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Wednesday, 27 April 2011 19:57

WCU sends off graduates May 6-7

Western Carolina University’s spring graduating class will be honored as the university holds a trio of commencement ceremonies over a two-day period, May 6 and 7. Commencement for WCU’s Graduate School will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, May 6.…
The organization many credit with helping to create and nurture Sylva’s vibrant downtown scene is facing the possibility of going belly up over funding issues. During a budget work session last week, a majority of town commissioners indicated they might…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 19:54

Training for dealing with the mentally ill

A 40-hour training program for professionals who have encounters with mentally ill people will be held May 16 through 20 at Haywood Community College. CIT (Crisis Intervention Training) specializes in teaching the best methods to defuse and stabilize encounters with…
The Macon County Health Department implemented a new open-access appointment system in February that has cleared a four-week backlog of appointments. The open-access system replaced the previous system of clinic days. Now, most services are available every weekday, allowing patients…
Haywood County, like everyone else, is bracing for the impact of state budget cuts. But the good news is that they may leave the budget fray with fewer scrapes than they thought. In Raleigh, budget committees have been busily trying…
For the last month, Greg Petty has been on a leaflet campaign around Canton. He’s been to parking lots. He’s been to offices. He’s been to bulletin boards. He’s been inside Evergreen Packaging, the paper mill that looms large in…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 19:49

MMS offers three-day mediation training

Mountain Mediation Services will hold a three-day community mediation training from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.,  May 24 through 26 in the Bryson City United Methodist Church at 76 Main Street. The training is recommended for those who want to…
Depending on which town leader you ask, Dillsboro is prepared to co-sign on a more than $300,000 loan for the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad — or, short of that, the town is inclined to help the railroad in some significant,…
The Jackson County Board of Education is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Michael L. Murray as the new Superintendent of Jackson County Schools.  The Board voted unanimously to offer the position to Dr. Murray who will begin work…
Finding childcare, particularly for infants, has surfaced as a growing problem for the young professionals who make up much of Western Carolina University’s faculty and staff. Take Elizabeth McRae, a professor of history at WCU, who when she gave birth…
Legislation that would bring alcohol regulation in Cherokee completely under tribal control is now working its way through the General Assembly. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians established its own Alcoholic Beverage Commission in 2009 following a resolution to allow…
Sylva leaders want their Jackson County counterparts to lease, for $1 a year, the old library building to them, citing space needs and a heightened Main Street presence for the town’s police department. The Sylva library is in the process…
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 19:29

No tax increase projected for Jackson

No increase in taxes, more funding for the new public library, the same amount for the schools and a more than 3 percent overall drop in spending highlight Jackson County’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Does the proposal…
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 19:28

A recipe for helping kids

It’s 4:30 on a Tuesday afternoon, and in a kitchen in Frog Level, a chocolate almond layered torte is beginning to take shape. It’s a paragon of decadent, gourmet virtue, and it’s being lovingly crafted, layer on layer, for entry…
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 19:25

Is it worth it?

Despite years of negative publicity surrounding the contamination of soil at Barber’s Orchard, the actual health risk posed by the soil is miniscule, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The only health hazard comes from eating the soil, not just…
Residents of Barber’s Orchard will safely be able to eat the dirt on their lots after a $15 million federal cleanup of the subdivision. Trace levels of arsenic in the soil date to its former days as an apple orchard,…
Federal contractors performing a $15 million cleanup of Barber’s Orchard have violated state erosion laws, failing to keep the arsenic-tainted soil from eroding and washing away, according to state environmental inspectors. The massive operation calls for digging up the top…
The state’s bloodletting has begun, and for Haywood County Schools, the losses might add up to more than $4 million siphoned off next year’s budget. School officials have been steadily crunching numbers since the state House of Representatives offered a…
A formerly notorious bar will reopen in Maggie Valley despite bombastic protests from the owner of Wheels Through Time Museum, who fears it will attract the same seedy crowd and societal ills as the past establishment. Dale Walksler commanded a…
Duke Energy has received a new 30-year permit to operate its five hydroelectric dams in Jackson County, which could pave the way for new economic and recreational opportunities along the Tuckasegee River. Kayaking for several days a year on the…
A proposal to set up a special track for Western Carolina University’s crème de la crème — the honor students on campus — failed recently to win approval of a majority of the faculty’s leaders. The thumbs down by the…
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 20:30

Bothwell to run in Democratic primary

Cecil Bothwell, who announced his congressional bid in March, will not run as an Independent but instead run in the 2012 Democratic primary. “I’ve heard from hundreds of people, from Western North Carolina to Washington, D.C., who believe the most…
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 20:30

Donate food for Haywood kids

Donate food to the Manna Food Bank Summer Sack program from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 12 and help feed Haywood County children this summer. Collections, organized by Keller Williams, will be taken in Waynesville at K-Mart and…
Developers in Waynesville rejoice: your customers may now park in front of your buildings. Sometimes. In some places. The new rules, passed after nearly two years of deliberation, will allow limited parking in the front of businesses for high-traffic commercial…
Under the newly verdant trees shading the lawn of the historic Haywood County Courthouse, 29 people silently lined the sidewalk last Friday, sending the message that they were “struck speechless” by slashed state funding proposed by House Republicans. Their signs…
Americans love pad thai. This one fact, Nonglak Pafuang is sure of. After moving to the U.S. from Thailand five years ago, she’s learned that the varied cuisines of her homeland are popular stateside, but none more than pad thai,…
The pending merger of Angel Medical Center with Mission Health System could be sidelined, at least temporarily, by a state bill aimed at limiting Mission’s influence in the region. Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, said he introduced the bill to offer…
A state bill aimed at ensuring a balance of power between Mission Health System and smaller hospitals has placed lawmakers in the middle of a healthcare turf war. As Mission steps up efforts to acquire smaller hospitals and doctors’ practices…
The future of the Downtown Sylva Association remains unclear despite a move by town leaders to increase public funding for the group. The town board unanimously voted last week to increase funding from $12,000 to $15,000 a year, but that…
The July 7 primary is drawing closer in Cherokee, when the field for principal chief will narrow from five to two. Current Principal Chief Michell Hicks is making a play for his third four-year term. He’ll again be facing his…
Jackson County Schools has hired Michael Murray, currently associate superintendent of Operations for McDowell County Schools, as its new superintendent. Murray will replace Sue Nations, who is retiring. Murray has been with the McDowell County school system for the past…
When having a conversation with Penny Morgan, you’ll hear a lot of phrases that aren’t often associated with business in Haywood County. “Military contracts” is probably the most notable. “Top secret” might be another. Morgan owns a company called Aermor,…
A new $12 million entrance road for Southwestern Community College got preference over other road projects in the region in recent years, partly thanks to support from the right friends in the right places. Conrad Burrell, the chairman of the…
The motivation behind a $12 million entrance road to Southwestern Community College has been called into question by a Jackson County commissioner. Jack Debnam, chairman of the Jackson County commissioners, claims the road catapulted past others to the top of…
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 19:51

Youth camp offered this summer in Haywood

“Buzz’s Summer Blast Youth Camp” at MedWest Health & Fitness Center in Haywood County will be held two weeks this summer, June 20 to June 24 and July 25 through July 29. The camp will offer games, activities and exploration…
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 19:50

Summer camp to ignite creativity

Rising second through ninth graders can promote their creativity and problem solving skills at the ninth annual Rocket to Creativity Camp at Western Carolina University this summer. The camp lasts from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, June 27, through…
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 19:50

Free physicals for student athletes

All Haywood County students grades six through 11 who plan to participate in a school sport for the upcoming school year are eligible for a free physical provided by MedWest Sports Medicine on May 31 at MedWest Health & Fitness…
Business owners looking for help getting started with social media marketing can attend the free seminar “Business Owner’s Guide to Facebook & Twitter: Starting from Scratch to Online Success,” from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24. Led by…
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 19:49

Play softball for a cause

“Summer Slam,” a co-ed softball tournament sponsored by Swain/Qualla SAFE, Inc. and Medwest Swain, will be Saturday, May 28. Deadline to get your team registered is at 8 p.m. Monday, May 23. The tournament will be held at John Crowe…
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 19:48

Cashiers rec center would cost $5 million

Jackson County commissioners may tap the county’s robust savings to build a $5 million recreation center in Cashiers. The rec center has been years in the making, with the previous board of commissioners chipping away at site preparation, planning and…
Waynesville employees will likely see a 3 percent raise in their paycheck next year, if budget suggestions proffered by the town manager are approved by aldermen. The proposed budget for 2011-12, released last week, calls for an across-the-board, cost-of-living pay…
Macon County’s proposed budget manages to keep taxes at 27.9 cents per $100 valuation — the second-lowest rate in the state — yet give employees a 3 percent cost-of-living raise. “They have worked hard to do their job without complaint…
Go into any store and you run into the term “green.” Bags of chips, detergents, new cars and fluorescent-light bulbs — all are bedizened in alleged greenness. But what, exactly, does green mean? And who should get to declare themselves…
What do Harrill Residence Hall at Western Carolina University, the Cherokee Central School System, the new Oconaluftee Visitor Center in the Smokies and the firehouse in Sylva have in common? Each of these projects help make a whole: they are…
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 19:33

McCoy bridge compromise muddies debate

A proposed compromise by Macon County commissioners on a historic bridge outside of Franklin isn’t sitting well with those who’ve fought for nearly a decade to save it. Last week, the county board voted unanimously to ask the N.C. Department…
In Haywood County, the tax rate would have to bump up three cents for the county to bring in the same amount of money as last year. Overall, the property values in the county were down following the recent revaluation,…
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 20:36

Veterans sought for Memorial Day parade

The Haywood County Veterans Office and the Haywood County Veterans Council are calling for veterans to participate in the Memorial Day Parade, scheduled for 1 p.m. on Monday May 30th, in Canton. The parade will feature several National Guard and…
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 20:35

Constitutional workshop set for Franklin

A Citizen’s Constitutional Workshop will be held in Franklin Friday, May 20, at The Fun Factory on U.S. 441 South. Experts from the John Locke Foundation and N.C. History Project will be at the event, which lasts from 1 p.m.…
The fate of the organization tasked with marketing and promoting downtown Sylva remains in flux, but it appears positioned to survive in a yet-to-be determined restructured form. “We are working very cooperatively, jointly with the town board, to come up…
If you visit Macon County, keep your head down — there’s a war over property rights in progress. In this community of 33,922 people that presses hard up against the Georgia border, a place with a long history of attracting…
Hypothermia is a possible cause of death for Aubrey Kina-Marie Littlejohn, a 15-month-old Cherokee baby who died in January, according to a state autopsy report released last week. The autopsy also showed indications of multiple bruises to the head and…
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:26

Green Energy Park completes upgrade

A blower upgrade to the landfill gas system that helps power Jackson County’s Green Energy Park has been completed. The upgrade, which included a moister separator, should help the system be more efficient, according to Director Timm Muth, director of…
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:25

New president named at SCC

 Southwestern Community College this week got a new president, Donald Tomas of Aledo, Texas, who takes over July 1. Tomas replaces Richard Collings, who served in the top slot at SCC for just six months before resigning suddenly. Collings, who…
Principal Chief Michell Hicks hinted last week at a renewed effort to bring live dealers to Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel and Casino, in a ceremony renewing the management contract between the Eastern Band of Cherokee and Ceasars Entertainment. At an event…
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:17

Public perspectives on Corridor K

Health and Prosperity Two of the main arguments in favor of Corridor K construction are safety and economic growth. Road advocates maintain that having an easily traveled corridor into the area will allow larger companies — and their requisite supplies…
In Graham County, a public hearing last week on Corridor K drew a crowd of 200 people, speaking for and against a new four-lane highway that would end rural isolation but destroy virgin countryside in the process. The 9.9-mile highway…
At Macon Barber Shop, you can get a haircut for $10 and a shampoo for $5, but the talk is free for the asking. In between snips of her scissors and reaching, on occasion, for the electric razor used to…
Angel Medical Center in Franklin, one of the last, small independent hospitals in the state, is now part of Mission Health System in Asheville. After months of negotiations, Angel last week came under Mission’s management umbrella — likely a temporary…
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:01

Ubiquitous phone book still a staple

This June, 91,000 pounds of paper will make its way into Western North Carolina. Some of it will end up in kitchen drawers, some will be used as doorstops, some will end up as litter dotting the roads, while still…
For Mary Edwards, the owner of Craft Collection in downtown Waynesville, news of a possible Michaels coming to town is devastating. “Well, that’s the end of me,” said Edwards. “I’m small, so I can’t complete with big stores.” Edwards is…
Belk department store in Waynesville might be moving from its anchor spot beside Ingle's grocery store to a much larger and brand-new building beside Super Wal-Mart.A Michaels craft store and Pet Smart might also join the ranks of big-box chain…
Wednesday, 01 June 2011 19:11

News in brief

The Haywood County Chamber of Commerce annual dinner and year in review is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on June 2. The chamber will honor leaders in the business community with awards. The dinner will be held at Laurel Ridge Country…
Diversify is the buzzword in Cherokee, where candidates in the upcoming primary are facing off over how to move away from Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel and Casino as the tribe’s sole breadwinner. With the primary just a month away, five candidates…
After a decades-long battle to get it, the first interest payments on Swain County’s North Shore Road settlement are finally starting to trickle in. Now to figure out what to do with it. Of the $52 million payout, given to…
When the town of Maggie Valley bought a grassy field to serve as a town festival grounds in 2005, the hope was that it would bring new visitors and new life to the town’s flagging tourism industry. Since then, there…
Wednesday, 01 June 2011 19:02

Doctor: Authorities did not do enough

About two years ago, a sting was set to take place at a party in the Hickory Knoll area outside of Franklin. Inside the house, the Macon County Sheriff’s Department was told, there was a 47-year-old woman — the former…
Wednesday, 01 June 2011 19:01

Living at the top has some down sides

Living in Cashiers has certain perks: There is a beautiful lake to play on, gorgeous homes to live in and lovely vistas to enjoy. There also are nice restaurants, great gift shops and even an upscale Ingles grocery store that…
The three new Jackson commissioners — Jack Debnam, Charles Elders and Doug Cody — owe their victory last fall in part to the Cashiers and Glenville communities, where they won by margins of nearly 3 to 1. Though they won…
Jackson County commissioners say it’s high time Cashiers gets its due: an $8 million recreation center as pay back for the disproportional share of property taxes carried by the affluent homeowners there. Blueprints for a Cashiers recreation center have been…
Wednesday, 01 June 2011 18:56

Will WCU ever see Kimmel pledge fulfilled?

Six years ago, amid great fanfare, Joe Kimmel pledged $6.9-million dollars to Western Carolina University. Based on that pledge, with payments expected to come in over an eight-year period, WCU went forward with a new school: the Joe W. Kimmel…
Above national average. Above state average. Highest regional composite ranking. These are a few of the phrases that stand out in a recent letter from Haywood County Schools Superintendent Anne Garrett and Assistant Superintendent Bill Nolte. The missive is not…
Haywood Vocational Opportunities has donated 103,500 black medical table covers to AmeriCares, a global disaster relief organization that delivers medicine and supplies to those in need around the world. The donation is being shipped to the AmeriCares warehouse in Haiti…
MedWest Health System is expanding its access to health care to the communities served by its hospitals in three counties. A third urgent care center will soon be available in Jackson County and a new one will be built in…
The rooftops of both offices of Smoky Mountain Foot and Ankle Clinic are now equipped with solar electric modules that will generate electricity through solar energy. Sundance Power Systems installed the panels at both the Waynesville and Asheville locations. The…
Two cardiologists with MedWest Health System now offer the first pacemaker designed, tested and approved by the Federal Drug Administration for use in the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) environment. Dr. David Peterson and Dr. Glenn Harris have successfully implanted the…
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:32

Insurance to decrease for Clyde residents

Clyde Fire Department recently underwent a state inspection that improved their insurance rating. The businesses and homeowners in the Clyde/Central Haywood fire district will most likely see a reduction in their insurance premiums as a result.  A homeowner who lives…
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:22

HCC offers day camp

A summer day camp for children from the ages of 6 to 12 will run from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, from June 15 through August 17. The camp is run by Haywood Community College’s Regional Center…
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:21

HCC restructures auto body program

A new associate degree program at Haywood Community College will upgrade the existing one-year diploma program in auto body this fall. The Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology program will prepare students to become qualified technicians to perform repairs and refinishing…
Know someone, maybe yourself, who should be minority businessperson of the year? The Minority Enterprise Development Week Committee is now accepting nominations for this year’s awards. Businesses open for at least two years can nominate themselves. In addition to the…
A grandparent support group will meet from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1, at the Jackson Family Resource Center in Sylva. Grandparents will have opportunities to share their own experiences as a grandparent, including struggles or successes.…
Haywood County’s first Friends of Agriculture breakfast will be held from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. Friday, June 17, at the Haywood Agricultural Center at 589 Raccoon Road in Waynesville. This is an opportunity for farmers, chefs and other agriculture…
Wednesday, 08 June 2011 19:58

‘Free condoms’ replaced by patch

In Swain County, free condoms aren’t particularly controversial. But the words “free condoms” on a billboard certainly are. At least that’s the position of Swain County commissioners, who ordered the announcement to be whitewashed last week after apparently fielding calls…
For now, Swain County Department of Social Services Director Tammy Cagle still has her job. But that might soon be in question after a decision made by the county’s DSS board Monday night. Supporters of the suspended Cagle gathered at…
Wednesday, 08 June 2011 19:53

Learn about food preservation June 9

A free class covering the basics of food preservation will be offered at the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library from 1  to 3 p.m. Thursday, June 9. Cheryl Beck, a family and consumer sciences agent with the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service,…
Wednesday, 08 June 2011 19:52

Jackson Paper scholarship awarded

The Jackson Paper Manufacturing Company has awarded a $500 scholarship to Candace Erin Ridley, a senior at Smoky Mountain High School. Her father, Merle Ridley, is a Jackson Paper employee. Ridley will attend Southwestern Community College in the physical therapist…
Wednesday, 08 June 2011 19:52

Lunch and learn in Macon County

This month’s lunch with the League of Women Voters of Macon County will focus on a presentation discussing the background and mission of the organization. The event will be held at 12 p.m. Thursday, June 16, at the Unitarian Universalist…
Wednesday, 08 June 2011 19:51

Discuss world wars with WCU professor

Those interested in the history of world wars can join a new discussion group launched by Western Carolina University history Professor David Dorondo. The group, called Carolina Round Table, will address various aspects of world wars and the interwar period…
Registration is open for the Meet Me in the Smokies Open at Sequoyah National Golf Club. The event will have a gunshot start at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 18. This captain’s choice golf tournament is $100 per golfer. Each…
Haywood County residents told commissioners just what they thought of funding reductions at a hearing last week over the county’s new budget. Thirty people came to the meeting, where commissioners took comments on the 2011-12 budget, which decreases funding to…
Wednesday, 08 June 2011 19:49

Building named after Bardo

After a decade-and-a-half of stable leadership — a situation almost unheard of within the greater University of North Carolina system —Western Carolina University is about to embark on a whirlwind of change. In addition to the replacement of Chancellor John…
Tired of watching a source of possible town revenue end up in the state’s coffers, Sylva wants to start collecting parking fees at the town hall. Last week, commissioners tweaked the language of the proposed parking ordinance, clarifying that only…
Wednesday, 08 June 2011 19:47

Cashiers rec center gets green light

The Cashiers Recreation Center is back on track following a unanimous vote this week by Jackson County commissioners to move forward with the $8 million project. Commissioners voted to use money from the county’s fund balance instead of taking out…
Jackson County commissioners this week voted unanimously to keep Chuck Wooten on for at least another year as county manager. Wooten will receive an annual base salary of $120,747.96, plus benefits. County commissioners asked Wooten in January to serve as…
No actual decision was made, but County Manager Chuck Wooten told commissioners this week that they have $95,176 set aside in the budget if they want to give the money, as requested, to the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. The money…
A merger is afoot in Canton that will bring together two staples of the town’s downtown scene. Soon, the Canton Lunch Box, a fixture of the town’s business community, will join forces with the Imperial Hotel, an equally prominent fixture…
Set high on a mountaintop above Sylva, the historic courthouse has long been a focal point in this Jackson County town, attracting droves of visitors and professional and amateur photographers alike. And with a just-finished retooling and addition of a…
Sylva leaders are looking to tighten the town’s noise ordinance on the heels of complaints by one of their own. Commissioner Harold Hensley, who lives in the N.C. 107 area of Sylva, said he took calls a few weeks ago…
The State Bureau of Investigation is investigating whether Reid Brown, a former assistant district attorney in Waynesville, handled any cases improperly during his three years as a prosecutor. The SBI would not elaborate on the scope or nature of the…
A press release from Duke Energy reports that almost 20,000 customers in the six western counties are without power as of 2 p.m. Thursday, June 16, and about 6,700 of those customers in Swain County may not have their electricity…