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DUKE ENERGY METEOROLOGISTS PREDICT 13 NAMED STORMS THIS ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON

DUKE ENERGY METEOROLOGISTS PREDICT 13 NAMED STORMS THIS ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON

IT'S THE ATLANTIC HURRICANE SEASON THAT AFFECTS WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA   

The Atlantic hurricane season started June 1, Duke Energy meteorologists are predicting we’ll see less tropical activity this year than we did in 2016, when major storms battered Florida and caused massive flooding in South Carolina and North Carolina.

Duke predicts 13 named storms this year, down from 15 last year and slightly below average. They predict five hurricanes − two major − during the season, which runs from June 1 through Nov. 30.

Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science also predicts two major hurricanes in its early forecast. It calls for 11 named storms with a total of four hurricanes.

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To develop their predictions, Duke Energy meteorologists Max Thompson and Stanton Lanham study patterns going back 30 years and find years with similar characteristics. They also watch emerging atmospheric conditions.

They’re anticipating an El Niño pattern will return to the equatorial Pacific this summer, ousting its sibling, La Niña, which brought cooler ocean temperatures and, as a result, higher-than-average storm activity in 2016.

What they don’t know at this point is how dramatically El Niño will return. El Niño’s strong upper-level winds provide a wind shear that normally lowers storm activity. The meteorologists also try to anticipate dust that can move across the Atlantic from the Sahara Desert in Africa. Significant amounts of dust will offer an extra cover that could help stifle major tropical storm activity.

Nor do they know if this will be the year a major hurricane will break a 12-year streak and become the first since the violent Category 5 Wilma to make landfall in the U.S.

A hurricane carries winds of 74 mph or higher. It becomes a major Category 3, 4 or 5 hurricane when it produces sustained winds of 111 mph or more.

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Line crews mobilizing for deployment prior to Hurricane Matthew making landfall.
Last season, two high-impact storms, hurricanes Matthew and Hermine, caused widespread damage in Duke Energy customer service territories. Hermine was a Category 1 storm when it landed in the Florida Panhandle in September, damaging the Apalachee Bay and nearby areas before crossing over the Carolinas as a tropical storm that caused flooding and major power outages.

Matthew, the season’s most powerful, landed in Haiti in October as a Category 4 storm that left hundreds − in some estimates closer to 1,000 − dead. More than 1 million were left without power in Florida. It transitioned into a Category 2 storm when it hit the South Carolina coast in October, dumping up to 20 inches of rain in some areas. Matthew produced record flooding levels in the Carolinas, washed roads away, destroyed homes and resulted in dozens of deaths. Power was knocked out to more than 1.5 million customers in the Carolinas. Some communities are still rebuilding.

Duke meteorologists make their annual predictions to get an early read on where the company will likely have to deploy the most resources for recovery efforts. As the season evolves, they’re better able to see which areas will have the heaviest activity.

They’re usually pretty close. Last year they predicted eight hurricanes; there were seven. Four were major hurricanes; Duke meteorologists predicted three.

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Hurricane Matthew caused severe flooding in town of Goldsboro, NC.
Predicting damage can be tricky as it’s subject to the twists and turns of the storms. Matthew, which dumped so much rain so quickly over an area already oversaturated, is an example of how dramatically conditions can change, Thompson said.

“I felt like we had a good forecast last year for Matthew, but it’s hard to plan for that amount of rainfall,” Thompson said. “We had 1.8 million customers off-line and restoration was delayed because of the flooding.”

And while this season’s predictions are slightly lower than average, Thompson, one of Duke’s six meteorologists, says no one should ever become complacent.

“Any given storm could become an Andrew or Katrina (hurricanes that caused widespread devastation in the U.S.), so everybody needs to be prepared,” Thompson said. “It’s always important to pay attention to the forecast.”

Storm safety tips

LOCAL GAS PRICES 5 CENTS LOWER THAN THIS TIME LAST YEAR; EXPECTED TO STAY LOW FOR THE SUMMER

LOCAL GAS PRICES 5 CENTS LOWER THAN THIS TIME LAST YEAR; EXPECTED TO STAY LOW FOR THE SUMMER

GOOD NEWS FOR LOCAL TOURISM AND VACATION SEASON   

The national average for a gallon of gasoline has dropped under its year ago level, standing at $2.35 per gallon today, according to GasBuddy, the only smartphone app connecting more than 60 million drivers with their Perfect Pit Stop. It's the first time in over 200 days that the current gas price is lower than a year ago, and is now the cheapest June 9th to fill up on since 2005, when the national average stood at $2.11 per gallon.

Some 21 states are currently witnessing lower averages than a year ago, with some states experiencing significantly discounted prices to last year: Ohio (26 cents lower), Illinois (25 cents), Indiana (20 cents), Kentucky (16 cents) and Michigan (13 cents) round out the top five, while Alabama, North Carolina, Georgia, West Virginia, Missouri, Wisconsin, South Carolina and Virginia also have prices at least 5 cents lower than a year ago.

"At the beginning of the year, I would have bet against you if you'd have said gas prices this summer could be lower than last year- which saw the cheapest summer average since 2005. With OPEC's production cut in November, such a prediction seemed next to impossible, but the resiliency of U.S. shale production has indeed surprised," said Patrick DeHaan, GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst.

For some states, however, refinery issues have caused prices to temporarily spike, leading gas prices to surge over year ago levels. Leading that dubious list: Hawaii (54 cents higher), Nevada (34 cents), Alaska (32 cents), California (31 cents) and Arizona (21 cents). In New Jersey, a state where gasoline taxes spiked 23 cents per gallon last fall, gas prices are 23.5 cents per gallon higher. Motorists can however, mitigate paying more at the pump by observing the spread between stations in any market and still come out less scathed than they would by not shopping around.

"There is, however, some good news for everyone. With oil prices plummeting some 5% so far this week, there will likely be lower gasoline prices coming for much of the country, but motorists should still be wary with low gas prices: the likelihood of getting a bad deal on filling up rises as prices fall," noted DeHaan, citing a previous GasBuddy study (https://www.gasbuddy.com/NewsRoom/PressRelease/369) that found more Americans overpay at the pump when gas prices were low.

CURRENT PRICES IN WNC

Average retail gasoline prices in Hendersonville and  Asheville have fallen 0.3 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.26/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 259 gas outlets in Westerm Morth Carolina, This compares with the national average that has increased 0.9 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.37/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Asheville during the past week, prices yesterday were 4.4 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 4.2 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has increased 1.9 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 0.5 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on June 5 in Asheville have ranged widely over the last five years:
$2.31/g in 2016, $2.69/g in 2015, $3.65/g in 2014, $3.41/g in 2013 and $3.47/g in 2012.

Areas near Asheville and their current gas price climate:
Spartanburg- $1.97/g, flat from last week's $1.97/g.
Knoxville- $2.06/g, down 1.5 cents per gallon from last week's $2.08/g.
Greenville- $1.96/g, down 1.9 cents per gallon from last week's $1.98/g.

 

"ANNIE" OPENED JUNE 9TH AT THE FLAT ROCK PLAYHOUSE

"ANNIE" OPENED JUNE 9TH AT THE FLAT ROCK PLAYHOUSE

ON THE MAINSTAGE IN FLAT ROCK   

Leapin’ lizards! For the very first time, America’s favorite red headed orphan will be gracing the stage at Flat Rock Playhouse in the Broadway hit sensation, Annie. Do not miss what is considered one of the best family musicals ever written, running June 9th through July 2nd on the Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage located in the Village of Flat Rock.

The cast & crew of Annie thinks “you’re gonna like it here...” at the State Theatre of North Carolina! The Tony Award-winning musical, Annie, will make its debut and entertain audiences on the Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage with its purely delightful and heartwarming tale of a plucky orphan who gets a second chance at a family. Premiering in 1976 at the Goodspeed Opera House, Annie became an instant classic. The role of Annie was originated on Broadway by Andrea McArdle, who went on to receive a Tony nomination for her performance. In its first year on Broadway, Annie received 7 Tony Awards and another 7 Drama Desk Awards. Annie has also seen 2 Broadway revivals and 3 film adaptations, the most recent in 2014. From the start, Annie has been an undeniable sensation that Flat Rock Playhouse is now proud to finally present with all of its legendary tunes including “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile,” “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here,” and of course, “Tomorrow.”

“A triumph of the spirit!” – The Australian
“Spectacular on every count.” – Newsweek
“Overflowing! Big, warm-hearted and funny!” – New York Post

Annie stars Broadway’s Carly Gendell in the title role of Annie. Gendell debuted on Broadway in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock as the original Marcy. This is Gendell’s third time playing Annie and says, “[Annie is] a role that I have always felt deeply connected with.” Gendell is only 12 years old, yet she has racked up quite the resume. She began acting when she was only 6 years old, and has played Young Fiona in Shrek the Musical, the Sour Kangaroo in Seussical, Gretl in The Sound of Music, Tinkerbell in Peter Pan, Gavroche in Les Miserables, and The Boy in The Velveteen Rabbit, just to name a few!

Gendell’s canine counterpart is Macy playing the role of Sandy, who just recently completed the National Tour of Annie. Macy was trained by William Berloni, an American Animal Behaviorist and Humanitarian. He has received the 2011 Tony® Honoree for Excellence in Theatre. Recipient of 2014, Outer Critics Circle Special Achievement Award and the 2017 Drama League Award for Unique Contribution to the Theater. Berloni found and trained the Original Sandy in Annie. Broadway Credits: Annie (Original Company, 20th, 30th and 35th Anniversary revivals), The Crucible, Living on Love, The Audience, Bullets Over Broadway, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, A Christmas Story, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Legally Blonde, Camelot, Frankenstein, The First, Alice in Wonderland, Oliver!, Anything Goes, Nick and Nora, La Bete, The Wiz, The Wizard of Oz, Dinner at Eight, Double Feature (New York City Ballet), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Woman in White, Awake and Sing, and The Lieutenant of Inishmore.

Sean Cooper co-stars as Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks and Flat Rock favorite Marcy McGuigan returns to the Mainstage, this time, as the infamous Miss Hannigan. Joining Gendell, Cooper and McGuigan are Preston Dyar, Tim Ellis, Maddie Franke, Tauren Hagans, Lara Hayhurst, Michael MacCauley, Lindsay O’Neil, Stephen Sheffer, Peter Thomasson and Scott Treadway.

Annie also features a cast of local young actors alternating the roles of America’s most beloved orphans, and members of the 2017 Apprentice Company performing in the ensemble.

Annie will be directed and choreographed by Amy Jones, director of last year’s summer hit, 9 to 5: The Musical. Ethan Andersen will serve as Music Director, Bill Muñoz as Stage Manager, and Lindsey A. Moss as Assistant Stage Manager. Designers and Technical Staff also include Adam Goodrum as Production Manager, Chris Simpson as Technical Director, Dennis C. Maulden as Resident Scenic Designer, and Paul Feraldi as Props Master. Light, Sound, and Costumes will be designed by CJ Barnwell, Kurt Conway, and Ashli Arnold respectively.

The Executive Producers of Annie are Blue Ridge Humane Society, Asheville Regional Airport and Morris Broadband. Annie is also presented by The Flat Rock Playhouse Main Stage Series Sponsor, Henderson County Tourism Development Authority (visithendersonvillenc.org), Opening Night Sponsor, BMW of Asheville, and Transportation Sponsor, Hunter Automotive Group.

TICKETS AND SCHEDULE
Annie will run from June 9th through July 2nd at the Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage. Performances Wednesday and Thursday evening at 7:30PM, Friday and Saturday evening at 8:00PM, matinees Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2:00PM. Tickets are available for $15 - $50 and can be purchased by calling the Playhouse box office at 828-693-0731, toll-free at 866-737-8008 or online at www.flatrockplayhouse.org. Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage is located at 2661 Greenville Hwy, Flat Rock, NC 28731.

LOCAL ARTS COUNCIL'S CALL FOR ART DEMONSTRATIONS

LOCAL ARTS COUNCIL'S CALL FOR ART DEMONSTRATIONS

FOR THIS YEAR'S ART ON MAIN SEPT. 30 AND OCT. 1   

..The Arts Council of Henderson County is seeking artists who are interested in demonstrating and selling their art or craft at the upcoming 58th annual Art on Main Festival, which will be held on downtown Hendersonville’s historic Main Street on September 30 and October 1, 2017. Hours are 10am–5pm both days.

Artists will be required to demonstrate on both days of the festival, to engage with the public, and describe their process. The Arts Council is looking for candidates in media such as plein air painting, carving, wood turning, blacksmithing, spinning, jewelry, weaving, lampwork, etc.

Artists will be juried for this event and should submit three images (via email or prints) of finished pieces. The requirements for the booth will be included on the demonstrator’s application. The booth fee will be $50. The application is available on the Arts Council’s website, www.acofhc.org, or by emailing the Arts Council at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Deadline for consideration is August 2, 2017. Applications may be dropped off at the Arts Council office at 401 North Main Street, Ste. 302, Hendersonville, NC 28792 or mailed to Arts Council at PO Box 767, Hendersonville, NC 28793.

One of the region’s most popular outdoor arts festivals, Art on Main features both fine art and fine craft. Artists from throughout North and South Carolina, and many other states in the region, will participate in the 2017 Art on Main. For more information contact the Arts Council at 828-693-8504 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Art on Main is presented by the Arts Council of Henderson County with major support provided by Morris Broadband. In addition, the festival is supported in part by Henderson County Tourism Development Authority (www.visithendersonvillenc.org), the Dr. Minor F. Watts Fund at the Community Foundation of Henderson County, the City of Hendersonville, and Mast General Store.

The Arts Council of Henderson County is a community organization that promotes, advocates for and nurtures the arts in Henderson County and Western North Carolina. Its office is located at 401 North Main St., Ste. 302, Hendersonville, NC 28792. (Entrance on Fourth Avenue West.)

The Arts Council is supported in part by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources, funds administered by the Community Foundation of Henderson County; Henderson County government, Henderson County Tourism Development Authority, and the City of Hendersonville.

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DEMOCRAT NC GOVERNOR CALLS SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS; REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE SAYS "NO"

DEMOCRAT NC GOVERNOR CALLS SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE SESSIONS; REPUBLICAN LEGISLATURE SAYS "NO"

Henderson County's Chuck McGrady says Henderson County is not effected and the Republican-controlled legislature is waiting on direction from the Federal District Court on what to do about the district lines in question   

From WRAL---State lawmakers have voted to disregard Gov. Roy Cooper's call Wednesday for an extra session to redraw the legislative districts struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Thursday morning, House Speaker Tim Moore ruled in favor of a constitutional appeal made by House Rules Chairman David Lewis, R-Harnett, that the call was not constitutional.

The state constitution gives the governor the power to call lawmakers into an extra session "on extraordinary occasions, by and with the advice of the Council of State."

Lewis argued that there is no "extraordinary occasion" here because the General Assembly is already in regular session and can conduct its business in regular order. He also argued that a federal court order mandated lawmakers to redraw the maps in "regular session," not a special session.

Lewis also argued that Cooper had not "meaningfully complied" with the requirement to seek the advice of the Council of State before making the call.

After Moore ruled in favor of Lewis's protest, Rep. Darren Jackson, D-Wake, filed an appeal of the ruling, but the appeal was voted down 44-71.

The Senate quickly filed suit with a similar move, effectively canceling the extra session scheduled in both chambers for 2 p.m.

Cooper spokesman Ford Porter said the General Assembly was "thumbing its nose" at the courts and the state constitution.

"It's troubling that they prefer to fight about the process rather than draw the new map that North Carolina voters deserve to level the playing field of our democracy. The U.S. Supreme Court was unanimous in its decision, and there is no reason to delay the drawing of new maps," Porter said in a statement.

But Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Mitchell, said lawmakers "refuse to be manipulated" by Cooper.

"Despite all his talk about separation of powers, it’s clear Roy Cooper wants to be North Carolina’s governor, legislature and, with this latest stunt, its judiciary too," Mitchell said in a statement. "The courts have yet to give the legislature direction on this matter, and we will be prepared to undertake a thorough redistricting process with ample notice and opportunities for public input when they do."

WNC'S MARK MEADOWS OP/ED:  RUSSIAN HYSTERIA PARALYZES THE U.S. CONGRESS

WNC'S MARK MEADOWS OP/ED: RUSSIAN HYSTERIA PARALYZES THE U.S. CONGRESS

 FORMER FBI DIRECTOR COMEY TESTIFIES THURSDAY   

How Russia hysteria paralyzes Congress
By Mark Meadows

(CNN)There is a simple reality that often seems lost on many inside the Beltway: The priorities of the mainstream media and Washington elites are not those of the American people.
If you've watched cable news any given day since President Donald Trump's inauguration, you've been subjected to near-hysterical coverage of the latest "scandal" that threatens to doom his presidency. You've probably seen pundits, analysts and politicians relentlessly deliver talking points on why Trump is unfit to be President -- or even why he should be impeached.

Yet here we are, six months into President Trump's term, and many Americans have grown weary of the constant media frenzy regarding his administration. And those who voted for the President continue to support him.
This principle might seem shocking to Washington, but average Americans -- many of whom I spoke with while campaigning for then candidate Trump -- will tell you that they could care less about the latest Washington cable news drama. Rather, what they care about are policies that impact their families, their pocket books and their everyday lives.
Political media and DC elites often forget that the average American family is struggling to save for the future -- and in fact almost half couldn't cover an unforeseen $400 expense. Despite the fact that millions of men and women across this country are working second and third jobs, they are struggling to feed their families.

Those Americans -- from Western North Carolina to Ohio to Pennsylvania to Michigan -- aren't focused on the latest breaking "news" on the Russia investigation. They care about seeing results and solutions that help their businesses survive -- and grow. They care about having access to high quality, affordable health care. They care about lower taxes that allow them to keep more of their paychecks. They care about the safety and security of their family.

And, in Washington, we have done an abysmal job of maintaining our primary focus on those issues. Passing important policy that impacts every day Americans requires consensus building, marketing our ideas to constituents through media and building coalitions of support. With the constant focus on Russia, big important policy items like tax reform have been stalled.

Now, make no mistake, it's critical that we not gloss over any potential wrongdoing in the Russia investigation. If there were improper activities, we need to get to the bottom of the issue -- and no one will be more committed to getting to the truth on a bipartisan basis than I will.
At the same time, congressional investigations have to follow a deliberative process that takes time. I've conducted oversight of government agencies and officials for the last five years as a member and a subcommittee chairman on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. I've investigated cases ranging from the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal to the IRS targeting scandal to the Benghazi attack where Americans lost their lives.

In all of these cases, we had a deliberative process that spanned months -- and in some cases, years -- to collect proper evidence, interview key witnesses and see where the facts led. And, in some instances, the facts didn't lead anywhere, and the cases were dropped.

Congress has a duty to hold government officials accountable when necessary, but it is counterproductive for the media and some of my Democrat colleagues to throw unsubstantiated claims regarding White House officials against a wall repeatedly to see what sticks. Media and political hysterics work in opposition to -- not in favor of -- getting to truth and transparency.

Furthermore, while foreign interference in our election is something that our republic cannot and should not tolerate, it seems a bit ludicrous to suggest that tens of millions of Americans made a choice for president based on Russian influence. This is evidenced by the fact that President Trump continues to share the support of a plurality of Americans who believe they made the right choice for president -- because they voted for his agenda.

America must not tolerate Russian intervention in our elections, but we must also not perpetuate a narrative that suggests a far bigger role than any evidence has proven. Fueling exaggeration and constant hysteria is something that could unravel a democracy like ours. It's time we let the special counsel do his job and allow Congress to focus on actually on doing ours.

Let's also remember that through the frenzy, no formal charge has been leveled against anyone in the administration, no direct evidence uncovered and no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia confirmed. This is nothing warranting wall-to-wall speculation from the pundit class. The hysterics surrounding Russia merely serve to distract from accomplishing the priorities of the American people -- and for what, partisan gain?

There is real work to be done for the American people. Much of it can and should be possible to accomplish on a bipartisan basis. Now is not the time to circle the partisan wagons, but a time to deliver on the commitments we made to the American people. We need to deliver on undoing the harmful regulatory environment that stifles businesses, reforming the tax code to leave more money in the pockets of hard working Americans, replacing our broken health care system with one that will bring down premiums for American families and properly supporting our men and women in uniform.

It's time Congress and the media redirect their attention to those same principles. Let's focus on the American peoples' true priorities -- the Main Street issues that matter.

NORAFIN, A NEW GERMAN MANUFACTURING FACILITY, OFFICIALLY BROKE GROUND IN MILLS RIVER WEDNESDAY MORNING

NORAFIN, A NEW GERMAN MANUFACTURING FACILITY, OFFICIALLY BROKE GROUND IN MILLS RIVER WEDNESDAY MORNING

Ground was officially broken for the 75,000-square-foot Norafin manufacturing facility on School House Road in Mills River Wednesday morning.  Much work had gone into this by the Partnership for Economic Development, the Town of MNills River, Henderson County, Hendersonville's Water Department and others.

Stuart Smith, Norafin’s Business Director for the Americas, said crews will start moving dirt on the site in the coming week, and that the building should be completed by October, with equipment moving in starting in November, and production beginning in in April of next year.

When fully staffed around a year after opening, Norafin expects to employ between 45 and 50 at the site, working closely with Blue Ridge Community College for training and recruiting, Smith said.  The site is located off Banner Farm Road.

 

A SECOND CANDIDATE ANNOUNCES FOR HENDERSONVILLE CITY COUNCIL

A SECOND CANDIDATE ANNOUNCES FOR HENDERSONVILLE CITY COUNCIL

FILING FOR OFFICE IS 12 NOON JULY 7 UNTIL 12 NOON JULY 21   

A student at Blue Ridge Community College and a Hendersonville High School graduate, John Moore celebrated his 20th birthday Monday, and on Tuesday he announced that he will seek a seat on Hendersonville City Council in the municipal elections this fall.

According to the Times-News, Moore said he’s running because he wants to represent a growing minority in Hendersonville that feels is underrepresented. He also wants to protect the city’s environment and help hard-working middle-class families, students, young people and seniors on fixed incomes.

At a rally hosted by Progressive Organized Women Tuesday and attended by about 100 people, , Moore’s  made his announcement.

Filing opens July 7 for municipal elections in Henderson County, including the Hendersonville City Council race, where two seats are up for election. The seats are held by Jeff Miller and Jerry Smith. Mayor Barbara Volk’s seat is also up for election.  Filing will continue for only a two week period, ending at noon on Friday July 21st.  Filing will take place at the Board of Elections on Central Street.

The primaries for municipal elections are set for Oct. 10, with the general election on Nov. 7.

Moore is the second candidate to declare a run for one of the council seats, following Debbie Roundtree’s announcement last month.

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS APPROVE $136.4 MILLION FY 17-18 COUNTY BUDGET

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS APPROVE $136.4 MILLION FY 17-18 COUNTY BUDGET

WITH NO PROPERTTY TAX INCREASE   

ARTIFICIAL TURF FOR HHS ATHLTIC FIELD STILL COMING BUT DELAYED   

Henderson County commissioners made it official Monday...the county’s budget for fiscal year 2017-18 was approved. Commissioners passed the $136,489,200 budget after making several substantial changes Monday.

The new total is a $1,475,000 increase from the $135-million proposed budget commissioners had been looking at earlier.

The largest change Monday was proposed by Commissioner Grady Hawkins, and is an addition of $2 million to the debt service fund for the upcoming budget in preparation for climbing debt service payments in the future to pay for the county’s construction of new facilities or capital improvement projects.

Commissioner Grady Hawkins made the point that the county should be looking two or three years into the future, when debt service payments are set to increase by about $6 million.
Another big change was the removal of $800,000 the board had set aside for the purchase of property on Fleming Street near Hendersonville High, to be used as parking for the new school. Instead, the board moved to purchase the property in the current fiscal year, lumping in the payments with the debt service for the Hendersonville High project.

The county will also get a $5,000 bonus from the property owners for closing the deal this year instead of next, according to Commission Chairman Michael Edney.

Like the other three county high schools, Hendersonville High will also get artificial turf on its athletic field...but when that will happen is still up in the air. Final plans for the new HHS campus won’t be ready until later this year and engineers say there are some utility issues that need to be resolved.

The new county budget keeps the tax rate where it is now with no increase...and with no roll-back in the tax rate after last years 10 per cent property tax increase and a roughly $45 million fund balance.

THIS YEAR'S APPLE FESTIVAL WILL CARRY A NEW LOGO

THIS YEAR'S APPLE FESTIVAL WILL CARRY A NEW LOGO

NC APPLE FESTIVAL DIRECTOR ANNOUNCES NEW FESTIVAL LOGO FOR 2017

Festival Executive Director David Nicholson announed this week that, "We are pleased to present our logo for the 71st North Carolina Apple Festival."

"This year’s logo was designed by our President, Lee Henderson-Hill, along with NC Printing of Hendersonville, NC. We will feature the logo on our limited addition t-shirts, which will be printed by NC Printing and other merchandise offerings." 

President Hill issued the following statement concerning the logo.

"We are excited to release the 2017 NC Apple festival logo. The logo captures all that North Carolina, the apple season and fall harvest is about. The red cardinal has special significance to North Carolina as the state bird but it was also my late grandmother, Reba Prince’s favorite bird so cardinals hold a special place in the heart of me and my family. The apple blossoms signify that start of the growing season and the beautiful grouping of apples reflect the abundant harvest after many weeks of laboring in the fields.
The logo harkens back to the great artwork you would find on the wooden shipping crates that were used to transport apples all across the United States. Many of you may have some dusty treasures of your grandparents somewhere in your basements.

Come join us at the 71st Annual North Carolina Apple Festival as we celebrate the bountiful, healthy harvest of delicious locally grown apples."

For additional information concerning the North Carolina Apple Festival, please contact David Nicholson, Executive Director
828-606-5628 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.