Fri11282014

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When Brent Martin emerged from the Forest Management Plan meeting in Franklin, the first glimpse into the direction that management in the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests might take over the next few decades, he was upset. Shocked. Disbelieving, even.
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 15:37

Contemplating the evolution of Fry Street

It’s not much of a street now. And soon, Fry Street might not be a street at all. “What we’re working towards there is, of course, permanent closure to vehicular traffic,” said Karen Wilmot, executive director of Swain County Tourism…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 15:36

Maggie’s big plan

Maggie Valley is on its way to building a downtown. “This is something I’m very excited to present to the board,” Town Manager Nathan Clark said during the Nov. 10 meeting of the town board of aldermen. “This was a…
Cell phone towers in Jackson County cannot currently be built on ridgetops. That looks likely to change as revisions to the county’s ordinance governing cell towers progress.  Thus far in the revision process, the Jackson County Planning Board has dug…
It’s been three months since publicly owned Haywood Regional Medical Center became a private hospital owned by Duke LifePoint Healthcare, but it will be years before the county knows for sure how much it will get from the $26 million…
A $3 million project to build a central 911 dispatching center inside the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office aims to reduce response times for police, fire and rescue calls.
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 15:23

New tax collector had to have wages garnished

In a narrow upset in the Haywood County Tax Collector race last week, voters elected a man with a history of delinquent property tax bills and little experience for the job.
A new tax collector has been elected in Haywood County, but when he takes office next month his duties will be substantially less than the outgoing tax collector.
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 15:10

Democrats, GOP see new era in Haywood

Karin Wollin had just taken a break from a sullen morning of sorting through stacks of campaign signs at the Haywood County Democratic headquarters in Waynesville when a clatter was heard on the sidewalk outside.
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 15:08

Hymnbook breathes life into Cherokee lyrics

It’s Sunday afternoon, and a quartet of musicians — one guitarist, three vocalists — stands at the front of a small room whose rows of chairs hold about twenty people. The guitarist strums a few chords, and the voices join…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 00:00

HCC showcasing fiber exhibition

A national fiber exhibition, EXCITE, will be on display through Dec. 6 at Haywood Community College in Clyde. The exhibition includes 15 artists, some of which are HCC Professional Crafts Fiber graduates and current students. The theme of the exhibition…
Pam Meister, interim director and curator of Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center, was honored Oct. 22 with the James R. Short Award from the Southeastern Museums Conference. A nonprofit organization committed to supporting and connecting museum professionals in 12…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 00:00

McCreery returns to Harrah’s

Country sensation Scott McCreery hits the stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, at Harrah’s Cherokee Event Center. Since coming into the national spotlight in 2011, McCreery quickly emerged as country music’s most successful new artist. His first studio album, Clear As…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 00:00

Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet to play WCU

The Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet will present its fall concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, in the Coulter Building at Western Carolina University. Members of the SMBQ, the quintet-in-residence at WCU, are P. Bradley Ulrich, trumpet; David Ginn, trumpet;…
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 21:40

Clark to present at the Rickman Store

A special presentation of Appalachian stories of the “unusual” with Gregg Clark will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, at the Rickman Store in Cowee. A local resident of Macon County, Clark is constantly seeking the unexplained. He…
A madrigal dinner evoking the elaborate and festive flare of the Renaissance will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22, in Waynesville by the premier youth choral ensemble Voices in the Laurel. The show, “A Knight to Remember,”…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 00:00

This must be the place

Why do you do it? Sitting in a tiny coffee shop in downtown Knoxville last week, I was posed this question by a high school kid. I knew the answer, at least in my head I did. But, to be…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 00:00

Working to preserve ‘Cherokee Traditions’

By Anna Fariello • Guest Editorial In writing the text for an exhibition on Cherokee culture a few years ago, I began with this opening line, “Chances are, where you are standing is part of the Cherokee’s ancestral lands.” While, perhaps,…
Monday, 10 November 2014 19:19

I-40 Canton-exit closure Nov. 10

Tonight (Nov. 10) at 7 p.m., the N.C. Department of Transportation will close the westbound on-ramp to Interstate 40 at Exit 37 (Wiggins Road/East Canton Exit). The ramp is expected to reopen at 6 a.m.  Tuesday morning.
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 15:17

Greenery is a Southern Appalachian specialty

This region has been furnishing the eastern United States with quantities of various evergreen materials (trees, running ground cedar, mistletoe, galax, and so on) for well over a century. Of these, one of the most interesting is American holly. In…
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 15:14

Spelunk with Jackson Parks and Rec

An expedition to Worley’s Cave in Bluff City, Temm., on Nov. 22 will give people of all experience levels a taste of the underground. The caving expedition will take in stalagmites, columns, flowstone and more cave features, but it’s not…
Public input gathered at a series of statewide hearings on fracking rules was supposed to be presented in a report to the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission last week, but the meeting was delayed to give hearing officers more time…
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 15:07

Five-year plan guides future for the AT

A new five-year strategic plan from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy will guide management of the Appalachian Trail over the coming years with an emphasis on reaching younger and more diverse populations, engaging partners and AT clubs and communities and keeping…
Nantahala Area SORBA, the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association, will hold an end-of-year celebration 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5, at Innovation Brewery in Sylva to recognize their contribution to the mountain biking climate in the far west.
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 15:04

Lichen, ozone and trees, oh my!

Waynesville Middle School seventh graders got to explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s Purchase Knob Education Center last week.
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 15:02

Fall burns planned for forest, national park

Prescribed burns are planned in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest and areas of Great Smoky Mountains National Park over the next few weeks. 
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 15:01

First tracks come early at Cataloochee

Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley had its third earliest opening day in history when a winter storm and chilly temperatures allowed for lifts to open at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 2. 
When the North Carolina Audubon Society announced its campaign to install 10,000 small-holed bird boxes to bolster the population of brown-headed nuthatches, Russ Regnery was intrigued. But, like many environmental issues coming down from Raleigh, the plight of the little…
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 14:45

Political rhetoric reaches a new low

To the Editor: It was very sad to witness all the hateful rhetoric tossed around during elections this year. I don’t think I’ve seen such a display of lies and distortions, and we have sunken to a new depth of…
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 14:44

Make Lake Junaluska annexation more fair

To the Editor: Your opinion piece from the summer titled "Changing mind now won't undo the damage" left out a more common solution to the annexation of the 775 homes in Lake Junaluska with its woefully and poorly maintained Lake…
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 14:44

There is no moral equivalent to ISIS

To the Editor: A recent letter to the editor states a moral equivalence between ISIS weird beards who behead journalists, crucify Christians, drive crosses into the throats of children in front of their parents, and turn young girls into sex slaves…
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 14:44

Big mistake not to return Nikwasi Mound

To the Editor: I am writing in regards to the Nikwasi Indian Mound. I am concerned for the community of Franklin and the image it is giving off to the rest of this country. Franklin has a lot of part-time…
Every attentive person knows there is a revolution occurring in language, and much of what was once communicated by words is now communicated by images. Texting is quicker than calling, snap chatting quicker than texting, and emoticons quicker than either.…
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 14:37

Give Cullowhee a chance to fulfill potential

Cullowhee rising. Sounds like a fitting name for some aspiring college band, but it best describes what’s happening at Western Carolina University and the community surrounding it. It’s one of the fastest growing places in the region whose potential is…
With 10 candidates coming out for four seats on the Haywood County School board, the races was certainly a contested one, but there will be only one new face on the school board in the next term. Bobby Rogers, senior…
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 12:43

Cochran wins a third term

Three candidates were aiming for the top prize in Swain’s sheriff race. The contest pitted the status quo against the notion of change, as well as featuring the third candidate wildcard.
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 12:42

Hall wins sheriff’s seat

Chip Hall closed out a grueling race for the Jackson County sheriff’s seat with a landslide victory against his opponent, Curtis Lambert. The Democrat took 64 percent of the vote compared to Lambert’s 36 percent. 
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 12:41

Welch wins DA race decided by a landslide

After a hard-fought and hotly contested race, the job of top prosecutor for the seven western counties was won by Ashley Welch, with a huge margin, carrying 60 percent of the vote.
The fate of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners rested with this election. With six candidates on the ballot — aligning themselves neatly into two teams of three — voters were asked to decide if they were satisfied with the…
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 12:37

Haywood commissioners back for another four years

By Becky Johnson Staff writer Voters gave their seal of approval to the current Haywood County commissioners, returning all three sitting commissioners to their seats. Commissioners Mike Sorrells, Kirk Kirkpatrick and Bill Upton — all three Democrats — won re-election. …
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 12:36

Bushyhead, Burns demand ‘change’

Smart money had the contest for the Swain commissioners race locked down in the primary. The board’s chairman, Phil Carson, had held on to his seat and the top four Democrats would assumably come out on top in the general…
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 12:34

Haven ousted; Shields top vote-getter

The Macon County Board of Commissioners will soon see a new face at the table, and it will be that of the top vote-getter in the four-way race for the Franklin seat — Gary Shields will replace incumbent Ron Haven…
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 12:32

Presnell holds onto state seat

Rep. Michele Presnell , R-Yancey, retained her seat for the N.C House, narrowly defeating fellow Yancey resident Dean Hicks in the 118th District, which includes part of Haywood County and all of Madison and Yancey.
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 12:32

Queen shuts down Clampitt, again

After winning re-election in the N.C. House District 119 race, Rep. Joe Sam Queen sounded more glum than one might expect.  “It’s a mixed night for me,” Queen said.
N.C. Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, pulled out a sizeable win over Democratic challenger Jane Hipps. Davis has represented the mountains in Raleigh for four years, an historic era of newfound Republican control.
Tuesday, 04 November 2014 21:44

Benefit concert aids WNC veterans

It’s been two years since Bruce Yarrington and his Knights of Columbus buddies started volunteering at the Veterans Restoration Quarters in Asheville. Twice a month the crew makes the trip from Waynesville to cook for the veterans at the center.
The folks spearheading the effort to expand broadband access in Haywood County are thinking big. Gigabyte big.  “Our goal is to make Haywood County a gigabyte community,” said Ron DeSimone.
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 00:00

WCU adopts sophomore residency requirement

It’s official. Starting with the 2016-17 academic year, sophomores attending Western Carolina University will be required to live on campus. “We have a philosophy of students learning better by growing into their responsibilities. First-year students need that residence hall experience,”…
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 00:00

Signs of a new cell tower rush on the horizon

After a several-year lull in new cell towers being built in the mountains, a new wave of tower construction could be on the horizon as cell companies race to accommodate the surge in digital data moving on wireless networks.
The newly minted Haywood County Economic Development Commission has hit the ground running in its first three months following a structural revamp that placed it under the umbrella of the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce.    “We are giving the…