On Friday, June 17, 2016 , deputies from the Henderson County Sheriff’s office responded to Pardee Hospital after a patient reported being a victim of an armed robbery earlier in the morning.
The victim, from the Flat Rock area, was released from the hospital with no visible signs of injury after being seen by medical personnel. The victim told deputies a known acquaintance displayed a firearm, and stole cash as well as firearms from the residence.
After further investigation today, detectives have charged Dakota Cruz Bass, age 20, of Banner Farm Road, in Mills River and Georgie Ann Mendoza, age 34, of Somerset Street, in Hendersonville, with three felony counts each ofConspiracy to Commit Armed Robbery, Larceny of a Firearm, and Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon.
Both Bass and Mendoza are in the Henderson County Jail under a $108,000.00 secured bond.
WITH THE AIRPORT ON ONE SIDE...AND SIERRA NEVADA ON THE OTHER
Site work is currently underway at the top of the hill, adjacent to the Asheville regional Airport, in Ferncliff Industrial Park in Mills River on a $217 million investment that will be known as GF Linamar LLC,
GF Linamar is a joint venture between Swiss-based GF Automotive and the Canada-based Linamar Corporation...and the Mills River facility will be constructed in two phases over the next seven years.
The company expects to ultimately create 350 manufacturing jobs in Henderson County...most of those jobs will be developed within the next five years. They will be making light weight powertrain, driveline,and structural components to the entire North American automotive industry.
The announcement was made back in February that this major industrial enterprise had settled on Mills River, and Governor Pat McCrory was on hand for the announcement. "Two major industrial manufacturers are coming together and they've selected North Carolina as the destination for their innovative joint venture."
GF Linamaqr's Mills River facility is being made possible, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant; by a grant from the One North Carolina fund, with the held of the Golden Leaf Foundation, Henderson County's Partnership for Economic Development, and with tax incentives from the Town of Mills River and from Henderson County.
NC Works, Blue Ridge Community College, and others will all be involved in securing and training the workforce that will fill the 350 good paying manufacturing jobs that GF Linamar will create.
By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman
DIS-SATISFACTION WITH THE COUNTY'S PLAN
Supporters of the iconic 1926 Erle Stillwell designed Hendersonville High School are still expressing dis-satisfaction with the county commissioner’s decision to build an all new campus for the school, mostly on what was the Boyd property at Five Points.
And these supporters of the old school are continuing to float ideas on how to make the old building a viable part of the new HendersonvilleHigh School campus. One idea, advanced by Laurel Park Mayor Carey O’Cain, would, like some others, keep the existing main building and add some new ones on the Boyd property.
The cost of whatever is finally done with the old school and new campus will be well in excess of $50 million…and the president of the high school’s alumni association said recently that when you’re talking about spending 50 to 60 million dollars, there’s nothing wrong with a little more deliberation.
The fact is, the county commissioners, who control the money, have signed on to the concept and design of an all new HHS campus…and the money for the debt services on it is a big part of the county’s $130 million budget for the new fiscal year that starts in a few weeks. As O’Cain and other old school supporters have said, it appears the train may have already left the station, that it seems commissioners want to check this off the list and move forward.
Still, even as the plan for the new campus in the heart of town moves forward, no one is talking about tearing down the old main building. That’s not going to happen. There are a lot of ideas being considered on how it can be used, still standing facing Eight Avenue West, still an integral part of Hendersonville's history.
By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman (Hendersonville High School Class of 1966)
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 from .
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 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!”
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.
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.