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For law enforcement, video gambling is like a bad case of poison ivy that keeps cropping back up all over the place, and now, it’s going after them.
A church is looking to bring a little more religion to downtown Sylva, but some local business owners, as well as elected officials, are skeptical of the move.
Four years after Swain County leaders trashed a skewed property reassessment, the county has completed a new revaluation.
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 00:00

Sylva dips into reserves to avoid tax hike

Sylva town leaders have chosen not to raise taxes next year and instead delay town expenditures, save money where they can and dip into reserve funds to shore up the budget.
Jackson County commissioners will discuss two sets of proposed planning regulations at an upcoming workshop at 2 p.m. on June 17 in the county’s Justice and Administration Building. One of the items being considered is a new ordinance that was…
Repairs to the dam at Balsam Lake in the Nantahala National Forest have been delayed because of high creek levels, leaving the popular lake drained as the Western North Carolina tourist season gets under way.
The effort to introduce zoning laws in Cullowhee is being taken up by Jackson County Commissioners at an upcoming workshop at 2 p.m. June 17 at the county’s Administration and Justice Building near Sylva.
Wednesday, 12 June 2013 00:00

From the backyard to your table

The “Buy Haywood” initiative is a work-in-progress example of how local businesses benefit by connecting with each other.
Haywood County just got a little sweeter. Specializing in “handcrafted, locally produced, artisan beverages,” Waynesville Soda Jerks is a new business that has opened at the Waynesville Historic Farmer’s Market. At the center of it all are founders Megan Brown…
For more than a month, 25-year-old Slyenia Rhein and her three children lived in a single hotel room with her mother, her father, her sister, a dog and a cat.
Foot traffic undeniably brings dollars to Waynesville’s downtown businesses. But what the passerby also brings is trash.
Mitigating the deadly and damaging effects of mountain landslides might be as simple as understanding them.
Wednesday, 29 November 2006 00:00

Recreation could be big winner in TDA shuffle

The tax on overnight lodging in Haywood County could be increased next year pending approval by the state legislature.
Wednesday, 29 November 2006 00:00

Plug may be pulled on WLOS Dec. 1

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer The deadline for Mediacom and Sinclair Broadcast Group to reach an agreement that will allow the cable provider to continue carrying Sinclair stations — including local ABC affiliate WLOS Channel 13 — is up…
Wednesday, 29 November 2006 00:00

A long paper trail

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Jackson Paper Engineer Chas Mathis strides confidently through the company’s used cardboard warehouse, up a steep metal grate, and up to the pulper. The machine churns like a giant blender as loads of cardboard…
Wednesday, 29 November 2006 00:00

Motive questioned in budget cut

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer A 3 to 1 vote by the Swain County Board of Commissioners last week will effectively reduce the salary of the newly elected sheriff.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer A lawsuit over deed restrictions that could prevent a controversial high-rise condominium near Highlands from being built is past due for mediation.
An uncharacteristically large crowd packed the Swain County commissioners meeting last week (Nov. 21) to oppose a move that will effectively lower the salary of the newly elected sheriff.
Wednesday, 29 November 2006 00:00

Behind the lens: Turlington finds art in industry

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Images from Sylva-based photographer Matthew Turlington’s 1998 work “A Photographic Depiction of Jackson Paper Company” stand out on the company’s corporate office walls, lining the hallway with their stark black and white freeze frames…
Swain County commissioners last week tentatively agreed to increase the property tax rate by 3 cents to cover a budget deficit — the first property tax increase Swain has seen in more than two decades.
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 13:29

Highlands soccer complex gets a green light

Macon County has it sights set on building a new soccer field in Highlands, one of the few mountain communities where the sport is king of the fall season, not football.
Illegal drug abuse and its repercussions are costing Haywood County taxpayers. An increase in drug use has led to more drug-related arrests. That means more inmates in the county jail, which it turn takes more jailers.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians could make the inmates housed in its future jail pay — literally.
Delvin Adams stood at the top a ladder leaning against the underbelly of a bridge near Harmon Den in Haywood County, banging the rustiest looking metal beam with a hammer.
Building owners in Waynesville’s historic districts may have to jump through extra hoops before undertaking renovations or alterations to their property in an effort to retain the town’s historic character. 
Judge not lest ye be judged. The Waynesville Planning Board is delving into the town’s sign ordinance to create more uniform, yet more permissive signs in its three downtown shopping districts — greater Main Street, Frog Level and Hazelwood — something…
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 13:17

Painting the town orange

A slap-happy spray paint job by a utility contractor has tarnished the quaint brick sidewalks in downtown Waynesville with obtrusive and excessively large orange stripes.
Charged with stealing, 15-year-old Charles Eason was sentenced to work on a prison chain gang. It was 1882, and the teenager from Martin County soon found himself side-by-side with other convicts, many two and three times his age. Mostly from…
There’s been a noticeable decline in the number of ducks and geese at Lake Junaluska since a feeding ban went into effect last fall.
Cullowhee community activists have finally made headway in a push to create a community land-use plan to regulate growth and development in the area.
Wednesday, 19 June 2013 12:50

WCU retirees organize to renew old bonds

While many professors and staff members enjoyed their careers teaching, assisting students and helping to keep the ever-growing Western Carolina University operating on a daily basis, retired life inevitability beckons. But a movement afoot hopes to maintain a stronger connection…
Angel Medical Center in Franklin officially came under the umbrella of Mission Hospital System this week, a move Angel leaders say will help improve health care for patients and the hospital’s bottom line.
It was Groundhog Day again for the Maggie Valley Police Department. Last year, Police Chief Scott Sutton defended his department and officers against claims that the force is too large and its budget should be slashed. This year was no…
Haywood Community College is negotiating with the architects and contractor who worked on the college’s new Creative Arts building to figure out who owes what.
Construction on an 8,000-square-foot Waynesville skate park is visibly progressing.
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 12:57

Rare mountain tornado damages GSMNP

The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado formed during an afternoon of thunderstorms and high winds that ripped through Western North Carolina two weeks ago.
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 12:56

Job incentive deal brewing in Haywood

Haywood County could be landing new jobs in the near future — but what type of jobs, how many and when they would be coming are a secret for now.
Children of all ages are invited to participate in this year’s 22nd annual “Stars & Stripes Celebration” at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 4, on Main Street in Waynesville. Participants can decorate their bicycles, tricycles, scooters, strollers and wagons. Patriotic dress…
The second session of “Good Neighbors, Good Stewards: Community and Environmental Change in Macon County” will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 29, at the Rickman Store on 259 Cowee Creek Road, seven miles north of Franklin. The goal…
Leaders of the Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce are pushing for more funding from the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority in the upcoming budget year.
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 12:53

New Waynesville ABC store to open

Come September, a brand new $1.3 million South Main Street liquor store will open in Waynesville.
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 12:51

Town leadership seats up for grabs

Towns across the mountains will hold elections for their mayors and town board leaders this fall. The mandatory sign-up period for anyone wanting to run is from noon July 1 to noon July 19. 
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 12:50

Franklin mayor set to retire

Franklin will soon be saying goodbye to its sitting mayor and longtime town politician Joe Collins. The Franklin native has announced he will not seek re-election in the approaching race, bringing to a close a 10-year stint as mayor and…
Sylva Mayor Maurice Moody has announced he will retire from town government and not seek reelection in the upcoming election. His departure, after 16 years on the Town Board of Commissioners, will leave a void of experience in local government…
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 12:45

Help wanted: A better road map for WNC

An ambitious yearlong exercise to create a collective economic vision for the mountains will decide whether a long-awaited $800 million highway through the rugged and remote far western end of the state is ever built.  Carrying a consulting fee of…
Wednesday, 26 June 2013 12:44

Multi-agency busts net 60 arrests

Law enforcement agencies in Western North Carolina are cracking down on drug use in the region.
When moral Monday protestors gathered this week in front of the legislature in Raleigh to decrying the policies of conservative lawmakers, among them were a contingent of demonstrators from Western North Carolina.
More than 150 protestors marched in downtown Waynesville Monday to oppose what they characterize as egregious policies by Republican state lawmakers that will take North Carolina back to the Dark Ages.
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 01:37

Southern Loop on hold

A decade-long tug-of-war over what to do about Sylva’s congested commercial strip of N.C. 107 took an unexpected turn last week.
It’s not quite the Jetsons’ flying car, but Jackson County is moving toward its own fleet of new-age vehicles powered by the emerging alternative fuel propane.
Recycling receptacles are coming to downtown Sylva soon, at last giving shoppers and strollers a green option for pitching their bottles, cans, cups and last week’s copy of The Smoky Mountain News.
Lodging tax revenue was up during the past year in Haywood County, and could see another boost in the new fiscal year after the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority decided to get tough on delinquent taxpayers.
The Haywood County Tourism Development Authority has unveiled several new strategies and initiatives this year in an effort to become the go-to organization for filmmakers and everyday visitors alike.
Despite rallying around calls for more school resource officers earlier this year, Swain County commissioners will not chip in after all to pay for the new positions as originally promised — leaving the schools to pick up the full tab…
The Waynesville Board of Aldermen rubberstamped a $31.8 million budget Monday, but it may just have to turn right around and approve a new one.
A compromise has been floated in Raleigh that could break the political impasse over the proposed merger of Lake Junaluska with the town of Waynesville.
The merger of Lake Junaluska with the town of Waynesville has yet to get the blessing of state legislators in Raleigh, and time is now running out.
The debate over the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority budget was bumped up another notch last week when dozens of business owners and members of the Cashiers community flooded a budget meeting demanding more money for the Cashiers visitor center.
Western Carolina University’s off-campus Cat-Tran may soon go the way of the horse and buggy.
Adam Cartwright walked a thin line on the way back to his home in Cullowhee. He hugged the side of Ledbetter Road, feet on the white paint, and frequently stepping off the pavement onto the scrubby grass if he heard…
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 01:13

Financial woes catch up with Tandi Haas

Amy Clifton Keely wasn’t asking for much. Being a wedding photographer, she knew how wedding days worked, and what pitfalls to look out for. She didn’t expect the perfect wedding, or dream of making the cover of Southern Living’s bridal…
Cook and television personality Paula Deen has gotten into hot butter in recent weeks over allegations of racism, prompting Caesar’s Entertainment to shut the Paula Deen’s Kitchen at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort.
One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. “Ever since I was kid, I would take home all kinds of stuff, all kinds of random, weird junk, and my parents hated it,” David Culpepper chuckled. “They thought I was crazy, but…
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 13:24

Help shape pedestrian-friendly street plan

A citizen drop-in meeting to discuss the progress of Waynesville’s North Main Street Complete Streets Study will be held from 4-6 p.m. on July 16 in the second floor boardroom at Town Hall. The town is developing a plan to…
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 13:23

All clear declared in Richland Creek search

An all-night search Monday along Richland Creek in Waynesville for a possible missing child turned out to be a false alarm. Waynesville Police got a call around 7:30 p.m. Monday from someone who thought they heard a children’s screams coming…
Towns across the mountains will hold elections for their mayors and town board leaders this fall. The sign up period for candidates began last week. Below is a list of who has signed up to run for office as of…
Lake Junaluska resident Hattie Polk finally inched her way to the front of the line and released her clutch on what she believed to be an English monastery lantern dating to the reign of King Henry VIII, circa late 1800s…
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 13:19

Southern Appalachia goes squatchin’

Bigfoot is alive and well in Haywood County, at least through the pages of Eric S. Brown. 
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 13:18

Armadillos in the mountains? You betcha

It make have taken 50 million years, give or take, but the small, armored animal known as the armadillo is finally making into the hills into Western North Carolina after its humble roots in South America eons ago — and…
The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad and Jackson County reached an impasse on an economic development agreement last week after two years of negotiations.
The news of stalled talks between the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad and Jackson County was met with mixed feelings in the little village of Dillsboro, which once served as the hub for the bustling scenic railroad.
The town of Waynesville plans to buy 15 new police cars in the coming year for $500,000, a move that will assign each officer their own vehicle instead of having to share.
Haywood County Schools has announced a handful of promotions among principals and assistant principals ahead of the upcoming school year.
Growing up on the Isleta Pueblo reservation in New Mexico, 26-year-old Cody Grant could name off the tribes he descended from — Cherokee, two sects of Pueblo — but he didn’t know anything about them, except their names. “For me, it…
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 13:09

Taco Bell to find new home on South Main

Waynesville’s South Main Street continues to see slow but steady commercial growth, with a Taco Bell and Mattress Firm soon to join the ranks of the growing retail corridor.
Pool sharks rejoice. The town of Franklin has lifted an antiquated law that banned pool tables from being on the same premises as booze, or booze from being on the same premises as pool tables.
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 13:39

Behind the wheel of an ice cream truck

I scream, you scream, Western North Carolina screams for ice cream. 
Eleven bears once confined to concrete pits at Chief Saunooke Bear Park in Cherokee have found greener pastures in Texas after the bear park was shut down following repeated federal violations. 
Neighbors near a towering rock quarry in Waynesville have voiced concerns over a proposed expansion that could cause excavations to creep ever closer to their homes.
There was no shortage of work to be done when N.C. Missions of Mercy, a mobile dental camp, came rolling into town last week and set up shop in Cullowhee. 
Jackson County plans to build a $1.6 million state-of-the-art 911 call center and emergency headquarters along U.S. 441 south of Dillsboro.
The Main Street gazebo in Franklin could soon see a facelift, or, even be replaced with an entirely different structure. 
Presented with a tempting yet expensive offer, the Village of Forest Hills has to choose whether to buy an abandoned golf course in the center of its small community, or stand by and watch it be developed.
What goes in must come out: that’s the basic premise behind your water and sewer bill. Sewer fees simply mirror the water bills. 
A state bill that would have merged Lake Junaluska with the town of Waynesville is dead for now.
Haywood Community College hoped to recoup $80,000 from the architect behind the new Creative Arts building due to design errors that caused the $10.2 million project to inch up in price.
The Community Foundation gave two $75,000 grants to Region A Partnership for Children and Southwestern Child Development Commission. One of the grants will expand the Parents as Teachers program, which benefits participating families by offering home visits, group connections, child…
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 13:24

Groups creates CD tour of Bethel

Bethel Rural Community Organization released its CD of the Cold Mountain Heritage Driving Tour. The CD provides a guided journey to nine of the most popular historic sites in the Cold Mountain region of Bethel, the oldest human settlement and…
Wednesday, 17 July 2013 13:23

Collecting data on Internet connections

N.C. Broadband — a part of the N.C. Department of Commerce — is collecting data on the number of Jackson County households and businesses currently lacking Internet service that are interested in purchasing it. The information will be used to…
Macon County could once again find itself with a bigger airport runway — this time wider. 
A new fixture made an appearance on the sidewalks of Frog Level last week: a giant green frog waving and mugging for motorists as they tooled through this small business district on the outskirts of downtown Waynesville. 
State officials are investigating Ghost Town in the Sky amusement park after a piece of shrapnel maimed a longtime, well-known Wild West gunfighter during one of the park’s staged gunfights. 
While most golfers are clearing space in the closet for their clubs this winter, Travis Stephenson is already thinking ahead to next season. And he’s a bit worried.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Several area governments are taking steps to keep constituents who subscribe to Mediacom cable service from losing the local ABC affiliate and with it their only source of local news.
Wednesday, 22 November 2006 00:00

Many Sylva building owners support downtown tax

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Most business and property owners have reacted positively to a Downtown Sylva Association proposal to create a municipal service district that would tax the downtown area to pay for improvements, say DSA officials.
Wednesday, 22 November 2006 00:00

Macon planners seek high-rise moratorium

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer The Macon County Planning Board wants county commissioners to enact a moratorium on any construction over 38 feet in height to temporarily stop construction of a 10-story high-rise condominium just outside of Highlands.
Wednesday, 22 November 2006 00:00

Slope development ordinance: Key changes

Haywood County Commissioners made several changes to the slope development ordinance before passing it. The ordinance kicks in when a cut-and-fill slope exceeds a certain threshold. That threshold is what commissioners altered. Here’s the net effect of the changes: •…
Wednesday, 22 November 2006 00:00

Haywood waters down slope ordinance

Haywood County commissioners made significant changes to a slope development ordinance created by the county planning board before passing it unanimously Monday night (Nov. 20), watering down some of the key safety measures.
Wednesday, 22 November 2006 00:00

Group gathers to discuss growth in Jackson

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer About 80 area residents gathered at the Jackson County Recreation Center Thursday night to learn more about the county’s new land development plan and discuss the future of growth.