Sat09202014

     Subscribe  |  Contact  |  Advertise  |  RSS Feed Other Publications

A group of Haywood residents appealed to county commissioners for an ordinance assessing the impacts of large developments. The ordinance would require large developers to assess the impacts of their projects on surrounding communities and the environment. On Monday night…
Wednesday, 18 February 2009 19:02

Guarding the Little Tennessee from exotics

Environmental groups in Macon County are joining forces to tackle the scourge of exotic plants along the Little Tennessee Greenway in Franklin. Exotic plants undermine the natural ecosystem, pushing out native plants and the wildlife that depend on them. The…
Wednesday, 18 February 2009 19:01

Reservoir rendezvous

Joe Wright was born and raised in the high Nantahalas in the northwest corner of Macon County. He was 90-some-years-old when I interviewed him back in the early 1990s or thereabouts and made the notes upon which this account, in…
Jerry Span stared down the sign post for Old Settlers Trail. The temperature registered a mere 6 degrees, and the 17 miles of frozen trail stretching before him through a remote corner of the Smokies loomed large in his mind.…
Wednesday, 18 February 2009 18:57

Library success rides on public support

Dr. John Bunn of Sylva lived through the Great Depression and said people bind together during tough times to help one another. The same will stand true, Bunn believes, when it comes to donating to the new Jackson County library…
Wednesday, 18 February 2009 18:55

Tight times force tough choices for Swain schools

The Swain County School District has terminated a popular program that emphasized science and math education, offered students smaller classes and helped combat the system’s high dropout rate. The three-year-old School of Applied Science, Math and Technology was axed last…
Wednesday, 18 February 2009 18:54

Mandated cutbacks mean tough decisions

The first Friday in February came with some bad news for the Swain County School District and systems around the state. Word came from Raleigh that school budgets would be cut by 7 percent in the upcoming fiscal year. The…
What a great way to earn public trust: a public body decides that minutes from closed sessions no longer need to be secret, and therefore it periodically votes to make them public. That’s what the Franklin Town Alderman Bob Scott…
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 17:39

Forsythia heralds the spring season

The recent warm spell has the birds singing and various plants budding. One of these is forsythia. My wife, Elizabeth, recently placed several clippings in a vase in our home, near a window, where the light and warmth will force…
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 17:38

For Terry, the world was too much

“Unique” is a word much abused as a descriptor for human beings. I have heard many, many people described as unique, people who are actually a great deal more like other people than they would like us to believe. Scratch…
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 17:36

Environmentalists come in many forms at fair

Standing next to a display that showed pictures of West Virginia mountains scarred by mountaintop removal coal mining, Austin Hall with Appalachian Voices of Boone bemoaned, “That is wrong on such a gut level.” But with the new Barack Obama…
Despite tough economic times, Jackson County commissioners decided last week to move forward with three multi-million dollar projects. In a capital projects meeting last Thursday, the commissioners reached a consensus to pursue upgrades to the solid waste transfer station estimated…
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 17:33

Four-legged crisis brewing in Swain

Swain County’s complete lack of services to handle the growing stray animal population is putting a heavy burden on a nonprofit shelter and forcing county commissioners to weigh their options. “We have absolutely nothing right now, and we are trying…
By Karen Dill • Guest Writer The weather in February can be as fickle as new love. In the mountains of North Carolina, the wind can howl through the ridges like a scorned lover or the day can be as…
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 17:30

Building better, conserving energy

Western Carolina University is leading the way in a state mandate to cut energy production on college campuses. WCU has already reached the state target of reducing energy consumption by 30 percent by the year 2015, making it the first…
At a time when the state’s fractured mental health care system seems beyond repair, local mental health officials have hit on a solution that could go a long way toward fixing it. The key might lie in a new program…
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 17:26

With proposals in, work starts on partnership

One of three hospitals courting Haywood Regional Medical Center and WestCare for a partnership has dropped out of the running. That leaves Mission Hospital of Asheville and Carolinas HealthCare System, a 23-hospital conglomerate based in Charlotte, still in contention. Both…
How far would you drive for $100? That’s the dilemma Haywood County cattle farmer Neal Stamey faces each time he hooks his trailer up to his pickup truck, loads up the cow or cows he’ll sell that day, and makes…
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 17:21

Tales of survival from the American frontier

Fine Just the Way It Is by Annie Proulx. Simon & Schuster, 2008. 240 pages. When critics attempt to define Annie Proulx’ writing style, they invariably use adjectives like “visceral” and “gritty.” Without question, she is the master of a…
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 17:19

Recipes, 2/11/09

Lentil Soup • 1 onion, chopped • 1/4 cup olive oil • 2 carrots, diced • 2 stalks celery, chopped • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 1 teaspoon dried oregano • 1 bay leaf • 1 teaspoon dried basil •…
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 17:17

Dillsboro dam is simply worth preserving

By Anna Fariello • Guest Columnist OK, so I have to admit that part of the appeal of the Dillsboro/Duke battle appeals to me in the same way that David and Goliath inspired me as a child. Small-town-takes-on-giant-corporation has the…
Commissioner Tom Massie wants to see the county formalize how it funds capital projects. Under the current method entities simply approach the county when they are in need and ask for funding. Massie suggested that entities fill out an application…
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 17:15

The Naturalist's Corner: Birder bucks

The mountain section of the North Carolina Birding Trail (NCBT) is complete and the Mountain Region Trail Guide, describing, with directions, the 105 sites along the trail should be available by early summer 2009. Many of those sites are in…
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 17:14

Bardo pledges to defer to deans

Western Carolina University Chancellor John Bardo in an interview with The Smoky Mountain News last week said that he is distancing himself from the budget cut process. He said he is leaving it up to a “cadre of deans” and…
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 17:13

Suttles gets nod for Haywood sheriff

The Haywood County Democratic Party has tapped Chief Deputy Bobby Suttles to replace outgoing Sheriff Tom Alexander. Suttles is a 14-year employee of the sheriff’s department and a former Waynesville police officer. He won 111 of 166 votes cast by…
Proposed budget cuts at Western Carolina University are beginning to affect students like Will Furse, who says he won’t graduate on time if summer classes are cut. The senior construction management student knows he has little influence over the situation.…
Robert Conley, the Sequoyah Distinguished Professor of Cherokee Studies at Western Carolina University, is winner of the 2009 Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Oklahoma Center for the Book. An enrolled member of the United Keetoowah Band of…
Wednesday, 04 February 2009 16:37

Gardeners get a bargain

By Jane Young Haywood County Master Gardeners had you in mind when they wrote The Gardener’s Guide to Growing in the Mountains. This latest edition of the garden almanac addresses the Western North Carolina gardener’s concerns with elevation, weather, soils,…
Wednesday, 04 February 2009 16:36

Community lobbies DOT to save a piece of history

Citizens in the Oak Grove community of Macon County hope to save a bridge from demolition by the Department of Transportation. Located off N.C 28, the one-lane McCoy bridge over the Little Tennessee River is not only a community icon…
Wednesday, 04 February 2009 16:34

Feeling slighted, TDA yanks grant

Farmer Skipper Russell thought he was helping drive tourism with his famous corn “maize,” an agricultural attraction he operates each fall in Bethel. After all, the maze attracted nearly 7,000 visitors this year, many from out of town, who came…
Wednesday, 04 February 2009 16:34

Savage salvation

The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb. HarperCollins, 2008. 752 pages. Wally Lamb’s newest novel, The Hour I First Believed (HarperCollins Publishers, ISBN (978-0-06-039349-6, $29.95) opens with a quotation from Dante’s Inferno: “And so, they moved over the dark…
The Franklin aldermen on Monday night (Feb. 2) unanimously voted to formalize a process for releasing the minutes from previously closed-door meetings. The town attorney, John Henning Jr., has always had the authority to make closed meeting minutes public once…
Wednesday, 04 February 2009 16:31

Another piece of farmland saved

Hickory Nut Gap Farm, a historic and scenic farm in Buncombe County, has been permanently protected through a conservation agreement with the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. The family-owned farm raises livestock and grows produce found at several grocers, including Earth…
Last week I wrote about the spiraling cost of birdseed and about experimenting with different seed and protocol for those bird-feeding aficionados who, like me, are on a budget. The idea was to try and find a way to still…
Wednesday, 04 February 2009 16:29

TVA ruling could signal beginning of a new era

A recent court victory by the state of North Carolina will require the Tennessee Valley Authority to reduce emissions at four coal-fired power plants close to the state line and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Once these modifications are…
Wednesday, 04 February 2009 16:27

How to decide?

A new rule could make it easier to open up trails in national parks to mountain biking. Mountain biking isn’t banned in national parks as a matter of course, although it is rare to find parks where it is allowed.…
Wednesday, 04 February 2009 16:26

Park-and-ride in Haywood gains traction

A shuttle to transport commuters between Haywood and Buncombe counties is gaining momentum following the state’s recent offer to donate land for a park-and-ride lot. The proposed lot is at Exit 33 along I-40 in Canton on land owned by…
Wednesday, 04 February 2009 16:25

Landowners held accountable in wake of landslide

Property owners at the site of last month’s landslide in Maggie Valley are being tasked by county officials with the job of stabilizing the mountain in the wake of the slide. The county has given the property owners until Feb.…
Wednesday, 04 February 2009 16:24

Electing sheriffs leaves too much to chance

By Bob Scott • Guest Columnist A municipality would never think of electing a chief of police. But in North Carolina, sheriffs are elected like a high school popularity contest. When I tell people there are no qualifications required to…
Wednesday, 04 February 2009 16:23

Owls remain mysterious, alluring

Of late, I have been hearing the owls sounding off on the slopes and ridge lines behind our home. Some folks think of owls as evil omens, but I like to listen to them. They are, for me, the nocturnal…
Haywood County officials want to tap the pent up methane in the county’s landfill to help the environment and hopefully make a little extra cash. The county has been eyeing the possibility of a methane recovery system at two of…
The landslide last month that destroyed a home in Maggie Valley has spurred the Haywood County commissioners to ask the state for help in keeping county residents safe. The board of commissioners discussed two separate requests for the state at…
Wednesday, 04 February 2009 16:18

Can mountain bikes find a home in the Smokies?

Mountain bikers face a long, steep climb in their fight to see more trails opened to tires in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. One of the major hurdles facing the sport is stereotypes, said Kent Cranford, a mountain biker…
Swain County would need more than $4 million to renovate its historic courthouse, putting plans for a cultural museum to be housed on the second floor in jeopardy. The 1908 building has undergone few repairs since it was built, and…
Wednesday, 04 February 2009 16:16

Software CEO doing well in bad times

Drake Software CEO Phil Drake is taking the tough economic times with ease. He believes he can get through the recession without closing any businesses or laying anyone of his employees off. With 500 employees, Drake is the second largest…
Attempts to pass Swain County’s first-ever planning regulations are showing signs of movement, but not in the direction that planning advocates hope. A county subdivision ordinance, primarily setting standards for road widths and grades, was dropped from discussion by county…
Wednesday, 04 February 2009 16:14

A duty to protect Swain’s citizens

By Curtis Cochran • Guest Columnist As sheriff of Swain County, I would like to take this opportunity to respond to your editorial dated Jan. 28 (“Questions for the high sheriff”) and, in so doing, make reference to your article…
Wednesday, 04 February 2009 16:13

Sawmill manager: World going to hell

T&S Hardwoods General Manager Jack Swanner sat in his office with an ashtray full of cigarette butts next to him and an unopened bottle of merlot on his desk. Laying beside him was a Wall Street Journal, and Swanner said…
Jackson Paper employee Tim Coggins Jr. has something a lot of people don’t have these days — job security. Jackson Paper has not laid off any of its 120 employees and doesn’t plan to. “That makes me feel excellent,” said…
Wednesday, 04 February 2009 16:10

Task force seeks answers to water shortages

As a task force continues to probe solutions to the drought-induced water shortage in Jackson County, one idea on the table is passing out low-flow showerheads and aerators for the public to install on their faucets. Task Force Chairman Tom…