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Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:29

Spine Center coming to Angel Medical

Spine care for residents of Macon and adjoining counties will be available in Franklin beginning Tuesday, Sept. 7 with the opening of Mission Outpatient Spine Center at Angel Medical Center. A grand opening celebration will be held at noon on Sept.…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:28

HCC offers business planning course

Rural Entrepreneurship through Action Learning will be offered from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursdays from Sept. 14 through Oct. 7. This four-week course will be held at Haywood Community College in the Freedlander Building in Room 204.…
The historic significance of the Cowee Valley corridor received a national boost this month following the designation of N.C. 28 as part of the Indian Lakes Scenic Byway. “We had to make our case for the project, document the project…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:24

Blue Ridge Hall opens its doors

Of the 1,450 Western Carolina University freshmen set to move in Aug. 20, about 375 will score a room in the brand new Blue Ridge Hall. The hall is the second of a pair of residence halls built as part…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:24

Free hand screening to be held at Harris

Dr. Paul Cutting, an orthopedic doctor at Western Carolina Orthopedic Specialists who specializes in hand and upper extremity surgery, will offer a free hand screening from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday. Sept. 9, at the outpatient therapy department in…
Lake Junaluska Assembly invites youth and children to become peacemakers at the 2010 Lake Junaluska Peace Celebration: Mosaic of Hope, Sept. 18 through 19. The unique two-day event features leadership from children’s activist Jeni Stepanek, as well as youth and…
For the second time in three years, the Jackson County Child Support Enforcement Program has achieved the ranking of No. 1 in the state, according to a report released by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services for fiscal…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:20

Rabies shots likely in store for dozens

More than 40 people in Haywood County might have been exposed to rabies after a baby raccoon a family was caring for died and tested positive for the disease. The raccoon died of rabies infection Aug. 13. Prior to its…
In the 1970s, blue jeans and boys with shaggy hair were as scandalous in Western North Carolina schools as miniskirts and pants sagging well below the waist are today. Teenage fashion continues marching onward in its evolution, leaving school administrators…
Bryson City merchants can expect some relief from the downtown parking crunch once the old Swain County Jail is torn down in the next two weeks. The crumbling jail was abandoned a couple of years ago for a new multimillion-dollar…
Attorneys in the state’s seven westernmost counties sent a message to the governor this week that they don’t want a temporary fill-in as judge before the November election. The retirement of longtime District Court Judge Danny Davis would typically trigger…
Finding a new police chief for Sylva might take more time than anticipated after some of the town’s board members balked at using outside help. In early August, Town Manager Adrienne Isenhower notified commissioners via email she intended to enlist…
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:13

Chevy hybrid put through the paces

When General Motors began looking for a good place to test the power of a new Hybrid car being released this fall, two of WNC’s most notorious curvy roads rose to the top. Both Tail of the Dragon and Hellbender…
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:12

Benefit dinner planned for Catman2 shelter

The Balsam Mountain Inn will have a special dinner at 6 and 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 24 to provide donations to the Catman2 Spay and Neuter program. All proceeds from the dinner will defray costs for the shelter and pay…
Not long ago, Waynesville’s historic Frog Level district was fraught with littered beer bottles and an unrelenting band of vagrants. “Sleeping under back decks, defecating on front doorsteps, leaving wine bottles and beer cans,” said Lieutenant Brian Beck. “The creek…
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:06

Trying for a lifetime to forgive

Inside Mary J. Messer’s cozy Bargain Books in Waynesville, hundreds of thousands of books are stacked ceiling high. Messer sits herself close to the door so she can greet customers as soon as they walk in and help them navigate…
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:05

Retired general to speak to Jackson GOP

The Jackson County GOP’s Orville Coward Forum on Public Issues program featuring Retired U.S. Marine Corp Gen. Geoff Higginbotham will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 23, at the Sapphire Resort Community Center in Sapphire. Gen. Higginbotham’s service…
State-of-the-art defines just about everything the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians builds these days. Gorgeous architectural lines, native mountain building materials, energy efficient green design — with price tags to match — are hallmarks of everything from a $140 million…
According to public input so far, a reworked Cowee School could bear close resemblance to another historic Western North Carolina schoolhouse — what is now known as the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center in Graham County. Students at the Cowee…
Hundreds of chefs gathered in Washington, D.C., Friday, June 4, to launch Chefs Move to Schools, a program designed to get healthy food into cafeterias. Among their ranks was Charles Hudson, the research and development chef for Sunburst Trout Company…
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 12:34

America’s Favorite Journey

The Blue Ridge Parkway unravels gracefully across the landscape, at times suspended from high cliffs and etched into rocky crags, then deftly shifting gears to skim over hayfields and past log cabins bound by split-rail fences. The road seems unfazed…
Join children’s advocates from across the United States at the third annual Lake Junaluska Peace Conference September 18-21, 2010, as we seek to create “Peace for the World’s Children.” With keynote speakers and leaders such as Marian Wright Edelman and…
After decades of bitter division among Swain County residents concerning the North Shore Road controversy, people on both sides have come to a surprisingly easy agreement in its aftermath. County leaders and citizens all agree that an advisory committee must…
Restaurant and bar patrons in Maggie Valley may see an extra tax on their bills to support tourism promotion and projects in town by this time next year. Maggie Valley’s town board has unanimously approved applying to the state for…
Tuesday, 06 July 2010 19:22

Senate clamps down on sweepstakes

If Rep. Ray Rapp has his way, the state House will crush video sweepstakes as fervently as the state Senate did late last month. N.C. senators voted 47-1 to ban the video gambling machines that have evolved to circumvent a…
At the end of a rough week, your dog might consider stopping in at Smoky Mountain Dog Bakery in Dillsboro for “Yappy Hour” or perhaps heading to Woof Gang Bakery in Cashiers for a homemade gourmet treat. Dogs older than…
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 18:21

Scam targets hotel owners

When a $4,000 payment showed up in the mail to cover a $1,195 bill, Jim Freeman knew something was up. Freeman, owner of Freeman’s Motel in Almond, made his way to Google and learned he had just narrowly avoided a…
Owners of video sweepstakes parlors in North Carolina are out of luck for now. Governor Bev Perdue is expected to sign a bill passed by the legislature that will ban cyber sweepstakes starting Dec. 1 this year. Sweepstakes operators in…
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 19:31

WNC schools hooked up with fiber

By the end of this year, nearly every student in the six westernmost counties will have unprecedented access to technology in the classroom. Thanks to a collaborative project called WNC EdNet, high-speed Internet will become a reality for all public…
For those who think getting a travel visa is a headache, try steering hundreds of Folkmoot dancers from a dozen different countries through the highly bureaucratic process. That’s what Folkmoot USA’s group relations committee is responsible for doing months before…
An unseen cultural exchange takes place every day in the cafeteria where Folkmoot performers take their meals. Before, during and after a grueling day of performances, Folkmoot dancers fuel up on North Carolina fare. Whether it’s squash casserole or a…
Longtime Folkmoot volunteer and supporter George Escaravage was given the Alan Brown award for service to the international dance festival at the July 22 Gala Preview held at Eaglenest Entertainment in Maggie Valley. Escaravage is a former Folkmoot USA board…
For community nonprofits facing a daily test of survival, thefts from the thrift stores they rely on are like a slap in the face. Anita Robinson, manager of Swain/Qualla SAFE Thrift Shop, has seen emboldened thieves brave security cameras to…
Starting next February, all law enforcement officers will be required to collect DNA from people arrested for certain crimes. Anyone arrested for murder, rape, burglary, kidnapping or even cyberstalking will automatically have their DNA collected via a cheek swab. The…
With ever shrinking pockets, the regional economic development arm AdvantageWest is scaling back its investment in tourism for the time being. The group — which represents 23 Western North Carolina counties — says it will primarily focus on agribusiness, entrepreneurship,…
No one is more intimate with the highs and lows of amusement park Ghost Town in the Sky than the people of Maggie Valley. In its heyday, the mountaintop theme park routinely drew 400,000 visitors a year to the small…
Tuesday, 03 August 2010 19:46

Haywood hospice center to become a reality

The first inpatient hospice west of Asheville had its groundbreaking in Clyde last week — complete with Jimmy Jack the mule and its own theme song. The hospital is targeting September 2011 as the opening date for the Homestead hospice,…
Tuesday, 03 August 2010 19:47

Property rights crowd objects to trash rule

On Monday morning, Haywood County commissioners listened as one citizen after another came up and blasted a change to a health board rule that has been on the books since 1970. About 40 people stood up to express their opposition…
Advocates for a cleaner Pigeon River have filed a formal challenge against a state water pollution permit for the Canton paper mill that was renewed this summer. They allege that Evergreen Packaging can well afford to be held to stricter…
Twenty-five years ago, a fledgling farmers market got its modest start in a small parking lot on Waynesville’s Main Street with only two vendors. Today, Waynesville is home to two farmers markets — held on the same day, at the…
A $300,000 federal grant awarded to three community colleges will help ready a Western North Carolina workforce for the rapidly growing green technology field. Some 400 students are expected to enroll in programs supported by the Appalachian Regional Commission grant…
From the Macon County Fire Department to a persistent group of contra dancers, a long list of groups is vying for the chance to use the old Cowee school once it is vacated by students in two years. Stacy Guffey,…
An elderly man was swindled out of $5,500 by a Department of Social Services employee in Swain County, according to an investigation by the Bryson City police department. As nursing home bills for his wife mounted, the man had sought…
Wednesday, 07 April 2010 17:37

A knack for helping others

With a long trail of accomplishments already behind him, Tony Giorgio is ready to work his magic on Western North Carolina. In the nearly three decades of work, Giorgio’s charity Compassion for Kids has raised $1.5 million for 2,000 seriously…
Eight-year-old Devon Heenan stood with her arm extended in the parking lot of the Ingles in Cashiers. With her cell phone camera, she and a friend were taking pictures of the summer sun in hopes of seeing a sky ship…
Measuring the overall health of a population at the local level is an elusive and cumbersome task. As a result, there have been few statistical studies historically that hint at how Western North Carolina stacks up. But this year, an…
Armando Basulto had his opponent’s arm sandwiched between his legs. He leaned forward, putting pressure on the man’s shoulder. The man gritted his teeth and patted the mat in surrender. Basulto slid away from the man who was still belly…
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 20:18

Volunteers invaluable at Folkmoot

Last year, Folkmoot USA relied on about 4,000 hours of community service to pull off the festival. Volunteers hosted BBQs, sold souvenirs, bandaged sprained ankles, answered phones, served four meals a day and helped in many more ways. In April,…
Tuesday, 27 July 2010 20:09

Luggage logistics

At the Folkmoot Friendship Center in Waynesville, performers’ costumes erupt from the sleeping quarters to fill spare rooms, hallways, and an unused nook in the auditorium. “We always assume that the costumes and performers will fit in the same room,”…
A little known law went into effect this year requiring landlords to install carbon monoxide detectors in any rental property with oil or gas furnaces, gas appliances, fireplaces or attached garages. The bill, passed by the N.C. General Assembly, went…
The make-up of Sylva’s town board shifted this week when board members voted 3-1 to replace outgoing board member Sarah Graham with Harold Hensley. The vote changes the town’s disposition from one with a progressive voting majority to one likely…
The Sylva town board voted unanimously to adopt a new parking ordinance that will fine downtown employees and business owners if they park on Main or Mill streets — a move aimed at alleviating the parking pinch downtown during commercial…
For farmers who rely on the Tuckasegee River to irrigate their crops, a brutal summer heat wave and dry spell took a turn for the worst this month when too much mud in the river forced them to shut down…
As Macon County closes in on a steep slope ordinance, some members of the building and real estate industry fear the new regulations will pose an unwanted barrier into a construction economy that is already hurting. “No one so far…
When the Summit Charter School found a new home last year, it left behind an empty space in the heart of the Cashiers’ Village Green, a 12.5-acre green space created with private donations in 1992. The board of directors for…
Franklin Alderman Bob Scott wants to know what people think about a proposed Super Wal-Mart on the edge of town. Instead of stumping on the street corners, Scott has posted a survey on the web using an online polling tool.…
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 19:25

Haywood hops farmer sets the bar high

Haywood County hops farmer Scott Grahl is a dreamer with his feet planted firmly on the ground. “One day a buddy of mine called and said ‘Did you know there is a worldwide hops shortage?’” Grahl said. “From then on,…
On Tuesday evening, 11-year-old Ronnie Patterson said goodbye to his home away from home. Patterson is a skateboarder, and for the past year he’s spent nearly every afternoon at the Disciples Youth Center skate park on U.S. 441 in Jackson…
Four years ago, new laws regulating the sale of pseudoephedrine in pharmacies slowed the illegal production of methamphetamine. The chemical compound commonly found in over-the-counter cold medication is a fundamental ingredient in the production of the illegal drug. But a…
The town of Dillsboro, once a thriving retail market for tourists, has taken a beating in the past two years. First, the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, a business that delivered 60,000 visitors per year to the downtown, moved its operations…
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is urging the state to formally license Cherokee language teachers, enabling Cherokee courses taught in public schools off the reservation to count toward a student’s foreign language requirement. Earlier this month, tribal and school…
After nearly eight months of wrangling with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Swain County leaders and a vocal citizens group, Duke Energy agreed to relocate an electrical substation from a controversial location — one that would loom over a…
Franklin Alderman Bob Scott recused himself from the vote on a special use permit for a Wal-Mart Supercenter this week after conducting an online survey on the issue. Town Attorney John Henning said he believed the survey compromised Scott’s impartiality,…
“I’ll tell you what this is, and I’ll tell you what it’s not,” said Franklin Mayor Joe Collins, opening a public hearing on a special use permit for a proposed Wal-mart Supercenter just outside the town limits. Collins had anticipated…
Last month the Public Policy Institute at Western Carolina University partnered with The Smoky Mountain News to conduct a poll testing the voter climate in Jackson County. The results of the poll showed voters had low confidence in county government,…
Just over a year ago, the members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians voted to allow alcohol sales at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel while the rest of the reservation would remain dry. The controversial ballot measure pitted economic…
Tuesday, 10 August 2010 19:57

Barefoot runner on crusade for kids

When Boone resident Matt Jenkins began his 760-mile barefoot run across North Carolina, he didn’t figure it would end with a snake bite. Just before 11 p.m. last Wednesday (Aug. 4), as Jenkins crossed from Jackson into Macon County, a…
The Jackson County Green Energy Park took center stage last week as Governor Bev Perdue and the Appalachian Regional Commission dropped in for a tour, touting the initiative as a model of the new green economy. Perdue spent about an…
For decades the story of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians wasn’t their own. Tourists flocked to see Cherokee men dance in the streets dressed as Great Plains Indians, arrayed in long feathered headdresses. The tribe’s history play, “Unto These…
The only woman to head a college or university construction management department in the United States has joined the faculty of Western Carolina University as the Joe W. Kimmel Distinguished Professor of Construction Management. J.K. Yates began her duties as…
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 18:06

SCC recognized for performance

Southwestern Community College was one of only 11 colleges to earn an exceptional rating in the annual performance measures report recently released by the North Carolina Community College System. The performance measures were adopted by the State Board of Community…
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 18:15

HRMC uses garden therapy

The engineering, grounds and Behavioral Health Unit at Haywood Regional Medical worked together to brighten the hospital community by planting a rose garden. Research has shown that hospital patients whose windows looked out at landscape scenery recovered from surgery quicker…
A ceremony marking the installation of a marker honoring Capt. George Ellis Plott, who was killed in action on Dec. 24, 1944, will be held at 11 a.m. on July 26 at the Plott family cemetery in Plott Creek in…
Mountain Projects, Inc. through a collaborative effort with the Area Agency on Aging and Progress Energy is sponsoring Operation Fan-Heat Relief Program for seniors. People 60 years or older whose health would otherwise suffer during hot summer months and seniors…
As the director of Southwestern Community College’s new Plus 50 program, Michael Rich is rapidly working in the community to get his face and program recognized. An initiative of the American Association of Community Colleges, Plus 50 focuses on learning,…
The Haywood County Historical and Genealogical Society will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 27 at the Shook House in Clyde. Following the business meeting, Ted Carr and Evelyn Coltman will present a program entitled, “The Best of the Cold…
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 19:39

Haywood Habitat holds open enrollment

Haywood Habitat for Humanity is holding an open enrollment through July for perspective new-home partner families. Applicants must be residents of Haywood County and have lived in North Carolina for the past year, have an annual household income of $18,700…
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 19:49

Elder abuse training available to public

The 30th Judicial District Domestic Violence-Sexual Assault Alliance is working to end elder abuse by offering training sessions across the far western counties of North Carolina. Statistics from the National Center for Elder Abuse state that between one and two…
Tuesday, 27 July 2010 20:33

Two towns at a crossroads

For decades Maggie Valley and Dillsboro were two of the mountain’s most iconic tourist towns. Sadly, both relied heavily — too heavily — on a single cash-cow. When Ghost Town shut down in Maggie and the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad…
An “old-fashioned” groundbreaking will be held July 30 for the new Homestead hospice inpatient facility, complete with a working mule and plow and banjo music. The hospice has raised $2.8 million of the $3.6 million needed to build and equip…
The women’s giving circle, Women for Women, was able to award $235,000 in new grants this year. To date, the initiative has distributed more than $1.2 million in grants. More than 1,000 women attended Women For Women’s sixth annual “Power…
Tuesday, 27 July 2010 20:49

Police survival seminar offered at WCU

Western Carolina University’s Police Department will host a free law enforcement seminar on police officer survival skills from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, July 30. Deputy Jeff DeGrow of the Charleston County, S.C., Sheriff’s Office will re-enact an incident…
Harris Medical Park, the newly-constructed medical office building adjacent to Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva, is now open, providing patients with outpatient care and lab services. The three-story, 45,000 sq. ft. medical office building is home to Sylva Medical Center,…
Tuesday, 10 August 2010 19:59

Hospital hosts annual medical symposium

The Highlands-Cashiers Hospital and its Board of Directors is offering area physicians, active and retired, the opportunity to attend a continuing educational seminar beginning 8 a.m. Aug. 13 at the Jane Woodruff Clinic, Suite 103. The seminar will focus on…
Tuesday, 10 August 2010 20:00

HRMC foundation holds golf outing

The Haywood Regional Medical Center Foundation will host the 19th Annual Charitable Classic Golf & Gala Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. This year, the fundraiser will include a third golf course and offer two chances to win a new car.…
Tuesday, 06 July 2010 19:43

Information offered to small businesses

Two informational sessions will be available for Western North Carolina’s small businesses. “Ask the Experts: What’s new for small businesses in 2010” events will focus on access to capital and entrepreneurial development. They will offer updates about new opportunities as…
Tuesday, 06 July 2010 19:44

Shuler announces WNC job fairs

Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., has announced a series of job fairs throughout the summer month. Workforce training and employer training seminars will run from 10 a.m. to noon July 9 at the Franklin Employment Security Commission Office at 427 Harrison…
Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market will have a festival in conjunction with the long-awaited arrival of summer corn and tomatoes from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 17. The market has been bustling for weeks with colorful produce, homemade bread,…
Tuesday, 03 August 2010 19:37

North Shore residents interviews unveiled

The public is invited to watch 15 hours of raw video that will take viewers back 20 years to experience the stories and see the land of North Shore residents who had their property seized by the government in the…
Tuesday, 03 August 2010 19:53

Meals on Wheels to hold tennis tourney

The Haywood County Meals on Wheels is hosting a Tennis Tournament at 9 a.m., Aug. 5 to 7 at the Waynesville Recreation Center Tennis Courts on West Marshall Street. Cost is $20 per person and $40 for Doubles. Categories include…
Tuesday, 03 August 2010 19:55

WCU tuition hike to offset budget crunch

To help offset the impact of budget cuts recently authorized by the N.C. General Assembly, Western Carolina University will raise in-state undergraduate tuition and fees by 17.5 percent effective for the fall semester. University of North Carolina system President Erskine…
Tuesday, 10 August 2010 20:01

MedWest introduces new physicians

MedWest Health System invites the community to meet several new physicians who have recently joined the medical staff at its Sylva campus 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 16, in the lobby of Harris Regional Hospital. A reception for the…
Tuesday, 10 August 2010 20:15

Elder abuse training available to public

The 30th Judicial District Domestic Violence-Sexual Assault Alliance is working to end elder abuse by offering training sessions across the far western counties of North Carolina. Statistics from the National Center for Elder Abuse state that between one and two…
Glenville residents are working to preserve the area’s rich history. Woody Hayes is leading a group of community members as they record and transcribe interviews of prominent residents. Residents will be asked for recollections, photos, drawings and other documents. In…
Tuesday, 10 August 2010 20:20

Grief support offered to the community

An eight-week grief support group will meet from noon to 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays from Aug. 24 to Oct. 12 in the second floor classroom at Haywood Regional Health & Fitness Center. The group sessions will be facilitated by Dan Yearick,…
Neighbor to Family, a nonprofit aimed at improving foster care by keeping siblings together, is offering free classes to potential foster parents. Classes will be held at the Neighbor to Family office beginning with an orientation class at 5:30 p.m.…
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Western North Carolina will hold the 1st Annual Smoky Mountain Cabin Raffle to benefit its efforts to recruit, screen, train and support caring adults who want to make a difference in the life of a…
Lake Junaluska Assembly will hold its African-American Clergy Health Summit September 27 to 28. Participants will participate in a self-care covenant workshop designed specifically for African-American clergy, which reflects the health summit’s theme, “Wanting to Heal and Be Healed,” John…
Haywood Community College will offer Medical Office Assistant, Nurse Aide I, and Phlebotomy courses in August through the JobsNOW Program. Students in the programs can obtain a certificate in less than six months that includes workplace readiness skills and completion…