listen live
Tippy Creswell

ON AIR STAFF
Tippy Creswell
full schedule

107.7 FM NOW ON THE AIR
Current weather in Hendersonville, NC 75° Wednesday's Weather
Patchy AM fog
HI: 86 LOW: 66
Your Forecast Ray's Weather
COUNTY'S MOSQUITO CONTROL PROGRAM INCLUDES "BAT BOXES" THIS SUMMER

COUNTY'S MOSQUITO CONTROL PROGRAM INCLUDES "BAT BOXES" THIS SUMMER

 Henderson County's mosquito contro program can help this summer of you have a problem with disease-carrying mosquitos..

County Manager Steve Wyatt says the county has purchased two dozen bat boxes that bats can live in.

While the county will continue to spray for the insects, officials hope bats will also help control the mosquito population.
 
One bat can feast on up to a thousand mosquitoes every night.
 
Wyatt also said the county is encouraging residents and businesses to get their own bat boxes and to remove any standing water on their property.Henderson County bought bat boxes for $20, and they are due to arrive next week.
 

CONGRESSMAN MEADOWS BRINGS CHAIRMAN OF HOUSE RULES COMMITTEE TO VISIT THE G.E. PLANT

CONGRESSMAN MEADOWS BRINGS CHAIRMAN OF HOUSE RULES COMMITTEE TO VISIT THE G.E. PLANT

This morning Chairman Pete Sessions of the House Committee on Rules and Congressman Mark Meadows toured the General Electric facility in East Flat Rock, North Carolina. This facility is home to one of the largest LED plant in the world. In addition to contributing to technological advances internationally, it has created more than 500 local jobs and invests more than $10 million in the facilities annual operations.

 

“In the past eight years our economy has be strained by onerous regulations and restrictive policies resulting in the lowest labor force participation rate since I was in high school and lackluster GDP growth. It is refreshing and inspiring to see communities like East Flat Rock thriving under conservative leadership and creating jobs for hard working Americans in an environment that fosters innovation and growth. I was delighted to join my dear friend Congressman Meadows in visiting his beautiful district and learning more about the opportunities made possible because of his hard work and leadership,”  said Chairman Sessions.

 

“General Electric continues to set the standard for cutting edge manufacturing in our country, and Western North Carolina is privileged to host one of its facilities. I want to thank my friend Chairman Pete Sessions for going out of his way to tour one of GE’s plants in East Flat Rock with me today as we received a firsthand look at some of the exciting new work occurring in the industry,” said Congressman Meadows. “Moving forward, we are excited to work with GE to create an environment that will allow manufacturing to thrive.”

 

 

'DOG DAYS" SHOWERS END OUR SEVERE DROUGHT CLASSIFICATION; MOST LOCAL CROPS APPEAR TO BE DOING OK

'DOG DAYS" SHOWERS END OUR SEVERE DROUGHT CLASSIFICATION; MOST LOCAL CROPS APPEAR TO BE DOING OK

 

 

D2 - Severe Drought

Cherokee County
Clay County
Graham County
Haywood County
Jackson County
Macon County
Transylvania CountyTotal: 7

D1 - Moderate Drought

Buncombe County
Henderson County
Madison County
Mitchell County
Swain County
Yancey CountyTotal: 6

D0 - Abnormally Dry

Avery County
Cleveland County
Gaston County
Lincoln County
McDowell County
Polk County
Rutherford County
Watauga CountyTotal: 8

"Dog Days" officially started this summer on July 3rd and will continue through August 11th.  As hot as they've been this year, and some heat records have been set this summer in the 48 contiguous states, there been enough rainfall---in spite of deficits dating back to early last winter---to keep stream flow at accepable levels and the crops growing.

Old-imers here in the mountains say if it rains on the first day of "Dog Days", it'll rain somewhere in the area everyday until "Dog Days" ends.  Even though the rain has been spotty, and has come in downpours in some areas that quickly ran off, there has been enough of it to avoid water restrictions...and to keep good crops...from hay to vegetables to apples...all growing and reasonably healthy in Henderson County.

Agriculture still accounts for a high percentage of Henderson County's economy.

Weather forecasters expect the spotty "Dog Days" weather pattern to continue for at least the next week, but there may be some modification of temperatures...with slightly cooler daytime highs in the upper 70s...by the middle of the week as a nationwide heat wave begins to loosen its grip.

Henderson County was officially taken off the "severe drought" list by the NC Drought Managemnt Advisory Council last Thursday, but wE remain in what they call "moderate" drought.  Water consevation is still being encouraged.

By Larry Freeman  6pm  07/23/16

PARK RIDGE HEALTH AFFILIATES WITH ACCOUNTABLE CARE ORGANIZATION

PARK RIDGE HEALTH AFFILIATES WITH ACCOUNTABLE CARE ORGANIZATION

Park Ridge Health is pleased to announce it has formed a strategic partnership with CHESS, a leading population health management company based in High Point, North Carolina.  This new relationship will establish Park Ridge Health as the anchor for a new Accountable Care Organization (ACO) in the western part of the state, one of several managed by CHESS in North Carolina. This new ACO will comprise all 140 Park Ridge Health providers and several dozen independent physicians in the region, improving coordination of care for the patients of Western North Carolina. 
 
The ACO model, which focuses on high quality care, improved patient satisfaction and reduced cost of care, is very consistent with the Park Ridge Health tradition of providing the highest quality care to patients at the greatest value. Through the relationship with CHESS, Park Ridge Health and its fellow ACO providers will join the 2300+ providers aligned with CHESS throughout the state. CHESS has achieved great success in working with health systems to better manage the care of their patient population, including meeting exceptional quality standards and realizing savings for participating entities. One of its clients, Cornerstone Health Care, was recognized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as the 6th top performing ACO in the country on quality measures (#1 for quality in North Carolina) and achieved significant cost savings in the last reporting year. As a result, Cornerstone was selected as one of only 21 ACOs to move to the Next Generation ACO model (this innovation model encourages expanded integration with care providers, such as skilled nursing facilities, who meet high quality standards). 
 
  -
“By partnering with one of the largest and most successful population health organizations in the state, we believe we will be able to enhance the benefits we offer to patients throughout our community,” said Jason Wells, Chief Operating Officer Park Ridge Health Physician Enterprise. “We will be driving access to even more comprehensive care, meeting our commitment to continuously improve quality, focusing on providing the right care at the right time and place, and bringing an unprecedented scope of care to our region.  By collaborating with leading health care providers across the state, we will now be able to offer our patients more options designed to meet all of their health care needs.”  
 
"Partnering with CHESS will cement Park Ridge Health’s abilities to stay at the head of health care reform changes while maintaining our excellent quality of care,” said Jimm Bunch, Park Ridge Health CEO. “We will be working with CHESS partners like Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center which has a proven track record in shifting reimbursement methods to payment models based on quality, outcomes and cost.”
 
“We are going to make it easier for people to access health care,” said Bruce Perlman, M.D., Medical Director for Clinical Integration at Park Ridge Health. “Rather than concentrating exclusively on treating disease after it has occurred (the way the health care world has worked historically), , the ACO model provides a more proactive approach to care, focusing on prevention and identifying health issues before they become critical. Park Ridge Health has always been passionate about keeping people healthy, supporting them when they are sick, but also when they are well. We are excited to collaborate with the providers of CHESS who embrace this same approach to care.”
 
Park Ridge Health remains an independent community health resource for Western North Carolina as it has for the past 106 years. This new partnership brings the expertise of CHESS and the resources of this expansive network of successful Accountable Care Organizations to our local community. 
 
“CHESS seeks out health care organizations that have solid histories of providing quality care. Park Ridge Health has one of the highest patient satisfaction scores in the state, making this partnership the right move for everyone involved,” said James Hoekstra, M.D., CHESS Chief Business Development Officer. “We look forward to working with the providers and staff who make up Park Ridge Health’s network in Western North Carolina.”
 
CHESS has assisted a number of health systems in central and western North Carolina in making the transformation to value by implementing innovative care models and establishing value-based contracts with insurance carriers. CHESS transformation clients include Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, Catawba Valley Medical Group, Cornerstone Health Care and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. 
 

THE NUMBER OF HANDGUNS INTERCEPTED BY THE TSA AT ASHEVILLE AIRPORT IS UP THIS YEAR

THE NUMBER OF HANDGUNS INTERCEPTED BY THE TSA AT ASHEVILLE AIRPORT IS UP THIS YEAR

The Transportation Security Administration recentlky displayed some 900 pounds of weapons and hazardous materials seized at TSA checkpoints at the AshevilleRegionalAirport during the past 12 months.

TSA officials say the most common banned items were those with blades, like knives.  But four handguns have been intercepted at Asheville Airport checkpoints already this year…only one gun was found last year.

Even a chainsaw was intercepted by the TSA at the Asheville Airport.

Statewide, 85 guns have been confiscated at airports in North Carolina so far this year.  1,546 guns have been seized by the TSA at airports nationwide so far this year…the number of expected to be up significantly over last year.

COMMISSIONERS APPROVE NEW $13 MILLION EMERGENCY COMPLEX IN BALFOUR AND REJECT---FOR NOW---A THREE CENT ROLLBACK IN THE PROPERTY TAX

COMMISSIONERS APPROVE NEW $13 MILLION EMERGENCY COMPLEX IN BALFOUR AND REJECT---FOR NOW---A THREE CENT ROLLBACK IN THE PROPERTY TAX

In their meeting this week, Henderson County commissioners, in a split three to two vote, rejected---for now---commissioner Bill Lapsley’s proposal to roll back the county’s recent five cent property tax increase by three cents.  Lapsley’s argument for the rollback is largely based on the hope that voters will approve the quarter cent sales tax increase that will be on voter’s ballots in November that would raise about two point five million dollars in revenue for the county.  He points out it will be hard to convince voters to support that quarter cent sales tax…on top of the nickel increase in property taxes earlier this year,  A majority of commissioners want to look at Lapsley’s proposed rollback more closely before committing to it.  That nickel property tax increase approved earlier this year, by the way…will raise over six and a half million dollars more in county revenue.

Commissioners have approved, also in a split vote, building that new thirteen million dollar emergency services complex on the Asheville Highway on the site of the old BalfourSchool.  Commissioner Lapsley voted against it…he said he favors the new complex but thinks the thirteen million is too much to spend on it.  The old school will be bulldozed and construction will start at the end of the school year in June 2017.

And commissioners are considering a requirement that all solid waste collected in the county be taken to the county’s transfer station…which would mean that local trash haulers would not longer have the option of taking their loads outside the county.  Thjis could mean an increase in rates for some garbage customers.  As Commissioner Michael Edney pointed out, the proposal “…creates a flow of money to go with the trash” which would help the county pay for a number of solid waste expenses including maintenance of the old landfill.  Commissioners will hold a public hearing on that on August 17th.

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS TAKE STRONG STAND AGAINST REFUGEE RE-SETTLEMENT HERE

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS TAKE STRONG STAND AGAINST REFUGEE RE-SETTLEMENT HERE

 

After hearing from a very outspoken public in opposition to the re-settlement of foreign refugees into Hendersonville and Henderson County, the county commissioners Wednesday morning took a unanimous and strong stand against such foreign refugee re-settlement into our community.  The re-settlement issue was added to the agenda for the commissioner's Wednesday morning meeting by Commissioner Grady Hawkins, who pointed out there are serious security concerns with such refugees.  Hawkins added that even the Arab countried in the Middle East will not accept such refugees.

In addition to security concerns, Hawkins told the other commissioners that these refugees will not assimilate into our American society, but will attempt to change our very way of life.

The whole issue of foreign refugees being re-settled into our community came up a while back when Hendersonville Mayor Barbara Volk informed city council members that Saint James Episcopal Church was exploring the possibility of helping re-locate such refugees into our community.  That possible re-location was brought to the public's attention by city council member Ron Stephens who opposed such re-location.  Stephens told WHKP News there was not enough support among city council members at their last meeting to pass a resolution similar to the county's that opposes such re-settlement.

The county commissioners heard from a very vocal public Wednesday morning that opposes the re-settlement of refugees here, and Commissioners Hawkins introduced a very details resolution against re-settlment here and against the whole re-settlement program currently underway by the federal government.

County Commissioner Charlie Messer not only agreed with the resolution, but ammended it order for it to be sent to the state association of county commissioners so commissioners in all of Noprth Carolina's 100 counties could "sign on" to it and express their opposition to refugee re-settlement in their communities.

The couny commissioners unanimously agreed and the resolution was adopted to the applause of citizens who attended Wednesday morning's meeting.

A recent on-line survey on WHKP's web site show that nine out of twn respondents opposed the re-settlement of refugees here.

Meanwhile, Saint James Church says re-settlment into our community is not likely anytime soon due to Hendersonville's distance from the nearest re-settlement center which is in Nashville, Tennessee.  A spookesman for the church did tell the Times-News however that the church would be attempting to help get such a center located closer to the Asheville-Hendersonville area...which of course would facilitate the re-location here of the refugees. 

In an e-mail from a spokesman for the re-settlement center in Nashville, WHKP News was told the center has no knowledge of any plans to locate a center in western North Carolina and we were referred to the U.S. State Department.

By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman  07/20/16  Updated 2:30pm

 

     

LOCAL GAS PRICES CONTINUE FALLING; NOW AS LOW AS $2.13 AT SOME WNC AREA STATIONS

LOCAL GAS PRICES CONTINUE FALLING; NOW AS LOW AS $2.13 AT SOME WNC AREA STATIONS

Average retail gasoline prices in  have fallen 3.7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.23/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 259 gas outlets in Tthe Hendersonville-Asheville area . This compares with the national average that has fallen 1.6 cents per gallon in the last week to $2.20/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.com.

Including the change in gas prices in Hendersonville and Asheville,  during the past week, prices yesterday were 44.4 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 8.0 cents per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 13.8 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 55.7 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.

According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on  in  have ranged widely over the last five years:
$2.67/g in , $3.61/g in , $3.54/g in , $3.31/g in  and $3.66/g in .

Areas nearby  and their current gas price climate:
Spartanburg- $1.83/g, down 3.0 cents per gallon from last week's $1.86/g.
Knoxville- $1.94/g, down 3.9 cents per gallon from last week's $1.98/g.
Greenville- $1.83/g, down 3.4 cents per gallon from last week's $1.86/g.

"Summer travel is up, and yet, gas prices continue to decline? We know that seems perplexing for many, but that's exactly what's happening and it all comes down to those most basic fundamentals; supply & demand," said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com.

"Despite fuel consumption near record levels, U.S. gasoline inventory recently reached the highest July level ever recorded (240.1 million bbl) and, concurrently, the national average has continued its consistent decline," he added.

MOST RESPONDING TO WHKP SURVEY OPPOSE REFUGEE RE-SETTLEMENT HERE

MOST RESPONDING TO WHKP SURVEY OPPOSE REFUGEE RE-SETTLEMENT HERE

Nine out of ten people responding to a WHKP web site survey believe Hendersonville city council and the Henderson County commissioners should pass resolutions opposing the re-settlement of foreign refugees into Henderson County.

WHKP published the survey four days ago following a station editorial expressing our opposition to such re-settlement into our community and agreeing with concerns expressed by city council member Ron Stephens.  Stephens indicated there was not enough support among council members at last week’s city council meeting to move forward with such a resolution.  Henderson County commissioners have the re-settlement issue on their agenda for discussion at their meeting this Wednesday morning.

The issue of refugees, possibly from trouble spots in the Middle East, being re-settled into Henderson County came up a while back when it was revealed that St. James Episcopal Church was looking into possibly supporting refugees being brought here.  The church says it’s not likely to happen because the nearest “re-settlement center” is in Nashville, Tennessee, but a spokesman for the church said they would be working to have a “re-settlement center” located closer to western North Carolina…which would make it possible for refugees to be re-located here. 

(Survey results:  40 participants; 92.5% favor resolutions opposing re-settlement; 7.5% oppose such resolutions)

 

 

HENDERSON COUNTY NATIVE & GOP CONVENTION DELEGATE CONTINUES TO OPPOSE TRUMP;  IS BEING QUOTED BY NC'S CLINTON CAMPAIGN

HENDERSON COUNTY NATIVE & GOP CONVENTION DELEGATE CONTINUES TO OPPOSE TRUMP; IS BEING QUOTED BY NC'S CLINTON CAMPAIGN

Andrew Bates is Communications Direcor for the "Hillary for America" campaign organization in North Carolina...and he sent out a press release Tuesday quoting Henderson County native and former North Carolina Supreme Coiurt Justice Bob Orr as saying of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump..."He's someone who would be a danger to America."  

WRAL in Raleigh released the following story on Tuesday, with the referenes to Judge Orr highlightd in yellow, which was distributed by Bates and the "Hillary for America" organization:

Before speeches began Monday night at the Republican National Convention, some political drama played out on the convention floor as a rules vote didn’t go the right way for delegates hoping to vote against presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump.

The incident showed the division in the GOP, but as leaders insisted they can unite the party, at least one North Carolina delegate said he can’t support Trump.

When the rules chaos erupted, North Carolina delegates were caught in the middle.

“I felt it was out of place and should not have been. I think Donald Trump has proven that he has gotten the nomination,” said state Rep. Pat Hurley, R-Randolph.

Most in the delegation want to unite and move forward for Trump, but some still protested the roll call shutdown from the podium.

“I cannot vote for Trump, either for the nomination or in November,” said delegate and former North Carolina Supreme Court justice Bob Orr. “I think he’s singularly unqualified to lead this country.”

Orr, who supports Ohio Gov. John Kasich, wasn’t even on the floor for the rules fight, but his mind was already made up against Trump. He cites what he calls irresponsible talk about everyone from judges to lawmakers for reinforcing the decision.

“He’s someone who would be a danger to the country,” Orr said.

“In a perfect world, as chairman of the party, I would love to have 100 percent support for the nominee, Donald Trump. I know that’s not going to happen,” said Robin Hayes, chairman of the North Carolina Republican Party.

Hayes said he will continue to try to unite the party while Orr said he’s not sure who he will vote for in November, of if he will even vote at all.

Roll call is set for Tuesday night as Trump’s name will be read into nomination.

As WHKP News reported earlier this week, two alternate delegates to the GOP convention in Cleveland are from Henderson County.  And both Glenn Elgleram and Jane Bilello are not attending the convention in Cleveland and both are pledged to Senator Ted Crus.  Ms. Bilella said of Trump's appearance at the convention..."I'm no going to see the Trump carnage."  Engleram, who is the Henderson County Republican Executive Committee chairman says he feels like he can do the most good staying here in Henderson County and working for the whole GOP ticket.

Judge Orr, who now lives in Burnsville, began his c areer as an ad salesman for WHKP Radio.  He later became an attorney and served as an assoviate justice on the North Carolina Supreme Court.  Orr was also an unsuccessful Republican candidate for governor of North Carlina eight years ago.

By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman   07/19/16   Updated 5pm