Wednesday, 27 October 2010 19:59

Early voting data doesn’t favor any party

Older voters are hitting the early polls in force this election year, according to data gathered by Western Carolina University professor Chris Cooper. In the 11th Congressional District, people choosing the early vote are “overwhelmingly white” — a whopping 96…
The race for the state’s 47th Senate District is a case study in the political battle of freshness versus experience that characterizes this mid-term election across the country. The race in the 47th pits 60-year-old Democrat Joe Sam Queen, a…
Sen. John Snow, a Democrat from Cherokee County, first won N.C. Senate District 50 by beating longtime incumbent Sen. Bob Carpenter, a Republican from Macon County, by fewer than 300 votes in 2004. Snow took over a district made up…
One of three board members overseeing the Whittier Sanitary District resigned this month, saying he could not “in good faith” continue to serve with a group not in compliance with state law. “In addition, refusing to file the necessary Internal…
A 4,000-square-foot, $800,000 expansion that includes a major renovation at the Franklin Health and Fitness Center will be finished in about eight weeks. “We’re wrapping it up,” said Rodney Morris, the facility’s general manager. Additions include a new aerobics room,…
In the clear chill of a mid-October midnight, all is quiet, but in Clyde, a hunt is on. Within the walls of the county’s oldest house, the Cold Mountain Paranormal Society is holding an investigation — in laymen’s terms, they…
In the “Oh, oops” category this week we have the town of Sylva, which, after extensive review, work and dispute ordered police officers this summer to begin ticketing business owners and their employees who take up precious parking spaces on…
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 20:02

Parking, pedestrians and crosswalks, oh my

Fix a problem, create a new one. That’s how the cookie has crumbled lately in Sylva. When the town board ordered business owners and their employees to keep their cars out of coveted parking spaces on Main and Mill streets…
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 19:55

HVO opening brings new jobs to Haywood County

With the snip of a ribbon last Friday, Haywood County gained a new manufacturing facility and the promise of 75 new jobs thanks to Haywood Vocational Opportunities, who christened their new Westwood facility. The 117,000-square-foot space was once home to…
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 19:54

Public comment period closed on Needmore

For being just 3.3 miles in length, the improve-or-don’t-improve Needmore Road debate has generated reams of comment. Try 772 signatures on a petition supporting some type of paving or resurfacing. And at least 66 written comments sent in to the…
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 20:15

Health department offering flu vaccines

The Haywood County Health Department is offering flu vaccines on a walk-in basis, with no appointment necessary, to persons ages 19 and older. The walk-in vaccines are available from 9 a.m. to Noon Monday-Thursday and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.…
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 20:14

Learn how to get business financing Nov. 4

Find out what it takes to produce a bankable loan proposal in a free class at Southwestern Community College on Thursday, Nov. 4. Small Business Loans: Fundamentals & Options will be held from 10 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. in the…
How do you feel about the death penalty? Two upcoming events at Western Carolina University by the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice will explore the public’s opinions about this controversial issue. The first event is a presentation titled “Issues…
If you’ve got a young reader who has difficulty reading to parents or teachers, the Haywood County Public Library may have a new approach to consider – reading to a friendly, non-judgemental canine. Puppy Tales, a program designed to encourage…
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 20:12

Conservation group names new director

Michelle Wilson Price has been named the new executive director of the Jackson-Macon Conservation Alliance. Price grew up in the Glenville area and graduated from Blue Ridge School and has worked in the Plateau Region with the Upper Cullasaja Watershed…
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 20:02

Haywood deeds office gets e-filing

The Haywood County Register of Deeds Office took a big step toward going paperless with the debut of a new technology that electronically records land record documents submitted by attorneys, real estate agents and title companies. The process, known as…
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 20:00

Campaign to target literacy

The Region A Partnership for Children  will kick off its annual fundraising campaign this month with a new emphasis on gaining community support for early literacy and early reading preparation.  Local contributions to this year’s Smart Start fundraising campaign will…
Haywood County Recreation & Parks Department is now accepting registration for the Kids Recreation Basketball League. Intended for ages 5-15, the recreation basketball league guarantees that each child will get the opportunity to play at least half of every game.…
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 19:56

Health services, info available through SCC

Cholesterol, glucose and vision screening, sonography ultrasound demonstrations, body fat checks, flexibility assessments, door prizes and a wide variety of demonstrations and display tables will highlight Southwestern Community College’s Health Fair Wednesday, Nov. 3. Sponsored by SCC medical assisting and…
Haywood Builders Supply has recently been certified by the Smartwood Program of the Rainforest Alliance for the “Forest Stewardship Council” (FSC) as a duly licensed “Chain-of-Custody provider of FSC wood products. Haywood Builders Supply is one of a small number…
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 19:18

Should employees play on Web at work?

A workshop regarding the legalities and liabilities of employee use of social networking websites will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9, in Room 143 of the Cordelia Camp Building on the campus of Western Carolina…
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 19:17

HCC’s Myers wins recognition

Haywood Community College’s Sherri Myers was recently honored by the North Carolina Council of Officers for Resource Development with its Harriette McKinnon Crump Award.   The award is given annually to recognize the potential of members who are pursuing education…
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 19:14

Consultant to share networking savvy

Andrew Sanderbeck will speak briefly on “Identifying your Inner Circle of Support for Your Business and Career” at the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce’s monthly Issues and Eggs at 8 a.m. on Nov. 1 at the Gateway Club in Waynesville.…
Wednesday, 27 October 2010 19:13

Skating rink to open in Waynesville

The Smoky Mountain Sk8way, located next to the Waynesville Cycle Center on the Great Smoky Expressway, is scheduled to open in November. The skating rink and family entertainment center will offer public skating, birthday parties, a video arcade, ticket redemption…
Wednesday, 22 July 2009 18:47

HVO to purchase Wellco site

Although Wellco shoe plant in Waynesville is closing, the community will be spared the blight of another vacant industrial site. Haywood Vocational Opportunities, which manufactures and assembles medical supplies, is buying the site to expand its own operations. HVO, which…
When Mary Ann Enloe was growing up in the blue-collar hub of Hazelwood, she didn’t know anyone with an alarm clock. The town woke to the sound of the factory whistle and followed its cues all day long. “Everybody here…
The new Swain jail costs the county $610,000 a year more than the old jail: $450,000 in debt payments and an additional $160,000 on overhead and staff. The county hoped to make $500,000 a year housing prisoners from out of…
Jimmy and Keith Leatherwood were always glad to see the developers of Cataloochee Wilderness Resorts walk in to their local hangout, the Jonathan Creek Café. It meant free coffee. The developer would unfurl maps on the table outlining plans for…
Two groups of Jackson County’s World War II veterans visited Washington, D.C.’s war memorial this year thanks to a project spearheaded by the Sylva Rotary Club. Honor Air flew eight veterans in fall 2008 and 13 veterans in spring 2009…
When Swain County opened a new $10 million jail last fall with 109 beds — four times bigger than necessary for its own inmates — it was banking on housing federal prisoners and those from other counties to subsidize the…
Ghost Town in the Sky wants more time to prepare its bankruptcy reorganization plan and is seeking an extension. The Maggie Valley theme park filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March in hopes of holding off bill collectors long enough…
When Heinz Rollman left behind the unrest of Europe and struck out for America in 1939, the fate of his family was riding on his shoulders. The Nazi regime had seized a successful shoe factory from Rollman’s father in Germany…
Wednesday, 22 July 2009 19:03

Region to get assisted living campus

A groundbreaking was held last Thursday (July 16) at the site of a new assisted living complex being built in Dillsboro. The event was more symbolic than most of its kind because some of the facility has already been erected;…
Wednesday, 29 July 2009 19:06

Graham proposes takeover of Swain land

Swain and Graham counties are at odds over who should provide rescue service to the isolated Deals Gap territory, a dispute that could lead to a redrawing of county lines. The Deal’s Gap area is a satellite territory of Swain…
When Art Pohl moved to Jackson County from Florida 10 years ago, he imagined a golden retirement filled with lazy days of playing golf. But after a few years of living the dream life, his wife wondered just how much…
A Tennessee man claims he was defrauded of $328,000 by the players behind Cataloochee Wilderness Resorts, a planned mega development in Haywood County that is in the preliminary conceptual stages. Plans for Cataloochee Wilderness Resorts call for a 4,500-acre development…
Wednesday, 29 July 2009 19:17

Macon mulls workforce challenges

While it doesn’t seem like much of a news flash, it has emerged as one of the top concerns in Macon County economic development circles: the workforce is aging. “It actually is something to be concerned about. It is getting…
By Andre A. Rodriguez • Special to the Smoky Mountain News It’s been at least a dozen years since Waynesville’s leaders began contemplating a public skate board park to provide a safe alternative to illegal skating on streets and parking…
Wednesday, 29 July 2009 19:21

Barker visits WNC in campaign to help bears

Members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians didn’t have to duke it out with other contestants or so much as wager a guess, but somehow, they got the price exactly right. On Tuesday, July 28, the tribe won a…
Wednesday, 03 June 2009 18:30

Rates jump prior to signing of library loan

Hints of an up tick in the economy are good news to say the least, but a resulting rise in interest rates came a little too soon for Jackson County taxpayers. Interest rates jumped almost 0.75 percent on the eve…
Although the board of Haywood Regional Medical Center could lose much of its control following its affiliation with WestCare, it will remain a public, county-owned entity nonetheless. Haywood Regional and WestCare have announced their intention to unite under a newly…
Scores of Haywood County taxpayers criticized the county’s proposed budget at a public hearing Monday (June 1) saying commissioners had not looked thoroughly at every possible option before proposing job cuts and a property tax increase. Nearly 150 residents attended…
Wednesday, 03 June 2009 18:38

Restoration blends function with history

After more than two years, the Haywood County historic courthouse has finally been returned to its original grandeur. The painstaking process of restoring the stately 1931 building, long an icon of the Haywood County community, has had its share of…
Wednesday, 03 June 2009 18:40

Creating the park: the early years

1900s Logging and lumber companies built railroads, camp towns and timber camps, slashing across the landscape while fueling an economic boom. 1923 National Park Service Director Stephen Mather voices his support for creation of a national park in the East.…
Wednesday, 03 June 2009 18:42

New landfill proves money pit for Haywood

Haywood County commissioners grappling with the $4.4 million price tag of a landfill expansion briefly eyed the steep engineering costs as a place to trim this week. During a county meeting, commissioners questioned the hiring of two separate engineering firms…
The creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park 75 years ago was nothing short of a miracle. The pitfalls were enormous and often narrowly skirted. The battle for a park came close to defeat many times, yet park boosters…
Parents at West Elementary School in Swain County are questioning the circumstances surrounding the departure of a popular principal. In the weeks since Rick Abel’s alleged resignation, conflicting accounts have emerged that have left parents with growing suspicions over what…
Wednesday, 03 June 2009 18:48

Deal over Dillsboro dam could be afoot

Five years into a bitter fight over the fate of the Dillsboro Dam, Duke Energy showed its first sign of budging this week. Following a mediation session in Washington, D.C. Duke pledged to make Jackson County a “counter offer” in…
Wednesday, 03 June 2009 18:50

New model for mountain living

Mixed-use developments where residents live, work, shop and dine within a few block radius are popping up in cities around the nation, but have been slower to take hold in the mountains of Western North Carolina. One Macon County developer…
Wednesday, 10 June 2009 18:56

Ghost Town CEO preaches cohesive marketing

Ghost Town CEO Steve Shiver told players in the Haywood County tourism community they need to pull together if they want to effectively market and brand the region. Shiver invited members of the tourism and business community to a breakfast…
At long last, Wal-Mart will be coming to Cherokee. A move to bring a 120,000-square-foot superstore to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian Reservation has been in the works for nearly four years. On May 20, the tribal council voted…
Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:01

Parents turn out to support Swain principal

A group of nearly 45 parents and friends came out to show their support for embattled Swain County West Elementary School Principal Rick Abel at a school board meeting Monday night (June 8), but left with few answers to their…
Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:04

Jackson takes on Duke Energy

Jackson County’s decision to take the Dillsboro dam through eminent domain is a bold next step in the relicensing saga that has been playing out for years. Commissioners voted 4-1 Monday night to use one of the strongest powers they…
Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:06

Cherokee casino to be dry no more

When Beverly Easton came to Harrah’s Cherokee Casino for the first time and realized there was no drinking, she wondered how an alcohol-free casino could even exist. “I think it is a deterrent,” said Easton, who was visiting Harrah’s from…
Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:08

Frequently asked questions

Why does Duke want to tear down the dam? Dam removal is tied to the larger issue of mitigation for Duke’s hydropower operations in the region. Duke operates 10 other dams on five rivers in the region. The permits for…
Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:11

Commissioners' viewpoints

Chairman Brian McMahan “I believe that river belongs to the people of the United States of America. That’s our river. Yes we have benefited from the production of power, but it still belongs to the people. I don’t argue the…
A proposed tax increase that Haywood residents have fought hard against could likely be avoided if residents would just pay their taxes on time in the first place. But property tax collections are down this year, presumably due to the…
Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:17

Jackson uses eminent domain to take dam

Jackson County played the ultimate trump card in the drawn-out fight against Duke Energy over the Dillsboro dam this week. County commissioners voted 4 to 1 Monday (June 8) to use the power of eminent domain to seize the dam…
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 19:25

Duke begins prepping for dam removal

Despite the looming threat by Jackson County to win control of the Dillsboro Dam using eminent domain, Duke Energy announced that it will begin preparing for its demolition this week by dredging the backlog of sediment from behind the dam.…
After months of struggling to solve a $7 million budget shortfall, Haywood County commissioners voted 3 to 2 Monday night (June 15) to raise property taxes by 1.7 cents in lieu of more severe cuts to county workers. The two…
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 19:27

Macon budget avoids tax increase, layoffs

If you’re a county commissioner in Western North Carolina, it’s hard not to feel envious of Macon County’s budget. While surrounding counties are grappling with layoffs and — in Haywood’s case — a tax increase, Macon County commissioners have managed…
Gudger Palmer has never forgotten the fond memories of growing up in Cataloochee Valley. At 100 years old, one memory in particular brings a smile to his lips every time he returns to his old one-room school. “That’s the place…
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 19:32

Terms of Duke’s offer made public

The terms of Duke Energy’s counter-offer to Jackson County and the town of Franklin in exchange for dropping their opposition to Dillsboro dam removal have been made public. Duke Energy made a confidential offer to their opponents two weeks ago…
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 19:41

Bardo declines nomination

Western Carolina University Chancellor John Bardo will not be among the pool of candidates being considered for president of the University of Cincinnati, he announced at a university board of trustees meeting June 5. The fact that his name was…
Swain County will be able to rescind its latest property revaluation — which caused property values to increase by an average of 30 percent — thanks to a bill in the General Assembly. The county had hoped to scrap its…
Landowners have won a lawsuit against Haywood County claiming they were victims of overbearing enforcement of erosion control laws. Judge Laura Bridges issued her ruling this week, although the case was heard six weeks ago. Bridges ruled in favor of…
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 19:49

They’re here, with beer

The beer business has exploded on the scene in Western North Carolina in the past several years, with Asheville alone now home to seven craft breweries. A recent poll cemented the city’s status as an up-and-coming brewery epicenter, naming it…
Haywood County became the Westminster of Western North Carolina this past weekend as more than 1,000 dogs and their owners flocked to the area to compete in the first AKC-sanctioned dog show ever held in the far western region. The…
A member of the public was escorted from a Haywood County commissioners meeting Monday (June 15) by a deputy after getting into a verbal altercation with Chairman Kirk Kirkpatrick. Tension has been high at county meetings for the past two…
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 19:57

Swain budget cuts target Sheriff’s office

Swain County commissioners have opted to target one department rather than spreading out county budget cuts among all county employees. Commissioners have scrapped the idea for a mandatory one-week employee furlough, which they had initially seemed to support, and have…
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 20:01

NC Utility Commission OK with dam seizure

Jackson County appears to be on firm footing in its quest to seize the Dillsboro dam from Duke Energy as far as state law goes, but it is unclear whether the county could hit a roadblock from the Federal Energy…
Come the start of fall semester, some Western Carolina University freshmen could find themselves residing in unusual living quarters. A delay in the construction of a new residence hall is forcing WCU staff to scramble for places to put incoming…
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 15:43

Tour retraces Haywood County history

By Ellen Cirino • Special To The Smoky Mountain News The fifth Cold Mountain Heritage Tour, a self-driving tour to historic sites in and around the Haywood County community of Bethel that aren’t open for public access, will be held…
Across Western North Carolina, an increasing number of people are discovering new and creative ways to use the bounty of produce and farm goods raised in the mountains. From jams to sauces to salves, homegrown chefs and artisans are turning…
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 15:46

Buy local

Haywood Sunburst Trout FarmMakes: Smoked Tomato Jam, trout dip, trout cakes, trout jerky, trout sausage, trout caviar, marinated trout.Find it at: The Nest on Main Street, Waynesville (Smoked Tomato Jam); Ingles (trout dip); or order online at www.sunbursttrout.com.Bethel Eden FarmMakes:…
Swain County will continue contracting with the Bryson City Fire Department to provide county fire service, despite threatening to cut ties with the department after it asked the county for more money. Earlier this year, the county balked at a…
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 15:52

An unfortunate object of affection

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has long been synonymous with black bears. From the first automobile tourists to today’s long-distance backpackers, catching a glimpse of the the iconic animal is the ultimate Smokies’ experience. Of course, it was much…
As Jackson County leaders continue their fight against Duke Energy, an unassuming local lawyer that few have heard of has appeared as the county’s heavy-hitter against the politically powerful and uber-wealthy Fortune 500 utility. Attorney Gary Miller, 52, a former…
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Macon County residents will have the opportunity to weigh in on amendments to the county’s flood damage prevention and watershed ordinances at a public hearing on Feb. 11.
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Rachel Upchurch wants to protect the mountains that tower throughout Jackson County however; the Smokey Mountain Elementary student also wants to see more houses and shopping centers built throughout the Qualla community.
Wednesday, 09 January 2008 00:00

Haywood fields to get artificial turf

School official will use lottery proceeds to install artifical turf at the Pisgah and Tuscola high school stadiums, it was announced at a county commissioners meeting on Jan. 7.
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Students at Smokey Mountain Elementary and Cherokee Indian Reservation schools will be learning an important lesson about land development.
Cherokee isn’t the only one that potentially stands to make money off the sale of alcohol to patrons at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino. Swain or Jackson counties could see a mini-windfall of their own if Harrah’s purchases vast quantities of liquor…
Wednesday, 09 January 2008 00:00

Sylva manager resigns, but new job is in limbo

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Sylva Town Manager Jay Denton has resigned from his job to become the executive director of Jackson County’s Economic Development Commission, but county commissioners refused to confirm his appointment to that position when they…
By Julia Merchant and Becky Johnson • Staff Writers One of the consultants involved in pulling off Cataloochee Wilderness Resorts — a 4,500 acre development supposedly coming to Haywood County — has raised some eyebrows in the community.
A group of Realtors and developers filed a lawsuit against Jackson County this week over a subdivision moratorium imposed by the county in February.
Wednesday, 18 April 2007 00:00

Adding it up

A traffic study was conducted to assess the traffic impacts of a new Super Wal-Mart and Home Depot complex coming to West Waynesville.
After two-and-a-half years of operating in temporary quarters, the big move is here. Stacks of boxes are piled high in the hallways and offices of Haywood County workers, awaiting transfer to their new home. This weekend, they’ll be moved in…
Slope development regulations will go into effect in Haywood County on March 1.
Wednesday, 10 January 2007 00:00

Franklin passes plan to help guide growth

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Franklin’s proposed Principles of Growth flew past town aldermen Monday night in a mere 15 minutes, earning unanimous approval and setting a new policy for directing future growth.
Wednesday, 03 January 2007 00:00

Swain change lets the sun shine in

Swain County commissioners have adopted a new policy designed to keep the public more informed and give them a bigger voice in county affairs.
By Becky Johnson • Staff Writer Community outrage with Haywood Regional Medical Center continues to escalate over a move by hospital administration to oust a long-time group of emergency room doctors.
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 15:58

Waynesville seeks input on pedestrian plan

A master plan for making Waynesville even more pedestrian friendly has been unveiled after a year in the making. The long-range plan lays out priorities for new sidewalks over the next 15 years. “The basic rationale was to fill in…
The mountains of Western North Carolina were no stranger to tourism prior to the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which today rakes in 9 million visitors and is by far the most visited national park in the…
Downtown merchants in Waynesville hope to get a boost in customers when the Haywood County Historic Courthouse throws open its doors to the public Monday, June 29, following a two-year renovation. Main Street shops lost frequent customers when courthouse construction…
The town of Franklin acted appropriately by making public the terms of an out-of-court settlement offer extended to the town by Duke Energy. The offer was aimed at getting the town of Franklin and Jackson County to drop their opposition…
As Haywood struggles with the best use of room tax money collected from tourists to fund tourism promotion, one area that raises the most ire is the amount given out as grants for festivals. Tourism authorities around Western North Carolina…
Wednesday, 06 May 2009 16:03

Library bids come in well under budget

The bad economy has finally reaped some dividends for Jackson County taxpayers. Construction of the new Jackson County library and renovations to the historic courthouse will cost the county roughly $1.5 million less than expected. Bids from construction companies came…
Walk among the rows and rows of hydroponic butter leaf lettuce growing in William Shelton’s greenhouse, and you’ll notice a distinctive dark green patch that seems out of place. While the butter leaf is destined to be neatly packed in…