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Wednesday, 28 January 2015 15:34

Facts and beliefs are different animals

To the Editor: Vic Drummond’s recent letter about “The Economic and Employment Costs of Not Expanding Medicaid in NC.” was just opinion and left-wing propaganda and not fact at all.   It seemed apparent that Drummond has not read the…
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 15:34

U.S. youth need unifying experience

To the Editor: Historical injustices, real and perceived, create seeds of terrorism. Today’s policies create a fertile environment for the seeds of terrorism to flourish.  The first environmental factor is overpopulation. Where there is cultural pressure and/or lack of access…
By Bill Lea • Guest Columnist In the article about the bear dogs attacking a camper’s dogs (www.smokymountainnews.com/outdoors/item/14952), Wallace Messer (a bear hunter whose dogs were not involved in the attack) begins by suggesting the blame for the attack should perhaps…
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 15:29

Surely there is a solution for noise dispute

Here’s hoping No Name Sports Pub and the town of Sylva can work out their differences on noise so that both get what they need. As it stands now, the establishment has stopped booking live music because neighbors have complained…
Southwestern Community College students who earn an associate’s degree in criminal justice technology have a new transfer option thanks to SCC’s recent articulation agreement with Lees McRae College in Banner Elk.
The Commission for a Clean County (CCC) has announced the 2014 winners of its annual Community Pride Awards program. This program honors businesses, community groups, civic clubs, schools and individuals (both adults and children) for exceptional efforts in the categories…
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 15:11

Broadband survey needs more rural responses

Haywood County leaders are still in the process of collecting data on broadband Internet service, but they need help from residents living in rural parts of the county.  Maggie Valley Mayor Ron DeSimone sits on the Haywood County Economic Development…
It’s been more than eight years since the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians made its first move toward creating a business to bring Internet to the Qualla Boundary, but the issue has proven a good bit more complicated than first…
The exploration of inadequacies at the Jackson County Justice Center has been years in the making, but it’s looking like — for now, at least — the solution will focus on ramping up security and leave the issue of space…
A pair of dueling petitions dealing with the question of noise at No Name Sports Pub will likely spar at the upcoming Sylva Town Board meeting Feb. 5.   Owner Gregg Fuller had approached the board earlier this month asking…
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 15:04

Swain schools crack the code

“When will I ever use this in real life?” is often the question students have when faced with difficult subjects in math and science. Swain County educators have tried to answer that question by introducing STEM projects into every classroom.
Harold Faircloth was recently named Environmental Specialist of the Year in North Carolina after uncovering widespread lead contamination in private wells throughout Macon County. “I had been so busy with my duties and responsibilities in my position in addition to…
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 14:59

Ghost Town not for sale

Ghost Town owner Alaska Presley was willing to sacrifice a piece of the theme park property to generate some cash for her Resurrection Mountain project, but a new opportunity has come along that will hopefully allow her to redevelop the…
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 14:58

To snag a cyberstalker

For most Americans, the Internet has moved from novelty to normal, but translating that shift in norms into law has required some innovation of its own. Since California became the first state to pass a law specifically addressing cyberstalking in…
Monroe Miller, a watchdog and critic of county government and member of the so-called “patriot faction” of the Haywood County Republican Party, was charged with the misdemeanor of cyberstalking last week. The charges were taken out by Savannah Tedesco, a…
Monroe Miller is no stranger to the inbox. Hundreds of emails from Miller have peppered the email accounts of people in Haywood County over the past five years, targeting those he believes have misstepped. SEE ALSO:• GOP insider charged with…
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 14:41

NC commissioners set legislative priorities

After wading through more than 300 legislative goals presented by more than 500 commissioners throughout the state, the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners has agreed on five top priorities to present to legislators during the 2015 General Assembly. Macon…
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 14:38

Maggie Valley: ‘It’s been a good year’

Maggie Valley officials are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel after experiencing several tumultuous years. Town officials took time to revel in their 2014 accomplishments while setting goals for 2015 during a recent retreat. While…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 15:49

The uncommon common goldeneye

The best way I know of to get a rare bird to fly the coop is to write about it. So by the time you see this article the two drake common goldeneyes that have been hanging out at Lake…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 15:47

Hike the Dirty Dozen

Looking for a new way to explore the wilderness? Check out the Dirty Dozen Wilderness Hike Challenge.
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 15:46

The A.T. just got a little longer

The Appalachian Trail has a new official length. It increased by 3.9 miles from last year to 2,189.2 miles due to trail remeasurements and relocations. 
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 15:45

Venus flytrap poachers caught

Four men, ages 22 to 49, were arrested with 970 Venus flytraps in their possession earlier this month at the Holly Shelter Game Land in Pender County, earning the distinction of being the first to be charged with a felony…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 15:44

Access on Lake Emory gets better

A new canoe portage around the Lake Emory dam is expected to open in Franklin sometime in late spring. 
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 15:43

Couple conserves private tract in Jackson

A new conservation agreement finalized by the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee will protect 104 acres in Cullowhee from development, preserving it for wildlife, small-scale agriculture and timber management. 
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 15:40

Smokies visitation tops 10 million

For the first time in more than a decade, Great Smoky Mountains National Park saw more than 10 million visitors during 2014.
Scott McCleskey didn’t really know what he was saying yes to when he boarded the plane to Alaska, pack of gear in hand, to take his place on the National Geographic Channel show “Ultimate Survival Alaska.” All he knew was…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 15:18

Painted Horses is one for the ages

When people ask me what I’ve been doing this fall, I tell them I’ve been on a reading jag — reading new novels hot off the press. What I’ve found is that there have been a lot of very good…
By Gwang S. Han • Guest Columnist Obstetrics is the branch of medicine dealing with parturition, including care before and after delivery but also concerned with reproduction of society in a broader sense. The word of “obstetrics,” derived from Latin, means…
One of the pure joys of my job — teaching English on the college level — is getting to spend time with young people still working out their identities and finding their own way. In my composition classes, they tell…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 15:08

School boards need to fight the good fight

The Haywood County School Board narrowly voted (5 to 4, with Chairman Chuck Francis breaking a tie) to contribute money toward a lobbying effort by the N.C. School Boards Association. The decision is the right one given the current situation…
Mailboxes across Macon County were blanketed with new property value notices this week, the first countywide appraisal since 2007.  As you ripped open the envelope, there were probably two things on your mind: 
Richard Lightner isn’t one for nostalgia. For nearly 30 years, he’s been running the property reval show in Macon County. But there’s not much he misses about the old days.
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 14:41

Macon’s reval: unplugged and uncensored

The time of reckoning is finally here. Macon County’s first countywide assessment of real estate values since the bust came out this week, and it’s full of surprises. For starters, your property values probably didn’t go down as much as…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 14:37

The quest for the perfect comp

Some weeks Tommey Allen spends more time behind the wheel than a long-haul trucker. It’s not all driving time though. Most of it is just idling along the curb, parked on the roadside and sitting in driveways. Over the past…
June Tassillo loves real estate, but she never knew how exciting it could be until she worked her first all-or-nothing, one-day-only sales blitz for a comeback development. SEE ALSO:• The quest for the perfect comp• Macon’s reval: unplugged and uncensored•…
Jerry Pressley, Walmart manager, presented $1,500 to The Arc of Haywood County for holiday presents and clothes to the individuals served in their program.  The Arc of Haywood County is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving individuals with developmental disabilities…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 14:23

Wheel locks now legal in Sylva

Sylva’s parking rules now have a stronger set of teeth with the passage of an ordinance allowing officers to put wheel locks, also called parking boots, on cars whose owners have accrued unpaid town parking tickets. 
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 14:22

Jackson County gets new tourism board members

The Jackson County Tourism Development Authority will have some new faces around the table this year after the county commissioners appointed five new members to the board last week. 
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 14:21

Franklin plant shutting down

Macon County was hit with some tough news last week when Caterpillar Inc. announced that it would be shutting down its Franklin plant next year, leaving 150 people without work. Franklin Mayor Bob Scott said he was shocked by the…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 14:18

Welch adjusts to life as a district attorney

After just a couple of weeks, Ashley Welch is quickly learning what it means to be the District Attorney of the 30th Judicial District. It means juggling court schedules, managing a large staff and traveling between the seven most western…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

Macon, Jackson negotiate payment for services

Macon County is asking Jackson County for money to pay for providing services to its residents in Highlands, but Jackson officials are exploring other alternatives, including establishing fire districts and levying a tax. Macon County has requested about $160,000 from…
Western Carolina University’s slated to get a brand new building on Centennial Drive in place of the one destroyed by fire in November 2013, which was home to businesses such as Rolling Stone Burrito, Subway and Mad Batter Bakery and…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

Maggie moves forward with recreation plan

Maggie Valley resident June Johnson wants the town’s recreation plan to go far beyond fixing up an old playground behind town hall. She envisions the park renovations as just the beginning of greater things to come in the valley.
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

Caesar’s bankruptcy won’t affect Harrah’s

Caesar’s Entertainment Operating Company, a subsidiary of the same company that manages Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort, announced Jan. 15 that it would be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. 
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

Cullowhee zoning heads to commissioners

It’s been one-and-a-half years since the Jackson County Commissioners first OK’d a committee to look into doing some zoning in Cullowhee, and while Cullowhee is still without development standards, a proposal is on its way to commissioners’ desks.  Approval could…
No Name Sports Pub is no longer a music joint, at least not until a dispute between the bar and its neighbors reaches resolution. Owner Gregg Fuller says No Name saw its last regular act on Saturday (Jan. 17), and…
It’s been 32 years since Benfield Industries in Hazelwood burned to the ground, 25 since the Environmental Protection Agency designated it as a Superfund site and 13 since cleanup on the site finished.  But the work’s not done, according to…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

‘World’s best young Elvis’ to play WCU

Travis LeDoyt, acclaimed by critics as “the world’s best young Elvis,” will bring his tribute to the “King of Rock-N-Roll” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

Balsam Range to appear on David Holt program

Acclaimed Haywood County bluegrass group Balsam Range will be one of many acts featured in the premier of ‘David Holt’s State of Music’ at 10 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, on UNC-TV. The show features some of today’s finest musicians like…
“Tracking Time,” an exhibition of paintings by Anna Jensen and Karen Ann Myers, will open with an artist discussion and reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, in the Fine Art Museum at Western Carolina University.