listen live
Beau Lovelace

ON AIR STAFF
Beau Lovelace
full schedule

107.7 FM NOW ON THE AIR
Current weather in Hendersonville, NC 63° Monday's Weather
Plenty of sunshine
HI: 85 LOW: 64
Your Forecast Ray's Weather
START PLANNING NOW TO ENJOY THIS YEAR'S NC APPLE FESTIVAL SEPTEMBER 2ND THROUGH THE 5TH

START PLANNING NOW TO ENJOY THIS YEAR'S NC APPLE FESTIVAL SEPTEMBER 2ND THROUGH THE 5TH

 

Hendersonville is the official home of the North Carolina Apple Festival, a four-day celebration to recognize the importance of the apple industry to Henderson County and North Carolina.  The Apple Festival is always held during the Labor Day weekend (Friday through Monday).

The Southeast Tourism Society has named the North Carolina Apple Festival one of the STS Top 20 Event in the Southeast for 2016.  The Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Festival and Event Awards have highlighted programs around the Southeast since 1985.

Festival-goers can choose from a variety of events which feature a street fair on Historic Main Street and surrounding event venues with continuous free entertainment, arts & crafts, local apple growers selling apple products, children’s & youth activities, special shows, exhibits, open houses, fun, festival food, and, to top it all off, the King Apple Parade. Capture the spirit of a hometown celebration that is family friendly, with many individual events and entertainers throughout the festival. 

The Apple Festival’s Street Fair covers 9 blocks of Main Street with more than 200 vendors. Main Street is closed to traffic from 6th Avenue to Caswell Street Apple growers will be selling apples and delicious goodies throughout the festival.  The Family Fun Zone features carnival rides and Inflatables at two locations - Wells Fargo Bank and the Visitor Center. The highlight of Labor Day is King Apple Parade filled with floats, bands, clowns, antique cars, fire engines and more traveling down Main Street from 5 Points to Caswell Street.  

Some of the other festivities happening during the Apple Festival include apple breakfasts, Gem & Mineral Spectacular, children’s activities, and the Western North Carolina Air Museum Open House.

Please leave your pets comfortably at home, Hendersonville City ordinance prohibits animals in the event area.

  

North Carolina is the 7th largest apple-producing state in the nation and Henderson County is the largest apple-producing county in North Carolina, producing 65 percent of all the apples grown in the state.  The most widely grown apples are Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Rome Beauty, Granny Smith, Stayman, Fuji and Galas. Fresh apples, cider, pumpkins, produce and many other items may be purchased at one of the many roadside apple markets located throughout Henderson County. Some orchards have fun fall activities, baked goods, cider, and also allow you to pick your own apples.

For tickets, applications and further information write the NC Apple Festival Office, P.O. Box 886, Hendersonville, NC  28793 or call (828) 697-4557.  For times and

locations of the events, check the North Carolina Apple Festival brochure or visit the web site at www.ncapplefestival.org.

For lodging or area information call the Visitor Center at 800-828-4244 or visit the web site at www.visithendersonvillenc.org.

WNC GAS PRICES CONTINUE FALLING; TREND EXPECTED TO CONTINUE

WNC GAS PRICES CONTINUE FALLING; TREND EXPECTED TO CONTINUE

Average retail gasoline prices in Hendersonville and Asheville have fallen 1.9 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.15/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 0.5 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.12/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Asheville during the past week, prices yesterday were 34.4 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 12.4 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 12.1 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 47.8 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on August 8 in Asheville have ranged widely over the last five years:
$2.49/g in 2015, $3.52/g in 2014, $3.49/g in 2013, $3.58/g in 2012 and $3.68/g in 2011.

Areas nearby Asheville and their current gas price climate:
Spartanburg- $1.76/g, down 6.0 cents per gallon from last week's $1.82/g.
Knoxville- $1.83/g, down 1.9 cents per gallon from last week's $1.85/g.
Greenville- $1.81/g, down 2.8 cents per gallon from last week's $1.84/g.

"Government EIA data last week showed a sizable draw on gasoline inventory followed by a strong jobs report, with new jobs for July reaching 255,000.  And consequently, WTI crude oil ended the week nearly $3 higher than where it began," said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.

"While that may create a brief pause early this week in the decline of retail gasoline, we expect that the prevailing price trend (incremental decline) will resume shortly, barring any additional refinery problems in the midwest, or, potential Atlantic hurricane activity."

CONGRESSMAN MEADOWS WILL ADVANCE  A RESOLUTION ON THE HOUSE FLOOR TO IMPEACH THE IRS COMMISSIONER WHEN CONGRESS RE-CONVENES IN SEPTEMBER

CONGRESSMAN MEADOWS WILL ADVANCE A RESOLUTION ON THE HOUSE FLOOR TO IMPEACH THE IRS COMMISSIONER WHEN CONGRESS RE-CONVENES IN SEPTEMBER

MEADOWS GRILLS THE IRS COMMISSIONER IN TESTIMONY BEFORE HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE   

In an interview on WHKP Friday morning, western North Carolina Congresman Mark Meadows confirmed that further steps will be taken in September to impeach and remove from office Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen.

While appearing on WHKP’s morning show, Meadows said a resolution has been put on the floor of the U.S. House to impeach Koskinen.

Meadows, members of the House freedom Caucus, and other conservative members of the House have been saying for months that Koskinen intentionally ignored and lied to Congress about targeting conservative organizations.

Meadows is a founder and leader of the Freedom Caucus that has been trying to get an agreement from Speaker Paul Ryan and Republican leadership in the House to hold an impeachment vote on Koskinen.  Since that is not likely to happen, Meadows says what’s called a “privileged resolution” calling for Koskinen’s impeachment has been prepared and will be put on the floor of the House and will likely go forward when they go back to work following their summer break in September.

Meadows said on the WHKP radio show on Friday morning…”I can confirm for you and make the announcement this morning….” that the resolution to impeach Koskinen will move forward in September. 

Fox News says such a maneuver would be an embarrassment for Speaker Ryan, who prefers to work through the committee system in the House.

Meadows told WHKP News he likes Speaker Ryan and supports him on many issues, but Meadows is adamant that Koskinen must be removed as IRS commissioner.  

It all stems from proof that the IRS targeted conservative groups, attempted to cover it up, then lied to Congress about it.  Since the whole scandal surfaced in 2010, sources say that no criminal charges have been filed against those responsible and not a single high level IRS official has lost their job with Koskinen as commissioner.

House leadership is likely to take the “privileged resolution” maneuver seriously in September, since it was another Meadows and Freedom Caucus maneuver…an unprecedented, non-binding resolution to declare the Speaker’s chair “vacant”…that preceded the resignation of former House Speaker John Boehner.

By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman  08/07/16

HENDERSONVILLE'S "WALK OF FAME" NOMINATIONS ACCEPTED THROUGH SEPTEMBER 6TH; HONOREES TO BE ANNOUNCED IN DECEMBER

HENDERSONVILLE'S "WALK OF FAME" NOMINATIONS ACCEPTED THROUGH SEPTEMBER 6TH; HONOREES TO BE ANNOUNCED IN DECEMBER

The Walk of Fame Steering Committee, a joint endeavor for the City of Hendersonville and Henderson County, has been established. Here is an outline of the project and information about nominations and upcoming events.

DEFINITION OF PROJECT:

 To recognize and honor on a yearly basis present or former residents of Hendersonville and Henderson County for outstanding and lasting contributions to the growth and development of the community through a walk in the downtown area designated as the Walk of Fame and having as its beginning and ending points sites with historical significance.

 WALK OF FAME COMMITTEE:

      The Walk of Fame Committee will consist of five members: 3 appointed by the City Council and 2 by  

      the Board of Commissioners.  The Director of Public Works will serve as non-voting ex-officio since

      the construction of the Walk will be in downtown Hendersonville.

 

SELECTION PROCESS:

 The Walk of Fame Committee will serve with two additional appointees, a total of 7 members, as the Selection Committee.

 SELECTION CRITERIA:

 THe purpose of the project is to recognize individuals who have made a significant contribution to Henderson County in any field of endeavor, e.g., agriculture, business, cultural arts, education, government, human services, industry, medicine, religion, etc. “Significant contribution” in this context is defined as having a positive and lasting impact on the quality of life of the citizens of Henderson County. It is hoped that all areas of endeavor will be represented; however, the Selection Committee will be charged with the responsibility of selecting honorees based primarily on the significance of the contribution. Honorees shall have demonstrated that they have made major investments of time, energy, expertise, or resources for the public good.

 

Individuals making nominations will be asked to answer completely three questions:  Why do you feel this person's contribution is significant? Why do you consider his/her contribution to be lasting or even timeless? What specific impact has his/her contribution made on the quality of life in Hendersonville and Henderson County?

 NOMINATIONS:

 Nomination forms will be available on August 2nd.  You may visit the City of Hendersonville website:   http://www.hendersonvillenc.gov/walk-of-fame-nominationsthe office of Henderson County Travel & Tourism, or Terry Wilson at Henderson County offices.  Nomination forms are due by September 6th.  Selection of the 2017 honorees will be made by October 14th.  The announcement of each honoree will be made at an event in December.  This event will be a play directed by Tom Orr, “Unwrapping Local History.” The play will be held at the Henderson County Historic Courthouse on December 15th, 16th, and 17th.  A special event is being planned for the spring of 2017 to formally recognize the honorees.  This will take place following the placement of the designated markers (January – March).

DESIGN OF THE WALK OF FAME:

 The walk will be developed in phases, eventually extending from the Historic Court House to the City Hall.  Enclosed is a design of the walk of fame plan.

 “Our primary goal is to honor individuals for the contributions they have made in our community”- Virginia Gambill, Walk of Fame Steering Committee.

 For more information about The Walk of Fame project, nominations, and upcoming events you may visit the City website at www.hvlnc.gov or contact Tom Orr, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Virginia Gambill, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS WON'T COMMIT TO ROLLING BACK PROPERTY TAXES

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS WON'T COMMIT TO ROLLING BACK PROPERTY TAXES

Three of HendersonCounty’s five commissioners appear to remain skeptical that local voters will approve that proposed quarter cent sales tax when they o to the polls in November.  So, commissioners Thompson, Messer and Edney would not agree Monday night to roll back the county’s recent five cent property tax increase by three cents.  Commissioners Hawkins and Lapsley favored the cut back…both feel that if the sales tax is approved on top of the ten per cent property tax increase imposed by commissioners this summer, the end result will be more money than the county needs to fund its $130 million budget for the current fiscal year.

Hawkins has warned against keeping too much money in the county’s fund balance, says that would make county government function moré like a “bank” with the taxpayer’s money.

Lapsley feels that with the higher property tax, voters will have less incentive to approve the sales tax…which would generate about $2.5 million in revenue for the county.

All five commissioners say they favor cutting taxes.  But Commissioner Charlie Messer said that telling the taxpayers that taxes will be cut 11 months from now, in next fiscal year’s budget, is a problem for him.  “You’ve got too much time there”, he says.

This is the second time this summer, since the county’s new budget was approved back in June, that the sales tax versus property tax question has been debated by commissioners. 

All five county commissioners have endorsed the quarter cent sales tax increase.

 

 

COMMISSIONERS ADOPT NEW EMERGENCY PLAN FOR FESTIVALS; AND ARE INTRODUCED TO THE NEW DSS DIRECTOR

COMMISSIONERS ADOPT NEW EMERGENCY PLAN FOR FESTIVALS; AND ARE INTRODUCED TO THE NEW DSS DIRECTOR

In their meeting Monday night, county commissioners made a change in the county’s land development code that will require organizers of special events that will have more than 500 participants to plan before their event for emergencies.  

The change will require festival organizers to meet with planners and emergency service agencies…such as sheriff, fire, EMS, and rescue departments…and prepare a plan for emergencies.  The heads of all those local agencies were at Monday night’s meeting…and voiced their support for the emergency planning.

At one event last year, at Deerfields on South Mills River Road in which a participant dies,  emergency crews were blocked from getting to the site by cars parked along the road.

Commissioner Michael Edney’s was the only vote against it…he has doubts about the constitutionality of such a planning requirement for special events.

Also Monday night…commissioners were introduced to Jerry McFalls who has been selected by the local DSS board to be the county’s new social services director.  A long-time employee of Henderson County’s DSS. McFalls has served as the interim director since director Eric Bush was killed last December of a kayaking accident. 

IT'S OFFICIAL NOW:  HENDERSONVILLE'S BILO SUPERMARKET IS CLOSING ITS DOORS

IT'S OFFICIAL NOW: HENDERSONVILLE'S BILO SUPERMARKET IS CLOSING ITS DOORS

Rumors have been circulating for years that the local BILO Supermarket in Henderson Crossing on Four Seasons Boulevard was closing.  The corporate offices of Southeastern Grocers today (Monday) confirmed for WHKP News that the store is in fact closing "...on or before August 31, 2016."  The confirmation came from BILO spokesman Joe Caldwell, corporate communications manager for Southeastern Grocers..  As pointed out in the e-mail interview below, BILO does not own the property so whatever happens with that facility will be up to the property owner.  And BILO has no plans to close any other stores in the Hendersonville-Asheville area:

 Can you confirm that the BI-LO at Four Seasons Boulevard will be closing and going out of business? If so, when will the store close?

Southeastern Grocers will be closing BI-LO store no. 5603, located at 120 Henderson Crossing in Hendersonville, NC. This decision was not made lightly.  Our associates are always the first to know of any changes at our stores and have been made aware of the closure, and are encouraged to apply for the many open positions we have in our network of neighboring BI-LO stores. The date of closure is scheduled to take place on or before August 31, 2016. Until the store closes, we will work hard to continue delivering the great service and value our customers have come to expect. 
 
Why is it closing? How many employees will be effected?
While closing stores is never easy for any retailer, we have made this difficult decision so we can reinvest in what matters most for our customers – providing the quality, service and value they have come to expect from us.
 
From time to time, the successful execution of our strategy will require us to make the difficult decision to close certain stores. There are approximately 40 associates at this location.  Wappreciate the many contributions our associates have made, and we will ensure they are treated respectfully and have an opportunity to pursue open positions in nearby stores or throughout the company.
 
What will happen with the current store property? This is a question for the landlord, as we don't own the property.
 
Will any other BI-LO stores in the Asheville-Hendersonville area be closing? There are currently no plans to close any additional BI-LO stores in the Asheville-Hendersonville area.
 
By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman

 

NATURAL GAS RATES MAY GO UP---JUST IN TIME FOR THE HOME HEATING SEASON

NATURAL GAS RATES MAY GO UP---JUST IN TIME FOR THE HOME HEATING SEASON

AN AVERAGE RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMER IN HENDERSON COUNTY COULD SEE THEIR BILL GO UP FROM $81.44 PER MONTH TO $86.61 BY THIS WINTER    

PUBLIC HEARING SET FOR AUGUST 24   7PM   BUNCOMBE COUNTY COURTHOUSE  

PSNC Energy provides natural gas service to Western North Carolina and the Triangle and they're proposing rate increase of about 10 per cent for residentialk customers.

If the rate increase is approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission, it would go into effect in November..

This rate increase does not reflect the price of natural gas. In North Carolina, natural gas companies are not allowed to profit from the sale of natural gas. They profit from providing the service.

In addition to areas of WNC and the Triangle, PSNC supplies natural gas to Gastonia, Concord and Statesville. Piedmont Natural Gas services the majority of the state, including Mecklenburg County.

PSNC has not increased its rates since 2008.

If the rate increase is approved, residential customers will see energy charge increases between 9 and 11 percent, depending on the season and efficiency of equipment, according to documents filed with the utilities commission.

The average residential bill, which includes fees and state sales tax, would increase by about 7 percent overall, according to the filing.

During the winter months, the average residential customer would see an increase from $81.44 per month to $86.61 per month, according to the filing.

The utilities commission is tasked with determining whether PSNC's proposed 9.66 percent increase in revenue is a fair return on investment. PSNC would make an additional $41.5 million per year.

The commission will host public hearings as part of the process of approving or disallowing the rate increase.

In Asheville, a hearing will take place at 7 p.m. on Aug. 24 at the Buncombe County Courthouse.

FEDERAL COURT SAYS NC'S PHOTO ID REQUIRED FOR VOTERS IS DISCRIMINATORY

FEDERAL COURT SAYS NC'S PHOTO ID REQUIRED FOR VOTERS IS DISCRIMINATORY

4TH U.S. CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS SAYS THE LAW MUST BE BLOCKED

 A federal appeals court ruled Friday that a North Carolina law requiring photo identification to cast in-person ballots was enacted "with discriminatory intent" and must be blocked.

An opinion issued by a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond reverses a lower-court's ruling that had upheld the law and ordered that contested provisions be blocked.

"In holding that the legislature did not enact the challenged provisions with discriminatory intent, the court seems to have missed the forest in carefully surveying the many trees," the panel wrote in its opinion.

The opinion later states: "We cannot ignore the record evidence that, because of race, the legislature enacted one of the largest restrictions of the franchise in modern North Carolina history,"

North Carolina's voting laws were rewritten in 2013 by the conservative General Assembly to include the ID requirement and other changes.

The U.S. Justice Department, state NAACP, League of Women Voters and others sued the state, saying the restrictions violated the federal Voting Rights Act and the Constitution.

Allison Riggs, who served as the League of Women Voters' lead lawyer on the case, said the decision will widen participation in the November elections.

"This is a strong rebuke to what the North Carolina General Assembly did in 2013. It's a powerful precedent that ... federal courts will protect voting rights of voters of color," she said.

Messages seeking comment weren't immediately returned by the state's Republican governor or legislative leaders.

CITY STREETS MAINTENANCE & RE-SURFACING SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED

CITY STREETS MAINTENANCE & RE-SURFACING SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED

During the months of July and August, the City of Hendersonville will be doing maintenance on several different streets within the City.

The extent of the maintenance will vary depending on the situation. Some streets may simply be given a new layer of asphalt overlaying the existing surface, while other streets may have a layer of tar and gravel applied before they are resurfaced with new asphalt. Construction will begin during the last week of July with the majority of the work to be completed before the end of August. The paving contractor will be Tarheel Paving. The lists of streets being affected are as follows:

Streets to be resurfaced: East Clairmont Drive from HWY 25 to Patton Park entrance Clairmont Drive from HWY 25 to Orleans Avenue Clairmont Drive from Orleans Avenue to Meadowbrook Terrace Orleans Avenue from Clairmont Drive to Higate Road Meadowbrook Terrace from HWY 25 to HWY 25 Sommerset Drive from Chelsea Street to Kingsbury Road West Lake Avenue from Wells Street to Armstrong Avenue Wells Avenue from Hebron Road to End of Maintenance Greenbriar Oval from Hebron Road around Loop Pinebrook Circle from Hebron Road around Loop Morris Lane from HWY 191 to Higate Road Shano Drive from Morris Lane to Dead End Arlington Place from Chelsea Street to Kingsbury Road Briarwood Lane from Upper Ridgewood Blvd to Ewbank Drive Upper Ridgewood Blvd from Lower Ridgewood Blvd to Higate Road Sun Vista Lane from Sylvan Blvd to Sylvan Blvd Buena Vista Lane from Sun Vista Lane to Sylvan Blvd Alta Vista Drive from Sylvan Blvd to Sylvan Blvd Justice Street from Sylvan Blvd to Haywood Road Shipp Street from Justice Street to End of Maintenance Flanders Avenue from Greenville HWY to Garden Lane Chadwick Avenue from Greenville HWY to Spartanburg HWY Hillview Blvd from South Grove Street to Nelson Street Shady Drive from Hillview Blvd to Dead End Narva Road between Chadwick Avenue and Balsam Road 2

In the event there are funds left over in the 2016 resurfacing budget, additional streets that may be considered for resurfacing this year are as follows: Garden Lane from Chadwick Avenue to Rock Hill Avenue Hillview Blvd from Nelson Street to South Grove Street Comet Drive from Dartmouth Road to City Limit Rose Street from West Allen Street to Dead End Dale Street from Spring Street to Dead End For questions about this project, please call Tom Wooten at (828) 697-3084.