Just after the Coronavirus Pandemic broke out in the United States in March of 2020, the CARES Act was signed into law. Among other things, this bill established the Education Stabilization Fund, part of which is designated for K-12 public schools through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, also known as ESSER funds.
Miss Virginia stretches unassumingly in the lamplit window of Wall Street Books. While she used to host bridge once a week at her house in Bethel, she now hosts readers and wanderers in the front window of the used bookstore nestled behind Main Street.
Last week the Macon County School Board approved the use of ESSER funds to give recurring $1,500 bonuses to all full-time employees and $750 to all part-time employees for the coming three years. The first payment will be given out on the December payroll.
Holiday decorations have a way of bringing joy into our lives. Whether by their pleasing aesthetic, or by the anticipation created for holiday festivities. Enjoying decorations is even more rewarding (and eco-friendly) when we can make them ourselves. Below is a list of a few wreath-making events in WNC.
After years of working to provide public education during a pandemic without pay raises, or a state budget, public schools in North Carolina will once again operate with a state budget in place after it was signed Nov. 18 by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper.
Pecans, and all the delicious recipes that come with them are a particularly North American affair. Pecans are native to North America and as such have been used by Native Americans for millennia — from what is today the southern United States to the river valleys of Mexico.
Tabbouleh is a delicious, fresh Lebanese salad made with parsley, mint and a little bit of bulgar. This “Harvest Tabbouleh” is a heartier, cold-weather-friendly version of the traditional Lebanese dish. It is a widely variable recipe. No pumpkin on hand? Substitute butternut squash, acorn squash or sweet potato. No bulgar? Substitute quinoa or couscous. No sliced almonds? Use any other toasted nut or seed. No craisins? Substitute finely diced apple. Top with feta cheese for added depth.
The Macon County School Board decided last week to make masks optional for all K-12 students. The decision came on the same day that the state Department of Health and Human Services updated its guidance for North Carolina schools, no longer recommending districts require face masks for all students and staff in school.
John Hinton and Jim Owens have secured seats on the Maggie Valley Board of Aldermen beating out incumbent Alderwoman Twinkle Patel and Planning Board Chairman Jeff Lee. Maggie Valley voters showed up in record numbers to elect the two newcomers, casting a total of 943 votes for aldermen compared to 598 in 2019 and 312 in 2017.
Halloween. The annual opportunity to eat too much candy, dress up however you please, channel your inner witch and maybe communicate with some spirits along the way. How did this miraculous day come to be?
The eighth annual African Americans in Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachia Conference will be held virtually from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6. The focus of this year’s event is “Reparations, Revelations and Racial Justice: The Path Forward.”
John Hinton, a candidate for Maggie Valley Board of Aldermen, prompted an investigation by the North Carolina State Board of Elections after he admittedly sent a letter containing campaign information, along with a dollar bill to a friend whom he was asking for his vote.
A Maggie Valley Town Board meeting Tuesday, Oct. 12, reached capacity with nearly 100 attendants, several people listening from the hallway outside the boardroom as the board was scheduled to vote on three property zonings.
On an unusually warm fall afternoon in the mountains, art class is taking place in the outdoor pavilion at Full Spectrum Farms in Cullowhee. Participants are using recycled magazines and newspapers, paint and markers to create mixed-media collages.
The Coronavirus Pandemic has been a trying experience for everyone. Quarantine, the threat of serious illness and job loss have affected millions of people in the United States. But what about those who don’t have access to basic health care? How do non-English speakers find information about COVID-19? How do people without an identification card find COVID-19 testing or vaccines?
Over 790,000 students ride the bus to and from school each day in North Carolina. That’s almost half of all K-12 public school students, making bus drivers a crucial part of the state’s education system.
Performance data recently released by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction shows that just 45.4% of elementary, middle and high school students passed state exams given during the 2020-21 school year and 29.6% passed college or career readiness tests.
After a long summer of half-hearted gardening, the vines around my house are starting to brown. Nights are getting longer and colder and as they do, the garden slows down its once aggressive turnout of bulging tomatoes, glossy peppers and giant squash.
As fall rolls into the mountains, so too does the season for soups, stews and chilis. Cold weather sparks cravings for all food warm, hearty and comforting. But, while the weather is still balmy early in the season, cast iron skillet recipes are a nice way to transition into cold-weather food. One of the best things about the skillet? There is minimal clean up involved. Below are two quick and easy cast iron skillet recipes I’ve been enjoying lately.
Maggie Valley has decided on the details for its Food Truck Pilot Program, slated for approval Oct. 4. At the Sept. 14 board meeting, Town Planner Kaitland Finkle presented Food Truck Pilot Program options to the board so members could decide what would work best for Maggie Valley.
Beginning Sept. 20, students at Central Haywood High School will return to part-time in-person learning. These students have been learning remotely since flooding from Tropical Storm Fred caused severe damage to the school building in Clyde.
Makeup is a part of the human experience. Almost as far back as historians and archeologists have artifacts of human existence, there is evidence of makeup. Think about little kids, coming home from school with magic marker drawings, stickers or other decorations adorning their arms or face. It seems there is a natural instinct to explore, decorate and enhance our appearance.
Healthy skin is sold to us every day. Bottles and jars of every shape and size contain soaps, creams, oils, and tinctures that promise perfect skin. Just buy this one, new product and all your skin qualms will be quelled. But deep, deep down we all know the truth. Good skin, just like any aspect of a healthy body, starts from within. And a huge part of what is “within,” is everything we choose to eat.
Like the rest of the world, Sylva has had to grapple with the ongoing Coronavirus Pandemic and the ensuing economic fallout. However, Sylva not only maintained a healthy, downtown business district, it has added new businesses and new elements to the downtown scene throughout the course of the pandemic.
Under bright blue skies filled with hot sun, Sylva hosted its inaugural Sylva Pride celebration this past Saturday. Over 500 people nestled into the small, burgeoning mountain town to celebrate and show support for the queer community.
In 1894, congress voted to approve Labor Day as a national holiday. The vote took place just days after the deadly Pullman Strike, in which workers of the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago went on strike to protest wage cuts and the firing of union representatives, placing workers’ rights front and center in the public’s view.
In June, Morgan Beryl took over as executive director of the Haywood County Arts Council. She has lived all over the United States and studied an array of subjects, but her love for the arts and the outdoors brought her to Haywood County.
Maggie Valley Board of Aldermen voted Aug. 17 to allow class A, B and C recreational vehicles in RV Planned Unit Developments. Previously, the board had discussed allowing PUD status for RV parks, only if vehicles were restricted to class A.
Special Liberty Project, what is it and how did it get started?
The Special Liberty Project is a nonprofit organization serving healing veterans and families of America's fallen heroes, referred to as Gold Star Families. In nature, healing is plentiful. We bring together veteran families who have experienced similar traumatic experiences, or losses, to create healing in nature.
Tropical Storm Fred ravaged portions of Haywood County last week, including several school properties. The school board called an emergency meeting Aug. 19 to hear reports of the flood damage. Following Superintendent Dr. Bill Nolte’s recommendation, students in Haywood County returned to school on Monday, Aug. 23.
As the floodwaters from Tropical Storm Fred recede, the full extent of the damage is becoming clear. Residents of Haywood County and beyond have rallied together to create avenues for donations and opportunities to support those in need. Countless churches, businesses and individuals are actively accepting and sorting donations.
A petition to start the school year with universal masking in Haywood County Schools has over 630 signatures. This comes after a July 27 board meeting, when the Haywood County School board voted unanimously to make masking optional for all students, staff and visitors during the 2021-22 school year.
Like many of the most resilient and creative people on this earth, the river of Marissa Schneider’s life has meandered through the unexpected twists and turns of trauma. Somewhere along that ride though, she found cannabis. As she moved through trauma, and the painful healing that comes after, the plant became a tool. A tool used not only to help her own soul in the process of mending, but also to help others. For Schneider, cooking with cannabis is about bringing people together. It is about healing her soul, and those of the other bodies she meets along her way.
Due to an increase in COVID-19 cases and transmission rates following the spread of the Delta variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has updated its guidance for public schools to recommend universal masking for students, staff and visitors in grades K-12.
Aphrodisiacs have a long and sexy history. Named for the Greek Goddess of love and beauty (associated with Venus in Roman mythology), an aphrodisiac is any food or substance that increases sexual desire, arousal, behavior, performance or pleasure.