Wed07302014

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coverCarson Angel is excited to show off her reading skills as she waits outside East Franklin Elementary for her mom to pick her up. From the pile of hand-colored posters, worksheets and drawings at her feet, the 8-year-old picks out a small book made of quartered computer paper to read out loud. 

“We had to choose six animal facts and write them into sentences,” she explains. Each sentence is chockfull of everything you’d ever want to know about tigers. Carson had been a little too shy to read anything in front of her peers for the last-day-of-camp reading talent show, but one-on-one she’s all about it.  

Wednesday, 30 July 2014 14:32

Snowbird youth club gets a home

fr snowbirdyouthA dream eight years in the making met reality earlier this month when the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians cut the ribbon on a new youth center in Snowbird. The 15,000-square-foot building will offer Cherokee youth opportunities ranging from Cherokee language and craft classes to help with homework. 

After oscillating on how much money to give Folkmoot USA during annual budget machinations last month, Waynesville town leaders have revisited the issue and upwardly revised their contribution.

Folkmoot historically got $10,000 to help with its general operating costs. But town leaders initially decided to cut that funding — in exchange for a $25,000 grant toward Folkmoot’s goal of transforming its headquarters at the old Hazelwood Elementary School to a year-round community center.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014 14:30

Canton debates public alcohol ordinance

A new push to change the public alcohol consumption and possession law in Canton has not come without controversy.

fr swainlibraryA day earlier the room was full. Wall-to-wall children and snakes.

“That was in this room,” said Swain County Librarian Jeff Delfield.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014 14:25

Maggie Valley mudslide lands in court

fr landslideA lawsuit casting blame for a massive landslide in Maggie Valley four years ago is headed to a jury trial in Haywood County this week.

A couple whose home was in the path of the landslide have sued a bevy of parties they claim are responsible.

Michell Hicks, Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, told a U.S. Senate committee in testimony on July 23 that gaming on the Cherokee reservation in North Carolina has had a “dramatic impact” on the lives of Cherokee families and especially children in ways “we never dreamed possible.”

Wednesday, 30 July 2014 14:20

Swain passes fracking resolution

Swain County recently passed a resolution in opposition to fracking. “Are you familiar with what fracking is?” asked Swain County Commissioner Steve Moon. “That’s why we’re opposed to it.”

The North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission has scheduled a public hearing on fracking for Western North Carolina. The hearing is slated for Sept. 12 on the Western Carolina University campus in Cullowhee.

fr pathwaysWith the lease drawn up and fundraising underway, most people attending the Haywood County Commissioner meeting last week figured that approving the lease for a trio of Christian groups to renovate the old Hazelwood prison would be a matter-of-fact agenda item. But when the public comment session opened, it became clear that all were not in favor. 

fr skateparkAustin Fore calls it “a blessing.”

“If I’m not there every other day I’m bummed,” the Clyde skateboarder said.

No one knows for sure what motivated Scarlette Heatherly the first time she skimmed a little cash off the top of a customer’s water bill.

But once she figured out she could get away with it, she couldn’t seem to stop. Heatherly stole $210,000 from the Junaluska Sanitary District over a six-year period.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014 14:38

Tapping the trough

coverA wall calendar edged with hot-pink swirls seems out of place in the Junaluska Sanitary District, where the back door of the office opens onto a double-bay equipment garage and work boots leave muddy tracks across the concrete floor.

“It’s the cheapest calendar I could find at Staples,” offered Jim Francis, an elected board member for the sanitary district. Saving money, after all, is a point of pride for the scrappy water and sewer system, and it goes hand in hand with keeping rates as low as possible for the 1,850 customers along its lines.

SEE ALSO: The slow leak: Junaluska Sanitary District rocked by embezzlement