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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.
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

This must be the place

The temperature was 20 degrees below zero with a howling wind. As I listened to the online stream of my hometown police scanner, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Way up yonder, on the Canadian border, in the tiny…
Wednesday, 21 January 2015 00:00

Fruits of their labor: Homebrewing in WNC

Greg Geiger looked at it as a way to save money. “I started brewing when I was a sophomore in college,” he said. “Honestly, I was a poor college student and making beer was much cheaper than buying it back…
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 15:34

The creative code of old-time surveyors

Since 1976 we’ve resided in a cove about four miles west of Bryson City. Using various old deeds my wife, Elizabeth, and I have located tree slashes, stones, stakes, etc., which delineate the cove’s boundaries. We have found that old-time…
Projects in Haywood and Swain counties will benefit from an additional $4.5 million of Clean Water Management Trust Fund dollars awarded this month when the trust fund received revenue from specialty license plates and funds returned for previous award participants…
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 15:16

Insect wars hoped to take a bite out of pests

Pitting insect against insect, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission released predator beetles last month on the Sandy Mush Game Land, located in Buncombe and Madison counties, to combat the devastating effects of the hemlock woolly adelgid on hemlock trees.
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 15:15

Bird count catalogues avian diversity in WNC

Birders turned out throughout Western North Carolina — and the globe — to participate in an avian enthusiast’s favorite winter tradition: the Christmas Bird Count. More than 60,000 birders participated in all 50 states as well as Canada, Latin America,…
Outdoor Mission Camp in Maggie Valley, an affiliate of Youth for Christ USA, is being outfitted with a new kitchen to serve its faith-based outdoor wilderness adventure camp thanks to donations and volunteers. 
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is part of a new online travel itinerary from the National Park Service that highlights the 22 World Heritage Sites in the United States.
Kadie Anderson was packing up camp after a night in the backcountry with her two Australian shepherds when the peace of an autumn forest waking up from a nighttime rain was decisively broken.  “A pack of hunting dogs came into…
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 14:39

Student housing developer in hot water

Monarch Ventures, a Charlotte-based student housing company, has been trying to locate a posh 500-bed student housing complex in Cullowhee for nearly four years. But, despite the fact that they’ve got a deed and land-use permit in hand, the county’s…
Secondhand dealers in Franklin will soon be required to report their pawned items electronically to the police department within 48 hours, or they could face a $500 fine.  The new requirement, which will go into effect July 1, doesn’t seem…
Three new members have been appointed to the tourism board in Haywood County that guides tourism marketing, promotions and development. The recent round of appointments to the Tourism Development Authority continues a changing of the guard on the tourism board…
To the Editor: The Nantahala Hiking Club requests that Macon County commissioners reconsider or rescind the resolution passed on July 8, 2014, opposing the designation of additional wilderness areas within the Nantahala National Forest in Macon County. We believe that…
I watched world leaders with arms linked lead a march of about 1.5 million people in Paris to commemorate the ideals of free speech following the massacre at the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo by Muslim terrorists. I read about…
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

Haywood School board split on state lobbying

The Haywood County School Board was divided this week on whether to join forces with school systems around the state in a lobbying campaign to back pro-education legislation in Raleigh. The school board ultimately voted 5-to-4 to support the political…
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

Erosion from DOT job concerns Jackson residents

A highway construction project in Jackson County has come under public scrutiny for muddying the Tuckasegee River. Erosion control measures have failed to stop mud and sediment from running off the construction site, into creeks and onward to the river…
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

Maggie Valley to hold first Winterfest

In an effort to bring in more tourism dollars during the cold winter months, the first WinterFest Smoky Style will be held Feb. 28 and March 1 at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds.
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

Cherokee affirms gay marriage ban

Same-sex marriage may be legal in the state of North Carolina, but it’s not on the Qualla Boundary, according to a resolution recently passed by Cherokee Tribal Council.  Though tribal code already defines marriage as a union between a man…
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

Cherokee to move away from year-round fishing

Cherokee will institute a two-week fishing season closure each March beginning in 2016 after operating under a year-round season since 2011.  “We decided to open it up to year-round just to provide more fishing opportunities during March when the state…
North Carolina Legislators are back in session in Raleigh this week with a full agenda, including unfinished items from last year’s short session. The local delegation is ready to tackle the budget, Medicaid, education, fracking and other local issues affecting…
Applause broke out as Jackson County Commissioners concluded a unanimous vote last week passing a resolution opposing hydraulic fracturing — known as fracking — in their first regular meeting since a new board was sworn in. 
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

Revised fracking rules head to Legislature

They’ve plowed through the feedback, and now the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission has in hand a revised version of rules to govern oil and gas development in North Carolina, all ready for the new legislative session.
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

Community rallies to keep Evergreen clinic

Evergreen Packaging in Canton plans to close the Evergreen Family Medical Center and pharmacy on March 31, but county officials are working behind the scenes to entice one of the area hospitals to keep it open. Evergreen employees and their…
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

Maggie still in dispute with Maniscalco

Maggie Valley resident Joe Maniscalco has not given up on getting his property de-annexed from the town despite several failed attempts over the last five years.
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

Healthcare grant pool opens in Haywood

Programs and initiatives to address unmet health care needs in Haywood County could be eligible for mini-grants of up to $5,000 through the Haywood Healthcare Foundation.
The most affluent, prominent charity in Haywood County has reinvented its mission but hopes to remain on donors’ radar as it moves toward a larger goal: improving health care in the community.
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

Wynonna to bring music, stories to Franklin

Country star Wynonna Judd will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin.
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

WCU to present ‘Appalachian Songbook’

A performance of the “An Appalachian Songbook: North Carolina in Word, Music and Song” will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20, in the Coulter Building at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

WNC celebrates MLK Day

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 19, there will be an variety of events around Western North Carolina. Established as an annual day of remembrance that was passed by both houses of Congress, MLK…
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

York-Bridgers brings mixed media to Sylva

Mixed media artist Dr. Rachel York-Bridgers will hold a workshop at noon Saturday, Jan. 17, at the Jackson County Public Library in Sylva.
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

This must be the place

They say all great art comes from conflict. It’s conflict of the soul, the heart and the mind, everything that either nurtures or tortures us. And for the Drive-By Truckers, conflict is what fuels their intent. 
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 00:00

When it all clicks — the art of the angle

John MacLean will never forget his first photo shoot. “I was 19 years old and it was at a meat packing plant in New Jersey,” he said. Standing in the basement of the Cullowhee Methodist Church at Western Carolina University…
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 17:13

Double the fun

I had the pleasure of participating in two Christmas Bird Counts (CBCs) this past weekend. The first was the Balsam CBC on Friday Jan. 2. This was our 13th count — 12th official — and we had 18 participants. Our…
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 17:10

Blue Ridge Biofuels expands

Blue Ridge Biofuels, an Asheville-based biodiesel company, is planning to expand to a new facility in Catawba County. 
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 17:06

Dig in to the white-collar side of farming

Learn the business side of farming with the Appalachian Farm School, a pilot agricultural business training program for farmers in the seven western counties of North Carolina. 
There’s something alluring about plunging into icy midwinter water — enough so that it spawns polar plunge fundraisers for sundry causes all over the country.
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 17:03

Sparrowing at Kituwah

A quest for sparrow sightings will commence during the morning of Jan. 14 at Kituwah, an area of about 300 acres along the Tuckesegee River in Swain County, between Bryson City and Cherokee. 
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 17:02

Land trust gets new executive director

Land Trust for the Little Tennessee has a new executive director in Sharon Fouts Taylor, who will move into the leadership role following the retirement of LTLT’s long-time director, Paul Carlson.
A public hearing on proposed changes to hunting, fishing and wildlife management regulations will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 13, in the Enloe Multi-Purpose Room at Tri-County Community College in Murphy. 
Rain was beginning to set in on a fog-ridden day on the slopes when Annie Dephouse gave her 5-year-old charge, Phillip Meacham, the heads up that it would soon be time to head indoors.  “We can do two or three…