Thu09182014

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Since I happen to love folklore and storytelling, I have always felt blessed to be a resident of Jackson County. Sitting on my front porch, I can see Black Rock, where a local law officer vanished 80 years ago while…
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

Litter in Sunburst was just heartbreaking

To the Editor: I am writing today with a heavy heart. I am saddened, frustrated and embarrassed. We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, and the fact that I have to pick up garbage everywhere…
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

Let’s stop yellow journalism politics

To the Editor: I am a politician — a local one — and while I make jokes about politics, I take the work seriously because it’s an opportunity to make changes that benefit people. To get elected, I talked about…
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

State lawmakers are shifting tax burden

To the Editor: Actions speak louder than words. North Carolina residents need to pay attention. The loud, false, words of the Republican legislators in Raleigh attempt to drown out the truth. Republicans claim to be the party of less big…
A few weeks ago, my brother called me to ask if I thought he should apply for the job as president of Wilkes Community College. I have been teaching in the community college system for 23 years and was a…
By Martin A. Dyckman • Guest Columnist Although Kansas is among the reddest of red states, its Republican governor, Sam Brownback, is in big trouble. Current polls show his Democratic challenger ahead, 47 to 41. Are pigs flying? The reasons should…
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

Cherokee Bear Zoo lawsuit moves forward

Cherokee Bear Zoo hoped a federal civil lawsuit alleging it mistreats grizzly bears in its care would be tossed out.
It was suppose to be Canton’s wrap-up budget meeting. But community members showed up to voice concerns about a specific item tucked within that budget: a proposed firing range in the Gibsontown neighborhood.
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

Canton budget passes, with hesitation

Though unanimously passed 4-0, Canton town board members approved the 2014-2015 budget with some hesitation. The budget came in at $7,718,836, which is up from $7,085,956 for 2013-2014.
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

Social enterprise: business with a mission

What began as a vision to convert a shutdown state prison in Waynesville into a halfway house, homeless shelter and soup kitchen has spiraled into a larger vision of transforming society one life at a time.
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

Merger bill moves forward in Raleigh

Lake Junaluska’s bid to merge with the town of Waynesville flickered to life in the state legislature last week after languishing in political purgatory for the past year.
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

Considering a cell tower in Whiteside Cove

The Jackson County Planning Board has of late been engaged in a discussion about the revision of the county’s ordinance governing cell phone towers. That discussion is likely to attract additional voices soon, as the board also prepares to weigh…
The Swain County Farmers Market recently enjoyed its final Friday alongside Main Street in Bryson City. After taking a break for the Fourth of July holiday, it will reopen on the other side of the Tuckasegee River.
The one-way stretch of Main Street running through the heart of downtown Sylva has a new traffic pattern. The left lane now sports turn arrows and solid white lines. 
To some, they might seem like pet projects, budgetary fat in tough times, or frivolous earmarks. But Waynesville leaders are defending $100,000 in annual contributions to a slate of 30 nonprofit organizations as a form of economic development, community advancement…
A budget-trimming effort in Macon County has leaders in multiple counties talking about what’s fair when it comes to community college funding. Charged with proposing an as-small-as-possible budget in advance of expected hard times ahead, Macon County Manager Derek Roland…
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

Fireworks: the economics of the intangibles

This Fourth of July there will be plenty of places from which to watch a fireworks display. North Jackson County will not be among them. “I understand Sylva’s not having them this year,” said Cindy Cavender, marketing director with the…
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

Partial reopening at Haywood hospital

Haywood Regional Medical Center is on its way to recovery after a small fire in its power room earlier this month knocked out the electrical system, closing the hospital and causing its 62 patients to be shuttled to hospitals in…
Haywood Community College Professional Crafts Fiber students and recent graduates recently won awards in the national juried student fiber exhibition Spotlight on Student Fiber Trends 2014 at the Lamar Dodd School of Art Galleries at the University of Georgia in…
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

Stained glass classes in Dillsboro

Appalachian Art Glass will teach the Tiffany method of making stained glass through August at the Jackson County Green Energy Park in Dillsboro.
Acclaimed musicians Laura Boosinger and Josh Goforth will open the Songcatchers Music Series at 4 p.m. Sunday, July 6, at the Cradle of Forestry in America.
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

Summer Jazz Series returns to Waynesville

The Summer Jazz Series returns for the month of July at The Classic Wineseller in Waynesville. The series takes place at 7 p.m. July 5, 12, 19 and 26. 
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

This must be the place

Screw it all. There have been days, many days, where I’ve found myself sitting in traffic, standing in line, waiting on the phone, ordering something I really don’t want (or need), drinking and eating something that probably isn’t good for…
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

An Appalachian Fourth

Nothing says summer more than the Fourth of July, and in Western North Carolina, we celebrate Independence Day with gusto. Between majestic fireworks, sizzling hot dogs and hamburgers, cotton candy, games, live music and craft demonstrations, there’s a little of…
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 14:14

A wet and wonderful weekend

Thanks to the generosity of a friend, my family and I spent a long weekend on Fontana Lake. The small “fishing” cabin near Prince’s Boat Dock is not the Ritz but it has all the comforts of home and a…
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 14:13

Smokies elk get new tracking collars

Biologists will get a boost in monitoring Smokies elk populations, thanks to a $13,720 grant Friends of the Smokies received from Charter Communications, Inc. The grant money purchased 15 radio collars and two receivers to track and monitor the large…
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 14:12

Horse exhibition to benefit Panthertown

A horse exhibition hosted by Friends of Panthertown from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 28, will raise money for conservation and trail maintenance in Panthertown Valley, a national forest recreation area near Cashiers.
Visitors are invited to check on the progress of the American chestnut restoration effort at Cataloochee Ranch in Haywood County with self-guided and guided tours this summer.
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 14:11

Franklin man inducted to A.T. Hall of Fame

Franklin has a hall-of-famer following the induction of Rev. Rufus Morgan into the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame earlier this month. 
It wasn’t until Brad McMillan got his canoe on the water that the moment hit him. He’d been preparing for this for a long time, both mentally and physically, and he’d just watched his three friends in kayaks descend the…
Let’s begin by noting the continuing biographical interest in writers and drinking. In my own collection are Tom Dardis’s The Thirsty Muse; Kelly Boler’s A Drinking Companion: Alcohol & The Lives of Writers; physician Donald W. Goodwin’s Alcohol and the…
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 13:59

A lesson in equality and economy 101

To the Editor: We continually hear the myth about how the rich are greedy, but what we don’t hear is how greedy a high school dropout can be or the union workers who want more money or even those on…
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 13:58

Please be smart about black bears

To the Editor: Thank you for Holly Kays’ excellent article covering the recent shooting of a bear in Maggie Valley, leaving behind three orphaned cubs. This was a needless tragedy, and I fear that others may feel emboldened to take…
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 13:58

Get facts about teacher pay, performance

To the Editor: Having lived in North Carolina for a year, I’ve noticed that low teacher salaries are a hot topic. (For the record, I teach in a private school where we earn even less than the public sector). But…
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 13:56

All that talk of the tourists? True that

True story. My wife Lori and I were enjoying a delicious, refreshing IPA at the Wedge Brewery on Sunday afternoon, rewarding ourselves after a brutal trail run in the mid-day heat at Bent Creek (brutal, at least, by my estimation;…
Marc Pruett has won a Grammy and played the Grand Ole Opry stage, but his biggest concern on this day is sinkholes. “Where is it? Canton?,” he asked a coworker.  Director of erosion control for Haywood County, Pruett sits at…
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 13:45

CuRvE gets ARC grant

The nonprofit community group known as the Cullowhee Revitalization Endeavor (CuRvE) has been awarded an Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant from the Southwest Commission to fund ongoing efforts for improved recreational amenities along the Tuckaseegee River where it passes through…
A tribal elder of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians delivered the opening prayer in the Cherokee language at the N.C. Senate session June 19. Jerry Wolfe, was a natural choice to deliver the prayer. Widely recognized for his service…
Swain County Hospital offers Senior Life Solutions, a program that facilitates intensive outpatient psychiatric care for adults and seniors with Medicare. The program, which is located inside Swain County Hospital, is available to individuals through physician or self referral.  Patients…
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 13:39

Jackson chamber gets new assistant director

Kelly Donaldson, 42, of Cullowhee, began work June 9 as the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Center new assistant director. Donaldson’s addition is a part of a restructuring plan by the Jackson chamber ‘s board of directors to…
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 13:38

Nurse team to assist disadvantaged mothers

An initiative to educate first-time, low-income mothers in Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties on how to raise healthy, school-ready children with a focus on the critical first two years of the child’s life is being launched by the Southwestern…
Jeanette White, coordinator of Southwestern Community College’s Civil Engineering Technology program, keeps getting calls from employers looking for graduates who are ready to work. There’s just one issue: all of White’s graduates already have jobs or are continuing their education…
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 13:37

Glenville explores planning area

Jackson County may have another community planning project on the horizon. Glenville residents have approached the county about possibly embarking on such a journey. “That’s very initial-stages,” said Jackson County Planning Director Gerald Green, explaining that the county is currently…
Rep. Michele Presnell, R-Burnsville, has pulled a bill she introduced last month to de-annex a 3.5-acre property from the town of Maggie Valley following pushback from local leaders. 
The Pigeon Community Center in Waynesville has once again been rescued from the brink. Haywood County has pledged $47,000 to fix a severely leaky roof and structural problems with the building, in effect saving a suite of programs offered through…
Lake Sequoyah will disappear for a few months in the coming year as Highlands plans to drain the reservoir to complete a pair of projects there. Combining $1.6 million in grant money from the Environmental Protection Agency with another $950,000…
A new logo will soon chug onto the marketing landscape of Bryson City following the Swain County Tourism Development Authority and the Swain County Chamber of Commerce’s approval of a design meant to emphasize the town’s most unique aspect —…
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 13:31

Ghost Town opening delayed

Ghost Town in the Sky, the seemingly ever-limping amusement park in Maggie Valley, did not open on June 20 as planned. Delays in running new water lines to the park’s upper levels have stalled the opening.
Wednesday, 25 June 2014 13:30

ECU opens dental center in Sylva

There’s a new option for dental care in the region. “We call it a community service learning center,” explained Michael Scholtz, assistant dean for extramural clinical practices at East Carolina University’s School of Dental Medicine. 
The campus of Haywood Regional Medical Center is full of cars coming and going, staff walking toward or returning from shifts and people in workout gear heading toward the Fitness Center. Staff members help an elderly woman in a wheelchair…