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Wednesday, 01 October 2014 00:00

News in brief

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Fitness Challenge begins Oct. 6

Fitness Challenge will kickoff at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 6 at the Waynesville Recreation Center. 

Participants can experience a variety of Haywood County fitness centers and private businesses offering activity classes up to 24 times over a six-week period.  Participants can mix and match which centers they want to go to or they can exercise at one place. 

Registration for the 2014 Fitness Challenge is Oct. 6 through Nov. 17 for only $10. Registration days take place at the following locations and times:

• Monday, Oct. 6 — Waynesville Recreation Center (8 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

• Tuesday, Oct. 7 — Cooperative Extension (8 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

• Wednesday, Oct. 8 — Haywood Regional Health & Fitness Center (8 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

• Thursday, Oct. 9 — Urban Athletic Training Center (8 a.m. to 7 p.m.)

• Friday, Oct. 10 — The Fitness Connection  (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Fitness centers and private business around the county will be offering activities for this year’s challenge, with a list of participating locations at 

In addition to prizes and event promotion, proceeds from the registration fees are used to improve fitness and/or nutrition within the county through a mini grant. Community organizations and individuals who have an idea or project they would like to implement in the county that would encourage fitness and nutrition are encouraged to apply. This year, there will be more competition, because only one grant, instead of several, will be chosen. Guidelines and application are on the website,, and due by Dec. 1.  

The Fitness Challenge is sponsored by Healthy Haywood, a program of the Haywood County Health Human Services Agency.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 828.452.6675 (Ext. 2272) or


‘Militarization’ of American policing to be focus of WCU forum

Local police departments’ use of military weaponry, SWAT and decommissioned military gear — known as the “militarization” of American policing — and its impact on communities, the general public and police officers will be the focus of a forum Tuesday, Oct. 7, at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee. The free public event will be held at 8 p.m. in the conference room of Blue Ridge Hall. 

WCU criminology and criminal justice faculty members Kyle Burgason, Tom Johnson, Ophir Sefiha and Fred Hawley will join Ernie Hudson, chief of WCU police, in a discussion titled Police Militarization: Emerging Perspectives in Historical Context.

Military weapons have been in use for police work since SWAT teams emerged in the 1960s and expanded as a consequence of the war on drugs. Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the federal government expanded a Department of Defense program that helps fortify local police departments by making surplus military equipment available to them.

In August, heavily armed police officers using the equipment clashed with protestors in Ferguson, Mo., following the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, by a white officer. President Barack Obama ordered a review of the federal program because of the police response in Ferguson.

“Our hope is that this forum will help clarify some of the issues involved nationally because of the recent events and to bring historical, political, social and professional perspectives to a community discussion about American policing,” said Hawley.



Chamber hosts water forum in Cashiers

A community forum entitled Water Resources will hosted by the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce at 5 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Albert Carlton Community Library in Cashiers. The forum will feature Dan Hargaugh, director of the Tuckaseigee Water & Sewer Authority (TWASA).

Because of the geological nature of the Cashiers Highlands Plateau, water purity and availability are vital issues which impact quality of life in the mountain community. The chamber’s board of directors recently met with Harbaugh to discuss critical water-related issues in the area, including well interconnectivity, sewer allocation policy, stormwater runoff and wastewater treatment. 

Cashiers area water resources face a present threat from failing small community systems and increasing demand. This forum is an opportunity to learn firsthand about community water resources with an update on TWSA’s recent actions and long-term plans. 

The meeting is open to the public and audience questions will be addressed. For more information, call 828.743.5191 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Newly formed WCU Board of Visitors to begins meeting 

 The inaugural class of the newly formed Board of Visitors at Western Carolina University will hold its first meetings and elect a slate of officers Thursday and Friday, Oct. 2 and 3.

The board, established by WCU’s Board of Trustees earlier this year, is designed to serve as an advisory body to the university’s chancellor. Members of the Board of Visitors will serve as advocates and ambassadors for WCU; promote and advance the mission, vision and strategic plan of the university; make WCU a philanthropic priority; and provide the chancellor and the WCU Board of Trustees with advice and counsel on issues that are critical to the institution’s strategic interests.

“The board consists of friends of Western Carolina who have been serving as unofficial ambassadors for the university through their ongoing support and advocacy over the years,” said Jim Miller, WCU associate vice chancellor for development and alumni affairs. “Through the establishment of the Board of Visitors, these volunteers will play an even more significant role in promoting the interests of WCU, increasing public awareness of the university’s priorities, and helping spread the word throughout their communities about the good things that are happening at Western Carolina University.”

The Board of Visitors will consist of up to 30 members elected by the trustees, along with five ex officio members – the chair of the Board of Trustees, the immediate past chair of the trustees, the chancellor, the president of the WCU Alumni Association and the chair of the Board of Directors of the Western Carolina University Foundation.

Ten members comprise the inaugural class of the Board of Visitors. Ten additional board members will be added in 2015, and 10 more members will come on board in 2016. Each class of visitors will serve initial terms of three years.


Free Internet safety workshop, plus story time 

Parents are invited to a free workshop on how to keep their kids safe online and how to set healthy technology limits for their families at 4 p.m. on Oct. 8 at the Canton Branch Library.

The workshop will focus on strategies that families can immediately put into action. Parents are invited to bring their children with them to the library as there will be a special story time for elementary-aged kids offered at the same time as the workshop. Kids will listen to stories and make crafts.



Learn genealogy research skills

The Canton Branch Library will host a free class on how to conduct genealogy research on Thursday, Oct. 2, at 5:30 p.m. in the library’s meeting room. The program will be led by Dot Barnum and Stan Smith of the Haywood County Historical & Genealogical Society. Whether you have already begun researching your family history or are interested in starting to conduct research, you are sure to benefit from Barnum and Smith’s expertise and knowledge of resources.

Attendees can also learn about the Haywood County Public Library History Collection from Special Projects Manager Joyce Cope. This special collection includes a cemetery, obituary and veterans records database among other resources that can help you with your genealogy research.

The class is free and open to the public; registration is not required. For more information, call 828.648.2924.


Is your last name Bryson?

The Silas McDowell Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution that serves the western mountain region of North Carolina is looking for anyone with the last name of Bryson or who descended from a Bryson in Western North Carolina.

The McDowell chapter, along with the Blue Ridge Mountain chapter of the Georgia Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, will host a rededication of the graves of brothers Daniel and James Bryson, patriots of the American Revolution, at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at the Sugar Fork Baptist Church Cemetery in Franklin.

According to Tom Long, president of the Silas McDowell chapter, it is very rare to find two brothers who served in the American Revolution buried in the same cemetery. “These ceremonies are very moving and they are a great history lesson for children and grandchildren about their ancestors,” said Long.  

A direct descendant of the Bryson’s will be present for the ceremony, during which each patriot’s grave is rededicated with a granite marker noting service in the American Revolution.  

“These are very colorful ceremonies with many of the SAR and DAR participants wearing uniforms and clothing of the period,” said Long. There will also be a three-volley musket salute to the Patriots. 

Daniel Bryson began his military service in June of 1776 as a private and rose through the ranks to that of captain in 1780.  Captain Bryson was at the battle of Ramseur’s Mill.  In 1781 he was in the battles of Cowpens, Cowan’s Ford, Guilford Court House, Camden, and the siege of Ninety Six.  Daniel’s brother, Patriot James Holmes Bryson, provided supplies to the South Carolina Militia.



Purple Purse aims for financial empowerment

REACH of Macon County is taking part in the Purple Purse Challenge, a national campaign to create awareness about financial empowerment and provide financial assistance to survivors of domestic violence. 

REACH is seeking community support to try and become the charity that raises the most money during the campaign, which would lead to a $100,000 donation form the Allstate Foundation. REACH of Macon County has already received a $10,000 donation. 

The first 75 people to donate a minimum of $35 will receive a commemorative charm with a survivor’s story. Additionally, those who sponsor a team and are one of the first three teams to raise a $1,000 will receive an authentic purple Coach purse. 

For more information visit


Public Cullowhee planning meeting

Approximately one year ago, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners appointed members to the Cullowhee Community Planning Advisory Committee. The Committee was charged with recommending boundaries for a proposed community planning area for Cullowhee and with preparing draft development standards to guide growth and development within the proposed planning area. 

With the tasks assigned to the committee completed, public input — particularly from property owners —  is being sought on the proposed planning area boundaries and the proposed development standards.

As proposed, the recommended planning area boundaries would encompass a large area around Western Carolina University. The proposed development standards drafted by the committee would establish standards for residential and commercial development within the proposed planning area. The draft map divides the proposed planning area into districts, or zones, with land uses in each district limited to those identified in the development standards. The recommended planning area district designations and the proposed development standards are on the Jackson County Planning Department website ( 

The Cullowhee advisory committee has scheduled two community meetings to gather input. The meetings are scheduled for 6 p.m. Oct. 7 and 23 in the Hospitality Room of the Ramsey Center at WCU. Those that are unable to attend the public meetings may mail or email comments to the Jackson County Planning Department. Mail to 401 Grindstaff Cove Rd., Sylva, N.C. 28779 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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