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COUNTY PARKS & REC. OFFICES RE-LOCATED TO SOUTH GROVE STREET

The administrative offices for the Parks and Recreation Department have relocated to the Henderson County Athletic and Activity Center located at 708 South Grove Street, Hendersonville (the former Hendersonville Christian School property).

These offices were formerly housed in Jackson Park. Office hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Parks and Recreation main number will remain the same, (828) 697-4884.

All program registrations and general recreation inquiries will now take place at these offices.



SEAHAWKS QUARTERBACK PLAYED FOR ASHEVILLE TOURISTS

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FORMER ASHEVILLE TOURIST, RUSSELL WILSON, LEADS SEATTLE SEAHAWKS TO BIG WIN OVER DENVER BRONCOS AND PEYTON MANNING.

Quarterback Wilson also played three years at NC STATE before being told by his Coach Tom O'Brien that he could not play football and baseball at the university. Wilson them offered himself to the baseball draft and was picked up by the Colorado Rockies who then sent him to the Asheville Tourists. After playing 69 games for the Tourists in 2011, he decided to leave the team after being recruited by Wisconsin, where he finished his college career.

He was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks, and the rest in now history.

Wilson, it was good having you in our part of the world for a part of a season with the Tourists.  And, oh yes, CONGRATULATIONS on the BIGGEST WIN OF YOUR SPORTS CAREER !

 

 

COMMISSIONERS WANT YOUR INPUT ON COUNTY FLAG

 Vote on a new county flag.

 The Henderson County Board of Commissioners’ are considering the adoption of a county flag. 

To this date there is no “official” flag that has been designated to represent Henderson County. This flag would fly at Henderson County Local Government buildings, in Raleigh at the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC), and would be available to approved groups who are traveling and representing Henderson County. 
 
Since this flag would represent our County, it is important for us to get feedback from our citizens regarding the design. A survey has been placed on our website, www.hendersoncountync.org, and contains the images of four proposed designs. 
 
Residents are encouraged to vote on one of the four designs or submit an alternative design for our consideration. Designs and comments can be emailed to Christina Hallingse, Henderson County Public Information Officer, at or you can reach her by phone at (828) 694-5003.  We appreciate the input of our Henderson County residents.
 
 

 

BILL LAPSLEY TO RUN AGAINST LARRY YOUNG FOR COUNTY COMMISSIONER

 

 
Local businessman, professional engineer and longtime community service volunteer William (Bill) Lapsley announced today that he will seek election for the District 3 seat on the Henderson County Board of County Commissioners.  The seat has been held for the past 12 years by Mr. Larry Young.
 
Lapsley stated that his many years of experience managing a successful business, as well as leading many of the areas non-profit boards, will provide the Board with a unique opportunity to impart technical expertise and community involvement experience directly to the decision making process.
 
Says Lapsley, “It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Henderson County for the past 40 years in a long list of volunteer positions. Among them, Pardee Hospital, Four Seasons Hospice, Department of Social Services, Rotary Club of Hendersonville, United Way, Boy Scouts, YMCA and several others.  I am now looking forward to working with the other commissioners in the same way.  The office of County Commissioner is a position that directly impacts the Quality of Life in Henderson County.  It is of the utmost importance to have five people who have the background and experience to make informed and thoughtful decisions for all of us.”  He continued. “Since I started evaluating the potential of running, I have been humbled by the overwhelming amount of support and encouragement I have received.”
 
Hendersonville businessman Jeff Miller added, “Bill has an incredible knack for quickly understanding all sides of an issue, developing common ground and consensus and getting things done.  I have seen these strengths in Bill at the board level and in the professional arena.  He is simply one of the finest men I know.”
 
Lapsley indicated three specific areas in which his experience and interest will be focused:
 
• Economic Development – Our local economy must remain vibrant and strong to maintain the community services that we all enjoy.  Support for our existing business community and attracting new high paying jobs in all sectors is a critical responsibility of the Board.  I have volunteered many hundreds of hours of my time toward this area as a Past Chairman of the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce and the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development.  I have shared in the successful recruitment of Continental Teves, UPM-Raflatac, FedEx Ground & FedEx Freight, Prince Manufacturing, Elkamet, and more recently Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and Empire Distributors of North Carolina.
 
• Infrastructure – For our economic development program to work, it is imperative for our community infrastructure to be maintained properly and expanded when necessary.  The Board has a leadership role in this effort to make sure all components of our infrastructure are being addressed.  This includes roadways, water systems, wastewater systems, electric power, communications, natural gas, etc.  I have spent over 40 years in the planning, design, permitting and construction administration of all of these type improvements in Henderson County. The knowledge and experience that I will bring to the Board is unmatched.
 
• Public Health – The community needs and deserves the highest quality health care services for all of our residents.  This has been a particular interest of mine over the past 15 years.  My experience with the Department of Social Services, Four Seasons Hospice, the Pardee Hospital Board of Trustees and now the UNC Healthcare Board of Trustees, provides a unique background to lead the County’s efforts in all areas of public health.
 
Mr. Lapsley is a graduate of the University of Wyoming with a degree in Civil Engineering.  He is a licensed professional engineer in North Carolina, South Carolina and other states.  He and his wife Joan Vanoli Lapsley have lived in Henderson County for 40 years and have 3 grown sons, all of which were raised in Henderson County and graduated from West Henderson High School.
 
For more information, contact Bill Lapsley at 828-687-7177  Ext. 307.

 



COMMISSIONERS HEAR PLEAS FOR MORE MONEY FOR LOCAL SCHOOLS AND TEACHERS AND FOR GREEN RIVER PARK

 

While thanking county commissioners for fully funding county public schools in the current fiscal year, one local teacher made the case Monday night for more money for schools and teachers.

In the public comment period Monday night, teacher Mary Davis said in the 25 years she’s worked for Henderson County Public Schools, she’s never seen morale as low as it’s been recently.

She blamed “legislative changes” from Raleigh that took away pay incentives for advanced degrees, removed caps on class sizes and reduced funding for teacher assistants.

“And then also there have been changes toward us possibly going toward merit-based pay,” Davis said. “Which has been perplexing for most of us, since we feel like all teachers deserve a raise, not just some teachers.”

But Davis also praised commissioners for fully funding the schools’ budget request last year and for providing Christmas supplements. For some teachers, she said, the supplement is the difference between providing their families with a great Christmas or going deeply in debt.

“We were so happy,” Davis said. “And I puzzled at my school, why are we so happy to receive something we get twice a year? And it occurred to me that it was because morale was so low. It was almost as if we didn’t expect it.”

John Dockendorf, a Flat Rock summer camp owner, praised the board for being “good stewards of our tax dollars. It’s nice to live in a community where you feel your money isn’t being wasted and spent wisely.”

However, Dockendorf said he’d rather have commissioners plow the “results of your good management” back into education instead of providing him with a tax cut large enough “to spend on a couple of nice dinners with my wife.” Commissioners have all expressed support for a 1.36-cent cut in the property tax rate for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

While acknowledging “the state is the problem” and commissioners have been supportive of education, Dockendorf said the county lags behind the national average in the percentage of tax revenues it feeds to local schools.

He suggested commissioners boost local supplements to attract and retain the best teachers and provide enough money so local schools can offer more in the areas of outdoor education and foreign languages.

“Again, why give money back (in the form of tax cuts) when our schools have a lot of work to do?” Dockendorf said. “Get foreign languages back into our curriculum. The fact that my kids in a global economy have to wait until ninth grade to learn a language when in Spartanburg (S.C.) they’re learning Chinese, it doesn’t work.”

While the county’s summer camps generate millions teaching outdoor knowledge, he said, local kids only get “half a day in 5th grade” to learn the same skills. Dockendorf said one of his children will not get a single field trip in three years at Hendersonville Middle .

"So while our teachers and our administrators are doing an incredible job, and they’re creating magic out of essentially nothing, you can have my tax cut,” he said. “But please, I would consider using it for the schools instead of a little bit of trickle down.”

A 2011 economic impact study showed 18 camps here generated $120 million for Henderson County, said Green River resident Holly Robinson. Eight of those 18 camps are in the Green River area, she said, yet the community still doesn’t have its own park after eight years of planning.

“I would just encourage you to dig deep, find funds (and) make it happen,” Robinson said. “When I look at Flat Rock, in less than 18 months, they’ve gone from acquisition to where they’re already doing construction. And I’d just hope you feel some impetus to try and make this happen for us.”

Green River resident Debra Stierwalt thanked commissioners for the support they’ve shown Tuxedo Park, including purchasing and demolishing the old Tuxedo Mill and helping community members write a state grant for park development. She asked the board to consider “keeping us in your budget for next year.”

In other business, commissioners asked staff to poll the public about which design they’d favor for a new county flag. The board agreed pursing an official county flag is worthwhile, since the old one has fallen into obscurity and lacks a distinct symbol.

County Manager Steve Wyatt said Public Information Officer Christina Hallingse will put several designs online for citizens to vote on, with the option to suggest other possibilities, and bring back the results in March for the board to consider.

 

 



SHERIFF MCDONALD ANNOUNCES ELECTION KICK-OFF

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The Committee to Elect Sheriff Charles McDonald announces the Campaign Kick-Off on Thursday, February 6th from 6-8pm at the Mountain Lodge, 42 McMurray Road, Flat Rock, North Carolina.

The event will feature food and refreshments, live music and an opportunity for the Sheriff’s supporters to meet with him personally.

District Attorney Greg Newman will address this gathering and introduce Sheriff McDonald who will announce his candidacy at 6:30pm. This event is open to the public and all are invited to attend.

McDonald was appointed sheriff two years ago by the Henderson County commissioners, upon a recommendatin of the county's Republican Executive Committee, to serve out the un-expired term of Rick Davis who retired due to a mental disorder.

Even though official filing for local offices does not start until February 10th, five candidates (including McDonalld) have expressed their intention to run for Henderson County sheriff this year.

 

 

 



PARDEE JOINS SPIRIT OF WOMEN NETWORK

Pardee Hospital changes logo to reflect  partnership with UNC Health Care        

Pardee is pleased to announce it is now a Spirit of Women hospital - an integrated partnership of hospitals and health care systems across the country that work to encourage healthy lifestyle choices for women and their families. The goal of Spirit of Women is to help women improve their own health and their families' health through innovative community outreach education in critical areas such as cardiac disease, osteoporosis, breast health, cancer, sleep health, menopause, incontinence, diabetes and healthy pregnancy.

Spirit of Women enables Pardee to continue to focus on the specific needs of our community and empower women to play a more active role in their health and well being.

To kick off this new initiative, Pardee Signature Care Center will host the first Spirit of Women event - Day of Dance on Saturday, March 8 from 2 – 6 p.m.

Pardee Signature Care Center will be transformed into the biggest line dance party in Hendersonville. Local dance groups will perform and teach line dances to country hits. Local businesses are teaming up with Pardee to share healthy tips for women and their families and give away prizes. Physicians and clinical professionals will discuss various health topics. Free health screenings and health education/talks will also be available during the event.

            Day of Dance is an annual event held in 70 communities and attended by more than 70,000 people across the nation. Day of Dance is a fun, interactive program that brings Pardee, local businesses and the community together to help women and their families learn about healthy choices that they can easily incorporate into their daily lives. By attending Day of Dance on March 8, women and their families can discover their personal risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and other major diseases, as well as important services available at Pardee. 

Learn more about Pardee’s Spirit of Women program, or register for the Day of Dance event by visiting pardeespirit.org.  You can also register by calling 828-692-4600.

The Spirit of Women Hospital Network is a national coalition that inspires health and wellness on a local level by leveraging national resources. Hospitals and health care facilities in more than 100 U.S. communities create the core through which Spirit of Women reaches women and seeks to inspire access and action for better national health.

MARDI GRAS MASQUERADE COMES TO SALUDA MARCH 1

MARDI GRAS MASQUERADE COMES TO SALUDA MARCH 1

Painting of Thompson's, Saluda, NC

This time of the year the quaint mountain village of Saluda, NC has fewer visitors and becomes a “sleepy” community until visitors and day trippers return in the spring.  As part of Historic Thompson's Store's "Let the Good Times Roll"music series, organizers will be hosting a Mardi Gras Masquerade party in the Boarding House Venue upstairs of Historic Thompson’s Store and Ward’s Grill on Main Street in Historic Downtown Saluda. 

“While traditionally found along the Gulf Coast, these festive occasions are beginning to spread to other sections of the country. It's a different way of boosting community business as well as psyche' during the dreary winter months.

Living in the Deep South for the past 50 years has allowed me to appreciate and enjoy two different cultures found in the area, the Creoles and Cajuns. Both groups excel in good fun and good food. Our own Mardi Gras party will reflect the casual nature of Cajun celebrations versus the more formal New Orleans style of elaborate costumes. Guests are welcome to come with or without a costume. Party favors will be provided, “says owner of Thompson’s Store and organizer of event, Clark Thompson.

“Our beautiful restored Boarding House Venue, which is located upstairs over the Historic Thompson's Store, provides an ideal event facility for hosting intimate parties such as our first annual Mardi Gras Celebration.  The Boarding House has all the modern amenities (including an elevator and handicap-accessible restrooms) but retains a historic charm, hearkening back to the early 1900’s when the building’s second floor served as a boardinghouse for railroad workers.

In addition to previously hosting such events as opera, birthday parties, weddings, reunions, and anniversary celebrations, it is our goal to bring to Saluda on a regular basis more cultural type experiences not currently found in our immediate community,” says Clark Thompson.

The event will begin at 5:30pm on March 1 with an hour and a half cash bar, followed by dinner at 7:00.  Menu will include file' gumbo w/sausage & chicken, red beans and rice, jambalaya, hush puppies, and king cake.  Recorded music throughout the evening will consist of Cajun, Zydeco music and New Orleans jazz with dancing.   Saxophone player, Darryl Oliver will be playing soulful ballads and funky blues jazz.  Reservations are required by February 24.  Tickets are $40/person. Please call Judy Ward for details at 828-749-2321.

Historic Thompson's Store and Ward's Grill is located at 24 Main Street, Saluda, NC. 



RAY'S WEATHER SAYS THIS WILL BE A DAMP WEEK

 : Playful little girl hiding behind colorful umbrella outdoors

The pattern change is here, and it’s going to be a wet week, especially when compared to our dry and cold January. A cold front will get past us by this afternoon, ending the rain, and bringing at least partial clearing.

The front will return northward as a warm front on Tuesday, with chilly rain redeveloping during the daytime, focused on the PM-hours. The rain will continue until Wednesday morning, followed by some afternoon clearing.

Right now, Thursday looks like our only totally dry day, with partly cloudy skies and below-normal temperatures.

New low pressure will be taking shape along the Gulf Coast on Friday, heading in our general direction on Saturday. More rain is on the way during this period. One thing to watch will be the amount of cold air present at the onset of precipitation. If sufficient cold air is in place, the rain could begin as flurries or a bit of light snow on Friday.

Next weekend isn’t looking pretty at this point.



THE GROUNDHOG SAYS...SIX MORE WEEKS OF WINTER

Nibbles is seen at the WNC Nature Center with Nature Center education curator Keith Mastin.

  PREDICTION COURTESY OF NIBBLES AT THE WNC NATURE CENTER

Forecasters had been caling for cloudy skies for days...but on Groundhog Day, the sun came out...

Though Sunday's weather was refreshingly balmy, it’s not going to last.

That’s according to Nibbles, the WNC Nature Center’s furry forecaster.

In a Groundhog Day ceremony this afternoon at the Nature Center, the 8-year-old female groundhog disappointed many in attendance – though not all – by predicting six more weeks of winter weather.

Among the disappointed was Clara Rodriguez, 9, of Asheville, who said she was tired of cold weather. She attended with her 7-year-old brother, Gabriel, and their mother, Carrie Rodriguez.

“It’s cold and nippy,” Clara Rodriguez said. “I’m more of a hot person than a cold person.”

But she said she had no doubt Nibble’s prediction would hold true.

“It’s just what I’ve been believing my whole life,” Clara said.

Though cloudy skies prevented Nibbles from seeing her shadow, which was supposed to foretell an early spring, WLOS-News 13 chief meteorologist Jason Boyer, this year’s groundhog “whisperer,” or interpreter, said Nibbles nevertheless was predicting a prolonged winter. He said the use of a shadow was an old-fashioned prediction tool and that Nibbles used more modern, scientific methods including considering global climate patterns.

Nibbles’ forecast was in line with her famous Pennsylvania cousin, Punxsutawney Phil, who earlier today also predicted six more weeks of winter.

FROM THE ASHEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMES