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A WNC TRADITION:  GINGERBREAD HOUSES AT CHRISTMAS AT THE (OMNI) GROVE PARK INN

A WNC TRADITION: GINGERBREAD HOUSES AT CHRISTMAS AT THE (OMNI) GROVE PARK INN

JUST UP THE ROAD...AT THE GROVE PARK INN   

This month the Omni Grove Park Inn hosts a holiday city made of gingerbread.

The National Gingerbread House Competition will be held in the Grand Ballroom on Monday. The winning creations will then be on display from Sunday, November 26 - January 4, 2018.

The houses are crafted by people in four age categories, from as young as five, to 18 years and older. They will be judged on things like appearance, creativity and difficulty.
Last year's adult winner came all the way from Ontario, Canada.

The Omni Grove Park Inn invites guests not staying at the resort to view the display after 3 p.m. on Sundays or anytime Monday through Thursday, based on parking availability.
In 2017, minimum $20 parking charge will be in effect for all drive-on guests (one charge per standard-size vehicle, based on availability).

NC UTILITIES COMMISSION HEARINGS ON DUKE ENERGY RATE INCREASE WERE SET TO BEGIN MONDAY

NC UTILITIES COMMISSION HEARINGS ON DUKE ENERGY RATE INCREASE WERE SET TO BEGIN MONDAY

IN A DEAL ANNOUNCED LAST MONDAY MORNING, DUKE ENERGY SAYS THEY'LL SETTLE FOR A 13 PER CENT RATE INCREASE FOR MANY IN WNC AND HENDERSON COUNTY COULD BE RACING THAT 16.7 PER CENT INCRESDE.

AVERAGE HOMEOWNER'S BILL WILL GO UP ABOUT $18 A MONTH   

THE 16.7 % INCREASE WOULD APPLY TO DUKE'S "CAROLINA" AREA WHICH INCLUDES HENDERSON, POLK, TRANSYLVANIA AND ABOUT TWO DOZEN OTHER COUNTIES.   

The country's largest electric company heads into a fight for a rate hike with regulators in its top market now focused on setting a precedent on whether consumers should pay the full cost of cleaning up coal ash pits loaded with toxic metals.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission opens hearings Monday into whether Duke Energy Corp. will be allowed to charge consumers nearly $200 million a year for the cleanup.

The company and the state's official utilities consumer advocate reached a tentative deal last week that would cut the requested rate increase of almost 15 percent. The deal involved Duke Energy slightly reducing its requested potential profit margin from 10.75 percent to 9.9 percent, speeding up consumer repayment of some deferred taxes and other moves.

"We are pleased that we were able to work together to find common ground in this request, and believe this is an important and positive step in this proceeding," spokesman Jeff Brooks said in an email.

ONE NEW DEVELOPMENT PLANNED;   ANOTHER ONE STALLED

ONE NEW DEVELOPMENT PLANNED; ANOTHER ONE STALLED

 

ON HOWARD GAP ROAD 

The city has received an application for a special-use permit from Mills River-based Mountain Bean Growers Inc. to construct 67 single-family homes.

The development, dubbed the Cottages at Cypress Run, is planned for a parcel of land between Clear Creek and the Big Pine Road/Old Holbert Road intersection.

Preliminary site plans show the development being divided into three phases. When completed, the project would feature an oval-shaped road with homes lining either side.

Most lots would be approximately .1 to .2 acres in size, with a couple corner lots measuring .3 to .5 acres.

Plans do not contain specific details on the homes themselves, whether they will be one-story, two-story or a combination of both.

The development will be set back from the road, with about 40 feet of open space from Howard Gap. A playground and sidewalks lining Howard Gap road are also proposed for the site.

If the project is approved, Heyman said, the site will become part of Hendersonville’s city limits. As part of the project, the applicant also is requesting the parcel to be rezoned Planned Residential Development.

A neighborhood compatibility meeting is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Dec. 7 in the City Operations Center at 305 Williams St.

COTTAGES AT ARCADIA VIEWS IN LAUREL PARK STILL DELAYED   

Laurel Park officials continue to hold off on a decision for a 56-unit cottage-style development off U.S. 64, which also gives the project’s opponents time to continue their efforts to keep it from Henderson County’s east-west thoroughfare.

The Laurel Park Town Council was set to approve a conditional use permit for the Cottages at Arcadia Views during its Tuesday meeting. However, they agreed to table the decision while the N.C. Department of Transportation gathers more information needed to approve a driveway permit on U.S. 64.

In a letter sent to the town Friday, Mark Kopcienski of WXZ Development requested the council table decision on the project until NCDOT has all the information they need.

“Given that the town requested feedback on the traffic impact analysis, and the developer-submitted driveway permit application from NCDOT appears to require further clarification, we are hereby requesting a continuance of consideration by Town Council and tabling of this matter from tomorrow’s council meeting until after NCDOT’s response has been deemed sufficiently clarified,” the letter reads.

A letter sent from NCDOT District Engineer Steve Cannon on Nov. 17 says the NCDOT is reviewing additional information from the civil engineering firm responsible for the site design, which was received that day.

Cannon said upon evaluation of that information, NCDOT will complete its review and recommendation of the proposed driveway permit.

Phase one of Arcadia Views calls for 28 one-story duplexes on a 16-acre section of land off Brevard Road across from Hunters Lane. It’s the first of five phases WXZ Development has planned for a 90-acre tract between Brevard Road and Davis Mountain Road, totaling 199 housing units in all.

The project has faced wide opposition from the Hunter’s Crossing and Hawthorn Hills subdivisions across the street, as well as others who live along U.S. 64. Their main concern is the additional traffic an eventual 199-unit development would cause on an already busy U.S. 64.

 

NC DOT TO RECONSIDER PLANS FOR KANUGA ROAD

NC DOT TO RECONSIDER PLANS FOR KANUGA ROAD

NO BIKE LANES OR SIDEWALKS

NC DOT is re-thining plans for improving Kanuga Road. After widespread opposition to their original plan, DOT and other officials and stakeholders met recently to revise the plan.

A new plan for Kanuga Road will likely not include sidewalks and bike lanes, which had been strongly opposed by those in the area.

Opponents now say they are optimistic.

Improvements to Kanuga Road got attention after traffic accidents and deaths along that road in recent yests.

 

 

HIGHWAY 64 WEST RESIDENTS BEGIN ROADWAY FIGHT

HIGHWAY 64 WEST RESIDENTS BEGIN ROADWAY FIGHT

OPPOSITION TO NC DOT PLANS   

Another big-time traffic fight is brewing here in Henderson County - this time going West, leaving Hendersonville on Highway 64 West.  Also known as 6th Avenuel West....and in particular in the area of Laurel Park.

A number of business firms along with residents are 'virally opposed' to the proposed widening of that road, which would also include three round-abouts, one at Blythe Street, one at the intersection at Laurel Park Shopping Center and one at White Pine Drive.

Black and Yellow Signs have 'peppered' the entire stretch of road proclaiming - 3 lanes - NOT ROUNDABOUTS and gives a site to sign petitions. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

The Laurel Park Town Council voted some months ago to go along with the North Carolina Department of Transportations plan for these three roundabouts, which calls for two-lanes, divided with a grassy median. The travel lanes would be 12-foot, plus 5-foot bike lanes and 5-foot sidewalks. 

On the other side of the county, residents are fighting NCDOT's plans to expand Kanuga Road to three lanes from the current two lanes.




NEW OWNERS HAVE BIG PLANS FOR THE OLD TUXEDO SCHOOL PROPERTY

NEW OWNERS HAVE BIG PLANS FOR THE OLD TUXEDO SCHOOL PROPERTY

EVERYTHING FROM FAMILY CONDOS TO AN INNOVATION CENTER    

By Larry Freeman   

It is apparently a “done deal” now...the old Tuxedo Elementary School property has been sold. WHKP reported a while back that the deal was in the “due diligence” process, which now has apparently been completed.

The old building, re-designed after a fire some 80 years ago by historic local architect Erle Stillwell, is now in the process of becoming the “Tuxedo School of Innovation and Preservation"...,and that should be pleasing to the family of the late Clifton Shipman who owned that property prior to its sale.

According to information being circulated on social media, the new owners describe their vision for the old school as “...a lifetime project that will last a little longer.”

The owners say (on social media) that they are rehabilitating the old school “...into a family homestead and community space.”

They say their future plans for the old school are family condos, guest rooms, open play areas and learning environments. a commercial kitchen, cafeteria, theater, Innovation Center...which will include a machine shop, wood shop, 3D printing, welding, forge restoration, loaner tools and space.

Plans also reportedly include a ball field on the property, sustainable farming, a basketball court, and a meeting space for Scouts and other organizations.

According to a post on social media, “family will be at the heart of it all.”

The old Tuxedo School sits on just under seven acres and dates back to 1924. There have been no classes in the facility since 1994. The old school burned in November of 1929 and in 1930, acclaimed architect Erle Stillwell contracted with the county to re-design and re-build the school.

The old Tuxedo School originally brought students together from Double Springs, Cedar Springs, and Green River schools to form the Tuxedo Graded School, which included high school until high school students began attending Flat Rock High School in 1935 and later East Henderson High School.

The old school and property is located on U.S. Highway 225, which was the former U.S. Highway 25 through Tuxedo.

 TWO INJURED IN FALLS AT LITTLE BRADLEY FALLS IN SALUDA SATURDAY AFTERNOON

TWO INJURED IN FALLS AT LITTLE BRADLEY FALLS IN SALUDA SATURDAY AFTERNOON

FALLS CAN, AND SOMETIMES DO, OCCUR IN THE WINTER, TOO     

By Larry Freeman 

Polk County emergency service officials confirmed Saturday night that two white males, ages unknown, had fallen some 15 to 20 feet own the falls in an incident at Little Bradley Falls near Saluda.

Both individuals were described as conscious and stable by rescuers.

Few details were available on the accident late Saturday afternoon that occured around mid-afternoon Saturday. Emergency dispatch got the call about 4 pm and by 6 pm they said it would take several houts to get to two fall victims removed from the scene.  A portion of Holbert Cove Road was closed to traffic during the rescue...but was re-opened later Saturday night. 

Later Saturday night, authorities said the two had been hiking with a group of friends when one person fell over the falls and another tried to catch him.  One of the fall victims suffered a broken leg.

Big Bradley Falls is located close by and has been the location of numerous deaths and injuries due to falls over the years.

Emergency officials continue to warn that it is dangerfously slippery around water falls, and the best and safest way to enjoy the falls in western North Carolina is from a distance.

PAT CORN AND "BLACK FEATHER" FEATURED SATURDAY AT CONNEMARA

PAT CORN AND "BLACK FEATHER" FEATURED SATURDAY AT CONNEMARA

CHRISTMAS AT CONNEMARA...WAS A BIG HIT SATURDAY

The event featured music, crafts and storytelling throughout the day.

Black Feather started the day telling Cherokee Indian stories of heritage and holidays. Black Feather, whose English name is Virginia Thompson, told the crowd the Christmas event at the Sandburg house was one of her favorite parts of the year.

“This is a holiday tradition with me and something I look forward to,” she said.

A day after shoppers engaged in Black Friday, Black Feather noted some of the greatest gifts can be found in Mother Nature.

Later in the day, Pat Corn played guitar and performed traditional holiday music. Corn actually met Sandburg and got one of his first guitars from him.

In addition to these activities, craft-making sessions were held upstairs, while Steve and Jean Smith performed holiday songs on a hammered dulcimer, something that was a change of pace at the Sandburg home.

According to Donovan, the term Connemara is a Gaelic phrase that came from the home’s previous owners, who were Irish. The Sandburgs loved the name ant kept it for the home.

The house will be fillede with poinsettias and a traditionally decorated Christmas tree throughout December until Jan. 6.

 

THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS CAME ON FRIDAY NIGHT...DOWNTOWN!

THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS CAME ON FRIDAY NIGHT...DOWNTOWN!

Thousands felt the rush of the Christmas spirit early Friday night as the Christmas lighting display came on in downtown Hendersonville!   

Santa himself welcomed the crowd with his traditional "Ho, Ho, Ho and a “Merry Christmas!” before counting down from 10 and switching on the colorful lights draped over the two towering spruce trees at the courthouse, marking the official start to the holiday season in Hendersonville.

Children, grown-ups, individuals, and whole familes enjoyed Friday night’s festivities. 

So, after what appeared to be a very successful "Black Friday" of shopping for the holidays in Hendersonville, the Christmas season is now officially underway in Hendersonville!

BOOK FLIGHTS NOW FOR CHRISTMAS; NEW PARKING DECK NOW OPEN:  ASHEVILLE AIRPORT REPORTS HEAVY THANKSGIVING TRAVEL

BOOK FLIGHTS NOW FOR CHRISTMAS; NEW PARKING DECK NOW OPEN: ASHEVILLE AIRPORT REPORTS HEAVY THANKSGIVING TRAVEL

THE AIRPORT RECOMMENDS BOOKING CHRISTMAS FLIGHTS NOW   

THE AIRPORT ANNOUNCED THAT THE NEW $22 MILLION PARKING GARADE IS NOW OPEN...AT LEAST THE DECK ON THE TERMINAL LEVEL   

Air1

The remainder of the new parking garage/dec wass expected to be open and in use in time for Thanksgiving heavy traffic anticipated at the airport...the new parking garage/deck will park over 1300 vehicles...       

Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) is reporting high numbers of scheduled passengers for the remainder of 2017 Thanksgiving travel week, and is encouraging all passengers to plan accordingly. Specifically, passengers scheduled to fly before Monday, November 27, 2017 should arrive at the airport at least two hours before flight times to allow time to park, check-in, and go through security screening.

The busiest travel days during the holiday week continue through Sunday. The Monday following Thanksgiving will also be a busy day.

"We typically see about 2,500 - 2,800 passengers each day at the airport during the busiest holiday travel days," said Tina Kinsey, spokesperson for the airport. "This year, depending on the day, we are seeing a 16 to 35 percent increase in passengers compared to last year."

Thanksgiving Travel By the numbers:
Travel Day
Scheduled Passengers (outbound and inbound)
Percent increase Year/Year
Wednesday, November 22
3,676
27%
Thursday, November 23
1,984
30%
Friday, November 24
2,852
20%
Saturday, November 25
3,432
16%
Sunday, November 26
4,066
35%

Parking
The airport has constructed a new parking garage, and hoped to have it at least partially opened before the Thanksgiving holiday. More information about the status of the parking garage is available. Regardless of the status of the garage, customer parking is available. The airport planed to open additional lots, including an additional shuttled lot, if necessary.