fr landfill3The dangers of coal ash have taken center stage in North Carolina in the wake of the Dan River disaster, when a breach in a faulty Duke Energy coal ash pond near Eden unleashed a toxic slurry downstream.

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 from both sides and studying the issue, I voted to allow Canton the opportunity to fully compete with our sister cities as it concerns attracting events.”

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.

fr evergreenA 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 Presnell, R-Haywood, on Tuesday afternoon. 

bookBy Michael Beadle • Contributing writer

Anyone who’s spent serious time with a cat knows there are a myriad of ways to describe the feline mystery. They are inscrutable creatures. At times, indifferent. At others, intensely focused. Adorable and affable when they want to be. Experts of stealth. Part diva, part zen master. 

The great Scottish novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott once wrote, “Cats are a mysterious kind of folk. There is more passing in their minds than we are aware of.”


A new push to change the public alcohol consumption and possession law in Canton has not come without controversy.

A section of Johnson Street in Canton has been closed following complaints that parked vehicles — repair jobs from Blackbear Automotive & Transmission — were creating a traffic hazard. 

“We’re after a safety issue. We’re not trying to close his business, but he seems to think otherwise,”  Jerry Mcfall, a resident living near the area in question, said at a specially called town meeting July 16. “Safety is our primary issue, and that’s what we’re here for.”

fr camphopeA two-year court battle over the ownership of Camp Hope concluded last week when the N.C. Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that the property belonged to the town of Canton.

A Canton business has recently found itself in the midst of a heated parking debate. Blackbear Automotive & Transmission, located on the corner of Pisgah Drive (N.C. 110) and Johnson Street, is generating traffic concerns from the community.

Those concerns recently bubbled to the surface during a July 10 town board meeting.

Negotiations between Evergreen Packaging and its union employees at the company’s Canton and Waynesville facilities are still ongoing. The talks resume July 15.

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