Wednesday, 13 June 2012 18:32

Hunger Free Haywood to launch June 15

Haywood County businesses will join forces with MANNA food bank from June 15 to July 15 to help address hunger in the county through a program called Hunger Free Haywood. To give, just look out for the red barrel posted…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:10

Highlands roadwork troubles some merchants

Repaving of the steep, windy, two-lane road from Franklin to Highlands has many merchants worried about whether this heavily tourism-dependant town will find itself choked off financially.
A public records request for Jackson County Sheriff Jimmy Ashe’s emails doesn’t tell much of a story — that’s because most of them are missing. In violation of state law, Ashe deleted all but a few messages from his email…
Business, civic and government leaders from all over Haywood County gathered last week to officially kick off Hunger Free Haywood, a countywide effort to address hunger. All the collections will stay in Haywood County and be distributed by county food…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 13:54

Cullowhee bridge could demolish business

Chris Pressley, a third-generation owner of the 65-year-old Cullowhee Automotive Service, has been on edge since learning about plans for a new bridge in the Cullowhee community.
On the heels of a vote that now allows alcoholic beverages to be sold countywide, Jackson County is considering opening two new ABC stores: one in Cashiers and the other along the highway leading to Cherokee in the Qualla community.…
As a third generation steeplejack, Tony Stratton is used to a view from the top. As one of a handful of people in the nation still specializing in repairing church steeples the old-fashioned way, Stratton travels the country rappelling from…
Western Carolina University’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved a new strategic plan — the 2020 Vision — at its meeting two weeks ago. The plan is designed to give the university a clear set of goals for the next decade.…
An effort to save those colorful specialty license plates has stalled in the N.C. Senate, which seems reluctant to take a bill up that would spare the popular plates. Supporters of the specialty plates have rallied to save them from…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 13:45

Barking dogs on short leash in Jackson

Faced by a rising tide of complaints about barking dogs, Jackson County commissioners indicated this week that they would consider passing an ordinance that would muzzle the offenders. “I’ve had negative experiences with barking dogs,” said Commissioner Doug Cody. “I…
Swain County is permanently etching its history in stone. In the next couple of months, the first of about 60 black marble panels will be installed along the wall outside the county government building and courthouse in downtown Bryson City.…
Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce will be forced to close its visitor center after its major source of funding has suddenly dried up. For at least two decades, the Maggie Chamber has relied on a cut of tourism tax dollars…
The Internet and smartphones are turning brick-and-mortar visitor centers into an antiquated resource for travelers and are part of the reason why the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority plans close two of its four visitor centers in the next year.
After inching its way back from recession-driven declines during the past year, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel is back in the catbird seat. You could even call it a Royal Flush. The advent of live dealers and table games coincides…
Business owners in Cherokee are making their own preparations for the influx of new visitors as a result of live gaming, hoping to draw them away from the casino and into their stores, restaurants or other businesses.
After nearly a decade of negotiations and broken promises, the state finally approved an agreement that allows table games with live dealers at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino. The Eastern Band has worked since the early 2000s to get the state’s John…
A Summer Worship Series is under way at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. Three worship services are being held as part of the series: a service of Word and Table at 8:30 a.m. in Memorial Chapel, a Praise…
The Fund for Haywood County has awarded $50,000 in grants to area nonprofit organizations that provide critical services for economically disadvantaged people. The grants include: • $25,000 to Aspire, Youth and Family for a structured afterschool program, serving 80 youth…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:05

Grant to help prevent elder abuse

The 30th Judicial District Domestic Violence-Sexual Assault Alliance, Inc. has recently been awarded a $25,000 Janirve Legacy Fund Grant from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina to further its work on elder abuse and victims with disabilities in the…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:04

Meet the Telestroke Robot

Angel Medical Center in Franklin introduced the Telestroke Robot as their newest team member. The robot literally rolled in to action to demonstrate its capabilities to a crowded room. With the robot it is possible for stroke victims to be…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:02

New health initiative under way in WNC

Hospitals and health departments across Western North Carolina have partnered to develop WNC Healthy Impact, a regional initiative designed to improve community health across a 16-county area. The partnership is currently gathering information to understand each county’s community health status.…
Supporters of Smart Start traveled recently to Raleigh to encourage the N.C. General Assembly to restore its funding. The group included parents, business leaders, faith community leaders and board members. They met with Western North Carolina’s legislative delegation. Last year,…
 A couple in Macon County is trying to raise $2 million to open a childcare center that would serve 120 children.
Don’t expect business as usual at the Cashiers Chamber of Commerce as a new director takes over for the first time in more than 20 years. The business organization became embroiled in controversy last year amid questions about whether the…
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 00:00

Maggie police under the gun in budget talks

The Maggie Valley Police Department will see minimal cuts to its new budget despite multiple discussions about whether the small valley has more officers than it needs. The budget was cut by $55,000 to $854,000. The town will postpone replacing…
Maggie Valley’s mayor and Board of Alderman voted quickly Monday to cut the tax rate by three cents and approve an amended version of the town’s budget — even though one alderman said she was not privy to the last minute…
The Sylva town board has lost what was arguably its most progressive member with the resignation of Stacy Knotts, who is following her professor husband Gibbs Knotts to the College of Charleston in South Carolina.
Western mountain counties will have a new representative on the N.C. Department of Transportation board with the departure of long-time board member Conrad Burrell, who has stepped down from the powerful post after more than 11 years.
 Lee Galloway never goes anywhere without a spare copy of Waynesville’s yard waste ordinance. Even a simple evening jaunt to the grocery store can find Galloway scanning the curbs
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 00:00

Haywood businesses catch the solar bug

 Two technology-related businesses in Haywood County are looking to save some green by going green.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has denied any wrongdoing in a lawsuit related to investment losses in a trust fund that safeguards casino earnings on behalf of Cherokee youth. The tribe has, among other things, asked a judge to…
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 00:00

Opportunities to serve in Waynesville

  The Town of Waynesville is seeking citizens willing to serve on its boards and commissions, including its ABC Board, Firemen’s Relief Fund Board, Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission, Public Art Commission, Board of Adjustment, Historic Preservation Commission, Planning Board…
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 00:00

Richard Twiss to preach at Lake Junaluska

  Richard Twiss will preach Sunday, July 1, at Lake Junaluska as part of the Native American Summer Conference. Twiss will preside at the 8:30 a.m. communion service in Memorial Chapel and will also preach at 10:45 a.m. in Stuart…
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 00:00

Roller Girls competition set for Haywood

  Swain County’s Smoky Mountain Roller Girls will travel to Haywood County to take on the Thunder Road Roller Girls in the upcoming “Debut Taunt Brawl” at 6 p.m. June 30 at the Haywood County Fairgrounds. This event marks Smoky Mountain’s…
The tiny town of Fontana Dam is getting to keep its post office, but what’s not clear yet is whether the post office will be manned or not. Fontana Dam was included 10 months ago in a list of 3,700…
Three elk were shot dead last month just outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the Mount Sterling area of Haywood County, and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is asking for the public’s help in finding the poacher or…
Leah Hughes, associate editor at “Our State” magazine, will be the guest speaker at 9:30 a.m. on July 9 in the Bethea Welcome Center at Lake Junaluska. This will be a meeting of the Junaluska Women’s Club, and in keeping…
Haywood Community College has unveiled a new electric vehicle charging station, the only one west of Asheville. The station was made possible from a grant provided by Advanced Energy Corporation and was manufactured by Eaton located in Arden. The station…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:03

New dog park opens in Franklin

Franklin has a new dog park on the town’s greenway adjacent to Big Bear Park. The park is fenced and has two benches for dog owners to rest on while their pooches play. Friends of the Greenway, which oversaw the…
Wednesday, 04 July 2012 12:35

Red Cross sponsoring blood drives in WNC

The American Red Cross will hold blood drives in the area as the agency has reached emergency levels after receiving 50,000 fewer donations than expected in last month.  All blood types are needed, but especially O positive, O negative, B…
Wednesday, 04 July 2012 12:34

Dental clinic to be held at WCU

A free dental clinic will be held July 13-14 at the Ramsey Center at Western Carolina University. The N.C. Missions of Mercy clinic is for adults earning less than twice the federal poverty level, providing free dental care ranging from…
Gianna Carson stood behind the bakery register helping two young women decide which of her treats they wanted to taste. On the wall overhead hang black and white photos of her children, niece and nephew posing with one of her…
A Haywood County Tourism Development Authority board member has resigned from her seat after disagreeing with the rest of the board’s decision to close a couple of its visitors centers.
Wednesday, 04 July 2012 12:29

Tribe goes solar at visitors centers

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has installed a series of metal trees baring solar panels on the branches near the three visitors areas on the Qualla Boundary. The artistic solar arrays fasioned in the form of a tree were…
Maggie Valley’s planning board voted by a narrow margin last week to keep strict regulations on video sweepstakes machines in place even if it means giving up money the town could reap by taxing the machines.
Cherokee Preservation Foundation is sponsoring a community photo contest in connection with its 10th anniversary celebration. The contest is open to people who live on the Qualla Boundary or in Haywood, Swain, Graham, Jackson, Cherokee, Macon and Clay counties. Photos…
Franklin could face a state penalty for spraying weed killer on an ancient Cherokee mound site because the town workers who did it weren’t properly licensed to use the herbicide. The state could fine the town as much as $2,000,…
The Franklin Board of Aldermen censured Mayor Joe Collins this week for making a personal apology to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians after the town sprayed Nikwasi Indian Mound with weed killer.
A one-of-a-kind database that encompasses virtually every aspect of life in Western North Carolina, from ecology to economics, is now available to decision makers, business leaders and the public.  The Mountain Resources Commission, a group formed in 2009 to study…
Western North Carolina for now has dodged concerns that it was getting short shrift in a legal settlement intended to compensate the region for air pollution blowing in from dirty coal plants operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority in neighboring…
Longtime Waynesville Town Manager Lee Galloway was awarded The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of the most prestigious honors conveyed by the governor, in recognition of his years of service in the state.
After four major landslides, one death, several destroyed and damaged homes, washed out roads, and a $50,000 clean-up bill, steep slope construction rules are coming to Maggie Valley.
Waste, favoritism and possible fraud and corruption by state highway workers in Haywood County enriched a local contractor and cost state taxpayers, according to a sweeping investigation released late last week by the N.C. State Auditor’s Office.
Wednesday, 04 July 2012 12:08

ABC store plan draws criticism in Franklin

A split decision by Franklin aldermen to build a new $1.25 million ABC store at the site of a Super Walmart at the edge of town drew criticism and pleas this week that the plan be reconsidered. “We cannot afford…
Waynesville’s ABC Board has not yet officially decided to build a second liquor store near the new Super Walmart, but the project will get a green light if the price is right, according to the board’s chair. The board is…
Persuading Father Tien Duong to tell his story was a hard sell. It had all the right ingredients: a Catholic priest who grew up in the hardship of Communist Vietnam and who escaped to the U.S. in a dangerously crowded…
When Jason Cutler moved to Jackson County from Michigan eight months ago, he was shocked to discover he couldn’t buy beer or wine outside of Sylva’s town limits.
Swain County is considering hiring a firm to ferret out businesses that are evading property taxes on equipment — but it can’t wait too long to decide. Firms that go after businesses for taxes has become a brisk business, offering their…
Elections are upon us again. Although the primary has come and gone and the general election is still months away, voters are being asked to head to the polls July 17 to weigh in once more on some of May’s…
Counties in North Carolina are being forced to shoulder the burden of electronic voting machines alone after the General Assembly turned down federal aid that would have greatly offset the costs.
Wednesday, 11 July 2012 13:09

DOT work underway in Western North Carolina

The N.C. Department of Transportation has started work on three projects in Western North Carolina. In Haywood County, the DOT awarded a $1 million contract to resurface 12.7 miles of U.S. 276 from Forest Service Road 256 to Looking Glass…
Wednesday, 11 July 2012 13:09

Jackson employees take wellness tests

MedWest-Harris and MedWest-Swain laboratory employees recently partnered for the first time with Jackson County Department of Public Health workers to conduct wellness tests for county employees. As part of the county’s open enrollment period for benefits, all Jackson County employees…
Wednesday, 11 July 2012 13:08

Blood drive to be held at MedWest-Harris

MedWest-Harris in Sylva will hold an American Red Cross blood drive from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, July 12 to help with the decline in blood donations typically seen in summer months. The American Red Cross sees a drop…
The businesses in Haywood County are collecting non-perishable food donations through July 15 for Hunger Free Haywood, an initiative with MANNA Food Bank to cut down on hunger in the county. People wanting to donate should look for red barrels…
The Haywood County Public Library has acquired the Early Literacy Station, a computer loaded with 50 educational software titles for children ages 2-10. The Early Literacy Station offers children a safe, standalone computer not connected to the Internet that is…
The Cherokee Preservation Foundation has awarded 24 new grants totaling $1.8 million that support cultural preservation, economic development, job creation and environmental preservation. They include: • A grant to the Museum of the Cherokee Indian to celebrate the 250th anniversary…
Chandra Spaulding, an animal rights activist and vet’s assistant in Sylva, has jumped onboard a statewide campaign to crack down on puppy mills. Signs of her handiwork — literally — can be seen in the form of a billboard on…
Seventy-year old Ronnie Evans, a retired engineer with UNC-TV who lives in Franklin, seems an unlikely homicide investigator.
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel never had an entrance that made visitors stop and say wow — until now.
Ghost Town in the Sky opened last Wednesday — sort of. The once-popular amusement park in Maggie Valley opened its chairlift and a new zipline just in time for the July 4 holiday and is offering rides on both attractions.
Wednesday, 05 March 2008 00:00

Haywood doctors open for business

The first stop for sick people in Haywood County should still be their local doctor.
Wednesday, 05 March 2008 00:00

Marchers protest Canton mill’s discharges

“Keep it clean! We’re downstream!” was the rallying cry for protesters at a demonstration held Saturday (March 1) demanding that Evergreen Packaging clean up the Pigeon River.
Wednesday, 05 March 2008 00:00

Nurses at HRMC caught in downward spiral

Over-worked and underpaid. It’s a complaint most in America could wage against their boss. But at Haywood Regional Medical Center, it was just the tip of workplace complaints.
Wednesday, 05 March 2008 00:00

DOT takes input on N.C. 107 project

Jackson County residents weighed in on proposed road improvements for N.C. 107 at a citizens informational workshop Feb. 25 at Western Carolina University’s Ramsey Center.
By Julia Merchant With its CEO gone and a new consulting group on board, Haywood Regional Medical Center is working around the clock to regain its Medicare and Medicaid funding.
Wednesday, 05 March 2008 00:00

Situation changes daily at medical facility

Anyone following the saga of Haywood Regional Medical Center has to feel like their head is spinning. So much has happened so fast that keeping it all straight is likely proving difficult, even for those with the most nimble minds.
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Next year Eastern Band of Cherokee tribal members will be able to watch the latest blockbuster flicks on the big screen, get their weekly groceries at Wal-Mart and enjoy a friendly game of golf…
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Musicians will soon be able add another venue to their tour list next year.
Wednesday, 05 March 2008 00:00

Outpouring of support for HRMC

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Donning purple ribbons of support, members of the community came together Monday in a show of encouragement for the embattled Haywood Regional Medical Center, which is facing a financial crisis after losing its Medicare…
Wednesday, 05 March 2008 00:00

Bryson City adopts first land use plan

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Bryson City Alderman have adopted the town’s first land development plan.
Wednesday, 27 February 2008 00:00

Fallout from funding crisis still unfolding

The future of Haywood Regional Medical Center could be in jeopardy following the termination of the hospital’s Medicare and Medicaid status due to violations uncovered by health care inspectors.
Wednesday, 27 February 2008 00:00

Issues flare up at Jackson Green Energy Park

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Jackson County officials say its high-profile tenant at the Green Energy Park is in violation of its lease, and now the county is requiring the biodiesel producer to comply or move elsewhere.
Wednesday, 27 February 2008 00:00

Many say Medicare action too heavy-handed

Doctors and officials at Haywood Regional Medical Center are accusing state inspectors of being heavy-handed, draconian, unprecedented, dangerous and unfair by pulling the hospital’s Medicare and Medicaid status.
Wednesday, 27 February 2008 00:00

Timeline of a crisis

June 9, 2006 Haywood Regional Medical Center receives a visit from the Department of Health and Human Services Division of Medicaid and Medicare Services, the state agency responsible for overseeing hospital compliance with standard of care requirements. Inspectors cite the…
Wednesday, 27 February 2008 00:00

Westcare prepares for patient load

WestCare’s Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva will be filling a major void in the region’s health care in the wake of to the Medicare and Medicaid crisis at Haywood Regional Medical Center.
Wednesday, 27 February 2008 00:00

Board surprised by HRMC situation

The resignation on Feb. 25 of Haywood Regional Medical Center CEO David Rice was preceded by a tense, hour-long public meeting where hospital trustees expressed surprise and irritation toward Rice’s lack of candor about ongoing, serious problems uncovered by inspectors.
Wednesday, 27 February 2008 00:00

Rice resigns, cites need to move forward

David Rice, CEO of Haywood Regional Medical Center for 15 years, resigned Monday in the wake of a financial crisis resulting from the hospital’s loss of its Medicare and Medicaid status. “I think the fallout is so negative, I think…
Wednesday, 27 February 2008 00:00

Crisis brewing at HRMC

Doctors, patients, nurses, ambulance drivers — even hospital board members — were unaware of a crisis brewing at Haywood Regional Medical Center that jeopardized its Medicare and Medicaid status and, as a result, the future of the hospital.
Wednesday, 20 February 2008 00:00

Swain's drug problem worries officials

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer The beautiful mountain scenery that covers Swain County hides an ugly truth — the area is combating a major drug problem, and officials aren’t quite sure how to stop it.
Wednesday, 20 February 2008 00:00

WCU enjoys a surge in popularity

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer When Callie LaDue started shopping for a college, there was only one school that she had her eyes on — Western Carolina University. “I liked it because it was a small campus but it…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Sometimes, amid the focus on such divisive issues as growth regulations or steep slope construction, it’s easy to forget that on the most basic level most people in the region share a similar feeling…
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer As Macon County officials move forward with plans to build two new schools, community schools in Cowee, Iotla and Cullasaja could close their doors forever.
Wednesday, 20 February 2008 00:00

DOT accused of convoluted planning

Opponents to the Southern Loop again urged the N.C. Department of Transportation to halt planning for the new highway last week during a meeting of the Jackson County Transportation Task Force.
Wednesday, 20 February 2008 00:00

Is feeding the hungry bad for business?

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer It’s lunchtime at the Open Door, a 12-year-old soup kitchen in the Frog Level community of Haywood County, and chatter and laughter fill the modest dining hall. Here, down-on-their-luck residents can get a free…
Wednesday, 13 February 2008 00:00

Franklin leaders mull downtown options

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Sandi Dotherow loves the town of Franklin so much that she spends all her free time shopping and dining at downtown businesses.
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer A plan to distribute Macon County’s occupancy tax has been formulated, leaving the final approval up to the board of commissioners.
Voters in Jackson County could have a rematch in the May primary between two candidates who ran against each other for county commissioner two years ago — Joe Cowan and Darrell Fox for the district that includes Webster and Cullowhee.
Wednesday, 13 February 2008 00:00

Development regs at issue in Jackson election

When Jackson County commissioners passed strict mountainside development regulations last year, opponents pledged to get even come election time.
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer It’s a scenario that plays out every day: A bored 12-year-old girl named Crystal enters a Yahoo chatroom. Immediately, a screen pops up. “A/S/L/?” — age, sex, location? — another chat user inquires. Within…