Horror in the highlands: Asheville’s ghostly legends provide a glimpse into city’s past

riverside-20-1100x733(Mountain XPress) The large crowd that packs the back room of West Asheville’s new Byrish Haus & Pub isn’t unusual for a Wednesday evening, but its purpose there might be a little strange, even for this town. “Tonight, we will be conducting an investigation and seance in a way that’s never been done in Asheville,” says Joshua P. Warren, Asheville native and nationally renowned paranormal investigator. Employing a host of electrostatic detectors and traditional instruments of the occult, Warren, forensic historian Vance Pollock and a host of paranormal investigators, “sensitives” and mediums are about to attempt to identify and draw out a spirit said to be plaguing the new bar. Like any good Southern city, Asheville’s history is steeped in the gothic and the paranormal. While the facts and claims behind these legends vary from story to story (and storyteller), Asheville’s “ghosts” play an often unheralded role in capturing and preserving the city’s past.

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13-Year-old Receives Google Science Prize for Ingenious Medical Solution

13-year-old-google-prize-winner-released(Good News Network) This 13-year-old just revolutionized an age-old problem in medicine using a remarkably simple method. Anushka Naiknaware from Beaverton, Oregon became one of the top eight finalists of an international Google-run science competition after she invented bandages that notify doctors when they needed to be changed. Using graphene nanoparticles and ink, the bandages start to display fractal patterns when they detect that moisture levels have dropped. Bandages need to be dampened in order to properly heal wounds, but changing bandages too often can be harmful to an injury. This way, medical officials no longer have to rely on guesswork.

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Where is the line between your property and theirs? Congressional hearing on houseboats raises questions

f3fab02f192640fc89b417b33948356c_xl(Smoky Mountain News)  The Tennessee Valley Authority leadership fielded some tough questions from members of Congress last week in Washington, D.C., during a Subcommittee on Government Operations hearing. There were some questions TVA wasn’t able to answer regarding its recent board decision to get rid of 1,800 houseboats on its 49 reservoirs within the next 30 years. Even though more than 3,700 people have signed an online petition opposing the TVA’s decision to sunset all floating homes, TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson couldn’t tell the committee how many complaints it received regarding houseboats staying on the lakes.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-Cashiers, who also chairs the subcommittee, told Johnson that a decision to displace 1,800 families who invested thousands into their homes usually isn’t made lightly. After closely examining the legislation that created the TVA as a federal corporation in 1933, Meadows also said he thought the TVA was overstepping its authority and was punishing many homeowners when the TVA hasn’t enforced its own houseboat regulations since 1978.

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Medal of Honor recipients might get their own national museum

aerial_entrance_02-copy(The State Newspaper) – A museum being built in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, to showcase the nation’s highest military honor should officially be designated the National Medal of Honor Museum, South Carolina Republicans in Congress say. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., introduced a bill to formally make the museum in Patriots Point, on the eastern shore of Charleston Harbor, the national destination for Americans wanting to learn more about Medal of Honor recipients.

According to plans, the 107,000-square-foot museum will include a 240-seat auditorium, a 140-seat chapel and event spaces. The National Medal of Honor Foundation is still raising funds for the $98 million building, which could be completed in 2018.

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Cherokee give $50,000 to Standing Rock Sioux pipeline fight

8748b6d9d397102736e47200c2c3a7f2_xl(Smoky Mountain News) The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians threw its support behind the cause of the Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota when Tribal Council voted to give $50,000 toward a legal battle to prevent construction of an oil pipeline north of Standing Rock Sioux land. “This is an issue of tribal sovereignty. This is also an issue of honoring a treaty. More importantly, it’s an issue of water rights,” Vice Chief Richard Sneed told council at its Sept. 6 Budget Council meeting. “Where this pipeline is set to cross just north of the reservation, when there is a break that will pollute the only water source.”

Sneed was quick to express his appreciation for council’s unanimous vote and endorsement of the $50,000 figure — in the resolution he submitted, he’d left the dollar amount blank for council to fill in. “I’m humbled. I’m honored. Today you demonstrated why we are leaders in Indian Country,” he said. “I had no idea or even expected a move of that much. It’s impressive.” Sneed told council that he’d like to hand-carry the check to North Dakota. When Principal Chief Patrick Lambert addressed council at another meeting two days later, he concurred with Sneed’s appreciation of council’s actions and pledged a swift signing of the resolution.

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Tensions Rise as Prairie Tribes Move to Block a Pipeline Through Sacred Grounds

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Photo courtesy of BBC.

(New York Times) Horseback riders, their faces streaked in yellow and black paint, led the procession out of their tepee-dotted camp. Two hundred people followed, making their daily walk a mile up a rural highway to a patch of prairie grass and excavated dirt that has become a new kind of battlefield, between a pipeline and American Indians who say it will threaten water supplies and sacred lands. Local officials are struggling to handle hundreds of demonstrators filling the roads to protest and camp out in once-empty grassland about an hour south of Bismarck, the state capital. This month, a line of sheriff’s officers retreated in the face of riders on horseback circling and yipping through the grass. (Tribal members said that the display was a Lakota gesture of introduction, and that they have no quarrel with law enforcement.)

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