The campus of Haywood Regional Medical Center is full of cars coming and going, staff walking toward or returning from shifts and people in workout gear heading toward the Fitness Center. Staff members help an elderly woman in a wheelchair get in her vehicle after discharging her from care, and staff working with those still admitted move between stations.
Haywood County’s fledging chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is getting a little help this summer.
“I see myself as a booster pack,” said Sam Tyson. “A little summer energy.”
Sitting in the judge’s seat, Jackson County Commissioners Chairman Jack Debnam took a look around. He absorbed the courtroom, glanced down at Commissioner Doug Cody on the witness stand and County Manager Chuck Wooten in the jury box.
A cross-section of Haywood County business leaders took over the reins of economic development this month, with county government passing the torch to the Greater Haywood County Chamber of Commerce to blaze a new path of economic prosperity.
An ongoing tug-of-war for control of the Haywood County Republican Party reached a finale last week.
A faction of conservative activists failed in their bid to wrest the chairman’s seat away from Pat Carr, who represents the mainstream party establishment. Carr now hopes the party can overcome the internal division that has plagued it for more than a year.
A rash of medical complications hit inmates in the Haywood County jail over the past year, socking the county with a $100,000 cost overrun.
Blame lies in part with a handful of big ticket procedures — a major stroke, heart bypass surgery, a heart catheterization following a heart attack for another. But there was also a run on more minor hospitalizations.
Critics of tourism-related economic development in Haywood County have joined forces with a conservative think tank from Raleigh to question the underlying premise of county travel and tourism agencies — namely, should they exist?
“Is that legitimate? Is that a core function of government?” posed Becki Gray, an analyst with the John Locke Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Raleigh.
Plans are moving forward to convert the old state prison in Hazelwood to a resource center for the hurting, homeless and recently incarcerated. The trio of Christian ministries teaming up to make that happen are already thinking about how they’re going to raise the estimated $300,000 they’ll need to get the facilities up to snuff, but they’re waiting on an official contract to kick their fundraising efforts into high gear.
Haywood County Schools will see a slight budget increase from county commissioners next year, although it will fall far short of what school officials asked for.
The school system will get an extra $280,000 from the county — about a quarter of the $1.1 million increase the school system would have liked. But school officials were quick to give county commissioners an ‘A’ for effort.
The rapid pace of change these days often leaves many of us feeling helpless in its wake. Things change, then change some more, and finally a transformation so complete has taken place that very little of what we started with is familiar.
Think the music industry, or what the phone in your pocket will do. Crazy stuff.
But every now and again, one can look around and note things that haven’t changed that much. In some cases that is very reassuring; other times it’s scary.