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Nominate Someone for the 
8th Annual Henderson County
ATHENA Award Presented in Memory of Vanessa Y. Mintz
     The Henderson County Chamber of Commerce, Morris Broadband, and Judy Stroud/State Farm Insurance are pleased to announce the 8th annual ATHENA Leadership Award® in Henderson County in memory of Vanessa Y. Mintz. Nominations are ow
being accepted for the ATHENA Leadership Award®, which will be presented during Small Business Week at the Professional Women's Luncheon on May 14 to an exemplary leader who has achieved excellence in their business or profession, served the community in a meaningful way and, most importantly, actively assisted women to achieve their full leadership potential.

        The program is facilitated locally by the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce, a licensed ATHENA host organization. Nominations are sought throughout the community and recipients are selected by a diverse group of community leaders based on the criteria above. Past Henderson County ATHENA Recipients Include:


Caroline Long, St. Gerard House (2014)

Annie Fritschner, First United Methodist Church (2013)

Myra Grant, Pardee Hospital Foundation (2012)

Joyce Mason, Four Seasons Compassion for Life (2011)

Pat Shepherd, Pat's School of Dance (2010)

Ragan Ward, Carolina Alliance Bank (2009)

Robin Reed, Bares It All (2008)


        Deadline for 2015 nominations is April 17. A nomination form can be downloaded below. For more information, call the Chamber at 828.692.1413.


Community Foundation of Henderson County

Community Foundation of Henderson County



            Gifted to the Community Foundation by the late Joseph “Jody” EgertonBarber and maintained at the Henderson County Public Library, the Baker-Barber Photo Collection is a treasure trove of thousands of images documenting people, places and events in and around Henderson County from 1884 to the mid-1990s.The collection’s images illustrate the changing face of our community through the years and include pictures of rural life, urbanization, transportation, recreation, tourism, families, businesses, news, events, and formal portraits of area residents.

A member of the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors, Ron Partin has been leading a renewed effort, with the assistance of volunteers, to digitally scan, catalog and identify images in the Baker-Barber Photographic Collection.

Ron invites the community to attend the weekly slideshows held every Thursday from 1:30-3:00 pm at Henderson County Public Library at 301 N Washington Street in Hendersonville.Please note the time for the slideshows are moving earlier in the day to 1:30 pm






Flat Rock Playhouse announced today the revised 2015 season lineup for both the Mainstage and Playhouse Downtown locations.  Previously announced titles The Wizard of Oz Young Performer’s Edition, Always…Patsy Cline, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Driving Miss Daisy, Gypsy, Fly, Pump Boys and Dinettes, and Oliver!, as well as the Music on the Rock Series has been augmented by the addition of three new titles for the Playhouse Downtown:  Over The River and Through the Woods, Crimes of the Heart and Catfish Moon.

“The 2015 season is programmed with a variety of titles that will surely appeal to all,” says Flat Rock Playhouse Artistic Director Lisa K. Bryant. “Local youth will charm you as they whisk you over the rainbow in The Wizard of Oz while our country and blue grass roots will keep your toes tappin’ long after you leave the theatre with such shows as Always…Patsy Cline and Pump Boys and Dinettes.  Soar to new heights with the Tuskegee Airmen in Fly while Mama Rose encourages us all to ‘Sing out Louise!’ and poor orphaned Oliver heartbreakingly dares to ask for more.”

Bryant continues, “I’m also overjoyed to be adding these three new titles to the Playhouse Downtown lineup. Both Over the River and Through the Woods and Catfish Moon have played to packed houses here at Flat Rock Playhouse and at many regional theatres across the United States. AND this is the first time that we’ve ever produced the Pulitzer Prize winning hit Crimes of the Heart – a title that will surely garner much interest from our local community.”

THE WIZARD OF OZ – YOUNG PERFORMER’S EDITION Follow the yellow brick road for we’re off to see the Wizard this March as we kick off our 2015 season with The Wizard of Oz Young Performer’s Edi6on. Journey over the rainbow into the merry old land of Oz with Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion and Toto too as they jitterbug through the haunted forest, tangle with winged monkeys and confront the Wicked Witch of the West. Together, we’ll share in the timeless message that “there’s no place like home.” Bring your family and friends and visit us in our home at the Playhouse Downtown. Ruby slippers not required for this journey. The Wizard of Oz is a one-hour adaption for Young Performers.

March 12 – 29, 2015 Flat Rock Playhouse Downtown

ALWAYS…PATSY CLINE A country music superstar. A housewife from Houston. An unlikely and unforgettable bond. With such hits as Crazy, Walkin after Midnight, Sweet Dreams and I Fall to Pieces, Patsy Cline was the first country music singer to cross over to pop music, solidifying her position as a legendary icon for all time. But what you may not know is that she struck up a friendship with fan Louise Seger, with whom she corresponded until her untimely death in a plane crash at the age of 30. More than just a concert, Always...Patsy Cline is based on this true story of this relationship and features 27 of her hits. A heartwarming celebratioon of down home country humor, true emotion and timeless classics.

May 7 - 31 Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage

OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS From the Tony Award winning Joe DiPietro, the author of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, All Shook Up and the smash musical Memphis, this uproarious family comedy centers around Nick Cristano and his Italian American grandparents, Frank, Aida, Nunzio and Emma, as they scheme to thwart his upcoming move from Hoboken, New Jersey to Seattle. Faith, family and food are central themes in this long running Off Broadway hit which returns to Flat Rock Playhouse for the first time since it’s box office breaking run in 1999. Think you’ll find a more heart warming and hilarious show? Fuggedabout it.

June 4 – 21 Flat Rock Playhouse Downtown

HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING A satire on office politics and corporate culture, H2$ will have you humming memorable songs such as I Believe In You and The Brotherhood of Man for days! Armed with his handy book entitled How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and unbridled charisma, Finch catapults from window washer to Chairman of the Board at the World Wide Wicket Company. However, when his ad campaign goes terribly awry, his job and new romance hang in the balance. Finch must rely on his own wits to save the day. This fun and hilarious musical is a story about the triumph of the common man.

June 18 – July 21 Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage

DRIVING MISS DAISY Both humorous and heartwarming, Driving Miss Daisy will leave you touched and wanting more. Atlanta, 1948. After demolishing yet another car, Daisy Werthan, a 72 year old, wealthy, Jewish woman is forced to rely on the services of a hired chauffer; a thoughtful and good-natured man named Hoke. Despite her rancor at the loss of her independence and initial prejudice toward her new driver, Daisy and Hoke develop a close, mutually dependent relationship spanning 25 years. Driving Miss Daisy is an evocative tribute to friendship and human dignity. Brilliantly absorbing and tender, this engaging and timeless story demonstrates the healing powers of love and friendship.

July 9 - 26 Flat Rock Playhouse Downtown

GYPSY Curtain up! Light the lights! Ready or comes Mama! Often referred to as the greatest American Musical, Gypsy brings to life the memoirs of real life vaudevillian, Gypsy Rose Lee, and her ultimate stage mother, Mama Rose. Rose is wildly determined to turn her two young daughters, Dainty June and Louise, into stars – at all cost. Relive the unforgettable moments made famous by the incomparable Ethel Merman with such showstoppers as Let Me Entertain You, Everything’s Coming Up Roses, Let Me Entertain You and the dazzling and dizzying Rose’s Turn. Returning Vagabond Klea Blackhurst stars as Mama Rose.

July 23 – August 16 Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage

CRIMES OF THE HEART Meet Meg, Babe and Lenny, the Magrath sisters. Just your typical southern sisters who reconvene in their hometown of Hazlehurst, Mississippi at the home of their Old Grandaddy. Oh, but this is not your typical family reunion. Babe has just shot her abusive husband. And their mother has hung herself...and the beloved family cat. What unfolds is a beautifully rendered, often heartbreaking, often hilarious story of love, compassion and sisterhood. Offered for the first time ever on the Flat Rock Playhouse stage, Pulitzer Prize winning Crimes of the Heart promises to be a huge hit that you will not want to miss.

August 20 – September 6 Flat Rock Playhouse Downtown

FLY An important and inspiring story about the experiences and challenges of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American flyers in the U.S. military during World War II. Hailing from Chicago, Harlem, rural Iowa, and the Caribbean each arrive at boot camp with a dream to serve their country as combat fighter pilots. But they find that they must first combat racism and prejudice in the very military they have volunteered to serve. This raw tale of courage and triumph is brought to life through a powerful combination of speech, multi-media, and tap-dance. Revel in the accomplishments of these men and soar along with them as they achieve great heights of distinguished service and forged brotherhood.

September 10 – 27 Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage

PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES Somewhere between Frog Level and Smyrna, North Carolina, way down on Highway 57, the Pump Boys sell high-octane gasoline, while the Dinettes serve up plenty of pie and sass at the Double Cupp diner next door. Come sit a spell as the Pump Boys and Dinettes share their stories of heartache and hilarity with songs, live-instruments, and even a kitchen utensil or two. Pump Boys and Dinettes is one of the most frequently requested shows by Flat Rock Playhouse audiences. It’s a countrified musical packed with original and highly entertaining, toe-tappin’ tunes, presented as a love song to family and friends, both old and new.

October 1 – 25 Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage Presented by Morris Broadband

CATFISH MOON Skipping school, skinny dipping, kissing your first girl and, of course, fishing off the pier out on the end of Cypress Lake. Rites of passage for childhood best friends Curley, Gordon and Frog. But life happens and time has driven a wedge between these now, middle aged men who have come together for one last overnight fishing trip to patch old wounds brought about by anger, jealousy and betrayal. Penned by Laddy Sartin, who hails from Rock Hill, South Carolina, this bodacious southern fried bro-mance of a comedy is sure to delight.

October 29 – November 15 Playhouse Downtown

OLIVER! The Timeless and classic Dickensian tale of the poorhouse orphan boy who wanted more. Join us as we vividly bring to life the story of Oliver, the Artful Dodger, Fagin, Nancy and the menacing Bill Sykes in our holiday offering at the Flat Rock Playhouse. This performance will feature the talents of local youth working alongside our professional company. Filled with such memorable songs such as Consider Yourself, You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two and the hit As Long as He Needs Me, Oliver! is sure to delight your whole family this holiday season.

November 27 – December 20 Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage Presented by Pardee Hospital


Flat Rock Playhouse ushers in the 6th season of Music on the Rock with the following musical celebrations.  All performances at the Playhouse Downtown.

The Music of ABBA February 12 – 15

The Music of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons April 16 – 26

The Music of Carole King & James Taylor April 13 – 15

The Music of Chicago October 8 – 18

The Christmas Concert that Never Was – Barbra and Frank December 10 – 12

TICKETS AND SCHEDULE All subscriptions packages can be purchased by calling the Playhouse box office at 828-693-0731, toll-free at 866-732-8008.  Individual ticket sales can be purchased online at 

Discounts are available for seniors, AAA members, military personnel, students and groups. The Flat Rock Playhouse downtown is located at 125 South Main Street in Hendersonville, NC.




The state Department of Transportation plans two construction projects in the Pigeon River Gorge in northern Haywood County that will make traveling the remote section of Interstate 40 there at night even more of an adventure than usual.

One project includes replacing lighting and repairing walls in the three tunnels on the highway and the other is to stabilize the slope above the road just west of Exit 7.

DOT engineers do not expect major impacts on traffic flow on the curvy highway. All traffic lanes must be kept open between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. daily for both projects and at least one lane will be kept open in each direction at all times. The exception is that blasting as part of the slope stabilization project must be done during the day and will cause temporary road closures.

The tunnel work includes replacing existing lights with new systems that will use energy-saving LED lights, said Chris Lee, a DOT engineer working on the project.

The light systems and generators that power them in the event of a power outage are decades old and need replacement, Lee said. The generators contain old diesel engines designed to power tractor-trailers, he said, so “they’re super-hard to find parts for.”

Tunnel walls are in fairly good shape but need repairs in some places, Lee said.

The most noticeable change may be application of a white epoxy coating over the concrete walls. The coating is specially designed to reflect light, meaning it will take less electricity to illuminate the tunnels.

While the changes should improve visibility in the tunnels, “I think we’ll still keep that sign up that says remove your sunglasses” before entering, he said.

Also to be replaced are systems that adjust light levels inside the tunnels according to the time of day. DOT keeps interior lights brighter during the day and dimmer at night near tunnel entrances to reduce the contrast drivers experience between light levels outside the tunnels and inside, thus making entering tunnels safer, Lee said.

Work on the tunnel project could begin as soon as late March and is to be completed by mid-July 2017. Lee said the contract time is so long because workers can only close or narrow lanes at night. A Virginia company was the low bidder for the project at $6.9 million.

DOT plans to award a contract next month for the slope stabilization project. It involves removing soil and rock that could one day slide downhill, building a retaining wall and possibly putting anchors in the remaining rock to hold it in place, said Brian Burch, division construction engineer for DOT.

The slope is above a 0.4-mile section of road just west of the interchange with Cold Springs Creek Road.

A slide occurred in that area during the period when another slide a few miles to the west kept I-40 closed from October 2009 to April 2010, Burch said.

DOT engineers have done a comprehensive study of slopes along I-40 in the Pigeon River Gorge and the section to be worked on was identified as the next priority for stabilization, Burch said. Periodic slides have closed the road several times over the years.

The slope stabilization work is scheduled to begin as soon as late March and be completed before May 2016.




The Town of Fletcherwill host its 14th Annual Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, January 24th from 12-2p.m. at Veritas Christian Academy.

The parks and recreation department is currently seeking chiefs interested in fighting for the 2015 title of best chili in Fletcher! Awards will be given in the following categories: Best Overall Chili, Best Individual Chili, Best Business Chili, Best Table Décor and People’s Choice. All types of chili will be accepted including traditional chili, white chili and vegetarian chili. If you think you have the best Chili in the Fletcher area please download an application at or stop by Fletcher Town Hall. Application should be returned to the parks and recreation department no later than January 16.

This event is free and the public is invited to taste all the different flavors Fletcher has to offer.  Parks and Recreation staff will be onsite accepting donations for the Fletcher Park Development Fund which helps improve Fletcher parks.

For more information on Fletcher’s Chili Cook-Off, please visit or call (828) 687-0751.






 Park Ridge Health and Arden Adventist Church will present the 11th Annual Arden Community Health Fair on Sunday, January 18, from 1 to 5 p.m. and Monday, January 19, from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.


The fair will take place at the Arden Adventist Church Community Life Center at 35 Airport Road and is open to everyone in the community, especially the underinsured and uninsured. More than 10 free health screenings will be available, including Pap, prostate exam & PSA, blood pressure, lipid & glucose, bone density, Body Mass Index, foot, hearing, vision, oral cancer and skin cancer. No appointments are required for the screenings.

A blood drive will be held in conjunction with the Arden Community Health Fair on January 18 from 12:30 to 5 p.m. and on January 19 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Community members can schedule their blood donation by calling 828-684-4525.



The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will conduct nine public hearings in January on proposed changes to the state’s wildlife management, game lands and fishing regulations for the 2015-16 seasons.

Among the wildlife management-related proposed changes are temporary rules regulating the holding of deer in captivity. The proposals meet the General Assembly’s directive and follow the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Chronic Wasting Disease Program standards when regulating deer, elk and other ruminants in the cervid family. The temporary rules would allow captive cervid licensees to sell antlers, antler velvet and hides from the animals held at their facilities.

There are 36 proposals regarding fishing, including additions to Public Mountain Trout Waters and modification of size and creel limits for reservoir striped bass and Bodie bass (hybrid striped bass).

The comment period for the captive cervid temporary rules ends Jan. 23. The commission will consider comments and consider a vote to adopt these temporary rules at its Jan. 29 meeting. The temporary rules will become effective after approval by the Rules Review Commission in late February.

The comment period for all other proposed regulations ends Feb. 8. After considering public comments, the 19 wildlife commissioners will meet in March to vote on the proposals. Approved proposals will take effect Aug. 1.

Public hearings begin at 7 p.m. The hearing for District 9 will be Jan. 13 at Murphy Tri-County Community College, Enloe Multi-purpose Room, 21 Campus Circle, in Murphy. The hearing for District 8 will be Jan. 14 in the Municipal Auditorium, 401 S. College St., in Morganton.

For more information on all of the proposed regulations, visit



Eastern Mountain Lion Mystery    


Reports have been circulating in the community for weeks about wild animals attacking some domestic animals. The reports usually involve what some believe to be “mountain lions”.   In fact, a photo was circulated earlier in the year of a mountain lion apparently stalking cattle near a local dairy farm.

The latest reports are of a mountain lion reportedly attacking a dog in the Laurel Park area, and of one attacking horses in the Willow Creek area.

Andy Unguris with Henderson County Animal Services tells WHKP News they have received these reports and have investigated, but they can find no evidence of a real mountain lion attack. He said the Laurel Park incident was believed to involve a large ”bobcat” and the paw print of the wild animal involved seems to support that .


There have also been reports of an increase in the wild boar, or wild hog, population…especially in the Mills River area. Unguris says wild hogs have been on the increase for a number of years in the mountains of Western North Carolina, but he’s quick to point out that in most cases, the hogs involved are tame ones from hog farms that have gotten loose and escaped into the woods. And usually, they shy away from people and are not dangerous.

Unguris also says that the internet and increasing use of social media has led to a lot of speculation and rumors about wild animal sightings and attacks, but again, there is little or no evidence to back them up.

He explains that according to North Carolina wildlife officials, mountain lions in the mountains of Western North Carolina are a thing of the past and simply no longer exist.


There have been some recent reports too of panthers, or what mountain folks used to call "painters", sighted in the area.  One in particular was in the Forge Mountain section of northwestern Henderson County a few months ago.  But in the opinion of NC wildlife officials, the black panthers or "painters" that once roamed the mountains threatening livestock and humans alike, and that had a piercing, horrifying scream, no longer exist in this area..


By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman

12/12/14  Updated 7:30pm








Title frame from A Charlie Brown Christmas.jpg

In anticipation of the upcoming Holiday season, Henderson County Government will host a “Children’s Day” at the Historic Courthouse in downtown Hendersonville on Monday, December 22rd. We would like to invite parents and children of all ages to attend a special showing of A Charlie Brown Christmas in the Board of Commissioners Meeting Room. Popcorn will be shared with all attendees.

The movie will begin at noon.

We ask that individuals who wish to attend gather in the front lobby of the Historic Courthouse approximately five minutes prior to the movie start time.





"The holiday season is right around the corner and shoppers are crowding malls and discount stores to buy the latest gadgets and find the best deals," said Sheriff Charles McDonald of Henderson County.

According to Sheriff McDonald "This time of year attracts more shopping-related criminal activity because of the larger crowds and the extended store hours.  These factors and the usual distraction of shopping, creates a more favorable environment for petty thieves and other offenders.

The Sheriff reminds all Henderson County residents to follow these safety tips:

Shopping Safety



A single shopper is the best target for theft.  Always shop with a friend or relative.

When going shopping, tell someone where you are going and what time to expect you to return.  Also, make sure they know what you are wearing, as well as the type of vehicle you are driving.

Shop during daylight hours.  If you shop at night, park your vehicle in a well-lit area.

Dress casually and comfortably and avoid wearing expensive jewelry.  If carrying cash, keep it in your front pocket rather than in a purse or wallet.  This makes it much more difficult for a pick-pocket to remove.  Also store car keys in a pants or jacket pocket.  If your purse is stolen, you will still be able to drive home.

Pay careful attention to your surroundings and avoid overloading yourself with packages.  It is important to have clear visibility and freedom of motion to avoid mishaps.

When returning to your vehicle, check around it and in the back seat.  Be aware of strangers approaching you for any reason.  Have your car keys in your hand to avoid spending unnecessary time unprotected from the security of your vehicle.

If you feel uneasy returning to your vehicle alone, find a security guard and ask them to walk you to your car.

According to Sheriff McDonald "During this time of year, busy holiday shoppers become vulnerable to other crimes as well.  Credit card fraud and gift card fraud are on the rise.  However, taking a few preventive measures can help."

Credit Card Fraud

Keep a close watch on your credit card every time you use it, and make sure you get it back as quickly as possible.

Never write your PIN number on your credit card.

Never leave your credit cards or receipts lying around.

Shield your credit card number so that others around you can’t copy it or capture it on a mobile telephone or other camera.

Only carry credit cards that you absolutely need.

Shred anything with your credit card number written on it.

If you’re planning to purchase online, make sure the web page where you enter your credit card information is secure through SSL (Secure Socket Layer).  You can tell if the web page is secure by looking for the gold lock or key icon at the bottom corner of your browser window.

If you’re not comfortable submitting your information through the internet, call the seller and give them your information over the telephone.  Never send your credit card information via email.

Check the company out.  Only do business with companies that provide a physical address and telephone number. 

Keep good records.  Always print out a copy of any online products or services you purchase.

Gift Card Fraud:


Never buy gift cards from online auction sites.  This is a large source of gift card fraud.  Many of the gift cards are stolen, counterfeit or used.

Only buy gift cards directly from the store issuing the gift card or from a secure retailer’s website.

Don’t buy gift cards off of publicly displayed racks in retail stores.  Only purchase gift cards at the sales terminal from the cashier.

Always carefully examine both the front and back of a gift card before you buy it.  If you see a PIN number, ask for a different card.  If the card looks like it has been tampered with in any way, put it back.

Always ask the store cashier to scan the gift card in front of you.  This will guarantee that your card is valid when you buy it and that it reflects the balance you just charged it with.

Always keep your receipt as a proof of purchase as long as there is money stored on the gift card.

If possible, register your gift card at the store’s website

Never give your Social Security number, date of birth or any other unneeded private information when purchasing a gift card.  No reputable company will ask for this information.

In light of these problems, Sheriff McDonald warns shoppers to be careful so that they don’t become the victim of criminal activity.  "Unfortunately, when shopping, people have a tendency to let their guard down," said Sheriff McDonald.  "However, paying attention and taking precautions can help eliminate their chances of being victimized."