Thu06222017

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On a rainy June Monday in Maggie Valley, wispy mists lick lush mountaintops that tower behind nearly every business in town, including the Cabbage Rose gift shop on Soco Road. 
To combat the rising cost of feeding inmates, Macon County commissioners chose to ditch a $360,000 food contract with Mission Health and Angel Medical Center for a less expensive option.
Wednesday, 07 June 2017 14:05

Macon County revenues up across the board

The Macon County commissioners have some challenges in balancing the proposed 2017-18 budget, but County Manager Derek Roland said those challenges are the same ones every local government is facing right now.
Wednesday, 07 June 2017 14:04

Important dates for Waynesville budget

The first draft of the Town of Waynesville’s proposed 2017-18 fiscal year budget was presented to the public on May 23, but citizens still have a few opportunities left to weigh in on it before adoption.
Wednesday, 07 June 2017 14:02

Public hearing slated for Publix site

A 56,000-square-foot, $20 million retail project that will bring a long-awaited Publix grocery store to Waynesville was unanimously approved by the town planning board May 15, but still has one more hurdle to face.
A multi-agency training exercise led by the N.C. National Guard meant to test and improve disaster response will result in roadblocks and an elevated level of police, fire and military activity in Canton on the morning of June 10.
One year after the town’s tax rate rose by 12.5 cents per $100, Sylva is considering a proposed $3.7 million budget that will keep tax rates level and cover the town’s operating needs — but will come up short on addressing…
Jackson County’s proposed $62.5 million budget for 2016-17 doesn’t include a tax increase, but it sets the stage for a $12 million upgrade to county facilities over the next five years.
Following a 43 percent voter turnout during the June 1 Primary Election, the field of 45 Tribal Council candidates has been whittled down to 24 contenders for 12 seats. The top four vote-getters in each community will advance to the…
Wednesday, 07 June 2017 13:50

How they fared

Of the 12 current Tribal Council representatives, nine are running for re-election in this year’s race. The June 1 primary election saw one of the nine fail to advance to the general election, with several other incumbents finishing in weaker…
If the results of the June 1 primary elections are any indication, incumbent Tribal Council members could be in trouble come the General Election Sept. 7. 
Wednesday, 07 June 2017 13:44

New residence hall planned for WCU

Designs for a new 600-bed residence hall at Western Carolina University met approval from the WCU Board of Trustees June 2, putting the project on track to house students starting in the fall 2019 semester. 
A Haywood County woman has pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges for filing bogus unemployment claims on behalf of unsuspecting victims, a scam that bilked the government for more than $29,000 in fake unemployment benefits over a two-year period.
Wednesday, 07 June 2017 12:55

Joey’s Pancake House to close next week

Some institutions are meant to last forever, while others have their place in time and then they’re gone.After Tuesday, June 13, Joey’s Pancake House in Maggie Valley will be gone.
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 18:05

We need to keep Wright School open

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To the Editor: As most know by now, the House budget includes cuts to mental health programs including a cut…
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 18:05

Fighting against money in politics

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To the Editor: Scott McLeod’s opinion piece “If it’s all about money, we’re in big trouble” was right on target.…
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 17:54

Shouldn’t there be compassion before greatness?

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A friend of mine is in line at the drive-thru of a local fast food restaurant, and a guy with…
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 17:53

In redrawing districts, a chance to end gerrymandering

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By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist The people of North Carolina won a nationally significant victory in the Supreme Court last…
A new scientific tool developed at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont will allow salamander-studying scientists to trace the…
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 17:16

Drought-free in N.C.

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For the first time since March 2016, all 100 counties in North Carolina are free of drought or dry conditions.
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 17:05

Smokies names Franklin woman employee of the year

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Franklin resident Lisa Brown has been named the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s Employee of the Year.
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 16:53

A blemish by any other name

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Systems of mature trees and shrubs are covered with blemishes that signal age: cankers, seams, burls, butt scars, sterile conks,…
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 16:37

A poem for D-Day

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“Normandy Invasion” By Paul Willis Across the sands of Normandy They came up from the sea. For many days and…
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 16:32

Understanding how to disagree and still respect

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Nineteenth century poet Walt Whitman once wrote “I hear America singing.” Ah, those were the days.
To say Doyle Lawson has had a full career would be an understatement. Nowadays, Lawson is regarded as a pillar…
Editor’s Note: After heading to his native Upstate New York last week to give the eulogy at his aunt’s funeral,…
Congressman Mark Meadows, R-NC, recently introduced the Revamping American Infrastructure Act, a bill he says will provide a better path forward for modernizing the nation’s infrastructure through a targeted outcome and performance-based approach to reduce regulatory obstacles in the transportation…
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 14:22

Man falls at Ramsey Cascades

On Sunday, May 28, Great Smoky Mountains National Park Rangers received a report that a 37-year-old male fell from the top of the 100-foot tall Ramsey Cascades waterfall late that afternoon.
They say “Ask and thou shalt receive,” but Nancy Bolding of Otto probably received way more than she bargained for when she reached out for help to plan her husband’s 94th birthday party.
With an annual budget of only about $2.9 million, the town of Bryson City doesn’t have much wiggle room when it comes to cutting expenses or allocating funds for major projects.
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 13:43

Waynesville budget follows county trends

Waynesville Mayor Gavin Brown opened the town’s February budget retreat — his 17th or 18th, by his own reckoning — by setting the direction with a poignant quote.
In an effort to consolidate women’s and children’s services in Franklin, Mission Health has announced it will be closing those practices in Sylva.
After six years at the helm of Jackson County Public Schools, Superintendent Mike Murray will be leaving for a new position at Cherokee Central Schools this summer.
Todd Dillard isn’t the kind of guy who leaves anything to chance. What-ifs are his forte, as they should be for the Jackson County emergency management director.
Wednesday, 31 May 2017 13:36

High hopes for Ghost Town sale

Opened atop Buck Mountain in 1961, Wild West-themed Ghost Town in the Sky used to draw as many as 600,000 visitors a year to Maggie Valley, but after a combination of maladministration, mechanical difficulties and even a landslide, the park…
Who runs the U.S.? We’ve always known that money and politics go hand in hand, but these days that seems…
Wednesday, 24 May 2017 16:03

Roots and wings — an oxymoron made for moms

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It must have been a mom who coined the adage “time flies.” I swear it feels like last week when…
Wednesday, 24 May 2017 15:58

Trump presidency an unmitigated disaster

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To the Editor: In a failed attempt to defend Donald Trump, Mr. Van Eck’s recent letter is more of a…
Wednesday, 24 May 2017 15:58

Hospitals play key role in local communities

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Rural Hospital Week is May 22-26 and Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital are joining community hospitals and caregivers…
Wednesday, 24 May 2017 15:55

Timber harvest has started in Harmon Den

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A 96-acre timber-harvesting project is underway in the Harmon Den area of the Pisgah National Forest, in Haywood County.
Wednesday, 24 May 2017 15:55

Movie documents record-breaking A.T. hike

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A new movie telling the story of Karl “Speedgoat” Meltzer — who broke the Appalachian Trail speed record by hiking…
Wednesday, 24 May 2017 15:54

Road closed in the Pisgah

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A construction project on Cathy Creek Road in the Pisgah Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest will cause a…
Wednesday, 24 May 2017 15:46

Habitat enhancement continues on Lake Jocassee

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Now in its third year, the Keowee-Toxaway Habitat Enhancement Program funded by Duke Energy has $1.3 million in available funds,…
A Waynesville man has been tapped to lead the state’s Project Food, Land & People program, a national education curriculum…
What was once a wildfire became an outdoor classroom for students in Western Carolina University’s Natural Resource Conservation and Management…
Wednesday, 24 May 2017 15:41

End in sight for Foothills Parkway

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The final phase of construction is underway for the Foothills Parkway — which is administered by the Great Smoky Mountains…
The weather hasn’t been too cooperative this spring with regards to my Forest Service bird point count. First weekend in…
Wednesday, 24 May 2017 15:26

Wit, wisdom and a walk around New York City

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It is 1926, and Lillian Boxfish, mid-20s and ambitious, arrives in Manhattan, where she lands a job working for the…
Wednesday, 24 May 2017 15:14

Play me that mountain music

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With Memorial Day right around the corner, the fun in the sun of summer in the mountains is here, ready…
The roaring of the plane engine shook me awake. Coasting into the skies over Newark, New Jersey, the flight was…