THE JOINT MEETING OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND THE SCHOOL BOARD
A WHKP NEWS COMMENTARY
November 17, 2016-11-16
As architect Chad Roberson displayed the renderings and explained the layout of Hendersonville High School’s new $50 million-plus campus (as seen in these photos) in that joint meeting between commissioners and the school board Wednesday morning---one thing was clear: The commissioners were not taking any detours from the course they set early last summer.
Despite differences between the two boards over which board should be making these decisions---the school board maintains they have jurisdiction; over school construction priorities---the school board says a new Edneyville Elementary School should come before the new HHS campus; and over how the 1926 Erle Stillwell building should be used---commissioners seem to favor moving administrative offices into that building and out of the old Rose Edwards building on Fourth Avenue…despite all these major differences, at least the two boards were finally meeting together and talking to each other about what could end up costing the taxpayers of Henderson County more than $100 million on top of the nickle property tax increase they approved back in the summer.
Whether it’s nine million for renovations or $20-plus million for a new school, something must be done at Edneyville Elementary…and commissioners seemed to put that on a faster track Wednesday morning by urging the county’s architects to get busy on that, but only after they finish with the new Hendersonville campus. Wednesday’s discussion between the two boards highlighted what is shaping up as another major expense for the new HHS campus, in addition to the cost of the new school itself, and that’s the need for adequate parking for students, staff, and especially for special events like ballgames at the mostly land-locked Hendersonville High School campus area.
It was Commissioner Charlie Messer who pointed out that these three things…1)the new HHS campus; 2)buying nearby property---the value of which will almost surely skyrocket---to solve the parking challenge at the new high school; and 3)whatever is done at Edneyville will be costing county taxpayers well in excess of $100 million in the next few years. And that’s on top of other construction commitments already made, and underway.
Commissioners made it clear that new HHS campus will be a showpiece at the entrance to the city on the Asheville Highway. School board members made it clear they still believe Edneyville Elementary should be the top priority.
The real lessons learned from Wednesday morning’s over-due joint meeting of the two boards are that 1)some major expenses to the taxpayers lie ahead; 2)that the two boards are as far apart as they ever were over priorities; 3)that both boards still believe they have jurisdiction over schools buildings and facilities; and 4)here’s the “biggie”---these challenges will have to be faced, and hopefully dealt with going into the future without the steady, experienced leadership of Ervin Bazzle guiding the system and the school board as its chairman.
That “working group” that set up the presentation Wednesday morning got things started. But the members of both boards, city and county and school system staffs, architects and contractors, and all involved…including those of us in the local media…had better roll up our sleeves in a spirit of real co-operation to do meet the challenges that lie ahead…and the taxpayers had better prepare to dig deep into whatever county resources are available to pay for it all.
By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman 11/16/16
The photo first is an over-view of the new school
The second photo is the way it will appear from the Asheville Highway at Five Points
Chad Roberson, of the county's "architect of record", Clark Nexxen, presented renderings of what the new Hendersonville High School will be like Wednesday morning in a joint meeting of both the Henderson County commissioners and the county's elected school board
What was presented Wednesday morning was also the result of a collaboration between Commissioners Hawkins and Lapsley, Hendersonville High School teachers, the architects, county staff and others…and it marked the first time the full two boards had come together on the issue.
The renderings and plans presented included the 1926 historic Stillwell building, though it’s still not clear exactly how the old building will be used. County Commission Chairman Tommy Thompson made a point of saying he favored using it for county school central offices…and perhaps using the current Rosa Edwards old facility for future public library growth and parking. But the future uses of the Stillwell building are still to be determined.
Parking around the new HendersonvilleHigh School was a much discussed issue…and it’s likely that additional property near the campus may be purchased in the future to meet staff, student, and public parking needs at the new campus…especially during public events like ballgames.
With the new campus to be built on the Asheville Highway at Fivc Points, safety has been a concern…and the architects have designed the new facility so the building will be back some 100 feet from the traffic and highway at Five Points.
About $52.3 million has been budgeted to build the new campus…and it was generally agreed the architects would spend the rest of this year finishing the design, then move forward with the necessary re-zoning to build the new facility.
By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman
OURS HAS ALWAYS BEEN A CARING AND GENEROUS COMMUNITY AND WE PROVED IT AGAIN SUNDAY MORNING...AT WHKP'S SUNDAY MORNING "WATER DRIVE"
A SPECIAL "THANK YOU" TO RICHARD KING AND HIS TRACTOR-TRAILER TRUCK, TO AFFORDABLE EQUIPMENT RENTAL, TO LOWES, TO SUNDAY MORNING RADIO HOST CHARLES HAYES AND HIS FAMILY---AND TO THE SCORES OF VOLUNTEERS WHO DID THE "HEAVY LIFTING"
AND ESPECIALLY TO THE MANY HUNDREDS OF GENEROUS DONORS WHO FILLED THE TRAILER OF AN 18-WHEELER WITH BOTTLED WATER, SOFT DRINKS, GATORADE, SNACKS, AND OTHER REFRESHMENTS FOR OUR FIRE FIGHTERS BATTLING THAT BAT CAVE/CHIMNEY ROCK/LAKE LURE WILDFIRE
It all started just after daybreak Sunday morning. A listener heard that WHKP would be a drop-off point for supplies for the firefighters. That listener went to Harris Teeter Grocery Store Sunday morning and said for every dollar on groceries she spent, she hoped the store would donate a dollars worth of bottled water for WHKP'S “water drive” for the 240-plus firefighters battling that Party Rock-Rumbling Bald Mountain wildfire in Bat Cave, Chimney Rock and Lake Lure. The store agreed…and the lady bought $150.00 worth of groceries and the store gave $150.00 worth of bottled water for the “water drive”. That was just the beginning.
The Sunday morning reporter for WSPA-TV came to Broadcast House before 6am Sunday morning…and did channel 7’s Sunday morning tv news program “live” from WHKP as we were gathering information, reporting on the fire and smoke, and conducting the “water drive”. WLOS-TV’S News 13 helped spread the word, as did both the Times-News and the Hendersonville Lightning.
Because word of the “water drive” spread overnight Saturday, there were ten cases of bottled water and soft drinks for the firemen sitting outside the front door at Broadcast House when we arrived at 4:30 Sunday morning.
That’s the type of generosity that’s typical of the Hendersonville community anytime…but especially when there’s a crisis.
And the whole community knew the wildfire and drought situation had reached the crisis stage by Sunday morning. Close to 3,000 acres were burning in the Party Rock fire. Several dozen other fires were burning in western North Carolina including the 7,500 acre Tellico fire, and a wildfire was spreading up Table Rock from Pickens County and threatening the backside of Pinnacle Mountain in southwestern Henderson County. A thick smoke had settled over the whole region, and an “Air Quality Alert” was, and is, in effect. Those with respiratory issues such as asthma and COPD were, and are, particularly at risk from the smoke.
A spokesman for the North Carolina Forest Service told WHKP News “live” on the Sunday morning show that the Party Rock fire was still far from “contained” and was backing down Rumbling Bald toward the Boys Camp Road and Chimney Rock village area.
The Bat Cave Baptist Church was set up as a shelter Saturday and residents along Highway 64-74, along NC 9, and in the Shumont and Bald Mountain Roads areas had been evacuated to the church.
A “state of emergency” was, and is, in effect and Highway 64-74 was, and is, closed to traffic at the bridge in Bat Cave and at the intersection of Highway 9 to Mill Spring south of Lake Lure.
By the time Sunday school and church services were ending Sunday morning, the lobby at Broadcast House was full and overflowing with donations, the parking lot was full, and donors were backed up on Seventh Avenue waiting to get into the WHKP parking lot to donate.
Supplies for the firefighters literally filled the trailer of Richard King’s 18-wheeler, and by mid-afternoon Sunday, it all was to be delivered to the Edneyville and Bat Cave Fire and Rescue Departments as they were shuttling supplies on to the firefighters on the mountain.
The National Weather Service was hoping that a 40 per cent chance of showers might spread into the area around mid-day on Sunday and bring some relief, but any substantial rainfall was not likely…and one firefighter observed later in the week that it would take many inches of rain to extinguish all these fires. Another slight chance for rain may develop around mid week…but forecaster Danny Gantt with the National Weather Service told WHKP News Sunday morning that our best chance for any real relief and rainfall is about a week away, in the next Saturday to Sunday time frame.
WHKP organized the Sunday morning drop-off because the station is “open” and broadcasting early Sunday and the supplies could be collected and delivered to the firemen as they needed them…without delay on Sunday, while other drop-off points would not be able to get the supplies to the firefighters before sometime Monday.
By WHKP News and Program Director Larry Freeman Updated 1:30pm 11/13/16
According to media reports, one person was killed and another taken away in an ambulance after a wreck Friday morning at about 10:15 a.m.
The wreck happened in Hendersonville, on the 1600 block of Sugarload Roaf at Naomi Drive.
An eyewitness at the scene said it appeared the car hit something head-on. The witness said EMTs used the jaws of life to extricate two passengers.
She said help arrived very quickly to the scene.
An eyewitness who lives near the scene said the driver was a male. The witness said she walked up to the scene because she thought she heard someone scream for help.
She says the male driver was conscious. He said he was in pain, and asked "How is my wife?"
The witness says the female was in the passenger seat. Witness says the front end of the car was completely pushed in and smashed in on the passenger side.
The witness said the couple appeared to be in their 30s
More details will be relesed soon.
Home for the Holidays
November 1 -
Come “Home for the Holidays” and experience the holidays with small town charm, sprinkled with excitement for the entire family. Let Hendersonville become your Hometown during the Holiday season.
The unique stores along Main Street are decked out with Christmas decorations for the season. Large wreaths with big red bows hang from streetlights, along with twinkling lights and decorations in the planters that line the serpentine street.
The area abounds with holiday activities such as the Flat Rock Playhouse productions, an ice-skating rink, carriage rides, holiday concerts, Christmas parade, and many other events for all ages. Catch the Christmas spirit in Hendersonville and pass it along.
The holidays are a time for celebration and dining with friends and family. Many restaurants in the greater Hendersonville area offer festive seasonal menus during the holidays. The Holiday Dining Guide list restaurants open on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Be sure to make reservations!
Check the calendar of events on the Henderson County Tourism Development Authority web site for dates, times and locations of each event.
For events, Christmas tree farms, holiday dining guide, or to receive a Hendersonville Vacation Planner, visit the Henderson County
Make “Hometown Holiday” memories in this charming mountain town.
The Vagabonds say, “ready, set, subscribe” for an exciting and jam-packed season line-up. Today, Flat Rock Playhouse announced the highly anticipated 2017 season of twenty-five productions that make up Flat Rock’s Mainstage features, Studio 52 & Family programming, and the popular Music on the Rock series.
“Box office returns have reached record numbers for the second consecutive season, and it has been a truly humbling experience to continue a legacy that was established eighty years ago when Robroy Farquhar established the Vagabond Playhers,” says Artistic Director Lisa K. Bryant. “As we celebrate this momentous anniversary, I am incredibly proud of the work we do as Vagabonds, onstage and off, and the profound impact of our artistic endeavors as we welcome a growing community to the Flat Rock Playhouse family.”
As with the last two seasons, Flat Rock Playhouse determined the lion's share of their 2017 schedule of plays and musicals from the opinion of the patrons themselves via extensive surveys.
“With more shows and a fabulous variety, we know that our patrons will be thrilled to see all of their top picks appearing in our next season” says Bryant. “We also have returning favorite Nat Zegree, who enthralled audiences this summer with his portrayal of Jerry Lee Lewis in Million Dollar Quartet, and local stars Scott Treadway and Preston Dyar, who are set to grace the Flat Rock stage again in 2017 amongst many, many other talented, and beloved actors who make up the extensive Vagabond family! Exciting additions to an already exciting year!”
Subscriptions go on sale Monday, November 14th. The Playhouse will be offering three different packages this season packed with benefits including discounts, VIP parking, and choice seating.
“In an effort to best meet the preferences of our patrons, we have refined our subscriber packages to what we believe will offer our audiences the greatest savings, the easiest access, and enjoyable, exciting experiences at Flat Rock Playhouse,” says the Senior Director of Marketing and Development, Dane Whitlock. “Our Plan A Package will expand to offer one ticket to all eleven shows (up from nine the previous year) this season at double the savings for subscribers. We will also be returning to our traditional Flex Package, which will offer eight tickets to subscribers to use in any way they prefer! We believe that these two packages, in combination with our popular Music on the Rock (MOTR) Package (one ticket to all eight 2017 MOTR’s), will greatly serve our Vagabond community by offering upwards of 20% savings on standard Box Office prices to see our wonderfully, jam-packed 2017 season!”
Flat Rock Playhouse encourages everyone to mail in their subscriptions, call, or visit the Box Office starting Monday, November 14th. Patrons wishing to renew their current plan are to call the Flat Rock Playhouse Box Office at 828.693.0731 before December 10th, 2016.
The wait is over, and as 2017 draws near, Flat Rock Playhouse opens their doors and reminds all past, present, and future Vagabonds of their motto, Come Play with Us,as they celebrate eighty great years, and look forward to eighty+ more!
The musicals & plays in Flat Rock Playhouse’s 2017 Mainstage Season include:
Classic Nashville Roadshow to run . Let Classic Nashville Roadshow take you on a journey down memory lane with your favorite classic hits honoring the world’s most beloved country greats – Dolly, Hank, Patsy, Tammy, George, Merle, and many, many more! Starring Jason Petty and Katie Deal.
Smokey Joe’s Café to run April 21 through May 13. The music of Leiber and Stoller is sure to have you tapping your toes and dancing in the aisles with such hits as “On Broadway”, “Stand by Me”, “Jailhouse Rock”, “Yakkity Yak”, and “I Am Woman”.
A Tuna Christmas to run May 19 through June 3. By popular demand, Scott Treadway and Preston Dyar serve up Christmas a little early this year with this hilarious comedy featuring the residents of Tuna, Texas – the “third smallest” town in the state. 2 actors. 22 characters. 2 million laughs!
Annie to run . Leaping lizards! For the very first time, America’s favorite redheaded orphan will be gracing the stage at Flat Rock Playhouse. Do not miss what is considered one of the best family musicals ever written!
The Dixie Swim Club to run . Designing Women, The Golden Girls, Steel Magnolias… Make way for The Dixie Swim Club – a hilarious and touching comedy about five Southern women who prove that friendships can last forever.
Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat to run July 28 through August 20. This megahit returns to Flat Rock Playhouse in this irresistible family friendly reimagining of the Biblical story of Joseph, Israel’s favorite son. Featuring an infectious and unforgettable score by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita).
Music of the Night: The Songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber to run . The music of Andrew Lloyd Webber continues on at Flat Rock Playhouse with hits from one of the best musical theatre composers of all time. Featuring songs from Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, Cats, Phantom of the Opera and many more!
Donny Edwards, a Heart and Soul Tribute to the King to run . Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has NOT left the building! For the third year in a row, Donny Edwards returns to Flat Rock Playhouse for one weekend only in his tribute to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll: Elvis Presley.
Amadeus to run . Nat Zegree, Jerry Lee Lewis from last year’s smash hit Million Dollar Quartet, returns to Flat Rock Playhouse to star as one of the original bad boys of popular music… Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Little Shop of Horrors to run October 6 through 21. Don’t feed the plants! One of the longest running Off Broadway hits of all time makes its Flat Rock Playhouse debut in this hilarious musical comedy about a boy and his bloodthirsty plant. Featuring a sensational score reminiscent of early 1960’s rock and roll, doo-wop and early Motown.
Dial M for Murder to run October 27 through November 11. A classical whodunit just in time for Fall at the Playhouse, Dial M for Murder is a sophisticated, chillingly sinister thriller brimming with madness, murder and mayhem that will hold you spellbound with suspense.
Flat Rock Playhouse Christmas Spectacular to run November 17 through December 22. Haul out the holly and deck the halls! This original musical revue performed by your favorite Flat Rock Playhouse singers and dancers is sure to be brimming with holiday cheer. Come celebrate the holidays – Vagabond style!
All of the plays and musicals in the 2017 Mainstage Season will be performed on the Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage in the Village of Flat Rock.
The musicals and plays slated for Flat Rock Playhouse’s 2017 Family Series:
Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, Jr. to run March 24 through April 2. The delicious adventures experienced by Charlie Bucket on his visit to Willy Wonka’s mysterious chocolate factory light up the stage in this captivating adaptation of Roald Dahl’s fantastical tale. Featuring the enchanting songs from the 1971 film, Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka Jr. is a scrumdidliyumptious musical guaranteed to delight everyone’s sweet tooth.
Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr. to run June 29 through July 23. Journey “under the sea” with Ariel and her aquatic friends in Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr., adapted from Disney’s Broadway production and the motion picture featuring the enormously popular Academy Award-winning music and delightfully charming book and lyrics. An enchanting look at the sacrifices we all make for love and acceptance.
You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown to run September 7 through 24. Happiness is... this charming musical featuring the beloved Charles M. Schulz Peanuts gang. Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Sally, Schroeder and yes Snoopy too! A delight for the whole family.
Pinkalicious to run . Pinkalicious can’t stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. Her pink indulgence lands her at the doctor’s office with Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe – a dream come true for this pink loving enthusiast. But when her hue goes too far, only Pinkalicious can figure out a way to get out of this pink predicament.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever to run . In this hilarious Christmas classic, a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman kids – probably the most inventively awful kids in history. When they end up as the leads, their interesting interpretation of the story (which they have never heard before) helps everyone rediscover the meaning of the holiday.
All of the musicals and plays in the 2017 Studio 52 & Family Series will be performed at the Playhouse Downtown.
The Music on the Rock concert series includes:
The Music of the Beatles, .
The Music of the Rat Pack, .
The Music of the Simon and Garfunkel, .
The Music of Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison, .
The Music of Don Henley and Phil Collins, .
Motown Summer Nights, .
The Music of Lionel Richie and Diana Ross, September 28 – October 8.
Donny Edwards, a Heart and Soul Tribute to the King, the return limited engagement direct from Las Vegas will perform September 6 – 9 on the Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage.
The Women of Woodstock, October 26 – November 4.
All Music on the Rock concerts will take place at the Playhouse Downtown, excluding Donny Edwards, a Heart and Soul Tribute to the King, which will be on the Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage in the Village of Flat Rock.
IN THE PARKING LOT AT THE MAIN PARKS AND REC. BUILDING
Now that the voting is done and the election is over, many hundreds…even thousands…of those political yard signs that are now blanketing the county will wind up in a pile in the parking lot outside the county parks and recreation main building in Jackson Park. At leat that’s the plan, according to county manager Steve Wyatt:
Starting the day after the election or anytime, says Wyatt, those signs can be deposited there…and there will be signs directing people to where the signs can be placed or dumped.
Wyatt said the signs can be taken and left there anytime during the park’s regular hours. Obviously, he said, during the daylight is better.)
Wyatt said those signs will be held there for a couple of weeks…and candidates, political parties, supporters, or anyone can have those signs.
And if they’re still there after a couple of weeks, those signs that can be re-cycled will be…all others will be disposed of.
SCHOOL BOARD CHAIRMAN ERVIN BAZZLE DEFEATED TUESDAY
PROPOSED QUARTER CENT SALES TAX DEFEATED
58,138 VOTED IN HENDERSON COUNTY...71% VOTER TURNOUT
TUESDAY'S HENDERSON COUNTY RETURNS
HILLARY CLINTON (TIM KAINE): 34%
DONALD TRUMP (MIKE PENCE): 62%
FOR U.S. SENATE
RICHARD BURR: 62%
DEBORAH ROSS: 34%
FOR DISTRICT 11 U.S. CONGRESS
MARK MEADOWS: 66&
RICK BRYSON: 34%
FOR N.C. GOVERNOR
PAT MCCRORY: 58%
ROY COOPER: 39%
FOR N.C. LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
DAN FOREST: 64%
LINDA COLEMAN: 33%
FOR DISTRICT 48 N.C. SENATE
CHUCK EDWARDS: 66%
NORMASN BOSSERT: 34%
CHUCK MCGRADY N.C. HOUSE—NO OPPOSITION
CHARLIE MESSER AND GRADY HAWKINS COUNTY COMMISSION—NO OPPOSITION
HENDERSON COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD (TOP FOUR ELECTED):
MARY LOUISE CORN
HENDERSON COUNTY QUARTER CENT SALES TAX
MEMORIAL SERVICES FOR LOCAL BUILDING CONTRACTOR HAROLD ERNEST BLYTHE WILL BE THURSDAY AT 2 PM AT MUD CREEK BAPTIST CHURCH
As a young man, he worked for J.C. Penny and later Robotyper Corporation before fully focusing on his life’s work as a building contractor. He held one of the earliest registered contractor’s licenses in North Carolina constructing homes in nearly every area and subdivision of Henderson County, along with multiple apartment communities. Into retirement, Harold continued business activities as a successful real estate broker, investor and co-developed Pine Links Golf Course.
Amongst the many titles held, Harold was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He cared for his family deeply and always placed others above himself every minute of the day. Everyone that knew him would say that Harold didn’t really know retirement. He always found a way to stay active, mainly helping whomever he could.
He loved his church fervently and served as a deacon for many years; among many of his service roles he was the chairman of multiple committees including the building committee during Mud Creek Baptist Church’s construction of the new sanctuary, the gymnasium/student center and many other construction projects over the past 50 years.
Harold, Daddy, and Papaw was truly the salt of the earth type of man, who loved to laugh and touched everyone around him. We are grateful for his endless love, grace and compassion he so freely gave and hope to continue his legacy of hard work, generosity and selflessness. His smile will be forever missed, but we are thankful that God allowed him to teach us so much during his time here.
He is survived by his two daughters, Deitra (Rex) Jones, Lesa (Ben) Balentine; his son Sidney (Tammy) Blythe; three grandchildren, Justin (Katheryn) Blythe, DeLaina (David) Lewkowicz and Bennett Balentine; four great-grandchildren Zachary Lewkowicz, Gabriella Blythe, Dash Blythe and Lexton Lewkowicz.
A memorial service will be held at Mud Creek Baptist Church at 2:00 pm on Thursday November 10th, 2016. The Rev. Dr. Greg Mathis, Rev. David Lewkowicz and Rev. Terry Tweed will officiate. The family will receive friends immediately following the service, followed by a private family graveside service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the AWANA children’s ministry at Mud Creek Baptist Church, where his beloved great-grandchildren and so many children currently do and will continue to learn about Jesus; at 403 Rutledge Dr. Hendersonville, NC 28739 OR Four Seasons Compassion for Life in memory of Harold Blythe; at 571 South Allen Road, Flat Rock, NC 28731.
Thos. Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors are in charge of the arrangements.