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TOOLEY'S CAFE OWNER INDICTED; CHARGED WITH EMBEZZLING FROM AN ELDERLY CUSTOMER AND WITH EXPLOITATION OF ELDERLY ADULT

TOOLEY'S CAFE OWNER INDICTED; CHARGED WITH EMBEZZLING FROM AN ELDERLY CUSTOMER AND WITH EXPLOITATION OF ELDERLY ADULT

 

LOCAL D.A. SAYS ADDITIONAL CHARGES AGAINST KIM JUSTICE EXPECTED IN COMING WEEKS; D.A. SAYS MILLIONS WERE STOLEN

Quoting from an article on the Hendersonville Times-News web site on Friday...

"The Henderson County grand jury has indicted the owner of Tooley's Cafe on several embezzlement and elder abuse charges, District Attorney Greg Newman confirmed Friday.

According to online court records, Kim Ellen Justice is charged with four felony counts of embezzlement and with three counts for exploitation of an elder adult. Newman said Justice is accused of taking millions of dollars from an elderly customer.

The indictments were handed down Wednesday, and more charges are expected to be brought in the coming weeks, Newman said.

Justice came in contact with an elderly man who would frequent Tooley's Cafe two years ago and formed a friendship with him, said a source close to the case who asked not to be named.

On Aug. 21, 2014, Thomas Byrne signed over his power of attorney rights to Justice, according to Henderson County register of deeds online records.

Then, over the next several months, Justice began transferring funds from Byrne's bank and investment accounts and taking the money, the source said.

“There are a lot of sad situations with the elderly and criminal activity,” Newman said. “If there's enough to support a charge, then the law enforcement agencies will charge someone.”

After an investigation was completed by the State Bureau of Investigation, authorities determined that there was enough information to bring charges against Justice, Newman added.

When contacted Friday by the Times-News, Justice said she did not want to comment on the charges.

The spokesperson for the State Bureau of Investigation could not be reached Friday because of the Good Friday holiday.

The Henderson County Courthouse also was closed on Friday, so court documents were not available."

 

WORK TO START LATE THIS SUMMER ON NEW PARKING DECK AT ASHEVILLE AIRPORT

WORK TO START LATE THIS SUMMER ON NEW PARKING DECK AT ASHEVILLE AIRPORT


As part of the airport's master plan, the construction of a parking garage was planned to meet projected growth and passenger needs in the future.  The "future" has arrived, and with two years of record growth and more on the horizon, the Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority Board approved the design and construction of a new parking garage.
 
The design, created by Gresham Smith and Partners was approved by the GARAA board, and construction is projected to begin by late summer or early fall of this year and be completed within approximately one year. 
 
The garage will have 1,300 spaces (for use by customers and the rental car companies), and once complete, the airport will net approximately 800 new customer spaces.  The increased parking capacity should serve the needs of the airport well into the future. 
 
The garage will be located directly in front of the terminal (where a portion of our existing parking is located now).  The rendering shown here gives an idea of the location (near the existing toll booth) and aesthetics planned.

COMMUNITY "CROSSWALK" WILL BE THIS "GOOD FRIDAY" MARCH 25

COMMUNITY "CROSSWALK" WILL BE THIS "GOOD FRIDAY" MARCH 25

 

First United Methodist Church will lead its traditional one-mile community walk with the cross through downtown Hendersonville on Good Friday, March 25, starting at10 a.m. in the church parking lot.

 

A spokesman fo the First United Methodist Chuchs says this is the pilgrims walk the Via Dolorosa (Way of the Cross) in Jerusalem. We feel called to do the same on the streets of our beloved Hendersonville. Come join us on this pilgrimage,” says Rev. Mark Ralls, Senior Minister.

 

The event is open to all, including families with children. Rain or shine, the procession begins at the Buncombe Street church parking lot, then moves in silence down Main Street, returning to the church via Washington Street. Arriving at the church’s Barber Christian Life Center, walkers will position the cross in the worship space and conclude the Crosswalk with prayer.

 

Participants can then enjoy freshly-baked Hot Cross Buns, a traditional Easter sweet roll decorated with a sugar glaze in the shape of a cross. All are invited to continue their observance with the Good Friday Service at noon in the church’s Christian Life Center.]

 

First United Methodist Church is located at 204 Sixth Avenue West, Hendersonville. Parking is available in the Buncombe Street lot. For more information, call the church at 828-693-4275 or visit www.fumchvlnc.org.

 
 
 

 

THE "LAST SUPPER" WILL COME ALIVE THIS THURSDAY NIGHT AT HENDERSONVILLE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

THE "LAST SUPPER" WILL COME ALIVE THIS THURSDAY NIGHT AT HENDERSONVILLE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

 

THE PUBLIC IS INVITED...SOUP AT 5:30; THE PERFORMANCES STARTS AT 6PM

The Last Supper will come to life this Easter season at Hendersonville Presbyterian Church when the congregation offers a special musical performance for the community.

“I think that it is a wonderful way to share Bible truths and events from the Bible,” Gayle Stepp, the music director at the church, said of the performance. “It brings the Bible to life. Even little children understand.”

The church will present "The Living Last Supper" at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the church's sanctuary. The evening will also include a soup supper and music before the performance. The community is invited to share in the free event.

“It's an outreach. We like to give to the community,” Stepp said.

Written by Ruth Elaine Schram, "The Living Last Supper" is a dramatic musical experience based on Leonardo Da Vinci's painting of The Last Supper. It will be performed at Hendersonville Presbyterian on Maundy Thursday, the Thursday before Easter. Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper.

The performance will include actors playing Jesus and the 12 disciples seated for the Last Supper as they were portrayed in Da Vinci's work. The disciples will speak in groups of three one-by-one about their relationships with Jesus. At the end of each monologue, the speaker will question whether he is the one who betrays Jesus.

After three disciples speak, the choir will then sing before the next three speakers begin their monologues.

The choir will perform songs also written by Schram including “How Great His Love,” “Is it I?,” “King Triumphant,” “His Hands” and “You are the Bread.”

Stepp will direct the choir and provide accompaniment on the piano.

“It's a very inspirational program,” she said.

Hendersonville Presbyterian member Rhoda Suesz agreed to direct the performance at Stepp's request.

Suesz, who is a retired first-grade teacher, said her only other directing experience came in the classroom.

“Gayle said, 'Working with adults isn't much different,' ” Suesz said with a chuckle.

Rehearsals are going smoothly, and Suesz said she thinks the event will help people who attend remember the meaning of Easter.

“Hopefully, it will put people in the right frame of mind for Good Friday and the joyous occasion of Easter,” she said.

Hendersonville Presbyterian staged The Living Last Supper in 2010 in the church's fellowship hall and in 2011 in the sanctuary.

“They loved it,” she said. “It is such an inspirational experience. It transports one back in time to the actual events.”

The choir began practicing for this year's event in January, while costume preparations and script readings began in February.

The actors in this year's show have also committed themselves to making the performance as authentic as possible. Some of the men have grown beards, and one man has let his hair grown longer in an attempt to look the part of the disciples, Stepp said.

The cast at for The Living Supper includes Jason Feather as Jesus, Barry Macdonald as Simon Peter, Chip Gilbert as Andrew, Bruce Rau as James, Thomas Leonard as James – the son of Zebedee, David Garrison as Matthew, Jerry Miller as Simon the Zealot, Bob Hicks as Bartholomew, John Connet as Phillip, Josh Thomsen as Thaddaeus, John Bayne as John, Bill Nagle as Thomas, and Jay Mullinax as Judas Iscariot.

Costumes are by Anne Carlin, Marilyn Frenier, Hazel Richards and Marcia Elliot. Props are by Kathy Gagnon. The bulletin cover was designed and photographed by Marlane Reddy. Gene Burns will provide sound enhancement.

Hendersonville Presbyterian Church is located at 699 N. Grove St. in Hendersonville.

For more information about The Living Last Supper, contact the church at 692-3211 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

NEW VOTER PHOTO ID LAW WORKED WELL IN RECENT PRIMARY ELECTION

NEW VOTER PHOTO ID LAW WORKED WELL IN RECENT PRIMARY ELECTION

 

FROM THE CAROLINA JOURNAL

The law, requiring voters to present a state-authorized photo identification document at the polls, went into effect for the first time in Tuesday’s primary elections. Critics have condemned the requirement as a misguided policy that would lead to voter suppression, and railed against changes in early voting times as designs to diminish minority and Democratic votes.

State officials rebut those contentions with Tuesday’s turnout results and early voting numbers.

“More voters participated in Tuesday’s election than in any prior primary. Early voting was also a huge success, surpassing 2008 and 2012,” said Josh Lawson, the elections board’s general counsel. A total of 2.3 million voters cast primary ballots, which was 35.3 percent of registered voters.

“With more than 2,700 precincts across the state, data we have so far indicates our efforts surrounding voter ID were successful,” Lawson said, while acknowledging that there were some issues requiring issuance of provisional ballots.

“Current data also indicates that two-thirds of those who voted provisional ballots did so for reasons unrelated to photo ID,” Lawson said. That included a number of voters attempting to vote for candidates in several parties, and casting ballots in a party primary for which they were not registered, he said.

While some voters did have to wait longer than usual at some sites, Lawson said he could not determine whether that was caused by many people flooding the polls at specific times or shortly before the voting places closed.

Complete data, including how many provisional ballots were issued and for what reasons, should be available by Tuesday after precincts complete their tabulation, Lawson said. The process takes longer in some areas because information is recorded on paper and still is being documented.

Lawson said there is no objective way to compare North Carolina’s new voter ID requirement to the behavior in other states that have made a similar change. State requirements differ, so it would be difficult to establish a uniform measurement, he said.

The Advancement Project, a civil rights organization, issued a news release Wednesday acknowledging that early turnout surpassed recent records, but saying voters had fewer days to cast a ballot because a 2013 election reform law reduced the early voting period from 17 days to 10.

A March 2 press release from the elections board stated that a record number of early voting sites would be available, and the election law encouraged local election boards to have those sites open longer hours.

The organization blamed congested polling sites that caused some voters in Wake County, Durham, and Winston-Salem to wait hours in line Tuesday on the shortened voting period.

“We are seeing in North Carolina the exact type of electoral chaos that happens when politicians manipulate the voting system for their own gain,” said the Rev. William Barber II, president of the North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP. “The right to vote should be constitutional, not confusing.”

The Advancement Project represents the NC NAACP and individual plaintiffs in a lawsuit to overturn the election reforms. That lawsuit, pending in federal court, challenges other elements of the law in addition to the voter ID provision.

Those include eliminating same-day registration, banning the counting of ballots cast out of precinct, and cutting a program allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to register before they are eligible to vote.

“The confusion faced by voters attempting to cast a ballot — in large part due to misinformation from poll workers — is exactly why we call this a monster voter suppression law: It affects each step of the voting process, making it harder and more confusing along the way,” said Penda Hair of the Advancement Project.

Bob Hall, executive director of the progressive organization Democracy NC, also criticized the new law, citing information collected by 700 volunteers in key precincts in 40 counties.

He issued a news release claiming that poll workers at sites across the state seemed to lack training, were overworked, and enforced the voter ID law in a disparate manner. Some voters were refused a provisional ballot when problems surfaced, he said, predicting worse issues in the general election.

“The complaints documented during the primary show the senseless bureaucratic burden of the new ID requirement, as well as the urgent need for greater investment in poll-worker training, equipment and a modernized election system,” Hall said.

Lawson pushed back against those claims.

“For three years, the State Board has educated and assisted voters to prepare the state for voter ID. That effort was funded at about $1 million a year, and included mailings to every household, poll worker training, television ads, and targeted assistance to voters,” Lawson said.

“While we are carefully reviewing ways to shorten wait times, we are proud of the work counties did to ensure voters’ voices were heard at the polls,” and will continue seeking ways to improve the process during the June 7 congressional primary election and the Nov. 8 general election, Lawson said.

 

THOUSANDS OF TULIPS ARE ABOUT TO BLOOM IN THE PLANTERS ON MAIN STREET!

THOUSANDS OF TULIPS ARE ABOUT TO BLOOM IN THE PLANTERS ON MAIN STREET!

 

 

Literally thousands of tulips are all set to open uip and welcome the Sringtime in the planters arre up and down Main Street in Hendersonville!

The annual TULIP EXTRAVAGANZA GETS UNDERWAY APRIL 1

The event runs April 1-30, which includes the week of Passover this year. Downtown merchants are hoping residents will bring their out-of-town guests for a month of colorful shopping and dining.

Businesses will also have unique ways to welcome the crowds and spring.

“Many businesses will have tulip-themed displays in their windows as well as offering their spring specials,” said Narnia Studios owner Barbara Hughes, who, as a florist, created the celebration and subsequent tulip photo contest.

Resident can enter their best tulip photos in the contest at Narnia Studios. Photos must be taken in downtown Hendersonville and the deadline to enter is April 25.

The winners will be announced April 30.

Hughes has been in love with flowers for as long as she can remember. She is still surrounded by flowers, as 8,000-10,000 tulips bloom in the planters on Main Street when spring arrives.

“Our special tax district for Main Street pays master gardeners Scott Johnson and Bruce Lowe to create beautiful landscaping in the planters along the sidewalks,” she said.

“The bulbs we planted in the fall should be in full bloom the second and third week of April,” Johnson added. “Lots of tulip leaves are already poking through the flower beds.”

Hughes said the flowers inspired her to hold the annual Tulip Extravaganza and the photo contest. She has been organizing the photo contest for fourteen years now — one for every Tulip Extravaganza.

“Downtown Hendersonville is such a treasure to Western North Carolina,” she said. “We anticipate as many visitors as tulips.”

For more information about the Tulip Extravaganza, call Hughes at 828-697-6393

 

 

TWO LOCAL PARKS NOW CONNECTED BY GREENWAY

TWO LOCAL PARKS NOW CONNECTED BY GREENWAY

 

 

Still to come...a connction to Berkley Park

...After months of work, a Hendersonville greenway now connects two parks.

A bridge for pedestrians and cyclists was installed last week over Britton Creek.

The Oklawaha Greenway project is a one-and-a-half-mile expansion that now connects Patton Park to Berkeley Mills Park with this new bridge.

People are already taking advantage of what's finished.

"If they're going to take advantage of it and we hope they do, just to be cautious if they see construction equipment or anything going on just to take care and maybe not approach too closely," said Brendan Shanahan, civil engineer.

Once work is done in June, the greenway will stretch three-and-a-half miles, from Jackson Park to Berkeley Park.

 

 

 

HPD TO OFFER PRESENTATION ON MASS VIOLENCE AND ACTIVE SHOOTINGS

HPD TO OFFER PRESENTATION ON MASS VIOLENCE AND ACTIVE SHOOTINGS

 

            The Hendersonville Police Department and Chief Herbert Blake would like to invite citizens of Hendersonville and surrounding communities to attend an informational and educational presentation concerning incidents of mass violence, specifically active shooting acts of violence. With the continued increase in these types of incidents Chief Herbert Blake would like to extend the expertise and knowledge of our supervisors and our officers within our police department to enlighten the community to the response, alleviation, and recovery efforts to these types of events.

            The Hendersonville Police Department has scheduled two presentation sessions for this important topic on two different days for the convenience of the public. The presentations will be held at the Hendersonville City Operation Center located at 305 Williams Street, Hendersonville, North Carolina. The sessions will be held on March 21, 2016 and March 23, 2016, at 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm respectively. The presentations will include modern trends in this type of disaster, statistical data on events, law enforcement response, and strategies that the public can take to diminish the impact of the event if they find themselves as victims. There will also be a short question and answer period with the law enforcement professionals who are in attendance following the presentation.

            There is no need to make reservations for the programs but those who have questions about the presentation or topics should contact Lieutenant Chris Leroy or Officer Rob Underwood at the Hendersonville Police Pepartment at 828-697-3031.

 

 

 

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS LOOK AT POSSIBLY RE-HABILITATING HENDERSONVILLE HIGH SCHOOL

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS LOOK AT POSSIBLY RE-HABILITATING HENDERSONVILLE HIGH SCHOOL

 

When Henderson County’s Board of Commissioners met on Wednesday, they got a first-hand, close-up look at a 46 page report on work that needs to be done on Hendersonville High School.  The Earl Stillwell designed structure dates back to 1924, is one of the most historic and sentimentally valued structures is town, and is one of a series of county schools in needs of repair or replacement….that could, altogether, cost the county upwards of $100 million.

The good news is…the core structure of the 66 thousand square foot building is in good shape.  That includes the thick concrete floors, thick walls and  concrete columns. And that part of the facility would require only minor work.

The report the commissioners saw on Wednesday was compiled by the Vannoy Construction Company and architect Clark Nexsen sees the Hendersonvile High project as the most expensive one facing the county….with possible costs ranging from about $50 million to about $57 million.

Commissioners took no action on the issue Wednesday….and County Commission Chairman Tommy Thompson said what is needed now is “a thoughtful, deliberate process” moving forward with whatever is done with the school….and the county is basically looking at five options for the school’s future.

Commissioner Bill Lapsley said the county should consider re-habilitating the school.  Commissioner Charlie Messer said “We’ve got to get everybody to the same table to come up with a plan”.  And Commissioner Mike Edney asked about the schools 885 seat auditorium, which has become a main point of concern for students and alumni.

Again, the Hendersonville High School project is one of a series of county schools in need of repair or replacement.  The full Vannoy report is available to the public on the county’s web site.

There has been no indication as to when the commissioners will be making final decision on the school issues.    

By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman 03/16/16 4pm

 

 

 

 

 

SHERIFF MCDONALD GRADUATES FROM LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE

SHERIFF MCDONALD GRADUATES FROM LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE

 

Sheriff Charles McDonald of Henderson County graduated on March 11, 2016 from the Sheriffs’ Leadership Institute. This training was sponsored by the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association and partially funded through a grant from the Governor’s Crime Commission. Twenty-seven sheriffs from across the state received their diplomas at a ceremony held at the William and Ida Friday Center at The University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

 

The Sheriffs’ Leadership Institute consisted of four one-week training programs conducted over a period of two years. This Institute is a national model and provides leadership and technical training, specifically designed for sheriffs, like no other training in the United States. 

 

The NC Sheriff’s Leadership Institute Class of 2016 honored Sheriff McDonald by selecting himto speak at their graduation ceremony.  Sheriff McDonald spoke on the history of the Office of Sheriff and the noble cause sheriffs undertake.  He encouraged sheriffs from across the state to pursue truth and challenge the status quo when necessary.  In his charge Sheriff McDonald said, “Our ability to continue to be a viable force to keep the peace, to defend our constitution, and to uphold our God given liberties rests on our ability to educate and lead our community and to have the trust of those whom we serve.”

 

The North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association Headquarters is located in Raleigh, North Carolina. Edmond W. Caldwell, Jr. serves as Executive Vice President and General Counsel.