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LOCAL DOMESTIC ANIMALS REPORTEDLY ATTACKED BY MOUNTAIN LIONS; WILD HOGS ON THE INCREASE

LOCAL DOMESTIC ANIMALS REPORTEDLY ATTACKED BY MOUNTAIN LIONS; WILD HOGS ON THE INCREASE

Eastern Mountain Lion Mystery    

EVIDENCE INDICATES MORE LIKELY A LARGE BOBCAT

Reports have been circulating in the community for weeks about wild animals attacking some domestic animals. The reports usually involve what some believe to be “mountain lions”.   In fact, a photo was circulated earlier in the year of a mountain lion apparently stalking cattle near a local dairy farm.

The latest reports are of a mountain lion reportedly attacking a dog in the Laurel Park area, and of one attacking horses in the Willow Creek area.

Andy Unguris with Henderson County Animal Services tells WHKP News they have received these reports and have investigated, but they can find no evidence of a real mountain lion attack. He said the Laurel Park incident was believed to involve a large ”bobcat” and the paw print of the wild animal involved seems to support that .

WILD HOG POPULATION IS UP

There have also been reports of an increase in the wild boar, or wild hog, population…especially in the Mills River area. Unguris says wild hogs have been on the increase for a number of years in the mountains of Western North Carolina, but he’s quick to point out that in most cases, the hogs involved are tame ones from hog farms that have gotten loose and escaped into the woods. And usually, they shy away from people and are not dangerous.

Unguris also says that the internet and increasing use of social media has led to a lot of speculation and rumors about wild animal sightings and attacks, but again, there is little or no evidence to back them up.

He explains that according to North Carolina wildlife officials, mountain lions in the mountains of Western North Carolina are a thing of the past and simply no longer exist.

BLACK PANTHERS (PAINTERS)?

There have been some recent reports too of panthers, or what mountain folks used to call "painters", sighted in the area.  One in particular was in the Forge Mountain section of northwestern Henderson County a few months ago.  But in the opinion of NC wildlife officials, the black panthers or "painters" that once roamed the mountains threatening livestock and humans alike, and that had a piercing, horrifying scream, no longer exist in this area..

    A BLACK MOUNTAIN PANTHER OR "PAINTER"

By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman

12/12/14  Updated 7:30pm

 

 

 

 

 

 

IT'LL BE "A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS" AT THE HISTORIC COURTHOUSE

Title frame from A Charlie Brown Christmas.jpg

In anticipation of the upcoming Holiday season, Henderson County Government will host a “Children’s Day” at the Historic Courthouse in downtown Hendersonville on Monday, December 22rd. We would like to invite parents and children of all ages to attend a special showing of A Charlie Brown Christmas in the Board of Commissioners Meeting Room. Popcorn will be shared with all attendees.

The movie will begin at noon.

We ask that individuals who wish to attend gather in the front lobby of the Historic Courthouse approximately five minutes prior to the movie start time.

 

 

HOLIDAY SAFETY REMINDERS FROM THE HENDERSON COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT

 

"The holiday season is right around the corner and shoppers are crowding malls and discount stores to buy the latest gadgets and find the best deals," said Sheriff Charles McDonald of Henderson County.

According to Sheriff McDonald "This time of year attracts more shopping-related criminal activity because of the larger crowds and the extended store hours.  These factors and the usual distraction of shopping, creates a more favorable environment for petty thieves and other offenders.

The Sheriff reminds all Henderson County residents to follow these safety tips:

Shopping Safety

 

 

A single shopper is the best target for theft.  Always shop with a friend or relative.

When going shopping, tell someone where you are going and what time to expect you to return.  Also, make sure they know what you are wearing, as well as the type of vehicle you are driving.

Shop during daylight hours.  If you shop at night, park your vehicle in a well-lit area.

Dress casually and comfortably and avoid wearing expensive jewelry.  If carrying cash, keep it in your front pocket rather than in a purse or wallet.  This makes it much more difficult for a pick-pocket to remove.  Also store car keys in a pants or jacket pocket.  If your purse is stolen, you will still be able to drive home.

Pay careful attention to your surroundings and avoid overloading yourself with packages.  It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.

When returning to your vehicle, check around it and in the back seat.  Be aware of strangers approaching you for any reason.  Have your car keys in your hand to avoid spending unnecessary time unprotected from the security of your vehicle.

If you feel uneasy returning to your vehicle alone, find a security guard and ask them to walk you to your car.

According to Sheriff McDonald "During this time of year, busy holiday shoppers become vulnerable to other crimes as well.  Credit card fraud and gift card fraud are on the rise.  However, taking a few preventive measures can help."

Credit Card Fraud

Keep a close watch on your credit card every time you use it, and make sure you get it back as quickly as possible.

Never write your PIN number on your credit card.

Never leave your credit cards or receipts lying around.

Shield your credit card number so that others around you can’t copy it or capture it on a mobile telephone or other camera.

Only carry credit cards that you absolutely need.

Shred anything with your credit card number written on it.

If you’re planning to purchase online, make sure the web page where you enter your credit card information is secure through SSL (Secure Socket Layer).  You can tell if the web page is secure by looking for the gold lock or key icon at the bottom corner of your browser window.

If you’re not comfortable submitting your information through the internet, call the seller and give them your information over the telephone.  Never send your credit card information via email.

Check the company out.  Only do business with companies that provide a physical address and telephone number. 

Keep good records.  Always print out a copy of any online products or services you purchase.

Gift Card Fraud:

 

Never buy gift cards from online auction sites.  This is a large source of gift card fraud.  Many of the gift cards are stolen, counterfeit or used.

Only buy gift cards directly from the store issuing the gift card or from a secure retailer’s website.

Don’t buy gift cards off of publicly displayed racks in retail stores.  Only purchase gift cards at the sales terminal from the cashier.

Always carefully examine both the front and back of a gift card before you buy it.  If you see a PIN number, ask for a different card.  If the card looks like it has been tampered with in any way, put it back.

Always ask the store cashier to scan the gift card in front of you.  This will guarantee that your card is valid when you buy it and that it reflects the balance you just charged it with.

Always keep your receipt as a proof of purchase as long as there is money stored on the gift card.

If possible, register your gift card at the store’s website

Never give your Social Security number, date of birth or any other unneeded private information when purchasing a gift card.  No reputable company will ask for this information.

In light of these problems, Sheriff McDonald warns shoppers to be careful so that they don’t become the victim of criminal activity.  "Unfortunately, when shopping, people have a tendency to let their guard down," said Sheriff McDonald.  "However, paying attention and taking precautions can help eliminate their chances of being victimized."

 

 

EXPANDED EVENING HOURS ANNOUNCED FOR LIBRARY BRANCHES

 

 

On Monday, October 6th, the five Henderson County Public Library branches extended their evening hours in response to a community needs survey.  Library administration surveyed patrons at the five branches in July and results overwhelmingly indicated that more evening hours would help patrons take advantage of library services across the county.

Fletcher and Etowah are now open Mondays and Wednesdays until 7:00 p.m.  Edneyville is open on Mondays and Tuesdays until 7:00 p.m. Green River stays open until 6:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and Mills River stays open until 6:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Fletcher, Etowah, and Edneyville have also adjusted their Saturday hours.  Fletcher is now open from 10:00 a.m. till 4 p.m., two hours longer than the previous schedule.  Etowah and Edneyville are open from 10:00 a.m. till 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Please contact Interim Library Director Trina Rushing or Branch Coordinator Sara Hyder McGough at (828) 697-4725 with any questions or comments about the new branch hours.

 

 

 

SIERRA NEVADA NOW HIRING 150 MORE FOR RESTAURANT AND TAP ROOM

SIERRA NEVADA NOW HIRING 150 MORE FOR RESTAURANT AND TAP ROOM

 

 Sierra Nevada Brewing is hiring another 150 employees at its Mills River operation as it prepares to open a brewery restaurant and taproom in early 2015.

The hiring blitz, now underway, will “effectively double our staff” at Mills River, Sierra spokesman Bill Manley said Monday. Full- and part-time jobs listed on Sierra’s website include host, server, busser, bartender, line cook, prep cook and dishwasher.

Some of the jobs require previous restaurant experience, others do not. Hiring will continue through Nov. 19, according to the website. Applications should be submitted online at www.sierranevada.com/careers

Sierra looks to open the taproom and restaurant in January “if all goes according to plan,” Manley said. The restaurant and taproom building is “up,” and a 20-barrel German-made pilot brewery is being installed.

The small brewery will make specialty and one-off brews, some just for the taproom, which will have 16-20 taps, Manley said. “As soon as you are through the doors, you will be in the (pilot) brewery,” he said.

The restaurant will have 100 tables and specialize in American classic food with an organic and sustainable twist, he said. The restaurant will be similar to an operation at Sierra’s Chico, California, brewery, but with a North Carolina focus. Some of the produce will be grown at the Mills River brewery, he said.

The taproom will include an upstairs music room, but that will not open until the restaurant is running, he said. An amphitheater is also being built at the site for concerts when warmer weather returns in the spring.

Sierra’s tasting tours of the main brewery have become so popular that they are booked solid several weeks in advance. “We can’t accommodate walk up visitors” right now, Manley said. To reserve a tour, visit www.sierranevada.com/brewery/north-carolina/brewery-tour.

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Sierra Nevada Brewing is hiring another 150 employees at its Mills River operation as it prepares to open a brewery restaurant and taproom in early 2015.

The hiring blitz, now underway, will “effectively double our staff” at Mills River, Sierra spokesman Bill Manley said Monday. Full- and part-time jobs listed on Sierra’s website include host, server, busser, bartender, line cook, prep cook and dishwasher.

Some of the jobs require previous restaurant experience, others do not. Hiring will continue through Nov. 19, according to the website. Applications should be submitted online at www.sierranevada.com/careers

Sierra looks to open the taproom and restaurant in January “if all goes according to plan,” Manley said. The restaurant and taproom building is “up,” and a 20-barrel German-made pilot brewery is being installed.

The small brewery will make specialty and one-off brews, some just for the taproom, which will have 16-20 taps, Manley said. “As soon as you are through the doors, you will be in the (pilot) brewery,” he said.

The restaurant will have 100 tables and specialize in American classic food with an organic and sustainable twist, he said. The restaurant will be similar to an operation at Sierra’s Chico, California, brewery, but with a North Carolina focus. Some of the produce will be grown at the Mills River brewery, he said.

The taproom will include an upstairs music room, but that will not open until the restaurant is running, he said. An amphitheater is also being built at the site for concerts when warmer weather returns in the spring.

Sierra’s tasting tours of the main brewery have become so popular that they are booked solid several weeks in advance. “We can’t accommodate walk up visitors” right now, Manley said. To reserve a tour, visit www.sierranevada.com/brewery/north-carolina/brewery-tour.

From The Asheville Citizen-Times

 

 

CITY FALL LEAF COLLECTION CONTINUES

Picture - Fall leaves with rake. Fotosearch - Search Stock Photos, Images, Print Photographs, and Photo Clip Art

On Monday November 3, 2014, the City of Hendersonville will be finishing up our second round of bulk leaf collection for City Residents.  Collection

will continue until the end of December.  Residents are asked to rake their leaves as close to the street, curb, or sidewalk as possible.  Please do not place the leaves in the road or on the sidewalk. Residents do not need to call for this service because our staff will continue collecting leaves until the end of December.  Leaf piles are picked up from homes about every 10 to 14 days although depending on the volume of leaves placed out for collection, the piles could be picked up sooner or later than that time.

In addition, this collection process is separate from our brush collection crews so residents will need to keep the brush and leaves in separate piles.  Residents are asked to not bag their leaves.

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

 

 

THOSE SEMI-CIRCLES ON SEVENTH AVENUE EAST?

semicircle


IF YOU THINK THOSE NEW SEMI-CIRCLES PAINTED ONTO THE PAVEMENT ON HENDERSONVILLE'S SEVENTH AVENUE EAST ARE PARKING SPACES, YOU'RE DEAD WONG!

Even though those new semi-circles are located where legal pakring spaces used to be, Hendersonville City Manager John Connet tells WHKP News they are NOT parking spaces.

Connet says this "streetscape" is something new to encourage pedestrians on Seventh Avenue East.  He implies this is an "experiment", to see how it works, and he points out this is not permanent.  Yet.

The sem-circles have been painted onto the asphalt in what used to be parking spaces, mainly between Maple Street at the railroad tracks and Grove Street to the west.  The semi-circles are taking up former spaces for legal on-street parking, and are leaving only a handful of legal parking spaces on the street in front of businesses in those blocks.

Connet says this is an atrempt to make Seventh Avene East more "pedestrian friendly" like Main Street, but at this time, he says the city is not anticipating tearing the street up to make the structural changes that were made on Main Street in the recent downtown "make over".  He points out that at least one of the sem-circles will be used for outdoor dining in the future at Underground Baking. 

Historic Seventh Avenue East was for many years supported and promoted years as it's own "special tax disrict".  That special district was merged with the city's promotion of "downtown Hendersonville" effectibe July 1 this year.   

By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman

Updated 5pm 10/30/14

 

 

 

 

CITY TO HOLD SHRED DAY TUESDAY NOVEMBER 4TH AT PATTON PARK

 

 

 

The City of Hendersonville will sponsor a secure, Shred Day for City residents on Tuesday November 4.

Shredding will b, from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., in the parking lot of Patton Park, 59 E. Clairmont Drive. American Security Shredding, Inc, will have their shredding truck in the parking lot to allow residents to dispose of sensitive materials. Residents of Hendersonville are invited to bring up to two boxes (or 50 lbs.) of paper items to be shredded. Suggested items to shred are financial statements, cancelled checks, credit card statements, payroll stubs, insurance forms, old tax returns, forms from doctor's offices, etc. This is not for businesses. The public can simply drop their documents off or stay and watch their documents destroyed. The event will happen rain or shine. If the shredding truck fills up before 10:30, the event will be over.

To make this part of a community outreach effort, the City is asking that residents coming to the event to bring items to donate to IAM. Suggested items are canned fruits & vegetables, canned chili & beef stew, stuffing mix, and canned hams.

For more information, contact Lu Ann Welter, City Planning, 828-697-3088 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

 

 

 

THE PEAK OF THE FALL COLOR SEASON IS CLOSE IN WNC

High Falls

THE ASHEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMES AND WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY SAY:  IT'S IME FOR OCTOBER'S FALL COLOR

Western North Carolina's annual fall color display should draw more tourists this October than last year when a federal government shutdown stymied some travelers, according to a new study from Western Carolina University.

With the national parks open and fall colors forecast to be especially good this year, hotel occupancy rates should increase in 21 mountain counties, according to the second annual "October Tourism Forecast for Western North Carolina."

The report is developed by students in a senior-level "Tourism Strategies" class taught by Steve Morse, economist and director of the Hospitality and Tourism Program in WCU's College of Business.

"The federal government shutdown during the first 15 days of October in 2013 resulted in little growth in tourism last year because of the closure of campgrounds and visitor centers in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway," Morse said.

"Our analysis indicates those who did not travel to the mountains last October may have a stronger desire this year to feed their fall foliage yearning."

The students analyzed data supplied by Smith Travel Research, a leading source of information for the hospitality industry. The students' forecast also is based on declining gasoline prices, new tourism marketing campaigns by the Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau and by Smoky Mountain Host promoting WNC as an outdoors destination, improving economic conditions and "pent-up travel demand," Morse said.

Another factor, Morse said, is the improving outlook for leaf-lookers in the mountains, as WCU fall foliage forecaster Kathy Mathews, associate professor of biology, says the chances are increasing for a brilliant fall color season this year. "Brighter colors should attract even more tourists this year," Morse said.

In the tourism study, the WCU students divided 21 WNC counties into five groups; examined the total number of hotel rooms sold and the overall occupancy rates for October 2013; compared weekday and weekend occupancy rates from last October; and determined the average change in the number of hotel nights sold for October during the previous three years. The students' predictions, by region:

Region 1 – Cherokee, Clay, Graham and Macon counties: A 2.7 percent increase in October 2014 tourism compared to last October.

Region 2 – Haywood, Jackson, Transylvania and Swain counties: A 3.3 percent increase in October 2014 tourism compared to last October.

Region 3 – Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Watauga and Wilkes counties: A 2 percent increase in October 2014 tourism compared to last October.

Region 4 – Burke, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell and Yancey counties: A 1.7 percent increase in October 2014 tourism compared to last October.

Region 5 – Buncombe and Henderson counties: A 3.7 percent increase in October 2014 tourism compared to last October.

Ty Marion, a senior from Hendersonville majoring in hospitality and tourism, said the project provided a new perspective on the annual fall color show. "Since the leaves start changing colors in early October and continue for the rest of the month, tourists travel from all over, which increases everything from the demand of hotel rooms to revenue," said Marion, a 2007 graduate of East Henderson High School.

The "October Tourism Forecast for Western North Carolina" is part of a series of reports about travel trends in the mountain region to be provided by Morse and his students.

For more information about WCU's Hospitality and Tourism Program, visit the website hospitalityandtourism.wcu.edu. For a copy of the tourism forecast report, call 828-227-3386.

 

 

NC COURT OF APPEALS COMES TO HENDERSONVILLE OCTOBER 20TH

NC COURT OF APPEALS COMES TO HENDERSONVILLE OCTOBER 20TH

 
 

 

The North Carolina Court of Appeals will hold a session of court in Hendersonville on Monday, October 20 at 1:00 p.m. The appeals court will sit in the former main courtroom (now used for meetings of the County Commissioners) of the Historic Courthouse in downtown Hendersonville, and will be open to the public.

            The court session was scheduled by the Court of Appeals, which usually holds court in Raleigh, after an invitation by the Henderson County Bar Association, the local group for Henderson County lawyers. “We’re very excited that the Court has accepted our invitation to visit Hendersonville,” said Bar Association President Anderson Ellis. “This is a terrific opportunity for the residents and students of Hendersonville to experience first-hand one of the higher levels of our state judicial branch. We hope that everyone will take advantage of the visit to become familiar with how our appeals court works.”

            In North Carolina, civil and criminal cases first go to trial in the District and Superior Courts, which are conducted in each county in the state. If a case is appealed from these courts, unless it is a murder case in which the death penalty is given, it is heard by the Court of Appeals. The Court reviews cases for errors of law and legal procedure, and its fifteen judges are elected and serve eight-year terms.

            The three-judge panel of Judges Linda McGee, Robert Hunter, and Sanford Steelman are set to hear two cases in Hendersonville. The first case, Bottom v. Bailey (COA 14-564), is an appeal from Buncombe County and addresses the mishandling of funds involved in a “check kiting” scheme. The second case, Town of Black Mountain v. Lexon Insurance Company (COA 14-740), is also an appeal from Buncombe County, and revolves around bonds issued for the construction of a subdivision that fell through due to the recession of 2008-2009. Each case has two parties, and each party is given 30 minutes to argue; each case will take approximately one hour, and the court session will run from 1:00 p.m. until approximately 4:00 p.m.