Thu09182014

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Sitting in the judge’s seat, Jackson County Commissioners Chairman Jack Debnam took a look around. He absorbed the courtroom, glanced down at Commissioner Doug Cody on the witness stand and County Manager Chuck Wooten in the jury box. 
A cross-section of Haywood County business leaders took over the reins of economic development this month, with county government passing the torch to the Greater Haywood County Chamber of Commerce to blaze a new path of economic prosperity.
Consumers will start seeing some extras added to their subtotals as a result of a state law adding sales tax to a variety of items that had previously not been taxed, or were taxed at a lower level. Among them…
Western Carolina University is sweating out the North Carolina General Assembly’s budgetary process, but perhaps not as much as some institutions of higher education.
Two months after a management shake-up in which the Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise removed construction manager Sneed, Robertson and Associates from the casino construction project in Murphy, the project is on time and on budget, according to TCGE chairman Ray…
A group of past Macon County Commissioners spent an hour reminiscing about their triumphs and reflecting on lessons learned in front of an audience that included two Election Day hopefuls last week. The lunchtime program was the third in a…
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 13:25

Franklin passes property tax hike

Franklin residents will be paying a bit more on their property taxes next year following a unanimous decision by the Franklin Board of Alderman to increase the rate by 2 cents per $100. Currently, the rate is set at 25…
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 13:22

Front row seat to history

Randall E. Murff remembers the guns shooting at him. “The Germans really could shoot those guns, they were good,” he said. “If you gave them 17 seconds, they’d knock you right down.”
A group of vacant, ramshackle buildings at an anchor intersection on South Main Street in Waynesville has been purchased, signaling continued revitalization could be in store for the rag-tag corridor.
The public hearing on Jackson County’s steep slope regulations struck Dave Waldrop as special.  “It was so unbelievable,” Waldrop said.
“See that up there?” asked Alaska Presley as she piloted her Mercedes up a back road to the top of Ghost Town in the Sky. “That’s the drop tower there.” 
Advocates calling for increased state education funding made a stop in Haywood County Monday as part of a statewide tour en route to Raleigh, where they will deliver a stack of petitions signed by 61,000 state residents later this week.
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 00:00

PlottFest returns to Maggie

A benefit for Head Start of Haywood and Jackson counties, PlottFest will be held June 21-22 at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds. Gates open at 9 a.m. Saturday and at noon on Sunday.
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 00:00

‘Oklahoma!’ rolls into Franklin

“Oklahoma!,” the first musical written by the dynamic duo Rodgers and Hammerstein, will hit the stage at 7:30 p.m. June 27- 28 and July 5 and at 4 p.m. June 29, July 4 and 6 at the Smoky Mountain Center…
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 00:00

Cabaret show at The Classic Wineseller

Singer-songwriter James Hammel will present a cabaret story through song in “Celebrating a Collage of Life — a Journey Through Some of Life’s More Poignant Moments” at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 21, at The Classic Wineseller in Waynesville.
Haywood Community College’s Appalachian Music Program will be offering a handful of classes funded by a generous grant from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. 
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 00:00

This must be the place

Time sure does fly, eh? It hit me this week that my column recently crossed over the one-year anniversary threshold. How crazy, huh?
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 00:00

New state tax hits entertainment venues

When the clock struck midnight this past New Year’s Eve, a new North Carolina state tax took effect. “This isn’t a tax reform, it’s a tax shift,” said Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville. “It’s just part of the shift by…
As Haywood struggles with the best use of room tax money collected from tourists to fund tourism promotion, one area that raises the most ire is the amount given out as grants for festivals. Tourism authorities around Western North Carolina…
Wednesday, 07 June 2006 00:00

Tourism board divided over festival funding

The Haywood County Tourism Development Authority is split over a budget for the coming fiscal year that would reduce funding for festivals and local chambers of commerce and instead put the money toward a marketing plan.
Wednesday, 07 June 2006 00:00

Battered berries

Those who’ve participated in my natural history workshops know that that I’m not a very good source for information regarding edible plants. For the most part, I obtain vegetables at the grocery store or, in season, from our gardens. But…
By Bruce Hare • Guest Columnist In response to your article (“Tug of War over the Chattooga River,” May 31 Smoky Mountain News), I would like to thank you for reporting on an issue that is important to me and…
Wednesday, 07 June 2006 00:00

So how far have we come?

Each year as summer dawns, when children begin counting the days until shoes become something they just have to keep track of and not wear, I continue a tradition started on June 2, 1999. That was the date the first…
Josh Kelly looked up from his topo map, took a step back and eyed the steep bank in front of him, scanning the line of the mountain until it disappeared out of sight. Somewhere through the tangle of rhododendrons, over…
Wednesday, 07 June 2006 00:00

When paddle comes to shove

The only thing rippling more than the water through the rocky headwaters of the Chattooga is the controversy regarding the U.S. Forest Service’s ban on paddling in that stretch. It is a ban that has been in place for 30…
Wednesday, 07 June 2006 00:00

History and wildflowers

By Ed Kelley The burning sensation on the back of my heels made me wish I had packed some moleskin. Blisters are adversary number one for the hiker. Luckily, I haven’t had them in years, but friction, moisture, heat, and…
Wednesday, 07 June 2006 00:00

Telling a better story

By Michael Beadle There’s a heavy heat inside Mountainside Theatre’s rehearsal studio even with fans blowing and the lights turned off. The dancers, sweaty but still smiling, have been practicing all afternoon, fine-tuning the finale for “Unto These Hills.”
Wednesday, 07 June 2006 00:00

Sweet vinegar sounds

By Chris Cooper Claiming influences as far apart stylistically as Iron Maiden and Ravi Shankar, Mother Vinegar lean further toward the rocking side of the jam ethic than the majority of their tie-dyed brethren. Off kilter lyrics (understatement?) and a…
Wednesday, 07 June 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Records As in old school phonograph records, not world records or dental records. After collecting thousands of CDs over the last 15 years, I have fallen in love with records again. Whenever I get a chance to listen to the…
By Michael Beadle Luke Allsbrook has a voice as soothing as his paintings. He explains his craft with the calm of someone who has spent hours in solitary reflection, emerging from nature with gifted insights. Whether it’s a vast stretch…
By Michael Beadle It’s a story 10,000 years in the making. And now Cherokees and Native Americans from all over the United States will tell it. When “Unto These Hills” opens June 8 for its latest outdoor season, audiences will…
Wednesday, 07 June 2006 00:00

Spill the beans

Confession is good for the soul. As any practicing Catholic will tell you, that old tune still plays true. You may dread going to confession — I don’t know anyone who enjoys spilling out his faults and sins before a…
Elected town and county leaders will be dragged into the Haywood County tourism saga this week. They will be asked to weigh in on how much of the $600,000 in tourism tax dollars should be dolled out in the form…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer June through October is known as festival season in the mountains, and its no wonder why. During the five-month stretch there’s at least one festival every weekend somewhere in the region.
By Michael Beadle Waynesville art gallery owners don’t just want to sell art. They want people to ask lots of questions about art, see how it is actually made and how all ages can create art. It’s all about the…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Folkmoot USA, the annual international dance festival with performances held throughout Western North Carolina, always is marked by riotous colors, intriguing costumes and smiling faces, making it a photographer’s paradise.
By Chris Cooper The best rock album of the year is about to be released. No kidding. My first encounter with Roman Candle was sometime in 2002. I was slinging beer in a little venue in Charlotte, and the band…
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Charles Bukowski So, you don’t like poetry? Well, maybe Charles W. Bukowski will ring your chimes. Talk about ugly? This guy was so ugly, people actually cringed when they met him. As a teenager, his acne-ravaged face had to be…
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

A Taste of Scotland

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Western North Carolina boasts more people of Scottish descent than Scotland itself — and for that Franklin hosts its annual Taste of Scotland this weekend, June 16 and 17.
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

Amazing language found in a lost novel

Recently, the New York Times set off a hotly contested literary skirmish by naming what their literary staff considered to be the greatest novels of the past 25 years. A platoon of critics entered the fray, and after a bit…
Craig Buchner and his father didn’t say much during their weekends in upstate New York checking spigots on sugar maples, chopping wood and boiling sap to make syrup, but the Western Carolina University student found comfort just spending time with…
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

Bryson City developing first zoning plan

An influx of growth has prompted Bryson City leaders to address land-use planning with hopes of drafting the town’s first development ordinance by January 2007.
Butch Deals’ day doesn’t fit the image of the simple farming life. Perched in the air-conditioned cab of a John Deere towing a baler across raked winnows of straw, Deals’ cell phone traffic rivaled that of a busy banker or…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer N.C. Geological Survey staff hopes to finish its survey of Macon County’s landslide prone areas by the end of this month and present its research to county commissioners.
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

Haywood considers wider tourism study

The town of Maggie Valley could be getting more than it bargained for when it called on fellow towns in Haywood County to consider overhauling the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority.
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

Hearing heated, but no surprises

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s public hearing regarding the recently released draft environmental assessment of Duke Power’s hydroelectric projects on the Tuckasegee and Oconaluftee rivers held last Thursday (June 8) began quietly enough.
The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area has announced its 2006 Heritage Grants Program, which will provide and leverage funding for innovative projects that preserve and promote the heritage of Western North Carolina.
Land for Tomorrow is a statewide campaign to raise $1 billion in state funds to preserve farmland and forestland, create new state parks and natural areas, restore historic sites, develop local parks and greenways and protect views along scenic highways.
Wade Reece, a member of the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority and a Maggie Valley businessman, was in a motorcycle accident Saturday (June 10). Reece was listed in critical condition at Mission Hospital in the Neurotrauma ICU unit as of…
Joetta Rinehart, a member of the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority board, recently moved to Asheville, throwing into question her legitimacy as a tourism board member.