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Wednesday, 28 January 2015 14:38

Maggie Valley: ‘It’s been a good year’

Maggie Valley officials are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel after experiencing several tumultuous years. Town officials took time to revel in their 2014 accomplishments while setting goals for 2015 during a recent retreat. While…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 15:49

The uncommon common goldeneye

The best way I know of to get a rare bird to fly the coop is to write about it. So by the time you see this article the two drake common goldeneyes that have been hanging out at Lake…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 15:47

Hike the Dirty Dozen

Looking for a new way to explore the wilderness? Check out the Dirty Dozen Wilderness Hike Challenge.
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 15:46

The A.T. just got a little longer

The Appalachian Trail has a new official length. It increased by 3.9 miles from last year to 2,189.2 miles due to trail remeasurements and relocations. 
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 15:45

Venus flytrap poachers caught

Four men, ages 22 to 49, were arrested with 970 Venus flytraps in their possession earlier this month at the Holly Shelter Game Land in Pender County, earning the distinction of being the first to be charged with a felony…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 15:44

Access on Lake Emory gets better

A new canoe portage around the Lake Emory dam is expected to open in Franklin sometime in late spring. 
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 15:43

Couple conserves private tract in Jackson

A new conservation agreement finalized by the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee will protect 104 acres in Cullowhee from development, preserving it for wildlife, small-scale agriculture and timber management. 
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 15:40

Smokies visitation tops 10 million

For the first time in more than a decade, Great Smoky Mountains National Park saw more than 10 million visitors during 2014.
Scott McCleskey didn’t really know what he was saying yes to when he boarded the plane to Alaska, pack of gear in hand, to take his place on the National Geographic Channel show “Ultimate Survival Alaska.” All he knew was…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 15:18

Painted Horses is one for the ages

When people ask me what I’ve been doing this fall, I tell them I’ve been on a reading jag — reading new novels hot off the press. What I’ve found is that there have been a lot of very good…
By Gwang S. Han • Guest Columnist Obstetrics is the branch of medicine dealing with parturition, including care before and after delivery but also concerned with reproduction of society in a broader sense. The word of “obstetrics,” derived from Latin, means…
One of the pure joys of my job — teaching English on the college level — is getting to spend time with young people still working out their identities and finding their own way. In my composition classes, they tell…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 15:08

School boards need to fight the good fight

The Haywood County School Board narrowly voted (5 to 4, with Chairman Chuck Francis breaking a tie) to contribute money toward a lobbying effort by the N.C. School Boards Association. The decision is the right one given the current situation…
Mailboxes across Macon County were blanketed with new property value notices this week, the first countywide appraisal since 2007.  As you ripped open the envelope, there were probably two things on your mind: 
Richard Lightner isn’t one for nostalgia. For nearly 30 years, he’s been running the property reval show in Macon County. But there’s not much he misses about the old days.
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 14:41

Macon’s reval: unplugged and uncensored

The time of reckoning is finally here. Macon County’s first countywide assessment of real estate values since the bust came out this week, and it’s full of surprises. For starters, your property values probably didn’t go down as much as…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 14:37

The quest for the perfect comp

Some weeks Tommey Allen spends more time behind the wheel than a long-haul trucker. It’s not all driving time though. Most of it is just idling along the curb, parked on the roadside and sitting in driveways. Over the past…
June Tassillo loves real estate, but she never knew how exciting it could be until she worked her first all-or-nothing, one-day-only sales blitz for a comeback development. SEE ALSO:• The quest for the perfect comp• Macon’s reval: unplugged and uncensored•…
Jerry Pressley, Walmart manager, presented $1,500 to The Arc of Haywood County for holiday presents and clothes to the individuals served in their program.  The Arc of Haywood County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving individuals with developmental disabilities…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 14:23

Wheel locks now legal in Sylva

Sylva’s parking rules now have a stronger set of teeth with the passage of an ordinance allowing officers to put wheel locks, also called parking boots, on cars whose owners have accrued unpaid town parking tickets. 
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 14:22

Jackson County gets new tourism board members

The Jackson County Tourism Development Authority will have some new faces around the table this year after the county commissioners appointed five new members to the board last week. 
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 14:21

Franklin plant shutting down

Macon County was hit with some tough news last week when Caterpillar Inc. announced that it would be shutting down its Franklin plant next year, leaving 150 people without work. Franklin Mayor Bob Scott said he was shocked by the…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 14:18

Welch adjusts to life as a district attorney

After just a couple of weeks, Ashley Welch is quickly learning what it means to be the District Attorney of the 30th Judicial District. It means juggling court schedules, managing a large staff and traveling between the seven most western…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

Macon, Jackson negotiate payment for services

Macon County is asking Jackson County for money to pay for providing services to its residents in Highlands, but Jackson officials are exploring other alternatives, including establishing fire districts and levying a tax. Macon County has requested about $160,000 from…
Western Carolina University’s slated to get a brand new building on Centennial Drive in place of the one destroyed by fire in November 2013, which was home to businesses such as Rolling Stone Burrito, Subway and Mad Batter Bakery and…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

Maggie moves forward with recreation plan

Maggie Valley resident June Johnson wants the town’s recreation plan to go far beyond fixing up an old playground behind town hall. She envisions the park renovations as just the beginning of greater things to come in the valley.
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

Caesar’s bankruptcy won’t affect Harrah’s

Caesar’s Entertainment Operating Company, a subsidiary of the same company that manages Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort, announced Jan. 15 that it would be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. 
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

Cullowhee zoning heads to commissioners

It’s been one-and-a-half years since the Jackson County Commissioners first OK’d a committee to look into doing some zoning in Cullowhee, and while Cullowhee is still without development standards, a proposal is on its way to commissioners’ desks.  Approval could…
No Name Sports Pub is no longer a music joint, at least not until a dispute between the bar and its neighbors reaches resolution. Owner Gregg Fuller says No Name saw its last regular act on Saturday (Jan. 17), and…
It’s been 32 years since Benfield Industries in Hazelwood burned to the ground, 25 since the Environmental Protection Agency designated it as a Superfund site and 13 since cleanup on the site finished.  But the work’s not done, according to…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

‘World’s best young Elvis’ to play WCU

Travis LeDoyt, acclaimed by critics as “the world’s best young Elvis,” will bring his tribute to the “King of Rock-N-Roll” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

Balsam Range to appear on David Holt program

Acclaimed Haywood County bluegrass group Balsam Range will be one of many acts featured in the premier of ‘David Holt’s State of Music’ at 10 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, on UNC-TV. The show features some of today’s finest musicians like…
“Tracking Time,” an exhibition of paintings by Anna Jensen and Karen Ann Myers, will open with an artist discussion and reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, in the Fine Art Museum at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

This must be the place

The temperature was 20 degrees below zero with a howling wind. As I listened to the online stream of my hometown police scanner, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Way up yonder, on the Canadian border, in the tiny…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

Fruits of their labor: Homebrewing in WNC

Greg Geiger looked at it as a way to save money. “I started brewing when I was a sophomore in college,” he said. “Honestly, I was a poor college student and making beer was much cheaper than buying it back…
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 15:34

The creative code of old-time surveyors

Since 1976 we’ve resided in a cove about four miles west of Bryson City. Using various old deeds my wife, Elizabeth, and I have located tree slashes, stones, stakes, etc., which delineate the cove’s boundaries. We have found that old-time…
Projects in Haywood and Swain counties will benefit from an additional $4.5 million of Clean Water Management Trust Fund dollars awarded this month when the trust fund received revenue from specialty license plates and funds returned for previous award participants…
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 15:16

Insect wars hoped to take a bite out of pests

Pitting insect against insect, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission released predator beetles last month on the Sandy Mush Game Land, located in Buncombe and Madison counties, to combat the devastating effects of the hemlock woolly adelgid on hemlock trees.
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 15:15

Bird count catalogues avian diversity in WNC

Birders turned out throughout Western North Carolina — and the globe — to participate in an avian enthusiast’s favorite winter tradition: the Christmas Bird Count. More than 60,000 birders participated in all 50 states as well as Canada, Latin America,…
Outdoor Mission Camp in Maggie Valley, an affiliate of Youth for Christ USA, is being outfitted with a new kitchen to serve its faith-based outdoor wilderness adventure camp thanks to donations and volunteers. 
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is part of a new online travel itinerary from the National Park Service that highlights the 22 World Heritage Sites in the United States.
Kadie Anderson was packing up camp after a night in the backcountry with her two Australian shepherds when the peace of an autumn forest waking up from a nighttime rain was decisively broken.  “A pack of hunting dogs came into…
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 14:39

Student housing developer in hot water

Monarch Ventures, a Charlotte-based student housing company, has been trying to locate a posh 500-bed student housing complex in Cullowhee for nearly four years. But, despite the fact that they’ve got a deed and land-use permit in hand, the county’s…
Secondhand dealers in Franklin will soon be required to report their pawned items electronically to the police department within 48 hours, or they could face a $500 fine.  The new requirement, which will go into effect July 1, doesn’t seem…
Three new members have been appointed to the tourism board in Haywood County that guides tourism marketing, promotions and development. The recent round of appointments to the Tourism Development Authority continues a changing of the guard on the tourism board…
To the Editor: The Nantahala Hiking Club requests that Macon County commissioners reconsider or rescind the resolution passed on July 8, 2014, opposing the designation of additional wilderness areas within the Nantahala National Forest in Macon County. We believe that…
I watched world leaders with arms linked lead a march of about 1.5 million people in Paris to commemorate the ideals of free speech following the massacre at the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo by Muslim terrorists. I read about…
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

Haywood School board split on state lobbying

The Haywood County School Board was divided this week on whether to join forces with school systems around the state in a lobbying campaign to back pro-education legislation in Raleigh. The school board ultimately voted 5-to-4 to support the political…
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

Erosion from DOT job concerns Jackson residents

A highway construction project in Jackson County has come under public scrutiny for muddying the Tuckasegee River. Erosion control measures have failed to stop mud and sediment from running off the construction site, into creeks and onward to the river…
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

Maggie Valley to hold first Winterfest

In an effort to bring in more tourism dollars during the cold winter months, the first WinterFest Smoky Style will be held Feb. 28 and March 1 at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds.