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Wednesday, 11 April 2012 13:06

Lose some weight, have some fun

The second kick-off in Macon County for Lighten Up for Life will be at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 28, at the Franklin High School Gymnasium. The LU4L program is a free weight loss challenge that is entirely web-based. The program…
Wednesday, 11 April 2012 13:05

MedWest to benefit from golf tournament

A golf tournament will be held starting at 9 a.m. on May 12 at Smoky Mountain Country Club in Whittier to support hospital chaplaincy programs and spiritual care. The tournament is sponsored by MedWest Health System and is a four-man…
Wednesday, 11 April 2012 13:04

Alumni football game coming up in May

The famed Pisgah-Tuscola rivalry will renew itself six months sooner than usual as alumni from both schools take to the field again in support of the Canton Lions Club at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at Pisgah Memorial Stadium. Tickets…
The new owner of Ghost Town in the Sky tied up the final loose ends related to her purchase of the bankrupt amusement park last week. Alaska Presley officially took title to the rides and buildings on the grounds of…
Two months after the domestic violence agency REACH of Jackson County abruptly shut its doors in February, services to domestic violence victims continue to be handled by nonprofits in neighboring counties. Jackson County commissioners would like to see a local…
Wednesday, 11 April 2012 12:58

Macon schools seek more funding

Facing a dire state budget outlook and a loss of one-time federal stimulus dollars, Macon County School’s leaders came hat in hand this week asking county commissioners for money. The school system wants a budget increase of more $1.15 million…
Wednesday, 11 April 2012 12:56

What comes next?

Finding a new leader to replace the outgoing MedWest-Haywood President Mike Poore could take months and will be handled by Carolinas HealthCare Network rather than the local hospital board. Carolinas HealthCare System, a Charlotte-based network of 34 hospitals that MedWest-Haywood…
Wednesday, 11 April 2012 12:54

Poore resigns as MedWest Haywood leader

The president of MedWest-Haywood hospital suddenly stepped down this week after three-and-a-half years on the job. Mike Poore’s tenure at the helm of MedWest-Haywood was marked by an aggressive strategy to restore a crisis of community confidence, rebuild plummeting finances…
Opinions among members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians remain mixed leading up to a vote that could lift a historic ban on alcohol sales on the reservation or continue the longtime moratorium. In the days leading up to…
The old Strand movie theater in downtown Waynesville is finally getting a new lease on life after two false starts in the past decade to revive the shuttered Main Street icon. The building was bought in foreclosure last year by…
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 04:14

Brown wins by slim margin in Waynesville

All of Waynesville’s current leaders managed to hang on to their seats despite an impressive challenge mounted by a contender for mayor. Waynesville Mayor Gavin Brown nearly lost his seat to Hugh Phillips, the general manager of Bi-Lo grocery store.…
Sylva voters on Tuesday night might have put the brakes on something of a voting trifecta by adding former commissioner Lynda Sossamon to the town board at the expense of incumbent Ray Lewis. Two other incumbent commissioners, Chris Matheson and…
Wednesday, 09 November 2011 03:44

Winning trio promises change in Maggie Valley

A slate of three candidates pledging change and an end to good old boy politics swept into office in Maggie Valley in this week’s the town election. Longtime Mayor Roger McElroy, who has been on the town board for 30…
The Canton Town Board of Aldermen will now feature three old dogs and one new one. Patrick Willis, who ran unsuccessfully in the last election, won a seat on the board with 312 votes. “I am looking forward to working…
After months of campaigning, a write-in candidate won the Bryson City mayoral election — an interesting twist in a competition that had only one name on the ballot. Tom Sutton beat out Jeramy Shuler, the only candidate whose name was…
Despite only having one candidate on its ballot, the Bryson City mayoral race has heated up, with two potential write-in candidates joining the race. Bryson City resident Tom Sutton is actively campaigning as a write-in candidate, while current mayor Brad…
Wednesday, 02 November 2011 19:30

Man thieving election signs

Hide your posters; hide your signs. Somebody might sneak on your property and snatch all your election signs up. The Maggie Valley Police Department is looking for an unidentified white male who has been seen stealing elections signs from an…
In a town that has long thrived on competitive, and sometimes markedly heated, political contests, the prospect of an incumbents-only race this November in Franklin seems ghastly. Even to several of the shoo-in incumbents themselves. “Maybe they’re afraid they might…
Four years ago, candidates for office in Canton wanted new faces. Two years ago, their platforms were cooperation. And this year, business development and recreation are the common threads among candidates. “I think we also need to look at doing…
Wednesday, 26 October 2011 20:43

Too fancy or just right?

Waynesville has spent $7 million over the past four years building a new fire station, police station and town offices — projects that have come under fire by some challengers for the town board. Opponents point to the architecture — the…
Waynesville mayor: Pick one Mayor Gavin Brown, 64, attorney. Mayor for four years, town alderman for eight Every morning Mayor Gavin Brown dons his town of Waynesville pin on his suit lapel before heading out the door to his law…
Wednesday, 19 October 2011 12:34

Table is set for Sylva town election

This November, Sylva residents will elect three commissioners, deciding who will control the majority on that five-member board. All three incumbents are running for re-election, plus two challengers. In the next four years, it’s likely that Sylva’s chosen leaders will…
Wednesday, 19 October 2011 12:32

Collective discontent bonds candidates

Three candidates running for the Maggie Valley town board with a similar message have buddied up in the campaign and chosen to run as a slate. They claim the current town leaders discourage new ideas and fail to bring residents…
Waning tourism in Maggie Valley and what to do about it is dominating the town’s election this fall. Four people are running for two seats on the town board, and there is also a contested race for mayor. A slate…
The Haywood County Board of Commissioners will hold a work session at 4 p.m., Thursday, April 19, at the Bethea Welcome Center at Lake Junaluska. The purpose of the work session is to conduct a roundtable discussion with community leaders…
Despite rumors that cuts at Tuscola High School in Waynesville could reduce the number of advanced courses, academically gifted students will have just as many courses to chose from next school year. Tuscola will lose five teaching positions, which is…
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 20:39

Sylva man gets seven years for 2008 murders

The last of six people accused of playing a role in the murders of two Swain County residents back in 2008 has been put away. Mark Goolsby of Sylva plead guilty to nine counts of accessory after the fact to…
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 20:38

Learn how to sell, serve alcohol

The N.C. ABC Commission is holding a series of free Responsible Alcohol Seller/Server Program classes to educate businesses with alcohol permits and their employees about the responsible sales and service of alcoholic beverages. This is part of a region wide…
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 20:36

Nursing scholarship available

The Judy Moore Memorial Scholarship Endowment Committee is accepting scholarship applications for 2012. The scholarship program for nurses was established in 1997 as a memorial to Judy Moore, a registered nurse who was killed in a car accident. At least…
Go online and vote for Waynesville as your favorite Main Street in the contest “Great Places in North Carolina.” A panel of experts chose six “People’s Choice” award finalists from the more than 40 nominations submitted by North Carolina residents.…
The use of weed killer to temporarily denude an ancient Indian mound in Franklin has some critics accusing the town of cultural insensitivity. Nikwasi Indian Mound, which is located within Franklin’s town limits and is tended to and maintained by…
A group of Jackson County doctors say they want out of the two-year-old partnership with the hospital in Haywood County and instead would like to look toward Mission Hospital in Asheville as a future partner. There have been murmurings for…
As Lake Junaluska weighs whether to become part of the town of Waynesville or form its own town, a public forum for residents to ask questions or share comments will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 26, at Bethea…
The shell of a vacant four-story hotel sitting partially finished on Sylva’s main drag for three years is finally going somewhere. Developers from Greensboro bought the vacant hotel along N.C. 107 for $850,000 and are promising to pump an additional…
About two dozen people gathered outside the tribal council house broke into song with the words “Praise God, Praise God, Praise God,” after the final results of Cherokee alcohol vote were tabulated last week. The Cherokee Reservation will remain dry,…
A class action complaint aims to hold the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians responsible for money lost when the stock market crashed in 2008 and eroded the personal accounts of Cherokee youth held in trust by the tribe. All 14,000…
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 19:57

Seniors, start training

Seniors around the county are gearing up for the 2012 Haywood County Senior Games from May 7-22. For just $10, seniors can participate in as many events as they choose in both athletic events such as shuffleboard, tennis and pickleball,…
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 19:57

Prevent child abuse

For the month of April K.A.R.E in Haywood County, Kids Advocacy Resource Effort, will join thousands of communities throughout North Carolina and the nation in recognizing Child Abuse Prevention Month with a pinwheel garden. The pinwheel is the new symbol…
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 19:56

Walk in her shoes

The fourth-annual “Take A Walk In Her Shoes” sexual assault awareness event will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, in front of the historic Haywood County Court House. The walk will be around the…
A movement to rein in the dominance of Mission Hospital in Western North Carolina’s healthcare landscape has hit a critical juncture. A legislative committee studying whether smaller hospitals are suffering from aggressive, monopoly-like tactics by Mission will unveil its recommendations…
Maggie Valley has emerged victorious in an ongoing tug-of-war with Jackson County over who can rightfully lay claim to tourists en route to Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort. The N.C. Department of Transportation rejected a request from Jackson County leaders…
The former chief executive officer and general manager of the Old Edwards Inn and Spa in Highlands was recently convicted on federal charges of masterminding kickbacks and of illegally billing his company for an addition to his own home. Mario…
The litany of Republicans from Western North Carolina running for Congress haven’t taken any cues from their counterparts on the presidential stage, where the once robust field of candidates has slowly been picked off until there was just one man…
MedWest-Haywood will hold an open house from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 2, at the newly constructed MedWest Urgent Care Center in Canton. The community can get a preview of the new facility during the open house. MedWest Urgent Care…
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 12:48

Selling Haywood a collective effort

Departing from the normal talks of budget cuts and tightening belts, Haywood County commissioners asked a group of tourism and town leaders how the county could pitch in to help bring visitors or new second-home owners to the county. The…
The Community Table, Sylva’s nonprofit soup kitchen for the needy, is within weeks of moving its digs from its cramped existing facility to the town’s now-vacant senior center. The county built a new senior center, freeing up space in the…
The Maggie Valley Board of Aldermen’s split decision to de-annex someone who didn’t want to be in the town limits anymore — or pay town taxes any more — seems to have brought a trickle of other unsatisfied residents making…
After two years of lawsuits and two mediations, Swain and Graham counties have finally agreed on where to draw the county line signifying their portions of the Fontana Dam. Fontana Dam straddles the two counties. How much of the dam…
The Lowe’s interchange in Haywood County will finally get re-structured but not for a couple more years. N.C. Department of Transportation plans to start reconstructing the exit onto N.C. 209 and leading to Paragon Parkway and Hospital Drive in summer…
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 12:41

Cullowhee community holds second meeting

Residents and business owners of Cullowhee and Jackson County are invited to attend a community meeting from 5:30-7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 1, at the Cullowhee Valley School library. This is a follow-up to the March 13 meeting when community…
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 12:39

Tuckasegee bridge to be replaced

A $3.4-million contract to replace the T. Walter Middleton Bridge on N.C. 107 over the Tuckasegee River in Jackson County has been awarded to a Whittier company. Owle Construction Co. will build a new bridge that will be widened from…
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is taking matters into its own hands in the tug-of-war over the best route to Cherokee. A tribe-purchased billboard on Interstate 40, heading west of Asheville, will soon tout two possible routes to Cherokee.…
When Dr. Bob Adams walked into a hospital-wide meeting of Jackson County doctors in early January, he believed he had finally mustered the critical mass to demand action, action that so far had been elusive despite a year of working…
When the Med-West venture was coined two years ago, the premise was an easy sell. Together the hospitals would be stronger than going it alone. Both Harris and Haywood hospitals had witnessed a troubling loss of patients to Mission —…
The iconic black bear, the parkway’s winding scenic road and the Appalachian Trail’s solitary hiker have gotten a reprieve. A bill will be introduced next month to allow a version of the full-color specialty plates. They’d been facing a death…
Large, walk-in beer coolers are ready and waiting to be stocked at Dwight and Jamie Winchester’s Catamount Travel Center, a gas station directly across the street from the entrance to the Cherokee Indian Reservation on U.S. 441. They’ve been there…
Thanks to our dear Smoky Mountain News readers, some excellent ideas for slogans poured in through our Facebook site over the past week. We snuck a few of our own in as well. Enjoy! Waynesville Your home away from Florida…
Thursday, 03 May 2012 01:24

Registration under way for golf tourney

Registration is under way for the inaugural Bob Buckner Endowment Golf Tournament, an event to help raise financial support for a newly created fund in honor of the recently retired longtime director of Western Carolina University’s Pride of the Mountains…
Thursday, 03 May 2012 01:23

LEGO focus of upcoming workshop

Kids can learn more about LEGO building projects from 9:15-11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 12, at Western Carolina University. The LEGO Clubs at Cullowhee Valley and Fairview Schools are holding this free community event for children from kindergarten through eighth grade…
Thursday, 03 May 2012 01:22

Women in business luncheon, May 15

A program titled “Two Sides of the Leadership Coin, a Male and Female Perspective” will be held from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. on May 15 at the Gateway Club in Waynesville, sponsored by the Greater Haywood County Chamber of…
The Macon County Planning Board has been given one simple task: review the subdivision ordinance with the intention of making it more user friendly. The directive came in a relatively brief get together and make-pretty joint meeting with the Macon…
Thursday, 03 May 2012 01:19

Program on Cherokee mounds in Jackson

Ben Steere will discuss Cherokee pre-history and archaeology at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 8, in the community room of the Jackson County Public Library. Steere is the principal investigator for the Western North Carolina Mounds and Towns Project, which is…
A move by the town of Franklin to spray the ancient Nikwasi Indian Mound with weed killer is not sitting well with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Principal Chief Michell Hicks last week described himself as “appalled” and called…
Haywood County leads the state in electronics recycling, based on a new survey released in March by the N.C. Department of Environmental and Natural Resources. The survey, which was presented during the recent Carolina Recycling Association annual conference, indicated that…
The Waynesville Board of Aldermen approved a revitalization plan for South Main Street last week despite a dispute over one aspect of the proposed design scheme. The town hired Rodney Porter, a consultant with LaQuatra Bonci in Asheville, last year…
MedWest leaders are struggling to hold a fledgling joint hospital venture together in the wake of recent physician turmoil, but there’s likely no easy fix for the identity crisis faced by Jackson County’s medical community. Fearing the sanctity of Harris…
When a team of moving men showed up in the surgery suite of MedWest-Harris two years ago and rolled a specialized spinal surgery table out the door, down the hallway and into a truck, acting on orders to haul the…
Tee Coker and his company recently learned firsthand something they probably already suspected about creating brands and taglines for towns. Forget about pleasing everyone: it can be an insurmountable challenge to please anyone at all when it comes to developing…
Wednesday, 02 May 2012 19:12

Swain County property values looking up

Tim Cain has a bird’s eye view of Swain County’s real estate market, and from where he sits, the news looks good. Cain was hired to oversee the countywide appraisal of every home, lot and tract of land in Swain…
Canton and Waynesville’s paths have diverged when it comes to the most cost efficient way to haul trash to White Oak Landfill. Both towns will face higher costs to dump residents’ trash starting this summer when the county closes a…
When the maintenance director for Haywood County Schools received news that a transformer at Pisgah High School stopped working last Thursday, it seemed apropos given the grim portrait of the schools’ budget he and other education officials would paint for…
Haywood Community College officials have requested an additional $380,000 in county funding this year — all of which would help pay for renovations and new construction on campus. Similarly to Haywood County Schools, the college has been strapped by recession-drive…
A public workshop on a proposed truck turn-around and information station on U.S. 64 in Franklin will be held from 4-7 p.m. at the Franklin Town Hall boardroom. The turn-around and station would be located between U.S. 23/441 in Franklin…
A sports physical clinic for school athletic programs will be held from 4:30-7 p.m. Friday, May 11, at the Macon County Public Health Center. The clinics are open to rising seventh grade to 12th grade students who plan to participate…
A retracing of the northern route of the Trail of Tears will be held May 18-26 in a collaboration of the Eastern Band and the United Keetoowah Band and Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. Members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee…
The state has not recommended any changes be made to how Mission hospital does business under its Certificate of Public Advantage, or anti-trust regulations that govern this regional healthcare leader. The regulations date to Mission’s merger with St. Joseph’s 15…
Cherokee Schools has launched a year-long process to develop a new strategic plan, a move prompted by issues raised in a recent accreditation review of the school system. As a sovereign entity, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians operates its…
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 12:18

Sylva native hired as new town manager

Sylva has a new town manager. Paige Roberson, 25, was promoted last week by the town board to the top leadership position. Roberson has clearly impressed the town after stepping in to a part-time job as the director of the…
Waynesville Police Department is one of several law enforcement agencies hoping to see an expansion of the Western North Carolina crime lab in the next several years to speed up processing, trials and convictions of offenders. “Our evidence has to…
The same trolley that used to lead the New York Marathon and transport students at New York University from place to place has found a home in Waynesville. Starting this Saturday, the diesel trolley will traverse downtown Waynesville, Frog Level…
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 20:55

Good Old Time Summer Camp for kids at WCU

Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center, Department of Art and Hunter Library are joining forces to offer the Good Old Time Summer Camp for children ages 9 through 13. Participants will attend the camp from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.…
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 20:55

Get help building your home

Haywood Habitat for Humanity is holding an open enrollment through this month for people interested in purchasing a home through the agency. Requirements for participants include being a resident of Haywood County and having an annual household income between $20,400…
There will be a barbecue fund-raiser for the Waynesville Skate Park from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 2, at the Waynesville Recreation Center. The cost is $5 per sack lunch, which will contain a sandwich, chips and…
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 20:53

Fun Kids Day to benefit PAWS

P.A.W.S. Animal Shelter will celebrate children and animals of all ages with a day of fun and games at the second Annual “PAWSitively Fun Kids Day” festival starting at 10 a.m. on May 12 at Rivermont Park in downtown Bryson…
A political impasse over live dealers and table games at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino has been resolved, but the tribe still has some heavy lifting to go before it can close the deal. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians needs the…
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 20:51

Home Expo planned in Waynesville

The Haywood Home Builders Association is having its 2012 Spring Home Expo May 11-12 at the Waynesville Armory. Those looking for a contractor, ways to update their home, or a way to update their landscaping should attend the Spring Expo.…
Randal Garrison will be the guest speaker at a meeting of the Western North Carolina Civil War Roundtable at 7 p.m. on May 14 at the Mountain Heritage Center Auditorium on the campus of Western Carolina University. His topic will…
Angel Medical Center will unveil new technology aimed at improving its treatment of stroke victims during a demonstration from 2-3 p.m. on May 15 in the hospital dining room. “The Telestroke Robot is cutting edge technology that will allow the…
John Bardo, the former chancellor for Western Carolina University, has gotten a job. He will take over as the new chancellor for Wichita State University in Kansas in July. Bardo retired last summer from Western Carolina University after 16 years…
The idea of a restaurant and a commons area where students could meet and eat sounds like a good one to Angie Stanley, a student in Southwestern Community College’s medical respiratory program. “That really would be nice,” the Sylva resident…
Evergreen Packaging has reached a partial settlement with environmental groups over pollution from the Canton paper mill in the Pigeon River. Environmental groups had challenged the mill’s pollution permit, claiming that the standards weren’t tight enough. There were two bones…
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 20:45

Letter carriers food drive is May 12

The annual national Letter Carrier’s “Stamp Out Hunger” Food Drive is May 12, and postal customers are reminded to leave bagged food and other non-perishable items at their mail boxes. The drive is the largest one-day food-collection event in the…
The North Carolina Baptist Church Library Team will host a library workshop for Western North Carolina at First Baptist Church in Waynesville on May 19. This field training is aimed at greatly reducing the time and cost of training for…
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 20:44

Former Miss America coming to Junaluska

The United Way of Haywood County and The Haywood Volunteer Center are hosting an evening with Jeanne Robertson at 7 p.m. on June 7 at Stuart Auditorium at Lake Junaluska. Who is Jeanne Robertson? She is North Carolina’s own 6-foot,…
As an aggressive spring thunderstorm brewed over Waynesville this March, causing power outages around town, Erika Stansbury received a frantic call from her elderly in-laws who had lost power at their gated apartment complex. “Grandma’s on oxygen, and she gets…
During budget discussions earlier this year, Haywood County commissioners were adamant about their commitment to give county employees a boost after three years of no raises and frozen retirement contributions. Commissioners stayed true to their word, based on a proposed…
Haywood County commissioners have increased funding to the county school system this year for the first time in four years, but with cuts in state and federal funding, the boost from the county won’t be enough to help plug the…
Marty Stamey, like any county manager, takes pride in crafting a water-tight budget: one that squares up the minutia of how many reams of computer paper and tanks of gas county employees will use on one side of the ledger…
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 12:52

‘Wild West’ chamber drive saddles up

The Haywood County Chamber of Commerce has launched its 2012 membership campaign, which will run through June 14. The campaign will reach out to over 1,000 businesses in the Haywood County area that are not yet benefiting from membership with…