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FLAT ROCK PLAYHOUSE HAS SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR VALENTINE'S DAY THIS YEAR

FLAT ROCK PLAYHOUSE HAS SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR VALENTINE'S DAY THIS YEAR

 COMING IN FEBRUARY   

FLAT ROCK PLAYHOUSE PRESENTS MUSIC ON THE ROCK: Love, Guy

For the inaugural MOTR of Flat Rock Playhouse’s 2018 Season, fan favorite, Guy LeMonnier, returns to the Playhouse Downtown to serenade Western North Carolina’s love birds just in time for Valentine’s Day

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FEBRUARY 15 THRU 18 DOWNTOWN   

Flat Rock, NC (January 12, 2018) – After a short winter respite, Flat Rock Playhouse will kick off its 2018 Season with a one-weekend Music on the Rock concert filled with songs professing the reason for the season... of Love! In a show that calls all lovers to the Playhouse Downtown, nationally renowned performer, Guy LeMonnier, returns to the Playhouse as Hendersonville’s own personal Cupid for a weekend jam-packed with Valentine fun for everyone. Last seen in the Playhouse's 2017 hit, Music of the Night: The Songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber, LeMonnier joins the Music on the Rock band for a night full of his favorite love songs, especially for you and yours. Love, Guy will run from February 15th through the 18th at The Flat Rock Playhouse Downtown on Main Street in Hendersonville.

Playhouse Artistic Director, Lisa K. Bryant explains, “Audiences will fall in love as Guy croons his way through a host of beloved standards including Sinatra's 'The Way You Look Tonight', Etta James' 'At Last', and Nat King Cole's 'L-O-V-E', as well as hits ranging every genre like 'Somebody to Love', 'I Will Always Love You', 'Against All Odds', 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' and 'Chances Are'. Guy has performed in New York, across the country and internationally, and we are so very lucky to have him back, yet again, here at Flat Rock Playhouse, The State Theater of North Carolina, for this one-weekend Valentine's Day Music on the Rock Special!"

Guy LeMonnier is a New York based actor and singer hailing from Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is most widely known as an original member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra with whom he has toured the globe garnering a large following of fans. Most recently, he has appeared in roles on the hit TV shows: Gotham, Quantico, Broad City and Power. Additionally, he tours during the holiday season as a showcased artist for the Wizards of Winter and The Kings of Christmas. Theater credits include Off-Broadway, Regional Theatre, and National Tours of Broadway Musicals.

Love, Guy will star LeMonnier, while also featuring a sensational, L-O-V-E crazed band led by Music Director, George Wilkins. Wilkins, Andrew Rogelberg, Ryan Guerra, Bill Altman and Paul Babelay will round out the band on Piano, Keys 2, Bass, Guitar and Drums, respectively. Featuring repertoire for every music lover from Queen to Neil Diamond and from Rodgers & Hart to Dolly Parton, LeMonnier and the band will surely have Hendersonville’s Valentines skipping down Main Street with an extra lovesick pep in their step. Join the fun this February at the Playhouse Downtown. Sincerely, cordially, respectfully yours... Love, Guy.

TICKETS AND SCHEDULE

Love, Guy will run February 15th through the 18th at The Flat Rock Playhouse Downtown. Performances Thursday evening at 7:30PM, Friday and Saturday evening at 8:00PM, and Saturday and Sunday matinées at 2 PM. Music on the Rock Subscription Packages (1 ticket to each of the 7, 2018 MOTR Concerts) and single ticket purchase options are on sale now. Tickets are $32 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.

The Flat Rock Playhouse Downtown is located at 125 South Main Street in Hendersonville, NC.

SHERIFF'S TEAM LEADERS GRADUATE FROM 80-HOUR COURSE

SHERIFF'S TEAM LEADERS GRADUATE FROM 80-HOUR COURSE

ON JANUARY 19, 2018   

On January 19, 2018, the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office congratulated its first graduating class of Sheriff’s Leadership Academy first line supervisors. Sergeants and Team Leaders from across all divisions participated in the 80-hour course which focused on content specific to the agency, their policies, vision and values.

“Our first line supervisors are the heart of our chain of command,” said Sheriff Charles McDonald. “I am dedicated to directing the necessary time and resources to the care and education of our employees. Our employees are our most valuable resource, and when they are taken care of and well-equipped, we can better serve the community.”

The two-week leadership course included blocks of instruction on Leading Change, Enhancing Integrity, Effective Interpersonal Communication, Conflict Management, Emotional Survival and Intelligence, Public Speaking, Civil Liabilities, Motivation and Teambuilding, Human Resources, Policy and Procedures, Feedback and Coaching and more. Members of the Command Team, along with Sheriff McDonald and the Office of Professional Standards developed the curriculum to equip first line supervisors with a toolkit beyond those skills received in introductory first line supervision courses offered by the state.

Sergeant Brian Helton, a nine-year veteran with the Henderson County Detention Center, said the following after attending the Sheriff’s Leadership Academy: “There were valuable takeaways from each class that was presented. A lot of discussion among the participants occurred, which led to insight into other supervisors’ experiences. All of this added to my knowledge base and I’ve already been putting topics covered in class to good use.” Sgt. Helton went on to describe the relaxed atmosphere in which class was taught that allowed the participants to better know their classmates and command staff from other divisions that they may not interact with on a daily basis.

Implementing an agency-specific leadership academy is part of Sheriff McDonald’s strategic plan. During the month of February, Corporals will follow in the steps of their Sergeants and complete the training. This course will also be accessible by aspiring supervisors as they further their careers and further their leadership development.

To read more on the HCSO Leadership Academy, read Sheriff McDonald’s Guardian Newsletter message at http://conta.cc/2FoiILQ and review the Sheriff’s Office strategic plan by visiting the Crime Reports tab at www.hendersonsheriff.org.

PARDEE'S NEW URGENT CARE CENTER IN MILLS RIVER SET TO OPEN EARLY THIS SUMMER

PARDEE'S NEW URGENT CARE CENTER IN MILLS RIVER SET TO OPEN EARLY THIS SUMMER

PART OF INGLES PLAZA IN MILLS RIVER

Pardee UNC Health Care’s newest Urgent Care facility, now under constructio in Mills River, will be opening early this summer.

That new Urgent Care is being built as part of Ingles plaza which also includes an ACE Hardware and Mills River Family Dental, at the intersection of the five-lane Highway 280 and North Mills River Road.

It had been planned to open the new facility next month, but construction delays due to weather have obviously pushed that opening into the summer.

A spokesman or Pardee said last week, “We are currently focused on finishing up the most immediate need which is the Urgent Care center.” As for other parts of the new building, the spokesman said “We continue to evaluate the best use for the additional space.”

Pardee plans to continue operating the Mills River Family Practice of Dr. Danny Grace and three other providers...Dr. Amy Johnson, Dr. Carol Copenhaver, and William Hull... on Highway 280 in front of the former Bi-Lo’s store.

Pardee UNC Health Care also purchased over 20 acres along Highway 280 across from Ingles many months ago, and has not yet decided how to develop that property.

The new Urgent Care center is being built by Vannoy Construction which also built the new Health Science Center on Sixth Avenue West..

COOLEY ACCEPTS CHAMBER AWARD

COOLEY ACCEPTS CHAMBER AWARD

WHKP President and General Manager Art Cooley received the G. Ray Cantrell Lifetime Service Award at the 95th Annual Hendersonville Chamber of Commerce Dinner & Awards Program Friday night in the conference Hall at Blue Ridge Community College. 

The award recognizes an individual for extraordinary service to the community.

Cooley began his career path at WHKP RADIO in 1957, after graduating from Hendersonville High School in 1952 and UNC-Chapel Hill, and military service in the U.S. Army. 

Cooley's company, Radio Hendersonville, Inc., has been involved in the ownership of a number of radio stations in the past and brought cable television to Hendersonville in the sixties, which is now owned by Morris Broadband. 

Other winners of the award include Ervin Bazzle; Fred Pittillo; Duane McKibbin; R.E. Harmon; Dan Gibson; Sam McGuirt; Bill Stokes; Bill McKay; Tom Shepherd; Albert Gooch; Dan Wadell; Jim Crafton; Herb Young; Bill Lapsley; David Reeves; Bill Mcgee; Rob Cranford; Roger Hill; Bud Hunter; Jim Maher and Jeff Egolf.

THE FOLLOWING NEWS TEXT COURTESY OF THE HENDERSONVILLE LIGHTNING

Camp Industry Leadership
Karl and Shelley Alexander, owners of Camp Highlander, were honored as the recipients of the Camp Industry Leadership Award.
In Henderson County there are more than 20 Youth Summer Camps that have a combined economic impact of more than $120 million per year. A 2011, NC State University Economic Impact Study of the industry in Buncombe, Henderson, Jackson and Transylvania Counties found that camps account for 10,335 Full Time Equivalent Jobs – Beyond Camp Staff, $33 million in tax revenue and an overall economic impact of $365 million.
“In 1970, at age 20, Karl asked his dad to help him buy the all-boys sleepaway camp in western North Carolina where he had been a camper and counselor. His dad told him NO and to go get a real job.”
So he worked as a loan officer, owned a Chrysler-Plymouth dealership and did marketing for a Louisiana company that turns rice hulls into energy.
However, camp kept calling because Karl and Shelley had long dreamed of owning and operating a summer camp of their own with the hope of making a positive impact on the lives of children.
After many years of prayer and waiting, they finally fulfilled their dream in November of 2000 when they purchased Camp Highlander, a coed residential camp in Mills River.
Karl, Shelley, their five daughters (then ages 13 to 23) packed up and moved from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
In the early years Karl and Shelley plowed a lot of their operating income back into improvements – adding 70 adjoining acres to the original 170 for a total of 240 pristine acres on the banks of the South Mills River.
Since then, they have dedicated themselves to improving and expanding the Highlander experience as they seek to live out the camp mission of building boys and girls of courage, honesty, integrity and faith, and helping them become all that God intends them to be.

Ambassador of the Year

Ambassador of the Year Award was chosen from among four quarterly winners: Chuck Hill of Chuck Hill Photography, Susan Elmer with Warren Restoration, John Powers with Advantage Direct and Krystal Romps with ServPro of Henderson County.
Points are awarded to Ambassadors that assist at Chamber events, attend ribbon cuttings and grand openings, serve as greeters at Business After Hours and other events as well as making personal contacts to welcome new members to the Chamber.
The winner was Hill, a Chamber Ambassador since early 2015. A professional photographer, he takes the majority of the Chamber’s ribbon cutting and groundbreaking photos along with photographing several of our annual events.

Duke Energy Citizenship Award

The Duke Energy Citizenship Award went to state Rep. Chuck McGrady. The award honors an individual who through volunteerism and community service has gone beyond the usual call of duty to make our community a better place.
Born in Baltimore, McGrady graduated from the Mercer University School of Law and worked as a corporate counsel. Moving to Henderson County, he operated Falling Creek Youth Summer Camp and served as president of the Sierra Club from 1998 until 2000. From 2009 -2010 he was the Executive Director of the NC Youth Camp Association.


He also served on the Village of Flat Rock Council from 1997 until 2001 and was served on the Henderson County Board of Commissioners and from 2004 to 2010, when he was elected to the state House of Representatives.

Education Champion Award

Curt & Sue Marker were honored with the Education Champion Award. Developed by the Chamber’s Education Committee and Board of Directors in 2001 to honor individuals and organizations that make significant contributions to our community’s educational systems, recipients have made Henderson County home to one of the best public school systems in North Carolina.
Curtis H. Marker attained a B.S in Engineering from Purdue (1965) and an MBA from Northwestern (1967) and went on to a thirty-one year career with ExxonMobil in the international oil business. Sue was an elementary school teacher for many years. Curt & Sue have two adopted children – a son from Japan and a daughter from Indonesia.
They searched for the perfect place to retire and found it in Hendersonville. In retirement he has served on the board of the Children and Family Resource Center and in numerous positions on the boards and committees of his local country club and property owners association, Champion Hills. Curt is currently on the board of the Henderson County Education Foundation where he serves as treasurer and chair of the HCEF Golf Classic.
They established The Marker Science Scholarship in 2006 with the Henderson County Education Foundation. The scholarship covers tuition, room and board for one student majoring in science. The scholarship still exists today and has been awarded to 7 individuals, totaling over $150,000 in awards.

In 2017, they joined the Education Foundation’s effort to expand the Leader in Me initiative in Henderson County Public Schools by sponsoring Upward Elementary to implement the model, an over $70,000 investment. When Curt had the opportunity to speak to the Upward Elementary school staff in June of this past year, he said, “by embarking on this mission to transform the culture of your school, you will make them better human beings and students. The new culture you create will have a positive impact on every child who walks through the doors and the thousands of students who will follow them in years ahead.”

Environmental & Sustainability Award
The recipient of the 2017 Environmental & Sustainability Award is a company that has deep roots in Henderson County. Wilsonart, a global manufacturer of high pressure laminates, headquartered in Texas, open a facility in Fletcher in 1979 to meet growing demands for its product. It quickly grew to become one of Henderson County’s largest employers and continues to play an important role in our community’s success.
Wilsonart practices Zero Waste: No unnecessary materials or processes; Zero Impact: Environmentally responsible materials; Zero Barriers: Individual growth and engagement.
As a corporation Wilsonart is the first North American laminate manufacturer to achieve Forest Stewardship Council Chain of Custody Certification. Locally, the company has recycled almost 7.6 million pounds in 2017 — 675,000 pounds from new materials that had not been recycled before; saved 49,000 trees and 9,294 cubic yards of landfill space by baling and recycling paper; achieved Greenguard Gold Certification for low chemical emissions on all of its laminate products; installed 2,964 300-watt solar panels and 27 28,000 Watt Inverters, producing over 1 million KW in each of the past three years for an energy cost savings averaging over $80,000 per year.

Amazing Customer Service Award

This year’s recipient is Summey Plumbing & Heating, a third generation Henderson County company founded in 1954 when Harold Summey and a partner purchased a 30-year old contracting firm on King Street. They successfully operated the business through 1975 when sons Steve and Jack Summey took the reins and incorporated Summey Plumbing & Heating, Inc. The company continued to grow moving to a larger location on King Street in 1976 and finally settling in to their current Greenville Highway location in 1987. Their road to amazing customer service began in 1995 when the company started a service department to better serve customers and complement the contracting business. Today Keith and Mike Summey operate the business along with longtime employee Norma Corn. Employee morale and engagement play a critical role in Summey’s customer service culture.

A social media review sums up the Summey secret.

“It is intimidating to try and find a plumber. I have had to call on this business three times in the past five years. Every single time, I have been met with professionalism, knowledge, punctuality, and great people. They take time to explain the problem. They give options for the solution that will fit your budget. They do not overcharge. In an emergency, which I have had once, they are at your house ASAP. Every person who works there that I have been contact with is amazing, from the owners, to the technicians, to the receptionists. I cannot recommend this company highly enough.”

Past recipients include Louis Williams & Sons, Miller’s Fine Dry Cleaning
, Summit Marketing Group, the 1898 Waverly Inn
, the Flat Rock Playhouse, Southern Alarm & Security
, Whitley/Economy Drugs, Friday Staffing Services
,AutoWorx, Mind Your Business, 
Morrow Insurance, Brookdale Hendersonville East, the City of Hendersonville, Chick-fil-A of Hendersonville.

Industrialist of the Year

The 2017 Industrialist of the Year and first ever two-time winner of the award was Brian Cavagnini of Meritor.
The award goes to manufacturing leaders who have been instrumental in rowing their company’s presence in Henderson County by increasing investment and creating jobs., leading in their specific field of work and giving back and investing in our local community.

Over the past two years, Meritor has invested over $30 million in state of the art equipment and new processes to upgrade their operations. The company has added over 100 good paying jobs over these past 2 years. The company is a proud supporter of Henderson County. Many of their employees are volunteers, serving on many community organization committees and boards. In fact, the plant has been recognized as the largest corporate sponsor for United Way for the past 3 years.
Cavagnini is currently on the Board of Directors at the Chamber and has previously served on the United Way Board.
He has been the director of company’s Carolina Enterprise — responsible for both the facility in Fletcher and a facility in Forest City. 

He and his wife Karen are the proud of parents of six children.
Previous recipients include 
Paul Morse - GE Lighting, Dr. Molly Parkhill - BRCC, 
Dan O’Connell - UPM Raflatac, Pete Szalwach - Lassonde Pappas, 
and Tammy Albrecht - Wilsonart.

Small Business Leader of the Year

The Small Business Leader of the Year award is given to a company that has served Henderson County for more than three years, has grown to employ workers in our community and has given back to the community through non-profit avenues.

Southern Appalachian Brewery is the 2017 recipient. Owned and operated by Andrew and Kelly Cubbin, Southern App produces quality, craft beer for the tasting room as well as local bars and restaurants. Since they opened six years ago, they have continued to expand their distribution as far east at Wilmington and into South Carolina including Hilton Head. An equally important focus has always been to serve their community. Kelly and Andrew strive to create a comfortable, family and pet friendly environment in the tasting room.
Southern Appalachian Brewery hosts numerous fundraisers for local non-profits including Council on Aging, Blue Ridge Humane Society, Homes for Youth, Pisgah Legal Services, Land of Sky Regional Council and many others. They are also very generous donors of product for gifts and events including tonight’s Chamber Annual Dinner.

The other 2017 quarterly recipients were Wag! A Unique Pet Boutique; the Blood Connection and 
Hulsey Media.

 

LOCAL SCHOOLS EARN REGIONAL AWARDS

LOCAL SCHOOLS EARN REGIONAL AWARDS

ART AND SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS   

HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (Jan. 22, 2018) – Twenty-six students throughout Henderson County’s four traditional high schools earned a total of 2 Gold Keys, 8 Silver Keys, and 36 honorable mentions in the 2018 WNC Regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, an annual juried competition open to students in grades 7-12. Student artwork earning Regional Gold and Silver Keys will be on display at the Asheville Art Museum On the Slope from January 27 to March 4, and Regional Gold winners will advance to the National Scholastic Art competition in New York City.

At East Henderson High under the instruction of Robert Wallace, senior Barbara Trejo Ramirez won a Regional Gold Key for her illustration, “Seedless Inside,” a Regional Silver Key for her photograph, “Labeled,” and four Honorable Mentions. Senior Joshua Grady won Regional Silver Keys for his photograph, “A Little Spacey,” and digital artwork, “What Are You Gonna Do?” as well as three Honorable Mentions. Senior Sadie Pope won a Regional Silver Key for her portrait illustration, and junior Amber Short won a Regional Silver Key for a mixed media collage. Honorable Mentions were also awarded to the following East students: Faith Brookshire (Drawing & Illustration), Kristen Haynes-Haney (Photography), Brianna LaRue (Drawing & Illustration), Heidi Mallwitz (Printmaking), Emma Pope (Mixed Media), Najib Robinson (Drawing & Illustration), Samantha Taylor (Printmaking), Dean Wheless (Photography), Ben Williams (Photography), and Autumn Young (Printmaking). Altogether, East students earned 24 awards.

At Hendersonville High under the instruction of Courtney Hoelscher, junior Aishwarya Kumar won a Regional Gold Key for her illustration, “Untitled 1,” and an Honorable Mention. Senior Amelia Shechet won a Regional Silver Key for her digital artwork, “Comfortable.” Honorable Mentions were also awarded to the following Hendersonville students: Ivy Blynt (Drawing & Illustration), Aryana Norris (Drawing & Illustration), and Sarah Shields (Drawing & Illustration, Portfolio). Altogether, Hendersonville students earned 7 awards.

At North Henderson High under the instruction of Marley Moreno, senior Brenda Bartolon earned four Honorable Mentions for her photography.

At West Henderson High under the instruction of Kelly King, freshman Hannah Rebecca King won a Regional Silver Key for her photograph, “Crazy Eye,” and two Honorable Mentions. Senior Brynn Welch won a Regional Silver Key for her photograph, “Aftermath,” and three Honorable Mentions. Honorable Mentions were also awarded to the following West students: Riley Kimzey (Drawing & Illustration), Curren Podlesny (Photography), and Elliot Polnau (Digital Art, Photography). Altogether, West students earned 11 awards.

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WEEKEND'S WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA WOMEN'S MARCH DREW THOUSANDS

WEEKEND'S WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA WOMEN'S MARCH DREW THOUSANDS

FROM MEMORIAL STADIUM IN ASHEVILLE TO THE VANCE MONUMENT   

GREAT WEATHER ON SATURDAY HELPED BRING THE MARCHERS OUT   

Area media reported indicate that thousands were at Memorial Stadium for the Asheville's Women's March on Saturdasy.

Activists heard speeches from Mayor Esther Manheimer, Asheville High School students and other organizers. They touched on topics of equal rights, equal pay, immigration and the state of our government.

The march continued 0.9 miles up to the Vance Monument. Along the way, marchers chanted "Love trumps hate, that's what makes America great."

"I'm here standing for history moving forward, and women being powerful and strong," said told New 13..

"I think people are waking up, and I think they are saying enough is enough. I feel like (in) 2018 we are going to see a change, a much-needed change," said Kim Preish.

Caroline Bowers said she left feeling empowered after last year's march.

"I was really inspired last year, hearing all of the speakers and the mayor. I really want to go into politics myself, so it really inspired me, as (a) woman," said Caroline.

The march was in conjunction with others across the country.

(Photos from News 13)

 

 

HENDERSONVILLE'S JEFF MILLER HELPED HONOR SEN. BOB DOLE THIS WEEK IN WASHINGTON

HENDERSONVILLE'S JEFF MILLER HELPED HONOR SEN. BOB DOLE THIS WEEK IN WASHINGTON

VETERANS ADVOCATE AND HONOR AIR FOUNDER/LEADER JEFF MILLER FROM HENDERSONVILLE WAS PART OF THE CEREMOINY THIS WEEK IN THE NATION'S CAPITOL AS FORMER SENATOR BOB DOLE WAS HONORED.

Former Senate majority leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., received the Congressional Gold Medal Wednesday in recognition of the former presidential candidate’s service as a soldier, legislator and statesman.

During a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda, Dole was presented Congress' highest civilian honor by President Trump, Vice President Pence and Senate and House leaders.

“He has never stopped earning his place in the pages of American history,” said Trump, citing Dole’s grievous injuries sustained in World War II that required numerous surgeries. “He knows about grit” and “learned the values of loyalty, integrity, faith and hard work.”

“I am extremely honored to accept this great honor,” said Dole, speaking from a wheelchair. His wife, Elizabeth Dole, also a former U.S. senator, then read a prepared speech that emphasized taking the “long view” of American leadership, including the need for compromise.

Every politician "accepts the need for compromise from time to time. This is how the American Republic was built,” Dole said, also giving a nod to veterans buried at Arlington Cemetery who spoke “many tongues” and practiced “many faiths” but sacrificed their lives together in defense of American democracy.

 Dole, 94, was the only former GOP presidential nominee to endorse Trump during his 2016 campaign.

Dole served 35 years in Congress, mostly in the Senate, where he served as Republican leader for nearly 11 years. He was the Republican Party’s 1996 presidential nominee, losing to then-president Bill Clinton. He later joined with his former Senate Democratic rival Tom Daschle to help found the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington.

“Few Americans have demonstrated the kind of courage that Bob Dole has,” said Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., the second-ranking House Democrat.

Hoyer cited valor for bravery displayed on the battlefields of World War II and Dole’s conviction in standing up for his beliefs as a legislator. Dole was permanently wounded by German machine gun fire in April 1945 and never recovered the use of his right arm. He later helped enact the Americans with Disabilities Act, in the face of opposition of some within his party.

“Bob Dole always stood by what is just and what is right. He was a resounding voice for the hungry and he was a resounding voice for those with disabilities,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

“Because of you, America is much better.”

THAT FALSE ALARM OF AN INCOMING MISSLE LAST WEEKEND IN HAWAII:  COULD SUCH A FALSE ALARM HAPPEN HERE?

THAT FALSE ALARM OF AN INCOMING MISSLE LAST WEEKEND IN HAWAII: COULD SUCH A FALSE ALARM HAPPEN HERE?

A SPECIAL REPORT FROM WHKP RADIO AND WHKP.COM LOCAL NEWS   

When that frightening false alarm went out last weekend to the people in the state of Hawaii that a nuclear ballistic missile had been launched and was headed toward their state, many people in our area were left wondering: could such a false alarm happen here, or anywhere for that matter...and that left a lot of unanswered questions about our own local security. This week, WHKP.com news got answsers from Jimmy Brissie, who is the director of Emergency Management for Henderson County. We also got personal experiences and reaction to the false from local realtor and WHKP staff member Valen Vera Cruz who is from Hawaii and who has family and friends who experienced that false alarm in Hawaii this past weekend. We expect to hear more from his contacts later and will include that in a follow-up report.

Valen told us that from he had been told by his Hawaiian contacts, the experience “was a wake up call to “get right”. Asked if his Hawaiian contacts feel vulnerable to such attacks, he said, “I believe they do now.” Valen also said it is his understanding that the government of the state of Hawaii is working to prevent such a false alrm in the future. He said, “Yes, they are working diligently on new procedures and protocols now.” Again, we’ll share more of his contact’s experiences in that false alarm in a later follow up report.

False3

Henderson County’s Emergency Management Director Jimmy Brissie told WHKP.com that after that false alarm, a thorough review has been initiated and he added, “We will certainly look at the lessons learned and how they can apply to North Carolina and Henderson County in the future.”

Brissie provided detailed information on alarms and emergency alerts and how they are handled here and how such vital emergency information is passed along to the public::

"When we look at alerts from our standpoint there are two types: Local and the Emergency Alert System (EAS). Our Local alerts are managed by our 911 Center at the Sheriff's Office. The system they use, Nixle/Everbridge, relies on landline phones as well as users who have "opted-in" for wireless alerts. They routinely use it for National Weather Service Warnings as well as Missing Persons or other incidents where the public needs the information quickly. An alert such as the one in question would require a second party verification prior to sending. This system is tested weekly with a control group of County Staff. Updates and cancellations can be sent quickly upon verification of the appropriate information.

We rely on our partners at the State and National Weather Service to activate the EAS. If we have a local event requiring activation we would coordinate with the State Warning Point (NCEM Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh (EOC) ) or National Weather Service based on the nature of the alert. Activation of the EAS requires verification from the County and the State Warning Point using a verification code system. These are then passed along or broadcast to the EAS partners and network (for preemption) and would also generate alerts of wireless devices.

In the unlikely event of a real activation such as this the best course of action would be to seek shelter immediately. Brick and concrete structures would provide the best protection along with basements, interior walls and rooms. Additional information would be disseminated through the EAS as well as other local channels. Ready.gov has additional preparedness tips at: https://www.ready.gov/nuclear-blast

In closing we have a good system in Henderson County and North Carolina. We rely heavily on our partners in the 911 Center, the State EOC, NWS as well as EAS Partners such as WHKP. We continue to look at opportunities to improve processes and procedures as technology changes. We encourage everyone to register for local alerts through the Henderson County Sheriff's Office, for more info visit: http://www.hendersoncountync.org/sheriff/e911_division.html"

We thank Jimmy Brissie for that details information...and we want to point out that WHKP is, and always has been, a part of that EAS (Emergency Action System) he refers to and any and all emergency information is immediately broadcast on our stations as it is issued and received. All local programming is interrupted instantly, and in fact you hear the “tests” of that system frequently and regularly during our broadcasts on WHKP.

This has been a special report from WHKP radio and WHKP.com and it is our hope that it provides some assurance that such frightening instances, such as the false alarm in Hawaii last weekend, are not likely here and that our emergency management officials are working 24/7 to be sure that any and all local emergency information is accurate and reliable.

By Larry Freeman   January 2018

 

 

 

IT WAS A BUSY AND JAM-PACKED BUDGET WORKSHOP FOR COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ON WEDNESDAY

IT WAS A BUSY AND JAM-PACKED BUDGET WORKSHOP FOR COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ON WEDNESDAY

IN THE HISTORIC COURTHOUSE   

Henderson County’s commissioners covered a myriad of topics and absorbed a lot of information at Wednesday’s budget workshop.

A property re-appraisal is set for 2019. The reappraisal for Henderson County is likely to increase the values of most parcels of land, Tax Administrator Darlene Burgess told county leaders during a budget workshop session Wednesday.

The upcoming reappraisal will work to provide a fair and equitable appraisal of each piece of property, she said. Right now, the county’s current sales assessment ratio, or the difference between a property’s assessed value and what it sells for, is currently 82 percent.

Commissioners also got a thorough over-view of the county’s current financial situation.
Henderson County Manager Steve Wyatt began the annual budget meeting with his mid-year financial report. As of Dec. 31, the county’s general fund total spending is on track, at 49.35-percent of budgeted expenditures.
On the revenue side, the county has received 59.1 percent of its budgeted estimate of $136,486,200, or $80.9 million, including 84.2 percent of ad valorem taxes levied.

In Wednesday’s workshop, commissiojners got updated on county schools...including the new Edneyville Elementary School, new Hendersonville High School campus, and work on the historic Stillwell building on the current HHS campus. With the construction schedule for Hendersonville High on track, the county is moving forward with renovations to the historic Stillwell building as it awaits further clarification from the School Board about its future use.

Construction Manager David Berry and Business and Community Development Director John Mitchell provided an update on ongoing capital projects, including work at the Stillwell building.

Hendersonville High is on schedule to start construction in early October and be completed in November 2020, open for teachers Jan. 4, 2021 and for students Jan. 11, 2021.
Henderson County allocated $1 million last year for initial repairs to the historic Stillwell building on the current HHS campus, including work to repair the roof, update the fire escapes, install a new chiller — essentially the air conditioning for the building — and repair the exterior brick surface.

Commissioners got an update from the county Sheriff’s Office on the increasing demands mental illness and substance abuse are placing on the county’s jail, or detention facility...and the sheriff and commissiojners will be looking at ways to meet those demands going forward.

Commissioners also will be considering a budget for Blue Ridge Community College, making better use of the house the county owns at Jackson Park, the possibility of a picnic shelter at Green River Park, and a contribution to the New Fletcher Library Partner’s building fund to replace the current old county library in Fletcher.

And in that busy workshop on Wednesday, commissioners also committed to working toward have one public school nurse for every 750 students in Henderson County public schools.

Wednesday’s workshop took place as snow fell outside the Historic Courthouse.

NOT GUILTY VERDICT FOR SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER MICHAEL ABSHER

NOT GUILTY VERDICT FOR SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER MICHAEL ABSHER

SERVING HIS FIRST TERM ON THE COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD    

Only Hope WNC founder and School Board member Michael Absher has been found not guilty of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and of aiding and abetting the possession of alcohol.

According to the Hendersonville Times-News, Absher hugged friends and supporters after the verdict.

“It still disturbs me that a youth would make accusations. But we have to let the court do their job on that,” he told the media.

The third day of the trial began with Absher testifying in his defense. He said the alcohol purchased from the ABC store was for a Christmas party, agreeing with a witness who testified Friday that Absher was at the party on the date he was alleged to have given the minor alcohol.

Attorneys then gave closing arguments, and Judge Patricia Young announced her verdict just before 4 p.m