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State legislators have once again tinkered with school calendars, reining in when early school districts — even those prone to excessive snow days — can start back in August. State law mandates that school can’t start back sooner than the…
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 12:46

Speaker to discuss the history of cameras

Haywood County Historical and Genealogical Society will meet at 7 p.m. Sept. 25 at the First Methodist Church on Haywood Street in Waynesville. There will be a short business meeting, followed by a program presented by Roland Osbourne. Osbourne will…
An etiquette dinner for children will be held at the Lambeth Inn at Lake Junaluska at 6 p.m. Sept. 24. The event is sponsored by the local 4-H club. Youth participants will learn to use proper table manners and utensils…
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 12:45

Sylva woman goes on Jeopardy

Deb Teitelbaum of Sylva, a former public school teacher and longtime show fan, will appear as a contestant on “Jeopardy!” during the program’s upcoming broadcast at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 24 on WLOS-TV. Her advice for other constestants: “It’s all about…
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 12:44

Catch 22 for Macon Middle intersection

Macon County leaders are at odds with the N.C. Department of Transportation over the placement, or lack thereof, of a stoplight at an intersection near Macon Middle School. For two years, Macon County Sheriff’s Office deputies have been stationed at…
It’s a long wait for residents of Nantahala in Macon County when they dial the Sheriff’s Office. Deputy response time to the small community of Nantahala from the sheriff’s office in Franklin can take up to 30 minutes, which is…
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 12:42

Walk to remember Trail of Tears

The Trail of Tears Memorial Walk will take place 9:30 a.m. Oct. 6 beginning at the Cherokee Historical Association building and ending at the Oconaluftee Indian Village. Registration forms are available at the main office of the Cherokee Historical Association.…
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 12:41

MemoryCare satellite clinic opening

Dr. Lisa Verges, a geriatric psychiatrist and head of the new MemoryCare satellite clinic, will host a grand opening reception from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Sept. 20 at the Haywood County Senior Resource Center on Elmwood Way in Waynesville. MemoryCare is a…
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 12:41

WCU to host ‘Take Back the Night’ march

A sexual assault survivor who founded a national organization centered on shattering the silence of sexual violence will be the featured speaker at Western Carolina University’s annual “Take Back the Night” event on Sept. 26. Angela Rose, executive director of…
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 12:40

Donate warm clothes for kids

“Coats for Kids” is hosting a coat drive in Jackson County through the end of September. Cullowhee United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church of Sylva, Walmart in Sylva and Pathways Thrift Store are accepting good-condition used, as well as new,…
Although the candidates running for U.S. Congress remained cordial on the surface, neither passed up the opportunity to get in jabs here and there during a Macon County League of Women Voters forum last week.
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 12:37

Grant funds citizenship classes at SCC

North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges awarded Southwestern Community College a grant of $29,000 for an English Literacy and Civics Education project. To become American and work successfully, adults must be able to read, write, speak and listen to…
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 12:37

Old Town Bank building on South Main

Old Town Bank will mark its new headquarters with a groundbreaking ceremony at 11 a.m. Sept. 24 in Waynesville across from Super Walmart on South Main St. The event is free and open to the public. It will mark the…
Jackson County commissioners will appoint a task force soon to study whether — and if so where — the county should open its own liquor stores. When voters overwhelmingly approved a countywide alcohol measure in May, it opened the door for…
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 12:35

New building crowns SCC campus in Sylva

Southwestern Community College officially dedicated a new $8.8 million building on its main campus in Sylva last week. The building was built with a majority of state money but also a large contribution by Jackson County.
The redrawing of flood maps for North Carolina has made one of Jackson County’s million-dollar properties a tough sell. The Jackson County Industrial Park, which was formerly the Drexel furniture factory in Whittier, sits along the Tuckasegee River. But starting…
Wednesday, 19 September 2012 12:32

How about a misdemeanor with that code violation?

Jackson County officials are mulling over several ways to improve compliance with the county’s ordinances, especially those which are enforced by the Planning Department. County Attorney Jay Coward said currently the county’s legal language is inconsistent in its book of…
The fate of state-subsidized preschool for at-risk, low-income 4-year-olds rests in the hands of the next General Assembly. The state currently does not provide enough funding to serve the estimated 67,000 children who meet the definition of at-risk. This year,…
Armed with a stack of folded construction paper, Charlotte Rogers ushered a four-year-old child to sit down at a pint-sized writing desk, take up a pencil and scratch out the words “I love you” in crooked letters on the inside.
If you want to protest, you have to protest by the rules — that’s the message the Jackson County commissioners are poised to send to unruly social dissidents. For the first time in Jackson County, the commissioners may pass an…
Federal inspectors have upped the ante for a controversial bear zoo on the Cherokee Reservation, this time opening an official complaint against the operation that could face large fines or even be shut down.
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 13:02

Sylva soon to have a taxi man again

A new taxi service will be coming soon to Sylva. The Sylva town board last week unanimously approved a taxicab business license for Brian Paquin, who plans to launch 24-hour, seven-day per week service under the name Freedom Taxi.
Swain County is outsourcing medical care for inmates at the county jail to an independent firm that specializes in the niche field of health care for prisoners, and move the county hopes could save several thousand dollars a year. The…
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 12:46

News in brief

Haywood County Chamber of Commerce is launching its 2012 Business Academy from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 4 at The Gateway Club in Waynesville. The Business Academy is a free seven-session program from October through May that will address and assist business…
A tourism task force in Jackson County has spent several months formulating a major overhaul of the county’s tourism agency, but the recommendations seem to be dead-on-arrival now that they’ve landed at the county commissioners’ doorstep.
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 12:43

Crafting a new day for Maggie Valley

Maggie Valley has hired an outside consultant to help the once-bustling and now-struggling tourist town overcome an ongoing identity crisis. The consultant is now ready to move from business to business talking to people about what they want for the…
As Maggie Valley business owners and leaders look toward the town’s future, it is unclear how large a role town leaders realistically expect the amusement park Ghost Town in the Sky to play.
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 12:40

Ghost Town pledges to reopen rides and attractions

Maggie cheered when Ghost Town in the Sky reopened this summer, but with only a small portion of the rides and attractions up and running, the real potential of the amusement park to lure hordes of tourists back to the…
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 12:38

Community bank expands operations

When Old Town Bank opened in 2007, its founders already had plans for building a dream headquarters, but the grand plans had to be put on hold until the locally owned bank got on its feet and the recession ended.
When Super Walmart opened in Waynesville in 2008, it was viewed as just the beginning of a business boom that would reverse a long, steady downward spiral of South Main Street. But, the economy had other plans. The hoped-for land…
Alice Parker Watty can’t get to her house. The only driveway to her front door crosses her neighbor’s land, and suddenly they don’t want her using it anymore. Watty said she has driven on and maintained the driveway for 19…
During the past two years, several keystone issues regarding abortion and women’s reproductive health have been debated at the state level. The Republican-led General Assembly has attempted to cut funding for Planned Parenthood and passed the Women’s Right to Know…
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 12:26

Reproductive health, abortion battles loom

State lawmakers during the past two years have passed several pieces of legislation centered around the abortion issue — including the attempt to cut funding for Planned Parenthood and a new set of protocols, dubbed the Women’s Right to Know…
The hospitals in Jackson and Swain counties formally declared last week that they want out of the partnership forged nearly three years ago with Haywood’s hospital — however, it’s not at all clear whether the leaders of Haywood Regional Medical…
Wednesday, 26 September 2012 00:00

Sarge’s plans Furry Friends Benefit Bash

Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation’s 4th Annual Furry Friends Benefit Bash will be held on Oct. 4 at the Cork and Cleaver in the Waynesville Inn on Country Club Drive in Waynesville.   The event will be a sit-down dinner, with…
Balsam Mountain Preserve, a 4,500-acre development in Jackson County, has been fined $300,000 for ongoing sediment and erosion control violations by the county. The fine comes on the heels of a dam break that sent hundreds of tons of mud…
Wednesday, 04 July 2007 00:00

Counties struggle to recruit teachers

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Paula Ledford is getting worried. With a little over a month to go before school starts in Macon County, the school human resources director still has to find 15 people to fill vacant positions.…
Wednesday, 04 July 2007 00:00

Seven western counties share land-use ideas

Slope and ridgetop development, protecting waterways, and farmland and open-space preservation emerged as the top land-management concerns of those responsible for implementing regional planning.
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer The surprisingly large crowd at a presentation on Maggie Valley’s proposed land-use plan seemed impressed with the details but questioned how applicable it was. The land-use plan, created by Kannapolis-based firm Benchmark, would divide…
Wednesday, 04 July 2007 00:00

Swain sets hearing on North Shore Road

Just when the fate of the Road to Nowhere through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park seemed sealed, road supporters are rallying their troops for one final hurrah.
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Two newly licensed teachers with ties to Western North Carolina offered a very different perspective on the recruitment process, including why they chose to either stay in the region or relocate elsewhere.
Mill workers at Blue Ridge Paper Products are optimistic about their future under a new owner. The buyer, a billionaire from New Zealand named Graeme Hart, has been gobbling up market share in the milk and juice carton industry over…
Jackson County commissioners are poised to make numerous changes to a slate of proposed development regulations billed as the most stringent in Western North Carolina and possibly the state. Commissioners intend to pass the regulations by the end of July.…
The hilltop above Sylva that’s home to the iconic historic courthouse is back on as a potential site for a new Jackson County library. The location has been in the running on and off over the past several years during…
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 16:44

Finding freedom in the written word

Dawn Gilchrist-Young doesn’t just read and teach books, she defends them. As chair of the English department for Swain County High School, Gilchrist-Young is joining “Banned Books Weeks”, which is a nationwide celebration this week in honor of one of…
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 16:28

Rash of house fires hits Macon County

During the month of September, Macon County experienced one of its most notable spates of structure fires. During a three-week period starting Sept. 7, four large structures succumbed to fire in the county — including the house of Franklin Fire…
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 16:25

Trees honor breast cancer patients

As part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and MedWest Health System’s annual Fall Fight campaign against breast cancer, the women’s imaging centers of MedWest-Harris and MedWest-Haywood are hosting receptions on Oct. 5 to dedicate Trees of Hope to honor…
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 16:24

Swain drive provides coats for needy

The fourth annual ‘Coats for Folks’ collection is currently underway. People can drop off gently used or new winter clothing articles for children and adults at any Swain County governmental facility such as the County Administration Building, Health Dept., Social…
The Republican National Congressional Committee won’t be putting any money behind Mark Meadows, the Republican candidate for the 11th U.S. Congressional District. RNCC leaders said this race is a shoo-in given the conservative-leaning district, so they will marshal their financial…
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 16:21

Changes in store for rural post offices

Some small post offices in Western North Carolina may have their hours cut or be shut down as the U.S. Postal Service continues to hunt for ways to solve its ongoing financial deficit. Last year, a proposal to close hundreds…
Smaller, independent hospitals across the nation have increasingly sought partnerships with larger hospitals in recent years, a trend largely driven by financial challenges. For Highlands-Cashiers Hospitals, the latest hospital in the region to jump on board with Mission Hospital in…
Highlands-Cashiers Hospital will soon join the growing number of small hospitals in Western North Carolina to come under the management of Mission Hospital in Asheville.
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 16:17

Political roundup

The Macon County League of Women Voters will host a forum at noon Oct. 11 at Tartan Hall in Franklin for county commissioner candidates.  Incumbent Democrat Bobby Kuppers is facing Republican Paul Higdon in District 3. Incumbents Jim Tate and…
At first glance, this 14-year-old girl with a soft smile and a round face may seem like the all-American kid. She’s been in Girl Scouts since the first grade. Her dad works in construction. Currently a high school sophomore, she…
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 16:12

Scoring coveted brown highway signs can pay off

Nantahala-bound travelers will notice a suite of new, officially-sanctioned, brown roadside directional signs declaring they are on the right track to the renowned paddling Mecca — signs that rafting outfitters in the Nantahala Gorge hope will alleviate the problems caused…
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 16:11

News briefs

Construction Career Day will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 3 and 4 at the Haywood County Agriculture and Activities Center. The event aims to promote the construction field to high school juniors and seniors. Students in…
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 16:10

Purse snatching takes tragic turn in Cherokee

The Cherokee Indian Police are investigating an apparent robbery and homicide that occurred in the parking lot of the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Cherokee last Saturday. Witnesses said a person with a black mask and dark clothing grabbed a…
As Carol Adams approached the table of automatic rifles, she looked giddily around and picked the fully-automatic Swedish K out of the lineup. “This is my first time ever firing a gun,” she said as she stepped up to the…
With hundreds of special interest groups and clubs issuing candidate endorsements each election cycle, it can be difficult to keep tabs on who is backing whom.
More than a year after winning $5,000 in the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce’s annual Business Start-up Competition, Aermor, an engineering and technical services business in Canton, is still growing. After sweeping the competition, owner Penny Morgan announced some lofty…
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 15:41

In the news

MedWest Health System’s Urgent Care Centers in Sylva, Canton and Waynesville are now open from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., seven days a week to provide greater access to care for people experiencing non-life-threatening illnesses or injuries. The urgent care…
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 14:58

State candidates wrangle over 1-cent sales tax

Democratic and Republican candidates squaring off in state races this year offer voters a clear choice on a key philosophical issue gripping North Carolina during the past two years: taxes versus budget cuts.
The building that once housed the downtown anchor O’Malley’s On Main Pub and Grill in Waynesville has a new owner.
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 14:56

Learn tips and tricks for coupon clipping

A Clip and Save Coupon Club meets from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays at the Senior Resource Center in Haywood County. “It seems to me that now more than ever, people need help at the cash register, not…
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 14:55

Journey stories brought to light at WCU

A panel of veterans ranging from World War II to Afghanistan will discuss of the physical, emotional and psychological journeys of soldiers before, during and after war at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, at the Mountain Heritage Center at Western…
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 14:55

Adult basketball leagues starting up

The Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department will hold an organizational meeting 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, for the adult and masters basketball league at the Waynesville Recreation Center. This meeting is a mandatory meeting for anyone interested in entering…
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 14:54

HCC brings on interim president for short stint

Haywood Community College trustees have picked an interim president to replace current leader Rose Johnson who will retire at the end of this month. William Aiken will start as interim president at HCC on Nov. 1. He served as president…
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is hiring an energy program coordinator to oversee a growing slate of energy-saving and green energy projects. The tribe already has a strategic energy plan in place to make Cherokee more environmentally sustainable but…
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 14:52

‘Coats for Folks’ drive is underway

People can drop off gently used or new winter clothing articles for children and adults at any Swain County governmental facility such as the County Administration Building, Health Dept., Social Services, all Swain County Schools, the bus garage and the…
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 14:52

Is your genealogy revolutionary?

A genealogical “how to” presentation will be held Monday, Oct. 15, at the Boiler Room restaurant in Franklin by the The Silas McDowell Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. Dinner starts at 5:15 p.m. and the meeting starts…
The vision is grand: a snaking, multi-use recreational path along the shores of the Tuckaseegee River — approximately 20 miles stretching from East Laporte to Whittier — lined with trees, dotted with parks, fishing spots, river access, picnic tables and…
Although it has been spared for now, federal belt tightening could eventually lead the government to close its federal court site in Bryson City, which serves as the only one west of Asheville.
Haywood voters must pick two county commissioners from a field of four candidates. Both the sitting commissioners are running to keep their seats. Whoever wins come Nov. 6 will serve four years on the county’s highest decision-making board. Commissioners Mark…
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 14:43

Donate items for homeless veterans

Members of the Silas McDowell Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution are collecting items for homeless veterans in the region through Oct. 31. The group is working with the Veterans Restoration Quarters in Asheville and will be collecting…
The Liars Bench will present its third annual show of “Appalachian Spook Tales” at 7 p.m. on Oct. 18 at Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center auditorium. The Liars Bench is a southern Appalachian variety show started by writer and…
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 14:41

State, Jackson commission candidates square off

A candidate forum will be held from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15, at the Jackson County Public Library. Candidates attending are: Republican Jim Davis and Democrat John Snow, candidates for the N.C. Senate’s 50th District; Republican Mike Clampitt…
A race for Jackson County commissioners this fall has come down to a contest of the Joneses. The similar names on the ballot — Mark Jones versus Marty Jones — will no doubt keep voters on their toes when they…
The three MedWest hospitals in Haywood, Jackson and Swain counties laid off 82 employees this week to cope with shrinking revenue and declining patient volume. The layoffs are part of a larger workforce reduction in recent months. Another 79 positions…
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 14:34

The battle before the war

It was a tranquil Saturday afternoon when the stampede began. Lines of vehicles, like mechanical horses with flags waving high, hurtle down the highway, resembling some cavalry charging into battle, desperately in search of a cherished parking space near the…
Wednesday, 03 October 2012 16:25

Neighbors hit snag in quest to rename road

Hate the name of your street? In Haywood County, changing it shouldn’t be that hard. Come up with a new name, make sure the name isn’t already taken by another street and get at least 65 percent of your neighbors…
Swain County might have to raise taxes or make budget cuts to keep its cash reserves from falling into unhealthy territory. Swain County’s cash reserves are hovering around $1.6 million, barely above the state-recommended minimum. Independent auditor Eric Bowman recently…
Just after the New Year, property owners in Swain County will find out just how well — or how poorly — their property weathered the real estate downturn. Swain County is wrapping up a countywide property revaluation, where every home,…
Despite having three Macon County commissioner seats on the ballot this fall, only one has any competition. In the conservative leaning county, two sitting Republican commissioners will stroll back on the board after no Democratic candidates stepped up to run…
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 13:21

Haywood gets offer for vacant office building

A nonprofit in Waynesville has made an offer to buy a vacant building from Haywood County. LIFESPAN, which offers programs and services for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, has offered $145,000 for a small building next door…
Homeowners on Henry Dingus Way in Maggie Valley who don’t like their street name have struck out in their quest to get it changed. The Campbell Woods Property Owner’s Association have been trying since spring to change the name of…
The ordinance was discussed and drafted; Jackson County’s legal counsel had reviewed it; and it had the stamp of approval from the county manager. Once it got passed, the county would be able to corral and rein in protestors.
After several stumbling blocks, disbanded boards and departed directors, proponents of a Jackson County economic development program hope to soon be back on course.
Sitting in their bakery-café last week, Ann Cooper and Kim Buchanan were constantly intervening to expound on the other’s comments or completing each other’s thoughts.
Duck Duck Goose is hold a consignment sale from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 18-20 and Oct. 22, just off Russ Avenue on Walnut Street in Waynesville. The sale will include children’s clothing and other kids’ items, all being…
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 13:13

Free baby gear during SIDS awareness month

MedWest-Haywood and the North Carolina Healthy Start Foundation (NCHSF) will partner to distribute onesies, nightlights and parent checklists to new parents during October, in conjunction with National Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month. The front side of the onesies…
The Sylva library will host a class on building a website at 5:45 p.m. Oct. 22 and another course on how to sell items on Craigslist.com at 5:45 p.m. Oct. 24 The classes are the first of a new series…
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 13:12

Kids Against Hunger needs volunteers

Kids Against Hunger in Franklin is looking for people to help package meals at 8 a.m. Nov. 3 at the First Christian Church of Franklin. Kids Against Hunger packages nutritious meals for starving and malnourished children and families. The meals…
Sylva Rotary Club will host its twice-annual pancake breakfast from 7:30-10 a.m. on Oct. 26 at the First United Methodist Church in downtown Sylva. Proceeds will go to the local Neighbors in Need organization and the international Polio Plus program.…
Paul Loeb, a writer who has spent more than 30 years researching citizen responsibility and empowerment, will deliver a lecture at 6 p.m. Oct. 24 in the theater of A.K. Hinds University Center at Western Carolina University. The event is…
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 13:11

Students register voters

A Haywood Community College political science class got a good dose of the mechanics of voting by running a voter registration booth on campus. “These students did this on their own time,” said Greg McLamb, HCC Lead History instructor. “Voting…
Nearly 200 people came out for a candidate forum in Jackson County Monday (Oct. 15) to listen to a slate of candidates spar over local, state, federal — and sometimes existential — issues facing Western North Carolinians today.
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 13:07

Meditation class looks to resolve conflict

Sylva and Western Carolina University will raise awareness of conflict mediation as an alternative to litigation and to settle personal disputes on Oct. 23-24. On Oct. 23, a panel of lawyers and certified mediators from Mountain Mediation Services will discuss…
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 13:07

Meadows, Rogers to debate at WCU Oct. 23

Western Carolina University’s Department of Political Science and Public Affairs and the Public Policy Institute will host a debate between the two candidates for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District. The debate will begin at 7 p.m. Oct. 23 and will…
Republican Mark Meadows has out fund-raised his competitor 2-to-1 this quarter, but the two candidates for the U.S. Congress are almost neck and neck in the overall money race. Not counting candidate contributions to their own campaigns, Meadows and Democrat…