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Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:36

Healthy Haywood kicks off fitness challenge

Healthy Haywood will kick off its annual fitness challenge beginning March 14. Registration is $10. Participants can attend a variety of fitness classes offered by local fitness centers and businesses. Participants are free to choose which classes to attend over…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:35

MedWest expands mental health services

A mental health program at MedWest-Haywood hospital has been expanded to include the general population through a behavioral health outpatient program. The program began as a counseling and support system for active and veteran members of the military. The pilot…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:34

Volunteer opportunity with Arc of Haywood

The Arc of Haywood will be promoting advocacy for those with development disabilities in March. This is to honor Development Disabilities Awareness Month. A United Way agency, The Arc of Haywood was founded in 1976 in Haywood County and continues…
In a we-were-really-just-kidding-around reversal, Jackson County commissioners this week decided to delay their previous decision to delay property revaluation. A draft resolution to push back the countywide appraisal from next year to 2016 was thoughtfully included by county staff in…
The state could step in to run the Swain County Department of Social Services if the top leaders are among those put on leave during a probe into an alleged cover-up. Swain DSS falsified records relating to the abuse and…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:30

Second-home economy makes its mark on WNC

The second-home economy has fueled far more than construction and real estate jobs over the past decade. “If it’s someone’s second or third home, they aren’t bringing anything with them,” said Doug Worrell, the president of High Country Furniture in…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:27

Reading between the census lines

Although population in Western North Carolina increased only by a modest amount over the past decade, home construction grew at a much higher rate, according to 2010 census data released last week. The census counts year-round residents. But much of…
Urban areas grew at a torrid pace over the past decade — so get ready, legislators in the mountains and on the coast, because your already large districts are about to expand. Why? Because, as Christopher Cooper, a political science…
Macon County isn’t exactly asking for a recount, but officials here do want to know why the county’s 2010 census numbers fell well short of what they expected — call it more of a pointed request that federal census workers…
For upwardly mobile professionals who are looking for an outdoor lifestyle, scenic mountain beauty and the company of like-minded individuals, Jackson County has proven the perfect fit. Just-released 2010 census data shows Jackson County emerging over the last decade as…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:11

Former HRMC CEO gets $150,000 settlement

The former CEO of Haywood Regional Medical Center will get $150,000 from the hospital after settling a lawsuit claiming he was wrongfully fired. David Rice was at the helm during a near meltdown of the hospital in 2008. At the…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:10

Jackson student art on exhibit

The artwork of regional students will be on display as part of the 2011 Jackson County Youth Art Month exhibit, from March 14 through April 11, in the lobby of Western Carolina University’s Fine and Performing Arts Center. A reception…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:09

Learning to grow the modern family

A program entitled The Thoroughly Modern Family is offered from 3 to 4:15 p.m. on Saturday, March 19, at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville. The event is designed to be a fun, fast-paced event with presentations by local marriage and…
The Macon County Public Library is calling for entries in its “Waking with Spring” Appalachian Trail photography contest. The competition is celebrating Franklin’s designation as an Appalachian Trail Conservancy Community. Any photographs of hikers, landscapes, or nature taken on the…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:06

Bowls for bovines set for March 12

The Gamma Zeta chapter of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity at Western Carolina University will host a chili and handcrafted ceramic bowl fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 12. The fundraiser is to benefit Heifer…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:05

Honors students put on annual show

The Haywood County Arts Council will present its 13th-annual Student Honors Recital at 3 p.m., Sunday, March 13, at the Performing Arts Center in Waynesville. A cookies and punch reception will take place immediately following the recital. The annual concert…
A Cherokee Music Day is coming to Cherokee Central School on Wednesday, March 16, with a full slate of free concerts and hands-on interactive instruction between North Carolina Symphony members and students. The day begins with two small ensemble concerts,…
Local author Johnnie Sue Myers will be at Sylva’s City Lights Bookstore at 2 p.m., Saturday, March 12, for a presentation and tasting promoting her recent cookbook, The Gathering Place: Traditional Cherokee Dishes, Wild Game Recipes & Preparation Tips, and…
A benefit for Asheville’s Rathbun Center will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 18, at The Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin. Groups participating are the Rye Holler Boys, Dueling Piano Players, WestSound, and Sherri…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:00

Quilt Trail adds a few new squares

Haywood County’s Quilt Trails project will unveil three quilt blocks at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 12, beginning at the Shook-Smathers House in Clyde. Ceremonies at Lil’s and the Haywood Institute building will immediately follow the Shook-Smathers unveiling. The Shook…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 19:58

Bottoms up! Bryson City brewery opens

Beer brewing in Bryson City just took on a whole new look this weekend when Nantahala Brewing Company threw open the doors of its brand new tasting room. The town’s fledgling brewery welcomed friends and fans into its front room…
Swain County commissioners voted 4 to 1 in a special meeting Thursday (March 3) to formally recommend that the  Department of Social Services Board suspend with pay four employees involved in a State Bureau of Investigation probe into an alleged…
The Swain County Department of Social Services board has agreed to meet with the Swain County commissioners to discuss whether DSS employees and officials should be suspended due to an ongoing criminal investigation of the agency. The two boards will…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 21:16

Walking a mountain gives it life

Hiking a designated trail involves prescribed origins and destinations, whether it be a four-mile jaunt from Clingman’s Dome to Siler’s Bald in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or a 2,000-mile trek from north Georgia to Maine along the Appalachian…
Two outreach sessions for members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to develop a 10-year “legacy plan” for tribal lands, environment and natural resources have been setup by the tribe’s Natural Resources Department. The sessions will be conducted on…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 21:14

Wildlife advocates gather for March meeting

Western North Carolina Wildlife Advocates — including Wild South, Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education, the Jackson-Macon Conservation Alliance, and representatives from Mountain Wildlife Days, among others — will will gather at 1 p.m. on Friday March 11 at Haywood Community College’s main…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 21:14

Take a group trip to see Cataloochee’s elk

The WNC Nature Center’s “NC Elk Experience” trip to Cataloochee Valley will take place on Tuesday, March 15. Tickets are $18 for Friends of the WNC Nature Center and $20 for others. Those who purchse tickets should meet at the…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 21:13

Volunteers needed at Clingmans Dome

Want to become a volunteer in the Smokies, wear a uniform and help visitors figure out where they are? Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recruiting volunteers to help staff the new visitor contact station at Clingmans Dome when it…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 21:12

Blue Ridge Breakaway registration is open

Registration begins this week for the second-annual Blue Ridge Breakaway bike ride, which is scheduled for Aug. 20. The cycling event brought more than 300 riders to Haywood County last year. The event will feature a century (105 miles), metric…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 21:12

Public workshop to design Webster trail

Anyone interested in helping design, build or use a trail at Jackson County’s new Department on Aging campus in Webster are urged to attend a workshop on Tuesday, March 15. The workshop will be in the conference room at the…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 21:11

Need a summer job?

The Waynesville Recreation Center is looking for lifeguards, with a training course on tap for this month for those who do not have certification. Lifeguards must be at least age 17. A pre-test for the course will be held on…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 21:09

Life of Riley in Louisiana

Different people have different ideas of camping. Some people like to carry their camp on their back as they hike for untold miles, eating freeze-dried beans and drinking purified water from the streams. Some people’s idea of the camp is…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 21:06

Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest turns 100

By Brent Martin • Guest Writer The Nantahala-Pisgah national forests celebrated their 100th birthday March 1.   Of course, the forests, mountains and rivers defining our landscape as the special place that it is have been here for millions of…
Jody Kraner (aka JadriAnna Lee), author of Northern Lights: A Journey to Insight, will appear for a reading and discussion at City Lights in Sylva at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 5. The book includes a card set and instructions…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 21:03

Battling weight problems and ensuing baggage

Though heroin and cocaine are dangerous and illegal, both drugs carry with them a cachet, the dark romance of, say, the doomed hard-rock singer or the wild film star. Alcoholics — unless you happen to live with one — are…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 20:55

Planting the seeds for sustainability

A few weeks ago, as part of a magazine assignment, I visited Sow True Seed in Asheville. Carol Koury and Peter Wakiewicz, cofounders of the two-year-old company, took time from their busy schedule — and I do mean busy, this…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 20:51

Neighbor leaves a legacy of kindness

It was not my best day. I had just got home with the kids, who seemed a little grumpy because they forgot mom had to work tonight and probably because this meant Hamburger Helper or chicken with mushroom soup over…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 20:48

Local magazine calls for photography

Smoky Mountain Living magazine has issued a call for photos for its next issue, which will hit the stands in April and May. The magazine prominently features images from across the southern Appalachians in each edition. Photo essays adhere to…
For Waynesville seniors, the old armory recreation center now offers exercise for more than just the body. The new Brain Gym system, installed thanks to a grant garnered by Haywood Community Connections, will help offer a place for the town’s…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 20:46

MedWest to open Urgent Care Center

An Urgent Care Center will open in August at Wal-Mart Plaza in Sylva. The location of the MedWest’s new urgent care center will in a building currently occupied by Rent-A-Center. That business is scheduled to relocate May 1 and renovations…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 20:42

Volunteers needed for Meals on Wheels

The Haywood County Meals on Wheels program is seeking volunteers in the Fines Creek community to deliver nutritious meals to the elderly, homebound or disabled residents. Volunteers are asked to contribute approximately one hour each week starting at 10:30 a.m.…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 20:40

Political ill will still lingers in Jackson

The election for the Jackson County Board of Commissioners might have wrapped up last fall, but the war of words didn’t end then. Last month, newly elected Chairman Jack Debnam wrote to unseated Commissioner Tom Massie’s employer, the N.C. Department…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 20:36

HCC causes a stir with clear cutting

A new and long-awaited Creative Arts Building is only days away from its groundbreaking ceremony at Haywood Community College. But the tree clearing undertaken to prepare the way for the new crafts center has proven less-than-popular with some of the…
Some local thrift shop operators in Jackson County or crying foul over a nonprofit accepting donations in Sylva despite not having a store in the county. Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina has a trailer (as in the second half…
By Quintin Ellison and Colby Dunn • Staff writers The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is forced to rely on state social workers when it comes to protecting the tribe’s children from abuse and neglect. That might change in the…
Relatives say they warned social workers repeatedly over the course of several months that Aubrey Littlejohn was being neglected and abused. Called by her middle name by family, 15-month-old Kina-Marie died on a mattress on the floor of a singlewide…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 20:21

Child’s death hits Cherokee hard

The mood is grim. Few people in this tight community want to talk to an outsider about the death of 15-month-old Aubrey Littlejohn. Here on the Cherokee Indian Reservation, kinship ties are strong and families are extended and extensive. It…
Relatives of a Cherokee child who died in January are publicly calling for the suspension of the Swain County Department of Social Services’ director and program manager, as well as other employees named in a State Bureau of Investigation probe…
The Swain County Department of Social Services falsified records relating to the abuse and neglect of a 15-month-old baby who later died, according to an investigation by the Swain County Sheriff’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation. The specific…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 20:15

Budget woes force WCU to cut jobs

Western Carolina University is laying off 10 employees in April as it struggles with the projected loss of approximately $8.6 million in state funding. The 10 workers are employed in several divisions across the university. University leaders say they anticipate…