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Wednesday, 13 July 2016 14:43

This must be the place

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It’s when you know you’re home. Those places and faces, those sights and lights that truly signal the arrival back…
Wednesday, 13 July 2016 14:40

Between the fingers lies the soul

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They all do something with their hands. Meandering around Western North Carolina and greater Southern Appalachia, one thing becomes apparent…
If a rising tide lifts all boats, it only makes sense for organizations with common goals to work together, but cooperation hasn’t always come so easy for the Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority.…
As three members of the Maggie Valley Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors rotate off the board next month, the business community has another opportunity to vote in new leadership.
Wednesday, 13 July 2016 14:16

The value of a Maggie chamber membership

Businesses in the valley have varying views on whether being a member of the Maggie Valley Area Chamber of Commerce is worth the annual dues, but Chamber Chairman Joe Moody said it’s a great value for the many benefits provided…
Cherokee Tribal Council is closer to finalizing a decision to revoke part of a former vice chief’s will, following its July meeting last week.
Wednesday, 13 July 2016 14:12

Food truck ordinance passed in Cashiers

Cashiers recently completed its own effort to address food trucks with an ordinance approved by the Jackson County Commissioners last month. 
Wednesday, 13 July 2016 14:09

Sylva to revisit food truck rules

After seeing the showdown over food truck rules playing out in Waynesville, Sylva is gearing up to take a look at its own code of ordinances, hoping to forestall any such drama in its neck of the woods. 
The lack of high-speed internet in Western North Carolina has been more than just an annoyance to Netflix binge-watchers — it’s also seen as one of the region’s largest economic development challenges.
Kimberly Michelle Bishop, the former director of Macon County’s Board of Elections, was recently sentenced to six months in prison for embezzling public funds.
After a June 9 accident that left a man dead and a community grieving, the effort to address a road that’s long been seen as dangerous is seeing a renewed surge of focus.
On July 11, Dave Angel’s plan to operate a 10,000 square-foot whiskey distillery on 1.7 acres at 3732 Soco Road in the heart of Maggie Valley got a boost from the Town Board and the Maggie Valley Sanitary District.
Mike Withers loved Ghost Town in the Sky so much that in Spring 2015 at the age of 72, he still held out hope that the troubled amusement park would reopen for the summer.
A lawsuit over the historic sawmill that burned down at Haywood Community College nearly four years ago was settled last week in a ruling by the N.C. Court of Appeals.
Drivers who use a section of U.S. 74 in Haywood County will be taking a slightly different route starting on Monday, July 11. An N.C. Department of Transportation contractor will close the exit ramp off U.S. 74 East at mile…
By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist Most of Europe’s aristocracy didn’t think the infant United States would last a decade, and…
Wednesday, 06 July 2016 16:10

Doing business with your neighbors

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In not every town do the children of doctors and lawyers go to the same schools as the children of…
Wednesday, 06 July 2016 16:08

We are going to have to all help push the wagons

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To the Editor: I recall some 65 years ago when citizens were often complaining about their governments, primarily about their…
Wednesday, 06 July 2016 16:05

Combination science lab and amusement park

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Weightless for two seconds is not a moonwalk but at the top of the Space Shot at Huntsville, Alabama’s (Rocket…
A growing collection of roadside signs has been popping up along rural drives and main thoroughfares in Western North Carolina…
Wednesday, 06 July 2016 15:37

Falling into the rabbit hole of fiction

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For reasons unfathomable to me, I have spent the last two weeks on a fiction-reading jag. Until I was about…
Wednesday, 06 July 2016 15:07

This must be the place

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I turned around with 25,000 faces looking towards me.
Wednesday, 06 July 2016 15:04

Discovering the world within yourself

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It’s about what you see in mirror, and what you’re willing to acknowledge within the reflection staring right back at…
Wednesday, 06 July 2016 14:49

Tourism increases in Jackson County

Visitation to Jackson County for the 2015-2016 fiscal year was the highest recorded in the four-year history of the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority, with occupancy tax seeing a record 9.6-percent increase for this fiscal year. 
Ever since a controversial bill proposing to slash tuition rates at selected University of North Carolina schools popped up in May, leaders at Western Carolina University have been working to parse its language, ferret out its potential impacts and prod…
As the 2016-17 North Carolina budget came together, a significant part of it — touted by both Democrats and Republicans — was the N.C. Promise Tuition Plan, intended to make education more affordable for college students who often graduate saddled…
Nearly five years ago, Taylor and Preston Gregg stood on top of Chestnut Ridge and recited their wedding vows.
Wednesday, 06 July 2016 14:35

Food Fight: Anthony’s mad at Waynesville

The Mad Anthony’s food truck debate culminated last week in what will go down in the annals of Waynesville lore as “The Battle of Branner Avenue” — the story of a local businessman who did almost everything wrong but was…
Macon County Emergency Management Services hopes to expand an existing health care model to better serve mental health patients in the county — and a grant from the Evergreen Foundation may help the department fund it.
Wednesday, 06 July 2016 14:32

TekTone Sound to expand operations in Macon

With the help of matching grants funds from Macon County, TekTone Sound & Signal Manufacturing Inc. will expand operations at the county industrial park with the purchase of the former SKF facility.
Wednesday, 06 July 2016 14:30

Macon wraps up fiscal year

Macon County commissioners had some last-minute spending decisions to make before heading into the new fiscal year that started July 1. 
A partnership that could quadruple patient volume and expand medical staffing for the uninsured of Jackson County has been the subject of a flurry of meetings and conversations since The Good Samaritan Clinic of Jackson County announced last week that…
The resignation of Lake Junaluska Singers Director Dr. Melodie Galloway comes after one member of the well-known choral group made several written allegations to Junaluska officials after his termination from the group on June 25.
By a 4-1 vote on June 28, the Town of Waynesville finally got around to complying with an Oct. 1, 2015, state requirement that could potentially threaten the very existence of one of its best-known institutions. 
Mickey Luker has been working on a remodel of Caney Fork General Store ever since he purchased the property in 2011, but now the county commissioner candidate is claiming that politically motivated nefariousness caused the county health department to deny…
Visitors to the Lake Junaluska Singers web page over the past day or so were shocked to see that the…
Revolutionary War hero General “Mad” Anthony Wayne once told George Washington, “Issue the order, Sir, and I will storm the gates of Hell.” Supporters of Mad Anthony’s Bottle Shop & Beer Garden on Branner Avenue are no less fired up…
Having a website used to be an added bonus for local governments, but now it has become a necessity and the public and the press have higher expectations for online services and transparency. Governments get graded Online presence a must for…
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:59

Governments get graded

Journalists responsible for news gathering in a rugged and mountainous four-county (Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain), 2,111-square-mile swath of Western North Carolina that happens to contain two sovereign nations, 11 towns, 32 unincorporated communities, 44 townships, 150,000 people, and the…
Years ago, the Town of Maggie Valley used to be known as a place where governance didn’t always take place in full sunshine. 
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:52

Canton plans to beef up town website

The Town of Canton’s website was the subject of discussion during recent budget hearings, as some questioned the need for spending $25,000 (plus $5,000 for marketing) on a new one. 
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:50

Bryson City website needs more attention

Considering Bryson City didn’t even have a website until 2009, it’s no surprise that it lags behind the other municipalities’ web presence.
With the lowest population and the lowest county budget, Swain County also scored the lowest among the four-county website comparison. 
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ website received the lowest score of any of those reviewed by The Smoky Mountain News, coming in with an overall 1.4 out of 5. 
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:43

Sylva’s website scheduled for a makeover

Sylva’s website, last overhauled in 2010, will be getting a facelift this year after the town board voted to spend $3,000 on a redesign of the town’s website and logo.
Kelly Fuqua doesn’t have a problem saying she’s pretty proud of Jackson County’s website. Before she overhauled it in 2011, the site was getting “complaint after complaint,” and she sank a lot of work into fixing the problem. 
The town of Franklin’s website is a great example of a small town going the extra mile to encourage public participation in local government.
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:36

Macon’s web presence has come a long way

Macon County’s government website started 16 years ago with a shoestring budget.
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:35

Waynesville website a reliable resource

As the largest town west of Asheville and the county seat of Haywood County, Waynesville is the economic engine of the region, driving development and investment from Canton to Cherokee. Accordingly, its burden is high — some of the most…
Haywood County’s website tied for the highest ranking in the area despite earning design scores that were sub-par.