This must be the place

art theplaceIt’s awfully quiet in here. As the rest of the newspaper heads out the door for home (or somewhere they used to call “home”), I sit at my desk. Relaxing back into my chair and staring out of the window, I’m not looking at anything in particular, with thoughts drifting into that bluebird sky outside.

This holiday, it’s a family united

op footballWhen I was 12 years old, there were few things I liked better than the Dallas Cowboys. Definitely my Farrah Fawcett poster. Maybe Fudge Royale ice cream. But not much else.

Broyhill upbringing brought peace to Brunck

fr brunckRoberta Brunk could have easily become a victim of circumstance. Growing up in an abusive home and being moved around to different foster homes and schools could have permanently shaped her life and set her up for disaster, but she didn’t let that happen.

Broyhill provides family setting for foster kids

fr broyhillLinda Morgan, executive director at Broyhill Children’s Home in Clyde, said she’s seen the pendulum swing many times during her 42 years working in the system. Some years the cottages at Broyhill are sparsely occupied, but the children’s home has been at capacity with 50 children for a solid two years.

Couple opens their home, heart for foster children

fr newfostersAs Caroline Kernahan talked about why she wanted to be a foster parent, her 4-year-old daughter Claire climbed into her lap and asked when her new brother or sister would be coming to stay with them.

Foster home shortage a challenge for WNC counties

fr fosterneededDonna Lupton, director of social work in Haywood County, admits that fostering a child or teen isn’t for everyone.

In search of a forever home: Number of children in foster care on the rise

coverIn a perfect world, every child would have a loving family and a safe home to return to at the end of the day, but it’s not a perfect world. The reality is that thousands of children are removed from their homes each year in North Carolina.

Compassionate parents needed
• Couple opens their home, heart for foster children
• Broyhill provides family setting for foster kids
• Broyhill upbringing brought peace to Brunck

Foster care agencies continue to see the number of foster care cases increase and the opportunities to reunify those children with their biological parents decrease. It’s a trend many Western North Carolina counties are experiencing. 

Aiming for adventure: Competition encourages families to get exploring outside

coverFor Tim Petrea, it was a truck and a red box that launched a lifetime affinity for the outdoors. Growing up in southern Georgia, Petrea wasn’t close to a whole lot of mountains, but when he saw his father loading up the red box, he knew they were headed for yet another Appalachian excursion to Western North Carolina. 

“Every time he put that thing in the truck, we were going camping. I think I’ve got a love for the outdoors and a love for just getting outside because of moments like that,” Petrea said. “They’d put us in the back of the tuck and we’d go to Maggie Valley or Cherokee and go camping.”

Friday night lights still shining bright

op fr2“So, you’re a band parent, huh? Boy, is your life about to change.”

My wife and I heard that a lot a few months ago after our daughter, a rising freshman at Tuscola High School, made the Color Guard. I had only the vaguest notion of what the Color Guard was, and no recollection at all of whether there was such a thing when I pounded the bass drum in the marching band for Alleghany High back in the 1970s. I was a freshman myself once upon a time, adapting as fast and as well as I could to this intense new world around me. Now it is my daughter’s turn.

This is one ride I’m not gonna miss

op frSome of them arrive four or five days early, packed up and just sitting there on the Haywood County Fairgrounds like gigantic metal suitcases that won’t quite close all the way. The rest come later. The Scrambler, the Flying Bumblebees, the Pirate Boat, the rickety little coaster that somebody has to snap together like Legos. The booths that house impossible games, rows of cheaply sewn stuffed animals, the biggest the size of couch cushions. Overinflated basketballs and rims the size of pie tins that are never quite level. Five thousand plastic toys made in China, none of them bigger than a candy bar. Three throws, five bucks, everyone’s a winner.

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