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Haywood Regional Medical Center, a Duke LifePoint Health hospital, has completed a 17-bed expansion to its behavioral health wing on the sixth floor.

The clear water of the West Fork Pigeon River tumbling from its mountain headwaters takes on a yellowish hue through the plastic of the snorkel mask, revealing a riverbed of rounded rocks that sometimes sit within inches of the surface and sometimes plunge feet below.

Fish swim placidly in the flow, darting only occasionally when the wearer of the snorkel mask draws a bit too close for comfort. Here and there a leaf or a stick streams by like a stowaway for parts unknown.

A robust and vigorous health care sector is the cornerstone of any community; convenient access to health care facilities is a make-or-break issue for many, including the elderly, the disabled or even young families expecting children.

The schism between the Haywood County Republican Party and the Haywood Republican Alliance isn’t unique to this party, this county or this era.

Allegations made last week by a member of the Haywood Republican Alliance that the Haywood County Republican Party recently passed a resolution charging five local Republicans with political “party disloyalty” shocked and angered many across the region and the state.

Double-digit increases in both monthly and year-to-date tourist spending have the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority flush with cash, but still seeking to build on better-than-projected collections.

As the sun rises over Papertown one bright morning in 1958, a 30-year-old African-American by the name of Nathaniel Lowery wakes up and, like hundreds of others, heads for the mill.

In a story that sounds like it should have come out of Moscow in 1938 or Havana in 1961 rather than Waynesville in 2017, several Haywood County citizens have allegedly been charged with political “party disloyalty.”

Inside a nondescript miniature warehouse off Carolina Boulevard, Drew Singleton hovers about an imposing, intimidating metalworking machine; adjusting a knob here, spinning a wheel there, tweaking an armature and then stopping to assess the situation, he pauses and looks up to re-check his settings.

Although Haywood County shares many economic similarities with Cashiers, it also sees challenges distinct from those of Jackson County.

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