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More than a year has lapsed since 15-month-old Aubrey Kina Marie Littlejohn died on the floor of an unheated single-wide trailer in Cherokee one frigid January night, but it could be several more months before the state conducts a child…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 21:40

NRA safety sessions aimed at students

The National Rifle Association will offer a seminar called “Refuse To Be A Victim” several times in coming weeks in Waynesville, focused on crime prevention and personal safety strategies for college bound students, such as mental awareness, preparation and avoidance…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 21:40

Speaker to address gun control March 5 at WCU

Gun control takes center stage at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 5, in the A.K. Hinds University Center Grandroom on the campus of Western Carolina University.   Scholar Gary Kleck will review research in the field of gun control in his…
Waynesville leaders are looking for a way to keep guns out of town parks and recreation centers despite changes in the state’s conceal carry law that allow guns in more places than before. A new state law stipulating where concealed…
A review of rules in Jackson County that guide development along the roughly five-mile stretch of U.S. 441 leading into the Cherokee Indian Reservation is steaming along but possible changes can’t come fast enough for some business owners and residents.…
The battle of the Joneses is about to commence in Jackson County. County Commissioner Mark Jones will appear on the ballot alongside challenger Marty Jones in November. Mark Jones is a Democrat, Marty Jones a Republican. The Joneses will fight…
The ball is already rolling on repairs to the rides at the once-popular Ghost Town in the Sky amusement park in Maggie Valley, but a summer opening could hinge on the park passing muster with state inspectors. New owner Alaska…
Complaints from business owners and customers have Maggie Valley leaders asking if its police presence in the small tourist-oriented town is a bit overbearing. Cruising along Soco Road — the single stripe along which Maggie Valley businesses have sprouted up —…
The Haywood County Chamber of Commerce will offer Rural Entrepreneurship through Action Learning, a four-week business course, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from March 20 through April 12. This four-week course will enable entrepreneurs to…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 21:34

Physical education program grant implemented

The Haywood County School District was the recipient of a Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) Grant worth up to nearly $1 million. Haywood County Schools was one of only 76 successful applications selected from a pool of 585…
Maggie Valley’s town board has decided not to play favorites when it comes to the growing number of motorcycle rallies revving up to claim a piece of the two-wheeled action at the town festival grounds. Maggie Valley will be home…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 21:31

Lottery money hardly a win for schools

Keeping a roof over the head of Haywood County’s nearly 8,000 students is getting harder every year as the school system grapples with funding cuts at both the state and county level. With 16 schools, it’s wise to stay on…
Schools got only a brief and passing mention by Haywood County commissioners during a brainstorming session last week on priorities for the coming year. Education came up near the end of a free-wheeling 90-minute discussion, with only two to three…
State Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, violated state ethics rules this month by using his government email address for personal, but political, purposes. Specifically, Davis used his General Assembly email account to send out a campaign announcement saying he would run…
Macon County Schools Superintendent Dan Brigman once again has landed squarely in the crosshairs of a group devoted to protecting that legally mandated chasm between state and church. Brigman sent a December email to his employees that included the line:…
RBC Bank is looking to offload the building that once housed O’Malley’s On Main Pub and Grill in Waynesville from its list of assets. A ‘for-sale’ sign has been posted in the window of the vacant building following a bank…
Swain County commissioners will have to decide in coming weeks whether to pony up $3,000 to $5,000 for an early voting site in Cherokee this election. The Swain County Board of Elections doesn't have the money in its budget this…
Dawn Gilchrist-Young, a Jackson County resident and teacher at Swain County High School for the past 14 years, will discuss her short story “The Tender Branch” at 7 p.m., Feb. 27, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva. The reading and…
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:51

Sylva local C.B. Cole introduces her new novel

C.B. Cole will be at City Lights Bookstore to read from and sign her new book, Winter, at 7 p.m. on Feb. 24. In the novel, the main character Winter doesn’t know it yet, but once she steps into the…
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:50

Book tells the story of a young boy’s journey

Fifteen-year-old Charlie Thompson is always hungry. Luckily, he is blessed with a high metabolism rate, so the excessive amounts of junk food and Spagetti-Os that he consumes does not alter his weight. Charlie rationalizes that he wants to gain weight…
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:49

Explore history with a guided hike in the Smokies

Join Friends of the Smokies for a guided hike along Kephart Prong Trail, followed by a visit to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and Mountain Farm Museum, Saturday, March 17. The four-mile hike will be led by hiking enthusiast and outdoors…
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:48

The bear is back

The iconic bear specialty license plate that raises dollars for Friends of the Smokies is being sold again, with an updated design that meets law enforcement visual requirements. North Carolina is moving toward standardizing specialty license plates. This could in…
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recruiting for a variety of volunteer opportunities at Oconaluftee and Clingmans Dome for the upcoming season. Volunteers are needed to work information centers and rove trails. These volunteers educate park visitors about natural…
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:47

Monitoring to root out erosion sources in Haywood

A $500 grant was awarded to Haywood Waterways Association by the Haywood County Community Foundation to expand Haywood Waterways’ sediment monitoring program and establish five new monitoring sites in the Raccoon Creek watershed. The new sites will help identify areas…
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:45

Program to discuss mercury fall-out

A program on mercury pollution in mountain waters will be held by the Watershed Association of the Tuckasegee River at 6:15 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27, at the historic courthouse in Sylva adjacent to the new Jackson County Public Library.…
The N.C. Fly Fishing Team, who count the region’s best fishermen among their ranks, has now hooked one of the best in the nation as their instructor. George Daniel, formerly coach of the national USA Fly Fishing Team, has agreed…
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:44

HCC Wildlife Club to host wild game dinner

The sixth-annual Wild Game Dinner is set for 6 p.m. on Friday, March 2, at the Haywood County Fairgrounds.   The dinner is a fundraiser for students in Haywood Community College’s Wildlife Club. Money raised will provide financial assistance for…
Greenpeace activists, in what promises to be a long, high-profile campaign against Duke Energy for perceived environmental wrongs, launched the first salvo last week by unfurling a banner 400 feet above the ground on a Progress Energy smoke stack reading…
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:43

Greenhouse space available in Waynesville

If you are short on greenhouse space but want to grow your own plants, consider using the Old Armory Recreation Center Greenhouse in Waynesville. The greenhouse opens next month. Trays can be rented for $5 each, with a maximum of…
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:41

Counting at Kituwah

This year was the 15th annual Great Backyard Bird Count, a citizen-science project created by Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society. The count took place between Feb. 17 and Feb. 20. For the past seven or eight years…
Things have gotten slightly darker at Western Carolina University. The Cullowhee-based college is battling Boone’s Appalachian State University in the “Battle of the Plug.” A play on their football competition, Battle of the Old Mountain Jug, this battle pits the…
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:27

Pileated woodpeckers a mainstay in the mountains

The tapping of pileateds ... means attachment to a nest site and attachment of the members of a pair to each other . . . When one pair of pileateds is especially excited about meeting its mate, it bends its…
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:26

The secret life of Quintin Ellison

In a time-wasting exercise, I was giving thought recently about my earliest memory, which is of getting my knee stuck in the balusters of a porch in my family’s house in Columbia, S.C. We lived there briefly while my father…
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:25

Taxpayers deserve easier access to voting

To the Editor: My name is John Herrin and I am a registered voter in Swain County, and I wrote this letter to the Swain County Board of Elections. I have served in the past as a board member on…
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:24

Swain needs to keep one-stop voting site

To the Editor: Ms. Sallie Smith Bradley will celebrate her 98th birthday on Saturday, March 3, at her residence in the Big Cove community of Cherokee. Congratulations Ms. Bradley. The gift I would like to give to Sallie Smith Bradley…
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:20

My go-to source for a shot of inspiration

Do you have a muse? At different times in my life that role has been filled by different entities. As a teen, I had a very close friend whose quiet yet intense lust for a unique life was a source…
Jackson County has been down this road before, but that isn’t stopping leaders from taking another look at forming a local economic development commission. Or, to be more precise, reconstituting the county’s current Economic Development Commission. “Because technically, there is…
It will be several more weeks at best before Sylva AM radio station WRGC gets back on the air, pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission to grant the station a license. Word that the station would resume broadcasting around…
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:13

County election roundup

Here’s who has filed lately for the upcoming local election. Filing continues through Feb. 29. Haywood County: Another Republican has put his foot into the county commissioner race. Tracy Kevin Coward, of Waynesville, will run against two incumbents during this…
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:12

Tourism forum to focus on regional partnerships

Hoteliers, innkeepers, outfitters and other tourism-related businesses can attend the Tourism Partnership Forum, a free event that will be held at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center on from 2-4 p.m. Wednesday, March 7. The registration deadline is March 1.…
Delinquent payers of the tourism room tax in Haywood County will soon have the tax collector knocking on their door. County commissioners approved a resolution that will allow the tax collector to recover money from hotel and motel owners not…
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:11

Applications available for scholarships

Haywood County Farm Bureau awards four scholarships each year — two for $1,000 and two for $500. The $1000 scholarships are given to students attending a four-year college and studying agriculture. The $500 scholarships will go to students attending a…
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 21:10

Youth SURGE into Missions this summer

Ministries with Young People at Lake Junaluska is preparing for its summer programming, SURGE into Missions. During the SURGE into Missions program, youth will meet and work with persons in need within the surrounding communities, as well as get to…
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 20:55

Skate park dream revived with pledge from town

Waynesville leaders have committed to foot the bill for the long-held dream of a skateboard park — and it will receive help from an unexpected place. After years of pinning their hopes on grants and private fundraising that only partially…
Macon County’s planning board lived to plan another day. Proposed retroactive term limits, which some considered punitive because they seemed to mainly target the most experienced, pro-planning of the board’s members, were rejected by commissioners. Planning Board Chairman Lewis Penland…
Not long ago Kristina and Bruce Oliver invited a local couple they’d met in nearby Franklin to come play cards with them at their newly constructed house in Diamond Falls Estates. The phone rang about the time the visitors were…
Hopes of turning the abandoned Haywood County social services building into low-income senior apartments have been dashed, leaving the county in a quandary over who else might want the building and what other uses it could have. The county recently…
Canton’s elected leaders could find their two-year terms of office doubling if voters support a proposed change to give the mayor and board of aldermen four years in office. The town board will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m.…
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 20:43

Findings paint dire picture of REACH’s finances

An audit of REACH of Jackson County’s finances received by the nonprofit’s board last month show the money situation had become even more dicey than was previously made public. The agency, which worked with victims of domestic violence and sexual…
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 20:41

County holds up approval of MedWest collateral

A $10 million line of County credit intended to bridge short-term cash flow problems at MedWest-Haywood hospital has hit a snag. A loan taken out by the hospital offers up the hospital building as collateral but legally it needs approval…