Google the name of almost any trailhead in Western North Carolina, and you’re likely to come up with pages of links to a plethora of online mentions and trail descriptions aimed at helping readers do just the hike you’re looking for.
Old Town Bank shareholders overwhelmingly approved the sale of the start-up bank headquartered in Waynesville last week, ending its nine-year run as a small independent local bank in light of the changing landscape facing financial institutions in the post-recession world.
An interesting anomaly played out in the mountains in the Presidential primary last week.
In an effort to bring together the artistic hearts and minds from around Western North Carolina, the “LEAD:Arts” summit was hosted last week by Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.
“The arts and artists are essential elements for a healthy community,” said moderator George Brown, dean of WCU’s College of Fine and Performing Arts. “Art improves the quality of life. Artists make good neighbors. This conference will go beyond discussion of the role of arts in the community. Western Carolina University and Western North Carolina will come together through art to take action and foster a better tomorrow for the region.”
It’s all about the song. That’s what the goal is for Joe Lasher Jr. At 19, the country singer has spent the better part of the last four years zigzagging around Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachia, stepping in front of the microphone in countless dive bars, restaurants, festivals and your backyard if the mood is right.
Hailing from Weaverville, Lasher proudly embraces his Southern roots, with a keen awareness of family and friends, that feeling of your place in the world amid those who know you best — around the bonfire, on the lake, in the backwoods and everywhere in-between.
Half a year after launching a program that makes breakfast and lunch free for every child in school, the financials are looking good for Jackson County Schools’ child nutrition program.
Mark Rogers sticks his hand through the cold air outside Bethel Grocery into the even more frigid interior of the standalone freezer settled beside the building along U.S. 276 in Haywood County. There’s a dead coyote inside, folded body hard and rigid through a combination of cold and rigor mortis. Rogers pulls it out into the sunlight, where bright rays bounce shine off its array of red, gray and white hairs.
It’s been 30 years since Raymond Bunn saw his first coyote, and that moment — Clay County, 1986 — is not one he’s likely to forget.
“I remember well seeing it,” said Bunn, manager at Shed’s Hunting Supply in Sylva. “When I first seen it, I thought it was a German shepherd dog or something like that, but it was a coyote.”
As the temperatures drop in Western North Carolina, the fun only heats up. The holiday season here is filled with events and activities aimed to celebrate the best way we know how — with friends, family and visitors alike.
It is the litmus test of a community.
The arts. If you want to know how well a society functions, where its heart lies, then look no further than the strength and vitality of its creative minds and the art councils that support and showcase their work.