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.
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?
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.
Piggys Ice Cream on Duncan Hill Road wants all law enforcement and medical emergency and firemen to know they are appreciated.
So Piggys will give free ice cream this Sunday July 31st to all law enforcement, firemen and emergency medical workers who are in uniform or show their badge or credentials.
A spokesman for Piggy's says this is just Piggys and the Thompson family's way of showing their support for the hard work of these public servants.