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APPLE FESTIVAL OPENING DAY HONORS THE LATE BILLY LAUGHTER AS APPLE FARMER OF THE YEAR

APPLE FESTIVAL OPENING DAY HONORS THE LATE BILLY LAUGHTER AS APPLE FARMER OF THE YEAR

LAUGHTER PASSED AWAY IN JUNE...BUT WAS HONORED AT FRIDAY'S START OF THE 2017 NC APPLE FESTIVAL  

The threat of more rain showers moved the opening of the Apple Festival inside the Historic Courthouse Friday morning, but an abundance of local officials, including Congressdman Mark Meadows,  got the observance underway.

Laughter, a fifth-generation Edneyville apple grower, passed away in June at the age of 84. He was nominated for the United Community Bank Apple Farmer of the Year Award by his family.

Peggy, Laughter’s wife of 64 years, said she didn’t know someone could be posthumously honored for the award, but she was happy the selection committee saw fit to do it.

“The family loved him very much and it’s an honor for him to be chosen,” she said.

Weathyer looks good now for the remainder of the festival, as the remnants of Hurricane harvey move on toward the northeast.

As many as 300 thousand may attend this weekend's festival of Henderson County's premier fruit crop, the apple.  

It's all up and down Main Street, with Main Street closed off to traffic...and it will continue until the King Apple Parade is over Monday afternoon.

BRISSIE NAMED AS THE EMERGENCY SERVICES DIRECTOR FOR HENDERSON COUNTY

BRISSIE NAMED AS THE EMERGENCY SERVICES DIRECTOR FOR HENDERSON COUNTY

LOCAL RESCUE SQUAD CHIEF NAMED TO REPLACE ROCKY HYDER   

Jimmy Brissie, Emergency Management/Rescue coordinator, has accepted the position of Emergency Services director, county officials announced today.

The position became available with the recent retirement of long-time emergency co-ordinatirRocky Hyder.

Brissie, an East Henderson High, graduate, joined the Henderson County Rescue Squad at the age of 15. He has been the chief of the Rescue Squad since 2000.

Throughout his career in public service, Brissie has worn many hats, serving as a paramedic, technical rescuer instructor, business owner, public safety lieutenant and most recently with Henderson County as the Emergency Management/Rescue coordinator.

Brissie holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Appalachian State University, BLET and Paramedic training.

His certifications include Emergency Medical Technician, Rescue Technician, Hazardous Materials, Firefighter Level 2, IFSAC ARFF Firefighter, Level II General Instructor (N.C. Department of Insurance), Rescue Technician (Qualified Instructor), and N.C. Certified Law Enforcement Officer.

 

OSCEOLA LAKE OWNER OFFERS TO SELL THE LAKE TO THE COUNTY---FOR THREE MILLION DOLLARS

OSCEOLA LAKE OWNER OFFERS TO SELL THE LAKE TO THE COUNTY---FOR THREE MILLION DOLLARS

SHOULD THE COUNTY SPEND $3 MILLION AND BUY IT?  EXPRESS YOUR OPINION ON THE "SURVEY QUESTION" ON THIS WEBSITE   

Hendersonville Lightning is reporting this week that the owner of Lake Osceola is offering to sell the lake to Henderson County for three million dollars.

Todd Leoni is the owner of the lake and he is specifying that the lake remain a lake forever, should the county take him up on his offer.

There have been issues with the lake and the dam for many years, and the lake is not currently full as work on it continues.

County Manager Steve Wyatt said this week he has not looked into the offer, that the board of commissioners would have to express an interest in it, and a lot of "due diligence" would be required to move such an offer forward. 

Lake owner Leoni says it's killed his business for the lake to be down, and he has sent the commissioners a letter offering the sell the lake.

The offer is on the agenda for commissioners at their meeting in the Historic Courthouse at 5:30 pm on Tuesday.

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 UNC HEALTH CARE IS FORMING A NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH CAROLINAS HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

UNC HEALTH CARE IS FORMING A NEW PARTNERSHIP WITH CAROLINAS HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

UNC HEALTH CARE IS JOINING THE CAROLINAS HEALTHCARE SYSTEM  

PARDEE HOSPITAL IS A PARTNER WITH UNC HEALTH CARE AND PARDEE CEO JAY KIRBY CIRCULATED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT TO PARDEE "TEAM" MEMBERS THURSDAY   

THIS ALSO INCLUDES A STATEMENT FROM DR. WILLIAM L. ROPER, CEO OF UNC HEALTH CARE    

Pardee Team Members:

By now, you’ve all received the exciting news from Dr. Roper regarding the intent to form a new company that combines the expertise of UNC Health Care with Carolinas Healthcare System.

I wanted to take a moment to share my thoughts with you and clearly convey my excitement for this new development in health care for our community.

First, you all are to continue to do the fine job you do every day here at Pardee. You are an asset to our organization and part of what makes us such an outstanding organization. All that’s been determined at this point in time is that UNC Health has signed a letter of intent to form a new corporation with Carolinas Healthcare System.

Second, we are a local hospital and will retain our own local board. Pardee will remain managed by UNC Health Care, just as many other hospitals are in the UNC and Carolinas Health Care system.

Finally, I ask that you share with us in our excitement of things to come. I know there will be questions and possibly even concerns, but I want to assure you that this is a positive move for all of us. There are a few resources for us all as we move forward.

If you have questions regarding this announcement, please feel free to talk with your directors. We also have a website that offers more information: togetherinhealthcare.org.

Jay

Message from Dr. Roper:

Dear Colleagues,

Our vision at UNC Health Care is to be the nation's leading public academic health system. Today, we take a big step toward achieving that vision by announcing plans to work on a partnership with Carolinas HealthCare System, which is based in Charlotte.

We propose to create a new non-profit, public corporation to operate jointly and manage the hospitals and clinical activities of both organizations, as well as enhance educational and research activities.

Under the Letter of Intent we signed, the two organizations have agreed to enter into a period of exclusive negotiations, with the goal of entering into final agreements by the end of the year.

The new organization would deliver world-class care by creating the most comprehensive network of primary, specialty and on-demand care in the Southeast, offering North Carolinians access to high-quality, high-value care closer to home.

Together, UNC Health Care and Carolinas HealthCare System would provide clear solutions for healthcare’s most pressing challenges by focusing on four strategic areas:
Increasing access and affordability,
Advancing clinical care expertise,
Growing our renowned academic enterprise, and
Contributing to the region’s economic vibrancy.

This partnership would allow us to address the toughest challenges facing North Carolina and the health care market in general, including rural health disparities, access to behavioral health care, and the need for more health care professionals in the coming decades.

Additionally, we would work together to build on our already strong research programs through investments in translational and basic research and an expansion of clinical trials, with the goal of narrowing the time between breakthrough discoveries and clinical care, which leads to improved outcomes for our patients.

Conversations about this new entity are still in progress and we will share much more information about future plans in the days and weeks ahead. In the meantime, we know the following:
· We do not expect any changes prior to the new organization launching, which would likely be mid-2018 at the earliest. Our focus remains on providing the very best experience for each patient.

· While restructuring would be required to integrate the operations of the two organizations, we anticipate significant growth and job opportunities as well. As we combine and grow, we will seek talent and capacity to realize our aspirations, so there will be new hires.

Please visit www.togetherinhealthcare.org to view the public announcement we will release later today and watch a video announcement at this link.

We recognize that you will have many other questions. Please send your questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will answer them as more details become available.

Thank you for bringing empathy and expertise to your job each day - your daily excellence is one of the biggest reasons our new partners at Carolinas HealthCare System are so excited to begin working with us.

Sincerely,

- William L. Roper, MD, MPH
CEO, UNC Health Care System
Dean, UNC School of Medicine

REMEMBERING CHARLIE 'CHOO CHOO' JUSTICE

REMEMBERING CHARLIE 'CHOO CHOO' JUSTICE

Charlie "Choo Choo" Justice, All America football player at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, lived out his life in Cherryville, NC, establishing an insurance agency in 1965 which his daughter and son-in-law operated.  Cherryville is located between Shelby and Lincolnton, NC on Highway 150.

Justice, an Asheville native, who passed away in 2003 and where he is buried, was also a partner in the Justice-Wright Oil Company with former team mate at UNC, Joe Wright.  Justice also coached the Hendersonville Midgets football team and some of his former players are currently Hendersonville businessmen. His wife, Sara, pictured in this article with Charlie at their home in Cherryville was the 'inspiration' for his entire career and were married while in college.  Justice played high school football in Asheville and later 'service football' for the Navy, prior to enrolling at UNC in Chapel Hill, NC.

After graduation from Carolina, Justice played for the Washington Redskins, and later joined the Tar Heel Sports Network as a commenetator. WHKP is still a member of this network which broadcasts all University of North Carolina games. 

Some of us still at WHKP today, fondly remember "Charlie" for his 'graciousness' and 'competitive spirit' later in life in everything he did, especially on the golf course. 

He is 'memorialized' in a 'life-size' bronze statue at Kenan Stadium in Chapel Hill, NC.

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WELL KNOWN FORMER HENDERSONVILLE POLICE OFFICER "JIM" SAMS DIES AT AGE 86

WELL KNOWN FORMER HENDERSONVILLE POLICE OFFICER "JIM" SAMS DIES AT AGE 86

SERVED OVER 30 YEARS WITH HENDERDSONVILLE POLICE   

James “Jim” Edward Sams, age 86 of Mills River, NC, passed away Sunday, August 27th, 2017. He was born May 12th, 1931 in Asheville to Frank and Daisy Sams. In addition to his parents he is preceded in death by his sister, Margaret Smith, and his brothers, Bill and Ernest Sams.

Jim served as a member of the United States Navy and was an auctioneer. In his early years he was employed by Ingles as a front manager and worked for GE, Biltmore Dairy, Hendersonville Post Office, Henderson County Sheriff’s Department, and then Hendersonville Police Department for over 30 years before he retired. He was an active board member for the West Henderson Youth Football Organization. After retiring, he served as a security officer at West Henderson High School. He was a member of French Broad Baptist Church and loved the Lord.

Jim loved people and never met a stranger, loved to laugh and tell jokes. He enjoyed playing softball, and golf, officiating youth sports and woodworking in his shop. He loved sitting on the porch watching the deer roam the yard, vacationing at the beach, and Hot Dog World. He had a multitude of collections and enjoyed visiting estate sales. Most of all, he loved his family. He never forgot a birthday and would always call to sing “Happy Birthday”.

He is survived by his loving wife of 42 years, Pat, his faithful dog, Yoda, his brother, Frank “Bud” Sams, and his sisters, Hilda Brannon and Norma Jones; his children, Jimmie Lynn Whitmire (John) of Zirconia, NC, Norman Sams (Tami) of North Pole, AK, Perry Sams (Kelly) of Concord, NC, Tammy Creasman (Blake) of Mills River, NC, Jason Sams (Kim) of Sanford, NC, Jamie Norman (Brent) of Loris, SC, Patrick Sams (Wendy) of Reidsville, NC ; his 12 grandchildren, John, Craig, Collin, Hope, Seth, Justin, Courtney, Kolby, Grayson, Parker, Jonah and Maddie; three great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, September 1st, 2017 at Thos. Shepherd’s Church Street Chapel. The family will gather with friends immediately following the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Jim’s memory be directed to Mills River Fire Department, 121 School House Road, Mills River, NC 28759.

EDUCATION FOUNDATION SEEKING "HALL OF FAME" NOMINEES

EDUCATION FOUNDATION SEEKING "HALL OF FAME" NOMINEES

NOMINATIONS MUST BE IN BY NOVEMBER 30TH   

The Henderson County Education Foundation is now seeking nominations for the 2018 Education Hall of Fame. Nominations of candidates for inclusion in the 2018 Education Hall of Fame class and required supporting materials must be submitted to the Foundation by November 30, 2017.

Since 2003, the Henderson County Education Foundation has honored over 120 teachers, administrators, support staff, school board members, and donors with induction into the Hall. One of only five education halls of fame in North Carolina, the HCEF Hall of Fame provides an opportunity for special recognition of the men and women who have led Henderson County’s focus on educational excellence for decades.

As Hall of Fame records indicate, honorees have shown “measurable influence or made significant contributions to the growth and development of education in Henderson County.” Members of the Hall are honored in a display at the Central Office of the Henderson County Public Schools (HCPS) located at 414 4th Avenue West. The “Wall of Fame” is open to the public during HCPS business hours.

“The Education Hall of Fame is a gift to Henderson County education,” said Summer Stipe, Executive Director of the Education Foundation. “If you or your child were impacted by the service of a teacher, administrator or volunteer, please consider nominating him or her. It is an honor to be a part of recognizing these individuals’ service to Henderson County kids.”

Detailed guidelines for nominations and selection criteria can be found at http://hcefnc.org/ourwork/halloffame/. Those selected for induction in the 2018 class will be announced in February 2018 and honored at the 2018 Education Celebration, scheduled for Tuesday evening, May 1, 2018 at the Boone Building at the WNC Agricultural Center.

HENDERSONVILLE'S FIRE RATING IMPROVES

HENDERSONVILLE'S FIRE RATING IMPROVES

A MAJOR IMPROVEMENT FOR HENDERSONVILLE   

On June 28, 2017, the North Carolina Department of Insurance Office of the State Fire Marshal visited the City of Hendersonville Fire Department and conducted a Public Protection Classification survey. All department members worked diligently to prepare for this survey and we are extremely proud of the results.

Effective 12-01-17 the new rating for the City of Hendersonville will be a Class 3. This is a major accomplishment and would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication from all our members.

Overall we improved a total of 17.99 points from the survey that was conducted in 2009. Our overall score was a 79.33 which means we were only .67 points away from a Class 2. 

 

OVER 200 HENDERSONVILLE-ASHEVILLE AREA VOLUNTEERS HELPING IN HURRICANE HARVEY RELIEF

OVER 200 HENDERSONVILLE-ASHEVILLE AREA VOLUNTEERS HELPING IN HURRICANE HARVEY RELIEF

TO VOLUNTEER GO TO THEIR WEB SITE redcross.org   

Allie Trask is Executive Director of the Western North Carolina American Red Cross which serves the Hendersonville-Ashevilole area, and she confimred for WHKP News on Monday that over 200 volunteers from the Hendersonville and Asheville area are now in Texas helping in various ways with Hurricane Havery relief.

Tens of thousands in Texas and now Lousiana are in need of assistance, and Trask says there is a special need for health care and mental health care worker who can volunteer to help.  She encourages any potential health care or mental health worker who can volunteer to call her directly at 828-333-9296.

Financial donations are badly needed, she said...and checks can be made out to the American Red Cross and mailed to or dropped off at their Asheville headquarters at 100 Edgewood Road, Asheville NC, 28804.

Those who donate to hurricane relief in other ways should be careul to avoid scams...and the followinbg suggestions are being offered:

By Larry Freeman   

BBB Wise Giving Alliance suggests that donors keep the following tips in mind to help avoid questionable appeals for support as Harvey affects Houston, or any time you want to lend a hand:

Understand crowdfunding. Keep in mind that some crowdfunding sites do very little vetting of individuals who decide to post for assistance after a disaster, and it is often difficult for donors to verify the trustworthiness of crowdfunding requests for support. If you decide to contribute via crowdfunding, it is probably best to give to people who you personally know that have posted requests for assistance. For more Give.org tips on crowdfunding, check out this Wise Giving Wednesday post.

See if the charity has an on-the-ground presence in the impacted areas. Unless the charity already has staff in the affected areas, it may be difficult to bring in new aid workers to provide assistance quickly. See if the charity’s website clearly describes what the charity can do to address immediate needs.Find out if the charity is providing direct aid or raising money for other groups. Some charities may be raising money to pass along to relief organizations. If so, you may want to consider “avoiding the middleman” and giving directly to those that have a presence in the region. Or, at a minimum, check out the ultimate recipients of these donations to see whether they are equipped to provide aid effectively.

Be cautious about gifts of clothing, food or other in-kind donations. In-kind drives for food and clothing, while well intentioned, may not necessarily be the quickest way to help those in need – unless the organization has the staff and infrastructure to distribute such aid properly. Ask the charity about its transportation and distribution plans. Be wary of those who are not experienced in disaster relief assistance.
Verify the trustworthiness of soliciting relief organizations by visiting Give.org to access free reports that specify if the charity meets the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.

NEW LOCAL SCAM:  CALLERS CLAIMING TO BE WITH HOSPITALS AND/OR LAW ENFORCEMENT

NEW LOCAL SCAM: CALLERS CLAIMING TO BE WITH HOSPITALS AND/OR LAW ENFORCEMENT

BEWARE SCAMMERS CLAIMING TO BE WITH LOCAL HOSPITALS AND/OR LAW ENFORCEMENT   

The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office has seen an increase in activity from scammers posing as representatives from local hospitals and law enforcement agencies. The scammers utilize a system to ‘spoof’ the local phone numbers of actual organizations to legitimize their requests for personal information and financial payment.

One type of scam involves a scammer posing as a member of Park Ridge Health claiming the potential victim owes money for their services. Another recent scam involves callers posing as officers from the Hendersonville Police Department or the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office demanding payment to avoid incarceration. Even though caller ID indicates the call is originating from a known organization, it cannot always be trusted.

The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office and Hendersonville Police Department do not contact residents by phone to demand payment or threaten arrest concerning criminal charges. If you have a question about your medical billing information or payments owed, call the medical organization’s billing number directly.

Sheriff Charles McDonald urges the public to stay alert to the red flags that can help identify a phone call as a scam. High pressure sales tactics, request for personal information, threat of arrest or demands for payment, especially those requesting a green dot card or wiring money, are signs of a scam. Please help your family members to recognize these signs and to never give out personal information in these circumstances.