The Transylvania Times -

Connestee Falls News


September 26, 2019

Tina Schonhaut, president of the Connestee Falls Dog Owner Group recently presented Transylvania County Sheriff David Mahoney (right) with a check for $3,332 to assist in the purchase of a dog for the Sheriff's K-9 Unit. At left is CFPOA Board President Dave Hunter.

Dog Owners Raise Funds For K-9 Unit

When Tina Schonhaut of the Connestee Falls Dog Owners Group heard that Transylvania County needed an additional dog for the Sheriff's K-9 unit, she hounded (sorry) her fellow Connestee Falls dog owners to raise money to help with the purchase.

The club, which has some 200 members, has helped with K-9 units before.

"We felt that raising these funds might be a good way to express our appreciation for county law enforcement and first-responders," said Tina, who passed the word through the Nextdoor blog and followed up in person with daily contacts at the dog park.

Her efforts netted $3,332 to help purchase and train a K-9 Unit dog. This is the second time the group has raised funds for this purpose.

According to Sheriff David Mahoney, Transylvania County has been fortunate to have individual volunteers and groups willing to raise funds for the purchase of dogs for the county K-9 unit.

"The creation of a K-9 program was something I ran on in my first election as sheriff in 2006 because as a patrol officer and detective I knew how useful these K-9 partners could be in assisting our officers in patrolling Transylvania County," he said.

The cost to acquire and train a dog for the K-9 unit runs upward of $10,000. Once in service, a dog can work for seven or eight years, maybe more, before it retires and usually finds a home with a sheriff's officer. The K-9 program has always been funded by contributions from the community, starting with a sizeable donation from a Transylvania County couple who supported the idea of a local K-9 unit.

"We have now built the program where we have a third dog in training and ideally would like to have another dog working with us as Transylvania County continues to grow, and we really appreciate the great support from the Connestee Falls dog owners group," said the sheriff.

The Proper Perspective

Folk artist Grandma Moses, who began painting at age 78, was just a youngster compared with Connestee Falls' Joe Hagarty. He just published his first book at age 84.

The Amakola Court resident is also working on two novels and a pair of essays.

After retiring from a career as an electrical engineer and computer designer, Joe and his wife moved to Connestee from Hillsborough Township, N.J., in 2000. He's also done stints as a college professor and a real estate salesman.

Joe's book, "Creating Depth in Your Paintings: a 1-Point Linear Perspective" was published by Amazon in July and is available on Kindle and in paperback ($5.99 for Kindle and $10.99 for paperback).

"Becoming an author at age 84 was a surprise to me," said Joe, the eighth child of a family of 11 children. "I've enjoyed painting, music and writing for years, but I didn't think I could write effectively.

After having prepared many oral and written lectures for my art league friends, one of them suggested that I put these demos and instructions into a book."

A member of Connestee's Art League and a 19-year resident of Connestee Falls, Joe has written a step-by-step, easy-to-read and easy-to- understand book that guides artists through the simple principles of one-point linear perspective. Among the topics discussed and explained are how to draw street scenes, landscapes, interior spaces and furniture.

As an artist, he works in every medium but one.

"I'm allergic to dust, so I can't do pastels," he said.

This book is the first of a series. Up next for Joe, logically enough, is "2-Point Linear perspective." Watch for that one on as well.

His book is primarily for artists, so Joe has no illusions about it being a best-seller.

"This will hardly make or break my financial future," he said.

Kudzu On The March

The next time you're driving to town on Highway 276, check out that climbing, coiling vegetation that seems to be overwhelming telephone poles, speed-limit signs and just about everything else in its path.

An appropriate subject for a horror movie, kudzu is a perennial vine that's proliferating throughout the South at an amazing rate.

A relentless vine that can grow a foot in a single day, kudzu was introduced to U.S. from Japan by a pair of American horticulturists who thought it would be useful in providing animal fodder and preventing soil erosion. Instead, it's marching through the South like Sherman through Georgia.

In the 1930s, the U.S. government paid southern farmers $8 acre to plant kudzu. Now it's called "the vine that ate the South" the way it covers huge tracts of land. Mankind is fighting back with cutting, mowing and spraying, but this green goliath just keeps on spreading.

The story goes that a botanist was once asked how to plant kudzu (although I don't know why anyone would want to). His answer: "Throw out a handful of seeds and run for your life."

High Flyers

This month's license plates feature "FLYT" on a black BMW, "N2 FLYN" on tan a BMW and BLKKAV8R on a Hyundai Sonata with an African-American man at the wheel.

(Jim Grodnik's Connestee Falls News column runs on the last Thursday of every month. The next one will appear Oct. 31. Write to if you don't get the third license plate.)


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