Shooting victim’s mother opposes gun resolution

The debate over whether or not Haywood County should declare itself a “Second Amendment sanctuary” entered a new phase Tuesday night after hundreds packed the Historic Haywood Courthouse and dozens addressed commissioners, with most speakers expressing a single resounding opinion: yes, it should.

Race to honor UNC Charlotte hero: Mighty Four Miler will raise money for Riley Howell Foundation Fund

Hometown hero Riley Howell’s legacy will live on in the form a 4-mile race through the streets of the town he once called home, with the event raising money to support victims of violent acts like the one that took 21-year-old Howell’s life on April 30. 

The Mighty Four Miler will be held in conjunction with the Gateway to the Smokies Half Marathon, which started in 2015 and added a 4-mile race in 2017. Neither race was held this year after event organizer Haywood County Chamber of Commerce decided to discontinue it, but endurance event company Glory Hound Events later took on ownership of the race. 

When will the school shootings end?

“But for the grace of God, it could have been my child.”

News of college and school shootings cut straight to the heart of all parents, and I really can’t count how many times I’ve silently mouthed those words. Selfish thinking, in part, but I would be a liar if I didn’t admit to owning such sentiments when I first hear of shootings like those at Virginia Tech or Sandy Hook or (insert tragic school shooting here).

Remembering Riley as a seventh-grader, during Teacher Appreciation Week

The thing I miss about teaching is human connection, being part of something bigger than myself. 

When I was in the classroom, I bemoaned the exhaustive red tape that is public education. It’s an antiquated system when it comes to encouraging teachers to do better, be better. 

Haywood’s hero: The life and legacy of Riley Howell

At this time last week, few knew of him and most all those who did were of the home — Waynesville, in Haywood County. 

The first time I heard his name roll off the tongues of these Western North Carolinians on that bright morning, it was Howl. Riley Howl. Like Ginsburg’s Howl, the “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness” Howl. 

Foundation established in Riley Howell’s honor

It’s barely been a week since Riley Howell’s heroic acts at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, but a group of people who knew him best have already established a charitable foundation that will ensure that his heroism did not end on the day he died. 

This must be the place: Welcome home, Riley. Our American hero.

There has been a lot of deep thoughts and emotions running through my mind this past week. And I don’t think I’m alone in that sentiment, either in Waynesville or Haywood County, or across the globe for that matter.

Riley Howell, hero of UNCC shooting, returns home

Although the impact of the shooting at UNC Charlotte will continue to be felt for some time, residents of the rural community that raised Riley Howell have begun the healing process today by welcoming the hero home.

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