The building that once housed Central Elementary School may soon find new life in the private sector, if and when Haywood County Commissioners take a pass on it.
From the control room of Canton’s water plant, a steady barrage of numbers flash across the computer monitors.
As days slid by without rain last fall, and the days stacked into weeks, Neil Carpenter watched the water gauge on Jonathan Creek like the ticking hands of a doomsday clock.
Carpenter usually has 4 million gallons of water a day at his fingertips — triple what he needs to serve the 3,800 homes and businesses in greater Maggie Valley.
The tidal wave of negative political news in 2016 was staggering in its magnitude and emotionally overwhelming. Thankfully all that is behind us. But we can’t say adios to the year’s local news until our writers and editors sift through those events and mold them into our annual tongue-in-cheek spoof awards. With apologies in advance to those who can’t take a joke, here’s our tribute to the people and events that left an indelible mark on 2016.
Harry S. Truman’s Secretary of State Dean Acheson said upon his return to private life, “I will undoubtedly have to seek what is happily known as gainful employment, which I am glad to say does not describe holding public office.”
• To serve, Haywood Commissioners leave money on the table
• Carrying commissioner duties a juggling act in Jackson
• Macon commissioners not there for money
• Swain commissioners give little thought to salary
• Cherokee council makes more than state reps, less than congressmen
While holding public office in the United States isn’t usually all pain, it is usually no gain. American culture has long held disdain for those who enrich themselves by suckling at the public teat, and a Smoky Mountain News investigation proves that — at least locally — the salary and benefits offered to county commissioners in Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties aren’t making any of them rich.
At just 22 years of age, Kevin Ensley became one of the youngest licensed land surveyors in the entire state after earning an associate’s degree in civil engineering from Asheville-Buncombe Technical College.
When local businessman Jule Morrow proposed a gun shop and indoor firing range in the pastoral Francis Farm community last winter, not everyone was excited about it.
Several Haywood County landlords are questioning the legality of a new policy adopted by the Junaluska Sanitary District that will require them to co-sign on their tenants’ water service agreement.
The State of North Carolina has long had a conflicted relationship with alcohol; although largely unregulated during colonial times, it became an irritant to the agrarian, conservative majority of 19th-century voters who, like much of the nation, watched the ultimate administration thereof descend from federal to state to, finally, local authorities in the early 20th century.
Since then, cities and counties in North Carolina have come full circle, but continue to wrestle with a complex issue that includes social, economic, judicial and religious viewpoints overlaid by ever-present concerns about individualism, collectivism, traditionalism and progressivism.