Looking back at 2012
As 2012 comes to a close, it’s a fitting time to take stock of all that has happened in Haywood County. In retrospect, there have been no major events that began or ended in the year or that will stand out as a moment to be remembered in history.
That said, there are several developing stories and trends that have the potential to reshape our future. One of those issues is medical care.
When hospitals in Haywood, Jackson and Swain formed MedWest three years ago, it was agreed to re-evaluate the partnership in 2013. The affiliation has been through rocky times, and now two of the players want out. The internal strife within the organization, as well as a glimpse inside hospital finance with a $10 million line of credit from Carolinas HealthCare to MedWest-Haywood, played out in 2012. These events set the framework of what could be a pivotal time next year for small community hospitals as the local structure, along with state and national changes, are worked out.
Politics was on the minds of many this year, not just because of the issues, but due to the large amounts of advertisements that forced campaigns into every corner of our lives. North Carolinians decided it was time to turn the reins of control over to Repubicans, giving the party control of the governorship, the house and the senate. While the election happened in 2012, it will be 2013 before the impacts of the decision will be felt.
The local economy show signs of recovery — housing sales are up, unemployment is down and new businesses are finding their way in a new economy. But many say the recovery is shaky and could go sour again with the least little push. That, too, is a matter for another year.
Other events worth noting in 2012 include the transfer of the Shook House to the Haywood County Historical/Genealogical Society. This piece of history is indeed a treasure, and one capable of bringing good things to the area. Another local treasure is Balsam Range, our homegrown bluegrass band that is turning heads nationally. Both made news in 2012, but their stars are rising so we can only imagine what their future can bring.
There are other events unfolding, from the top-notch Creative Arts Center at Haywood Community College to the long-anticipated 100th anniversary celebration at Lake Junaluska in 2013. Decisions on how Haywood will address an array of subjects — everything from school safety and finance to how local residents forge an economic future in uncertain times lie ahead.
As always, The Mountaineer will be on hand to cover the events as they unfold.