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Sunday alcohol sales bill in North Carolina includes allowing large 'estate' to open a distillery
by Kimberly King

SEPT. 20, 2023 - Senate Bill 527, which has passed in the North Carolina state Senate, would allow the sale of alcohol in the state seven days per week. It currently also has a provision around an “estate” distillery that would be allowed to operate and sell spirits. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WLOS) — An overhaul of North Carolina's alcohol sales laws is underway with a bill that would allow liquor sales seven days a week.


Senate Bill 527 also has a provision around an “estate” distillery that would be allowed to operate and sell spirits.

State Sen. Tim Moffitt, who represents117th district Henderson County, used to represent Buncombe County. Moffitt is one of the sponsors of SB 527 but did not return News 13's email requesting more specific information on the unnamed “estate” that would be allowed to have a distillery on its estate.

Sunday alcohol sales bill in North Carolina includes allowing a large 'estate' to open a distillery

Page 27 of SB 327 states that a “distillery estate district” is a “tract of real property, or multiple contiguous or adjacent tracts of real property, separated only by a river, lake, or public or private road, on which a distillery holding a permit, a winery...and at least three other establishments holding mixed beverage permits are located.” SB527 states the estate could sell 'spiritous liquor' produced at the distillery located in the distillery estate district...”


State Rep. Eric Ager(D-Buncombe) said he isn’t sure which large North Carolina estate already with alcohol sales and a winery may want a distillery. He said he’s heard a name mentioned but hasn’t yet confirmed the facts.

“I can tell you there is a provision in the bill that allows estates -- if you had a distillery at a place with a bunch of contiguously owned land and had a couple of different establishments on that land -- it would allow you to sell the product from the distillery at all those places," Ager said.

“I think the whiskey business and distillery business on the craft side has been growing for the last five years,” said Joe Ragazzo, CEO of Two Trees Distillery in Fletcher. He said the spirits industry has plenty more potential for revenue growth. “It’s going to continue to grow.”
The proposed bill would also allow bars to have happy hour discounts, and ABC stores could sell liquor gift cards. While expanding to seven days of sales could mean more sales, it’s not necessarily the case said Robin Cape, chairwoman of Asheville ABC Control Board.

“I don’t think it’s going to be more revenue at all,” said Cape. She said it’s more about adding convenience for consumers and getting in line with most other states that allow Sunday sales. “It will be interesting to see if it adds more revenue.”

Cape said with 12 ABC liquor stores in the Asheville area and four in Henderson County, the initial rollout would include that just some stores open on Sundays if the bill passes.

Ager supports the bill and said Democrats are on board.

“Our ABC system is pretty ancient," Ager said. "I’m certainly for liberalizing that, and local boards have the ability to say yes or no.”


The bill passed unanimously in the Senate and is waiting for a hearing in the House Rules Committee before it makes its way to a full House vote. Gov. Cooper is not expected to veto the bill if it comes to his desk.


CANTON, N.C. (WLOS) — A railroad in Haywood County impacted by the Pactiv Evergreen paper mill closure in Canton is getting help from the federal government.


Congressman Edwards (NC-11) on Thursday announced Blue Ridge Southern Railroad would be awarded $12.6 million in funding through the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements program.


"This project is part of a larger Federal Railroad Administration grant of $1.4 billion for 70 projects,” Edwards said. “The Blue Ridge Southern Railroad is essential to serving the Premier Magnesia plants in Waynesville, one of Haywood County’s largest employers. It is critical to keeping Premier Magnesia in Haywood County and to maintaining a future industrial presence in the area. I am grateful to the FRA for recognizing the importance of this rail line to WNC."



UAW: Can you afford a new car?


Dr. Glenn Mollette


If you can’t afford a new car now, it’s not going to get easier.


Supposedly the average new car price in America is “about” $30,000 according to Be wary of the preposition “about.” It gets tougher all the time to walk out of a dealership with a new car that has very many bells and whistles for under $35,000. The average payment for a new car is $700 according to A more reasonable car payment means you have to have a sizable down payment or receive a lot of credit on your trade-in. Many Americans are financing their cars for 72 months and they are often worn out when traded. Often there is still some balance owed that is refinanced in the new deal. This creates an ongoing financial hardship for millions of Americans.


Millions of Americans struggle with bad credit ratings which impacts their car loan deal.


In most parts of America, you have to have a car. There are some locations in our country where you can make it with buses and trains but that is a small section of America. If you live on the East coast between NYC and Washington, D.C. then you might be able to survive without a car. If you live in Tomahawk, Kentucky you must have a car.


The United Auto Workers are striking for better pay and benefits. Many of the plant employees are making over $30 an hour but lower tier employees are making less than $20 an hour for the same kind of work. The UAW is asking to end a tier system which pays employees less for doing the same work. UAW wants their pay increased by 36% over the next four years. They also are tired of working 60-to-80-hour weeks just to survive. They are asking for a four day or 32-hour work week but paid for 40 hours. They also want the defined benefit pension reinstated for all the employees. General Motors ended its defined benefit pension January 1, 2007. They are also asking for better medical insurance for the lower tier employees. The UAW says the big three gave up cost of living adjustments during the 2008 financial crisis when GM and Chrysler went bankrupt. The UAW says that this has resulted in a tremendous pay decrease for the auto workers.


The 401k retirement plan is going to be the best that American companies are going to offer going forward. In the old days many companies offered defined benefit plans. If you worked 30 years then you were promised a certain retirement wage. The big three auto makers once had such benefits but they will never go back to that because they know it’s unsustainable. If a company will match or pay even half of what you pay into your 401K then you are doing well.


We all surely hope for the best for our all concerned. Everybody has to make money. I hope they can get the best deal possible.


In the meantime, most of us will be shopping around to see what we can afford. Paying an extra 36% percent or whatever it might be for a new car will be difficult for most Americans.


Visit GlennMollette.Com. Find his books and music on Amazon.Com

Read Uncommon Sense or Spiritual Chocolate for the Christmas Season,

, The Spiritual Chocolate series, Grandpa's Store, Minister's Guidebook insights from a fellow minister. His column is published weekly in over 600 publications in all 50 states.


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 Even when the unexpected occurs, it’s hard to keep a good tradition down for very long. Enter a 28-year tradition at Atkinson Elementary School known as Heritage Day that started in 1995, was resurrected in 2017, and continues next week when over 300 students and staff embark on a very special field trip to Camp Pinnacle. 


Thanks to the creativity and follow through of two now-retired Atkinson teachers, Harriet Dorsey Sterling and Kathy McCusker, Heritage Day activities provide students with an opportunity to learn about mountain traditions and ways of old.


As a school, Atkinson participated in Heritage Day every other year until 2006. Following a hiatus of over a decade, teacher Cathey Gilbert resurrected the biennial Atkinson trip in 2017. Camp Pinnacle has allowed the school to use their camp for the past few years to make the tradition possible.


Additionally, a Rotary Grant helped defray some of the cost. The day would not be possible without the community partners that volunteer their time, because this allows students to be able to travel from station to station throughout the day, said Atkinson Principal Mark Page. 


A variety of activities await the students. All of them are centered around mountain heritage and historical learning - everything from square dancing and apple cider, to crafting corn husk dolls, exploring the art of dulcimers, immersive storytelling, the craft of quilting, beekeeping, discovering old toys, sack races, soap making, churning butter, learning about archery, delving into the stories of Carl Sandburg, savoring the sounds of bagpipes, learning about Civil War History, and exploring the art of pottery and blacksmithing. 


Details- The field trip to Pinnacle Mountain is Monday, Sept. 25th. Throughout the day, students will participate in station rotations, each lasting twenty-five minutes. Classes will be paired up and follow individualized schedules. Some rotations include: square dancing & wagon rides (K/1), soapmaking & beekeeping (2/3), and pottery & storytelling (4/5).  


Schedule -  Monday, Sept. 25th

8:30 - 8:45 Students begin arriving at Camp Pinnacle

8:45 - 9:15 Bluegrass Band (Hightop Mountain Harmony) 

9:15 - 11:20 All students participate in station rotations

11:20 - 11:55 Lunch

12:00 - 12:45 Clogging demonstration for all students (Bailey Mtn. Cloggers, Mars Hill University)

12:45 - 2:00 Afternoon station rotations for 2-5 (K/1 will go back to school)

 Hendersonville police are encouraging people to be cautious of a scam targeting local businesses.

A post online from the police department says they are aware of scam calls which have typically been occurring during the evening time around closing. A scammer will call a business and try to convince an employee that the owner or law enforcement is requiring tax payment money. The scammer will direct the employee to deliver money to CVS, Walgreens or other store to purchase gift cards.

Police remind the public that law enforcement will never call and ask for money or threaten anyone with arrest if they don’t pay a fine.

"If you receive a suspicious call, we encourage you to hang up," the department wrote online. "You can always contact your local tax office directly if there is a question regarding a tax bill. NEVER provide any personal information, payments, gift cards." etc.

People are encouraged to contact their law enforcement if they have been a victim of a scam or if they have any questions. Hendersonville Police Department's non-emergency number is (828) 697-3025.


STORY & PHOTO COURTESY OF ABC 13 WLOSPolice warn of scam targeting businesses in Hendersonville | WLOS



Jennifer Langdon, an Exceptional Children’s teacher at Upward Elementary School has been named the district representative for North Carolina’s Exceptional Children’s Educator of Excellence. She will represent Henderson County Public Schools (HCPS) at the statewide annual conference this October in Greensboro.


“Ms. Langdon does a great job building relationships and always does what is best for her students,” said Dr. Jennifer Shelton, HCPS Director of Exceptional Children. “We are thrilled she is part of the EC staff in Henderson County.”

With 12 years of dedicated service to HCPS, Langdon’s journey began as an American Sign Language Interpreter before transitioning into her current role as an EC Resource Teacher for the past five years. 

“I’ve witnessed firsthand the efforts that Ms. Langdon puts into making her students, parents, and colleagues lives better. Through her willingness to volunteer or just her steadfast commitment to her responsibilities, she has become an employee who is incredibly important to our school community,” said Michael Gates, Principal at Upward Elementary. “Ms. Langdon has plenty to do as an EC teacher, but she chooses to be an influence outside her classroom to improve our school community.”

In her role as an EC teacher, Langdon teaches specifically designed instruction in reading, math, writing and social skills to 33, kindergarten-fifth grade resource students. Throughout the year, her caseload increases as students are referred through the MTSS process and evaluated for EC services. 

“My greatest contribution and accomplishments in education are providing a safe environment for my students and colleagues where they feel respected as an individual, valued, and loved,” shared Langdon. “I have found that by treating students with respect, they are more willing to work with me. Kindness goes a long way when it comes to teaching.”

Langdon explained what a day in her classroom may look like. “My classroom is a revolving door from 8:10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. My number one goal each day is to make sure the students in my classroom feel loved. If they are walking out of my room with a smile on their face and love in their hearts, then I know I’m doing what’s best for kids.”  

In addition to teaching in her classroom, Langdon also leads the Sunshine Committee and actively participates in the School Improvement Team at Upward. Her commitment and passion have not gone unnoticed, as she was nominated by her peers and awarded Upward Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year for 2023.

“Ms. Langdon is an outstanding choice and a most well deserving recipient of this honor. Every time I am at Upward Elementary, I see her engaged with students and always with a smile on her face. It is evident that students respect and adore Ms. Langdon,” shared Superintendent Mark R. Garrett. 


The City of Hendersonville’s Wellness Committee will host its 11th annual Turkey Trot 5k Thanksgiving morning on November 23, 2023. The 5k is a run/walk event open to all ages, all fitness levels, and all family members!   

The Hendersonville Turkey Trot kicks off promptly at 8:30 a.m. at City Hall at Fifth Avenue East and King Street. The course winds through the heart of downtown Hendersonville and ends back at City Hall. Walkers and runners should plan to be off the course by 10:30 a.m. The event will take place rain or shine, sleet, or snow!    

The entry fee is $13 which includes a long sleeve t-shirt. Registrations received by November 6th at 5 p.m. will be guaranteed their preferred t-shirt size. Volunteers are needed and will receive a free t-shirt.   

Race packets may be picked up on November 21st and 22nd from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on the second floor of City Hall,160 Sixth Avenue East. Packets not picked up by 9 a.m. on race day will be redistributed. 

The Turkey Trot is a non-sanctioned event – we’re here for fun and exercise and costumes are encouraged. Four prizes will be awarded for those pre-registered: farthest traveled, first male, first female, and a mystery time prize.  

Before sitting down to your Thanksgiving meal bring the family, bring the kids, and bring the dog to the 11th Annual Hendersonville Turkey Trot!  

Visit to register for the event as a participant or volunteer.  

For more information, contact Lu Ann Welter at (828) 233-3204 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

 A years-long project has restored a Mills River wetland to its natural state. Conserving Carolina took on the Mouth of Mud Creek project after acquiring the land in 2015.

On Tuesday, the nonprofit gave AmeriCorps volunteers a tour of what used to be farmland.

Part of the project included building sloughs to encourage the spawning of muskies.

"These floodplain projects are extremely important to our area, not just to the native plants and animals that live in a flood plain, but also to the people that live in our region," Conserving Carolina Natural Resources Manager David Lee said. "These projects support water quality, they support recreation. You know, they're just extremely important to our region."

Conserving Carolina is also taking on several other restoration projects in Henderson County, including one in Etowah called the Pleasant Grove project.


STORY & PHOTO COURTESY OF ABC 13 WLOSYears-long restoration project brings Mills River wetland back to life | WLOS


 We are having conversations across Hendersonville about Gen H - Hendersonville's Comprehensive Plan and planning for the next 20 years & beyond! 
Hendersonville’s popular Council Conversation series is joining forces with the Community Development Department to bring Gen H Council ‘Comp-versations’ to five locations across the City. Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with their City Council members and take part in the development of the 2045 Gen H Comprehensive Plan.  Join us at any or all of the meetings to discuss a variety of topics related to growth, community character, and sustainability. Council Member Debbie Roundtree’s event took place in Sullivan Park on August 26, 2023. Community members have four more opportunities to provide input on a variety of topics.

Gen H Council Comp-versation hosted by Mayor Pro Tem Lyndsey Simpson 
The Heart of Gen H: Developing the Vision for Downtown Hendersonville’s Future 
Tuesday, September 19, 2023 | 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM 
The Main Event | 125 S. Main Street 
What should strolling down Main Street and Seventh Avenue look and feel like in 20 years? Participate in this downtown-focused listening session to continue the conversations surrounding the heart of the city and how it grows. The city’s comprehensive plan consultants with Bolton & Menk will be facilitating the listening session portion of the meeting. 


Gen H Council Comp-versation hosted by Mayor Barbara Volk 
What Does Change Look Like to Gen H: Balancing Growth & Strengthening Community Character 
Monday, October 2, 2023 | 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM 
Interfaith Assistance Ministries (IAM) | 310 Freeman Street 
How do we plan for the needs of existing community members while welcoming visitors and future generations of residents? Take part in a planning activity facilitated by the Community Development Department and discussion centered around how the city should grow while staying true to what makes Hendersonville home. 


Gen H Council Comp-versation hosted by Council Member Jerry Smith 
A Healthy Dose of Gen H: The Place of Parks and Open Space 
Monday, October 9, 2023 | 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM 
Health Sciences Center – Room 2003 | 805 6th Avenue West 
Want to step inside the classroom for a learning session on where the city is and what the future can hold? Take a hike over to the Health Science Center to focus on making Hendersonville healthy up to 2045 and beyond. This meeting will have an emphasis on parks and green space planning. 


Gen H Council Comp-versation hosted by Council Member Jennifer Hensley 
The Housing Component of Gen H: Living in Hendersonville’s Future  
Monday, October 16, 2023 | 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM 
Hendersonville High School – Cafeteria | 1 Bearcat Boulevard 
The secret is out that Hendersonville is a desirable place to live. How do we catch up and keep pace with growing housing demands and ensure a high quality of life for residents? Participate in this housing-focused listening session to give input on where and how Hendersonville grows. The city’s comprehensive plan consultants with Bolton & Menk will be facilitating the listening session portion of the meeting. 

City Council’s annual fall meeting series promotes transparency and accessibility between the community and the elected officials serving Hendersonville. The 2023 Council Comp-versations theme is the development of Hendersonville’s 2045 Comprehensive Plan, but community members can also bring other questions and ideas to the meetings. These informal gatherings allow the public to interact with their local elected officials and City of Hendersonville staff by asking questions, voicing concerns, and working together toward solutions.


Community members are invited to take the Gen H Comprehensive Plan survey online at City of Hendersonville staff will be available at all Council Comp-versations to help any community members who would like assistance in filling out their survey. 

Residents of Etowah,

Planning Board Meeting

We are continuing to prepare for the October Planning Board meeting when the Board will meet to decide whether to approve the applicants’ Master Plan or not.  Based on past experience, we anticipate the applicant will revise the current plan.  We are contacting the Henderson County Planning Department each week to find out if new or additional documents are submitted by the applicant.  So far, nothing has been received by the Planning Department.

Last week we focused on our traffic survey.  Over 450 members of the Community responded to the survey, producing a “WOW” reaction from our traffic engineers.  Members of our team have analyzed the data and produced several graphics for our engineers.  We greatly appreciate the community’s response to the call for responses.

County Commissioner Meetings

The County Commissioners met on Tuesday, September 5th to discuss the 2040 Comprehensive Plan.  The Commissioners spent considerable time reviewing maps showing proposed housing densities, and in particular, Etowah.  Commissioner Lapsley argued the proposed density for Etowah is too high.  The group plans to revisit this topic at their September 20th, 9:30 AM meeting.  Please plan to attend.  More information will be provided soon.