Lilly Knoepp

A yellow flag with red and blue circle around a gold star.
Wikimedia

Voters will cast their ballots this week in elections for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians tribal government.

A young woman stands in front of a lake holding two small rainbow pride flags.
Lilly Knoepp

Every year, members of the United Methodist Church gather for their annual Western North Carolina conference at Lake Junaluska in Haywood County. Top of mind at this year’s meeting was the Traditional Plan, a ruling enacted at the general conference in late February that enshrines punitive measures to reinforce the church’s ban on gay clergy and prohibition against gay weddings. The Traditional Plan has emphasized a growing divide between conservative and progressive camps within the United Methodist Church.

Lilly Knoepp / Blue Ridge Public Radio

The Nikwasi Mound in downtown Franklin, North Carolina looks like a small, grass-covered hill, but for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians the site holds great importance.
 

The future make up of the Dogwood Health Trust Board
Courtesy of Matt Bush at Blue Ridge Public Radio

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein gave the green light for a major healthcare sale in western North Carolina. He approved the sales contract of nonprofit Mission Health to for-profit company HCA Healthcare — with some changes. One of those changes will require HCA to keep operating its rural hospitals for 10 years. 

Photo of women's history trail in Western NC, cutting through red tape and blazing new trails.
Courtesy of Karen Lawrence

A new women’s history trail in Franklin, North Carolina highlights the overlooked stories of entrepreneurial women in the western part of the state. The trail celebrates both individual women and women’s organizations, like the Main Street Milliners: a group of hat-makers and business owners who worked in Franklin in the 19th and early 20th centuries — a time when women rarely owned businesses. 

www.ncleg.net / NC General Assembly

The countdown to the 2018 midterms is on, and all seats in the North Carolina General Assembly are up for election. Democrats are hoping to secure wins in both the House and Senate to break the Republican supermajority. Two competitive House seats in Haywood County may be crucial grabs for the Democrats, while two Democratically-held seats in Buncombe County are also competitive races.