Bat with white-nose syndrome

News Briefs: Buncombe maintains state’s lowest unemployme­nt, bat fungus spotted in Madison County

Buncombe did see its unemployment tick up from the 2.8% April rate; the May rate was also higher than the 2.8% reported for the same month last year. However, the Department of Commerce noted that all of the state’s other metro areas also saw rate increases, and the Asheville metro area actually added about 1,900 nonfarm jobs in May.

Rural Heritage Museum highlights history of WNC barns

From the Ani Katuah to white settlers and tobacco farmers, barns and buildings have played a central role in defining the culture of the Southern Appalachians. Shelter on the Mountain: Barns and Building Traditions of the Southern Highlands traces the evolution of local building practices.

Murky future for Madison’s historic jailhouse

UPDATE [6/24/16]: Madison County Commissioners voted to accept the $99,800 bid for the old jailhouse property Thursday, June 23, at their monthly meeting by unanimous decision. Josh Copus, a local potter and founder of Clayspace Co-op, announced he and several partners are the purchasers on Facebook. Initial indications are the building will be utilized as […]

Smoke and mirrors: the death of tobacco in WNC

Few crops have been as central to North Carolina’s economy and culture — or as controversial — as tobacco. Historically, its high market value and the relative ease of growing it made tobacco a staple for many Western North Carolina farmers. As late as 2002, 1,995 mountain farms grew tobacco. The crop’s prevalence, however, was […]

Blood in the valley: The Shelton Laurel Massacre’s haunting legacy

“Will the America of the future — will this vast, rich Union ever realize what itself cost back there, after all?” – Walt Whitman In January 1863, at the height of the Civil War, Confederate soldiers of the 64th North Carolina Regiment, composed mostly of men from the western counties, marched into Shelton Laurel. Their […]