AM clouds & fog, then decreasing clouds in the afternoon
HI: 74 LOW: 53
Gov. Pat McCrory (left) and Congressman Mark Meadows (right) congratulated plant workers and celebrated the state’s continuing economic recovery Friday, marking a $35 million expansion at the Continental Teves Henderson County plant in one of the region's fastest growing industrial areas on Boyleston Highway 280 between Fletcher and Mills River.
The auto parts manufacturer employs some 600 workers locally and plans to add another 40 jobs to the area economy.
“Today, for the first time in seven years, North Carolina is now below the national average for unemployment,” McCrory announced at the grand opening ceremony.
In February, North Carolina’s jobless rate dropped to 6.4 percent, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Last year, our unemployment was at 9.4 percent. Now down to 6.4 percent, that’s quite a drop,” McCrory said.
An improving economy — with car sales ticking back up — led to Continental’s investment in the local plant. Each week 60,000 vehicles equipped with Continental brake parts roll off the assembly lines of 25 plants around the world.
“Thanks to the growing demand for brake calipers and the overall economic turnaround in North America, we have nearly tripled our regional production at the Henderson facility over the past three years,” said Samir Salman, chief executive officer for Continental North America.
Continental announced plans for a multi-million dollar expansion as few years ago...and has honored that committment by adding more new jobs and continuing growth.
Governor McCrory, Western North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows, and other state and local officials attended the event this past Friday at the Continental plant.
(Photo from the Hendersonville Times-News)
After a complaint was received from an elderly gentleman's family concerning stolen and forged checks, detectives from the Henderson County Sheriff's Office have arrested Daniel Lind age 43, of Bee Hive View Lane, Hendersonville on (14) felony counts of Forgery of an Endorsement, (14) felony counts Uttering a Forged Instrument and (1) count of misdemeanor Larceny.
Lind allegedly befriended the elderly gentleman, a Catholic Priest, and offered to take care his cat after a fall and broken hip required relocation out of state with family members during a period of convalescence. During this time Lind was alleged to have stolen a book of checks, forged them and cashed a total $5750.00 on the account.
Lind is currently incarcerated in the Henderson County Detention Facility under a $42,500.00 bond.
Defendant Lind was arrested and charged some tome back on other charged of leaving his minor children in his care alone for a prolonged length of time.
A quick response by officers from the Henderson County Sheriff's Office led to the arrest of Ian Traxler Nelson, age 19, of 106 Holly Lakes Drive, Dublin, GA.
Deputies responded to an alarm at Edneyville Elementary School on Pace Road around 10pm last evening. As officers neared the school they discovered a white male wearing dark pants and a gray hoodie walking toward US 64 East. Deputies detained the individual who was later identified as Traxler. Upon further investigation Traxler admitted to breaking and entering into the elementary school and discharging two fire extinguishers on the gymnasium floor. He also admitted throwing a cinder block through the window of Kings Grove Baptist Church located just across the street from the school.
Officers charged Traxler with two (2) misdemeanor counts of Injury to Real Property and one (1) count of Misdemeanor Breaking and Entering. Traxler is currently incarcerated in the Henderson County Detention Facility under a $2000 secured bond.
Henderson County sheriff's Chief Deputy Frank Stout reported Thursday afternoon that based upon information from a Crime Stoppers tip, officers were able to substantiate Tarheel Lanes Family Recreation Center on US 25 in Hendersonville was engaged in illegal gambling activity. During service of a search warrant last evening State and local authorities located a private room within the business where the illegal activity was occurring. The investigation is ongoing and charges are pending.
When citizens in the community see or suspect illegal or prohibited activity, such as gambling, Sheriff Charles McDonald encourages them to continue reporting information to the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers in an effort to keep these type establishments from opening or doing business in Henderson County.
ON FOUR SEASONS BOULEVARD
The Hendersonville Police Department made arrests in an early morning break in that occurred at the U.S. Cellular store located at 1900 A Four Seasons Boulevard.
According to the police department, at around 4:23 a.m. on March 26, 2014, Sergeant Brandon Staton of the Henderson County Sheriff’s Department noticed activity around the U.S. Cellular store and stopped to investigate. He contacted the police department, advised them of the activity, and approached the business locating subjects inside. He took one of the individuals into custody as officers from the police department took custody of another. A third subject ran and was later caught in the area.
Police arrested and charged the following:
David Lahorace Nelson, 24, of Lawrence St. Greensboro, NC, with one count of felony breaking and entering, and one count of felony larceny. Nelson was held in the Henderson County Detention Facility under a $16,000 bond.
Shawn Kelly Neal II, 22, of Hahns Lane, Greensboro, NC, with one count of felony breaking and entering, and one count of felony larceny. Neal was held in the Henderson County Detention Facility under a $16,000 bond.
Antwon Bernard Richardson, 25, of Carlton Avenue, Greensboro, NC, with one count of felony breaking and entering and one count of felony larceny. Richardson was held in the Henderson County Detention Facility under a $16,000 bond.
Upon investigating the incident further, detectives located in the individuals’ vehicle evidence that came from a breaking and entering in Buncombe County. Detectives with Asheville Police Department and the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Department are investigating those incidents and have been in contact with the Hendersonville Police Department regarding these individuals.
The walls were lined with plans inside the Mills River Town Hall Commons Room Tuesday afternoon as planners with the Alta Planning group laid out the possibilities for bike lanes down the five lane Highway 280 all the way from the Buncombe County line at ther south end of the Asheville Regional Airport runway to the Transylvania County line just east of Pisgah Forest.
The public input session Tuesday was the first of three. The next one is from 10am to 2pm at the Mills River Community Center on Schoolhouse Road. The last one this week will be from 9am to 12noon Thursday back in Mills River Town Hall. And the public is invited to hear more on the proposed possibilities at Thursday's regular meeting of Mills River Town Council in the Town Hall at 7pm.
The study currently being done by Alta Planning is the frst step in the process...which, if all works out, could lead to construction of the 10-12 foot bike and pedestrian lanes on the existing right-of-ways. A spokesman for Alta Planning says once all the public comment is collected, planners expect to have a proposal completed by early June...and that proposal will go to the French Broad Metropolitcan Planning Organization, all the local governments involved, and to NC DOT.
There is no estimate yet on how much the bike/pedestrian lanes will cost, but they will likely be paid for from a combination of both public and private sources. The bike lanes are several years away at the earliest...but bikers who attended the first public input session this week were supportive of the proposed plans and optimistic that bike lanes may become a reality for the growing number of walkers, runners, and bikers in this region.
UPDATED AT 1AM WEDNESDAY 3/26/14
Here are some unofficial snowfall totals in Western North Carolina, as reported by spotters for the National Weather Service, in the snow event Monday night through Tuesday night
********************STORM TOTAL SNOWFALL********************
LOCATION STORM TOTAL TIME/DATE COMMENTS
TAYLORSVILLE 0.1 955 AM 3/25 COUNTY OFFICIAL
E FLAT SPRINGS 4.5 217 PM 3/25 TRAINED SPOTTER
NEWLAND 4.0 405 PM 3/25 911 CALL CENTER
LINVILLE 1.0 637 AM 3/25 MODERATE SNOW FALLING
2 W ASHEVILLE 2.0 816 PM 3/25 TRAINED SPOTTER
FAIRVIEW 1.5 712 PM 3/25 TRAINED SPOTTER
LEICESTER 1.0 930 AM 3/25 PUBLIC
2 NW ASHEVILLE 0.5 730 AM 3/25 TRAINED SPOTTER
AVL AIRPORT 0.3 842 PM 3/25 OTHER FEDERAL
1 S MORGANTON 0.5 1109 AM 3/25 PUBLIC
HILDEBRAN 0.2 903 AM 3/25 BROADCAST MEDIA
2 NNE UPTON 2.0 800 AM 3/25 PUBLIC
N PATTERSON 0.2 1032 AM 3/25 ACCUMS JUST ON GRASS
4 N BELWOOD 0.1 1053 AM 3/25 AMATEUR RADIO
CASAR T 850 AM 3/25 PUBLIC
CANTON 4.5 747 AM 3/25 PUBLIC
WAYNESVILLE 4.0 800 AM 3/25 TRAINED SPOTTER
LAKE JUNALUSKA 4.0 900 AM 3/25 PUBLIC
COVE CREEK 3.8 845 AM 3/25 PUBLIC
MAGGIE VALLEY 3.0 608 AM 3/25 STILL SNOWING HEAVILY.
UNION GROVE T 800 AM 3/25 FIRE DEPT/RESCUE
SYLVA 0.5 830 AM 3/25 PUBLIC
MARS HILL 4.0 101 PM 3/25 PUBLIC
MARSHALL 2.0 415 PM 3/25 911 CALL CENTER
2 SW SPRING CREEK T 430 PM 3/25 FIRE DEPT/RESCUE
4 S OLD FORT 1.0 846 PM 3/25 TRAINED SPOTTER
5 N BAKERSVILLE 8.0 500 PM 3/25 4.5 INCHES PAST 9 HRS.
2 S SPRUCE PINE 3.0 800 AM 3/25 PUBLIC
SPRUCE PINE 2.0 757 AM 3/25 PUBLIC
3 SE SPRUCE PINE 0.5 656 PM 3/25 TRAINED SPOTTER
SALUDA 1.9 852 AM 3/25 TRAINED SPOTTER
5 E COLUMBUS T 1208 PM 3/25 NWS EMPLOYEE
3 SW CHEROKEE 1.5 848 PM 3/25 TRAINED SPOTTER
BURNSVILLE 5.0 1000 AM 3/25 PUBLIC
The spring fire season has arrived, and federal officials are asking visitors to the national forests and neighbors to help prevent the next wildfire. The USDA Forest Service (USFS) National Forests in North Carolina urges residents throughout the state to keep safety in mind and exercise caution during the spring fire season that typically lasts until late April to mid-May.
Nine out of 10 wildfires in North Carolina are started by humans. Residents and visitors to the state are urged to be extremely careful during this time period that is often characterized by dry and/or windy conditions.
In the spring, people do a lot of yard work that often includes burning leaves and yard debris. In North Carolina, more than 40 percent of all wildfires are caused by careless debris burning - the number one cause of wildfires in the state. Private landowners who cause wildfires may be liable for fire suppression costs on state and national forest land if a fire originates on their property.
For people who choose to burn debris, the N.C. Forest Service offers the following tips to protect property and prevent wildfires:
Studies have shown that taking these and other measures can greatly reduce wildfires and the loss of property associated with them. Also, take time now to prepare your home against wildfires. Tips on protecting your property can be found at www.firewise.org.
Additionally, campfires can be a source of wildfires. Follow these guidelines to help prevent wildfires:
Continue adding and stirring until all material is cool. Remember: do NOT bury the fire as the fire will continue to smolder and could catch roots on fire that will eventually get to the surface and start a wildfire.
Learn more about fire safety at www.smokeybear.com. Remember....only YOU can prevent wildfires.
And meteorologist Doug Outlaw with the National Weather Service says a fast moving system will lower temperatures in the Hendersonville area to below 32 degrees starting just before 10pm Tuesday night. The weatherman says local temperatures are expected to continue below freezing and fall to the 22 degree range by 6 or 7am Wednesday morning and then stay below freezing until 10 or 11am.
Local apple buds are close to a critical stage right now and such prolonged periods of below freezing temperatures are a big concern.
Weatherman Outlaw is with the National Weather Service at the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport in Greer South Carolina which is in the heart of upstate peach orchards…and he says some peaches are already in bloom down there, and Tuesday night’s expected below freezing temperatures, thougn not for as long in the upstate, are a concern for peach growers as well.
Local growers tell WHKP News they’ll be keeping a close eye on what happens around the middle of April, with a full moon expect by April 15, and with the cold snap that typically occurs with that full moon just before Easter.
Growers agree… we are at that critical point right now for local apples…and late season frosts and freezes can be devastating.
By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman
March 24, 2014
North Carolina House Speaker and U.S. Senate candidate Thom Tillis was one of the featured speakers Saturday morning as Henderson County Republicans gathered at Opportunity House for the annual Republican county convention. The yard was full of campaign signs and the Opportunity House main meeting room was filled with local Republican candidates, precinct officials, and party supporters.
Glen Engleram took over as the new county chairman of Republicans. Greg Newman served as convention chairman again. And the convention heard an array of speakers including county commission Chairman Charlie Messer, State Representative Chris Whitmire who represents Transylvania, Polk and parts of
All the Republican candidates involved in the local elections this year were there...many had tables set up with their campaign material. Most of them are facing no Demcoart challengers, so for them the election will be over after the May 6th primary.
There was a lot of enthusiasm and party loyalty at the convention, and especially for the Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Kay Hagan. Three candidate for that Senate seat attended the convention...and the annual Lincoln-Reagan lunch that followed.
One of the leading contenders for that U.S. Senate seat is the current Speaker of the North Carolina State House of Representatives, Thom Tillis. Speaker Tillis sat down with WHKP News after the convention on Saturday...and we asked him...1)about his top priority if elected to the U.S. Senate...which he said is fixing our ailing economy; 2)about Obamacare...which he said he will vote to repeal; and 3)about controversial education legislation passed, partially under his leadership, in last year's session of the North Carolina General Assembly...which he said has paved the way for substantial teacher pay raises and increases in state education spending in this year's "short" session of the legislature. Be listening for the Speaker's comments on these issues and more in WHKP's local news on Monday and throughout the coming week.
By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman
Updated 1am 3/23/14
Photo at the top of the page by the Hendersonville Times-News