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coverThere are a few time-honored traditions on Thanksgiving. Like turkey and stuffing, or football and napping. 

Or, increasingly more over the years, shopping. With retailers rabidly encouraging shoppers to get an early jump on the Christmas season gift-buying frenzy, the day after Thanksgiving has emerged as America’s celebration of shopping.

The day even has a rather ominous sounding name: Black Friday. 

Construction on the Parker Meadows sports complex is moving forward, but with some alterations to the original plan following the July discovery of a Cherokee gravesite in the midst of the future ballfields. At the Macon County commissioners’ November meeting, County Planner Matt Mason presented some sketches of what a memorial to the gravesite might look like. 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014 15:40

Waynesville SWAT competes in national tourney

The Waynesville Special Response Team recently went up against dozens special ops units and SWAT teams from across the county in the national SWAT Round-Up Competition, nabbing the accolade of “Best Small Agency.”

Wednesday, 26 November 2014 15:39

Plans in the works for Jackson homeless shelter

For the past four years, Jackson County Neighbors in Need has been footing the bill to put people lacking winter shelter up in motel rooms for the night, but the group is on the lookout for the perfect facility to serve as a central shelter before the winter gets much deeper. 

“We haven’t been able to get into a shelter facility of our own which we are very much hoping to do because it’s very expensive to lodge people in a motel,” said Veronica Nicholas, co-chair of the Neighbors in Need shelter committee. 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014 15:36

Homeless shelter underway for Macon County

fr homelessmaconThings have been moving quickly for New Hope Center in Franklin. Just a few months ago, the homeless shelter was merely a vague idea in the back of Lowell Monteith’s mind, an awareness that there was a need for some way to help the homeless of Macon County. He’d first witnessed the need during his time at Lifespring Community Church, where he and his wife used to run a soup kitchen. 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014 15:34

Mapping Maggie’s recreational needs

fr maggierecTrails top the list of Maggie Valley’s recreational needs, according to the results of a recent survey conducted by the town. 

“A lot of people seem to have the same thought of ‘we live so close to the mountains, but we have to drive 30 minutes to get to the trails,’” Maggie Valley Town Planner Andrew Bowen told the town board recently. 

fr sylvabootQuite a few parking tickets have gone unpaid in Sylva. Since 20011, a total of $7,585 worth of parking citations have gone unpaid.

“It’s pages of tickets,” said Sylva Town Manager Paige Dowling.

Following a pair of community input sessions in October, proposed planning regulations for the Cullowhee area have been tweaked a bit. 

“Relatively minor revisions to text and to maps,” explained Jackson County Planning Director Gerald Green. 

fr roboticsMost ribbon cuttings are routine. Bland, even.

But then, most ribbon cuttings aren’t executed by a robot. 

“You’ll note there’s a pair of scissors strapped to one hand,” said Jim Falbo, mechatronics program coordinator for Southwestern Community College, pointing to the robot across the room. 

fr rolandA surprise agenda item at this month’s Macon County Commissioner’s meeting put a smile on County Manager Derek Roland’s face. Just shy of his one-year anniversary on the job, the 29-year-old county manager was given a contract for his position. 

The clock is ticking for the newly elected tax collector in Haywood County to get bonded before his first day on the job next week.

After an upset by a narrow margin in the tax collector’s race this month, Mike Matthews is supposed to be sworn in on Monday, Dec. 1. But he can’t take office until he secures a personal liability bond — an insurance policy of sorts that covers mistakes or wrongdoing by an employee who handles money.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014 15:21

New management at Cherokee golf course

fr golfSequoyah National Golf Club has come out in the red every year since it first opened in 2009, but the Cherokee golf course’s new general manager Kenny Cashwell, of Sequoia Golf Management, thinks that’s a norm that can be reversed. 

“Absolutely,” he said of the club’s potential to turn a profit. “We anticipate being close year one. It’s very possible we may get there.”

fr strandAn iconic symbol of downtown Waynesville’s glory days is back. 

A quintessential movie marquee for The Strand theater was hoisted into place last Friday, reclaiming its rightful spot above the benches and lampposts of Main Street’s quaint-but-classy streetscape.

The search for missing 17-year-old Alec Lansing came to a tragic end when searchers found the teen’s body in Nantahala National Forest Nov. 22, not far from the campsite where he left his group. 

An autopsy revealed that Lansing had a broken hip and had died of hypothermia. Because moss from a nearby tree leaning over a small stream was also found on his body, investigators believe he scaled the tree, fell into the shallow stream and broke his hip, which rendered him immobile.