Lots of sunshine, but cool
HI: 53 LOW: 38
City council was presented with four proposals for the city-owned Grey’s Hosiery Mill property Thursday night.
Three of the four proposals were for a downtown hotel but with far fewer than the 100-130 rooms the city had suggested; the fourth proposal was for a commercial mixed use development on the old mill site.
Those plans will be reviewed and a recommendation on which one to accept will likely be made to city council at it's meeting in April.
Once final decisions are made, actual steps toward developing the deteriorating old site which the city has owned for the past 30 years could begin this summer.
City council committed to pursue a "downtown hotel" or something like that for the property on Grove Street month is ago.
FROM WHKP PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER ART COOLEY
An effort by one of the landowners on Four-Seasons Boulevard to spark a general CLEAN UP FOUR SEASONS BOULEVARD leading into Hendersonville has begun.
According to Art Cooley, owner of property at the former intersection of Cherry Street and Four-Seasons Boulevard, that stretch of some 200-feet, along Four Seasons Boulevard has been cleared of the growth of the past number of years and will get a treatment of fresh pine needles.
Some ten years ago, the City of Hendersonville closed the Cherry Street/Four Seasons Boulevard intersection which, according to former City Police Chief Donnie Parks said was ‘too dangerous’ and with too many accidents’ happening there, including a fatality. Cooley was unsuccessful in having the road reopened in a lawsuit which he entered against the city. During that lawsuit, the North Carolina Department of Transportation with local office under the direction of District Engineer Ed Green, proposed a traffic signal to be placed there with the City of Hendersonville bearing the cost. That offer was turned down by the City. Four-Seasons Boulevard (Highway 74 East) is under the jurisdiction of the NCDOT.
Cooley has been in touch with the City Council of Hendersonville over the past number of months encouraging them to stage a general clean-up of the entire area along Four Seasons Boulevard, now known as Martin Luther King Boulevard to present a better looking ‘city view’ coming into the City of Four Seasons. Manager John Connet tells Cooley that this issue was taken up just last week at the City’s annual ‘retreat’ and will soon be addressed by city council.
Cooley has owned the property since 1973 and has tried unsuccessfully over these years to gain approval from Hendersonville’s many different ‘city council’s’ and planning boards, to have the property between Cherry and Ashe Streets along Four-Seasons Boulevard re-zoned from residential to commercial. Cooley says that the city is holding landowners in that area hostage to lower sale prices on their property by keeping it zoned residential. Cooley contends the property offers the last remaining, high-visibility commercial opportunities from downtown Hendersonville to I-26, along Highway 64 East.
Many of the houses in that area are sub-standard and are being looked at by the city for condemnation and/or removal. A recent example of that is a house at the corner of Cherry and Jonas Street, across from Cooley’s property, which suffered fire damage a number of months ago and is now being removed by the property owner.
Thusly, two issues are on the table of city council regarding these properties. That of a general clean-up of the Four Seasons Boulevard area and the proposed re-zoning of the area from Cherry to Ashe Street along the boulevard, with the potential of re-opening Cherry Street to the boulevard.
THE 71ST RUNNING OF THE HISTORIC STEEPLECHASE
Tryon Riding & Hunt Club (TR&HC) and Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) are pleased to announce today that they have formed a partnership to manage and produce the 71st running of the Tryon Block House Races, the historic steeplechase of Tryon Riding & Hunt Club.
Under the newly-penned agreement, the Steeplechase will be held on April 15, 2017 - and in the future on the third Saturday in April. This year's race will have a total purse of $150,000 - the highest in the history of the event - and will move from the race's most recent venue, the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (FENCE) where it has taken place since 1988, to a new one-mile track on 115 acres of land managed by TIEC, located at 6881 N.C. Highway 9 in Columbus, N.C.
"This marks a new and exciting time for the Tryon Block House Steeplechase," said Andrew Brannon, president of Tryon Riding & Hunt Club, which has been promoting equestrian sport since 1925. "Through this partnership, beginning this year the Block House will offer a competitive purse structure that will attract more horses and will improve the overall experience of race day for everyone. Most importantly, this partnership allows TR&HC to preserve and protect the 70-year tradition of this race for our community and ensures its viability for future generations. TR&HC is proud to be part of the Block House's return to prominence among the spring NSA sanctioned steeplechases."
"We are thrilled to be able to partner with TR&HC to produce the Tryon Block House Steeplechase," said Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of Tryon Equestrian Partners, whose properties include Tryon International Equestrian Center. "This collaboration brings together the rich history of TR&HC with our vision for the future of equestrian sport in this area."
To be sure, the Tryon Block House Steeplechase has evolved from its early days when it was held on farmland surrounding a pre-Revolutionary War trading post and fort known as the Block House. In 1947 when Carter Brown started the race, he established Tryon as an important destination for distance horse racing in the region. As the event has expanded, so have the community's participation, the size of the crowds, and the importance of having both a competitive purse and A-rated course to attract the highest level of owner, rider and trainer. "We are committed to making this event a can't-miss attraction for everyone - from owners to riders and from casual spectators to steeplechase enthusiasts," said Sharon Decker, Chief Operating Officer of the Tryon International Equestrian Center.
About the Tryon Riding and Hunt Club - Formed in 1925, the Tryon Riding and Hunt Club seeks to enhance and preserve the traditions of the Tryon area by conducting equestrian and philanthropic programs that benefit the entire community. Learn more at www.trhc1925.org.
About the Tryon International Equestrian Center -Tryon International Equestrian Center at Tryon Resort is one of the world's premier equestrian lifestyle and competition destinations. Open in 2014, the venue provides outstanding facilities for hunter/jumper, dressage, and eventing competitions and soon will accommodate all eight equestrian disciplines. Tryon International Equestrian Center is a spring, summer and fall haven for eastern and northeastern American equestrian competitors and enthusiasts, and a year-round destination for connoisseurs of diverse cuisine, lodging getaways and family entertainment. Learn more at www.tryon.com.
The Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra (HSO) is pleased to announce pianist Christopher Tavernier as the winner of its 2017 Young Artist Competition.
Christopher, 16, of Hendersonville is a sophomore at Hendersonville High School. The son of Robert and Kimberly Tavernier, Christopher studies privately with Dr. Douglas Weeks and Dr. John Cobb. His winning performance piece was Piano Concerto No. 3 – Movement No. 1 Andante and Allegro by Sergei Prokofiev.
Now in its 22nd year, the annual Young Artist Competition “affords highly accomplished young musicians in Western North Carolina the opportunity to pursue excellence in competition,” said Philip A. (Pat) Tukey, HSO executive director. “This field of 11 exceptional young musicians all played their hearts out, providing an exciting competition and each should be immensely proud of their performances. Their talent and accomplishment is a glowing testament to their parents, teachers and their own hard work.”
The Young Artist Competition was held Feb. 19 at Freeburg Pianos, and the competition and awards were generously sponsored by LaBorde Eye Group, both of Hendersonville.
Studying piano since he was six years old, Christopher’s repertoire includes concertos by Bach, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, and Rachmaninoff. His broad solo repertoire includes many works by his favorite composer, Franz Liszt.
Christopher most recently won the 2016 Asheville Symphony’s Concerto Competition, in addition to being a semifinalist from the select 15 entrants in the 2016 Midwest International Piano Competition. As its youngest entrant ever, Christopher placed second in the national Elizabeth Harper Vaughn Concerto Competition in Kingsport, Tenn., in 2014.
Christopher is also a dedicated chamber music player. Since 2014, he has performed with the Rutherford Chamber Consort, a professional chamber music ensemble headquartered in Western North Carolina.
“I am so honored to win the Hendersonville Symphony Young Artist Competition. This opportunity was really important to me because Hendersonville is my home town,” said Christopher reflecting on his achievement.
Myles McKnight, 16, a resident of Fletcher and a junior at North Henderson High School was awarded second place in the HSO competition. The son of Judy and Michael McKnight, Myles played Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor - First Movement. He is a student of Jason Posnock.
Daphne Bickley, 15, of Lake Lure placed third. A senior at Rutherford Early College High School, Daphne is the daughter of Philip and Veda Bickley. A student of Jan Daugherty, Daphne performed Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, Movement 1 Andante Comodo by Sir William Walton.
As part of winning first place in the Young Artist Competition, Christopher will be a featured soloist with the HSO at their April 29 concert, “Nationalist Fervor.” He will play his winning performance piece. In addition, all three winners will perform at the annual HSO Youth Showcase recital, planned for Sunday, April 2, at 6 p.m. at Carolina Village.
The Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1971, exists to enrich the Hendersonville and Henderson County communities with live symphonic performances and music education opportunities for youth and adults.
For more information, visit hendersonvillesyphony.org, or call the HSO office at 828-697-5884.
CONSTRUCTION WILL BE DONE 9AM TO 4PM
PROJECT EXPECTED TO BE FINISHED BY MAY
Sidewalk Infill Project to Begin the end of January:
The City of Hendersonville has commenced construction of the US-64 (Four Seasons Boulevard) Sidewalk Infill Project. The project consists of construction of a sidewalk and other pedestrian facilities along Four Seasons Blvd from the Verizon Wireless store to Bojangles location. This project is funded completely through a grant from the Federal Transportation Authority in addition to an in-kind match from the City. The City has recently contracted with Patton Construction Group to complete this work, with City water and sewer crews also providing support. The project is anticipated to be completed by May 2017, although the schedule could fluctuate due to weather or other unforeseen issues.
Construction will start near Verizon and move east to the end of the project limits. We have and will continue to stress the importance of minimizing the impact of this project on the businesses along Four Seasons. The contractor will work hard to keep disruptions to a minimum and to maintain driveway and street access for businesses and property owners throughout the project.
Construction hours will be 9 am to 4 pm and will necessitate the temporary lane closures. Lane closures will be limited to the hours of construction and to portions of sidewalk under construction.
SPREAD OUT IN THE CURRENT LOCATION IN CITY HALL
OFFICERS INVESTIGATING AN AVERAGE 10 MVA'S PER DAY
CITY FIREMEN RESPONDING TO GROWING NUMBER OF MEDICAL RELATED CALLS
Henderson County and all its municipalities are beginning work on their budgets for FY 2017-18 that will start July 1st. Budget workshops are already underway; public hearings will be coming up later in the spring.
In Hendersonville, City Manager John Connet says a priority in the next one to two years will be a new facility for Hendersonville Police. They’re spread out now, and may well need more in the way of manpower as well…Connet and Chief Herbert Blake say city police are responding to an average 10 vehicles accidents per day, with most of them taking up to one hour each to investigate.
Hendersonville’s Fire Department may also need additional manpower, with city firemen responding to an increasing number of medical-related calls.
More parking in the downtown area is another need being looked at by city leaders going into the new fiscal year. A parking garage or deck apparently has been ruled out, at least for now…the high cost and a location as close as possible to downtown are the two critical factors where a garage is concerned.
Water and sewer, maintaining and upgrading the system to keep up with growth is another issue being monitored closely by city officials as budget plans begin for the new fiscal year.
Budget workshops are currently being held in each of the county’s fibe municipalities.
POLICE CAUTION AGAINST JOGGING ALONE
ALTERNATE YOUR ROUTES
KEEP RUNNERS MACE WITH YOU---HAVE IT HANDY
The Hendersonville Police Department is currently investigating a reported and suspected sexual assault of a jogger that occurred on West Lake Drive between 3am and 4am the morning hours of Tuesday, February 21, 2017. If anyone saw anything suspicious; or has any information regarding this assault, please contact Hendersonville Police Detective Bruce Darrah at 828-697-3042 directly. As a preventive measure the Hendersonville Police Department encourages all runners to constantly monitor their surroundings and use the following safety tips:
We realize that the night time might be a favorite time or the best time, depending on your schedule to run for many people; but there needs to be a sufficient dose of suspicion when running at night. If at all possible, do not run alone at night! Two people are harder to control than one; so attackers are less likely to strike and if they do, you've just doubled your chance of survival. If you don't have someone to run with, get a dog. Not only do dogs make you a less attractive target, dogs can sometimes sense danger before people can. Do Not Run with your earphones so loud you can’t hear what is around you. When you have loud music blaring in your ears, you can't hear a potential attacker come up behind you. This could also slow your reaction time. Consider altering your route. When we run the same route; or the same two routes, day after day, at the same time, it could make you an easier target for attackers. Plus altering your route makes you harder to track. Altering your routes should keep you more alert because you are traversing a different terrain. The more alert you are, the more likely you are to escape an attack. Consider running against traffic. This can make it harder for someone to abduct you in a vehicle if you see them coming. This also helps prevent traffic related accidents, especially if you like to run in the early morning or at dusk. Last, carry mace; but be very familiar with it. You can buy runner's mace in a small can (3/4 ounce) that has a Velcro strap that fits easily around your hand or wrist. It is effective up to eight to 12 feet away—depending on aim—and one burst is usually enough to stop someone.
The Hendersonville Police Department has intensely increased our patrols in this area. And, we encourage those that run the city streets primarily after hours to contact the police department’s dispatch and make us aware of this
IN THE RALEIGH NEWS & OBSERVER, IN THE WASHINGTON TIMES, AND IN U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT.
SHERIFF SAYS, "I STAND BY IT."
Some comments made by Henderson County Sheriff Charlie McDonald in “The Guardian”, the department’s regular newsletter, have stirred up some controversy---at least among those who disagree with the sheriff’s point of view---and spreading as far away as the Raleigh newspaper News & Observer.
In that recent edition of “The Guardian”, the sheriff said (in part)…
“I believe many of the vile and disgusting protests that are taking place across our nation are not a result of the differences between America's traditional political parties. Rather, they appear to be the result of an anti-American social progressive movement with the goal of subverting our great Republic and replacing it with something akin to the social economic governance that continues to decimate Western Europe to this day. In truth, I believe that many in this nation from all parties awoke at the last moment and saw the face of the beast that was poised to consume us all.
Now is the time for patriotism and unity. Americans must focus on what we all hold to be true, regardless of party or religious affiliation. We must move beyond anger and grief; beyond gloating and taunts; beyond anxiousness and fear. Despite what we have all endured, God is still on His throne and we, by His grace alone, are still the greatest nation on this earth. Still, we are facing an insidious threat from within, and how we choose to respond will determine what kind of a country we leave for our children.”
It’s hard to imagine how a conservative and fundamental observation like this and something this patriotic could become “controversial”, but in this day and age of rude and uncivil public behavior, of protests that are funded and organized intentionally to be unruly, disruptive, and divisive, and of a general lack of respect for law and public service among some in our country, and over exposed, even supported and encouraged, by some in the mainstream media---anything appears possible, even probable.
As the sheriff said to News 13 after his comments were published in the statewide media, “I support anybody’s right to protest peaceably and within the context of the laws and Constitution, but that whole article was written, as it says in the first line, about people who were destroying businesses and vandalizing property.”
The Guardian newsletter has been published regularly by the sheriff’s office for several years…and its purpose is to bring the public up to speed on things that are happening and to keep the public well informed.
By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman 02/24/17
WHEN COMPLETE WILL PARK ABOUT 1400 VEHICLES
PARKING GARAGE CONSTRUCTION LEAPS FORWARD
Walls imprinted with mountain scenes
The crane in front of the terminal has been in significant operation during the past few weeks, and now the north walls of the parking garage are in place. We are receiving positive feedback about the mountain scenes that were fabricated into the concrete panels, with area residents glad to see the nod to our region's Blue Ridge Mountains.
The parking garage is slated to be complete by the fall of this year.
MEADOW WILL BE MEETING WITH TRUMP ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS THIS WEEK
HEAR MORE DETAILS ON WHKP'S LOCAL NEWS ALL DAY AND NIGHT THIS WEDNESDAY
As the Trump Administration was announcing new, tougher immigration and deportation policies Tuesday morning, Western North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows was announcing, in a “live” interview on WHKP, that he has “gotten the message loud and clear” about the need for adequate farm labor from farmers in Henderson County.
Meadows told WHKP and the listening audience that he will be returning to Washington on Thursday and will be meeting with some top level Administration officials on the immigration and farm labor issues.
Local farmers on the Town of Mills River’s Agriculture Advisory Committee recently sent a letter to Meadows and to U.S. Senators Burr and Tillis from North Carolina expressing their hope for meaningful immigration reform, while stressing the need for adequate labor to plant, care for, and harvest their crops this year. Some will be growing fewer acres of crops this year, fearful that ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents will raid their fields and apprehend and possibly deport farm labor that is not in this country legally.
Reassuring local growers, Meadows said Tuesday that is not going to happen.
Meadows pointed out that ICE (and the Trump Administration) are only interested in those illegals who are guilty of, or have a history of, dangerous crimes or have flagrantly over-stayed their permitted time in this country.
Meadows also said he is confident that some type of “guest worker” arrangement will be worked out to keep adequate farm labor (mainly from Mexico) on the farms and in the fields and orchards of Western North Carolina.
In a related matter, Meadows said the move to establish a refugee re-location center in Western North Carolina, probably in the Ashville area, has, at least for the time being, been squelched. Some churches in the area indicated a while back they would be interested in assisting refugees, even from such troubled countries as Syria, re-locate in this area---and that possibility caused concern among some local citizens and elected officials and resulted in a resolution by Henderson County commissioners opposing such refugee re-location.
By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman 02/21/17 Updated 3pm