Prepping for the AT 2,184 miles to be ‘in the moment’

out fr1During the next several weeks, thousands of people will leave from Springer Mountain in Georgia and begin the 2,184-mile trek to Maine along the Appalachian Trail.

SEE ALSO: Follow me, into the wild

For some, the trip is a lifelong dream. They have meticulously planned what to bring, where to stop, how many miles they want walk each day. They have queued up their own resupply boxes, packed with fresh headlamp batteries, deodorant and their favorite candy bars, ready and waiting to be shipped to “mail drops” along the trail.

 

Wireless internet beamed into rural areas solves high-speed service conundrum

Jackson County could be going from zero to high-speed in no time.

Two internet providers are laying plans to beam wireless internet into rural and remote reaches of Jackson — areas that until now have been underserved when it comes to high-speed internet access.

From rap lyrics to bathroom graffiti, schools get tough on threats from students

In a new state of high alert, schools face tough choices when confronted by a threat from a student: is it a precursor to real violence or simply the empty words of imprudent children?

A mixed bag of home building signals hope for 2013

fr jackson constructionIt may still be too soon to declare an economic rebound, but recent construction data may point toward a housing sector comeback led by high-end, new home building in Jackson County.

Blue Ridge Heritage signage to make its debut

Ten years after the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area won federal designation, themed signs tying together 65 attractions throughout the mountains will finally be installed this year.

Smokies landslide could deal crushing blow to tourism if road repairs drag on

fr landslideA rain-induced landslide in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park left a gaping hole in U.S. 441, but its impact could leave a lot bigger hole in the local economy if park officials are not able to fix the road in time to save at least part of the tourist season.

Muddy waters: WNC feels the blues following unrelenting rainstorms

cover1A four-day stretch of heavy rains fell on Western North Carolina, leaving residents wondering if it would ever end. Some areas witnessed up to 10 inches.

The following collection of stories and interviews captures the drama and tension of the unrelenting rains as they wreaked havoc across the mountains.

Economic indicators show WNC’s pump is primed but still waiting to flow

coverMore doom and gloom or a light at the end of the tunnel?

For five years, the nation has waited eagerly for economic forecasters to tell us what we want to hear — that home sales are rebounding, wages are finally rising, and job growth at long last is outpacing layoffs. Will 2013 bring those things at last?

RELATED:
Haywood County economy outpaces its peers
College kids gum up Jackson County’s economic stats

Taking advantage of our unique attributes

op frThe recently announced plans for a Blueways Trail focusing on the recreational uses of Western North Carolina’s waterways is one of the better recent ideas for promoting our region. Its focus on the unique natural wonders of our mountains will make for a broad appeal that will speak directly to those who love the outdoors.

Officially dubbed the N.C. Smokies Blueways Trail, the concept is to develop tools that will help locals and tourists make better use of our rivers, creeks and lakes. That includes just getting to waterways to picnic or swim, improved access for canoeing and kayaking, and more information on fishing.

New dental clinic should bring a smile to WNC

fr dentalCiting a statewide shortage of dentists, East Carolina University is opening 10 clinics across North Carolina with the mission of training upper-class dental students as well as providing services to the underserved public.

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