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DEPUTIES MAKE DRUG BUSTS AT SOUTHERN AIRE MOTEL

DEPUTIES MAKE DRUG BUSTS AT SOUTHERN AIRE MOTEL

Working on a tip that heroin sales were occurring at the Southern Aire Motel located at 2990 Chimney Rock Road, members of Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Direct Enforcement Team along with members of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety conducted a search of the room and residence of Shannon Leigh Puttick. During the search on February 22, 2017, deputies located and seized 3.5 grams of methamphetamine, 3.5 grams of heroin, 3.5 grams of marijuana, $8,250.00 US currency, Alprazolam and drug paraphernalia.

The following persons were taken into custody:

1) Tyrone Jermaine Suggs, age 41 of 2990 Chimney Rock Road, Hendersonville, NC was arrested and charged on February 22, 2017 with: felony possession with intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine, felony possession with intent to sell and deliver heroin, felony possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, felony conspiracy to sell and deliver methamphetamine, felony conspiracy to sell and deliver heroin, felony conspiracy to sell and deliver marijuana, felony maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of sale and delivery of controlled substances, misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia and misdemeanor possession of Schedule IV controlled substance. Suggs was released from the Henderson County Jail after posting a bond of $71,500.

2) Shannon Leigh Puttick, age 43 of 2990 Chimney Rock Road, Hendersonville, NC was arrested and charged on March 1, 2017 with the following: felony maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of sale and delivery of a controlled substances, felony conspiracy to sell and deliver methamphetamine, felony conspiracy to sell and deliver heroin, felony conspiracy to sell and deliver marijuana, misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts misdemeanor probation violation. Puttick is still incarcerated in the Henderson County Jail under a $55,000 bond and is also being held on a probation violation for the state of Utah.

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In an unrelated event, on March 19, 2017 at approximately 1:30AM, while conducting patrols in a high crime area, Henderson County Sheriff’s deputies stopped a vehicle on North Allen Road for a motor vehicle violation. The vehicle was operated by Lucas M. Spatuzza, age 19, of 154 North Clear Creek Road in Hendersonville. After further investigation, deputies charged Spatuzza with felony possession of cocaine, felony maintaining a vehicle for controlled substances and possession of drug paraphernalia. Spatuzza was booked into the Henderson County Jail and is being held on a $40,000.00 secured bond. His next court date on these charges will be in Henderson County on April 4, 2017. Spatuzza was out on bond for prior felony drug charges at the time of his arrest on March 19.

SUNDAY'S DEATH LEADS TO EXPANDED TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT ON KANUGA/CRAB CREEK ROAD

SUNDAY'S DEATH LEADS TO EXPANDED TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT ON KANUGA/CRAB CREEK ROAD

Following last Sunday's fatal collision on Kanuga Road, the third in the last four months, local and state law enforcement agencies from Henderson County are coming together in an effort to deter speeding and hopefully prevent further tragic and senseless loss of life. The North Carolina Highway Patrol, the Hendersonville Police Department and the Henderson County Sheriff's Office are pooling their resources and energy to target impaired drivers, high speeds and aggressive driving on this road.

As team leaders from each agency come together to plan and strategize for this campaign, they will be using data to specifically target days of the week, times of day and locations of the most dangerous sections of roadway to guide and direct enforcement efforts.

Data from the Hendersonville Police Department shows there have been 42 accidents with property damage and two accidents with personal injury in the past twelve months on the portion of Kanuga Road that is inside the city limits. The police department will be deploying their radar equipped motorcycle unit to target speeding and aggressive drivers in this area.

The Sheriff's Office will be using high visibility saturation patrols as well as utilizing the VIPs (Volunteers in Partnership) to regularly and strategically place the radar speed trailer.

The State Highway Patrol reports they have investigated 49 (2016) and 50 (2015) collisions respectively over the last two years on Kanuga Road as well as being the lead agency on the three fatal collisions. While they have already increased patrol efforts on Kanuga Road, the Highway Patrol is also working with the North Carolina Department of Transportation to lower the speed limit in certain areas. They are also discussing engineering aspects that could include well placed rumble strips that may further reduce collisions and fatalities when drivers are distracted or inattentive.

Summer is fast approaching and the traffic will increase significantly on Kanuga/Crab Creek Road. All three agencies are united and committed to working together with extra patrols, speed enforcement and checkpoints to focus on meaningful solutions to traffic safety problems affecting Kanuga/Crab Creek Road.

PARDEE LIFTS VISITOR RESTRICTIONS DUE TO FLU

PARDEE LIFTS VISITOR RESTRICTIONS DUE TO FLU

136 HAVE DIED FROM THE FLU IN NORTH CAROLINA SINCE LAST OCTOBER   5 HAVE DIED IN THE PAST TWO WEEKS   

Pardee UNC Health Care has lifted flu-related visitor restrictions as flu cases have decreased. Flu season is not officially over and visitors with cold and flu-like symptoms are still encouraged to postpone their visit to see patients until their symptoms have resolved.

All staff, visitors and patients should continue to practice proper hand hygiene and cough etiquette.

HENDERSON COUNTY'S SENATOR EDWARDS FACES CHALLENGES REQUIRING COUNCIL DISTRICTS IN ASHEVILLE

HENDERSON COUNTY'S SENATOR EDWARDS FACES CHALLENGES REQUIRING COUNCIL DISTRICTS IN ASHEVILLE

"THE BILL IS NEEDED BECAUSE OF THE EXPANSION OF THE CITY."---SENATOR CHUCK EDWARDS   

CAROLINA PUBLIC PRESS SAYS...New legislative session, new senator from Hendersonville, and a new bill requiring the city of Asheville to change the way it elects its leaders. Sort of.

Proposed Asheville voting districts

Former Sen. Tom Apodaca’s 2016 bill to draw council districts for Asheville is back in a new form. Apodaca’s successor, Sen. Chuck Edwards, R-Henderson, is using the same districts Apodaca proposed last year, but the new legislation, Senate Bill 285, allows the city to draw its own districts instead, provided it does so by November 1. Should the city council fail to draw its own districts by the deadline, maps included in the bill would take effect. Edwards confirmed that the districts to be implemented if the city doesn’t approve its own districts are the same as those drawn by Apodaca. Although Edwards resides in Henderson County, his district includes a portion of southern Buncombe County, so that he represents about 15,000 Asheville residents.

“If (Asheville council members) don’t comply by November 1, the districts will be the same as the map that was drawn in the short session last year,” Edwards said in a recent interview with Carolina Public Press.

Last week, the bill was moved to the Senate’s Select Committee on Elections, chaired by Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell. The committee has not yet scheduled a hearing on the bill.

The bill is needed, Edwards said, because of the expansion of the city.

“The city has grown and become so diverse,” Edwards said. “It’s clear that it’s time folks be represented by somebody in their own neighborhood that they can know and they can connect with. My intent is to make sure the entire city has adequate representation, nothing more than that.”

Last year’s bill met an ignoble defeat in the House of Representatives on the last night of the legislative session in early July. Apodaca’s bending of a rule requiring unanimity among local delegations for local bills passed in the even-year “short sessions,” rankled some of the more conservative House Republicans who denounced the bill as heavy-handed and joined with Democrats to defeat the measure.

The unanimity rule is not required in the odd-number year “long sessions.”

Edwards was blunt when asked about whether the city could opt to put the districts before the voters in a referendum first, a move supported by city leaders.

“This bill will go into effect November 1st, so a referendum would be pointless,” Edwards said.

The bill requires the city to draw six geographical districts of similar population, with only the mayor elected at large. Candidates would be required to live in the districts they represent and only the mayor would be elected at-large. The new system would start with the 2019 election cycle.

Rep. Susan Fisher, D-Buncombe, said the bill stands a much better chance in the legislature than Apodaca’s bill.

“I think there were a lot of factors at play when that particular bill was moving,” she said in a recent interview.

Instead of outrage over procedure, she’s relying on the city and the legislature coming to terms.

“I know that the city is currently looking at ways to approach a districted organization and my hope is that there will have been enough work done toward that to make this bill moot when it does finally get to the House,” Fisher said.

The use of only geographical districts and the lack of a referendum could cause trouble for the bill should it become law and face a court challenge, according to Allison Riggs, an attorney with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, which has argued in federal court against recent legislature-imposed redistricting in Wake County and the City of Greensboro.

Riggs, who has reviewed the Asheville bill, said there are “glaring constitution issues” with the new legislation.

Even though the state constitution doesn’t require a referendum on local electoral changes, it is common practice in North Carolina, she said. “There are plenty of examples of where the legislature forced changes on people and still didn’t take away their referendum right.”

Like the case in Greensboro, in which a ruling is still pending, Asheville is clearly being singled out, she said.

“Where you run into constitutional issues is where you give (a referendum) to the cities but then decided for arbitrary reasons only retract that right from one or two places,” Riggs said.

“There is no explanation of why the citizens of Asheville ought not be able to exercise the right afforded to every other citizen of a municipality in North Carolina.”

Attempts to redistrict will also be difficult because of the growth in the city since the last census on which the districts are to be based. The population estimate for the city as of July 1, 2015 is 86,789 up from 83,393 in the 2010 Census. The state demographer’s office has suggested this number is too low and released its own 90,918 estimate for the city’s population in 2015. A new federal population estimate as of July 2016, is due in May. But an actual census, rather than an estimate, has to be used in creating districts. If the population in one part of the city has grown or declined significantly relative to other parts of the city, any districts drawn right now could be off substantially.

Riggs said it is likely impossible for the city to initiate a new census to achieve fairer districts, a process that is both expensive and time consuming, and still meet the deadline in the bill.

“Essentially they’re forcing the city to redraw with numbers that are bad,” Riggs said.

Even without the constitutional issues, she said, the bill puts Asheville among a rare group of cities and towns in the state.

“A very small fraction of municipalities statewide elect their city council members from single member districts alone,” she said. “This takes Asheville out of the mainstream. It’s very inconsistent from traditional conservative principles that the folks on the ground know best.”

Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer said the city is exploring its options as it moves ahead with citywide polling approved by the council to determine whether to hold a referendum on district elections.

Manheimer said the council has yet to discuss the issue and meet with legal counsel.

She said the city’s attorney is reviewing how the council would have to draw the districts should it opt to comply with the bill, but is also looking at what legal course the city might take in the event it doesn’t want to comply.

For now, she said, there are all kinds of questions on how the council could move forward.

“One question is if Asheville elects to draw the districts themselves, then who draws them?”

Manheimer, who worked on redistricting issues when she was a legislative staffer, said the city could assemble an independent redistricting commission to do the work, rather than having a sitting city council do it.

Another issue of concern is how the districts will affect the city’s African-American residents. Although Asheville, unlike both Wake and Guilford counties, is not in one of the counties in North Carolina designated in the federal Voting Rights Act, the city still has to respect its principles.

For now, Manheimer said, the city is entering into the process knowing that the bill has a much better chance of becoming law than it did last year.

The opportunity to draw its own districts may help the bill clear objections raised by conservative Republicans last year, she said.

Despite that option for local input, she said, the bill still is a legislative mandate requiring specific changes.

“It still requires the six districts,” she said. “There’s not a lot of flexibility in that.”

HENDERSON COUNTY EDUCATION FOUNDATION "HALL OF FAME" TO HONOR FIVE NEW INDUCTEES

HENDERSON COUNTY EDUCATION FOUNDATION "HALL OF FAME" TO HONOR FIVE NEW INDUCTEES

MOVED THIS YEAR TO THE BOONE BUILDING WNC AG CENTER   SPONSORED BY PARDEE HOSPITAL   

The Henderson County Education Foundation (HCEF) is pleased to
announce the 2017 Education Celebration and the selection of the recipients of its 2017 Education Hall
of Fame. This year, five inductees will be honored at the 15 th Annual Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony, presented by Pardee Hospital, to be held on May 11, 2017 at the Boone Building at the WNC Ag Center.

In addition, Henderson County’s Principal of the Year, Bobby Wilkins, and Teachers of the Year will be
honored at the event. A reception will begin at 5:30 with dinner and program to follow at 6:00.

Each year, individuals who have made significant contributions to local education are honored with the
Hall of Fame Award. Since 2003, 119 individuals have been honored with induction into HCEF Hall of
Fame. This year’s inductees include:

June Barnwell, Henderson County native, worked for 34 years as a Chemistry teacher and Math teacher
with the Henderson County Public Schools. Mrs. Barnwell’s service included a stint at Flat Rock High
School (1958 – 1962) and then she began at East Henderson High School where she taught until her
retirement in 1986. Mrs. Barnwell was a sponsor of many school activities and received several awards
during her career, including Henderson County Teacher of the Year in 1986.

Lynn Carter began her teaching career in Henderson County in 1979 after several years in the Wake &
Swain County School Systems. She taught English and Social Studies at Rugby Middle School (formerly
Rugby Junior High) from 1979 until her retirement in 2005. In 1990 Mrs. Carter received Teacher of the
Year at Rugby Middle and in 1995 she received her National Board Certification - Early
Adolescence/Language and was the first teacher in Henderson County to receive this very prestigious
honor.

Robert Joubert had an exemplary 35 year career with the Henderson County Public Schools. He started
in June 1970 as a Special Education teacher at Edneyville High school where he worked until the school
closed in 1992. Mr. Joubert worked briefly at North Henderson High School until he became Assistant
Principal at Flat Rock Middle in 1993 where he worked until his retirement in 2005. Mr. Joubert was
known for his leadership and his heart for all students.

Michael Pressley began his career in Henderson County Public Schools in 1973 as a Mathmatics teacher
at Rugby Junior High School. Mr. Pressley became Assistant Principal at Rugby from 1985 to 1988 before
becoming Principal at Fletcher Elementary School (1988 – 1991), Balfour Elementary School (1991 –
2002) and Clear Creek Elementary from 2002 until his retirement in 2009 after 35 years of service. Mr.
Pressley was recognized as a leader among his peers and received Henderson Couny Principal of the
Year two times in his tenure, 1992 and 1995.

Beverly Wood, a native of Western North Carolina, was a physical education teacher for 41 years, 19 of
those years in Henderson County Public Schools. She began at Edneyville Elementary in 1988 before
becoming the first physical educator for the new Glen C. Marlow Elementary School in 1999 until her
retirement in 2007. During her career she received number awards including 1995-1996 Edneyville
Elementary Teacher of the Year and 2002 recipient of the Kiwanis Club Lou Ann Morgan Leadership
Award.

Reservations and tickets can be purchased through the Foundation office at 414 4th Avenue West or
online at hcefnc.org/events/educationcelebration. For more information about the 2017 Education
Celebration, please contact Summer Stipe at 828.697.5551 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

MORE RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT COMING TO HENDERSON COUNTY IN 2017

MORE RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT COMING TO HENDERSON COUNTY IN 2017

WORKING THEIR WAY THROUGH THE PLANNING AND APPROVAL PROCESS   

2017 should see a significant amount of residential development in Henderson County.

A new sub-division proposed to include over 100 lots is currently being reviewed for a large tract of land at Turnpike and Old Turnpike Road in Mills River along the five-lane Highway 280. The developer and engineers are currently working with county and town officials to move the project, to be known as "Mills River Crossing", forward through the process.

Plans are in the works by an Ohio developer for over 50 cottage-type residential units to be known as “Arcadia Views” planned for a 90-acre tract of land along Brevard Road or U.S. Highway 64 west across from Hunter’s Crossing. The developer is working through regulatory hurdles with with Town of Laurel Park and expects soon to file a site plan for the development. “Arcadia Views” is being proposed for an area of land that was, a generation ago, used for growing gladiolias, once a booming industry in Henderson County, with locally grown gladiolias shipped out by train in box car loads.

And after being turned down by county commissioners last year for a larger project, a Miami developer came back earlier this year with a revised plan that will require no approval from the commissioners for 85 acres on the banks of the French Broad River off South Rugby Road…to build 198 residential units that the developer says will focus on "healthy living for families and individuals".  That project has the county planning board's approval which is good for three years.

By Larry Freeman

 

EMERGENCY CALL TOWERS TO GO UP ON OCLAWAHA GREENWAY

EMERGENCY CALL TOWERS TO GO UP ON OCLAWAHA GREENWAY

City receives grant funds to place Emergency Call Towers along the Oklawaha Trail

The City is pleased to announce with grant funding from the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), that we have installed five blue light emergency phones which are interspersed along the Oklawaha Greenway system. These phones are designed to be used for dialing 911 in an emergency situation only. Each phone has a single button interface used to connect with 911 dispatch. The phones are currently operational. Area Fire, Police, and Rescue responders met and are planning response actions to any calls made from these phones.

Below is a picture of one of the phones and attached you will find a map of the phone locations along the Trail.

For questions or more information you may contact, Brendan Shanahan, City Civil Engineer at 828-233-3237 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FORMER HHS STUDENT KILLED IN SUNDAY NIGHT CAR WRECK

FORMER HHS STUDENT KILLED IN SUNDAY NIGHT CAR WRECK

AFTER PASSING ON A DOUBLE YELLOW LINE   

The NC Highway Patrol is reporting that  a former Hendersonville High School student is dead after a fatal wreck Sunday night.
Highway Patrol identified the driver as 18-year-old Domingo Tomas-Hernandez.

It happened just before Beaumont Estates on Kanuga Road on Sunday. Troopers received the call around 9:45 p.m.

Sgt.Chris Goodson said Tomas-Hernandez was leaving Hendersonville and tried to pass a driver by crossing over a double yellow line.

Once he got past the car and came back into his lane, Goodson said the driver lost control, ran off the side of the road, went up an embankment, hit a telephone pole and came to a stop upside down in a ditch.

Kanuga Road was closed in both directions near East Patterson Street until approximately 3 a.m. due to the incident.

 

 

POLITICO CALLS WNC'S MARK MEADOWS THE "ANTI-OBAMACARE HERO"

POLITICO CALLS WNC'S MARK MEADOWS THE "ANTI-OBAMACARE HERO"

FROM POLITICO   

House insurgent Mark Meadows embarrassed the White House and forced his fellow Republicans to turn tail on a seven-year pledge to tear down Obamacare.

His constituents are throwing him a party.

“This is the face of leadership!” declares a flier posted by the local tea party here in western North Carolina, urging supporters to turn out for a rally celebrating the three-term congressman who leads the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus. “Thank Mark and all those who gave us an opportunity to get health care right.”

Meadows — perpetual thorn in the side of GOP leadership, dismissed by institutional Republicans as a bomb-throwing saboteur and tarred by colleagues as a traitor — can still come home again.

In these small rural towns that double as ground zero for the type of populist, anti-establishment politics that thrust Donald Trump into the presidency and gave Republicans control of Washington, Meadows remains a hero. He demanded full repeal of Obamacare, more than the failed House bill would have attempted. And his star only shines brighter here after he cost House Republicans their first big win on health care — and their first big win as the governing party.

His constituents — roughly 45,000 of whom, ironically, were covered by the Affordable Care Act in 2016, most with subsidies, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation estimate — now expect him to go back to Washington and pick up the fight to uproot and destroy the law completely.

“I respect him for staying true to his principles,” said Jerry Moore, who runs the Kilwins Chocolates & Ice Cream shop in Highlands, N.C., the hometown that gave Meadows his political start. “Trump promised repeal. That was no repeal.”

That sentiment is echoed all over this town, and it strikes at the heart of the dilemma facing Republican leaders — how to enact big complex legislation without compromising the ideological purity they nurtured for years among lawmakers and voters alike. The Freedom Caucus, which pushed former Speaker John Boehner out in late 2015, now counts more than 30 members. The hardline bloc is powerful enough to derail any Republican bill deemed insufficiently conservative — and it’s backed by voters eager to reward them, even if it means bringing down still more of the GOP hierarchy.

“What’s happening now is no longer the Trump plan. It is the Obama plan,” Ralph Slaughter, the GOP chairman in North Carolina’s Jackson County, said of House Republican leaders’ three-step proposal to replace Obamacare, with the bill that failed last Friday marking the crucial phase one. “They thought perhaps that they could just force it through, and I really think to a certain point President Trump was sold a bill of goods that it would carry. That all they would have to do is present it.”

The 57-year-old Meadows, who made his fortune as a real estate developer before entering politics, has emerged as the flag bearer for conservatives’ all-or-nothing view on Obamacare repeal. It’s a bit of an awkward fit — Meadows has said himself that he wants to be liked, and was one of Trump’s first and most ardent supporters. His office didn't respond to requests for an interview for this article, but those who know him say he’s charismatic and eager to please.

“He’s smooth as punch,” said Highlands’ mayor, Patrick Taylor, a former art professor and Bernie Sanders supporter, who disagrees with Meadows on politics from gun control to health care but is struck by his ability to connect with the region’s blue-collar workers and simultaneously woo the country club set.

“People like the Affordable Care Act. They don’t like Obamacare,” said the mayor. "And they just don't realize" they are one and the same.

In North Carolina, the ACA has drawn significant enrollment — but it has clear challenges. In most of the state, only one insurer is participating on the Obamacare exchanges. The state elected a Democratic governor Roy Cooper last fall who wants to address the problems, and to finally get the state to take up the law’s Medicaid expansion option. But he faces a conservative, often hostile, state legislature.

But within Meadows' district spanning the western third of the state — a patchwork of blue-collar workers and affluent vacationers at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains — the harsh anti-Obamacare platform fits with the conservative tenor. And Meadows’ hardline views separate him from the rest of a Washington crowd that people here describe with a mixture of suspicion and disgust.

“I think they lack wisdom in Washington,” said Moore, the owner of the ice cream parlor, who believes too many lawmakers have lost touch with what voters want and need. “I think Mark Meadows brings wisdom.”

But after discovering a bulging disk in his neck, Moore got a little nervous. He bought an Obamacare policy for himself, which costs more than double his family’s Medi-Share plan. By his calculations, he could spend 24 percent of his yearly income covering the plans’ combined premiums and deductibles before any benefits kick in. He makes too much to qualify for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.

“Our health care is so good, we can’t even afford it,” Moore quipped, cringing at the thought of cutting those checks each month. “God only asked for 10 percent.”.

The way he sees it, the entire health care system is broken. And fixing it starts with tearing the existing structure down — all of it. In his view, the failed House Republican health care proposal was nothing but a Frankensteinian version of Obamacare, rearranging bits of the existing law, fusing it with industry giveaways and bringing it no closer to the free-market ideal conservatives hoped for when Republicans swept into power.

“I was glad it failed,” said Moore, who voted for Trump in hopes he would revolutionize Washington, but is now discouraged by his divisiveness. “Why try to fix a broken system with broken parts?”

But as the president famously said, health care is difficult. Republicans had already spent seven years trying to agree on a fix, before crashing and burning last week. Despite GOP leaders’ vows to move on to new priorities, Meadows that he’ll keep pushing for full repeal.

“To put a stake in it today would not be accurate,” he said Sunday on ABC’s "This Week." “We’re not at the end of the game.”

For conservatives here, that’s the moment they’ve been waiting for — a chance to show that the party’s right flank is worth far more to the GOP than pure obstructionism.

“They will come up with a plan that will make health care better for all Americans,” predicted Slaughter, the Jackson County GOP chairman, dismissing concerns about White House retribution for tanking this first repeal push. “The Freedom Caucus people are one of the reasons that Donald Trump is president of the United States right now. He is indebted to these people.”

It’s also a big new test for Meadows, whose short legislative career to this point is defined by three big confrontations: the 2013 government shutdown; the successful challenge to Boehner’s speakership and the health law repeal, a story that may still unfold in unpredictable ways.

Now Meadows says that rather than stand in the way, he wants to take responsibility for moving the GOP forward on health care — finding a brand new solution, and, somehow, uniting the fractured GOP behind it.

That’s a long shot without the Trump administration’s blessing, even admirers in Highlands will admit. But Meadows has used intraparty skirmishes as springboards before. And, as Taylor attests, he has a knack for charming even his most ardent opponents.

“He’s leading the cause, and he’s not going to deviate,” Taylor said. “He’d be tough to beat.”

"WALK OF FAME" MARKERS TO BE UNVEILED ON MAY 7TH

"WALK OF FAME" MARKERS TO BE UNVEILED ON MAY 7TH

17 ARE BEING HONORED FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF HENDERSONVILLE AND HENDERSON COUNTY   

Markers honoring Hendersonville and Henderson County’s first class of honorees in the “Walk of Fame” will be unveiled on Sunday May 7th.

The event and gathering will take place at 2 pm in the Azalea Parking Lot at King Street and Third Avenue.

A spokesman for the “Walk of Fame” committee says a banquet will follow the unveiling…and the banquet will take place at Carolina Village at 6 pm. Parking for the banquet will be in the parking lot at Epic Theater and shuttle buses will provide transportation to Carolina Village.

Tickets are $25 each and will be available on sale after April 1 at the Visitor’s Center on South Main Street.

There are 17 honorees in the first “Walk of Fame” class, and markers will honor them on the streets throughout downtown Hendersonville. Honorees are those who have been significant in the growth and development of Hendersonville and Henderson County throughout our history.

Details on the first class of honorees (published by Hendersonvilde Lightning):

Jody Barber (1923-2001)

The son of Armitage Farrington Barber Sr. and Percha McCullough Barber, Jody Barber was a creative force behind many improvements in Hendersonville. Originator of the phrase “Open Me First,” which Kodak adopted to promote Christmas sales of cameras, Barber and his wife, Mary D. Barber, collected and made into slides the indispensable photographic history of Hendersonville known as the Baker-Barber Collection. An avid flyer, Barber served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II and later was the first commander of the Civil Air Patrol here. A drum major at Hendersonville High School, Barber played the tuba for the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra and the Hendersonville Community Band. When he died on Jan. 25, 2001, at the age of 77, an obituary praised him as a “historian, lecturer and revitalizer.”

Mary Douglass Barber (1922-2008)

Jody Barber’s lifelong partner, Mary Barber was a gracious and vibrant contributor to the community in her own right. Recruited by Kermit Edney, she broadcast shows on WHKP radio and cohosted the Merry Christmas Shopping Show. The first woman president of the Apple Festival and the only women to serve on the original Downtown Revitalization Committee, Mary Barber was a strong advocate for the flower beds and hanging baskets that would become a hallmark of Main Street. For her work downtown she was awarded a Main Street Champions Award by the North Carolina Main Street program.

Dr. James Steven Brown (1866-1958)

Known as a “founding spirit” of medicine in Henderson County, Dr. Brown exemplified devotion to his patients. Records showed that he delivered 6,547 babies; one was Louise Howe Bailey, who wrote that Dr. Brown was so concerned about babies dying that he set up an infirmary in his home before Hendersonville had a hospital. “This God-fearing man,” nominator Tom Orr wrote, “never refused a house call based on time, place, race, color or creed.” “He was absolutely devoted to all his patients,” Ernestine Nagell said. “He spoiled the little ones, if they were good, with rock candy or peppermint. He treated the ladies with a handful of flowers. If there was a house or barn being built, he’d roll up his sleeves and pitch in. He’d help chop firewood, plow gardens in the spring. You name it, Dr. Brown was there.”

Francis Marion Coiner (lived in Hendersonville from 1951 until his death in 2004)

A native of Newport News, Va., Coiner traveled by train in 1951 from Raleigh to Hendersonville, a town he had never seen. He quickly “felt at home with the apple farmers and packers,” his daughter, Kimberly Coiner Hempen, wrote. For legal work he sometimes accepted fresh apples, collard greens and sweet corn. He became known as a trustworthy attorney and served for 30 years as Hendersonville’s city attorney.

Kermit Edney (1925-2000)

A descendant of the earliest settlers of Henderson County, Edney began work at WHKP in the late 1940s after graduating from UNC at Chapel Hill. Greeting Hendersonville as the “Old Good Morning Man” for more than 50 years, he was also a leader of the N.C. Apple Festival, the revitalization of downtown Hendersonville and the naming and development of Four Seasons Boulevard as a major commercial artery. An avid weather watcher, he kept the weather stats at the WHKP for more than 50 years and wrote “The Weather Book,” a useful guide to weather over the years.

Raymond Robert Freeman Sr. (1912-2002)

Known as Mr. Republican, Mr. News and Mr. Politics, Bob Freeman Sr. presided over the daily deliberations on the issues of the world from his newsstand on Church Street. A newsstand, tobacco shop and barbecue joint, Freeman’s carried newspapers from across the country before the Internet. A behind-the-scenes political kingmaker, Freeman was a key figure in the rise of the local Republican Party. He chaired the GOP from 1958 to 1962, advised political leaders and presided at a smoke-filled backroom where deals were made. “They were never reserved but you could be sure at least one (and likely all the seats) would be occupied by local attorneys of the town,” Kermit Edney wrote in “Where Fitz Left Off.” “It was said that more cases were decided at Freeman’s Newsstand than in the courthouse.”

Don Godehn (died in 2002 at age 83)

Known as Mr. YMCA, Godehn moved to Hendersonville in 1946 and spent 56 years in volunteerism in his adopted hometown and his church. A native of Moline, Ill., Godehn came to the area as a manufacturing executive. He and his wife, Sally, who also was inducted into the Walk of Fame, helped found the YMCA, bringing in UNC football legend Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice to promote the effort. He was among a core of leaders who founded Pardee Hospital Foundation and was also active in the United Way, Hendersonville Rotary Club and First United Methodist Church, serving as a lay leader and in state and national posts.

Sally Godehn (1919-2010)

By the time her husband retired in 1985, Sally Godehn had been deeply involved in volunteerism for 30 years. When she saw injustice, she acted. In the early 1950s, when she became troubled by examples of what she viewed as small-town corruption, she worked for court reform. Recruiting church members, she formed a “court watch” to sit in on trials and let the court know “good citizens were watching.” Similarly, she observed elections fraud in the form of dead people voting and carloads of paid voters dropped off at the polls. Using her old Bell & Howell camera, she filmed polling places. “The shenanigans soon stopped,” her son, Dr. John Godehn, wrote. “Unknown to the operatives, the camera often had no film.” She later served on the Board of Elections and helped start the local League of Women Voters chapter and the Opportunity House. Along with her husband, she also was a founder of the Dispute Settlement Center.

Clyde Shuford Jackson (1907-1995)

The founder of Jackson Funeral Home, Clyde Shuford Jackson sang at more than 1,000 funerals in a lifetime of service that included 12 years as chair of the county Board of Commissioners and the creation of Jackson Park. Originally bought by the county for use as a landfill, the property became a place for picnics, ballfields and children’s play thanks to Commissioner Jackson’s leadership. He was also founding organizer of the county ambulance service, oversaw the relocation of the county library to its current Washington Street home and supported the formation of Blue Ridge Community College. “It would be hard to imagine a county without the EMS, the public library and all the other contributions that Clyde Jackson left,” wrote his granddaughter, Rebecca Jackson McCall. “But, most of all, imagine Henderson County without Jackson Park.”

Ernest L. Justus (died in 1994 at age 94)

Serving the county school system for almost 60 years, Justus led great progress in the schools from the era of one-room schoolhouses to a consolidated system. As one school principal wrote of the longtime administrator, a diploma from Western Carolina University said he was a principal. “Mr. Justus taught me how to be one.” A list of men Justus mentored is itself a hall of fame of local public education: Glenn C. Marlow, Sam Reese, Neil Rogers, Tommy Williams, Malvern West, Corum Smith and Bill Barnwell. “E.L. Justus got out among his students and spoke with them and their concerns,” former NHHS principal Charles Thomas wrote of his first exposure as a student to Justus, who was East Henderson principal. “It was a common sight to encounter him traversing the campus at a jaunty gait, hair slicked back, tie blown across his shoulder and a friendly smile on his face.”

Theron Larnce Maybin (73 years old...died in 2017)

A lifelong farmer, deacon of Cedar Springs Baptist Church, U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War and promoter of all things farming in Henderson County, Maybin has devoted his life to promoting Green River. He was instrumental in the founding of the public library branch, Green River Volunteer Fire Department, the Tuxedo community park and the Tuxedo tailgate market. Maybin has taught 4-H Club children “farming techniques, the need to preserve God’s land, good work ethic, perseverance and a love of the land and pride in one’s work,” nominator Betsy Copolillo wrote. “Without people like Theron Maybin we would not enjoy the agricultural benefits we now have.”

William “Bill” McKay Sr. (1925-2008)

In a career in farming, banking, public schools and politics, McKay was instrumental in the founding of many local institutions, including the Community Foundation and Blue Ridge Community College. As the Henderson County Education Foundation’s first president, McKay led efforts to acquire the Historic Johnson Farm and Bullington Gardens. He led the committee that selected the first president of BRCC and during his 21 years of service on the county School Board helped guide the construction of both East Henderson and West Henderson high schools. Active in dairy, poultry and apple farming, McKay also served as a bank executive until his retirement in 1990. He was among First Presbyterian Church members who formed Covenant Presbyterian Church in 1980, serving as an elder and Sunday school teacher.

Pierce Jones Moore Jr.

Drafted into the Army in World War II, Moore spent time in 1945 operating on amputee from the Battle of the Bulge. He opened a medical practice in Hendersonville in 1953 and did not give up his medical license until March of 2016, at the age of 96, prompting the N.C. Medical Board to note that he was the oldest active surgeon in the state. In 1953, the struggling 75-bed Fletcher hospital called on Moore to help turn the hospital around. He did, serving as surgeon, president, medical director and chief of staff. The Fletcher Town Council honored Moore for 50 years of service. He has also been honored by the old Mountain Sanitarium and Hospital (now Park Ridge) and by WLOS as a person of the week. He delivered more than 1,000 babies and performed more than 30,000 surgeries. Making house calls for $3 in the early 1950s and performing surgeries, Moore never turned anyone away for lack of insurance, wanting only “to serve his Maker and be a dedicated Christian in providing service to others,” wrote his wife, Elaine Moore.

Columbus Mills Pace (died in 1925 at age 80)

A fourth generation native of Henderson County, Pace served in the 4th North Carolina Regiment of the Confederate Army. After the war, he earned a law degree and won election as Clerk of Superior Court, a post he held for 57 years. In 1881 he presided over the first meeting of the French Broad Steamboat Co. Along with W.A. Smith, Judge Pace helped to develop Mount Echo (in what became Laurel Park) and the Dummy line trolley. He is said to be the only person memorialized by having his body lie in state at the Historic Courthouse. “Mr. Pace is a staunch, wide-awake citizen, an honorable upright gentleman whose friends are only limited by the number of his acquaintances,” one newspaper article said.

James Pilgrim (died 1988)

A 1934 graduate of Stephens-Lee High School in Asheville, Pilgrim owned Pilgrim’s Funeral Home and built homes and apartments in Hendersonville. He was a deacon of the Star of Bethel Baptist Church, member of the Rising Star Masonic Lodge and national chaplain of the Funeral Directors and Mortuary Association. As the owner and operator of the only funeral home serving the black community here, Pilgrim was a leader in his church and the community, widely respected by African-American and white leaders. “He helped those in need,” nominator Ronnie Pepper wrote.

James M. “Jim” Stokes

A 1953 graduate of Hendersonville High School, Stokes directed the band at his alma mater for 20 years. He was a founder of the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra. In 1991, three years after he retired from HHS, he put out a call for musicians to join the new Hendersonville Community Band. He had no idea what to expect. “To his amazement and joy, 50 volunteer musicians showed up for the first rehearsal,” wrote nominator Kathy Reid, a clarinet player. Since then, the band has performed four concerts a year. “It is easy to see how Mr. Stokes’ selfless and enduring gifts to the community — 37 years’ worth — have created a legacy that will outlive us all.”

Boyce Augustus Whitmire Sr. (1905-1989)

A prominent attorney in Hendersonville for more than 50 years, Whitmire served in the N.C. House and Senate, then on the county School Board, from 1965 to 1968, and finally as Hendersonville mayor, from 1969 to 1977. As mayor he worked for the creation of Green Meadows to provide decent housing for the poor, oversaw the paving of streets and installation of streetlights, established a city parks department and led development of Patton Park. A strong supporter of the arts, he was instrumental in the state Senate designating Flat Rock Playhouse as the State Theatre of North Carolina, then served on the Playhouse Board of Trustees for 20 years. He passed on his devotion to public education to his children, who served for a combined 170 years in the county’s schools. “One would be hard pressed to categorize which of Mr. Whitmire’s contributions have had more significance, been longer lasting or contributed most to the quality of life in Henderson County,” wrote his son John F. Whitmire. “They continue to impact the lives of Henderson County residents even in 2016.”