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As Western North Carolina wrestles with growth issues, a project is under way to track where and how large mountain tracts are being carved up into smaller lots.

A new 8.5-mile fiber optic cable linking government buildings in Waynesville has recently been installed.

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

June through October is known as festival season in the mountains, and its no wonder why. During the five-month stretch there’s at least one festival every weekend somewhere in the region.

As Haywood struggles with the best use of room tax money collected from tourists to fund tourism promotion, one area that raises the most ire is the amount given out as grants for festivals. Tourism authorities around Western North Carolina fund festivals with room tax dollars to varying degrees.

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.

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

Turn to the classified pages in any Western North Carolina newspaper and the employment section bears similar traits. Jobs listed tend to be those in the growing service sector — housekeepers, night shift hotel clerks, secretaries, wait staff, retail sales. And listings under the “professional” heading are sparse.

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