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LOCAL BRIEFS: Saluda Train Tales, Women First program, Local Legends series

Train Tales features  telegraph historian

Tom Jepsen, a retired information technology professional and historian of technology, will be guest speaker at Saluda Train Tales at 7 p.m. Friday, July 28, at Saluda Historic Depot.

Jepsen has focused on the telegraph industry and women in technology. He has a B.A. from the University of Colorado and did graduate work in computer science at North Carolina State University. His previously published books on the history of telegraphy include Ma Kiley: The Life of a Railroad Telegrapher (El Paso, TX: Texas Western Press, 1997) and My Sisters Telegraphic: Women in the Telegraph Office, 1846-1950 (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2000), as well as many journal articles. He has been featured on a C-SPAN book talk (2001) and a BBC radio interview (2018). He is a member of the North Carolina Association of Historians, the Society for the History of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era (SHGAPE), the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) and the Chapel Hill Historical Society. He maintains a website on telegraph history at He lives in Chapel Hill.


Local Legends focuses on notable music figure

The Local Legends discussion series, which provides attendees with insight into notable personalities in Western North Carolina, focuses on music business figure Bob Hinkle at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17.
Hosted by Freeburg Pianos and led by Asheville author and arts/entertainment journalist Bill Kopp, Local Legends is a 90-minute conversation held at the Freeburg Pianos MasterWorks Theatre, 2314 Asheville Highway. Tickets are $13 and available for purchase at


Certified nurse midwife joins Advent’s Baby Place

Victoria Delestowicz, a certified nurse midwife with more than 30 years of experience working in women’s health, has joined The Baby Place at AdventHealth, the hospital announced.
Delestowicz earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of South Florida in Tampa and went on to earn her master of nursing with a midwifery concentration from the University of Florida.
“I try to connect with my patients and love to teach them how to take care of themselves,” she said. “I have a passion for supporting women throughout their changing stages of life. Through education and support, I encourage women to embrace the wonderful people they are.”
Delestowicz has five adult children and 10 growing grandchildren. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, hiking, gardening, crafts, cooking and games.
To learn more about women’s health care offered at AdventHealth Hendersonville or schedule an appointment visit or call 855-774-LIFE (5433).

AAUW hosts Women First program

AAUW will feature three speakers during its Women First program noon-1:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 17, at the Art Place, 2021 Asheville Highway. Representatives from three nonprofits for women and children will share information about their services, critical needs in the community and what people can do to help.

The panel includes Lauren Wilkie, executive director of Safelight; Tom Morgan, board president of Project Dignity of WNC Inc.; and Alyce Knaflich, founder of the Aura Foundation.

Safelight is a nonprofit agency that provides support for survivors of interpersonal violence, sexual assault and child abuse. Safelight makes it possible for families who want to be free of violent relationships, to succeed.

Project Dignity’s mission is to provide period products to those in need in WNC who might be homeless, low-income, or victims of domestic abuse. One in five girls in the U.S. has missed school because they cannot afford period protection.
The Aura Foundation serves homeless women veterans in Buncombe, Haywood and Henderson counties. The group is working to renovate a building on Meadowbrook Terrace in Hendersonville to provide women veterans a home while they find the resources to regain independence.

There is no charge for the event. Because space is limited, seats must be reserved by Aug. 12 by emailing Lunch is also available. For more information visit


Candidate for lieutenant governor to speak Aug. 19

Hal Weatherman, a candidate for lieutenant governor, will be guest speaker at the Republicans Men’s Club meeting at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, at Mills River Restaurant.

A native of North Carolina, Weatherman, 53, received his undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and his masters degree from Wheaton College. He is the founder and president of the Electoral Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing election integrity efforts in North Carolina. He served as chief of staff to former North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest and former U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick and — in a post he omits from his campaign bio — as 11th Congressional District director for former U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn.
The Men’s Club meets the third Saturday of each month. Reservations are required to obtain an accurate head count for the restaurant. Reservations may be made by emailing or calling 828-329-4971.