Free Daily Headlines


Set your text size: A A A

LOCAL BRIEFS: Craft trail, Molly the rescue dog, Advent Foundation board

Potter Meghan Bernard is among the artisans on the Blue Ridge Craft Trail. [CONTRIBUTED PHOTO] Potter Meghan Bernard is among the artisans on the Blue Ridge Craft Trail. [CONTRIBUTED PHOTO]

The Blue Ridge Heritage trail has added 18 stops in Henderson County.


Blue Ridge National Heritage Area announce the launch of its latest initiative, the Blue Ridge Craft Trails, in Henderson County. The Blue Ridge Craft Trails project celebrates the Western North Carolina region as a vibrant center for traditional and contemporary handmade crafts through the promotion of craft artisans, arts organizations and heritage tourism.

The addition of Henderson County to the trail is the latest step in the regional development project which aims to increase income for craft artists and businesses, enhance cultural tourism, and improve economic opportunity for 25 Western North Carolina counties. The regionwide marketing initiative guides consumers to craft artists in their communities and helps to better align the marketing efforts of these craft institutions and craft businesses.

Over the next 18 months, the Blue Ridge Craft Trails will be a system of driving trails throughout the region featuring 200 craft sites. Also, travelers get tips on rounding out their experiences with nearby foods, breweries, wineries, music, outdoor activities and scenic views.

The 18 artists, galleries and arts events included are Art on Main, Open Studio Tour of Henderson County, The Gallery at Flat Rock, Firefly Craft Gallery, Sweet Magnolia Gallery (Melinda Lawton), Art MoB Studios and Marketplace, Art on 4th, Woodlands Gallery, A Walk in the Woods, Carolina Mountain Artists Guild, The Oriole Mill, Apple Country Woodcrafters, Meghan Bernard Pottery, Lorraine Cathey, Dian Magie, Rodney Leftwich Pottery, Sharon Gordon and Heritage Weavers & Fiber Artists.

“We’re excited to have Henderson County’s talented artists and outstanding galleries and arts events on the trail now,” said Executive Director Angie Chandler. “The community has shown amazing support for the project, and is a true model of what we hope to garner in other counties across Western North Carolina. This is a grassroots effort and will take many partners to make it a success.”

As part of the Henderson County trails, three itineraries were created focusing on downtown Hendersonville, Flat Rock and surrounding areas including Mills River and Fletcher. Itineraries and profiles of participating sites are on the Blue Ridge Craft Trails website, A new map brochure with the itineraries will be distributed at the Henderson County Visitors Center, I-26 welcome centers and participating sites. Each site will have a Blue Ridge Craft Trails logo emblem on their window or door.

Funding for the project was provided by Community Foundation of Henderson County, Henderson County Tourism Development Authority, Appalachian Regional Commission, The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, and Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.

Air Force veteran talks about Molly the rescue

Adam LeGrand, who adopted Molly from the Henderson County pound, will celebrate the service dog’s positive effect on his life during the Cause for Paws luncheon benefiting Blue Ridge Humane Society at noon Tuesday, March 24, at Champion Hills Clubhouse.

After enlisting as a medic in the U.S. Air Force, LeGrand was deployed over a 10-year span in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) and Operation Noble Eagle (homeland security) before being medically retired for physical injuries, PTSD and traumatic brain injury-related problems.

Suffering from the combat-related injuries, LeGrand applied to the K9s for Warriors program, which provides service dogs to veterans, and adopted Molly from Henderson County Animal Services. Since completing their training in 2015, Adam and Molly have served as K9s for Warriors ambassadors, traveling the country advocating for veterans’ health care.

In addition to Adam and Molly, the luncheon will feature the presentation of the first K9 Hometown Hero Award presented by Hunter Subaru to celebrate the dogs who do extraordinary things in the community. Dog owners may nominate their guide, hearing, law enforcement, military, search and rescue, service or credentialed Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) dog for the Hunter Subaru K9 Hero Award at The top three finalists will be invited to be the guests of Hunter Subaru and Blue Ridge Humane Society Cause for Paws luncheon for recognition and for the announcement of the winner.

Tickets and sponsorships are available now, starting at $75 per person, online at or by phone at (828) 692-2639 ext 304. For information contact Laresa Griffin at or (828) 692-2639 ext 304.

Advent Health Foundation announces new board members

The AdventHealth Hendersonville Foundation welcomed nine new members to its board of directors recently.

The Foundation supports AdventHealth’s mission of Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ through community support, partnerships and fundraising opportunities. New members are Rachel Balson, Chick-fil-A executive operations director; Vicki Banks, Biltmore Estate, vice president of human resources; J. Scott Benyon, community volunteer; Adriana Chavela, founder, “Hola Carolina” magazine; Jill R. Cody, Keller Williams Realtor; Donna Gibbs, Summit Wellness Centers, co-owner; Dr. William Frank McKemie, AdventHealth Hendersonville, hospitalist; Lisa Parham, Champion Credit Union, regional branch manager; and Rickey E. Parker, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, operations manager.

Chamber accepting Athena nominations

The Henderson County Chamber of Commerce is accepting applications for the 2020 Athena Award of Henderson County. The Athena Award is presented by Pardee UNC Health Care, with support from Morris Broad Band and Judy Stroud –State Farm Insurance. Nominations will be accepted through Friday, March 13.

Nominations are judged and a recipient selected by a panel of professionals out of the Henderson County area, based on the criteria set forth by Athena International. Nominators should plan to tell their nominee’s story through rich narrative and details, as judges will have no knowledge of even well-known community members. The nomination forms can be found on the Chamber website at

Named for the goddess of wisdom and victory, Athena, the award is presented to a woman – or man – who is honored for professional excellence, community service, and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.

“The Athena Program is a way to honor and celebrate the contributions individuals in our community have made to the cause of women’s leadership,” says committee chair and 2018 recipient, Lee Henderson-Hill. “When you look at the history of Henderson County, you see how much of how our community is shaped today as a result of female leadership. We want to celebrate and continue that work.”

The Athena award was originally sponsored and brought to Henderson County by Vanessa Mintz. Vanessa was a long-time local businesswoman, active Chamber  of Commerce volunteer and community advocate. After Mintz’s untimely death in 2011, the award was presented in her honor and is still given in her memory.

The nominees will be honored at a reception Thursday, April 16, and the winner will be honored at the Business and Professional Women’s Luncheon Thursday, May 14, at Kenmure Country Club. The luncheon will feature a keynote from ATHENA International President Andrea Conner.

For more information call the Chamber at 828-692-1413.

Wellness Center hosts diet book shredding party


As part of its “Love Your Body Month” this month, Epiphany Wellness Center will host a shredding party at the Center, 542 North Oak St., at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11.

Shredding machines will be on hand to allow participants the opportunity to shred diet books, calorie counting diaries, and other documents associated with dieting and disordered eating. Epiphany will also be collecting used clothing that people have been trying to fit into using dieting and other dangerous methods. The items will be donated to a local charity.

Epiphany is proud partner with the iaedp (International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals) WNC Chapter, YAM (Yoga and Massage), and the Henderson County YMCA to educate the community about positive body image, the dangers of disordered eating, and Health at Every Size. Additional events will be held throughout the month at YAM, located at 410 South King St., and a presentation on Health at Every Size will be presented at 5:30 pm on Feb. 11 at the Henderson County YMCA just prior to the shredding event.

Epiphany Wellness Center offers outpatient services for those struggling with eating disorders and disordered eating, as well as trauma, anxiety and depression. In addition, Epiphany offers groups that range from mindfulness and stress reduction to emotional eating, as well as a veterans’ support group. For more information, contact Marybeth Burns at (828) 388 4448 or at

Girl Scouts collecting Rubik’s cubes in town

Girls from Girl Scout troop 2997 who are working on their Girl Scout Silver award are collecting Rubik’s cubes to donate to the Boys and Girls Club of Henderson County through Feb. 7. Boxes are located at Narnia Studios, G.A. Pope Fine Jewelry, Hands On! Children’s Museum, Dancing Bear Toys and Mast General Store.

Family Resource Center holding childbirth classes

The Children and Family Resource Center in collaboration with the Henderson County Department of Public Health is now offering free childbirth education.

“Our goal is to provide the necessary information and resources to empower pregnant people to have the best birth outcomes possible,” says Emily Balcken, Community-based Prevention and Education Coordinator at CFRC. “We want them to feel confident in shared decision-making practices for their own labor and birth experience.”

Balcken will be presenting with Sarah McDaniel, a health educator at the Health Department. Together, they offer over 20 years of reproductive and sexual health education experience. They draw from a wide range of training backgrounds including Lamaze Childbirth Education, CAPPA Childbirth Education, and DONA Birth Doula and Post-Partum Doula training. Balcken is also a Certified Breastfeeding Educator.

The first three-week series will be held the first three Sundays in March (1, 8 and 15) from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Children & Family Resource Center, 851 Case St. Snacks and refreshments will be provided with additional give-a-ways when available. Additional series will be announced in the future. To learn more or to register, call 828-694-6066.

Alzheimer’s Association hosts community forum

The Alzheimer’s Association – Western Carolina Chapter will be hosting the Henderson County Alzheimer’s Community Forum on Wednesday, Feb. 26, to hear from local area residents.

Check-in will open 9:45 a.m., and the event will take place 10-11:30 a.m. at the Henderson County Public Library, 301 N Washington St. Light refreshments will be provided. There is no cost to attend, but registration is requested at or by calling 800-272-3900.

The Alzheimer’s Community Forum is a gathering for people who have been affected by Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions about the disease, discuss their experiences and needs, learn about resources, and discover how to engage in the cause. 

Saluda Arts Festival scheduled for May 16

The annual Saluda Arts Festival held in May each year attracts many repeat artists, and 2020 will not be different. The 17th annual festival will be May 16 in historic downtown Saluda. 

Stretching along historic and charming Main Street, every art media is represented in this popular annual event including paintings, pottery, metal work, jewelry, sculptures, fiber and more. The event draws spring tourists visiting Western North Carolina and crowds from Upstate South Carolina and East Tennessee.

Artists still have time to submit their applications at, at or by contacting Lynn Casey at or 828-772-1504. Early entries will be given first choice of booth location. Deadline is March 15. Exhibit fee is $100.