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Wednesday, 11 March 2015 15:30

WNC gear builders to show their stuff

Outdoor lovers will get a chance to see some of the best locally made gear during Outdoor Gear Builders of Western North Carolina’s inaugural Get in Gear Fest, slated for noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at RiverLink Park…
Brevard-based SylvanSport has been named a finalist in the internationally renowned Edison Awards for its product GO, a lightweight pull-behind trailer that functions as a camper and versatile outdoor gear hauler. The awards, inspired by revered inventor Thomas Edison’s persistence…
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 15:26

Waynesville pursues bike-friendly roads

Big white stencils of helmeted bikers now adorn a growing number of streets throughout Waynesville.
The plans are set: Waynesville’s getting invaded this fall, and the army will be 1,000 strong.  Semi trucks will haul luggage and portable showers, tents will dominate the lawn of the Waynesville Recreation Center and, most importantly, the soldiers, adventurous…
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 15:17

Raleigh does a job on senior citizens

To the Editor: You're 83 years old, on a fixed income of out-of-state retirement and Social Security, living in Franklin. Your 2013 North Carolina state tax was $37. You get your 2014 state tax done by AARP as usual, and…
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 15:04

All information is not created equally

Google is a wonderful thing, but it sometimes makes things harder for journalists. That’s why a new emphasis on transparency among newspapers and news sites may be one of the measures that helps save real journalism and differentiates it from…
Maggie Valley is attempting — for the third time — to put together a plan to improve the town’s image, aesthetics and economy.
Campus dining is headed for an upgrade at Western Carolina University, with renovation toward a new and improved Brown Building due to start this fall.
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 14:39

Tailgating zone expands at WCU

The decision to expand the tailgating area at Western Carolina University boiled down to one simple thing, the university’s attorney Mary Ann Lochner told the Board of Trustees’ Administration, Governance and Trusteeship Committee last week.
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 14:37

False alarms could cost Swain residents

A proposed ordinance could cost Swain County residents money if they don’t make sure their alarm systems are working properly.
A long-awaited showdown in the internal power struggle for control of the Haywood County Republican Party will play out this Saturday during the party’s annual convention.
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 14:31

Fire tax likely for Cashiers, Highlands

A fire tax for Sylva and Cullowhee is off the table, at least for now, but Jackson County Commissioners told county staff to keep going on the Cashiers and Highlands fire districts.
The proposed development of a 60-unit apartment complex in Franklin may be another sign that the economy is recovering, slowly but surely.  The new apartment complex could also be good news for those looking for affordable and high-quality housing.
“Where will the smokers go?” has been the question on many people’s mind since the town of Waynesville and Haywood County commissioners both announced proposed smoking bans.
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 14:19

Forest Service backs off planning timeline

It wasn’t long before the management planning process for the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests got heated and emotional, eventually causing the U.S. Forest Service to ease up on its original goal of releasing a draft plan this June.  
A movement to create new wilderness areas in the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests has met resistance in the seven western-most counties. County commissioners have gone on record in recent months opposing new wilderness areas, claiming it would limit recreation…
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 14:15

Evergreen clinic prepares to close

Evergreen Family Medical Center in Canton is no longer making new appointments for patients as it prepares to shutter its doors March 31.
For the second year in a row, Rep. Michele Presnell, R-Burnsville, has introduced a bill to de-annex property from Maggie Valley without consulting town officials.
Blood quantum. Even on their own, the words have a ceremonial, reverent ring to them. For Cherokee tribal members, reality bears out the ring. Blood quantum — the fraction of one’s ancestry that is purely Cherokee — decides everything from…
In Annaliese From Off (Five Points Press, ISBN 978-0-692-24434-0, 362 pages, $15.99), Lindy Keane Carter gives us a rich, old-fashioned family saga set in the Georgia hills at the turn of the last century.  The year is 1900, and John…
The inaugural Western North Carolina Natural Bodybuilding & Physique Federation Competition will be at 5 p.m. Saturday, March 14, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin.
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 20:33

Langston Hughes Project stages at WCU

The Langston Hughes Project, a multimedia concert highlighting a “jazz poem” written by the late poet, novelist, playwright and social activist, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 19, in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center…
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 20:31

Bodhran presentations at WCU

The bodhran, a traditional percussion instrument of Ireland, will be the focus of two presentations Thursday, March 19, at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.
Danielle Bishop only cries when she’s mad. “And was I mad,” she said. Sitting in a booth at the Papertown Grill in downtown Canton, Bishop’s eyes light up when asked if her aspirations of becoming a touring musician were ever influenced…
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 00:00

This must be the place

One of the beauties of music is that it is the gift that keeps on giving. When a band releases an album, it’s a melodic present eager for the listener to unwrap. When someone hands you a record, it’s the…
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 16:24

Consortium of docs could do house calls

To the Editor: If you are over 65 (and maybe even younger) you will remember a wonderful phenomenon of the good old days. And what was this marvel? The doctor who made house calls! What a source of comfort he…
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 16:22

Too many people a big part of problem

To the Editor: Religious folk love to talk about Armageddon and the Apocalypse with almost all major religions predicting some sort of end times. Who knows, maybe there’s some sort of ESP subconsciously telling us that eventually life, as we…
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 16:22

Both parties are destroying our country

To the Editor: Political parties have almost destroyed our country. The greed and self-interest of both political parties have consciously eroded the rights granted to us by God and protected by our Constitution. This document is unique in history and…
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 16:22

We need Marshall Plan for Middle East

To the Editor: If we really want to defeat ISIL, restore calm, and some semblance of peace in the Middle East, we would take one third of what we are spending on war in the whole region and spend it…
It must have been 20 years or more since I heard a futurist telling a skeptical crowd the extent to which technology would be changing the way we live. He said that we would eventually — probably in our own…
The Lake Junaluska community will make a renewed bid to merge with the town of Waynesville this year, this time with the added measure of a formal vote.
Four arrests were made yesterday (March 3) in connection with a Halloween party last fall that allegedly involved underage drinking and resulted in the alleged statutory rape of a 14-year-old girl.
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 15:59

Franklin asks state for annexation exception

To accommodate potential future growth, the Franklin Board of Aldermen passed a resolution asking the North Carolina General Assembly to relax certain requirements for voluntary annexations into its town limits.
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 15:56

Franklin considers allowing street banners

Larry Hollifield, owner of American Computer Repair in Franklin, has been tasked with forming a committee and coming up with a plan to allow for street banners in downtown.
Waynesville’s old town hall on Main Street could be converted into a garrison for tourism, business and economic development agencies — a move that would save each of the entities money and promote teamwork.
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 15:50

Jackson planning board gets new leadership

With a slate of issues including steep slope development, cell phone tower construction and zoning rules for fracking facing the county, Sarah Thompson — formerly Sarah Graham — will be taking the helm as chair of the Jackson County Planning…
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 15:48

Jackson grapples with fire tax question

Jackson County’s elected leaders will be have a big decision to make over the coming month: to levy a fire tax forcing property owners in lower-value areas of the county to pay higher bills or watch local fire departments continue…
When Haywood County’s long-time tax collector David Francis was narrowly ousted by a younger, inexperienced opponent in last fall’s election, county commissioners decided to keep Francis around anyway as a mentor for his successor Mike Matthews.
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 15:43

Welcome to the better side of the Smokies

The new Smokies superintendent got his introduction to the North Carolina side of the park amid plates of snacks and the homey trappings of a bed and breakfast in Bryson City last week.
A dispute between Haywood County neighbors could result in one couple shutting down a nonprofit operation that is near and dear to their hearts — or another couple selling a home where they’ve farmed for 40 years.
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 15:38

Neighbors keep close eye on Nantahala

Ami Shinitzky, developer of Mystic River, understands why all eyes are on him as he works to develop lots for luxurious homes along the banks of the Nantahala River.  As someone who bought the property to enjoy the natural beauty…
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 15:34

Landowners sue Nantahala River developer

When they bought up prime lots in the Mystic Lands development in Swain County, property owners envisioned living in a peaceful setting as close to nature as they could get.
When the sun sets in rural Fines Creek, the little community library gets bumping. It may be after-hours, but any given evening, a steady stream of cars comes from miles to sit in the parking lot. It’s the newest take…
The gap between the haves and have nots in the world of high-speed Internet will get a little smaller this spring thanks to a start-up Internet company that will soon be beaming Internet service from towers in Jackson County.
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 15:16

First novel by local writer strikes a chord

Eighteen-year-old Jacob McNeely, a shy high school dropout from Walter Middleton High School in Jackson County, North Carolina, seems resigned to a bleak future: As the son of Charlie McNeely, the biggest drug dealer in Cashiers Valley (and Laura, a mother who is…
Sipping hot tea while swaddled beside a propane heater, warmth beaming as wind whips snowflakes around the mountaintop outside. A stack of books beside the bed, well-worn titles alongside new adventures, a self-replenishing treasure trove of stories illuminated by kerosene-fueled…
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 15:01

A Golden secret

There is one winter visitor to our North Carolina Mountains that is probably happy the Blue Ridge Parkway is closed and is not burgeoning with sightseers and thrill-seekers like it is the rest of the year. That visitor would be…
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 14:56

WNC conservationists honored

Several Western North Carolina conservationists earned a spot in Wild South’s annual list of nominees for the Roosevelt-Ashe Conservation Awards, an honor that recognizes outstanding work to protect wild places and wild things in the South.
A new invasive plant species is springing up in moist, nutrient-rich soils across eastern North America and has been spotted in six North Carolina counties, including Swain.
Wednesday, 04 March 2015 14:48

Smokies visitation sets records

January was a record-setting month for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with 351,670 visitors, achieving a lifetime visitation of 500 million — more than any other national park service unit aside from the Blue Ridge Parkway and Golden Gate…