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A RECORD-SETTING HEAT WAVE THAT STARTED 34 YEARS AGO TODAY:  HENDERSONVILLE HIT 100 DEGREES FOR THE FIRST TIME IN RECORDED WEATHER HISTORY

A RECORD-SETTING HEAT WAVE THAT STARTED 34 YEARS AGO TODAY: HENDERSONVILLE HIT 100 DEGREES FOR THE FIRST TIME IN RECORDED WEATHER HISTORY

HENDERSON COUNTY WEATHER RECORD WERE SET IN THE HEAT WAVE OF AUGUST 18 THROUGH 24 1983

Some of the hottest temperatures in Henderson County’s recordedw eather history occurred August 18th through the 24th in 1983.

85 degrees is the long term average high temperature for Hendersonville on those days. But on August 18 in 1983, Hendersonville set a new record high for the date of 94 degrees. The next day, August 19th, was even hotter with a new record high for the date of96 degrees.

Then, for the first time since weather records had been kept in Hendersonville dating back to the late 1800s, on the next day August 29th 1983, about 3 in the afternoon, Hendersonville set an all time record high for that date of 100 degrees. The temperatures was recorded at WHKP, Hendersonville’s official weather observation station for the National Weather Service.

Temperatures cooled off slightly the next couple of days, with highs of 99 degrees on the 21st and 96 on the 22nd.

But on the 23rd, the heat wave expanded...and Hendersonville set it’s all timed record high temperature of 101 degrees just before 4 pm that day. On duty in Broadcast House that afternoon, we noted that the plate glass windows facing Four Seasons Boulevard from our control room were too hot to touch.

94 degrees was the high temperature the next day on August 24th, and the following day, the heat wave was broken up in the usual way with a series of severe thunderstorms...and temperatures returned to more seasonal levels.

It’s worth noting too....that during that record-setting heat wave in August 1983, overnight low temperatures were not really “low” at all...but stayed in the 70s overnight, which was about 10 degrees hotter than the long term average low for Hendersonville for those days in August.

By Larry Freeman

A WHKP ON-LINE EDITORIAL:  WILL JUSTICE BE DONE FOR TOMMY BRYSON?

A WHKP ON-LINE EDITORIAL: WILL JUSTICE BE DONE FOR TOMMY BRYSON?

WILL JUSTICE BE DONE FOR TOMMY BRYSON?

A WHKP.COM ON-LINE EDITORIAL

AUGUST 1, 2017

Prosecutors have indicated it’s their intention to seek the death penalty for Tommy Bryson’s accused kidnapper and killer, Philip Michael Stroupe II, Good. But how likely is it that justice, swift and sure, in the form of the death penalty, will REALLY happen in this local capital murder case?

In North Carolina, the death penalty has been upheld by the courts and can only be used when someone has died in the commission of a crime.

We advocated the death penalty for the individuals responsible for the terrifying home invasion and brutal, senseless murders of virtually helpless and completely defenseless Connie and Ricky Sparks in Hendersonville in November of 2007. If ever there was a local case that cried out for the extreme penalty, it was that one. Life sentences were imposed by our local courts instead.

We also advocated the death penalty in the 2009 home invasion and homicide of a man as good and decent as Oscar Lee “Poochie” Corn that year. Corn had finished reading his Bible that awful night and was about to work a shift at Ingles when a crime that we all shudder to imagine happened in the sanctity of his home. The end result was no death penalty, but life in prison instead.

The death penalty is supposed to be the ultimate deterrent to such horrible crimes. But in fact, the death penalty is used so seldom in even the most extreme cases, where innocent people have died, here and across North Carolina, that it’s hardly a deterrent at all.

And this unfortunate reluctance by the “system” to use the full force of law and impose “equal justice” on those who have taken innocent lives has sadly been going on for many years, almost to the point of establishing a precedent against the death penalty. A few weeks ago, we observed the 51st anniversary of Henderson County’s infamous “triple murder”. Though never officially solved, the primary suspect in that case was Edward Thompson who kidnapped and assaulted a local woman, shot a deputy sheriff, and terrorized the whole community for weeks. Thompson’s crimes were so atrocious and horrible he was declared an “outlaw” by the governor of North Carolina, under the law at that time, which would have allowed anyone in the community to shoot Thompson on sight. In the end though, Thompson was allowed, by our local courts and the criminal justice system, to live out his days at the expense of the very communities and taxpayers whose lives he shattered and filled with fear...while serving a life sentence.

Just as loudly as these cases, where the whole community had been shaken by the violent, senseless, criminal horror of it all,, the Tommy Bryson kidnapping and homicide is crying out for justice...and for the death penalty for his accused killer, Philip Michael Stroupe II.

We’re not lawyers and don’t pretend to know all the finer points and legal complications involved in capital crimes and the death penalty. But we do know and understand the need for simple justice, sure and swift.

The reluctance of our criminal justice system, here, statewide, and across the country to use the tools it has for justice and to protect us all is a frightening thing for decent, law abiding folks. And what happened to a good man like Tommy Bryson, on his way to take a family member to the doctor, and allegedly at the hands of a fugitive outlaw filled with evil and brutality, is inexcusable, unforgivable, and worthy of no mercy at all.

But, as in the cases of victims like the Sparks and Corn, and with the worst of the worst like Edward Thompson...the Tommy Bryson kidnapping and homicide is now in the hands of a justice system that has let us down in the past...and clearly failed to deter such horrible capital crimes.

Fellow citizens, remain vigilant and let’s watch the prosecution of Stroupe and all the others who may have harbored him or were accessories in his crimes, very closely. And if, when all is said and done, some legal “cop out” is used and the ultimate deterrent is not imposed and carried out...the time will have come to hold the “system” and those elected or appointed who make the laws, interpret the laws, and enforce the laws, those who hold these offices and the public’s trust, fully and completely accountable. Enough is enough.

As always, we invite your comments...on our comments.

By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman August 2017

ON THIS DATE 101 YEARS AG0:  WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA'S GREAT FLOOD OF 1916 WAS JUST BEGINNING

ON THIS DATE 101 YEARS AG0: WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA'S GREAT FLOOD OF 1916 WAS JUST BEGINNING

HENDERSONVILLE POLICE CHIEF "OTE" POWERS RODE THROUGH THE TOWN ON HORSEBACK ALERTING THE PUBLIC     

The Great Flood of 1916  

The Flood of 1916 was the worst natural disaster in the history of Henderson County.  

Rain began July 3, 1916, and it rained for 10 days. On July 15, 10 inches of rain fell in less than 12 hours.
Normal summer rains began July 3, 1916, and continued until July 5.

On July 5-6, a category 3 hurricane hit the Gulf Coast of Alabama and Florida. This was the earliest major hurricane to make landfall in U.S. history until 1957. A few days later, July 7 and 8, the weakened storm dropped heavy rainfall over the foothills and mountains of North Carolina.
Normal rains continued every day from July 9 to July 14. On July 14, a category 2 hurricane made landfall along South Carolina’s coast, passing over the Charleston area. On July 15 and 16, this system reached the North Carolina mountains as a tropical storm.

It had now been raining for 10 days.

On July 15, in Henderson County, 10 inches of rain fell in less than 12 hours.

Rivers were already at flood stage from the Gulf hurricane and the constant summer rains. The French Broad had already overflowed its banks.
When the tropical storm from the South Carolina hurricane passed over the mountains, about 80 to 90 percent of the rainfall became run-off.

With such an enormous amount of water never entering the ground and immediately flowing to the already full mountain waterways, the streams and rivers rose rapidly. The results were devastating.
The French Broad River crested at an estimated 21 feet, some 17 feet above flood stage. The average width of the French Broad near Asheville was 381 feet in 1916. During the flood, it was approximately 1,300 feet across. Along the Catawba River, the flooding was similar. In some locations along its path in North Carolina, the Catawba rose almost 23 feet beyond previous high-water marks.

Early Sunday morning, July 16, almost every dam in Western North Carolina burst. The No. 2 Dam on the Big Hungry River in Henderson County was one of only a very few left standing. The Rocky Broad River, Green River, Mills River, Big Hungry River and French Broad, with all their tributaries, overflowed their banks in a torrent of raging water throughout the county.

Houses washed away. Mountain slides engulfed houses and people. All bridges and train trestles were washed away. All communication between Henderson County and the outside world was cut off.
Central Henderson County, the “swamp” or bog, turned into a huge lake. The town of Hendersonville was an island surrounded by water on all sides. People in town had no way in or out.

The blowing of the whistles at the textile mills, the ringing of the fire bells in Hendersonville, the ringing of church bells throughout the county, awakened those people who were not already awakened by the landslides and noise of rushing water.

One telegraph station at Asheville was working. Here is the teletype:

“Asheville and Biltmore are flooded. The water is up to the ceiling in the depot. It is six feet deep in Dr. Elias’ house in Biltmore. It is in All Soul’s church—it is in the hospital—the beds are floating—the patients are drowning! The tannery is washed away—bridges are gone. Captain Lipe and some of the nurses are drowned at Biltmore. Other people are up in trees, surrounded by water, and they cannot get them out of the river. The Swannanoa is a mile wide! Box cars are floating down the French Broad. All the lakes at Hendersonville have broken.”

From Dr. Lucious Morse at Chimney Rock: “The horrors of that night cannot be told. The rain fell in such solid masses that one seemed to be under a waterfall and it not only undermined houses but actually tore them to pieces. The noise of the rain was like continuous thunder, added to the roar of the river and the shock of the mountain sides literally crashing into the valleys. It was in fact a cataclysm, such as these mountains have probably not experienced in recent geological periods. The forces of nature setting themselves to a gigantic movement simply paralyzed anything that man could do and literally stunned imagination. The people who went through that awful night can never forget the shock of it.

“Throughout the night there were hours of horror, and when daylight came the worst scene of desolation ever viewed in the mountain became visible. The river began to recede, at times, and then, strange to say, would suddenly rise again, walls of water coming down the river like an ocean tide, with the thunderous noise of waves beating on a rocky coast. The greatest height of the water was reached at between 10 o’clock and midnight Saturday night. Only houses built deep in the mountain sides are standing.”

From an area newspaper: “Huge rocks weighing over a ton were tossed about in the Broad River like rubber balls. People in the Hickory Nut Gorge had to flee for high ground with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Some did not make it.”

“Not in another hundred years could a like disaster happen to the Bat Cave region, no matter how heavy the rains,” said W.S. Fallis, chief engineer of the state highway commission in Asheville, after walking 25 miles through the heart of the Blue Ridge devastated by the flood.

“The greater part of the damage was caused by the mountain slides. I suppose I saw the effects of more than 300 of these slides. They appeared to have started close to the top of the mountains. For a distance of possibly from seventy-five to 200 feet in which they removed everything clear and clean in their paths. It would be quite impossible to convey any idea of the terrific force of these slides. Everything movable in their path was swept to the river below. Trees were denuded absolutely of every vestige of bark. Rocks were ground smooth. Buildings were carried away in the irresistible rush. Nature had been long preparing the mountains for the catastrophe, and not for a hundred years could such another disaster happen to the mountains there, no matter how hard or how long it might rain.”

For long stretches, said Mr. Fallis, the river gorge is not more than one-eighth of a mile in width, with many sheer walls 1,200 feet and more high.

“During the storm from this narrow gorge an inferno of noises escaped to the starless sky above — and men who never before have known fear felt its cold hand clutch their hearts that night. For nature once more reveled in all her ancient and elemental strength. The outcry of the river’s torrent; the indescribably heart-shaking crashes of the mountain slides, one after the other; the steady and never ceasing downpour of rain, were segments of a symphony of the gods enraged — and the theme of that elemental symphony was death and destruction.”

In another instance, says Mr. Fallis, the torrent excavated all the dirt from around an 18-foot well, leaving the well high and dry above the surrounding ground with its stone walls still intact. Instead of a well it is now a column of stone set in the midst of a boulder-strewn field.

In Transylvania County, a 60-foot long boulder weighing 900-tons slid off the mountain and was transported along the Toxaway River for more than half a mile.
From a Charlotte newspaper: “Highway 74 (Charlotte Highway) had just been completed. The road and all its bridges were totally washed away, as were the Gerton, Bearwallow, Bat Cave and Chimney Rock Post Offices. Middle Fork, between Gerton and Bat Cave, was one of the areas most affected by the flood. The sides of the mountains gave way; one farmer could only stand by and watch as the mountain collapsed and swept away his house. The farmer’s wife and all his children were killed. At least two who died in the flood are buried in Middle Fork Cemetery. Many other bodies were never found, and many people who lost everything could not afford to mark their loved ones’ graves.”
There was no means of communication between towns in Western North Carolina and the rest of the state except by foot.

The total number of casualties is unknown. At least eight people died in Bat Cave alone. People moved out of several areas of the county, such as Gerton and Middle Fork, and along sections of the Green River near and in Polk and Henderson counties, which were most severely impacted by the flood. All the topsoil washed away along the Green River in the Cove and along Bright’s Creek. It has never returned and the cove was never again a major agricultural area.

In Western North Carolina, it is estimated that at least 80 people were killed. Bridges, houses, factories, railroad lines, and other man-made structures were destroyed.
A contemporary report by the federal government stated that property damage was approximately $22,000,000 at the time. Adjusted for inflation, this total would be approximately $430,000,000 in 2007.
From a Raleigh newspaper: “The people of North Carolina will not soon forget the Southern Railway Company’s magnificent work in speedily restoring its lines of traffic which were badly damaged in many sections by the recent flood. But longer than this will they remember the action of the Southern in agreeing to carry free of charge all shipments of supplies from the State Relief Committee to the people of the flood-stricken districts. Although the Southern has been one of the heaviest losers in the flood, the manner in which it has met disaster and its generosity in helping to relieve those who are in distress have won for that company a warm place in the hearts of the people which will bring rich material returns in the end.”

From a noted geologist today: “Floods are never a one-time event. What was flooded once will eventually be flooded again. The area’s population is three times larger than it was in 1916. The next 1916-type flood could produce 10 times more death and destruction than the first one.”

Details of this catastrophe are contained in three books: Bell, W.M., “The North Carolina Flood;” Southern Railway, “The Floods of July 1916;” and Greene, Ivery C., “A Disastrous Flood.” Several historic photos, most of Asheville, can be seen on various Web sites.

FROM HENDERSON HERITAGE

 

 

JULY 22 MARKS THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF CARL SANDBURG, JULY 22ND, 1967

JULY 22 MARKS THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF CARL SANDBURG, JULY 22ND, 1967

"HE WAS AMERICA."    

THE LATE KERMIT EDNEY MADE THE SOLEMN ANNOUNCEMENT TO THE HENDERSONVILLE COMMUNITY AND TO THE WORLD ON WHKP RADIO ON JULY 22ND, 1967...THAT CARL SANDBURG HAD DIED.

THE BELOVED POET, LINCOLN BIOGRAPHER, FOLKSONG SINGER, WINNER OF THREE PULITZER PRIZES, AND RAISER OF CHAMPIONSHIP GOATS...CARL SANDBURG...DIED ON JULY 22ND, 1967 AT HIS HOME KNOWN AS "CONNEMARA" IN FLAT ROCK, NORTH CAROLINA.  

LARGELY THROUGH THE EFFORTS OF WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA CONGRESSMAN ROY A. TAYLOR AND THE GENEROSITY OF MRS. SANDBURG, "CONNEMARA" BECAME WHAT IS NOW "THE CARL SANDBURG NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE."  

UPON LEARNING OF SANDBURG'S DEATH, PRESIDENT LYNDON JOHNSON ISSUED THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT ON JULY 22ND 1967:  

  "THE ROAD has come to an end for Carl Sandburg, my friend and the good companion of millions whose own life journeys have been ennobled and enriched by his poetry.
But there is no end to the legacy he leaves us.

Carl Sandburg was more than the voice of America, more than the poet of its strength and genius. He was America. We knew and cherished him as the bard of democracy, the echo of the people, our conscience, and chronicler of truth and beauty and purpose.

Carl Sandburg needs no epitaph. It is written for all time in the fields, the cities, the face and heart of the land he loved and the people he celebrated and inspired.

With the world, we mourn his passing. It is our special pride and fortune as Americans that we will always hear Carl Sandburg's voice within ourselves. For he gave us the truest and most enduring vision of our own greatness."

Carl Sandburg's ashes are buried at his Galesburg, Illinois home....under a granite boulder called "Remembrance Rock", the title of Sandburg's only novel. 

JULY 22ND, 2017...THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF CARL SANDBURG

JULY 4TH IN LOCAL/AREA HISTORY:  THE FIRST TRAIN CLIMBED THE SALUDA GRADE

JULY 4TH IN LOCAL/AREA HISTORY: THE FIRST TRAIN CLIMBED THE SALUDA GRADE

ON JULY 4, 1878

The Saluda Grade, Steepest Mainline Rail Grade in the U.S.

(Photo from a circa postcard showing a train climbing the Saluda Grade(

On July 4, 1878, the first train to travel the Saluda Grade railway passage arrived in what’s now the town of Saluda in Polk County.

Construction of the railway passage began in 1877 under the direction of Capt. Charles W. Pearson. The railway was intended to link Salisbury, Murphy and Knoxville, Tennessee, and most importantly to provide a connection between Asheville and Spartanburg, South Carolina.

While railroad builders used tunnels to snake through the steep climbs found elsewhere in the North Carolina mountains, near Saluda they decided to the face the steep inclines head-on and built straight up the rugged terrain.

The engineering feat that made the project possible was unprecedented in the 1870s, and construction proved so dangerous and resulted in so many causalities that it sparked an investigation by the General Assembly.

Until taken out of service by Norfolk Southern in 2001, the Saluda Grade was the steepest operating mainline grade in the United States, with a 4.7% grade. Throughout the passage’s long history, it was famous for its high number of runaway train accidents.

Visit: the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer showcases our state’s transportation history and offers train rides for visitors throughout the year.

For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit Cultural Resources online. To receive these updates automatically each day, subscribe by email using the box on the right and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

 

50TH ANNIVERSARY OBSERVANCE OF COLLISION AND CRASH OF PIEDMONT FLIGHT 22

50TH ANNIVERSARY OBSERVANCE OF COLLISION AND CRASH OF PIEDMONT FLIGHT 22

SPECIAL COMMEMORATIVE OBSERVANCE 11:30AM JULY 19 IN FRONT OF THE HISTORIC COURTHOUSE   

On July 19, 1967 at 12:01pm Piedmont Airlines Flight 22, a Boeing 727, and a Cessna 310 were involved in a midair collision over Hendersonville, NC. All occupants of Flight 22, including 74 passengers and five crew members, along with the three occupants of the Cessna were killed. The Cessna disintegrated in the air and the Boeing 727 crashed in a wooded area between Interstate 26 and Camp Pinewood. Hundreds of people witnessed the collision and crash.

The rescue squad, county fire departments, police, sheriff’s deputies and medical personnel responded immediately. The fire was extinguished within 30 minutes and Rescue Squad members began the grim task of searching the dense smoke-filled woods for survivors. It quickly became apparent that there were none. The Henderson County Rescue Squad let the recovery efforts with assistance from over 400 volunteers from throughout North Carolina and South Carolina.

It was through the first responders’ sacrifice and dedication to service that Henderson County was able to recover. Federal officials gave high praise to the responding Fire and Law Enforcement departments and the Rescue Squad for their organization and professionalism. The Henderson County Rescue Squad received commendations from the US Senate, Piedmont Airlines, the US Department of Transportation and the Governor for the Volunteers’ bravery during the disaster.

The Henderson County Heritage Museum, in conjunction with the Henderson County Rescue Squad, will conduct a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the crash on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 11:30am in front of the Historic Courthouse in downtown Hendersonville. The public is invited to attend this free event. Speakers will honor the 82 lives lost in the crash and also honor the emergency response from Henderson County and Western North Carolina. Paul Houle, author of The Crash of Piedmont Airlines Flight 22: Completing the Record of the 1967 Midair Collision near Hendersonville, North Carolina, will also speak about the crash and the improvements made in airline safety as a result. There will also be a display of historic photos from the event, video accounts from eye witnesses and a piece of fused metal from the crash.

According to Mark Shepherd, Captain, Henderson County Rescue Squad, “This was one of the largest disasters ever to hit Western North Carolina. It also caused one of the largest emergency responses in area history.”

CITY PLANS SPECIAL REMEMBRANCE

The city of Hendersonville has proclaimed July 19, 2017 as “Flight 22 Day of Remembrance” to mark the 50th anniversary of the mid-air collision that claimed 82 lives.

The City Council adopted the resolution during their Thursday meeting to commemorate the 50th anniversary of “one of the most disastrous days in North Carolina aviation history.”

“At 12:01 p.m. on July 19, 1967, a mid-air collision over the skies of Hendersonville as Piedmont Flight 22, a Boeing 727 carrying 79 men, women and children, enroute from the Asheville-Hendersonville to Roanoke, Virginia, collided with a private Cessna 310B carrying one crew member and two passengers, tragically resulting in the loss of 82 lives,” the resolution reads.

“Countless local unsung heroes — our local law enforcement officers, paramedics, doctors, nurses and countless volunteer firefighters and others throughout our region — risked their own personal safety and served days upon days to provide whatever assistance they could.

“Remembrances continue to linger in the minds of family members, friends, residents, those who witnessed, and those who assisted with the tragic event here that day.”

The city is encouraging residents, Henderson County government and its other municipalities to fly American flags at half-staff beginning July 17 and continuing through sunset July 19 in honor and remembrance of those lives lost.

ON JULY 3RD 1863, 14 THOUSAND NORTH CAROLINIANS WERE FIGHTING FOR THE CONFEDERACY AT GETTYSBURG

ON JULY 3RD 1863, 14 THOUSAND NORTH CAROLINIANS WERE FIGHTING FOR THE CONFEDERACY AT GETTYSBURG

LT. COLONEL AVERY AND "THE LETTER FROM THE DEAD"  

REMEMBERING OTHERS WHO DIED FIGHTING FOR A CAUSE THEY BELIEVED TO BE JUST  

MANY FROM HENDERSON COUNTY WERE FIGHTING THIS DAY FOR THE CSA AT GETTYSBURG    

On July 3, 1863, 34-year-old Lt. Colonel Isaac E. Avery (in the photo) of the 6th North Carolina State Troops died from mortal wounds he received the previous day. Shot in the neck and partially paralyzed during the Battle of Gettysburg, the Burke County native was unable to speak on his deathbed.

Avery fell alone while leading his men in an attack on Cemetery Hill. He had taken command of Hoke’s brigade after Hoke himself was wounded at Chancellorsville. Avery was the only man mounted and, once found, was carried from the field. Clutched in his hand was a small bloodstained piece of paper, which has become one of the treasures of the State Archives.

The letter that Isaac Avery wrote to his father, now held by the State Archives.is shown here.

Though right handed, Avery was forced to write with his left because of paralysis. His letter said, “Major, tell my father that I died with my face to the enemy. IE Avery.” Major Samuel McDowell Tate, a friend from Burke County to whom the message was addressed, remained with Avery until he died.

The short letter contains words long on duty and sentiment and has been featured in many books and documentaries about the Civil War. It is often referred to as the “Letter from the Dead.”

A young CSA soldier from Henderson and Rutherford counties, Lt. George Jobe Huntley, had been promoted with a "field commission".  He also fell and died in the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3rd, 1863.  He was the son of Dr. William Lawrence Huntley, a much-sought-after herb doctor who rode through the mountains in Western North Carolina treating the sick with herbs, one of the few medications available at the time...which Dr. Huntley had learned from the Cherokee Indians.  Dr. Huntley is buried in the Bearwallow Cemetery in Gerton.

Other related resources:

The digitized version of the “Letter from the Dead” online in the Digital Collections of the State Archives and State Library
Images of the Civil War from the State Archives
The Civil War on NCpedia
The North Civil War Experience from N.C. Historic Sites
North Carolina and the Civil War from the N.C. Museum of History
The North Carolina Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee

From the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

Notes also by WHKP News Director Larry Freeman   

JULY 17TH:  51ST ANNIVERSARY OF HENDERSON COUNTY'S INFAMOUS "TRIPLE MURDER"

JULY 17TH: 51ST ANNIVERSARY OF HENDERSON COUNTY'S INFAMOUS "TRIPLE MURDER"

OFFICIALLY UNSOLVED   

Vernon Shipman, Charles Glass and Louise Shumate   

Real Names: Vernon Shipman, Charles Glass, and Louise Davis Shumate   

Nicknames: No known nicknames   

Location: Hendersonville, North Carolina   

Date: July 17, 1966   

Details: On July 17, 1966, reportedly gay partners Vernon Shipman and Charles Glass vanished from Hendersonville, North Carolina. Five days later, two workers dumping brush in an isolated clearing found their bodies along with that of a woman, all beaten severely and stabbed. A few days later, the woman was identified as Louise Shumate.

Police were puzzled because neither Vernon nor Charles apparently knew Louise, nor did most people of Hendersonville because she lived in a town miles away. Authorities found that on July 17, all three victims were seen driving in Vernon's car with an unidentified fourth person. To this day, the identity of the fourth person remains a mystery, along with how Vernon and Charles are connected with Louise, and who killed them.

Suspects: Police believe that the murders may be connected to the fact that Vernon and Charles were reported to be homosexual, or that the murders may be drug-related, but none of these theories have been confirmed. At the time, news reports did not indicate the alleged sexual orientation of either of them, just reporting that they co-owned the Tempo Music store, and described Charles as favoring the Asian lifestyle. He was found with a pair of crutches crossed over his torso (he had a broken leg at the time), and reports in the Henderson Times-News stated that he "wasn't a fighter."

Extra Notes: This case has appeared on the show Haunting Evidence.

Results: Unresolved. In 2007, several investigators that have worked on the case stated that they believe that the case is practically solved. Circumstancial evidence linked the triple murder to convicted murderer Edward Thompson, Jr., who died in prison in 1989. Thompson had escaped from prison shortly before the murders and was in Hendersonville on July 17, 1966. However, the case has not been officially closed.

A LOT IS RIDING ON THAT FEBUARY 9TH CITY COUNCIL MEETING

A LOT IS RIDING ON THAT FEBUARY 9TH CITY COUNCIL MEETING

LOCAL ISSUES LIKE CLOSING NINTH AVENUE AND ZONING CHANGES FOR THE NEW HHS CAMPUS COULD END UP IN THE HANDS OF THE NC GENERAL ASSEMBLY

As WHKP News predicted it would several months ago, the battle over a new Hendersonville High School campus has now shifted from the county courthouse to Hendersonville city hall. Commissioners are sticking to their Clark Nexsen-proposed $53 million dollar new high school at Five Points on the former Boyd property…and commissioners have issued an ultimatum to city council---either close Ninth Avenue between Oakland and Church Streets to make room for the new campus and approve the necessary zoning changes OR the whole HHS project will be shelved indefinitely.

The next step in the process would normally be for the county to formally request that the street be closed and the county or its architect and contractors would apply to the city planning board and then to city council for the necessary zoning changes.

But because three members of city council, Mayor Volk and council members Stevens and Smith, have already let their opposition to the Clark Nexsen proposal be known and are likely “no” votes, they could defeat the proposed closing of Ninth Avenue for the new campus and/or their participation in the quasi judicial hearing that would be required on the zoning changes could become an issue.

This leaves what’s appearing to be growing “gridlock” between the city and county on the new HHS issue. And this opens the door for the North Carolina General Assembly to possibly step in and force a solution. State Representative Chuck McGrady, a former county commissioner who served with some of the current "sitting" commissioners,  has reportedly indicated to county commissioners that he’s willing to do so...and there is historical precedent for that.

The legislature settled a downtown building heights issue a decade ago by authorizing a “vote of the people” on the issue. More to the point, a quarter of a century ago, State Senator Bo Thomas wrote legislation forcing reluctant county commissioners to deal with the issue of a crumbling jail and old courthouse which led to the construction of the newer 1995 courthouse and detention facility.

McGrady tells WHKP he has not been asked yet for legislation on the issue---so a lot is obviously riding on what city council does in that February 9th meeting.

The need for a new Edneyville Elementary School was recently resolved when commissioners voted unanimously to build a new facility for about $25 million, and as Commission Chairman Michael Edney correctly pointed out the Edneyville school is a separate issue.. And County Commissioner Grady Hawkins re-affirmed the obvious…that the county CAN afford to build both the new Edneyville school and the new HHS campus. That SHOULD resolve both issues, but the city-county gridlock, at least for now. appears to be firmly in place.

The bottom line is…either a compromise is worked out between city and county to move the new campus and preservation of the historic Stillwell building forward…or the whole issue may be moved out of the hands of local elected city and county officials and placed squarely in the lap of a few hundred legislators in Raleigh who know diddly-squat about our situation and needs here in Henderson County---and that’s "Raleigh decision-making" and "legislative mandates" that are consistently decried by local elected officials.

This is not an editorial opinion...,what we’re offering is just an objective over-view from an historical perspective of where this contentious situation stands today and may be going in the very near future. So, like with other similar situations in our recent history, such as building heights and new courthouses, as we say in the radio business, “please stand by and stay tuned”…depending on what city council does on February 9th, it is looking more and more likely that this issue is about 210 miles down I-40 (the distance from here to Raleigh) from being resolved.

By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman Updated 01/30/17

TELEVISION HISTORY WAS MADE THIS DATE HERE IN NORTH CAROLINA

TELEVISION HISTORY WAS MADE THIS DATE HERE IN NORTH CAROLINA

THE VERY FIRST TV STATION IN THE CAROLINAS---WBTV IN CHARLOTTE---SIGNED ON THE AIR   

On July 15, 1949, announcer Jim Patterson signed on Charlotte’s WBTV, the first television station in the Carolinas, two months ahead of WFMY in Greensboro, which began airing programming in September 1949.

At the time, both WBTV and WFMY were owned by Jefferson Standard Broadcasting Company, an affiliate of the life insurance company of the same name. The company filed an application for a Charlotte license with the Federal Communications Commission in December 1947. A construction permit arrived two months later and work began on an antenna atop Spencer Mountain in Gaston County that would broadcast the signal. At the time there were only 12 television stations in the nation, and most were in larger cities.

Test patterns began running on Channel 3 on July 1, 1949. Station owners set up a viewing party in the Charlotte Armory and thousands packed the venue for three days beginning on July 15. Less than 1,000 families in the area owned television sets at the time, but that count was up to 8,500 by year’s end.

Originally housed in the Wilder Building on Tryon Street, the current site of the Marriott Hotel, WBTV moved to its present location in 1955.

 

THE SCHOOL ISSUE---A NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION (A WHKP STATION EDITORIAL)

THE SCHOOL ISSUE---A NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTION (A WHKP STATION EDITORIAL)

A NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION
A WHKP Station Editorial

With issues like public schools…and in our case here, a new Hendersonville High School campus, the treasured Stillwell building, the auditorium, even the old rock gymnasium…and with a peripheral issue as pressing as the deteriorating condition at Edneyville Elementary School…emotions run high.

And when emotions run high, rhetoric and volumes tend to run even higher.

Thankfully, the holidays, and maybe even the softer, kinder “Christmas spirit”, toned all that down some. But the school issues are still here. And as commissioners, county and school staffs, school board members, alumni association members and other stakeholders begin to piece together some possibly workable solutions in this new year, we believe it’s time for the tone, the volume, the rhetoric, including the “name calling” and the harsh words…and we include our own in this…to be turned down or preferably shut off altogether.

We’re hearing that some “cooler heads” may be negotiating some possible compromise solutions, both for a new Hendersonville High School campus and for Edneyville Elementary School. If this is in the works, and it’s only rumored that it is, we’re optimistic…and we stand ready to encourage and support those cooler heads.

Whatever they come up with, and we don’t have a clue what that might be, will likely be a compromise. By definition and true to what it is, such a compromise won’t please everyone. We know our community well enough, and have enough faith in it, to believe that a common sense deal, or compromise, WILL move two badly needed projects forward…for the good of the whole community.

IF a solution is in the works, for both Hendersonville and Edneyville schools, and we are hopeful that one is, WHKP is resolved to do our part and keep the decibel level down to give those cooler heads the “quiet”, the space, and the chance they need to get the job done.

On critical issues like schools, we encourage public debate and we like to participate in it. But that’s over now, and it’s time for solutions to settle in. We hope the whole community will join us, and resolve to give these possible solutions that may be in the works a chance to succeed. That’s our “new year’s resolution”…we hope it will be the whole community’s resolution as well.

By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman 01/08/17