Being in the right place at the right time

op frEver know you are in a good place at the right time? Every now and then that sentiment — about living Western North Carolina right now — overwhelms me.

I’ve been messing around with newspapers and journalism in some form or another since I was 13. It’s a vocation that puts one in contact with all kinds of people and takes one to all kinds of places. So I’m mostly beyond those “gee whiz” moments that are often part of the job.

Law enforcement excited about new WNC crime lab

The recently signed state budget bill will fund the hiring of 19 toxicology analysts for a new western crime lab, expanding available evidence testing in Western North Carolina. 

Harrah’s Casino one of the few big games in town for job seekers

fr harrahsSince Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort added table games with live dealers last year they’ve had to round up hundreds of new card dealers — and they’re still looking for more.

Drug testing par for the course in WNC high schools

The number of high school students failing random drug tests in Haywood County has remained constant since the school system put a drug testing policy in place seven years ago.

International festival has become a WNC tradition

coverBringing together world culture and Southern Appalachia traditions, Folkmoot USA transcends any and all barriers.

Whether it’s language, physical boundaries or appearance, the art of live performance found at this international dance and music festival erases any differences by creating an ambiance that’s as embracing as it is unique. Entering its 30th year, the festival has solidified itself in the landscape of Western North Carolina.  

Dental care on wheels draws masses to free clinic in Cullowhee

fr dentalclinicThere was no shortage of work to be done when N.C. Missions of Mercy, a mobile dental camp, came rolling into town last week and set up shop in Cullowhee. 

Armadillos in the mountains? You betcha

fr armadilloIt make have taken 50 million years, give or take, but the small, armored animal known as the armadillo is finally making into the hills into Western North Carolina after its humble roots in South America eons ago — and it could be here to stay.

Help wanted: A better road map for WNC

coverAn ambitious yearlong exercise to create a collective economic vision for the mountains will decide whether a long-awaited $800 million highway through the rugged and remote far western end of the state is ever built. 

Carrying a consulting fee of $1.3 million, the visioning process is supposed to quantify the emotional and ancedotal arguments about the controversial highway known as Corridor K — and ultimately determine whether it lives or dies.

Multi-agency busts net 60 arrests

Law enforcement agencies in Western North Carolina are cracking down on drug use in the region.

NASA helps geologists try to understand WNC landslides

Mitigating the deadly and damaging effects of mountain landslides might be as simple as understanding them.

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