As hospitals mandate staff vaccines, Mission Health resists

By Peter H. Lewis • Asheville Watchdog | The largest health care providers in Western North Carolina, including Mission Hospital in Asheville, recently confirmed that they are not requiring doctors, nurses, volunteers, or other hospital staff to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus despite a resurgence of infections and hospitalizations. 

Labor shortage a lesser challenge for many outdoor industry businesses

While prominently displayed “now hiring” signs and sign-on bonuses attest to the difficulty many employers now face in staffing their operations, outdoor businesses have been largely exempt from the summer’s labor crisis — just as they were from the faltering consumer demand that rattled many industries this time last year.

Help wanted in the service industry

The signs are everywhere. Now hiring, help wanted, excuse the wait times we’re short staffed and doing the best we can. Every restaurant, bar, hotel and store in town is in need of employees at a time when tourism in Western North Carolina is surging. Where are all the workers? 

Labor shortage hits WNC

“Were there any cars in the parking lot when you got here?” Lisa Morris asked. 

Staffing a hurdle for Haywood summer school

Students in Haywood County will not be provided normal bus transportation for the robust summer school program intended to address learning loss during the Coronavirus Pandemic. 

Open up the records of public employees

Last July, The Smoky Mountain News produced a series of stories looking into police reform following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and other incidents of violence by law enforcement officers. One of the takeaways from that reporting was that good law enforcement officers are, perhaps, more critical of bad cops than the general public.

Vaccine hesitancy could impact employers, employees

The last time Americans lived through a global pandemic, the field of employment law wasn’t nearly as developed as it is today. That’s led to an overwhelming number of unanswered questions surrounding the rights and obligations of both employers and employees when considering the massive COVID-19 vaccination effort currently underway. 

Macon approves hazard pay for county employees

At the recommendation of County Manager Derek Roland, Macon County commissioners recently approved hazard pay for its 300-plus employees. 

Now hiring: opportunities available for those seeking employment

While not yet a humanitarian tragedy in terms of lives lost, the Coronavirus Pandemic has quickly become an economic tragedy in terms of livelihoods lost. Intuitively, local and statewide “stay home” orders have resulted in large-scale unemployment, but counterintuitively, there are still plenty of places putting out the proverbial  “now hiring” signs all across Western North Carolina. 

Policy change aims to improve sheriff recruitment

Sheriff Chip Hall is hoping that a recently adopted policy change will make it easier for the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department to recruit experienced law enforcement officers. 

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