After 125 years, we can do better

Bob Savelson • Guest columnist

Thinking about Labor Day, it has been a national holiday since 1894. Consistent with the nation’s ambivalent feelings about whether organized labor should truly be part of its social fabric, the statute was signed by President Grover Cleveland — who earlier that year had dispatched federal troops to break a strike called to support Pullman car employees protesting wage cuts. 

Oconaluftee Job Corps saved from closure

The nine Job Corps CCC centers slated for closure this September, including the Oconaluftee center in Cherokee, will remain open after Congress put pressure on the Trump Administration to reverse the decision. 

Rep. Queen invites labor secretary to Oconaluftee

In an effort to save the Oconaluftee Job Corps Center from being shut down, N.C. Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville, has invited state and congressional leaders to come see the center’s successes in person. 

Former charter school director fired following sexual harassment complaint

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of stories on Haywood County’s public charter school, Shining Rock Classical Academy. The following story includes offensive language and sexual content that may not be suitable for all readers.

Dana Pusser felt a heavy burden lifted off her shoulders last Friday after tendering her resignation and returning her professional belongings to Shining Rock Classical Academy. 

When she accepted a teaching position at the public charter school at the beginning of 2018, she saw it as an opportunity to use her experience in public and private education to help a new school develop and grow, but on Friday she was quick to say she’d never return to teaching again — not after the sexual harassment and gender discrimination she says she endured at SRCA. 

Insurance premiums rise for Jackson employees

Jackson County employees are now paying significantly higher premiums for their health insurance following a plan change that went into effect May 1. 

Commissioners voted 4-1 April 2 to make multiple changes to its self-funded insurance plan in hopes of digging itself out of a health plan deficit years in the making. 

Working 9 to 5 (plus nights and weekends)

Unemployment rates are about as low as they’re going to get in Western North Carolina and there are jobs to be had for those who want them, but many people across different professions have to work multiple jobs to make ends meet as wages have not kept pace with the cost of living. 

ConMet not closed yet in Bryson City

Rumors of Consolidated Metco Inc., staying open in Bryson City have been circulating around the community, but unfortunately the plant still has plans to close operations in the near future. 

Building on something good: Educational remedies for workforce deficiencies

Heaters that won’t heat. Lights that won’t light. Pipes that won’t pipe.

The modern conveniences most people have taken for granted are just that — taken for granted — until something goes awry. And when the basement’s full of sewage, who ya gonna call?

The American worker is not getting their due

Every Labor Day we celebrate the American worker. We wax nostalgic about the bygone days of the great American middle class when parents worked hard and expected their children to climb the economic ladder.   

Unfortunately, evidence today shows workers are not doing well. The standard of living for the American worker is, by many measures, falling. Politicians of all stripes need to address fundamental issues that have been ignored if the great working class is to flourish and remain the backbone of this country. And despite challenges, I’m not ready to concede that we can’t turn things around.

Cherokee looks to increase retirement vesting period

Pension plan double-dipping is prompting the Cherokee Tribal Council to consider tripling the number of years required to draw from the tribe’s retirement plan from five to 15. 

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