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Wednesday, 14 September 2016 14:42

COMMENTARY: Fear and voting in Ashevegas

For 223 years, the highest office in the land has been passed from one man to another without bloodshed or widespread violence. This year the same will likely occur regardless of the sex of the victor.
“You’re a Nazi,” the 20-something female screamed into the face of an elderly veteran. The veteran shrugged off the comment as he barreled through the onslaught of protesters, only to find a safe haven amid the security guards and likeminded…
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 14:38

The biker politic

Motorcyclists have always been a distinct subset of the American population, long before they gained infamy in Hunter S. Thompson’s Hells Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga, published by Random House in 1966; Marlon Brando gave credibility to the “outlaw”…
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 14:31

Cat museum looking for volunteers

A museum honoring the American house cat is set to open soon in Jackson County, but cash and volunteer hours are needed to make it happen. 
Western Carolina University’s Public Policy Institute and Department of Political Science and Public Affairs are seeking questions from voters to be asked during a series of debates in September and October.
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 14:28

Jackson board tweaks cell tower ordinance

After surviving the first application process under the new wireless communication rules, Jackson County commissioners directed the planning board to look for ways to improve the ordinance.
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 14:26

Huge success for Canton Labor Day fest

The longest running Labor Day festival in the South is meant to commemorate the contributions of the organized labor movement in the Unites States; appropriately, the Town of Canton’s popular weekend event wasn’t just spent guzzling sweet tea, pounding barbecue…
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 14:24

Investigation results in 26 drug arrests

Macon County Sheriff’s Office concluded “Operation Thunderstruck” on Sept. 9 with 26 arrests for drug-related offenses while three suspects are still at large. 
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 14:21

Franklin to dole out funds to community charities

Fourteen Macon County charities are vying for a piece of Franklin’s $40,000 nonprofit funding pool, but not all organizations will walk away with their full request. 
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 14:19

Meadows introduces bill to save floating houses

U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-Cashiers, introduced a bill last week to halt the Tennessee Valley Authority’s plan to ban floating homes on all of its 49 lakes.
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 14:17

Case dismissed in council pay raise suit

A lawsuit seeking to declare illegal a controversial Tribal Council decision to issue its members pay raises has been dismissed in Tribal Court, according to a Sept. 1 decision from Temporary Associate Judge Sharon Barrett.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians threw its support behind the cause of the Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota when Tribal Council voted to give $50,000 toward a legal battle to prevent construction of an oil pipeline north of…
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 14:11

Elk hearing draws a crowd

A minor adjustment to elk depredation rules brought 70 people — about 40 of them college students — out to Haywood Community College last week for a public hearing with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 14:08

Asheville Regional Airport improvements continue

Geography and population conspire to make much of Western North Carolina a terrible place for an airport; west of Asheville, commercial airstrips are practically nonexistent.
This November, voters will have another choice to make at the polls — whether to allow beer and or wine sales in areas of Haywood County that currently don’t offer such conveniences.
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 16:41

A hint of autumn, a sense of pride

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When we got out of the car on Sunday at the parking area in Jackson County at the end of…
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 16:35

So this is what hell feels like

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Beware, gentle readers. This story is not for the faint of heart. It is a story of betrayal, corruption, and…
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 16:34

We should welcome political refugees

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To the Editor: Widespread reports of Muslim terrorist activity in the media of late, and the incessant drumbeat of political…
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 16:34

I love living in a small town

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To the Editor: I have said many times that I love living in a small town; yesterday, something happened that…
High in the Plott Balsams, there’s a swath of property riddled with panoramic views, sparking waterfalls and high-elevation solitude that…
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 16:15

Carbon offsets program starts

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A relaunched carbon offsets program will give business, organizations and individuals in Western North Carolina a way to turn their…
A meeting between leaders of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians brought tribal…
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 15:59

Buckeyes both a good luck charm and a poison

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A large buckeye tree overhangs and supports the swinging gate leading into and out of our pasture. Since we are…
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 15:42

HCC Shine & Dine Gala

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The Haywood Community College Foundation will hold a Shine & Dine Gala from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16,…
Can you find redemption within your own consequences? In The Risen, the latest work from famed Southern Appalachian writer Ron…
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 15:37

This must be the place

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I awoke with a bit of a chill in the air.
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 15:06

Sociologist got it wrong; religion is on the uptick

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In 1968, Peter Berger, a Boston University sociologist, told the New York Times that by “the 21st century, religious believers…
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 14:48

Maggie Chamber elects new board, awards volunteers

Maggie Valley Area Chamber of Commerce recently elected three new members to the board of directors: Dave Angel, owner of Elevated Mountain Distilling Company; Scott Neilson, co-owner of Cabbage Rose Gifts; and Tammy Brown with Cataloochee Ski Area.
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 14:37

Tourism economic impact growing in WNC counties

Allen Alsbrooks serves on the Maggie Valley Zoning Board, and used to serve on the town’s planning board; he’s also been the owner of the Hearth and Home Inn on Soco Road in Maggie Valley since 2007, so it’s safe…
If all goes according to plan, by this time next year Jackson County will have been declared the trout capital of North Carolina, and county commissioners are already starting to talk about how to plan for the resulting increase they…
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 14:33

Great outdoors rakes in tourism dough for Macon

As outdoor recreation tourism continues to climb upward in Macon County, community stakeholders are trying to do a better job of tracking their visitor feedback and providing better services. 
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 14:27

Charters of Freedom dedication delayed

Dedication of a new Charters of Freedom monument in Sylva originally planned for Sept. 17 — Constitution Day — is being pushed back to allow the county more time to plan the Freedom Park area to be constructed around the…
It’s been almost a year since Cornerstone Assisted Living in Bryson City was closed down and more than 30 senior citizens had to be relocated to assisted living facilities outside of Swain County.
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 14:23

Western breaks enrollment records

Western Carolina University saw its previous high-water mark for enrollment blasted away this year as final student counts for 2016 came in, with new records set for both total enrollment and freshman class size.
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 14:21

Maggie Valley to regulate outdoor sales

Although the closure of Ghost Town in the Sky several years back has left many Maggie Valley businesses struggling just to keep their doors open, others like the half-century-old Joey’s Pancake House and the 15-year-old Wheels Through Time motorcycle museum…
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 14:20

Open houses for forest plan

National forest users who want to share their thoughts on issues and projects, including the forest plan revision, will have a chance during a slate of upcoming meetings.
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 14:16

Wilderness advocates criticize congressman

A meeting to talk about wilderness started off with a bang last week when a group of pro-wilderness folks who had showed up hopeful of putting a bug in Congressman Mark Meadows’, R-Cashiers, ear were asked to leave.
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 14:15

Swain sheriff proposes gun range at Alarka School

Swain County commissioners are considering possible locations for a law enforcement gun range after Sheriff Curtis Cochran explained the inconvenience of having to rely on the availability of ranges in other counties.
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 14:14

Haywood County to build animal shelter

Dr. Kristen Hammett had just left the current Haywood County Animal Shelter when she appeared before the Haywood County Board of Commissioners Sept. 6, clad in her familiar teal T-shirt emblazoned with the Friends of the Haywood County Animal Shelter…
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 14:13

Charter schools a mixed bag, statewide and locally

Charter schools have long been touted by proponents as an innovative and enticing option for parents of children in low-performing schools, but according to numbers recently released by the North Carolina State Board of Education, charters had both a higher…
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 14:11

Haywood schools improve in state rankings

School performance indicators issued last week paint a picture of a very good Haywood County School System that continues to improve but is still haunted by a few troubling issues.
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 14:10

Libertarian Party gaining momentum

It’s a great time to be a Libertarian, according to Brian Irving, the party’s North Carolina chairman.
A request by Gov. Pat McCrory to reinstate North Carolina’s 2013 voter identification requirement and shortened early voting period was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court last week.
Orange barrels have been flying out of the Pigeon River Gorge on Interstate 40 near the North-Carolina Tennessee border. On Wednesday morning, N.C. Department of Transportation officials removed the final orange barrels that had closed one lane in each direction…
Wednesday, 31 August 2016 15:12

Democrats need to learn their history

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To the Editor: A recent letter-writer states, “most Republican politicians will continue to tell you that tax cuts are the…
Wednesday, 31 August 2016 15:12

A little perspective is in order, please

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To the Editor: There are those who would have us fear going about our daily lives due to possible terrorist…
Wednesday, 31 August 2016 15:10

We must deal with affordable housing problems

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If you don’t think there is an affordable housing problem in the mountain region, you’re just not paying attention. In…
Wednesday, 31 August 2016 15:09

The before and the after — living with grief

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There are only a handful of life experiences that result in a definitive before and after. I now know that…
Wednesday, 31 August 2016 15:07

Where are all the women?

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As my siblings and I became more interested and engrossed in politics growing up, my father always tried to impress…
Wednesday, 31 August 2016 15:03

The best way to learn to write is simple – write

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This one’s for students, especially those of you in secondary school and college. Let’s get right to the point. Reading,…