The road to revival: A look at Canyon Woodward’s endurance race to reshape rural politics
The path for Democrats to win back rural voters who once aligned with the party decades ago isn’t smooth; it’s a dirt road, long and windy. But as tough as that route is to navigate, Canyon Woodward may have the roadmap.
Big money coming for rural broadband
More than a hundred economic development professionals, elected officials, internet service providers and interested parties from across North Carolina’s seven westernmost counties met March 21 in Franklin to acquaint themselves with the ways in which unprecedented amounts of state and federal broadband monies will be used to close the digital divide in rural Appalachia.
Bit by bit, major investments bring broadband to the mountains
After years of pecking away at Western North Carolina’s broadband problem at the state level, a large-scale federal investment in rural broadband access could bring a game-changing impact for schools, businesses and entrepreneurs across the country, state and region.
Rural WNC fights for Medicaid expansion
Only $80 stands between Sylva resident Carrie McBane and affordable health care coverage. If she made $80 less she would qualify for Medicaid in North Carolina, and if she made $80 more she would qualify for subsidies through the Affordable Care Act.
THE MILL VS THE HILL: Small town high school football in the rural South
Doug’s in Clyde is a typical manifestation of a stereotypical small-town barbershop in the rural American South.
Its wooden walls are lined with knick-knacks, claptrap and faded family photos of people and places long gone. Three men stand behind three vintage teal and steel barber’s chairs, while three men sit in them. Others wait on red vinyl couches next to checkerboards beneath the watchful gaze of Andy Griffith and Floyd Lawson.
Covering the rural jail crisis
Many rural county jail populations are growing at a higher rate than urban county jails or even state prisons, according to research done by the Center on Sentencing and Corrections at the Vera Institute of Justice.
Report: minorities, poor in N.C. blame Trump, Congress
A recent report published by nonprofit advocacy group Down Home North Carolina says that changing demographics and their accompanying shifts in political allegiance have forever altered the ideological character of rural North Carolina, and the subsequent Republican takeover of state government is hitting the working poor, people of color and the LGBTQ community hardest.
New rural fire districts coming to Waynesville
Widespread inequality in the rates Haywood County residents pay for fire protection is about to come to an end.
The digital divide is still way too wide
It was just a press release, one among the dozens a week that media outlets receive and that may or may not make it into the paper, on TV, on the radio or on a website. When it came across my computer screen, though, it seemed suddenly clear to me that it was symbolic of how our economic development priorities have to change.
“Gov. Cooper recommends eight Western North Carolina projects for ARC funding,” read the headline. Looking at the eight projects revealed that of the $3 million the Appalachian Regional Commission will most likely award, $1,374,714 was for an access road to a new development in Morganton and another $873,509 was to repave a road to an existing industrial site in Rutherford County.
Haywood County wipes the dust off the bottle
The State of North Carolina has long had a conflicted relationship with alcohol; although largely unregulated during colonial times, it became an irritant to the agrarian, conservative majority of 19th-century voters who, like much of the nation, watched the ultimate administration thereof descend from federal to state to, finally, local authorities in the early 20th century.
• The alcohol permitting process
• A Spiritual Affair: The history of alcohol in Haywood County
Since then, cities and counties in North Carolina have come full circle, but continue to wrestle with a complex issue that includes social, economic, judicial and religious viewpoints overlaid by ever-present concerns about individualism, collectivism, traditionalism and progressivism.