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Owen’s soccer coach who led an Erin Brockovich-style campaign to clean up industrial pollution in his neighborhood is now running for Congress.
A high school social studies teacher, Tate MacQueen said he is seeking the 10th District seat out of a sense of obligation to neighbors, students and fellow teachers.
“What is driving me is the work I’ve done in the community as an advocate and what I have done as an educator,” MacQueen said.
“I think people would say I’m passionate and that I care deeply for other people. I simply want to help where I can help, and accept help where I need it. If there is ever a time when we are in it together, this is it.”
A registered Democrat, MacQueen is the only member of that party so far to declare a candidacy. The 10th District, which includes Asheville, Black Mountain and other parts of Buncombe County, is held by five-term Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-Lake James.
MacQueen began at Owen in 2007, gaining acclaim as one of the state’s best soccer coaches who emphasized fair play and community service, having his players raise and put on clinics for Special Olympics athletes.
Last year, student athletes voted to give him the Brad Johnson Award for the teacher making the biggest difference in students’ lives.
But his greatest activism was sparked over an issue even closer to home when he and fellow Mills Gap Road residents learned their Skyland-area neighborhood was contaminated by nearly three decades of industrial activity.
MacQueen led a campaign to hold liable CTS Corp. and environmental regulators who he said looked the other way.
That campaign took him to the offices of top U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials, members of Congress, and ultimately the U.S. Supreme Court. He and other plaintiffs are now asking justices to force the company to clean up industrial solvent that soaked into their soil and groundwater.
MacQueen said a sense of neglect by federal officials helped push him to run.
From The Asheville Citizen-Times
WLOS TV IS REPORTING...
The treacherous conditions caused a school bus to overturn in Henderson County.
While students were on board, no one was seriously injured. One student was transported to the hospital, school officials say luckily her injuries were only minor.
Students on board when they went off the road say it was a scary experience.
Six students from North Henderson High and Apple Valley Middle were on board for the scary ride.
Michael Waycaster, student, "real scary, I mean cause the whole bus tipped over and I was sitting in the seat on the other side and kind of flew to the other side."
Bill Parker, Henderson County Assistant Superintendent, "from what I understand, minor ankle injury but they have transported that student to the hospital."
Parents rushed to the scene, surprised by what they saw.
Michael Waycaster, parent, "when I got the news they said that they actually just run off the road, and I didn't realize till I walked up that it actually went all the way over. So it was a little scary there at the last second."
Michael's son was shaken up but okay, but a girl sitting across from him wasn't so lucky, "I kind of fell on top of her, like a bunch of people fell on top of her so, she hurt her leg pretty bad."
The bus driver, wrapped in a blanket, drove up Livingston Road with no problems. It was the curve coming down that got tricky.
Harold Hyatt, bus driver, "I just started sliding and it just kept a going." Hyatt goes on to say, "the next thing I knowed I was going off the shoulder of the road."
School officials say speed was not a factor. The highway patrol is investigating.
Henderson County Commissioner J. Michael Edney announced Tuesday that he will seek re-election to the District 1 seat he has held since 2010.
Edney, who also held the District 5 seat from 1988 to 1996, said his primary reason for seeking another term is to “keep Henderson County at the forefront in Western North Carolina in the areas of emergency services, education, jobs and healthcare.”
“In spite of the economic downturn, we have made great strides in all areas as promised in 2010,” Edney said. “We have accomplished much without increasing taxes or spending the county's savings, and I am ready to embrace the work needed repeat that statement four years from now.”
Edney cited several examples of fulfilled promises during his current term in office:
• Expansion of EMS, reducing emergency response times.
• Updating the 911 call center and system to ensure the best emergency communications possible.
• Funding the public education system “at the highest level in its history, while giving the elected school board broad discretion as to how they spend those funds.”
• Promotion and support of new and existing industries, resulting in over $161 million dollars in new investment and over 600 new, high-paying jobs for Henderson County.
• Creation of the Henderson County Agribusiness Development group, which promotes economic development in the county's farming community.
In addition, Edney said he was proud that during his tenure, county-owned Pardee Hospital developed a management relationship with the University of North Carolina hospital system and medical school, becoming nationally recognized for its quality medical service.
Another point of pride for Edney was the relationship developed between the county and Wingate University, as well as the enhancements to the recreational opportunities available to all ages within the county.
Edney is a Henderson County native, tracing his roots back to the very first settlers in the region in the 1780s. He is married to Lisa Mazzeo-Edney, and they have two children, Mitch and Megan. He graduated from law school in 1985 and maintains his own law practice in Hendersonville.
Sheriff Charles McDonald announced Tuesday that his campaign made an “inadvertent error” concerning a campaign finance rule.
The violation was an unintentional oversight , saod McDonald, by the campaign team, and stemmed from an overwhelmingly successful golf tournament fundraising event. A number of unregistered teams and individuals showed up to play and an error was made with several golfers paying their entry fees with cash.
North Carolina Election law allows cash contributions, but the rules state that no individual can make cash contributions of more than $50.00 to a campaign.
Although every contribution was meticulously documented, said McDonald, this was an honest mistake made by those working the registration table. In fact, it was due to the accurate recordkeeping of the campaign treasurer that the oversight was easily visible when our financial report was taken to the Henderson County Board of Elections for review before its submission.
In a statement this week, Sheriff McDonald said: “I certainly appreciate the staff of the Henderson County Board of Elections and the professionalism and diligence with which they serve the interests of the citizens of Henderson County. I completely understand the State Board of Elections’ ruling and will do everything possible to ensure that no such error occurs in the future.”
Shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday, local school officials announced that Henderson County Schools and Transylvania County Schools would dismiss its students early at 11 a.m. due to the snow and worsening weather conditions.
Mountain Community School has also announced that it will be dismissing students for the day at 11:30 a.m.
Reports from the National Weather Service say roughly 1 inch of snow accumulation is likely Tuesday in the Hendersonville area. The high is 27 degrees. However, tonight's temperatures will dip down to around 14 degrees.
Before 7 a.m. Tuesday, snow began to fall in parts of Asheville and Buncombe County. Shortly thereafter, school officials cancelled school for Buncombe County Schools and Asheville City Schools. School is also closed today for AB-Tech and UNC Asheville. Other western North Carolina schools canceled today include Haywood County Schools, Madison County Schools and Yancey County Schools.
Roads were white with snow by mid-morning, with NC DOT crews out with plows.
A hazardous weather outlook is in effect for Henderson, Transylvania, Buncombe, Madison, Haywood, McDowell, Graham, Swain and Jackson counties through Thursday.
A winter storm warning is out for areas south of the NC-SC state line and for much of the higher elevations of Western North carolina west and north of Asheville.
Valentine’s Party in Saluda to Benefit Amphitheater SALUDA , NC – The Saluda Small Town Main Street Promotions Team will host a Valentine's Party on Friday, February 14, 2014, at the Saluda Fire & Rescue Department located at 199 Walnut Drive off of Greenville Street in Saluda. Celebrate Valentine's Day with friends or that special person and enjoy a night out with dinner and dancing. You will be supporting the Saluda Small Town Main Street Amphitheater Fund that will be used to construct a new amphitheater at Top of the Grade at McCreery Park, as well as benefitting the Saluda Fire & Rescue Department. “After the success of the Top of the Grade concerts this past summer, it became evident that the old skate board park was an excellent venue for outdoor events. The Saluda Small Town Main Street Promotions Team came up with a conceptual design for a natural amphitheater fashioned after similar amphitheaters in the surrounding towns.
The Saluda City Commissioners approved the conceptual plan and now we need to raise the funds for the materials to start the project. The goal is to have it built by early May. The amphitheater can be used for all kinds of outdoor community events such as school plays, weddings, and other City functions,” says organizer, Cathy Jackson. Dine on a delicious meal of steak or chicken, baked potato, tossed green salad, rolls, drinks, and dessert served from 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm. Enjoy listening or dancing to music from the 60's and Rock & Roll by the band, “R&R” with Rodney Gibson and Rick Gunderson from “Sound Investment.”
Tickets are $25 per person, with $5 per person to be donated to the Saluda Fire Department for their use as needed. You will receive a Donation Acknowledgement for income tax purposes for the $5 donation to the SFD. Children, ages 5 and above, may attend.Ages 5 - 12: $15 each (Entre will be chicken)Ages 13 & above: $25 each (Entre will be steak or chicken) A photographer will be on hand to take your picture with someone you love in front of a Valentine's Day backdrop. You can preview your picture before deciding to purchase, and it will be framed while you wait. Decadent desserts include, "Death by Chocolate", Red Velvet Cake, Valentine's Berry Parfaits, and a Candy Buffet to name just a few. Saluda School children are making special Valentine's for the occasion to decorate the Fire Department space where the party will take place. To observe the holiday of Valentine’s of giving gifts, a long-stemmed red rose will be given to all the ladies present at the end of the party!
If Polk County Schools or Saluda School closes due to inclement weather, the rescheduled Valentine's Party date will be Friday, February 21, 2014. Purchase your tickets at Cathy Jackson Realty, or Historic Thompson's Store, or by calling Terry Baisden at 828-749-3789.
The Town of Fletcherwill host itspopular Father-Daughter Dance on Saturday February 15th at Calvary Episcopal Church.
This is a special opportunity for dads to spend quality time with their daughters enjoying music, dancing and refreshments. Each daughter will receive a flower, photos by a professional photographer and the opportunity to make a valentine craft.
Tickets for the 6:30 p.m. dance have been sold out but there are still tickets available for the 3:30 p.m. dance. Costs for Fletcher Residents are $22 per couple and $6 for each additional daughter. Non-resident ticket prices are $26 per couple and $8 for each additional daughter.
Tickets may be purchased at Fletcher Town Hall while supplies last!
This event is sponsored byMorris Broadband.
For more information on Fletcher’s Father-Daughter Dance, please visit www.FletcherParks.org or call (828) 687-0751.
Helga Sandburg Crile died at her home in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, on Sunday evening after a period of failing health, her family announced today. Mrs. Crile was 95.
Born Nov. 24, 1918, in Illinois, Mrs. Crile was the youngest of three daughters born to poet and historian Carl Sandburg and Lilian Steichen Sandburg, sister of the photographer Edward Steichen.
According to a biographical sketch written by her daughter, Paula S. Polega of Hendersonville, Helga Sandburg would become the only one of the three Sandburg sisters to marry. She and her first husband, Joseph Thoman, had two children, John Carl and Paula.
Mrs. Polega provided the following information about her mother:
Mrs. Crile spent most of her childhood in Elmhurst, Ill., and then in Harbert, Mich., about 90 miles from Chicago. Great political and literary figures came to visit her family, and she began her own literary career typing manuscripts for her father in the loft room of a barn at the family’s small farm in Harbert. Her father dedicated several books to her and wrote poems in her honor.
In 1945, divorced from her first husband, Helga Sandburg moved with her parents, her sisters, and her two children to Connemara in Flat Rock. There she and her mother operated a dairy goat farm while her father continued to write and publish.
A graduate of Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Dr. Strickland and his wife Alice moved to Hendersonville in 1958.
Dr. Strickland treated countless patients in his general family practice in Hendersonville over the years.
His wife Alice died in October 2013.
The Stricklands are survived by four children; seven grandchildren; and three great-grand children.
A native of Benson, North Carolina, Dr. Strickland was 84.
Arrangements are being handled by Thomas Shepherd and Son Funeral Directors.
On Monday January 20th, we, as a nation, are observing Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. On that day, we all would do well to remember, and honor, the basic principles that Dr. King stood for…principles like fairness, justice, equal rights and equal opportunities, respect and compassion for our fellow men.
Here in the South, Dr. King was not the most popular man alive back during the turbulent civil rights days in the 1960s. And the civil rights movement itself was often wrought with controversy, even violence. But as we pay our respects on the Martin Luther King Day observance, it’s worth noting on this national holiday how smoothly, how respectfully, how fairly, equally, and with much dignity, our community responded and adjusted to the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
As a young student in the Hendersonville public school system in the 60s, we experienced "first hand" the virtually un-noticed transition from SEGREGATION to INTEGRATION of our local public schools. Some cool, calm and wise leaders in our schools, in our churches, and in our local governments, were in place at the time that led that transition in our community. Personally, we will forever honor and respect their leadership…and their fundamental sense of equality, justice, and fairness…that led us through that major but graceful transition in our community.
Make no mistake…we saw a LOT of change here in our own community in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. The previously all-black 6th and 9th Avenue schools ceased to exist…and those students were absorbed, and in most cases, welcomed, into the city and county school systems that existed at the time. The whole east side of Hendersonville, and much of the west side, underwent a total physical and cultural “sea change” as bulldozers and steamshovels tore down and literally plowed up the old Brooklyn and other mostly black, and mostly SLUM, neighborhoods. What followed was not an immediate success…the first Lincoln Circle and some other newer public housing, for example, left a lot to be desired…and much of what replaced those old neighborhoods took decades to make ”right”, or as “right” as they are today.
With the late Sam Mills, we had one of the first black city councilmen in the state. With Chief Donnie Parks we had one of, if not THE, first black police chiefs in the state.
There may have been a few very minor bumps it that road to a more equal community, but those of us who were around at the time, and whose job it was to observe it, record it, and report, it proudly noted, and cherish the memory to this day…that the civil rights transition in OUR community was not only peaceful…but filled more with a spirit of true brotherhood than resentment or animosity.
Bigotry and racism, of course, did not disappear with the old Brooklyn slum or with those locally segregated public schools. But ours has historically been a strong Judeo-Christian community…and that culture, that most fundamental foundation, enabled our community to make the transition appropriately into a more open, equal, fair, and compassionate community.
With the Martin Luther King Day observance, let’s remember that our community has honored him with a park in his name; with part of a busy boulevard in his name; and his legacy will be honored in the annual United Breakfast at Blue Ridge Community College Monday morning and in many pulpits on the Sunday morning before the holiday.
The Apostle Paul wrote in a letter to the Galations….”There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither bond nor free; there is neither male nor female…for ye all are one in Christ Jesus.” Abraham Lincoln made that precept into public policy in the Emancipation Proclamation many centuries later. Another century later our nation’s president and congress made it into the law of the land in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And Dr. King re-iterated it eloquently in every speech he gave and in every sermon he preached until the day he died. Because it was the right thing to do.
Yes…our community did it well…but we can always do it better. And it’s with that on-going challenge, articulated by Jesus, by his apostles, by Lincoln, King, and by every great leader since…that we observe the Martin Luther King, Junior birthday this year. For chiseled in stone is that eternal and moral challenge that we all carry forward into the future. Because it is the right thing to do.
As always, we invite your comments…on our comments.
By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman