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Counties with jail beds to spare will soon be able to make a little cash housing state prison inmates. Under a new program introduced by the N.C. General Assembly earlier this year, minor criminals with short sentences won’t be housed…
Western North Carolina is losing one of its strongest municipal work forces. And a quick look at their record of projects shows that, in towns and counties around the region, they will be sorely missed. But this loss isn’t exactly…
Western Carolina University and the Cullowhee area could prove the decisive battleground in the coming debate about whether alcohol sales should be legal countywide in Jackson, and not just confined to the towns of Sylva and Dillsboro. Ikran Mohamed, hurrying…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 12:37

Meth lab cleanup costs sloughed onto counties

In what promises to become an increasingly expensive proposition, county taxpayers must now pick up the tab for cleaning up illegal methamphetamine labs. The federal government notified states in February that it would no longer pay for such clean ups,…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 12:35

Pilot on pot patrol hits the jackpot

After hours of scouring the ground for renegade marijuana plants from the air last Thursday, the pilot of a Highway Patrol helicopter was ready to call it day. But as he crested the Balsams, in the homestretch of his flight…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 20:44

Workshops help artists get their game on

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Two Handmade in America Craft Labs are coming to Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center in Graham County. Learn how to…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 20:44

Sylva artist headlines art society gathering

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The next meeting of the Blue Ridge Watermedia Society will be held from 6:45 p.m. to 9 p.m. on August…
The Popcorn Sutton Summer Jam is scheduled for noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, August 6, at the Maggie Valley…
The Overlook Players will present Narnia at 7:30 p.m. from August 4-6, with a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Sunday, August…
Phil Coghill, a professional kaleidoscope artist and woodturner, will be one of the newest artists to participate in the Creative…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 20:39

Art After Dark gallery stroll is August 5

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Art After Dark returns to downtown Waynesville from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, August 5. Working studios and galleries…
The Downtown Waynesville Dog Walk will start at 10 a.m. on Saturday, August 6, at the Haywood County Courthouse, and…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 20:38

Ever popular Balsam Range to give free concert in Sylva

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Balsam Range, a renowned bluegrass band across the region, will play Sylva’s Concerts on the Creek series at 7:30 p.m.…
Franklin will be hopping with all things barbecue at the Mountain High Barbecue Festival and Car Show on August 12…
For the last seven years, Canton has celebrated Haywood County’s biggest crop with a festival in its honor. This year,…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 20:33

Chess as a metaphor for life

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When you think chess club, the quintessential picture that comes to mind probably doesn’t include a cowboy or a retired…
Wednesday, 31 December 2008 16:27

2008: A look at all involved

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By Christi Marsico • Staff Writer From playing a girl with big dreams that go nowhere in Haywood Arts Repertory…
Wednesday, 31 December 2008 16:26

The best of 2008

Every year about this time, reporters dig out their old files and back editions and start cruising the headlines for the top stories of the year. Lucky for us, there never seems to be shortage of material for the “Year…
Wednesday, 31 December 2008 16:25

Haywood Waterways lauds water quality heroes

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The Haywood Waterways Association announced its water quality heroes for the year at its annual banquet in December. Here’s who…
Wednesday, 31 December 2008 16:25

It’s past time for land use review to get started

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The acknowledgement by Waynesville’s leaders that they let a review of the town’s much-heralded land use plan languish and now…
The extraordinarily difficult struggle to find nurses licensed in psychiatric care has forced the state agency that oversees mental health care in Western North Carolina to discontinue crucial services for its most critical patients. For months, the Smoky Mountain Center…
Wednesday, 31 December 2008 16:23

It’s all about the kids, right?

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We stood looking at the dinosaur for quite awhile. As parents of children ages 7 and 3, we are more…
Wednesday, 31 December 2008 16:22

Public lands feel the pressure: a recurring theme

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Conflicts over public land continued to heat up in 2009 as more people turn to outdoor recreation in WNC. More…
Wednesday, 31 December 2008 16:21

Bad economy leads to a few good things

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By John Beckman • Guest Columnist A lot of attention lately has been focused on how bad the economic downturn…
Wednesday, 31 December 2008 16:20

Boars and otters among Wildlife Commission changes

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The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is now taking public comment on several proposed changes to hunting and fishing regulations. The…
Wednesday, 31 December 2008 16:19

A look back at the year’s top environmental stories

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The past year has been marked by some good and not so good news for the environment in Western North…
Wednesday, 31 December 2008 16:18

The Naturalist's Corner

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Snowbirds are here No, I’m not talking about your Uncle Bernie and Aunt Esther from New York City. I’m talking…
Wednesday, 31 December 2008 16:17

Winter wear

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(Note: A version of this essay will appear in an upcoming issue of “Chinquapin: The Newsletter of the Southern Appalachian…
Wednesday, 31 December 2008 16:16

Best wishes for Sylva in 2009

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By Chris Cooper Last year I wrote a “suggested Christmas play list” for the holiday. It may have been a…
Wednesday, 31 December 2008 16:14

Today’s boys

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The Trouble With Boys: A Surprising Report Card on Our Sons, Their Problems at School, and What Parents and Educators…
Wednesday, 31 December 2008 16:13

Motive behind Cherokee fire remains mystery

An apparent arson fire that burned the Tribal Operations Program building in Cherokee in the early morning hours of Dec. 20 remained under investigation by the police department at press time Tuesday (Dec. 30). The building, which held ordinances and…
Wednesday, 31 December 2008 16:12

Save the planet by changing your diet

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By Rudy Beharrysingh • Professor, Southwestern Community College Editor’s note: This series of green living tips is provided by Sustainable…
Wednesday, 24 December 2008 16:02

With each visit home, college daughter is more grown up

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By David Curtis Just a short two weeks ago I was texting my daughter, who was in the process of…
Wednesday, 24 December 2008 16:01

Alma

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(poem from Wildwood Flower by Kathryn Stripling Byer) Two dead leaves on the table and ice floats on milk like…
Wednesday, 24 December 2008 16:00

Jackson board sets sights on historic property

The Jackson County Planning Board is considering establishing a historic preservation commission to help maintain significant landmarks and districts. Such a commission would regulate what kind of changes could be made to structures in areas designated as historic districts. The…
Wednesday, 24 December 2008 15:59

Dressing right for winter weather

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By Doug Scarborough • Contributing writer With the winter season here, dressing appropriately to prevent cold injuries is often overlooked.…
Wednesday, 24 December 2008 15:58

Voters to decide on alcohol sales at Harrah’s

Voters in Cherokee will decide whether alcohol should be sold at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino now that enough signatures have been gathered to put the measure on the ballot. The Cherokee Board of Elections has certified 1,536 signatures. Only 1,534 signatures,…
Haywood Regional Medical Center will terminate its contract with the corporate physician staffing outfit that supplies doctors for the hospital’s emergency department, according to hospital CEO Mike Poore. “What we are trying to do is improve our overall emergency department,”…
Wednesday, 24 December 2008 15:56

A stellar year for Cataloochee’s elk

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When the first batch of 25 elk were released in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park seven years ago, it…
Wednesday, 24 December 2008 15:55

Land use plan review ‘back on track’

Waynesville leaders vowed to speed up a review of the town’s land use plan after an article in The Smoky Mountain News two weeks ago revealed the process is months behind schedule. The town board directed Town Planner Paul Benson…
Wednesday, 24 December 2008 15:53

That’s me on the couch, counting my blessings

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The holidays are upon us, I’m walking almost normal, and I’m ready to sit on the couch and count my…
Wednesday, 24 December 2008 15:52

Chili’s scouts Waynesville as possible location

Even as one national retailer — Home Depot — is pulling its plans for a Waynesville store, the national restaurant chain Chili’s Grill and Bar is setting its sights on the small mountain town. The West Waynesville commercial area near…
Wednesday, 24 December 2008 15:50

Sustainable travel makes sense

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By Cynthia Deale • Western Regional Representative, Center for Sustainable Tourism Editor’s note: This series of green living tips is…
Two recently created tourism boards in Macon County met last week to begin discussing how they can make the area more of a tourist destination. The groups, the Tourism Development Authority and the Tourism Development Commission, represent the town of…
Wednesday, 24 December 2008 15:48

DOT meeting should have been advertised

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By James McCarthy • Guest Columnist Did the N.C. Department of Transportation hold an illegal meeting on Dec. 4 at…
By Christi Marsico • Staff Writer North Carolina’s poet laureate Kathryn Stripling Byer listens to the CD “Alma,” composed by…
Wednesday, 24 December 2008 15:45

Swanger back in the game with EDC seat

Haywood County Commissioner Mark Swanger is back on the county’s Economic Development Commission five years after he played a critical role in overhauling the organization and redirecting the county’s strategy for economic development. Swanger recently regained his seat as a…
Charles Phillips of Waynesville may be monetarily poor, but he is rich in the Christmas spirit. Each Christmas Phillips covers his small house on Frazier Street with colorful lights and adorns his yard with Christmas trees, Santa Claus statues and…
Wednesday, 24 December 2008 15:43

Was the night really that silent?

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According to old Appalachian tradition, you don’t have to be named Doolittle to hear the animals. You just have to…
Lynn Collins, the director of Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce, was unanimously appointed as the new director of the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority this week following a muddled process involving three separate votes. The process and the outcome seemed…