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Wednesday, 24 September 2014 00:00

News in brief

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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.


Canton clean-up

The Town of Canton will host a clean-up day from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26. Volunteers are invited to join town employee to work on a variety of cleaning and beautification projects. All skill levels of volunteers are encouraged to attend. Lunch will be provided for all volunteers.

For more information call 828.648.2363.


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 www.crowdrise.com/purplepurse-reachofmaconcounty.


Coats for Kids warm up for winter

The 6th Annual Coats for Kids of Jackson County is currently conducting the 2014 coat drive. This local mission project helps to ensure local children stay warm this winter season. Coats for Kids of Jackson County is sponsored by Cullowhee United Methodist Church.

The project is seeking new or gently used donations of kids coats, warm clothing, hats, gloves, and shoes; donations can be dropped of at Cullowhee United Methodist Church, Sylva Habitat for Humanity Re-Sale Store or Sylva Wal-Mart (inside the store) until Sept. 30.

Along with warm clothing items, Coats for Kids will offer additional help to families who attend the Saturday, Oct. 4, distribution event with food assistance through Ingles Gift Certificates (will state “food only”). Donations for food assistance or warm clothing can be mailed to Cullowhee United Methodist Church, c/o Coats for Kids, P.O. Box 1267, Cullowhee N.C. 28723 until Sept 30. Please be sure to specify on memo line: Coats for Kids; Warm Clothing; or Ingles Cards.

Distribution Day will be from 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 4 at First Presbyterian Church of Sylva for local families with children. Children should be present with an adult to receive items. This will be a first come first serve event.

This local mission project helping local children is made possible through donations from the community, area churches and businesses, and volunteers. If you would like to volunteer or have questions, please email Coats for Kids of Jackson County Director Christy Rowe at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


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 (www.jacksonnc.org/planning.html). 

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. .


SCC class to host debate series

The mere mention of words like “political debate” may cause some college students’ eyes to glaze over. That’s not the case with members of Dr. Bucky Dann’s Social Problems class at Southwestern Community College.

Since the start of the fall semester, students enrolled in Dr. Bucky Dann’s Social Problems class at Southwestern Community College have been studying up on regional and statewide issues in preparation for a series of debates that will be hosted in the Burrell Building conference center at SCC’s Jackson Campus over the next few weeks. Dr. Dann’s students will select and ask all questions of candidates at each event.

“A lot of times, debates are for older people,” said Gabrielle Beam, a 19-year-old Bryson City resident who’s pursuing an Associate of Arts degree at SCC. “I don’t think many people expect a teenager to care, much less know about these kinds of issues. So it’s cool to have this opportunity.”

The first debate, set for 7 p.m. Sept. 25, will feature the six candidates (Jack Debnam - Unaffiliated; Republicans Doug Cody and Charles Elders; and Democrats Boyce Deitz, Brian McMahan and Joe Ward) who are vying for three seats on the Jackson County Board of Commissioners. On Oct. 9, Democratic N.C. Rep. Joe Sam Queen (D-Waynesville) will debate Republican challenger Mike Clampitt (R-Bryson City). And on Oct. 30, N.C. Senator Jim Davis (R-Franklin) will face challenger Jane Hipps (D-Waynesville).

The public is invited to attend all three, and WRGC radio (540 AM) of Sylva plans to broadcast each one live.

“It’s really important to be unbiased,” Beam said. “The great thing is that our classmates are really diverse. We all come from different backgrounds, and we’re all going to have input into which questions are asked. I think it’ll be fun.

Another of Dr. Dann’s students, 16-year-old Early College student Kendra Graham, said she and her classmates are taking seriously the responsibility of being granted such significant roles at the debates.

“I’m a little nervous to be honest,” said Graham, who lives in Cullowhee. “But it’ll be nice to surprise people who may not think 16- or 17-year-olds are engaged in the political process.”

“We want to style our questions so that each candidate can answer from a neutral zone and know that they’re not being picked on,” Graham added.

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