Mostly cloudy with scattered daytime showers
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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.
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.
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
Blue Ridge Community College announced the creation of its Southeastern Advanced Molding Technology Education Center (SAMTEC).
SAMTEC at Blue Ridge Community College will be the only holistic, high pressure die casting and mold training center east of Illinois. Currently, the southeast region of the United States is home to 25 die cast manufacturers and a wide variety of manufacturers using plastic injection molding and extrusion processes. The Center will focus on providing quality workforce training in high pressure die cast of aluminum and magnesium parts as well as training in the production of a wide variety of plastic products through injection molding and extrusion processes.
SAMTEC will be located on Blue Ridge Community College Henderson County Campus in the Spearman Building. This places the Center in a high-tech facility adjacent to several of Blue Ridge’s premier curriculum programs including Alternative Fuels, Mechatronics Technology, Computer-Integrated Machining, and Welding.
Fueled by a joint venture announced recently by Swiss Company Georg Fischer (GF) and Canada-based Linamar, the SAMTEC job training initiative is specifically designed to meet the training needs of GF Linamar’s new high pressure die cast facility slated to open in Mills River. The jointly owned facility will specialize in high pressure die casting to produce light-weight aluminum and magnesium parts for power train, driveline and structural components. This venture will add 350 jobs to the region with an average annual salary of $47,000.
Blue Ridge Community College recently received an Economic Catalyst grant of $550,000 from Golden LEAF Foundation for the purchase of equipment to support SAMTEC and training for GF Linamar. GF Linamar, Buhler and ABB will also donate equipment for SAMTEC valued at more than $768,000.
While designed to meet the training needs of GF Linamar, SAMTEC will also be able to support the training needs of other area companies with plastic injection molding and extrusion processes. These companies include Elkamet Inc., B.I.G. Adventures, Continental Automotive Systems, Meritor Inc., Raumedic, and Lassonde Pappas. Training topics will include die casting process, mold preparation, thermo dynamics, industrial controls, TIG welding, industrial mold process operation.
Blue Ridge Community College instructors Bryan Bagley and Shawn McCallister recently spent a total of three weeks training at BuhlerPrince in Michigan and Buhler in Switzerland, as well as at the Georg Fischer plant in Austria. This training will enable these instructors to develop and provide local training for area manufacturers at SAMTEC.
After formal agreements for the donated equipment were put into place , the College expects to open the Southeastern Advanced Molding Technology Education Center in January 2017.
The City of Hendersonville project for the Glenbrook area subdivision is underway as of June 22, 2016. The project involves Sanitary Sewer Improvements. The weather has affected our construction schedule. Pipe installation should be complete within a couple weeks. We are rebuilding Blythe St. in the areas of the pipe installation, as the existing road base is in poor condition. Blythe St. (between 4th and 5th) should be passable in approximately 3 weeks, with paving operations commencing shortly after. In addition we are receiving estimates for the new concrete sidewalk that will be installed on Blythe St. (between 4th and 5th Avenues).
Below is a detailed timeline of the project and the projected effect on 5th Avenue and Blythe Streets. We understand this project will cause a temporary inconvenience to area motorists and we apologize. We ask that the public be patient with us as we work as quickly as possible to complete these necessary improvements to the sewer system in this area.
Glenbrook Sanitary Sewer Improvements
The purpose of the above referenced project is to abandon a notoriously problematic pump station serving the Glenbrook Subdivision, located in Hendersonville, NC.
The project consists of:
Successful completion of the project will eliminate an existing pump station the does not conform to current standards. This pump station has a history of frequent clogs; has limited access; and lacks a lifting system for removing pumps, creating safety issues. Execution of the project will require the closure of Blythe St., including the intersection of Blythe St. and 5th Ave. Closure of the intersection shall be limited to a maximum of 2 weeks. The remaining portion of Blythe St. shall be closed for a maximum of 80 days.
Beginning: June 22, 2016
Duration: 120 days
Duration of the road closure: 80 days
Duration of Impact to 5th Ave: 14 days
Should you have any questions/concerns please fill free to contact:
Alvin Fuller Jr., PE
305 Williams St.
Hendersonville, NC 28972
(828) 233-3207 (office)
(828) 243-4430 (mobile)
HEAR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH THE NC GOP CHAIRMAN ON WHKP'S LOCAL NEWS TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY
In an exclusive interview with WHKP News on Monday, the chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party, Robin Hayes, responded to Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine's scheduled visit to a job center in Asheville.
The Virginia senator was scheduled to be in western North Carolina speaking on behalf of Hillary Clinton's plan to create jobs if she wins the presidency. Kaine was to visit a job center in Asheville.
Kaine's visit to western North Carolina came at a time when numerous national polls show the Clinton-Kaine ticket leading Donbald Trump and his running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Spence, in the tar heel state...in some cases by nine points or more.
WHKP asked Hayes about the apparent edge enjoyed by the national Democratic ticket in North Carolina where Republicans control the governor's office and both houses of the state legislature. Hayes says it's too early in the process for the polls to mean much. But he acknowledges that in an election year as strange as this one, anything is possible.
The state GOP chairman had words of praise for Western North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows who Hayes says "...is leading the state" on many critical issues including concern over refugee re-settlement in this country.
Hayes says that even though anything is possible this year, he does not expect voter's concerns over Donald Trump to impact the other Republicans who will be on the ballot in November., And he cited the exemplary record of Governor Pat McCrory and the Republican-controlled General Assembly is achieving a healthy budget surplus in the state and in job creatioin.
Hayes encourages all voters to pay close attention to all that is said by all the candidates this year, and to be wary of the questionable ethics, of lack thereof, of Hillary Clinton...referring to the huge accumulation of wealth by the Clinton's through the Clinton Foundation.
Botton line, said Hayes, "...we cannot take four more years of Obama-Clinton".
By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman 08/15/16 Updated 11am
The county's elections director has confirmed that additional quarter cent sales tax that local officials keep endorsing and hoping for WILL BE on Henderson County voter’s ballots in the November 8th general election. Endorsed by virtually all local elected officials in Henderson County, there had been some question about that quarter cent sales tax actually being on the ballot for the voters this fall. If approved by the voters, it’s estimated that tax will generate a just over two and a half million dollars in revenue for Henderson County. At least two county commissioners, Lapsley and Hawkins, are pushing for a roll-back in the nickel property tax increase imposed by commissioners this summer as an incentive for voters to approve that sales tax increase.
Elections Director Beverly Cunningham has this week been attending a meeting of state election officials…and she also says the early one-stop voting period before the November election will be extended by a week. Early one-stop voting had been cut back a week last year.
Cunningham, says that “same day” voter registration will be allowed this fall in the early one-stop voting.
She says she’s not sure yet what the dates will be for the early voting or where the early polling places will be. She says that is yet to be determined by the local Board of Elections and will depend on how much money is available for the general election this fall.
Cunningham points out too that because of an appeals court ruling, the requirement for a photo ID for all voters is still tied up in court…and says that as of now, and unless something changes, a photo ID will NOT be required to vote in this fall’s general election.
By Larry Freeman 08/10/16
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
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.
The Walk of Fame Committee will serve with two additional appointees, a total of 7 members, as the Selection Committee.
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?
Nomination forms will be available on August 2nd. You may visit the City of Hendersonville website: http://www.hendersonvillenc.
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.
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.
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.