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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…
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 12:52

Hospice house now open in Haywood

MedWest Health System opened its new $3.4 million inpatient hospice unit in Haywood County, The Homestead, with an open house and dedication ceremony in March. The Homestead is a new six-bed facility that offers specialized end-of-life care to patients and…
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 12:51

BizWorks offers merchandising course

Mountain BizWorks will host Merchandising WOW, a new merchandising course, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. for three consecutive Wednesdays starting May 30.   Students will learn merchandising skills from an expert, discover what makes effective merchandising ignite sales, learn…
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 12:50

SCC Employment lab to coach job seekers

Southwestern Community College is offering a free Employability Lab designed to help unemployed people obtain jobs. It will be held on the Jackson Campus from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.…
A wide variety of healthcare speakers are headlining the second annual Flourish Women’s Expo put on by MedWest Health System on Saturday, May 19, at Harrah’s Cherokee Events Center. The event is intended to support women’s mind, body and spirit,…
The Haywood County Chamber of Commerce will host their annual Business Start-Up Competition Luncheon to honor this year’s recipients of up to a $10,000 business grant from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 17. The Chamber Business and Community…
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 12:47

WCU to expand DNA sequencing capabilities

Western Carolina University’s Forensic Science Program has acquired two state-of-the-art pieces of DNA sequencing instruments to help it establish a DNA sequencing core facility on campus. “We will be able to offer a multitude of DNA sequencing services to institutions…
Haywood is banding together with Transylvania, Buncombe, Henderson and Madison counties under a project titled GroWNC, designed to get the region thinking collectively about ways to develop the economy with a focus on sustainability. GroWNC is currently holding meetings in…
The next five years could include the construction of an adventure park, a canopy walk and another casino for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, according to a preliminary outline of its 2012 economic development plan. Every five years, the…
Recordings made some seven decades ago of nearly 60 men and women who lived in what became the Great Smoky Mountains National Park soon will be made publicly available online. In 1939, a young graduate student by the name of…
A 60-unit affordable housing complex has been proposed in Franklin, but will depend on securing competitive state tax credits for low-income housing to come to fruition. The project has been proposed by Fitch Development, a group out of Charlotte that…
Franklin leaders declined last week to offer a formal apology to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians for using weed killer on an ancient Indian mound. “I don’t think we did anything destructive,” said Franklin Alderman Sissy Pattillo. “And I…
A recount is likely in the race for N.C. House of Representatives between two well-known and prominent Waynesville Democrats, Danny Davis and Joe Sam Queen. The race came down to the wire on election night last week, with Queen emerging…
When none of the Republican candidates for Congress garnered 40 percent of the votes during the May 8 primary, the election got more complicated. Rather than narrowing the long list of candidates to two — one Republican and one Democrat…
Haywood County is looking to off-load a few of its now vacant office buildings and is searching for help to do it. The county has been playing musical chairs with several departments during the past year, consolidating county functions once…
The advent of alcohol in Cullowhee is fueling efforts to implement some kind of land-use plan to guide growth in the community around Western Carolina University. Some speculate that development could be fast and furious in Cullowhee in the wake…
Angela Laird Brenton, dean of the College of Professional Studies at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, has been appointed provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at Western Carolina University. She starts Aug. 1. The selection of Brenton,…
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 12:30

Learn about end-of-life decision-making

A free community forum on planning and decision-making for end-of-life events is set for 2 p.m. Sunday, May 20, in the sanctuary of the First Presbyterian Church of Waynesville. The forum is sponsored by Hospice & Palliative Care Services of…
While Swain County fights to secure the rest of the $52 million cash settlement its owed by the federal government for the North Shore Road, the $12.8 million already in the bank is generating hundreds of thousands in interest every…
The National Park Service is refusing to let go of a $4 million payment Swain County is due as part of the cash settlement over the North Shore Road. The federal government is supposed to pay Swain County $4 million…
When Annie’s Naturally Bakery closed down last November, among those mourning the loss of the beloved coffee, bakery and gathering place in Sylva was Annie’s faithful Charles King. Without a new owner, the fate of the long-time Main Street institution…
The Jackson County farmers market had three or four vendors who regularly showed up each week to sell their homegrown goods in 2001. For the most part, the growers would sit around, chew the fat and trade produce. “It was…
Jackson County looks set to approve a budget that keeps the tax rate the second lowest in the state at 28 cents per $100 valuation. The proposed budget would see Jackson County add a human resources director, plus a one-time…
Regular coffee connoisseurs in Cherokee may have noticed a slight change in their popular downtown coffeehouse. The Sequoyah Fund, an economic development nonprofit that makes small business loans, is now running what was formerly Tribal Grounds under the name Cherokee…
When it comes to staying well fed, the Macon County commissioners are leading the pack. From finger food and pizzas to fortify them during regular meetings to huge sit-down dinner spreads with fellow boards in the county, commissioners in Macon…
Haywood County will help ease the burden faced by towns as they start trucking their trash all the way to the county’s far-flung landfill. County commissioners will allocate more than $100,000 to towns to help cover the added cost of…
MedWest-Haywood will discontinue in-home aide services in Haywood County, laying off 17 nursing assistants that visit housebound patients and aid them with routine personal, such as bathing. MedWest-Haywood serves about 200 patients with skilled home health care services in Haywood…
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 20:15

Fun in Sun Summer Camp in Waynesville

The Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department will offer the “Fun in the Sun Summer Camp” for kids ages 5 to 12 beginning June 11 and ending on Aug. 7. The camp will take place Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m.…
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 20:14

Celebrate EMS Week with open house

MedWest-Harris Emergency Medical Services will host an open house from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 23 to celebrate EMS Week. At the open house, community members can show support for local EMS personnel, get free glucose and blood…
Food coach Manon Fancher of Sylva will be at the Jackson County Public Library at 7 p.m. on May 31 to offer a free program on healthy eating for all ages and body types. Fancher will discuss different kinds of foods and…
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 20:13

Bike ride to benefit Open Door Ministries

The third annual Open Door Benefit Bike Run will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 9. The fund-raiser, hosted by The Carolina Faith Riders, will raise awareness and money for The Open Door Ministries, a soup kitchen and thrift store…
Time is running out for Haywood County veterans to register to participate in the Memorial Day Parade. The Memorial Day Parade to honor veterans will be held at 11 a.m., May 28, in downtown Waynesville.  The parade will feature National…
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 20:12

BizWorks to close two regional offices

The Mountain BizWorks office in Sylva, which serves would-be entrepreneurs and other small business owners in the state’s seven westernmost counties, will close June 30. Mountain BizWorks is also closing its Hendersonville field office on May 31. “This is a…
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 20:11

Free sports physicals for Haywood youth

Student athletes can get free sports physicals Tuesday, May 29 at the MedWest Health & Fitness Center on the campus of MedWest-Haywood. More than 60 volunteers and 30 physicians and health care specialists will offer these free sports participation physicals…
A celebration honoring the sacrifice of those who made the WWII construction of Fontana Dam possible will be held as part of Appalachian History Weekend at Fontana Village Resort on June 1 and 2.   The program will include guided…
Jackson County commissioners butted heads with local activists at a meeting this week, refusing to lend their philosophical support to a movement over whether corporate power should be reined in. A local offshoot of the Occupy movement called on commissioners…
A request by Jackson County Sheriff Jimmy Ashe for eight additional deputies now that the sale of alcoholic beverages has been approve countywide isn’t gaining much traction among the men who hold the purse strings. “I’m going to have to…
Two weeks after the primary election, an official winner has finally been declared following a recount in an insanely tight race between two prominent Waynesville Democrats for the N.C. House of Representatives. Joe Sam Queen beat out Danny Davis by…
A feeling of déjà vu swept over the Haywood County Board of Commissioners meeting Monday as they reviewed more than $19,000 worth of changes to the Haywood Community College’s creative arts building project. These were not the first, or even…
It might be a day late, but it’s certainly not a dollar short. A $235,000 playground is coming to the daycare center at Haywood Community College, a long-awaited capstone on a project that was heralded as a model child development…
Two businesses — Copper Pot and Wooden Spoon, and Belle on Main Salon and Spa — came out winners during the Haywood Chamber of Commerce’s seventh annual Business Start-up Competition this year. Thirteen entrepreneurs contended for the $10,000 prize purse this…
Business owners needs to put aside their bickering and resentments for the good of Maggie Valley, Mayor Ron DeSimone emphasized last week. “This community has been divided for a long time,” DeSimone said at a Maggie Chamber of Commerce meeting…
In addition to the obvious benefits of tourism — jobs and revenue for the county — tourism dollars save Haywood County residents a few hundred dollars in taxes every year. Steve Morse, a mathematics professor at the University of Tennessee, presented…
The quest to bring live table games to Harrah’s Cherokee Casino faces a final political hurdle. Both the Governor and N.C. Senate have given live table games their blessing, with the N.C. House of Representatives now the lone hold-out. Harrah’s…
While arguments over the state budget are likely to dominate everything in Raleigh as the General Assembly convenes for the next six weeks, there are certain bills and aspects of the budget making their way through the chambers that are…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 12:52

Still no settlement money for Swain

Swain County’s uphill battle to get the federal government to make good on its promise of a $52 million cash settlement may have just gotten tougher. The federal government is supposed to pay Swain County $4 million a year over…
A seminar intended to help small businesses in Canton develop the town’s potential will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Monday, June 4, at the Colonial Theater Annex in Canton. “Developing Canton Businesses:  Where Are We Now?” will…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 12:51

Organizing for America chapter to launch

Haywood Organizing for America, the local campaign to re-elect President Barack Obama and other Democrats, will hold its first monthly county team meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 31, in Waynesville. People will have the chance to meet other volunteers…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 12:50

Input needed about regional bike plan

Community meetings seking input on a regional bike plan will be held in Haywood, Jackson and Swain counties. • Haywood County from 5-7 p.m., May 31, at Waynesville Recreation Center. • Swain County from 5-7 p.m., June 12, at Southwestern…
A motorcycle rally initially planned to take over the streets of downtown Franklin in August has been given the boot, albeit a gentle one, and now will instead have to set up camp in a large field on the outskirts…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 12:48

Welfare fraud on the rise with recession

Swain County’s Department of Social Services has started cracking down on welfare fraud after seeing a rise in violations. “We have found that welfare fraud is on the rise,” reported Melissa Adams, a fraud caseworker, who spoke to the Swain…
Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville will host a chess tournament starting at 10 a.m., June 21. The Smoky Mountain Chess Club will conduct the tournament, which will start with practice games, registration and lunch from 10 a.m. to noon. Those…
A group of four-legged students possessing powerful senses of smell visited the Western Carolina University campus recently as 66 dog handlers from across the eastern United States brought their canine partners to Cullowhee to take training in human remains detection.…
When it comes to sweepstakes cafes Macon County has hit a jackpot of sorts, with at least 11 of the electronic gambling joints clustered along U.S. 441 between the Georgia state line and Franklin. The operations appear for all intents…
Two decrepit trailers hauled in and dumped down on an empty lot in the middle of Cullowhee’s old business district are creating a furor in that community. “It’s the slums of Cullowhee,” Cindy Jarman said between serving customers at the…
A grand and engaging vision for Western Carolina University’s Millennial campus as a place where academics, research, private industry and college life intersect has stalled almost since its inception seven years ago, but there might finally be signs of movement.…
A clean-cut looking Perry Matthews walked into the food pantry with a smile on his face. He wore a crisp, light blue, long sleeve button-up and tan slacks. His long, dark hair was pulled into a neat ponytail. It is…
Counties in Western North Carolina have seen dramatic increases in the number of people who need food assistance — either from the government in the form of welfare or from local food pantries. The number of people on food stamps in…
The Frog Level Brewing Company will host a Dogs and Suds event to raise money for Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation from 5-8 p.m. on June 14 at its storefront on Commerce Street in Wayensville. Tickets are $20 in advance and…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 12:38

Summer conference to dispel stereotypes

Lake Junaluska will host the Native American Tribal Social Justice Issues Conference June 29- July 1. Richard Twiss, a member of the Rosebud Lakota/Sioux Reservation in South Dakota will headline the event. Twiss is the author of “One Church Many…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 12:37

Cherokee language course to be offered

A one-day intensive course in the Cherokee language will be offered from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 14, in Room 143 of the Cordelia Camp Building at Western Carolina University. Two fluent speakers of Cherokee, Tom Belt,…
When the microphone opened up to the crowd, Laura Stout felt compelled to say her piece. She raised her hand, got up from her front-row chair and walked to the podium where a dozen or more Cherokee people had spoken…
The warm weather and sunshine brings a flurry of people to Waynesville’s downtown to enjoy the local fare — but it can also mean the beginning of busking season. While Asheville is an epicenter for busking — slang for performing on…
Jackson County Sheriff Jimmy Ashe is refusing to grant permits for businesses wanting to sell alcoholic beverages despite voters overwhelmingly approving countywide alcohol sales when the issue appeared on the ballot earlier this month. With Jackson County no longer dry,…
When Nantahala Outdoor Center burst onto the whitewater scene 40 years ago, it became ground zero for a new world of paddling — one where boundaries of the sport were being pushed, old paradigms were being broken, and new realities…
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 12:48

Horace Holden’s ‘hunch’ pays off

Horace Holden remembers the deal like it was yesterday. He set out from Atlanta with a few blank checks in his pocket and a portable typewriter on the back seat of his car. He checked in to his favorite room…
When Payson and Aurelia Kennedy quit their jobs in Atlanta, cashed out their retirement, packed up their four children and headed for the wild and rugged Nantahala River 40 years ago, their mothers weren’t sure what had gotten into them.…
Western Carolina University is remaining mostly neutral on the topic of alcohol coming to Cullowhee, at least officially. “The campus has had alcohol on it for many, many, many years, and I don’t see that changing,” said Sam Miller, vice…
Jackson County Sheriff Jimmy Ashe was stripped of his appointed role to render thumbs-up or thumbs-down assessments of businesses wanting to sell alcohol. Jackson County commissioners, who had initially appointed Ashe to the role, voted this week to instead make…
Rising health care costs were the catalyst for two budget decisions by Haywood County commissioners, one that will hopefully save taxpayer money and the other a stopgap measure to keep up with employee health insurance. Commissioners were forced this week…
The advent of alcohol sales in Jackson County has prompted the Cashiers community to consider new land-use regulations to address the probable arrival of bars in the resort village. The commercial area of Cashiers already has a development ordinance. The…
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 12:40

Move to Amend shot down in Jackson again

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners once again declined to support a movement aimed at restraining corporate power, causing local activists to raise a joint sigh of frustration. Move to Amend activists, a local offshoot of the Occupy movement, called…
The blueprint for a sign is punched into a computer, and the machine starts up. Sparks emit from the metal-cutting apparatus as it carves out the words “Gateway to the Smokies” and “Waynesville, North Carolina.” Here, at this part-machine shop,…
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 12:38

Summer camps for kids

Maggie summer camp The Maggie Valley Club will hold a Summer Kid’s Camp program from June 18-22 and from July 16-20. These one-week camps begin at 10 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. Lunch is provided. The camp provides traditional…
A little more than a year after the North Carolina General Assembly passed a law banning various forms of synthetic marijuana, enforcement of the statute still poses a problem for police. Waynesville Police Chief Bill Hollingsed traveled to Raleigh at…
As people’s discretionary spending remains low nationwide, golf courses in Haywood County are trying to drive their way out of a bunker with price cuts and special offers aimed at drawing in atypical players. Golf courses in the Haywood County…
The Waynesville Recreation Center will institute new hours for its water park for the summer. The water park will open at 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. on Saturdays and 1 p.m. on Sundays. The slide will not open…
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 12:34

New Franklin dog park to open June 9

The new dog park in Franklin will open at 10 a.m. June 9. The park, sponsored by the Friends of the Greenway, is adjacent to Big Bear Park on the Greenway in Franklin. Officials of the city and county and…
The Friends of the Library are holding a birthday party for the new Jackson County Public Library beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 12, in the atrium. Cake and other refreshments will be served during a reception to celebrate…
Wednesday, 06 June 2012 12:33

GOP candidates to attend debate

Republican group FreedomWorks will host a debate between candidates Mark Meadows and Vance Patterson at 8:30 a.m. June 9 at the Angel Hospital Cafeteria Meeting Room. Meadows and Patterson are running in a second primary election on July 17 for…
Live table games at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino cleared its final hurdle this week with passage in the N.C. House of Representatives. Both the Governor and N.C. Senate had already given live table games their blessing, and only lacked approval from…
The Shelton House in Waynesville will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with a series of summer lectures and demonstrations this weekend. The event will start at 7 p.m. June 8 with a commemorative celebration of the Civil…
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners narrowly passed a resolution that would allow county governments more flexibility in how its human services departments are organized. Should Senate Bill 433 pass the General Assembly, county boards will have more leeway in…
Sam Miller, Western Carolina University vice chancellor for student affairs, has received the John L. Sanders Student Advocate Award, the highest honor bestowed by the University of North Carolina Association of Student Governments. The award is given annually in recognition…
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 18:55

Exhibit opens at WCU

“Collecting for the Community,” a new exhibit at Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center, opened June 7 and will be available for public viewing in the museum’s gallery B through Aug. 17. During the years, the Mountain Heritage Center’s collections…
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 18:52

NOC believes the future is in kids

Summer camp. It’s how generations of NOC paddlers got their first taste of whitewater, a fateful moment that ultimately grew into a lifelong love affair with the Nantahala. “So many people learned to paddle at summer camp,” said Wayne Dickert,…
Of the many challenges faced by the Nantahala Outdoor Center during the past decade, one of the most troubling — and the most difficult to fix — has been a national decline in paddling. NOC’s steady and robust growth since…
The Nantahala Outdoor Center rose rapidly from a scrappy operation spawned by idealistic river rats in the 1970s to one of the largest and most renowned outfitters in the country. Now in its 40th year, NOC has struggled during the…
In contrast to its peaceful and stunning high-mountain setting, Maggie Valley’s Cataloochee Ranch has been at the forefront of a battle — a battle to restore the American chestnut, the iconic Appalachian tree devastated by blight in the mid-20th century.…
The Haywood County Amateur Radio Club will construct an emergency station in the parking lot of the Employees’ Credit Union facility on Paragon Parkway June 23-24 to celebrate “Amateur Radio Week” with other ham radio operators across the U.S. The…
After a month of controversy surrounding the granting of alcohol permits, Sylva and Jackson County leaders have made it their goal to work amicably together and compromise when discussing how the county will handle its ABC operations in the future.…
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 18:41

Franklin and Eastern Band try to make peace

Franklin Mayor Joe Collins sent a letter to the chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee last week, personally apologizing for the use of pesticides on an ancient Indian mound. “I personally apologize for the desecration caused to the mound,”…
By Paul Clark • Contributor • Norris Bunch called his dog Maxo to attention. Maxo, alert and ready, waited for his release. Barbara Holt, a judge for the U.S. Police Canine Association, gave the go-ahead, and Bunch, a K9 handler…
The Jackson County Sheriff has denied allegations that his department setup traffic checkpoints to racially profile Latinos and find possible illegal immigrants. The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina Legal Foundation announced June 4 that it will investigate traffic…
The Sylva town board has trimmed the green energy features from its new police department project and boosted the proposed cost to more than $1 million. The town originally budgeted $786,500 for the construction. The lowest bid, however, came in…
Canton may end up defending its use of the property known as Camp Hope in court this August. John and Deborah Prelaz have filed a lawsuit against the town asking that Canton’s claim to the 38.15-acre property be deemed null…
Maggie Valley’s will no longer employ a festival director effective Sept. 5 — a decision that comes as no surprise to town leaders or the festival director herself. “I had a sneaking suspicion with the new direction,” said Festival Director…
Wednesday, 13 June 2012 18:33

Free day at rec center on June 23

All Haywood County residents can get in to the Waynesville Recreation Center for free from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on June 23. Also on Saturday, residents can enjoy the annual “Spring Fling” event sponsored by the Waynesville Kiwanis and…