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Wednesday, 21 January 2015 15:18

Painted Horses is one for the ages

When people ask me what I’ve been doing this fall, I tell them I’ve been on a reading jag — reading new novels hot off the press. What I’ve found is that there have been a lot of very good…
By Gwang S. Han • Guest Columnist Obstetrics is the branch of medicine dealing with parturition, including care before and after delivery but also concerned with reproduction of society in a broader sense. The word of “obstetrics,” derived from Latin, means…
One of the pure joys of my job — teaching English on the college level — is getting to spend time with young people still working out their identities and finding their own way. In my composition classes, they tell…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 15:08

School boards need to fight the good fight

The Haywood County School Board narrowly voted (5 to 4, with Chairman Chuck Francis breaking a tie) to contribute money toward a lobbying effort by the N.C. School Boards Association. The decision is the right one given the current situation…
Mailboxes across Macon County were blanketed with new property value notices this week, the first countywide appraisal since 2007.  As you ripped open the envelope, there were probably two things on your mind: 
Richard Lightner isn’t one for nostalgia. For nearly 30 years, he’s been running the property reval show in Macon County. But there’s not much he misses about the old days.
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 14:41

Macon’s reval: unplugged and uncensored

The time of reckoning is finally here. Macon County’s first countywide assessment of real estate values since the bust came out this week, and it’s full of surprises. For starters, your property values probably didn’t go down as much as…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 14:37

The quest for the perfect comp

Some weeks Tommey Allen spends more time behind the wheel than a long-haul trucker. It’s not all driving time though. Most of it is just idling along the curb, parked on the roadside and sitting in driveways. Over the past…
June Tassillo loves real estate, but she never knew how exciting it could be until she worked her first all-or-nothing, one-day-only sales blitz for a comeback development. SEE ALSO:• The quest for the perfect comp• Macon’s reval: unplugged and uncensored•…
Jerry Pressley, Walmart manager, presented $1,500 to The Arc of Haywood County for holiday presents and clothes to the individuals served in their program.  The Arc of Haywood County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving individuals with developmental disabilities…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 14:23

Wheel locks now legal in Sylva

Sylva’s parking rules now have a stronger set of teeth with the passage of an ordinance allowing officers to put wheel locks, also called parking boots, on cars whose owners have accrued unpaid town parking tickets. 
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 14:22

Jackson County gets new tourism board members

The Jackson County Tourism Development Authority will have some new faces around the table this year after the county commissioners appointed five new members to the board last week. 
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 14:21

Franklin plant shutting down

Macon County was hit with some tough news last week when Caterpillar Inc. announced that it would be shutting down its Franklin plant next year, leaving 150 people without work. Franklin Mayor Bob Scott said he was shocked by the…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 14:18

Welch adjusts to life as a district attorney

After just a couple of weeks, Ashley Welch is quickly learning what it means to be the District Attorney of the 30th Judicial District. It means juggling court schedules, managing a large staff and traveling between the seven most western…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

Macon, Jackson negotiate payment for services

Macon County is asking Jackson County for money to pay for providing services to its residents in Highlands, but Jackson officials are exploring other alternatives, including establishing fire districts and levying a tax. Macon County has requested about $160,000 from…
Western Carolina University’s slated to get a brand new building on Centennial Drive in place of the one destroyed by fire in November 2013, which was home to businesses such as Rolling Stone Burrito, Subway and Mad Batter Bakery and…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

Maggie moves forward with recreation plan

Maggie Valley resident June Johnson wants the town’s recreation plan to go far beyond fixing up an old playground behind town hall. She envisions the park renovations as just the beginning of greater things to come in the valley.
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

Caesar’s bankruptcy won’t affect Harrah’s

Caesar’s Entertainment Operating Company, a subsidiary of the same company that manages Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort, announced Jan. 15 that it would be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. 
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

Cullowhee zoning heads to commissioners

It’s been one-and-a-half years since the Jackson County Commissioners first OK’d a committee to look into doing some zoning in Cullowhee, and while Cullowhee is still without development standards, a proposal is on its way to commissioners’ desks.  Approval could…
No Name Sports Pub is no longer a music joint, at least not until a dispute between the bar and its neighbors reaches resolution. Owner Gregg Fuller says No Name saw its last regular act on Saturday (Jan. 17), and…
It’s been 32 years since Benfield Industries in Hazelwood burned to the ground, 25 since the Environmental Protection Agency designated it as a Superfund site and 13 since cleanup on the site finished.  But the work’s not done, according to…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

‘World’s best young Elvis’ to play WCU

Travis LeDoyt, acclaimed by critics as “the world’s best young Elvis,” will bring his tribute to the “King of Rock-N-Roll” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

Balsam Range to appear on David Holt program

Acclaimed Haywood County bluegrass group Balsam Range will be one of many acts featured in the premier of ‘David Holt’s State of Music’ at 10 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, on UNC-TV. The show features some of today’s finest musicians like…
“Tracking Time,” an exhibition of paintings by Anna Jensen and Karen Ann Myers, will open with an artist discussion and reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, in the Fine Art Museum at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

This must be the place

The temperature was 20 degrees below zero with a howling wind. As I listened to the online stream of my hometown police scanner, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Way up yonder, on the Canadian border, in the tiny…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

Fruits of their labor: Homebrewing in WNC

Greg Geiger looked at it as a way to save money. “I started brewing when I was a sophomore in college,” he said. “Honestly, I was a poor college student and making beer was much cheaper than buying it back…
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 15:34

The creative code of old-time surveyors

Since 1976 we’ve resided in a cove about four miles west of Bryson City. Using various old deeds my wife, Elizabeth, and I have located tree slashes, stones, stakes, etc., which delineate the cove’s boundaries. We have found that old-time…
Projects in Haywood and Swain counties will benefit from an additional $4.5 million of Clean Water Management Trust Fund dollars awarded this month when the trust fund received revenue from specialty license plates and funds returned for previous award participants…
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 15:16

Insect wars hoped to take a bite out of pests

Pitting insect against insect, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission released predator beetles last month on the Sandy Mush Game Land, located in Buncombe and Madison counties, to combat the devastating effects of the hemlock woolly adelgid on hemlock trees.
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 15:15

Bird count catalogues avian diversity in WNC

Birders turned out throughout Western North Carolina — and the globe — to participate in an avian enthusiast’s favorite winter tradition: the Christmas Bird Count. More than 60,000 birders participated in all 50 states as well as Canada, Latin America,…
Outdoor Mission Camp in Maggie Valley, an affiliate of Youth for Christ USA, is being outfitted with a new kitchen to serve its faith-based outdoor wilderness adventure camp thanks to donations and volunteers. 
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is part of a new online travel itinerary from the National Park Service that highlights the 22 World Heritage Sites in the United States.
Kadie Anderson was packing up camp after a night in the backcountry with her two Australian shepherds when the peace of an autumn forest waking up from a nighttime rain was decisively broken.  “A pack of hunting dogs came into…
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 14:39

Student housing developer in hot water

Monarch Ventures, a Charlotte-based student housing company, has been trying to locate a posh 500-bed student housing complex in Cullowhee for nearly four years. But, despite the fact that they’ve got a deed and land-use permit in hand, the county’s…
Secondhand dealers in Franklin will soon be required to report their pawned items electronically to the police department within 48 hours, or they could face a $500 fine.  The new requirement, which will go into effect July 1, doesn’t seem…
Three new members have been appointed to the tourism board in Haywood County that guides tourism marketing, promotions and development. The recent round of appointments to the Tourism Development Authority continues a changing of the guard on the tourism board…
To the Editor: The Nantahala Hiking Club requests that Macon County commissioners reconsider or rescind the resolution passed on July 8, 2014, opposing the designation of additional wilderness areas within the Nantahala National Forest in Macon County. We believe that…
I watched world leaders with arms linked lead a march of about 1.5 million people in Paris to commemorate the ideals of free speech following the massacre at the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo by Muslim terrorists. I read about…
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

Haywood School board split on state lobbying

The Haywood County School Board was divided this week on whether to join forces with school systems around the state in a lobbying campaign to back pro-education legislation in Raleigh. The school board ultimately voted 5-to-4 to support the political…
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

Erosion from DOT job concerns Jackson residents

A highway construction project in Jackson County has come under public scrutiny for muddying the Tuckasegee River. Erosion control measures have failed to stop mud and sediment from running off the construction site, into creeks and onward to the river…
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

Maggie Valley to hold first Winterfest

In an effort to bring in more tourism dollars during the cold winter months, the first WinterFest Smoky Style will be held Feb. 28 and March 1 at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds.
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

Cherokee affirms gay marriage ban

Same-sex marriage may be legal in the state of North Carolina, but it’s not on the Qualla Boundary, according to a resolution recently passed by Cherokee Tribal Council.  Though tribal code already defines marriage as a union between a man…
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

Cherokee to move away from year-round fishing

Cherokee will institute a two-week fishing season closure each March beginning in 2016 after operating under a year-round season since 2011.  “We decided to open it up to year-round just to provide more fishing opportunities during March when the state…
North Carolina Legislators are back in session in Raleigh this week with a full agenda, including unfinished items from last year’s short session. The local delegation is ready to tackle the budget, Medicaid, education, fracking and other local issues affecting…
Applause broke out as Jackson County Commissioners concluded a unanimous vote last week passing a resolution opposing hydraulic fracturing — known as fracking — in their first regular meeting since a new board was sworn in. 
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

Revised fracking rules head to Legislature

They’ve plowed through the feedback, and now the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission has in hand a revised version of rules to govern oil and gas development in North Carolina, all ready for the new legislative session.
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

Community rallies to keep Evergreen clinic

Evergreen Packaging in Canton plans to close the Evergreen Family Medical Center and pharmacy on March 31, but county officials are working behind the scenes to entice one of the area hospitals to keep it open. Evergreen employees and their…
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

Maggie still in dispute with Maniscalco

Maggie Valley resident Joe Maniscalco has not given up on getting his property de-annexed from the town despite several failed attempts over the last five years.
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

Healthcare grant pool opens in Haywood

Programs and initiatives to address unmet health care needs in Haywood County could be eligible for mini-grants of up to $5,000 through the Haywood Healthcare Foundation.
The most affluent, prominent charity in Haywood County has reinvented its mission but hopes to remain on donors’ radar as it moves toward a larger goal: improving health care in the community.