News Headlines

High political drama — the likes of which is not often seen in rural counties — came to a head last week as a Haywood County Republican Party Executive Committee member was removed from his post.

Just days after an important ruling from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on legislator-led prayer, Haywood County and its municipalities quickly moved to comply with the specifics of the ruling, but fell dramatically short in complying with the general principles that underlie the separation between church and state in American Government.

The continuing saga of the Haywood County Republican Party’s attempts to deal with a troublesome member of an antagonistic faction will take a dramatic turn this week, one way or the other.

Since late April, The Smoky Mountain News series on economic development has focused on the financial health of Haywood County, the mechanisms by which state, local and national governments encourage economic development and the various sectors that make up the county’s economy.

Shining Rock Classical Academy administrators have their hands full preparing for the school’s third year, expanding to eighth grade, accommodating up to 100 more students, improving student performance and searching for property for a future high school.

I’ve known Ted Carr many years, and he is not a liar.

That charge has been leveled against him by at least one supporter of the five members of the Haywood Republican Alliance whose loyalty to the party has been called into question.

Duke’s Animal Haven off Stamey Cove Road in Waynesville has suddenly closed its animal rescue facility with little explanation.

Haywood Regional Medical Center, a Duke LifePoint Health hospital, has completed a 17-bed expansion to its behavioral health wing on the sixth floor.

The clear water of the West Fork Pigeon River tumbling from its mountain headwaters takes on a yellowish hue through the plastic of the snorkel mask, revealing a riverbed of rounded rocks that sometimes sit within inches of the surface and sometimes plunge feet below.

Fish swim placidly in the flow, darting only occasionally when the wearer of the snorkel mask draws a bit too close for comfort. Here and there a leaf or a stick streams by like a stowaway for parts unknown.

A robust and vigorous health care sector is the cornerstone of any community; convenient access to health care facilities is a make-or-break issue for many, including the elderly, the disabled or even young families expecting children.

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