Wednesday, November 11, 2015

National Parks Honor Veterans with FREE Admission

Veterans Day is a fee-free day in our national parks. If you live close enough, consider visiting sites like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument, or the
World War II Memorial DC
World War II Memorial, all of which commemorate the service and sacrifice of our veterans. 

Or visit national parks like Independence National Historical Park, Boston National Historical Park, and the Statue of Liberty that serve as living reminders of the freedoms our veterans protected. 

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • The Blue Ridge Parkway 
  • The Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • The Appalachian Trail
  • The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area
  • Carol Sandburg Home
  • Trail of Tears 

November 11, the public is invited to visit a national park near you and reflect on the men and women who have answered the call of duty to protect and defend our great nation.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Christmas at Biltmore - an Inspiring Traditional Centuries Old Holiday Experience

photo courtesy The Biltmore Company

November 6, 2015 - January 10, 2016    Christmas at Biltmore   The celebration that began on Christmas Eve in 1895 when George Vanderbilt introduced his family and friends to the newly completed Biltmore home, continues to this day.  

This wonderful celebration allows all visitors to enjoy America's largest home beautifully decorated with dozens of Christmas trees, hundreds of wreaths, bows, and poinsettias, miles of evergreen garland, and thousands of ornaments. 
photo courtesy The Biltmore Company

Special events and displays include:

The Conservatory - Special holiday displays featuring poinsettias and tropical plants

A Gardener's Place Gift Shop - Located beneath the historic Conservatory, enjoy free holiday demonstrations every day.

  • 12:00 p.m.: Decorating Christmas Wreaths
  • 1:00 p.m.: Creating Holiday Tablescapes

photo courtesy The Biltmore Company
Antler Hill Village -

  • Visits with Santa:
    Saturdays and Sundays from November 7 - December 20, and Friday, November 27
    From 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Carolers:
    Saturdays and Sundays from November 7 - January 10, and Friday, November 27
    Five 30-minute sets starting at 3:00 p.m.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Partnership between WCU, hospitals could boost health care

Submitted by Carolina Press, Written by Whitney L.J. Howell on November 9, 2015 in Education, Graham, Healthcare, Jackson, Macon, Region, Swain, Top News 

Expanded, consistent health-care access could be around the corner for Western North Carolina if a formalized partnership between Western Carolina University and Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital succeeds.

Announced in mid-October, and known as the Ascent Partnership, the initiative is designed to train additional nurse practitioners and create opportunities to engage the surrounding communities about wellness.

According to Doug Keskula, dean of the WCU College of Health and Human Sciences, the overall goal is to ensure North Carolina’s westernmost countries receive quality health care. “We want to provide an exceptional educational experience for our students and future health-care professionals,” Keskula said. “We can’t do that without our partners."

Based on Mountain Area Health Education Center data, roughly 20 percent of North Carolinians — nearly 2.2 million people — live in rural counties with limited health-care access. Statewide, 42 counties have physician shortages, meaning they have too few providers to meet patient needs. The shortfall includes all of Western North Carolina’s counties.

To address this need through the Ascent Partnership, Harris Regional and Swain Community Hospitals, which are part of Duke LifePoint Healthcare, will pay the roughly $26,000 cost for three students each to complete WCU’s two-year family nurse practitioner (FNP) program.

The Ascent Partnership furthers a decades-long relationship, said Steve Heatherly, Harris Regional and Swain Community Hospitals’ chief executive officer. During that time, the WCU-hospital connection has spawned two university-based clinics that provide rehabilitation and primary-care services to area communities, as well as clinical training sites for WCU students.

Currently, Heatherly said, the counties immediately surrounding WCU — Jackson, Swain, Graham, and Macon — need six to eight primary-care practitioners. WCU’s nurse practitioner program graduates could fill those roles.

Carolina Public Press is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit online news organization committed to unbiased, in-depth and investigative reporting as well as educational opportunities for journalists, students and others in the 18 westernmost counties of North Carolina. Our vision is to promote an informed, engaged electorate to ensure government accountability by building the region's most reliable public interest news source.  Help raise $30,000 by the end of the year - Support CPP with a tax-deductible contribution today

Friday, November 6, 2015

Whitewater Rafting on the Cheoah River a Challenge for Experienced Paddlers

November 7, 2015   Cheoah River High Flow Weekends    This event is recommended for experienced paddlers only. Some of the best whitewater rafting and kayaking east of the Mississippi is located in Western NC. 

The Cheoah isn’t for the faint of heart and the river has many Class IV/IV+ rapids and lots of residual vegetation that require a high skill level to negotiate. River pass bracelets can be purchased at O’Henry’s, Outland Expeditions 800-827-1442 or Cheoah Ranger Station 828-479-6431. Admission is $5.

Get more local details and information on the Robbinsville NC Visitor Guide.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Vintage Cars Rally News: Cherokee Cruise the Smokies Fall Rod Run

November 7, 2015     Cruise the Smokies Fall Rod Run  100's of vintage cars, neatly groomed and highly shined, ready for you to feast your eyes upon. One of the prettiest events in Cherokee. This show will have food, memorabilia, and automobile parts vendors and will be hosted with music by a professional DJ for lots of old-fashioned fun. 

Admission is $5 per person and free for children 10 and younger. Held at the Acquoni Expo Center

Get more local information on our Cherokee NC Visitor Guide.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Buy Christmas Crafts at this Weekend's Art Walks and Mountain Craft Festivals

Start your Christmas shopping this weekend with the purchase of handmade mountains crafts or artwork. Not only will you be giving a special and unique gift, you'll be supporting the American-made crafts industry, particularly important to the economy of the Western North Carolina Mountains. Browse and buy at any of this weekend's mountain craft events:

November 6, 2015
   Asheville Downtown Gallery Association Art Walk   The Downtown Asheville Art District (DAAD) invites you to visit the more than twenty galleries that contribute to Asheville's reputation as a vibrant arts community and "The Paris of the South." Within a half-mile radius of Pack Square and the city's center, you'll find unparalleled diversity from fine studio crafts, to glass, photography, folk art and contemporary painting, metalwork, textiles, jewelry and more by local, regional, national and international artists.  A complete  Downtown Gallery Guide and map is available at any participating downtown gallery, the Chamber of Commerce, or Pack Place.

Date:      November 6, 2015
Event:     Art After Dark  
Downtown galleries and studios remain open until 9 PM.  The evening features special openings, demonstrations, artist receptions, and music

Date:      November 6, 2015
Event:    First Friday Murphy Art Walk    5 PM - 8 PM.
Presented by The Valley River Arts Guild. Stroll through historic downtown Murphy for an exceptional visual, culinary, and performing arts experience. Galleries, restaurants, and many other businesses will feature art, demonstrating artisans, live performances, music, and fine dining. Visit the juried Artist Market locations where you can meet local and regional artists and there will be something for everyone. Free and open to the public.

Date:     November 7, 2015
WNC Pottery Festival  This event  Showcases the work of more than 40 highly skilled potters from 13 states. A variety of clay art styles will be presented along with demonstrations.  The event is juried and the lineup of potters is impressive. $5 ticket includes a chance in a raffle; kids under 12 admitted free.  10 AM - 4 PM.

Date:     November 7, 2015
NC City: BRASSTOWN (Near Murphy)
Event:    Annual Blacksmith & Fine Craft Auction   
This popular annual event takes place form 1 PM to at the John C. Campbell Folk School, and features some of the finest artist-blacksmith work as well as other unique, handcrafted items. This is a fundraiser and includes both a silent auction and live auction. Bid on forged metal, jewelry, pottery, fiber, and wood items.