Republican State Senator Chuck Edwards late this week explained his vote against the repeal of HB 2, North Carolina’s controversial so-called “bathroom bill”.
While the General Assembly was in special session this week, called by Governor Pat McCrory for the specific purpose of repealing HB 2, Edwards, a local McDonald’s franchise owner, explained to WHKP News in text messages that “…the issue of who may use which public restroom and under what circumstances and their security needs to be resolved once and for all.”:
Edwards added, “I voted against the repeal of HB 2 against the wishes of many members of my own caucus and against many big businesses lobbyists…because solutions might be found at a later date.”
Casting one of his first votes as a state senator against repeal of the bill, Edwards summed it up by saying, “The bill that was presented did not offer a permanent solution to the problem. Instead it sought to hide the problem with only the hope that a permanent solution might be found”.
Charlotte City Council started the whole thing last year by passing an ordinance that opened all public bathroom to transgender individuals; the General Assembly came back and prohibited that with House Bill 2; a deal was supposedly struck that the legislature would repeal the state law if Charlotte would repeal their ordinance; that deal broke down in distrust and political rancoring and the state senate killed the deal on Wednesday.
Edwards replaced State Senator Tom Apodaca who retired after 12 years in the state senate last year.,
By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman 12/23/.16 4:24 am
A date to hear a zoning request by the Henderson County Commission before the Hendersonville City Council, (pictured in this article) to change the city zoning to allow a proposed newly designed Hendersonville high school on the Asheville Highway, adjacent to the current school, is yet to be set.
Battles between former students of HHS and county commission design plans have been brewing over the past several months.
Former NC Supreme Court judge, Bob Orr, a native of Hendersonville and graduate of HHS told the Henderson County Board of Education (BOE) that it is their duty to propose plans for any new school, and not that of the Henderson County Commissioners, thusly saying the commissioners acted illegally in spending some $300,000 of county taxpaper funds for the new architectural plans for HHS. According to Orr, the BOE makes the recommendations for any new school and the county commissioners fund it.
An alumni proposal by former HHS student, and engineer Carey O'Cain, that would utilize the current high school building and save money from the projections of a brand new school was earlier rejected by the county commissioners.
If the Hendersonville City Council does not approve the requested zoning changes to accomodate the new school, it's back to the drawing board, and this time under the auspices of the Henderson County Board of Education and not the Henderson County Commissioners.
WHKP, in a recent editorial, (shared with the public, BOE, city and county commissioners), asked the county commissioners to 'shelve' the current plans for a new Hendersonville High School until they can huddle with the BOE to come up with a new plan at a lower price than the current estimate and make a variety of other changes. The broadcast also asked that the Edneyville school be put in the first position for construction rather than HHS due to many current problems with that school. Edneyville was originally scheduled to be builtl first.
Key photographs and artifacts from the Baker- Barber collection will be featured in a special exhibit at the Henderson County Heritage Museum that will debut January 4, 2017. The exhibit will be displayed for approximately 6 months and is free to the public. The exhibit results from an extensive collaboration between the Community Foundation of Henderson County, the Henderson County Public Library, the Henderson County Heritage Museum and the Henderson County Genealogical & Historical Society, Inc.
Local volunteers Ron Partin and Terry Robinson are co-creators of the museum exhibit. Partin describes the significance of the Baker-Barber collection. “Few communities have such an incredible visual archive of their history. Anyone who comes to this exhibit will get to view pictures rarely seen before and they will learn more about this local treasure.”
The Baker-Barber museum exhibit comes on the heels of increased interest in the collection. The January 2017 edition of Our State magazine features an article by local author Jeremy B. Jones that details the significance of the Baker-Barber collection in the Henderson County community. Jones’ memoir Bearwallow: A Personal History of Mountain Homeland won the 2014 Appalachian Book of the Year award in non-fiction. Jones will also be publishing an article for Bold Life about a local woman named Geneva and her unique connection to a specific Baker-Barber photo.
Any donations to the Baker-Barber fund at CFHC will ensure that the historical memory of Henderson County continues to be preserved for posterity. Donations can be made:
Ø Electronically at https://www.CFHCforever.org/BakerBarberFund
Ø Mailed (Check or Money Order) to:
Community Foundation of Henderson County
PO Box 1108
Hendersonville, NC 28793
Ø Delivered in Person (Cash, Check or Money Order) to:
Community Foundation of Henderson County
401 N Main St, Ste 300
Hendersonville, NC 28792
Previous grants from the Community Foundation of Henderson County funded positions to assist resulting in the digitization of 4,843 photographs which are now available to the public on the Henderson County Public Library website. Additional donations will ensure the care of the collection such as the continuance of the digital conservation effort and future Baker-Barber exhibits. To view the digital images currently available please view the Henderson County Public Library website at: http://www.henderson.lib.nc.us/bakerbarber_about.html.
Since 1982, Community Foundation of Henderson County has been helping people who care make lasting contributions to causes that matter. The Community Foundation accepts gifts from individuals, families, businesses and organizations to create a pool of charitable funds from which grants are awarded to address community needs. Learn more about Community Foundation of Henderson County at www.CFHCforever.org, at the Community Foundation’s Facebook and LinkedIn pages, and by calling (828) 697-6224.
“Holiday scams are in full swing and scammers are ready to take your money over the holidays,” warns Henderson County Sheriff Charles McDonald. While the well-known Internal Revenue Service scam may have slowed down, scammers have once again shifted into high gear, pretending to be spreading holiday cheer from Publishers Clearing House right before Christmas. Con artists use this time of year as an opportunity to trick people into thinking they have won several thousand dollars a week for life from Publishers Clearing House.
Sheriff McDonald advises that many Henderson County residents have been receiving phone calls from someone claiming they are winners in the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes. The caller will tell the supposed winner they need to pay a sum of money in order to receive the “grand prize.” The “winner” is told to send the pre-paid taxes or fee through a Western Union wire transfer or a green dot card from Wal-Mart. “This is a scam,” warns Sheriff McDonald. “Don’t become a victim and never give out your name, your personal information or your bank account information.”
Below are some tips directly from Publishers Clearing House addressing the latest scam that may come from social media, phone calls or even the U.S. mail (http://blog.pch.com/blog/2014/02/25/beware-of-publishers-clearing-house-scams/):
1. If someone contacts you claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House, and tells you that you’ve won a prize award – then asks you to send a payment or money card in order to claim the prize – STOP! You have not heard from the real Publishers Clearing House. IT’S A SCAM! At Publishers Clearing House the winning is always free and you NEVER have to pay to claim a prize award.
2. If you receive an email notifying you that you have won a major prize in the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes, DON’T BE FOOLED: IT’S A SCAM! Publishers Clearing House does NOT send e-mails notifying consumers that they have won a major prize. If you win a major prize in our sweepstakes (like our February 28th SuperPrize), you’ll know when the Prize Patrol shows up at your door with the Big Check.
3. If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from Publishers Clearing House and are asked to send money, pay a fee or pre-pay taxes to enter, collect or claim a sweepstakes prize, DON’T BE FOOLED: IT’S A SCAM! You have not heard from the “real” Publishers Clearing House. The call you received was most likely from a fraudulent sweepstakes scam operation. Again, at Publishers Clearing House the winning is always free.
4. If someone from Publishers Clearing House sends you a friend request on Facebook, DON’T BE FOOLED: IT’S A SCAM! The Prize Patrol will NEVER send friend requests to you on Facebook. Moreover, the PCH Prize Patrol members (Danielle Lam, Dave Sayer, and Todd Sloane) never send private messages on Facebook. In addition, Publishers Clearing House does not notify its winners through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other social media website.
The Western Carolina University Board of Trustees has approved new names for two existing campus buildings and one for a new science facility that is currently on the drawing board.
Unanimous approval of the building names came during the board’s quarterly meeting Friday, Dec. 9.
The board voted to name the replacement for WCU’s existing Natural Sciences Building in honor of former N.C. Sen. Thomas M. Apodaca in recognition of his many years of service to and support of the Western North Carolina region and the university, including his time as a member of the WCU Board of Trustees and his advocacy for the Connect NC bond referendum in March 2016 that included funding for the science building project.
The current Natural Sciences Building, constructed in the 1970s, lacks the space and the quality of laboratory facilities needed to adequately teach students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (or STEM) fields, university officials said.
Design is expected to take place throughout 2017. Construction should begin near the site of the current Natural Sciences Building in August 2018, with completion and occupancy in June 2021, followed by demolition of the existing building and final landscaping by November 2021. An official recognition ceremony will be held during groundbreaking for the new building.
“I am completely surprised, pleased and humbled by this recognition, and I look forward to the groundbreaking ceremony to express my gratitude and appreciation to the board,” Apodaca said upon learning of the trustees’ action. “It has been my privilege and honor to be of service to my alma mater both as a student and a trustee and to fight for the entire University of North Carolina system and public education during my time in the N.C. General Assembly.”
The trustees also voted to change the name of Central Hall to Judaculla Hall, pending endorsement by the Cherokee Tribal Council, to recognize the university’s historic connection to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and to acknowledge the unique heritage and history of the Cherokee people in the Cullowhee Valley that is home to WCU’s campus.
When the student residence hall located on Central Drive was completed in 2004, university officials gave it the generic name of Central. The new name, Judaculla, refers to a great giant who, according to Cherokee legend, resided in the Cullowhee Valley along the Tuckaseigee River.
Judaculla Rock, located south of campus, is a large soapstone boulder linked to the Judaculla legend that contains some of the best preserved and most significant petroglyphs (rock carvings) east of the Mississippi River.
“On behalf of the members of board, we are pleased to be able to recognize the many contributions of Sen. Apodaca to both WCU and to the mountain region, and to honor the university’s longstanding relationship with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians through these naming opportunities,” said Edward Broadwell, chair of the trustees.
The board also approved a subtle change in the name of Brown Cafeteria, a 55-year-old facility currently undergoing $22.5 million in renovations to transform a building once used as a cafeteria into a modern dining facility, with office space for residential living administration staff. With the trustees’ action, the structure becomes Brown Hall.
In other action, the board approved Vannoy Construction of Asheville as construction manager at risk for a residence hall project on the hill area of campus near Brown Hall.
The project may include renovation of the existing 58-year-old Buchanan Hall, an outdated facility with 180 beds, and an addition of space for up to 600 more beds to create updated residence facilities. Or, it could entail the demolition of Buchanan and construction of new facilities of up to 800 beds at or near the site.
The project currently is authorized with a $48 million price tag, but actual construction cost estimates will not be available until advance planning and initial design is complete.
Pat’s School of Dance, a local National Award Winning Studio in Hendersonville, announces their appearance in the upcoming Orange Bowl Halftime Show in Miami, FL.
The school’s National Award winning performances will exceed all expectations again this year. Don’t miss the opportunity to watch the Orange Bowl and Orange Bowl halftime show on ESPN, Friday December 30th. Pat’s School of Dance is an award winning studio located in downtown Hendersonville for the last 46 years! The students featured in this showcase have traveled all over the Southeast this year competing and achieving impressive placements at regional and national levels. Many of the Troupe traveled to San Diego last December to perform in the Holiday Bowl halftime show and they have been invited this year to perform on December 30th in the Orange Bowl game halftime show in Miami, Fl.
The studio is owned by Pat Shepherd & Sheraton Shepherd- Phillips, and assisted by staff members; Dustin, Katie, Brittany, Sarah, & April. The studio has been training students for the past 46 years in Hendersonville. The mother/daughter duo & staff are now teaching 3rd generation students!
For more information about the dance studio, visit their website: patsschoolofdance.com or Facebook page. Or call 828-692-2905.
ALSO INCLUDED IS THE WIDENING OF HIGHWAY 191 IN MILLS RIVER FROM MOUNTAIN ROAD TO HIGHWAY 280...TO MULTIPLE LANES
NCDOT Announces Division Level Projects
Western Mountain Projects to be in Next Transportation Plan
ASHEVILLE – The N.C. Department of Transportation announced today the division level transportation projects that are anticipated to be included in the state's next draft 10-year transportation plan, which will be released in January 2017. The plan includes the years 2018 through 2027.
“Our robust transportation network supports our strong economy and improved quality of life,” Governor McCrory said. “Through the new transportation funding formula, we took the politics out of transportation planning to ensure roads and other important infrastructure are prioritized based on data, while providing flexibility to meet local needs. The new funding formula allows us to make smart decisions that keep North Carolina moving and these projects demonstrate the process is working as intended.”
Five bicycle and pedestrian, one aviation, and 16 highway projects are expected to be funded at the division level for Division 14, which consists Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Polk, Swain and Transylvania counties.
Expanding Balfour Parkway, a four-lane route north of Hendersonville;
Widening the Tuckeaseegee section of N.C. 107 in Jackson County;
Increasing the capacity of N.C. 191 from Mountain Road to Mills River in Henderson County with multiple lanes;
Improving the safety of five intersections in Bryson City with enhanced vehicle and pedestrian flow; and
Expanding South Main Street to create multiple lanes between Hyatt Creek and Pigeon Street in Waynesville.
A complete list of projects can be found at NCDOT.gov/STI.
“These projects will help fulfill Governor McCrory’s 25-Year Vision for Transportation in North Carolina by better connecting communities across the state,” State Transportation Secretary Nick Tennyson said.
The projects are being paid for under the state’s Strategic Transportation Investments law, which allows the department to use data and local input to fund transportation projects at three levels: statewide, regionally and locally (also referred to as being at the division level).
The list of statewide projects in the draft program was released in May. In August, the regional project scores were released. NCDOT’s 14 local divisions and the local planning organizations across the state used this information, along with public feedback, to assign their local input points to projects at the division level.
Now that all project scores have been finalized at the statewide, regional and division levels, the top-scoring projects will be scheduled into NCDOT’s next 10-year plan based on available funding and other factors – such as the status of environmental studies – that affect when a project can be completed.
The draft 10-year plan is scheduled to be released in January 2017. A public comment period will be held and then the final plan is expected to be adopted by the N.C. Board of Transportation in June 2017.
This year, the North Carolina Department of Public Safety prison system saw a three-fold increase in the number of facilities growing and donating produce to local food banks, community pantries and social service organizations. The 20 facilities more than doubled the amount of fruits and vegetables sent to help fight hunger and improve health in their communities.
In its second year of the “Combating Hunger” project with Harvest Now, a national non-profit that works with several state prison systems, 20 North Carolina state facilities provided about 36,313 pounds of fresh produce to local food banks and anti-hunger organizations.
“Combating Hunger is a win-win situation for the community and our state,” said David Guice, commissioner of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice. “This is a great collaboration between the local community and the prison system. It provides inmates training for post-release job opportunities and allows inmates to give back to local communities.”
In the first growing season (2015), inmates grew and donated 16,250 pounds of fresh produce. This year, the following prisons participated and assisted their communities with much-needed fruits and vegetables including squash, winter cabbage, collards, onions, tomatoes, watermelon, bell peppers and cucumbers:
Brown Creek Correctional Institution, Polkton; Odom CI, Jackson; Burke Confinement in Response to Violation (CRV) center, Morganton; Carteret Correctional Center, Newport; Pamlico CC, Bayboro; New Hanover CC, Wilmington; Rutherford CC, Spindale; Robeson CRV, Lumberton; Hoke CC, Raeford; Avery Mitchell CI, Spruce Pine; Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women, Black Mountain; Southern CI, Troy; Lumberton CI, Lumberton; Pender CC, Burgaw; Johnston CI, Smithfield; North Carolina CIW, Raleigh; Caldwell CC, Lenoir; Lincoln CC, Lincolnton; Davidson CC, Lexington; and Forsyth CC, Winston-Salem.
Fresh produce is one of the most expensive and scarcest commodities in North Carolina food banks, and Harvest Now sought the NCDPS prison system’s help in providing reliable, local sources of donated fresh produce. Harvest Now donates $7,000 worth of seeds to the prisons and CRV centers, and the facilities work with local community colleges or agricultural extension offices for expertise and advice on planting and tending their gardens.
More information about Harvest Now is available at www.Harvest-Now.net.
CLOSE TO THE COUNTY'S ATHLETIC AND ACTIVITY CENTER
The management and board of the Blue Ridge Humane Society recently announced that they're calling an exciting and greatly needed next step in the organization.
After a long and exhaustive search, the organization has purchased property in close proximity to downtown Hendersonville. The BRHS footprint now includes 2.7 acres at 802 S. Grove St.
Purchased for $600,000, with a Henderson County property listing valuation of approximately $1 million, the new property will provide many exciting new opportunities to help the animals, officials said in a news release.
The purchase was made with funds designated for building purposes only. The transaction was a cash purchase and Blue Ridge Humane Society remains completely debt free.
Four buildings currently occupy the property; two are usable and two will be demolished most likely in 2017. There are plenty of parking spaces available.
The Blue Ridge Humane Society Thrift Store will immediately begin using one of the buildings for storage, resulting in an annual savings of $13,000 and improved efficiency from having all storage in one centralized location.
The storage space is climate controlled, which will help with the storage of all items.
The Blue Ridge Humane Thrift Store will remain at 1214 Greenville Highway, Hendersonville.
A newly constructed building will house the executive director, volunteer and outreach director, resource and special events director and administrative staff and will result in an annual reduction of rental expense.
The new building and surrounding property will also house:
• 2 permanent adoption rooms for puppies and kittens
• Adoption events
• The Community Pet Food Pantry
• The Fencing Program
• Rabies and micro-chip clinics
• Year-round dog training classes
• Education classes (Scout workshops, school programs and day camps)
• Community outreach activities
• Special events
• Birthday parties
• Potential onsite veterinarian office for BRHS animals
HUNTER AUTO GROUP HOMETOWN HEROS RECEPTION
The Hunter Automotive Group held their first Hometown Hero appreciation event Thursday afternoon at Hunter Nissan.
The North Carolina Auto Dealers Association created the program to honor firemen,lawn enforcement and emergency medical professionals and volunteers.Hunter is one of 585 dealers across the state to participate.
Honored as the first 10 Hometown Heros were..
Ricky Bishop-Sheriffs department
Timothy Cagle-Fire department
Dale Coever-Sheriffs department
Bruce Darrah-police department
Eric Larowe-Police department
Kenneth Martin-sheriffs department
Christian Miller-fire department
Curtis Philon-police department
A large crowd was on hand and that crowd included Tom and Randy Hunter who whkp interviewed (voice attached)
The sheriff-police chief-county commission chairman and more.
All winners were celebrated for making Henderson County a safer place to live.