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HENDERSONVILLE'S VISITOR CENTER CELEBRATES 30 YEARS!

HENDERSONVILLE'S VISITOR CENTER CELEBRATES 30 YEARS!

ON SOUTH MAIN STREET   

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The Visitor Center Celebrates 30 Years!

Hendersonville, NC - It is hard to believe that the Visitor Center is turning 30 years old in October. It all began 1987, when the Henderson County Commissioners recognized the importance of tourism to the local economy, and established a Travel and Tourism Committee. The Visitor Center started in a shared space in the Chamber of Commerce’s building on King Street before moving to the small gray house at 739 North Main Street in the early 1990s. The Travel and Tourism Committee purchased the current location from Wachovia Bank, at 201 South Main Street, in 1994.

The Henderson County TDA is hosting an Open House on Thursday, October 5 from 4-7pm at the Visitor Center, South Main Street, to celebrate our 30 years. The public is invited to drop by to meet the staff and volunteers. Help the TDA ring in the next 30 years!

WNC CONGRESSSMAN MEADOWS FAVORS TAX REFORM FRAMEWORK

WNC CONGRESSSMAN MEADOWS FAVORS TAX REFORM FRAMEWORK

'IT'S TIME WE GET SERIOUS...AND PASS REAL TAX REFORM BY THANKSGIVING"   

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Rep. Meadows' Statement on Tax Plan Framework

Washington, D.C. –Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) released the following statement on Republican leadership’s new tax reform proposal, presented today at a meeting among GOP conference members:

“For years, our nation has operated under a tax code that is outdated, needlessly complex, and detrimental to the growth of our economy. Americans deserve better. The framework released today by our leadership is a productive first step toward a pro-growth, pro-family tax reform plan that will allow hard-working taxpayers to succeed and small businesses to thrive. With these principles, I look forward to working with my colleagues to develop a full plan that keeps our commitments to the voters. It’s time we get serious about growing our economy and pass real tax reform by Thanksgiving.”

17-YEAR OLD PLEADS GUILTY TO PARTY ROCK FIRE; GETS SUSPENDED SENTENCE

17-YEAR OLD PLEADS GUILTY TO PARTY ROCK FIRE; GETS SUSPENDED SENTENCE

A 30-DAY SUSPENDED SENTENCE FOR THE TEENAGER REPONSIBLE FOR THE PARTY ROCK FIRE THAT BURNED OVER 7,000 ACRES AND TOOK HUNDREDS OF FIRE FIGHTERS TO CONTROL     

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The teenager charged in connection with the Party Rock Fire last November has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of setting the fire.

The fire burned 7000 acres in Bat Cave,Lake Lure and Chimney Rock Village.  It took hundreds of fire fights and many days to control, and is said to have done tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

Some of the property that burned was in a North Carolina State Park.

After the plea, the 17-year-old was sentenced to a 30-day suspended sentence, probation, and community service.

Despite the size of the fire, no homes or other structures were burned.

CLEAR CREEK & ETOWAH ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS QUALIFY FOR DISTINGUISHED SCHOOL RECOGNITION

CLEAR CREEK & ETOWAH ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS QUALIFY FOR DISTINGUISHED SCHOOL RECOGNITION

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HIGH STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT RECOGNIZED  

For the fifth year in a row, Clear Creek and Etowah elementary schools have received recognition as top ranking Title I schools and are eligible for consideration for representing North Carolina as the National Title I Distinguished School Award in the “high performance” category.

Each year, two Title I schools from North Carolina are chosen to represent the state as National Title I Distinguished Schools in the “sustained achievement” and “high performance” categories. This year, both Clear Creek Elementary and Etowah Elementary have met the eligibility requirements for consideration for the National Title I Distinguished School award in the “high performance” category.

The National Title I Distinguished School designation recognizes high student achievement in schools that have substantial poverty rates, high end-of-grade success rates, and significant growth in scores.

Approximately 10 percent of Title I schools in North Carolina are eligible to be included in the Distinguished Schools process; schools in the top 10 percent of those eligible schools – the top 1 percent of Title I schools statewide – are asked to submit portfolios for consideration for the prestigious National Title I Distinguished School Awards.

In 2016-17, the school year in which student results were analyzed for this award, there were 1,443 Title I schools in North Carolina. Of that number, only 140 Title I schools met the criteria to be considered for the award, and only 14 of those schools – including Clear Creek and Etowah elementaries – were asked to submit portfolios for the National Title I Distinguished School Awards.

About the National Title I Distinguished Schools Program
The National Title I Distinguished Schools Program recognizes Title I schools that hold students to high standards and demonstrate exemplary school effectiveness in teaching and learning based on state curriculum; implementing research-based professional development; using research-based instructional strategies; providing opportunities to all students to achieve; establishing partnerships with parents, families, and the community; and modeling success for other schools.

HENDERSONVILLE POLICE ARREST TWO FOR VEHICLE BREAK-INS

HENDERSONVILLE POLICE ARREST TWO FOR VEHICLE BREAK-INS

SURVEILLANCE VIDEO FOOTAGE HELPED IDENTIFY THE SUSPECTS  

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As part of an ongoing investigation into several reported vehicle breaking and entering as well as several fraudulent financial card incidents, the Hendersonville Police Department has taken two individuals into custody.

While investigating the reported offenses at businesses on the west side of Hendersonville, detectives were able to locate surveillance footage of the suspected offenders. Members of the police department’s Aggressive Criminal Enforcement (ACE) Team based upon previous investigations, identified the individuals. With the suspects identified, officers with the police department located the suspects immediately following another reported breaking and entering. Lindsay Chan Daniel and Phiffer Brandon Houch, both of Hendersonville, were taken into custody without incident following the most recent reported breaking and entering.

Phiffer and Houch have both been charged with breaking and entering of a motor vehicle and larceny, financial transaction card theft, financial transaction card fraud, identity theft, and numerous traffic offenses. Both are being held in the Henderson County Detention Center.

Detectives with the Hendersonville Police Department continue to follow up on investigative leads. The public is asked to contact the Hendersonville Police Department at (828)-697-3025 or Henderson County Crime Stoppers at (828)-697-STOP if they have information regarding these ongoing investigations.

LOCAL "HOMETOWN HEROES" WERE HONORED ON MONDAY

LOCAL "HOMETOWN HEROES" WERE HONORED ON MONDAY

SPONSORED BY HUNTER AUTOMOTIVE GROUP AND THE NC AUTOMOBILE DEALERS ASSOCIATION   

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Sixteen local first responders were honored on Monday as “Hometown Heroes”. The recognition of Hendersonville police, sheriff’s, EMS, Fire, Rescue Squad, Laurel Park police, and the state Highway Patrol is sponsored statewide by the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association and by the Hunter Automotive Group.

Tom Hunter is chairman of the state association and owner of the Hunter Automotive Group. He presented the honors at a special “appreciation day” event at Hunter Nissan to:

Adrian Berry with EMS, Jon Ward with the Herndersonville Fire Department, David Williams with the state Highway Patrol, Michael Capps with Laurel Park Police, Strephen Darnell with the sheriff’s office, Tony Durall with EMS, Mike Edney with the Rescue Squad, Joey Garren with the sheriff’s office, Trae Laws with Hendersonville Police, Aaron Lisenbee with the sheriff’s office, Jared Morgan with Hendersonville Police, Peggy Pack also with Hendersonville Police, Michael Pearson with the Hendersonville Fire Department, Nathan Silvers with EMS, Billy Stroup with the Rescue Squad, and Liz Nix who you hear often giving the “Morning Report” on WHKP for the Hendersonville Police Department.

Tom Hunter said each one honored improves the life of every resident in our community every day.

SHERIFF MAKES ARRESTS FOR GUNS AND DRUGS ON BEVERLY AVENUE

SHERIFF MAKES ARRESTS FOR GUNS AND DRUGS ON BEVERLY AVENUE

THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES   

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In August 2017, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Direct Enforcement Team (DET) initiated an investigation into alleged drug activity at the residence located at 302 Beverly Avenue in Hendersonville. Based on the investigation, on Thursday, September 21, 2017, members of the Sheriff’s Office S.W.A.T and Direct Enforcement Team executed a search warrant at 302 Beverly Avenue, which resulted in the recovery of a .45 caliber handgun previously reported stolen in Buncombe County, methamphetamine and Schedule II and IV prescription medication, as well as drug paraphernalia. The Henderson County Department of Social Services (DSS) also responded to the scene regarding the welfare of two children who were found to be living in the residence. Both children were placed in DSS care. As a result of the investigation to date, the following individuals have been arrested and charged by the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office with the below offenses:

Donald David Lewis, age 57, of 302 Beverly Avenue, Hendersonville
Felony possession with intent to manufacture/sale and deliver methamphetamine
Felony maintain vehicle/dwelling place for sale and delivery of methamphetamine
Misdemeanor simple possession of schedule II narcotics
Misdemeanor simple possession of schedule IV narcotics
Secured Bond: $27,000.00 and he remains incarcerated in the Henderson County Jail

Leah Maureen Staton, age 19, of 302 Beverly Avenue, Hendersonville
Felony possession of methamphetamine
Misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia
Misdemeanor child abuse
Secured Bond: $10,500.00 and she remains incarcerated in the Henderson County Jail

Alicia Jane Moore, age 40, of North Marley Drive, Hendersonville
Misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia
Secured Bond: $500.00 - Bond posted and released

Dylan Thorne West, age 24, of Knoll Ridge Road, Mills River
Misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia
Secured Bond: $100.00 - Served two days and given credit for time served on Henderson County charges; released to Buncombe County on outstanding warrants

The investigation continues and charges against additional defendants are anticipated.

PUBLIC HEARING SET FOR WEDNESDAY SEPT. 27TH: DUKE ENERGY ASKING FOR 16.7 PER CENT RATE INCREASE

PUBLIC HEARING SET FOR WEDNESDAY SEPT. 27TH: DUKE ENERGY ASKING FOR 16.7 PER CENT RATE INCREASE

THE PUBLIC WILL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO BE HEARD ON THIS RATE INCREASE REQUEST AT A N.C. UTILITIES COMMISSION PUBLIC HEARING THIS COMING WEDNESDAY FROM 7 TO 10 PM IN THE BUNCOMBE COUNTY COURTHOUSE  

WILL COST CUSTOMERS IN WNC MORE IF APPROVED   

Duke Energy Carolinas LLC filed a request Friday to raise residential customers' rates by an average 16.7 percent annually to help paying for a 10-year modernization initiative.

The proposed rate hike would affect about 2 million customers from Durham to the western part of the state, including the Triad, and amount to $647 million in new annual revenue.

The request was submitted to the N.C. Utilities Commission, which could take seven to nine months to decide on whether to grant a rate increase and by how much. If approved, it would be the first rate increase for that part of the state in five years.

The utility projects a residential customer who uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity monthly would pay about $122.68, reflecting an increase of $18.72.

The utility also wants to raise its rate by an average 10.9 percent on commercial and industrial customers in that region.

Duke Energy Carolinas separately filed a request for commission approval to halt its Lee nuclear plant project near Gaffney, S.C.

The Charlotte Observer reported the utility wants to be allowed to recoup up to $636 million in Lee project development costs from customers. The recouping would represent $53 million of the $647 million annual revenue increase for a 12-year period.

"Nearly half of the rate request reflects investments in cleaner generation, including hydro, solar and natural gas," the utility said.

"Duke Energy Carolinas has maintained rates below the national average, and with the proposed change, customers would continue to pay rates lower than in 1991, when adjusted for inflation."

Duke Energy Progress, which covers the eastern parts of N.C. and portions of the Asheville region, earlier requested a 14.9 percent overall rate increase — including 16.7 percent for residential customers — for 1.3 million customers. That increase is projected to gain Duke Energy Progress an additional $477 million in annual revenue.

"As our state grows, and as we think about the future energy infrastructure required to serve our customers, a smarter grid will facilitate cleaner energy sources and provide customers the tools they need to make more informed energy decisions," David Fountain, Duke Energy's North Carolina president, said in a statement.

Fountain said in a Tuesday interview with the Winston-Salem Journal that "we don’t take this (rate increase) lightly and understand its impact on low-income households and small businesses."

Challenges
Although Duke Energy Carolinas gained on Dec. 27 federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission approval to build the Lee plant and operate two nuclear units, it has chosen to abandon the project, primarily because the nuclear-reactor supplier, Westinghouse, filed for bankruptcy March 29.

Duke Energy Carolinas had estimated the total Lee plant project cost at $12.94 billion. It has spent $542 million in project development costs as of June 30.

Westinghouse's "publicly stated intent to cease construction of new nuclear units in the U.S. have placed significant uncertainty on the project," the utility told the commission.

"It is unlikely the company will be able to construct and commence operation of the project before the end of the next decade.

"These recent events support the conclusion that the project, as originally contemplated, should be cancelled in the best interest of customers," the utility said.

However, the utility said it will maintain the license — at least for now — to build a nuclear plant at this site.

Jim Warren, director of advocacy group NC WARN, said he has mixed feelings about the decision to cancel the Lee project. His group already has committed to challenging the rate increases.

"We’re glad that Duke is cutting the losses it must share with the public," Warren said. "Duke Energy executives invested 12 years and over a half-billion public dollars — at the Lee project alone — hoping to build nuclear plants.

"Sadly, it validates the long-running concerns that the nuclear 'renaissance' would waste precious time and resources that should have gone toward proven measures that would slow the climate crisis."

Warren said he "strongly urges" Lynn Good, Duke Energy's chief executive, "to finally turn all efforts toward actually going green, thus aligning Duke Energy’s interests with those of all humanity at this late hour."

'Clarity and transparency'
The rate increase will help the utility pay for compliance with state and federal regulations involving managing coal ash since 2015, Fountain said.

In April, Duke Energy attorneys told the Greensboro News & Record that the utility meets the “criteria for granting a deferral,” a special accounting technique enabling it to set aside more than $700 million in accumulated coal ash costs for consideration in the upcoming rate case.

“The companies reiterate their commitment that costs associated with this deferral request do not include fines, penalties or remediation costs associated with the Dan River pipe break repair and resulting cleanup,” the attorneys said. Fountain made similar comments Tuesday.

In April, the NC Conservation Network filed a petition with the utilities commission about separating the coal ash costs from any rate increase request by Duke Energy.

“The cost and responsibility for coal ash storage and disposal remains a complex issue which deserves special attention,” the advocacy group said. “North Carolina ratepayers need clarity and transparency as Duke Energy seeks to raise our rates to pay for its coal ash problems.”

Duke Energy lawyers said critics are wrong in urging the commission to consider the company’s coal ash costs separately.

Duke Energy contends the great majority of its coal ash cleanup costs across North Carolina — expected eventually to top $4.5 billion — are part of the routine life cycle of its 14 active and retired coal-fired plants.

Meanwhile, N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein and other intervenors, including the Sierra Club, Appalachian State University and the Carolina Utility Customers Association, argued that Duke Energy’s coal ash dilemma simply contains too many factors that utility executives brought on themselves, or that otherwise beg closer examination than the company’s proposed bookkeeping maneuver suggests.

HENDERSON COUNTY'S MCGRADY RECEIVES THE "COMMUNITY CHAMPION" AWARD

HENDERSON COUNTY'S MCGRADY RECEIVES THE "COMMUNITY CHAMPION" AWARD

BY THE NC LEAGUE OF MUNICIPALITIES   

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State Rep. Chuck McGrady and State Sen. Paul Newton were recognized Friday night as recipients of the N.C. League of Municipalities’ Community Champion Award.

The award was presented to each legislator for dedicated support of North Carolina cities and towns during the 2017 legislative session. The presentations took place at CityVision 2017, NCLM’s annual conference held this week in Greenville.

Representative McGrady is serving his fourth term in the N.C. House, representing Hendersonville and portions of Henderson County. A co-chair of the House Appropriations Committee, he was a key advocate for the defeat of harmful billboard legislation which the League actively opposed.

Sen. Newton is serving his first term in the state Senate, representing Cabarrus County and portions of Union County. Despite that freshman status, he played a crucial role in pursing legislation which ensured that cities and towns could continue assessing development impact fees going forward in the face of an adverse court ruling. Without the legislation, well-coordinated growth in cities and towns across North Carolina would have been threatened and costs pushed off on existing property tax payers.

“It was my honor and privilege to help,” Newton told conference attendees.

McGrady, a former Flat Rock Village Council member and Henderson County commissioner, noted that he takes as a compliment being characterized, at times, as continuing to act like a local government official.
“I so much appreciate this recognition from my kindred souls in local government,” he said.
Outgoing League President Bob Matheny, Mayor of Zebulon, praised both Newton and McGrady for their willingness to listen to and consider the concerns of municipal officials.
“We truly appreciate your work at the General Assembly and that you are willing to make the sacrifice to serve in Raleigh,” Matheny said.

About the League

The North Carolina League of Municipalities is a membership association of 540 great hometowns – representing nearly every municipality in the state. The League advocates for its members, from the largest city to the smallest village, on the full range of legislative issues that affect municipalities.

For more than 100 years, the League has promoted – and continues to promote – good government by offering non-partisan advocacy, insurance and other services – as directed by its membership.

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NOW IS THE TIME TO ENROLL IN THE SHERIFF'S CITIZENS ACADEMY

NOW IS THE TIME TO ENROLL IN THE SHERIFF'S CITIZENS ACADEMY

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Henderson County Sheriff’s Office
Sheriff’s Citizens Academy Accepting Applications for 2018
September 21, 2017

Sheriff Charles McDonald and the Henderson County Sheriff's Office would like to announce the 2018 Sheriff's Citizens Academy is now accepting applications for classes beginning January 23, 2018. The objective of the Citizens Academy is to educate the public on the duties, requirements, and responsibilities of the Office of Sheriff in Henderson County. The class is for every citizen in the county that seeks to enhance his or her knowledge of our county’s law enforcement and thus become a more supportive citizen.
There are thirteen classes scheduled, all of which take place on Tuesday evening and start promptly at 6:00 p.m. and end at 9:00 p.m. All classes are held in the Sheriff's Office training room. Class size is limited to 40 students and classes will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Class topics include, but are not limited to: officer training & education requirements, criminal investigations, STAR program & school resource deputies, force on force decision making, crime prevention techniques, frauds & scams, personal safety, 911 communications process, emergency preparedness, K-9 teams, animal enforcement, bomb squad & SWAT teams, detention, civil process, courthouse security, gang information, drug prevention programs and the ‘Volunteers in Partnership’ program.

The class will tour law enforcement related facilities, enjoy hands-on demonstrations, and get a close-up look at the vehicles and equipment used in the daily operations. Participants will also meet many professional deputies, office personnel and the Sheriff’s Office leadership team. There will be opportunities for students to ask questions and talk with the aforementioned personnel. It will be an educational and fun experience. The class fee is $30.00, which includes a binder, handouts, graduation meal and class recognitions at the final session.
Interested persons must pass a background check and may pick up an application at the Sheriff's Office at 100 North Grove Street in Hendersonville or download one from the Sheriff’s Citizens Academy page on the Sheriff’s Office website (http://www.hendersoncountync.org/sheriff/sheriffs_citizens_academy.html).

For more information or questions please contact Citizens Academy Director Barry Brown at (828) 694-2742 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..