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.
A three-year legal saga between the owners of Smoky Mountain Golf Course and the developers of Smoky Mountain Country Club moved one step closer to a resolution this week.
Haywood County commissioners agreed on Monday (Nov. 20) to ask the General Assembly for an increase in the room tax and to distribute the extra money to tourism board subcommittees in each zip code.
Recreation programs in Haywood County could get a huge boost from tourism dollars if commissioners follow through on a recommendation made at the Monday work session.
An ongoing lawsuit against the owners of Smoky Mountain Golf Course alleges numerous problems with the course’s management under its out-of-state owners.
Swain County residents tired of the wine selection at the grocery store will soon have not one but two new wine stores to chose from.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Officials with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians on Monday unveiled plans for a new Associate in Fine Arts degree focusing on Native American art to be offered in collaboration with Southwestern Community College.
Haywood County commissioners are poised to pass a slope development ordinance at their meeting next week, but a big question remains: when will the new ordinance go into effect?
The Haywood County Tourism Development Authority has an extra $90,000 to spend and everyone seems to have an idea of how it should be put to use.
A documentary film on Cherokee aired nationwide on public television stations last week. The 90-minute documentary, produced by an all-Native American team, explored cultural, social, education, economic and health issues that are central to life in Native American communities through…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Cable subscribers in Jackson and Macon counties are facing the possibility of losing local ABC affiliate WLOS Channel 13 unless cable provider Mediacom and Sinclair Broadcast Group can reach an equitable agreement before Dec.…
The tug-of-war over how best to spend tourism promotion dollars in Haywood County continues, but this time it appears it will be left up to county commissioners to sort out.
One of the biggest upsets in Tuesday’s election was the Swain County sheriff’s race, where Republican challenger Curtis Cochran beat long-time Democratic Sheriff Bob Ogle by a mere 92 votes.
Sen. John Snow, D-Murphy, handily won his second term in the North Carolina Senate, beating challenger Ken McKim 38,537 to 28,903.
By Michael Beadle Call it a fourth-quarter, game-winning touchdown. A stunning upset over the perennial powerhouse. Pick your sports metaphor.
Overwhelming support from Haywood County voters will return Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville, to the state Senate after a two-year hiatus following a defeat in 2004.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Ronnie Beale is the newest Macon County commissioner and will join incumbent Bob Simpson, who won re-election on Nov. 7. Republican candidate Brian McClellan upset incumbent Allan Bryson in the race to represent the…
A county-appointed tourism task force charged with making recommendations to improve the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority agrees on one thing: the tourism board is too weighted towards lodging owners.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Democrats swept the Jackson County Board of Commissioners as voters elected Cashiers’ Mark Jones over Republican challenger Geoff Higginbotham to fill the one remaining seat.
By Michael Beadle When John and Suzanne Gernandt’s son Matthew began showing signs of schizophrenia, it might have been misread as teenage rebellion — a phase he would pass through once the hormones settled down.
An unusually large margin separated Democratic and Republican candidates in the Haywood County commissioners race, suggesting that Republican candidates were victims of national sentiments — namely disapproval of President Bush and the Republican-led Congress.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer District 119 incumbent Phil Haire, D-Sylva, has once against defeated Marge Carpenter, R-Waynesville, for state House of Representatives. Haire registered 13,099 votes to Carpenter’s 9,267, taking nearly 59 percent of the vote overall.
It was a tight race between two candidates running for Swain County commission chairman, but Chairman Glenn Jones hung on to his seat by a mere 184 votes against challenger Jim Douthit.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Mike Bonfoey defeated Republican challenger Donna Forga 34,445 to 29,771 to retain his position as 30th Judicial District Attorney.
All five candidates running for Haywood County commissioner say they support a proposed slope development ordinance, which is poised for passage this month before the new board takes office.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer It’s 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, and Andrew Whalen, 11th Congressional District candidate Heath Shuler’s Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director, sits at a small desk in a small office strewn with small stacks…
By Michael Beadle It’s a chilly fall morning in downtown Bryson City, and U.S. Rep. Charles Taylor steps up into a fire truck to pose for pictures.
There are five candidates running for three seats on the Haywood County Board of Commissioners. Kirk Kirkpatrick, Democrat, attorney Kirkpatrick has served four years on the board. He was the top vote-getter among the five candidates in the Democrat primary.…
As growth and development accelerate in Swain County, discussion over the need for road and slope regulations has increasingly taken center stage. Swain County lacks any provisions governing mountainside subdivisions. The county does not have a county planning board or…
The price of a recent land purchase by Swain County for school expansion has raised some eyebrows among candidates running for commissioner and for school board.
Here’s how Swain County plans to pay for the school land purchase.
Robert Holland, 39, has been Macon County Sheriff for four years and with the sheriff's department since 1991. He is married. He graduated from high school in Florida, and attended Southwestern Community College and the N.C. Justice Academy.
The scene at Haywood County commissioner meetings today is quite different from that four years ago. In the year prior to that election, there were so many disgruntled spectators at commissioner meetings that people lined up in the hallway trying…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Macon County’s three Democratic commissioners are facing a challenge from three Republican contenders in a race that could potentially swing the board’s majority rule.
What specific legislation or policies are at the top of your list?
1. What specific legislation or policies are at the top of your list? Jobs, to make sure we have infrastructure in place to bring new jobs into our communities. 2. What are three of the most pressing issues facing the…
All five seats on the Swain County Board of Commissioners are up for election this year. The winners will serve for four years.
If Congressman Charles Taylor is defeated in two weeks, it could spell the end of plans to build a road through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park outside Bryson City.
The North Shore Road is proposed to go through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park from Bryson City to Tennessee along the north shore of Lake Fontana. The area was not always backcountry, however. It was once home to mining…
Charles Taylor: The federal government should live up to its 60-year-old commitment to Swain County residents and complete the North Shore Road.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer The candidates for the District 119 House race describe themselves as polar opposites.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer The race for District Attorney is garnering what some may say is an unusual amount of attention, considering that whomever is elected is someone that most of the general public hopes never to have…
Some voters in Swain County consider the North Shore Road a litmus test for candidates in the county commissioners race and base their decision accordingly. The Swain County Board voted 4 to 1 four years ago in favor of a…
Most of us in the course of a week find a reason to go to downtown Sylva. We may go out to eat, or to the library, post office or bank, or perhaps just shop. There’s plenty of pleasure —…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer If you or someone you know is thinking about leaving an abusive relationship, there are some things that are good to know.
Heath Shuler: America is truly facing a health care crisis. Over 46 million Americans are currently living without health insurance — 27 million of those are working Americans whose employers do not offer insurance.
From behind the prescription counter at Village Pharmacy in Waynesville, Jim Winfree has a bird’s eye view of rising drug costs in America.
There are four seats up for election on the Haywood County school board this November. The county is divided into geographic districts for the school board race. No matter where you live, you can vote in each race. The geographic…
Slope ordinance Haywood County commissioners are considering a slope development ordinance with the following restrictions:
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Editor’s note: The names of domestic violence victims Linda and Anne, who were interviewed for this story, have been changed. The afternoon Linda decided to leave her fiancé, she waited until he was asleep,…
Bond numbers Haywood County voters approved a $25 million school bond in May 2005 intended to pay for a host of projects. The list of cost estimates presented to the public is as follows:
1. What specific legislation or policies are at the top of your list?
1. What specific legislation or policies are at the top of your list?
1. What specific legislation or policies are at the top of your list?
1. What specific legislation or policies are at the top of your list?
Taylor: My position is, and has always been, that marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman.
Gibbs Knotts, a political science professor at Western Carolina University, took time to address the gay marriage issue and how it might affect the upcoming election between Rep. Charles Taylor, R-Brevard, and challenger Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville.
When Sen. John Snow talks about being a senator for the far western counties that he calls home, he becomes animated and impassioned.
Several groups compile score cards for state legislators based on their voting record. Queen and Presnell were both ranked by these groups during their respective years in the state Senate.
Thirty-six year-old Ken McKim has lots of ideas about the issues he would tackle if he can wrest the 50th District state Senate seat from incumbent Democrat Sen. John Snow.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer • Mark Jones, 47, a Democrat, has been the general manager of High Hampton Inn since 1997. He began working there in 1987 as a bellman. He is divorced. He graduated from Western Carolina…
A small spot on the side of a valley overlooking the Tuckasegee River outside Dillsboro may not seem the obvious place for any kind of technological firsts, but that’s what alternative energy experts were proclaiming last Friday (Oct. 6) at…
When Joe Sam Queen arrived at a reception hosted by the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce earlier this year, the greeters working the door plucked a red carnation from a vase of water, snipped the stem, pinned it to his…
The Haywood County commissioners are soliciting construction bids for the long-awaited renovation of the historic courthouse in downtown Waynesville.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer In some elections an incumbent candidate may face a political newcomer, like the congressional race between Rep. Charles Taylor, R-Brevard, and Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer In the race for the 119th District seat, candidates Marge Carpenter and Rep. Phil Haire have staked out vastly different issues as key campaign points.
Voters who got excited at early reports that Congresman Charles Taylor and challenger Heath Shuler had agreed to a debate may have jumped the gun.
The Cherokee Preservation Foundation has awarded a $500,000 grant to the Travel and Promotion program of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) to sustain an award-winning, multi-year marketing campaign to attract visitors interested in exploring the Cherokee culture to…
Western Carolina University will erase 10 degree programs, including women’s studies and the graduate music courses, from its books during the next few years.
Well-known regional tourism expert Steve Morse has been hired by Western Carolina University to head its hospitality and tourism program.
It was a rather strange place to have a life-changing epiphany, but there he was, on the set of a British reality TV show in 2007, deep in the bowels of the Borneo jungles, when Jonathon Bryant found a purpose…
Towns across the mountains will hold elections for their mayors and town board leaders this fall. Some town races are shaping up to be hotly contested, like Maggie Valley with a deep bench of challengers, while others like Dillsboro have…
After a tumultuous start to hashing out a blueprint for this year’s finances, the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority reached a moment of harmony last week when its members unanimously adopted a budget.
Ron Clauser never saw himself as a lobbyist. He’s an accountant by trade, a world where logic and rationale rule the day. The same could be said of Ed LaFountaine, a career military man and retired major general in the…
Jackson County got a green light from the state to move forward with plans to build a liquor store in Cashiers, despite more than two dozen residents voicing opposition to the particular location that was chosen.
Since Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort added table games with live dealers last year they’ve had to round up hundreds of new card dealers — and they’re still looking for more.
Renovating the antiquated, shuttered restrooms at the Waynesville Recreation Park will cost more than town officials anticipated, leaving them to question whether to bother or just scrap the plans altogether.
Street musicians are becoming a common sight in downtown Waynesville, despite a town policy that bans sidewalk performers from playing for tips.
Waynesville has outlawed the use of noisy engine-compression brakes by big trucks.
The number of high school students failing random drug tests in Haywood County has remained constant since the school system put a drug testing policy in place seven years ago.
The Waynesville Police Department helped craft and then usher four bills, or some version of them, through the N.C. General Assembly this year, giving law enforcement officers statewide new tools in the fight against drugs.
New Bethel restaurant opens its doors  A new restaurant called Breaking Bread Café has opened on Pigeon Road in the Bethel community of Haywood County. Steven and Barbara Eaffaldano have operated a concession business at festivals and events from Knoxville…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Macon County commissioner candidates fielded several questions about growth and the county’s future during a forum conducted by the League of Women Voters last Thursday night (Sept. 28).
Slope proposal • Cut-and-fill slopes taller than 40 feet are not allowed.
Taylor: Each time we visit the gasoline pump, it is clear that the U.S. has become overly dependent on foreign sources of oil for our energy needs. While the previous Administration – joined by environmental extremists – refused to allow…
The Jackson County Green Energy Park will celebrate the opening of Phase 1 of the park with an open house to be held from 3 to 9 p.m. Oct. 6.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Prices at the gas pump began falling last month with the announcement that a new pocket of deep-sea oil had been found off the Gulf of Mexico. Locally, regular unleaded hit a mere $2.25…
A survey conducted by the Bethel Community Club asked candidates for the Haywood County Board of Commissioners to weigh in on the controversial issue of running water and sewer lines to Bethel.
A long-standing controversy over extending water and sewer lines to the semi-rural community of Bethel could be a defining issue in the election for the Haywood County Soil and Water Conservation District board this November.
Citing his candidacy for county commissioner, Macon County planning board chairman Ronnie Beale announced his resignation last Wednesday (Sept. 27) putting vice-chairman Larry Stenger in line for the job.
Bob Cathey Cathey worked for the U.S. Forest Service for 34 years in timber inventory and currently serves on the soil and water board. He has served on the school board and Haywood Community College Board.
Following the brutal shooting death of a Jackson County woman staying at a local shelter for battered women, District Attorney Mike Bonfoey met with representatives of domestic violence victim advocacy groups in the 30th Judicial District last week to discuss…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Jackson County commission candidate Mark Jones, a Democrat, will face Republican Geoff Higginbotham this November in the only contested race for the county board.
Richard Morrison wiled away the hours last Thursday in front of Pop’s Mini Mart in Clyde in hopes of hitching a lift to Waynesville for a mid-day meal at the Open Door soup kitchen.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Reviews on the on the Web site all rave about Mountain Glides’ Segway tours of the Macon County Greenway.
Charles Taylor: My opponent has made numerous allegations about my record on the federal minimum wage, but the fact is that I have supported — and will continue to support — a fair federal minimum wage.
When Congress proposed raising the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour this summer, the resulting vote epitomized the mixed-up world of Washington politics.
By Michael Beadle Cherokee now has a biodiesel gas pump at its filling station to fuel up Tribal transit and maintenance vehicles as well as buses from the Cherokee Boys Club.
The Haywood Chamber of Commerce Women in Business group will host “Your Performance On Stage … Flourish, Engage, Inspire” from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 8 at the Gateway Club with Susan Belcher, the wife of Western Carolina University’s…
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