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This week’s headline

 
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Wahoo’s quiet contributions and attitude earn

local respect

By Heather Berry

Weaverville – Sometimes it takes a lifetime for folks to appreciate the special contributions different members of a community make. Recently, some Weaverville residents are taking note and making an effort to appreciate the contributions of “Wahoo.”

Many locals are familiar with Wahoo, known for pulling a trash can from Flat Creek to downtown Weaverville daily, but don’t know much more.

Wahoo started weed-eating, mowing and doing other odd jobs in 1978 when he was in high school at North Buncombe. Scott Shope, owner of Shope’s Furniture in downtown Weaverville, has known Wahoo since  they were in school together. Shope said he is always impressed at how hard Wahoo works and doesn’t complain.

“I’ve asked him if he needed help many times and he never does,” said Shope, “and, he never complains.”

According to Shope, Wahoo began calling himself “Wahoo” after a popular wrestler named Edward “Wahoo” McDaniel. “That’s the story I heard,” said Shope. “Back in the day when he was young, he loved wrestling. Wahoo is still just good-hearted, great person and gentle soul,” said Shope. “He’s one of ours.”

When asked to tell a little bit of his life story, Wahoo responded, “Sure! What do you want to know?”

Born in Indiana, David Arrington (Wahoo’s given name) made his way to Weaverville with his family when he was a “little bitty thing.” He has lived in Flat Creek for many years, he said.

Wahoo may have the best glimpse of all when it comes to the goings on in this area. “I’m out every day doing mowing, weed-eating and doing all kinds of stuff and talking to people,” Wahoo said. “I also pick up aluminum cans and other recyclables,” he added.

Wendy Reed, owner of New Beginning’s Spa and Salon, recently asked area residents to drop off their recyclable aluminum at the salon in order to help Wahoo with his collections. Wahoo stops by daily to pick up what is left.

“He pulls that huge trash can all the way from Flat Creek and all over Weaverville and never complains, never whines,” said Reed. “When I asked him what he did with all those cans, he told me, ‘I just use them for extra spending money,’” said Reed.

According Wahoo, the help from New Beginnings has made a difference. “Oh yeah, I pick up from them every day,” Wahoo said.

Reed, who grew up in Weaverville, remembers Wahoo from softball games. “I played ball for many years and Wahoo was at our high school games and women’s league consistently,” she recalled. “He was there as a bat boy and showed up at every game faithfully.”

Wahoo has a big family in this area. “I live with my mother and brother and have all sorts of uncles and brothers, sisters and nephews in this area. He describes the area as “friendly and peaceful.” When asked if there were any improvements he would make, Wahoo responded, “The football team could be a little better,” with a laugh. Wahoo counts high school and college football among his passions.

Reed encourages residents to take the time to help. “We are talking about items that most of us don’t see as having any value, but it can mean a little extra spending money for Wahoo,” she said. “We just take these items and trash them. I want people to be aware of what they are doing,” she continued.

“I want people to know they can use this location as a drop-off for canned goods or other items, which can help those around us in need,” Reed said. “We’ve got a lot of hurting people,” she added.

Reed hopes to continue this community outreach with other projects in the future.

Anyone interested in helping Wahoo out by dropping off recyclable aluminums can drop items off at New Beginnings Spa and Salon, 285 N. Main St., any time during business hours. If items are large, Reed suggests calling the salon ahead at 828.484-7785. Wahoo also wants the public to know he is willing to do odd jobs like mowing, weed-eating, cleaning out storage areas, etc… Call him at 828.645.5608.

 

 
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Stuck

in the bunker

New Putt Putt Fun Center

held back by grown-up struggles

By Heather Berry

Woodfin – Kids and parents alike are wondering when the Putt Putt Fun Center on Weaverville Highway will open. The center looks ready to the observer’s eye, but has some hidden troubles. According to Russ Roberson who manages the property for family members, the opening date is still a big question mark, but he appreciates the public’s patience and support as things get sorted.

The Putt Putt Fun Center is part of a nationwide franchise corporation, which started in Fayetteville in 1954. According to Roberson, some issues between the corporation and his local company have caused delays. “It’s just some things regarding franchise rules and so forth, where we are trying to compromise,” said Roberson. “That’s all I can say at this point.”

“We were hoping to get open before school let out, but that’s less than a month and I don’t see that happening,” said Roberson. Families from as far as Hendersonville have shown up at the center, looking for some fun, only to be disappointed, he added.

“I am looking forward to going there with my friends and go-karting and the arcade sounds really nice too,” said Molly, age 16, of Weaverville. Molly said she is disappointed the center hasn’t opened yet, but hasn’t given up that she can visit this summer.

“I was really hoping to go last summer,” Molly said. “I’m still hoping we can go this summer.”

Waiting on an opening date has been frustrating for everyone, Roberson said. “I really appreciate the community’s patience, while we sort this all out. It’s been frustrating for us too,” he added. “This has been a real struggle,” Roberson continued. “Right now, we are finally getting to where we can work this out.”

When asked how much the project has cost, Roberson would only say, “It’s on up there.”

When opened, patrons can choose from a variety of activities including: a 36-hold putt putt golf course, go-kart track, four batting cage stations for softball or baseball, bumper cars, 32 arcade games and three birthday party rooms. “We also have a covered area for private parties like alumni groups or family reunions,” Roberson said.

The center is designed to facilitate community involvement explained Roberson, who hopes to host tournament nights for different community groups.

Roberson is no stranger to the Woodfin and Weaverville area. He moved here when he was in the fifth grade and has spent 20 years owning and managing local rental properties. In his years as a local business owner, Roberson said he has never experienced the frustration with a business enterprise like he has with this Putt Putt Fun Center. “I’m 64 and have lived here since the fifth grade,” said Roberson.

Representatives from the corporate offices of the Putt Fun Center in were approached, but unavailable for comment.

 

Past headlines


 
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Lightning sparks tall blaze

By Heather Berry

Weaverville – A lightning strike Sunday evening appears to have been the cause of a structure fire, which gutted an old home off of Garrison Road. The home has been unoccupied for more than a decade and was used for storage.

“When we left the station, we could see the smoke from the station,” Weaverville Fire Department Battalion Chief Timothy D. Laster said at the scene. Laster pointed to a tall pine next to the home and explained how flames had reached the top of the more than 65-foot-tall pine.

According to Laster, a severe lightning storm Sunday afternoon and early evening appears to have set off the fire when the tree next to the house was struck by lightning. “I don’t know the height of that tree, but it burnt the top of that tree,” said Laster.

Neighbors Heidi Blevins and Lisa Lee said the flames were frightening and caused some loud “booms” as the home was consumed by fire. “It was so sudden,” said Lee. “It was scary, because we heard a lot of explosions over there,” she added.

Blevins called 911, but dispatch had already been alerted of the fire. “I called and they already knew what was happening,” she said.

Home owner Dean Roberts, who lives in the Weaverville area, said the home was a family home for many years, but has stood empty. “I’m kinda shook up,” said Roberts as he watched firefighters contain the blaze.

“We had just gotten back to the station after a fire alarm had been activated on Hamburg Mountain, when we got two calls; one for a brush fire and one for structure fire at the same time, around 6:07 p.m.” Laster said.

While the alarm on Hamburg Mountain turned out to be nothing, the calls for the brush fire and structure fire were caused by the Garrison Road blaze. “Someone saw this fire and thought it was a brush fire,” said Laster.

 

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