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Wednesday, 12 September 2012 00:00

No mountain country for old men

Raymond Fairchild is a man of few words. But, it only takes those few words to truly grasp a man that ultimately lives up to myth and legend.
Wednesday, 12 September 2012 00:00

Macon Aero modelers show planes for a cause

The Macon Aero Modelers Club is hosting a charity Fly-In at 9 a.m. Sept. 22 and 10 a.m. Sept. 23 at its flying field in Otto. The proceeds will go to CareNet, a nonprofit organization that collects food for those…
Western Carolina University leaders hope to benefit from a philosophical switch in state funding for higher education — one that would clamp down on universities gaming the system, whether on purpose or unintentionally, when it comes to funding student growth.…
Western Carolina University will target transfer, graduate and distance learning students to help grow its enrollment without creating greater strain on its residence and dining halls. This fall, enrollment at WCU reached a record 9,608, a 2.7 percent increase compared…
Housing developer Scott Austin did a little simple math before deciding to pursue an $8 million dollar project to build two four-story apartment complexes in Cullowhee, right on the front doorstep of Western Carolina University. He looked at the number…
As the first chunk of bread was tossed in the air, a swarm of ducks and geese at Lake Junaluska swiftly waddled toward the source of the handout, a chorus of quacks and honks rising up from the flurry of…
What was once a construction scene characterized by luxury, mountainside housing and second-home developments has a newcomer at the table. The latest construction project in Macon County are not mini-mansions in the highlands but a low-income apartment complex in town.
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 00:00

And now for something completely different...

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By Chris Cooper For your consideration this week: some engaging new sounds from Canyon Records, and a frantic but exhilarating…
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 00:00

Give me a deck of cards and no sand

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My dad hated the beach. At least, that is how I remember it. We only went a couple of times…
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 00:00

Recommended diversions

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“Picket Fences,” and “Northern Exposure” Is it possible to be nostalgic for the 1990s already? Or maybe it is the…
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 00:00

Book Mania: Showcasing some up-and-coming writers

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Cataloochee by Wayne Caldwell. Random House, 2007. 368 pages Readers planning to attend Book Mania in Waynesville have several treats…
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 00:00

Waynesville searching for Russ Avenue fix

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Increasing congestion coupled with pressure from candidates in the upcoming election is forcing the town of Waynesville to confront growing traffic problems along Russ Avenue.
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 00:00

Alternative ramblings

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I don’t know the source but in my college days there was an aphorism — “If you can’t dazzle ‘em…
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 00:00

Room tax will pay for visitor center

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Swain County commissioners have approved a measure that will carve out up to one third of the Tourism Development Authority’s total budget to pay for the purchase of a new downtown visitor’s center. The…
Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva is planning an $18.45 million renovation project to expand and modernize the emergency department. The current ER, built in 1989, simply isn’t big enough, according to Mark Leonard, the CEO of Harris. Leonard cited growth…
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 00:00

Haywood pitches unique tomato

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Vidalia onions. Georgia peaches. Washington apples. Haywood County tomatoes? The formal name is still up in the air, but local officials are aiming to make Haywood County known for a variety of tomato unique…
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 00:00

Two bite the dust

On one hand, Avram Friedman couldn’t believe Duke Power’s announcement two years ago that it wanted to build a twin-unit coal plant near Hickory. Who builds coal plants anymore, he thought. “It’s out of the question,” said Friedman, director of…
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 00:00

Hollyhocks and reminders of the past

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Sometimes it’s difficult to draw the line between the natural and cultivated plant worlds. As cultivated plants escape they often…
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 00:00

Care and feeding of a healthy septic system

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By Kathleen Lamont One doesn’t usually give their septic system a second thought — until the day that you walk…
A state energy bill expected to pass this week has received mixed reviews from environmentalists for failing to go far enough. On the surface, it looks good. State utilities, namely Duke and Progress Energy, will have to generate at least…
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 00:00

Macon takes a stand, and developer is OK with it

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It used to be the “revenooers” who were considered the most vile characters in the mountains, but now we have…
A 40-acre island in the Little Tennessee River will be protected from development if the owner can successfully hammer out an agreement with conservation groups. “We’ve been in dialogue with the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee and some other…
By Michael Beadle Ron Davis is tracking a very special timber rattlesnake along a road at Balsam Mountain Preserve in…
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 00:00

Is anyone counting the losses?

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By Sami Felmet • Guest Columnist The birds and the bees. We’re losing them, you know. How will we explain…
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 00:00

An interview with Masha Hamilton

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Editor’s note: Margaret Osondu, owner of Osondu Booksellers in Waynesville, recently conducted an email interview with Masha Hamilton, one of…
Wednesday, 01 August 2007 00:00

Swain seeks more input on road regulations

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Contractors, Realtors and graders in Swain County claim they need more time to comment on an ordinance that would regulate the slope and width of mountainside roads. County commissioners, who have already held two…
N.C. Gov. Mike Easley signed a $20.7 billion budget bill Tuesday, July 31, that includes $46.2 million in funding for a new health and gerontological sciences building at Western Carolina University. The 145,000 square-foot facility that will house WCU’s educational…
Wednesday, 08 August 2007 00:00

Dayco deal finalized after three-year process

An abandoned rubber plant in Waynesville that once seemed destined to rust into the ground was officially turned over to developers of a Super Wal-Mart and Home Depot two weeks ago.
A battle over whether to tax property transactions will soon be playing out in communities across the state, but likely nowhere as fervently as the mountains where resentment toward newcomers runs high, but so does fear of upsetting the real…
If retirees Fred Plesner and Ray Behr are any indication of how voters in Macon County are reacting to a vote on $64 million in bonds, Macon County’s leaders could find that November is a cold month indeed.
Wednesday, 08 August 2007 00:00

Energy bill weak, but a good start

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There are serious problems with the energy legislation passed this session in the North Carolina General Assembly, but the bill…
Haywood Regional Medical Center has downsized its workforce by 36 positions in response to a decrease in patient volume and a drop in revenue in recent months. The move will save $1.6 million annually. The hospital is not exactly in…
Wednesday, 08 August 2007 00:00

Poo by any other name is still...

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What’s in a name? What about Scat? Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? Maybe. Shakespeare seemed…
Wednesday, 08 August 2007 00:00

Harry — The boy who lived

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By Katie Polonsky I’m a firm believer that when reading a novel, you bring to it the whole of your…
It’s a first for the president and a first for Macon County. Southwestern Community College Board of Trustees named the new Macon Campus after the college’s President Cecil Groves, whom they called “the visionary leader” behind the project. The name…
Jackson County commissioners have given final approval to what are generally regarded as the state’s toughest subdivision and steep slope ordinances. The approval of the ordinances was followed by a lifting of the controversial moratorium on new subdivisions that was…
Wednesday, 08 August 2007 00:00

Alternative science

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Although my series on alternative fuels is done, I think I will stay in the alternative universe. Science, which is…
Wednesday, 08 August 2007 00:00

Cherokee candidates square off at forum

With just one month left until the election, candidates for chief and vice chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians squared off in a debate Monday night. Candidates were asked to outline their plans to combat drug use, increase…
Wednesday, 08 August 2007 00:00

Recommended diversions

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The Rhythm of Life Subtitled “Living Every Day with Passion & Purpose,” Matthew Kelly’s The Rhythm of Life is in…
Wednesday, 08 August 2007 00:00

For teachers, success is in smell

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By David Curtis As a schoolteacher you always wonder how your students will remember you. “She was a good teacher,…
Wednesday, 08 August 2007 00:00

Maggie Valley sways vote on recreation site

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer A sudden turn of events in Haywood County’s bidding for a 22-acre tract slated for use as a park has exposed an overwhelming desire for recreation in the Jonathan Creek and Maggie Valley areas.
Wednesday, 08 August 2007 00:00

The golden season

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It’s starting to become the goldenrod time of the year. Goldenrods — like asters, thistles, cosmos, zinnias, daisies, coneflowers, dahlias,…
Wednesday, 08 August 2007 00:00

Q&A with David Rice

Has there ever been a workforce reduction at HRMC in the past 15 years, and does this workforce reduction indicate any long-term financial problems? This re-engineering process is similar to 1993 when I first arrived. In 1993 there were different…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer A bill hailed by state and local officials as a way to help pad the bank accounts of county governments may not turn out to be as simple, or as lucrative, as it initially…
Wednesday, 08 August 2007 00:00

Slaying the coal dinosaurs

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Abattle over antiquated coal plants that started in North Carolina landed in the U.S. Supreme Court this year, setting precedent…
By Michael Beadle So you think you’ve got singing talent? Think you have what it takes to leap and strut…
Wednesday, 08 August 2007 00:00

One for the kiddies; one for the fans

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By Chris Cooper Ronnie McCoury: Little Mo’ McCoury You’d be hard pressed to find a family more deserving of the…
Wednesday, 08 August 2007 00:00

Use the ‘front porch’ barometer for politicians

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By John Armour If you’ve read many of these columns you know I’m addicted to politics. My spouse, among others,…
By Chris Cooper So, answer me this: how many people, artists especially, can maintain a vital career for 38 years…
By Michael Beadle Maggie Valley’s annual running event is only days away, and it looks to be regaining its reputation…