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Archive for Swain county

Ceremony for Dockie Brendle Bridge Wednesday

Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient Dockie Brendle will have a bridge officially named in honor of him this month. The NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata will be in attendance next week as the department recognizes Brendall’s bridge, located off U.S. 74, exit 64. A dedication ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29, at the Senior Citizens Center, 129 Brendle St., in Bryson City.

Duke LifePoint Announces The Purchase Of Westcare Health Health System

Sylva, NC (August 1, 2014) – The WestCare Health System Board of Trustees and Duke LifePoint Healthcare today announced that the acquisition of WestCare by Duke LifePoint has been finalized.

Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, which was reviewed by the Attorney General of North Carolina, Duke LifePoint purchased Harris Regional Hospital, an 86-bed hospital in Sylva; Swain County Hospital, a 48-bed hospital in Bryson City; and WestCare Medical Park, an outpatient medical facility in Franklin. Duke LifePoint will invest a minimum of $43 million in capital improvements over the next eight years and provide new resources to help the system grow, recruit new physicians, enhance services and improve health care delivery throughout the region.

“As we have explored this acquisition over the last several months, Duke LifePoint has shown that it shares WestCare’s commitment to our hospitals, our patients and our communities,” said Bunny Johns, Chair of the WestCare Board of Trustees. “We are excited to begin our future as part of Duke LifePoint and to explore the great opportunities we have to enhance health care services to make our communities healthier.”

Becoming part of Duke LifePoint offers many benefits to WestCare’s hospitals, medical staff, employees and communities. Proceeds from the acquisition will retire WestCare’s financial obligations and fund a locally governed charitable foundation to support community needs. WestCare also becomes a local taxpayer, providing a source of new tax revenue to support the local economy.

“Harris Regional Hospital and Swain County Hospital have been a critical part of the health care infrastructure in western North Carolina for many years,” said LifePoint Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William F. Carpenter III. “We are proud to partner with these hospitals to strengthen quality care across this region and look forward to working with their teams to better position the hospitals to grow and prosper in the changing health care environment.”

WestCare’s hospitals now have access to Duke University Health System’s top-ranked patient safety, quality and education programs and LifePoint’s financial and operational resources and expertise.
“We are pleased to welcome WestCare to Duke LifePoint,” said William J. Fulkerson Jr., M.D., executive vice president of Duke University Health System. “Generations of people in this region have relied on WestCare’s hospitals and, together with WestCare’s board, executives, medical staff and employees, we will work together to further enhance health care in this region.”

WestCare will be governed by a regional board of trustees comprised of members of WestCare’s communities, local physicians and representatives from Duke LifePoint.

“WestCare’s relationship with Duke LifePoint marks a new beginning for our hospitals in Sylva and Bryson City and our outpatient center in Franklin,” said Steve Heatherly, CEO of WestCare Health System. “I look forward to working with Duke LifePoint to strengthen health care in our community by providing exceptional experiences for patients and families and growth opportunities for our staff,”

About WestCare Health System
WestCare Health System was formed through a partnership of Harris Regional Hospital and Swain County Hospital in 1997 and serves Jackson, Swain, Macon and Graham counties with primary and subspecialty care, outpatient facilities and urgent care.

About Duke LifePoint Healthcare
Duke LifePoint Healthcare, a joint venture of Duke University Health System, Inc. and LifePoint Hospitals® (NASDAQ: LPNT), was established to build a dynamic network of hospitals and healthcare providers. The joint venture, which brings together LifePoint’s experience in community-based hospital management and Duke’s world-renowned leadership in clinical service, is strengthening and improving healthcare delivery by providing community hospitals the clinical, quality and operational resources they need to grow and prosper. For additional information, visit www.dukelifepointhealthcare.com.

Swain County Joins Anti-Fracking Movement

safe_imageSwain County has gotten on board with the anti-fracking movement by passing a no fracking resolution. In addition to Swain County, other mountain communities such as Jackson County have also passed anti-fracking resolutions. In July, first Webster and then Sylva town boards passed resolutions. In August, Forest Hills officials will consider a similar resolution.

Proponents contend that fracking is safe and will provide a source of both energy and jobs. Critics — which include a unanimous Swain commission — argue that the practice raises environmental concerns about issues such as groundwater contamination.

The resolutions are entirely symbolic. The newly passed state law stipulates that local governments have no authority to ban fracking.

Amputee Adventure Camp Offers Possibilities to Kids

9-2The Adventure Amputee Camp is located in the mountains of western North Carolina in the Nantahala Outdoor Center which is near Bryson City.  The Adventure Amputee Camp, Inc., provides children who have suffered amputations the opportunity to stretch their reality and imagination of what is possible to achieve.

Camp activities include river rafting, high ropes and waterskiing. All activities are modified as necessary to meet the ability and interest level of each camper. Other activities (which can include bowling, crafts, games, swimming, and horseback riding) may be less physically stressful, yet provide many campers an experience that was previously untried, unobtainable, or unimaginable.

The physical challenges and peer support frees children from self or societal imposed restraints. Volunteers with amputations are role-models of adults who are living productive and fulfilled lives.

The camp is in it’s 19th year at Nantahala Outdoor Center.

Cherokee Author Finalist for Prestigious Prize

Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, Executive Director of the Cherokee Preservation Foundation in Cherokee, North Carolina, is a finalist for the 2014 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction. The award was established in 2000 by Barbara Kingsolver and is funded entirely by her. Clapsaddle is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and graduated from Yale University and the College of William and Mary.

The 2014 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction is presented biennially to the author of a previously unpublished novel of high literary caliber that promotes fiction that addresses issues of social justice and the impact of culture and politics on human relationships. This is the second year in which PEN is administering this award.

The winner, chosen by judges Terry McMillan, Nancy Pearl, and Kathy Pories, will be announced later this summer and will be honored at the PEN Literary Awards Ceremony in New York City on September 29th. The $25,000 prize includes a book contract with Algonquin Books.

Swain County Car Crash Kills Man

Troop GA single car crash between Cherokee and Bryson City early Thursday morning claimed the life of 23 year old Travis Squirrel. The Highway Patrol reported the car ran off Coopers Creek Road and down an embankment.

Dustin Taylor, the driver, and another passenger were injured. Troopers believe alcohol was involved and no one in the car was wearing a seatbeat. Charges are pending.

 



Road to Nowhere Funding Hearing

road-to-knowhere-2Republican Congressman Mark Meadows and former Democratic Congressman from the 11th district  Heath Shuler teamed up Tuesday morning in asking the House sub-committee to pay Swain County money set aside for the “Road to Nowhere”.

Shuler released a written statement saying the US Department of Interior has been shortchanging the residents of Swain County over the North Shore Road since 1943.

Congress approved funds in 2012 but they have not been given to the county yet.If the sub-committee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulations agrees, the bill will go to the US House for a vote.

The National Park Service is sitting on 4 million appropriated in 2012 that was meant for the county as part of a settlement with the federal government over a road it agreed to build along the North Shore of Fontana Lake in 1943.

The road was never completed and the government promised to pay the county 52 million instead of building it in 2010 after decades of debate. The county got an initial payment of 12.8 million but the House must approve the other 4 million for release.

 

An Employment Boom Hits Local Area

Consolidated Metco Inc in Bryson City has notified WRGC Radio of the need to add employees in six production divisions including assembly, material handlers, quality inspectors, finishing press, molding press and painting operators. These are good paying jobs for the local area starting at $12.00 per hour. This news comes on the heels of Hom-Tex in Sylva who last week announced the immediate need for 40 employees with an additional 60 workers to be recruited in the coming weeks. Consolidated Metco is having job fairs the first two days of May. The first job fair will be welcome news to Robbinsville who learned last week that Stanley Furniture was closing their Robbinsville plant and sending 400 workers to the unemployment line where unemployment benefits will only last for a few weeks. The second Con Met job fair will be in Sylva on May second at the State Employment Office located above the Jackson County Library in Sylva. This is also in addition to a job fair held this week by Harrah’s Casino in Cherokee. For more information on the ConMet positions check their website at www.omnisource.net