News in brief: Day of action, Haywood Sheriff warns of phone scam

SERVICE WITH A SMILE: Volunteers for the United Way of Henderson County's day of service on Aug. 16 completed projects at 22 county schools. These volunteers brightened Rugby Middle School's sign on Haywood Road. Photo courtesy of the United Way of Henderson County

Volunteers spiff up 22 Henderson County schools

Schools in Henderson County looked noticeably spiffier by the afternoon of Aug. 16, after more than 500 community volunteers had pitched in on 42 service projects at 22 schools as part of United Way of Henderson County’s annual Day of Action. Projects included painting walls, cleaning playgrounds, mulching and other tasks. Volunteers also donated nonperishable food items for MANNA FoodBank’s Packs for Kids and school supply items for Henderson County students in need.

“We want our children to start the academic year in freshly painted classrooms with the supplies they need and we want our teachers and school staff to know how much they are appreciated,” said Denise Cumbee Long, executive director of United Way of Henderson County, in a press release.

ART renovations enter new phase

When renovations to the ART bus station on Coxe Avenue are complete, the station will boast new lobby seating, flooring and lighting; updated, ADA-accessible public restrooms with baby changing tables in both the women’s and men’s facilities; and public wifi access.

During interior renovations, which will begin soon, the station will remain fully operational, with two mobile units installed in an adjacent parking lot serving as a ticketing/waiting area and restroom facility. According to a city press release, “The lobby renovation is estimated to take around 60 days.”

Once that portion of the project has been completed, workers will clean and improve the bus platform and install ADA-compliant ramps on the platform and sidewalks adjacent to the station. The total project “is expected to last through late winter 2020 and possibly into early spring,” the city said.

Haywood County Sheriff warns of scam

The Haywood County Sheriff’s Office reported an increase in calls complaining of a phone scam that impersonates sheriff’s office personnel and its main telephone number.

According to the sheriff’s office, those targeted have included residents from Haywood, Jackson, Buncombe and Transylvania counties.

“The key message is that the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office will NEVER ask someone to pay anything — in any form or fashion — over the phone,” the agency advised in a press release. “Scammers only succeed by creating fear and urgency in those who stay on the phone. Hang it up, everyone!”

Asheville Sister Cities wins international award

The Asheville chapter of Sister Cities International won the organization’s 2019 award for cities with populations between 50,001 and 100,000 residents.

The award recognized the Asheville group’s programming, which included hosting delegations, government representatives and guests from four of Asheville’s sister cities, as well as activities and community engagement surrounding those visits. In a January 2018 humanitarian project, the organization delivered 110 wheelchairs to San Cristobal and Valladolid, both in Mexico and both sister cities of Asheville.

“I’m calling it the year of ‘many hands, many hearts’ because of the commitment and dedication of our members and city committees. We had a tangible impact in so many lives, both in our community and around the world,” said Karen Korp, president of Asheville Sister Cities, in a press release.

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