Mon11242014

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Late last month, Superior Court Judge Bradley Letts wrote a letter. “He kind of drew a line in the sand,” said Jackson County Manager Chuck Wooten.
There’s a good amount of opioids in Haywood County, more than twice the national average. And apparently there’s a good number of people overdosing on the prescription medications as well. 
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 14:06

Macon considers drafting noise ordinance

Noise was the main topic of conversation at the Sept. 18 meeting of the Macon County Planning Board. The county’s board of commissioners had charged the planning board with looking into a noise ordinance last month after Matlock Creek resident…
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 14:04

Racing towards the sheriff’s seat

The retirement of Jackson County’s current sheriff — and widespread dissatisfaction with the way Jimmy Ashe ran his office — brought out a field of primary election candidates nine deep. And with the general election just around the corner, change…
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 13:59

Tribe bans fracking

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has joined a growing number of local governments opposing the state legislature’s decision to allow hydraulic fracturing, called fracking, in North Carolina. Earlier this month, tribal council passed a resolution outlawing the practice on…
Osborne Farms is no longer in the dairy business, according to Joe Reardon, assistant commissioner for consumer protection in the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The farm has sold its herd of roughly 30 dairy cows, and but…
It’s going to be an eventful next few days in Waynesville. Haywood Pathways Center is in the final stretch of planning a three-day blitz on the old Hazelwood prison, transforming the former state detention center into a combined soup kitchen,…
Manufactured homes, metal siding and unfinished concrete blocks are no longer allowed in downtown Sylva. The plywood coverings blocking out so many windows up and down Main Street, however, can stay a while longer. 
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 15:21

Say no to those who support fracking

To the Editor: Fracking is a contentious and potentially disastrous environmental and social issue heading for North Carolina and possibly even our mountains. The Mining and Energy Commission that has been drafting rules to regulate this industry in our state…
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 15:21

Surveys reveal serious climate change issues

To the Editor: On Sept. 9 the National Audubon Society released the results of several years’ worth of studies that predict the future ranges of 588 North American bird species, taking into account measurable levels of accelerated global warming (http://climate.audubon.org).…
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 15:20

Elect Tom Hill to replace Rep. Meadows

To the Editor: I generally find that when I cast a ballot for anyone in a national election, I’ve voting for the lesser evil. It’s sad, but I’m voting against someone as there’s always much that is still wrong about…
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 15:20

Hipps will help state ban fracking

To the Editor: Jane Hipps wants fracking banned in North Carolina. Her opponent, state Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, is a little muddy on the issue.  Hipps, a Waynesville Democrat challenging Davis to represent Senate District 50 in the N.C. General…
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 15:20

Sen. Jim Davis dancing on a beach ball

To the Editor: It seems that state Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, has found his beach ball, and it’s called fracking. His feet fly left (well, not willingly), they fly right, they fly fore, they fly aft — all the while…
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 15:19

Anti-fracking crowd is just wrong

To the Editor: Vic Drummond has written several times about the silliness of the anti-fracking group, and I would have to add a few comments to his. We can disregard what the politicians have to say about fracking because they…
To the Editor: I read the news that Webster had obtained a planning grant with mixed emotions. Local planning is a good thing. Having served a number of terms on the Jackson County Planning Board I’ve developed a strong appreciation…
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 15:14

There’s cool ... and then there’s Glenda cool

Her name was Glenda. She was a senior and one of the more popular girls in school, a volleyball star and a member of assorted clubs, the kind of girl who shows up in a lot of photos in the…
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 15:05

WCU to host spoken word event

Spoken word poet and teacher Matthew Foley will present a spoken-word workshop on Friday, Sept. 26, in the Hunter Library at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 15:04

Scarecrow Festival returns to Bryson City

The Scarecrow Festival will be held Sept. 27 through Oct. 10 in Bryson City.
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 15:03

Vintage trailer open house

The Southern Vintage Trailer Friends, members of the national group the Tin Can Tourists, will be hosting their annual fall rally from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27, at the Pride Resort located at 4393 Jonathan Creek Rd. in…
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 15:02

Stitch artist to be showcased at WCU

An exhibit featuring stitch drawing artist Rebecca Ringquist will be held through Nov. 7 at the Fine Art Museum at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 15:01

Asheville Symphony string musicians to play WCU

String musicians from the Asheville Symphony Orchestra will join students and faculty members from the Western Carolina University School of Music in a performance at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 23, at the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center…
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 14:59

This must be the place

I did it again. It’s 9 a.m. last Saturday at the starting line of the Cashiers Trail Mix five-mile backwoods race. I knew I should have gotten more sleep the night before, should have at least had something to eat…
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 14:57

Crossing the musical bridge of Appalachia

For the better part of the last 45 years, David Holt has ventured down a rabbit hole. Born in Texas, raised and schooled in California, Holt took off after college for the ancient, mystical mountains of Western North Carolina. Fascinated…
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 14:54

Collective guilt permeates novel’s characters

A little over one year ago, Mark Powell published The Dark Corner, a novel that was set in the northwest part of Georgia and dealt with the intrigue and corruption attending the current development of “the river culture” that has…
Downtown Cullowhee doesn’t look much like the thriving little town Rick Bennett found when he first moved to Jackson County in 1966. In the golden era of the 1970s, he reminisces, the little town boasted 17 restaurants, four gas stations,…
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 14:26

Program takes on nuisance beavers

Jackson County residents having problems with nuisance beavers can get help through the N.C. Beaver Management Assistance Program, locally administrated by Jackson County Extension. Though beavers can be helpful by building ponds that control erosion and sedimentation, recharge groundwater and…
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 14:24

Get out and say goodbye

At last! I finally had a birding outing planned last Saturday – the first one since April when I helped lead a trip for the Wildflower Pilgrimage. But, the primary guiding force of my life happens to be Murphy’s Law.
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 14:23

NOC says thanks with weekend of fun

The Guest Appreciation Festival at Nantahala Outdoor Center Sept. 26-28 will feature an array of activities and attractions for outdoors lovers around the region. The weekend will include a used gear marketplace where anyone with used outdoor gear can set…
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 14:22

Stream volunteers wanted

Volunteers are needed to help monitor stream quality in Haywood County, and a training program 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, will give adult volunteers the knowledge they need to get started.
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 14:20

Elk rut spells caution for Smokies visitors

It’s breeding season for elk, and that means that fields in the Cataloochee and Oconaluftee areas of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are closed to use until Oct. 30, when this season, known as the rut, ends. Even when…
A National Audubon Society study of bird species in the continental United States and Canada released last week shows that global warming threatens more than half of the bird species in that geographic area, including North Carolina species such as…
A hike to the salamander capital of the world will come bundled with highland views and explanation from a National Park Service salamander expert, 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 27, at the Appalachian Highland Science Learning Center in Great Smoky Mountains…
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 14:14

News in education

Mexico native finds help with English, career path at SCC  After moving to Western North Carolina with her husband Brian Jennings, learning English proved difficult for central Mexico native Edith Jennings.  “It was very difficult for me when we went to the…
Dr. Richard Thompson is breathing a bit easier this semester. He’s not worrying about funding. Not wondering if the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching will slip into the abyss. 
The University of North Carolina Board of Governors’ three-day visit on the Western Carolina University campus came to a close Sept. 12. The board’s regular monthly meeting included remarks from District 11 U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows and N.C. Gov. Pat…
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 14:12

Hospital sale over, but when can we get our money?

Although the ink is dry on the sale of Haywood Regional Medical Center, how much the county will get for the hospital remains a moving target.
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 14:12

Town of Sylva makes history

The Sylva Downtown Historic District was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register is administered by the National Park Service and is the country’s official list of United States historic sites considered worthy of preservation.…
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 14:11

Haywood leaders weigh in on fracking fray

Haywood County commissioners have joined the growing ranks of local elected leaders to take a stand on fracking.
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 14:09

Jackson dodges fracking, sans resolution

Jackson County officials were recently set to discuss the possibility of joining other local governments in the region and consider an anti-fracking resolution. At least that’s what Commissioner Vicki Greene thought.
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 14:08

Theft, vandalism spur Forest Service to build gate

The U.S. Forest Service is planning to install a gate on Wine Spring Road near Franklin after communications equipment housed less than a mile up the road at Wine Spring Gap was repeatedly stolen and vandalized. Damage has totaled $20,000…
An innovative tool to help recruit the best and brightest teachers to Haywood County has become too costly for the school system to continue in light of education budget cuts in recent years.
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 14:06

Sewage standoff lands offender in jail

The owner of a rental trailer in the Cruso community of Haywood County will be locked up until he complies with a court order to stop spilling raw sewage onto the ground.
A new park and playground under construction at Lake Junaluska carries a price tag of more than $200,000.
It’s about that time. Time to worry about PILT money.   After seeing the federal payment in lieu of taxes (PILT) program receive a one-year extension early this year, local leaders are now looking out for more than the program’s…
Attendees at Cullowhee’s hearing on the proposed oil and gas rules Sept. 12 were overwhelmingly anti-fracking, but a small contingent of men showed up on a bus from Winstom-Salem — provided by the N.C. Energy Forum —  wearing sky blue…
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 13:55

Fracking opponents: What they said

“We want unannounced reviews and inspections by DENR. It’s like a drug test. You tell them they’re going to be drug tested? They’re clean. So we want unannounced inspections, number one. We want records kept for a minimum of 50…
Wednesday, 17 September 2014 13:52

Fracking opponents sweep public hearing

It didn’t take but a glance around the lawn of the Liston B. Ramsey Center at Western Carolina University to see that Sept. 12 was going to be an eventful evening.
Wireless communications companies could ultimately find Jackson County’s revised cell phone tower ordinance considerably more palatable than the stricter version that appeared to be shaping up this summer. The county planning board seems to be shying away from its previously…
Two candidates battling for the state Senate seat representing the seven western counties are heading into the homestretch of what could be a close and hard-fought race.
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 21:37

More on the meeting of Kephart and Calhoun

The story of the initial meeting between Horace Kephart and Granville Calhoun has as many twists and turns as a short story by O. Henry.