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Ask Matt ... whatever happened to .... ?

Q. What happened to the idea of a connector road and shopping center between Seventh Avenue and MLK Boulevard near Lowes?

That story was first reported in the Lightning in September of 2012. The idea floated by local developers called for revitalizing the area between Seventh Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The concept included new restaurants and stores in the area that contains the old Four Seasons theatre, a vacant restaurant and the closed All Creatures Great and Small no-kill animal shelter. To make the project work, developers proposed a short "connector road" from MLK Boulevard to Seventh Avenue with new traffic lights on MLK. The developer would get DOT approval for the new intersection, build the connector road and deed it to the city. According to Rusty Pulliam, an Asheville developer who partnered with Jeff Justus, they had to drop the purchase options on the property. The issue was not the site or the access, it was that the lead retailers being pursued still considered Hendersonville as a secondary market and not large enough to meet their criteria.

Q. Whatever happened to the new crime lab that we were going to get here in Henderson County?

We got it (sort of). In their last session, the State Legislature adopted a bill to provide $1.4 million in seed money to plan a future $14 million forensics lab on the campus of the Justice Academy in Edneyville. Sen. Tom Apodoca was the prime bill sponsor. The Legislature also approved $1.9 million to hire 19 new crime lab technicians. This will help ease the workload backlog but still may not stop the bleeding. It seems that many lab workers in Raleigh, Greensboro and Asheville are taking higher paying jobs in other states. After the Edneyville crime lab is built sometime in the future, the Asheville lab will close. According to Joe Reavis, who manages the Asheville lab, testing at the new facility will include firearm and drug analysis, latent evidence analysis (e.g., fingerprints), DNA analysis, and toxicology work (e.g., determining levels of intoxication from blood samples). All testing is provided at no cost to any local, state, or federal law enforcement agency in North Carolina. The Edneyville lab will serve 30 western counties and should speed up court cases relying on forensic evidence. I can see a "CSI Edneyville" down the road.

Q. Is it OK to make a U-turn on Main Street to snag a parking space?

According to Hendersonville City Police, it's legal to do so provided that the turn is made in a safe manner. Didn't downtown parking just get easier?

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Send us your questions about a local issue, event, sighting or anything that is puzzling you and Matt Matteson will try to get an answer. Email Matt at: