Thu04242014

     Subscribe  |  Contact  |  Advertise  |  RSS Feed Other Publications

Tuesday, 31 August 2010 19:00

Joint venture paying off for hospital group

The hospitals in Haywood, Jackson and Swain Counties can boost their bottom line by $15 million a year under their new joint venture, according to a major analysis of hospital operations conducted over the past six months. Saving money was…
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 18:58

North Shore memorial in Swain needs input

Public input is being sought for a memorial dedicated to the North Shore families in Swain County who had their land taken in the 1940s during the creation of Lake Fontana. A design meeting will take place from 9 a.m.…
A long-range plan to create a museum highlighting the role and contribution of Appalachian women might be in limbo. The Dillsboro town board last month informed representatives of the Appalachian Women’s Museum — which wants to renovate and turn the…
The blue-plate special fundraiser is a tradition in Sylva. On the last Wednesday of each month, Jackson County residents sit down to lunches served on battered wooden tables at the soup kitchen and eat food donated by local restaurants. The…
Court testimony could start this week in the case of a Florida man who gunned down state Trooper Shawn Blanton more than two years ago in what should have been a routine traffic stop. Blanton was killed June 17, 2008,…
Charlotte Littlejohn has spent much of her morning in a bustling kitchen preparing traditional frybread. Next to her, Donavon Crowe is stirring an enormous pot of chili. Crowe says he’s probably made six gallons of it already. Littlejohn and Crowe…
Four donated modular units should help ease a space crunch at the Public Safety Training Center in Macon County, but the fix could be short-lived. The training center, run by Southwestern Community College, might soon become one of a handful…
Waynesville’s town board is drawing the line at 14 Main Street closings annually. As a result, the town has rejected a request to shut down part of Main Street to traffic for a Sept. 11 memorial ceremony. The group organizing…
After violating their own policy, Swain County commissioners convened a special meeting Wednesday (June 23) for a do-over on a vote that gave Health Director Linda White a $15,000 raise. In the process, the board’s previous 3-2 vote to grant…
Wednesday, 30 June 2010 15:27

O’Connor’s life and characters

Two weeks ago, a friend and I traveled down into Central Georgia looking for Flannery O’Connor. My friend, whom I will dub Lucky for this piece, had never heard of Flannery O’Connor nor read anything written by her. She didn’t…
Finding the sweet spot in government regulation, like on a wooden baseball bat, is often difficult. It’s the place where people are protected from the inherent dangers that go hand in hand with many large industrial enterprises while those same…
Wednesday, 30 June 2010 15:25

The Naturalist's Corner

A sure bet I’m sure that if you belong to any environmental/conservation organization or if you have donated to causes in the past or perhaps simply visited a website recently, you have received pleas for donations and/or instructions detailing ways…
Wednesday, 30 June 2010 15:21

Memorial garden marks a lasting love

With the single-mindedness of Ahab and the devotion of a wounded heart, Phil Schmidt is building a monument for his wife. “If I didn’t have this to do, I don’t know what I would do,” Schmidt said. The Martha Jean…
Wednesday, 30 June 2010 15:20

Who’s visiting the Smokies?

While conducting a research study a few years ago, tourism official David Huskins came across an Atlanta resident who thought the Blue Ridge Parkway meandered its way through Kentucky. Another focus group participant said all he knew about the Smokies…
Wednesday, 30 June 2010 15:18

Nantahala Gorge ready for the world

“The Nantahala River has been many things to many people, but it’s never been a World Championship destination,” said Joe Jacobi, CEO of USA Canoe/Kayak, the governing body for whitewater sports in America. In April, the International Canoe Federation named…
Most Americans are surely aware our economy is still in trouble. The downswing in the last year of the Bush administration has not yet seen an equivalent upswing. Frightened by the state of the economy, the massive public debt, and…
Wednesday, 30 June 2010 15:15

Home Depot site for sale — for $4 million

Home Depot is still trying to unload a 12-acre tract in Waynesville after sidelining plans for its first store west of Asheville a year and a half ago due to the economy. Home Depot had been asking $4 million for…
At 9 years old, Italian Joseph Di Lillo lost his leg as a civilian casualty in World War II. He felt he no longer fit in at home or school. After months of self loathing, Di Lillo ran away and…
Wednesday, 30 June 2010 15:13

Secret poems of the Cherokee

I have always been struck by the sacred formulas (chants or incantations) that the Cherokee medicine men used to create good luck in hunting or warfare, in healing, or in affairs of the heart. The evil medicine men or “witches”…
Wednesday, 30 June 2010 15:12

WNC tourism trends

Motorcyclists Maggie Valley business owners have seen an uptick in motorcycle enthusiasts with the opening of the Wheels through Time Museum. Brenda O’Keefe, owner of Joey’s Pancake House, says many more motorcyclists are rushing to the Smokies to ride the…
Water pollution stemming from a Waynesville rock quarry is 100 times higher than that allowed under state standards, according to recent creek sampling by a state water quality specialist. Silt running off the Harrison Construction rock quarry into nearby Allens…
While Sylva’s downtown organization struggles for stable financial footing, similar programs in Waynesville and Franklin are seeing the results that strong support can yield. In May, Gov. Bev Perdue announced the awards of the first round of state funding for…
Wednesday, 30 June 2010 15:09

DSA’s future tenuous without more money

Recently, the town of Sylva passed a $1.6 million budget on a 3 to 2 vote. The most contentious line item in the finance package was a $12,000 allocation to the Downtown Sylva Association. Since the DSA was formed in…
Hikers and map geeks will revel in poring over a new map of the Bartram Trail being released this week. The map covers a 75-mile stretch of the Bartram Trail that winds through the Nantahala National Forest of Macon and…
The Sylva town board is in for another shakeup. The board will vote at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 1, to appoint a replacement for Sarah Graham, who had to step down from her position because she and her family…
The make-up of Sylva’s town board shifted this week when board members voted 3-1 to replace outgoing board member Sarah Graham with Harold Hensley. The vote changes the town’s disposition from one with a progressive voting majority to one likely…
Swain County residents overwhelmingly chose John Ensley in Tuesday’s Democratic primary runoff for sheriff — those who voted anyway. Ensley, the owner of Yellow Rose Realty, easily prevailed over opponent Mitchell Jenkins with 478 votes. With more than 60 percent…
At a special session of the Swain County board last week, Commissioner David Monteith stood up and stunned the crowd with a controversial proposal for spending the North Shore Road cash settlement money. Monteith called for a one-year suspension of…
Wednesday, 23 June 2010 14:57

The Naturalist's Corner

Still soaring after all these years Eagle Lady Doris Mager enjoyed a “rock star” reception last Friday (6/18) at the Waynesville public library. But instead of overage adolescents flicking bics and shouting “Freebird,” Mager and her friend E.T. (Extra Terrific),…
A packed public hearing last week over a Waynesville rock quarry pitted neighbors opposing an expansion of the mine against its workers. The Allens Creek quarry mines granite, which is used in road building and is the primary raw material…
Wednesday, 23 June 2010 14:55

Coastal Crusaders

When asked how he felt about the catastrophic BP oil spill, Robert Young paused for the first time during the interview, visibly moved. “It’s depressing...don’t make me cry,” Young said before walking over to his desktop and opening up a…
Wednesday, 23 June 2010 14:54

Building boom underway in medical field

Every hospital in the MedWest Health System — which covers Haywood, Jackson and Swain counties — will see new construction in the next few years. A one-story urgent care center, also housing minor X-ray and laboratory services, will be built…
The Tribal Council of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has passed a new enrollment ordinance that requires DNA testing for new applicants to the tribe’s rolls. The DNA testing will be used to verify the applicant’s parental lineage. The…
Wednesday, 23 June 2010 14:53

Beekeeping in the mountains

Editor’s note: This column first appeared in The Smoky Mountain News in June 2003. Honey was a primary sweetening agent for the early settlers here in the Smokies region. And to this day there are numerous beekeepers in the region.…
Wednesday, 23 June 2010 14:51

Horror in Haywood

Eric S. Brown’s neighbors have probably noticed him — planted in his car day and night, writing furiously in spiral notebooks, smoking cigarettes and downing one energy drink after another. To spare his wife, son and Canton home from a…
Wednesday, 23 June 2010 14:48

Quarry regulations fall between the cracks

A Waynesville rock quarry where a major slide occurred last year was operating without rules governing the stability or safety of its massive walls, which tower hundreds of feet in the air. There are no state or federal engineering standards…
Wednesday, 23 June 2010 14:47

Sylva budget passes on split vote

Funding for the Downtown Sylva Association has caused a rift in the Sylva town board for the fifth year running. Town leaders last week approved a $2.3 million budget for the coming fiscal year by a vote of 3 to…
By Thomas Crowe • Guest Columnist With the recent rash of mining disasters, oil and gas spills here in the U.S. and worldwide, and the apocalyptic timing of all of these, things have changed. These are not just mere rare…
Wednesday, 23 June 2010 14:45

Trooper honored with bridge naming

The N.C. Department of Transportation dedicated the bridge at Exit 31 of Interstate 40 in Haywood County in honor of State Trooper Shawn Blanton, last Thursday, the two-year anniversary of his death. “From this day forward, all who cross this…
Swain County residents overwhelmingly chose John Ensley in Tuesday’s Democratic primary runoff for sheriff — those who voted anyway. Ensley, the owner of Yellow Rose Realty and a certified North Carolina law enforcement officer, easily prevailed over opponent Mitchell Jenkins…
The Veterans Administration’s community-based outpatient clinic in Franklin will be just two years old in August, but it’s already operating at capacity. The clinic’s three full-time doctors have full dockets, and to them, that’s a sign the V.A.’s new service…
The town of Sylva plans to impose a new parking law to stop shop owners and employees from taking up customer parking on Main Street. While most towns in the region face the same challenge — what to do about…
Long-awaited relief for Swain County’s dire animal control problem has finally arrived. For years, residents had no recourse if a vicious dog or colony of stray cats took up residence on their property. Now, county officials hope to hire their…
Wednesday, 23 June 2010 14:33

Can’t pop the top

As part of the major renovation of the historic Jackson County Courthouse, workers from Brantley Construction were set to remove the building’s signature dome last Friday. But three separate attempts to lift it off by crane failed. The wood inside…
Wednesday, 23 June 2010 14:32

Slow corruption

The Death of Sweet Mister by Daniel Woodrell. Plume/Penguin Group, 2008. 196 pages. Several years ago, I read an amazing novel by Daniel Woodrell entitled Winter’s Bone, and after the review was published, I found that Woodrell’s narrative style lingered…
Thousands of poor and low-income children across Western North Carolina rely on schools to get least at one square meal a day, but with classes now out for summer, there’s no easy solution for keeping kids fed. “This question has…
Jackie Shuler has lived in the shadow of the Waynesville rock quarry most of her life. But as blasts have grown stronger and the size of the quarry bigger, so has the list of Shuler’s complaints. “If you were home…
Wednesday, 16 June 2010 14:24

Holding on to an identity

Someone Named Eva by Joan M. Wolf. Clarion Books, 2007. 208 pages. On May 27, 1942, resistance fighters who had parachuted into Czechoslovakia attempted to assassinate Reinhard Heydrich, deputy Reichsprotector of the Nazi Germany Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, the…
Rich Kucharski, chief legal counsel for Western Carolina University, became the seventh person in university history to receive one of the institution’s highest honors when the WCU board of trustees presented him with the Trustees’ Award. Retiring this summer after…
Wednesday, 16 June 2010 14:20

Watching the world’s game

Every four years the World Cup interrupts business as usual for a month in countries that have nothing else in common. From Accra to Osaka to Ljubljana, sport’s most international event hits 90 percent of the globe with the unpredictability…