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 INVESTIGATIONS NOW UNDERWAY;SUSPECT IDENTIFIED; HENDERSONVILLE POLICE SHOOT AND KILL SUSPECT IN UNDERCOVER DRUG OPERATION AT WALMART IN HENDERSONVILLE

INVESTIGATIONS NOW UNDERWAY;SUSPECT IDENTIFIED; HENDERSONVILLE POLICE SHOOT AND KILL SUSPECT IN UNDERCOVER DRUG OPERATION AT WALMART IN HENDERSONVILLE

AROUND 11 PM THURSDAY NIGHT AT THE HENDERSONVILLE WALMART   

DECEASED SUSPECT ID'D AS 32-YEAR OLD RUFUS CEDRIC BAKER OF ASHEVILLE   

DETECTIVE BRANDON MCGAHA ID'D AS THE OFFICER INVOLVED     

IT ALL STARTED WITH AN UNDERCOVER DRUG OPERATION   

Around 11 p.m. on Thursday, November 30, the Hendersonville Police Department responded to the scene of an undercover drug investigation at the Walmart Super Center. A suspect, who was being placed under arrest and attempted to escape, was shot. The officer involved reported that the suspect appeared to be reaching for a weapon in his waistband.

Officers performed first aid until medical personnel arrived and transported the suspect to Pardee Hospital. The suspect later died.

The officer has been placed on paid administrative leave, following the protocols and procedures of the Hendersonville Police Department.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) has taken over the investigation of the incident, as also is standard procedure. Hendersonville Police will conduct an internal investigation, as is typically done in officer-involved shootings. All evidence has been turned over to N.C. SBI investigators, including a substance suspected to be illegal drugs and a semi-automatic pistol recovered at the scene.

The officer has been identified as Detective Brandon McGaha, a 12-year veteran of the Hendersonville Police Department. Detective McGaha currently serves as the supervisor of Hendersonville Police Department's ACE Team. The ACE Team is a special enforcement unit that is responsible for addressing street level crimes throughout the City of Hendersonville. Street level crimes include the sale and distribution of narcotics, prostitution and general property crimes. The incident occurred during an active drug enforcement operation. Detective McGaha and other members of the ACE Team were not undercover as part of this operation and could easily be identified as police

The suspect has been identified as Rufus Cedric Baker, a 32-year-old male from Buncombe County. NC. Mr. Baker was driving a 2016 Blue Ford Focus.

Additional information regarding the number of shots fired, specific timeline of events and location of involved vehicles is under investigation.

FIRST ANNUAL TOMMY BRYSON MEMORIAL 5K RUN/WALK A BIG SUCCESS ON SATURDAY

FIRST ANNUAL TOMMY BRYSON MEMORIAL 5K RUN/WALK A BIG SUCCESS ON SATURDAY

THE TOMMY BRYSON MEMORIAL 5K "DEER DASH" RUN/WALK 

 AT MILLS RIVER PARK  

OVER 400 PEOPLE TOOK PART.  

MORE THAN $15 THOUSAND RAISED.  

A large number of runners (and walkers!) got their exersize Saturdasy morning at Mills River Park at the first annual Tommy Bryson Memorial "Deer Dash" 5 K Run/Walk.

A lot of volunteers participated too to make the first annual event successful.  Weather was ideal for a run and walk...dry and cool but mild.  The event was held to honor the memory of Tommy Bryson who was abducted near his Mills River home last summer and later killed by accused killer Philip Michael Stroupe.  Money raised at Saturday's event will be used to benefit Mills River Park and hopefully will help develop a basketball court at the Park.

Jolene Austin is president of the Mills River Park Recreation Foundation, and these were her comments after Saturday's event:  "Mills River Recreation Foundation, Inc. (MRRFI) would like to thank all of the volunteers who came out this morning for the “First Annual Tommy Bryson Deer Dash” and help make this wonderful family feel the love of our community. Mills River STRONG!"

HENDERSONVILLE'S CHRISTMAS PARADE:  A BIG HIT THIS YEAR!

HENDERSONVILLE'S CHRISTMAS PARADE: A BIG HIT THIS YEAR!

SATURDAY MORNING IN DOWNTOWN HENDERSONVILLE   

Hundreds of people of all ages lined the parade route as Hendersonville's annual Christmas parade made it was through downtown Hendersonville Saturday morning.

There were marching bands, floats, and firetrucks...and of course Santa Clause.  WHKP's Tyler Sams was part of the parade and he said is was a fun occasion for all involved...with great weather...dry and mild. 

The Christmas parade is sponsored by the Hendersonville Merchants and Business Association.

 

 

 

 

HENDERSONVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT RATING IMPROVES

HENDERSONVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT RATING IMPROVES

NOW RATED AS A CLASS 3 DEPARTMENT   

Effective today, December 1, 2017 the City of Hendersonville Fire Department is officially a Class three (3) Fire Department. The inspection, conducted by officials with the Department of Insurance office of State Fire Marshal (OSFM), is required on a regular basis as part of the North Carolina Response Rating System. Among other things, the routine inspections look for proper staffing levels, sufficient equipment, and proper maintenance of equipment, communications capabilities and availability of a water source.

This is a great achievement that may significantly impact property insurance ratings within the City of Hendersonville. “I’d like to congratulate Chief Vindigni for the department’s performance and for the hard work of all the department members,” said North Carolina State Fire Marshal Mike Causey. “The citizens in the district this department serves should rest easy knowing they have a fine group of firefighters protecting them and their property in case of emergency.”

FUND SET UP FOR INJURED LOCAL RESCUER

FUND SET UP FOR INJURED LOCAL RESCUER

CONTACT THE HENDERSON COUNTY RESCUE SQUAD    

(Photo from News 13)   

 On Sunday, November 26th, Henderson County Rescue Squad member Pat Stefan was involved in a motor vehicle crash while on her motorcycle when another vehicle pulled out in front of her.
The Henderson County EMS and Etowah-Horse Shoe Fire & Rescue responded to the scene and found Pat lying semi-unresponsive approximately 15-20 feet from her motorcycle.

Due to the severity of her injuries, Pat was rushed to Mission Hospital via helicopter.
Pat’s injuries include a severely fractured wrist and arm, multiple fractures to her femur, pelvis and tailbone, along with a brain bleed.

Pat remains on the ventilator and has gone through 3 surgeries to stabilize all of her fractures.
The Doctors at Mission are hopeful that the brain bleed will clear up on its own, but until she is off the ventilator and awake they cannot determine if there is any neurological damage.
Doctors hope to take Pat off the ventilator and sedation on Thursday or Friday.

With the severity of the wrist and arm fracture, Pat will lose most of her range of motion in the wrist and it is doubtful she will return to work at the Rescue Squad.
Pat worked for the Rescue Squad as a part-time Emergency Medical Technician/Rescue Technician and was very active in several of our programs such as Dive, Bike Team, SAR and SMAT, to name a few.

The Henderson County Rescue Squad has established this GoFundMe page on behalf of Pat’s family who will use these funds for medical, travel and other expenses.

MOTORISTS ARE REMINDED OF 45 MILES-PER-HOUR SPEED LIMIT ON HIGHWAY 280 THROUGH MILLS RIVER

MOTORISTS ARE REMINDED OF 45 MILES-PER-HOUR SPEED LIMIT ON HIGHWAY 280 THROUGH MILLS RIVER

45 MILES PER HOUR...BETWEEN OLD HAYWOOD ROAD (HIGHWAY 191) AND TURNPIKE ROAD    

After numerous appeals from citizens, businesses, motorists and Mills River Town Council, NC DOT is attempting to keep speeds down to the posted speed limit along the five lane Highway 280, or Boyleston Highway, through Mills River.

Mills River Council and DOT lowered the speed limit to 45 miles per hour along Highway 280 between the intersection with Old Haywood Road (Highway 191) and Turnpike Road earlier this year. That speed limit is frequently ignored, and NC DOIT has positioned the devices pictured to show motorists their speeds and to remind them of the new limit.

‘One of those devices was positioned on the southbound side of Highway 280 last week; one is now on the northbound side. The posted speed limit is most often ignored during morning and afternoon “rush hour” periods

WINTER LIGHTS DISPLAY---NOW SHOWING---AT NC ARBORETUM

WINTER LIGHTS DISPLAY---NOW SHOWING---AT NC ARBORETUM

NC ARBORETUM JUST OFF BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY   

November 17 – December 31, 2017
Open Nightly: 6 – 10 p.m.
Experience Asheville’s BRIGHTEST holiday tradition at Winter Lights at The North Carolina Arboretum. Open nightly November 17 – December 31, 2017, from 6 to 10 p.m., Winter Lights is an outdoor holiday light exhibit placed throughout the Arboretum’s nationally-known gardens. Walk through a winter wonderland and enjoy uniquely-lit displays and landscapes composed of nearly 500,000 energy-efficient LED lights. Listen to the sounds of your favorite holiday tunes or enjoy a cup of holiday-inspired cocoa, cider or beer. Additional food and beverage items are available for purchase and the Arboretum’s Savory Thyme Café will offer a special dinner buffet on holidays and every Friday and Saturday beginning November 24 (reservations recommended; please check website for available seating times). All tickets are date-specific and must be purchased in advance; tickets will not be sold at the gate. Pets and outside food and beverages are strictly prohibited at Winter Lights.

Ticket holders may enter the exhibit anytime between 6 – 9 p.m. (Note, if you are using a transportation service such as a taxi, Uber or Lyft, your ride must pick you up no later than 9 p.m. before the entrance gates close.)

Tickets
Ticket Price Ticket Price with Member Discount*
Adult (ages 12+) $18 $16
Child (ages 5-11) $12 $10
Child (4 & under) FREE FREE
Group (minimum of 20 people) $15 $13
Friends & Family Tuesdays (adults) $15 $13
Friends & Family Tuesdays (children) $10 $8
*Discounts will be applied upon checkout.

To cover operational costs and ticket processing for The North Carolina Arboretum Society’s Winter Lights fundraiser, a $1.50 processing charge will be added to each ticket. A standard 3.2% credit card fee will also be added to each ticket purchase and North Carolina’s sales tax applies. Proceeds generated from Winter Lights will help the Arboretum continue to expand its educational programs, exhibits and facilities year-round.

Specials
Friends & Family Discount Night – Tuesdays
Adult tickets are $15 each and children tickets are $10 each. Member discounts still apply.
Winter Lights Holiday Tour – Fridays & Saturdays
Available on Fridays and Saturdays only, this special ticketed event offers visitors the chance to enjoy a holly, jolly ride from Asheville and Hendersonville to Winter Lights courtesy of The Trolley Company. Upon arrival, tour guests will receive a complimentary cup of hot chocolate and access to the Winter Lights exhibit. Pick-up is at 5:30 p.m. from downtown Asheville’s Renaissance Hotel and Hendersonville’s Cascades Mountain Resort, and guests will be dropped back off at the hotel at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $28.50 per person (children 4 & under are free). (Note: Arboretum member discounts do not apply for this tour). To purchase tickets please click here. For additional questions, please call Eva Ritchey at The Trolley Company at 828.606.8606. Looking for a place to stay this holiday season? Book with Renaissance Hotel’s special Winter Lights Holiday Tour package and save money on room rates and receive special holiday treats!

LAKE JULIAN'S CHRISTMAS LIGHTS SHOW STARTS FRIDAY NIGHT

LAKE JULIAN'S CHRISTMAS LIGHTS SHOW STARTS FRIDAY NIGHT

JUST OFF I-26 AT BILTMORE PARK   

Lake Julian Festival of Lights
Lake Julian

December 1-23, 2017
A local's favorite drive-through Christmas light show takes over a popular county park at Lake Julian in south Asheville (near Biltmore Park). Their annual Festival of Lights includes 50 animated and stationary light displays.

Walk December 1, 2017, 6-9 PM: The season always kicks off with the “walk through night” - the only time you can walk through. Our favorite night! Admission this night is $5/adult and children are free. The half mile drive has a few inclines, but it's very family friendly and the paved drive is great for strollers and wagons. Warm up by the fire and make a s'mores. Make crafts. Santa will also be on hand for pictures. Sorry, no pets allowed. Park at Family of Faith Fellowship Church, 212 Long Shoals Road, Arden.

Drive December 2-23, 2017, 6-9 PM: Admission is $10 per passenger vehicle and $20 for large vans, motor coaches, and buses. Advance tickets may be purchased online for $7 per passenger vehicle and $14 for large vans, motor coaches, and buses. 20% of proceeds are donated to Buncombe County Special Olympics.

Lake Julian Festival of Lights

See more Holiday Outings and Events in and near Asheville. A bigger Christmas light show is Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum.

Address for GPS is: 406 Overlook Road Ext., Arden, NC 28704

More about Lake Julian
Lake Julian Park is a family recreational facility located on the banks of 300 acre Lake Julian in Arden. The park offers picnicking, boating, fishing, a playground, outdoor games and special events. Lake Julian has an abundance of bass, catfish, brim, crappie and imported Tilapia. Because Lake Julian is used as a cooling agent for Progress Energy the lake is “thermal.” Some of the best fishing occurs from October through March. Paddle boats and canoes are available for rental. These boats can be rented by the ½ hour or by the hour. Six picnic shelters are available for rent at Lake Julian Park. In addition to the shelters, many tables and grills are available at no charge on a first-come first-served basis.

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIPS OPEN FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIPS OPEN FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1

THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF HENDERSON COUNTY   

Community Foundation of Henderson County Scholarships Open Friday, December 1st

Hendersonville, N.C., November 28, 2017 – Through the generosity of our donors, Community Foundation of Henderson County (CFHC) is pleased to announce that 85 new and 152 renewal scholarships are available for the 2018-2019 academic year. Scholarship applications open Friday, December 1st and must be submitted by 5 pm, January 31, 2018. Scholarship applications and additional information are available online at www.CFHCforever.org/scholarships.

Scholarships are primarily available for graduating or recently graduated seniors attending public, private or homeschool in Henderson, Transylvania, and Jackson Counties, North Carolina. The range of scholarships available seeks to support a variety of students and their higher education goals. Students applying for need-based scholarships must include a completed FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form.

2017- 2018 CFHC Scholarship Recipients

Candidates selected for interviews will meet with the CFHC interview committee in April 2018, and recipients will be announced in June. Questions about scholarship opportunities may be directed to Wendy Hamil, Donor Services Manager at (828) 697-6224 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

More than $5.59 million in scholarships have been awarded since 1984 to more than 1,200 students through CFHC’s scholarship program.
Since 1982, Community Foundation of Henderson County has been helping people transform their philanthropic dreams into reality.  Offering a variety of ways to give, donors are able to make lasting contributions to causes close to their heart.  Learn more about Community Foundation of Henderson County at www.CFHCforever.org, on the Community Foundation’s Facebook page, or by calling (828) 697-6224.

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IT WAS A BUSY & SUCCESSFUL THANKSGIVING FOR NC HIGHWAY PATROL IN WNC

IT WAS A BUSY & SUCCESSFUL THANKSGIVING FOR NC HIGHWAY PATROL IN WNC

THE 2017 I-40 CHALLENGE   

s this year’s Thanksgiving Holiday season came to an end, troopers were out in full force to monitor traffic violations in hopes of reducing motor vehicle collisions. In support of this effort, the State Highway Patrol partnered with eight other states across the nation, participating in the 2017 I-40 Challenge.

This initiative placed troopers every 20 miles along the major interstate during the most heavily traveled periods throughout the holiday. The operation was held from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 22 and from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 26. The campaign focused on the reduction of fatal collisions along the I-40 corridor, which coincides with the Vision Zero initiative.

Troopers not assigned to work the I-40 campaign monitored other major interstates and secondary roadways. While the I-40 Challenge initiative focused on crash reduction two days throughout the holiday period, the Vision Zero initiative will continue throughout the rest of the year.

Statewide Statistics/All Roadways

Total Fatal Collisions - 16
DWI Arrest - 445
Seatbelt Violations - 2547
Speeding Violations - 10,518
Move Over Violations - 50
Total Citations Issued - 24,614
I-40 Challenge Statewide Statistics/ I-40 Corridor

Total Fatal Collisions - 0
DWI Arrest - 5
Seatbelt Violations - 107
Moving Violations - 762
Non-Moving Violations - 329
Total Citations Issued - 1,163
Request for specific county statistics should be referred to the respective county’s local State Highway Patrol office.

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