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Wednesday, 16 May 2007 00:00

Haywood TDA helps Parkway views

Drivers on the Blue Ridge Parkway will be able to catch a few more views from overlooks through the Haywood County stretch of the popular scenic drive.
Wednesday, 16 May 2007 00:00

State, local well regulators on the way

No one knows how many wells are planted in the mountainsides of Western North Carolina.
As county planner in Macon County, Stacey Guffey knows a little bit about controversy and soliciting public opinion.
As public comments rolled in to the Jackson County planning office on a proposed steep slope ordinance, one provision that seemed to cause the most ire was already a moot point.
Proposed development regulations in Jackson County were made later this week after dozens of written public comments flooded the planning office expressing concerns.
A disagreement between Haywood County commissioners over an intergenerational Head Start and senior day care facility has come to an end.
Wednesday, 16 May 2007 00:00

The big drawdown

JD McCurry has seen his share of horror stories in his 20 plus years as a well driller. Take the homeowner in Highlands who struck out finding water after building a $1 million house on the property.
Wednesday, 16 May 2007 00:00

Cherokee contemplates Wal-Mart’s impact

Some residents on the Cherokee Indian Reservation are calling for a referendum vote on whether Wal-Mart Stores should be allowed to build there.
Wednesday, 09 May 2007 00:00

No resolution yet on Head Start property

Mountain Projects director Patsy Dowling hit another wall this week in her attempt to lease land from the county for an intergenerational Head Start and senior day care center.
An article that appeared in The Smoky Mountain News opinion section two weeks ago based on an anonymous interview with several nurses from the Haywood Regional Medical Center Emergency department prompted a rebuttal from hospital employees last week.
Members of a heritage task force in Macon County want town and county leaders to form a commission with regulatory powers to protect historical districts and landmarks.
• The ordinance only applies to development on slopes greater than 30 percent. • Developers must file a hydrology report, geotechnical analysis and a tree survey and reforestation plan. They must also provide an assessment describing the impact of the…
The Jackson County planning board is accepting written public comment through May 14 on the latest version of a draft steep slope ordinance.
All three Haywood Regional Medical Center board members were reappointed this week for another three years by the Haywood County commissioners.
Not that many years ago, anglers and boaters wanting to gain access to the Tuckasegee River in Swain County essentially had to bushwhack their way to the water.
Custom jewelry business Studio 33 and its owner Diannah Beauregard won the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce Business Start-up Competition and a $10,000 prize last week.
Wednesday, 09 May 2007 00:00

Road standards would help rescue vehicles

When a roaring forest fire whipped through a mountainside development in Swain County two months ago — burning nine homes to the ground — the narrow, steep road leading to the community stymied efforts of firefighters.
Ronald A. Johnson, who holds the JP Morgan Chase Chair in Finance in the Jesse H. Jones School of Business at Texas Southern University, is the next dean of the College of Business at Western Carolina University.
The Haywood County Tourism Development Authority gave out twice as much money in grants for festivals this year, quelling some of the controversy that erupted last year following cuts to festival funding.
Wednesday, 02 May 2007 00:00

Downtown Sylva gets free wireless access

When Rhonda Williams fired up her laptop in the Sylva library a couple of weeks ago, she was pleasantly surprised to pick up a wireless Internet signal.
Local governments balking at controlling development on steep mountainsides would be forced into action if the General Assembly passes a state bill introduced earlier this month.
The board of the Haywood Regional Medical Center heard a glowing report last week on how the hospital’s emergency department is going following an abrupt transition four months ago.
A coffee shop. That’s one of the more unique but interesting ideas that emerged during a series of public input sessions last week for a new Jackson County library.
Wednesday, 02 May 2007 00:00

Affordable housing on the plateau

Each weekend, Carol Austin figures out what meals her family is going to eat during the upcoming workweek. She shops for groceries and fills her vehicle’s gasoline tank before Monday morning.
A conflict between river outfittters and a developer in the Nantahala Gorge has resurfaced, this time over a footbridge the developer hopes to build over part of the river to a private island.
Wednesday, 25 April 2007 00:00

Tribe helps preserve Cowee Mound in Macon

As a child growing up in Oklahoma, Tom Belt often heard that there were reasons a group of Cherokee had remained in the East when others were forcibly marched west.
After a two-year lull, debate over a controversial expressway through Jackson County known as the Southern Loop could soon re-emerge.
Wednesday, 25 April 2007 00:00

Shuler touts Heritage Area funding

Representative Heath Shuler announced Monday that the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area has been allocated a federal appropriation of $748,955 for 2007. BRNHA’s appropriation was the third largest amount allocated to any of the 24 National Heritage areas that received…
Wednesday, 25 April 2007 00:00

Nurses need more support, applicants say

One of the top issues that emerged during county commissioner interviews of hospital board applicants last week was the need for better-trained, better-paid and additional nurses at Haywood Regional Medical Center.
When it comes right down to it, the good will of private landowners is often what stands between saving Indian mounds and losing these pieces of ancient history.
The rift between Haywood Regional Medical Center administration and the medical community needs to be repaired, and public confidence in the hospital restored, Haywood County commissioners said last week.
Wednesday, 25 April 2007 00:00

Access management

Access management deploys numerous design techniques to reduce congestion on clogged roads, five-lane drags being the primary candidate.
Brace yourself, West Waynesville: a new Super Wal-Mart and Home Depot complex due to open next summer will bring an extra 21,000 vehicles on to the surrounding roads on a typical Saturday, according to a recent traffic study conducted for…
Southwestern Community College officials anticipate holding classes this fall at a new satellite campus in Macon County, more than a half-year later than originally planned.
Wednesday, 18 April 2007 00:00

What should a new library look like?

The Sylva library is favorite destination for Kim Mathis and her four children. There’s just one problem. “The library has been this same size since I was a child,” said Mathis, 39. “I just want it to be larger and…
Haywood County commissioners continue to disagree on what kind of deal to give Mountain Projects on a tract of county land to house an intergenerational Head Start program and senior day care.
Wednesday, 18 April 2007 00:00

What the new road will look like

About $1.5 million in roadwork is planned to accommodate the increased traffic on South Main Street and Hyatt Creek Roads from the Super Wal-Mart and Home Depot development. There will be two entrances to the development: one off Hyatt Creek…
Wednesday, 18 April 2007 00:00

Crowded field seek seats in Cherokee

Seven people have plunked down the necessary $500 filing fee required to campaign for principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Wednesday, 11 April 2007 00:00

Legality of Job Corps votes questioned

When Mike Clampitt was making get out the vote calls during his campaign for Swain County commissioner last fall, he noticed an interesting pattern on the voter registration lists.
Wednesday, 11 April 2007 00:00

Reasons for closing Jobs Corps still unclear

Three weeks after federal officials rolled into town and abruptly shut down the Oconaluftee Jobs Corps Center in Swain County, the reasons for the closure are still being debated.
Developers in Jackson County could be asked to designate 25 percent of new developments as conserved open space under a provision the Jackson County planning board is weighing.
Wednesday, 11 April 2007 00:00

Ghost Town has a deluge of job applicants

When Ghost Town in the Sky recently held auditions to fill its entertainment needs, about 40 potential cowboys competed for 10 available slots.
When Greg Kidd saw his odometer hit 250,000 miles last spring, he knew he would reluctantly be catapulted into the market for a new car sooner rather than later.
Wednesday, 11 April 2007 00:00

Still on the table

Jackson County planning board meetings likely will get even more interesting as members move on to the nuts and bolts of a slope ordinance this month.
When the well heeled are in need of a pampered retreat in Western North Carolina, they often look toward the Old Edwards Inn and Spa in Highlands.
For decades, soil experts like Duane Vanhook have been showing farmers how a crop of winter wheat can recharge soil nutrients or how to shore up a stream bank decimated by cattle hooves.
Wednesday, 11 April 2007 00:00

New market ignites biofuel expansion

Less than six months after cranking out their first batch of biodiesel, Alan Begley and Sam Gray have sealed the largest deal ever for a biodiesel producer in the state of North Carolina.
By John Armor Who are these people? Katie Couric used to be on the Today Show, then she fell off the map. You’ve never heard of Becky Johnson? Allow me to help.
Wednesday, 04 April 2007 00:00

Swain tourism board faces changes

Swain County commissioners are moving forward with a plan to reshape the county’s tourism board despite some opposition.
By Michael Beadle When Waynesville Town Manager Lee Galloway meets fellow town managers from across the state, he inevitably hears his counterparts say, “Your town looks great. What’s your secret?”Without a beat, Galloway replies, “Let me give you a phone…
Wednesday, 04 April 2007 00:00

River island project raises concerns

The possibility that a 40-acre island in the Little Tennessee River might be developed has sparked outrage among conservationists and calls for preservation from those living nearby.
The town of Sylva is embarking on a smart growth plan that could reshape some of the town’s more unsightly commercial corridors in coming decades.
Wednesday, 04 April 2007 00:00

New director wants to grow Swain chamber

Lucretia Stargell, the new director of the Swain County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, said her goals include building membership and finding additional ways to market the area to prospective visitors.
Cherokee Preservation Foundation has awarded 29 grants totaling $3.6 million during its spring cycle.
Wednesday, 04 April 2007 00:00

A how-to crash course in smart growth

Ginny Faust, a professional planning consultant, posed a tough question to members of the Sylva Town Board and planning board last week.
A military expedition against Cherokee villages at the onset of the Revolutionary War has been documented with the publication of a full-color informational brochure.
Jo Glover joined the Waynesville Recreation Center after moving to Haywood County from Alabama in December. She likes the recreation center’s atmosphere — no music blaring, windows around the indoor track, a fitness class in the morning that fits into…
Sinquarious Graham, a 16-year-old Job Corps student from Alabama, was pulling on his coat to go to breakfast at 6:30 a.m. last Thursday when his roommate came in and told him class was canceled, he could go back to bed.
Wednesday, 28 March 2007 00:00

New Zealand group eyes Blue Ridge Paper

Blue Ridge Paper Products might have found a buyer — a New Zealand-based paper company called The Rank Group that has recently moved into the United States paper market.
Many in the community will be watching closely in April when the Haywood County Board of Commissioners appoint three members to the board of Haywood Regional Medical Center.
Wednesday, 28 March 2007 00:00

Federal agencies long ignored needed repairs

The federal government has long been aware of run down buildings at the Oconaluftee Job Corps Center but failed to provide the center with funds to fix the problems, according to multiple reports, inspections and annual assessments conducted by the…
Local leaders and employees of the Oconaluftee Job Corp Center are questioning the motives behind a sudden shutdown of the site by the federal government last week.
Wednesday, 28 March 2007 00:00

Life in the blogosphere

Go to scoopscott.squarespace.com on the Internet and you enter the world of Macon County resident Bob Scott.
Wednesday, 21 March 2007 00:00

Cashiers librarian takes Sylva post

A new director has been hired for the Jackson County library system — Dottie Brunette, currently the head librarian at the Albert-Carlton Cashiers Community Library, will be promoted to the post.
The moratorium on new subdivisions in Jackson County might be over before the five-month time period originally estimated if the planning board charged with drafting development regulations keeps up its current pace.
The Swain County Board of Commissioners has formally asked the district attorney to investigate spending practices by former sheriff Bob Ogle.
Wednesday, 21 March 2007 00:00

Massie: Library site still to be decided

The best location for a new library in Jackson County appears to be up for discussion once more — with the idea of renovating and adding on to the vacant historic courthouse downtown back on the table.
Haywood County’s new solid waste director intends for the county to dump the dubious distinction of being the only one in Western North Carolina not recycling glass. Stephen King, who came to Haywood County in February after holding previous solid…
Franklin’s elected leaders will review how much it would cost to replace the siding on a town-owned building in downtown before deciding whether to relocate administration offices there.
What would you like to see in your new library?
When County Commissioner Will Shelton gave up time on his farm and with his four young children to run for political office in Jackson County last year, he made a pledge to voters to address the uncontrolled growth sweeping the…
Tourism leaders in Swain County want county commissioners to withdraw state legislation requesting a 1 percent increase in the room tax to allow time for study.
Jackson County planner Linda Cable has more than 60 applications on her desk from developers who hope the moratorium won’t apply to them.
A proposed 1-cent increase in Haywood County’s tax on overnight lodging and a completely new make-up of its tourism board will likely be approved during this session of the General Assembly.
Wednesday, 14 March 2007 00:00

Ghost Town begins selling tickets on-line

Ghost Town amusement park in Maggie Valley — slated to re-open on May 25 after five years — began selling tickets for the summer season on-line this week.
Wednesday, 14 March 2007 00:00

Countdown to killer bees

With the Africanized honeybee now established in Florida, experts say it is only a matter of time before the so-called “killer bee” is introduced into this state.
Wednesday, 14 March 2007 00:00

Compromise eases moratorium’s chill

Jackson County commissioners approved a five-month moratorium on new subdivisions in a 4 to 1 vote last week, but not without tacking on a compromise measure that will give developers caught in the lurch a way out.
Wednesday, 14 March 2007 00:00

What commissioners said

Chairman Brian McMahan, lone “no” vote “I’ve thought long and hard about this process. I thought about what will the moratorium accomplish? What would the consequences potentially be? It’s not really going to stop anything. There will be more houses…
Hugh Gibby knows a little something about honeybees. He’s kept them for 63 of his 78 years, following in the footsteps of his parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.
Wednesday, 14 March 2007 00:00

So you want to be a beekeeper?

If you want to keep bees, the best thing you can do is join a local beekeeping club. Here you’ll find expert advice and support, and perhaps a personal mentor to explain the intricacies of beekeeping.
Wednesday, 07 March 2007 00:00

Improving the science of development

When Bob Brannon saw a newspaper announcement last spring seeking developers to participate in a pilot mapping project, he already had most of the planning for his development, Mountain Watch, in place.
It’s no small task moving a library.
The debate over a proposed moratorium on new subdivisions in Jackson County is divided into two main camps: those who claim an economic downturn will result and those who feel protecting the mountains from unsavory development is critical to the…
Wednesday, 07 March 2007 00:00

Fontana library system has deep roots

The six libraries in Macon, Jackson and Swain counties are part of the Fontana Regional Library system, headquartered at Marianna Black Library in Bryson City. The system has deep roots in the region, dating its beginnings to 1944 when the…
Wednesday, 07 March 2007 00:00

Crowded, contentious hearing remains civil

More than 1,300 people crowded into the public hearing last week over a proposed moratorium on new subdivisions in Jackson County.
A push to move the Swain County Chamber of Commerce into a vacant bank building is meeting resistance from some lodging owners because of a proposed room tax increase.
Wednesday, 28 February 2007 00:00

WCU launches ambitious $40 million campaign

Western Carolina University Chancellor John W. Bardo has officially launched the first comprehensive fundraising campaign in the university’s 118-year history, a drive to raise at least $40 million in private support to help meet a renewed emphasis on academic quality.
Wednesday, 28 February 2007 00:00

Downtown Waynesville wi-fi to go live by April

Since Suzanne Gernandt opened Textures in downtown Waynesville three years ago, she’s noticed one question in particular has been on the rise among her customers: where can I find wireless Internet?
With Wal-Mart’s future in Franklin in limbo, business owners near the existing big-box store continue to worry they’ll lose the economic engine that drives their bottom lines.
Wednesday, 28 February 2007 00:00

Project will track growing number of lots

As Western North Carolina wrestles with growth issues, a project is under way to track where and how large mountain tracts are being carved up into smaller lots.
Wednesday, 28 February 2007 00:00

Emotions build in run-up to moratorium hearing

Frenzy surrounding a proposed moratorium on new subdivisions in Jackson County reached a fever pitch in the run-up to a public hearing on the issue Tuesday night.
Wednesday, 28 February 2007 00:00

Easley urges legislature to fix Medicaid woes

For years, county leaders have been lobbying law makers in Raleigh to stop packing off a portion of Medicaid costs on counties. They hope this year might finally be the year.
Wednesday, 28 February 2007 00:00

River group considers car removal from Tuck

A fledgling effort now under way could lead to the cleanup of junked cars lining the banks of the Tuckasegee River.
Wednesday, 28 February 2007 00:00

Wi-Fi part of regional wireless initiative

A new 8.5-mile fiber optic cable linking government buildings in Waynesville has recently been installed.
After two false starts, Ghost Town in the Sky theme park in Maggie Valley remains closed this week.
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 13:15

Site chosen for Cashiers liquor store

A new Jackson County liquor store will soon be under construction in Cashiers, with plans to open for business by early next year.
Jackson County commissioners were implored by library advocates this week to give the Sylva and Cashiers libraries a sizeable bump in their budget. 
The North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching in Jackson County had its funding slashed in half in 2011, and this year, Raleigh may finish the job.
Lackluster at best and run-down at worst, it’s no question the has-been commercial district on Western Carolina University’s doorstep needs a life line.