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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…
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…
By Chris Cooper It’s not unusual in music circles for one’s sound to be recognizable but the name to be mostly unknown. Such is the case for bluegrass veteran Curly Seckler.
Wednesday, 04 January 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

King of the Hill I picked up a nasty rumor that Fox is planning to terminate my favorite cartoon show, “King of the Hill.” Shame, Fox! Shame! In my opinion, KOTH is not only the best cartoon show; it is…
Wednesday, 04 January 2006 00:00

The groveling underside of therapy

In One Nation Under Therapy: How the Helping Culture Is Eroding Self-Reliance (ISBN 0-312-30443-9, $23.95), Christina Hoff Sommers, author of The War Against Boys and Who Stole Feminism? and Dr. Sally Satel, author of PC, MD: How Political Correctness Is…
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.
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.
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…
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…
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.
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

Time to think about gardening in ‘06

Have you started making your 2006 gardening plans yet? It’s time. The garden catalogs started arriving in the mail several weeks ago: Johnny’s, Burpee’s, Pine Tree, Park’s, Shumway’s, Seeds of Change, etc. Folks have been studying these sorts of publications…
Wednesday, 04 January 2006 00:00

Empowered by Dr. Phil to entertain Jack

I’ve become hooked on Dr. Phil. Don’t ask me how it happened because I don’t know. He caught me unawares, I guess, creeping up on me during my fall break while I was innocently trying to feed my son, Jack,…
By Lee Shelton The town limits of Maggie Valley encompass only 1.8 square miles, and there is only one commercial strip, which also serves as the sole access road for many of the residents in the area. It is also…
By Michael Beadle Once again Cataloochee Ski Area will be hosting a series of once-a-week skiing and snowboarding classes this season designed exclusively for women. It’s called Women on Wednesdays, or WOW, and it targets women of all ages and…
Wednesday, 04 January 2006 00:00

A wintry mix

Christmas Day brought showers interrupted by buckets full of sleet. Sometime late Christmas night or before dawn the next morning, a dusting of snow covered the lawn. Winter precipitation is often a mix in the eastern United States. Sleet and…
By Sarah Kucharski John Nickerson is a very exacting man. Tall and solidly built, he moves with efficiency, his speech measured and pointed as he explains how he came into being a glassblower. “I don’t do this to make tons…
Wednesday, 11 January 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

“Firefly” As a proud member of the Star Wars generation, I enjoy a healthy dose of otherworldly sci-fi plots and special effects. Enter the world of “Firefly.” Five centuries into the future, the totalitarian Alliance regime rules an outer space…
Wednesday, 11 January 2006 00:00

Adam’s 29 falls short of past achievements

By Joe Hooten When it seems like you’ve heard all there is to hear from our Carolina troubadour Mr. Ryan Adams, he follows through with his promise and comes out with his third release in one year. The album 29…
“And so we stood together like that, at the top of that field for what seemed ages, not saying anything, just holding each other, while the wind kept blowing and blowing at us, tugging our clothes, and for a moment…
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, 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…
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

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…
• Read with your child everyday. Make it part of the daily routine.
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.
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.
Macon County officials have contested the legality of a moratorium Highlands enacted on commercial building within the town’s extra-territorial jurisdictions this November.
Wednesday, 11 January 2006 00:00

The grumpy traveler department

From time to time, I’ve contemplated compiling an anthology of travel writing from Western North Carolina. Such a volume would commence with the descriptions of the region compiled by the Moravian explorer Bishop Augustus Gottlieb Spangenberg in the early 1750s.…
Citing increased problems for humans, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has proposed new regulations that will step up hunting of black bear, skunk and coyote.
Wednesday, 11 January 2006 00:00

A long history culminates in one tumultuous day

When Haywood County Manager Jack Horton was asked to resign or be fired last week, it was, potentially, a watershed political event for Haywood County. This upheaval probably won’t have a long-term impact on the prosperity of Haywood County, but…
The National Park Service says the management guidelines governing national parks need to be clarified in the face of a changing world, thus prompting the pending rewrite.
Wednesday, 11 January 2006 00:00

Striking at the heart of Parks

An attempt by the National Park Service to rewrite the guidelines governing protection of parks has prompted conservation groups to cry foul. The guidelines are the ultimate yardstick used to measure activities in national parks, whether it’s allowing cell towers…
The Carolina Field birders, friends and volunteers conducted their fourth annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count on Thursday, Dec. 29.
Wednesday, 11 January 2006 00:00

Smokies: Road to Nowhere won’t impair park

Controversy over proposed changes to the mission of the National Park Service has landed at the doorstep of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Preschool children are normally as full of questions as a quiz show host on a fast night. They want to know who, what, when and why. They want someone to explain how and where and how much. They want to…
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.
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

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.
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

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…
Wednesday, 18 January 2006 00:00

A locust by any other name

I’m fairly good at the identification of deciduous trees during the flowering and fruiting seasons, when one can observe bark, leaves, general growth habit, and flowers or fruit. I’m less adept during the winter months, when one can observe just…
Wednesday, 18 January 2006 00:00

Living in fear of ... everything

It started over a discussion about the merits of that sanitizing gel that is now so often found in restrooms, grocery stores, gyms and elsewhere, the stuff that’s supposed to kill germs and stem the spread of colds and other…
The proposal to hold a referendum on whether alcohol could be sold at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino was withdrawn before it got a formal hearing at a recent tribal council meeting. This is a potentially earth-moving change for the Eastern Bandof…
Wednesday, 18 January 2006 00:00

Storytime just didn’t work out for me

By Stephanie Wampler One day last year, I had high hopes for a glorious time at the library. I envisioned smiling children listening attentively to the librarian, singing the innocent songs of childhood, learning all about the world around them.…
(Editor’s note: Haywood County Manager Jack Horton tendered his resignation to the board of commissioners on Jan. 3. The three commissioners who wrote this letter supported his resignation.) This letter to the citizens of Haywood County sets forth our views…
Top fly and bass fishermen will be coming to Cherokee to show off their skills at the North Carolina Casting Championships scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 4. The casting competition will be held at the Cherokee Fairgrounds. Fishermen will compete for…
Wednesday, 18 January 2006 00:00

Bird nerds unite

I learned, when I worked full-time for the Smoky Mountain News, that it helps if newspaper writers are thick-skinned. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing an op-ed piece, a feature or a news story. There will be someone somewhere who…
A new cycling shop opened in Waynesville just in the nick of time for Bob Gatis. The notion recently struck him to take the parts of his Trek road bike and put them on a bare Jamis frame — a…
Wednesday, 18 January 2006 00:00

Ordinary World: twisted, welcome catharsis

By Chris Cooper When the bio sheet for a band arrives with the greeting “Dear Pop Revivalists,” I feel a mixture of curiosity and dread. Good pop or bad pop? Classic pop, schlock pop, punk pop (ugh) or what? For…
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