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HENDERSONVILLE  POST OFFICE TO MOVE OUT OF FIFTH AVENUE LOCATION IN 2017

HENDERSONVILLE POST OFFICE TO MOVE OUT OF FIFTH AVENUE LOCATION IN 2017

Even though WHKP News has been told numerous times by the regional office of the U.S. Postal Service in Charlotte in the last couple of years that there are no plans to close or move the Hendersonville post office, it is now being reported that the Fifth Avenue West Hendersonville post office WILL be moving to another location sometime in 2017.

That larger sorting facility near Walmart and Sam’ Club has reportedly left the Fifth Avenue facility with very little to do…and the USPS plan is to replace it with what’s described as a “smaller storefront location” in a nearbvy town that’s yet to be determined.

It is also being reported that the Hendersonville First BaptistChurch is in the market to acquire the post office property for church parking.

It’s also rumored that the City of Hendersonville is considering the property for a possible hotel and/or parking deck.

There had been some talk by City of Hendersonville Public Works a while back that a new turn lane would be built by the city into the post office parking lot off Fifth Avenue as part of the Fifth Avenue West ugrade, but that never materialized.

As WHKP News has reported, the post office parking lot has been in bad need of repairs in recent years and had a huge pothole on one side f the facility a while back.  The owner of the property said it was the postal service’s responsibility…and they apparently fixed the pothole and made some other repairs on the property..

It is not clear when in 2017 the post office will be moving out and vacating the Fifth Avenue West property....or where that new smaller USPS facility might be located.  

By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman 05/20/16 7pm 

 

 

 

 

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SANDBURG FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL IS ON MEMORIAL DAY

SANDBURG FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL IS ON MEMORIAL DAY

AT "CONNEMARA" IN FLAT ROCK

Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site will host the 30th annual Carl Sandburg Folk Music Festival on Memorial Day, May 30. The free festival offers live music performances from 11 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

The folk festival honors Carl Sandburg and his preservation of traditional folk music as found in his collection "The American Songbag." According the park service, "The festival’s performers each skillfully demonstrate the tradition of performing live music to tell stories while capturing the heritage of America through song."

The theme this year is Chicago-style folk and blues in celebration of 100 years of Carl Sandburg’s poetry collection, "Chicago Poems."

BREVARD'S 2016 WHITE SQUIRREL  FESTIVAL WILL BE MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

BREVARD'S 2016 WHITE SQUIRREL FESTIVAL WILL BE MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND

In Brevard, we celebrate our white squirrel population!

Held every year on Memorial Day Weekend, the WHITE SQUIRREL FESTIVAL has a little bit of fun for everyone. The 2016 festival kicks off Friday night at 5:00pm with our 4th Friday Gallery Walk and 5:30 with our first band. In Brevard, art galleries abound with amazing local art, and the 4th Friday Gallery Walk event features the Oskar Blues shuttle, and loads of refreshments served in galleries and stores that stay open late.

At 7:00pm the first band takes the stage, and the music keeps coming all weekend! Our complete lineup will be published soon, so check back for details.

Two and a half days of family fun include special events and sales in our downtown shops; a street festival with kids activities, arts and craft booths, great food; the Squirrel Box Derby; the White Squirrel 5K, 10K, and Fun Run; a Veteran’s Memorial parade and wreath presentation organized by the American Legion, and so much more to do!

Those who are skeptical about the existence of white squirrels will have a chance to meet Pisgah Pete, a rescued white squirrel, who will make his annual appearance at the festival. In addition, festival goers can learn more about how white squirrels live and what we can do to help rehabilitate wounded or rescued squirrels, and have a chance to adopt a white squirrel to help fund rehab efforts.

This Memorial Day Weekend  you will want to be at the WHITE SQUIRREL FESTIVAL and no where else!

More information can be found by calling the festival organizer, Heart of Brevard at 828-884-3278.

POLICE INVESTIGATING FIGHT & SHOOTING ON DERMID AVENUE SATURDAY EVENING

POLICE INVESTIGATING FIGHT & SHOOTING ON DERMID AVENUE SATURDAY EVENING

TWO INDIVIDUALS ARRESTED

Hendersonville Police arrested two individuals over-night Saturday in connection with a fight and a shooting incident late Saturday on Dermid Avenue.

Police say the call about the disturbance came in just before 5:45 Saturday afternoon,  On person, reportedly A 27 year old male, had been shot...he was transported to Mission Hospital and according to Hendersonville Police, he was discharged from the hospital over-night Saturday.  Police also say the victim was unco-operative with investigators, and still was not co-operating in the investigation Sunday morning.

Police say the two individuals arrested and charged in conection with this were not local residents of Dermid Avenue, and both were charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and they were also charged with participating in the fight.

Hendersonville Police told WHKP News early Sunbay morning the investigation is continuing...and anyone with any information on it is asked to call them at 697-3025 or call Crimestoppers at 697-STOP.

By Larry Freeman.  05/15/16 6am

 

 

STATE REVENUE IS UP; NEW NC BUDGET SHOULD BE READY BY JUNE 30

STATE REVENUE IS UP; NEW NC BUDGET SHOULD BE READY BY JUNE 30

 

One of the North Carolina General Assembly's top budget writers in Henderson County's Representative Chuck McGrady...who has released this reort on a new state budget, revenues, and raises for teachers and state employees:

 

Two weeks ago, Governor McCrory announced his budget priorities.  No real surprises---he wants more compensation for teachers, targeted raises for other state employees, and recommends substantially more money for mental health among other things.  The details of his budget were sent over to the legislature the following week.

 

Last week, with little fanfare, the legislature’s fiscal research staff and the Administration’s budget staff reached agreement on how much revenue we’ll have based on tax collections, primarily income and sale tax projections.   The media’s focus, though, was on an agreement between the NC House and Senate on a spending target.   McCrory had a spending target of $22.3 Billion, and the legislature’s agreed upon cap is $22.225 Billion. 

While Asheville Citizen-Times reporters said that the difference “probably reduces the chance of teachers getting all of the 5 percent pay raise and 3.5 percent bonuses, and state employees getting a 3 percent bonus McCrory proposed,” there is not a really big difference between the Governor’s target and the legislature’s target.  It is true there is slightly less money in the legislative spending target than the Governor’s target, but the reporters’ premise struck me like almost everything else put out about the budget over the past few years:  mostly a figment of the media’s imagination.

 

I think back to last year.  For months, the media (and Democrats and liberal bloggers) moaned about the huge budget deficit we were facing and how that would mean cuts to education and other programs.  Of course, that didn’t turn out to be true.  In fact, we ran a large surplus which triggered tax cuts.

 

As a budget writer, I think the agreement on a budget target this early in the session only suggests that it shouldn’t be a long legislative session since we’re working on numbers in the same ballpark.   It is just a “spending target.”   If there were some significant change, for example, a natural disaster, a target could be changed.

 

Rather than worrying about the spending target, the more important number announced last week was that the state’s revenue number was adjusted upward.   We’d been expecting a budget surplus but the surplus was adjusted upward.   A few weeks ago, the projection was for a $237 million revenue surplus, but the new number was a $330 million surplus.

 

To understand why that is a more important number, one has to understand the concept of “recurring funds” versus “nonrecurring funds.”   Recurring funds are monies that can be expected from year-to-year based on the history of fund collections.   Nonrecurring funds are monies that represent a one-time bump in fund collections.   In any budget, you have things that happen that bring one’s revenues in a bit higher than expected, but you can’t expect whatever happened to happen again—thus, nonrecurring funds.  On the other hand, we project income tax collections and sales tax collections but, if no changes are made to the tax code, one can fairly reliably project what funds one will have next year---thus, recurring funds.

 

While I’m glad we have a spending target because it signals that the budget process is likely to be short, the better news is that we’re going to have slightly more recurring funds.  Why?   You can’t give a pay raise with nonrecurring funds, since you don’t know whether those funds will be available next year.   With more recurring funds, we have slightly more flexibility on compensation issues.

The Governor worked around this issue by providing “bonuses”—one-time compensation which might not occur next year.   While the legislature may have a lower spending target than the Governor, it has more flexibility than he did when he put together his budget. 

 

So don’t fall for the narrative that focuses on the wrong numbers.   What I’ve learned is that the media and pundits on the right and left usually has little idea of what the budget numbers actually mean.

The General Assembly adopted a two-year budget last September.   Technically, we are not adopting another budget.  Rather, we are modifying the second year of that budget to reflect the new revenue projections, to modify appropriations made in the budget to reflect the needs, and providing new monies for new priorities. 

 

This week, the various House-side appropriations committees, transportation, justice and public safety, health and human services, among others, have put together their recommendations.  Those recommendations [Agriculture and Natural ResourcesCapitalEducationGeneral GovernmentHealth and Human ServicesInformation TechnologyJustice and Public SafetyTransportation] will be cobbled together by the so-called “Big Chairs,” and on Monday afternoon the House’s proposed budget is likely to go public when it appears online.

 

If all goes as planned, by the end of next week, the House will pass its budget.  After that, the Senate will use a similar process.   Most likely, there will be differences between the House budget and the Senate budget. The two bodies will then appoint a conference committee to iron out the differences.   That is scheduled to happen before the end of June.   If the schedule holds, a budget will go to the Governor for his signature before the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

LOCAL GOP LEADER AND FORMER SHERIFF ERWIN HAS ISSUES WITH THE PARTY

LOCAL GOP LEADER AND FORMER SHERIFF ERWIN HAS ISSUES WITH THE PARTY

"Pull the string, and it will follow wherever you wish. Push it, and it will go nowhere at all."  Dwight D. Eisenhower   

After former Henderson County Sheriff George H. Erwin announced in the Hendersonville Lightnng revently that he was "divorcing" himself from the Republican Party, the popular local political leader explained for WHKP News, and for our listeners, what some of his issues wih the "grand old party" are...and you'll hear that in detail on WHKP's news Monday at 7:55am, 11:55am, and 5:05pm on both WHKP AM 1450 and FM 107.7.

A former Carly Fiorina supporter for the Republican presidential nomination, Erwin said he joined his wife and became a Ted Cruz supporter once it became clear that Fiorina would not have a chance.  And through the debate pocess, Erwin says he was embarrassed for the party.  Fiorina, Dr. Ben Carson, Govenor John Kasich, Mike Huckabee, Senator Lindsay Graham and others were largely ignored.  And he said the "name calling:" that came from Donald Trump and others was "like children on the playground".  Still, it's obvious now that Trump will be the party's nominee...and Erwin vowed to "hold his nose" and support the nominee.  And he's encouraging all Republicans to stick together and support the party's nominee, citing a famous line from President Dwight D. Eisenhower about pushing and pulling a string, "Pull the string, and it will follow wherever you wishi. Push it, and it will go nowhere at all"  Erwin believes the next president could appoint as many as three Supreme Court justices, which is why, he says, Hillary Clinton should NOT be the one to make those appointments.

The state Republican Party, says Erwin, has always had problems and the only time you hear from them, he says, is when they swamp you with "robo" calls wanting your money. 

As for the local GOP, Erwin says they do the best they can...but again, it's all a matter of standing for something and pulling together, he says.

Even though he gave up the job as sheriff after twelve successful years that started with his upset victory over another popular sheriff, the late Albert "Ab" Jackson in 1994, Erwin has remained active in local and state GOP politics.  He was a state-wide leader in State Senator Fred Smith's unsuccessful bit for the Republican gubernatorial nomimnation a few years ago.  And he continues in leadership positions with various law enforcement organizations in North Carolina.

Erwin also remains active in his church and various out-reach and ministry causes, such as the "Summer Backpack Program" that provides food for children during the summer break from school.

His comments on the current state of the Republican Party were made in an interview with WHKP News Director Larry Freeman and can be heard on Monday's local news on WHKP/

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SHERIFF WARNS OF NEW LOCAL SCAM

SHERIFF WARNS OF NEW LOCAL SCAM

Multiple residents in and around Henderson County have experienced a series of scam calls over the last couple of days.

The scam callers are telling residents they have a federal warrant for their arrest because they failed to appear for jury duty.  The scam callers are also telling the person receiving the call if they do not immediately go to a CVS pharmacy, Walgreens or Walmart and obtain a PayPal or GreenDot card in the amount of $500 they will immediately have the Sheriff's office come and arrest them. Residents are being told once they obtain the cards they are to give the scam caller the number off the back of the card to ensure it can be logged into their system and they will not be arrested,  plus, their money will be returned once they show up for court.

Henderson County Sheriff Charles McDonald’s is urging residents to not respond or be taken by this latest scam. Sheriff McDonald says “these allegations and demands from the scam callers are not legitimate and have not been initiated from any court or the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office.” If you are contacted by one of these scam callers you should hang up, do not give them any information and contact the Henderson County Sheriff's office at 828-697-4596 to report the call.

LOCAL SCHOOL GRADUATION TIME IS ALMOST HERE

LOCAL SCHOOL GRADUATION TIME IS ALMOST HERE

IT ALL STARTS WITH EARLY COLLEGE GRADUATION THIS THURSDAY

AND MJOE TO COME IN JUNE

Henderson Copunty public schools have annjounced the year's graduation schedule of dates, times, and places:

Thursday, May 12

Henderson County Early College: 6 p.m. in the Blue Ridge Community College Conference Hall

Friday, June 10

East Henderson High: 7 p.m. at E.L. Justus Field *

Hendersonville High: 6 p.m. at Jim Pardue Gymnasium

North Henderson High: 7 p.m. at Glenn C. Marlow Stadium *

West Henderson High: 7:30 p.m. at Johnson Field *

Balfour Education Center: 5:30 p.m. at Living Water Baptist Church

* Weather permitting; will be moved indoors in the event of rain

BACK & FORTH LAWSUITS---NC GOVERNOR FILES A LAWSUIT AGAINST OBAMA'S DOJ---DOJ SUES BACK

BACK & FORTH LAWSUITS---NC GOVERNOR FILES A LAWSUIT AGAINST OBAMA'S DOJ---DOJ SUES BACK

McCrory turns the tables on Obama's Justice Department...and sues the DOJ over HB 2  

Later the same afternoon th U.S. Attorney General announced the DOJ is filing a lawsuit against Northg Carolina, the Governor, and the University of North Carolina  

Billions in federal funds are at stake

Governor Pat McCrory has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice over their challenge to a controversial restroom law.

The lawsuit seeks to keep in place the law, which the U.S. Justice Department said last week violated the civil rights of transgender people against sex discrimination on the job and in education.

"The Obama administration is bypassing Congress by attempting to rewrite the law and set restroom policies for public and private employers across the country, not just North Carolina. This is now a national issue that applies to every state and it needs to be resolved at the federal level," McCrory said in a statement. "They are now telling every government agency and every company that employs more than 15 people that men should be allowed to use a women's locker room, restroom or shower facility."

On May 4, the U.S. Department of Justice sent a letter to McCrory, Secretary of Public Safety Frank Perry and UNC System President Margaret Spellings that alleged violations of federal law.

McCrory's lawsuit, filed in federal court in North Carolina, asks a judge to block Justice Department action that could threaten billions of dollars in federal money flowing to the state.

The lawsuit called the law a "common sense privacy policy" and said the Justice Department's position was a "baseless and blatant overreach."

"This is an attempt to unilaterally rewrite long-established federal civil rights laws in a manner that is wholly inconsistent with the intent of Congress and disregards decades of statutory interpretation by the courts," the lawsuit said.

McCrory said on "Fox News Sunday" he was not aware of any North Carolina cases of transgender people using their gender identity to access a restroom and molest someone. Other supporters of the law cite reports elsewhere of men entering women's bathrooms -- thanks to policies allowing transgender people to enter the restrooms aligned with their gender identity -- to highlight the threat of sexual assault.

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TOWN OF MILLS RIVER TO OFFER FREE KAYAK AND CANOE SAFETY COURSE

TOWN OF MILLS RIVER TO OFFER FREE KAYAK AND CANOE SAFETY COURSE

 

THOSE WHO ENJOY THE RIVER CAN ENJOY THE TOWN'S NEW KAYAK AND CANOE LAUNCH AT THE BACK F MILLS RIVER PARK   

The Town of Mills River last year opened a new kayak and canoe launch on the bank of the MillsRiver at the back of MillsRiverPark.

And on Saturday June 11th, the Town, along with the Fitzpatrick Foundation, will be sponsoring at kayak and canoe safety course at the new launch site.  Mills River Town Manager Jeff Wells said the safety course is open to all those interested in enjoying crafts on the river and will be no charge for the course.

Wells said the course will be from 8:30 to 11:30am on June 11th…and the instructors will be Justin Blythe of the Henderson County Rescue Squad and Ricky Brown.

The course will cover the various types of crafts and the

rules for their use; hazards on the river; rescue techniques; personal protective equipment; and trip planning.

Mills River Mayor Larry Freeman said the Town decided to do the safety course after DSS Director Eric Bush, an experienced kayaker,  was killed last December 20th in an accident while kayaking on the Nolichucky River in Mitchell County.  Freeman said Mr. Vaughan Fitzpatrick and the Fitzpatrick Foundation, who had made the Town’s canoe and kayak launch possible, then stepped up to the plate and agreed to co-sponsor and underwrite the cost of the safety course.  Fitzpatrick is an active kayak and canoe enthusiast.

Freeman said, “We’re pleased to see our launch being used by so many who enjoy activities on the river. Our goal, along with the Fitzpatrick Foundation, is to provide expert safety instruction and information so that all those who use the launch and the river can enjoy them safely.”