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You know it’s summer in Sylva when Concerts on the Creek gets going, bringing local and regional music and family fun to Bridge Park Pavilion every Friday from Memorial Day to Labor Day. This year, local favorites the Rye Holler…
Jackson County Schools has hired Michael Murray, currently associate superintendent of Operations for McDowell County Schools, as its new superintendent. Murray will replace Sue Nations, who is retiring. Murray has been with the McDowell County school system for the past…
When having a conversation with Penny Morgan, you’ll hear a lot of phrases that aren’t often associated with business in Haywood County. “Military contracts” is probably the most notable. “Top secret” might be another. Morgan owns a company called Aermor,…
A new $12 million entrance road for Southwestern Community College got preference over other road projects in the region in recent years, partly thanks to support from the right friends in the right places. Conrad Burrell, the chairman of the…
The motivation behind a $12 million entrance road to Southwestern Community College has been called into question by a Jackson County commissioner. Jack Debnam, chairman of the Jackson County commissioners, claims the road catapulted past others to the top of…
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 19:51

Youth camp offered this summer in Haywood

“Buzz’s Summer Blast Youth Camp” at MedWest Health & Fitness Center in Haywood County will be held two weeks this summer, June 20 to June 24 and July 25 through July 29. The camp will offer games, activities and exploration…
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 19:50

Summer camp to ignite creativity

Rising second through ninth graders can promote their creativity and problem solving skills at the ninth annual Rocket to Creativity Camp at Western Carolina University this summer. The camp lasts from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, June 27, through…
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 19:50

Free physicals for student athletes

All Haywood County students grades six through 11 who plan to participate in a school sport for the upcoming school year are eligible for a free physical provided by MedWest Sports Medicine on May 31 at MedWest Health & Fitness…
Business owners looking for help getting started with social media marketing can attend the free seminar “Business Owner’s Guide to Facebook & Twitter: Starting from Scratch to Online Success,” from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24. Led by…
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 19:49

Play softball for a cause

“Summer Slam,” a co-ed softball tournament sponsored by Swain/Qualla SAFE, Inc. and Medwest Swain, will be Saturday, May 28. Deadline to get your team registered is at 8 p.m. Monday, May 23. The tournament will be held at John Crowe…
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 19:48

Cashiers rec center would cost $5 million

Jackson County commissioners may tap the county’s robust savings to build a $5 million recreation center in Cashiers. The rec center has been years in the making, with the previous board of commissioners chipping away at site preparation, planning and…
Waynesville employees will likely see a 3 percent raise in their paycheck next year, if budget suggestions proffered by the town manager are approved by aldermen. The proposed budget for 2011-12, released last week, calls for an across-the-board, cost-of-living pay…
Macon County’s proposed budget manages to keep taxes at 27.9 cents per $100 valuation — the second-lowest rate in the state — yet give employees a 3 percent cost-of-living raise. “They have worked hard to do their job without complaint…
Go into any store and you run into the term “green.” Bags of chips, detergents, new cars and fluorescent-light bulbs — all are bedizened in alleged greenness. But what, exactly, does green mean? And who should get to declare themselves…
What do Harrill Residence Hall at Western Carolina University, the Cherokee Central School System, the new Oconaluftee Visitor Center in the Smokies and the firehouse in Sylva have in common? Each of these projects help make a whole: they are…
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 19:33

McCoy bridge compromise muddies debate

A proposed compromise by Macon County commissioners on a historic bridge outside of Franklin isn’t sitting well with those who’ve fought for nearly a decade to save it. Last week, the county board voted unanimously to ask the N.C. Department…
In Haywood County, the tax rate would have to bump up three cents for the county to bring in the same amount of money as last year. Overall, the property values in the county were down following the recent revaluation,…
More than a few readers of this column collect books associated with the Smokies region. A friend who spends most of his waking hours either fishing the backcountry trout waters in the Smokies or plotting ways to do so brought…
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 20:54

The Smokies’ biggest job

Alan Sumeriski, chief of facility management, was selected as Great Smoky Mountains National Park employee of the year for major accomplishments in improving park facilities. Sumeriski has led the park’s facility management workforce since 2007, which consists of about 160…
The Waynesville Kiwanis will host a “Spring Fling” at the Waynesville Recreation Center on Saturday, May 21, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be tubing in Richland Creek, a dunking booth, kids’ dog show, a three point and…
Medwest Health and Fitness Center in Haywood County will be holding its last American Red Cross lifeguard training course beginning May 20.   This will be the final opportunity to obtain certification before the summer swimming season arrives. The course…
The third-annual Bicycle Rodeo is set to take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 14, in Clyde. Children ages 5 to 11 can ride their bicycles inside a closed course, designed to instill safe habits while biking,…
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 20:52

Corridor K back for public comment

An open house and public hearing is set for Tuesday, May 17, on a segment of Cooridor K, a controversial highway through the far western counties that has been partially built but still has two missing segments. On the table…
A discussion about creating a science discovery center along the Tuckasegee River will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 12, at the Fairfield Inn and Suites across from Harrah’s Cherokee Casino. This brainstorming meeting is open…
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 20:50

Leave Bambi alone

They might look abandoned and waiflike, but the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is urging folks to not approach, touch, feed or move them. Whitetails are a “hider” species, which means the female will hide her fawn in vegetation during the…
This past Saturday, May 7, was (I believe) the 12th-annual “Birding for the Arts” fundraiser for the Haywood County Arts Council. I can’t remember exactly how many Saturdays we’ve done it, but I do know it’s become one of my…
You’ve got to be just a little bit crazy, maybe, to do this trail race — crazy for an epic trail-running experience, that is. The Smoky Mountain Relay, taking place this Friday and Saturday (May 13-14), is more than 200…
There will be a free lecture on “running medicine” Tuesday, May 24 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30. p.m. at the Jackson County Recreation Center in Cullowhee. Topics include running gait and technique, barefoot running and minimalist shoes and running after…
Jackson County residents who love the public library are called to join Book Brigade Buddies and help move the last of the library books up the hill to the new facility. At 10:45 a.m. on Saturday, May 21, residents are…
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 20:46

Book falls flat in telling of Hemingway

So ends Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, his memoir of his years as a young writer in Paris. This book contains the best of Hemingway: his prose style, crisp and clear as a glass of fine chardonnay; his reporter’s eye…
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 20:42

TDA picks bad time to open visitor center

To the Editor: Regarding the monument to the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority, these two headlines are just too much to take on the same page of the April 27 eidtion of The Smoky Mountain News: • “Folkmoot Funding Gets…
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 20:41

Don’t jump on the nuclear bandwagon

To the editor: With the recent rapid rise in gas prices, the hype about nuclear as an alternative source of energy has resumed — if it ever let up. Notwithstanding the Fukushima disaster and the consequent spread of dangerous radioactive…
To the editor: Oh yeah, then there are the children. How many bureaucrats does it take to educate a child? It must take more than seems to make sense. In Raleigh, we have 800 that are on the payroll of…
Some years ago, confined to an office through work obligations but dreaming of farming, I spent more time than I should have surfing the Internet in search of agriculture and back-to-the-land related sites. Amazingly, many of the same ones I…
For both teachers in the classroom and local administrators, this is shaping up to be the most challenging budget year in North Carolina history. At times like these, those of us who value a quality education system will be left…
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 20:36

Veterans sought for Memorial Day parade

The Haywood County Veterans Office and the Haywood County Veterans Council are calling for veterans to participate in the Memorial Day Parade, scheduled for 1 p.m. on Monday May 30th, in Canton. The parade will feature several National Guard and…
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 20:35

Constitutional workshop set for Franklin

A Citizen’s Constitutional Workshop will be held in Franklin Friday, May 20, at The Fun Factory on U.S. 441 South. Experts from the John Locke Foundation and N.C. History Project will be at the event, which lasts from 1 p.m.…
Duke Energy has received a new 30-year permit to operate its five hydroelectric dams in Jackson County, which could pave the way for new economic and recreational opportunities along the Tuckasegee River. Kayaking for several days a year on the…
A proposal to set up a special track for Western Carolina University’s crème de la crème — the honor students on campus — failed recently to win approval of a majority of the faculty’s leaders. The thumbs down by the…
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 20:30

Bothwell to run in Democratic primary

Cecil Bothwell, who announced his congressional bid in March, will not run as an Independent but instead run in the 2012 Democratic primary. “I’ve heard from hundreds of people, from Western North Carolina to Washington, D.C., who believe the most…
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 20:30

Donate food for Haywood kids

Donate food to the Manna Food Bank Summer Sack program from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 12 and help feed Haywood County children this summer. Collections, organized by Keller Williams, will be taken in Waynesville at K-Mart and…
Developers in Waynesville rejoice: your customers may now park in front of your buildings. Sometimes. In some places. The new rules, passed after nearly two years of deliberation, will allow limited parking in the front of businesses for high-traffic commercial…
Under the newly verdant trees shading the lawn of the historic Haywood County Courthouse, 29 people silently lined the sidewalk last Friday, sending the message that they were “struck speechless” by slashed state funding proposed by House Republicans. Their signs…
Americans love pad thai. This one fact, Nonglak Pafuang is sure of. After moving to the U.S. from Thailand five years ago, she’s learned that the varied cuisines of her homeland are popular stateside, but none more than pad thai,…
The pending merger of Angel Medical Center with Mission Health System could be sidelined, at least temporarily, by a state bill aimed at limiting Mission’s influence in the region. Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, said he introduced the bill to offer…
A state bill aimed at ensuring a balance of power between Mission Health System and smaller hospitals has placed lawmakers in the middle of a healthcare turf war. As Mission steps up efforts to acquire smaller hospitals and doctors’ practices…
The future of the Downtown Sylva Association remains unclear despite a move by town leaders to increase public funding for the group. The town board unanimously voted last week to increase funding from $12,000 to $15,000 a year, but that…
The July 7 primary is drawing closer in Cherokee, when the field for principal chief will narrow from five to two. Current Principal Chief Michell Hicks is making a play for his third four-year term. He’ll again be facing his…
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 20:12

History comes alive at the Blackberry Jam

For a taste of fun and history, visit The Blackberry Jam from 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, at the Macon County Fair Grounds. The Macon County Historical Society has lined up a variety of events to commemorate the 150th…
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 20:12

Ballroom contest dances into Haywood

This year’s Dancing With the Mountain Stars event is set to kick off at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 20, at the Laurel Ridge Country Club to benefit REACH of Haywood County. Local celebrities will be paired with professional dancers…