Transylvania County

Scott McLeod / Smoky Mountain News

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(4p.m. Sunday)  Release from Haywood County Emergency Services: Search efforts today focused on locating the last remaining person still unaccounted for following Tropical Storm Fred.   Five individuals have been confirmed dead — Frank Mungo, 86, Franklin McKenzie, 68, Judy Mason, 73, Charlene Mungo, 83, all of Cruso have now been identified and families notified.

The fifth victim, Frank Lauer, Sr., 74, of Cruso was located today, and his family have been notified. “I extend my deepest condolences to Mrs. Lauer and her family. We are holding the Lauer family close in our hearts, and are praying for them now in the time of their loss,” said Sheriff Greg Christopher

Photo courtesy of MAHEC

Mountain Area Health Education Center is expanding its partnership in Transylvania County.

When Mission Health System was purchased by HCA Healthcare in 2019, many local medical care providers found themselves re-negotiating their contracts.

“I've been working here as an OB-GYN for 11 years.”

That’s Dr. Brian Barrow. His Transylvania Women’s Care office was connected with Mission Health but now his office is called MAHEC Women’s Care at Brevard in partnership with Mountain Area Health Education Center.

Photo Courtesy of FIND Outdoors

Just in time for Earth Day, The Cradle of Forestry in Transylvania County is re-opening this week after being closed. During the pandemic it was open on a limited schedule. 

The 6500-acre site in the Pisgah National Forest is a museum and trail system that was the location of the first national science-based forest management program established in the 19th century.  

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Authorities have arrested a Brevard man and charged him with leaving several incendiary devices around the city on Sunday.

Photo submitted to BPR, verified by the Transylvania Sheriff's Office

The Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office is investigating vandalism on Highway 215 near the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Spray paint reading, “KKK,” “white lives matter” and “rednecks” was reported yesterday afternoon on the road near a bridge. The office says that this is racist and that "KKK" stands for the Klu Klux Klan, a white supremacist hate group. 

Chief Deputy Eddie Gunter says that there haven’t been any similar incidents this year. 

Courtesy of U.S. Census

Right now only about 30 percent of Jackson and Swain Counties have responded to the U.S. Census. Statewide almost 60 percent of North Carolians have already responded to the census. 

“Western North Carolina has historically been undercounted in the Census and 2020 is no exception,” said Jackie Simms, chair of the programs and grants committee at Dogwood Health Trust in a press release. 

Abby Bishop

Across the country, counties expect to have to tighten their budgets this year because of the COVID-19 health crisis.  

The National Association of Counties estimates that by 2021 counties will have lost $144 billion dollars.  This is due to the compounded impact of funding spent fighting COVID-19 and losses in revenue such as local sales taxes.  

This is the case in Transylvania County, explains County Commissioner Page Lemmel. She says the county budget will look very different this year: 

Cass Herrington / BPR News

One town in Transylvania County has begun issuing identification cards to those who may not be able to obtain a government-issued state ID or driver’s license. The grassroots initiative wants to serve the community’s residents who don’t have legal citizenship. 

Lilly Knoepp

The independent monitor chosen to oversee HCA Healthcare’s operation of the Mission Health system has scheduled informational sessions across Western North Carolina.  Gibbins Advisors was named the independent monitor at the end of October. Their role as independent monitor was a stipulation of Mission Health’s $1.5 billion sale to the for-profit hospital. The company is tasked with overseeing HCA’s compliance with the obligations it agreed to when it purchased Mission.  

Courtesy of Pisgah Health Foundation

Pisgah Health Foundation has announced its first grant awards. The legacy foundation based in Transylvania County awarded over $2.5 million dollars to 46 programs. 

Pisgah is one of six legacy foundations that was created after Mission Health System’s sale to for-profit HCA. Pisgah was previously Transylvania Regional Hospital Foundation. The foundation must now support the community since the hospital is for-profit. 

Courtesy of Transylvania County

Three Transylvania County Commissioners have announced that they are changing their political affiliation from Republican to Unaffiliated. 

David Guice, Mike Hawkins and Page Lemel have all left the Republican party.

Lilly Knoepp

  It’s been almost six months since Mission Health was sold to for-profit HCA Health. North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein visited two Mission Hospitals this week to see how the aftermath of the sale is transpiring.  BPR caught up with him at Transylvania Regional Hospital in Brevard. 

 

BREVARD, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina state lawmaker charged with cyberstalking related to a domestic case has appeared in court for the first time on the allegation.

North Carolina Rep. Henson won't seek re-election in 2020

Mar 27, 2019

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina state lawmaker charged recently with cyberstalking related to a domestic case won't seek re-election next year. Second-term Republican Rep. Cody Henson of Transylvania County announced his decision on Tues.

Henson wrote it was in the best interest of his young children "to step away from the political scene for now" and be there for them. His social media post didn't mention legal problems.

The North Carolina Democratic Party is calling on Western North Carolina Republican Rep. Cody Henson to resign after a criminal summons was issued against him this week by the Transylvania County's Sheriff's Office.

Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce

Population and job growth continue to be strong in the Asheville region, but wages are lagging far behind.  That's according to a report released by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Coalition of Asheville-Buncombe County.  The report studied a six county area (Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Madison, Transylvania) and found the average wage per job is $44,800.  The national average is $62,100.

****A previous version of this story only included 2016 numbers***

New In-Roads For WNC Public Transit

Sep 22, 2016
ashevillenc.gov

 

For millions of people across the United States, the beginning of their day starts at a bus stop.

 

schoolbusdriver.org

School systems across western North Carolina are starting to grapple with the winter weather, and the inherent problems it causes.  In Transylvania County, they're trying something new to avoid missed instruction time, what they're calling "Virtual Days."  For more, WCQS's Jeremy Loeb spoke with Transylvania Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey McDaris.  

You can hear that interview by clicking the audio above.  The audio below is a shorter version for broadcast.

Brevard and Transylvania County listeners get ready! The WCQS signal is moving Monday, September 16th at 9 a.m. On Monday morning at 9, WCQS listeners in Transylvania County can hear us at 90.5 FM. That's this Monday - for listeners in Brevard and Traynsylvania County.