BURGLARIES, LARCENIES, MOTOR VEHICLE THEFTS ALL DOWN IN HENDERSONVILLE IN 2014
The Hendersonville Police Department received their annual, Uniform Crime Report, from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI). The SBI collects crime data through the North Carolina Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program which is part of a nationwide effort administered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The UCR program’s primary objective is to generate a reliable set of criminal statistics for law enforcement operations. UCR data also gives the state and the nation information on fluctuations in the level of reported crimes. This is a voluntarily submission of data to the SBI on the crimes reported in respective jurisdictions. The UCR Program divides offenses into two classifications: Part 1 includes murder and non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson. Part 1 offenses, excluding negligent manslaughter and arson, are used to calculate the Crime Index and Crime Rate. This report includes 2013 and 2014 crime data submitted by the Police Department to the SBI. The recent report shows that crime rates have dropped in all but one of the 6 categories for the city of Hendersonville.
For examples, the 2013 statistics indicated Hendersonville had 113 burglaries. The 2014 statistics reports Hendersonville had 66. The 2013 statistics for larcenies in the city were 691. The 2014 statistics reports Hendersonville had 459. Motor vehicle thefts (which include mopeds and motorcycles) indicated a reduction to 29 in 2014 from 47 in 2013.
Hendersonville Police Chief Herbert Blake said, "An ideal community exists when the police and citizens work together to reduce crime or to prevent crime from happening in the first place. We believe we have positive relations with all of our communities. The release of this information also affords us ideal timing to convey some helpful crime prevention suggestions to our city."
Chief Blake said, " For example, just within the past weeks, some people are leaving their vehicles unlocked throughout the city. At times the vehicles’ windows are also left down; resulting in them becoming an easy target for larcenies from their vehicles. Again, public safety is a joint effort that involves the public. Citizens can refuse to be an easy victim by securing their automobiles; and by not leaving anything of value in them."
Chief Blake added, "If someone calls you and tells you that you won a prize in a contest that you did not enter, but you have to pay some sought of fee to claim the prize; you didn’t win a prize. Hang your phone up; and don’t share any personal information with that caller. Finally, to help prevent burglaries, please remember that burglars tend to look for crimes of opportunity. They pick what appears to be an easy target. So always keep your doors and windows locked day and night. Try not to leave your garage door open. Finally, bad policing by some police departments and their officers in other jurisdictions has significantly tainted how many citizens throughout our country view police today."
Blake summarized, " But Iconfidently believe that the Hendersonville Police Department is staffed with a team of very professional, well trained, and deeply committed public servants that choose to serve in this city. Along with our many observant and civic minded citizens, I think our staff’s efforts are reflected in this recent overall reduction in part one crime as reported in this latest UCR.”
In an effort to deal with crime and neighborhood dis-orders on Hendersonville's east side, along Seventh Avenue East, in Green Meadows, and along Woodcock Avenue...Hendersonville Police Chief Herbert Blake has announced what he calls an "ACE Initiative", meaning Aggressive Community Enhancement.
Chief Blake says the police department has been responding to many calls in that area in recent months. The calls, he says, involve everything from domestic violence, to drugs, to gunshots being fired, to loitering. Blake said he had been reluctant to take more aggressive police action, and had been hoping the community itself would be able to clean it up. But, says Blake, the community has not done so...so the police will become more aggressive there.
This ACE Initiative, he says, involves assigning four or five Hendersonville Police offciers especially to the neighborhood for enhanced patroling and visibility.
The chief said this had been requested for some time by businesses and others on the east side. And he said already, the initiative is getting results. These "assigned" officers and the Aggressive Community Enhancement has enabled police to catch those in that specific community with warrants currently out of them, with stolen vehicles, those who are involved in various narcotics violations, and others.
Chief Blake said the initiative is working...and he told WHKP News that it will continue indefinitely.
By Larry Freeman
The City of Hendersonville, Historic Seventh Avenue District, and The Hendersonville Rescue Mission are working together to improve the conditions for the day-labor workers.
Beginning this week all day-labor workers will be directed to wait for pick up from local contractors at, The Christian Outreach Ministries located at 628 7th Avenue East in Hendersonville.
This move will provide the day-labor workers with restrooms and cover in poor weather conditions. All contractors are encouraged to look for the workers at the new center.
For questions or additional information please contact the City at 828-697-3025
The Henderson County Solid Waste Division announces fee changes approved as part of the FY16 Budget Ordinance to help maintain recycling programs for citizens and businesses.
The following changes will take effect on July 1, 2015 and are recognized only at the Transfer Station unless otherwise noted:
· Electronics Recycling: TVs and monitors of all sizes and types will incur a $10 per item fee and must be taken across the scales at the Transfer Station. All other types of electronics will still be accepted at the Convenience Center from residents only for no charge. Please visit http://www.hendersoncountync.
· Paint Recycling: $2 per gallon container for residents only; liquid paint only (Transfer Station, 3rd Tuesday, 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. only)
· MSW, C&D Debris: $60 per ton
· Clean Masonry Debris: $45 per ton
· Yard Debris and Bulk Debagged Leaves: $45 per ton
· Scrap Tires Ineligible for Free Disposal: $85 per ton
During FY15, the Solid Waste Division added the following recycling programs:
· Mercury Products Recycling at the Convenience Center, Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. (free, open to residents only). Details can be found online at www.hcrecycles.org
· Asphalt Shingles Recycling at the Transfer Station, Monday-Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Commercial entities are eligible for a reduced scale fee of $35 per ton for clean loads only. Details can be found online at http://www.hendersoncountync.
The Henderson County Solid Waste Division is proud to offer a wide variety of no-cost recycling programs for residents at the Convenience Center daily, Monday-Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Residents are encouraged to participate in the Convenience Center’s Bag-for-Bag program which allows one bag of household trash, generated in the kitchen or bathroom, to be disposed of for free with an equal amount of recycling. Furniture, yard waste, tires, mattresses, masonry debris, and multiple bags of household trash will not be accepted at this location as a part of this program and should be taken to the Transfer Station. For a full list of recyclable items accepted at the Convenience Center, please visit http://www.hendersoncountync.
Further detailed information regarding fees, recycling, trash disposal, and operations can be found at http://www.hendersoncountync.
Foothills Craft Fair at Blue Ridge BBQ Festival
The Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival, held this year on June 12 and 13 at Harmon Field in Tryon, NC, will once again be the site of the annual Foothills Craft Fair. Now in its 19th year, the Fair is one of many contributing factors that make this BBQ Festival one of the most highly acclaimed in the country. Selection of crafters for the fair is done by jury, ensuring the finest range and quality of items for sale to Festival guests. The best in contemporary and traditional crafts as well as fine art will be available.
Julie McIntyre, Crafts Fair chair, said that this year the Fair will include potters, metalworkers, jewelers, wood and leatherworkers, fabric and clothing artists, glass artists, recycled object artists, a twig furniture maker, and a puppet maker. “I am personally looking forward to seeing all the heirloom quality work created by many returning artists as well as many new artists,” she said.
Since each item must be hand made by the exhibiting artisan, the Foothills Craft Fair presents a great opportunity for visitors to talk to exhibitors and learn about the artistic process. Some crafters demonstrate their skills while at the Fair, and many are willing accept special orders. McIntyre indicated that many Festival-goers get a head-start on their Christmas shopping at the Craft Fair each year.
Though the Foothills Craft Fair is a relatively small show, it has established a reputation for quality, variety, and accessibility. Visitors wander in and out of the exhibitor booths set under huge trees along the Pacolet River and find excellent pieces at affordable prices. Artists and craftsmen understand that their works should be priced to sell and, as a result, this Fair tends to please both exhibitors and attendees.
The Festival also includes a fantastic lineup of music on two stages, a Kids Fun Park with carnival rides and games and, of course, outstanding barbecue with all the trimmings. On Saturday there will be a huge Classic Car Show sponsored by the Dusenbury Nationwide Insurance Agency. The Nationwide NASCAR Show Car and Simulator will be on the field Saturday. This year’s show car will be Dale Earnhardt, Jr.’s famed #88. Also on Saturday the grand finale fireworks show will delight the crowd after dark.
Gates open at 10 am and close at 11 pm both Friday and Saturday. EVERYBODY gets in FREE on Friday from 10 am until 2 pm (and stay as long as they wish)! All other times, admission is $8.00 for adults with children 12 and under always free with a paying adult. Active duty service men and women also always free with military ID. Admission includes shuttle parking and all live entertainment.
Visit www.BlueRidgeBBQFestival.com for more information
THE SUSPECT'S PHOTO IS IN THIS SURVEILLANCE VIDEO
An Armed Robbery was reported at the Mountain Inn and Suites earlier today, located on Naples Road near I-26 in Henderson County.
At approximately 10:56 a.m. Henderson County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to Mountain Inn and Suites and met with the clerk shortly after the reported robbery. Deputies learned that the suspect entered the hotel and requested to use the bathroom, at which time he walked behind the counter, approached the clerk and said, “I am sorry I have to do this” and pulled a handgun from his waistband. The clerk relinquished all cash to the robber and then the robber fled on foot with less than $300.00 cash.
There were no injuries and it appears that there was only one suspect and no other accomplices. The robber is described as a white male between 5’8” and 6’00” in height, wearing khaki shorts, a grey in color hooded sweatshirt with camouflage sleeves, white socks, and a dark/light striped billed toboggan with sunglasses. A nearby witness has described the robbery suspect and that the witness observed him getting into a small single cab green in color truck (unknown make and model) and drive away, direction of travel unknown.
A surveillance photo from Mountain Inn and Suites depicts the robber at the time of the incident. Anyone with information on this armed robbery or the identity of the suspect is asked to contact the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office at 828.696.4912 or to call CRIMESTOPPERS at 828.697.STOP.
The Historic Seventh Avenue District is holding their annual Farmer’s Market on Sunday, September 6, 2015.
This market is a Special Event of the Hendersonville Apple Festival. Historic Seventh Avenue is currently accepting vendor applications for the Market. If you are a farmer, small grower, or an artist whose work has its foundation in nature - you are invited to participate!
Booth fees for this event are $15.00. If electrical service is required, there is an additional $10.00 fee. Booths are allotted on a “first come” “first serve” basis. For additional information, call Velma at 828-692-2883. Vendor Applications can be found on the HSAD website.
The website for Historic Seventh Avenue is www.historic7thave.com.
ADVICE: KEEP YOUR VEHICLE LOCKED
The Hendersonville Police Department has been experiencing an increase in the number of reported vehicle break-ins during the past couple of weeks.
The majority of the reports of vehicle break-ins have shown that the cars were left unlocked.
The police are reminding residents to lock their car doors and to secure valuables that are in their cars by removing them from view or by taking them out of the car.
THE PROSPECT OF A NEW REGIONAL WATER AUTHORITY, TO BE OPERATED IN CONJUCTION WITH THE METROPOLITAN SEWAGE DISTRICT (MSD), INVOLVES NOT ONLY THE CITY OF ASHEVILLE AND ITS WATER SYSTEM. (PHOTO IS OF ASHEVILLE'S NORTH FORK WATER RESERVOIR.) NORTHERN PARTS OF HENDERSON COUNTY, AS WELL AS THE COUNTY ITSELF AND THE TOWN OF MILLS RIVER, ALSO HAVE A STAKE IN THE NEW AUTHORITY MANADATED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY LAST YEAR. A SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE HAS RULED AGAINST THE NEW AUTHORITY, BUT THE STATE APPEALED...AND THE APPEAL WAS HEARD THIS WEEK. CAROLINA PUBLIC PRESS HAS PUBLISHED THESE DETAILS ON THE APPEAL AND ON THE STATUS OF THE AUTHORITY:
Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer said Wednesday that she remains cautiously optimistic that one of the state’s highest courts will again vindicate the city in its fight against the N.C. General Assembly over control of the city’s water system.
After attending oral arguments at the N.C. Court of Appeals in Raleigh yesterday, Manheimer said that if the state’s appeal is successful, it would have sweeping consequences for cities and towns across North Carolina.
“I think there’s a concern that, if the state prevails, it means that cities don’t own their proprietary assets,” she told Carolina Public Press. That, she said, would impact the financing of projects and improvements. “I think banks would be very interested to learn we don’t have all the collateral we think we have.”
Despite a malfunctioning A/C unit and the high-stakes venue, court arguments over the fate of the Asheville water system appeared to be at their coolest and calmest in years, as both sides made their case over The Water Act, as the bill is known. The law — and the lawsuit that followed — is the latest episode in an almost century-long battle over control and direction of the water system.
In slightly more than an hour of presentations interspersed with questions from a trio of justices, the court reviewed the state’s appeal of Judge Howard Manning’s June 2014 decision. In that decision, Manning had sided with the city of Asheville in its challenge to a 2013 session law that transferred the city-owned system to a new regional water and sewer authority. In addition to finding that the bill violated constitutional restrictions, Manning ruled that the legislation would amount to an unlawful taking of the water system without just compensation.
Even though the legislature was successful in passing the 2013 law, the ensuing lawsuit wasn’t the only reaction. The bill’s two main sponsors, former Buncombe County Reps. Tim Moffitt and Nathan Ramsey, both Republicans, were defeated in their bids for reelection last November after their opponents, Reps. Brian Turner and John Ager, both Democrats, accused them of, among other things, running roughshod over the city.
But in court, most of the discussion focused on who really owns the water system in the first place, a point that formed a key part of the state’s appeal.
I. Faison Hicks, a special deputy attorney general arguing for the state, asserted that since the water system and the city itself are charted by the state, the water system doesn’t belong just to Asheville and its citizens.
“Municipal public water systems belong to the state,” he said.
He also argued that the city would not be harmed in the utility’s transfer because the system would go on as it is, continuing to serve “exactly the same people in exactly the same way.”
Because the city would not have to replace the system, he said, it can’t claim it is a loss.
“The state does not see that as a loss,” he said, “but rather the achievement of a greater good.”
That brought a strong rebuttal from Asheville’s attorney, Dan Clodfelter, who is now the mayor of Charlotte and who was a state senator when the bill was passed.
Clodfelter called the state’s argument that the city doesn’t actually own its water system a “peculiar contention.”
He said the other local governments represented on the new authority set up under the direction of the Water Act would not necessarily run the system in the way the state asserted. It was clear, he said, that Asheville would lose a valuable asset as a result.
Hicks also responded to Judge Manning’s ruling asserting that the act was unconstitutional because it was really a local bill disguised as a statewide act. The constitution prevents the state legislature from approving local bills that relate to “health, sanitation and the abatement of nuisances” and non-navigable streams.
Hicks said the transfer related to improving the governance structure of the system and did not directly impact health and sanitation. He said that if the court interpreted the effect of the bill too broadly, the legislature would be unable to write any law influencing water and sewer systems.
“Yes, this will affect non-navigable streams. Yes, this will affect health, sanitation and the abatement of nuisances,” Hicks said. “But that effect is incidental. It’s not the primary concern of the law. The primary concern of the law is governance, good governance.”
In an interview with Carolina Public Press after the hearing, Clodfelter said he also remains positive on the potential outcome.
“But you never know until they rule,” he said.
Clodfelter’s co-counsel, Ron Payne, of Asheville, added that if the court sides with state, it would have a chilling effect.
“Any city this would apply to would have second thoughts about spending large amount of funds for any proprietary function’” he said, such as parking deck or water infrastructure. Payne said local governments could find it difficult, or at least more expensive, to secure bonds for projects.
Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson, one of several members of the local legislative delegation in attendance at the hearing, said he’s unsure how the case will end up.
“Some of it seemed to be on point on one side, some on the other,” he said. “I’m glad I’m not a judge having to decide it.”
Apodaca said there has not been a lot of discussion on what might happen on the water system issue going forward.
“There is some communication,” he said, “but, after the last election, that kind of got put that to the side.”
A decision on the case is expected to take 90 days or longer, according to Asheville’s attorneys.
Leading up to Wednesday’s arguments, Manheimer said that she has heard from a number of towns that are monitoring the case because of how it might affect investments like the expansion of water and sewer services.
“I know Boone is watching this case carefully as it looks at some significant upgrades,” she said. “Towns want to understand (that) if they build something they can hold on to it.”
Growers in the area have been concerned about the lack of “general” rainfall for weeks...and the actual rainfall totals so far the year back them up.
While scattered showers and storms have brought needed rain to some areas, the weather reporting station at the Asheville Regional Airport closed out May on a dry note and extended an overall dry pattern that started over the winter.
The airport recorded only 1.35 inches of rain for May, which was 2.31 inches below normal for the month, according to National Weather Service records.
Since Jan. 1, the airport area has received 14.25 inches of rain, which is 4 inches below normal, according to the Weather Service.
Starting in December, the airport has recorded only one month — April — with above-average rainfall.
Hendersonville’s rainfall deficit at WHKP, Hendersonville’s official weather observation station is closer to 6 inches for the year.
Fifty-five of the state's 100 counties — essentially the western half of the state extending as far east as Greensboro — are listed as abnormally dry by the N.C. Drought Management Advisory Council.
Some relief may be on the way, as a 40-60 percent chance of showers and storms is in the forecast every day this week, according to the Weather Service.