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.
The studio space of blacksmith Rachel David is vast. Inside an enormous old hay barn there is equipment everywhere – massive hammers, a forklift, tools, wires, tables, cabinets, machinery that is incomprehensible to the non-smith layman.
In 1978, there were all of two shelters in North Carolina for survivors of domestic violence, rape and sexual assault and their children. Today there are over 100, working collaboratively to support victims of interpersonal violence and sexual assault, many of which receive funding from the money allocated through the Violence Against Women Act.
There aren’t many synagogues in Western North Carolina, just one west of Asheville. Mountain Synagogue in Franklin is a community of Jews practicing their faith in the All Saints Episcopal Church of Franklin. And as with most Jewish communities around the world, safety is top priority.
On Sunday morning, silence falls in the Creative Thought Center, save the voice of Kim May as she leads her congregation through a meditation. This week she’s brought in a pad of sticky notes for each member containing 16 different affirmations. Members are directed to flip to one at random and ruminate on the affirmation during meditation.