Arts + Entertainment

news medwestThe new CEO of MedWest-Haywood is rounding on the county, asking residents about the hospital’s past performance and how to improve in the future.

“I really want to engage your community,” said Janie Sinacore-Jaberg, who came on board with the hospital late last year.

It’s been five years since the recession hit, and nonprofits in Haywood County are still struggling to get by after losing their monetary contributions from the county.

Before the recession hit, Haywood County gave about $472,000 to nonprofits, among them the Good Samaritan Clinic, the Haywood County Fairgrounds, the Haywood County Arts Council, Folkmoot USA, Kids Advocacy Resource Effort and REACH, a domestic violence agency. 

news lakejLake Junaluska homeowners and community leaders spoke out strongly last week in favor of merging with Waynesville, setting the stage for a bill to work its way through the N.C. General Assembly this summer declaring Lake Junaluska part of the town of Waynesville.

fr lakejmoreA Lake Junaluska task force voiced overwhelming support last week for merging the 765-home community with the town of Waynesville before a packed audience of homeowners.

SEE ALSO: Ongoing coverage

The 14-member task force has spent 10 months weighing the future course of the community with century-old roots as a summer Methodist retreat. Financial solvency was the deciding factor for those in favor of being absorbed into Waynesville’s town limits. The community does not have the critical mass nor economies of scale to go it alone, especially given the costly repairs it would face during the next decade to fix its crumbling infrastructure, task force members said.

A team of laid-off state geologists will soon start mapping landslide hazard zones in Haywood County after a coalition of environmental nonprofits raised money to keep the project alive.

The state two years ago axed an ongoing effort to map landslide risks in mountain counties. Haywood was supposed to be next up on the list when the mapping was terminated.

The number of children in foster care in Haywood County is on the rise, a depressing sign for Department of Social Services workers whose first goal is to keep a family together.

“Growing up in foster care or growing up in an institution is no way to grow up,” said Ira Dove, director of the county’s Department of Social Services. Dove presented his case to the Haywood County Board of Commissioners Monday, requesting additional money to pay for the increasing costs of running foster care.

The Haywood County Tourism Development Authority board responded to outcries from Maggie Valley business owners about a proposed lodging tax increase during its meeting last week.

Several business owners in Maggie voiced their collective concerns about the possible increase at a town meeting two days prior. A portion of the meeting was spent correcting misperceptions about the matter.

fr haywoodsheriffThere’s a new sheriff in town.

Greg Christopher, a 51-year-old former lieutenant in the N.C. State Patrol, assumed the role of top lawman in Haywood County this week.

fr mainst champsWhen LeRoy Roberson and his wife, Gale, opened an optometric business on Waynesville’s Main Street 35-years-ago, about a quarter of the storefronts sat empty.

The Maggie Valley Board of Aldermen got an earful from hotel and motel owners Monday during a nearly three-hour meeting held specifically to hear views about a proposed increase to the overnight lodging tax.

The Haywood County Tourism Development Authority and the county board of commissioners both unanimously approved the idea of a hike in the lodging tax — from the current rate of 4 percent to 6 percent. The Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce has also written a letter of support.

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