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Wednesday, 15 October 2014 15:01

What do you want from your national forest?

The U.S. Forest Service is holding the next round of public meetings on the Forest Management Plan for Pisgah and Nantahala national forests.
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 14:59

Swain students tackle trash in the Big Sweep

Swain Middle School students in the New Century Scholars Program and the afterschool program volunteered to help remove over 45 pounds of litter outside Swain Middle School and High School during the Big Sweep event, a statewide blitz each fall…
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 14:59

Black Balsam Road reopens

Black Balsam Road is now open, restoring access to a popular trailhead and jumping off point for the Shining Rock Wilderness in Haywood County. The road, which branches off of the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 420 and is the…
A lot of people familiar with Great Smoky Mountains National Park got a surprise earlier this month when an article began making the rounds online claiming that a hiker had discovered an abandoned town in the middle of the park.…
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 14:49

Complicated, confusing and utterly fascinating

I am intimidated by this book. In fact, this is one of the most challenging reviews that I have ever undertaken. Admittedly, I have known about David Mitchell, the English “wanderkind” for several years now, but I have carefully avoided any of…
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 14:45

Jackson art grant winners announced

The Jackson County Arts Council announces its grant recipients for the 2014-15 Grassroots Grants. The arts council is a Designated County Partner of the North Carolina Arts Council, from which the Grassroots grants are funded. The JCAC received $12,254 from…
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 14:44

Fine art and craft winners at ColorFest

ColorFest, the annual art and craft festival in Dillsboro, had around 4,000 attendees at this year’s event, which was held on Oct. 4. With funds donated by Champion Credit Union, the Dillsboro Merchant’s Association was able to provide the cash…
The fall production of Bram Stoker’s classic “Dracula” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17-18, 24-25 and 27 and at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 19 and 26 at the Smoky Mountain Community Theatre in Bryson City. The stage adaptation is…
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 14:34

Apple Harvest Fest in Waynesville

The Apple Harvest Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, in downtown Waynesville. The one-day festival has grown into the region’s premier juried arts and crafts event and celebration of all things apple. This…
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 14:32

Sid the Science Kid rolls into Franklin

“Sid the Science Kid LIVE: Let’s Play!,” a stage production of the popular PBS Kids television show, will hit the stage at 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin.
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 14:31

Air Supply to play Harrah’s

Soft rock megastars Air Supply will perform at 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24, at Harrah’s Cherokee.
The Haywood Community Band will perform a concert of popular music evoking the heart of America at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19, in Maggie Valley’s Community Pavilion. 
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 14:29

Homecoming fires up WCU

The Catamount spirit will sweep Jackson County for Western Carolina University’s homecoming weekend, including a community pep rally and parade in downtown Sylva. 
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 14:28

Haywood Art Studio Tour

The Haywood Art Studio Tour will be from noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 25-26. 
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 14:26

This must be the place

I’m alone, again. As of last Tuesday, I am newly single. To be honest, I’m not happy about that fact. Not one bit. This was the relationship where I felt she was the “one,” a person I truly could see…
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 14:24

Just let the music play

If Norman Rockwell were alive today, he might have painted a record store. It’s as American and iconic as children playing outside until the streetlights came on or a young couple sharing a milkshake at a soda fountain. The record…
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 14:01

Support Sen. Jim Davis in the coming election

To the Editor: When I read letters to the editor demanding more government spending, it is clear many do not understand what they are asking for. It is a relief to live where the legislature has balanced the budget and…
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 14:01

Why isn’t GOP protecting property rights?

To the Editor: Republican leaders like Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, Rep. Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, and Rep. Roger West, R-Marble, voted to allow hydraulic fracking without comment from the citizens of North Carolina whose property rights, drinking water, health and liability exposure will be…
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 14:01

In this election, vote for education

To the Editor: I am a 1953 graduate of Waynesville Township High School, received my undergraduate degree from Furman University and two graduate degrees from schools in Texas.  One of my high school classmates told me recently that his granddaughter…
Though I will wear one sometimes as a “fashion statement,” on most days I do not wear a watch. I don’t really need to wear one. Everywhere I look, I see the time of day. In fact, no matter where…
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 13:47

Jackson commissioner candidates: The issues

Property Revaluations The hurt is coming. All the candidates agree, it won’t be pretty. In 2016, Jackson County will preform a property revaluation, in which the values of properties on the tax role — currently listed with values tethered to the…
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 13:42

Showdown in Jackson

No one really knows how the Jackson County commissioner races are going to pan out. Incumbent Republican Commissioner Charles Elders has no idea.  “It’s hard to say,” Elders said. “Straight party voting, that’s a thing of the past. They’re gonna…
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 13:37

Education, tax rates on ballot in Macon

State issues are trickling down to the election debate surrounding the Macon County commissioners’ races. Three of the five seats are open, bringing out a total of six candidates looking for a place on the board. Chief among the topics…
Wednesday, 15 October 2014 13:34

Ten vie for Haywood school board seats

With shrinking budgets, cries for higher teacher salaries and the struggle to keep test scores high while working with limited funds for resources such as textbooks and technology, local school districts have had their share of challenges this year. Four…
Three challengers running for Haywood County commissioner are touting lower property taxes, a smaller budget, limited government, less regulation and personal freedom — the core tenets of conservatism with a Libertarian twist. “The government needs to live within its means,”…
Criticism over taxes and spending from the conservative arm of the local Republican Party is nothing new for Haywood County commissioners. So this election year, the three Democrats running for re-election came armed with talking points: only 29 counties have…
Up to now, the mood at many of the Cullowhee planning meetings and public forums was upbeat and positive — full of rah-rah and optimism.  Occasionally a naysayer would need to be hushed — Cullowhee property owner Mike Clark has…
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…