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Wednesday, 29 August 2012 00:00

Bogey Fore Golf is Sept. 21

The Third Annual Bogey Fore Golf Tournament will tee off Sept. 21 at 1 p.m. at Maggie Valley Club. The tournament will benefit the Haywood Jackson Volunteer Center. The fee to enter is $160 for a two-man team. The Volunteer…
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 00:00

Fundraiser to benefit outpatient project

Angel Medical Center will hold a Radiothon Sept. 8th from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to raise funds for an Outpatient Medicine Expansion project. Pledges can be placed in person or by phone at 828.349.8200 during the event. A goal…
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 00:00

Political corner

The Haywood County Democratic Party Headquarters, located at 286 Haywood Square in Waynesville, has expanded Saturday hours to 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Normal hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. 828.452.9607 or haywooddemocrats.org. ••• A post…
The high salaries collected by the five members of the Alcoholic Beverage and Control Commission for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians have drawn criticism from some enrolled members. The ABC commission in Cherokee makes more than 10 times what…
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 00:00

Jackson hopes to brand county with flag

When 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…
The Waynesville Public Art Commission has put together a 150-recipe cookbook to benefit future public art pieces. The Taste of the Great Smoky Mountains Cookbook is $10 and is the culmination a month-long process of collecting recipes from area residents.…
Wednesday, 29 August 2012 00:00

Don’t fear the beard

Though Aaron Stone has always had a love of mayonnaise, lately the condiment has become a real nuisance in his life. “It just gets all stuck in my beard,” he said. “That and soups, it’s just becomes a real mess.”
Economic development and tourism leaders in Swain County are treating the Freestyle Kayaking World Cup two weeks away as a dry run for the far more highly anticipated World Freestyle Kayaking Championship coming in 2013. “This will start the ball…
With torrential rain and a fierce wind blowing through the Haywood County Fairgrounds last Thursday evening, the harsh weather conditions didn’t deter several local fire departments from their mission of the day — to claim victory during the “Battle of…
Macon County will be the first in Western North Carolina to test the idea of a new tax on real estate transactions. Commissioners voted unanimously Monday night to put the new property transfer tax on the ballot in November, along…
Wednesday, 15 August 2007 00:00

Sustainability at HCC

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer If Dr. Rose Johnson has her way, the future campus of Haywood Community College will serve as a model of sustainable practices. The college is making it its goal to practice what it preaches.…
Candidates for vice chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians shared their views on an array of issues facing the tribe during a debate last week.
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer One of the driest periods in the last 118 years is prompting TVA to draw down waters on Fontana Lake to wintertime levels, a move costing boat dock owners thousands of dollars of business.
Duke Energy has cleared a major hurdle in its efforts to tear down the nearly 100-year-old Dillsboro dam. Duke got approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission last month to tear down the dam. Removal could happen as early as…
Every morning, the dispatcher for Haywood Emergency Medical Services starts his shift with a call to the emergency room of Haywood Regional Medical Center. “Is there an orthopedist on call today?” the dispatcher asks.
Haywood County experienced its best tourism year ever during the 2006-2007 fiscal year, according to lodging tax figures released by the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority. From July 2006 through June 2007, Haywood County accommodations collected more than $700,000 in…
Wednesday, 15 August 2007 00:00

Profile: Rose Johnson

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer The woman at the forefront of Haywood Community College’s progressive new vision of sustainability didn’t come to the college to champion that cause. Her vast life experiences, though, did help to mold her desire…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer A bill hailed by state and local officials as a way to help pad the bank accounts of county governments may not turn out to be as simple, or as lucrative, as it initially…
Wednesday, 08 August 2007 00:00

Q&A with David Rice

Has there ever been a workforce reduction at HRMC in the past 15 years, and does this workforce reduction indicate any long-term financial problems? This re-engineering process is similar to 1993 when I first arrived. In 1993 there were different…
Wednesday, 08 August 2007 00:00

Maggie Valley sways vote on recreation site

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer A sudden turn of events in Haywood County’s bidding for a 22-acre tract slated for use as a park has exposed an overwhelming desire for recreation in the Jonathan Creek and Maggie Valley areas.
Wednesday, 08 August 2007 00:00

Cherokee candidates square off at forum

With just one month left until the election, candidates for chief and vice chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians squared off in a debate Monday night. Candidates were asked to outline their plans to combat drug use, increase…
Jackson County commissioners have given final approval to what are generally regarded as the state’s toughest subdivision and steep slope ordinances. The approval of the ordinances was followed by a lifting of the controversial moratorium on new subdivisions that was…
It’s a first for the president and a first for Macon County. Southwestern Community College Board of Trustees named the new Macon Campus after the college’s President Cecil Groves, whom they called “the visionary leader” behind the project. The name…
Haywood Regional Medical Center has downsized its workforce by 36 positions in response to a decrease in patient volume and a drop in revenue in recent months. The move will save $1.6 million annually. The hospital is not exactly in…
If retirees Fred Plesner and Ray Behr are any indication of how voters in Macon County are reacting to a vote on $64 million in bonds, Macon County’s leaders could find that November is a cold month indeed.
A battle over whether to tax property transactions will soon be playing out in communities across the state, but likely nowhere as fervently as the mountains where resentment toward newcomers runs high, but so does fear of upsetting the real…
Wednesday, 08 August 2007 00:00

Dayco deal finalized after three-year process

An abandoned rubber plant in Waynesville that once seemed destined to rust into the ground was officially turned over to developers of a Super Wal-Mart and Home Depot two weeks ago.
N.C. Gov. Mike Easley signed a $20.7 billion budget bill Tuesday, July 31, that includes $46.2 million in funding for a new health and gerontological sciences building at Western Carolina University. The 145,000 square-foot facility that will house WCU’s educational…
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 00:00

Swain seeks more input on road regulations

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Contractors, Realtors and graders in Swain County claim they need more time to comment on an ordinance that would regulate the slope and width of mountainside roads. County commissioners, who have already held two…
A 40-acre island in the Little Tennessee River will be protected from development if the owner can successfully hammer out an agreement with conservation groups. “We’ve been in dialogue with the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee and some other…
A state energy bill expected to pass this week has received mixed reviews from environmentalists for failing to go far enough. On the surface, it looks good. State utilities, namely Duke and Progress Energy, will have to generate at least…
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 00:00

Two bite the dust

On one hand, Avram Friedman couldn’t believe Duke Power’s announcement two years ago that it wanted to build a twin-unit coal plant near Hickory. Who builds coal plants anymore, he thought. “It’s out of the question,” said Friedman, director of…
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 00:00

Haywood pitches unique tomato

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Vidalia onions. Georgia peaches. Washington apples. Haywood County tomatoes? The formal name is still up in the air, but local officials are aiming to make Haywood County known for a variety of tomato unique…
Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva is planning an $18.45 million renovation project to expand and modernize the emergency department. The current ER, built in 1989, simply isn’t big enough, according to Mark Leonard, the CEO of Harris. Leonard cited growth…
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 00:00

Room tax will pay for visitor center

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Swain County commissioners have approved a measure that will carve out up to one third of the Tourism Development Authority’s total budget to pay for the purchase of a new downtown visitor’s center. The…
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 00:00

Waynesville searching for Russ Avenue fix

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Increasing congestion coupled with pressure from candidates in the upcoming election is forcing the town of Waynesville to confront growing traffic problems along Russ Avenue.
Southwestern Community College will hold a dedication ceremony for the newly constructed Conrad G. Burrell building at 2 p.m. Sept. 14 on the Jackson campus in Sylva. The three-story, 38,000-square-foot building cost $8.8 million and was funded two-thirds by the…
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 02:10

McCrory goes to WNC

Republican gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory stopped in Sylva Thursday, Aug. 30, to meet with area supporters and planned to attend a fundraising event on Friday, Aug. 31, with U.S. congressional candidate Mark Meadows of Cashiers. McCrory, the former mayor of…
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 02:09

Political roundup

Rogers receives key endorsements Hayden Rogers, the Democratic candidate in North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District, was endorsed by the bipartisan Sportsmen’s and Animal Owners’ Voting Alliance (SAOVA) for his support of sportsmen’s and animal owners’ rights.   SAOVA has endorsed both Democrats…
The simple task of replacing an empty seat on the Maggie Valley Board of Aldermen has turned into a process rife with finger pointing and faultfinding after the board failed to lay out a clear process for how the new…
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 02:05

WCU opens its doors to prospective student

Western Carolina University will open its doors to prospective college students, their families and friends for its first open house of the fall semester on Sept. 15 beginning at 8:30 a.m. The open house gives visitors a chance to tour…
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 02:05

Meet new local physicians

MedWest Health System is hosting two receptions, one at MedWest-Harris and another on the campus of MedWest-Haywood, to allow members of the community to meet several new area doctors who have recently joined MedWest.  MedWest-Harris reception is from 5-7 p.m.…
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 02:04

Clinic to benefit from unique fundraiser

Smoky Mountain Knitting Guild is sponsoring an “Afternoon Extravaganza” at 2 p.m. Sept. 15 at the Haywood Arts Regional Theater on Pigeon Street in Waynesville to support the Good Samaritan Clinic of Haywood County. The event will feature the “Sound…
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 02:03

HCC to offer sneak peek at regional schools

Area high school students and residents will have a chance to talk with college representatives from more than 55 Southeastern universities, colleges and trade schools at the 2012 College Night from 6-7:30 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Haywood Community College…
Undocumented workers staged a sit-in at the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office last week to protest the sheriff’s alleged targeting of Latino immigrants through deliberately placed traffic stops.
A Cherokee judge ruled last week in a case that could affect a long-range plan of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to build a low-level casino on a satellite tract of the reservation outside Andrews. The case also has…
The Oconaluftee Indian Village in Cherokee was broken into recently. Sacred and traditional items used by re-enactors who portray early Native American life at the living history site were stolen.
The dead lay in indiscernible rows beneath the earth, their resting places marked by a jumble of faded and often illegible stone markers — the most distinguishable carrying etched dates and names, but the most nondescript void of any writing…
The board of directors for MedWest-Harris and Med-West Swain hospitals met Tuesday, Sept. 4, to discuss whether to dissolve its ties with MedWest-Haywood. The board met a month ago on the same subject but decided to continue studying the issue…
Young professionals can network and learn more about the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce at a special event from 5-7 p.m. Sept. 6. at Headwaters Brewing Co. in Waynesville. The Chamber’s Young Professionals of Haywood program was established in an…
Western North Carolina’s “Out of the Darkness” community walk will be held from 3-6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Jackson County Recreation Complex in Cullowhee.  The goal of the event is to raise awareness about suicide, honor lost…
Delinquent property tax payers beware — Jackson County is coming for you. For more than a year, county tax collectors, with the help of contracted private attorneys, have been aggressively targeting property owners who owe substantial back taxes — and…
Sporting a red Obama hat, a matching “Change Rocks” t-shirt and a “Barack Obama 2012” button, Ron Frendreis approached the first house on his list. With pen, papers and clipboard in hand, he climbed the concrete steps to a white…
You probably won’t see them on television with the “Bad Boys” theme song playing in the background, jumping chain link fences or tackling shirtless men in motel parking lots — unless they have to. Rather, a lot of what goes…
A row of four stately evergreens that anchored the front of Waynesville Middle School — providing both shade and a meeting hub on campus — were cut down two weeks ago to the chagrin of students and teachers.
Jackson County commissioners heard yet another round of public comment last week in the final countdown to passing the most restrictive slate of development regulations in the state. The public hearing was billed as the final one on the issue,…
The voters of Forest Hills will get the chance to weigh in on their preference for mayor this fall after being trumped by a coin toss in the last election.
Wednesday, 25 July 2007 00:00

What other towns have done

• Bryson City recently conserved the old Lands Creek watershed, getting $1.5 million from the Clean Water trust fund to protect the 800-acre tract and $500,000 from a private donor. Bryson City’s conservation agreement allows hiking, hunting, fishing, picnicking, horseback…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Hispanic culture has infused nearly every aspect of American life — from restaurants to bilingual education, its influence is impossible to ignore. Yet, much to their detriment, many businesses in Western North Carolina are…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Waynesville voters will have plenty of choices on their ballot for mayor and town board this fall in what is shaping up to be both an interesting and crowded race. Competition for the Waynesville…
The developer of a proposed upscale RV community alongside Cartoogechaye Creek in Macon County says a moratorium on floodplain and watershed development hasn’t nixed or changed his plans.
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Haywood County commissioners last week put a halt to their bidding for a 22-acre tract of land in Jonathan Creek after opposing parties skyrocketed the price to more than $1 million.
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Supporters of a 30-mile road through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that would fulfill a decades-old promise were thrilled last month when the Swain County commissioners agreed to hold the first-ever public hearing…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer A proposed project by Ingles to expand its Waynesville store and add a gas station suffered a setback after parts of it were soundly rejected by members of the Community Appearance Commission.
Wednesday, 18 July 2007 00:00

Dam removal process faces stiff opposition

The proposed removal of the Dillsboro dam on the Tuckasegee River is up for review by state water quality officers, who could make or break Duke Power’s controversial plans to tear down the dam. The state must grant Duke Power…
A break-in at the Cherokee election office a few days after the primary last month did not compromise the results of the election, according to officials.
Jackson County is on the verge of passing the toughest development regulations in the state this week, potentially making it a target for lawsuits. There is an organized coalition of developers and Realtors in Jackson County, namely in the Cashiers…
One of the most prominent defense lawyers in the region is trading in a long and lucrative career defending the accused to become a prosecutor with the district attorney’s office. Reid Brown, a defense lawyer based in Waynesville, has built…
One of the top concerns over the removal of the Dillsboro dam is the unleashing of sediment backed up behind the dam. Estimates peg accumulated sediment behind the dam at more than 100,000 cubic yards. Duke Power initially was not…
Wednesday, 18 July 2007 00:00

Road supporters not giving up

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Canceling the public hearing on the North Shore Road couldn’t shake the unwavering determination of almost 125 people who packed a Swain County courtroom Monday night to share their thoughts and opinions on the…
Instead of the stick, Macon County might try carrots as this fast-growing area tries to control its booming construction industry.
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Entire half hours dedicated to finding a parking space. Cars backing into each other. Employees and customers with nowhere to park. The parking situation in Bryson City is reaching crisis levels, and local business…
Wednesday, 11 July 2007 00:00

Macon considers floodplain moratorium

A countywide moratorium on floodplain and watershed development in Macon gained some momentum following the town of Franklin’s decision to formally express concern over a proposed RV community.
Last week was more than the season for fireworks and cookouts. As second-home owners descended on the mountains to kick back in their vacation abodes, it also marked the high point for homeowners association annual meetings, timed to coincide with…
Wednesday, 11 July 2007 00:00

Foy, Brown vying for mayor of Waynesville

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer The big race to watch in this year’s Waynesville town elections is between Alderman Gavin A. Brown and incumbent Mayor Henry Foy, with Foy vying to keep his office while Brown attempts to unseat…
Jackson County is in the final countdown to approving what appear to be the toughest development regulations in the state of North Carolina.
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Haywood County commissioners are currently ensnarled in bidding wars for two separate properties that will cost them more than $1.2 million. Commissioners have been trying to obtain a 22-acre tract of land near Jonathan…
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 12:42

Political roundup

John Tedesco, Republican candidate for superintendent of the North Carolina Department of Pubic Instruction, will be in town for two upcoming appearances on Sept. 15: an 11 a.m. lunch with the Macon County Republican Party at The Boiler Room Restaurant…
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 12:41

Preventing falls imperative for seniors

Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries for those 65 and older, and the chances of falling and being seriously injured in a fall increase with age. In recognition of annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day, students…
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 12:40

New school buildings get green light in Jackson

Jackson County commissioners voted last week to take out a $10 million loan for the construction of a gymnasium and auditorium at Smoky Mountain High School in Sylva. County commissioners’ unanimous support of the project did not come as a…
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 00:00

Tribal council delves into ABC salary dispute

Some Cherokee leaders are questioning if compensation for members of its various commissions should face the chopping block next fiscal year — in particular the $25,000 made by each of the five members the tribal Alcohol and Beverage Control Commission.…
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 00:00

Cherokee plans massive family adventure park

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is planning a $92-million adventure park, which is expected to attract families to Cherokee and open up a new source of revenue for the tribe. Tribal council last week approved the idea in a…
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 00:00

Sonoco Plastics expansion underway

An $11.7 million expansion by Sonoco Plastics in Waynesville is now underway, landed in part thanks to $828,000 worth of economic incentives from the state, Haywood county and the town. Sonoco is currently in the process of expanding its facility…
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 00:00

Daily library late fee go up in Haywood County

Late fees for overdue books and CDs have increased at libraries in Haywood County. Habitually late bibliophiles previously paid 10 cents per day for every late book or CD, with the maximum charge being $10 per item. However, the Haywood…
Low interest rates have prompted Haywood County to consider refinancing its outstanding debt dating back to various building projects over the years. The county will hire a financial analyst to review all its loans and their interest rates, compared to…
Haywood County is making a few hundred dollars a month converting methane gas emanating from the old county landfill on Francis Farm into electricity, and reselling it over the power grid. “It has been a long process, but we are…
Gone are the days of students hunched over wide-ruled paper, forming endless strings of perfectly manicured cursive letters, painstakingly matching the dimensions of each loop of an L or swoop of G’s tail.
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 00:00

No mountain country for old men

Raymond Fairchild is a man of few words. But, it only takes those few words to truly grasp a man that ultimately lives up to myth and legend.
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 00:00

Macon Aero modelers show planes for a cause

The Macon Aero Modelers Club is hosting a charity Fly-In at 9 a.m. Sept. 22 and 10 a.m. Sept. 23 at its flying field in Otto. The proceeds will go to CareNet, a nonprofit organization that collects food for those…
Western Carolina University leaders hope to benefit from a philosophical switch in state funding for higher education — one that would clamp down on universities gaming the system, whether on purpose or unintentionally, when it comes to funding student growth.…
Western Carolina University will target transfer, graduate and distance learning students to help grow its enrollment without creating greater strain on its residence and dining halls. This fall, enrollment at WCU reached a record 9,608, a 2.7 percent increase compared…
Housing developer Scott Austin did a little simple math before deciding to pursue an $8 million dollar project to build two four-story apartment complexes in Cullowhee, right on the front doorstep of Western Carolina University. He looked at the number…
As the first chunk of bread was tossed in the air, a swarm of ducks and geese at Lake Junaluska swiftly waddled toward the source of the handout, a chorus of quacks and honks rising up from the flurry of…
What was once a construction scene characterized by luxury, mountainside housing and second-home developments has a newcomer at the table. The latest construction project in Macon County are not mini-mansions in the highlands but a low-income apartment complex in town.
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 15:35

WestCare votes to dissolve hospital partnership

The WestCare Hospital Board voted 13-1 Tuesday night to dissolve its affiliation with Haywood Regional Medical Center. WestCare, which includes both Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva and Swain County Hospital, partnered with Haywood Regional in early 2010 under theMedWest banner.…
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 13:37

Waynesville art commission issues Call for Artists

The Waynesville Public Art Commission (WPAC) is currently seeking an artist for its fourth outdoor public art project.
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 13:22

Students find balance in slacking

With a steady flow of noisy cars and chatty pedestrians zooming through the Western Carolina University campus, Kyle Coleman straddles a tiny rope, ignoring the commotion and focusing on the task at hand.
Swain County leaders have pledged $700,000 to help the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad expand its already bustling operations in Bryson City.
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 13:17

Maggie leaders in stalemate over board seat

The Maggie Valley Board of Aldermen is at an impasse. Town leaders met Monday in hopes of appointing someone to fill an open seat on the board, which was vacated last month by an alderman who moved away. But, the…