AN OPPORTUNITY TO EXERSIZE AND ENJOY THE NATURAL BEAUTY OF TH GREENWAY---SAFELY
We can expect a formal “ribbon cutting” sometime this June or July on the latest leg to be opened up of the Oklawaha Greenway.
Already, walkers, joggers, bikers and other “exersizers” are out daily on the new 1.7 mile stretch of the greenway, that’s just off the existing part of the greenway just south of North Main Street, and that runs all the way north to the parking lot across from the old Berkley Mills baseball field.
This extension of the greenway makes it possible for runners to run, bikers to bike, or walkers to walk all the way from Jackson Park to BerkleyPark…and that’s seven and a half miles on the greenway.
In the future, these who enjoy the greenway will see some additions like benches. picnic tables, mile markers and more signage.
The greenway runs along Mud Creek on an easement the City of Hendersonville acquired when it ran a new serer line from Jackson park to the wastewater treatment plant north f town at Berkley Mills in Balfour.
Ten feet wide, the greenway of paved, meanders along the creek bank and through the scenery, and the landscaping plan called for it to be lined with 500 trees.
Paid for with a $1.2 million grant from NC DOT, a yellow center line will be painted on the greenway…and the city is working with BeeCity officials on meadows, planters, and wildflowers to further enhance the natural beauty of the greenway. And the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club provided the equipment for a pump and repaid station along the route, which a local Eagle Scout project will install.
It was just last August that the local Tourism Development Authority unveiled a new logo...they call it “re-branding” to promote Hendersonville, HendersonCounty, and our multi-million dollar tourism industry. That logo, or brand, created to replace the "Historic Hendersonville" theme, apparently hasn't caught on very well.
Now, according to news reports, the TDA and its board, are looking at re-branding the re-brand…with another new logo.
The current one, the one adopted last year, is of a mountain, a leaf and a river in green, blue, and brown colors with “Hendersonville, North Carolina” written underneath. The latest one being looked at by the TDA and its board is described as much simpler…with the “o” in “Hendersonville” being the dot of an exclamation mark and with “North Carolina” written underneath.
Even though the TDA board approved the concept of the new design this week, they are apparently not fully “on board” with it yet…and want to see how it goes over with the public in the future.
Another issue TDA is dealing with is some 20 thousand dollars worth of mugs, hats, shirts and other merchandise with the current logo on it all that was approved last year. They’re hoping to sell a lot of that to the two hundred thousand visitors expected for Garden Jubilee.
Other local logos and re-branding has had some issues. You’ll recall that the new North Carolina Apple Festival logo introduced last year had to be corrected to reverse a backward music note that was the centerpiece of it. Some people said that logo looked more like a Christmas tree ornament than an Apple Festival logo.
Still, even while tourism and festival officials deal with their logos and re-branding, tourism has been strong, and hopefully will be again this year…bringing millions of dollars into the local economy.
By WHKP News Director Larry Freeman 05/25/16 5am
On , as many as 200 beautifully restored classic cars and trucks are expected to fill the soccer field at Harmon Field during the annual Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival. Proud owners will have the opportunity to show off their restoration handiwork to thousands of Festival guests, who each year come to re-live scenes from their younger days or, perhaps, imagine a grandpop in his younger days when these vehicles were all the vogue. In the late afternoon, prizes and trophies will be awarded, based on participant voting in several categories including Best of Show – Car and Truck.
Dennis Nagle, chairman of the Festival Car Show Committee, said this event draws such a large number of entries because the car owners enjoy coming to the Festival. “This is an outing their families love, because there is so much to do all day and into the night.”
Entry fee is only $20 per car and includes admission to the Festival for two people—there is no admission fee for children 12 and under.
The Classic Car Show is sponsored by First Citizens Bank and hosted by The Carolina Classic Car Club (Spartanburg, SC). Registration is from . Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony which begins around . Best of Show Car and Truck will be chosen, and trophies will be award to the top 20 cars and trucks (plus GM, FOMOCO, MOPAR and Non Big 3). There will also be a 50/50 drawing and door prizes.
Download a registration/information form at www.BlueRidgeBBQFestival.com. If you have questions about displaying a car at the Festival, contact the BBQ Office, at 828-859-7427.
The 23rd Annual Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival will be held at Harmon Field in Tryon, NC, on June 10 and 11. It includes not only a cooking competition--sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society--and great music on two stages; but also a juried craft fair with up to 50 crafters displaying, demonstrating and selling their art; carnival rides and games for kids of all ages; interesting and informative sponsor displays and, of course, some of the best food to be had anywhere. Saturday’s special events include the Classic Car Show and a “Hawg” Run (motorcycle poker run) originating in Greenville and ending at the Festival. And, last but not least, a grand finale Fireworks display on Saturday night.
A special feature again this year is FREE ADMISSION for everyone from on FRIDAY ONLY. Guests get in free and stay all day if they wish. Residents of Polk County and Landrum (zip code 29356) get in free ALL DAY on FRIDAY. Other times, tickets are $8 at the gate, with kids 12 and under always free with a paying adult. Active duty military are also ALWAYS free with military ID. Gates open at and close at both days.
The Festival is operated each year by the Carolina Foothills Chamber of Commerce. Proceeds help support Chamber operations, and additional funds go to the Carolina Foothills Chamber Foundation to be returned to the community through distributions to a variety of charitable and civic programs and projects throughout the county. For further information, call the Festival office at 828-859-RIBS (7427) or visit BlueRidgeBBQFestival.com.
Flat Rock Playhouse will continue its 2016 season with The Affections of May, running May 26th through June 4th on the mainstage in Flat Rock. Norm Foster’s most widely produced romantic comedy, The Affections of May is a heartwarming play which centers on May Henning, the owner of a bed and breakfast in a small resort town. When her husband leaves her, she amusingly and adorably finds herself quite the center of attention and entangled in a hilarious romantic triangle.
The cast for The Affections of May includes Flat Rock Playhouse Producing Artistic Director Lisa K. Bryant in the title role of May. Flat Rock favorite funny man Scott Treadway will play the role of Hank, the polished and charming banker vying for May’s affections. Grayson Powell, last seen in last year’s hit production of Crimes of the Heart, plays May’s other suitor, Quinn, an unkempt handy man who moves into her bed and breakfast after his motor home catches on fire. Flat Rock Playhouse regularPreston Dyar rounds out the cast as May’s husband, Brian, who leaves her for his mistress and his former life in New York City.
“I absolutely adore this simple, but sweet play and I’m sure our audiences will do the same,” says Bryant. “Just exactly who will win May’s hand and escort her to a costume party will be revealed in this light hearted, wry romantic comedy that is sure to tickle your funny bone and tug at your heartstrings.”
The Affections of May will be directed by Paige Posey, who returns to helm Foster’s light-hearted comedy after starring as May the 1998 Flat Rock Playhouse production. Chris Mueller will be designing the set with Resident Costume Designer Ashli Arnold providing the costumes. Meghan Dougherty will design the lights for The Affections of May; sound design by Kurt Conway.
TICKETS AND SCHEDULE
The Affections of Mayperforms May 26th through June 4th on the Flat Rock Playhouse Clyde and Nina Allen Mainstage. Performances and evening at , and evening at , matinees , , and at . Tickets are $15 - $40 and can be purchased by calling the Playhouse box office at 828-693-0731, toll-free at 866-732-8008 or online at www.flatrockplayhouse.org.
Flat Rock Playhouse is located at 2661 Greenville Highway, Flat Rock, NC.
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
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."
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.
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
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 Resources, Capital, Education, General Government, Health and Human Services, Information Technology, Justice and Public Safety, Transportation] will be cobbled together by the so-called “Big Chairs,” an ay 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 o30.
"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/