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Blue Ridge Parkway rangers and staff plan to welcome approximately two million visitors along the 469-mile scenic route this October. With fall color beginning, park managers want to remind the public that a Parkway drive is different than most.  The Parkway’s unique design includes many steep grades, limited sight distances, and beautiful built in distractions; as a result, drivers must pay extra attention to ensure a safe and memorable visit.

To help prevent accidents from occurring, visitors are asked to keep the following guidelines in mind before heading out on the Parkway…

  • Keep speeds within posted limits and be prepared for heavy traffic, wildlife and non-motorized users that may slow traffic further.
  • Stay focused! Put cell phones and other devices away in a glove compartment or bag; and out of reach of the driver. 
  • Use overlooks to enjoy the views. When on the road, driving needs your full attention. 
  • Bicyclists should keep as far to the right as possible, and allow opportunities for traffic to move around you. Multiple riders need to stay in a single file line and should avoid groups larger than 4 riders. The Parkway is not recommended for inexperienced cyclists, especially during the highest period for traffic volume. 
  • Motorcyclists need to pay special attention to tunnels where lighting and visibility are poor, leaves and other debris on the roadway such as branches and rocks and early icing on bridges and at higher elevations. Slow down and focus on the road. 
  • Take your time - stop at visitor centers along the route and learn something new about the Parkway from a ranger.

Visitors can also find specific information to prepare for their Parkway adventure from a variety of sources. Park updates and information are available on a variety of social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The park website provides a real-time road closure map, facility schedules, suggested itineraries, visitor center locations, and much more at; and regularly updated, recorded fall foliage information is available at 828.298.0398.

As October comes to a close, Parkway staff will begin the traditional seasonal closure of visitor services in certain areas. Some concession and visitor center areas will continue to be open, pending any weather related closures. A full schedule of seasonal closing dates is available at


After a late summer filled with contoversy over a proposed new 40 mile high voltage transmission line between Campobello South Carolina and the Lake Julian power plant in Skyland, Duke Energy announced Thursday it is delaying the announcement of that route until early November.

Because of widespread opposition to the proposed routes, Duke had earlier promised to speed up their decision and announce it early in October.

Duke now says they received more than 9000 public comments and are still going through them all.

And Duke also points out they are taking a closer look at possible alternatives to that proposed new transmission line.

So...there here will be no announcement for st least a moth longer...and Duke is considering alternatives to the line.

It's all part of a billion dollar upgrade which will also convert the Lake Julian power plant from operating on coal to cleaner burning natural gas.

A final decision on the new transmission line will be in the hands of the 7 members of the North Carolina Utilities Commission.



Betty Johnson and Kathy Griffin, wife and daughter of the late Jack Johnson, received this year's farmer of the year award during a recent ceremony.

The Johnson family has lived and farmed in Henderson County for nine generations.

The presentation of the award was last Saturday and was intended to coincide with the annual Farm-City Day event in Jackson Park but Farm-City Day had to be canceled because of heavy rain.




N.c. Appeals Court Judge Howard Manning Tuesday upheld action taken by the NC General Assembly in 2013 which transfers the City of Asheville ' s water stem to the Metropolitan Sewage District.

The legislation,  which was appealed by the City of Asheville, essentially creates a new regional water and sewer authority which will serve Buncombe County and parts of northern Henderson County.

The new authority will be over - seen by appointed representatives from Henderson County and from the Town of Mills River as well as from Buncombe County and the City of Asheville.

The legislation had been co - sponsored by Rep. Chuck McGrady and the court ruling was applauded Tuesday by both McGrady and State Senator Tom Apodaca.




2015 Annual Pumpkin Patch at Fletcher UMC: (Abbreviated)  
Sept. 27th to Oct. 31st  
Hours: M-F 11am-7pm, Sat. 9am-7pm, & Sun. 12pm-7pm  
Credit/Debit Accepted, Pumpkins start at $.75   
Proceeds benefit Fletcher UMC Youth
50 Library Rd. Fletcher, NC 28732 (828)684-7155  
2015 Annual Pumpkin Patch at Fletcher UMC:  
Join us from Sept. 27th until Oct. 31st at the Pumpkin Patch! We're open Mon.-Fri. 11am-7pm, Sat. 9am-7pm, and Sun. 12pm-7pm. Pumpkins start at just $.75 and Credit/Debit cards are accepted. We also welcome school/civic group field trips by appointment! October Saturday special events at the Patch include: Fletcher Family BBQ Oct. 3rd, 4-6:30pm (Kids 10 and under eat free! Adults only $3 ea), 2nd Annual Classic Car Cruise-In Oct. 17th from 1-4pm, and Family Outdoor Movie Night Oct. 24th 6:30-7:30pm. All proceeds benefit Fletcher UMC Youth. We'll see you and your family at the Patch!     50 Library Rd. Fletcher, NC 28732 (828)684-7155,  
Family BBQ at the Fletcher UMC Pumpkin Patch- Oct. 3rd, 4-6:30pm:  
Come on over to Fletcher UMC for food and fun at the Pumpkin Patch on Oct. 3rd from 4-6:40pm! Pork BBQ will be served - Kids 10 and under eat FREE and Adults are just $3. Join in the pumpkin carving contest or corn hole tournament to win prizes, enjoy the photo booth or have fun at game stations for Kids 5 and under. Proceeds benefit Fletcher UMC Youth. See you at the Patch!     50 Library Rd. Fletcher, NC, 28732 (828)684-7155,  
2nd Annual Classic Car Cruise-In at the Fletcher UMC Pumpkin Patch - Oct. 17th, 1-4pm:  
Show off your classic car or just enjoy admiring from 1 to 4pm at this family Cruise-In at Fletcher UMC. No entry or reservations will be necessary. Pumpkins and concessions will be available, so make it a fun afternoon outing! Funds raised benefit Fletcher UMC Youth. See you at the Patch!     50 Library Rd. Fletcher, NC, 28732 (828)684-7155,  
Family Outdoor Movie at the Fletcher UMC Pumpkin Patch - Oct. 24th, 6:30-7:30pm:  
Bring a lawn chair and blanket as we have a story time together and watch "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" outdoors on the big screen at the Patch. Pumpkins and concessions will be available. Proceeds benefit Fletcher UMC Youth. See you at the Patch!     50 Library Rd. Fletcher, NC, 28732 (828)684-7155,  



Adventist Healthcare To Pay About $115 To Settle False Claims Act Allegations

Adventist Healthcare has agreed to pay the United States $115 million to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by maintaining improper compensation arrangements with referring physicians and by miscoding claims, the Justice Department announced today. Adventist is a non-profit healthcare organization that operates hospitals and other health care facilities in 10 states.

The settlement resolves allegations that Adventist submitted false claims to the Medicare and Medicaid programs for services rendered to patients referred by employed physicians who received bonuses based on a formula that improperly took into account the value of the physicians' referrals to Adventist hospitals. Federal law restricts the financial relationships that hospitals and clinics may have with doctors who refer patients to them.


The allegations settled today arose from two lawsuits filed respectively by whistleblowers Michael Payne, Melissa Church and Gloria Pryor, who worked at Adventist's hospital in Hendersonville, North Carolina, and Sherry Dorsey, who worked at Adventist's corporate office, under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. The act permits private parties to file suit on behalf of the United States for false claims, and to share in any recovery. The whistleblowers' share of the settlement has not yet been determined.

by RTT Staff Writer









In what is likely the closing days of the General Assembly session for this year, an effort to repeal a state law intended to keep Mission Health from getting too much control over the local health care market resurfaced in a state Senate committee Wednesday.

Two Henderson County legislators, one a leader in the state senate and the other a leader in the state house, are staked out on opposite sides of that issue.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reported this week that the Senate Rules Committee added language that would repeal the state's certificate of public advantage law, or COPA, to a bill that began life in the House as a measure to improve parental knowledge of childhood diabetes.

Mission has been operating under an agreement authorized by the law that limits its profit margin and caps the number of doctors it can employ since 1995. The agreement shielded Mission from anti-trust concerns from federal regulators stemming from its merger with St. Joseph's Hospital.

Sen. Tom Apodaca, a Henderson County Republican and chairman of the Rules Committee, introduced a bill in March to repeal both the COPA law and another that requires state approval before construction of certain large health care facilities. The bill has not moved since, but similar language was added to the Senate's version of the state budget bill.

But, the legislation is not part of the House-Senate budget bill the General Assembly is considering this week.

Apodaca did not respond to requests for comment on the COPA issue Tuesday and Wednesday.

The new language would require approval from the full Senate and the House. 

Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson, said in July he opposes ending COPA.

Sen. Terry Van Duyn, D-Buncombe, said Wednesday she will probably support the change despite concerns she expressed in June that it had received little public discussion.

Medicaid reform legislation likely to be adopted by the General Assembly shortly would allow private insurance companies or organizations led by health care providers to contract with the state to provide care to people on Medicaid, she said. The COPA law could hinder Mission's ability to partner with other local organizations to be a part of such a network, she said.

"I want our regional providers to be as involved as possible," Van Duyn said, but she added she can understand worries over ending restrictions on Mission.

"If you're an individual physician and you feel like Mission is taking over, COPA's your last line of defense," she said.

Mission has said it favors repealing COPA.




The latest town landing its own craft brewery will be Fletcher, where Blue Ghost Brewing looks to pour its first pints next year.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports...

Named for the famous glowing Blue Ghost fireflies that flutter through Dupont State Forest, the brewery will be a community gathering spot in Fletcher, which has been without its own craft brewery, said founder Erik Weber. The location is an existing 4,000-square-foot building at 125 Underwood Road, not far from Asheville Regional Airport. Weber has ordered an American-made one barrel brewing system, but is hoping to expand to a 10-barrel system within a year, and then to open a farmhouse brewery.

"There is beer in Asheville and there is beer in Hendersonville, but there's not much in between," he said. "We want to create a natural ale trail" between the two cities, he said.

Weber, originally from Eire, Pennsylvania, formerly worked at Oskar Blues Brewery in Brevard. He studied brewing at Blue Ridge Community College, and then taught there. "I've wanted to open a brewery for 10 years," he said. "I wanted it to be more than a brewery." Blue Ghost will have outdoor spaces - one of them surrounding a century-old oak tree - and Weber plans to host a farmer's market at the site. The brewery will open without food offerings, "but within six months, we'll add a small kitchen and focus on gourmet pizzas," he said. He plans on delivering  pizzas and beer growlers to the many hotels and motels in the area.

Many new breweries run into issues finding a name that hasn't been claimed by someone else, but Weber thinks he has the rights to the Blue Ghost name. "That has been one of our biggest challenges," he said. "We had several other names that we loved, but Internet searches showed that some other brewery had it, or that it was used for a beer."

Blue Ghost will produce four core brews: a drinkable blonde ale, a traditional West Coast IPA, a pale ale and a stout. He also plans a changing Blue Ghost series of beers,

Blue Ghost is the latest craft brewery to emerge in Western North Carolina, where more than 40 brewing companies are now open,. With the arrival of new operations that are planned or are under construction, the area will have nearly 50 breweries including the national brands Sierra Nevada in Mills River, Oskar Blues in Brevard and New Belgium which is building in West Asheville.









Subscriptions to go on sale September 1, 2015


Flat Rock, NC (August 27, 2015) –The Flat Rock Playhouse announced today the plays, musicals and Music on the Rock concerts slated for the 2016 Season as well as a streamlined subscription package plan. 


“We’ve truly had a banner year at Flat Rock Playhouse in 2015.  We’re experiencing record numbers and sold out audiences, which has been amazing to witness,” says Artistic Director Lisa K. Bryant.  “Standing on the back row of a packed house of GypsyDriving Miss Daisy, and Always…Patsy Cline has been a truly breathtaking experience and I could not be more proud of the work we have done – onstage and off.”


Earlier this year, the Playhouse conducted a survey asking 15,0000 patrons which shows they would most like to see in 2016. 


“I’m happy to report that nearly all of the titles that we are producing in 2016 on our Mainstage and Playhouse Downtown – as well as Music on the Rock – are suggestions taken directly from the feedback,” says Bryant.


Subscriptions go on sale Tuesday, September 1st.  The packages for 2016 will be priced at a heavier discount than previous seasons.  

"We've made the decision to streamline the packages offered for 2016," says Flat Rock Playhouse Marketing and Communications Director Dane Whitlock.  "We'll continue to offer our traditional Plan A Package, which is tickets to all nine shows in our season, not including the Studio 52 production of James and the Giant Peach, but at twice the savings offered in previous years."  Whitlock continues, "We're also offering a new package called the Summer Musicals Plus Package, which is a variation on our Flex Plan of the past.  This new plan includes tickets to our two blockbuster summer musicals The Music Man and 9 to 5 as well as eight additional tickets to use however you choose, again at a much steeper discount.  We feel these two packages, combined with our Music on the Rock package, are much more enticing options for our patrons."

Current subscribers wishing to renew their 2015 plan are encouraged to call the Flat Rock Playhouse Box Office at 828.693.0731 before October 1st, 2015.  


The musicals in 2016 Flat Rock Playhouse season include:


Million Dollar Quartet to run April 28 through May 21.  Inspired by the true story, Million Dollar Quartet dramatizes the impromptu jam session featuring Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash and include the hit songs Blue Suede Shoes, Folsom Prison Blues, Great Balls of Fire, Hound Dog, Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On and many more.  Book by Floyd Mutrux and Colin Escott.


The Music Man to run June 16 through July 9.  Meredith Willson’s great American masterpiece, The Music Man is the story of the fast talking con artist Harold Hill who plots to swindle the folks of River City Iowa by posing as a band instructor.  The long awaited, highly requested musical features such Broadway standards as Til There Was You and 76 Trombones.


Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 to run July 28 through August 20.  Based on the hit 1978 movie, 9 to 5 is the story of three secretaries who devise a plan to overthrow their sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot of a boss.  The lively and inventive score featuring the hit song 9 to 5 is written by Dolly Parton with book by Patricia Resnick, based upon the screenplay by Resnick and Colin Higgins.


Beehive, the 60’s Musical to run October 13 through 30.  From Lesley Gore to Aretha Franklin and everyone in between, Beehive the 60’s Musical is a celebration of the girl group of that decade and features such music as It’s My Party, My Boyfriend’s Back, Where the Boys Are, Proud Mary and Respect. Book by Larry Gallagher.


A Christmas Carol to run November 17 through December 17. Charles Dickens’ classic tale adapted by Richard Hellesen and David De Berry, returns to the Flat Rock Playhouse stage in 2016.  The State Theatre of North Carolina will be presenting the hit 2014 production bi-annually.    


All of the musicals will be performed on the Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage in the Village of Flat Rock.


The plays slated for 2016 include:


Self Help to run May 26 through June 4 at on the Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage.  Norm Foster’s hilarious play about two struggling actors who reinvent themselves, and their failing acting careers, as self help gurus.  Their marriage and their lives unravel in this uproarious farce as they try desperately to deal with dead bodies and nosey reporters while holding on to their newly found fame. 


The Importance of Being Earnest to run July 7 through 24 at the Flat Rock Playhouse Downtown.  Dubbed “a trivial comedy for serious people,” The Importance of Being Earnest is Oscar Wilde’s most celebrated play.  Set in Victorian England, two friends use the same pseudonym (“Earnest”) for their illicit activities and hilarity ensues.


The Diary of Anne Frank to run September 8 through 25 on the Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage.  Based on the diary kept by Anne Frank while she was in hiding with her family in Amsterdam for two years, adapted by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, The Diary of Anne Frank has become symbolic of the Nazi atrocities during World War II.


Vintage Hitchcock, A Live Radio Play to run October 20 through November 6 at the Flat Rock Playhouse Downtown.  This spooky and thrilling piece from the master of suspense, Vintage Hitchcock, A Live Radio Play by Joe Landry, brings to life three tales in the style of a 1940’s radio broadcast – complete with vintage commercials and the magic of live sound effects.


The Music on the Rock concert series includes:


The Music of Barry Manilow, February 11 – 14.


Donny Edwards, a Heart and Soul Tribute to the King, the return limited engagement direct from Las Vegas will perform April 7 – 17 on the Flat Rock Playhouse Mainstage.


The Music of the Beach Boys, April 21 – May 1.


The Music of the Eagles, May 12 – 22.


The Music of Billy Joel and Elton John, June 9 – 19.


The Music of Buddy Holly, August 11 – 21.


The Music of Fleetwood Mac, September 29 – October 9.


A Celtic Christmas, December 1 – 18.


Additionally, Flat Rock Playhouse Studio 52 will present James and the Giant Peach at the Playhouse Downtown.  Based on the beloved book by Roald Dahl, James and the Giant Peach is about a young boy who escapes his conniving aunts via a magical giant peach and discovers adventure, friendship, and the true nature of family along the way. This multimedia production with a new and inventive book by Timothy Allen McDonald, music and lyrics by the Tony nominated duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, will take flight from March 10 – 20, 2016.


football 2

WHKP's WEICHERT REALTORS COVERAGE OF HENDERSON COUNTY FOOTBALL BEGINS THIS FRIDAY NIGHT as Madison visits West Henderson.  Beau and Luke Lovelace will again offer up PLAY-BY-PLAY of the gridiron action., beginning at 7:05 PM....wtih KICKOFF at 7:30.

Immediately following the GAME OF THE WEEK, Tyler Sams is LIVE for FRIDAY FOOTBALL FINAL presenting SCORES of all high-school action throughout Western North Carolina.

This year broadcasts - FOR THE 69TH STRAIGHT YEAR -  will be heard on BOTH WHKP AM AT 1450 AM and the all-new WHKP FM AT 107.7.

8/28 - West Henderson @ Hendersonville

9/4 - Hendersonville @ East Henderson

9/11 - North Henderson @ Hendersonville

9/18 - East Henderson @ Polk Copunty

9/25 - West Henderson @ North Henderson

10/2 - East Henderson @ North Henderson

10/9 - Brevard @ East Henderson

10/23 - Owen @ Hendersonville

10/30 - Tuscola @ East Henderson

11/6 - East Henderson @ West Henderson