To read and hear the folks in Asheville, you'd think the state ended there. Well, it does not and here are a few news items from the real western North Carolina:
Some Cherokee County gas stations were out of gas and others had limited supplies Monday, but the price of gas was significantly lower than on Sept. 12, when prices surged toward $5 a gallon as hurricanes Ike and Gustav churned up the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Big D Convenience stores were selling gas for 94 cents less than on Sept. 12, when prices rose briefly to $4.99 a gallon. The Big D on Hill Street in Murphy was issued a subpoena on Sept. 15 by the N.C. Attorney General’s office for allegedly gas gouging and charging customers $5.49 a gallon or more.
The attorney general’s office has subpoened 23 gas stations for alleged gas gouging. However, manager Elizabeth Hughes agreed with owner Sam Duncan Sr. that the station never charged more than $4.99 a gallon. The station hasn’t run out of gas as many other stations did, she said. All Big D Convenience stores were selling regular for $4.05 Monday.
Customers were at every gas pump at Wal-Mart at 9:45 a.m. Monday as a couple of cars waited in line. Regular gasoline was selling for $3.93.
Source: Cherokee Scout
The Sylva Herald has a photo of vehicles lined up for gas at the Enmark.
If you have trator and $20, you can participate in the 2nd annual Tractor Parade at the Hayesville High School on Saturday. There are a slew of other events taking place also.
At least the government and citizens of Swain County are not acting like lemmings every time they see an open gas station:
Swain County Manager Kevin King said Tuesday that county gas supplies were being monitored, and department employees told to cut unnecessary travel.
Yesterday morning (Wednesday press day), Bryson City's BP was continuing to pump gas, with a posted $3.99 per gallon charge for regular unleaded. There were no vehicles waiting in line at 8:15 a.m.
At the same time, Mountain Energy's Shell was gasoline-dry for the second straight day. Convenience store manager Lynn Wade said all Mountain Energy's sites were out of gas, although diesel fuel was available.
She said at that time she didn't know when the next gas shipment would arrive.
Most of Western North Carolina counties from McDowell County west have been reporting gas supply problems in the past week following Hurricane Ike's landing on the Texas Coast the weekend of Sept. 13.
Gulf Coast refineries closed down to weather Ike, then had to restart, a process that the industry says takes a week to 10 days. It also takes additional time for the fuel in the pipelines to build up to a normal volume flow.
Source: Smoky Mountain Times
The board of Sylva-based Smoky Mountain Center for Mental Health accepted the resignation of agency director Tom McDevitt last week (Sept. 16) following a six-hour, closed-door interrogation into allegations that McDevitt had abused his power and taken advantage of his position for financial gain.
The Smoky Mountain Center provides mental health care to 15 western counties and is the state’s largest such agency geographically.
The 30-member Smoky Mountain board in July began questioning some of McDevitt’s actions, including the salary he earned as director of the agency’s non-profit Evergreen Foundation, the employment of his daughter, and profits his wife made from property transactions through the Foundation.
The Foundation is a non-profit 501c3 entity that exists solely to further the interests of the Smoky Mountain Center. It buys, sells and leases properties to mental health providers and distributes low-interest loans. Of the state’s 25 mental health agencies, Smoky is one of just a few to have a non-profit arm.
The Smoky Mountain News investigated the allegations against McDevitt and published the findings in an Aug. 20 article. At the following board meeting on Aug. 28, the board demanded McDevitt address some of the questions raised by the story.
The board compiled a list of questions that McDevitt responded to at the Sept. 16 meeting. Board members expressed varying levels of satisfaction with McDevitt’s answers, but agreed unanimously that it was best for McDevitt and the Smoky Mountain Center to part ways.
Source: Smoky Mountain Times
Fan frenzy week for energized Panther supporters culminated Friday night with a solid 55-0 pounding of Franklin’s biggest rival. With Smoky Mountain’s season off to a slow start (1-3) and coming off a 36-0 thrashing by Murphy last week, the Panthers showed no mercy as they convincingly avenged last year’s close 27-24 loss to the Mustangs.
Scoring early and often, the Panthers held the Mustangs to only 127 total yards on offense while piling up 442 yards. Blaine Clark led the Panther scoring machine with 223 yards and two touchdowns despite being used sparingly in the third quarter and not touching the ball in the final period.
Source: Macon County News
And in the Franklin Press, there is an account of a manhunt for a fugitive who attempted to run over a deputy in Iotla Valley.
And in Fontana Village, the news is that Dolly Parton will be a feature part of the 75th Anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and is penning a song for the event:
FONTANA VILLAGE – About two dozen people gathered to join in final preparations for the 75th Anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from 1934 to 2009.
There was polite discussion about plans at several entrances to the park, volunteers working to spruce up trials, fundraisers and other meaningful events.
But the biggest news was from park superintendent Dale Ditmanson who announced that country music legend Dolly Parton is writing a song about the mountains and plans to donate the first year of proceeds to the national landmark.
“We’re developing the ambassador program, of individuals capable of taking about the parks mission, communicate it to the public,” Ditmanson said. “I’m really excited to hear that Dolly Parton is involved.”
The concept started when park officials were looking for someone who could capture the rural and nostalgic feel of the park, while honoring the natural beauty inherent in the mountains in a musical presentation.
“Imagine that song being written and sung by Dolly Parton,” Ditmanson said. “She has agreed to be an ambassador for the Great Smoky Mountains Park 75th Anniversary.”
They anticipate there could be a welcome written by Parton on the inside cover of brochures that visitors to the park could read.
“We’re in conversation with her management team – a lot of things are very preliminary,” said Ditmanson, who added that he believed Parton felt so strongly about the Smoky Mountains that the park could receive proceeds from the first year recording sales.
Tennessee Department of Tourist Development commissioner Susan Hinchcliff Whitaker said that many other parks and managers of natural resources are actually coming to the area to see how her state and North Carolina officials are working together for the good of the park.
Source: Andrews Journal
And the annual flu scare is starting to heat up in Cashiers, hot on the heels of the current Gas Panic.
There are blogs in the far west, but they are all lefties (save for me), and it depresses me too much to pass along right now. Maybe next week. Right now, the rain is making a pleasing sound on the tin...and I think I will take a nap since I have been up about 4 hours already.