Cherokee banks brace for rush when casino checks go out

Twice a year, Dorothy Posey arrives for her job at Mountain Credit Union in Cherokee knowing one thing: the lines will be long.

Not the sort of long by normal bank standards, like the 10-person-deep line that might form during the peak of Friday afternoon payday traffic. But so long that the line from the teller’s counter will snake out the credit union’s front door and continue to pile up outside.

Struggle to afford heating costs hits new ­high

coverIt looked like any wood yard, piles of tree trunks in various stages of processing: long logs still bearing their bark, shorter stacks cut into rounds and neatly split triangles of firewood ready to be shoveled into a piping stove.

But to Richard Reeves, the woodlot at an abandoned factory site in Waynesville, is ground zero in the battle to fight winter’s impending cold.

Quality over quantity in Appalachia

art frDowntown Franklin is all sunshine, but it’s the calm before the storm.

Drifting through an array of stores and restaurants lining Main Street, the scene is quiet, but soon, with Thanksgiving falling into the rearview mirror, shoppers determined and curious will overtake the small town, in search of handmade items from regional artists. Strolling the sidewalk, one soon comes upon North Carolina Mountain Made.

Christmas parades roll into WNC

art frSnowflakes sprinkle the high peaks, while a stiff breeze cascades into the valleys. Elaborate decorations are being put up in downtowns across Western North Carolina. It’s that time of the year — Christmas is around the corner and the region is gearing up for their annual parades.

Creating a cohesive vision for WNC’s future

Six months after meeting with Haywood County residents to discuss ways to improve the community, a group called GroWNC is returning to the county to present various scenarios for the region’s future growth.

Online database holds the key to reining in stolen goods black market

A $12,000 tractor stolen in Macon County and sold as scrap in Georgia for a fraction of the price; rusting automobiles yanked from lawns in the middle of night; copper wiring stripped from construction sites — rising scrap metal prices and subsequent thefts have prompted a new state law to counteract an increasingly attractive black market.

The fading glory of Burley: Once a staple cash crop, only a handful of tobacco fields are still hanging on

out tobaccoThis year, Bill Holbrook will start drawing on the “old man pension” — as this local tobacco farmer likes to refer to Social Security. At 66 years old, Holbrook is one of the older, if not the oldest, tobacco growers left in Haywood County.

Face-off on stage at WCU covers full spectrum of political talking points

In a debate that focused on everything from Iran and health care to equal pay for women and earmarks, Congressional candidates Republican Mark Meadows and Democrat Hayden Rogers pushed back from the similarities that people draw between the two conservatives.

The final days

coverBoth considered conservatives within their own political parties, Republican Mark Meadows and Democrat Hayden Rogers have more in common than just a handful of political similarities.

Both are Christian, came out of humble beginnings to find success, married their high school sweethearts, have two children and are running for the U.S. House in North Carolina’s 11th District. The list could continue.

Spicing up Southern Appalachia

art frThough the weather is getting colder and winter is emerging on the horizon, Doug Weaver is all smiles.

It’s open season for chili.

“Chili itself is not just a dish, it’s a state of mind,” he said. “There’s no better spicy food than chili. It’s an institution.”

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