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Wednesday, 13 February 2008 00:00

Gems from the used bin

By Chris Cooper Ah, the joy of finding good stuff in the “undeservedly discarded disc” section of any music store. Here a few recent scores: pop melodrama from Bleu and a superb album from the most underappreciated — and one…
Wednesday, 13 February 2008 00:00

Sylva wants to diversify Pinnacle Park usage

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Sylva Town Board members want to see hikers, horseback riders and mountain bikers sharing the trails in Pinnacle Park, 1,100 acres of land located at the northern part of town.
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Macon County’s eight-month moratorium on the permitting of recreational vehicles in the floodplain will be lifted next month.
By Jennifer Garlesky & Julia Merchant • Staff Writers Two Swain County employees will join representatives from the Department of Interior, the State of North Carolina and the Tennessee Valley Authority to negotiate a new contract that will replace the…
Wednesday, 06 February 2008 00:00

Business owners and their trash

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Jackson County solid waste officials are cracking down on how businesses dispose of their trash, a move that has small business owners like Teresa Dowd up in arms.
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Driving a tractor-trailer in Haywood County or a motorcycle in Swain? Use caution. Both counties top the list of AAA Carolinas recently released report on the most dangerous places to drive in North Carolina.
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Living “green” is a way of life for Mark and Darcia Bondurant. The Haywood County family of four works diligently everyday to reduce their carbon footprint by doing everything from buying locally produced food…
Wednesday, 06 February 2008 00:00

Body found in Macon in missing hiker case

Skeletal remains found in Macon County’s Nantahala National Forest Feb. 2 are those of an 80-year-old hiker who disappeared in October 2007, authorities say.
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer With a potential end to the North Shore Road saga looming, supporters of constructing the 30-mile road through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park are confronting their fear of what a wilderness designation would…
More than 150 people traveled from all over Western North Carolina to attend the first official Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at Bryson City’s Historic Calhoun House on Jan. 21.
Wednesday, 30 January 2008 00:00

Public weighs in on future of U.S. 441

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Progress on Jackson County’s corridor study for U.S. 441 is taking shape after three public meetings last week.
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer It’s been almost a year since Bonita Fox and her family have taken a sip of water from their well.
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Sylva’s search for a new town manager ended Jan. 17 after Town Manager Jay Denton asked the board for his job back.
Wednesday, 23 January 2008 00:00

The growing issue of elder abuse in WNC

The senior citizen population is growing in Western North Carolina, and with that increase comes the increasing potential for abuse, exploitation, or neglect of the elderly.
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Coal-fired power plants and renewable energies took center stage as topics at last Saturday’s lieutenant governor’s debate in Asheville.
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Macon County welcomed its new County Manger Jack Horton back to Western North Carolina earlier this month. Horton, 57, returned to Macon County to fill the county manager position after the retirement of former…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Emergency rooms crowded with mentally ill patients. Sheriff’s deputies spending 96 hours supervising one individual. A sick man or woman whose situation is growing more dire by the second. It all adds up to…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer In one room, a jagged crack runs from wall to wall, evidence of an unstable foundation. In another, the shifting earth has pushed one side of the floor higher than the other at a…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer When Denise Tyson realized she would have to trek to another county to take part in celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, she did just what the famous civil rights leader would have done…
Wednesday, 16 January 2008 00:00

Denton waits for green light on EDC job

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer After working two years as Sylva’s town manager, Jay Denton will be leaving his post Jan. 31 with the hopes of becoming the new executive director for Jackson County’s Economic Development Commission.
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Viewers across the state will have the opportunity to learn about Jackson County’s green energy production from their living room.
Wednesday, 16 January 2008 00:00

TDA chair says pot charge no problem

The chair of Haywood County’s Tourism Development Authority says a misdemeaor marijuana charge against the organization’s executive director will not affect her job status.
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Patricia Frisbee Meyer’s son needed help. The mental illness he had battled since childhood stayed mostly under control, but Meyer knew the onset of a bad episode when she saw it. Meyer, along with…
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Tom Dowell searches a large topographic map of Jackson County for his home located along Airy Lane. He is one of the many residents whose homes may be in jeopardy if the North Carolina…
The state recently gave Duke Energy the green light to tear down the Dillsboro dam, a move that Jackson County and the town of Franklin are now formally protesting.
Wednesday, 09 January 2008 00:00

Winter tourism up in WNC

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer As Shelli Milling of Georgia unpacked her minivan she watched her two sons play in the snow at Maggie Valley’s Jonathan Creek Inn parking lot.
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer The widening of Howell Mill Road in Waynesville will take years to complete, cost millions of dollars and displace residents who live along the thoroughfare. The two-lane road starts at Russ Avenue next to…
Jackson County commissioners are contemplating drastic measures in their fight against Duke Energy to stop the Dillsboro dam from being torn down.
Wednesday, 09 January 2008 00:00

An account of Haywood County

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer The crowning achievement of Haywood County’s bicentennial celebration is a 600-page, hardcover book that will be the first definitive account of the county’s 200-year history.
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer After investigating the actions of the Macon County School Board for the past two months, officials at the North Carolina State Board of Elections have determined that the school district violated two campaign finance…
Wednesday, 02 January 2008 00:00

Competing road studies likely for N.C. 107

The next year could play out as a battle of the traffic studies between the Department of Transportation and opponents to a new four-lane divided highway through Jackson County.
Wednesday, 02 January 2008 00:00

An engineer’s take on N.C. 107

Walter Kulash, a private traffic engineer, has been advising the Jackson County Smart Roads Alliance on and off for four years on issues pertaining to the Southern Loop. Kulash specializes in “livable traffic” design and has worked as a consultant…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Landfills in North Carolina should become a lot emptier due to a new law requiring nearly 8,000 restaurants to start recycling alcoholic beverage containers.
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer For more than 60 years, students have been learning at Cowee Elementary School. But with the rise in Macon County’s student population, county leaders are looking to build a new school to accommodate the…
When back-to-back tropical storms hit the mountains with heavy rains in 2004, the saturated soils triggered more than 140 landslides. Some were small, others big, but all pointed to how vulnerable some mountain slopes are to the forces of nature…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Frank Singleton, the spokesman for the 4,500-acre proposed Cataloochee Wilderness Resort in Haywood County, stopped by The Smoky Mountain News office to answer some questions about the planned development. Singleton said the ball is…
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer On June 1, 2007, A.J. Rowell left Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, and began pedaling a bicycle across North America. Just before 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday (Dec. 19), the Jackson County native pulled into Sylva, seven…
A Franklin-based mining company has filed an appeal against the North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources decision denying a permit to operate a rock quarry in the Tuckasegee community in Jackson County.
Wednesday, 26 December 2007 00:00

WCU trustees OK fee increases

Western Carolina University’s board of trustees unanimously approved proposed tuition and fees for the 2008-09 academic year, including increases to support operational costs for a new indoor recreation center currently under construction and to begin meeting student requests for enhanced…
Wednesday, 26 December 2007 00:00

Fed OKs $6 million for North Shore Road payment

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer After 64 years, it looks like the battle over the North Shore Road in Swain County may have finally reached a resolution.
Wednesday, 26 December 2007 00:00

2007: A year for development news

This year marked a turning point across Western North Carolina when it comes to political will and the development industry.
Wednesday, 26 December 2007 00:00

2007

It marked the end of an era for North Shore Road supporters and Blue Ridge Paper Products, and ushered a new wave of progressives into office. Counties tackled tough development questions, voters said no to taxes that would have funded…
Wednesday, 26 December 2007 00:00

TWASA waits for capacity expansion go-ahead

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Officials at Tuckaseigee Water and Sewer Authority are waiting for the go-ahead from the state to increase sewer treatment plant capacity, which could end the current moratorium on sewer hook-ups.
After a successful five-month run at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the “Emissaries of Peace: The 1762 Cherokee and British Delegations,” will return to the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and reopen on Jan. 3.
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer As captain of the Maggie Valley police department, Jason Moody normally keeps his emotions in check. Today, though, as he leads a tour around the police department’s new building, he’s beaming.
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer As mayor of Canton, Pat Smathers has overcome his fair share of obstacles — most notably the floods that devastated this Haywood County community in 2004. Now, Smathers is gearing up to face perhaps…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer This Christmas season, Laura Ammons has scoured for presents for her loved ones, checking off her list as she scoops up the perfect item. Rather than encountering a mad frenzy of crowds, however, Ammons…
Jackson County commissioners are weighing whether to continue a four-year fight against Duke Energy or cut their losses and bow out.
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Nearly 200 people packed a Swain County public hearing on Dec. 10 to voice their opposition to the county’s first-ever development regulations — a subdivision ordinance dictating road widths and grades.
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Tommy Calhoun of Whittier stares at a web page on his white Mac notebook’s screen. He is checking his email at Bubacz’s Underground, a coffee shop in downtown Sylva. Connecting to the Underground’s wireless…
An ornately decorated tree in the foyer of the Women’s Care Center at Haywood Regional Medical Center will help families who have lost children at, or shortly after, birth because of birth defects.
Wednesday, 19 December 2007 00:00

Macon seeks solution to animal woes

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Dealing with stray dogs and cats has been a problem for Macon County officials for some time now, Sheriff Robbie Holland said.
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Developers in Swain County eyeing a quick, easy connection to Bryson City’s sewer system for their newly built properties are out of luck — at least for now. Bryson’s town board is currently denying…
Duke Energy has received clearance from the state to tear down the Dillsboro dam but will be forced to dredge a backlog of sediment from behind the dam first.
Wednesday, 12 December 2007 00:00

Getting close to the food you eat

By Adam Bigelow • Guest Columnist The morning chill had lifted, mist had risen into the air, and as I walked towards the waiting group I had no idea what to expect from this day. We were all here for…
Wednesday, 12 December 2007 00:00

WCU forges ongoing relationship with Canton

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer With a new town board, a new town manager, and a growing influx of young Asheville commuters looking for affordable housing, the town of Canton is setting itself up for some major changes —…
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer In the 10 years since the opening of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in November 1997, a remarkable transformation has occurred among the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The casino has brought a surge of unprecedented…
Wednesday, 12 December 2007 00:00

Macon County explores TDA options

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Macon County business leaders are devising a plan to ensure that the county’s lodging tax will promote tourism and travel throughout the county.
Wednesday, 12 December 2007 00:00

Taylor makes it official: He’s not running

After months of keeping his fellow Western North Carolina Republicans guessing, former U.S. Rep. Charles Taylor (R-NC) has decided not to run for the seat he lost to Democratic rookie Heath Shuler in the 2006 elections. Taylor made the announcement…
Wednesday, 12 December 2007 00:00

Canary Coalition aims for the airwaves

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer A Sylva-based environmental organization may be sending its message out over the airwaves. For 60 days the Federal Communications Commission opened a window to allow organizations across the county to submit an application for…
A foundation started by a deceased Cherokee County native has provided a large boost to Sylva’s Bridge Park Project.
Wednesday, 05 December 2007 00:00

Jackson may put an end to Wal-Mart dog mart

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Jackson County residents will have the opportunity to voice their concerns about the county’s revisions to its animal control ordinance at a public hearing on Dec. 17.
Wednesday, 05 December 2007 00:00

Vandals strike Macon greenway

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Vandals have been wreaking havoc at Macon County Recreation Park and the Little Tennessee River Greenway by burning picnic tables, destroying park benches, and breaking into concession stands, according to county recreation leaders.
Wednesday, 05 December 2007 00:00

Haywood County Arts Council celebrates 30

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer When Paula McElroy is asked about the art scene in Haywood County when she moved here in 1966, she chuckles.
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer At speeds faster than 50 mph, drivers zoom down U.S. 441 into Cherokee’s business district, passing mostly billboards, a couple of gas stations and a few small businesses. The two-mile stretch of roadway is…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer When Wilbur Davis looked out his storefront in downtown Canton recently and saw three young moms pushing babies in strollers, he paused to watch. It’s not that women with babies are a particularly unusual…
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 19:06

Second election primary results

Mark Meadows won the second primary on July 17 by a sweeping majority. The conservative Republican candidate for U.S. Congress garnered 76.3 percent of the vote Tuesday.
A Tuscola football player charged with a felony cross burning targeting a biracial classmate will remain on the team, at least for now. Ben Greene, a rising junior and running back on the varsity football team, will have to sit…
Four teenagers in Haywood County were recently charged with burning a cross in the yard of a biracial classmate. The act is considered a hate crime, a severe form of intimidation that is classified as a felony. All four students…
The popular Folkmoot international festival will become a shadow of its current self in 2014 if its financial outlook doesn’t take a quick turn for the better.
A burley crowd wearing their long lineage of Appalachian ancestry proudly on their sleeves stared down Jackson County commissioners this week, decrying the idea of an ordinance that would muzzle their hunting dogs.
Haywood Community College has named five finalists for president of the college, and candidate interviews will begin July 23. A 17-member search committee consisting of people from the community selected the finalists, which include Douglas W. Allen, Barbara Beebe, John…
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 12:39

Open house at farm for those with autism

There will be an open house at Full Spectrum Farms, a Jackson County-based farm serving people with autism, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 19. Full Spectrum Farms features a renovated farmhouse, barn, chicken house and garden. It is located…
A debate over whether the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office racially profiled Latinos and used a traffic checkpoint as an excuse to ensnare illegal immigrants is not over yet.
A pending sale of 19 miles of fiber lines capable of delivering high-speed internet in the greater Sylva area could once again give internet customers there a third option. If the sale goes through, Jackson County and the town of…
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 12:33

Get involved in the food conversation

The Public Policy Institute at Western Carolina University will host a meeting to determine community needs and support for a Far West North Carolina Local Food Policy Council at 7 p.m. July 30 in the Cardinal Room of the Western…
By Peggy Manning • Correspondent Tim Hall relishes in the history and folklore of the mountains but also knows when a little embellishing is in order — especially when it comes to ghost stories.
Hundreds of people stood in line, some for more than an hour, outside Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel last Wednesday waiting to enter and try their luck — at getting a job.
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 12:27

WRGC 540 AM back on the air and lovin’ it

Jackson County commissioners may have taken a leap of faith to help WRGC radio get back on the air, but it seems to be paying off so far. Not only has station owner Roy Burnette restored a local AM presence…
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 12:26

Fundraiser to benefit abuse shelter

R.E.A.C.H. of Macon County will host a fundraiser starting at 6 p.m. July 29 at the home of prominent Highlands and Houston interior designer Tony Raffa and his partner Scott Allbee. R.E.A.C.H. provides counseling, shelter, and life-skills training for victims…
Wednesday, 28 November 2007 00:00

Sarge’s scraps plans for Hall Top shelter

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Sarge’s Animal Rescue has scrapped its plans to build a no-kill animal shelter in a location that was fiercely opposed by nearby residents. The Haywood County non-profit originally won approval to build the shelter…
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Macon County commissioners spoke in favor of committing nearly $40 million to fund school construction at their meeting Nov. 26 but stopped short of taking any formal vote on the projects.
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Imagine having the flu and sitting in a folding chair in a crowded waiting room for five hours just to see a doctor. For those with no health insurance this is probably the best…
Wednesday, 28 November 2007 00:00

Bear Care

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Kathy Sherrard and Anne Allison have dedicated their lives to educating the public about black bears.
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Looking to start your own business? You should do well in Western North Carolina. Seeking a job in traditional manufacturing? Good luck, experts say — it won’t be easy to find.
Wednesday, 28 November 2007 00:00

Burrell, Setzer plug plan for Southern Loop

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Members of Jackson County Smart Roads Alliance are sifting through paperwork at the North Carolina Department of Transportation Division 14 office in Webster to find out how the Southern Loop road project suddenly appeared…
Wednesday, 21 November 2007 00:00

Allen ends bid for re-election

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Sylva town board member Danny Allen conceded his race against fellow board member Ray Lewis on Monday, settling the tie between the two candidates following the Nov. 6 election.
Wednesday, 21 November 2007 00:00

Horton returns to WNC as Macon county manager

By Jennifer Garlesky & Becky Johnson • Staff Writers An influential yet controversial figure in public policy is reclaiming a leadership post in the mountains three years after his forced departure as Haywood County’s manager.
Wednesday, 21 November 2007 00:00

Cherokee asks for input into corridor planning

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer As Jackson County officials work to develop a plan to regulate commercial growth along U.S. 441, officials from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians say a partnership needs to be formed to ensure that…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer It’s been more than a week since Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue raised some eyebrows with his atypical approach to getting rain to fall in the drought-ravaged state. With no rainfall in site and the…
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Voters in Macon County rejected a $42.1 million bond that would have provided new funding to build new schools, leaving county officials no choice but to seek out alternative funding.
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer If all goes as planned, Haywood County will one day be home to a 4,500-acre mega-resort that could drastically change the face of tourism in Western North Carolina — and what it means to…
Wednesday, 14 November 2007 00:00

New mayor embraces new face of Bryson City

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer The election of Brad Walker, Bryson City’s new mayor, is more than just a changing of the guard — it’s representative of how the tiny Swain County town has transformed in recent years from…
Wednesday, 14 November 2007 00:00

Courthouse on track for bicentennial festivities

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer The renovation of Haywood County’s historic courthouse is halfway complete, and things continue to move along smoothly — for the most part.
Wednesday, 14 November 2007 00:00

Haywood TDA shakeup underway

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Legislation passed in the most recent session of the General Assembly calls for the restructuring of the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority Board.
Wednesday, 14 November 2007 00:00

Highlands prepares for mixed drinks, beer

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Restaurant patrons in Highlands will soon be able to sip on rum and coke while eating a steak or order a pitcher of beer while eating pizza now that citizens voted “yes” to an…
Wednesday, 14 November 2007 00:00

Tuckasegee quarry permit denied

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Tuckasegee community members are at ease now that the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources denied a quarry permit to Carolina Boulder and Stone.
Wednesday, 07 November 2007 00:00

Franklin takes steps to fix sewage woes

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Franklin town leaders are in the process of fixing some of the sewage spills throughout town, Franklin Town Manager Mike Decker said.
Voters in Swain and Macon counties soundly defeated land-transfer tax ballot initiatives Tuesday, dashing hopes that the newly approved measures would provide a new revenue source.