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News State / Region

Unemployment rates in Western North Carolina fell between March and April across each of the 18 westernmost counties of the state, according to data released by the N.C. Division of Employment Security.

Even though the county still has the second-highest unemployment rate in the state, Swain County posted the largest over-the-month drop, from 16.5 percent to 14.6 percent.


Tool is available on official NCDMV website

Just in time for the mailing of the first combined “Tag & Tax Together” bills on July 1, North Carolina vehicle owners are getting a new tool to help them understand how the new program works.

The “Vehicle Property Tax Estimator” calculates the property tax for individual vehicles based on their identification, age and address. The estimator is located on the official DMV website and can be easily accessed for use by vehicle owners, car dealers and those registering their vehicles online.


Region A Partnership for Children and Southwestern Child Development Commission will receive some relief soon from impending budget cuts. The two non-profits were awarded $150,000 from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. Each was given $75,000 Early Childhood Development Focus Area Grants back in May in order to operate programs that focus on early childhood development in the 18 counties of Western North Carolina.

The Community Foundation is a permanent regional resource that serves the Western North Carolina and provides knowledge about the region and relationships with donors to enrich lives and communities in the region. Annually, the Foundation facilitates about $11 million to charitable causes.


I’m appalled by stories of sexual assault I hear from our service members. One woman was attacked by a fellow Marine in her barracks. No one heard her cries for help. The next day, she reported the assault to her superiors.

The military launched an investigation that lasted months. The woman was alienated by her peers, who called her derogatory names. Her Sergeant Major told her the assault was her fault, that she must have encouraged the attacker. The investigation went nowhere. Nobody was held accountable.

Unfortunately, sexual assault cases are not isolated incidents. Just last week, the Department of Defense released a report estimating that more than 26,000 service members were sexually assaulted in 2012.


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