Around the region: N.C. Mountain State Fair in Fletcher continues through Sept. 16Published 8:30am Friday, September 7, 2012
Henderson Co. lacks workers to pick apples
The NC Mountain State Fair returned to Fletcher this week and continues through Sept. 16, offering visitors a chance to celebrate “the people, agriculture, art and tradition that make our region great.” Along with numerous agricultural shows, the fair includes musical entertainment, fun activities, rides, mountain crafts, food, a clogging competition and more. The fair, held at the Western N.C. Ag Center in Fletcher, includes some new events this year, including a rodeo and lumberjack skills demonstrations. The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association will hold a rodeo at 6 p.m. each day from Monday, Sept. 10 through Thursday, Sept. 13. The lumberjack skills demonstrations by the Haywood Community College Timber Sports Team will be held at 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7 through Sunday, Sept. 9.
Other popular acts are back this year, including Kenya Safari Acrobats, the Hogway Speedway Racing Pigs, chainsaw artist Dan Smathers and a choreographed precision equestrian team. The musical entertainment this year features a variety of performers, including Nikki Talley, Nuthin Fancy, Leigh Glass Band, Old North State, Kayla McKinney, Buddy K Big Band, Michelle Lee, Sharkadelics, Tom Fish, The Vinyl Brothers Big Band and more. Visitors to the fair get free admission with five cans of Laura Lynn brand food from Ingles. The food collected will be donated to the Manna Food Bank. Visit www.mountainfair.org for more information.
Nearly 20 percent of North Carolinians lack health insurance, according to data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The report showed the rate of uninsured in the state was 19.1 percent in 2010, the highest it had been in five years. The rate in North Carolina was the 17th highest in the country, well above the lowest rate of 5.2 percent in Massachusetts. Texas was highest at 26.3 percent. The rate of uninsured was highest among minorities and the poor. Nearly a third of residents under 65 in families that made less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level lacked health insurance. The rate was highest for Hispanics at 42.2 percent, followed by 21.2 percent for blacks and 14.8 percent for whites. The county with the lowest uninsured rate in the state was Wake County at 15.5 percent, while the highest was 30.1 percent in Alleghany County. The Census Bureau data showed the rate was 21.8 percent in Polk County, 21.6 percent in Henderson County, 20.9 percent in Buncombe County and 19.5 percent in Rutherford County. In South Carolina, where the statewide uninsured rate was 20.3 percent, the rate was 22.2 percent in Spartanburg County and 20.6 percent in Greenville County.
(source: www.newsobserver.com, 8-29-12)