Mardi Gras a success

Mar 03, 2017

Congratulations to Mardi Gras King Nathan Lowe and Queen Becca Swanger, along with the other candidates in the court, on their successful fundraising efforts for the Haywood County Schools Foundation.

Even though there were only four candidates this year, their fund-raising success generated more than $65,000, the second-highest amount since the event began. Funds will be used for scholarships, classroom grants and other support for students and the Haywood County School system.

Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Entegra Bank, whose Tommy Borque helped start the fundraiser a decade ago, all proceeds raised by the Mardi Gras court go directly to benefit schools and students.

When the event began in 2009, the revenue slightly exceeded $21,000. Since then the event has steadily grown. Since its inception, almost half a million has been generated for the foundation by the fundraiser.

That represents a lot of good that can be done for community youth — and the community’s future.


A lucky outcome

A swimming pool accident that could have turned deadly for a Tuscola High School student appears to be heading for the best possible outcome — full recovery for Nicholas Stepp.

The teen was working out at the Waynesville Recreation  Center with friends and the group ended up in the pool where Stepp inexplicably sunk to the bottom of the pool.

Thanks to the quick thinking of friends and the lifeguard on site, Stepp was brought to the surface and received CPR until medical help arrived. Friends gathered for a candlelight vigil with a prayer for a full recovery and that’s exactly the outcome expected.

All involved deserve praise for their efforts.


School lawsuit wrapped up

After nearly a year, the lawsuit to stop the closure of Central Elementary School has been settled. Unfortunately, the settlement agreement prohibits the public from knowing the reasoning behind the agreement because no comments can be made other than the single paragraph released in the legal document.

We do know the issue is settled and can’t be brought up again since it was dismissed with prejudice. We also know that the school board does not admit it violated the law or its own policies, but agrees more advance notice about the action would have been preferable.

Interest in the school closure was high, and a parent who happens to be an attorney felt strongly enough to file a lawsuit  to stop the action. That portion of the suit was dismissed, but the larger question examining the process used by the board to make the decision will not happen. Information found early on certainly casts an interesting light on when the issue of closing the elementary school first arose.

Because of the settlement agreement insisting on silence from both parties, the only course forward is to accept the outcome.