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LOCAL BRIEFS: Export award, Cummings Cove kudos, Dr. Bull honored

E is for exports

Equilibar, an engineering and manufacturing company in Fletcher, received the 2019 President’s “E” Award for Exports during a May 23 ceremony in Washington. The President’s “E” Award is the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to an increase in U.S. exports. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross presented the award to Jeff Jennings, Equilibar president, and Julie Detmering, exports and customer service manager. Shown, from left, are Ross, Detmering, Jennings and Undersecretary of Commerce for International Trade Gilbert Kaplan. “The company’s exports to 61 countries were particularly notable,” said Juanita Harthun, Senior International Trade Specialist with the Commerce Department. Equilibar specializes in designing and manufacturing patented fluid control valves and back pressure regulators for research and industry. Founded in 2007, the company has 21 employees and also provides a steady stream of work to local machine shops and other partner businesses. Equilibar also fosters local STEM education by serving as a sponsor for the Henderson County Public Schools Robotics Team and supporting West Henderson Science Olympiad and other educational projects. For more information, visit

Safelight receives 
grant to fix elevator

The Community Foundation of Henderson County awarded Safelight a grant of $5,000 to help pay for critical elevator repairs at the domestic violence shelter’s three-story building on Fifth Avenue West.

Safelight, (formerly Mainstay), has occupied the building since 2008, but it was actually constructed in 1960. “This generous funding to repair the elevator will allow residential shelter clients with physical challenges to more easily move between floors to get to the kitchen and living areas,” Executive Director John Lauterbach said. “We are very grateful to Community Foundation of Henderson County for their support of our programs and their help with emergency needs such as this one.”

Cummings Cove ranked
 as ‘best planned community’

ETOWAH — Cummings Cove is one of eight master-planned communities in North Carolina to be recognized as one of the “50 Best Master-Planned Communities in the United States” in the July/August issue of “Where to Retire,” on newsstands June 11. Blue Ridge Mountain views inspire a blissful atmosphere in this development. The golf course makes the most of its beautiful setting, as elevated tee boxes give way to rolling fairways that ramble past waterfalls.
The 50 communities showcase the variety of housing options and amenities that enrich the lives of relocating retirees. “Moving after retirement doesn’t mean just a new home; it means a new life,” “Where to Retire” editor Annette Fuller said. “Most developments offer trails, sports courts, fitness equipment, restaurants, pools and more. The settings are gorgeous, near mountains, oceans, rivers, lakes and low-humidity deserts. Climates generally are mild, allowing daily communes with nature.”

BMC season opens
 with classical, soul


BREVARD — Brevard Music Center officially kicks off its 2019 season with an opening weekend of captivating performances from Friday, June 21, through Tuesday, June 25. The extensive schedule of events features artists including BMC Principal Guest Conductor and 2019 Grammy winner JoAnn Falletta, violinist Chee-Yun, soul legends The Temptations and The Four Tops, flutist and BMC alumna Amy Porter, and a special performance with orchestra by American Songbook ambassador Michael Feinstein.
Opening night at Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium (WPA) kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 21, when Falletta sets the stage for an inspiring season with an all-Tchaikovsky concert featuring Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5, selections from Swan Lake, and violinist Chee-Yun, “a talented instrumentalist with the kind of high-gloss tone that pulls sensuously at the listener’s ear” (New York Times), in the powerful and evocative Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto.
At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 22, at WPA, two legendary groups—The Temptations & The Four Tops—unite for an unforgettable BMC Presents evening of R&B and soul in a spirited, musical extravaganza spanning 40 years of Motown classics.
Maestra Falletta returns to WPA’s center stage to lead the 3 p.m. Sunday, June 23, performance featuring Respighi’s illuminating Church Windows and Grammy-winning composer Michael Daugherty’s Trail of Tears, showcasing renowned flutist Amy Porter. A BMC faculty member and alumna, Porter is also the recipient of the Music Center’s 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award.

At 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, Feinstein returns to Brevard to perform “That’s Entertainment,” saluting the great musicals of Hollywood made famous by Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, and other MGM legends.
For a complete 2019 Summer Music Festival schedule including dates, times, and locations of all performances and events, visit Tickets to most performances start at $20 on the lawn. Seating at Whittington-Pfohl Auditorium, BMC’s 1800-seat, open-air auditorium, is free for children under 17 with a paying adult and students 18 and older with a valid ID (excludes Opening Night, Season Finale & BMC Presents performances.)

Speaker covers rise 
of diesel locomotives


During the 1940s, there was a huge influx of WWII traffic on Southern Railway’s W-line (Asheville-Spartanburg, via Saluda) and in the prosperity afterwards, where all trains were powered by steam. Beginning about 1950, however, diesels took over train hauling duties, resulting in big changes.

Bill Schafer, retired from Norfolk-Southern and co-founder of the Southern Railway Historical Association, will present how the diesel engine changed everything at Saluda Train Tales at 7 p.m. Friday, June 21.
Schafer, 70, graduated from Davidson College in 1970, and began working for Southern Railway in 1971. He retired in 2011 as Norfolk Southern’s director of Strategic Planning in Norfolk, Va., after a career spanning over 40 years.
While in college, he made numerous trips to Western North Carolina to ride and photograph passenger trains, including the Asheville Special and the Carolina Special. He rode over Saluda Grade on the Carolina Special seven times over the years 1966-1968, and once more on a special train in 1972. He skipped a few classes to photograph the last Carolina Special climbing the grade on Dec. 5, 1968. 

In 1986 Bill helped found the Southern Railway Historical Association, which preserves and disseminates information related to the Southern Railway principally through its quarterly journal, TIES Magazine. He and his wife, Linda, travel extensively, and live in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Make headshots from the photos
Lim is on left


Janet Bull receives Visionary Award

Janet Bull, MD, was recently awarded Four Seasons’ 2019 Visionary Award, which honors the recipient for visionary foresight, leadership and innovation. 
Since 1979, Four Seasons has co-created the best care possible for patients and families across Western North Carolina because of visionary founders and staff leaders who continue to innovate and improve the quality of care provided each day. In celebration of Four Seasons’ 40th anniversary, the inaugural “Visionary Award” was presented to Bull, who serves as chief medical and innovations officer for Four Seasons.
“We are extremely grateful to Dr. Bull for her years of tireless dedication to quality care and her continued visionary leadership,” said Four Seasons CEO Millicent Burke-Sinclair.
Bull grew up in Miami and attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She earned her medical degree at Southwestern University in Dallas and completed a residency in obstetrics-gynecology at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.
She holds board certifications in both obstetrics-gynecology and endoscopy surgery and additional board certifications in hospice and palliative medicine. In 2016, she completed her Master’s in Business Administration at East Carolina University.
Bull joined Four Seasons in 2000 and was instrumental in starting the palliative care program in 2003. In 2005, she founded Four Seasons’ clinical research department in order to initiate meaningful studies to help lessen patients’ suffering. Since that time, Four Seasons has conducted 45 clinical studies in advancing the evidence of care for advanced illness treatment. Outside of work, Bull enjoys spending time with her family and friends, biking, wakeboarding, pottery and yoga.
Founded in 1979, Four Seasons currently serves 11 counties across western North Carolina.