In their regular monthly meeting Thursday night, Hendersonville city council extended the deadline for a major Upward Road project until May 3rd of next year. The Upward Road Development Group LLC has a special use permit from the city to construct a three-story hotel, a 6,000 square foot restaurant, a retail shop, a bank building, and more. A developer is reportedly set to start work on one third of the property; another company is interested in part of the property; but a spokesman for the group said he doubts all five buildings, as originally planned, will be developed.
City council approved a plan Thursday night that will allow city employees with at least 27 years of service to retire early by cashing in their unused sick days. The new arrangement is strictly voluntary.
City council officially designated Fourth Avenue from Laurel Park to Jackson Park as the city’s first bicycle boulevard. There will be lane-sharing markings posted on that boulevard.
Council members can attend meetings by electronic means..but must notify the mayor and city manager no later than 48 hours in advance of a meeting if he or she plans to do so. Council members votes by electronic means are legal.
And the month of April was declared Autism and Parkinson’s Awareness Month…and like with the Historic Courthouse, Hendersonville City Hall will be illuminated with blue lights for the month.
Oakdale Cemetery staff are preparing for our annual spring cleanup event at Oakdale Cemetery. If family
members have artificial flowers that are in poor condition, potted flowers, or baskets in place at a
grave that they want to keep, please remove them by April 18.
Any items not removed by April 18
will be removed up and disposed of by city staff. Permanent items such as vases that are part of the
grave marker will not be removed by staff. As a reminder, shrubs, bushes, trees, and perennial
flowers are prohibited from being planted in the cemetery and will be removed at the City’s
For questions about this project, please call the Public Works Department at (828) 697-3084
To celebrate National Library Week, April 13-19, the Henderson County library branches will treat patrons to a variety of musical performances.
· Monday, April 14th, 4 PM, Edneyville- Harpist Carroll Ownbey will perform elegant music on the harp and teach the audience about her instrument. Carroll is one of the founding members of the Blue Ridge Harp Ensemble, a group composed of four concert grand harps.
· Tuesday, April 15th, 2 PM, Fletcher- Karen Hensley, pianist and vocalist, and her son Curtis McCarley, instrumentalist,
· Wednesday, April 16th, 3:30 PM, Green River- Singer/songwriter Tom Fisch will present a blend of traditional folk and country inspired by James Taylor, Doc Watson, and Dan Fogelberg. He is the recipient of the 2006 WNC Regional Artists Project Grant and his most recent album is titled “October Bay”.
· Wednesday, April 16th, 3:30 PM, Etowah- Musical Pictures on Guitar and Recorders is presented by multi-talented M. King Goslin. As gentle music flows from M. King Goslin's acoustic guitar and mixes with your imagination, just sit back, relax, and imagine. The music is soft, smooth, well-chosen for finger-style picking, and includes many familiar classical and celtic favorites.
· Saturday, April 19th, 11 AM, Mills River- Harpist Carroll Ownbey
As plans go forward to put the Historic Seventh Avenue East District and its "special district" tax money under the control of the City of Hendersonville, much like the "downtown special tax district", some clear difference in property values were reflected in a recent study of the Seventh Avenue East Disitrict by the UNC School of Government.
The Hendersonville Times-News reported on Thursday...a standing-room-only crowd filled the meeting room inside the Historic Train Depot on Maple Street Wednesday night to hear updates on an ongoing study that may shape the future of Seventh Avenue.
The UNC School of Government’s Development Finance Initiative began studying the Hendersonville district in February, looking at tax records and building permits to gauge the market.
Will Lambe, director of the DFI Community and Economic Development Program, presented their initial findings Wednesday night. The figures showed “a pretty big gap in property valuation” between their study area and the city’s downtown municipal service district along Main Street.
Properties were valued in the Seventh Avenue study district at about $32 per square foot, on average, compared to the downtown MSD’s $74 per square foot. Other figures put the Seventh Avenue district on the low end for rental prices and the high end for vacancies, and showed a nearly 21 percent gap between sales prices per square foot among the two downtown districts.
But the figures also reflected a future growth in demand for residential and commercial properties in the city… a demand that could be met, in part, with improvements to the Historic Seventh Avenue District.
“We’re at the point in this project where we’re trying to understand the market dynamics, the market realities of this district in the city of Hendersonville, in the city of Hendersonville at-large and in the region,” Lambe said. “The result, we hope, from this work is expected to come in the next 30 to 60 days.”
Hendersonville City Manager John Connet told WHKP News this week that when the city takes control of the Seventh Avenue East District, the city's additional resources will be made available to the district; a Seventh Avenue East "advisory" board will be appointed; and there are no plans to raise the "special district" tax paid by Seventh Avenue District property owners.
The Henderson County Board of Health has named Steve Smith as the new Public Health Director beginning May 5, 2014.
Mr. Smith has over 27 years experience working with county health departments, working through the ranks from Pool Inspections Technician to County Health Director. He has previously served as the Health Director in Stokes County, and has held the position in Transylvania County since 2004.
Steve Smith states, "I am honored to have been selected to serve as the Health Director for Henderson County. The Board of Public Health and the Department of Public Health have a strong legacy of health achievement in the community and North Carolina. It will be my privilege to support and advance the services, programs, and objectives that meet the community health needs of Henderson County."
Terry Hicks, Chairman of the Henderson County Board of Public Health, states, “I believe Steve is the strong leader the Health Department needs to direct us through the new challenges we will encounter over the next few years. We are excited for him to begin his new position in Henderson County.”
Mr. Smith received his bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and a Master of Public Administration from North Carolina State University. He takes an active role in his community, currently serving in Transylvania County as a member of The Free Clinic Board of Directors, chairman of the Child Fatality Prevention Team, chairman of the Land of Waterfalls Partnership for Health, facilitator with the Transylvania County Dental Society, and a member of the School Health Advisory Council.
Hughes was charged after a complaint was investigated and a forensic analysis of his computer was conducted concerning allegations of inappropriate videos of minor’s on the computer.
Hughes turned himself in to the Henderson County Detention Facility on April 1st, 2014 and was released after posting a $4,500.00 secured bond. Hughes first appearance is scheduled in District Court of Henderson County, today April 2nd, 2014.
The show is directed by Michael Kostroff. Kostroff is a television and stage actor, best known for his five seasons on HBO’s smash hit, The Wire, and for his guest appearances on dozens of TV shows including The Good Wife, Louie, Banshee, Blue Bloods, Damages and the upcoming Gotham and The Black Box. He’s toured in The Producers and Les Miserables, appeared at Goodspeed and Paper Mill, and understudied for Broadway’s The Nance, starring Nathan Lane.
Cast members are Scott Treadway, Bob Ader, James Beaman, Adrienne Griffiths, Gary Littman, Michael MacCauley, Nick Santa-Maria, Amy Toporek and Ben Rosenbach.
Scenic design is by Dennis C. Maulden. Lighting design is by Stephen Terry. Sound design is by Bryan Delaney. Costume design is by Ashli Arnold.
TICKETS AND SCHEDULE
Allergy Partners of Western North Carolina presents Laughter on the 23rd Floor at The Clyde and Nina Allen Mainstage at Flat Rock Playhouse, April 3-19. Performances will be Wednesday through Saturday at 8:00 pm; matinees Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm. All tickets are $40 and can be purchased by calling the Playhouse box office at 828-693-0731, toll-free at 866-732-8008 or online at www.flatrockplayhouse.org. Discounts available for seniors, AAA members, military personnel, students and groups. The Clyde and Nina Allen Mainstage is located at 2661 Greenville Hwy in Flat Rock, NC.
East Flat Rock, NC – Germany-based Elkamet, announced plans for an expansion which would allow for the addition of a new plastics-related product to support existing and new business in the automotive sector. The $2,350,000 plus investment in machinery and equipment will begin this fall, with production slated to begin in early 2015. The new product expansion will result in the creation of 15 to 20 new positions, in addition to the existing 54 employees. Elkamet plans to start hiring in 3rd quarter-2014 for positions including machine operators, and supporting staff.
Charlie Messer, Chairman of the Henderson County Board of Commissioners, said, “Henderson County’s employment growth is driven by incremental decisions by small and medium-sized businesses that choose to invest in our community and employ our friends and neighbors. The Board of Commissioners supported the effort to encourage Elkamet’s initial location here, and we are proud to be a partner in their continued success and growth.”
Headquartered in Biedenkopf, Germany the company chose to locate their first and only US manufacturing operation in Henderson County, NC in 2006. Since that time, the company has doubled their workforce, doubled the footprint of their building, and diversified the markets and customers they serve. Elkamet Plant Manager Artur Bitner said, “Since the beginning of our engagement here in Henderson County, we found the support and the right resources for a successful development. This most recent investment is introducing one of our key manufacturing lines to the East Flat Rock location and another important step towards the full integration of the whole value added process.” Elkamet specializes in manufacturing custom rotational molded plastics, such as hydraulic oil tanks, as well as finishing extruded products, like windshield profiles. Products made in the company’s East Flat Rock facility can be found in finished goods made by Ford, Volkswagen, Caterpillar, and many more.
Nathan Kennedy, Board Chair of the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development commented, “Elkamet’s continued growth demonstrates Henderson County’s commitment to bringing new companies to the area, but also our focus on nurturing and encouraging their growth and expansion.” Beyond investment and employment impacts, Elkamet continues to showcase their leadership and engagement in the community through the Made in Henderson County initiative, focused on enhancing the connectivity between industry and the school system. Elkamet has hosted 8th grade students at their facilities to provide a better understanding about the diverse employment opportunities in today’s manufacturing environment.
Job seekers interested in exploring employment with Elkamet should look for postings through www.ncworks.gov and Blue Ridge Community College during the summer of 2014. For more information about Elkamet, visit www.elkamet.com
The Henderson County Education Initiative and the Holly Springs Union Chapel's Board of Trustees will be recognizing and honoring one of Henderson County's most historic one-room schools on Wednesday afternoon April 16th.
The event on Wednesday April 16th at 2pm is part of the celebration of Henderson County's education history and will include historical facts, stories, memorabilia, and music shared by descendants of former students and staff.
Parking is very limited around the historic one-room school, so those who attend are asked to meet at Mills River Elementary School and Mills River Academy at 1:30pm and ride a bus to the event...the bus is being provided by the county school system.
Candidates for county commissioner in District One will be on the first FORUM this Tuesday morning at 9:05am.
On each of the five Tuesdays in April, WHKP will be presenting special candidate’s FORUMS that will include all the candidates for local offices in this year’s May 6th primary election. The FORUMS will be at 9:05AM on each of April’s Tuesday mornings; some of the FORUMS will be one hour…other FORUMS will be two hours, depending on the number of candidates in each race. Each FORUM will be “live” in the WHKP studios, with each candidate answering questions from the moderator; each will be given time to exchange comments with the other candidates; and phone calls from listeners will be included. Each FORUM broadcast will re-air the following Sunday afternoon at 12:05pm, following the Sunday morning worship service and Fox News.
WHKP’s News and Program Director Larry Freeman said, “A healthy number of candidates have filed for local offices this year…and primaries will be held on May 6th for sheriff, all three county commissioner seats that are “up” this year, for Register of Deeds, and for NC State House…and it’s our goal to bring them all directly to the voters and listeners, giving each candidate a chance to express their views, to openly discuss their positions with other candidates, and to give callers an opportunity to participate.”
Art Cooley, President and General Manager of WHKP, said, “Because each race in this year’s election is so important to the community, we’ll be presenting these FORUMS with the support of The Pawn Outlet as a service to the community and the FORUMS will be un-interrupted by commercials”. Cooley added, “This is to continue the tradition of leadership in local information, especially with elections and candidates, that our station has maintained for almost seven decades.”
The schedule for the FORUMS will be:
April 1, candidates for county commission District 1; April 8, candidate for county commission District 3; April 15, candidates for county commission District 4; April 22, candidates for sheriff; April 29, candidates for Register of Deeds and for NC House. (Local school board candidates will not be on the ballot in the May 6th primary, so they will be included in FORUMS leading up to the general election this fall.)
Each FORUM can also be heard on WHKP's web site and on Morris Broadband channel 11, the County Government Channel.