Wed07302014

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The rapid pace of change these days often leaves many of us feeling helpless in its wake. Things change, then change some more, and finally a transformation so complete has taken place that very little of what we started with…
Hospitals in North Carolina face a catch-22 of the worst kind: the $600 million kind, the kind they have no control over, the kind that involves politics. Hospitals in North Carolina are seeing a financial hit they can ill-afford after…
Republican lawmakers in North Carolina are standing by their controversial decision last year to deny Medicaid expansion to 500,000 low-income people who otherwise lacked health coverage. Some Democrats in the General Assembly are pushing to revisit Medicaid expansion, however. The…
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 14:05

July 4 Fireworks fizzle in north Jackson

The northern portion of Jackson County will go without fireworks again this Fourth of July. Last year’s display in Dillsboro was rescheduled for December due to rain, but it appears future fireworks have been scuttled due to funding.
Southwestern Community College is gearing up for some soil testing following a meeting with Robin Proctor, environmental chemist with the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, on Tuesday. SCC had taken the initiative to call the meeting as…
Vandalism is apparently still a problem in Sylva public parks.It’s a problem that cost the town about ten grand last year to install four security cameras as a deterrent. But it wasn’t enough to do the trick, so town leaders…
Local school leaders and educators are celebrating last week’s court ruling declaring a 2013 law that doles out a small raise for 25 percent of the state’s teachers — no more and no less — unconstitutional. 
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 13:58

Voucher program still in play

School vouchers are back on the table for the 2014-15 school year following a ruling in the North Carolina Supreme Court last week. In March, N.C. Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood issued a preliminary injunction against the Opportunity Scholarship Program,…
North Carolina legislators have returned to Raleigh for the General Assembly’s short session. In the weeks ahead, lawmakers will wrestle with Medicaid, coal ash and a $445 million budget shortfall.  
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 13:54

Local NAACP chapters elect officers

Both the Haywood and Jackson county chapters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People have elected officers.  Haywood’s NAACP chapter elected officers in March. Chuck Dickson, a local attorney, was elected as president. The chapter also elected…
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 13:53

Macon considers $50K for REACH

REACH of Macon County won’t find out for another month or so whether its application for a $909,000 grant toward a new building gets approved, but the shelter for victims of domestic abuse is optimistic about the outcome. Already, REACH…
Jackson County Librarian Tracy Fitzmaurice recently pitched her first proposal for library funding before county commissioners. She asked for a bit of a jump in the their financial commitment. 
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 13:51

Feature film to shoot in Haywood

Three Haywood County towns will be used as filming sites for an upcoming feature movie. The film — a Catalyst Pictures project called “Chasing Grace” — is a faith-based thriller.
Fire, smoke, and efforts to make more of both fill the event pavilion at Haywood County Fair Grounds on a chilly May morning that feels more like early March. The Dutch oven class gathers around a fire in the right…
The mostly vacant Tuckaseigee Mills factory in Jackson County will soon become a warehouse and shipping site for ConMet, a company that makes dashboards, consoles and custom-molded cab interiors for 18-wheelers.
A $4 million payment to Swain County for the so-called Road to Nowhere cash settlement may soon be freed of the bureaucratic purgatory where it’s been parked for more than two years.
From welcoming backwoods front porches to raucous downtown stages, the music of Western North Carolina weaves together the rich history, passion and camaraderie of Southern Appalachia and its inhabitants. At the heart of this deep love and appreciation for music…
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 00:00

This must be the place

He was completely shocked. Standing in front of an empty warehouse in Dillsboro, which will soon be the site of his new brewery, Dieter Kuhn couldn’t believe almost 500 people had shown up at the recent launch party of his new…
Brewmaster Clark Williams, owner of Frog Level Brewing in Waynesville, will teach a beer-making class from June 3 to July 1 at Southwestern Community College in Sylva.
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 00:00

Open call for Jackson art grants

The Jackson County Arts Council is currently accepting applications for the North Carolina Grassroots Grant and the Jackson County Grant. The deadline for applications is June 30.
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 00:00

‘Unto These Hills’ opens May 31

The “Unto These Hills” outdoor drama will run at 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday May 31-Aug. 16 at the Mountainside Theater in Cherokee.
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 00:00

Liar’s Bench says farewell with Lough

The Liar’s Bench will hold its final performance of Appalachian storytelling and music at 7 p.m. May 29 in the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 14:45

A not too shabby second

May 3 and 4 were the dates for this year’s 30th annual edition of the Great Smoky Mountains Birding Expedition. This trip began in 1984 as the brainchild of George Ellison, Bryson City resident, author and naturalist; Rick Pyeritz, M.D.,…
Volunteers are needed for a cleanup day along the walking trail and stream bank of the Pigeon River at Canton Recreation Park from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 24. Haywood Waterways Association, which is organizing the event, will provide…
A 12-hour bike race in Nantahala National Forest near Bryson City will test the mettle and stamina of participating peddlers. The race, called 12 Hours of Tsali, will last from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, May 17, with individual…
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 14:43

Duckett’s Produce enters tenth season

Duckett’s Produce has reopened for a tenth season at three locations in Haywood County, including Maggie Valley, Crabtree and Canton, headed up by fifth-generation Haywood County farmer Dibe Duckett. “Farming is an important industry and tradition in our community, and…
The Southern Appalachians have the world’s highest diversity of salamanders, and Salamander Saturday will introduce some of the key players, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 24 at the Cradle of Forestry in America, 25 miles south of Waynesville on…
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 14:37

Avian experience coming to Sapphire

A raptor demonstration at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 20, at Sapphire Valley Community Center will give participants a chance to see birds of prey up close and personal, including flying demonstrations.
The tale of the once-common Cullowhee lily will take center stage at the next meeting of the Tuscola Garden Club, 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 20, at the Bethea Welcome Center at Lake Junaluska.
The Merrell Adventure Dash, held at 4:30 p.m. May 24 in the Nantahala Gorge, will give participants of all ages a chance to negotiate a series of obstacles while racing to the finish at Nantahala Outdoor Center.
Ducks — of the rubber variety — will take to the Tuckaseegee River 1 p.m. Saturday, May 24, in an annual race to raise money for Southwestern Community College’s New Century Scholars program, which provides last-dollar tuition scholarships for deserving…
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 14:32

Parkway project funding announced

More than $700,000 in funds raised from license plates, gifts and grants will go toward projects and programs on the Blue Ridge Parkway this year in a list recently approved by the Parkway Foundation Board of Trustees. According to a…
Take a walk in mid-May, and you probably won’t get far before finding somebody bent over a garden bed, weeding. Eric Romaniszyn and Christine O’Brien were doing just that on a warm Thursday afternoon, but they weren’t in a garden…
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 14:25

The excitement in a bag full of books

Recently I returned from a trip to the library with a bagful of books. When handling these books in the library, flipping through the pages and reading the blurbs, I experienced a familiar excitement, that thrill felt by all booklovers…
Haywood Community College’s Professional Crafts department 2014 Graduate Show will run from May 17 through Sept. 14 at the Southern Highland Craft Guild Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville. A reception will be held from 3…
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 14:19

Blues, Brew & BBQ festival in Cashiers

The Blues, Brew and BBQ festival will be from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 24, at the Village Commons in Cashiers. The event mixes local barbecue, craft beers and two of the most popular blues bands in the southeast.…
The Proctor Revival Organization will once again honor the history of Graham County through May 31 with “A Time To Remember” celebration.
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 14:15

Dolly Parton to play Harrah’s

Country superstar Dolly Parton will perform at 7:30 p.m. May 25 at Harrah’s Cherokee.
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 14:13

This must be the place

Short shorts and a neon orange trucker hat. Strolling down Main Street in downtown Waynesville, I found myself adorned with those exact pieces of clothing. You see, I was headed to Tipping Point Brewing, and that evening I was going…
Now celebrating its third season, Cullowhee Mountain ARTS will be hosting creative writing workshops, taught by nationally recognized writers, as part of the 2014 Summer ARTS Series of artists’ workshops, presentations and youth art camps.  The Summer ARTS Series is…
To the Editor: A friend of mine just bitterly complained that the new pope is a communist. It seems that representative of Christ on earth had the audacity to suggest that the very wealthy should share some of their vast…
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 13:55

PCs for GED grads a grand success

To the Editor: Seventeen. Seventeen, as a number, doesn't normally mean much when compared to other numbers, does it? But, seventeen was a very significant number May 2 as 17 Haywood Community College (HCC) GED graduates were awarded refurbished computers…
For school systems in relatively poor, rural areas where resources are scarce and student achievement is low, there’s no magic bullet that will suddenly transform the public education system. No, it’s mostly just roll-up-your-sleeves hard work by teachers and administrators…
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 13:49

Dog survives shot, Canton man charged

A Haywood County terrier is earning points for toughness after surviving a gunshot to the face.  “The dog is alive and expected to recover,” said Heidi Warren, public information officer for the Haywood County Sheriff’s Department. 
It was a pretty normal Wednesday morning was for most students at Tuscola High School last week, but as the school day went on word leaked out that one second-period biology class had involved threats, a call to the Haywood…
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 13:41

WCU athletic professor gets top honor

James Scifers, professor of athletic training at Western Carolina University, received the North Carolina Athletic Trainers’ Association Educator of the Year Award for 2014. The award is North Carolina’s most prestigious honor for teaching in the athletic training profession, said…
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 13:40

Downtown Waynesville a model of success

Downtown Waynesville was recently recognized as a model of success at the annual NC Main Street Conference this year, titled Main Street: Two Billion Reasons to Celebrate.  Of the more than 100 officially designated Main Street Communities in the state,…
About 200 Swain County students recently got an up-close look at emerging technologies at a manufacturing expo at the Swain Regional Business Education and Training Center. They were able to check out robotics, computer programming, a 3-D printer and other…
A telecommunications outage hit the Waynesville area last Thursday evening, knocking out cell phones, TV, Internet and even landlines for thousands of residents. “One by one, across the county people are realizing on their own that they have no cellular…
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 13:34

Grid failure sparks shooting, car chase

A man shot up the outside of a Verizon Wireless store in Waynesville last week following a town wide outage of both Verizon service and Charter Cable. The dual outages cut off communication with the outside world for thousands of…