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Wednesday, 18 September 2013 13:27

Macon County ponies up for airport upgrades, again

The Macon County Commission last week narrowly approved funding for upgrades and an expansion of the runway at the county airport.
Maggie Valley residents and leaders are questioning how and why town taxpayers ended up footing the bill for a Country music concert at the festival grounds last month — and whether the town will end up holding the bag for…
Thousands of uninsured Western North Carolina residents will soon benefit from the Affordable Care Act, despite most people still being confused over what health insurance reform truly entails, according local health experts.
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 13:21

Swain County fights for its just due

Swain County Manager Kevin King made another trip up to Washington, D.C. last week, though this time the visit was not strictly for Swain County’s benefit. The National Association of County Commissioners paid for King and 24 other county leaders…
U.S. Congressman Mark Meadows was appointed as one of the country’ two representatives to the United Nation’s General Assembly last week.
Five full-time doctors practicing at Swain County Medical Center have left during the past year. The departures account for half the doctors in the county, who not only staff the emergency room but also take care of patients staying in…
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 13:15

Bryson City: just what the doctor ordered

As Dr. Randall Castor stared down the final weeks of his residency, it was clear those long, grueling years of medical training were about to pay off.
During rehearsal for her church’s band one Monday night, Paula McElroy called home to check on her 82-year-old husband who suffers from dementia. No answer.
A manufacturing plant that makes parts for big-rig cab interiors has broken ground on a $5.9 million expansion in Canton with plans to add 140 jobs at the factory by 2015. 
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 15:26

At least the rich got a tax cut

To the Editor: Congratulation, the Republican legislature just gave everyone in the state a tax cut. Well, maybe not, just those whose income is over $84,000. If your income is over $400,000, your tax cut may be as much as…
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 15:25

Hoping memories last until next election

To the Editor: In a recent letter titled “New laws bring advantages to N.C. citizens,” the writer stated “It’s time to speak the truth about the gains made by the N.C. legislature in its 2013 session.” While most of the…
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 15:25

National spotlight shines on N.C.

To the Editor: The 2013 North Carolina legislature has enacted numerous measures to benefit corporations and attract new business to our state. Tax reform is reducing corporate income tax and the state excise tax is being repealed. Middle- and lower-income…
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 15:24

Let’s keep the AT as pristine as possible

To the Editor: In the winter of 1979, in the midst of studying for a degree at a large university, things weren’t going well. Academically I was OK, but emotionally, spiritually, I needed a break. One afternoon I returned to…
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 15:23

What a great day in Western North Carolina

From the very first few days I lived in the mountains — as an 18-year-old freshman at Appalachian State University — late-summer days have always gotten my blood pumping. The fresh, cool breezes that suggest the coming fall do battle…
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 15:15

Macon Aero Modelers Barbecue Fundraiser

The Macon Aero Modelers is holding its 5th annual BBQ Charity Fun Fly at 9 a.m. Sept. 21-22, at the club’s flying field on Tessentee Road in Otto. Each year the club, made up of radio-controlled airplane enthusiasts, hosts the…
MedWest-Haywood is asking the community to step up to the plate and do their best rendition of the ‘Pink Glove Dance’ on Monday, Sept. 16. The ‘Pink Glove Dance’ has become a national hit to raise awareness of breast cancer.…
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 15:10

Mountain Momma

I credit my older sister with teaching me many of life’s important lessons. Like not wearing white heels after Labor Day, or not mixing gold earrings with a silver necklace.
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 15:09

Crafts, contests and music at Railfest

The 12th annual Railfest will bring a taste of railroad food, memorabilia, storytelling, Appalachian music and dance, and special train excursions to downtown Bryson City Sept. 13-15.
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 15:07

Youth Art Festival coming to Dillsboro

The 6th annual Youth Arts Festival will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at the Jackson County Green Energy Park in Dillsboro.
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 15:06

Wrestler brings musical talents to Maggie rally

Professional wrestler and country singer Mickie James will perform at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14, at Thunder In The Smokies bike rally at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds. 
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 15:04

This must be the place

He slinked by, turned and glanced at me. “Well, hey there, you must be Jack, eh?” I said to him.
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 15:00

Must-see in Cullowhee

From blockbuster Broadway musicals to the obscure art of throat singing to politically-charged documentaries on Iranian oppression, Western Carolina University is filling the stage and screen with an impressive line-up of shows, acts and film screenings over the coming year.…
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 14:42

The lost West in all its violent glory

I have always had a fondness for great, sprawling epics, especially if they chronicle the downfall of a family/dynasty that acquired great power and wealth only to destroy themselves through ruthless acts involving betrayal, greed and arrogance. Invariably, they build mansions, acquire…
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 14:41

Buckeyes still beguile nature lovers

A large yellow buckeye tree overhangs and supports the swinging gate that accesses our property. The tree has started to drop the unique fruiting structures for which it is named. Year around, it always has something interesting going on.
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 14:32

Blight-resistant chestnuts planted in Cashiers

Tree seedlings planted at McKinney Meadow in Cashiers this week may signal a new chapter for the American Chestnut in the area and its fight against blight. The chestnut seedlings planted at McKinney Meadow are part of a unique breeding…
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 14:32

Advanced tech courses offered to students

Haywood County high school students will have more educational opportunities in the areas of electronics and machining, thanks to a nearly $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. Haywood Community College and Haywood County Schools will use the two-year, $193,000…
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 14:30

Farm tour introduces tourists to their food source

A Western North Carolina farm tour provides the perfect chance to see where food comes from and to get to know the farmers who grow it.
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 14:29

Parkway throws mountain party

A day full of activities at the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center near Asheville promises mountain music, outdoor literature, local food, environmental education and a guided hike. Events run from 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, at the…
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 14:27

Geothermal project extends crop’s life

Haywood Community College will soon build an experimental geothermal pre-cooling facility to extend the shelf life of produce and crops in Western North Carolina.
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 14:26

Chestnut trees highlight of hike

A walk along the Blue Ridge Parkway will take hikers on a journey to explore the mighty chestnut tree and its future in Western North Carolina.
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 14:24

Buy gear and help the park’s friends

Mast General Store is offering outdoor enthusiasts a way to get new gear while helping out the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Until Sept. 14, Patagonia footwear, apparel and gear purchased at Mast General Store in Waynesville will benefit the…
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 14:23

Get thee to an eatery

Sorry, I couldn’t help it – I saw Hamlet at Montford Park this past weekend.  But to be more specific, get thee to City Lights Café this Friday, Sept. 13, at 6 p.m. for “Land of the Crooked Water.” The…
It is a common story — a species once eliminated returns to find not everyone welcomes it back with open arms. The return of wolves to northern Wisconsin, the reintroduction of beavers to the United Kingdom, and now the elk…
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 13:45

Business calendar

• Western Carolina University will host information sessions on a new part-time MBA program starting in January and held in Cherokee. Sessions will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. Sept. 12 in the hotel ballroom at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino…
Highlands-Cashiers Hospital is expected to come under the umbrella of Mission Health in coming months. The Highlands-Cashiers Hospital is current a stand-alone, independent hospital, but has been engaged in talks with Mission for a year about entering an affiliation. Highlands-Cashiers…
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 13:41

Getting a handle on cutlery

Kristi Culpepper knows knives.  Browsing the wide selection of specialized hunting, hobby and kitchen cutlery at Old School Knife Works on U.S. 441 in Otto, Culpepper is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the tradition, history and modern…
Despite fears that the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center would meet its maker after losing its state funding, the center’s board of directors decided to persevere, albeit in a diminished capacity.
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 13:37

Changes on table for TDA grant funding

People seeking funds from the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority spend hours filling out grant applications, and all the tourism agency gets for the applicant’s trouble is paper skyscrapers.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians held tribal council elections last Thursday (Sept. 5). All 12 seats on tribal council were up election, with two seats representing each of the reservation’s six communities. All the sitting council members ran for…
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 13:35

Sewer credits: a commodity market in Cashiers

To relieve sewer gridlock in the Cashiers area, the Tuckasegee Water and Sewer Authority may change its rules to let developers swap, transfer and even sell unused sewer capacity.
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 13:34

New restrooms in store for Waynesville playground

The town of Waynesville will soon put in temporary restrooms next to the popular children’s playground on Marshall Street. They will be a step up from the status quo of two lone portable potties plunked down at the edge of…
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 13:34

Waynesville to invest in tennis courts

Waynesville plans to repair the six cracked and aging tennis courts in its recreation park, as long as the local tennis community chips in. The town board authorized the Waynesville Park and Recreation Department to spend about $50,000 to resurface…
Skateboarders from across Western North Carolina have streamed into Waynesville during the past week to try out the town’s newly opened $400,000 skate park.
Forest Hills residents and town leaders overwhelmingly opposed purchasing a 60-acre abandoned golf course in the middle of their community at a public hearing last week.
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 13:30

Clyde police chief suspended, but keeps job

Clyde Police Chief Gerard Ball won’t return to work until Oct. 5 after the Clyde Board of Aldermen decided to suspend him without pay. Following a three-hour discussion, the town board voted unanimously last Wednesday (Sept. 4) to suspend Ball…
A new traveling exhibit is using technology to teach people about traditional Cherokee culture.
Two Maggie Valley aldermen recently indicated that they have a laundry list of grievances against the town’s mayor, but there is one complaint that stands out among the rest.
As the Maggie Valley Board of Aldermen called its monthly meeting to order, it was the last item on the list that had town hall overflowing — a call for a hearing to consider the mayor’s alleged misconduct.
A proposal to charge youth sports clubs and outside groups rental fees to use school property is being studied by the Haywood County School Board.
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 15:46

Liverworts — a unique bridge in the plant world

Some years ago, when I first became interested in plant identification, I became curious about liverworts. They are one of the distinctive plant groups (like fungi, lichens, mushrooms, etc.) without advanced vascular systems.