In the photo, sculptor James Spratt is holding the likeness he created of the late James T. Fain who, for most of his lifetime, was editor of the Hendersonville Times-News.
In the main lobby of WHKP’s “Broadcast House”, there’s a bronze statue of the late broadcaster and community leader Kermit Edney. That skillfully crafted likeness and dozens of others were the handiwork of sculptor James Spratt. Spratt died late last week after a long battle with cancer.
James Killian Spratt died on Saturday, September 24, 2016 at the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville, NC.
Born April 4, 1950 in Frankfurt, Germany to an American father and Scottish mother, his parents brought him home to North Carolina in 1952. At age three, he turned a block of modeling clay into a surprisingly realistic elephant. At that moment, he didn't discover his life's calling - it discovered him. This artistic gift would serve him throughout his entire life, while earning his BA in Fine Arts at UNC-Asheville, serving in the U.S. Navy in Korea from 1970 to 1974, and bringing innumerable works of art to life, right up to the day he lost his long battle with cancer. His kind, giving nature and creatively embellished stories will be sorely missed but never forgotten.
James was preceded in death by his parents, Frank Killian Spratt Jr. and Florence Hill Spratt. He leaves behind his fiancée, Carol Nail, with whom he lived in Hendersonville for six years, brother David Garlington Spratt and his wife Genetta in High Point, NC, sister Kathleen Spratt Kraus and her husband Kenneth in Hendersonville, a son, Aaron Killian Spratt and his wife Jacey in Bethesda, MD, Carol's sons Jeffrey and Thomas, as well as five grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
This Saturday, October 1 at 2pm, a private service for family members will take place at Yellow Hill Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Cherokee, NC. On Saturday, October 8 at 2pm, friends and family are invited to celebrate his life at Lake Julian Park, shelter #1, in Arden.
in the North Carolina Education Lottery
When he reaslized he'd won, "I got into my truck and locked the door!"
For Steven Tuttle of Flat Rock, the recent gas shortage almost cost him a $1 million lottery prize.
He usually gets his gas at the Ingles on Highland Lake Road in Flat Rock, but had stopped going there when the price rose during the shortage.
“I almost didn’t stop,” Tuttle said. “When I saw that the price of gas had dropped back down, I turned around.”
While he was there, Tuttle decided to get a $1,000,000 Bonus Cash scratch-off ticket.
He scratched the $10 ticket while getting gas. When he realized he won, Tuttle was so shocked he stopped filling up his tank.
“I didn’t know what to do,” Tuttle said. “I got into my truck and locked the door. To think I came that close to not stopping.”
He claimed his prize Monday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. Tuttle had the choice of taking a $1 million annuity that has 20 payments of $50,000 a year or a lump sum of $600,000. He chose the lump sum and after federal and state tax withholdings received $415,503. He plans to use the money to pay off his house.
$1,000,000 Bonus Cash launched in July with four top prizes of $1 million. Two top prizes remain.
Ticket sales from games like $1,000,000 Bonus Cash made it possible for the
Average retail gasoline prices in Gebdersonville and Asheville have risen 3.7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.28/g yesterday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 259 gas outlets in the Hendersonville-Asheville area. This compares with the national average that has fallen 0.7 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 Asheville during the past week, prices yesterday were 10.1 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 12.6 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has decreased 1 cent per gallon during the last month and stands 8.4 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.
According to GasBuddy historical data, gasoline prices on September 26 in Asheville have ranged widely over the last five years:
$2.17/g in 2015, $3.40/g in 2014, $3.39/g in 2013, $3.79/g in 2012 and $3.43/g in 2011.
Areas nearby Asheville and their current gas price climate:
Spartanburg- $2.13/g, up 3.0 cents per gallon from last week's $2.10/g.
Knoxville- $2.07/g, up 2.1 cents per gallon from last week's $2.05/g.
Greenville- $2.15/g, down 4.1 cents per gallon from last week's $2.19/g.
Overall, gas prices across the U.S. begin the week moving lower in 40 of 50 states.
"It's been almost a week since service has been restored to Colonial Pipeline's Line #1, a major gasoline source for the southeast and Atlantic seaboard..." said Gregg Laskoski, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. "While it appears that retail gas prices have peaked in 4 of the 6 states hit hardest (AL, GA, NC, SC, TN, VA) by the pipeline damage & shutdown, and those averages are now ebbing lower, statewide averages continue to climb in two states: Tennessee ($2.16/gal) and Virginia ($2.10/gal). Those states' averages were at $2.14 and $2.08 respectively on Sept. 20th, the day before service was restored.
"While it appears that the worst may be behind us, we're not out of the woods yet, where gasoline inventory levels are concerned," he added. "The overall drop in gasoline inventory tied to Colonial Pipeline was approximately 8.5 million barrels. To put that in perspective, in the two weeks following Hurricane Katrina, east coast gasoline inventories shed 3.3 million barrels."
THE NEW HHS---IT’S ABOUT TIME
A WHKP Station editorial
Reports are in the news that a new campus for Hendersonville High School has been in the design stage now for some time, and that construction on it could start as early as next year.
But there are a lot of issues that appear to be unresolved, and questions that are unanswered pertaining to that new facility and whatever turns out to be the NEW Hendersonville High School that will cost the taxpayers well in excess of $50 million.
Will the new campus be the Clark Nexsen design that county commissioners earlier this year signed off on and that, according to senior county officials, is moving forward as we speak? Or will it be the Carey O’Cain-alumni association alternative that keeps the historic Stillwell building in use? Or will it be some compromise combination of those two plans?
We’ve always known that it’s a “given” the Stillwell building will not be torn down…but how will it be used…as classrooms, as a new location for county school’s central office, or for some other community purpose? In a letter to county commissioners reported late last week, even through the Clark Nexsen plan is reportedly well underway with a lot of time and money being invested in planning and design, the county school board wants the Stillwell building to be fully renovated and restored, wants it used for classrooms, and does not want it used for the school system’s central offices.
But the biggest question of all is still hanging out there…WHO will make these decisions, and chart a definitive course toward a new or renovated HendersonvilleHigh School? Will it be the county commissioners, who control the money? Or the school board, who has statutory authority over school facilities? We even saw one report a while back that HHS Principal Bobby Wilkins would be the one to decide how the Stillwell building will figure in to all this.
For the community, for HHS students, parents, staff and alumni---for all of us---it’s almost as confusing, and ironically comical, as the old Abbott and Costello “Who’s on first?” routine.
A few things ARE for sure, though. Whatever is done, will cost county taxpayers well over $50 million…andl by he time renovation or restoration costs for the Stillwell building are figured in, the whole thing may well be in excess of $70 million and the debt services on it will be part of that nickel property tax increase we all many start paying this year.
The bottom line for us is…it’s about time all the questions we’ve just raised, and that the whole Hendersonville community has been asking now for months, get answered…and that whatever is going to be done finally gets started.
We like the commissioner’s commitment to building for the NEXT 100 years. But we also understand the community’s emotional attachment to the hallowed traditions of the school and the Stillwell building of the LAST 100 years. And we accept the possibility that as the old saying goes, “never the twain shall meet.
But surely…there are enough thinking heads involved in this process to come up with answers, a solution, and…for crying out loud…to FINALLY decide on something going toward continued great education at Hendersonville High School, whatever and where ever is in the best interests of the students of the school, now and for generations to come, and by whomever makes the decision. IT’S ABOUT TIME!
As always, we invite your comments…on our comments.
By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman
A week after a very successful 2016 WNC Mountain State Fair closed at the WNC Ag Center in Fletcher, North Carolina Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler told WHKP News that more improvements are coming to the facility on the busy Highway 280 across from the Asheville Regional Airport.
With improvements already underway, and in some cases already completed, to the arenas and other parts of the Ag Center, Troxler told WHKP News, ion an exclusive interview, that parking is the big issue at the Ag Center.
The venue needs another one thousand parking spaces, said Troxler, and immediate steps are being taken for 500 more.
He said the Ag Center, which provides a large agricultural and economic boost to Western North Carolina, will be working with the airport and other entities in the area to make more parking for the Ag Center available.
The AG Commissioner also told WHKP News that visitors to the Ag Center will soon see the entire facility re-paved for further enhance parking and better access.
Troxler said he is committed to keeping agricultural research stations, such as the one on Old Fanning Bridge Road in Mills River, funded by the General Assembly and open. Research, he said, is vital to the future of agriculture.
Even with shrinking acreage in production as farm land in the state, under his leadership, North Carolina’s Department of Agriculture is taking steps to ensure the future of small family farms in the state…and the Ag Commissioner cites the “Got To Be NC” program as an example.
Troxler and the Ag Department have also been deeply involved in procuring and securing the future of the “donut hole” in Dupont State Forest.
Hear the full conversation with NC Ag Commissioner Steve Troxler and WHKP News Director Larry Freeman Saturday morning October 1st at 7:30 and Sunday morning October 2nd at 10:05 on WHKP AM 1450 and FM 107.7 and on your computer at whkp.com (Listen Live).
North Carolina’s General Assembly took steps last year to improve the state’s Medicaid program, but Governor McCrory and the legislature still will not expand the program under the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.
The Henderson County NAACP held a press conference at mid-day this past Saturday at the Historic Courthouse to encourage legislators to sign on to the ACA and expand the state’s Medicaid program.
The local NAACP President, Melinda Lowrance, told WHKP News that several dozen HendersonCounty residents died in recent years while being unable to get health care coverage.
A movement is currently underway in North Carolina by the NAACP and other groups to persuade the governor and the legislature to re-consider and to expand the Medicaid program under the ACA which the groups say will make health insurance obtainable by more low income people in the state.
Henderson County Commissioners voted against a proposed ordinance Wednesday morning that would have required any solid waste collected in unincorporated areas of the county to be deposited at the county's transfer station.
Local waste haulers resisted the proposal, saying the county's higher tipping fees would increase their costs...and those higher costs would likely be passed along to residents and businesses
The county's $60-per-ton tipping fee is roughly $10 higher than surrounding counties. Buncombe and Polk counties charge $47 per ton.
The flow control ordinance, according to County Engineer Marcus Jones, would keep in the county about 20,000 tons of waste that are taken to other locations every year, generating about $400,000 for the "enterprise fund" that supports the county's solid waste program.
Commissioners discussed other ways to manage the solid waste fund, the potential impact of flow control on county businesses, and cost obligations the county has with solid waste. The closed landfill, which the county must maintain in perpetuity, generates no income.
Commissioners plan to talk more about potentially lowering the county's tipping fee as an alternative to flow control at a later meeting. Commissioner Charlie Messer pointed out that lower tipping fees would bring more garbage to the local transfer station, thus increasing revenue supported the fund.
ZEALOTRY KILLED A GOOD SOLUTION TO HB 2
W WHKP Station Editorial
September 21, 2016
If we were Roy Cooper, we’d be a very angry Democrat candidate for governor of North Carolina. Cooper is in a tight race with Republican Governor Pat McCrory…and the latest Civitas poll, taken on September 16th, shows Cooper leading by two percentage points, 40 to 38 per cent. This race will undoubtedly be determined by those who have not yet made up their minds…and the same poll shows that’s eight per cent of the voters in North Carolina.
So…here was Democrat Cooper this week sitting on a two point lead and capitalizing off the controversial “bathroom bill” or HB 2, which had been passed by the Republican General Assembly and signed into law by Republican Governor McCrory. McCrory thought he had a solution…he said he’d call the legislature into a special session, possibly with enough votes to repeal HB2, IF Charlotte City Council would repeal their ordinance which allows same sex public bathroom that started the whole thing.
With the state losing businesses, industries, major sporting events, and other attractions worth millions of dollars to the state, it looked like Charlotte City Council had enough votes to repeal their ordinance…which would have put the whole HB 2 mess finally on the fast track to the graveyard.
But then…some Democrat politicians got cute. WBTV in Charlotte learned that Democrat State Representative Becky Carney of MecklenburgCounty, and other Charlotte area Democrats, had successfully lobbied city council NOT to repeal their ordinance and secured the necessary votes to keep it off city council’s agenda Monday night, which essentially killed the whole deal.
Repealing that Charlotte ordinance and starting the ball rolling toward repeal of HB 2, we believe, could have made the Democrats, and Cooper, look BIGGER than “politics”, bigger and better than the Republicans who passed it and who ostensibly cost the state millions by doing so.
Everyone pretty much agrees now that HB 2 has not only been divisive and costly to the state…it was also unnecessary to begin with and Charlotte’s ordinance that started it all was even MORE unnecessary. But this is what happens with left-wing, “politically correct” zealots “on a mission”. Their “tunnel vision” blinds them to common sense and the “greater good”. And in her zeal to tip the scales to Hillary Clinton in North Carolina, get Roy Cooper elected, governor, get herself re-elected to the legislature, AND at the same time keep all public bathrooms open to whatever gender a person claims that he or she is at the moment, Representative Carney, and the other lobbyists trying to make political hay off HB 2, may, deservedly, have shot themselves in the leg.
Cooper, who as the state’s Attorney General, has steadfastly refused to enforce HB 2…could have walked away from the whole thing, head and shoulders about the others in statesmanship, still the champion of Democrats and the “politically correct” crowd, and without appearing to be ideologically committed far to the “left” on the issue.
But as zealots always do, Representative Carney lost sight, if she ever saw it to begin with, of the “common good”…and a good solution to a bad situation was lost.
We’re not sure if it’ll cost him any votes…probably not. But Carney’s zealotry, with the shameful complicity of the two Charlotte City Council members who backed away from repealing their silly ordinance, makes Cooper and his party look like what many believe they truly area: political opportunists, looking to turn every situation---good or bad, to their benefit, and costing the state millions in the process.
As always, we invite your comments...on our comments
By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman 09/21/16 5am
LAST WEEK'S TRUMP RALLY UPDATE
From: Chad Nesbitt, Andrew Sluder, Wendell Runion, and Carl Mumpower
To: Whom It May Concern
Reference: Press Conference Planned
– We’d like to share stories, photos, and more
When it comes to the events of Asheville Trump rally, the lights have been turned off. What went on there has been ignored, concealed, denied, and camouflaged by just about everyone but those who came to celebrate their candidate. That’s a conspiracy of complacency and cover-up, not a coincidence.
We can’t do anything to hold the authorities accountable for their errors or the media accountable for their lack of ethics or the protestors accountable for their misconduct. We can turn on the lights and continue looking for other ways to make something happen.
, at , we’re going to hold a 15 minute press conference directly in front of the Civic Center. We intend to do the following—
üProvide a 1,2,3 summary of what went wrong and who’s responsible
üShare the stories/ experiences of people who were abused at the event
üProvide material (pictures, video links, etc.) to illuminate the problem
üIdentify what can/should/will be done to bring those accountabilities to life
AFTER LEARNING THAT DONALD TRUMP PLANNED TO HOLD A CAMPAIGN RALLY IN THE US CELLULAR CENTER, WHKP OFFERED A STATION EDITORIAL THAT RAISED THE QUESTION "WILL ASHEVILLE EMBARRASS WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA AT THE TRUMP RALLY?" BY ALL ACCOUNT, LEFT-WINGERS, POLITICALLY CORRECT PROTESTORS, AND OTHER VARIOUS AND ASSORTED TROUBLE MAKERS AND LAW BREAKERS DID JUST THAT...AND EMBARRASSED THE CIVILIZED, WELL MANNERED, AND HOSPITABLE PEOPLE OF WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA.
BUT IT WAS WORSE THAN THAT.
THE ACTUAL PHYSICAL SAFETY OF SOME TRUMP SUPPORTERS WAS ENDANGERED BY THE UNRULY BEHAVIOR OF ANTI-TRUMP PROTESTORS. FORMER ASHEVILLE CITY COUNCIL MEMBER AND PAST WHKP COMMENTATO DR. CARL MUMPOWER AND A SMALL GROUP OF OTHER CONSERVATIVE ACTIVISTS IN ASHEVILLE KEPT US INFORMED...AND RELEASDED THIS SUMMAY LAST THIS WEEK OF THE FEW HOURS SPENT IN "COOL, GREEN ASHEVILLE" BY THE MAN WHO MAY WELL BE THE NEXT LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD:
Trump rally was set-up by authorities for drama and danger
TRUMP rally was a success by every objective measure but one – public safety. The authorities charged with the security of attendees allowed things to happen that unnecessarily put attendees in harm’s way. Per the usual, mainstream media outlets have focused on a decoy issue (what appear to be false claims by an anti-Trump activist that she was innocently assaulted) and ignored the larger issue – that protestors were allowed to constrain the access/egress point and thus endanger and otherwise abuse, insult, assault, and intimidate the attendees. Claims that the Secret Service restrained local public safety officials and administrators represent a poor attempt to scapegoat a faceless bureaucracy for the misguided actions of our own. There are no Secret Service protocols that would result in setting up 6,000 people as targets in the name of protecting their charge or anyone else.
In the past, Asheville authorities have gone so far as to put buses in-between opposition groups. That was not necessary in this case (there is for example a city parking lot directly in front of the Civic Center), but to allow aggressive, profane, and finger gesturing protestors to form a gauntlet at a public venue merits consequence.
Assault does not require hitting someone. Touching with aggressive intent or creating a threat factor for individuals is also a legal form of assault. By each of these standards, many people were aggrieved at this public venue.
The short of it is the authorities are dodging accountability – the media is dodging ethical journalism – and Asheville’s venomous anti-Trump liberals are dodging public scrutiny.
Thank you for the opportunity to raise the question…
Pastor Andrew Sluder
Dr. Pastor Wendell Runnion
Notes by Larry Freeman 09/16/16