicans have challenged ballots cast by absentee votes who died before Election Day and by alleged felons in several dozen counties, but those questioned ballots add up to a few hundred, not the 8,000 or so votes by which McCrory trails.
Chuck Stuber, the Republican candidate for state auditor, is also requesting a recount in his contest with Democratic incumbent Beth Wood.
The State Board of Elections met Tuesday to settle on the advice it will give local county boards of election on handling protests.
Democrats are pressuring McCrory to concede, and Cooper this week announced a transition team.
Cooper campaign manger Trey Nix said a recount won’t change the outcome.
"This is nothing but a last-ditch effort from Governor McCrory to delay and deny the results of this election,” Nix said in a statement
Hendersonville, N.C. – The Pardee Signature Care Center will relocate from the Blue Ridge Mall to the Mission Pardee Health Campus, effective www.pardeehospital.org or call the Signature Care Center at 828-692-4600., to support the growing needs of the community as well as business and industry. Moving forward, educational classes and lectures will be held at locations throughout the community rather than in a single setting. Additionally, many Signature Care support groups will meet at Pardee's Rehab & Wellness Center on Thompson Street. For a full listing of support group locations, visit
"To serve even more people in our community, the decision was made to move Signature Care to the Mission Pardee Health Campus," said Sarah Hinson, MHPM, CHES, CHC, manager of Pardee Signature Care. "We want the community to be confident that Pardee will continue to offer educational lectures, classes, support groups and screenings, with a focus on bringing these offerings to various locations in our region."'
Pardee Hospital is a not-for-profit community hospital founded in 1953 and is managed by UNC Health Care. The hospital is licensed for 222 acute care beds. Pardee Hospital has several locations separate from the main campus, including a comprehensive physician practice network, two urgent care locations and five orthopedic clinics. For more information or to find a physician, visit www.pardeehospital.org.
FIGHTING PARTY ROCK FIRE ALONE COST OVER TWO MILLION DOLLARS
FEMA TO PAY 75%
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized federal funds to reimburse costs to North Carolina to fight the Chestnut Knob Fire burning in Burke County.
This authorization makes FEMA grant funding available to reimburse 75 percent of the eligible firefighting costs for managing, mitigating and controlling the fire. Eligible costs can include labor, equipment and supplies used for fighting the fire and costs for emergency work such as evacuations and sheltering, police barricading and traffic control.
“FEMA has approved this grant to ensure that firefighters in North Carolina have the needed resources and personnel to battle this fire,” said FEMA Regional Administrator Gracia Szczech.
The state requested a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG), and it was granted in the late evening of November 19, 2016. The fire started on November 6, and at the time of the request, had burned more than 6,424 acres of state and private land. The fire was threatening 400 homes in and around the communities of Morgantown, Pleasant Grove, Enola and Lake Lure. In addition, the fire was threatening the local infrastructure of 16 commercial buildings, roads and bridges, power supply stations, Burke County 911 complex/tower, flood control, fishing and spawning sites, wildlife, natural resources and the watersheds in the area.
Federal fire management assistance is provided through the President’s Disaster Relief Fund and made available by FEMA to fund firefighting activities when there is a fire threat that could cause a major disaster. Eligible state firefighting costs covered by the aid must first meet a minimum threshold for costs before assistance is provided.
THE JOINT MEETING OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND THE SCHOOL BOARD
A WHKP NEWS COMMENTARY
November 17, 2016-11-16
As architect Chad Roberson displayed the renderings and explained the layout of Hendersonville High School’s new $50 million-plus campus (as seen in these photos) in that joint meeting between commissioners and the school board Wednesday morning---one thing was clear: The commissioners were not taking any detours from the course they set early last summer.
Despite differences between the two boards over which board should be making these decisions---the school board maintains they have jurisdiction; over school construction priorities---the school board says a new Edneyville Elementary School should come before the new HHS campus; and over how the 1926 Erle Stillwell building should be used---commissioners seem to favor moving administrative offices into that building and out of the old Rose Edwards building on Fourth Avenue…despite all these major differences, at least the two boards were finally meeting together and talking to each other about what could end up costing the taxpayers of Henderson County more than $100 million on top of the nickle property tax increase they approved back in the summer.
Whether it’s nine million for renovations or $20-plus million for a new school, something must be done at Edneyville Elementary…and commissioners seemed to put that on a faster track Wednesday morning by urging the county’s architects to get busy on that, but only after they finish with the new Hendersonville campus. Wednesday’s discussion between the two boards highlighted what is shaping up as another major expense for the new HHS campus, in addition to the cost of the new school itself, and that’s the need for adequate parking for students, staff, and especially for special events like ballgames at the mostly land-locked Hendersonville High School campus area.
It was Commissioner Charlie Messer who pointed out that these three things…1)the new HHS campus; 2)buying nearby property---the value of which will almost surely skyrocket---to solve the parking challenge at the new high school; and 3)whatever is done at Edneyville will be costing county taxpayers well in excess of $100 million in the next few years. And that’s on top of other construction commitments already made, and underway.
Commissioners made it clear that new HHS campus will be a showpiece at the entrance to the city on the Asheville Highway. School board members made it clear they still believe Edneyville Elementary should be the top priority.
The real lessons learned from Wednesday morning’s over-due joint meeting of the two boards are that 1)some major expenses to the taxpayers lie ahead; 2)that the two boards are as far apart as they ever were over priorities; 3)that both boards still believe they have jurisdiction over schools buildings and facilities; and 4)here’s the “biggie”---these challenges will have to be faced, and hopefully dealt with going into the future without the steady, experienced leadership of Ervin Bazzle guiding the system and the school board as its chairman.
That “working group” that set up the presentation Wednesday morning got things started. But the members of both boards, city and county and school system staffs, architects and contractors, and all involved…including those of us in the local media…had better roll up our sleeves in a spirit of real co-operation to do meet the challenges that lie ahead…and the taxpayers had better prepare to dig deep into whatever county resources are available to pay for it all.
By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman 11/16/16