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CITY PROPERTY TAX RATES WILL REMAIN THE SAME IN FY 16-17; WATER RATES WILL GO UP

CITY PROPERTY TAX RATES WILL REMAIN THE SAME IN FY 16-17; WATER RATES WILL GO UP

If you are a City of Hendesonville water customer, look to pay more for that water starting July 1st

In a budget workshop Friday morning, city council approved raising water rates 3 per cent for residential users inside the city and .5 per cent for city water users outside the city.  That equals about a $1.41 per month increase for those inside the city and an increase of about 37 cents monthly for those outside of town.  Water rates are also increasing 3.5 per cent for commercial users inside the city, and 1.5 per cent for commercial users outside of town.  That’s based n 40 thousand gallons per month.

There’s good news for city property taxpayers…the city’s tax rate will remain at 46 cents and will not go up in the news fiscal year starting July 1.

Main Street district taxes will remain at 28 cents, while Seventh Avenue East district taxes will stay at 12 cents. 

SHERIFF TO OFFER HOUSE OF WORSHIP SAFETY AND SECURITY TRAINING

SHERIFF TO OFFER HOUSE OF WORSHIP SAFETY AND SECURITY TRAINING

The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office will be offering a House of Worship Safety and Security Class free of charge for any and all churches to attend. This presentation will assist church leaders and congregation members in making their place of worship a safe and peaceful place. 

 

Topics to be discussed will include the types of threats facing churches today, how to develop an action plan, and what to do in the event of an incident or attack.  The two hour training session will include a question and answer portion and guidance on how to develop plans and procedures appropriate to the participants’ individual organization.

 

The public has two opportunities to attend this training.  Classes have been scheduled for Thursday, May 26 and Thursday, June 9. Both classes will be held from 6-8pm at the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office located at 100 North Grove Street.  Representatives from each interested organization are asked to reserve spots for themselves and their attendees by following the instructions below.  Please RSVP no later than one week before the scheduled class.

Please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and include:

  • ·Name
  • ·Church/Organization Name
  • ·Total number of attendees
  • ·Contact telephone number
  • ·Contact email address
  • ·Date you/your group are planning on attending

A reservation form can also be accessed on the Sheriff’s Office webpage at: http://www.hendersoncountync.org/sheriff/documents/SCOREClassRSVPForm.pdf

ALE TARGETS GAMING DEVICES IN 20 WNC STORES WITH 115 SEARCH WARRANTS STATEWIDE

ALE TARGETS GAMING DEVICES IN 20 WNC STORES WITH 115 SEARCH WARRANTS STATEWIDE

 GAMING DEVICES REMOVED FROM CONVENIENCE STORES...AND FRON STORES IN HENDERSONVILLE

 Alcohol Law Enforcement agents removed gaming machines from Western North Carolina convenience stores during statewide gambling crackdown on Thursday, according to an ALE spokesperson.

Norm's Minit Mart stores on Old Spartanburg Highway and Dana Road in Hendersonville as well as Time Out Market on Old Balsam Road in Waynesville were involved in the raid. There may have been more mountain convenience stores involved.

The raid was part of a statewide operation to remove illegal gaming machines with 115 search warrants executed on Thursday, ALE spokesperson Shannon O'Toole said.

O'Toole saiid tips from members of the community led to certain stores being raided.

Stores with illegal gaming machines are often prone to robberies, attract drug activity, and make customers feel "uncomfortable," O'Toole said.

"No arrests were made [on Thursday], but there will be arrests in the future," O'Toole said. 

Investigations will continue into the accusations made against the conventicle store owners.

COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD WANTS LAPTOPS FOR ALL HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS...AND EVENTUALLY FOR ALL MIDDLE GRADE STUDENTS

COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD WANTS LAPTOPS FOR ALL HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS...AND EVENTUALLY FOR ALL MIDDLE GRADE STUDENTS

 In a budget workshop Wednesday at the Mills RiverAcademy, the Henderson County School board was presented with a plan to buy laptop computers for all high school students in the county system…and eventually for all middle grade students.

HendersonCounty commissioners will be asked by the school board to provide $600 thousand per year for the net four years to purchase those Google Chrombooks.

The school board asked for $1.5 million last year to buy computers for all high school seniors…and the commissioners denied that request because it would have required a property tax increase.

The school board’s preliminary budget for the new fiscal year starting July 1is $25.9 million…that includes money for the computers…and  that’s up $1.3 million over the current fiscal year’s county school budget.

This comes with the county facing $100 million in capital construction needs, much of it for schools, and after the county manager proposed to commissioners this week a county budget for next year with NO property tax increase.

But the implication was clear that if the proposed quarter cent sales tax is not approved by voters this November, a property tax increase is probably inevitable.

By WHKP Ndews Director Larry Freeman

 

SALUDA SALUTES THE ARTS AND ARTISTS DURING MAY

SALUDA SALUTES THE ARTS AND ARTISTS DURING MAY

In recognition and celebration of the art community in Saluda during the month of May, the Saluda Historic Depot will present Saluda Art Legends-Past & Present in the Saluda Historic Depot.More than 17 artists living and passed will be represented in an exhibit in the depot with an opening reception May 7, 6:30pm to 8:30pm at the Saluda Historic Depot, 32 W Main Street, Saluda, NC.Some of the work exhibited will be for sale and some will be on loan from family members. 50% of the proceeds from sales will go toward the purchase of the depot and creation of a heritage and train museum.

“The month of May is all about the arts in Saluda,” says organizer Cathy Jackson.  “When the first passenger train rolled into Saluda on July 4, 1878, artists started coming to Saluda to get away from the sweltering heat from the lower country and discovered Saluda’s bountiful beauty and cool mountain breezes. Visual artists, performing artists, and writers built a community here and it is still a growing part of Saluda’s culture.”  We salute them in May with the Saluda Arts Festival on May 21 and we also wanted to recognize where it all began with the Saluda train depot exhibit of Saluda artists who are celebrated throughout the country, both those living and those who have passed, and left a legacy of art in Saluda,” says Cathy.

Exhibiting at the depot in May will be:

Bonnie Bardos "Art for me is an expression of the soul: the deepest self, where time and place do not matter...I am on a higher plane when creating. There is intense spirit and energy in my hands...I am influenced by color, by thought, and by the natural world around us." Bonnie's work is ethereal, you want to be a part of its softness, and light and somehow have it leave with you; become a part of you. Her paintings are pure loveliness. Jim Carson Jim Carson was the managing partner in the law firm of  Chambless, Higdon and Carson, in Macon, Ga., where he  practiced law for 31 years. Although always interested in drawing, even at an early age, Jim’s interest in art was dormant while law school, marriage, raising a family, and building a law practice took precedent. Jim’s wife gave him a painting course for Christmas in 1989. The art journey culminated in 2003, when Jim retired from law practice, moved to Saluda, N.C., and now paints full time.  Jim is known for his creative color balance and bold and spontaneous brushwork. Jim is a Signature Member of The American Impressionist Society, a member of Plein Air Painters of the Southeast (PAP-SE), and an Associate Member of Oil Painters of America. Jim won the Associate Member Award of Distinction in the 2015 National American Impressionist Society Exhibition.

Marguerite Hankins is known for her paintings inspired by old photographs and this is her passion. She is challenged by bringing the details of photographs to life, and especially enjoys capturing the fabric and design of old clothing and period costumes and figures in landscape settings. She is a gifted portraitist and captures the character of her subjects through their eyes and weathered faces. Still life painting rounds out her repertoire of favorite things to paint.Anne Jameson The simple rural life and colorful landscapes of the Carolinas have long fascinated Anne Jameson. She enjoys rural structural subjects particularly for the graphic design aspects of a composition but also for the wonderful color, and she enjoys the opportunity for some interesting plays of light and shadow which can provide drama or mystery to a painting. She and her husband William Jameson  often host workshops in Mexico and Italy and much of that is represented in their works in addition to the local scenery.

William Jameson,  Bill’s passion for history and nature allow him to create introspective landscapes embodying the full range of local color and timeless contrasts, whether the setting captures the brilliant, warm colors heralding the arrival of fall in the North Carolina Mountains or the rich Tuscan countryside. A prolific painter, Bill continues pursuing his explorations of landscapes. He expresses his creative drive in this way, “The more I paint, the more I must paint. The need to…is never diminished by having completed a painting, but rather there’s an immediate need to begin another.”Dale McEntire,  A native of Western North Carolina, Dale McEntire has been involved in the visual arts since his training at Mercer University, and has continued to evolve as an artist through private studies in the U.S. and Europe, and training at Penland School of Craft. His interest in the spiritual essence of nature can be seen in his use of color and form. Dale produces both oil and pastel paintings and sculpture (stone, steel, glass, bronze) out of his studio in Saluda, North Carolina. Beverly Pickard, After attending Rhodes College in Memphis, Beverly later received her BA in art from the University of South Carolina. She taught art for many years before she returned to school and earned a graduate degree in Marriage and Family Therapy; the field she worked in for 19 years, but she retired early to paint full time. Beverly's delightful subject matter includes local scenes and landscapes, as well as stunning still life’s that evoke feelings of nostalgia. A summer resident for many years, Beverly and her husband Carey returned to Macon, GA after living in Saluda for more than 10 years full time.

Bill Ryan An artist and teacher, Bill graduated with a combined art and English literature degree from the College Of William And Mary in Williamsburg., Virginia, and continued studies at the University Of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Bill moved to Charleston, SC in 1970 and taught in the public school system there. Since moving to Saluda in 1981, Bill concentrated on watercolor and oil landscapes of this area, and is worked on a series of seasonal floral arrangements inspired by the catalogues of English and American horticulturists of the 18th century. “I was once accused of ‘painting for the people,’” he says, “Of course I do! All artists do that- we simply choose different audiences.  All art is communication, and art that does not communicate is not art." Bill passed away in February, 2013.Johnny Waddill  An artist at birth, Johnny was encouraged by teachers and parents and

landed at Parsons School of Design. Working as a furnishings designer for years, he soon realized South Carolina was a better place to raise his family and soon became a painter of wildflowers, animals, fish, birds, snakes and landscapes. John continued to paint for pleasure and enjoyed learning from others; Rich Nelson, Dale McIntyre, Bill Jameson, and Jim Carson. He learned from a teacher years ago "If you ain't having fun you are wasting your and my time."  John followed that principal until his death in March, 2013.

Ray Pague, Ray Pague’s passion for art started when he was young.  At the age of 12 he won a TV in a drawing competition on TV.  At 14 his father bought him an art correspondence course.  His favorite artists include Vermeer, Rembrandt and Cassatte.  Ray has a varied history in art with experience as an illustrator before focusing on fine art.  A student of drawing and painting, his teachers have included Jim Greenshere, Daniel Greene,  Anne Schuler, and James P. Pyle.  He enjoys various mediums including oil and acrylic. His most popular work has been Saluda landmarks and street paintings of Main Street in Saluda.

Mark Gardner,  Mark’s love for making things out of wood started at the age of 16 from his Dad who made furniture as a hobby.  After studying woodworking and cabinet making at the University of Cincinnati, Mark gives credit to John Jordan at Arrowmont School for Arts and Crafts for giving him a firm foundation of turning techniques. Inspired by the work by woodturner Clay Foster and furniture maker Kristina Madsen whose works are heavily carved with African and Fijian motifs, Mark’s own work has been influenced by  African and Oceanic art.  Another important influence on Mark’s work has been Stoney Lamar, a woodturner/sculptor.  Working side by side with Stoney for six years, Mark learned how Stoney uses a lathe to sculpt and carve opposed to a tool for making round/symmetrical objects.  This perspective inspired Mark to experiment with other tools.  Over the last couple years his work has begun to shift from work based solely on turned forms to work that is made with even more direct methods such as chainsaws and power planers and grinders.

Judith CheneyJudith studied French in college so she could go and live in Paris and hang-out at the Louvre and sit around in cafes sketching. Judith calls her work "Story-telling in Paint" for each of her richly detailed paintings does just that. Her colorful canvases include the animals and birds, flowers, trees and old houses which are among her favorite things. She loves the changing seasons and paints spring orchards, summer picnics, blazing falls, and the wintry world after a snowfall with equal joy and zest. She also loves to paint moonlit scenes and drizzly, foggy Februarys and ever since her Florida days- glorious tropical jungles and sea sides.  Judith lives these days in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina and is inspired by the natural splendor which abounds in the area.

Paul Koenen, Retiring from the US Marines reserves after 25 years of service with the rank of Lt. Colonel, Paul and his wife, Christine settled in Chicago in 1957 where he continued his studies at the American Academy of Art. There he was inspired by a watercolor class taught by Irwin Shapiro. Paul worked in Chicago for 30 years as an advertising artist, art director and later, Director of Marketing Communications at American Hospital Supplies. In 1987, he and Chris moved to Saluda, North Carolina where he pursued painting and enthusiastically began teaching Watercolor. Paul Koenen was a signature member of the Watercolor Society of North Carolina. He designed and built numerous sets for the Tryon Fine Arts Center, designed six of the Morris the Horse Christmas ornaments and helped found an art gallery in Asheville, NC.  He is well known for his paintings of downtown Saluda and Saluda Library which he sold prints of with all proceeds going to the Saluda Library. Paul passed away October, 2013.

Bunny Steffens, Bunny Steffens started drawing as a child and in her early 30’s she started to take painting very seriously. She excelled in her portrait work. There wasn't a medium that she didn't use, pastels, oil wash, watercolor, charcoal, acrylic and of course oil. The art critic from the Chicago art institute once told her to concentrate on her "nudes,” but she loved so many aspects of painting that she had to do it all. She had several one man shows in Florida, (Hollywood, Dania and Bradenton), and in Tryon. Her favorite role was as wife to her beloved Ted, husband of 54 years, mother to her children Ted and Mary, and a special role and love for her dear granddaughter, Jennifer. Bunny and Ted bought their home in Saluda in 1966, after spending many summers and retired here in 1983. Bunny was very involved in life in this wonderful little town. She was president of the Women's Club of Saluda, a very active member of the Garden Club, and Women of the Church. She also tutored reading at Saluda Elementary school.  Her family is so proud of her work and her life and appreciates the opportunity to share her love of art with the community that she loved so much.

Joe Adams,  Joe is a folk art aficionado and storyteller. His collections of “Outsider and Folk Art” were exhibited in his three galleries, America Oh Yes in Washington, DC, Asheville, NC, and Hilton Head, SC. He still has a collection of work at his Saluda summer resident and has generously donated a couple of his paintings to this exhibit. His collections include the best of Willey Masseys from the Smith Collection, art from Gitter-Yellen Collection, the Oh Appalachia Collection, Warrant and Sylvia Lowe Collection, the James Smith Pearce Collection and many more. Joe is also an author of the book, “Butterbeans for the Soul.”

Sylvia Jones, a collection of Sylvia Jones watercolor prints featuring Saluda scenes of Charlie Ward, the 611 passenger train, Thompson’s Store and M.A. Pace General Store will be on exhibit.

Charles Hearon, Charles O. Hearon, Jr. (1911-2007) was brought to the Saluda Baby Hospital in 1913 from Spartanburg. Since then,  he and his family returned to Saluda each summer.  In retirement,  he became a student of water color painting.  From his nature- filled youth, he knew all the details of his subject matter.  He painted and wrote about what he loved. Saluda's creeks, trains, store merchants, summer people, and flora were all subject matter for his brush and 'C Boy' became his signature, his childhood name.   Early on a cold, November morning at age 96, he drove his horse pulling a wagon filled with lumber, yet one more time up Howard's Gap, not to his beloved Saluda, but beyond.

About the Depot

The depot sits on historic Main Street at the crest of the steepest mainline standard gauge railroad in the United States.  The depot building is a contributing structure on the National Register of Historic Places in the listing for the Saluda Main Street Historic District.    

The Saluda Historic Depot organization is raising money to purchase the building and is working with the Historic Saluda Committee to make it Saluda's historic museum to highlight the history of the railroad, Saluda's downtown, its people, and the history of its natural resources.  

If you would like to climb aboard and help preserve the historic Saluda Depot for future generations, you can send donations or pledges 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.

MILLS RIVER PARK'S NEW PARKING LOT ALMOST COMPLETE

MILLS RIVER PARK'S NEW PARKING LOT ALMOST COMPLETE

THE GOAL WAS TO HAVE IT COMPLETED AND OPEN IN TIME FOR MILLS RIVER DAY IN MAY   

Moore and Son Site Contractors are putting the finishing touches this week on an all new parking lot in Mills River Park.  

Barely five years old, the Town Hall, library and Park have already realized the need for more parking space,  So, Town Council made the decision some months ago to build an additional parking lot just to the  north of Town Hall, and alonside the Park's walking trail.  The goal was to have the new lot completed and open in time for the Mills River Day event on May 22nd, which is expected to draw at least a thousand or more people to the Park.

The new parking lot will park an additional 137 cars, and complete with state-of-the-art lighting, the lot is costing about $400,000.  The lot is being paved and striped this week and Town Manager Jeff Wells says the lighting will be the last thing installed, and it should also be ready by May 22nd.

Mills River Day will include exhibits, fun and games for the kids and the whole family, food trucks, live music and a whole lot more.

Sponsored by the Mills River Partnership, the event will be a celebration of the river...and there will be a lot of river-related events on the banks of Mills River at the back of the Park.

Only a few years old, the event has been held the past two years at the North River Farm...and last year over 800 people attemded.  It's expected the move to the Park will attract and allow an even larger crowd this year.

"THE FLOOD OF 1916" EXHIBIT NOW OPEN AT OLD FORT MUSEUM

"THE FLOOD OF 1916" EXHIBIT NOW OPEN AT OLD FORT MUSEUM

ONE OF THE MOST DEVASTATING EVENTS IN HENDERSON COUNTY & WNC HISTORY..

THE HEAVY RAIN WAS ATTRIBUTED TO TWO ATLANTIC HURRICANES THAT BLEW INTO THE REGION, COLLIDED, AND LITERALLY RAINED THEMSELVES OUT OVER THE MOUNTAINS OF WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA..   

Babies were torn from mothers' arms. Landslides wiped out families and homes. At least 50 people died. This was the impact of the flood of 1916 when two hurricanes collided over Western North Carolina.

Mountain Gateway Museum will recall the catastrophe with the "So Great the Devastation: The 1916 Flood" exhibit, opened Sunday at 24 Water St., Old Fort. The free traveling exhibit consists of four interpretive panels and an interactive touch screen. It will run through May 31 before moving to Asheville.

Historic rainfall to the area in mid-July 1916 washed away thousands of jobs as rivers flooded. Damages totaled in the millions of dollars and a thick, black sludge remained where crops once stood. The town of Old Fort suffered minor damage, but the roads and railroads were impacted greatly.

In commemoration of the tragedy, the North Carolina Office of Archives and History organized the exhibit to travel across the region into March 2017. Find the full schedule at ncdcr.gov/flood-exhibit.

For more information, call 668-9259 or visit mountaingatewaymuseum.org

COMMISSIONERS VOTE TO PROCEED WITH NEW $52 MILLION HENDERSONVILLE HIGH SCHOOL

COMMISSIONERS VOTE TO PROCEED WITH NEW $52 MILLION HENDERSONVILLE HIGH SCHOOL

In addition to budget issues, a main item on the agenda for commissioners Monday night was hearing the architect’s proposal for a new HendersonvileHigh School and moving forward with the project.

Architect Clark Nexsen is proposing a $52.58 million new school to be built on the nearby Boyd property at Five Points.

Originally scheduled for the consent agenda, the high school project was pulled from that agenda by Commissioner Mike Edney and opened it up for discussion. Edney made the motion to accept the architect’s and suggested that commissioners look at increasing the capacity of the new school.  That motion passed on a 4 to 1 vote, with Commissioner Grady Hawkins voting against it…saying the increased capacity is not needed, that the Hendersonville High School student body is actually predicted to decline in coming years.

Supporters of the current Erle Stillwell designed 90 year old historic main HendersonvilleHigh School building argued against the new school Monday night.  One pointed out that under state statutes, the whole thing should be the school board’s decision…not the commissioner’s.  Another argues the heavy traffic at Five Points would not make it a good location for a new campus.

But in the end, commissioners stood by their decision made in their last meeting to build the new 161,500 square foot, almost $53 million dollar new Hendersonville High School.

Even though the current main building…and the iconic old rock gymnasium…will not be a part of the new school, it’s still to be determined what role they’ll play in the community going forward.    

COUNTY MANAGER'S BUDGET PROPOSAL FOR FY 16-17:  NO PROPERTY TAX INCREASE TO FUND A $126 MILLION COUNTY BUDGET

COUNTY MANAGER'S BUDGET PROPOSAL FOR FY 16-17: NO PROPERTY TAX INCREASE TO FUND A $126 MILLION COUNTY BUDGET

If the Henderson County commissioners vote to approve the county manager's budget proposal for the 2016-17 fiscal year that starts July 1...there will be no property tax increase for county property taxpayers.

The budget, presented to commissioners Monday night, is a $126 million budget for Henderson County...and that's up some $2.3 million over the curent year's budget.

County Manager Steve Wyatt also Monday night encouraged approval of the quarter cent sales tax, pointing out that would produce about $2.5 million in revenue for Henderson County.

With no change in the property tax rate, Henderson County's rate will continue to be among the lowest in North Carolina...with only two coastal counties in the state having a lower property tax rate. 

Commissioners were also scheduled to get the Blue Ridge Community College budget proposal for the new fiscal year from President Molly Parkhill.

And commissioners were to review an architect's plans for a new Hendersonville High School, while supporters of the current 90 year old historic high school facility were scheduled to offer their suggestion for keeping the current facility in use.

 

 

CITY BAKERY TO OPEN NEW FACILITY IN FLETCHER

CITY BAKERY TO OPEN NEW FACILITY IN FLETCHER

 
City Bakery has started construction on a new production bakery in Fletcher, NC. In order to meet the needs and demands of its growing wholesale & retail business, City Bakery will move all of it’s bread production, presently baked in the 60 Biltmore Avenue location, to the new facility. Upon completion in early summer, the new bakery will allow for expansion into additional areas of Western North Carolina. City Bakery currently serves numerous local restaurants and grocery stores.
 
“The increased production space will allow us to broaden our presence in Ingles Markets and meet demand for our growing restaurant customers,” said CIty Bakery General Manager Brian Dennehy. “We are excited to grow our long standing relationship of providing fresh artisan breads and pastries to Asheville and the surrounding areas.”
 
    ● City Bakery currently serves wholesale bread customers in Asheville, Waynesville, Weaverville, Black Mountain, Arden, Oteen            and Candler. Target areas for expansion include Hendersonville, Mills RIver and Fletcher.
    ● The new bakery is a brand new 3,600 sq. ft. building located at 85 Fletcher Commercial Drive, Fletcher, NC 28732 and should             allow for City Bakery to triple its current production.
    ● For a complete up to date list of customers, click here: http://citybakery.net/breadschedule/
 
About City Bakery:
City Bakery is an independent, family owned company founded in 1999. We strive to produce high quality, fresh, artisan breads and pastries for our retail and wholesale customers. With two cafes in Asheville and one in Waynesville, we are proud to serve the local community.