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Wednesday, 27 July 2016 00:00

News in brief

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I-40 work to cause traffic delays

Work to complete a safety project in an area of I-40 near the North Carolina-Tennessee border that in the past has been prone to rockslides will require a lane reduction in each direction for about three weeks, beginning Wednesday, July 27.

Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction for a one-mile stretch near exit seven (Cold Springs Creek Road) so crews can safely mill, pave and stripe the highway, as well as install new drainage and construct a new median barrier wall. 

Motorists should expect significant delays in the area, especially during times of heavy traffic, and plan accordingly. The prime hours to travel will be in the early morning.
Because of the lane reductions, tractor trailers and other vehicles with a width greater than 14 feet will be required to take an alternate route for safety of all motorists passing through the area. Some permits for wider loads have been granted, allowing those vehicles to pass.

That alternate route for wider vehicles and motorists who want to avoid the expected backups is taking I-26 West to Johnson City, Tenn., then following I-81 South until it re-connects with I-40 outside of Dandridge, Tenn.  

It is a 55-mile route, but at interstate speed will take less than an hour, and would save time when there are significant backups at the construction site.

The project is expected to be finished before Labor Day weekend.
Drivers can check on the status of the traffic in that area by calling 511 and following the voice prompts, or by visiting the Traveler Services section of or following NCDOT on Twitter.


Summer Safety Bash is July 30

The New Generations Family Birthing Center at Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva — in partnership with Safe Kids Jackson County — will present the Summer Safety Bash 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, July 30, in the parking lot of Harris Women’s Care across the street from the hospital. 

The free event will include a bouncy house, hot car safety display, certified car seat installations, car seat checks and car seat giveaways, sunscreen safety tips, Zika virus information, and ambulance and fire truck tours. 

The pediatricians of Harris Pediatric Care, obstetricians/gynecologists of Harris Women’s Care, physicians and pediatrician of Swain Family Care, emergency medical technicians and paramedics with Harris EMS, and representatives from local law enforcement and area fire departments will be on hand to visit with children and families. Free lemonade, popsicles and other giveaways will be available throughout the event. 

The hospital will complete a $6 million renovation to the New Generations Family Birthing Center on the third floor of Harris Regional Hospital, home to nearly 600 deliveries each year. Information on community education classes and architectural drawings of the new space will be available at the Summer Bash event. 


Pigeon Center receives $4,000 from WOW 

Pigeon Community Multicultural Development Center, a Haywood County nonprofit, has received a $4,000 donation from Women of Waynesville that will be used to provide student scholarships for the center’s summer enrichment program. 

For almost 15 years, the Pigeon Community Multicultural Development Center has offered a widespread variety of youth-based programs that are open to everyone in the community. There is not a qualifying or disqualifying application attached to the center or its services. 

The summer enrichment programs includes reading and math tutoring that has been built into the program with the intention of keeping the children on track in between school years. The students also enjoy activities such as field trips to Cherokee and cultural museums, cook outs, hiking, playing in the local creeks to swimming at the Rec Center and going to Carowinds. 

To find out more about the PCMDC, call 828.452.7232 and ask for Lin or Tausha Forney.


Work starts on new bowling center

A new bowling entertainment center complex will open in late 2017 on the grounds of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort. 

Tribal Council passed a resolution in February to build the $13 million Bowling Entertainment Center. The resolution, submitted by Principal Chief Patrick Lambert, has the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians responsible for half or roughly $6.5 million of the price tag with the TCGE (Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise) being responsible for the other half. 

A groundbreaking ceremony for the complex was held July 19. 

“We’ve all waited a long time for this day,” said Chief Lambert. “Today is a very important day for our Tribe and our casino enterprise. Today, we break ground on a new facility — a new Bowling Center that will serve our people and our casino customers. This project has been a long time coming, and it will be delivered completely debt-free.” 

The 50,000-square-foot Center will consist of two floors. The first floor will contain 16 bowling lanes, a food and beverage outlet, and an arcade. The second floor will contain eight bowling lanes, a bar, and a potential food area.


Firefighters hold benefit for local family

The Canada Fire Department in Jackson County is hosting a benefit for the Terry McCall family after the family of six lost everything in a house fire on June 28. 

The benefit will start at 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, at the Canada Fire Department, 149 Charley’s Creek Road, Tuckasegee. 

The fundraiser will include a hot dog supper, cakewalk, bluegrass singing with Jordon’s Crossroads, and silent auction/raffle, for a homemade quilt and a muzzle loader. Please bring a cake for the cakewalk. 

Terry McCall is the assistant chief of Canada Fire Department and all donations will go to his family. Donation can also be sent through a GoFundMe Account or by mailing a donation to Canada Fire Dept. c/o Terry McCall, checks payable to Terry McCall, P.O. Box 58, Tuckasegee, NC 28783. 


Divorce help offered in Bryson City

The First Baptist Church in Bryson City is offering an opportunity to find help and healing from divorce during a 13-week program held at 6 p.m. every Saturday starting Aug. 6 at the church.

The program is led with an interesting and useful video seminar featuring topics such as “The Road to Healing - Finding Help;” “Facing My Anger;” Facing My Loneliness;” “KidCare” and “Moving On.” Professionally produced DVD seminars with interviews from “Divorce Care” participants, authors, ministers, therapists and authorities on healing from divorce, provide fodder for thought-provoking conversation.

Visit or call 828.488.2679.   


Forum to discuss national conventions

“What are your impressions and takeaways from the Republican and Democratic national conventions?” will be the topic for the Franklin Open Forum to be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 1, at the Rathskeller Coffee Haus & Pub, located at 58 Stewart Street, Franklin. Those interested in an open exchange of ideas (dialogue, not debate) are invited to attend. 



Swain Genealogical Society to hold picnic

The Annual Picnic of the Swain County Genealogical and Historical Society will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 4 at Morgan Pavilion on Deep Creek Road. 

The society is providing barbecue and participants should bring a covered dish for the potluck meal. Anyone interested in participating in the preservation of local history and learning about genealogy is welcome to attend. The SCGHS is an active nonprofit organization with a mission of preserving local history and genealogy. Meetings are held the first Thursday of each month and usually include a presentation by an interesting speaker on a topic of local interest. Meetings are open to the public and there is no admission charge. Membership in the society is $25 per year.


FFA programs receive budget boost

Future Farmer of America (FFA) programs in Haywood, Madison and Yancey counties will receive $12,000 each as part of the state budget signed by Gov. Pat McCrory.

Money allocated to FFA programs may be used for a pilot program related to animal science and agricultural crop planting, including greenhouses and hydroponics.

“Students who participate in FFA programs stand as role models in our community,” said Rep. Michelle Presnell, R-Burnsville. “I have the pleasure of meeting with them when they visit the General Assembly each year, and I am proud the budget we passed offers a boost to FFA programs in my district.”

All high school FFA programs in counties Presnell represents were allocated funds through the Tobacco Trust Fund.

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