What’s in the news for Tuesday: Pot found in Ballentree (gasp!), more attempted arson (whatthehell?) and the death of Chief Henry (the most photographed Indian in the world)

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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With the Thanksgiving Day holiday upon us, we figured the news would be slowing down. But nay. The WLOSers were all over it on Tuesday:

Pot bust in Ballantree subdivision
Cherub Charu had a juicy one Tuesday – cops discovered a major indoor marijuana growing operation in a house in the swanky Ballantree subdivision off Sweeten Creek Road in south Ashvegas. For some context, I’ll add that former Asheville City Councilman and mayoral candidate Joe Dunn lives there, as does Asheville Police Department Chief Bill Hogan.

Charu said a local drug unit got a tip from Florida police and they checked it out. They found 242 plants inside the Ballantree home, and some plants in Haywood and Jackson counties. A 33-year-old man in the Ballantree home was arrested and charged. The cops said he had also tapped into an underground powerline and was stealing power from Progress Energy to help power all his grow lights. Damn! The dude used all his pot money to post bond and get out of jail.

More on those home invasions
WLOSers followed up on two home invastions that they reported. Kassandra Pride, wearing a white satin blouse and looking ready for the disco, said the home invasions were not related but the same thing happened – somebody busted in to steal some money and in the end, the victims of both invasions ended up getting charged because they were found with drugs.

One night, five attempted arsons
WLOSers said a man was spotted in downtown Ashvegas on Monday night running around trying to start fires on Woodfin and Central avenues, as well as Orange and Liberty streets. What the hell? The suspect tried to start one fire near a hotel. What is going on with all these arsons lately?

Missing couple still missing
Sheraldo did a follow-up story on the couple from Henderson County that went missing in Transylvania County a few weeks ago. The cops found the woman’s body and are investigating the case as a homicide. They haven’t found the husband yet.

Sheraldo talked to a member of the Pisgah Trailblazers, a group of horseback riders who clean up trails. They were in the forest the day the cops think the homicide went down, so they want to know anything that anbody saw. Sheraldo also talked to a deer-huntin’ redneck who said he’ll be careful in the woods and on the lookout for any dead bodies.

In other crime news…
A man driving a Corvette died in Henderson County this morning on Mount Olivet Road when he ran off the roadway and crashed. He wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, cops told WLOSers. … Some murder suspect in McDowell County arrested and charged several years ago still isn’t mentally competent to stand trial, so the judge sent him back to Dorthea Dix. … The Waynesville Library is installing $5,000 worth of video surveillance equipment because officials are tired of vandals throwing rocks and spray painting vehicles. … And somebody stole 12 brand new golf carts from the Lake Junaluska Golf Course early Sunday. They’re worth $4,000 each. If you see a truck hauling a trailer full of new golf carts, report it.

Freeborn wants a recount
WLOSers said Asheville City Councilman Bryan Freeborn has requested a recount of the recount. We’ve blogged it already. Scroll down.

In other political news…
State Rep. Trudi Walend, who represents Polk and Transylvania counties and part of Henderson County in the 113th District, is stepping down after more than 10 years in state politics. More time with the fam, she said.

Chief Henry dies
John Le payed homage to a “photogenic tourist draw for almost 50 years in Cherokee” – Chief Henry.

Chief Henry, or Henry Lambert, stood outside a teepee in Cherokee and had his picture made with tourists for decades. He died overnight at age 72 of lung cancer. His family remembered him Tuesday as a loving man who was married for 50 years and remembered the names of those who visited him. His funeral will be held Thursday.

It’s hot outside
The high Tuesday was 70 degrees, getting close to the record high of 74 degrees. But it will be cold by the end of the week, says weather-guesser Mike Cuevas.

Holiday toy dangers.
Victoria Dunkle did a little sweeps special and showed us how toys can be tested for lead content. She didn’t find a smoking gun or really tell us anything new, but it was a complete story. And it’s just cool to use the words “X-ray spectrometer” in a story, isn’t it, Victoria?

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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