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fr centralmarchWaynesville’s youngest public demonstrators — along with their parents and teachers — took to the streets last week to show their love for Central Elementary School, a Waynesville institution that could shut down to as a result of a massive budget shortfall facing the school system.

Attendees at Cullowhee’s hearing on the proposed oil and gas rules Sept. 12 were overwhelmingly anti-fracking, but a small contingent of men showed up on a bus from Winstom-Salem — provided by the N.C. Energy Forum —  wearing sky blue t-shirts bearing the words “Shale Yes.” Except, fracking opponents are saying, the men weren’t exactly informed proponents of the fossil fuel extraction practice.

“We want unannounced reviews and inspections by DENR. It’s like a drug test. You tell them they’re going to be drug tested? They’re clean. So we want unannounced inspections, number one. We want records kept for a minimum of 50 years, not 5 years. We want no wide-range variances on regulations. We don’t want favors given out to criminals that are fracking our land.”

— Louise Heath, Cherokee tribal member

fr frackingIt didn’t take but a glance around the lawn of the Liston B. Ramsey Center at Western Carolina University to see that Sept. 12 was going to be an eventful evening.

It was back to school for a group of staunch fracking opponents on Friday, Sept. 5. The corner conference room in the Jackson County Public Library was a bit small for the 20 people crammed in to it, but they were ready to learn. 

fr frackingCandice Caldwell Day and her husband Shayne recently went to Andrews Airport in Cherokee County.

“To hold up a really big sign,” she said. 

The public hearing on Jackson County’s steep slope regulations struck Dave Waldrop as special. 

“It was so unbelievable,” Waldrop said.

fr teachersAdvocates calling for increased state education funding made a stop in Haywood County Monday as part of a statewide tour en route to Raleigh, where they will deliver a stack of petitions signed by 61,000 state residents later this week.

fr sylvaprotestIn honor of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s march on Washington, D.C., political activists in Western North Carolina celebrated a dream of their own.

fr rallyMore than 150 protestors marched in downtown Waynesville Monday to oppose what they characterize as egregious policies by Republican state lawmakers that will take North Carolina back to the Dark Ages.

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