Around the region: Candidates line up for Henderson County sheriff

Published 6:09pm Thursday, February 23, 2012

Henderson County has no shortage of candidates seeking to replace outgoing sheriff Rick Davis, who was granted a medical disability retirement because of bipolar disorder.
The Henderson County Republican Party will choose from 11 candidates before March 1, when Davis officially retires.
The candidates are: Tim Brooks, a Henderson County Sheriff’s Office bailiff; Ronnie Edwards, a DMV officer; Bill Fishburne, a real estate agent; Tim Griffin, a captain with the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office; Michael Thomas James, police chief in Spencer, N.C.; Charles “Rusty” Jones, a N.C. Highway Patrol officer; Marty Katz, a retired officer from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in Florida; Charlie McDonald, a retired Henderson County Sheriff’s Office captain; Ben McKay, a jail officer in Henderson County; Frank Stout, a retired N.C. Highway Patrol captain, and Larry Young, a member of the Henderson County Board of Commissioners.
Davis worked for the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office since 1990, and he became sheriff in 2006. On Nov. 23, 2011 he announced he had bipolar disorder that caused erratic behavior. He has been on sick leave since then.
Henderson County commissioners began requesting more information from Davis about his condition and a $5,000 insurance policy deductible the county had to pay as part of a settlement involving Davis and a female employee. Davis did not respond to their requests. He recently was granted a medical disability retirement by the state.
– source:, 2/17/12
A foreclosure auction has been set for March 5 to sell some property in The Cliffs Communities and pay off some of the development’s debts.
Jim Anthony, the founder and owner of The Cliffs Communities, recently announced plans to sell most of the development, including The Cliffs golf courses and amenities and most of the residential properties, to the Carlile Group, owned by a Texas couple.
The foreclosure auction will help Anthony pay off $24.2 million in debt owed to Worthington Hyde Partners, a real estate investment firm in Atlanta. The auction is expected to include tracts of 26 and 451 acres.
– source: Asheville Citizen Times, 2/16/12
AT&T announced plans for a $200 million data center in Kings Mountain, N.C. that will create more than 100 full-time jobs. The data center, expected to open in 2014, also will create more than 1,000 construction-related jobs while it’s under construction, according to AT&T.
The one-million-square-foot data center in Kings Mountain will be located on 130 acres in a business park that already includes a Walt Disney Co. data center. The region is also home to a Google data center in Lenior, an Apple Inc. data center in Maiden and a planned Facebook Inc. data center in Rutherford County. Industry officials say low electric rates and access to water to cool the facilities have helped attract the data centers.
– sources: N.C. Department of Commerce, 2/22/12; Charlotte Business Journal, 2/22/12
The site of the former Tuxedo Mill is expected to become the first public park in the Green River community of eastern Henderson County. The county recently purchased the six-acre site with a plan to work with local residents to develop a family-oriented park.
Henderson County demolished the old mill that had been an eyesore on the site for years. The Green River Association says it’s already making plans for a community fundraising effort to create the new park.
– source: Hendersonville Times News, 2/20/12
The City of Asheville is completing renovation work on the U.S. Cellular Center just in time for the Southern Conference Basketball Championship, which will bring many visitors to the facility between March 2 and March 5.
John Iamarino, commissioner of the Southern Conference, said he’s been in close contact with architect Sam Powers and other officials to make sure the work will be done in time.
The arena, opened in 1974, will have a new scoreboard and message ribbon on the upper-deck balcony. The seating capacity is 6,600 for basketball games. The Southern Conference and the city have a three-year contract to hold the tournament at the U.S. Cellular Center.
– source: Asheville Citizen Times, 2/19/12
Two sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway between Asheville and Cherokee will be closed during the off-season for repairs to two tunnels.
The National Park Service advised the sections will be closed between Feb. 20 and April 15. The section of the parkway between mileposts 393.8 and 405 will be closed to repair Ferrin Knob Tunnel No. 1, and the section between milepost 443 and the end of the parkway at U.S. 441 will be closed to repair Big Witch Tunnel. Some sections of the parkway are also closed during the winter as warranted by weather conditions.
– source: Asheville Blue Ridge Examiner, 2/14/12
North Carolina is one of the least safe states in the country for teen drivers, according to a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association. The association’s figures show North Carolina was the second deadliest state for teen drivers in 2011, trailing only Texas.
The Tar Heel State saw an increase in the number of teen driver fatalities between 2010 and 2011, a trend that the association attributed to driver distractions. Cathy Hein, spokesperson for AAA Carolina, said a lack of enforcement may be an even bigger cause.
– source:, 2/17/12
Apple is planning to build the largest end-user-owned solar array in the country to supports its new data center in Maiden, N.C. The company says the array will help reduce the environmental impact of the center, which has received the LEED Platinum certification. The company says it also plans to build the largest nonutility fuel cell installation in the country to ensure a high percentage of renewable energy for the data center.
Catawba County approved a permit to let Apple reshape the slope of 171 acres for the solar array across from the data center.
– source:, 2/20/12

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