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Wednesday, 08 October 2014 19:41

Tipping the scales

The past four years have been the first in recent memory that Democrats haven’t held a majority on the Jackson County board. But likewise, Republicans haven’t had the majority either — a point Chairman Jack Debnam is quick to point…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 19:40

Jackson sheriff snapshots

Chip Hall, D, 46 Qualifications: Chief deputy at Jackson County Sheriff’s Department. Twenty-five years at Jackson County Sheriff’s Department in a variety of positions.   Reason to run: “I want to reach out to be active in everything that goes…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 19:36

Haywood commissioner snapshots

Democrats • Kirk Kirkpatrick, a lawyer, has been on the board since 2002 and has been a supporter of recreation. • Michael Sorrells has been a commissioner for four years and previously served six years on the school board. He…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 19:34

Jackson commissioner snapshots

Jackson commissioner chairman • Jack Debnam, the current commissioner chairman and a Realtor. As an unaffiliated candidate, he belongs to neither party.  • Brian McMahan, a Democrat, previously served as commissioner chairman but lost to Debnam in 2010. The 39-year-old…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 19:32

Macon Commissioner snapshot

Highlands district, one seat Republican  • Jim Tate is seeking reelection because he wants to “ensure that Macon County will continue to be a great place to live and call home through low taxes, great schools, safe communities and efficient…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 19:32

Macon Commissioner snapshot

Highlands district, one seat Republican  • Jim Tate is seeking reelection because he wants to “ensure that Macon County will continue to be a great place to live and call home through low taxes, great schools, safe communities and efficient…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 19:31

Swain Commissioner snapshot

Commissioner Democratic candidates • David Monteith is the longest serving county commissioner with 16 years on the board. Retired Ingle’s market manager and a school bus driver. • Steve Moon has served for 8 years and is on the board…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 15:53

Balsam was once bustling railroad community

It’s always entertaining to get back off main-traveled roads and poke around in the little villages here in the mountains. Each such place has its own story. And Balsam — just off the four-lane between Waynesville and Sylva — is…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 15:49

Bethel Organization honored as heritage keeper

The Bethel Rural Community Organization was recognized with the Mountain Heritage award at the recent Mountain Heritage Day festival held at Western Carolina University. The Bethel Rural Community Organization, a nonprofit created “to enhance the quality of rural life in…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 15:41

Get your fall on with Lake Logan paddle

A paddle tour of Lake Logan in Haywood County will be held on Sunday, Oct. 19, with Haywood Waterways Association, Lake Logan Episcopal Conference Center and Waynesville Recreation Center.
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 15:39

Putting Haywood on the road-cycling map

A workshop and strategy session on making Haywood County a premier road biking destination will be held from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 9, in Waynesville.
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 15:38

Student project looks to revitalize city park

An effort to breathe new life into a neglected Waynesville park will be the focus of the next Trout Unlimited Cataloochee meeting, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14, at the Waynesville Inn. 
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 15:37

Smokies have new acting superintendent

Great Smoky Mountains National Parkhas a new acting superintendent following Dale Ditmanson retired as superintendent in January after nearly 10 years of service, and his replacement’s departure more recently. 
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 15:36

Grants to help farmers branch out

Western North Carolina farmers can apply for farm diversification grants over the next two years totaling $340,000.
After landing back in the Eastern Time Zone, Jessica Metz had a hard time keeping her thoughts still. Eight days aboard a ship, circumnavigating the island of Newfoundland and absorbing all she could about the region’s ecology and culture had…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 15:30

Protect the treasures of WNC from frackers

To the Editor: This is my first written word, publicly in 20 years. I pray that it be as in the will of the Father in that I commit this time, for I feel from the depths of my heart…
To the Editor: Rep. Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, has been running ads that say N.C. citizens are paying more for health insurance because U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan supported the Affordable Care Act. In fact, you can thank Tillis  and Sen. Jim…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 15:29

Preserving air and water quality important

To the Editor: Becky Johnson’s report on the Canton and paper mill landfills gives me a much-needed better understanding of the massive mounds that have been accumulating beside I-40 I’ve been passing by over the years. While I knew that…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 15:29

Hipps will make education a priority

To the Editor: I am a retired classroom teacher and worked in Haywood County Schools for 37 years. During the past two years I have been disappointed and concerned over the decisions that have been made by the Republican-led legislature…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 15:28

Take back our sacred property rights

To the Editor: There has been a lot of discussion regarding environmental impacts of fracking, yet two areas have not been discussed much. One is the social impacts that hundreds of transient workers bring, and the other is property rights…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 15:28

Midterms a chance to change leadership

To the Editor: Our country is in a heap of trouble. Ebola has now been introduced into the United States. In the Mideast ISIS is running rampant killing and beheading while announcing they intend to bring their fight to the…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 15:27

N.C. Democrats go conservative

To the Editor: The dictionary definition of “conservative” is, “Holding to traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation.” How does that definition square with today’s elected Republican actions and agenda? By definition you would think Republicans would…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 15:16

Celebrate community, support local (newspapers)

When National Newspaper Week (Oct. 5-11) was started 74 years ago, there wasn’t much competition for newspapers. If you didn’t read the paper, you just didn’t know what was going on around the world or in your hometown. Now that’s…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 14:52

Learning how to organize information overload

Twenty-five years ago, while under a good deal of pressure and stress, I began noticing I was forgetting things. I would tell a customer in my bookstore about a novel and then found I couldn’t dredge up the name of…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 14:50

Lopez to bring laughs to Harrah’s

Superstar comedian George Lopez will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, at Harrah’s Cherokee.  Lopez is a multi-talented entertainer whose career encompasses television, film, standup comedy and late-night television. For two seasons, he hosted Lopez Tonight, a late-night television…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 14:46

Church Street Art & Craft Show returns

The 31th annual Church Street Art & Craft Show will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11, on Main Street in downtown Waynesville.
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 14:43

Farm-to-Mug, Nicholson at Walnut Cove

Bluegrass group The Darren Nicholson Band will be performing during the Farm-to-Mug brewery and food event at 4 p.m. Oct. 16 at Walnut Cove Farms in Waynesville.
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 14:42

Storytellers spin yarns at Sylva’s 125th

The upcoming celebration of the town of Sylva’s 125th anniversary will feature an array of local storytellers on Oct. 11 at the Lifeway Church in downtown.
Twenty-three of the best high school marching bands from five states will compete for honors during the annual Tournament of Champions on Saturday, Oct. 18, in E.J. Whitmire Stadium at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 14:36

This must be the place

His voice will stop you in your tracks. Russ Wilson is a bridge to an era, a time when style and class were synonymous with musicianship and showmanship.
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 14:33

From the border to the backwoods

I didn’t know who Balsam Range was when I first met them. On Aug. 10, 2012, I had just moved to Waynesville — literally. A week prior I had accepted the position at The Smoky Mountain News, packed up whatever…
Caleb Smith had no idea. “I didn’t hear them announce it,” he chuckled. “I was backstage talking to Del McCoury about a guitar and he says to me, ‘Son, I think they just called your name.’”
Haywood County Commissioners have released a collection of minutes from closed sessions going back to August 2013, detailing discussions surrounding the sale of Haywood Regional Medical Center to Duke LifePoint Healthcare.  The now-public documents deal with the bidding process, site…
The Franklin Town Board unanimously approved a petition to rezone a small piece of property off Clyde Street at its meeting Oct. 6, but the public comment preceding that decision was far from unanimous.   “My main concern is if…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 14:23

Sylva allows more time for window replacements

Downtown Sylva property owners will still have to replace any plywood currently covering up windows, but they will be provided with more time to do so.  In September, the Sylva Board of Commissioners considered a trio of ordinance amendments aimed…
Tucked away on the corner of Kentucky and Virginia avenues in the old Hazelwood Elementary School building, the Alternative Learning Center in Waynesville doesn’t look much like a high school. It’s got just four classrooms, and a stroll through the…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 14:19

Haywood moves forward with landfill remediation

Work is underway on a multi-million-dollar environmental remediation project on the Old Francis Farm landfill near Waynesville. The first load of dirt was dumped Oct. 7, and on Oct. 6 Haywood County Commissioners approved a $44,500 contract for McGill Associates…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 14:14

A drive-by version of the N.C. Senate debate

A candidate debate last week between N.C. Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, and challenger Jane Hipps, D-Waynesville, plowed a lot of ground. Education, Medicaid, and fracking were the biggies, but the 90-minute debate ran the gamut, touching on government spending, guns,…
A debate between N.C. Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, and his challenger Jane Hipps, D-Waynesville, last week was lively, testy, heated, fiery and passionate — and that’s just talking about the audience. Despite ground rules laid down by the moderator at…
N.C. Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, is known for his direct and unapologetic communication style, but it landed him in hot water with some audience members at a debate held at Western Carolina University last week. Davis made a reference during…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 14:06

Fund for Haywood surpasses $1 million mark

Twenty years after Aaron Prevost and other community leaders provided the seed money to start the endowment, The Fund for Haywood County has reached a milestone goal by surpassing the $1 million mark. “In two decades, our Advisory Board has…
With a visitor in the house and his crate door open, Adam is all kinds of excited. The lanky black lab bounds down the hall, eager to have his head rubbed, his back petted, his chewy bone tossed. “He’ll try…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 13:59

Don’t call it a fracking resolution

Following multiple anti-fracking resolutions passed by local governments around the region, Jackson County commissioners have now taken an action of their own. While their resolution never specifically mentions “fracking” or “hydraulic fracturing,” the board — or at least three of…
Jerry Monroe Berry and his son, Joshua Monroe Berry, of Swain County have been charged with growing marijuana in the Nantahala National Forest.  According to Swain County Sheriff Curtis Cochran, a North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations aircraft was conducting…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 13:56

Sylva celebrates its 125th anniversary

The Town of Sylva is celebrating its 125th year since incorporation. To mark the occasion, a slate of activities are planned for Oct. 10-11. The celebration pays homage to the history of the town. “The activities are all things that…
With a long construction process coming to an end, students and teachers at Pisgah High School are enjoying a bit more space in their building, and Haywood County Schools Maintenance Director Tracy Hartgrove is happy to be putting the final…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 13:52

DA candidates spar over work, family and gender

The race for top prosecutor over the seven counties between assistant district attorneys Jim Moore and Ashley Welch has grown increasingly heated as it heads into the homestretch. The latest development: a twist on the gender stereotypes that typically saddle…
A Tennessee man in a wheelchair accused of helping bury a dead body in a barrel has emerged as an unusual focal point in the hotly contested race for district attorney in the seven western counties. To be clear, Stevie…
Franklin leaders made their intention to keep Nikwasi Mound in town possession clear this week, rejecting a formal call from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to hand over the property.  The resolution, passed unanimously, declares that the mound will…
Wednesday, 08 October 2014 13:43

Library proponents unveil a visual

The new Swain County library isn’t a reality yet — except in the minds of the true believers. Last week, a group of Swain residents who are certain the journey to a new library is well underway gathered on a…
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