Hospital reopens after electrical fire
***** Five Stars
Everyone let out a heavy sigh of relief Wednesday when MedWest Haywood announced that the hospital was reopening. After an electrical fire caused the entire hospital to close June 19, administrators were unsure of how long the repairs would take to complete. The hospital was able to reopen ahead of schedule after expecting to stay closed until mid-July or later. Before the emergency room reopened on June 30 for patient care, MedWest had to make due with a mobile unit to take care of emergency patients. We know it’s been a tough few weeks for all involved. This was the last thing the hospital needed to have to deal with when also facing the sale of the hospital to Duke LifePoint. We want to thank everyone involved in working diligently to get everything back up and running as fast as they could to continue to serve our residents. We hope the staff can resume some sense of normalcy in the next several weeks as they prepare for another transition.
Community gardens blossom
***** Five Stars
In just a few short months, volunteers have several gardens blooming in Maggie Valley. With the simple mission of feeding the hungry with a sustainable food source, it is truly amazing what these residents have already accomplished. The first crops are already being harvested and the churches involved are working to get the food out to those who need it the most. It is obvious that these volunteers are doing their research about what will work best on the space that they have. Not only is it supplying food for the community, but also it is creating more beautiful spaces in the valley. We want to thank everyone for their hard work and encourage more people to get involved in the effort. A quote from Margaret Mead comes to mind: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
Living with elk
** Two Stars
A recent survey released by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission showed that the majority of people are still happy to see the elk roaming around — even when they wander off of public land. Seeing the elk is still a novel sight to many residents and especially for tourists. Having them in the park is a great tourism draw to the area, but it has also proved to be a nuisance for private property owners. As elk venture off the park property, farmers have complained about damaged property and crops. The herd is steadily growing, which means the problem is likely to grow. These issues need to be addressed in the near future so residents and elk can continue to co-exist here in the mountains.