WNC News Roundup

Here’s a look at some of what’s making headlines around Western North Carolina:

• Tail of the Dragon: Officials in Graham and Swain counties are meeting to work out how to provide emergency services on U.S. 129, a road popular with motorcyclists that includes 318 curves in far Western North Carolina, reports the Smoky Mountain News. One section of the road is nicknamed the “Tail of the Dragon.” The problem has been wrecks on the road, which is isolated and has weak cell-phone coverage.

• Grumpy old men: The Henderson County Republican Men’s Club has realized it has a problem — it’s comprised mostly of older men. “I look around the room and don’t see a lot of brown hair,” club member Bill O’Connor told the Hendersonville Times-News. The club is working on bringing in a new generation of young members, according to the newspaper.

• Celebrating the Great Smoky Mountains National Park: A commemorative ceremony on Sept. 2 will mark the 1940 dedication of the park, reports The Sylva Herald. The big event is part of the park’s 75th anniversary celebration. The 1940 dedication was attended by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

• News obit: The Tryon Daily Bulletin marks the death of John L. Creech. The horticulturist, plant explorer, author, editor and third director of the U.S. National Arboretum died Aug. 7 in Columbus, according to the newspaper.

• Work detail scuttled: Here’s another impact of state budget cuts — the work details from the Swannanoa Correctional Center for Women will no longer be picking up roadside litter and helping with other community projects, reports the Black Mountain News.

• From Haywood to Hollywood: The filming of a Hollywood movie in Western North Carolina has put some Haywood County residents, as well as locations such as the Balsam Mountain Inn, in the big-screen spotlight, according to The Mountaineer. The crime drama is called “Road to Nowhere.”

• Tax bill surprise: From the Madison County News-Record & Sentinel: “Property owners complained at the recent Marshall town board meeting that — after years of not being considered within Marshall town limits — they suddenly received property tax bills asking them to pay.”

• Ghost Town update: The Ghost Town in the Sky amusement park in Maggie Valley is still losing money, according to the Smoky Mountain News. The park, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March, took in $1.5 million in revenue in May, June and July, but paid out $1.84 million, the newspaper reports.

• Dry, dry, dry: Of North Carolina’s 100 counties, only Graham and Yancey counties still have total bans on booze, reports the Graham Star.

• Students will need insurance: From The Appalachian student newspaper at Appalachian State University: “In response to a nation-wide trend of increasing numbers of people going without health insurance, the UNC system will require all of the state’s 215,000 public college students to have health insurance coverage.”

• Caffiend, the resurrection: There’s a move on to bring back the popular Caffiend coffee shop, which closed its Merrimon Avenue location earlier this year, according to UNCA’s Blue Banner student newspaper. The plan is to locate the shop inside The Garage at Biltmore, a bar and music venue.


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