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Wednesday, 15 February 2017 15:37

An escape into a magical world

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I was in the Disney bubble for seven days straight, so it was rather depressing driving home with the daily…
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 15:32

Most presidents learn from criticism — not this one

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By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist The press must be the keyboard on which the government can play. — Joseph…
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 15:32

Valuable lessons from failed annexation

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To the Editor: Thank you Smoky Mountain News and Becky Johnson for writing an article bringing to a close the…
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 15:31

What to make of Trump’s eruptions

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To the Editor: It’s gotten to the point that I’m hesitant to listen to or read the news. President Trump’s…
Haywood County Commissioners are locked in an increasingly bitter power struggle with elected Tax Collector Mike Matthews over his job performance and work habits, and there doesn’t appear to be any easy resolution to the festering dispute. SEE ALSO: • Unfair collection…
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 15:16

Public comment session at next commission meeting

The next meeting of the Haywood County Board of Commissioners will be held at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20, inside the Historic Courtroom of the Haywood County Courthouse, in Waynesville.
A Smoky Mountain News inquiry into collection procedures in the Haywood County tax collector’s office shows that some county GOP leaders are not being aggressively pursued for payment.
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 15:13

Comparing tax collections under Francis, Matthews

Haywood County Tax Collector Mike Matthews’ efficiency and his use of attachments to collect past due taxes have been called into question recently by county commissioners.
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 15:13

Cherokee man sentenced in murder case

Joshua Daniel Calhoun, 22, of Cherokee, was sentenced Feb. 14 in Swain County Superior Court to a maximum of 38 years and five months in prison for his role in the 2013 murder of Calup “Joe” Caston.
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 15:12

Haywood man convicted of voter fraud

A Haywood County jury recently convicted Dewey George Gidcumb, 52, of Haywood County of felony voter fraud for voting twice in the 2016 Primary Elections in North Carolina.
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 15:10

Applicants needed for Swain broadband committee

Swain County commissioners are accepting applications from community members to serve on a newly formed Broadband Advisory Committee.
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 15:10

Richard Reeves receives service award

Richard Reeves has been awarded the N.C. Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service and the Elaine Kuhl Volunteer Service Award for his work to provide firewood to underprivileged individuals in Haywood County.
Sylva will have to spend $25,000 on an emergency action plan for Fisher Creek Dam, due to a 2016 state law requiring dams designated as high-hazard to have such a plan in place.
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 15:07

Permanent tourism director hired in Jackson

The Jackson County Tourism Development Authority has its first permanent employee following a unanimous vote from the Jackson County Commissioners this month.
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 15:05

Fontana houseboat owner seeks TVA appointment

After a successful campaign to keep houseboats on Fontana Lake, floating homeowner Erik Sneed is now campaigning for a presidential appointment to the Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors.
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 15:03

High-density apartment proposal a no-go for Sylva

Sylva’s leaders have long grappled with how to spur the town’s stagnant residential tax base and get more high-density housing within its limits, but when a proposal for a 136-unit apartment complex made its way before town commissioners last week,…
When Kevin Corbin decided to run for state representative, one of his main goals was to secure adequate funding allocations for K-12 schools.
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 15:00

Macon schools reach full capacity

Macon County elementary schools are near, at or over capacity, and administrators can only shuffle students around so much before a more long-term solution will be needed.
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 14:58

Franklin hears proposal to one-lane Main Street

Franklin’s town board has been hearing different proposals for improving Main Street’s parking and appearance — and the latest proposal included turning it into a one-lane thoroughfare.
A proposed comprehensive plan to improve Franklin’s pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure includes more than 20 recommended projects to fix the town’s sidewalks, increase connections to the greenway and make downtown more navigable for visitors and residents alike.
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 14:54

New school opening in Sylva

Plans are crystallizing for a new middle school in Jackson County, but it’s a race against the clock for Western Carolina University and Jackson County Public Schools to meet the deadline for opening set by the General Assembly. 
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 14:53

Tourism tax hike for Haywood is DOA

Haywood County Tourism Development Authority Executive Director Lynn Collins has been making the rounds like a travelling saleswoman lately — pitching a room occupancy tax increase to anyone who will listen.
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 14:50

Raleigh Roundup: bobcats and beers edition

With the new session of the North Carolina Legislature underway, a flurry of bills has been filed in both the House and Senate — more than 180 of them — as of Feb. 14. 
A newly approved expansion project at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort was nearly derailed when a resolution to kill the project was narrowly rejected in Tribal Council this month, with the final vote an even 50-50.
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 17:19

Fire review underway in the Smokies

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A team of fire experts is assembling at Great Smoky Mountains National Park to conduct a review of the 2016…
If you’d polled Kimberley Brookshire’s friends a couple years ago, they’d likely have said the chances were slim to none…
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 17:09

Haywood Waterways recognizes water champions

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Haywood’s biggest water champions of 2016 have been recognized by the Haywood Waterways Association, highlighting accomplishments from youth education to…
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 17:09

New easements conserve hundreds of acres

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More than 340 acres in Jackson and Cherokee counties have been conserved, thanks to conservation easements through Mainspring Conservation Trust.
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 16:59

The copper run in the Great Smokies

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The worldwide annual production of “high conductivity copper” had by 1899 risen to 470,000 tons, of which 300,000 tons were…
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 16:45

Please take time to give feedback

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Many thanks to The Smoky Mountain News for the recent article by Becky Johnson (www.smokymountainnews.com/news/item/19193) to update the citizens of…
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 16:44

Defining pro-choice, pro-life

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To the Editor: Unfortunately, anti-abortion supporters named themselves pro-life, thereby labeling pro-choice supporters pro-death. This serves to demonize the pro-choice…
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 16:44

NATO is too important to scrap

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To the Editor: Our fathers and grandfathers fought in World War II to save the world from Nazi domination. Over…
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 16:43

The world joins in supporting democracy

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To the Editor: The Constitution guarantees the right to assembly, and Americans continue to exercise that right throughout history. In…
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 16:32

Two essays that left a lasting influence

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They were both quiet, their voices barely audible even during roll call, and absolutely silent otherwise. Even as a new…
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 16:29

New commissioner stumbles out of the gate

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Brandon Rogers almost certainly disappointed — and surprised — many of his supporters during Monday’s Haywood County Commissioners meeting. Apparently…
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 16:17

Ben-Hur’s long history is captivating

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Some authors and critics sniff at best-sellers. I suppose the idea is that a novel appealing to so many thousands…
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 16:01

HART welcomes Arnette, Dykes

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The board of directors of the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre (HART) in Waynesville held its annual meeting recently in the…
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 15:57

Feet in the sand, not your head

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How could something so beautiful be so ugly? Standing at the edge of the ocean on the Gulf Coast of…
They wanted to shake things up. In 1971, a young Sam Bush aimed to create a new kind of bluegrass…
Within the residential real estate industry lies an interesting contradiction.  SEE ALSO:• Haywood housing demand is high but inventory is low• Macon making sustainable growth in real estate market• Real estate rebounding in Jackson• Mountain cabins in high demand in Swain
Brian Cagle is vice president and managing broker at Beverly-Hanks in Waynesville. Beverly Hanks doesn’t sell real estate, however; Beverly-Hanks sells a lifestyle.
It hasn’t been a quick or easy recovery, but Macon County real estate is back on the rise and Realtors see that trend continuing into 2017.
With the recession nearly a decade in the rearview mirror, the real estate market is once more robust in Jackson County — especially in the southern end of the county around Cashiers.
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 15:16

Mountain cabins in high demand in Swain

Sherry and Gary Patterson vacationed in Bryson City for the first time about 20 years ago and now they can’t get enough of it.
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 15:13

Bryson Senior Living breaks ground

Affinity Living Group held a groundbreaking ceremony recently for its new assisted living community, Bryson Senior Living. Pictured moving the ceremonial first shovelfuls of earth are Denis Rainey, Affinity Vice President of Operations; (from left) Swain County Commissioners David Monteith,…
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 15:12

Proposed room tax hike already in jeopardy

A renewed effort to increase Haywood County’s room occupancy tax from 4 to 6 percent has already run into almost as much opposition as it has in previous years, calling into question its chances of passage in the state legislature. 
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 15:10

Shining Rock receives grant for outdoor classes

Shining Rock Classical Academy will be able to construct an outdoor classroom on its campus this year thanks to a $10,000 grant from Parents for Educational Freedom in North Carolina — the state’s leading parental school choice advocacy organization.
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 15:08

Recreation improvements coming to Waynesville

The active, outdoorsy lifestyle favored by residents of Western North Carolina has long been fostered by the Town of Waynesville, but if all goes according to recently released plans, it’s about to get much, much better.
Haywood County Tax Collector Mike Matthews has been a lightning rod for controversy since before he narrowly defeated veteran incumbent David Francis in the 2014 election.
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 15:02

Swain hospital: ‘ER is open 24/7’

Swain Community Hospital is still trying to overcome misperceptions in the community regarding its recent emergency department changes as well as the local medical services available to residents.