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PUBLIC FORUMS START THIS WEEK TO MEET THE CANDIDATES FOR BLUE RIDGE COMMUNITY COLLEGE PRESIDENT

PUBLIC FORUMS START THIS WEEK TO MEET THE CANDIDATES FOR BLUE RIDGE COMMUNITY COLLEGE PRESIDENT

WILL BE THE FOURTH PRESIDENT IN THE COLLEGE'S HISTORY   

Blue Ridge Community College Board of Trustees Announces Finalists in Search for Fourth President

Public Invited to Community Forum to Meet Candidates

After launching a national search earlier this year for its fourth college president, Blue Ridge Community College Board of Trustees announced today it has selected six finalists.

The six finalists (in alphabetical order) are Wendy Frye, director of high schools at Henderson County Public Schools; Laura B. Leatherwood, vice president of student services at Haywood Community College in North Carolina; Jeff McCord, vice president of economic and workforce development at Northeast State Community College in Tennessee; R. Chad Merrill, vice president for general administration at Blue Ridge Community College; Matthew R. Meyer, associate vice president of educational innovations at North Carolina Community College System; and Rebekah S. Woods, provost at Jackson College in Michigan. Biographic information about each candidate is listed below.

The finalists will visit the College campuses in April and interview with the trustees. Each will also participate in a community forum on the day they visit and will be given an opportunity to discuss their preparation for the position, their education and leadership philosophy, and respond to questions from community members. Attendees will be given the opportunity to provide feedback that will be given to the Board of Trustees. The community forums will be open to the public.

The community forums will be held at the Health Sciences Center located at 805 Sixth Avenue West in Hendersonville in Room 3003 from 1 to 2:15 p.m.on the following schedule:

Monday, April 10: Dr. Matthew R. Meyer
Tuesday, April 11: Dr. Laura B. Leatherwood
Tuesday, April 25: Mr. Jeff McCord
Wednesday, April 26: Dr. R. Chad Merrill
Thursday, April 27: Dr. Rebekah S. Woods
Friday, April 28: Dr. Wendy Frye

Board of Trustees Chair John C. McCormick, Jr., is leading the presidential search process. "Our goal is to find the best possible leader for Blue Ridge Community College," Mr. McCormick said. "These finalists are experienced and knowledgeable. We're looking forward to their participation in the next level of review."

The Board of Trustees plans to name the successful candidate in late May. Current President Dr. Molly A. Parkhill will be retiring on June 30, 2017, after more than 30 years of service to Blue Ridge Community College, ten as College president.

More about Blue Ridge Community College Presidential Finalists

Wendy Frye is currently director of high schools for Henderson County Public Schools. She has also served as director of career and technical education, career development coordinator, and classroom teacher with Henderson County Public Schools. Additionally, she was regional coordinator for career and technical education for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Dr. Frye holds a bachelor's degree in business education from David Lipscomb University, a master of arts in business education from Western Carolina University, and a doctorate in educational leadership, also from Western Carolina University.

Laura B. Leatherwood is currently vice president of student services at Haywood Community College in Clyde, NC. She has also served as vice president of student and workforce development, executive director of Haywood Community College Foundation, and director of institutional advancement at Haywood Community College. Dr. Leatherwood holds a bachelor’s degree in business law, master’s degree in human resource development, and a doctorate in university and community college leadership, all from Western Carolina University.

Jeff McCord is currently vice president for economic and workforce development at Northeast State Community College in Kingsport, Tennessee. Before joining Northeast State, he held various management positions such as manager of learning and performance improvement, manager of project management, and supervisor of enterprise-wide systems training with Eastman Chemical Company. Mr. McCord holds a bachelor’s degree in management from Georgia Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in business administration from Kennesaw State University, and is a doctoral candidate in learning and leadership at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

R. Chad Merrill is currently vice president of general administration at Blue Ridge Community College. He has also served as vice president of technology and development, chief of staff, chief institutional advancement officer, dean for transylvania programs, and cooperative education director at Blue Ridge Community College. Dr. Merrill holds a bachelor’s degree in literature/language from University of North Carolina at Asheville, a master’s degree in two-year college administration from Western Carolina University, and a doctorate in educational leadership, also from Western Carolina University.

Matthew R. Meyer is currently associate vice president for educational initiatives for North Carolina Community College System and vice president and co-founder of Workforce Credentials Coalition. He also served as associate vice president of STEM education initiatives and strategic planning, director of BioNetwork at North Carolina Community College System. Additionally, he was dean for workforce and economic development for Community College Workforce Alliance and dean for corporate and economic development at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. Dr. Meyer holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from University of Dayton, a master’s degree in bioengineering from Clemson University, and a doctorate in community college leadership from Old Dominion University.

Rebekah S. Woods is currently provost at Jackson College in Jackson, Michigan. She also served as executive dean of instruction, dean of instruction for arts and sciences, special assistant to the president, and adjunct faculty at Jackson College. Additionally, she served as dean for student and academic support and director of student success at Lansing Community College and assistant dean for school of law/dean of student and director of career and alumni services at Regent University School of Law. Dr. Woods holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Albion College, a doctor of jurisprudence from Regent University, and a doctorate in organizational leadership, also from Regent University.

NC DOT DISCUSSES PLANS FOR WIDENING HIGHWAY 191 FROM MOUNTAIN ROAD TO 280 INTERSECTION

NC DOT DISCUSSES PLANS FOR WIDENING HIGHWAY 191 FROM MOUNTAIN ROAD TO 280 INTERSECTION

IN A FULL "COMMONS ROOM" AT MILLS RIVER TOWN HALL WEDNESDAY MORNING   

About 40 residents and property owners along Highway 191 in Mills River joined Mills River Town County Wednesday morning in getting a first glimpse at how NC DOT will likely widen Highway 191 from Mountain Road to the intersection with Highway 280 in the next several years.

NC DOT engineer Brian Burch said funding for widening that stretch of Highway 191 has been approved, the project is just now entering the early design stage, public hearings will start in about a year, right of way acquisition will start in 2019, and construction should start in 2021.

Another DOT engineer, Mike Reese, showed and explained what’s called a “superstreet”…which is a four-lane highway with a grassy media, bike and pedestrian lanes, and improved access for businesses and residents…as one design possibility.

Mills River Town Council has expressed the desire for a four-lane highway with a center turn-lane to provide good access for businesses and residents.

The engineers said traffic studies and numbers clearly showed the need for the widening, and also pointed out that four-laneways with center turn lanes are not as safe as those with median down the middle…and the engineers said the recently widening Upward Road is a good example of how adequate access can be provided without a center turn-lane.

District Engineer Steve Cannon pointed out that adding a third lane is already underway between West High and Rugby Middle Schools…and engineer Brian Burch pointed out that ultimately the hole 191 widening will tie into a much larger project which is the proposed “Balfour Parkway” that will route just north and east and west of Hendersonville.

Residents and property owners Wednesday morning expressed concerns about the widening.  Some did not see the need for it.  Others, like Sandra Goode, said the widening would likely take her horse pasture.

Again, public hearing on the Highway 191 widening will be in about a year.

By Larry Freeman

MILLS RIVER'S RAUMEDIC FACILITY TO HAVE NEW CEO FOR U.S. HEADQUARTERS

MILLS RIVER'S RAUMEDIC FACILITY TO HAVE NEW CEO FOR U.S. HEADQUARTERS

RAUMEDIC IS CREATING OVER 130 HIGH-TECH MANUFACTURING JOBS FOR HENDERSON COUNTY  

U.S. HEADQUARTERS LOCATED IN BROADPOINT INDUSTRIAL PARK IN MILLS RIVER   

William F. Gearhart appointed CEO at Raumedic Inc. in the United States

Mills River, NC / Helmbrechts – Raumedic AG, Germany, is pleased to announce the appointment of William F. Gearhart as Chief Executive Officer for the group’s US headquarters. The management executive will be responsible for developing the Raumedic brand into an industry leading standard for high quality, value added medical and pharmaceutical products in North America.
Raumedic Group CEO Martin Bayer said: “After a thorough search, we concluded that Bill's leadership and experience in the medical engineering industry, along with his considerable track record of success in the start-up, growth and leadership of high-performance medical device companies made him the ideal candidate for the role. We entirely trust his competence and will give him all the assistance he needs to write the next chapter of Raumedic’s success story.”

Located at Mills River, North Carolina, Raumedic Inc. is equipped with a full-service development and production center for polymer components and systems. After the set-up of a clean room, several polymer extrusion lines, molding as well as assembly facilities in 2016, the preconditions for production startup have been established.

Reflecting on this remarkable investment as well as on future expenditures, the newly appointed CEO indicated: “We are committed to meet customer demands in the most professional way possible and thus strongly rely on the human factor.

While we started with a very competent workforce of over 50 people who were already on-site, we want to double the number of our employees in the years to come. Our specialists’ profound know-how in processing all popular medical-grade thermoplastics and high temperature polymers and their ability to fulfill even very exceptional requirements enable us to pursue our expansion strategy.”

Raumedic has invested more than 11 million US dollars in the construction of the modern building in Mills River. A total of about 27 million will be reached by 2022. “Those significant investments underline our strong will to provide high-quality components and systems not only for the North American market but for the medical and pharmaceutical industries worldwide”, confirms Martin Bayer. “Having put into action our brand-new US production facility under Bill’s strong leadership, our partners benefit from a more flexible availability of their desired products. This way we enhance our customers’ competitiveness, no matter where they are in the world.”

With immediate effect, William F. Gearhart is responsible for the fortunes of Raumedic Inc. in the United States.

The US headquarters of Raumedic Inc. are situated in Mills River, North Carolina.

DOLLAR TREE TO OPEN ANOTHER HENDERSONVILLE STORE

DOLLAR TREE TO OPEN ANOTHER HENDERSONVILLE STORE

ON THE GREENVILLE HIGHWAY IN THE FORMER FOOD LION BUILDING   

Before this month is over, look or a new Dollar Tree store to open in the former Food Lion building on the Greenville Highway.

The latest addition to Hendersonville’s “in store” retail sales is now advertising for employees…they’re looking for three assistant managers and 30 sales people…and you can apply at the Highland Square Dollar Tree store.

Carolina Specialties is remodeling the former grocery store building, and it’s been marketed by local realtor Jimmy Edney…who said a while back there had been numerous inquiries about the building. He added, “Business is booming.,”:

DEADLINE IS TUESDAY APRIL 11TH FOR LEGISLATION TO TAKE AWAY LOCAL CONTROL OF THE CITY'S WATER SYSTEM

DEADLINE IS TUESDAY APRIL 11TH FOR LEGISLATION TO TAKE AWAY LOCAL CONTROL OF THE CITY'S WATER SYSTEM

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS SAY CITY WATER CUSTOMERSD OUTSIDE THE CITY ARE UNDER-REPRESENTED  

CITY OFFICIALS STRONGLY OPPOSE LOSING COTROL OF THE CITY WATER SYSTEM

The deadline will be next Tuesday April 11th for introducing legislation in the North Carolina General Assembly that would comply with a request by county commissioner Bill Lapsley and a three-member majority of county commissioners to take control of Hendersonville’s water system away from the city and place it under the North Carolina Utilities Commission.

The commissioners recently made the argument, primarily led by Commissioner Lapsley, a former city water department employee, that over 70 per cent of Hendersonville’s water customers live outside the city and they would be better represented if the system is controlled by a state agency

State Representative Chuck McGrady says he’s still considering all his options…one of which would be to place control of the city water system under the North Carolina Local Government Commission. The utilities commissions is made up of seven members, all appointed by the governor; The LGC or Local Government Commission is comprised of nine members, including the elected state treasurer, state auditor, secretary of state, secretary of revenue, three members appointed by the governor and two appointed by the General Assembly. McGrady says no deciusion has been made on what option he’ll pursue.

He says he’s been working mostly on Asheville’s water situation…and now has assurances from the City of Asheville there will be no “differential” or higher rates charged to Asheville’s water customers in Henderson County. He says there are still sewage related issues to be resolved.

The county commissioner’s resolution asking for legislation to take control of the city’s water system away has been met with strong opposition from city officials and whatever form any bill McGrady introduces will have to be approved by both the state house and senate and signed into law by Governor Roy Cooper.

And if legislation taking away control of the city’s water system clears all those hurdles, it could still face a court challenge., An attempt was made a few years ago to take Asheville’s water system away and create a new regional water and sewer authority; Asheville sued; and the state supreme court ruled in Asheville’s favor just before Christmas last year and left control of their water system with the City of Asheville.

By Larry Freeman

CITIZENS SPOKE OUT MONDAY NIGHT AGAINST PROPOSED LAW ENFORCEMENT TRAINING CENTER

CITIZENS SPOKE OUT MONDAY NIGHT AGAINST PROPOSED LAW ENFORCEMENT TRAINING CENTER

THE COST OF IT; THE NEED FOR IT; THE LOCATION OF IT---CONCERNS EXPRESSED BY CITIZENS   

At Monday night’s county commissioner’s meeting in the Historic Courthouse, a number of citizens rose to speak against the $20 million law enforcement training center Sheriff Charlie McDonald and the county commissioners are proposing to build on the campus at Blue Ridge Community College.

Even though it was not on the agenda for Monday night’s meeting, the speakers questioned the need for, the cost of, and the proposed location for the proposed firing ranges, back-up 911 center, gyms, and classrooms to be included in the facility.

County commissioners have instructed architects and county staff to trim back the cost of it, to be paid for with a penny of last years nickel tax increase over a 20 year period.

Sheriff McDonald continues to stress the need for the facility.

By Larry Freeman

 

 

LOCAL RADIO SHACK IS NOT ON THE LIST OF STORES TO BE CLOSED

LOCAL RADIO SHACK IS NOT ON THE LIST OF STORES TO BE CLOSED

The national media is reporting that Radio Shack is closing a total of 552 stores....a result of their second bankruptcy in two years.

According to a list of store closings supplied by Radio Shack, there are only five stores in North Carolina that are being closed: Radio Shacvk stores in Durham, Mebane, Shelby, Eden, and one on Tryon Street in Charlotte.

Radio Shack made a pretty successful arrangement with General Wireless in the previous bankruptcy to open Sprint "stores within a store" within many remaining Radio

The Hendersonville Radio Shack is a Sprint "store within a store" and is not likely to be closed anytime soon.

 

 

"EMPTY BOWLS" TO FILL UP FOR THE KIDS THIS SUMMER

"EMPTY BOWLS" TO FILL UP FOR THE KIDS THIS SUMMER

 

TO HELP FEED THE KIDS THIS SUMMER   

LOCAL POTTERS AND ARTISANS TO SPONSOR EMPTY BOWLS DINNER

TO BENEFIT THE FLAT ROCK BACKPACK PROGRAM

(Flat Rock, NC, March 26) On Sunday, April 30, potters and artisans of Henderson County will sponsor an Empty Bowls dinner benefiting the Backpack Program at St. John in the Wilderness in Flat Rock, North Carolina. The event will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. in the church Parish House, located at 1905 Greenville Highway in Flat Rock.

Area potters and school groups are making and donating pottery bowls for the event, and local restaurants and bakers are preparing and donating soups, breads, and desserts for the meal.
For the past eight school years on Friday mornings, volunteers have loaded about 200 backpacks with supplemental non-perishable food for children on the free- and reduced-lunch program so that they don’t go hungry on weekends. The program provides food for students attending a day care center (year-round program), two elementary schools, one middle school, and a parochial school.
Debby Staton, coordinator of the Backpack Program at St. John, said that food is provided by MANNA Food Bank weekly and then is supplemented from grants, donations, and fundraisers like Empty Bowl. “We make sure that each child has three dinners, two lunches, two breakfasts, and two snacks on a regular weekend.”

The Empty Bowls Project began in 1990 in a Michigan high school art class to raise funds for a food drive. Today it is an international grassroots effort to raise both money and awareness in the fight to end hunger, personalized by artists and arts organizations on a community level.

Tickets are $25 per person, which includes one handmade pottery bowl to take home, or $50 for families, which includes two pottery bowls. Limited tickets are available at the church Parish House.
Local potter David Voorhees is coordinating the event along with Staton. “One ticket will feed seven children for one weekend,” said Voorhees. “Come enjoy a simple meal, and choose a pottery bowl handcrafted by a local artisan to take home as a keepsake, knowing you are supporting children across Henderson County who are struggling with hunger every day.”

For more information, contact the Church Office at (828) 693-9783 or David Voorhees at (828) 698-8775.

DEPUTIES MAKE DRUG BUSTS AT SOUTHERN AIRE MOTEL

DEPUTIES MAKE DRUG BUSTS AT SOUTHERN AIRE MOTEL

Working on a tip that heroin sales were occurring at the Southern Aire Motel located at 2990 Chimney Rock Road, members of Henderson County Sheriff’s Office Direct Enforcement Team along with members of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety conducted a search of the room and residence of Shannon Leigh Puttick. During the search on February 22, 2017, deputies located and seized 3.5 grams of methamphetamine, 3.5 grams of heroin, 3.5 grams of marijuana, $8,250.00 US currency, Alprazolam and drug paraphernalia.

The following persons were taken into custody:

1) Tyrone Jermaine Suggs, age 41 of 2990 Chimney Rock Road, Hendersonville, NC was arrested and charged on February 22, 2017 with: felony possession with intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine, felony possession with intent to sell and deliver heroin, felony possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, felony conspiracy to sell and deliver methamphetamine, felony conspiracy to sell and deliver heroin, felony conspiracy to sell and deliver marijuana, felony maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of sale and delivery of controlled substances, misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia and misdemeanor possession of Schedule IV controlled substance. Suggs was released from the Henderson County Jail after posting a bond of $71,500.

2) Shannon Leigh Puttick, age 43 of 2990 Chimney Rock Road, Hendersonville, NC was arrested and charged on March 1, 2017 with the following: felony maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of sale and delivery of a controlled substances, felony conspiracy to sell and deliver methamphetamine, felony conspiracy to sell and deliver heroin, felony conspiracy to sell and deliver marijuana, misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts misdemeanor probation violation. Puttick is still incarcerated in the Henderson County Jail under a $55,000 bond and is also being held on a probation violation for the state of Utah.

---

In an unrelated event, on March 19, 2017 at approximately 1:30AM, while conducting patrols in a high crime area, Henderson County Sheriff’s deputies stopped a vehicle on North Allen Road for a motor vehicle violation. The vehicle was operated by Lucas M. Spatuzza, age 19, of 154 North Clear Creek Road in Hendersonville. After further investigation, deputies charged Spatuzza with felony possession of cocaine, felony maintaining a vehicle for controlled substances and possession of drug paraphernalia. Spatuzza was booked into the Henderson County Jail and is being held on a $40,000.00 secured bond. His next court date on these charges will be in Henderson County on April 4, 2017. Spatuzza was out on bond for prior felony drug charges at the time of his arrest on March 19.

SUNDAY'S DEATH LEADS TO EXPANDED TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT ON KANUGA/CRAB CREEK ROAD

SUNDAY'S DEATH LEADS TO EXPANDED TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT ON KANUGA/CRAB CREEK ROAD

Following last Sunday's fatal collision on Kanuga Road, the third in the last four months, local and state law enforcement agencies from Henderson County are coming together in an effort to deter speeding and hopefully prevent further tragic and senseless loss of life. The North Carolina Highway Patrol, the Hendersonville Police Department and the Henderson County Sheriff's Office are pooling their resources and energy to target impaired drivers, high speeds and aggressive driving on this road.

As team leaders from each agency come together to plan and strategize for this campaign, they will be using data to specifically target days of the week, times of day and locations of the most dangerous sections of roadway to guide and direct enforcement efforts.

Data from the Hendersonville Police Department shows there have been 42 accidents with property damage and two accidents with personal injury in the past twelve months on the portion of Kanuga Road that is inside the city limits. The police department will be deploying their radar equipped motorcycle unit to target speeding and aggressive drivers in this area.

The Sheriff's Office will be using high visibility saturation patrols as well as utilizing the VIPs (Volunteers in Partnership) to regularly and strategically place the radar speed trailer.

The State Highway Patrol reports they have investigated 49 (2016) and 50 (2015) collisions respectively over the last two years on Kanuga Road as well as being the lead agency on the three fatal collisions. While they have already increased patrol efforts on Kanuga Road, the Highway Patrol is also working with the North Carolina Department of Transportation to lower the speed limit in certain areas. They are also discussing engineering aspects that could include well placed rumble strips that may further reduce collisions and fatalities when drivers are distracted or inattentive.

Summer is fast approaching and the traffic will increase significantly on Kanuga/Crab Creek Road. All three agencies are united and committed to working together with extra patrols, speed enforcement and checkpoints to focus on meaningful solutions to traffic safety problems affecting Kanuga/Crab Creek Road.