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The Tribal Council kicked us out again. Holly Kays, a reporter for The Smoky Mountain News, was told on July 9 to leave a meeting of the Cherokee Tribal Council. No meaningful reason was given as to why members of…
Three grants have been awarded by The Fund for Haywood County, totaling about $7,000.  This fund is an affiliate of The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina and is a permanent endowment intended to meet the needs of local nonprofits.…
Wednesday, 29 July 2015 14:20

Haywood veteran honored at pinning ceremony

Francis “Jack” James was recognized on June 26 by the “We Honor Veterans” program for his years of military service.  He served overseas in the Army from 1944 to 1946. This program is a partnership of the Veteran’s Administration and…
An algal bloom on Waterville Lake in northern parts of Haywood County has tested positive for a toxin with potential to cause skin rashes and affect liver function.
Shining Rock Classical Academy, a new charter school opening in Haywood County next month, will pull in more than $2 million in state and county tax dollars its first year if the current enrollment of around 230 students holds.
As a public entity receiving public dollars, Shining Rock Classical Academy — Haywood County’s first charter school — is required to follow the state’s Public Records and Open Meetings laws.
Wednesday, 29 July 2015 14:09

Bryson City alderman running for Congress

Rick Bryson, a current alderman in Bryson City, has his eyes on Washington, D.C., as he plans a run to represent North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District.
A new program will enable a limited number of Macon County residents to seek primary medical care at the health department beginning this fall.
It’s been two-and-a-half years since cash flow problems forced Jackson County’s domestic violence and sexual abuse resource center to close its doors, and REACH of Jackson County has remained a dead organization ever since.
Wednesday, 29 July 2015 14:02

Chief candidates to debate in Cherokee

Candidates for the two chief offices up for election this year will square off in a pair of debates at the Chief Joyce Dugan Cultural Arts Center in Cherokee next week.  Sponsored by the Junaluska Leadership Council and the Cherokee…
A candidate for mayor in Waynesville is dropping out of the race, although his name will still be on the ballot.
Wednesday, 29 July 2015 13:57

Canton celebrates keeping its clinic

Within six months, a primary care medical clinic for Evergreen Packaging employees went from being on the chopping block to expanding its services.

folkmoot languageStanding in the back of The Stompin’ Ground in Maggie Valley last week, several languages could be heard in every direction. To the right, Spanish and Estonian. To the left, French and Cherokee. All present for the “Opening Gala” of Folkmoot USA, all versed in the universal language of performance.

folkmoot improvThere’s a secret ingredient behind the bright lights, splashy costumes and glossy programs of Folkmoot: for every two parts planning, there’s one part improv.

folkmoot preservingEach year international groups from all over the world travel abroad to share their traditional folk dances and songs with other cultures. 

They spend hundreds of hours researching, learning and rehearsing these songs and dances. They spend a lot of money on authentic costumes to accurately represent their heritage and they spend even more to go one tour and share their work with others.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015 17:05

Old steel should be used for footbridge

To the Editor: I have an idea for reducing the cost of the footbridge at the end of the Cullowhee Greenway. Use the I-beams from the old U.S. 23/74 highway bridge in Willets. They were good enough to handle loaded…
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 17:05

The Battle Flag was indeed about slavery

To the Editor: To get past the emotionality regarding the Virginia Battle Flag, we need to examine its history and use through time. The reality is that the flag was created as a symbol to support the fight for slavery.…
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 17:04

Hillary has way too much baggage

To the Editor: When Bill Clinton was president, Hillary assumed authority over health care reform. Even after threats, she couldn't get a vote in a Democratic congress. The cost to taxpayers was $13 million. Clinton gave Hillary authority over selecting…
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 17:04

Parents should teach children to drive

To the Editor: The problem of how to fund driver's ed could be easily solved. Since when did it become the responsibility of schools to teach our children to drive? Give that duty back to parents where it belongs and…
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 17:03

How can we be proud to be Americans?

To the Editor: USA Today has reported that on average there were 96 cases of a white police officer killing a black person each year between 2006 and 2012. At least 392 people have been killed by U.S. police so…
By Gibbs Knotts & Chris Cooper A longstanding social science finding holds that collective public opinion is fairly sticky on most issues. In other words, the public’s views do not change very much — and when opinions do shift, the…
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 16:43

Summer skies

My family and I made a quick run up to Waterrock Knob on the Blue Ridge Parkway around dusk last Sunday (July 19) to get a peek at some celestial luminaries. Venus and Jupiter joined the waxing crescent moon on…
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 16:39

Sunday hunting now OK in North Carolina

Sunday hunting with firearms will now be legal on private property following passage of the Outdoor Heritage Act by the N.C. General Assembly and governor’s concurrance.
The new agritourism guide for Haywood County is out, highlighting farmers markets, plant nurseries, pick-your-own farms, roadside produce stands, Christmas tree farms, farm-to-table restaurants and shops that sell products made from locally-grown items.  “The 2015 Agritourism Guide has been designed…
The tally of people who have hiked the entire 1,150-mile Mountains-to-Sea Trail reached 50 when Lorie Hansen, of Hendersonville, took her final step along the trail. 
“Hey buddy, you about ready to come out?” Michael Skinner asks the juvenile broadwing hawk standing in the back of a plastic carrying case.  Skinner, executive director of the Balsam Mountain Trust and jack of all environmental trades, slowly reaches…
When we think of American writers living and working overseas, most of us turn to those authors who lived in Paris. We recollect Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, that fine account of his life in Paris in the 1920s; we imagine…
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 16:02

Y’all ready for some BBQ?

The “Smokin’ in the Valley” Western North Carolina BBQ Festival will be from noon to 9 p.m. July 24 and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 25 at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds.
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 16:01

WCU Summer Concert Series continues

Americana ensemble Steph Stewart and the Boyfriends will perform as part of the “Summer Concert Series” at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 30, in the Central Plaza at Western Carolina University.
The 6th Annual Hillbilly Woodstock will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 31-Aug. 1 at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds.
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 15:34

Owner of the Sun — “Sharp Tongue”

Setting down deep roots in Jackson County over the past couple of years, Owner of the Sun (Sylva-based by way of Atlanta) is an Americana group, but one whose tone and intent goes far below the surface of you’re atypical…
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 15:33

Mountain Faith appears on NBC

All eyes were on Summer McMahan and company. “We were all so nervous going into the audition,” she said. “But, once we noticed they were liking it, all the nerve went away and we had a blast. We’re so very humbled…
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 15:28

This must be the place

Often times as a journalist, you just simply can’t get to everything.
Covered in paint speckles, Drew Duncan walked into O’Malley’s Pub & Grill on a recent Thursday evening. Finishing up work for the day, he wasn’t in search of the 50-cent wing special, nor was he heading to the bar for…
There are two types of mayors — the ones who show up to shake hands and kiss babies and the ones who take an active role in their town to make it a better place.  Maggie Valley Mayor Ron DeSimone…
As family members and friends took turns paying tribute to Ron DeSimone at his memorial mass on Tuesday, one word kept being repeated — love.
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 15:02

DeSimone dies in construction accident

Last Friday started out just like many other workdays for Maggie Valley Mayor Ron DeSimone.
The tragic accident that killed Mayor Ron DeSimone last week has left a hole in upcoming town elections this fall.
A bill paving the way for the merger of Lake Junaluska with the town of Waynesville was blocked at the 11th hour this week in the N.C. General Assembly.
Lisa Preston Clark wasn’t surprised to see the CD amid the items recovered from Cole Preston’s crashed car. The disc was all about living life from the heart, and that’s just how Clark’s 22-year-old nephew lived.
Homeowners in the high-end Balsam Mountain Preserve development are trying to strike a deal with an investment lender from New York to stop the foreclosure of their community nature center.
There’s talk in Cherokee of making the chief of police’s job an elected position following a resolution introduced by Travis Smith, a Birdtown resident who’s also a candidate for Tribal Council.
The town of Maggie Valley is small and only an average of 300 residents vote in any given election, but this year’s race for spots on the town board is shaping up to be full of competition.
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 14:43

Canton election gets two newcomers

Two new candidates have signed up to run against incumbent candidates Gail Mull and Ralph Hamlett for the Canton Board of Aldermen.
Several young residents have signed up to run for a seat on the Franklin Board of Aldermen while the race for mayor will be uncontested. 
The dust has settled following a last-minute scramble of candidates signing up to run for the Waynesville town board last week, and voters now have their work cut out.
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 14:38

New candidate takes on Bryson City mayor

The election for the Bryson City Board of Aldermen looked like it would be a landslide for the incumbents early last week, but that had all changed by last Friday as four more people signed up to run for office.
With election sign-ups now closed, it looks like Sylva’s guaranteed to get some younger membership on its board after November’s elections.
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 14:33

Dog owners brace for canine flu

Mountain dog owners may have started hearing rumor of a devastating canine flu strain coming their way, but according to area veterinarians there’s no cause for hysteria.
Wednesday, 22 July 2015 14:30

Frat disbanded by national organization

Western Carolina University’s chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha has had its share of troubles this year, and a recent decision from the national fraternity’s board of directors adds suspension — and a recommendation to eventually revoke the chapter’s charter —…