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Wednesday, 03 September 2014 13:58

The institution on the corner

The Jarrett House has stood in Dillsboro since 1884. Since before Dillsboro was Dillsboro. 
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 13:56

Celebrating the 125th

The town of Dillsboro, established in 1889, was named after William Allen Dills, a Confederate veteran who was born nearby. The town is located on the site of Dills’ farm. Prior to the town’s establishment, the area was beginning to…
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 13:54

WCU lends Dillsboro a hand

Dillsboro’s relationship with Western Carolina University began in 2009, after the economic downturn and as the town struggled to regroup.
Dillsboro sits at the crossroads of U.S. 441 and N.C. 23. Nestled between the past and future, it is a town that continues to evolve. “I think it’s just a classic, old American town. Laid-back,” said Jim Hartbarger, sitting in…
It’s been a couple of weeks since the downtown Sylva fire. And while most of downtown is humming along nicely, the handful of businesses directly impacted by the fire continue working to recover.
When Gna Wyatt called People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals about the manure piles covering Osborne Farms in Clyde, she wasn’t trying to make headlines. She just wanted life to get better for the cows she had spent the…
French Kirkpatrick just wanted to play music. “I kind of wanted to be a singer, but I couldn’t sing worth a hoot,” the 75-year-old chuckled. “I wanted to be a regular picker, a banjo player, I even tried to…
The meeting between Granville Calhoun and Horace Kephart (the quintessential highlander and outlander, respectively) is a noteworthy event in this region’s cultural history. Janet McCue and I are especially interested in events associated with that encounter for the Kephart biography…
Liner notes for the new album released by the Great Smoky Mountains Association — “Carroll Best and The White Oak String Band: Old-time Bluegrass from the Great Smoky Mountains, 1956 & 1959.”
French Kirkpatrick can sum up Carroll Best. “What he did with the banjo was above and beyond,” Kirkpatrick said. “He was the most, probably without a doubt, the most creative banjo player I was ever in a room with.” Recently at…
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 04:31

Jump on the gem mine caravan tour

A tour of four historic gem mines will give a view into Franklin’s past, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 30. Following a gem mine introductory presentation, tour-goers will get in their own vehicles and caravan to historic mines in…
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 04:30

Key rule makers to speak at fracking forum

A forum organized by N.C. Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, will give the public a chance to learn more about shale energy rulemaking, exporation and development in North Carolina at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, at the Smoky Mountain Center for…
Jim Costa, executive director of the Highlands Biological Station, will close out the Highlands Biological Foundation’s summer Zahner Conservation Lecture Series with a talk titled “The Force of Admiration: Wallace and Darwin on the Evolutionary Trail,” 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept.…
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 04:26

Freestyle paddlers to hit the Nantahala wave

A major freestyle paddling competition will come to the Nantahala Gorge Sept. 4-6, with top freestylers from across the continent converging on the Nantahala River’s famous “wave” to vie for the title of Pan American Champion.
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 04:24

Running for support

More than 350 runners streamed down Main Street in downtown Waynesville last Friday evening for the annual Main Street Mile. Top male runners crossed the finish line in just over 4 minutes.
A monument built to commemorate a popular 1800s watering hole has long been hidden by ivy and vines, but an Eagle Scout project by Joey Rolland has restored the Pigeon Gap Watering Hole outside the Bethel community of Haywood County…
Despite warnings of thunderstorms earlier in the week, Aug. 22 came with a blue sky and a light breeze, temperatures hovering around a sunny 70 degrees at the Black Balsam Trailhead. Gail Fox, a National Park Service ranger for the…
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 04:07

Book challenges me to critique the critic

In Why Read?, University of Virginia professor Mark Edmundson discusses the practice of student reviews of a teacher, then writes: “As I read the reviews, I thought of a story I’d heard about a Columbia University instructor who issued a…
Author Michael Beadle will present an illustrated talk focusing on the history of the town of Canton and, specifically, the town’s annual Labor Day Celebration at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4, in the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University.…
Local residents will have an opportunity to learn interesting and historical details about their family quilts during the Quilt Discovery Evening from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, in the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 03:42

SCC’s first craft beer program to kickoff

With new equipment secured from onsite craft brewing, Southwestern Community College will host a brewing program from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Thursday from Sept. 4-Nov. 20 in Sylva. 
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 03:41

McGraw to hit Harrah’s stage

Country megastar Tim McGraw will perform at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 31, at Harrah’s Cherokee.
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 03:39

Smoky Mountain Folk Festival returns to Lake J

The 44th annual Smoky Mountain Folk Festival will be held Aug. 29-30 at the Stuart Auditorium in Lake Junaluska.
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 03:36

This must be the place

What to do? That was the question I posed to myself when I found out my girlfriend was visiting from Upstate New York. She is someone who has never been to Western North Carolina, never been to Southern Appalachia, let…
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 03:26

Our leaders are noticeably absent

To the Editor: Ah, August. Vacation time. Yeah!!   Never mind that ISIS is beheading its way through Syria and Iraq. That Christians are being driven into death or despair. As our esteemed leader said a few weeks ago, referring…
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 03:26

Thank Sen. Davis for losing $51 billion

To the Editor: Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, and other Republican state legislators voted not to expand Medicaid. Early studies showed this would be a costly mistake. However, a new study completed by the largest non-profit organization devoted entirely to advancing…
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 03:25

Don’t believe what fracking supporters say

To the Editor: Western North Carolina is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The majestic mountains, the lush green forests and valleys, the small family farms, waterfalls, rivers, streams, along with the pristine sky all inspire us on a…
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 03:25

Sen. Davis’ comments come as no surprise

To the Editor: I’m really not surprised about the Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, quote, “I’m getting really frustrated with these people. You can never make them happy” in your recent article about the teacher pay raise. Sen. Davis has shown…
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 03:22

When should government help private industry?

“Government’s job is NOT to fund private industry!” “Shouldn’t the mill pay to keep themselves up to par as far as emissions? Why do our tax dollars have to help them? My small business doesn't get help from the state…
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 03:07

Gala to help Hazelwood prison project

The Haywood Helps 2014 Gala Event will be from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Aug. 28. The event is a fundraiser for the Hazlewood prison project. The gala will feature heavy hors d’oeuvres and entertainment. There will also be a live…
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 02:57

Swain polling place moves to Cherokee

Swain County voters living in Cherokee and Whittier will begin a new routine on Election Day this November. The precinct’s longtime polling place in Whittier is moving five miles down the road to Birdtown, a change that board of elections…
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 02:54

Malcolm’s swan song

Malcolm graced the waters of Lake Junaluska for only a little while. He will be on its shore for much longer.  “I think it’s gorgeous, I think it’s simply gorgeous,” said Diane Nabors, of the sculpture of Malcolm the swan.…
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 02:52

Webster embarks on planning study

How can Webster be improved? What would make it more walkable? What would encourage community socialization?  Town leaders aim to find out. Having secured a $5,000 Southwestern Commission Toolbox Implementation Fund grant — and matching it with another $5,000 —…
The Haywood County Tourism Authority is exploring whether to close its two visitor centers in Waynesville and Maggie Valley, questioning whether money to run the sites could be better spent luring tourists in the first place rather than itinerary planning…
It’s an industrial mechanic’s worst nightmare. A machine on the assembly line goes down, and production screeches to a halt. Workers stand idle despite being on the clock. Orders are backing up. All eyes are on the mechanic. Is it…
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 02:43

Highlands pursues new Verizon tower

Highlands residents will soon be seeing better cell phone coverage in town following the town board’s unanimous vote to move forward in negotiating a contract with Verizon Wireless. 
A group of Vietnam veterans in Swain County have accomplished their goal. Soon, an Alarka-area bridge will bear the name of three-time Purple Heart recipient Dockie Brendle.
North Carolina education has seen its share of high-profile issues over the last couple of years. Teacher raises, tenure, vouchers, budget calculations and adoption — and then abandonment — of the Common Core State Standards have all made headlines. A…
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 01:37

Round’n’round with Rep. Meadows

Recently, U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows made the rounds in his district visiting with constituents. While in Haywood County, he made a stop at the county fair. With a table full of political schwag, the representative held court in a…
Friday, 22 August 2014 20:53

Franklin’s fracking forum

A fracking forum has been scheduled for Sept. 2 in Franklin. The forum, moderated by Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, will address shale energy rulemaking, exploration and development in North Carolina. 
Friday, 22 August 2014 15:40

Metal-siding moratorium rejected in Sylva

The town of Sylva will not be enacting a moratorium on metal-sided buildings in its downtown area in an effort to preserve its aesthetic integrity, but an ordinance outlining such a prohibition will be explored.
In a last-minute turnaround, North Carolina lawmakers wrapped up their short session last week with passage of a bill granting Evergreen Packaging’s paper mill in Canton $12 million for natural gas upgrades.
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 15:40

WCU: A timeline

1889 — Cullowhee Academy opens with 18 students and 1 teacher
Jackson County Manager Chuck Wooten arrived at Western Carolina University as a freshman in 1969. He remembers his college days fondly. “My classmates and fraternity brothers all had such a great time in Cullowhee,” Wooten said. “I remember as a…
By Randall Holcombe • WCU  The little school that was the forerunner of Western Carolina University was called Cullowhee Academy. Its location is marked by a stone memorial, erected in 1934, that sits in a garden area between the university’s steam…
It’s August, freshman move-in day, and Western Carolina University is welcoming a new class of freshmen to campus. It’s what WCU Chancellor David Belcher calls a “huge day.” “We’ve got students coming in right and left,” says Belcher.  One of…
A bill that would provide a $12 million incentive package to the Evergreen Packaging paper mill in Canton failed to garner enough votes from the state House. “I did my best — that’s all I can say,” said Rep. Michelle…
Youth sports teams will no longer be able to trade bags of fertilizer, free coffee for teachers or a fresh coat of paint on the dugout for use of the practice fields, stadiums and gyms of Haywood County Schools. There…
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 15:18

Main Street managers meet in Waynesville

The streets of downtown Waynesville will soon receive a look-see from a group of folks who really care about the streets of downtowns. The North Carolina Main Street Program is hosting its fall Main Street Managers meeting in Waynesville Aug.…
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 15:15

Jackson TDA explores executive director option

The Jackson County Tourism Development Authority is pretty sure it needs to start searching for an executive director to help head up the organization.  “We believe we’re at the point where someone wakes up in the morning and this is…