Arts + Entertainment

At 2:35 p.m. on Aug. 21, Western North Carolina residents and visitors will have the chance to watch as the moon moves fully in front of the sun for the first time in 26 years.

WNC prepares to celebrate Solar Eclipse

It’s safe to say that a good solar eclipse photo requires a bit more preparation than your average snapshot.

Whittier has been home to Elda Chafoya DePaz and her three children for less than a year, but it’s not their first summer in Western North Carolina.

In November, it will have been 12 years since DePaz, 36, left her native Guatamala to seek a better life in the United States. Life was hard in Guatamala, she said, with poverty everywhere you looked. She worked for a banana company there, tasked with separating 17 bunches per minute from the giant clumps of fruit that come from a banana tree. The work was done manually, with just a knife.

A boisterous crowd in a packed auditorium on the campus of Blue Ridge Community College engaged in a lively two-hour give-and-take with Congressman Mark Meadows over the economy, gun laws and the Mexican border wall, but most of the audience had just one thing on their minds — health care.

Public prayer in government has long been a contentious issue, but a recent court ruling has North Carolina municipalities scrambling to comply with both the letter and the spirit of the law while awaiting the challenges and changes that will inevitably come.

“I think towns that have practices similar to Rowan County will have to keep an eye on how the case progresses,” said William Morgan, Canton’s town attorney for the past three years.

Like bubbles bobbing atop bathwater, the sectors of Haywood County’s economy are separate but often attached to each other in ways not always readily seen. Although all the bubbles ebb and swell independently of each other, they also rise and fall with the level of bathwater in the tub.

As Republicans in Congress attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act and Mission Health threatens to cancel its contract with the largest health insurance provider in Western North Carolina, thousands of people are wondering whether they will be covered and what the cost might be.

If Mission Health doesn’t strike a deal with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina by October, the health system may be pushing more Western North Carolina employers to sign up for its own health care plan — Healthy State — to keep their employees inside the Mission network.

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This Must Be the Place

Reading Room

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    A tribute to the Lord of Scaly Mountain While it is difficult to write objectively yet critically about someone whom you know personally or about a book whose subject matter and/or authors are familiar, sometimes necessity is more than the mother of invention and you have to do things you normally or ethically…
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