Marian Wright Edelman will speak at the Lake Junaluska Peace Conference at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, at Stuart Auditorium. The talk is part of the 2010 Lake Junaluska Peace Conference titled “Peace for the World’s Children” and is free.…
A grand opening celebration of the Alzheimer’s Association’s office and counseling center in Cherokee will take place  2:30-5:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 20. The facility will be in the Health and Medical Division Building, 43 John Crowe Hill. Principal Chief…
The Boy Scouts of America is celebrating 100 years of scouting with a council-wide camporee and celebration at Camp Daniel Boone in Haywood County the weekend of Sept. 25. All Scouts, leaders, families and guests are encouraged to come and…
An accountant tasked by a Superior Court judge with taking control of Moody Funeral Home in Sylva said she couldn’t fulfill the order because of a state-licensing issue, and questions about who is on the property lease. In a Sept.…
Ron Rosendahl took the time to count every single sign greeting the main road that dissects the town of Maggie Valley. He found 400 signs squeezed into less than five miles of Soco Road. According to Rosendahl, only 26 of…
Western Carolina might never be the next Silicon Valley, but experts say improving Internet access could help kick-start the region’s economy. David Hubbs, CEO of BalsamWest FiberNET, said with the manufacturing sector mostly on its way out in WNC, it’s…
A few years ago, Michael Wade was ready to hang up tin cans and have tenants at his Rabbit Ridge Apartments in Cullowhee yell messages at each other — all to avoid the daily aggravation caused by two telecom corporations.…
Retired horticulturist Clayton Davis envisions a new Maggie Valley. Instead of a tiring five-mile stretch of asphalt along Soco Road, it features a beautiful line of islands brimming with colorful flowers, trees, shrubs and decorative rocks. Like the tulips at…
After enduring months of dogged opposition over a county rule that would protect residents from nasty garbage piles on their neighbor’s property, Haywood County leaders are trying a different tack. The county has dropped the idea of a public health…
Registration is now open for the 20th Annual Haywood County Memory Walk, which will be held at 3 p.m. Oct. 3 at Lake Junaluska. There are more than 1,630 cases of Alzheimer’s disease in Haywood County, and that number is…
“Taking Care of You: Powerful Tools for Care giving,” is a six-week series created to educate those who care for chronically ill family members. The classes will be held from 1:30 to 4 p.m. every Thursday from Sept. 30 to…
Training sessions for those wishing to work as a respite caregiver will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, and those seeking a respite caregiver can attend training from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Haywood Community…
Tired of all-night parties, yards used as parking lots and  overflowing trash cans, a community near Western Carolina University is taking aim at student rental houses. The Village of Forest Hills plans to limit the number of people who can…
Call Highlands home and you live in Macon County, right? Not necessarily. Some town of Highlands residents have discovered they actually live in neighboring Jackson County — which can make matters confusing, all the way from the voting booth to…
Dog and cat owners will have an opportunity to learn basic emergency first aid for their companion pets in a hands on two-hour workshop with Dr. Tami Shearer of Shearer Pet Health Hospital. Getting your sick or injured companion to…
College Night at Haywood Community College will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 20, in the auditorium. Area high school students and residents will have a chance to talk with college representatives from more than 55 southeastern…
In an effort to revitalize the nation’s civic culture, veterans and schoolchildren from throughout Jackson County will gather at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 18 in Cashiers, Sylva and Cherokee for a public reading of the U.S. Constitution. The readings will…
An environmental group dedicated to protecting the Little Tennessee River has come out against a state proposal to widen and pave Needmore Road from one to two lanes. The Little Tennessee Watershed Association did not dismiss out-of-hand the state Department…
Stabilization of the landslide below Ghost Town in Maggie Valley will begin in two weeks, finally bringing comfort to downslope residents who have lived below the looming threat of another slide for half a year. The slide last February scoured…
Editor’s Note: Since January is National Tea Month, The Smoky Mountain News talked to some of the tea connoisseurs in Western North Carolina about their love of tea and disdain for the traditional iced tea so popular in the South.…
If all goes according to plan, a new regional livestock market will open in Canton by late May to more than 3,000 happy cattle farmers from Western North Carolina. The venue will again provide a stable market to help livestock…
The term “off-the-grid” means living in a self-sufficient manner without the services of a public utility. Wikipedia estimates that in 2007 there were around 250,000 off-the-grid households in the U.S. that supplied their own water, electrical and sewer systems. Living…
Balsam Mountain Preserve, a mega-development in Jackson County, was sold to the highest bidder on the courthouse steps Monday (Jan. 25) in a closely followed foreclosure proceeding. TriLyn, a private equity investment firm which initiated the foreclosure, was the highest…
In the first days following the rockslide on Interstate 40 last October, Jody Kuhne had the unenviable job of rappelling down the freshly scoured rock face and into a gaping chasm left in the mountainside. As the DOT’s resident expert…
With the rest of the region’s construction economy at a standstill, Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel and Casino is in the midst of a massive expansion project employing nearly 1,000 workers. “We’re kind of creating our own gravity in terms of labor…
After making the journey to Western North Carolina from China, Niu Jun discovered Bryson City was nothing like she imagined. Driving through the town of about 1,300, a confused Niu Jun asked, “Bryson City? Where’s the city?” Niu Jun, 33,…
The seven-year battle between Jackson County commissioners and Duke Energy has come to a close. After losing a critical court battle this month, Jackson County commissioners voted 4 to 1 to give up their legal fight against Duke Energy last…
On Friday night, a mudslide thundered across Rich Cove Road in Maggie Valley, taking out a section of a guardrail and bending a drainage pipe in its path, causing water to flow alongside the road and collect at the bottom.…
The newest addition to Southwestern Community College’s Oconaluftee Institute of Cultural Arts holds a piece of Cherokee history. OICA will soon obtain a letterpress that will be used to print books in the Cherokee syllabary. “We are bringing back the…
Another rockslide struck along the already closed section of Interstate 40 over the weekend. The new slide is nothing like the earlier one, but big enough in its own right. It covered both westbound lanes just past exit 7 at…
The Waynesville Public Art Commission recently issued a Call for Artists for its fourth public art project. The proposed art will celebrate the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and its historic relationship to Waynesville. For many years an arched sign…
Producer, editor and videographer John Kenyon of Waynesville has been selected to receive the Award of Excellence in the slide and multimedia programs category by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education for District III. Kenyon was cited…
It’s a slogan even the slickest New York ad firm couldn’t top if it tried: “Real Beef. Raised Right. Around Here.” It would be equally hard to find a cattle ranch better suited to the motto than Brasstown Beef, a…
Workers on the rockslide slope are laboring around the clock. There’s a day crew and a night crew, ranging from 15 to 25 men per shift. They labor for 10 hours at a stretch on the side of a steep,…
Comprehensive planning is supposed to be, well, comprehensive. But as Macon County leaders are finding out, it’s not that easy to get the public’s opinion on how its government should work for the next 20 years. After a three-month effort…
William Maney, owner of Fantasy Travel in Sylva, allegedly defrauded an elderly woman from Franklin out of $7,000 last year by stealing her credit card and using it to purchase airline tickets for other clients, according to charges filed by…
“Elk don’t know how many feet a horse has.” That’s the advice Bear Claw Chris Lapp gave Jeremiah Johnson as the pair hid behind their horses while stalking elk in the eponymous Robert Redford film. Well, according to Jackson County…
The bankruptcy of one of Western Carolina University’s largest supporters will hurt the school’s fast growing construction management program. In 2005 Joe Kimmel, owner of Asheville-based Kimmel & Associates, pledged nearly $7 million over eight years to the construction management…
Haywood County Commissioners are expected to vote this week to buy the abandoned Wal-Mart shopping center near Lake Junaluska and retrofit the space to house the Department of Social Services. Commissioners will convene a special meeting on the issue Wednesday…
For the first time in history, the government, the military and private healthcare providers are working together to deliver the appropriate counseling resources to returning war veterans. This year, the Haywood Regional Medical Center, working with a Department of Defense…
The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently upheld a state law that bans video gambling everywhere but the casino in Cherokee. The video gambling industry challenged the ban, claiming it was unfair to outlaw the machines statewide while allowing them…
Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park received a record $385,000 from drivers sporting the special “black bear” license plate program in 2009 — the park’s 75th anniversary year. Support from North Carolinians for the Smokies’ license plates increased $46,720…
At a time when Waynesville’s appearance standards are under scrutiny for being too strict, three proposed developments cruised past the town’s Community Appearance Commission. Last week, the advisory board approved the Noland Retail Center and Holland Car Wash, both on…
Television viewers in Jackson and Macon counties who get their reception the old-fashioned way — with an antenna — have been without UNC-TV for the past month. The UNC-TV translator on Coweee Mountain malfunctioned in early December. New equipment finally…
After a marathon five hours of discussion on Wednesday (Jan. 13), Haywood County commissioners voted unanimously to buy the abandoned Wal-Mart shopping center near Lake Junaluska and retrofit the space to house the Department of Social Services and health department.…
Citizen soldiers. The National Guard’s moniker evokes the best of American values and hearkens back to a Greek ideal. The citizens of a nation, its moral fiber during times of peace, should be ready to take up arms during war.…
An attorney that forged judges’ signatures was caught thanks to the sharp eyes of a law enforcement officer, a fellow attorney and a court clerk who noticed red flags. But for at least a year, fraudulent driving privileges provided to…
Year after year, Haywood County commissioners recognized the social service and health department buildings were falling apart. Yet they passed the buck, hoping the next set of fresh-faced commissioners would tackle the lingering issue. Last week, county commissioners got over…
Despite cutting corners across the board, Swain County still isn’t sure it has achieved a healthy level of savings. Nevertheless, County Manager Kevin King is guessing the county will pull out of its financial crisis by early spring. “That’s not…
The seven-year battle between Jackson County commissioners and Duke Energy has come to a close. After losing a critical court battle last week, Jackson County commissioners vote 4 to 1 to give up their legal fight against Duke Energy at…
The Town of Canton has begun clamping down on video sweepstakes machines with a new ordinance last week, but some business owners seemed more relieved than disappointed. That’s because the ordinance ends the 90-day moratorium passed in November and clears…
Canton aldermen are embarking on an ambitious quest to identify long-term goals and strategies that will shape the town in years to come. “You’ve got to have a plan, and this is the plan for the future of Canton,” said…
The state agency in charge of implementing new mental health rules this year says those changes will save money and improve quality, but some providers see it as a knee-jerk reaction that will limit access to services and put people…
A 31-year-old attorney in Jackson County pleaded guilty this week to forging judges’ signatures and creating phony court documents. John Lewis faked the signatures on limited privilege driver’s licenses for at least three clients in Swain County who had their…
Evergreen Packaging, a large paper mill in Canton, is seeking a new water pollution permit for the Pigeon River. The paper mill sucks roughly 29 million gallons a day out of the river and uses it in myriad aspects of…
It may be illegal to throw away plastic bottles in North Carolina these days, but don’t expect a landfill patrol to start picking through your trash any time soon. The state is still trying to divine how exactly to enforce…
Haywood Regional Medical Center was in better financial shape than expected as it embarked on an affiliation with neighboring hospitals under WestCare and entered a management contract with Carolinas Healthcare System this month. The latest financial report for Haywood Regional…
Elder abuse takes many forms and, thanks to a national grant program, law enforcement officers in Western North Carolina now know what to look for. In 2007, the Department of Justice awarded the 30th Judicial District Sexual Assault Alliance a…
The Upper Cullasaja Watershed Association and the Cullasaja Club are pursuing state funding to restore the headwaters of the Cullasaja River. The partners have applied to the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund for money that would allow them…
Responding to a Smoky Mountain News article covering the debate over prayer at public meetings, a group of Macon County residents attended the county’s first board meeting of the New Year to urge the commissioners to hold their ground on…
Duke Energy could start tearing down the Dillsboro Dam any day after Jackson County lost a final and critical legal battle this week. Judge Zoro Guice denied a move by the county to temporarily halt demolition on the Dillsboro Dam.…
A year ago, state officials promised a group of Macon County residents that they would get a cost estimate for what it would take to rehabilitate the McCoy Bridge, a single lane truss bridge that dates from the 1930s. That…
Foreclosure against Balsam Mountain Preserve could happen by month’s end barring a last-ditch financing deal by developers in the next couple of weeks. A court order gave lenders the go-ahead to move forward with foreclosure at a hearing last week.…
The Jackson County commissioners have breathed new life into the county’s airport authority by taking it over. After appointing themselves to five of the six seats on the airport board last month, the commissioners met in their new capacity for…
In August a computer hacker broke into a North Carolina Community College System server and potentially gained access to the personal information of 51,000 library users across the state. The cyber break-in was deemed harmless by investigators in the wake…
Threat of a federal lawsuit won’t be enough to stop some county commissioners in Western North Carolina from praying in the name of Jesus Christ before their meetings. “I wouldn’t go out and deliberately break a law, but if there…
The census has been part of government since Roman times and it has the baggage to prove it. As the U.S. Census Bureau kicks off its 2010 effort, the federal agency is enlisting the help of local organizations to help…
They haven’t gone quietly, and they haven’t gone quickly, but Christians are losing the battle over prayer in public life. Courts have banned public displays of the Ten Commandments in a religious context. School prayer has been demoted to a…
A federal magistrate’s recommendation that limits prayer before government meetings in Forsyth County has touched off a fiery debate across the state over the long-entrenched practice. In early November, Magistrate Judge Trevor Sharp determined that Forsyth County commissioners failed to…
There’s free wireless up for grabs to anyone ambling down Main Street in Waynesville, but it’s so obscure that even those who work downtown are oblivious to its existence. When tourists file into stores and restaurants asking where they can…
Steve Bryant was fresh out of law school and just learning his way around the courtroom when the judge hearing his case one day threatened to throw him in jail. The judge had announced a recess, and Bryant seized the…
Despite Graham County pledging to end all emergency services to Deal’s Gap starting Jan. 1, its EMS director has already sent rescue squads to respond to tractor trailer wrecks in the Swain territory since the year began. Graham’s emergency services…
After months of hard work, Macon County’s steep slope committee shared its recommendations with the county’s planning board last week.Now the question is whether the committee’s work will survive with its core principles intact if or when it is adopted…
A landslide at the Waterdance development in the Tuckasegee area of Jackson County washed out a road and dumped a significant amount of mud and concrete into the Tuckasegee River in early February. Robbie Shelton, erosion control officer for Jackson…
In the wake of the controversy surrounding the company’s proposed substation, Duke Energy representatives claimed they were unaware of the project’s potential impact on the Cherokee’s most valued site. But Russ Townsend, historic preservation officer for the Eastern Band of…
After a day of discussions between the leadership of Duke Energy and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the dispute over the construction of a proposed power substation near the tribe’s most sacred site remains unresolved. Last Wednesday (Feb. 17)…
When it comes to landfills, rain isn’t just inconvenient — it’s dangerous. In 2009, the White Oak landfill in Haywood County had to contend with more than 35 million gallons of rainwater seeping into disposed waste. While 80 percent of…
Last week a confused set of Jackson County commissioners learned their new library may cost more money than they thought, but County Manager Ken Westmoreland said the administrative mix-up won’t result in a higher price tag than the one originally…
It’s a watershed year for the legal community in Western North Carolina as attorneys gear up for a hotly contested election for three open judge seats. There’s at least nine and possibly 10 candidates running for the three seats. Two…
Armed with an e-newsletter and an indefatigable entrepreneurial spirit, Eric Hendrix is determined to bring the fruits of the ocean to the mountains of Western North Carolina. “The goal is to consistently provide fresh fish in the mountains, because you…
Business owners with cyber sweepstakes machines in Maggie Valley received both good and bad news last week. Luckily for them, the town board passed a much lower business license fee than originally proposed and delayed the pay-up date till July,…
The threat of another landslide isn’t stopping volunteers from facing the mudslide head-on and helping wherever they can. Local volunteers are working in the absence of state and federal aid for residents who find themselves banished from their homes indefinitely.…
In rare good news for Swain County’s jail, a new agreement will soon usher federal prisoners into the often half-empty facility. Sheriff Curtis Cochran has worked for months to secure an official deal with the U.S. Marshals Service, which will…
There’s no way to prevent landslides in the mountains, but there is a way to make their impact on humans more predictable. That’s the message that N.C. Geologist Rick Wooten and the staff of the North Carolina Geological Survey have…
Dozens of local businesses owed money by Ghost Town are mulling over ballots this week that will ultimately decide the amusement park’s fate. Ghost Town, which landed in bankruptcy a year ago, owes a total of $13.5 million. It hopes…
While residents wait for answers and 16,000 tons of debris hangs precariously over the Rich Cove community, an army of people are assessing the aftermath of the latest landslide in Maggie Valley. Representatives from the North Carolina Geological Survey, the…
Macon County was the first to be targeted under a statewide initiative launched in 2006 to map areas prone to landslide in the mountains. Over a one-and-a-half-year period, a team of state geologists led by geologist Rick Wooten surveyed 770…
Jackson County Sheriff Jimmy Ashe may not have done anything illegal, but he’s stepped into the middle of a controversy in the run-up to his re-election campaign. Ashe used state and federal money from narcotics seizures to operate an informal…
Ghost Town in the Sky amusement park was behind on its general liability insurance payments in the months leading up to a massive landslide that originated from its property. Ghost Town has been struggling with bankruptcy for the past year.…
Haywood County recently dropped a lawsuit against Wynncom, after the telecommunications company agreed to hand over its fiberoptic network to the county for $6,500. Wynncom, based in Lexington, N.C., was hired to build a fiberoptic line for Haywood and be…
A disagreement over Duke Energy’s placement of a power substation near Cherokee’s most significant cultural site has instigated a meeting between the top leaders of the tribe and the company. Principal Chief Michell Hicks, the tribal council, and the attorney…
Ed Williams is an expert when it comes to spotting the telltale signs of sewage seeping into creeks. “You get an eye and a nose for it,” Williams said. “You put the boots on and get in. You just start…
The highly technical and extremely dangerous work to stabilize the rockslide is being carried out by Janod, a Canadian company. A leading expert in rock stabilization, they get called in by mines, quarries, railroads and highway departments to shore up…
Haywood County is headed to arbitration in a lawsuit over the $8.2 million renovation to the historic courthouse. The contractor sued the county for $2 million after being fired from the job in May 2008. The county claimed the contractor…
Will wind-generated power save the environment or sacrifice it? The answer depends on who you ask and it could have broad implications for the future of clean energy in North Carolina. In a debate raging in the General Assembly, Western…
After months of debate, Haywood Community College leaders emerged victorious this week in their quest to build a $10.3 million building where craft industries will be taught. From weaving to pottery to woodworking, the new building will be a showcase…
After six felons in North Carolina ran for sheriff during the May primaries, legislators decided it was time to close that particular legal loophole. This November, voters will decide on a constitutional amendment that would put a stop to convicted…
Sylva Commissioner Christina Matheson surfaced as peacemaker last week for a town board that, among other matters, has shown signs of fracturing over the best method of hiring a new police chief. Commissioner Harold Hensley bucked up at a meeting…
Getting around on your own two feet in Sylva would be safer and easier if an ambitious, $4.5-million pedestrian plan becomes reality. The plan — really, a wish list that would help keep the town moving now and in the…
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