Mon09292014

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coverMore than 200 acres of scattered tracts along the meandering Pigeon River Valley in Haywood County are quiet sentries to the not-so-pretty past of Canton’s century-old paper mill. 

SEE ALSO: A better wayThe good, the bad and the silver lining

Mountains of toxin-laced sludge and coal ash are buried in vast industrial dumps on the outskirts of town, hidden relics of the mill’s long papermaking presence here. The old unlined landfills leapfrog along a 2-mile section of the Pigeon River downstream of the mill.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014 14:25

The good, the bad and the silver lining

fr landfill2The Canton paper mill has been an economic anchor in Haywood County since 1908, providing livelihoods for tens of thousands of workers over its proud and storied history.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014 14:23

Industrial landfills: A better way

fr landfill3The dangers of coal ash have taken center stage in North Carolina in the wake of the Dan River disaster, when a breach in a faulty Duke Energy coal ash pond near Eden unleashed a toxic slurry downstream.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014 14:16

Swan Man Ken Zulla wins Chief Junaluska award

fr kenzullaKen Zulla was called a lot of things during his 30 years as an auditor for the United States government, but his latest title, winner of the 2014 Chief Junaluska Award from the Junaluska Associates, is more positive.

Come November, voters will be selecting candidates to fill all four seats on the Swain County Board of Commissioners. They will choose from a slate of six candidates — four Democrats and two Republicans. 

fr securityLate last month, Superior Court Judge Bradley Letts wrote a letter. “He kind of drew a line in the sand,” said Jackson County Manager Chuck Wooten.

fr painmedsThere’s a good amount of opioids in Haywood County, more than twice the national average. And apparently there’s a good number of people overdosing on the prescription medications as well. 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014 14:06

Macon considers drafting noise ordinance

Noise was the main topic of conversation at the Sept. 18 meeting of the Macon County Planning Board. The county’s board of commissioners had charged the planning board with looking into a noise ordinance last month after Matlock Creek resident Betty Bennett approached them complaining of noise and partying so bad she and her husband could not sleep at night. 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014 14:04

Racing towards the sheriff’s seat

The retirement of Jackson County’s current sheriff — and widespread dissatisfaction with the way Jimmy Ashe ran his office — brought out a field of primary election candidates nine deep. And with the general election just around the corner, change is a prime topic of conversation for the two candidates remaining, Democrat Chip Hall and Republican Curtis Lambert.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014 13:59

Tribe bans fracking

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has joined a growing number of local governments opposing the state legislature’s decision to allow hydraulic fracturing, called fracking, in North Carolina. Earlier this month, tribal council passed a resolution outlawing the practice on tribal lands, a force of authority stronger than what county and municipal governments possess. 

Osborne Farms is no longer in the dairy business, according to Joe Reardon, assistant commissioner for consumer protection in the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The farm has sold its herd of roughly 30 dairy cows, and but for a few calves the farm is now empty of bovines.

fr prisonIt’s going to be an eventful next few days in Waynesville. Haywood Pathways Center is in the final stretch of planning a three-day blitz on the old Hazelwood prison, transforming the former state detention center into a combined soup kitchen, halfway house and homeless shelter. They’ll be doing it with the help of an army of volunteers, untold gallons of paint and board-feet of wood — and help from TV personality Ty Pennington.

fr sylvawindowsManufactured homes, metal siding and unfinished concrete blocks are no longer allowed in downtown Sylva. The plywood coverings blocking out so many windows up and down Main Street, however, can stay a while longer.