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COUNTY LIBRARY :
MARSHALL ? NC
Vol. 87 No. 2
% ? ? *
Serving The People Of Madison County Since 1901
Thursday, January 8, 1987
Photo by Ann KMchell
The lone patrol car for the town of Hot Springs
sits in the yard of an area wrecker service
following a New Year's Day accident.
Although damage to the vehicle appears to be
minimal, Hhe patrol car has been declared a
total loss. Hot Springs Police Chief John Bar
rett said he was in pursuit of a speeding car
when he lost control of his patrol car.
Bypass Traffic Halted
As Gas Leak Plugged
By ANNE KITCIIELL
Staff W riter
Quick action and a keen sense of
smell may have averted disaster at
the Wash And Dry Laundromat on the
U.S. 25-70 Bypass early Wednesday
Marshall police officer Edward
"Popeye" McLean reported that he
smelted what he thought was propane
gas fumes coming from the vicinity of
the laundromat at about 2 a.m.
McLean stopped to investigate.
"I smeiled something, and it was
gas,'1 McLean said WedncMuy ti
looked like somebody -had tare up
copper tubing. We believe it's van
McLean called the Marshall Fire
Department for assistance at 2:04
a.m. When firefighters arrived at the
laundromat, they discovered that a
trash dumpster behind the building
was on fire.
Police and fire officials, fearing
that the tire could ignite the propane
gas funics and cause an explosion.
hj|an to stop traffic on the U.S. 25-70
"We started to block traffic for a
while, but the fire department found
where to turn the gas off," McLean
Jimmy Ramsey, Marshall fire
chief, said that traffic was blocked
for nearly 30 minutes as firefighters
-Continued on back page
T otals V ehicle
By ANNE KITCHELL
and BILL STUDENT
The police chief of Hot Springs and
a former Madison County commis
sioner were injured in a one-vehicle
accident after leaving a New Year's
Eve party in the town's only police
Hot Springs officials and insurance
representatives say the vehicle is a
Police Chief John Barrett ap
parently lost control of the patrol car
on N.C. 209 shortly after midnight
New Year's Day.
Virginia Anderson, former county
commissioner, was in the car at the
time of the accident. She was
transported to Memorial Mission
Hospital in Asheville, treated for
bruises to the face and back, and
released the same day.
Barrett suffered minor injuries in
the accident and was taken by private
vehicle to Memorial Mission Hospital
in Asheville wherehe was treated and
released, according to reports.
Barrett entered a private party
hosted by Hot Springs Mayor Kenny
Ramsey at about 11 p.m. New Year's
Eve at the Trail Cafe, Ramsey said.
An unidentified person entered the
cafe at about 12:l0a.m. and said thai
the police chief had been in a wreck.
Ramsey said he then called the
N.C. Highway Patrol and instructed
them to investigate the accident
State Trooper Calvin Taylor, who
responded to the call, said that when
he arrived on the scene he found the
squad car overturned. Because the
accident occurred within the city
limits, Hot Springs police officer
Terry Gettman told the trooper they
did not need his assistance, Taylor
'It was a mistake on my part. She got in, she was
she turned on the siren. The mistake I made was
her out when I took pursuit. '
"We'll handle it," Taylor quoted
Gettman as saying when he arrived
at the accident scene. "They said,
more or less, they didn't call me."
No accident report has been filed
with either the Highway Patrol or (he
Hot Springs Police Department.
Barrett said he was in pursuit of
another vehicle at the time of the ac
cident, Ramsey said.
But a Hot Springs resident who
heard the crash said he heard the
police car. siren blaring, but did not
hear another vehicle.
"The car was not in pursuit," said
Barrett denied reports that he had
been drinking before the accident.
"No, I did not have anything to
drink," he said.
Barrett said rumors circulating
through the Hot Springs area concer
ning the accident are untrue and are
-Continued on back page
Marshall Man 1st
'87 Fatality In WNC
By B1I.I. STUDENC
A former deputy with the Madison
County^5heri/r* Dcpartmenthad the
unfortunate distinction of being the
first traffic fatality in Western North
Carolina in 1987.
The first fatal accident occurred on
the first day of the new year, during
the first snowstorm of the season.
Carl Shook, 51, of Route 6 Marshall,
died of injuries received in a one
vehicle accident on Grapevine Road
near Petersburg on New Year's Day.
The accident occurred on a snow
covered road at about 7:15 a m. last
Thursday, according to the N.C.
Highway Patrol. Weather conditions
contributed to the accident, the in
vestigating officer said.
Patrol Headquarters in Raleigh
confirmed that Shook's accident
marked the first traffic fatality of the
new year in Western North Carolina.
The first fatality in the state occur
red more than five hours earlier at
-Continued on back page
Steel Company Moving From Woodfin To Weaverville
By ( B. SQU1RK
Karpen Steel Products Corp. of
Woodfin has purchased the vacant
Woodcrafters plant on Reems Creek
Road on the outskirts of Weaverville
and will use the building as a key ele
ment in its expansion plans.
The building belonged to Lane Fur
niture Co:, which has auctioned off
most of the equipment and will
remove the rest.
Karpen Products will prepare the
building for its own equipment, now
in the company 's building in Woodfin.
The move from Woodfin to Weaver
ville should be completed in July,
Morris Karpen, founder of KaBen
Products, said last week.
The Woodcrafters building in
Weavervilte has been unused for
about a year prior to its recent pur
chase. Karpen Products has not yet
decided what to do with the building it
will be vacating in Woodfin, but will
probably rent the building to another
company. Karpen said.
The Weaverville building is con
siderably larger than the Woodfin
facility, he said
Karpen Products currently
employs about 20 workers and does
not have any immediate plans to ex
pand its workforce, Karpen said.
Thai will happen gradually, he said
Karpen Products is an unusual
business. Karpen said, that makes
custom steel doors and frames of
unusual shapes and ships them out
usually within in 10 days of receiving
an order - something he says large
steel products companies can't do.
A family business. Karpen Pro
ducts began in Woodfin as the result
of an extensive marketing survey and
is one of the most highly computeriz
ed businesses in the area.
Karpen was head of a similar
business in New York for many years
and decided to retire to North
Carolina with his wife Leah, who
grew up in Asheville. They live on Ox
Creek Road, off Reems Creek. The
New York business is now run by one
of the Karpen's sons.
"Retirement" for Morris Karpen,
however, proved to be short-lived. He
and his wife, who has a master's
degree in industrial management,
conducted a marketing survey that
showed a need for a company to pro
duce specialty steel products - and to
do so fast.
On a large construction job with,
maybe, 500 to 1,000 door frames, "we
may make 10 of them," Karpen said.
"They may be the 10 they need in a
hurry to get the job started."
The rfche Karpen found for his
post-retirement business involves
design and delivery. "Competitors
can touch us on pricing and other
things, but they can't touch us on
delivery or design," he said.
The company's chief goal of
delivering doors and frames within 10
days of the date the order was receiv
ed and approved is what enables
Karpen Products to compete against
larger suppliers, he said.
When an order is received and pro
cessed in the office computer, the
shop computer is already tied in, he
said. For computer enthusiasts,
Karpen explained that all of the
firm's computer programs are writ
"We've had some of the big people
from some of the big shops come in,"
he said. "They're completely amazed
at how far we have gone with our
Karpen, 62. when he started the
"post-retirement" company in Wood
fin about nine years ago, has been
joined in the business by a son, Joe,
and a daughter. Rachel.
Karpen Steel Products and its
founders were subjects of an article
in the November issue of "Doors And
Hardware," a trade publication
Bentley Looks Back
At College PresideriCy
Special to The News Record
At a time when most of us are try
ing to honor the New Year's resolu
tions that we just made, Dr. Fred
Bentley is looking back on his just
completed 20th year as president of
Mars Hill College.
Bentley took over in 1966 as presi
dent at Mars Hill College, an institu
tion that was more than 100 years old
yet still in its second year of infancy
as a four-year university.
Today, Bentley is a little older and
a little wiaer. But as he looks out from
his third office at Blackwell Hall
fcwmed in honor of the president he
succeeded), he can look down at a
campus rich in tradition and history,
but a campus that also shows the
into a credible senior college.
When the board of trustee* was
seeking a replacement for Dr. Hoyt
Black well, the call went out fo? John
Claypole, a Mars Hill graduate^nd a
minister in Louisville, Ky.
Claypole turned down the offer,
electing not to leave the ministry. He
did recommend a young man who
was then serving as assistant dean of
arts and sciences at the University of
Louisville - Fred Bentley.
Bentley at first turned down the of
fer, but was persuaded to at least
take a look at the campus.
"I was so impressed with the board
of trustees and their visions for this
campus that I accepted the post,"
said Bentley. "H was ? period of Iran
Mars Hill Ready
For Sewer Repairs
By BILL STUDENT
The Mars Hill Board of Aldermen
agreed Monday night to hire McGill
and Associates, an Asheville
engineering firm, to oversee a
$146,000 overhaul of leaking sewer
lines on the campus of Mars Hill Col
McGill and Associates was one of
three firms considered by the town
board to oversee the project, ex
pected to get under way ia the spring
Mara Hill officials agreed in May,
water, and that is causing the cost of
operation of our wastewater treat
ment plant to be excessive because
we are treating all this water that's
not supposed to be there," he said
Part of the problem has been trac
ed to old sewer lines on the Mars HiB
A recent engineering test, in which
smoke was forced through sewer
pipes to locate problem spots, reveal
ed several major leaks on the cam