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The Asheville Citizen-Times is reporting...

The development company who is transforming Biltmore Square Mall into an outlet center has posted some details about the transformation, including a picture of the plans.

The mall shut its doors in January, as part of its transition into an outdoor outlet center. Since then, the organization — which is now called Asheville Outlets — has selected a general contractor and demolition has begun (The demolition, however, is on the inside of the building right now and is not visible).

Winter Construction out of Atlanta is the project's general contractor, said Sharon Morgan, general manager of Asheville Outlets.  "They are now on the property," she said.

The image above is an architectural rendering of the outlet mall, she said. "It is going to be an outdoor center with various hallways open," she said. "It won't be an attached roof like you see now. … The food court will pretty much be in the same area."

The Dollar Tree, Cinebarre, Dillard's and Belk are still open.

In May, the Citizen-Times reported that a Massachusetts company has posted plans to transform Biltmore Square Mall into an outdoor outlet center. New England Development in partnership with Tremont Realty Capital plans to open the  325,000-square-foot mall in spring 2015. The mall is at 800 Brevard Road.

This is from the development company's website:

Asheville Outlets will be the destination for outlet shopping in the greater Asheville, North Carolina, market when it opens spring of 2015. This 325,000 square foot open air center will feature approximately 75 top manufacturers and retail outlets. With no other outlet center within 80 miles, the retailers at Asheville Outlets are sure to thrive from the strong residential and tourism markets.

Ideally located five miles southwest of downtown Asheville at the I-26 and Route 191 interchange, Asheville Outlets has excellent regional access. The Asheville metropolitan market is a regional and economic hub for western North Carolina and Asheville itself has a strong and growing visitor market. More than 9.35 million people visit the Asheville region each year, of which more than 3 million stay overnight.Asheville is a thriving mountain city with an eclectic downtown, which includes art galleries, a world-class culinary and craft beer scene, a burgeoning live music scene, and the awe-inspiring scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This unique city has earned national acclaim by numerous media outlets and publications as an ideal place to live, visit, and do business.


Henderson County farmers will find it a bit easier to do business this year, thanks to some code changes passed on Monday by the county board of commissioners.


Commissioners, in a 5 to 0 vote, adopted some code changes that had been recommended by the county's Regulation Review Advisory Committee.

The committee had suggested, and commissioners agreed, that all agricultural signs be exempted from code standards...and a maximum size of 32 feet on each side of the sign will now be allowed.

Commissioners also exempted housing for farm labor that is not occupied year around from the county's minimum housing code. The advisory committee found, and commissioners agreed, the county's previous standards made it too difficult for farmers who rely on seasonal labor.

Commissioners, also on a recommendation from the advisory committee, reduced road setbacks for businesses in commercial zoning districts. This change is not county-wide and only applies to a limited number of commercial districts in the county.





ARTHUR SMITH, 1921-2014


It makes us sad to realize…there’s a whole generation of young people out there today who’ll never know the home-spun routine, comfort, and sheer joy of waking up to Arthur Smith and the Crackerjacks on WHKP at 7:05 weekday mornings…singing “the top of the morning to you”. And hearing a few words of cheer and wisdom, a song…maybe a hymn, a reminder of the week’s Sunday School lesson, and of course the commercial for Bost or Bunny Bread (based in nearby Shelby) that made you enjoy your toast for breakfast and look forward to your sandwich at lunch.

A private service will be held Monday April 7th, and a public memorial service will be held Saturday April 12th at 12noon at Calvary Church in Charlotte, for Arthur Smith. He died on Thursday April 3rd…two days after his 93rd birthday. A native of Clinton, South Carolina, he became one of the greatest guitar pickers of all time. Arthur Smith started a career on the radio where many of us did…working for the late Walter Brown on WSPA in Spartanburg in 1941. And in 1943 he moved to WBT in Charlotte where he lived out his radio and TV career.

Arthur Smith did a lot of great things…with some of the most famous people in the South and in music. He wrote “Feudin’ Banjos”…which became the theme for the movie “Deliverance”. Warner Brothers changed the name to “Dueling Banjos”, tried to steal it, and Arthur had to sue them to get credit for it. He never said how much how got in the lawsuit settlement…but would point to a photo on the wall in his office of a beautiful 40-foot yacht and smile. Perhaps the original version of “Feudin’ Banjos” by Arthur Smith and Don Reno will be remembered best.

Brothers Ralph and Sonny have been dead for years…and the “Arthur Smith Radio Show”, which woke us up every morning on WHKP at 7:05am right before Kermit and Charlie and the “Old, Old Good Morning Man Show” for over 30 years, is only a cherished memory.

George Hamilton IV, a native of Winston Salem, is a great country music star in his own right. He’s been in Hendersonville twice to help us celebrate the Apple Festival.  And he said of Arthur Smith…”He was a childhood hero who lived up to his legend. He was the real deal. He connected with people. He was a man who walked his talk.”

This week, in those memorial services for Arthur Smith, there will without a doubt be a lot of tear-filled eyes. But we’re willing to bet there’ll be some foot stompin', too…at the greatest musical accomplishment of Arthur Smith’s career…maybe they’ll play “Guitar Boogie”, which Arthur Smith loved to introduce each time himself.

Even though we grew up on it, and as much a part of our life as it was, we never got to say good-bye to the old “Arthur Smith Radio Show”, we were off somewhere, doing something. But today, with these few words on a radio station he was on for 30 years, we’ll say good-bye to Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith. He was the epitome of a true “southern gentleman”…and a musician and entertainer in the true vein of Doc Watson and Andy Griffith. But George Hamilton IV described him best when he said of Arthur Smith…simply…”He was a “good, decent man”.

Arthur Smith…brothers Ralph and Sonny and all the Crackerjacks…we’ll miss you for sure, knowing there will never be any others quite like you.  

By Larry Freeman


NOTE:  You can hear this tribute at 7:05am, 11:05am, and 3:05pm Monday April 7th on AM 1450 WHKP, on (Listen Live), and on WHKP's podcasts also at












It's being called a "game changer" by County Manager Steve Wyatt...and it will help re-shape health care and the education of health care providers in our community for many years to come. Henderson County, the City of Hendersonville, Wingate University, Blue Ridge Community College and Pardee Hospital have all partnered to create an all new "allied health facility"...that will be constructed where a house is now located at 747 Sixth Avenue West.

It all started several years ago...when Wingate University decided to locate a campus in Hendersonville to train pharmacy students...and that has grown to include MBA and physician assistant students. Wingate has outgrown their original Hendersonville facility in the former Coldwell Banker building on Fifth Avenue East at King Street...and a search has been underway for sometime for a new and larger location for Wingate.

That search led to a co-operative agreement on this new "allied health facility".

Dr. Jerry McGee is President of Wingate University...and when the announcement of the new facility was made Friday morning in the Historic Courthouse, he explained how it all came about.

The new allied health facility will built around close co-operation in the training of health care professionals with Blue Ridge Community College...and college president Dr. Molly Parkhill said Friday morning she is looking forward to the new facility and the new arrangement.

Another key player in this new allied health facility will be Pardee Hospital. In fact, the new Sixth Avenue West facility will be build next to Pardee's Medical Office Building, and will become part of the Pardee-UNC Health Care campus. Pardee president and CEO Jay Kirby gave much of the credit for the new facility to city manager John Connet and county manager Steve Wyatt.

The announcement of the new facility was made at a special called joint meeting of Hendersonville city council and the Henderson County Commissioners Friday morning in the Historic Courthouse. And as he introduced the speakers and outlined the plan and the new facility, county manager Steve Wyatt told the's all because Henderson County is such a great and unique place to live, learn and work.

The house on Sixth   Avenue West is currently occupied...but will be leveled to make room for this all new allied health facility.

By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman

11am 4/4/14





In their regular monthly meeting Thursday night, Hendersonville city council extended the deadline for a major Upward Road project until May 3rd of next year. The Upward Road Development Group LLC has a special use permit from the city to construct a three-story hotel, a 6,000 square foot restaurant, a retail shop, a bank building, and more. A developer is reportedly set to start work on one third of the property; another company is interested in part of the property; but a spokesman for the group said he doubts all five buildings, as originally planned, will be developed.

City council approved a plan Thursday night that will allow city employees with at least 27 years of service to retire early by cashing in their unused sick days. The new arrangement is strictly voluntary.

City council officially designated Fourth Avenue from Laurel Park to Jackson Park as the city’s first bicycle boulevard. There will be lane-sharing markings posted on that boulevard.

Council members can attend meetings by electronic means..but must notify the mayor and city manager no later than 48 hours in advance of a meeting if he or she plans to do so. Council members votes by electronic means are legal.

And the month of April was declared Autism and Parkinson’s Awareness Month…and like with the Historic Courthouse, Hendersonville City Hall will be illuminated with blue lights for the month.



Oakdale Cemetery staff are preparing for our annual spring cleanup event at Oakdale Cemetery. If family

members have artificial flowers that are in poor condition, potted flowers, or baskets in place at a

grave that they want to keep, please remove them by April 18.

Any items not removed by April 18

will be removed up and disposed of by city staff. Permanent items such as vases that are part of the

grave marker will not be removed by staff. As a reminder, shrubs, bushes, trees, and perennial

flowers are prohibited from being planted in the cemetery and will be removed at the City’s


For questions about this project, please call the Public Works Department at (828) 697-3084












To celebrate National Library Week, April 13-19, the Henderson County library branches will treat patrons to a variety of musical performances.

·       Monday, April 14th, 4 PM, Edneyville- Harpist Carroll Ownbey will perform elegant music on the harp and teach the audience about her instrument. Carroll is one of the founding members of the Blue Ridge Harp Ensemble, a group composed of four concert grand harps.

·       Tuesday, April 15th, 2 PM, Fletcher- Karen Hensley, pianist and vocalist, and her son Curtis McCarley, instrumentalist, will present a variety of songs from country to gospel.

·       Wednesday, April 16th, 3:30 PM, Green River- Singer/songwriter Tom Fisch will present a blend of traditional folk and country inspired by James Taylor, Doc Watson, and Dan Fogelberg.  He is the recipient of the 2006 WNC Regional Artists Project Grant and his most recent album is titled “October Bay”.

·       Wednesday, April 16th, 3:30 PM, Etowah- Musical Pictures on Guitar and Recorders is presented by multi-talented M. King Goslin. As gentle music flows from M. King Goslin's acoustic guitar and mixes with your imagination, just sit back, relax, and imagine. The music is soft, smooth, well-chosen for finger-style picking, and includes many familiar classical and celtic favorites.  

·       Saturday, April 19th, 11 AM, Mills River- Harpist Carroll Ownbey





As plans go forward to put the Historic Seventh Avenue East District and its "special district" tax money under the control of the City of Hendersonville, much like the "downtown special tax district", some clear difference in property values were reflected in a recent study of the Seventh Avenue East Disitrict by the UNC School of Government. 

The Hendersonville Times-News reported on Thursday...a standing-room-only crowd filled the meeting room inside the Historic Train Depot on Maple Street Wednesday night to hear updates on an ongoing study that may shape the future of Seventh Avenue.

The UNC School of Government’s Development Finance Initiative began studying the Hendersonville district in February, looking at tax records and building permits to gauge the market.

Will Lambe, director of the DFI Community and Economic Development Program, presented their initial findings Wednesday night. The figures showed “a pretty big gap in property valuation” between their study area and the city’s downtown municipal service district along Main Street.

Properties were valued in the Seventh Avenue study district at about $32 per square foot, on average, compared to the downtown MSD’s $74 per square foot. Other figures put the Seventh Avenue district on the low end for rental prices and the high end for vacancies, and showed a nearly 21 percent gap between sales prices per square foot among the two downtown districts.

But the figures also reflected a future growth in demand for residential and commercial properties in the city… a demand that could be met, in part, with improvements to the Historic Seventh Avenue District.

“We’re at the point in this project where we’re trying to understand the market dynamics, the market realities of this district in the city of Hendersonville, in the city of Hendersonville at-large and in the region,” Lambe said. “The result, we hope, from this work is expected to come in the next 30 to 60 days.”

Hendersonville City Manager John Connet told WHKP News this week that when the city takes control of the Seventh Avenue East District, the city's additional resources will be made available to the district; a Seventh Avenue East "advisory" board will be appointed; and there are no plans to raise the "special district" tax paid by Seventh Avenue District property owners.  





The Henderson County Board of Health has named Steve Smith as the new Public Health Director beginning May 5, 2014.

Mr. Smith has over 27 years experience working with county health departments, working through the ranks from Pool Inspections Technician to County Health Director. He has previously served as the Health Director in Stokes County, and has held the position in Transylvania County since 2004.

Steve Smith states, "I am honored to have been selected to serve as the Health Director for Henderson County. The Board of Public Health and the Department of Public Health have a strong legacy of health achievement in the community and North Carolina.  It will be my privilege to support and advance the services, programs, and objectives that meet the community health needs of Henderson County."

Terry Hicks, Chairman of the Henderson County Board of Public Health, states, “I believe Steve is the strong leader the Health Department needs to direct us through the new challenges we will encounter over the next few years. We are excited for him to begin his new position in Henderson County.”

Mr. Smith received his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and a Master of Public Administration from North Carolina State University. He takes an active role in his community, currently serving in Transylvania County as a member of The Free Clinic Board of Directors, chairman of the Child Fatality Prevention Team, chairman of the Land of Waterfalls Partnership for Health, facilitator with the Transylvania County Dental Society, and a member of the School Health Advisory Council.




The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Violent Crimes Unit has charged Robert Lee Daniel Hughes, age 41 of Asheville, NC with Secretly Using or Installing a Photographic Imaging Device to Arouse or Gratify Sexual Desire and Possessing a Photographic Image Obtained in Violation of the Peeping Statue.


Hughes was charged after a complaint was investigated and a forensic analysis of his computer was conducted concerning allegations of inappropriate videos of minor’s on the computer. 

Hughes turned himself in to the Henderson County Detention Facility on April 1st, 2014 and was released after posting a $4,500.00 secured bond. Hughes first appearance is scheduled in District Court of Henderson County, today April 2nd, 2014.