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Wednesday, 03 December 2014 15:14

Swain struggles with waste funding

It wasn’t the first time Swain County Manager Kevin King had to tell his commissioners that the numbers were off on the Solid Waste Fund. But this month he added an asterisk of oomph.  “This is probably one of our…
The rolling hills of the Cullowhee River Club unfold beneath a heaven of blue sky as the Tuckasegee River rifles by. The property long belonged to the Battle family, it was known as the Battle farm. That’s before Ken Newell…
The new wastewater treatment facility in Franklin cost the town more than $5 million to build, but within months of its summer 2013 opening, superintendent Wayne Price noticed a problem.  “Within six months of putting that into operation, we had…
There’s nothing Adam Bigelow likes better than a full tank of gas in the summertime with an open road ahead. After all, the drive from Sylva to Cashiers, where he works three days a week, is a beautiful, twisting mountain…
The newly elected tax collector in Haywood County has been benched indefinitely. Mike Matthews was supposed to take office Monday, but his swearing in ceremony was canceled at the 11th hour. Matthews wasn’t able to get bonded at the amount…
Haywood County commissioners are being accused of partisan politics for upping the liability bond for the county tax collector, although commissioners say it’s just a safeguard given the limited experience and less-than-stellar financial record of the incoming tax collector. Critics…
The newly elected tax collector in Haywood County was unable to take office Monday as scheduled after failing to secure a $410,000 bond. For now, the long-time tax collector David Francis will continue in the role on an interim basis.
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:55

Lake J is heating up

I was fortunate to be able to spend a few hours last Saturday morning (Nov. 23) with members of the Carolina Field Birders on one of their trips around Lake Junaluska. It was still a bit chilly around 9 a.m.…
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:50

Remember local farmers on Small Business Saturday

Buy Haywood is encouraging shoppers to think local on Small Business Saturday — not just by shopping at local stores but supporting local agri-business. Locally made farm products, from sauces to jams to jerky, can be found on the shelves…
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:50

New water quality standards proposed

The Environmental Protection Agency is in the midst of reviewing a set of proposed revisions to water quality standards in North Carolina. The standards were approved by the N.C. Environmental Management Commission in response to federal requirements that state periodically…
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:49

Environmental merger chooses new name

When the New Year rolls around, the region’s best-known and longest-running environmental organization is changing its name, following a merger with two smaller environmental groups. The Western North Carolina Alliance will now be called MountainTrue. WNC Alliance recently brought two…
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:49

New book chronicles Pisgah’s history

A new book has come out that treks through the human, political and natural history behind the formation of the Pisgah National Forest. Since the designation of 80,000 acres as America’s first forestry school and later as the heart of…
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:48

Explore National Parks from the fireside

With short and chilly days making miles on the trail harder to come by, a lineup of outdoors-themed board games can be a more attractive choice. Check out one of these games that entertain while celebrating the best parts of…
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:47

AT license plates to fund trail-related projects

Projects that promote or protect the Appalachian Trail can tap a special pot of grant money thanks to the sale of specialty AT license plates. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy dedicates a portion of the proceeds from AT license plates to…
Land Trust for the Little Tennessee is looking to raise money for its Kids in the Creek program as part of #GivingTuesday on Dec. 2, an effort of charities around the world designed to inspire people to take action to…
A directory of handicapped-accessible hunting and fishing sites in the Nantahala and Pisgah national forests is available to help disabled hunters and hikers continue to enjoy the outdoors.  The U.S. Forest Service has fact sheets available for each of the…
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:43

Canton Library garden wins state award

The Canton Library’s Giving Garden got some state recognition by nabbing the “best adult program” award from the North Carolina Public Library Directors Association. The garden was the backdrop for a variety of programs at the Canton library throughout the…
Things have gone well for the Smokies elk, and they’ve risen from reintroduction experiment to established population. But meanwhile, they’ve outgrown Great Smoky Mountains National Park, spilling over into private lands to find pasture on agricultural fields not intended as…
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:22

Is democracy bad for the country?

The story goes that as Benjamin Franklin was leaving the final session of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, a Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked him, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a monarchy or a republic?” Without hesitation, Franklin replied:…
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:19

Tuttle, Nicholson to play The Strand

The Molly Tuttle Trio (Americana/soul) and Darren Nicholson (bluegrass) will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, at The Strand at 38 Main in Waynesville.
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:15

Art After Dark returns to Waynesville

Art After Dark continues from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, in downtown Waynesville. Enjoy a stroll through working studios and galleries on Main Street and Depot Street. Festive Art After Dark flags denote participating galleries, such as Haywood…
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:10

WCU to wrap up 125th anniversary celebration

Western Carolina University will wrap up the yearlong celebration of the 125th anniversary of its founding with the It’s a Wrap Party at 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, at the Ramsey Center in Cullowhee.
Former Mouseketeer Lindsey Alley will present an evening of musical performances mingled with stand-up comedy titled “Blood, Sweat and Mousketears” at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2, in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University.…
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:07

This must be the place

They call him the “Tao of Bluegrass.” It was exactly eight years this month when I first met Peter Rowan. I was 21 and on my first feature assignment as a wet-behind-the-ears journalist still in college. The Iron Horse Music…
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:03

Christmas in Appalachia

As the temperatures drop in Western North Carolina, the fun only heats up. The holiday season here is filled with events and activities aimed to celebrate the best way we know how — with friends, family and visitors alike. Families…
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:00

Old Democratic Party is just a memory

To the Editor: For the most part, family traditions have been important in helping to bind families together. There are times; however, when some of these traditions need to be reevaluated. Political loyalties fall into this group. Political parties can…
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:00

Ebola nothing compared to gun violence

To the Editor: News has recently come of the death of a second ebola victim on U.S. soil — a doctor from Sierra Leone flown here too late for treatment. Several thousand have died in the West Africa epidemic, too, and…
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:00

Obama plan sticks it to legal immigrants

To the Editor: If Editor Scott McLeod thinks that Obama is giving the finger to the GOP with his amnesty for illegals, think again. The finger is really being pointed at the millions of potential immigrants from all parts of the world who…
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 15:58

Social problems permeate classrooms

One in 30 American children are homeless, and, overwhelmingly, the two most common causes are economics and parental abuse. That’s the statistic I heard driving to school Monday morning. The outside temperature, 21 degrees, was a stark contrast to my…
I cannot take a nap, at least not on purpose. Whenever I try, I twist and turn as if my wrists are tied behind my back and I have to work myself free. Try as I may to fall asleep,…
David Tyler, assistant professor of sport management at Western Carolina University, and colleague Joe Cobbs, assistant professor of sports business at Northern Kentucky University, recently conducted a study as to what two schools have the most heated rivalry in college…
A community campaign to combat prescription drug abuse known as Project Lazarus will be discussed from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 2, in the lobby of Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva. A local coalition has adopted the Project…
Construction on the Parker Meadows sports complex is moving forward, but with some alterations to the original plan following the July discovery of a Cherokee gravesite in the midst of the future ballfields. At the Macon County commissioners’ November meeting,…
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 15:40

Waynesville SWAT competes in national tourney

The Waynesville Special Response Team recently went up against dozens special ops units and SWAT teams from across the county in the national SWAT Round-Up Competition, nabbing the accolade of “Best Small Agency.”
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 15:39

Plans in the works for Jackson homeless shelter

For the past four years, Jackson County Neighbors in Need has been footing the bill to put people lacking winter shelter up in motel rooms for the night, but the group is on the lookout for the perfect facility to…
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 15:36

Homeless shelter underway for Macon County

Things have been moving quickly for New Hope Center in Franklin. Just a few months ago, the homeless shelter was merely a vague idea in the back of Lowell Monteith’s mind, an awareness that there was a need for some…
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 15:34

Mapping Maggie’s recreational needs

Trails top the list of Maggie Valley’s recreational needs, according to the results of a recent survey conducted by the town.  “A lot of people seem to have the same thought of ‘we live so close to the mountains, but…
Quite a few parking tickets have gone unpaid in Sylva. Since 20011, a total of $7,585 worth of parking citations have gone unpaid. “It’s pages of tickets,” said Sylva Town Manager Paige Dowling.
Following a pair of community input sessions in October, proposed planning regulations for the Cullowhee area have been tweaked a bit.  “Relatively minor revisions to text and to maps,” explained Jackson County Planning Director Gerald Green. 
Most ribbon cuttings are routine. Bland, even. But then, most ribbon cuttings aren’t executed by a robot.  “You’ll note there’s a pair of scissors strapped to one hand,” said Jim Falbo, mechatronics program coordinator for Southwestern Community College, pointing to…
A surprise agenda item at this month’s Macon County Commissioner’s meeting put a smile on County Manager Derek Roland’s face. Just shy of his one-year anniversary on the job, the 29-year-old county manager was given a contract for his position. 
The clock is ticking for the newly elected tax collector in Haywood County to get bonded before his first day on the job next week. After an upset by a narrow margin in the tax collector’s race this month, Mike…
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 15:21

New management at Cherokee golf course

Sequoyah National Golf Club has come out in the red every year since it first opened in 2009, but the Cherokee golf course’s new general manager Kenny Cashwell, of Sequoia Golf Management, thinks that’s a norm that can be reversed. …
There are a few time-honored traditions on Thanksgiving. Like turkey and stuffing, or football and napping.  Or, increasingly more over the years, shopping. With retailers rabidly encouraging shoppers to get an early jump on the Christmas season gift-buying frenzy, the…
An iconic symbol of downtown Waynesville’s glory days is back.  A quintessential movie marquee for The Strand theater was hoisted into place last Friday, reclaiming its rightful spot above the benches and lampposts of Main Street’s quaint-but-classy streetscape.
The search for missing 17-year-old Alec Lansing came to a tragic end when searchers found the teen’s body in Nantahala National Forest Nov. 22, not far from the campsite where he left his group.  An autopsy revealed that Lansing had…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 16:29

Flycatcher family of birds is fun to watch

During the breeding season a number of birds that belong to the flycatcher family appear in the southern mountains: eastern kingbirds and wood peewees, as well as great crested, olive-sided, least, arcadian, willow, and alder flycatchers. As their name implies,…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 16:17

Ground broken on Smokies Preservation Center

Work on a new National Park Service Collections Preservation Center is underway following a Nov. 13 groundbreaking at the site in Townsend, Tenn. Once finished, the facility will house 418,000 artifacts and 1.3 million archival records documenting history of Great…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 16:17

East Street Park project scores grant funds

A project to revamp East Street Park in Waynesville has received a grant from the Pigeon River Fund that will allow the vision to move forward. East Street Park received $17,650 of its $25,200 grant request.  “We’re ecstatic and are…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 16:16

Arboretum lights up for holidays

A new holiday light show at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville will open Saturday, Nov. 22, and run through Jan. 2, adorning the Arboretum’s most visited landscapes with spectacular light installations to celebrate the winter season.