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Wednesday, 29 September 2010 20:04

Public debates paving, widening Needmore Road

More than 100 people attended last week’s public hearing on a state Department of Transportation proposal to pave and widen a 3.3-mile section of road that cuts through the Needmore Game Lands and parallels the Little Tennessee River. The crowd…
Wednesday, 29 September 2010 19:57

Documents reveal DOT tug of war over Needmore Road

State and federal environmental agencies for more than a decade have questioned the need to make substantial improvements to Needmore Road. They’ve also repeatedly raised concerns about the possibility of serious environmental damage and worries about public reaction, documents on…
Wednesday, 29 September 2010 19:56

Railroad crossing workshop scheduled

The N.C. Department of Transportation will hold a citizens’ informational workshop on Tuesday, Oct. 5, on closure of a railroad crossing where the highway and railroad meet in Sylva. The informational meeting will begin at 5 p.m. and end at…
Wednesday, 29 September 2010 19:55

Jackson forum on environmental issues

A candidates’ forum on environmental issues will be held Thursday, Oct. 7, at 6 p.m. at the Jackson County Recreation Complex in Cullowhee. All of the candidates for the Jackson County Commission, North Carolina Senate 50th District, North Carolina House…
Wednesday, 29 September 2010 19:54

Golf tournament set for Saturday

A golf tournament will be held Saturday, Oct. 2 at Mill Creek Golf Course in Franklin. Tee-off is 10 a.m. The Mountain Trace Nursing & Rehabilitation Center’s tournament will benefit the resident council fund at Mountain Trace. The $60 entry…
Controversy over closing down the Haywood County trash transfer station has resurfaced now that commissioners have put the idea back on the front burner. County commissioners postponed a decision earlier this year on whether to shut down the transfer station…
Wednesday, 29 September 2010 19:50

A simpler solution

The recession bought Haywood County a little extra life in the landfill, thanks to less construction waste and commercial trash. A pit that everyone thought would be full by now still has more than a year left. But some of…
Haywood County commissioners are deciding whether to sell off space in the county’s landfill, allowing trucks from elsewhere to dump their garbage here for a fee. There’s only 30 to 40 years of life left in the landfill. Selling space…
Moody Funeral Home in Sylva has been accused of hiding its assets and income to avoid paying bills in violation of a court order, according to the latest filing in an ongoing lawsuit. Moody Funeral Home was sued in 2007…
Wednesday, 29 September 2010 19:43

Whittier board in hot water with state treasurer

The chairman of a board overseeing the water needs of just more than 100 residents in the Whittier community said people there will keep receiving the service, and that state concerns about the group’s operations are being addressed. Whittier Sanitary…
With North Carolina suffering from some of the worst unemployment rates in the country, the U.S. Treasury Department is dedicating $159 million to help laid off workers in the state avoid foreclosure. Another $121 million is likely on the way,…
Wednesday, 29 September 2010 19:36

Forest Hills in holding pattern on WCU annexation

A timetable is still being hammered out on when Forest Hills leaders will receive a formal proposal from Western Carolina University on annexing land for a commercial development. WCU wants to develop 35 acres of its main campus into a…
Wednesday, 06 October 2010 19:41

Swain embarks on new vision for old library

More bestsellers? A computer lab? Meeting space? This month, Swain County residents will be asked what it is they crave from their local Marianna Black Library. The surveys are part of an assessment funded by a planning grant from the…
Wednesday, 06 October 2010 19:39

Forestry, farmland tax breaks reduced

Haywood County landowners who get a property tax break for agriculture or foresty will see a reduction in that benefit next year. A countywide revaluation will hit the books next year, bringing home and land values in line with market…
Wednesday, 06 October 2010 19:38

WCU celebrates homecoming Oct. 8-10

The Alumni Scholarship Homecoming Golf Tournament will begin at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 8, at Sequoyah National Golf Club in Whittier. Then, the Homecoming parade will begin at 6:15 p.m. in downtown Sylva. Meanwhile, the Catamount soccer team will play…
Is going into business with a Brazilian company within the mission of Western Carolina University? Dean Robert McMahan says so, and he bases that decision on the university’s adoption of the Boyer model. WCU formally adopted this new tenure model,…
A company with South American roots will set up U.S. headquarters on the campus of Western Carolina University in a partnership to design, develop and build turbines. A public announcement about the deal is scheduled for next week. The Smoky…
Wednesday, 06 October 2010 19:33

Learn about early college high school

Jackson County Early College High School (JCEC) is recruiting for the 2011-2012 school year.   Several information sessions are scheduled for interested students and their parents. Four dates are scheduled; each begin at 6 p.m. Students and parent should select…
Town and county leaders will meet with the N.C. Highway Patrol this week in Franklin to discuss where in Macon County the state agency can build a radio tower. Something of a brouhaha erupted last week after town leaders learned…
Haywood County Commissioners voted unanimously Monday to pitch in $25,000 toward the regional livestock market under construction in Canton, adding their name to the list of governments and organizations from around the region that have contributed to the project. The…
Taxes and spending in a recession economy have emerged as the top issue in the race for Haywood County commissioner this year. Challengers vying for a seat on the board have jumped on the bandwagon of critics who have continually…
Wednesday, 06 October 2010 19:15

Breathing life into the Museum that Runs

A few steps past the door at Maggie Valley’s Wheels Through Time museum, and the characteristic, unmistakable scent of a mechanic’s workshop wafts out – a heady mix of grease, motor oil, gasoline and rubber worn down by open roads.…
Back about a decade ago, setting the table for economic growth around Whittier seemed something of a no-brainer — the casino in Cherokee was booming, and it seemed inevitable that businesses such as restaurants and hotels would clamor for space…
Candidates for District Court judge will espouse their vision for the bench at election forums held next week in Haywood and Jackson County. “Judges make decisions every day that directly influence people’s lives, yet many voters don’t know where judicial…
Not a day goes by that Judge Monica Leslie doesn’t realize the gravity of her decisions. Leslie is one of six District Court judges in the seven western counties. They decide how to split property and wealth when a couple…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 17:25

Tindall-Taylor leaving HRMC

The director of Haywood Regional Medical Center’s Foundation and Corporate Communications Department for the past 20 years, Robin Tindall-Taylor, has resigned her position at HRMC to take the position of the new executive director of the Highlands-Cashiers Hospital Foundation. “Over…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 17:26

Tourism office takes tech strides

In her nearly six-month tenure as executive director, Lynn Collins has been helping Haywood County’s Tourism Development Authority make strides — especially in using technology to be more effective for tourism operators and visitors. As a prominent example, the tourism…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 17:28

Who’s running and who’s not?

Canton Mayor Pat Smathers could face opposition this fall from his leading opponent on the town board, Alderman Eric Dills. Dills said this week he is considering a run for mayor against Smathers, although he has not made up his…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 17:29

Will Sylva vote expose usual fault line?

The race for the Sylva town board this fall could once again gauge the extent of shifting demographics of the town. Two seats on the board are up for election. Town Commissioner Stacey Knotts confirmed she will run again while…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 17:37

How Bob Barker took on the Eastern Band

Bob Barker?! The involvement of famed television host Bob Barker in the fight to end the Cherokee bear exhibits took many by surprise. During a phone interview with The Smoky Mountain News, Barker explained that he first became aware of…
The Cherokee School Board is on the verge of appointing a new superintendent following the termination of Rosemary Townsend after three years on the job. Board Chairman Anthony Sequoyah said Townsend was an at-will employee and that the board chose…
In the game of musical chairs stemming from the library moving out of its current digs on Sylva’s Main Street, “rear ends” may be landing in unexpected places. The Sylva Police Department was at least temporarily rebuffed — not “rebutted,”…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 17:55

Stimulus funds boost WNC mass transit

Mass transit is set to get a boost in Western North Carolina thanks to some economic stimulus money targeted for park and ride and carpooling lots. The Region 14 DOT office in Sylva was recently awarded $460,000 for several projects.…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 17:56

PETA targets bear zoos in national campaign

Recently, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians found itself the whipping boy of an unlikely opponent. Much to the tribe’s surprise, the national organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals last month released a statement calling for an end…
Two-term Franklin Alderman Bob Scott has wanted a turn as vice mayor going back a while — an honor that traditionally rotates among aldermen. But a couple of years ago, Mayor Joe Collins reportedly told him, Bob, “ain’t gonna happen.”…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 17:59

New bike shop opens in Bryson

Andy Zivinsky and Diane Cutler were determined to move to the mountains. Their passion for all things outdoors was making the Raleigh area increasingly ill-suited to the type of lifestyle they wanted. “We were only taking an outdoor trip once…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 18:03

Canton election hangs on vision for town

How Canton residents envision the future of their town could play a pivotal role in who gets elected this fall. The current town board has been locked in a power struggle recently, with two long-time board members often at odds…
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 18:05

Long-time Sylva mayor won’t run again

Sylva’s mayor for the past 17 years, Brenda Oliver, has announced that she will not run for re-election this fall.Oliver, 67, said she has enjoyed serving the town and is optimistic about the direction it is headed. Oliver said she…
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 18:18

441 corridor plan poised for passage

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners held a final public hearing on the proposed U.S. 441 “Gateway” Corridor ordinance Monday (July 6). Michael Egan, the county’s consulting attorney on land development matters, gave an overview of the ordinance before comments…
By May 2008, members of Earla Mae Cowan’s family had begun to suspect a trusted nephew was stealing from her. And, in the first few months when they were most anxious to see the matter taken seriously and looked into…
A much smaller contingent of Rainbow Family members than North Carolina’s Nantahala National Forest has sometimes experienced descended on Buck Creek in the forest’s Tusquitee District in late June. In 1987, an estimated 12,000 Rainbow Family members converged on Nantahala…
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 18:31

Ghost Town coaster an open-and-shut case

The much-anticipated roller coaster at Ghost Town opened amid fanfare last week, then was promptly shut down again. The coaster is one of the primary attractions at the mountaintop amusement park in Maggie Valley, but has been plagued by a…
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 19:28

Duke starts dredging above Dillsboro Dam

Duke Energy has begun work preparing a site along the Tuckasegee River upstream of the Dillsboro Dam in order to start dredging the river there. While virtually everyone agrees the dredging is a good thing in and of itself, the…
South Main Street in Waynesville is headed for a major roadway redesign, one that could take out rows of long-time businesses to make way for more lanes, sidewalks, bike lanes and a median. South Main Street — the two-lane thoroughfare…
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 19:38

Public art showcases Folkmoot USA

Folkmoot will be the subject of a public art piece commissioned by the Waynesville Public Art Commission (WPAC).Artist Wayne Trapp has been selected to be the artist for the third public art piece. With an installation date scheduled for early…
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 19:41

Public split on South Main’s future

In the heyday of curbside service, Jim Caldwell had a special talent for dressing hot dogs. He could balance 10 buns up on one arm, stacked from his wrist to his bicep, while his other wielded ketchup and mustard bottles,…
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 19:43

Director says community values festival

By Melanie Threlkeld McConnell Forget Europe. Haywood County is where the action is for Karen Babcock this summer, and she couldn’t be happier. Well, give her a piece of dark chocolate and she could be. Babcock is the new executive…
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 19:45

Folkmoot expands into three new counties

Last year Cindy Gilbert took her Polk County band students to China to perform. This year she is bringing the world’s music to them — thanks to Folkmoot USA and its drive to expand its presence in Western North Carolina.…
Legasus developers have been attracting attention from Jackson County residents for almost two years. When news of the plans got out in early 2007 — calling for 1,800 lots on 3,500 acres between Tuckasegee and Glenville — Legasus evoked the…
The Cherokee Nation and Harrah’s pulled out all the stops to mark start of construction on a third hotel tower at the tribe’s casino — an addition that will make the property the largest hotel in the state. The $633…
Construction will soon begin on a medical office building on the Harris Regional Hospital campus in Sylva. The new 45,000-square-foot, three-story building will house physician practices, allowing for growth of the medical community. The building will also house an outpatient…
A mega developer in Jackson County has landed in foreclosure due to sluggish lot sales in the down real estate economy. Legasus development company saw a portion of its massive land holdings auctioned off on the courthouse steps last week.…
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 20:01

Macon to create broad plan — again

At a forum on Macon County’s move to begin working on a comprehensive plan to address future growth, the presenter focused on the what, the how and the why. Following the talk, by new county Planner Derek Roland, audience members…
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 20:03

‘Skeleton’ of a plan

Derek Roland’s presentation about the effort to create a comprehensive planning document for Macon County suggested that a progressive document might come out of the planning process. But it was evident from the ensuing question-and-answer session [see main article] that…
A regular guest at the Dillsboro Holiday Inn Express upset by phone and Internet outages at the hotel discovered it is no longer affiliated with the Holiday Inn corporate brand. The inn’s de-listing was confirmed by a spokeswoman for brand…
Macon County residents fearful that a proposed sewage treatment plant in Georgia will harm the Little Tennessee River turned out en masse at a public hearing last week to voice those concerns. The Little Tennessee River flows north from Rabun…
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 20:27

Celebrate Halloween with dodgeball tournament

Sign-up for teams is now under way for Haywood Regional Health & Fitness Center’s Night of Fright Dodgeball Tournament, to be held from 6 to 9 p.m, Oct. 28. Teams for the tournament may consist of four to seven participants,…
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 20:26

Franklin Chamber to hold e-mail seminar

The Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a seminar entitled “The Power of Email Marketing” from 3-5 p.m. on Oct. 20 at Center for New Mountain Business located at 673 Siler Road in Franklin. The 1.5 hour seminar is…
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 20:26

Groves said goodbye, but comes back again

Cecil Groves, former president of Southwestern Community College, is the new CEO of BalsamWest FiberNet. Groves, who had moved to Texas to be near family, replaces David Hubbs, who announced he was leaving to pursue personal
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 20:25

Sylva stays in-house for new police chief

Davis Woodard, a veteran law enforcement officer in Jackson County, has been selected as Sylva’s new police chief.
A new state bill aims to encourage children to put down the sugary juices and frolic on the playground outside.
Canton may be looking toward a new era of revitalization, thanks to a grant from the North Carolina Rural Center. The town was awarded $25,000 earlier this fall for the Step Up Canton program, which will formulate strategies for economic…
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 20:20

Swain sheriff receives federal grant

The Swain County Sheriff’s Office has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice under the 2010 COPS Hiring Program. The grant, in the amount of $125,811.00, will cover one officer position for a three-year period. The grant will…
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 20:19

New Choices moves to REACH thrift store

The job training and life skills program, sponsored by REACH of Jackson County, has moved from its original location at the Client Service Center to Mariposa Boutique, the REACH thrift shop on Skyland Drive in Sylva. New Choices is a…
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 20:19

Golf tournament to benefit REACH

A golf tournament will be held Monday, Oct. 18, at Highlands Falls Country Club in Highlands. Registration begins at 9 a.m. The “Playing for a Purpose” tournament will benefit REACH of Macon County, a nonprofit agency serving victims of family…
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 20:18

Haywood Hospice volunteer training

Training for hospice is scheduled for the end of this month at Lake Junaluska First Baptist Church. Haywood Regional Medical Center Hospice & Palliative Care will hold the volunteer training series on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 25, 26,…
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 20:18

Candidates forum held in Franklin

A forum for Macon County Commissioner candidates will be hosted by the League of Women Voters of Macon County at 12:15 p.m. on Oct. 14 at Tartan Hall, First Presbyterian Church of Franklin. Incumbents Ronnie Beale (D) and Bob Simpson…
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 20:16

As American as apple pie

On a chilly Wednesday night in early October, the small parking lot of the North Hominy Community Center in Haywood County is packed out.
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 20:15

Big lot mandate hampers housing growth in Sylva

Residential density is coming under scrutiny in Sylva after town leaders learned they require larger lots than most similar-sized towns.
Dodie Allen might be an unlikely hero for those business owners and downtown employees in Sylva who believe a new parking ordinance impairs their ability to make a living.
A partnership between Western Carolina University and a Brazilian-based company could eventually result in up to 300 new jobs for the region — if Vale Soluções em Energia, as hoped, agrees to build its yet-to-be-designed turbines here.
A national search for a new Western Carolina University chancellor will start immediately following longtime leader John Bardo’s announcement this week he would leave the institution’s top post and join the faculty.
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 20:06

WCU chancellor to retire

John Bardo, chancellor of Western North Carolina since 1995, announced this week he would step down. It’s been an extraordinarily long tenure for a university chancellor, and Bardo simply said it is time for a change at the top.
A radio tower that caused an outcry in Franklin because of its height — 471 feet — and its location — on the outskirts of town, in a residential area — won’t be built there after all. Instead, following a…
The “buzz bus” soon will be ferrying students from bars in Sylva back to the Western Carolina University campus.
A First Amendment battle is not what Western Carolina University senior Justin Caudell expected when he returned to campus this fall. But Caudell, who is editor-in-chief of the school’s student newspaper, the Western Carolinian, found himself on the other side…
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 19:58

WCU student paper accused of plagiarism

Though The Sylva Herald and the Western Carolinian are still at odds about whether plagiarism occurred this summer, The Smoky Mountain News conducted its own investigation into the claims that led university officials to open the inquiry that temporarily closed…
A conference at Lake Janaluska Dec. 2-4 will be, “Embracing Christ’s Multi-Ethnic Body: Breaking Down Barriers and Building Bridges.” This represents Lake Junaluska’s second multicultural conference. During this event, people will experience life-changing times of listening and learning as participants…
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 19:52

Few takers step up to run Haywood’s landfill

Selling space in the Haywood County landfill might not be the windfall some county leaders were hoping for.
The latest filing in a lawsuit over the massive landslide in Maggie Valley last winter claims the collapse of the mountainside was triggered by a broken waterline at Ghost Town in the Sky amusement park. Until now, accusations centered on…
Jackson County commissioners passed a slate of sweeping development regulations in 2007 designed to rein in what they saw as runaway development. Commissioners touted the regulations as protecting not only the environment and but also the quality of life from…
Bryson City’s Marianna Black Library could be getting a facelift, and library leaders are looking to patrons for a grasp on exactly how to do that. In eight public input sessions held last week, Swain County Librarian Jeff Delfield and…
Wednesday, 20 October 2010 19:58

Women in Business address wide-ranging issues

Women in Haywood County looking to improve their business savvy can find support and inspiration from the Greater Haywood Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business seminar series, designed to educate local women and connect them to one another. The program,…
Wednesday, 20 October 2010 19:57

Wal-Mart renovation to be scaled back

The renovation of Haywood County’s former Wal-Mart will be delayed as architects revise the project to match its budget. Scott Donald of Padgett and Freeman Architects, who are planning the renovations for the now-county-owned building, told Haywood County commissioners at…
Hunters showed up en masse at a Haywood commissioners meeting to express their concerns about proposed changes to the ordinances stipulating how their dogs had to be tethered. While the revised ordinances do not include a prohibition on chaining or…
Haywood Regional Medical Center, Harris Regional Hospital and Swain County Hospital have taken the next step in the affiliation that joined the three hospitals under the MedWest umbrella. The hospitals will now be known as MedWest-Haywood, MedWest-Harris and MedWest-Swain. MedWest…
Wednesday, 20 October 2010 19:51

Learn how to profit from your hobby Oct. 26

The Small Business Center of Haywood Community College will offer a free seminar entitled “Turning your Hobby into a Business” on Tuesday, Oct. 26, from 6-8 p.m. It will be held on campus in the Student Center Building, first floor.…
Wednesday, 20 October 2010 19:51

Swain sheriff receives federal grant

The Swain County Sheriff’s Office has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice under the 2010 COPS Hiring Program. The grant, in the amount of $125,811.00, will cover one officer position for a three-year period. The grant will…
Wednesday, 20 October 2010 19:50

Group schedules pet registration

Haywood Animal Welfare Association is holding a Microchip Clinic, Saturday, Oct. 30 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Vance Street Park behind Bi-Lo in Waynesville.  For the cost of $15 the pet will be registered for life with HomeAgain.…
Wednesday, 20 October 2010 19:49

Registration under way for kids’ basketball

Haywood County Recreation & Parks Department is now accepting registration for the 2010-11 Kids Recreation Basketball League. Designed for ages 5-15, the recreation basketball league guarantees that each child will get the opportunity to play at least half of every…
Wednesday, 20 October 2010 19:48

Coat donations sought for Swain’s needy

The second annual “Coats 4 Folks” program in Swain County will continue through Oct. 31, and winter clothes can be dropped off at collection boxes in all county buildings. Organizers are collecting gently used coats, sweaters, sweatshirts, gloves, scarves, etc.,…
Wednesday, 20 October 2010 19:47

Program on addiction scheduled at Junaluska

The Live and Learn program “The Genetics of Addiction” will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 21, in the Gains Auditorium of the Welcome Center at Lake Junaluska.  The program is designed to aid in understanding addiction. Experts…
Wednesday, 20 October 2010 19:43

Haywood Heroes 5K to make first annual debut

The Haywood Heroes 5K Road Race and 1-mile Fun Run honoring emergency service personnel who gave their lives in the line of duty will be held Saturday, Nov. 6, in Canton. The race is sponsored by the Canton Lions Club…
Wednesday, 20 October 2010 19:42

Sylva ‘back street’ eyed for facelift

Neglect has its advantages. At least it does if you are talking about preservation. On back street in Sylva — the proper name is Mill Street, but few use that term — many of the buildings still bear the names…
Wednesday, 20 October 2010 19:37

Budget issues top Macon commission race

On this, the seven candidates for the Macon County Board of Commissioners agree: the problems of a dour economy, and the subsequent need to watch every dollar spent and encourage any economic growth possible, is the No. 1 responsibility facing…
Is Mary Rock paranoid, trying to garner a sympathy vote? Or is her opponent for sheriff, incumbent Jimmy Ashe, really targeting her by destroying campaign signs? Over the past week or so, three signs — the large ones, which cost…
Sam Greenwood has been around the governmental block a few times. He twice served as Macon County’s manager, and after retiring he promptly returned to the ranks of bureaucracy again, this time as the town of Franklin’s manager. So it…
Wednesday, 20 October 2010 19:35

Flu shots offered

The Haywood County Health Department is offering flu vaccines on a walk-in basis, with no appointment necessary, to people ages 19 and older. The walk-in vaccines are available from 9 a.m. to Noon Monday-Thursday and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.…
Ambivalence toward development, and who should pace and manage growth in a manner that preserves the natural beauty of the mountains, has surfaced as the central debate in the race for Jackson County’s Board of Commissioners. Three seats are open…