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Larry Freeman, radio newscaster and former Mills River mayor, dies

Larry Freeman Larry Freeman

Larry Freeman, a longtime WHKP broadcaster and former mayor of Mills River, died Thursday after a long battle with cancer, the radio station reported. He was 71.

A graduate of Hendersonville High School, Freeman was elected mayor in 2013 by the Mills River Town Council, becoming only the second mayor in the town's 10-year history, after Roger Snyder. Freeman held the position until he lost his seat in the 2017 election..

Freeman was serving as news director for WHKP when his fellow town board members voted to make him mayor.

"The only thing that I mentioned is that Mills River continue to grow as successfully as we have under Roger's leadership," he said at the time.

Broadcaster Tyler Sams paid tribute to Freeman in a story on WHKP's website.

"I am incredibly grateful for the years we worked alongside each other," Sams said. "From the late night events coverage, to going out and chasing stories, from editing, and script writing, Larry was always there to be an encouragement no matter what we were facing as broadcasters at the present time."

Funeral arrangements had not been announced on Thursday, WHKP said.

This is a developing story. Return to the Lightning for updates.