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STATE BUDGET VETO OVER-RIDE COMPLETE AND OFFICIAL WEDNESDAY

STATE BUDGET VETO OVER-RIDE COMPLETE AND OFFICIAL WEDNESDAY

FROM WRAL IN RALEIGH MID-DAY UPDATE WEDNESDAY...

For just the third time in state history, North Carolina lawmakers have voted to override a governor's veto of their budget.

After little debate, the House cast the final vote Wednesday morning, 76-43, concluding the override within about 24 hours of the veto's arrival at the legislature.

House senior budget writer Rep. Nelson Dollar, R-Wake, spoke in defense of the $23 billion spending plan, pointing to raises for teachers and state employees, a 1 percent pension increase for retirees and funding for hurricane relief, rural school construction and a new incentive program for large "transformative" projects.

"We also are not ashamed to say that we are providing tax relief for middle-class, working families and businesses," Dollar said.

"Have the policies of this General Assembly worked? Yes, they have worked," he said, reminding the House that the state has run budget surpluses for the past three years. "This budget follows in that trend that we have established that will keep this state moving forward.

"This state is growing. People are voting with their feet, businesses are moving to this state," he argued. "Much of that is due to the policies that this General Assembly has adopted."

Speaking for the Democrats, House Minority Leader Darren Jackson said the good things in the budget are "overshadowed by the bad," especially the tax cuts included in the spending plan, which, he warned, "appears to put a $600 million hole in our budget by 2020."

Jackson, D-Wake, predicted that the tax cuts would make it impossible for the state to get teacher pay up to the national average or give future raises to state employees.

"The money’s there for special projects for special people, of course," Jackson said, referring to the hundreds of millions in pork-barrel spending in the plan. "Budgets are about priorities, and that was clearly a top one."

He also denounced what he called "petty partisan paybacks," such as budget cuts that will require Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein to lay off as many as half of the special and criminal prosecutors who defend the state.

"I’m still waiting for someone to justify that cut," Jackson said.

All 74 Republicans voted to override Gov. Roy Cooper's veto, along with two Democrats – Rep. Bill Brisson, D-Bladen, who almost always votes with the GOP, and Rep. Ken Goodman, D-Richmond, whose district would benefit from some of the earmark projects.

The spending plan takes effect Saturday. In the meantime, lawmakers are working on proposed changes to i

LOCAL SCHOOL'S HEALTH SCIENCE CAREER CAMP IS THIS WEEK

LOCAL SCHOOL'S HEALTH SCIENCE CAREER CAMP IS THIS WEEK

TO HELP STUDENTS PREPARE FOR A CAREER IN HEALTH CARE   

This week, 24 rising 9th-11th grade students are getting a behind-the-scenes look at health science careers in their community, as well as the higher education programs offered locally that can prepare them for a career in nursing, surgery, pharmacy, and more.

Offered to students at no cost, the first Health Science Career Camp is offered through a partnership among Henderson County Public Schools, Pardee UNC Health Care, Wingate University, and Blue Ridge Community College, and funded through a Golden LEAF Foundation grant – which has also assisted in providing simulation equipment for the HCPS Health Sciences programs.

“This is to expose students to what core and Career and Technical Education high school classes they should be taking to pursue a career in health sciences,” said HCPS Career Development Coordinator Amy Singletary. “We’re trying to get these students to know where they can go locally for the next level of health sciences education and make valuable contacts in the community that may serve their future careers.”

Through Pardee, students will learn about careers in physical therapy, sports medicine, oncology, infectious disease control, orthopedics, cardiology, behavioral health, and emergency medicine. During their tours of Pardee’s multiple facilities, the students will be able to participate in hands-on cardiac rehabilitation, physical therapy, ultrasound, and EKG demonstrations.

"We are delighted to host Henderson County high school students for this week's Health Science Careers Camp," said Johnna Reed, chief administrative officer at Pardee UNC Health Care. "Our goal is to highlight the many different career paths health care has to offer to these bright young men and women.”

Wingate University and BRCC will expose students to postsecondary education options in the health sciences field, such as Wingate’s School of Pharmacy and physician assistant program, and BRCC’s surgical technology, nursing, and EMT programs.

At BRCC, students will work with simulation manikins and learn about intubation and surgery, as well as the educational programs available on campus. “The demand for health sciences employees is growing daily,” said Jay Alley, dean of health services and emergency services at BRCC. “We’re trying to meet that need. Getting to students while they’re in high school gives us the opportunity to get them prepared so they can become employed in the field and become assets to the community.”

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to interact with students through this program. With the construction of the Health Sciences Center, Henderson County is quickly becoming a leader in healthcare education,” said Dr. Kurt Wargo, regional dean of the Wingate University Hendersonville Health Sciences Center. “For students, this means the ability to complete all their schooling here in Western NC. We always welcome any opportunity to speak with both students and their families to help make their dreams of becoming a healthcare provider here in Henderson County a reality.”

“Because the job outlook for careers in health sciences is so promising, we hope these students confirm their desires to pursue a job in this field, and are able to identify some specific areas of interest,” said Dr. Wendy Frye, director of high schools at HCPS. “Our desire is that these students stay in Henderson County where so many opportunities already exist.”

SHERIFF WARNS OF NEW LOCAL SCAM

SHERIFF WARNS OF NEW LOCAL SCAM

SCAM ALERT TUESDAY JUNE 27, 2017

The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office has heard from several citizens reporting a recent phone scam in Henderson County. Members of the public have received a call from a person claiming to be a Special Agent with the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office who has civil papers to serve on them. The scammer goes on to say if the individual does not provide the requested information or money, they will be taken to jail. The phone number appears as a local 828 area code.

If Civil Process Deputies from the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office contact the public by phone, they will always identify themselves and will never ask for money or personal information. Anyone receiving a telephone call from a person purporting to be a law enforcement official seeking money should hang up and not release any personal information to the caller.

NEW INTERFAITH ASSISTANCE MINISTRY FACILITY WILL "LET THE SUNSHINE IN"--IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE

NEW INTERFAITH ASSISTANCE MINISTRY FACILITY WILL "LET THE SUNSHINE IN"--IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE

THEIR NEW FACILITY AT 310 FREEMAN STREET  

NEARING COMPLETION   

Supported by local church congregation for well over 30 years, Interfaith Assistance Ministry recently received a matching gift challenge from the Robert and Martha Adams Advised Endowment for the installation of solar panels for the nonprofit’s new building.

The facility is currently under construction at 310 Freeman St. off of Four Seasons Boulevard in Hendersonville.

A $20,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Henderson County, along with other IAM donors, met the match required by the Adams’ challenge, according a release from IAM.

The nonprofit thanked its donors, the Community Foundation and the Martha O. and Robert E. Adams Donor Advised Endowment for making the new addition possible.

The long-term energy savings will allow IAM to allocate more funds to assist Henderson County residents in need, according to the release.

FIREWORKS & MUSIC PLANNED FOR JULY 4TH

FIREWORKS & MUSIC PLANNED FOR JULY 4TH

AN INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION PLANNED   

July 4, 2017

7:00pm – 9:00pm
Visitor Center, 201 South Main Street
Hendersonville, NC
Admission is free

Special Fireworks Celebration Concert featuring West Sound

The Music on Main Street concert series presents a Special Fireworks Celebration Concert on Tuesday, July 4th, featuring the music of West Sound. Henderson County will launch a dazzling Independence Day fireworks display at sundown. The launch site will ensure premier viewing of the display from downtown Hendersonville and the Music on Main Street concert area. Enjoy the concert and fireworks from the comfort of your chair at Music on Main Street from 7:00-9:30pm.

As part of the July 4th Celebration all military veterans will be recognized and those currently serving in our armed forces. All men and women having served in the military are requested to attend wearing a cap, t-shirt, or some other source of military identification and those actively serving are asked to wear their uniform to be honored and recognized.

West Sound is a four-piece band playing a wide array of tunes from Motown, Blues, Country, R&B, and the best of the '60's. The band is made up of three brothers: Randy, Oscar and Cecil Weston, plus female singer, Regina Duke. They play such favorites as: My Girl, Sir Duke, Super Freak, Billie Jean, September, 1999, Brickhouse, Get Down Tonight, Blurred Lines, and I Feel Good.

The Special Fireworks Celebration Concert will be held on Tuesday, July 4th at the Visitor Center, 201 South Main Street in Downtown Hendersonville, NC. Bring a chair and sit back, relax and enjoy the music & fireworks from 7:00-9:30pm. The seating area opens after 5:30pm, early admission is strictly prohibited. Hendersonville city ordinance prohibits animals in the event area. Alcoholic beverages, pets, backpacks and coolers are prohibited. Admission is free.

In case of inclement weather the concert will be postponed until 8:00pm; if the weather does not improve by 8:00pm the performance will be cancelled.

For additional information or a concert schedule call Henderson County Tourism Development Authority at (828) 693-9708, 800-828-4244 or online at www.visithendersonvillenc.org.

The Music on Main Street concert series is an event of Henderson County Tourism Development Authority.

Entertainment Sponsored by - Morris Broadband

ANOTHER WNC WATERFALL ACCIDENT:  YOUNG MAN DIES AFTER FALL AT CATAWBA FALLS

ANOTHER WNC WATERFALL ACCIDENT: YOUNG MAN DIES AFTER FALL AT CATAWBA FALLS

THIS TIME NEAR CATAWBA FALLS IN MCDOWELL COUNTY   

Authorities and rescuers in McDowell County say the fall victim was taken from near the falls  in a rescue operation at Upper Catawba Falls on Saturday.

Emergency personnel say the victim was suffering from life-threatening injuries when transported from the scene. 

According to News 13,  Adam Music, age 22, reportedly had been hiking with friends when he apparently slipped on a rock at the falls.,

Rescue crews extricated Music from Upper Catawba falls around 4 p.m. on Saturday. He was transported to Mission Hospital and passed away sometime later that evening.

Henderson County's Emergency Management Director, Rocky Hyder, warned years ago---"The best, and safest, way to enjoy the waterfalls...is from a distance."

HENDERSONVILLE MAN CHARGED WITH SEX CRIMES WITH NINE YEAR OLD GIRL

HENDERSONVILLE MAN CHARGED WITH SEX CRIMES WITH NINE YEAR OLD GIRL

CHARGES INCLUDE STATUTORY RAPE AND TAKING INDECENT LIBERTIES

A Hendersonville man, Mazelle Neil Simmons, has been arrested on charges that he had sexual contact with a 9-year-old girl.

The Asheville Citizen-Times is reporting that Simmons, age 28, is facing felony charges including statutory rape and taking indecent liberties with a child.

Warrants say the incidents occurred April 4 and 5. It is not clear where the alleged events happened, but both the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office and Asheville police were involved in the case.

Simmons was initially held on $500,000 bond.

MILLS RIVER ADOPTS $2.5 MILLION BUDGET; NO INCREASE IN TAXES

MILLS RIVER ADOPTS $2.5 MILLION BUDGET; NO INCREASE IN TAXES

While continuing to grow the park, adding more shade and swings...and adding additional designated deputies per a contract with the Henderson County Sheriff's Departmen...and adding significantly to the Town's fund balance (savings)...

The Town's tax rate remains the same in FY 17-18:  9 cents for Mills River Fire and Rescue, 9 cents for the Town:  Total 18 cents pe $100 valuation   

Mills River formally approved its $2.5-million spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year Thursday night.

Town Manager Jeff Wells laid out those priorities at Thursday’s Town Council meeting, and after a brief discussion, the five-member council unanimously approved the budget.

The $2,564,870 budget is an increase of $94,890 over the current budget. Wells pointed out that the town’s tax base also increased by 4.5 percent, a total of 1,051,714,716.

The 18-cent per $100 of property valuation, 9 cents of which go to Mills River Fire and Rescue and 9 of which go to the town, will not change.

The budget lists $1.664 million in ad valorem revenues for 2017-18, up from $1.607 million in fiscal year 2016-17, an increase of $57,000.

Another increase in revenues comes from sate shared revenues, or tax dollars the state collects and reimburses to the town, Wells explained, which are projected to increase from $330,000 to $375,000.

Among the largest line items are fire and rescue services, which are listed at $894,600, its revenue from 9 of the 18 cents in tax, $507,570 for administration and $261,850 for parks and recreation.

The spending level for the town’s contract with the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office for around-the-clock law enforcement via five full-time deputies doesn’t change, at $646,300.

The town historically designates a $27,550 contingency line item to fund unexpected expenses, Wells said, which the 2017-18 budget continues. The fund balance at the end of the 2016-17 budget is listed as $3,276,632, 132 percent of the previous year’s total budgeted expenditures.

Continuing to add on to the town park complex, the 2018-19 budget allocates $330,000 in new capital spending — $205,000 for a new pavilion with restrooms and $125,000 for a new basketball court.

The town has applied for a state Parks and Recreation Trust Fund Grant to cover half that cost, or $165,000, and will receive word on whether they will get the funds in September if the state budget is approved on time, Wells said.

In other park spending, $41,000 is slated for swings at the playground ($30,000), tree planting along the tennis court fence ($6,000) and an automatic gate on the Hooper Lane driveway, allowing it to open and close electronically ($5,000).

NORTH CAROLINA SBI SAVES MILLIONS IN FRAUDULENT DISABILITY CLAIMS

NORTH CAROLINA SBI SAVES MILLIONS IN FRAUDULENT DISABILITY CLAIMS

FRAUDULENT CLAIMS IN WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA INVESTIGATED AND IDENTIFIED     

Two agents with the State Bureau of Investigation have saved taxpayers more than $10.1 million since they began investigating fraudulent Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid disability claims eight months ago.

The two SBI agents are part of the Social Security Office of Inspector General’s Cooperative Disability Investigations Unit which investigates questionable statements and activities of claimants, medical providers and other third parties on potential fraud in the Social Security Administration’s disability programs.

“The SBI welcomed this program last year, and it has yielded many fraudulent claims,” SBI Director Bob Schurmeier said. “Those who think they can defraud the government may find the consequences aren’t worth the deception.”

Last month, a special agent in charge of SBI’s Eastern Area and one in the Western Area, investigated 20 questionable fraud claims and either closed or denied 14 of those cases which resulted in a savings of nearly $1.8 million for both state and federal funds.

The two agents spend many hours traveling from location to location conducting interviews and determining if a claimant has filed a false claim with the Social Security Administration or are concealing facts.

Donald Jefferson, the special-agent-in-charge of the Office of Inspector General’s CDI Division, said his agency has zero tolerance for fraud.

“CDI Units investigate individual disability beneficiaries and claimants, and identify lawyers, doctors, translators, or other third parties who facilitate disability fraud,” Jefferson said.

The CDI Program covers 33 states. The SBI's CDI Unit is a part of the SBI Professional Standards Division.

SHERIFF'S OFFICE ARRESTS SUSPECTS IN TWO LOCAL ARMED ROBBERIES

SHERIFF'S OFFICE ARRESTS SUSPECTS IN TWO LOCAL ARMED ROBBERIES

FLETCHER SUBWAY ARMED ROBBERY

June 23, 2017

On June 16, 2017, the Subway in Fletcher was robbed by a suspect displaying a knife. Following an investigation, detectives with the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office identified the suspect as Justin Daniel Wallace, age 27 of 81 Pressley Rd in Fletcher. He was charged with felony robbery with a dangerous weapon and is being held in the Henderson County Jail under a $60,000.00 secured bond. Other charges may be pending as the investigation continues.

Potential charges are forthcoming from the Asheville Police Department as a result of Wallace’s involvement in robberies within the City of Asheville.

EAST FLAT ROCK ARMED ROBBERY   

June 23, 2017

On June 19, 2017, at approximately 3am, an armed robbery was reported at a residence in the East Flat Rock area. Two female suspects allegedly stole money and cell phones while brandishing a firearm.

Approximately thirty minutes later, Henderson County deputies observed a vehicle matching the description provided by victims and conducted a traffic stop resulting in the positive identification of the suspects. Stolen items were recovered from the vehicle in addition to narcotics and drug paraphernalia. The weapon, an airsoft pistol, was recovered following a K9 article search in an area near where the traffic stop occurred.

The following people were charged in connection with the crime:

· Rebecca Lynn Luna, age 35 of 224 Davis Street in Hendersonville, was charged with felony robbery with a dangerous weapon. She was held in the Henderson County Jail and released under a $4,000.00 secured bond.

· Kerris Nicole Ball, age 26 of 652 Dillard Avenue in Hendersonville, was charged with felony robbery with a dangerous weapon. She was held in the Henderson County Jail and released under a $4,000.00 secured bond.

· James Phillip Purvis, age 29, was charged with felony conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon. He is being held in the Henderson County Jail under a $2,000.00 secured bond.

Luna and Ball were also charged with felony possession of methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of marijuana, morphine and drug paraphernalia.