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Jackson County’s new public library in Sylva kicked off in grand style, with dozens of people on hand to celebrate the grand opening on Saturday. The library complex and the renovated courthouse cost $8 million, with the Friends of the…
At least we have our jobs. That seems to be the reaction to cost-cutting measures taken last week by Haywood County Schools in response to up to $4 million in cuts from the federal, state and local funding. More than…
REACH of Jackson County continues to struggle financially, but fears this winter that the agency might actually shut down now seem unlikely. The “village,” a transitional-housing complex for women escaping domestic violence, was bleeding dollars from the nonprofit organization. The…
The tiny town of Webster has suddenly emerged as a player in whether a controversial $12 million entrance road is built into neighboring Southwestern Community College. That’s because the state Department of Transportation wants the town to sign off on…
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 20:26

Webster commissioner resigns

Webster Commissioner Mark Jamison resigned from the town’s board last week, citing unexplained issues with his real job as the community’s postmaster. In a short letter by Jamison read aloud by Mayor Larry Phillips, Jamison said: “My service on the…
When sewage began flooding out of the floor one January Saturday at Waynesville’s Coffee Zone, Coni Bishop knew things were about to get bad. Bishop was the coffee-and-sandwich shop’s owner. And when she and some staff were working one weekend…
Law enforcement officers and court officials are being trained on how to use a new $17 million state database that pulls together everything known about a criminal to the screen of a laptop. Officers using the system will know who…
The General Assembly’s budget would cut funding for a professional development center for teachers in Cullowhee by nearly half what it was allocated last year, slashing the N.C. Center for the Advancement of Teaching from $6.1 million to $3.1 million.…
Governor Beverly Perdue nixed the $19.7 billion state budget put on her desk by the General Assembly Sunday, winning herself a place in state history. She is the first governor to veto a budget since veto powers were granted in…
Swain County commissioners have taken back a request made to the General Assembly in February, in hopes of bolstering their lawsuit against neighboring Graham County over payments on the Fontana Dam. Both counties get payments from the Tennessee Valley Authority…
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 20:11

The science and art of cadaver dog training

“A dog is an amazing thing,” says Orval Banks, smiling wryly and adjusting his faded gray ballcap. He’s explaining the techniques he uses to train dogs, but really, he says, you don’t train a dog. It knows what it’s doing,…
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 13:01

Scholarship winners travel to China

Two $500 scholarships have been awarded to Lella Dougherty of Cherokee County Schools and Sarah Bruegger of Jackson County Schools by the Center for Diversity Education. The scholarships will be used to travel with the Western Region Education Service Alliance…
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 13:01

Space still open in theatre camp

Western Carolina University’s Theatre Summer camp has space remaining for campers ages 7 to 17. Registration will run through July 7. The camp will be 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for 7- to 12-year-olds and from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.…
Money and donations of clothing, furniture and other household items are being accepted at the Swain County Sheriff’s Office to help Michael Harrison, a school resource officer whose home burned down. Harrison was called home to Swain County last Friday…
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 12:58

Macon steep-slope ordinance inches forward

Macon County’s commissioners want their planning board, if possible, to finish up work on a steep-slope ordinance by August. Commissioner Bobby Kuppers last week also asked planning board members not to give up on the proposed ordinance, but to see…
Jackson County Commissioner Doug Cody said he was as surprised as anyone to learn that his name would be included on a bronze plaque destined to hang on the newly renovated courthouse and library complex. So was his fellow board…
William Shelton is off the local community college’s board of trustees after the Jackson County Board of Commissioners, in a 3-2 vote, instead appointed Dewayne Elders, Commissioner Charles Elders’ son. Shelton, a Democrat, was a former Jackson County commissioner who…
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 12:56

Jackson commissioner keeps on DOT warpath

Jack Debnam, chairman of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners, called on Sylva leaders to join him in his bid for increased scrutiny of local N.C. Department of Transportation projects. “I’m not here as a representative of the county commission,”…
Maggie Valley gave the thumbs up to a 2011-12 budget, voting 4-1 to approve the spending plan at a town board meeting last week. The lone dissenter was Alderman Phil Aldridge, who opposed the budget because of its spending. “I…
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 12:53

Sales keep pace with county’s new values

Property in Haywood County is selling 4 percent higher than the new values on the county’s tax books, refuting criticism that the county blanketly appraised property for more than it was worth. There have been 215 property sales in the…
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 12:51

How right is the reval?

There’s only one way to tell how right — or wrong — Haywood County’s recent property revaluation is. Appraisers attempt to peg the price of house or lot, predicting what a buyer would pay should a ‘for sale’ sign go…
Haywood County commissioners continue to be dogged by outcries over new property values. Critics are openly deriding commissioners at every county meeting. They’ve circulated petitions, garnering hundreds of signatures from people who think the county has pegged their property values…
It doesn’t take long to survey North Carolina’s newest town; perhaps five minutes, tops. There’s the swanky Fontana Village Resort, the community’s sole employer. Just down the road are an ice cream shop, laundromat, post office and gasoline station. There’s…
By most accounts, calling Art Williams a hands-on developer would be a pretty fair description. For decades, Williams was in the business of subdivision building, first in Florida and then in Western North Carolina. In pretty much everything, his word…
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 12:44

HAM radio holds on in a high tech world

The term HAM radio doesn’t usually conjure visions of a chic hi-tech world, but usually something closer to, as Al Sanders put it, “a bunch of old gray headed guys talking on the radio.” Sanders heads up a Haywood group…
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 20:37

WCU elects new student body president

Tony “T.J.” Eaves, a rising Western Carolina University senior from Hamlet, recently was elected 2011-12 WCU student body president. Eaves previously served as chief justice of WCU’s Student Government Association supreme court. Eaves is pursuing a degree in business administration…
MedWest Health System is now offering a nurse advice line. The MedWest Nurse Line, 1-855-MEDWEST (633-9378) is a call center based service that will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The call center is operated by…
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 20:36

Mobile technology comes to SCC

Southwestern Community College is integrating some of its classes into the Web Technology program, which will allow students to develop applications for Android and Apple operating system devices. The classes will look at Android phones and tablets and Apple iPhones,…
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 20:33

Free HIV testing offered in Haywood June 27

National HIV Testing Day is June 27. Free tests will be provided at the Haywood County Health Department all day from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. No appointments are necessary and walk-ins will be accepted. Incentives will be available to…
“Ideas that Changed the World” will be the focus of the second-annual Explorations in History Summer Institute, a five-day program for teachers that will be held in June at Western Carolina University. This year’s institute will assist teachers in investigating…
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 20:31

Summer day camp still accepting students

The Regional Center for the Advancement of Children at Haywood Community College is still accepting children from the ages of 6 to 12 for its summer day camp. The camp runs through August 17. Hours are 7:30 a.m. until 5:30…
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 20:25

WCU gets kudos for sustainability

According to the Princeton Review, Western Carolina University is one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in the United States and Canada. The Princeton Review chose the colleges after surveying administrators at hundreds of colleges across the continent. One program…
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 20:24

Recycling honors go to HCC

Haywood Community College has received the top ranking in the state in the Recyclemania competition for the second consecutive year. HCC is also ranked as number seven in the nation. Recyclemania is a friendly competition between colleges and universities that…
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 20:23

Green efforts earn HCC national recognition

Haywood Community College has received a silver rating through the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS). STARS, which was developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, is a transparent framework for colleges and universities…
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 20:20

Construction begins on Canton urgent care

MedWest Health System has started construction on an urgent care center along Interstate 40, at Exit 31, in Canton. The location will be the new home of the urgent care center currently located on the MedWest-Haywood campus. MedWest serves western…
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 20:20

Community funding pool to aid nonprofits

Macon County non-profit organizations have until July 30 to apply for grants through the Macon County Community Funding Pool. Organizations applying for funds must provide financial statements such as budgets and federal tax-exempt reports, organization goals and objectives and program…
When Sam Greenwood retired as Macon County’s manager and almost immediately accepted the same position for the town of Franklin in March of 2008, he made sure everyone clearly understood that his time there was limited. Greenwood wanted to help…
When construction on the lofty Clarion Inn started in 2008, the town of Sylva thought it was finally going to get a recognizable name-brand hotel to help attract visitors and commerce. Three years later, and the Clarion Inn is instead…
Wednesday, 29 June 2011 19:42

Sylva police packed in like sardines

Just stepping inside the Sylva Police Department gives a person an immediate understanding of why Chief Davis Woodard is pushing so hard for a new building. The department’s 14 officers, with one more being hired soon, and its three auxiliary…
For the second time in as many months, strong winds ripped part of the roof off the school library, known as the media center, at Smoky Mountain High School in Jackson County. Repairs are estimated at more than $700,000, Associate…
Easing congestion on N.C. 107 and general economic development issues look to shape the context of Sylva’s upcoming municipal elections. Three commissioner positions are open. Two landed in their seats via appointments instead of election by voters: Harold Hensley and…
Seventy-six years ago, Harry Martin decided he wanted to become a lawyer. He was 15, and knew little to nothing about the law. Or about being a lawyer, for that matter. If your mental math is swift, you’ll know that…
Public health officials have reported that a child in Macon County has contracted LaCrosse Viral Encephalitis, a potentially serious illness carried and transmitted by mosquitoes. While other mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile Virus are found across the state, LaCrosse…
Haywood Habitat for Humanity is holding an open enrollment through July for prospective new-home partner families. Applicants interested in purchasing a Habitat house must meet the following criteria: resident of Haywood County, income of $20,400 to $30,120 and a good…
A program exploring the history of Lake Juanluska and its influence on Haywood County will be held at 9:30 a.m. on July 11 at the Bethea Welcome Center. The Junaluska Woman’s Club will host the talk by Ernestine Upchurch called…
The Jackson Paper Manufacturing Company has awarded a $500 scholarship to Candace Erin Ridley, a Smoky Mountain High School graduate whose father works at Jackson Paper. This fall, Ridley will enter Southwestern Community College, where she is enrolled in the…
Wednesday, 29 June 2011 19:33

Patient appreciation party for Smoky OB/GYN

Smoky Mountain OB/GYN will hold a patient appreciation day from 1 until 4 p.m. Saturday, July 9. All past, present and future patients are encouraged to attend. There will be a magician, face painting, watermelon, a cakewalk, balloons and refreshments.…
Wednesday, 29 June 2011 19:33

Jackson to sell items from old library

The Jackson County Public Library will hold a “yard sale” on Saturday, July 9, from 8 a.m. until noon inside the old library. Items in the sale include free-standing bookshelves, chairs, tables, desks, filing cabinets and some miscellaneous items from…
Cackleberry Mountain’s yearly charitable campaign has returned, and through it, you can purchase a raffle ticket for $3 to benefit The Good Samaritan Clinic of Haywood County, a nonprofit medical clinic serving adults in Haywood County. The clinic provides life-changing…
Wednesday, 29 June 2011 19:31

MedWest foundation names new director

Steve Brown, the former head of the Haywood County Schools Foundation, has been named the director of foundations for three hospitals under MedWest Health System in Haywood, Jackson and Swain counties. Brown said he is excited about the opportunity to…
Wednesday, 29 June 2011 19:31

Dowling appointed to HCC trustees

Patsy Dowling, the executive director of Mountain Projects, has been appointed to serve on the Haywood Community College Board of Trustees. Dowling was appointed to the HCC board last week by Haywood County commissioners. She is one of 12 college…
Wednesday, 29 June 2011 19:30

College, schools in Haywood collaborate

Haywood Community College and Haywood County Schools have signed an agreement between the schools that will give high school students credit at HCC for certain courses. More than 35 courses are included in the agreement, which will be recognized by…
Two years after its last major shakeup, the entire Canton town board is up for election again, though this time, many aldermen are intent on keeping their seats. In the last election, three new members swept into power from a…
Rarely is there a lull in political turmoil in Maggie Valley, and this summer is no exception. With election filing only a few days away, Mayor Roger McElroy’s seat will again be up for grabs, as will the spots of…
Wednesday, 29 June 2011 19:28

Waynesville alderwoman won’t run again

In Waynesville, it’s time again for a town board election, marking the end of four-year terms for both the mayor and all four aldermen. The election will be particularly critical with the impending retirement of longtime Town Manager Lee Galloway…
Republican lawmakers have pulled the plug on the state’s landslide mapping unit, terminating a controversial project to assess which slopes in the mountains are landslide prone. A team of five state geologists working on the maps are being laid-off this…
The SEJ Laity Conference, a family experience, will be offered June 30 through July 3 at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. A two-hour “Festival of Families” event will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, July 1, and…
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 12:55

Community funding pool to aid nonprofits

Macon County non-profit organizations have until July 30 to apply for grants through the Macon County Community Funding Pool. Organizations applying for funds must provide financial statements such as budgets and federal tax-exempt reports, organization goals and objectives and program…
Wednesday, 22 June 2011 12:54

Rolling center offers bone testing

MedWest Health System’s osteoporosis bus provides bone density testing each week to women throughout rural Western North Carolina. Osteoporosis causes bones become brittle and more likely to break. The Osteoporosis Center at MedWest-Haywood is currently the only center accredited in…
The field was narrowed from five to two yesterday in the race for principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. When votes were tallied following the July 7 primary election, incumbent Michell Hicks and Patrick Lambert, Hicks’ challenger…
Wednesday, 06 July 2011 21:43

More rabies cases spotted in Haywood

The second case of rabies in eastern Haywood County in less than a week has been confirmed, marking the fourth case so far this year in the same general area of the county. Two cases were in skunks and two…
Western Carolina University’s Academic Success Program (ASP) is working with associates from the Sylva Wal-Mart for a day of service from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 16, to help benefit several local community-based programs. It will be…
Wednesday, 06 July 2011 21:41

Haywood crowns outstanding volunteers

The Haywood County Volunteer Center awarded Judy Smith of the Fines Creek Community Association’s MANNA food bank program as the outstanding Volunteer of the Year. Also recognized were: • Patricia Stevenson with the Good Samaritan Clinic and John Hawkins with…
Wednesday, 06 July 2011 21:41

Learn cooking tips with local chef

A cooking program called “Fresh Ways with Local, Seasonal Food” will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 21, as part of the Good Cooks series in Sylva. Chef Lindsay Kent with Rosebud Cottage in Franklin and will focus on…
MedWest Health System is breaking ground on a new outpatient services center  at 4 p.m. on Monday, July 11, on the MedWest-Haywood campus. The new outpatient services center will include imaging services, lab services, endoscopy, two outpatient surgery rooms and…
When SmartStart, an early childhood education program, was launched in 1993, it was hailed nationally as a model for reaching children during those critical early development years before kindergarten. This, said educators, was the way to give kids a good…
In a somewhat surreal meeting last week of Macon County’s planning board, progress on developing regulations for steep slopes were stymied by turn-of-the screw technical discussions and semantic stumbling blocks. The accuracy of GIS maps, the accuracy of the state’s…
Linda Harbuck doesn’t own a smart-phone herself, but that doesn’t stop the veteran Macon County tourism official from understanding and touting the potential benefits of a new phone app being developed to steer tourists through the westernmost tip of the…
It is not by swiftness, nor by strength and valor, that races are gained and battles won, but by sheer luck, tenacity and about $8 worth of duct tape. So sayeth we concerning the winners, Drew Cook and Taylor Bennett,…
In Cherokee this week, tribal elections are edging ever closer, with a primary scheduled for Thursday that will whittle the field for principal chief from five to two. While the holiday weekend was dominated by campfires and fireworks, voters and…
Canton was one of the first towns in Western North Carolina to sport a swimming pool, something made possible thanks to the booming economy of the mill town and the large population of working middle-class families it gave rise to.…
Wednesday, 06 July 2011 21:21

Canton could get hosed by pool woes

The Canton swimming pool is on its last leg and without a major investment of $750,000 to $1 million, the town will be forced to close it within a few years. Canton’s pool has been held together with everything short…
Wednesday, 06 July 2011 21:20

Popularity has its pitfalls

In the do-you-remember, they-were-right-after-all category, the enormous popularity of Jackson County’s new library has meant finding parking at the renovated courthouse and library addition can sometimes prove a real pain. So much so, Assistant Librarian Liz Gregg has taken to…
Graduation ceremonies are, by their nature, boring. The bookend of an educational phase is supposed to be a solemn occasion, launching you into the world with the gravity of education behind you. That’s how they’re designed. And, by and large,…
A new $9.3 million surgery center in Haywood County is being financed with equity put up by 20 doctors in the community who invested capital in exchange for a real estate interest in the project. The hospital will lease the…
Patients seeking simple, routine procedures from mammograms to cataracts will no longer have to ride the elevators and trek up the halls of the hospital in Haywood County. Construction of a new $9.3 million outpatient center has been launched on…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 13:32

WCU upgrades webcam

Western Carolina University recently unveiled a new webcam designed to provide visitors with a look at the newly redesigned central campus. The new camera replaces an old unit that was located behind a glass window, which meant the image often…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 13:31

Keep young athletes healthy

Carolina West Sports Medicine will hold a free seminar on youth-sports related topics at 6 p.m. July 21 at the Swain County High School Center for the Arts. Topics to be covered are: concussions, heat and hydration, lightning preparedness, basic…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 13:31

Avoid sports injuries

A physician with Carolina West Sports Medicine will discuss how to avoid sports injuries during the monthly pediatric wellness lecture series event at Harris Medical Park in Sylva from 6 to 7 p.m. on July 18. Dr. Judson Garbarino will…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 13:30

Bryson City animal shelter wins $1,000

PAWS Animal Shelter in Bryson City has won a $1,000 prize for getting the most votes in a second round of voting in The Animal Rescue Site’s $300,000 Challenge. Sixty-seven shelters and rescue groups received grants in the second round…
Angel Medical Center will hold a series of health screenings in Macon County as part of a Live Smart event on Thursday, July 14, from 8 a.m. to noon. The health screenings will be from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 13:29

Who’s running in town races so far

Candidates who want to run in town elections have until at 12 p.m. on Friday, July 15, to sign up, except in Franklin and Highlands where filing won’t begin until July 25. As of press time Tuesday, here’s who had…
The race for the title of principal chief has tightened in Cherokee, where Chief Michell Hicks found himself in second place in last week’s primary election. Challenger Patrick Lambert, who fought Hicks for the seat four years ago, won the…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 13:23

Lake Junaluska balances heritage, progress

Trevor Hudson has never liked the hymn “I Have Decided To Follow Jesus.” The world behind me, the cross before me, he says, doesn’t make much sense. Isn’t Christianity about loving the world, not turning your back on them? Come…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 13:18

Dog walk raises cash for Sarge’s

This year’s Downtown Waynesville Dog Walk will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, with sign-up at 9 a.m. The Dog Walk is hosted by Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation and the Youth for Sarge group will lead the dog walk…
A state teacher-training center based in Cullowhee has slashed half its workforce in the fallout of a nearly 50-percent budget cut by the General Assembly. The N.C. Center for the Advancement of Teaching went from a state-funded budget of $6.1…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 13:17

Find a place in hospice volunteering

Haywood Regional Medical Center Hospice and Palliative Care will hold a volunteer training series from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on July 25, 26, 27 and 28 at Balsam Mountain Inn. This 12-hour program will help volunteers find their niche…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 13:16

Maggie Valley seeking contractor for park

Maggie Valley is now taking bids for improvements at Parham Park. Licensed grading contractors are welcome to submit construction bids for the project. The work will include grading, construction of a parking lot, and a walking trail. Bids must be…
Farmers seeking assistance for crops damaged in 2009 have until Friday, July 29, to apply for help under the Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE). SURE provides crop disaster assistance to eligible Swain and Jackson County producers on farms that lost…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 13:15

WCU sees leadership change

Linda Seestedt-Stanford, who has been serving as Western Carolina University’s interim provost since last summer, is returning to her previous position as dean of the College of Health and Human Science to help the college make the transition into its…
Middle and high school students can experience various digital media through Southwestern Community College with a week-long series July 18-21 in Cashiers. Students will learn about digital photography and videography, audio capture and editing, and web media, and develop several…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 13:14

Macon buys downtown Franklin building

Macon County’s first move after buying a canary-colored bright yellow building in downtown Franklin will be to paint it, probably an inoffensive brown, Commissioner Kevin Corbin said. The building, appraised in value for more than $700,000 was purchased for about…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 13:13

DSA in search of new director

The town of Sylva plans to start advertising soon for an in-house director for the Downtown Sylva Association. Julie Sylvester, the current director of the promotional group that runs Sylva’s Main Street program, does not plan to apply. “I’m going…
When it comes to noise, Commissioner Harold Hensley of the Sylva town board is clearly prepared to make a bit of it himself if necessary to get others to turn the volume down. “The complaint I’ve got is when you…
In North Carolina, it’s illegal to hit a prison inmate. You can’t hit a child in a day care center. Military officers can’t hit their subordinates. In workplaces, nursing homes, hospitals and elsewhere, hitting is forbidden. It is even illegal…
A proposal by Duke Energy to hike electricity rates by 17 percent isn’t sitting well with many of the company’s customers in this region, who question why the power giant should be seeking any increase — much less such a…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 19:49

Basulto Academy adds offerings

The Basulto Academy of Defense in downtown Waynesville has expanded its schedule of its Brazilian Jiu Jitsu program to include more classes in the sport of Vale Tudo. Also known as No-Holds-Barred or as Mixed-Martial Arts, the term Vale Tudo…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 19:47

New inn opens its doors in Waynesville

A new bed and breakfast has opened in downtown Waynesville. Twin Maples Farm house is located two blocks off of downtown at 65 North Hill Street. Nestled on three acres of lush country land, yet located just two blocks off…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 19:46

SCC, Harrah’s help workers earn GEDs

Harrah’s Casino has partnered with Southwestern Community College to provide free GED training to Harrah’s employees. Classes are taught at the casino from 2-9 p.m. Thursdays and from 3-8 p.m. Mondays at SCC’s Cherokee Center. Travis Boisclair, a table games…