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Sylva is likely nearing the end of a months-long debate over a recurring question: is there a better way to do traffic on Main Street?
Wednesday, 16 September 2015 14:03

Schools end traditional knighting of valedictorian

The senior with the highest grade point average will no longer be crowned valedictorian at high school graduation in Haywood County.
Swain County Board of Elections has retained an attorney to provide guidance on an ongoing dispute between the board and the county regarding retirement benefits for Elections Director Joan Weeks.
Wednesday, 16 September 2015 13:58

Macon educators rally for more state funding

The state budget was 78 days overdue last Tuesday night when a group of more than 20 public education supporters packed the Macon County commissioners meeting in support of more state funding.
The day after Chief-Elect Patrick Lambert takes his oath of office, Principal Chief Michell Hicks will take over Lambert’s old job as executive director of the Tribal Gaming Commission.
Meeting a deadline five minutes ahead of time can be challenging, so after meeting an important enrollment goal five years early, leaders at Western Carolina University are celebrating.
Tuesday, 15 September 2015 20:09

Unstable rock causes I-40 closure

Instability in the rocky roadside caused by blasting along Interstate 40 in Haywood County has caused the second road closure in three days between mile markers 6 and 8.  On Saturday (Sept. 12), following blasting contractors noted an “unstable rock…
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 16:15

My favorite literary opening paragraphs

I don’t like to talk or write about writing — but when forced to do so by, say, an approaching deadline, I will. I am, in fact, doing so right now. But I’ll be concise: have a beginning, have an…
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 16:12

WNC’s African-American history

This is a monumental work. Ann Miller Woodford has gathered an astonishing amount of information, including old letters, church records, unpublished and previously published histories, mementos and dairies. She has spent some seven years, visiting family elders, cemeteries and the abandoned…
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 15:44

Fall harvest festival returns to Cherokee

The annual Mountain Life Festival in Great Smoky Mountains National Park will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Mountain Farm Museum near Cherokee.
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 15:43

Cherokee festival in Hayesville

The Cherokee Heritage Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Cherokee Homestead Exhibit in downtown Hayesville.
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 15:42

Youth Art Festival coming to JCGEP

The Youth Arts Festival will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, at the Jackson County Green Energy Park in Dillsboro.
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 15:41

Mountain Faith ‘Welcome Home Parade’

There will be a “Welcome Home Parade” for acclaimed bluegrass act Mountain Faith at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, in downtown Sylva.
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 15:39

This must be the place

It’s funny, isn’t it? When you cross paths with folks you haven’t seen in years, and yet you are all still on the same page, where it feels no time has past since your last rendezvous.
John Duncan won’t forget Aug. 19 anytime soon. “It was damn scary,” he chuckled. That day not only marked the opening of the Duncan’s Sneak E Squirrel Brewery in Sylva, it also marked the culmination of a dream of his…
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 15:19

Friday night lights still shining bright

“So, you’re a band parent, huh? Boy, is your life about to change.” My wife and I heard that a lot a few months ago after our daughter, a rising freshman at Tuscola High School, made the Color Guard. I…
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 15:15

A bag of stories and an oil can

By John Beckman • Guest Columnist Forty-two years ago a very interesting man moved into the broken, haunted brick mansion two doors up from my parents’ house.  Dave had just retired from 33 years in the U.S. Army as a machinist,…
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 15:08

Despite Sanders’ rhetoric, nothing is free

To the Editor: Such a nice man, this Bernie Sanders, we just love him, he just wants to help everyone! There he is on TV with all these hollering young people cheering him after he told them that everyone in…
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 14:57

Jackson signs jail health contract

When John Buchanan first took the jail captain job at the Jackson County Detention Center, one assignment quickly rose to the top of his to do list: figure out a better option for inmates’ health care.
Any day now.  That’s what Robbie Inman has been telling himself for weeks as he cruises Raleigh news sites, trying to cipher out when an end to the budget logjam in the General Assembly would end.
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 14:54

SCC jumps the gun on building start

Southwestern Community College broke state policy this summer when it launched a construction project before securing final contract authorization from the state.
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 14:44

YO offers support to LGBTQ youth in Franklin

The world can be a confusing and lonely place when you don’t know where you fit in to it and you don’t have a support system. It’s hard enough being a teenager today, but the added difficulties of struggling with…
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 14:42

Swain County working toward securing trash site

Beginning in January, Swain County residents will no longer have 24-hour access to the county’s trash and recycling convenience center. 
Alaska Presley has talked for years about her vision of having the tallest cross in the western hemisphere placed on top of her Buck Mountain property in Maggie Valley, but now it seems that plan will not come to fruition…
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 14:37

Landslide win makes Lambert new Cherokee chief

There was nothing ambiguous about Patrick Lambert’s win in the race for Cherokee Principal Chief last week. His victory came in a landslide of 71 percent.
A protracted tug-of-war over the 95.3 FM radio frequency is finally over, setting the stage for Western Carolina University’s campus-run radio station to expand its reach well beyond Jackson County’s borders.
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 14:31

Recovery rally aims to offer hope

It takes a village to combat a drug addiction or mental illness, and Richie Tannerhill is hoping to see a multitude of villages turn out when the inaugural Western Regional Rally for Recovery comes to Lake Junaluska Sept. 19.
Waynesville candidates running for the town board and mayor got an audience with the business community last week at the monthly Issues and Eggs breakfast hosted by the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce.
People on food assistance can make their money go further when buying produce at the Historic Haywood Farmers Market in Waynesville.  This year, the market launched the WiseBucks program, which gives people enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program  vouchers…
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 14:07

Bird flu fears cause farm tour cancellation

Fears of introducing the bird flu to North Carolina farms prompted the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project to cancel its annual Farm Tour this year, an event that was to feature more than 30 Western North Carolina farms Sept. 19-20.  “It…
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 14:05

Peek into camping trips past

A showcase of restored vintage camping trailers will raise money for Haywood Waterways Association’s youth education programs, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, at Stonebridge Campground in Maggie Valley.
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 14:03

All hail the monarch butterfly

Throughout the United States, monarch butterflies are an iconic sight. Their striking orange-and-black pattern, their annual 3,000-mile flight south to Mexican wintering grounds and their absolute dependence on the unassuming milkweed plant all make this butterfly a beloved ambassador for…
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 14:02

Eagle eye

A pair of young archers recently earned bragging rights at the 4-H West District Shooting Sports Tournament.
Wednesday, 09 September 2015 14:01

Lake J’s Inspiration Point unmasked

Inspiration Point — a garden on the grounds of Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center tucked away near the Lambuth Inn — will be the subject of the upcoming meeting of the Tuscola Garden Club, 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15…
More than 200 acres in the Sandy Mush area — located at the convergence of Haywood, Buncombe and Madison counties — have been protected through two separate conservation projects by the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy.
Bill Bryson and Steven Katz didn’t really know what they were getting into when they began their Appalachian Trail journey, recounted in the newly released movie “A Walk in the Woods.” From the moment Katz shows up for the adventure…
Wednesday, 02 September 2015 15:54

Tourism figures point to a post-recession recovery

Recently released figures on the impact of tourism in Western North Carolina are encouraging. More visitors are spending more money, and that means new jobs and increased sales tax revenue.  But there’s even more relevant news for those of us…
Wednesday, 02 September 2015 15:52

Lawmakers simply need to do more for education

Editor’s note: The following letter was recently sent to all members of the North Carolina General Assembly As students and teachers start the new school year, instead of an exciting time for many, it’s a period of confusion, tension, fear…
Wednesday, 02 September 2015 15:52

We need more veggie options in schools

To the Editor: With the new school year just starting, parents’ attention is on school clothes, supplies and lunches. Yes, school lunches. In past years, the USDA had used our nation’s schools as a dumping ground for surplus meat and…
Wednesday, 02 September 2015 15:51

Sanders has unique vision for U.S.A.

To the Editor: Like many across America, I’ve become very tired of politicians of both parties talking out of both sides of their mouth. On the one hand, they promise voters that they will create jobs, bring about a better…
Wednesday, 02 September 2015 15:46

Of bears and bees

I am not nearly so frustrated with my black oil sunflower seed-addicted bruin neighbor as I was after his little escapade last Friday morning around 2 a.m. I was trying to finish some writing before I left for my pre-dawn…
Wednesday, 02 September 2015 15:36

“A Walk in the Woods” movie hits theaters

A movie chronicling the adventure of a pair of middle-aged men attempting to hike the Appalachian Trail hits the theaters this week (Sept. 2), and Western North Carolina’s tourism and environmental groups are preparing for the impact.
Wednesday, 02 September 2015 15:34

Spectacular fall color predicted for WNC

Drier-than-normal conditions during 2015 will translate into one of the best shows of fall color in years, according to Western Carolina University’s prediction expert Kathy Mathews.
Wednesday, 02 September 2015 15:32

Hiker’s death likely a suicide, autopsy says

The death of a prominent Sylva hiker whose body was found in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in June was likely a suicide, according to an autopsy just returned from the Sevier County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Wednesday, 02 September 2015 15:30

Give litter the boot

Wednesday, 02 September 2015 15:29

Fundraiser to support Cullowhee River Park

A fundraiser to support the effort to create a river park along the Tuckasegee River in Cullowhee will be held 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, at Tuck’s Tap and Grille, following the Old Cullowhee Canoe Slalom.
Wednesday, 02 September 2015 15:26

Paddling competition coming to Cullowhee

A family-friendly paddling competition featuring a variety of categories will be held on a flatwater portion of the Tuckasegee River near Western Carolina University at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 12. 
I’ve never been a huge fan of any sport that hinges on an ability to run swiftly or handle a ball with any measure of skill, and for that reason I’ve managed to maintain a remarkably clean life record when…
Wednesday, 02 September 2015 15:12

Collection manages to combine horror and comedy

There aren’t many successful horror fiction writers who are described as comical and/or whimsical. The terms seem incompatible. You don’t expect to discover that your vampire tale is full of snickers and puns. Besides, it is a rare gift to…
There are few places in Waynesville folks are afraid to go after dark. But the sagging blue canopy slung beneath the trees at the far end of Chestnut Park is one of them.