Mon05252015

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As the Macon County budget process gets under way, education spending will be one of the meatier items up for discussion.
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 15:00

Fracking regulators served with lawsuit

A section of legislation giving the Mining and Energy Commission the authority to decide which local ordinances are OK and which are not when it comes to fracking could be struck down, if a state court sides with a lawsuit…
Leaking roofs, technology needs and impending state cuts prompted Jackson County Schools to put out a hefty ask to the county at the beginning of its budget talks, but it’s looking like the school system will wind up with only…
Haywood County Schools will cut its budget by $900,000 next year, plus tap its cash reserves to the tune of $1.5 million to soften the blow of what would otherwise be even larger cuts. “This is a draft. We may…
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 14:45

Bringing the past to life

When Kim Sutton puts on his Civil War attire, he’s immediately transported to an era when a national conflict held court in the rural landscape of Haywood County.
For 10 years, museum curator Jackie Stephens has prepped The Shelton House for Civil War commemorations.
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 14:40

Take a Civil War tour in Haywood County

With the help of Civil War enthusiasts in Haywood County, The Shelton House Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts has put together a full weekend of events to commemorate the last shot fired in the Civil War east of the Mississippi.…
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 14:38

The Fall of Will Thomas

William Holland Thomas, a self-made, prominent businessman, a revered chief in the Cherokee tribe, a politician and a colonel in the Confederate Army, spent the final 20 years of his life fighting mental illness. He passed those years, as he…
Not all the Eastern Cherokee supported the Confederacy. Several served with the Union army during the Civil War and were ostracized by the Confederate Cherokees after hostilities ceased. Some evidence exists that one of these Union soldiers brought smallpox back…
Union Col. William Bartlett tried to keep his cool as he watched his bitter, battle-hardened Confederate enemies riding down Main Street that May morning of 1865. SEE ALSO:• Like a Good Neighbor: The Eastern Cherokee and the Confederacy• Take a Civil…
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 14:08

Chief candidates weigh in on issues

It’s election season in Cherokee, and with the long-time chief Michell Hicks opting not to seek re-election, five candidates are vying for the tribe’s top office.
Things are back to normal at Tuscola High School after an emailed threat prompted a complete evacuation of the school April 30.
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 02:55

Cumberland Island National Seashore

Cumberland Island, which is composed of Great Cumberland Island (the national seashore) and Little Cumberland Island (private), is one of the largest barrier islands along Georgia’s coast. Cumberland Island is about 18 miles long and about 3 miles wide —…
A discussion on falconry and the importance of birds of prey to a healthy ecosystem — as well as a chance to meet those birds — will be the centerpiece of Trout Unlimited Cataloochee’s next meeting 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May…
The Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust will kick off its annual lineup of eco tours to ecologically important areas throughout the region with a wildflower hike to Whitewater Falls Thursday, April 30, led by botanist Gary Wein.
The time is drawing near for synchronous fireflies to once more light up the night in the Smokies, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has announced this year’s dates for up-close firefly viewing at the park’s Elkmont Campground.  The…
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 02:39

National forest sites open for spring

With warmer weather comes the opening of a lengthy list of campgrounds and recreation sites in the Nantahala and Pisgah national forests that had been closed for the winter.  Newly reopen recreation areas include: • Nantahala District: Nantahala River facilities…
Four years ago, Jennie Wyderko — then finishing up her undergrad at Virginia Tech — had barely even touched a mountain bike.  Fast forward to 2015, and she’s one of two female officers for the Nantahala Area Southern Off Road…
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 02:28

A withering cultural critic takes aim

In Withering Slights: The Bent Pin Collection (National Review Books, 2015, ISBN 978-0-9847650-3-4, 186 pages, $24.95), Florence King demonstrates once again why she remains, even in poor health, one of America’s most biting and genuinely funny social and political critics.
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 02:22

Creating a healthier future

Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital have embarked on exciting futures for our hospitals and communities.   Early this month, we unveiled new names and logos for our hospitals that highlight our connection to Duke LifePoint Healthcare. While this…
Sixth grade was not so kind to my daughter. She did better than she expected on the social part — and that was the part that really worried her, since she had heard so many frightening rumors about the chamber…
Haywood School Superintendent Anne Garrett came up with a novel approach for predicting how many students a new charter school will siphon out of the public school system.
Haywood County Schools have been losing students slowly but steadily over the past decade. Despite high academic performance, the school system has 500 fewer students. Where did they go? Why? Will the decline continue? • Case #1: The homeschool factor•…
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 01:55

WCU LLC to spur economic development

The Western Carolina University College of Business is establishing a new, for-profit limited liability company designed to provide entrepreneurial business, scientific and technical services to help spur economic development activity in Western North Carolina. The new LLC will replace WCU’s…
A public hearing at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 30, at the Cashiers-Glenville Recreation Center will take the public’s temperature on a proposed fire tax for Jackson County residents in the Cashiers-Highlands area.  The county’s board of commissioners has been discussing…
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 01:52

Final round for Cullowhee standards

Cullowhee residents crowded the basketball court at the Cullowhee Recreation Center last week for a chance to sound off during the last public hearing before Jackson County Commissioners take a final vote on whether to adopt the Cullowhee Community Planning…
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 01:51

Bryson businesses unite

There is power in numbers, and businesses in Bryson City are ready to join forces to have their voices heard.  With guidance from the Swain County Chamber of Commerce, merchants are working to form a Bryson City Downtown Merchants Association. 
The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad introduces new people to all that Bryson City has to offer throughout the year, yet many locals are still not on board with the changes the train has brought with it.
Voters could see more Ds and Rs on their election ballot in 2016 if Republicans push through legislation to make local school board and statewide judicial races partisan.
Earlier this year, it looked like Monarch Ventures, a Charlotte-based company that’s been trying for years to build a high-density 500-bed student housing complex in Cullowhee, could be history.
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 01:43

Fraternity gets five-year suspension

The Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity will be absent from Western Carolina University’s roster of Greek life opportunities until 2020, following a February incident in which a PKA pledge claimed to be waterboarded by his fraternity brothers.
When the Cherokee Tribal Council voted to give itself a hefty pay raise last fall — $10,000 extra a year plus tens of thousands in backpay for the years when it supposedly should have already been receiving those extra dollars…
Tuesday, 28 April 2015 21:11

QuickDraw at Laurel Ridge

The WNC QuickDraw will be from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at Laurel Ridge Country Club in Waynesville.
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 21:09

Civil War remembrance, reenactment

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War and the “Last Shot Fired” at the Battle of Waynesville, there will be a weekend of events May 8-10 at The Shelton House in Waynesville and around…
Tuesday, 28 April 2015 21:08

This must be the place

She knows me better than anybody. She’s a little rough around the edges. Her beauty has seen better days. She’s a dirty girl, one who’ll take to cosmopolitan city streets as easily as rugged backwoods trails. Her needs always seem…
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 21:02

The act of words to paper

For Wiley Cash, being a writer is not about milestones in his career that define his passion. Rather, it’s the simple idea of a person sitting down with a blank page, one ready to be filled with the unlimited possibility…
Haywood Regional Medical Center’s recent decision to purchase the Evergreen Family Medical Center in Canton will keep Evergreen employees from losing their primary care physician and will expand health care services to the entire community.  Since Evergreen announced in January…
“The cascading, four foot, doubly-compound leaves of devil’s walking stick, bunched near the end of long crooked thorny stems reaching as tall as 20 feet, give this plant a decidedly tropical look — it’s a plant that might fit in…
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 16:03

Local food guide now available

A new edition of Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s Local Food Guide is out in time for the spring growing season.  The guide lists farmers markets, farms and restaurants and grocers selling local produce in the Southern Appalachians. It is free…
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 16:02

Grant brings real-life science to classrooms

A $500 grant from the N.C. Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts’ Auxiliary will mean some hands-on science for students of Hayley Cox and Noal Castater, both teachers in Haywood County.  Cox, a fourth-grade teacher at Junaluska Elementary School,…
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 16:02

Paul Carlson honored for conservation work

Paul Carlson of Land Trust for the Little Tennessee was named Outstanding Conservationist in the 2015 Roosevelt-Ashe awards given out by Wild South, an environmental organization that works in several southern states. Carlson, LTLT’s founding director, led LTLT for 18…
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 15:58

Pancakes popular with AT hikers

Appalachian Trail hikers in search of a satisfying meal found it at the First Baptist Church of Franklin this year — 633 of them, representing 44 states and seven foreign countries.
More than 200 fifth graders from Jackson County Schools spent two days learning about natural resources at East LaPorte Recreation Park this month.
Wednesday, 13 May 2015 15:54

Fly-fishing museum opening delayed

The grand opening of the Fly-Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians in Cherokee, originally intended for May 1, has been rescheduled to 10 a.m. June 6.
From paved 5K routes to epic trail runs and triathlons, Western North Carolina is rife with outdoor races of all types. But a peek at the history shows that the bulk of these events are new arrivals on the landscape,…
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 15:39

Greening Up the Mountains: Through the Hills

3 p.m. • Signature Brew Stage The newest musical entity in Western North Carolina, the Haywood County quartet brings together singer-songwriter Kevin Fuller with banjoist Joey Fortner (formerly of Soldier’s Heart). Add in teenage fiddle prodigy Alma Russ, and you…
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 15:36

Greening Up the Mountains: Rye Baby

1:05 p.m. • Signature Brew Stage Hailing from Chattanooga, Rye Baby is a fiery duo, one that encompasses the honky-tonk blues and Americana-roots sounds that runs deeply through Southern Appalachia.
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 15:25

Dam politics and freedom of religion

The growing threat of drought in the Southeast and the problems of “water politics” has prodded the memory of many legislators and ecologists to anxiously recall the snail darter controversy.
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 15:17

Controlled Chaos Film Festival at WCU

Films created by Western Carolina University students will be screened at the sixth annual Controlled Chaos Film Festival at 7 p.m. Friday, May 1, at the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center in Cullowhee.