MEMORIAL SERVICES FOR LOCAL BUILDING CONTRACTOR HAROLD ERNEST BLYTHE WILL BE THURSDAY AT 2 PM AT MUD CREEK BAPTIST CHURCH
As a young man, he worked for J.C. Penny and later Robotyper Corporation before fully focusing on his life’s work as a building contractor. He held one of the earliest registered contractor’s licenses in North Carolina constructing homes in nearly every area and subdivision of Henderson County, along with multiple apartment communities. Into retirement, Harold continued business activities as a successful real estate broker, investor and co-developed Pine Links Golf Course.
Amongst the many titles held, Harold was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He cared for his family deeply and always placed others above himself every minute of the day. Everyone that knew him would say that Harold didn’t really know retirement. He always found a way to stay active, mainly helping whomever he could.
He loved his church fervently and served as a deacon for many years; among many of his service roles he was the chairman of multiple committees including the building committee during Mud Creek Baptist Church’s construction of the new sanctuary, the gymnasium/student center and many other construction projects over the past 50 years.
Harold, Daddy, and Papaw was truly the salt of the earth type of man, who loved to laugh and touched everyone around him. We are grateful for his endless love, grace and compassion he so freely gave and hope to continue his legacy of hard work, generosity and selflessness. His smile will be forever missed, but we are thankful that God allowed him to teach us so much during his time here.
He is survived by his two daughters, Deitra (Rex) Jones, Lesa (Ben) Balentine; his son Sidney (Tammy) Blythe; three grandchildren, Justin (Katheryn) Blythe, DeLaina (David) Lewkowicz and Bennett Balentine; four great-grandchildren Zachary Lewkowicz, Gabriella Blythe, Dash Blythe and Lexton Lewkowicz.
A memorial service will be held at Mud Creek Baptist Church at 2:00 pm on Thursday November 10th, 2016. The Rev. Dr. Greg Mathis, Rev. David Lewkowicz and Rev. Terry Tweed will officiate. The family will receive friends immediately following the service, followed by a private family graveside service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the AWANA children’s ministry at Mud Creek Baptist Church, where his beloved great-grandchildren and so many children currently do and will continue to learn about Jesus; at 403 Rutledge Dr. Hendersonville, NC 28739 OR Four Seasons Compassion for Life in memory of Harold Blythe; at 571 South Allen Road, Flat Rock, NC 28731.
Thos. Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors are in charge of the arrangements.
The man was identified late Tuesday afternoon...he is Richie Lee Harbison, age 62, of Clear Creek Road,.
Deputies say that at approximately 1:09 AM on November 8, 2016, Henderson County Sheriff's Office Communications received a call concerning a motor vehicle collision involving multiple parked cars at an apartment complex on Howard Gap Road.
Deputies were dispatched along with emergency service workers and arrived approximately. The driver of the wrecked vehicle was found naked in the middle of Howard Gap Road acting extremely irrational and non-compliant. As the deputies attempted to take the driver into custody he charged the deputies and a Taser was deployed. After the Taser was deployed and the driver brought under control, emergency service workers began evaluating the driver for any possible injuries.
During the medical evaluation, the driver went into full arrest and was transported immediately to Park Ridge Hospital. Attempts to revive the driver were unsuccessful. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation are investigating the incident.
It’s been understood for months that the county’s architect, Clark Nexsen, was moving ahead with developing plans for the new Hendersonville High School campus, approved by commissioners and set for construction on the former Boyd property at Five Points. In fact, county officials said early in the fall that the public would get its first look at drawings of what the new school will look like this month.
Now…that may be changing…yet again. After county commissioners rejected an alumni association and Carey O’Cain’s proposal for the new school months ago, Commissioner Grady Hawkins announced at the end of Monday night’s commissioner’s meeting that a “working group” of county staff, Hendersonville High teachers and Principal Bobby Wilkins is ready to make a new presentation to the commissioners and to the county school board.
The major "sticking point" has been future use of the "historic" 1926 Erle Stillwell designed main building on the HHS campus. Commissioners continue to rank a new HHS as the top priority for new school construction, while the school board says a new Edneyville Elementary School is a greater need.
That new presentation has been set for 10 am next Wednesday at the conclusion of the commissioner’s regular mid-month meeting.
By Larry Freeman 5am. 11/08/16
Plans have been in the works for a while to widen the Brevard Road through the Town of Laurel Park.
NC DOT has set a public hearing for this Thursday between 4 and 7 pm in Hendersonville City Hall concerning plans to widen Brevard Road, or Highway 64 West, between Blythe Street and White Pine Drive.
DOT will answer questions and accept public comment, but there will be no formal presentation.
The goal of the widening is apparently to make the road safer, and to accommodate more vehicles and possibly new businesses.
NO RELIEF FROM THE DROUGHT IS FORECAST BEFORE THE MIDDLE OF THIS MONTH
Because of increased fire risk, the N.C. Forest Service has issued a ban on all open burning and canceled all burning permits for the following counties in Western North Carolina: Alexander, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga and Yancey.
The burning ban will take effect at, Monday, Nov. 7, and will be in effect until further notice.
Under North Carolina law, the ban prohibits all open burning in the affected counties, regardless of whether a permit was issued. The issuance of any new permits also has been suspended until the ban is lifted.
The ban on open burning is necessary becauseof the dry weather conditions and the potential for the increase in human-caused wildfires in the region. “Fire experts with the N.C. Forest Service feel that with the current drought situation and the number of fires burning on federal lands, it would be best to be proactive about preventing human-caused wildfires. And I agree with them,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler.
Violation of the ban carries a $100 fine plus court costs of $180.
Here are a few facts about the law regarding the ban on open burning:
Local fire departments and law enforcement officers are assisting the N.C. Forest Service in enforcing the burn ban.
As of Nov. 6, there had been 2,829 wildfires affecting more than18,158 acres on state-protected lands across North Carolina this year. More than 1,000 of those fires were in the mountains and burned 3,375 acres. State-protected lands include state- and privately owned properties.
Fire Prevention Education Team deployed to region
In addition to putting the burn ban in place for the state’s most western counties, the N.C. Forest Service has also deployed a Fire Prevention Education Team to Western North Carolina in an effort to decrease the number of human-caused wildfires there. The team is expected to arrive this afternoon and work out of the Montreat Conference Center Assembly Hall, which is located east of Asheville.
Residents with questions regarding their specific county can contact their county ranger with the N.C. Forest Service or their county fire marshal’s office.
AIR QUALITY ALERT IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT EST TUESDAY NIGHT... THE NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY IN RALEIGH NC HAS ISSUED A CODE ORANGE AIR QUALITY ACTION DAY FOR FINE PARTICULATES...IN EFFECT UNTIL MIDNIGHT EST TUESDAY NIGHT FOR THE NORTH CAROLINA MOUNTAINS. SEVERAL WILDFIRES ARE BURNING IN THE NORTH CAROLINA MOUNTAINS...ESPECIALLY IN THE FAR WESTERN MOUNTAINS...CREATING AREAS OF DENSE SMOKE. THE SMOKE IS CREATING UNHEALTHY CONDITIONS AS WELL AS LIMITING VISIBILITY. AN AIR QUALITY ACTION DAY MEANS THAT FINE PARTICULATES CONCENTRATIONS WITHIN THE REGION MAY APPROACH OR EXCEED UNHEALTHY STANDARDS. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION...PLEASE VISIT THE NORTH CAROLINA DIVISION OF AIR QUALITY WEB SITE AT WWW.NCAIR.ORG/AIRAWARE/FORECAST/.
METHAMPHETAMINE INVOLVED IN BOTH CASES
On November 1, 2016 Henderson County Sheriff’s Direct Enforcement Team Detectives arrested James Franklin Hensley Jr. age 60 of Shalom Lane in Etowah. The investigation began after neighbors complained of suspicious activity they were witnessing around this residence. Hensley Jr. was charged with the following offenses and was released the following day on an $18,500 secured bond:
1) Felony Maintaining a Dwelling for Keeping and Selling Controlled Substances (Methamphetamine)
2) Felony Possession with Intent to Sell or Distribute (Methamphetamine)
3) Felony Possession of a Firearm by a Felon
4) Misdemeanor Simple Possession of Schedule II, Schedule III and Schedule IV Controlled Substances
5) Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
In an unrelated arrest, on November 2, 2016, Henderson County Sheriff’s Office SWAT members and Direct Enforcement Team Detectives executed a search warrant at 318 Jody Street in East Flat Rock, NC. Detectives located and seized crack cocaine, methamphetamine, prescription pills (Oxycodone) and drug paraphernalia. Harvey Franklin Hunt Jr. age 35 was arrested charged with the following offenses and released on a $32,000 secured bond:
Rutledge Everett “Ron” Shuler, Jr., 75, of Hendersonville passed away Saturday, November 5, 2016 at the Elizabeth House in Flat Rock after a valiant struggle with cancer.
Ron was born on February 14, 1941 to Lillie Mae Rickenbaker Shuler and Rutledge Everett Shuler, Sr. in Orangeburg County, SC. He grew up swimming, fishing, and skiing from the loamy banks of Lake Marion. He fell in love with golf as a teen and helped build his first home course, Holly Hill Country Club, while receiving lessons from the local professional. Ron always loved a good day’s work, and he poured himself into every venture he pursued.
After graduating from Holly Hill High School in 1959, Ron attended the University of South Carolina. After USC, Ron moved to Dallas, TX to study at Gupton-Jones Mortuary Institute where he completed his coursework for licensure in 1964, while also serving as Vice-President of his class. Interestingly, while there, Ron worked as a paramedic and found himself driving an ambulance the day of John. F. Kennedy’s assassination. He was at Parkland Memorial Hospital during the tragic events, something which left a poignant and indelible memory. After graduation, Ron returned to SC to pursue his career in funeral service.
Ron met the lovely Faye Kirby in Florence, SC while he was working as a funeral director. They were married in August of 1965. In SC, he actively served the community, volunteering as President of the Jaycees and in other civic roles. In 1975, they moved their family to Hendersonville, NC. Before retiring from his tenure with Batesville Casket Company, Ron was inducted into the Master’s Club, the company’s highest honor.
In 1997, he, along with the help of his wife Faye, founded Shuler Funeral Home. His years at Shuler Funeral Home were the most fulfilling of his career life, and he felt humbled and grateful each day to help families during some of their most difficult days. He believed in the wonder of human compassion and in the dignity of life, and he made these tenets the mission of his work.
Ron was a member of Hendersonville First Baptist Church for 40 years, serving as a children’s Sunday School teacher and as a Deacon. His love for Christ, heart for his family, and desire to help others were the motivators of his life.
His other passion was golf. Ron was an avid and naturally gifted golfer who enjoyed his memberships at Hendersonville Country Club and in the Crooked Creek Men’s Golf Association.
Ron was preceded in death by his loving wife of 47 years, Faye Kirby Shuler, and his father, Rutledge Shuler, Sr. He is survived by his mother, Lillie Mae Rickenbaker Shuler, and his sister, Lynda Shuler Caughman, both of Lexington, SC; two daughters, Heather Shuler Stepp, and husband, Christopher, of Flat Rock, NC, and Holly Shuler Ollis, and husband, Jeff, of Greensboro, NC. Ron is also survived by two grandsons, Samuel Rutledge Stepp and Micah Wade Ollis; three granddaughters, Kirby Nichole Ollis, Celeste Leslea Ollis, and Lilly Margaret Ollis; sisters-in-law, Elizabeth Kirby Tart and husband, Thomas, and Annie Mae Kirby Broach and husband, Ralph, and brother-in-law, Alton Kirby and wife, Judy, all of Florence, SC; and by several nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
Services will be at 2pm Friday in the First Baptist Church. Burial will follow in Oakdale Cemetery. The family will reeive friends from noon until 2pm at the churh prior to the service..
Memorials may be made to Four Seasons Compassion for Life, 571 S. Allen Road, Flat Rock, NC 28731, or to First Baptist Church.
PARDEE'S NEW STATE-OF-THE-ART COMPREHENSIVE CANCER CENTER IN THE NEW HEALTH SCIENCE BUILDING
Pardee Hospital Foundation announced today that the James H. Cummings Foundation has awarded a $75,000 grant to its $6 million Capital Campaign for the new Pardee Cancer Center. In recognition of the Cummings Foundation’s generous support, Pardee Foundation will designate a location in the Center to be named in the Cummings Foundation's honor.
Pardee Hospital will open its new Cancer Center this December through an innovative collaboration with Henderson County, the City of Hendersonville, Wingate University and Blue Ridge Community College. The new, state-of-the-art health sciences building will also house Pardee Surgical Associates as well as existing programs in allied health care, pharmacy, and physician assistant studies from Blue Ridge Community College and Wingate University.
“The James H. Cummings Foundation has partnered with Pardee Hospital since 1964, donating more than $1 million to support high quality health care in the Hendersonville community," said Mary Jo Hunt, executive director of the James H. Cummings Foundation. "We are pleased to continue our support with this grant for the Cancer Center, which builds on our recent support for the renovations to the surgical suites. Pardee's good work enhances the lives of citizens of this community. The building housing the Cancer Center is truly a collaborative effort between the hospital, the city, the county, Blue Ridge Community College and Wingate University.”
"We are so grateful for the continued support of the James H. Cummings Foundation," said Kimerly Hinkelman, executive director of Pardee Hospital Foundation. "With nearly $4 million raised to date, their generous donation will help us offer the best care and treatment available in our new Cancer Center."
James H. Cummings Foundation, Inc. is a charitable, not-for-profit corporation organized in New York in July of 1962 for the purpose of complying with certain directions in the will of its founder and namesake. James H. Cummings was a resident of Buffalo, N.Y., where he owned and operated a pharmaceutical business, American Ferment Company. With offices and plants in both Buffalo and Toronto, Canada, Mr. Cummings grew strong ties to both cities, but he was just as much at home raising cattle on a farm he owned near Hendersonville. The Foundation has supported many renovation projects for Pardee Hospital, including cardiovascular, diabetes, orthopedic and spine facility renovations. For more information, visit www.jameshcummings.com.
Pardee Memorial Hospital Foundation was approved as a nonprofit foundation in January 1996. The Foundation exists to educate and inspire the community to support Pardee Hospital. Since its inception, the Foundation has generated more than $30 million in pledges and cash gifts for Pardee services. For more information, visit www.pardeehospitalfoundation.
WITH AN ECONOMIC IMPACT OF OVER $400 MILLION
It’s being touted as potentially North Carolina’s biggest-ever sports event: the 2018 World Equestrian Games will be held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, about 80 miles west of Charlotte, Gov. Pat McCrory said Friday.
The news caps off a string of economic development announcements this week in Charlotte as one of the closest gubernatorial races in the nation nears the finish line. One of the most divisive issues of the campaign has been House Bill 2, a law limiting LGBT protections that has led to to the cancellation of business expansions and sporting events such as the 2017 NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte.
“This is bigger, with all due respect, than the All-Star Game, a football game, a basketball game – combined, times two. This economic impact is huge,” McCrory said of the 13-day equestrian competition during a news conference at the Charlotte Chamber.
News of the equestrian games comes on the heels of other major economic development updates:
▪ Earlier Friday, state officials announced the Hula Bowl, the college football all-star game that hasn’t been played since 2008, would come to Raleigh in 2018.
▪ Earlier this week, the online loan marketplace LendingTree announced plans to add 314 workers in Charlotte thanks to nearly $5 million in incentives, effectively doubling its size locally.
▪ And also on Friday, door maker Jeld-Wen said it is getting $2.4 million in incentives to add 200 jobs in Charlotte as it builds a new corporate campus in southwest Charlotte. Jeld-Wen is currently headquartered uptown.
Both Tryon and LendingTree have North Carolina government ties: Gov. Pat McCrory’s former commerce secretary, Sharon Decker, currently serves as Tryon International’s chief operating officer. And McCrory once served as a director of Tree.com, the former name of LendingTree’s parent company. The state ethics commission last year dismissed a complaint filed by a liberal advocacy group over his past ties to the company.
And Belissimo and his wife, Katherine, have close ties to McCrory. Last year, they held a fundraiser for McCrory at their home in Campobello, S.C., according to the Asheville Citizen-Times. And in late October, McCrory appointed Belissimo to the board of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.
According to the N.C. Commerce Department, the N.C. Rural Development Authority in 2014 approved a $295,755 community grant to build a water line needed for the equestrian center. And in April 2016, McCrory announced that the same agency made a $500,000 grant to Rutherford County to support the reuse of a building by US Precision Construction, a firm controlled by the entity that owns the equestrian center.
Following Friday’s announcement, when asked whether HB2 came up during the bid to bring the equestrian event to North Carolina, Decker said Tryon had been asked about it “occasionally,” but that ultimately it wasn’t a deterrent.
“We’re a private facility so the House bill requirements around restrooms does not apply for us. We are a non-discriminatory facility. We value and celebrate diversity in every form,” Decker said.
Jamal Little, a campaign spokesman for Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat running against McCrory, cited the “severe damage on our state’s economy” caused by HB2.
“While he continues to try to ignore the economic damage done by HB2, voters have not forgotten. We’ve lost the NCAA championship games, the ACC tournament, the NBA All-Star game, and countless concerts and conventions – while the governor calls HB2 irrelevant,” Little said.
Responding to comments from Cooper’s campaign, McCrory spokesman Ricky Diaz said: “Only Roy Cooper would consider positive economic news a bad thing for our state. Just goes to show you that Cooper has been rooting for North Carolina to fail all along in order to advance his own political career.”
The equestrian games will take place Sept. 10-23, 2018 in Mill Spring. The last time they were held in the U.S. was in 2010, when officials say they had an overall economic impact of $200 million in Lexington, Ky. The 2014 games were held in Normandy, France.
The event is “the major international championship event” that includes eight core equestrian disciplines: show jumping, dressage and para-equestrian dressage, eventing, driving, endurance, vaulting and reining, Tryon International said.
From The Raleigh News-Observer
" (I THINK) THIS IS A PRETTY CLASSIC EXAMPLE OF A LOCAL MEDIA KINDA GINNING UP A STORY"--County Manager Steve Wyatt
There is apparently some on-going confusion among parents, employees, and school officials regarding the future of Edneyville Elementary School. The school board would like to see a new facility built costing $24 million, county commissioners seem to favor renovating the current facility at a cost of only $9 million, and there’s even been some talk of closing the school and moving the students somewhere else.
All that is being reported this week in the local newspapers and on their web sites after a meeting earlier this week of some 65 Edneyville parents and four school board members in the school library.
County Manager Steve Wyatt told WHKP News on Wednesday that it’s the media that’s stirring up the confusion.
In comments today (Thursday) on WHKP News, Wyatt says a lot of the confusion is due to reporting in the Hendersonville Lightning that seems to indicate (report) the county wants to close Edneyville Elementary School.
“Let me be clear”, Wyatt said this week to WHKP’s Tippy Creswelll. “There’s been no conversation or consideration of closing that school.” He said figures supplied by the school board show that enrollment in the school has been declining and discussions have taken place about the best way to deal with that issue. Wyatt added, “I think this is a pretty classic example of the local media (kinda) ginning up a story, to be honest with you.”
The county manager said he feels that decisions on school buildings should be made jointly between the school board and the commissioners. But he says what drives those decisions is how the school buildings will be paid for, pointing out they may be paid for with a bond issue...or the county may put up the land on which the school is located (and the building itself) as collateral. Commissioners of course are responsible for making those decisions and for controlling county finances
Steve Wyatt added he cannot say when any final decision will be made on the future of Edneyville Elementary.
He said this week, "I hope there will be continuing conversations and information exchanged as we go forward, but I would be guessing at a time frame."
By Larry Freeman and Tippy Creswell