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For many, the issues of race, injustice and reconciliation of our violent history seem insurmountable. How do we solve problems of such complexity, such depth, problems that have pervaded our nation since before its founding? 

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Rich Price, a passionate and proud 1988 graduate of Western Carolina University, has spent the last seven years as the director of economic development for Jackson County. Now he will get a chance to marry his love of both WCU and Western North Carolina in his new role as the university’s executive director of economic development and regional partnerships.

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Vaccinations by the numbers:

Total number vaccinated in Haywood County: Over 6,000

Total vaccinated this week in drive-through events: 1,500

 

Currently vaccinating: 

  • Haywood residents ages 75 and up  (our estimates are that about 75% of this age group, who pre-registered have now had their first dose)

  • Law enforcement and essential county workers

 

Currently registering: Haywood residents ages 65 and up

To register online visit: haywoodcountync.gov/vaccine

or by phone at 828-356-2019 (hours of operation for the phone line are Monday - Friday 8 a.m - 5 pm..) 

 

Vaccination groups nearing completion:

  • Long term care facility residents and staff

  • Hospital and doctor’s office staff

  • Health Department, Emergency Services, and Vaccine Clinic staff

Vaccination capacity: The county anticipates that at the current level of vaccine availability and support capacity for clinics that about 1,000 people per week can be vaccinated. This number is an estimate that may fluctuate based on the amount of vaccine that arrives and staffing capacity. 

Organizations dispensing vaccine*:

  • Haywood County Health and Human Services 

  • Haywood Regional Medical Center (Hospital Staff Only)

  • Blue Ridge Health

*All organizations are offering vaccinations by appointment only.

 

Mass Vaccination Clinics:

  • Haywood County Health and Human Services is partnering with Haywood Regional Medical Center on a series of weekly vaccine clinics.

  • The clinics serve those on the pre-registry list who have been contacted with an appointment time and are NOT open to the public or to walk-ins. 

  • Instructions on how to participate will be given when appointment times are scheduled.

 

“The mass vaccination clinics that have been held over the last few weeks enabled us to vaccinate thousands of Haywood seniors and dozens of law enforcement officers, critical county employees, and frontline health workers. The clinics are running very smoothly and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, which is a credit to the teamwork and commitment of everyone involved in helping organize and operate the events. This is the model we plan to continue using in the future to vaccinate as many people as possible in a safe and timely way,” said Interim Health Director Garron Bradish.

To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and the prioritization goals visit: https://covid19.ncdhhs.gov/vaccines

At each step of the way,  Haywood County Health and Human Services is committed to providing updates and guidance to make sure that everyone who wants to be vaccinated will have their chance.

Key Points about the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • The vaccine is tested, safe, and effective

  • You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccine

  • There will be limited availability at first and more widely available over time.

  • The vaccine will be provided free of charge to everyone that wants it.

  • Two doses are needed for maximum immunity.

  • There is no vaccine mandate.

  • Continuing the 3Ws will be critical until the vaccine is widely taken

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More than three years after the cold February day when 26 FBI agents descended on the Qualla Housing Authority building in Cherokee, the U.S. Department of Justice informed the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians that its investigation yielded “no prosecutable cases,” and that the tribe can have the seized files back.

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It wasn’t exactly the fall of the Berlin Wall, but on Thursday, Jan. 21, workers in Washington, D.C. began disassembling the miles of fence girdling the core of the federal district that kept Americans literally and figuratively separated from their government during the inauguration.  

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Stealing a leaf blower in Haywood County ended last week with a hefty prison sentence for an Asheville man, who fled from — then assaulted and spit on — law-enforcement officers, after driving at a high rate of speed through a crowded parking lot.

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Jackson County commissioners approved five pieces of legislation during their regular meeting Jan. 19 that will allow work to begin on the indoor pool project voters approved in a Nov. 4 referendum vote.

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Ahhh, there it is! There’s the D.C. we all remember.

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Like any organization that brings people together, Folkmoot USA had a difficult 2020. Without the ability for travel or gathering, there was no chance for the annual international festival or any of the other in-person programming planned throughout the year. During that time of cutbacks, former Executive Director Angie Schwab resigned to begin other work. 

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As the afternoon sun sank in the wintry sky Jan. 15, a line of first responders stretched 50-deep outside the front door of the Cullowhee Recreation Center, each person waiting their turn to participate in the first mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic to take place in Jackson County. 

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As of Tuesday, Jan. 19, Haywood County Public Health received notice of 130 new cases of COVID-19 within the last four days.

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Rural counties in Western North Carolina are feeling the frustrations with the national COVID-19 roll out plan. 

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task force founded by Gov. Roy Cooper in the wake of violent protests after the police killing of Minneapolis man George Floyd last summer makes dozens of recommendations to strengthen and support North Carolina’s law enforcement community, including several that would lead to greater transparency by law enforcement agencies. 

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The Haywood County School Board and central office administration will undergo unconscious bias training on Tuesday, Jan. 26. The training has been scheduled as part of the plan, created by Superintendent Dr. Bill Nolte in response to the situation created by a Facebook post of Nolte’s last year. 

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A $250 million deal between the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Caesars Entertainment will go forward after Tribal Council voted Jan. 14 to deny a protest challenging the deal’s legality. 

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First it was 10,000. Then, 15,000. Then, 20,000. Now, they say, there are 25,000 National Guard troops in this city of 700,000, or about one for every 28 residents.

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No garbage cans. Temporary fencing, bolted together top and bottom. Armed soldiers in black ski masks every 50 feet.

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The Haywood County Health and Human Services Agency has identified a COVID-19 cluster connected to the Waynesville Police Department. Six employees, at all levels of the department, have tested positive for COVID-19.

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Macon County Public Health has established an additional Call Center with the assistance of Drake Enterprises and Macon County Administration to offer several options for individuals to get registered for the COVID-19 vaccination. The options are as follows:

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Newly elected Chief Justice Paul Newby wants judicial districts, not state officials, deciding when and how to resume full court functions, including jury trials.

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Mountain BizWorks is once again partnering with Dogwood Health Trust in a targeted effort to provide increased access to another round of the Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for nonprofits, small businesses, sole proprietors and independent contractors in the region, with a focus on rural and minority and women-led organizations.

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