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WILL ASHEVILLE EMBARRASS WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA?  THE DONALD TRUMP RALLY:  A WHKP STATION EDITORIAL

WILL ASHEVILLE EMBARRASS WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA? THE DONALD TRUMP RALLY: A WHKP STATION EDITORIAL

THE DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN RALLY   

A WHKP Station Editorial   

Will Asheville embarrass western North Carolina when Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a rally at the US Cellular Center late on Monday?

That’s a fair question to ask, considering it was within hours of the Trump campaign’s announcement Thursday that he planned to hold a rally in “cool, green Asheville” that social media began clicking away with Asheville left-winger’s plans to disrupt the Trump rally.

Former Asheville city council member and conservative activist Dr. Carl Mumpower shared with us over the weekend some of the comments and plans being bounced around on Facebook and other social media to cause mayhem at Monday evening’s Trump rally, which will be free and open to the public.   

One particular social media post caught our attention.  According to the writer, “(I) reserved my two free tickets to the Asheville Trump rally!  They can only let a certain amount of people in, so how about we “reserve” our spots and have him spill his garbage on an empty venue?”  If that “plan” catches on and spreads among other Asheville left-wingers, I guess we’ll see just how rude Asheville can be to the man who could very well be the next leader of the free world.

You may be wondering why a candidate who claims to be conservative and Republican and who is as controversial as Trump is would be spending valuable campaign time coming to the home of witch covens, the topless rally, and downtown parks that wreak with pot smoke?  Political experts are saying it’s not Asheville that Trump is aiming for so much as it is the conservative, fundamentalist, Judeo/Christian voters in the mountainous counties, including our own, who still make up a majority of those who go to the polls and vote on election day.

When Hillary Clinton came to Hendersonville back in the spring of 2008, she was locked in a tough, and eventually losing, campaign for the Democrat nomination for president with Barack Obama.  When she came into this acknowledged Republican stronghold that is Henderson County, the Republican-controlled county government opened up the Historic Courthouse Plaza and welcomed her to Main Street with all the dignity and respect a leading presidential candidate is due.  There were no threats of impolite and disrespectful disruption.

With some of the plans circulating on social media to disrupt the Trump visit to Asheville on Monday, we have to wonder:  has true Southern, mountain hospitality and a neighborly tolerance for those with whom we may disagree, been LOST?  Has it finally succumbed to rude, inappropriate, maybe even unlawful disruption that some on the left may think is cute or clever or "politically correct"?  We expect we’ll find out…when Donald Trump visits downtown Asheville in the US Cellular Center Monday night. 

As Trump comes to the home of Thomas Wolfe Monday night, we expect we’ll see if old-fashioned, welcoming, well-mannered Southern hospitality, certainly for potential leaders of the whole free world, is a thing of the past in Asheville…and if in this case, Wolfe was right…for center-focused, good, decent, well behaved, and patriotic mountain folks, “you can’t go home again”.

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

By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman   09/10/16

 

 

PLANS MOVING FORWARD FOR SAVING/USING THE HISTORIC STILLWELL BUILDING ON THE HHS CAMPUS

PLANS MOVING FORWARD FOR SAVING/USING THE HISTORIC STILLWELL BUILDING ON THE HHS CAMPUS

From the first day plans were announced for an all new campus for Hendersonville High School, it’s been a “given” that the historic 1926 Erle Stillwell-designed main building on the campus would not be torn down.  That building’s historic, cultural, and emotional significance in the community has been more than strong enough to save it in spite of the realistic need for a new high school campus.

The real issue has been how to save the Stillwell building and what to do with it going forward…as new main buildings are constructed on a new and expanded campus is built in the former Boyd property at Five Points.

Now…in a letter dated August 26th from the county manager to the county school superintendent and released by News 13 this week, it looks like a solution to what to do with the Stillwell building may be forthcoming.  County officials are proposing, and it appears to have the support of the commissioners, to use the building for some classrooms…perhaps as an art wing to include a band room, theater and visual arts.  It’s been figured from the beginning that the county school system’s central offices would be moved from the old Rosa Edwards School building on Fourth Avenue West into the Stillwell building…and it now appears that’s part of the future for the Stillwell building, too. 

The letter from the county manager to the school superintendent indicates that details of how the Stillwell building will largely be in the hands of Hendersonville High School Principal Bobby Wilkins and those he answers to in the schools administration and on the elected school board.

But after many contentious months of “back and forth” over what to do with the iconic Stillwell building, it appears a solution is in sight…and the building will remains an historic and architectural “centerpiece” literalloy in the heart of Hendersonville.

It remains to be determined though how much money will be invested in whatever is done to renovate the Stillwell building and to keep it structurally sound.  The total cost of building the new campus, and saving the old building, is expected to be well in excess of $70 million. 

Design plans are being worked out now for the new campus and we should get a better idea later this year of what the new facility will finally look like.  Construction on the new campus is set to start in January of 2018, with classes to begin in the new facility in August of 2020.

It is assumed that the historic rock gymnasium on the high’s school’s current campus will be torn down, and there’s been no word yet on what will be done with another historic structure, the old Rosa Edwards School building on Fourth Avenue…if and when the school system’s administrative offices are re-located to the Stillwell building.

By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman  09/03/16  Updated 5am

 

 

PARDEE HOSPITAL HOPEFUL OF RECOVERING FROM $13.5 MILLION LOSS

PARDEE HOSPITAL HOPEFUL OF RECOVERING FROM $13.5 MILLION LOSS

The PardeeHospital board of Directors was told this week that plans are “in place” for the hospital to recover from a 13.5 million dollar loss so far this fiscal year.

It’s being reported this week by Hendersonvilkle Lightning that the cost of, and loss of productivity due to, the “start-up” of a new computer system and medical records system, some $8 million invested in new hospital operating improvements, and more patients now on higher deductible insurance plans…all have contributed to the loss.

Revenue lost in June and July of this year amounted to an 8 per cent loss in the hospital’s operating margin.

Pardee President and CEO Jay Kirby assured the board this week that most of this is now behind the county-owned hospital that’s affiliated, under a management agreement, with UNC Health Care…and the future looks brighter for long-term recovery.

Physicians and providers have lost time while in training for the new computer system and electronic records system.  And Kirby says he expects the hospital will turn things around now through greater productivity, reducing expenses, and more accelerated bill collections that will be necessary due to higher patient co-pays with the growing number of higher deductible insurance policies stemming from the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare”.

Hospital board Chairman Dr. Bill Medina said, “We knew we were going to take a hit, but we took a bigger hit than we thought.”  Still, he said, there’s a rational basis for optimism.

As hopeful as Kirby and the hospital board are, Kirby is quoted this week as saying that “…with only two months left in the hospital’s fiscal year, that ends September 30th, we will not be able to recover by year-end and bring it back to break even.”

After some tough months this summer, August has put the hospital back on the recovery track. 

And Kirby says the hospital’s ten operating rooms have kept the hospital busy and generated revenue and without them, he said, the hospital would not have the revenue growth it has today.  

By Larry Freeman 

 

FOUR ARRESTS MADE IN KYLE DAVID SHIRLIN SHOOTING DEATH

FOUR ARRESTS MADE IN KYLE DAVID SHIRLIN SHOOTING DEATH

FOUR CHARGED WITH KILLING HENDERSONVILLE REALTOR'S SON.  

South Carolina authorities have made four arrests in connection with the August 21 death of Kyle Shirlin, 19, a 2015 Hendersonville High graduate who was recently shoit to death outside a party near Charleston, South Carolina.

The arrests and charges in his death are as follows:

  • Jamal White - Accessory after the fact to a Felony A, B, C or murder
  • Michael Smith - murder
  • Riccardo Jenkins - murder
  • Ali Smalls - murder

All the defendants were booked into the Berkeley County Detention Center in South Carolina pending bond hearing proceedings.

Police said their investigation so far has been "exhaustive," and they also say that much work remains to be done. In a release Tuesday, they said there is a possibility one or more of additional arrests, and also of additional charges being placed against those already in custody.

Kyle's father, Dave, said his son was a great kid: personable, warm and extremely loyal to his close friends. He was always polite, Kyle's father said, and for him to be shot and killed is just senseless.

News 13 spoke with a family friend who described Kyle as kind and compassionate.

"He was always the kid that stood up for the other kids," Lee said. "He was a beautiful young man with a future ahead of him."

On Sunday August 21, the night of Shirlin's death, at approximately 12:50 a.m. authorities were dispatched to a party for excessive cars parked nearby. During their response, the officers were advised that a shooting had taken place.

On arrival, officers found Shirlin in the back yard with an apparent gunshot wound to the upper body. Medics responded, and Shirlin was pronounced dead at the scene.

The incident report says a witness at the scene said that two black males with dreadlocks tried to "get" Shirlin's backpack. The witness said he shouted at them to leave and said police were coming, and they left.

It's still not clear if the backpack altercation played a role in the shooting.

Police have no further comment on details of the ongoing investigation at this time.

DEATH OF HENDERSONVILLE WOMAN A YEAR AGO TO BE RE-EXAMINED

DEATH OF HENDERSONVILLE WOMAN A YEAR AGO TO BE RE-EXAMINED

According to a report this week from Carolina Public Press, the death of a Hendersonville woman ruled a suicide in New Jersey is now being reviewed by homicide detectives.

Felicia Reeves was found hanging in a hotel in Elizabeth, New Jersey last August. She was last seen in Hendersonville at the Rainbow Motel nine days earlier.

Hendersonville police also confirm they are reviewing where she went after she was last seen at the hotel before she was found dead in New Jersey.

Official reports indicated Reeves committed suicide but her sister believes the hanging in the motel was staged.

"There is reason to believe there was a motive. Someone wanted her silenced. In addition, there were some things in the police analysis that didn't add up," Frank Taylor, managing editor of Carolina Public Press, said.

The Union County District Attorney’s office wrote the victim's sistert...in an email that said, in part, it “will be conducting its own review of the circumstances surrounding the loss of your sister…On the investigative end, I will be assigning this case to one of my homicide task force sergeants, along with the detectives on (the) squad."

LOCAL WOMAN, HHS GRADUATE, IS MINISTERING TO KIDS IN THE PHILLIPINES

LOCAL WOMAN, HHS GRADUATE, IS MINISTERING TO KIDS IN THE PHILLIPINES

Erin Johnson, a native of Hendersonville, has travelled a long way from her hometown to the streets of Cavite, Philippines, where she helps abandoned kids and the urban poor. She serves as a missionary with Action International Ministries and directs Brand New Day, an outreach and shelter program for street children in Cavite.

Johnson will speak about her experiences at First United Methodist Church on Wednesday, September 14, as part of the Wonderful Wednesday dinner program. The community is invited to attend the 5:30 p.m. dinner followed by the 6:15 p.m. presentation.

Johnson, a graduate of Hendersonville High School, is the daughter of Steve and Sharon Johnson. She received a physics degree from Georgia Institute of Technology. After working in the field of acoustics, she did a missional internship in Guatemala and later completed another degree in Cross-Cultural Studies at Bethany Global University. In 2008, her passion to help children in desperate situations led her to Action International Ministries. One year later, she expanded their operations by creating Brand New Day Ministry which serves children and youth living, sleeping and working on the streets of Cavite, Philippines, due to extreme poverty, neglect, abuse or abandonment.

The dinner cost of $7 per person is payable at the door by cash or check. There is no charge to attend the program only. Doors for the dinner open at 5:00 p.m. with beverage service available. The dinner line opens at 5:30 p.m. and concludes at 6:00 p.m. with the start of the presentation.

Dinner reservations must be received by noon on Monday, Sept. 12. Reservations can be made online at www.fumchvlnc.org or by calling the church at 828-693-4275.

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GROUNDBREAKING SET FOR EARLY OCTOBER FOR NEW PARKING GARAGE AT ASHEVILLE AIRPORT

GROUNDBREAKING SET FOR EARLY OCTOBER FOR NEW PARKING GARAGE AT ASHEVILLE AIRPORT

GROUNDBREAKING IN EARLY OCTOBER

The new parking garage is nearing its construction start date.  If you are traveling soon, be aware that no cars may be left in the footprint of the new parking garage after September 30, 2016

The area will be well-marked (watch for informational signs) - if you plan to leave a car in the lot past September 30, be sure to park in an area outside of the marked construction area.

SALUDA GOLF TOURNAMENT SET FOR OCTOBER

SALUDA GOLF TOURNAMENT SET FOR OCTOBER

TO BENEFIT SALUDA'S HISTORIC TRAIN DEPOT   

 

Elevate your golf game at one of the most beautifully landscaped courses in the world at Polk County’s Bright’s Creek. Golfers at any level will love just being on the breath-taking course that flows naturally with the lay of the land with mountain vistas all around. Designed by renowned Tom Fazio, Bright’s Creek will host the first annual Saluda Historic Depot Golf Tournament on Monday, October 17, 2016 during one of the most colorful times of the year.

Not only will you enjoy playing on one of the “Top Residential Courses” in the US, you will have fun competing for 1st, 2nd  and 3rd place prizes plus “closest to the pin,” “fewest putts,” and “longest drive” for both men and women. There will also be two special “Hole-In-One” opportunities to win a new car, courtesy of Bryan Easler Toyota and $10,000 cash, courtesy of Mike Gilliam Agency, Nationwide Insurance in Hendersonville.

     

If you are looking for an opportunity to support the depot and promote your business, there are several sponsor level options from which to choose. Major sponsor levels are: “Engineer” for $2500, ”Conductor” for $1500 and “Brakeman” for $1000, plus Hole sponsorships for $100 and Flag/pin sponsorships for $250.  Each level includes many features and a complete description for each level is at SaludaHistoricDepot.com website under Events.

 

“We hope to make this an annual event for the depot during one of the most beautiful times of the year on one of the most breath-taking courses in the country that just happens to be in our back yard,” says Judy Ward.

 

Registration is easy by visiting SaludaHistoricDepot.com and clicking under Events. You can download the entry application and print the form and send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or fax to 828-749-3490. There is a PayPal option to pay with a credit card. You can also send completed forms and payment to Saluda Historic Depot, P.O. Box 990, Saluda, NC 28773.  You may also pick up an entry form at Thompson’s Store, 24 Main Street Saluda, NC. Registration deadline is Monday, October 3. 2016

 

The Saluda depot sits on historic Main Street at the crest of the steepest mainline standard gauge railroad in the United States, and is a contributing structure on the National Register of Historic Places in the listing for the Saluda Main Street Historic District. A group of citizens formed a 501(c)3 non-profit and purchased the building in June 2016, and has created a railroad and heritage museum to celebrate and memorialize the town’s railroad history and its beginnings.  This golf tournament and other fund raisers are necessary to pay off the the loan, operate the museum, and maintain the authentic building. If you would like to climb aboard and help preserve the historic Saluda Depot for future generations, you can send donations to Saluda Historic Depot, PO Box 990, Saluda, NC 28773 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  All donations are tax deductible.

 

The museum is open Thursday through Sundaynoon to 4pm and includes seasonal exhibits, Saluda Grade “O Grade” Diorama and “G Grade” train dioramas of the different railroad eras in Saluda.  There are also running videos of trains that came up the Saluda Grade and a gift shop.  The Saluda Historic Depot is located at 32 W Main Street, Saluda, NC 28773.   For more information, please contact Judy Ward at 828-674-5958 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Kay Garell at 321-258-9111 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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MEADOWS RESPONDS TO ETHICS COMMITTEE INVESTIGATION; HAS FULL SLATE OF EVENTS IN HENDERSON COUNTY THIS WEEK

MEADOWS RESPONDS TO ETHICS COMMITTEE INVESTIGATION; HAS FULL SLATE OF EVENTS IN HENDERSON COUNTY THIS WEEK

Western North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows is responding today to a House Ethics Committee investigation.  The committee is looking into charges that Meadows paid a former staff member that he fired for a longer time than was appropriate.  In an interview on WHKP News today at 7:55 and 11:55am and 505 pm, Meadows points out he terminated the staffer well over a year ago; that he himself reported this and fully co-operated with the committee; and if there was any mis-interpretation of House rules, he’ll make the whole thing right with the Congress and his constituents.

Meadows is conducting a series of events this week in HendersonCounty.  Today he’s visit Hendersonville Elementary School at 8:30am.  Hendersonville Elementary is one of the county’s “full time” schools and classes are already back in session.

He will be visiting the Johnson Family Farm on Kanuga Roadat Erkwood Drive at 10.

Meadows is conducting a town hall meeting at 6 in the Bo Thomas Auditorium at Blue Ridge Community College.

And on Thursday, Congressman Meadows will be conducting a veterans seminar from 2 to 5pm in Fletcher Town Hall.  Local veterans with questions or issues are encouraged to attend.

THE SON OF A HENDERSONVILLE REALTOR WAS SHOT AND KILLED OVER THE WEEKEND IN SOUTH CAROLINA

THE SON OF A HENDERSONVILLE REALTOR WAS SHOT AND KILLED OVER THE WEEKEND IN SOUTH CAROLINA

Stations WCIV in Charleston and WLOS in Asheville are reporting:  

A teenager who recently graduated from Hendersonville High School died in a shooting over the weekend in South Carolina.

Police in Goose Creek say 19-year-old Kyle David Shirlin was killed during a party near Charleston.

Sunday at approximately 12:50 a.m., authorities dispatched to party's location for excessive cars parked near the party were advised that a shooting had taken place.
 
On arrival, officers found Shirlin in the back yard, with an apparent gunshot wound to the upper body. Medics responded, and Shirlin was pronounced dead at the scene.
 
The incident report says he was wearing a backpack, and that a witness at the scene describes two black males with dreadlocks trying to "get" Shrlin's backpack. The witness said he shouted at them to leave and said police were coming, and they left.

The responding officer describes seeing many young people in their teens and twenties hurriedly getting into cars and leaving the party, not responding to his attempts to wave them down.

One witness said Shirlin was a friend of his, and said that he and Shirlin worked as valets together at the Hyatt Hotel in Charleston.

Shirlin did not know anyone in the local area, the witness said, and had learned of the party from him.

Neighbors in the area said after hearing gunshots, they saw people running from a house in the Cherry Hill area. Authorities blocked off exits to the subdivision and identified people as they left the area. They identified 28 people leaving from the two exits from the Cherry Hill subdivision.

Family members don't have all the answers right now. Kyle's father, Dave, says his son was a great kid: personable, warm and extremely loyal to his close friends.

He was always polite, Kyle's father said, and for him to be shot and killed is just senseless.

WLOS spoke with a family friend who said Kyle was a great kid.

Family friend Dave Lee said he was kind and compassionate. "He was always the kid that stood up for the other kids," Lee said. "He was a beautiful young man with a future ahead of him."

The Berkeley County Coroner's Office has requested an autopsy which will be conducted Monday morning at the Medical University Hospital in Charleston.

GCPD investigators are actively working this case and believe it is an isolated incident.

Investigators ask anyone that was at 122 Westerfield Dr. when the shooting occurred to contact Investigator Powell at (843) 863-5200 ext. 2356 or Crimestoppers at (843) 554-1111