Tue09302014

     Subscribe  |  Contact  |  Advertise  |  RSS Feed Other Publications

An Appalachian Lifestyle Celebration will showcase mountain culture, heritage, music, dance, storytelling, arts and crafts and demonstrations from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 8, on Main Street in downtown Waynesville. Headliners for the festival include David Holt and…
The Cashiers Chamber of Commerce leaders claim they have been slighted their fair share of visitor center funding from the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority.
Jackson County Planning Board members discussed axing part of the steep slope rules aimed at protecting mountain viewsheds. The viewshed provisions stipulate new mountainside construction should  not be readily visible from public right of ways or public lands.
In his brief five months in Congress, U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-Cashiers, has kept busy — voting on several pieces of key legislation, sitting in on committee hearings, drafting bills of his own and when he can, traveling back to Western…
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will receive more federal aid than originally promised after January’s rainstorms, flooding and mudslides. In March, the Eastern Band became the first tribe to garner the Presidential Declaration of Disaster, which made it eligible…
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 12:58

Tribe settles suit over sewage spills

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has settled a civil lawsuit claiming overflows from the tribe’s sewage treatment plant were backing up on nearby private property. Linda Lambert sued the tribe in May 2011, saying sewage overflows on her property…
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 12:53

Battle over degrees at WCU could heat up

Western Carolina University is grappling with whether to cut unpopular or obsolete majors, posing a conundrum as it and other universities examine their deeper role in society: to provide a well-rounded, liberal arts education or steer students toward degrees in…
Haywood County’s budget will increase by more than $2 million next fiscal year, but it will still be nearly that amount shy of the county’s pre-recession budget.
It’s got more names than the Bible. The “round-over,” the “lollipop,” and the “bob” to name a few. No matter how you call it, Haywood County’s favorite way of trimming trees is despised by tree experts, yet it’s probably here…
Wednesday, 21 February 2007 00:00

Swain seats new planning board

One Swain County resident expressed concern last week that developers and speculators will rush to break ground on mountainside subdivisions in the next few months to beat out development regulations coming down the pipe.
Wednesday, 21 February 2007 00:00

Plug pulled on downtown Sylva taxing district

The Downtown Sylva Association has dropped the idea of a special downtown property tax due to a lack of support among merchants.
Wednesday, 21 February 2007 00:00

Opponents lining up to challenge Chief Hicks

Even before filing opens March 1, four candidates have emerged to challenge Principal Chief Michell Hicks for the top leadership position of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Haywood County commissioners suggested they could be amenable to a slight property tax increase this year if there is something really important they want the money for.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer The owner of Ghost Town in the Sky and the North Carolina Department of Labor have signed a unique agreement that aims to ensure that the historic Maggie Valley amusement park opens on time.
Wednesday, 21 February 2007 00:00

Election controversy plagues Swain

When Commissioner Glenn Jones pulled into the Stillhouse Branch trailer park in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Swain County last October, he’d strayed far from the campaign path of most candidates.
Wednesday, 14 February 2007 00:00

New golf course owner promises major upgrades

Following several years of decline and neglect, Smoky Mountain Golf Course in Whittier has been wrested away from its out-of-state owners by a local developer pledging a major overhaul of the course.
The Commission for a Clean County has announced the first place and honorable mention winners of its 2006 Haywood County Community Pride annual awards program.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer A group of about 20 angry Realtors and developers showed up uninvited at a special media briefing Thursday to have another crack at Jackson County officials and further express their dissatisfaction with commissioners’ moves…
Wednesday, 14 February 2007 00:00

Twenty questions

Jackson County commissioners have called for a public hearing on a proposed moratorium on new subdivision development while the planning board authors a subdivision ordinance. Commissioners want the ordinance to address concerns such as steep slope development and minimum standards.…
Wednesday, 14 February 2007 00:00

DSA drops special tax proposal

The Downtown Sylva Association has dropped the idea of a special downtown property tax due to a lack of support among merchants.
When Macon County Manager Sam Greenwood retires at the end of this year, he’ll take with him more than three decades of governmental experience and an encyclopedic understanding of the county’s political scene.
Wednesday, 14 February 2007 00:00

Sylva leaders to discuss proposed downtown tax

Controversy among downtown Sylva merchants and property owners could either escalate or come to a close this week, depending on what route the Downtown Sylva Association takes at a town board meeting Thursday expected to draw crowds of merchants.
Wednesday, 14 February 2007 00:00

Swain makes appointments to first planning board

Swain County leaders took the first step toward regulating unchecked growth and development this week by appointing the county’s first-ever planning board.
Wednesday, 14 February 2007 00:00

Stamey named new Haywood EMS director

Canton native Marty Stamey has been named the new director of Haywood County’s Emergency Medical Services program.
As the population in the rural areas of Haywood County grows, leaders are being faced with the question of whether it’s time to station new ambulances in these outlying areas.
Wednesday, 07 February 2007 00:00

Jackson may put temporary stop to growth

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Jackson County commissioners have taken the first step toward temporarily stopping new subdivision development, calling for a Feb. 27 public hearing on a six-month moratorium.
Wednesday, 07 February 2007 00:00

Time to get in on Haywood 2008 bicentennial

It’s still 11 months away, but organizers of a year-long Haywood County bicentennial celebration in 2008 are already counting down the days until the kick-off.
Wednesday, 07 February 2007 00:00

Emergency room group sues HRMC

A long-time group of emergency room doctors in Haywood County filed a lawsuit against Haywood Regional Medical Center this week.
Wednesday, 07 February 2007 00:00

Betting on the future

In a suite on the 16th floor of Harrah’s Cherokee hotel and casino, Cherokee leaders happily milled about as an architectural animation of expansion plans played repeatedly on a flat-screen TV.
Wednesday, 07 February 2007 00:00

Upping the ante

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is placing a $650 million bet that visitors to Harrah’s casino and hotel are looking for amenities akin to those that are becoming standard across the gaming industry.
Wednesday, 31 January 2007 00:00

WCU buys on-campus commercial buildings

Western Carolina University is now the proud owner of the strip of commercial property known locally as the downtown Cullowhee business district.
Wednesday, 31 January 2007 00:00

TDA has equal parts Maggie Valley, Waynesville

The Haywood County Board of Commissioners have appointed two new members to the Tourism Development Authority board: Deborah Reed, a leader of the Canton merchant’s association FOCUS, and Art O’Neil, owner of Sunset Inn, Sunset Bakery and Sunset Café at…
The North Carolina Election Board says it could be another month or two before someone can make the trip from Raleigh to Bryson City to look into complaints of illegal voter intimidation and improper handling of absentee ballots associated with…
Swain County Sheriff Curtis Cochran has estimated how much his predecessor might have made under the table feeding jail inmates: the figure comes in well over $100,000 a year.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Franklin town officials have turned down a request made by the owners of the Wal-Mart plaza in Franklin to help encourage expansion in the store’s current location along the U.S. 441 bypass rather than…
An overhaul of economic development strategy in Jackson County has temporarily stalled over who will be in charge.
When Howard Alligood heard about a group of Sylva merchants lobbying for a special downtown tax, he got a little suspicious.
Leaders of the Downtown Sylva Association are drumming up support for a special taxing district that would raise money to promote downtown.
Leaders of a downtown Sylva movement are considering downsizing a proposed special taxing district to encompass only the core downtown area.
Students in Haywood County are on the front lines of an ambitious effort to reintroduce a slew of native species to the Pigeon River following decades of pollution from the Canton paper mill that destroyed the aquatic habitat.
Thanks to major environmental investments by Blue Ridge Paper Products in Canton, the last advisory against eating fish downstream of the mill was lifted this month — ending a 20-year effort to clean up the river following decades of pollution…
Wednesday, 24 January 2007 00:00

More questions raised in Maggie land deal

New developments have emerged involving the the purchase of a small piece of land in Maggie Valley by the town for a park. Alderman Phil Aldridge made $6,500 in commission for acting as the town’s real estate agent in the…
Sarah Kucharski • Staff writer A new prescription drug discount card soon will be available to Macon County residents.
Haywood County commissioners are once again pondering the idea of recruiting a state prison.
Clerk talks: Dennis Stephenson, a clerk at the Bryson City post office, supplied the following statement in an affidavit taken by Swain County election board member John Herrin.
Wednesday, 17 January 2007 00:00

Voter intimidation alleged in Swain election

Two Swain County residents claim they were victims of illegal voter intimidation during the November election.
Wednesday, 17 January 2007 00:00

Voter testimony

The following testimony was provided by Rhonda Bedsaul, 47, of Swain County. A similar account was provided by Bedsaul’s husband, Ron, 42. Both affidavits have been turned over to the state election board for further investigation.
A record number of applicants are seeking seats on the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority, likely spurred by the ongoing tug of war over the best way to spend $650,000 annually in tourism promotion dollars.
Wednesday, 17 January 2007 00:00

Sylva downtown group to hire executive director

Downtown Sylva Association members have voted unanimously to hire an executive director, setting the organization up to more actively advocate for the downtown community.
The surge in early voting witnessed in the last election has prompted the Swain County election board to hunt for a new office location.
Wednesday, 17 January 2007 00:00

Maggie alderman profits from land sale to town

An elected board member in Maggie Valley has collected $6,500 in commission from the town after acting as the town’s real estate agent in the purchase of land for a small park.
Wednesday, 17 January 2007 00:00

Blue Ridge Heritage grants total $340,000

Dillsboro and Southwestern Community College’s Heritage Arts Institute in Swain County were among the 18 grant recipients from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.
Wednesday, 17 January 2007 00:00

Franklin hires planner, GIS specialist

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff writer The Town of Franklin is taking steps toward implementing its recently adopted Principals of Growth, hiring both a town planner and GIS mapping specialist.
Wednesday, 10 January 2007 00:00

Land-use planning takes center stage in Jackson

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Jackson County commissioners have set in motion a strategy to make up for the past and plan for the future, directing the planning board to make several land-use ordinances this year’s top priority.
Wednesday, 10 January 2007 00:00

Green Energy Park earns EPA recognition

Jackson County’s Green Energy Park has received the Environmental Protection Agency’s Project of the Year award, giving the one-of-a-kind methane gas recovery project some much deserved recognition.
As the Cherokee election season gets under way in the race for chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, there’s one dynamic that won’t be at play: catering to the hundreds of enrolled tribal members who live in far-flung…
The Downtown Sylva Association will hold a series of public meetings in January to answer questions about a proposed municipal service district tax, DSA president Sheryl Rudd recently told town board members.
Wednesday, 10 January 2007 00:00

Principles of Growth for the Town of Franklin

Preamble What can we do now to ensure that in 20 years Franklin will still be recognized as a great place to live? This question is critical as we grapple with the formidable challenge of managing growth. In North Carolina…
Wednesday, 10 January 2007 00:00

WLOS no longer available on Mediacom

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Local Mediacom cable subscribers up late Friday night saw their ABC affiliate WLOS Channel 13 go dark at midnight, as the company and Sinclair Broadcast Group have failed to reach an agreement that would…
Wednesday, 10 January 2007 00:00

Support builds for Haywood land trust

Dave Curphey’s story is a dime a dozen. Fed up with the urban sprawl that ruined his small town in Florida, devouring a landscape once dominated with orchards in just 10 short years, he packed his bags and moved to…
Wednesday, 10 January 2007 00:00

Speaking out

More than 300 people attended a public hearing on Land For Tomorrow in Asheville last week, overwhelming the expectations of those conducting the hearing. Some people drove for nearly two hours to come voice their support for the initiative.
Wednesday, 10 January 2007 00:00

Self-preservation

Land For Tomorrow is a statewide initiative launched last year to set aside $1 billion for land conservation over the next five years.
Wednesday, 03 January 2007 00:00

Details of the new policy

A new public comment and meeting policy has been adopted by the Swain County Board of Commissioners. Here are some highlights:
A corporate entity took over emergency room operations at Haywood Regional Medical Center last week, and so far it hasn’t gone great, according to patients and those working inside the ER.
Wednesday, 03 January 2007 00:00

Haywood pushes legislative agenda

Creation of a one-half cent local option sales tax to support building needs at Haywood Community College and tax relief from spiraling property values are among the issues Haywood County commissioners are urging legislators to address when the North Carolina…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer If there’s one thing economic development officials agree on, it’s that there’s no one right way to do it.
Wednesday, 03 January 2007 00:00

A brief history of a complicated situation

By Sarah Kucharski In January 2005, Jackson County Commissioners called in more than $1.2 million in loans issued to six local industries, suspended participation in the Economic Development Commission and launched an investigation of the commission’s financial records.
The current falling out between Haywood Regional Medical Center and the ER doctors is a symptom of a larger problem afoot, according to physicians who appealed to the hospital board on behalf of the medical community last week.
Wednesday, 27 December 2006 00:00

The news of 2006

2006 was a big year for news in the mountains. From the economy to the world of politics, there’s been a lot of change. We’ve selected some of the best quotes from newsmakers in 2006 to help put the year…
Haywood Emergency Physicians expressed concern at a public forum last Tuesday night (Dec. 19) about the turnover of emergency room operations at Haywood Regional Medical Center to a new corporate physician staffing entity at midnight the night of Thursday, Dec.…
Jackson County Commissioners last week strategically deferred making a decision about who would become the newest member of the Jackson County Airport Authority, in effect throwing out the list of names authority members submitted for approval.
Wednesday, 27 December 2006 00:00

Hospital board stands by ER decision

Despite outcry from the medical community and general public, the hospital board of Haywood Regional Medical Center has stood by its decision to oust a long-time group of ER doctors and replace them with a corporate physician staffing company.
Wednesday, 20 December 2006 00:00

Hospital board stands by ER decision

A new set of doctors will take over emergency room operations at Haywood Regional Medical Center at midnight on the night of Dec. 28.
Wednesday, 20 December 2006 00:00

Moratorium stops high-rises

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Macon County Commissioners unanimously approved a moratorium on high-rise development Monday, giving county planning and legal staff 11 months to write an ordinance that if adopted could potentially prohibit such development for a long…
The Haywood County medical community sent a strong message at a countywide meeting of doctors last Tuesday night (Dec. 12). In a 50 to 2 vote, physicians asked the hospital board of Haywood Regional Medical Center to reconsider their decision…
Wednesday, 20 December 2006 00:00

Land for Tomorrow wins Jackson support

Jackson County Commissioners passed a resolution Monday night (Dec. 18) encouraging the state General Assembly to provide funding for the Land for Tomorrow program in 2007.
Wednesday, 20 December 2006 00:00

Jackson County mulls EDC participation

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Two years have passed since the Jackson County Commissioners suspended their participation with the local Economic Development Commission, launched an internal investigation and audit of the EDC and EDC office and attempted to remove…
Wednesday, 20 December 2006 00:00

Doctor's resolution

Here is a copy of the resolution, which was passed by the Medical Executive Committee on Dec. 6 and affirmed by a meeting of the medical staff on Dec. 12:
Wednesday, 20 December 2006 00:00

Biodiesel station opens in Cullowhee

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer The delivery of 3,000 gallons of B-20 biodiesel manufactured by Smoky Mountain Biofuels made Hop’s Gas and Grocery on Old Cullowhee Road the first station to offer a public biodiesel pump west of Asheville…
Wednesday, 20 December 2006 00:00

Q&A with Haywood ER doctors

Haywood Emergency Physicians held a two-hour town hall style meeting Tuesday night to answer questions about the termination of their contract by Haywood Regional Medical Center.
Emergency room doctors at Haywood Regional Medical Center have been on a collision course with hospital administration since a brand-new $5 million emergency room opened in December 2004.
Wednesday, 13 December 2006 00:00

WCU students help with Cullowhee church plans

The competition between Western Carolina University students to win a building contract at a Cullowhee church was just for fun, but the construction ideas and issues they pointed out recently were real — and appreciated.
Wednesday, 13 December 2006 00:00

Sylva discusses downtown parking woes

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Parking along Sylva’s downtown Main Street is a challenge.
Wednesday, 13 December 2006 00:00

Physicians seek solution to HRMC-ER dispute

The Haywood County medical community was expected to voice its disatisfaction Tuesday night with a move by Haywood Regional Medical Center CEO David Rice to oust a long-time group of emergency room physicians and turn over the ER to a…
Wednesday, 13 December 2006 00:00

Phoenix says doctor recruitment going well

Phoenix Emergency Physicians is making progress rounding up a new set of emergency room doctors to work at Haywood Regional Medical Center, according to Chris Lutes, the manager of the corporate physician staffing agency.
Wednesday, 13 December 2006 00:00

Mayor wants windfall from watershed invested

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer The Town of Sylva has begun surveying the Fisher Creek watershed in anticipation of receiving a $3.5 million conservation easement to be awarded by the Clean Water Management Trust Fund.
Wednesday, 13 December 2006 00:00

Divided Franklin board OKs Super Wal-Mart

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer With the announcement of plans to bring a new Wal-Mart Supercenter to Franklin, some say town aldermen have given away their only real bargaining chip that would aid negotiations to make the Big Box…
Wednesday, 13 December 2006 00:00

Community Assurance Statement

The following statement was provided to The Smoky Mountain News following a meeting of the Haywood Regional Medical Center Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners on Monday, Dec. 11.
The Francis Mill Preservation Society in Haywood County is gearing up for a major campaign to replace the metal wheel on the grist mill.
Wednesday, 06 December 2006 00:00

Turf war leads to ousting of ER docs

An ongoing power struggle between Haywood Regional Medical Center CEO David Rice and doctors in the emergency room came to a head last week when the hospital board, at Rice’s recommendation, voted to hand over ER operations to a corporate…
Wednesday, 06 December 2006 00:00

Sylva librarian resigns as of Jan. 31

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Jackson County Librarian Michael Cartwright will be resigning from his post by the end of the year, prompting the Fontana Regional Library System to begin a search for his replacement.
A regional effort is afoot to address mountainside and slope development as a region rather than relying on individual counties to implement development standards.
Wednesday, 06 December 2006 00:00

Mid-stream contract rewrite

Haywood Regional Medical Center and Haywood Emergency Physicians disagree over whether it was necessary to rewrite the doctors’ contract with the hospital while there is still 18 months left on the agreement.
Wednesday, 06 December 2006 00:00

Macon prepares high-rise moratorium

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer A high-rise moratorium is in the works for Macon County. On Monday night (Dec. 4), county commissioners directed new county attorney Lesley Moxley and Macon County Planner Stacy Guffey to draft an ordinance prohibiting…
Wednesday, 06 December 2006 00:00

ER physicians call foul over contract termination

After a sudden termination of their contract by Haywood Regional Medical Center last week, emergency room doctors say the reputation of hospital CEO David Rice is making it difficult to recruit new doctors to the county.
Waynesville officials are looking under a different couch cushion for additional revenue after losing income from sweepstakes operations and its ABC store.
Nearly two months after a majority of Macon County commissioners approved a slew of salary raises for all county employees, the nitty-gritty details of the pay hikes have been released.
For law enforcement, video gambling is like a bad case of poison ivy that keeps cropping back up all over the place, and now, it’s going after them.
A church is looking to bring a little more religion to downtown Sylva, but some local business owners, as well as elected officials, are skeptical of the move.