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Connestee Falls News


Last updated 3/3/2020 at 4:41pm

Scholarship Program Gets Underway

The Connestee Falls Student Scholarship Program is gearing up for its 2020 fundraising effort, as the various committees that handle the tournaments and other events prepare for the campaign.

Bryan O’Neill will continue as chairman of the program, Will Toscani will again serve as treasurer, and Bruce Winfield will assume the position of vice chairman.

Other board members continuing their terms are Gay Coffin, Vicki Held, Sarah Hysong and Nona Walker.

In 2019, the scholarship program raised a record $111,000 that was used to provide student scholarships in Transylvania County. In December, Transylvania County Schools, Brevard College and Blue Ridge Community each received grants of $37,000.

The scholarship program is an all-Connestee volunteer program. Hundreds of volunteers have participated in it over the past 32 years, and the effort has raised more than $1 million in scholarship money for Transylvania County students.

New volunteers are always welcome to join the program. For information, contact Bryan O’Neill at, or 884-8436.

It’s a Bear Market

To paraphrase the poet Gelett Burges, “I’ve never seen a dead bear and never hope to see one; but I can tell you anyhow, I’d rather see than be one.”

So, what should you do if you see a dead bear in Connestee Falls? Well, that depends. If the bygone bruin — or any other dead animal for that matter — is on a Connestee Falls POA common area, simply call the administration office at 885-2001 and they’ll arrange for the maintenance crew to remove the animal. During out of office hours, call the Main Gate at 885-2121.

And if a bear should find his final resting place on your property, call Game Warden Michael Rising at (828) 450-9822 and he’ll have the bear picked up.

However, if a deer or any other animal that’s not a bear should expire on your property, you’re on your own. It’s up to you to make the arrangements. Call Terminix at (828) 884-4011 and ask for the wildlife department; they’ll quote you a price on removing the animal. Or call Lee Smith (828) 553-1520 or (828) 885-2414.

Leap Of Faith

The upcoming Polar Plunge at Atagahi Park has a few people keeping an anxious eye on the weather forecast for Saturday, Feb. 29. That’s the day people leap into the lake for charity.

In this fundraiser for the North Carolina Special Olympics, entrants will jump off the dock into Lake Atagahi at a given signal. As this is being written, the forecast is for a high of 34 chilly degrees, but at least there should sunshine.

“My advice is to get in and get out as quickly as possible, because that water is cold,” said Carrie Leopard, organizer of the annual event.

Last year, the plunge netted $16,000 in donations for the Special Olympics, which will be used for uniforms and travel to statewide competition.

If you’re interested in watching your neighbors go jump in the lake (Connestean Marian Wolf, a regular participant in the plunge, is among them), or maybe taking the leap yourself, registration is at 10 a.m., followed by a costume contest at noon and the plunge itself at 1 p.m.

Primary Information

Don’t forget, there’s a primary election coming up on Tuesday, March 3.

Voters will be choosing their party’s candidate for federal and state offices and will receive a ballot for the party they are registered with.

Those registered as “unaffiliated” can request a ballot for any of the five parties.

Presidential and federal senatorial candidates are on the ballot, as well as state offices of governor, lieutenant governor, auditor, commissioner of agriculture, superintendent of public instruction treasurer and state senate District.

Probably the most consequential race on the ballot is the District 11 House of Representatives seat where five Democrats and 12 Republicans are running to replace Republican Congressman Mark Meadows, who is not seeking re-election.

Connestee residents will vote at either Dunn’s Rock, Cedar Mountain or East Fork locations. Early voting is at 150 S. Gaston St. To find your voting location or to view a sample ballot, go to and click the “Voter Lookup” button. Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. You may also call the Transylvania County Board of Elections office at (828) 884-3114.

The following is the party affiliation for the 25,312 registered voters in Transylvania County:

•Unaffiliated: 10,834

•Republican: 8,159

Democratic: 6,192

Libertarian: 119

•Constitution: 5

•Green: 3

Hefner History

If you’re in the market for a decade’s worth of Playboy magazines, you might want to contact Karen Wolf of Connestee Falls.

While sorting out the stored possessions of her late husband, Tom, Karen discovered a stack of 90 Playboys from 1986 through 1997.

“I had no idea they were there,” she said.

According to Karen, the magazines are in good condition, although none are particularly valuable.

Karen is offering the lot for sale for $150 (or best offer).

“They’re just taking up space,” said Karen, who can be reached at (828) 885-8300.


Former Connestee residents Peter Covell and Lynn Covell (formerly Secosan), who now live in nearby Whiskey Creek, were married on Jan. 12 at Grace Christian Fellowship Church in Largo, Fla.


Ten years ago, a funeral service was being held for a Connestee Falls woman who shall remain nameless. At the end of the service, the pallbearers were carrying the casket out of the funeral home when they accidentally bumped into a wall, jarring the casket. They heard a faint moan and opened the casket only to find that the woman was actually alive!

The woman lived for 10 more years, and then died. Once again, a funeral was held, and after the funeral, the pallbearers were again carrying out the casket. As they carried it toward the door, the husband cried out: “Watch that wall!”

An Eye for Beauty

A “FOTOGAFR” driving a Mercedes-Benz E-Class takes “PICTURES” (Ford Escape) and probably “LOVESART” (Toyota Camry).

(Jim Grodnik’s Connestee Falls News column runs on the last Thursday of every month. The next one will appear March 26. Write to


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