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Macon County commissioners voted unanimously last week to endorse a resolution stating that no new wilderness areas in Macon County would be a good thing. With the U.S. Forest Service in the midst of hashing out a new forest management…
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 13:22

Franklin aldermen vote no to hospice grant

Hospice House of WNC suffered a setback last week when the Franklin Board of Aldermen made a split decision not to support the organization’s application for a $100,000 Department of Commerce grant.  “It’s a worthy cause. That was not the…
A question-and-answer session concerning fracking drew a full crowd to a recent Jackson County Planning Board meeting. Western Carolina University Geosciences and Natural Resources Professor Cheryl Waters-Tormey was invited to lay out the basic process of hydraulic fracturing and the…
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 13:20

Jackson still mulling landslide mapping

Landslide hazard maps for the Wayehutta Creek watershed in the Cullowhee area of Jackson County were unveiled recently. The mapping is a baby step toward the much loftier goal of assessing the landslide risk for all the steep slopes in…
Macon County’s project to turn the 48-acre Parker Meadows project into a tournament-level softball and baseball complex met some complications when construction turned up a Cherokee burial site.  “You might hear rumors to that effect, so we’ll go ahead and…
In light of the growing number of children with food allergies, a new policy has been adopted by Haywood County Schools to help parents navigate the scary terrain of sending a child with a life-threatening food allergy into an uncontrolled…
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 13:17

Hospital back online following fire

Three weeks after a fire in the power room knocked out electricity at Haywood Regional Medical Center, the hospital is fully open and accepting patients. The hospital had already opened its emergency department and business offices back up on June…
Monty Williams didn’t know a whole lot about the Circles of Hope program when he sat down to his first training four years ago. All he knew was that he wanted to do something to help people in poverty escape…
The latest development to throw down a stake in Cullowhee intends to build a 488-bed student housing complex on a two-lane stretch of road across from the community garden and near the Tuckasegee River. It’s a place where students can…
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 13:33

Franklin hires town manager

After a closed session Monday, the Franklin Board of Aldermen voted unanimously to give Interim Town Manager Summer Woodard a permanent place in town hall. Woodard, who has been acting as town manager since Warren Cabe resigned in May, now…
One month after low oxygen levels killed the bacteria needed to process sewage at the Cherokee Wastewater Treatment Plant, discharge flowing back into the Oconaluftee River is still on the cloudy side as employees work to get the plant fully…
The general election ballot for Jackson County Sheriff will finally be final next week when polls close on a second Republican primary July 15. Though the field of six Democrats came out with a clear winner, the three-person Republican race…
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 13:18

Fracking opposition organizes in WNC

Candice Caldwell Day and her husband Shayne recently went to Andrews Airport in Cherokee County. “To hold up a really big sign,” she said. 
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 13:15

Macon schools get $100,000 more from county

Macon County Schools got a little extra to fix up their buildings when some bids for the Parker Meadows recreational complex came in low. All of the extra money went to education, with $39,400 going to Southwestern Community College and…
 The Emergency Department at MedWest Haywood is fully online, having treated 180 patients during the Fourth of July weekend. The department, along with outpatient services and the hospital’s business offices, re-opened June 30, 11 days after a fire in the…
In two separate incidents, graders in Haywood County bulldozed over wetlands, violating state and federal regulations that protect the environmentally-sensitive areas.
Results are back from the first round of testing for lead at Southwestern Community College’s shooting range, and the conclusion is that there’s plenty of lead to go around. In the area 15 to 20 feet downslope from the range,…
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 13:04

Ghost Town opens for season, draws a crowd

After passing state inspections, Ghost Town in the Sky opened for the season on the Fourth of the July.  The Maggie Valley amusement park — open Friday through Monday — is reporting an opening weekend attendance total of more than…
Negotiations between Evergreen Packaging and its union employees at the company’s Canton and Waynesville facilities are still ongoing. The talks resume July 15.
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 13:00

Corridor K: Beyond the road

Though the Corridor K debate was the impetus for the Opportunity Initiative Study, Opt-In wasn’t all about transportation. The results of the year-long regional visioning study has been enlightening, unifying and awash with great ideas to improve the area’s economic…
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 12:59

Corridor K: Dueling studies

A stalemate in the debate over Corridor K boils down to a central issue: can upgrades to the existing two-lane road do the job, or is a new four-lane highway the only solution?
After a year-long study capping off years of debate, the verdict is in on what’s next for the controversial Corridor K road project — sort of. SEE ALSO: Dueling studies | Beyond the road There were high hopes for the $2 million Opportunity…
Officials in the town of Forest Hills in Jackson County recently explored the possibility of providing trash and recycling collection service to residents. It was a brief exploration. 
After a firestorm of public outcry over the prospect of a firing range being built in an African-American neighborhood in Canton, town board members appear to have the issue on hold. “There has been no movement on the project,” said…
Public concerns over the visual blight of a proposed cell tower in the Cashiers area have prompted Verizon Wireless to alter its design for the tower, namely by disguising it to look like a very tall, very big pine tree.
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 04:10

More dialogue – anyone listening?

The next USDA Forest Service public meeting regarding the National Forest Plan Revision will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on July 10 at the Crowne Plaza Resort in downtown Asheville. The new plan will guide the management…
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 04:08

Outdoors events for kids

Kids program offers chance to touch bones, or delve into digestion Haywood Public Library will get more than skin deep with a forensic anthropology program at 3 p.m. Thursday, July 17, at the Waynesville branch and Tuesday, July 29, at…
Nantahala Lake spawned two state fishing records within a week during the month of June. Until now, the state record for a kokanee salmon was 3 pounds, 9 ounces, set in 2009 by Swannanoa resident Ashley Swann, but Fred Mix…
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 03:51

Trout tournament coming up in Cherokee

The annual Cherokee Dog Days Fishing Tournament will be held in Cherokee again July 18-19, with $10,000 in cash prizes available.
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 03:50

New map and website highlight Swain fishing

A new website and brochure highlight all the fishing opportunities available in Swain County.
The 11th annual Mountain Wildlife Days will take over Sapphire Valley Resort near Cashiers, N.C. June 18-19, activities ranging from a presentation on with world of mammals to a raptor demonstration to bluegrass gospel music. 
It’s no secret that an accurate weather forecast is hard to come by in the Smokies. But after two months of intense measurements at more than 100 stations around the region, scientists working with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration…
This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More, For Young and Old Alike (Picador, 2013 reprint, $15) has minor flaws to irritate every reader. For me, the title on the dust-jacket…
To the Editor: I have never met George Ellison, but I am appalled as a result of his referring to Granville Calhoun as an untruthful person in a column published back in November 2013.  I am a great niece of…
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 03:29

Time to accept reality of climate change

To the Editor: Alduous Huxley once said, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” Recently, in a conversation with a friend, somehow the talk turned toward the subject of climate change. While he did not deny that…
To the Editor: The cage is open and the monster is on the loose. Despite promises of comprehensive safeguards for the health and safety of affected North Carolinians, Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, and Rep. Roger West, R-Marble, knocked the door…
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 03:25

Changing mind now won’t undo the damage

“Absolutely ridiculous.” Those are the words of Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville, to describe the actions of Rep. Michelle Presnell, R-Burnsville, who has twice in two consecutive legislative sessions stopped in its tracks a bill that would merge Lake Junaluska…
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 00:00

Folk festival in Franklin

The 11th annual Folk Festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 19, in downtown Franklin. The event includes over 100 heritage demonstrations, which include basket making, woodcarving, moonshining, weaving, spinning and more. There will also…
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 00:00

Sweet Corn Festival in Franklin

The 17th annual Sweet Corn Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 12 at St. Cyprian’s Church in Franklin. Food, with a focus on sweet corn, can be enjoyed at tables under the shade of large…
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 00:00

Contestants sought for youth talent contest

The Heritage Alive! Mountain Youth Talent Contest will be held at 3 p.m. July 19 during the Franklin Folk Festival.
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 00:00

‘Hello Dolly’ to hit HART stage

The 50th anniversary production of the Broadway blockbuster “Hello Dolly” will be held at 7:30 p.m. July 11-12, 17-19, 24-26, Aug. 1-2 and at 3 p.m. July 13, 20, 27 and Aug. 3 at the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre in…
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 00:00

ArtFest to feature Folkmoot performers

The Haywood County Arts Council will once again host ArtFest (formerly called International Festival Day) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 19 in downtown Waynesville. 
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 00:00

Emporium to bring the dance, funk to Sylva

Funk/soul group Emporium will perform as part of Concerts on the Creek from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, July 11, at Bridge Park in Sylva.
Tuesday, 08 July 2014 16:17

This must be the place

It’s the soundtrack of my life. Growing up in the Champlain Valley (Upstate New York/Vermont), the music of my native land echoed through the albums of moe. They are North Country boys, whose central blend of rock, jam, funk and…
All is not well at the Uptown Gallery in Franklin. “It’s pretty bad,” said Sue Weathers. “We’re losing money, and keeping the gallery open is getting pretty hard.” Co-director of the gallery and a member of the Macon County Art…
A major motion picture starring Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig and others will be partly filmed at a Waynesville location in mid-July.
Now is sourwood time. From late June into mid-August sourwood trees will be flowering throughout Western North Carolina, from the lowest elevations to almost 5,000 feet. Here, then, more or less at random, are some notes from my sourwood file:
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 13:32

Local water supplies get state recognition

Maggie Valley Sanitary District and the town of Waynesville got props from the N.C. Division of Water Resources for an outstanding drinking water supply earlier this summer. The water providers were two of 38 statewide to receive the N.C. Area…
A coalition of 17 organizations based in Western North Carolina is calling for a public hearing somewhere in the western part of the state on new oil and gas rules being developed the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission. Three public…
The next public meeting in the forest plan revision process for Pisgah and Nantahala national forests is planned for 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 10 in Asheville. Wildlife habitat and managing for ecosystem integrity and diversity will be the…