News Headlines

Haywood County schools must pay back more than $300,000 in state flood repair grants after double-billing both the state and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the same work.

A former Haywood County school employee and Haywood Builder’s Supply have been cleared of wrongdoing in connection with an off-the-books spending account established at the store.

Every few weeks, Scotty Ellis cruises the newspaper classifieds, scans Web sites and scrounges brochures from kiosks at visitor centers looking for vacation homes to rent in Haywood County.

A study committee charged with examining the role and structure of the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority will be formed in July and asked to report its findings to the Haywood County Board of Commissioners.

Bethel survey

The Bethel survey polled a random sample of 273 residents in Bethel via telephone. The Bethel Rural Community Organization sanctioned the study to identify community sentiment toward development, farmland and what makes their community special. Here are some of the more striking results:

Joetta Rinehart, a member of the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority board, recently moved to Asheville, throwing into question her legitimacy as a tourism board member.

The town of Maggie Valley could be getting more than it bargained for when it called on fellow towns in Haywood County to consider overhauling the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority.

After last week’s surprising meeting of the Haywood County Council of Governments regarding the tourism board, perhaps there is finally an end in sight to the controversy regarding this board.

Elected town and county leaders will be dragged into the Haywood County tourism saga this week.

They will be asked to weigh in on how much of the $600,000 in tourism tax dollars should be dolled out in the form of grants for events. The Haywood County Tourism Development Authority, a nine-member board, is granted oversight of money generated by a 3 percent tax on overnight lodging by state statute.

A tug-of-war over the $600,000 in tourism tax money in Haywood County and how it is used to lure travelers reached a new level last week.

At the prodding of Maggie Valley motel owners, the Maggie Valley Town Board is calling for a joint meeting with the leaders from other towns as well as the county to strategize on a potential overhaul of the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority, which oversees tourism tax dollars.

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