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THE OLD BALFOUR SCHOOL WAS CELEBRATED FRIDAY

THE OLD BALFOUR SCHOOL WAS CELEBRATED FRIDAY

WILL BE THE NEW SITE FOR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, EMS, AND THE RESCUE SQUAD   

WHKPS Richard Rhodes em-ceed the Balfour School celebration Friday morning.

About 200 former students,teachers,principals and community leaders attended this special ceremony.Former and current principals addressed the group..current principal Kent Parent, Past principals Corum Smith,Mike Pressely,and Beth Caudle spoke.

It was announced efforts are underway to collect the funds needed to place a permanent marker of Balfour School on the property.Plans are to tear down the historic Stillwell built Balfour School and the County EMS will take over the property.Balfour Education Center as it is now known will be a part of the all new school plans at Blue Ridge Community College.

The highlight of the event saw former teachers sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Joanne Schultz a former lunchroom employee....it was a longtime Balfour tradition for the lunch room ladies to sing happy birthday to all the students having birthdays.

To make donations for the Balfour School marker contact the Henderson County Education History Initiative....414 4th Avenue West Hendersonville 28739...donations are 100% tax deductable.Balfour School opened in 1909....it has serve the community for 108 years.

THREE SUSPECTS CHARGED WITH SOCIAL MEDIA BOMB THREAT WEDNESDAY AT NHHS

THREE SUSPECTS CHARGED WITH SOCIAL MEDIA BOMB THREAT WEDNESDAY AT NHHS

THREE SUSPECTS CHARGED  

NO EXPLOSIVE DEVICE FOUND   

On May 3, 2017, at approximately 10:34am, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office was notified by the Henderson County Public School system that a bomb threat had been made against North Henderson High School on social media.

The Sheriff’s Office responded and placed the school on a precautionary soft lockdown. The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office bomb detection K9 assisted with a sweep of the school where no devices were located. Investigators identified three suspects who were interviewed and charged with making a false report concerning mass violence on educational property (NC G.S. 14-277.5). The lockdown was lifted at approximately 12:15pm.

Seth Corn, age 17 of Hendersonville; Kain Brown, age 17 of Hendersonville; and Anselmo Castillo, age 17 of Hendersonville were arrested and their bonds have been set at $500.00 each. Their first court appearance will be at 9am in District Court of Henderson County on May 4, 2017.

ASHEVILLE SAVINGS BANK ACQUIRED BY FIRST BANK

ASHEVILLE SAVINGS BANK ACQUIRED BY FIRST BANK

ASB HAS A HENDERSONVILLE LOCATION  

First Bancorp (Nasdaq: FBNC), the parent company of First Bank, announced today the signing of a definitive merger agreement under which First Bancorp will acquire ASB Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq: ASBB), the parent company of Asheville Savings Bank, SSB, in a cash and stock transaction with a total current value of approximately $175 million, or $43.12 per share based on First Bancorp's closing share price on April 28, 2017. With over $5 billion in pro forma assets and more than 100 branches, this transaction will solidify First Bank's position as the leading community bank in North Carolina.

The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of each company. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017 and is subject to customary conditions, including regulatory approvals and approval by ASB Bancorp's shareholders. Subject to the terms of the merger agreement, ASB Bancorp shareholders will receive 1.44 shares of First Bancorp's common stock or $41.90 in cash, or a combination thereof, for each share of ASB Bancorp common stock. The total consideration will be prorated as necessary to ensure that 90% of the total outstanding shares of ASB Bancorp common stock will be exchanged for First Bancorp common stock and 10% of the total outstanding shares of ASB Bancorp common stock will be exchanged for cash, provided that the maximum number of shares of First Bancorp common stock to be issued in exchange for ASB Bancorp common stock will not exceed 19.9% of the number of shares of First Bancorp common stock issued and outstanding immediately before the closing of the merger.

Asheville Savings Bank currently operates 13 banking locations in the Asheville, Marion and Brevard MSAs. Asheville Savings Bank reported assets of $803 million, gross loans of $606 million and deposits of $682 million as of March 31, 2017. The acquisition complements First Bank's existing three branches in the Asheville market.

"We are very excited to be partnering with Asheville Savings Bank and increasing our footprint in the attractive Asheville market," said Richard Moore, Chief Executive Officer of First Bancorp. "Like First Bank, Asheville Savings Bank was also organized in the mid-1930's and has the same long history of service to its customers, its communities and its shareholders. More importantly, the organizational values of Asheville Savings Bank, and its people, align very well with those of First Bank. We are also pleased that Suzanne S. DeFerie, President & Chief Executive Officer of ASB Bancorp, will join First Bancorp as a board member and in a market leadership capacity."

Upon completion of the acquisition, the combined company will have approximately $5.2 billion in assets, $3.9 billion in loans and $4.3 billion in deposits. This transaction represents a strategic and financially attractive combination for both companies' shareholders and will solidify First Bank's position as one of the top community banks in North Carolina.

"We are proud to become part of a long standing, community banking focused organization. The combination provides strong value and potential upside for our shareholders going forward," said Ms. DeFerie, "The combination also provides valuable additional products and services for our customers, an expanded branch network, and new opportunities for our employees as part of a larger organization."

RBC Capital Markets, LLC served as exclusive financial advisor to First Bancorp and Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard LLP provided legal counsel. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. served as exclusive financial advisor to ASB Bancorp and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP served as legal counsel.

ROADSIDE GRASS MOWING ALONG HENDERSONVILLE STREETS STARTS THIS WEEK

ROADSIDE GRASS MOWING ALONG HENDERSONVILLE STREETS STARTS THIS WEEK

PLEASE DRIVE CAREFULLY AROUND IT   

Roadside mowing will begin on City streets this week. Residents are encouraged to maintain their property adjacent to street right of ways to avoid the need, and resulting affect, of our sidearm mower. We have 68 miles of streets to maintain, therefore utilizing the sidearm mower is the most effective way to manage this volume.

A general guideline for homes adjacent to roadways is to keep any bushes, tree limbs, or other things out of the roadway and 1-2 feet behind the curb or edge of pavement. The height should be approx. 16 feet above the road surface. For streets with sidewalks, the same applies for the roadway while sidewalks should be clear of obstructions to a height of 7-8 feet. Property owners near intersections are also asked to keep vegetation and debris trimmed far enough away from the intersections to allow motorists a reasonable line of sight before entering the intersection.

We appreciate your assistance as we work diligently to maintain our City streets. For more information please contact Public Works Department at 697-3084.

I-26 AND U.S. 74 INTERCHANGE IN POLK COUNTY DUE FOR A MAKE-OVER STARTING THIS SEPTEMBER

I-26 AND U.S. 74 INTERCHANGE IN POLK COUNTY DUE FOR A MAKE-OVER STARTING THIS SEPTEMBER

A $16 MILLION PROJECT   

A major highway crossroads affecting traffic between Western North Carolina and areas including Charlotte and Columbia, S.C., appears to be on its way to a long-planned overhaul.

According to Carolina Public Press, resurfacing, new connectors and a rerouted creek are expected to change the look of this major highway interchange near the South Carolina line. Michael Gebelein / Carolina Public Press
The North Carolina Department of Transportation’s nearly $16 million plan to revamp the interchange of Interstate 26 and U.S. 74 in Polk County received a public hearing on Tuesday at Isothermal Community College’s campus in Columbus.

The construction project, which has been in the planning stages for years, according to transportation officials, is scheduled to begin in September and end a year later in September 2018.

DOT officials at the meeting said part of the impetus to finish the project quickly is the FEI Equestrian Games, which will be at the Tryon International Equestrian Center the same month they’ve scheduled the project to be completed.

The plan for the interchange, which is essentially finalized according to NCDOT officials, would create a direct connection between the two major routes. According to an NCDOT handout, the current traffic pattern forces vehicles, including “a high volume of tractor-trailer trucks” that “mixes with local traffic,” to exit the highway and travel through roundabouts on N.C. 108 before entering either U.S. 74 or I-26.

The state is proposing to repave a section of U.S. 74 that’s east of I-26, while also repaving both sides of the interstate where it crosses under N.C. 108.

DOT will have new connectors constructed between westbound I-26 and eastbound U.S. 74 and westbound U.S. 74 and eastbound I-26.

The plan also calls for a realignment of Horse Creek, which runs parallel to the interstate. This will include construction of a new culvert underneath two of the newly constructed lanes.

The bulk of the work will be performed in the existing right of way, though the state does have to acquire two parcels of land on the west side of N.C. 108 to allow for the construction of a new lane connecting that road and U.S. 74. The state has estimated that acquisition would cost $130,000, and plans to begin purchasing the parcels in July.

According to documents provided at the meeting, the state will finalize the project design in June and then start construction in September.

TOP HENDERSON COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR SCHOLARS RECOGNIZED

TOP HENDERSON COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR SCHOLARS RECOGNIZED

TOP HENDERSON COUNTY SCHOLARS   

Top Henderson County high school seniors were honored Thursday at the North Carolina Scholars Luncheon, held in the Blue Ridge Community College Conference Hall.

Superintendent Bo Caldwell was the featured speaker for the event, which recognizes the academic and activity accomplishments and strong leadership of seniors at the top of their classes at each high school.

The 2017 Top Scholars are:

EARLY COLLEGE HIGH

Liezelle Alipio

Gianna Gerard

Reese Giles

Makayla Pack

Shivani Patel

Alex Ramirez

Norma Reyes

Jasen Sanchez

Sandra Zepeda

EAST HENDERSON HIGH

Ashelyn Askew

Nelson Bagwell

Lilly Blankenship

Blakeley Bristol

Adam Bryant

Jessica Buckner

Isaac Burd

Steven Byrd

Allison Carter

Ella Castro-Crawford

Mikaela Cox

Annabelle Cram

Tiffany Dorn

Bryanna Doucette

Isaiah Elkins

Kristopher Elrod

Hannah Fischer

Cassidy Foreman

Trace Garren

Justin Gonzalez

Ashley Guerrero

Nalleli Guido-Moreno

Ana Gutierrez-Hernandez

Anthony Halford

Dawson Henderson

Michaela Hensley

Sarah Hill

Jordan Hrabar

AndrewJohnson

Kayla Johnson

Adam Jones

Matthew Jones

Claire Maybin

Cheyenne McCall

Adriana Mendoza

Sheridan Mentch

Britany Moffitt

Colton Morgan

Preston Owens

Zuleima Perez

Kerra Pressley

Roman Rojas Becerril

Nicholas Romer

Sabrina Sharpe

Emma Camryn Talley

Tessa Tarleton

Taylor Vaughn

Brittany Villasana

Samantha Ward

Ethan Wiggen

MacKenna Williams

Michael Woolard

Alec Worrell

Nicholas Zajd

HENDERSONVILLE HIGH

Kaelah Avery

Olivia Baer

Cyrena Bedoian

Kaitlyn Bennett

Marissa Bischoff

Michael Bowen

Jensen Broadhurst

Jenna Burns

Christian Cagle

Lindsey Cloer

Carlin Compton

James Dillon

Victoria Escobar

Natalie Fletcher

Katelyn Flowers

Evan Goff

Nila Goodson

Joanna Guy

Alexander Holm

Elizabeth Huapilla Salitre

Kayleigh Hubert

Hakeem Jenkins

Emily Johnson

Lily Jones

Addison Kain

Lauren Kanipe

Meredith Kraus

Mead Krowka

Shiauna Ledbetter

Keegan LeMay

Nathanael Lemmens

Sam Lucas

Jake Matteson

Christian Maxey

Stephanie McCrary

Terry McCurdy

Brandon Pace

Cameron Ramer

Meghan Reid

Alex Salvaggio

Alexandra Styles

Harper Swing

Annabelle Webb

Megan Winter

NORTH HENDERSON HIGH

Ireri Alejos-Santos

Bailey Allen

Elisabeth Arrona

John Baldwin

Shelly Banz

Victoria Bonomo

Brittany Brewer

Donna Cameron

Jon Clark

Alex Coon

Nikkia Cox

Sophia Cruz Ostafin

Dylan Cruz

Porter Dalton

Hanna Derden

Nathan Duckett

Elizabeth Duncan

Austin Edney

Maya Ellis

Charles Floyd

MORE VIDEO:
East plays Franklin Friday. East won 7 to 2.
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Allyson Garren

Mackenzie Garren

Gracie Gunnels

Adela Gutierrez Ramirez

Sarah Gyenes

Christina Hazell

Almeria Hendl

Roberto Hernandez

Gizelle Herrera

Haley Hudgins

Julianna Jaehn

Kayla Justice

Azlan Ali Khan

Grace Lachance

Yanexis Lara

John Ledford

Maria Manzanarez Garcia

Caroline Marsh

Natalie Mendoza

Michaiah Moffitt

James Morrison

Damian Murphy

Dena Nix

Taylor Olsen

Fernando Ordonez

Ilda Perez

Andrew Prentice

Victoria Renfroe

Laura Rice

Carl Robinson

Madison Russell

Alondra Santos Alvarez

Breanna Slagle

Sarah Souther

Alliyah Telesford

Colby Wells

Hayden Whaley

Kailin Wiley

Li-Chu Wong

Kennedy Wright

Dakota Youngblood

WEST HENDERSON HIGH

Amanda Ayers

Mary Ball

Andrew Bannish

Chloe Biggs

Michaela Bradley

Mary Bridges

James Britt

Alexander Browning

Jasmine Burke

Gabrielle Burnette

Joshua Conner

Caitlyn Cooper

Hannah Corn

Allison D’Augusta

Katlyne Featherstone

Brandon Fleming

Sophie Fortain

Reis Gadsden

Destynee Galloway

Kristen Gass

Nathan Gehr

Kaitlin Gilbert

Rachel Gillette

Zachary Godwin

Sarah Gosnell

Charlotte Grush

Dallis Guilliams

Hope Hairston

Savanna Harris

Tasha Hartzfeld

Madeline Hatfield

Alyssa Hecht

Carolina Herrera

Cora Hilliard

Josephine Hutcherson

Daniel Ippolito

Garland Jones

Nicholas Jones

Sierra Jones

Mallorie Keel

Erin Kennedy

Alessandrea King

ZacharyKuykendall

Joan Kyung

Trevor Laffin

Samuel Littauer

Pierce London

Kasey Marsh

Claudia Martin

David Mathis

Autumn McCarson

Kenneth Merritt

Sofia Molina

Leah Murphy

Sofia Murphy

Cristina Nieto-Lopez

Elizabeth O’Donnell

Madeleine O’Hearn

Jwalanta Panthee

Caitlyn Papke

Dhuru Patel

Katheryne Perkins

Hope Robinson

Johnathan Rosas

Jennah Sekaz

Dylan Shamburger

Mara Shook

Alyzah Sibayan

Lindsey Smith

Skylar Smith

Curtis Sprague

Samuel Staton

Rebecca Steffanic

Sarah Stertzbach

Gracie Tate

Kole Thomas

Emily Treadway

Sierra Vaughn

Sarah Vidak

Cassidy Ward

Luke Washburn

Kasey West

Zachary Whisenant

Jackson Whiting

Hannah Wieman

Samantha Wilkie

Kendall Williams

Lauren Williams

Matthew Witte

Jordan Young

SHERIFF ANNOUNCES CHANGE IN CCW APPLICATION SCHEDULES

SHERIFF ANNOUNCES CHANGE IN CCW APPLICATION SCHEDULES

FOR BOTH NEW PERMITS AND RENEWALS   

The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office would like to make the public aware of an adjustment in their schedule for Concealed Handgun Permits (CCW) applications for both new permits and renewals.

In late 2012 and early 2013, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office saw a spike in the number of individuals applying for Concealed Handgun Permits. Based upon the number of new Concealed Handgun Permits that were issued, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office is anticipating a surge in CCW renewals over the next year and a half. To streamline the process for CCW renewals, the Sheriff’s Office will be adjusting their appointment schedule.

New CCW appointments will continue to occur every Tuesday from 1pm-3pm.
Renewal CCW appointments will occur every Wednesday from 9am-12pm AND every Thursday from 9am-11am.

Renewal process steps:
Concealed Handgun Permits must be renewed every five (5) years. The Sheriff’s Office sends out a ‘Notice of Concealed Handgun Permit Renewal’ to permit holders, but CCW holders are encouraged to maintain an awareness of when their permit is up for renewal and take appropriate action.
Permit renewals must be applied for no less than forty-five (45) days prior to the permit expiration date. As a service to permit holders, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office sends out renewal notice letters ninety (90) days in advance of expiration date. CCW holders must go on-line to the Sheriff’s Office website (www.hendersonsheriff.org – Click on Permits/Fingerprinting > Permit to Carry Concealed Handgun > Order Carry Conceal > Renew Concealed Handgun Permit) to fill out the required forms.

Tips to ensure your permit will not expire:
· Carefully read the renewal letter and go on-line NO LESS than forty-five (45) days before the permit is set to expire.

· If you have moved, you will need to update your address with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) AND complete a change of address with the Sheriff’s Office by calling (828) 694-3156 BEFORE it is time to renew your Concealed Handgun Permit.

· Renewal Paperwork must be filled out completely; the previous address section is required by the state and all addresses (from the time the applicant turned 18 years of age) must be completed in order to be processed.

If you have a question about your Concealed Handgun Permit Renewal, you may call the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office at (828) 694-3156.

AIRPORT'S NEW MULTI-STORY PARKING DECK RISING UP & TAKING SHAPE

AIRPORT'S NEW MULTI-STORY PARKING DECK RISING UP & TAKING SHAPE

WILL HAVE ROOM FOR ABOUT 1400 CARS;   SHOULD BE COMPLETE BY THANKSGIVING   

The photos of the new parking deck on this page was taken from an additional airport parking area, across Highway 280, and in front of Fairfield Inn and J & S Cafeteria.  Those who use that parking  area are being shuttled back and forth onto the actual airport main campu.

A spokesman for the Asheville Regional Airport says progress is good on that new multi-story parking deck beding constructed in the main parking area in front of the terminal at the airport.

The structure is almost complete, but more work still to be done.

The spokesman said, "The parking garage is really taking shape, and looks nearly finished. However, once the physical structure is completed (within the next month), there is still much work to be finished."

Almost all of the remaining work will take place inside the structure, such as electrical, lighting, elevator installation, signage installation and more. The parking garage is expected to be complete before the Thanksgiving holiday.

The parking deck is prt of a major expansion and make-over at the airport which includes an all new runway...the first major renovation at the airpoort since it opened a half century ago.

IT'S NOW OFFICIAL:  HENDERSON COUNTY NO LONGER IN "DROUGHT"

IT'S NOW OFFICIAL: HENDERSON COUNTY NO LONGER IN "DROUGHT"

STREAMS AND RIVERS IN HENDERSON COUNTY ARE NOW AT BANKFULL OR OVER-FLOWING  

The North Carolina Drought Management Advisory Council officially removed Henderson County from the "moderate drought" list on Thursday.  After between 4 and 5 inches of rainfall last weekend...and with about 14 inches of total rainfall measured in Hendersonille-Ashville so far this year, Henderson County is now in the "abnormally dry" classification.

The latest drought classifications were released Thursday:

Counties Under Current Advisory

D2 - Severe Drought
Clay County

Total: 1

D1 - Moderate Drought
Cherokee County
Graham County
Haywood County
Jackson County
Macon County
Swain County

Total: 6

D0 - Abnormally Dry
Alamance County
Alexander County
Buncombe County
Burke County
Caldwell County
Caswell County
Catawba County
Cleveland County
Davidson County
Davie County
Durham County
Forsyth County
Gaston County
Granville County
Guilford County
Henderson County
Iredell County
Lincoln County
McDowell County
Orange County
Person County
Polk County
Randolph County
Rockingham County
Rowan County
Rutherford County
Stokes County
Surry County
Transylvania County
Vance County
Wilkes County
Yadkin County

Total: 32

THOSE WHO "PROTECT AND SERVE" RECOGNIZED AND HONORED

THOSE WHO "PROTECT AND SERVE" RECOGNIZED AND HONORED

SPECIAL RECONITIONS THURSDAY NIGHT     

The 25th annual Shield Awards were presented by the local Knights of Columbus Thursday night.

Guests, family members and friends packed a room at Immaculate Conception Church to honor this year’s recipients.

This year’s awards went to Paramedic Jessica McMurray with Henderson County Emergency Medical Services; Engineer Jon Ward with the Hendersonville Fire Department; Deputy Steve Owen with the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office; Chief Richard Barnwell with the Bat Cave Volunteer Fire Department and Henderson County Emergency Services; and Office Jeff Tankersley with Hendersonville Police Department.

The award winners were selected by their respective service leaders.

Meanwhile, Henderson County Deputy Sheriff Ricky Woodard was honored with a special plaque of appreciation by Mills River Town Council Thursday night for several years of service as the Town of Mills River's "designated" deputy.  Woodard will soon be moving into the HCSO's Criminal Investigations Division, and a new deputy (yet to be assigned) will join two others currently under contract to the Town of Mills River.,  That number of "designated" deputies for Mills River will increase to five over the next several years.