Arts + Entertainment

fr jacksonflagWhen it comes to Southerners, there are a few topics that get their blood pressure elevated — and one of those topics is flags.

They represent everything from historical ties, bloodshed, peace, pride and Nascar. They’re flown everywhere from government buildings to front porches to Wal-Mart.

out watrA nature discovery trail along Scott’s Creek in Dillsboro has been two years in the making and the Watershed Association of the Tuckaseigee River is now urging the public to come see the fruits of their labor.

fr sweepstakesThe mayor of Sylva, Maurice Moody, was first to receive a violation notice for an allegedly illegal sweepstakes establishment in one of his rental properties along U.S. Highway 441. And Jackson County Commission Chairman Jack Debman may be next.

fr alcoholIt’s been more than three months since voters in Jackson County approved a countywide alcohol initiative. Yet, except for a few telltale signs, a look around Cullowhee on the doorstep of Western Carolina University wouldn’t lead anyone to believe that much has changed at all.

Jackson County leaders appear to be backing down from a lofty vision to transform U.S. 441 leading to Cherokee into a pedestrian-friendly boulevard.

The planning board has spent several months rewriting commercial development guidelines for the 3.5-mile stretch of highway. The result is billed as a compromise that will give prospective developers more flexibility, yet still require basic aesthetic standards.

A task force charged with creating guidelines for a joint Jackson County Tourism Development Authority is still struggling to figure out exactly how everything will work — and the deadline for making recommendations to the county leadership is drawing nearer.

Jackson County has two tourism agencies — one for the county as a whole and one for Cashiers — that oversee room tax money collected from overnight visitors by the lodging industry. Whether to merge the two entities has been a point of contention since last year.

Jackson County commissioners in the coming months will weigh whether to open a liquor store in Cashiers, outside Cherokee — or both — but the road to a decision will take a lot of number crunching.

Namely, Jackson County must decide whether it’s likely to sell enough booze to cover the overhead of an ABC store.

The Westcare Board of Directors met for more than four hours Tuesday, Aug. 7, to discuss the future of MedWest-Harris and MedWest-Swain hospitals.

The board did not take an official vote on whether to pull out of the MedWest partnership or whether to dissolve its ties with Medwest-Haywood. Instead, the board will remain study mode and reconvene toward the end of August to make a more conclusive decision.

Harris and Swain partnered with Haywood Regional Medical Center two and half years ago under the MedWest banner. However, doctors and hospital staff in Jackson County, and to some extent Swain County as well, have been unhappy with the affiliation.

fr jaxairportThe advent of live dealers and table games at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino is widely predicted to bring sweeping economic benefits to the region — benefits that are so far-reaching even the tiny landing strip known as the Jackson County Airport could land a piece of the action.

fr familylandEvery year on the first weekend in August, Linda Maxwell and other heirs of patriarch H.B. Wood make a pilgrimage to family land in the rural reaches of Little Canada and gather at the Wood cemetery where so many of their other descendents rest.

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This Must Be the Place

Reading Room

  • Books that help bridge the political divide
    Books that help bridge the political divide Time for spring-cleaning.  The basement apartment in which I live could use a deep cleaning: dusting, washing, vacuuming. It’s tidy enough — chaos and I were never friends — but stacks of papers need sorting, bookcases beg to see their occupants removed and the shelves…
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