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STATE REP. CHUCK MCGRADY ANNOUNCES PLANS TO SEEK RE-ELECTION IN 2018

STATE REP. CHUCK MCGRADY ANNOUNCES PLANS TO SEEK RE-ELECTION IN 2018

REPRESENTED ABOUT TWO-THIRDS OF HENDERSON COUNTY IN THE NC GENERAL ASSEMBLY   

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 Rep. Chuck McGrady announced that he will seek re-election to another term in the North Carolina House of Representatives following meetings with Henderson County business and community leaders. McGrady has served in the state House for seven years and is a former Henderson County Commissioner and Flat Rock Council Member.

“After consulting with a wide-range of Henderson County’s business and community leaders following the recent legislative sessions, I’ve decided to seek re-election,” McGrady said. “There is still work to complete on some difficult water and sewer issues affecting Henderson County, and my background in local government and as an environmental leader make me uniquely qualified to help resolve these matters.”

“Similarly, Henderson County’s craft brewers, cideries, and wineries seek changes to outdated state regulation of alcoholic beverages, and as co-chair of the House Alcoholic Beverage Control Committee, I’m well-positioned to help them continue to grow.” These industries have a statewide annual economic impact of over $3 billion and provide tens of thousands of high-paying jobs.

McGrady is also co-chair of the House Appropriations Committee, which writes the state’s annual budget. In recent years, he’s played an important role in securing funding for a number of local-area projects, including a new medical school, improvements at the DuPont State Recreational Forest, and renovations to both the WNC Farmers Market and the WNC Agricultural Center. He’s worked closely with Henderson County’s economic development arm, the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development, to attract new companies to Henderson County by reforming burdensome state regulations on business.

McGrady is the senior Republican House Member from western North Carolina and is a key lieutenant to House Speaker Tim Moore, who has tapped McGrady for various leadership posts. Former House Speaker and current U.S. Senator Thom Tillis also named McGrady to key positions, including co-chair of the House Education Appropriations Committee and, following the coal ash spill in the Dan River in 2014, the House’s lead sponsor of North Carolina’s first-in-the-nation coal ash management law.

“Henderson County has been blessed by a series of strong legislators that have represented the county over the past three decades — including Republican Senator Tom Apodaca and Democratic Senator Clark Plexico, and Republican Representatives Larry and Carolyn Justus — all of whom served as committee chairs while serving in the legislature. I’m seeking reelection, in part, because Henderson County needs my experience and seniority in the legislature at this time.”

“While it has been a great honor to represent District 117 in the NC House, I hadn’t expected to run for re-election again,” McGrady noted. “However, several well-qualified leaders in Henderson County indicated that they were not yet ready to run for the House seat in 2018. By 2020, I expect that several strong candidates will step forward to run for the seat.”

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District 117 includes about two-thirds of Henderson County, and freshman Rep. Cody Henson (R-Transylvania) represents the remainder of Henderson County. Sen. Chuck Edwards (R-Henderson), who represents all of Transylvania and Henderson Counties and part of Buncombe County, is also in his freshman term, having replaced Senator Tom Apodaca in 2016.

WCU STUDENT JACOB ALEXANDER RAY TAKEN OFF LIFE SUPPORT; TWO SUSPECTS ARRESTED IN SHOOTING OF WCU STUDENT RAY OF HENDERSONVILLE

WCU STUDENT JACOB ALEXANDER RAY TAKEN OFF LIFE SUPPORT; TWO SUSPECTS ARRESTED IN SHOOTING OF WCU STUDENT RAY OF HENDERSONVILLE

THE FAMILY SAID THEY MADE THE DECISION TO TAKE THE 21-YEAR OLD OFF LIFE SUPPORT ON MONDAY, AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH JACOB'S WISHES, HIS ORGANS WILL BE DONATED.  

CHARGED WITH THE ATTEMPTED MURDER OF HENDERSONVILLE WCU STUDENT 21-YEAR OLD JACOB ALEXANDER RAY. 

TWO SUSPECTS WERE ARRESTED OVER THE WEEKEND AND CHARGD WTH SHOOTING AND SERIOULY INJURING RAY   

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Ray was shot and seriously injured Friday near the WCU campus in Jackson County.  That shooting victim was identied Saturday by authorities at WCU and in Jackson County.

Western Carolina University officials confirm that the shooting Friday nightt happened near the campus.

News 13 reports that two people have now been arrested in the shooting of a Western Carolina student, and both are charged with attempted murder.

First the Western Carolina University Police Department and the State Bureau of Investigation confirmed the arrest Saturday of Aja Makalo of Charlotte on a charge of attempted murder.

Now those agencies say they have also arrested Zavion Southerland, 17, also of Charlotte, on Saturday. Southerland is also charged with attempted murder in the shooting.

The Friday night shooting in which the two are charged seriously injured Western Carolina University student Jacob Alexander Ray, 21, near the campus.
Makalo is a Western Carolina University student. Southerland is not affiliated with the university,

Southerland was arrest by the SBI in Gastonia. On Sunday, authorities say he is being held without bond.
Police did not indicate the relationship between the two suspects arrested. News 13 has reached out for additional information.

The shooting occurred around midnight Friday along Old Cullowhee Road, adjacent to the campus.

Western Carolina University Chancellor David O. Belcher issued the following statement:

“We are deeply saddened by the news that one of our students was grievously injured in a shooting late last night near campus. Our university community is shocked and distressed, and our thoughts and prayers are with the injured student and his family and loved ones. The safety of our students is of paramount importance and violent acts such as this affect us all. The WCU police are doing everything they can to find those responsible. We will provide additional information to the campus community as soon as it becomes available.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Western Carolina University Police Department at 828-227-7301.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY PURSUING THE DEATH PENALTY FOR PHILLIP STROUPE ii; BOND REDUCTION DENIED FOR STROUPE, SR.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY PURSUING THE DEATH PENALTY FOR PHILLIP STROUPE ii; BOND REDUCTION DENIED FOR STROUPE, SR.

CHARGED WITH THE KIDNAPP500NG AND MURDER OF MILLS RIVER RESIDENT TOMMY BRYSON   

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District Attorney Greg Newman was reported to be meeting today (Monday) with a judge in the case to pursue the death penalty for Phillip Michael Stroupe II.(Pictured)

Stroupe was arrested back n July and charged with the kidnapping and subsequent murder of Mills River resident Tommy Bryson. Bryson’s body was found in an Avery’s Creek cornfield after Stroupe had been apprehended by law enforcement officials in a high speed chase and while driving Mr. Bryson’s stolen truck in Yancey and McDowell Counties. A wides-spread manhunt had been going on, centered in the Mills River area, for Stroupe for five days prior to his apprehension.

Defendant Stroupe’s father, Phillip Stroupe, Sr., was also schduled to be in court. The elder Stroupe and others are charged with accessory after the fact of first degree murder.

Sroupe II is also facing a string of serious felony charges in Transylvania, Madison, Yancey, and McDowell Counties.

Mr. Bryson had left his Mills River home and was on his way to take a family member to the doctor when he was allegedly kidnapped by Stroupe II.

Stroupe, Sr. and others are charged with harboring Stroipe II while he was on the run.  Judge Mark Powell on Monday refused to lower the elder Stroupe's bond.  It remains at $500,000...and no trial date for him has been set.

District Attorney Greg Newman said early on in the case that he planned to seek the death penalty for Stroupe II.

 

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HENDERSONVILLE AREA GAS PRICES FALL AN AVERAGE OF 6 CENTS PER GALLON THIS WEEK

HENDERSONVILLE AREA GAS PRICES FALL AN AVERAGE OF 6 CENTS PER GALLON THIS WEEK

EXPERTS SAY OUR PRICES AT THE PUMP ARE LIKELY TO CONTINUE GOING DOWN   

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Average retail gasoline prices in Hendersonville and Asheville have fallen 6.0 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.48/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 259 gas outlets in the Hendersonville-Asheville area. This compares with the national average that has fallen 6.0 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.47/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Asheville during the past week, prices yesterday were 19.7 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 18.5 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 19.3 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 21.4 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on October 9 in Asheville have ranged widely over the last five years:
$2.29/g in 2016, $2.20/g in 2015, $3.33/g in 2014, $3.34/g in 2013 and $3.74/g in 2012.

Areas near Asheville and their current gas price climate:
Spartanburg- $2.27/g, down 8.9 cents per gallon from last week's $2.36/g.
Knoxville- $2.32/g, down 9.7 cents per gallon from last week's $2.41/g.
Greenville- $2.27/g, down 10.9 cents per gallon from last week's $2.38/g.

"Gas prices have today entered their fourth straight week of declining nationally, a trend unlikely to be interrupted by Hurricane Nate over this past weekend," said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. "Gasoline supply has continued to improve and as temperatures begin to feel more fall like, demand for fuel will continue to decline. Hurricane Nate, a fast moving storm, did little to disrupt the flow of fuel to market while having a larger impact on oil rigs. However, the nation continues to be awash in crude oil, so the storm mattered little to oil prices. Look for relief to continue in most of the country while Great Lakes states may see a move higher in the next few days due only to the repetitive price cycling behavior. Nationally, prices still stand about 15 cents per gallon higher than their pre-Harvey level, but the gap will continue to slow as prices slowly trickle down."

THE LINDERS RECEIVE THE 2017 SAUER AWARD

THE LINDERS RECEIVE THE 2017 SAUER AWARD

PRESENTED BY THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF HENDERSON COUNTY   

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It was annoiunced recently that Bernd and Toby Linder are the 2017 recipients of the Richard C. and Vina L. Sauer Charitable Leadership Award.

As the Community Foundation of Henderson County’s most prestigious award, it recognizes community leaders who live with a focus on personal philanthropy.

Award recipients are nominated by community members who recognize those who make significant contributions toward charitable projects, dedicate extraordinary volunteer hours and provide leadership to solve community problems and meet community needs.

Determined and visionary philanthropists, the Linders stated that the inspiration behind their philanthropy is simple — “We are interested in trying to improve the quality of life for future generations in Henderson County.”

The Sauer Award is presented each year by CFHC in memory of Richard C. and Vina L. Sauer, who left the first $1 million unrestricted gift to the Community Foundation as a bequest. The award exemplifies the generosity of philanthropists who support many local charities during their lifetimes.

HENDERSON COUNTY RECEIVES TOP HONORS IN NATIONWIDE "AMERICA IN BLOOM" COMPETITION

HENDERSON COUNTY RECEIVES TOP HONORS IN NATIONWIDE "AMERICA IN BLOOM" COMPETITION

HENDERSONVILLE, MILLS RIVER, LAUREL PARK, AND FLAT ROCK WERE PARTICIPANTS IN THIS YEAR'S COMPETITION   

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Top honors for the prestigious 2017 America in Bloom National Awards Program were announced at the annual awards held in Holliston, MA on October 7.

All participants were evaluated on six criteria: overall impression, environmental awareness, heritage preservation, urban forestry, landscaped areas, and floral displays. Additionally, they were judged on their community involvement across municipal, residential, and commercial sectors. America in Bloom is the only national awards program that sends specially trained judges to personally visit participants. In addition, each participant receives a detailed written evaluation that can be used as a guide to future improvements.

Henderson County received a 5-bloom rating out of a possible five blooms and special recognition for its Environmental Efforts. Additionally, Henderson County received a special award, “Best Example of Water-Wise Gardening.” Ed Hooker & Leslie Pittenger, AIB judges, visited communities of similar populations and spent two days touring each town, meeting municipal officials, residents, and volunteers. Other competitors in the 25,000 - 50,000 population category were Mansfield, OH; Saratoga, CA; and St. Charles, IL.

America in Bloom executive director, Laura Kunkle, said, “America in Bloom is helping towns and cities of all sizes achieve their potential. Every year our participants raise the bar, and the accomplishments and progress shown by this year's group is again remarkable. These are, without a doubt, some of the best places to live in America.”

To date, more than 250 communities from 45 states have participated in the program and more than 22 million people have been touched by it. Registrations for the 2018 national awards program can be submitted until February 28, 2019. Eligible participants include towns, cities, college and university campuses, business districts, military installations, and recognized neighborhoods of large cities.

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America in Bloom is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting nationwide beautification programs and personal and community involvement through the use of flowers, plants, trees, and other environmental and lifestyle enhancements. America in Bloom provides educational programs, resources, and the challenge of a friendly competition between participating communities across the country.

SATURDAY WAS A GREAT DAY FOR KIDS, FAMILIES, AND FARM ANIMALS---AT FARM-CITY DAY

SATURDAY WAS A GREAT DAY FOR KIDS, FAMILIES, AND FARM ANIMALS---AT FARM-CITY DAY

AN ANNUAL EVENT HELD EVERY FALL AT JACKSON PARK   

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Saturday was a great day for the kids and for the whole family at the annual Farm-City Day held at Jackson Park.

Sometimes rained out by Fall storms, it was wrm and dry this past Saturday...and the event beat the expected rain from Hurricane Nate.

Designed to bring the farm and the city together, the event featured pny rides, lots of farm animals, tractors, farm equipment and a whole lot more.

Farm-City Day is always attended by hundreds of local families and children.

AVL AIRPORT SUSPICIOUS PACKAGE "PERSON OF INTEREST" IDENTIFED AND DETAINED OVER THE WEEKEND

AVL AIRPORT SUSPICIOUS PACKAGE "PERSON OF INTEREST" IDENTIFED AND DETAINED OVER THE WEEKEND

THE SUSPICIOUS PACKAGE WAS FOUND AT 7 AM FRIDAY   

TERMINAL DRIVE WAS SHUT DOWN FOR A WHILE FRIDAY MORNING   

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The “person of interest” connection with that suspicious package found near he baggage area at the Asheville Regional Airport early Friday morning has been identified, detailed, and presumably questioned over the weekend by local and federal authorities. The “person of interest” was identified as Michael Christopher Estes.

A caller recognized him from media reports, and he was detained by the Asheville Police Department officers without incident Saturday morning along Airport Road.
The investigation is continuing and has reportedly been turned over to federal authorities.

On Friday, authorities with the Asheville Regional Airport said a suspicious package found curbside outside the baggage claim area.
Tina Kinsey, a spokesperson with the Asheville Regional Airport, told reporters that the package was discovered Friday morning at around 7 a.m. A portion of the terminal was evacuated, Terminal Drive was shut down, and emergency response teams were called in.

Just after 8:30 a.m., crews secured the situation and reopened the area to travelers.
The Asheville Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and the Asheville Regional Airport Police Department are working in coordination to further investigate this incident.

The FBI said over the weekend that additional details about the investigation will be released "when appropriate "by the FBI or the U.S. Attorney's Office.

ACCUWEATHER SAYS WNC'S WEATHER THIS WINTER WILL BE WET WITH A FEW ICE STORMS POSSIBLE

ACCUWEATHER SAYS WNC'S WEATHER THIS WINTER WILL BE WET WITH A FEW ICE STORMS POSSIBLE

THE OFFICIAL WINTER WEATHER FORECAST FROM ACCUWEATHER   

SEVERE WINTER WEATHER LIKELY FOR THE SOUTHEAST U.S.   

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Some chilly winter weather is in store for the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, with January threatening to bring the coldest air of the season. Although however cold, low temperatures will pale in comparison to those in the northern Plains where the mercury is set to dip to minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit at times.
Meanwhile, the southern Plains, Southwest and California can expect a milder and drier winter than last season.

2017/2018 US WINTER HIGHLIGHTS

Cold and snow to strike Northeast, mid-Atlantic
A chilly winter is in store for the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, particularly when compared to last year. For most of both regions, this will translate to an above-normal snow season.
“Areas in the I-95 corridor will average close to normal, within a few inches,” AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said. “Areas away from the I-95 corridor have a better chance at a big snowfall.”
New York City and Boston, Massachusetts, may be the exceptions to this, with early predictions calling for 6 inches of snowfall or more above normal in both cities.
Areas prone to lake-effect snow will also see high totals, including Cleveland, Ohio; Erie, Pennsylvania; and Buffalo, New York.
“I think this year is going to bring a good ski season in the Northeast,” Pastelok said. “And around the holidays we should have some snow for the interior Northeast.”

Severe weather may threaten Southeast, Tennessee Valley
Farther south, air temperatures will face an east-west divide.
“The Southeast is going to run above normal, especially in Florida and Georgia,” Pastelok said. Both states will be at a lesser risk for a damaging freeze this year.
Additionally, Florida will remain mostly dry — good news for those recovering from Irma’s impact in the fall. Meanwhile, western areas are more likely to receive bouts of colder weather.
“We are expecting a few ice storms to develop based on the pattern we’re seeing right now,” Pastelok said.
Two to three are predicted to hit from the Tennessee Valley to northeast Texas.Tornadoes are not out the question for either region. The area from Texas to Georgia was hit with 137 tornadoes last January. This year, frequent tornadic activity may spin up in February.

Frigid air to take hold in northern Plains
Arctic blasts are set to freeze the northern Plains this winter with temperatures sinking to subzero levels on a regular basis.
Temperatures could plummet to minus 30 F at times in the Dakotas, Pastelok said.
However, the frigid conditions are a trade-off for less snowfall.

The winter of 2016/2017 spawned colossal storms, dropping 140 percent of normal snowfall over the northern Plains and northern Rockies, according to Pastelok. This year will feature much less snow and drier conditions overall.
Temperatures to bounce back and forth across southern Plains
The southern Plains will experience back-and-forth temperatures this season, with the middle of the winter being most likely to bring chilly conditions.
“Colder air masses will bleed down and lead to freezes in later January,” Pastelok said.
Though the wintry air will be memorable, a cold winter isn’t predicted overall. Some areas, such as southwest Texas, will average above normal for the season.
Dry periods will dominate over stormy weather overall.

“We do feel there are going to be some storms in northwest Texas at times,” he said. “Southwest Texas could see some but not as frequent as in past winters.”
Dry periods will be welcomed by many following the havoc wreaked by Harvey near Houston.

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Abundant snowfall to bury Northwest, Rockies
With a weak La Niña predicted to develop this winter, the Northwest and the Rockies are set to receive an abundance of precipitation.
“I think the Bitterroot chain all the way down to the Wasatch region in the central and northern Rockies has a good shot to be above normal on snowfall this season,” Pastelok said.
Ski resort snow check Rockies (AP)
Eldora ski patroller Adam Clifton checks the density of the snow pack in a backcountry area of National Forest land adjacent to Corona Bowl, known for its extreme skiing, at Eldora Mountain Resort, near Nederland, Colo., Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

The Cascades are also predicted to benefit from abundant snowfall.
“It’s a good area to head out to if you’re a big skier,” Pastelok said.
Drier, less snowy season in the offing for California
After a big season for snowfall in central and Northern California last year, both regions are predicted to be less wet and snowy in the upcoming months.
However, it won’t spell bad news for ski season.
Ski resorts will receive enough snowfall to create good conditions, but not so much that people struggle to get to them, he said.
In the Southwest, drier and warmer weather will dominate.
According to Pastelok, warmth will bookend the winter with temperatures capable of reaching into the 90s by early 2018.

DEMOLITION OF THE OLD BALFOUR SCHOOL WAS EXPECTED TO BE COMPLETED LAST WEEK

DEMOLITION OF THE OLD BALFOUR SCHOOL WAS EXPECTED TO BE COMPLETED LAST WEEK

TO MAKE WAY FOR THE NEW EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SERVICES HEADQUARTERS   

Those in Balfour and who drove along U.S. 25 in that area this past weekend saw a part of Henderson County’s education history being torn down.

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The old Balfour School, that dates back to 1927, was torn down to make room for Henderson County’s new Emergency Services building.

Demolition should be complete sometime this week on the old structure.

County school board member Rick Wood, who is a member of the local Education History Initiative, said former principals, teachers, students and parents associated with the old school are in the process of coming up with a way to memorialize it on the site.

The new building will be some 57,000 square feet in size and will cost county taxpayers just over $13 million.

That new structure will house county Emergency Management, EMS, and the Rescue Squad and should be complete by August of 2018.

By Larry Freeman