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It’s official — TV personality Ty Pennington is coming to Waynesville, and Haywood Pathways Center has secured $50,000 of its $300,000 fundraising goal to renovate the old Hazelwood prison.
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 13:35

Haywood tourism board talks strategy

After contracting with Magellan Strategy Group in May to come up with a five-to-ten-year marketing and management strategy, the Haywood Tourism Development Authority discussed their ideas for turning that report into a two-year action plan to boost the county’s place…
A lawsuit casting blame for a massive landslide in Maggie Valley four years ago was settled at the 11th hour last week. A jury pool had been called in, a judge seated on the bench and attorneys on both sides…
A well-known businessman in Haywood County is questioning why school officials would steer a contract for cleaning supplies to a major national chain that’s more expensive instead of his own company. Buying local and buying cheap don’t always line up.…
The music inside Wells Event and Reception Center is noticeably different than next door at Wells Funeral Home. Instead of reflective classical, the speakers hum with smooth jazz.
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 13:29

A good ‘move’ for Swain farmers market

The Swain Farmers Market is enjoying its new location near the Tuckasegee River in downtown Bryson City on Island Street. Initially, there was some concern that the move to a new spot could hurt the market. “The first Friday was…
Jackson County will soon get a new park at Barkers Creek. County commissioners approved a lease this week for a roughly 3-acre riverside site owned by Duke Energy for the bargain rate of $10 a year. It adds to a…
Wednesday, 18 January 2006 00:00

TDA proposal would eliminate corridor funding

Turf divisions in the Haywood County tourism industry are melting away on more than one front these days. At the same time the Maggie Valley Visitors Bureau and the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce have committed to a merger, the…
By Michael Beadle Darfur may seem a world away from Bryson City, but a group of Swain County High School students is raising awareness about the horrific refugee crisis going on in the east African country of Sudan. The Save…
Wednesday, 18 January 2006 00:00

So long, McDonald’s sign

Anyone approaching Waynesville from Russ Avenue has likely appreciated the distant view of downtown, its quaint brick skyline marked by steeples and nested in the surrounding mountains — along with the less appealing gigantic yellow “M” superimposed over the scene.
Wednesday, 18 January 2006 00:00

Daycare closing leaves 70 families in the lurch

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Approximately 70 families are in limbo as Jean’s Kids Palace, a daycare in Whittier, faces possible closure. The privately run daycare is located in the Old Whittier School near the Jackson-Swain county line and…
Wednesday, 18 January 2006 00:00

Chambers move closer to merger

Board members on the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce and the Maggie Valley Area Visitors Bureau voted unanimously to pursue a merger last week, a monumental move given the historical tug-of-war between the two entities.
Macon County officials have contested the legality of a moratorium Highlands enacted on commercial building within the town’s extra-territorial jurisdictions this November.
For nearly 20 years, Jerry Plemmons’ hour-long drive from Hot Springs to Waynesville every couple of months for a Smoky Mountain Development Corporation board meeting afforded him plenty of time to ponder the group’s purpose.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer In his first month as the newly elected mayor of Highlands, Don Mullen has already earned a reputation as a service-oriented, civic-minded, friend of the environment.
• Read with your child everyday. Make it part of the daily routine.
Wednesday, 11 January 2006 00:00

Getting kids to read

By Michael Beadle Remember when Mom or Dad read you your favorite bedtime story? Maybe it was a book like “Where the Wild Things Are” or “Guess How Much I Love You”? Even if you knew the ending of the…
Wednesday, 11 January 2006 00:00

At storytime, it’s llamas and pajamas

It’s 11 a.m. on Friday at the Haywood County Public Library in Waynesville, and that means Story Time, a regular date for parents and their children to have some fun reading. The children, who range in age from 2 to…
Wednesday, 11 January 2006 00:00

Fairview takes personal approach

By Sarah Kucharski Students at Fairview Elementary School in Sylva have a unique opportunity to experience the benefits of reading through three signature programs that encourage literacy development. The Rockin’ Readers program offers students in grades Kindergarten through second grade…
A debate over whether to sell alcohol at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino has pitted conservative tribal members against the economic interests of the casino, which generates revenue for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Wednesday, 04 January 2006 00:00

Incubator failed to help entrepreneurs

A small business incubator in Waynesville has failed in it mission to nurture entrepreneurs and start-up companies, and instead has devolved into little more than a building to house a handful of companies for the long haul, according to critics.
Wednesday, 04 January 2006 00:00

Incubator snapshots

A snapshot of other incubators across the state offer models of how the incubator in Waynesville could be revamped.
A business incubator building in Waynesville has become the epicenter for a political firestorm among Haywood County officials looking to grow small businesses in the region. Convinced the incubator was being squandered by the Smoky Mountain Development Corporation — a…
Haywood County Manager Jack Horton resigned today following a ?-hour closed door meeting with the Haywood County Commissioners on Tuesday (Jan. 3) where he was given the choice of stepping down of being fired. Commissioners Mark Swanger, Kevin Ensley and…
Wednesday, 04 January 2006 00:00

Drive safely, arrive alive

By Michael Beadle Even with the holidays over, traffic safety is still a major priority for public safety agencies and law enforcement.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Following a re-evaluation of Haywood County Arts Council programming, two of the organization’s mainstays have been cut from the roster — the Atlanta Ballet’s annual Mountain Homecoming and the Razzle Dazzle children’s arts festival.
Following Saturday morning’s fire on Main Street in downtown Sylva, Mayor Maurice Moody has scheduled an emergency meeting and work session for the Town of Sylva Board of Commissioners and local business owners for Monday at 4:00 p.m. in…
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 15:01

Western counties celebrate hospital sale

A visiting team from LifePoint Hospital network made the rounds to their newly acquired hospitals in Haywood, Jackson and Swain counties over the past week. They pledged to roll up their sleeves and get to work fulfilling the promises made…
It took nearly two months of conferencing, but a state budget bill is finally passed and signed. At the heart of that drawn-out process was education funding. Specifically, what state Republicans are hailing as the largest raise in history for…
The Western Carolina University community is making preparations to welcome what is expected to be a record number of students for the start of fall semester classes on Monday, Aug. 18. “Indicators are pointing to another all-time high in student…
Two more local governments in Western North Carolina have passed resolutions opposing fracking this month. Franklin and Forest Hills are the most recent to formally oppose the natural gas exploration method green-lighted by state legislators earlier this year.
U.S. Senator Kay Hagan visited the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation Aug. 6, meeting with Chief Michell Hicks, Vice Chief Larry Blythe and members of the Tribal Council to receive an update on the reservation and discuss her advocacy…
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 14:51

Whiteside cell tower off table

The cell phone tower proposed for the Whiteside Cove area is off the table for now. Verizon has “indefinitely suspended” plans to locate a tower in the area after requests from Jackson County planning officials that various issues be addressed…
A Haywood County businessman who has historically supplied dishwasher detergent and rinse agent for Haywood County school cafeterias lost his contract for the coming school year to a major national cleaning supply company.
By mid-August, there’s already a chill in the air outside Pisgah Inn. Employees and experienced guests walk around in pants and long sleeves, while visitors who didn’t realize August could be this cool sport shorts and tank tops. At 5,000…
The type of visitors being eyed by Jackson County tourism officials fall into various categories. Each one of those “types” is being targeted through different ads. There are advertisements featuring flyfishing. And gambling. Or how about kayaking or pottery?
A challenger in the Haywood County commissioner race lost ground last week in a fight with the county over his property values, a three-year dispute laced with political overtones. Denny King claims the county incorrectly pegged the value of his…
A bill that would provide a $12 million incentive package to the Evergreen Packaging paper mill in Canton failed to garner enough votes from the state House. “I did my best — that’s all I can say,” said Rep. Michelle…
Friday, 22 August 2014 20:53

Franklin’s fracking forum

A fracking forum has been scheduled for Sept. 2 in Franklin. The forum, moderated by Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, will address shale energy rulemaking, exploration and development in North Carolina. 
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 15:40

WCU: A timeline

1889 — Cullowhee Academy opens with 18 students and 1 teacher
Jackson County Manager Chuck Wooten arrived at Western Carolina University as a freshman in 1969. He remembers his college days fondly. “My classmates and fraternity brothers all had such a great time in Cullowhee,” Wooten said. “I remember as a…
By Randall Holcombe • WCU  The little school that was the forerunner of Western Carolina University was called Cullowhee Academy. Its location is marked by a stone memorial, erected in 1934, that sits in a garden area between the university’s steam…
It’s August, freshman move-in day, and Western Carolina University is welcoming a new class of freshmen to campus. It’s what WCU Chancellor David Belcher calls a “huge day.” “We’ve got students coming in right and left,” says Belcher.  One of…
Youth sports teams will no longer be able to trade bags of fertilizer, free coffee for teachers or a fresh coat of paint on the dugout for use of the practice fields, stadiums and gyms of Haywood County Schools. There…
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 15:18

Main Street managers meet in Waynesville

The streets of downtown Waynesville will soon receive a look-see from a group of folks who really care about the streets of downtowns. The North Carolina Main Street Program is hosting its fall Main Street Managers meeting in Waynesville Aug.…
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 15:15

Jackson TDA explores executive director option

The Jackson County Tourism Development Authority is pretty sure it needs to start searching for an executive director to help head up the organization.  “We believe we’re at the point where someone wakes up in the morning and this is…
Mission Health plans to expand its presence in Haywood County with a large medical complex housing doctors’ offices and a line of healthcare services. The move is unwelcome competition for Haywood Regional Medical Center. But to Mission, it’s a reflection…
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 15:08

Cell tower proposals denied in Macon

A pair of proposed 180-foot cell phone towers met some adamant opposition at the Aug. 20 Macon County Commissioners meeting. The applications, proposed by two separate companies for two separate locations, were both denied, but for technical reasons that make…
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 15:06

Macon residents take sides on fracking

Fracking flooded the public comments section of the Macon County commissioners’ most recent meeting. As the meeting opened, people unable to find a seat lined the back of the room and spilled out the doorway.  “I love it when it’s…
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 15:04

Fire hits downtown Sylva

The downtown Sylva businesses housed in the Main Street buildings impacted by a weekend fire stand with blackened bricks and blistered innards. It’s not a pretty sight.  “It doesn’t look salvageable to me,” Sylva Mayor Maurice Moody told a full…
French Kirkpatrick just wanted to play music. “I kind of wanted to be a singer, but I couldn’t sing worth a hoot,” the 75-year-old chuckled. “I wanted to be a regular picker, a banjo player, I even tried to…
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 03:07

Gala to help Hazelwood prison project

The Haywood Helps 2014 Gala Event will be from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Aug. 28. The event is a fundraiser for the Hazlewood prison project. The gala will feature heavy hors d’oeuvres and entertainment. There will also be a live…
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 02:57

Swain polling place moves to Cherokee

Swain County voters living in Cherokee and Whittier will begin a new routine on Election Day this November. The precinct’s longtime polling place in Whittier is moving five miles down the road to Birdtown, a change that board of elections…
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 02:54

Malcolm’s swan song

Malcolm graced the waters of Lake Junaluska for only a little while. He will be on its shore for much longer.  “I think it’s gorgeous, I think it’s simply gorgeous,” said Diane Nabors, of the sculpture of Malcolm the swan.…
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 02:52

Webster embarks on planning study

How can Webster be improved? What would make it more walkable? What would encourage community socialization?  Town leaders aim to find out. Having secured a $5,000 Southwestern Commission Toolbox Implementation Fund grant — and matching it with another $5,000 —…
The Haywood County Tourism Authority is exploring whether to close its two visitor centers in Waynesville and Maggie Valley, questioning whether money to run the sites could be better spent luring tourists in the first place rather than itinerary planning…
It’s an industrial mechanic’s worst nightmare. A machine on the assembly line goes down, and production screeches to a halt. Workers stand idle despite being on the clock. Orders are backing up. All eyes are on the mechanic. Is it…
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 02:43

Highlands pursues new Verizon tower

Highlands residents will soon be seeing better cell phone coverage in town following the town board’s unanimous vote to move forward in negotiating a contract with Verizon Wireless. 
A group of Vietnam veterans in Swain County have accomplished their goal. Soon, an Alarka-area bridge will bear the name of three-time Purple Heart recipient Dockie Brendle.
North Carolina education has seen its share of high-profile issues over the last couple of years. Teacher raises, tenure, vouchers, budget calculations and adoption — and then abandonment — of the Common Core State Standards have all made headlines. A…
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 01:37

Round’n’round with Rep. Meadows

Recently, U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows made the rounds in his district visiting with constituents. While in Haywood County, he made a stop at the county fair. With a table full of political schwag, the representative held court in a…
Friday, 22 August 2014 15:40

Metal-siding moratorium rejected in Sylva

The town of Sylva will not be enacting a moratorium on metal-sided buildings in its downtown area in an effort to preserve its aesthetic integrity, but an ordinance outlining such a prohibition will be explored.
In a last-minute turnaround, North Carolina lawmakers wrapped up their short session last week with passage of a bill granting Evergreen Packaging’s paper mill in Canton $12 million for natural gas upgrades.
Swarming flies. Cows trudging through knee-deep manure. Lame legs, an overgrown hoof, blood oozing from a nose. Bones protruding from emaciated bodies. There’s no denying that the picture painted in a recently released video from People for the Ethical Treatment…
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 20:01

Sylva ETJ public hearing tomorrow

Sylva commissioners will hold a public hearing tomorrow, Sept. 4, on expanding its extraterritorial jurisdiction, or ETJ. An expanded ETJ would mean that property owners within the area in question — an area not currently in town limits — would…
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 14:15

Celebration of women in Methodism at Lake J

A Celebration of Women in Methodism will begin at the World Methodist Museum at 3:45 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, at the World Methodist Museum in Lake Junaluska.
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 14:14

Date set for prison renovation weekend

After winning a nationwide voting contest to land a $50,000 prize, Haywood Pathways Center is looking for volunteers to pitch in on a three-day work project Sept. 25-27 to make its prison renovation project a reality. TV personality Ty Pennington…
The Parker Meadows project is taking a slight turn after the discovery of a Cherokee gravesite launched a series of meetings and negotiations between the county and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. 
The Franklin Main Street Program has been soaking up some criticism lately, and the issues came to a head at an Aug. 19 meeting of Franklin residents, town administrators, business owners and board members. The verdict: Shape up by January,…
In a never-ending quest to lure tourists to Haywood County, the county tourism agency has once again changed the logo and slogan that will appear in its marketing and advertising materials.
The Canton Town Board has recently made changes to their alcohol ordinances, allowing for the option of public consumption at events. “As an elected official and Christian, I understand this is a divisive issue,” Alderman Zeb Smathers said. “After hearing…
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 13:58

The institution on the corner

The Jarrett House has stood in Dillsboro since 1884. Since before Dillsboro was Dillsboro. 
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 13:56

Celebrating the 125th

The town of Dillsboro, established in 1889, was named after William Allen Dills, a Confederate veteran who was born nearby. The town is located on the site of Dills’ farm. Prior to the town’s establishment, the area was beginning to…
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 13:54

WCU lends Dillsboro a hand

Dillsboro’s relationship with Western Carolina University began in 2009, after the economic downturn and as the town struggled to regroup.
Dillsboro sits at the crossroads of U.S. 441 and N.C. 23. Nestled between the past and future, it is a town that continues to evolve. “I think it’s just a classic, old American town. Laid-back,” said Jim Hartbarger, sitting in…
It’s been a couple of weeks since the downtown Sylva fire. And while most of downtown is humming along nicely, the handful of businesses directly impacted by the fire continue working to recover.
When Gna Wyatt called People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals about the manure piles covering Osborne Farms in Clyde, she wasn’t trying to make headlines. She just wanted life to get better for the cows she had spent the…
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 00:00

A voter’s guide to the 2014 WNC election

The countdown to Election Day is here, but don’t dawdle on your homework. Get that voting booth cheat sheet drawn up before the big day.
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 00:00

Business notes

•The new Goddess Shop has opened in Franklin, offering statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary, books on angels, rosaries for all religions, books to inspire the Goddess in every woman, herbs, locally infused oils, salves, candles, stones, incense and more.…
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 06:19

Pisgah Inn contract renewed

Bruce O’Connell was pretty surprised to see Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent Mark Woods appear at his door Sept. 8. The Pisgah Inn owner had submitted his bid for a contract renewal to operate the inn off the Blue Ridge Parkway…
It hasn’t take long for the interim CEO of Haywood Regional Medical Center to pick up on the hospital’s biggest strengths: high-quality doctors and broad community support.
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 06:10

Health notes

••• An educational film titled “Dementia Care for America’s Heroes” will premier from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 21, at the Haywood County Senior Resource Center in Waynesville. The film is the third in a series of dementia…
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 06:03

Cash mobs Sylva

More than 100 shoppers flocked to downtown Sylva on Sept. 5, dollars in hand, to flood the fire-damaged district with an influx of business. Organized by Venture Local, a Franklin organization dedicated to promoting local business, the cash mob drew…
Six candidates are vying for three seats in the Haywood County commissioners race. They fall in two tidy camps when it comes to their views on the county’s emergency management ordinance, making the issue a quick study for voters. When…
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 05:55

Sylva extends reach, approves ETJ expansion

In an effort to assure aesthetic uniformity beyond town borders, Sylva’s commissioners have begun expanding the town’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. The first phase of the expansion was approved following a Sept. 4 public hearing, but not without some spirited back-and-forth between…
This year’s race for Jackson County commissioner chairman is a rematch between two familiar figures. Each have claimed the title for their own four-year stints. The baton was handed over following an close contest in 2010. So close, that Brian…
A $4 million public safety facility will be constructed at Haywood Community College over the next two years, providing police, fire and rescue workers of all stripes a state-of-the-art training center for simulations, drills and classes. The HCC Board of…
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 05:40

Fracking opponents prepare for battle

It was back to school for a group of staunch fracking opponents on Friday, Sept. 5. The corner conference room in the Jackson County Public Library was a bit small for the 20 people crammed in to it, but they…
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 05:35

Fracking panel draws crowd in Franklin

A walk through the parking lot was all that was necessary to see that a diverse crowd had gathered to hear what the group of panelists N.C. Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, had assembled had to say about fracking. Cars outside…
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 05:34

WNC shale gas study cancelled

Western North Carolina is no longer on State Geologist Ken Taylor’s schedule for this fall’s tour de hydrocarbons in North Carolina. Taylor had planned to come to WNC in September to collect rock samples from road rights-of-way to test their…
Anyone who’s read a newspaper, turned on a TV or listened to chitchat in a grocery store sometime over the last six months has probably heard about North Carolina’s impending foray into the world of natural gas exploration. At the…
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 04:32

U.S. House candidates square off at WCU

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-Cashiers, went head-to-head with Tom Hill, D-Zirconia, his challenger for the 11th District Congressional seat, in a debate last week at Western Carolina University. Open seats were sparse in the A.K. Hinds University Center’s auditorium as the…
Cherokee leaders have formally asked the town of Franklin to turn over Nikwasi Mound, the latest turn of events in a two-year controversy swirling around the cultural and historical site. The town owns the prominent landmark at the edge of…
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 14:14

News in education

Mexico native finds help with English, career path at SCC  After moving to Western North Carolina with her husband Brian Jennings, learning English proved difficult for central Mexico native Edith Jennings.  “It was very difficult for me when we went to the…
Dr. Richard Thompson is breathing a bit easier this semester. He’s not worrying about funding. Not wondering if the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching will slip into the abyss. 
The University of North Carolina Board of Governors’ three-day visit on the Western Carolina University campus came to a close Sept. 12. The board’s regular monthly meeting included remarks from District 11 U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows and N.C. Gov. Pat…
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 14:12

Hospital sale over, but when can we get our money?

Although the ink is dry on the sale of Haywood Regional Medical Center, how much the county will get for the hospital remains a moving target.
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 14:12

Town of Sylva makes history

The Sylva Downtown Historic District was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register is administered by the National Park Service and is the country’s official list of United States historic sites considered worthy of preservation.…
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 14:11

Haywood leaders weigh in on fracking fray

Haywood County commissioners have joined the growing ranks of local elected leaders to take a stand on fracking.