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LAUREL PARK'S RHODODENDRON LAKE PARK GETS BOOST FROM A STATE GRANT

LAUREL PARK'S RHODODENDRON LAKE PARK GETS BOOST FROM A STATE GRANT

Laurel Park Winds-up Phase 2 of the Rhododendron Lake Nature Park with a Legacy Fund Grant from the North Carolina Urban Forest Council
 
Supported by a matching grant from the Legacy Tree Fund, the Town of Laurel Park planted additional trees in the Rhododendron Lake Nature Park finishing Phase 2 of this restoration project.  Commissioner George Banta plus a crew of Town staff and resident volunteers placed 28 nursery grown trees, augmenting the 374 native trees and shrubs planted during Phase 1.
 
Phase 1 of this nature park project, completed in 2013, restored an impaired stream system to its natural state.  Phase 2, completed in April of this year with support from a Clean Water Management Trust Fund matching grant, removed 4 acre-feet of accumulated silt in the lake and improved downstream water quality to the French Broad River Watershed.
 
The Rhododendron Lake Nature Park is a 10-acre site that was formerly a lake, built in 1909 by W.A. Smith, the Town’s founder, for swimming, boating, and outdoor recreation. By the 1980’s the lake developed into a safety hazard for downstream residents, and the dam breached, creating the property on view today.  The Town purchased the property in 2009 and then devised a 3 phase development plan for a nature park.]
 
The Town has applied for a matching NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant for Phase 3 which will complete the transformation of the site into an urban nature park.  Phase 3 will add approximately 1 mile of walking trails, parking and other amenities to the site.  Construction of Phase 3 is planned to begin in the Fall of 2016, pending grant funding approval. 
 
The North Carolina Urban Forest Council’s Legacy Tree Fund is a tree-planting program that is dedicated to making North Carolina’s cities, towns, and neighborhoods more enjoyable and attractive places to live.  For more information about Legacy Tree Fund, visit http://www.ncufc.org/tree-legacy.php.
 

SIERRA NEVADA MILLS RIVER BREWERY WINS TOP ENVIRONMENTAL RECOGNITION

SIERRA NEVADA MILLS RIVER BREWERY WINS TOP ENVIRONMENTAL RECOGNITION

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. was awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Platinum status — the highest level awarded — for its Mills River brewing facility.

From the start of construction in 2012, Sierra Nevada’s Mills River brewery was designed to meet minimum Silver LEED status. LEED is a globally recognized rating system for the design and construction of environmentally responsible buildings. The ratings consider a large subset of construction factors including efficiency, water performance, site management, and indoor environmental quality (e.g. low-emitting paints, lighting control and thermal settings.)

Throughout construction, Sierra Nevada closely adhered to LEED guidelines, officials said in a news release, and the North Carolina site is among the best-in-class for breweries. Sierra Nevada took the certification farther than any other brewery and not only included several buildings on the campus, but also the brewing process equipment in their energy calculations.

The LEED review board looked at several features unique to the Mills River brewery:

Energy creation and performance — The Mills River brewery has nearly 2,200 photovoltaic solar panels spread over the warehouse roof and on nine tree-like canopies in the main parking area. Additionally, the brewery uses Capstone Microturbine technology to convert methane biogas captured from their on-site wastewater treatment plant into electricity. Between the solar array and the microturbines, in Mills River Sierra Nevada produces an average of 1 megawatt of AC power on site, enough to power dozens of average American homes.

Water use, recovery and treatment — A brewerywide initiative to conserve water has reduced water consumption to only 3.5 barrels of water to make one barrel of beer, a near-historic low in the brewing business. Additionally, the Mills River brewery has made stormwater runoff, reuse and recovery a priority.

The entire brewery site was designed to collect rain water runoff and either repurpose it for use as irrigation and other non-potable water needs or to store and manage runoff through an elaborate system of cisterns, underground storage, sunken gardens and bioswales, all of which lead to a system of plunge pools to further clear sediment before the water re-enters the French Broad River system. The front parking areas at the brewery also consist of permeable pavers, which allow rain water to absorb into the ground rather than cascading off and carrying sediment into the French Broad River.

FLAT ROCK PLAYHOUSE TO PRESENT TWO ORIGINAL PLAYS AT THE SANDBURG HOME

FLAT ROCK PLAYHOUSE TO PRESENT TWO ORIGINAL PLAYS AT THE SANDBURG HOME

FLAT ROCK PLAYHOUSE TO PRESENT

NEW PLAYS AT CARL SANDBURG HOME

Two original works will debut in honor of 2016 Centennial of National Park Service

Flat Rock, NC (June 9, 2016) – Look out Connemara, there’s a new kid in town. Two new kids to be exact! In celebration of the 2016 Centennial of the National Park Service, Flat Rock Playhouse announced today plans to debut two original works to be performed by the Flat Rock Playhouse 2016 Apprentice Company during the Sandburg Summer Stage series:  Spink, Skabootch and Swipes in Rootabaga Country, written and directed by Flat Rock Playhouse Producing Artistic Director Lisa K. Bryant and Carl Sandburg’s Rootabaga Express, with book, music, lyrics and direction by Flat Rock Playhouse 2016 Apprentice Director Ethan Andersen.

“For over forty years, the Flat Rock Playhouse Apprentice Company has performed for patrons visiting the park beloved productions such as Rootabaga!, The People’s Poet, Sandburg’s Lincoln and The World of Carl Sandburg,” says Bryant. “We thought that this would be a great gift to the park to produce original works this year – in honor of the Centennial as well as our ongoing partnership and collaboration with the Sandburg Home.”

About Spink, Skabootch and Swipes in Rootabaga Country:

Follow Spink, Skabootch and Swipes and their friends into the Rootabaga Country — a magical place where whimsy reigns!  Discover how the letter X made its way into the alphabet!  Hit the rails with the great Golden Spike Limited as she speeds her way from coast to coast, and marvel at how Hot Balloons and his two pigeon daughters crossed the Shampoo River! 

“Carl Sandburg told stories that sprang from his imagination,” says Bryant. “When his own children – lovingly nicknamed Spink, Skabootch and Swipes – couldn’t get enough of his fanciful tales, he decided to write them down for all children and families to revel in.  Nearly a century later the reveling continues!”

Spink, Skabootch and Swipes in Rootabaga Country will be performed on Wednesdays and Fridays at 10:15 AM from June 15 through August 12

About Carl Sandburg’s Rootabaga Express:

Join Gimme the Ax as he travels aboard Carl Sandburg's Rootabaga Express, a fantastical train that hoots, clangs, and pfisty-pfoosts all the way to Rootabaga Country in this brand new MUSICARL! Watch three boys shrink to bugs, cheer the Rusty Rats as they save the Creampuffs, and do a boogie with the Moon!

“All of Carl Sandburg's colorful characters are inside this exciting and vibrant new musical, perfect for the youngest and oldest of Sandburg fans,” says Andersen. “Come sing and dance with us and experience the joy of imagination and music!”

Carl Sandburg’s Rootabaga Express will be performed on Thursdays and Saturdays at 10:15 AM from June 16 through August 13. 

All of the performances are free and open to the public and will be performed at the Amphitheater next to the Main House of the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site.

“Don’t miss these brand new romps through the magical world of Carl Sanburg and Rootabaga Country,” says Bryant.  “Children and adults will have a blast!  Come PLAY with us!”

NO FIREWORKS ALLOWED THIS SUMMER IN NATIONAL FORESTS IN NC

NO FIREWORKS ALLOWED THIS SUMMER IN NATIONAL FORESTS IN NC

 As the summer season begins, the National Forests of North Carolina reminds visitors that all fireworks, exploding targets and other pyrotechnic devices are prohibited on all National Forest land, year-round, regardless of weather conditions or holidays.
 
Forest Fire Management Officer Riva Duncan emphasizes that, "Fireworks can and will cause wildfires because they burn very hot. Even fireworks that seem innocent, like sparklers, can cause wildfires."
 
Regulations are strictly enforced to protect the public and natural resources.
 
 "National Forests are here for your use and enjoyment," said Forest Supervisor Allen Nicholas. "In order to ensure everyone's safety, please refrain from using any fireworks in the Forests."
 
The public is also urged to exercise caution with campfires. Never leave a campfire unattended. Make sure campfires are completely extinguished and cold to the touch before leaving the campsite. 

COUNTY PROPERTY TAXES TO GO UP ABOUT 10 PER CENT STARTING JULY 1

COUNTY PROPERTY TAXES TO GO UP ABOUT 10 PER CENT STARTING JULY 1

COMMISSIONERS SETTLED ON THE NEW 56.5 CENT TAX RATE MONDAY NIGHT

After long hours of discussion, debate and decision making---HendersonCounty commissioners Monday night, in a split 3 to 2 vote, settled on a five cent tax increase for county property owners and taxpayers in the new fiscal year starting July1.  The new tax rate of 56.5 cents per $100 valuation will fund a $130, 287,224 dollar budget in the new fiscal year.

More county services, three per cent pay raises for county employees totaling a million dollars, planning for a new law enforcement training center, and debt service on major buildings like a new HendersonvilleHigh School, new EMS headquarters, an Early College or "career" academy, and the new health science facility for Wingate University, Blue Ridge Community College, and Pardee Hospital appeared to be driving the need for the ten per cent increase in county property taxes which will generate about six and a half million dollars in additional revenue for the county.

Even though commissioners have turned down, for now, a request from the sheriff for an outdoor firing facility because of public opposition to it, some $1.2 million dollars a year was approved by commissioners to cover what staff estimates the cost would be for a new county law enforcement training center…and the county manager says he’s heard possible costs as high as $15 million.

Apparently, the $130 million budget and the tax increae of over a nickel will not be subject to a public hearing…one was held on the proposed budget back in May prior to any approval of a tax increase.

In addition, commissioners have gone on record supporting the quarter cent sales tax increase that will be on voter’s ballots in November.

One report says the commissioners are attributing the higher taxes and spending to the cost of growth in the county.

Property taxes in Hendersonville, Flat Rock and Laurel Park will remain where they are in the new fiscal year, while the county’s and the Town of Mills River’s will be going up.

 

 

IT'S NOW OFFICIAL:  THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH WILL BUY THE HENDERSONVILLE POST OFFICE PROPERTY THIS JULY 1

IT'S NOW OFFICIAL: THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH WILL BUY THE HENDERSONVILLE POST OFFICE PROPERTY THIS JULY 1

THE CHURCH WILL BE INVESTING $1.4 MILLION IN 141 SPACE PARKING LOT

It’s apparently a “done deal”…the Hendersonville Post Office WILL be re-located late in 2017 to the larger postal sorting facility near Sam’s Club at Highland Square and Highway 64 East.  And the current post office property WILL become a parking lot for the First Baptist Church.

First Baptist members apparently made it official in a business meeting that the church will buy the current post office property, the building and the 1.52 acre lot, and close the deal this July for just over one million dollars.  The postal service does not own the property…they lease it from private owners.

The $1,003,000 purchase will enable the church to apparently level the existing post office building and construct a 141 space parking lot on the property.  From the time of the purchase this July until the post office moves out in October of 2017, the postal service will be leasing the property from the church.

When all is said and done, the church will have invested $1.4 million in the project.

And this should put to rest speculation that the post office property might be purchased by the City of Hendersonville to build a parking deck, or perhaps for a new convention-type hotel.

What the postal service plans to do beyond October 1 2017 is not clear…if they will operate a post office out of that sorting facility near Sam’s Club or if they, as reported earlier, will eventually re-locate the Hendersonville post office to another nearby town.   

 

 

CASCADE MOUNTAIN RESORT WORK UNDERWAY; HIRING TO START SOON

CASCADE MOUNTAIN RESORT WORK UNDERWAY; HIRING TO START SOON

AT THE INTERSECTION OF SUGARLOAF ROAD, 64 EAST, AND I-26...WHAT WAS ONCE A HOLIDAY INN...THEN A QUALITY INN...AND UP UNTIL LATELY HAS BEEN A DELAPIDATED RUN DOWN JUNK PILE...IS BECOMNG THE CASCADES MOUNTAIN RESORT

This WLOS TV photo tells the story...a lot has been accomplished so far and a lotr more is still to come.  The grand opening of the new resort has been pushed back.  The owners of Cascades Mountain Resort have told reporters that they are now slated to open on August 15.

The old Quality Inn off Interstate 26 has been under renovations since April and was expected to open this month. But the owners say they're waiting on the water slide...which will be a main attraction at the resort.

The owners also say they expect to hire more workers.

"We're going to be doing a lot of hiring coming up, as well," co-owner Daniel Day said. "In July, about mid-July, we'll be looking to hire somewhere between 80 to 100 people to be a part of the new project."

Day says they're going to keep everyone updated on the project through their Facebook page, which will include job postings for positions at the resort.  

(WLOS photo)

 

 

 

A NEW INGLES ANOTHER STEP CLOSER ON SPARTANBURG HIGHWAY

A NEW INGLES ANOTHER STEP CLOSER ON SPARTANBURG HIGHWAY

MORE NEW, LARGER, MODERN CHOICES FOR GROCERY SHOPPERS

Most new Ingles Supermarkets being built in the area now are being constructed like the "model" of the large Ingles store on Highway 280 in Mills River...and it's believed the new one to be built on the Spartanburg Highway in Hendersonville will be of that new, larger design.   Construction on that new Ingles came another step closer this week as the former Pizza Hut on Spartanburg Highway was demolished.

The former Pizza Hut property was purchased a while back by Ingles and will become part of the site for that new Ingles store.  The older Ingles store closed for good a few Saturdays ago and site work is expected to start soon in preparation for that large new supermarket.  Ingles recently opened a news supermarket in Enka on Hominy Creek that's similar to the Mills River store, and it's rumored that one will be constructed where an older Ingles was recently demonlished on Brevard Road across from Asheville Outlets.

The south end of Hendersonville will have a lot to offer grocery shoppers with construction of that new Ingles.

Publix is expected to start work soon on their store to be built where Atha Plaza has been fpr several generations on the Greenville Highway.  That new Publix is expected to open in the spring of next year.

And there is already a modern, large Harris-Teeter supermarket in the same area, on the north side th Spartanburg Highway.

 

OLDE ETOWAH SMOKEHOUSE BBQ TO RE-OPEN SUNDAY

OLDE ETOWAH SMOKEHOUSE BBQ TO RE-OPEN SUNDAY

 
This Sunday marks the return of a landmark in Etowah.
The Olde Etowah Smokehouse BBQ Restaurant will re-open this Sunday in the "bbq shack" location.
The menu will feature what's called "a whole hog pig pickin buffet".
With Sunday's re-opening, the Olde Etowah Smokehouse will be opened and operated by Etowah Golf and Lodge.
Also on the menua will be traditional smoked meats and all the southern sides that are favorites of southern bbq lovers.

LOCAL PUBLIC SCHOOLS TOP SCHOLARS HONORED

LOCAL PUBLIC SCHOOLS TOP SCHOLARS HONORED

Sixty-three of Henderson County Public Schools’ highest-achieving graduating seniors were honored May 31 during the 2015-16 Top Scholars Banquet at Blue Ridge Community College. Held annually for 12 years, the Top Scholars ceremony recognizes the academic and athletic successes and strong leadership of seniors at the top of their classes.
 
This year, three students from Early College High School, the top 15 students from Hendersonville High, West Henderson High, North Henderson High, and East Henderson High were recognized by parents, principals, senior counselors, School Board members, HCPS Administration and keynote speaker Ruth Birge (Retired Director of United Way of Henderson County) during the banquet.
 
As a group, this year’s cohort of Top Scholars received a total of $1,939,863 in college scholarships, had an average 4.78 GPA and 28.3 ACT score. Their average SAT score – 1821 – is 331 points higher than the national average SAT score. Thirty-six of the 63 Top Scholars are originally from North Carolina, and 42 are attending colleges and universities in the state.
 
Early College High 
Waverly Godwin
Ashley Mel
Ronald Monroe 
 
East Henderson High 
Wesley Culbertson
Hunter Garrison Elms
Sarah Fletcher
Mason Hardin
Tallie Inman
Brett Levi
Hannah McCullough
Sydney Morgan
Devon Mumaugh
Parth Patel
Sarah Paul
Elizabeth Reagles
Natalee Sheppard
Kenneth Tadlock
Dakota Tittle 
 
Hendersonville High
Hannah Grace Gruebmeyer
Madeleine Hatch
Tameron Hill
andrea Kolarova
Colin Mesa
Ashlee Mew
Rutledge Riddle
Karen Sanchez
Victoria Schandevel
Michael Schmidt
Emma Shock
Otherwise Madeleine
Kathryn Speese
Anna Townsend
Dawson Walker 
 
North Henderson High 
Emily Bowling
Kelly Connelly
Alyssa Corn
Lillie Davis
Josef Dewberry
Spencer Dudas
Megan Edwards
Matthew Fowler
Monica Garren
Sally Gross
Amanda Hilliard
Hunter Holbert
Silvia Ramirez Ardila
Lareshia Robinson
Pete Willingham 
 
West Henderson High
Hannah Astin
Dara Case
Samantha Creech
Isabelle Denman
Leah Dorn
Courtney Kanetzke
Alexis Morse
Rebecca Olson
Tatianna Olson
David Olvera
Rachel Raasch
Arijit Sen
Caroline Ward
MaryKent Wolff
Ellis Young