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fr schoolfacilitiesYouth sports teams will no longer be able to trade bags of fertilizer, free coffee for teachers or a fresh coat of paint on the dugout for use of the practice fields, stadiums and gyms of Haywood County Schools.

There are dozens of youth sports teams and clubs — from cheerleading teams to Bible clubs to soccer leagues — that aren’t affiliated with public schools. Yet they rely on the schools’ fields, classrooms, stadiums and gyms to meet, practice and host games.

fr teacherraisesIt took nearly two months of conferencing, but a state budget bill is finally passed and signed. At the heart of that drawn-out process was education funding. Specifically, what state Republicans are hailing as the largest raise in history for North Carolina teachers.

fr johnsonA Haywood County businessman who has historically supplied dishwasher detergent and rinse agent for Haywood County school cafeterias lost his contract for the coming school year to a major national cleaning supply company.

fr bruceA well-known businessman in Haywood County is questioning why school officials would steer a contract for cleaning supplies to a major national chain that’s more expensive instead of his own company.

Buying local and buying cheap don’t always line up. But this time, they do, and that’s what flummoxes Bruce Johnson.

coverCarson Angel is excited to show off her reading skills as she waits outside East Franklin Elementary for her mom to pick her up. From the pile of hand-colored posters, worksheets and drawings at her feet, the 8-year-old picks out a small book made of quartered computer paper to read out loud. 

“We had to choose six animal facts and write them into sentences,” she explains. Each sentence is chockfull of everything you’d ever want to know about tigers. Carson had been a little too shy to read anything in front of her peers for the last-day-of-camp reading talent show, but one-on-one she’s all about it.  

fr allergiesIn light of the growing number of children with food allergies, a new policy has been adopted by Haywood County Schools to help parents navigate the scary terrain of sending a child with a life-threatening food allergy into an uncontrolled environment every day. 

Macon County Schools got a little extra to fix up their buildings when some bids for the Parker Meadows recreational complex came in low. All of the extra money went to education, with $39,400 going to Southwestern Community College and $100,000 to MCS’ capital outlay fund. 

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 teachersSen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, faced a group of 50 Macon County teachers and staff last Tuesday in the library of South Macon Elementary School, and it was not a happy crowd. 

coverAt the front of the room, banjos and fiddles plow through an Appalachian repertoire. Fingers dance across strings, conjuring the history and tradition that have seeped out of the region’s hills for generations. 

“Trying to get’em to play together on the same beat at the beginning is kind of like herding cats,” laughed instructor Robby Robertson. “But by the end they get it together.”

Across the audience, parents capture the moment with cell phone cameras. The young musicians focus on their instruments and ready themselves for another song.

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