Macon County

Lilly Knoepp

  Republicans in Macon County were celebrating the passage of four out of the six amendments on the ballot. The two amendments that failed would have limited the governor’s power to structure the state elections board and appoint judges.

Lilly Knoepp

 Incumbents at the state and federal level did very well in Western North Carolina.  BPR caught up with the Macon County Republican Party in the town of Franklin as they celebrated their victories.

Macon County, a traditionally conservative county, stuck with that trend. State Senator Jim Davis (R) and State Representative Kevin Corbin (R) both won. This will be the 5th term for Davis and the 2nd for Corbin.

Lilly Knoepp

The first piece of a project connecting historical sites of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee is complete.  When the full project is finished, a cultural corridor will run over 60 miles along the Little Tennessee River from Rabun County in Georgia to the town of Cherokee on the Qualla Boundary in North Carolina. The effort has been a long time coming.

wunc.org, Michel Tronchetti

A common frustration for residents throughout the mountains of Western North Carolina is the lack of high speed internet access.   They now have a place where they can vent. BPRs Davin Eldridge has more…

Author's Note: a link to the survey is provided at the bottom of the article.

Davin Eldridge

The opioid epidemic is unavoidable – even on Halloween in Western North Carolina.  BPR’s Davin Eldridge reports on a 'spooky' holiday decoration that some parents think went too far in calling attention to the problem.


Davin Eldridge

In the age of the internet the future of the American department store has grown increasingly uncertain.

Earlier this year, Toys "R" Us—a company with nearly 900 stores across the country— filed for bankruptcy. Kmart and Sears underwent another round of store closings—from nearly 1,600 last year, to just over 1,200 this year.

Whenever these so-called “big box” stores close, it can often stifle development in the communities they once served, and hurt the bottom line of nearby small businesses. BPR’s Davin Eldridge takes a look at the little-known phenomenon of “ghost box stores”, and how these stores impact Western North Carolina in their own small way.

Climate Mayors

“Adopt, honor, and uphold”—this is what some 359 mayors from across the U.S. have pledged to do for their municipalities. It’s a commitment made by so-called “Climate Mayors” to advocate policies in keeping with the Paris climate agreement. It calls for the creation of a twenty-first century clean energy economy, reduced greenhouse emissions, investments in renewable energy and electric vehicles. BPR’s Davin Eldridge visited with two such mayors in a deeply red part of Western North Carolina…

Davin Eldridge

Local governments in the far reaches of Western North Carolina are working to lure more internet service providers to the region.  BPR’s Davin Eldridge spoke with a few homegrown providers about the growing demand for quality internet service, and why it's such a difficult area to do this kind of business in the first place.

Matt Bush BPR

Mission Health says its decision to stop delivering babies at Angel Medical Center in Macon County was made to keep the hospital open.  Mission estimates around 400 children a year are currently born at the Franklin facility, roughly one per day.  CEO Dr. Ronald Paulus says labor and delivery care at Angel Medical loses the hospital between $1 and $2-million per year, which he says puts all the other healthcare done at the facility in jeopardy. “We can’t let one program, even important, put all of the care at risk for a rural community.  We just can’t do it.”

Macon County Sheriff's Office

In the midst of a national opioid addiction crisis, doctors in North Carolina are prescribing more and more painkillers.  Western North Carolina is no exception, according to reports.   But a simple clerical error from one such report has helped motivate one mountain community to better tackle the crisis at home. 

ncwg.gov

The U.S. Forest Service says all but one of the wildfires burning in western North Carolina was caused by man-made forces.  That includes the 'suspicion of arson', but that does not mean the fires were caused on purpose.  Only further investigation will be able to confirm that.

The more than 20 wildfires burning throughout western North Carolina have been aided by severe drought conditions and continued windy, dry weather.  Rain is forecast to fall finally in the region, but not until next Wednesday morning.

ncparks.gov

    

For a few short weeks, every year, the mountains of Western North Carolina are renowned for their bright autumn leaves. The generations have brought to the region countless so-called “leaf-lookers” enthralled by their fiery shades of yellow and red come mid-October. Even this year, when area biologists are expecting fall leaves to be duller, and less-vibrant, all local economists can see on the horizon is the color of money for the mountains.

New In-Roads For WNC Public Transit

Sep 22, 2016
ashevillenc.gov

 

For millions of people across the United States, the beginning of their day starts at a bus stop.

 

WNC's Burgeoning Tourism Industry

May 31, 2016
Davin Eldridge

 

On the tailgate of an old rusted red pickup truck, a bumper sticker reads, “Why is it called tourist season if we can’t shoot em’?”.  

 

The vehicle is parked alongside dozens of others in the fields of Darnell Farms, just outside of Bryson City, for its seventeenth annual Strawberry Jam farm-raising event. In the air an aroma of boiled peanuts and kettle-cooked corn mixes with the sounds of bluegrass and children playing, along the banks of the nearby Tuckasegee River.

Corporal Punishment, a Dying Practice in NC Schools

Apr 26, 2016

The use of corporal punishment as discipline in North Carolina schools is now practiced in just three counties.  Child advocacy groups are urging them to end it, saying that it does more harm than good. Davin Eldridge has more.

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