Shuler camp presses message that change is needed

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

It’s 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, and Andrew Whalen, 11th Congressional District candidate Heath Shuler’s Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director, sits at a small desk in a small office strewn with small stacks of paper.

Planning ahead a critical first step in escaping abuse

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

If you or someone you know is thinking about leaving an abusive relationship, there are some things that are good to know.

Makin’ tracks: Musician/traveler/artist Jim Stoltz brings his cross-country experience to life with a multimedia show and fund raiser for the Jackson/Macon Conservation Alliance

Growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, Jim Stoltz first learned to appreciate nature on family camping trips.

Safe haven: Domestic violence hits home

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

Editor’s note: The names of domestic violence victims Linda and Anne, who were interviewed for this story, have been changed.

The afternoon Linda decided to leave her fiancé, she waited until he was asleep, put a slip of paper with the phone number of the Haywood County Reach Shelter in her pocket along with her cell phone, and walked out the back door very quietly.

Planning issues dominate Macon election

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

Macon County commissioner candidates fielded several questions about growth and the county’s future during a forum conducted by the League of Women Voters last Thursday night (Sept. 28).

The energy debate: Taylor pushes increased drilling, while Shuler looks to alternative fuels

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

Prices at the gas pump began falling last month with the announcement that a new pocket of deep-sea oil had been found off the Gulf of Mexico. Locally, regular unleaded hit a mere $2.25 per gallon, or in some cases even less, such as in Maggie Valley where the new Quality Oil Co. station posted prices of $2.02.

Silent Segways lead to noisy debate

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

Reviews on the on the Web site all rave about Mountain Glides’ Segway tours of the Macon County Greenway.

Pharmacists find themselves on the receiving end of Medicare confusion

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

As the revamped Medicare system moves from policy to practice, pharmacies nationwide increasingly are faced with confused customers and bureaucratic red tape.

Customers come in with a prescription to be filled and for one reason or another are denied. Sometimes customers are simply trying to refill their prescriptions ahead of time, perhaps in preparation for a trip. But most often the problem is a result of human error, such as information that doesn’t match up between customers’ insurance cards and what’s in the computer system like birthdays or cardholder identification numbers.

May cause confusion: Medicare prescription drug benefit plan options create problems for participants

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

Arthur Pitts sat in a plastic lawn chair waiting to pick up prescriptions from The Village Pharmacy in Waynesville Monday afternoon (March 13).

At 73, he is one of the nation’s many Medicare subscribers. His coverage comes through a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan, which he says has been fairly reliable so far.

A primer on the right way to use a gun

By Sarah Kucharski

On a chilly, rain soaked Sunday morning the last weekend of January I stood under a peaked, sheet metal roof at the Moss Gap shooting range on the Jackson/Macon line, staring down at a loaded Glock Model 19 in my hand.

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