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The Haywood County School Board followed the recommendation of school cafeteria workers this month and voted to continue buying cleaning chemicals exclusively from a national company, despite promising a local supplier that he would have a chance to bid on…
Wednesday, 18 February 2015 14:43

Nonprofit manufacturer expanding in Sylva

Webster Enterprises is settling into its newly leased building on Harold Street in Sylva following the town board’s unanimous vote to approve a conditional-use permit for the nonprofit.  “We were delighted about it,” said Gene Robinson, executive director of Webster…
Wednesday, 18 February 2015 14:37

Blood donors show loyalty to Red Cross

The new contract Mission Health signed with The Blood Connection for blood products will affect the American Red Cross’ collections in Western North Carolina, but Red Cross employees and volunteers hope donors will remain loyal to their cause.
Loyal blood donors will no longer see the iconic red cross on the side of the blood mobile next time they give blood at one of Mission Health’s 17 facilities in Western North Carolina. Mission has signed a new contract…
More kids will get a critical early start in education thanks to an expansion of the pre kindergarten program offered on-site at public schools in Haywood County. Until now, the in-house pre kindergarten program run by the school system has…
Jack Ewing stepped over a pail of drywall mud, dodged electrical wires dangling from the ceiling and picked his way across construction debris littering the bare concrete floor of the gutted Terrace Hotel room.
It’s been a tough few years for the tiny town of Dillsboro. Ever since the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad moved its depot in 2008 to Bryson City, the town has seen rough times, reflected in the vacant storefronts of the…
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 16:10

Waynesville missing an opportunity

To the Editor: It’s true, you only get one chance to make a good one. Entering Waynesville from any direction does not make a good first impression.  Coming from the east on N.C. 19/23 you only have to be about…
To the Editor: It took newly elected Sen. Thom Tillis , R-N.C., merely a month in Washington to make himself North Carolina’s reigning national embarrassment, succeeding Rep. Mark “Shutdown” Meadows, R-Cashiers, and John “Casanova” Edwards. People elsewhere are asking how…
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 16:07

Too much of a good thing can be dangerous

I wish those planning to open a new charter school in Haywood County the best. Their intentions are completely honorable. But I also believe that the proliferation of school choice in the U.S. is not a long-term positive for the…
Lana Quinn of Waynesville has lost friends, been called crazy and was turned away from a pediatrician’s office because of her decision to not vaccinate her three sons. Waynesville resident Janet Presson’s son was diagnosed with autism at 2 years…
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 15:50

The butternut is a country boy’s tree

“A countryman’s tree is the Butternut, known to the farm boy but not his city cousin. One who takes thoughtful walks in the woods may come to know and admire it for the grand old early American it is.” —…
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 15:41

Celebrate winter Smoky style

Maggie Valley’s inaugural WinterFest Smoky Style will celebrate the best of the cold-weather season 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds, with other events bookending the festival Friday and Saturday nights.
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 15:32

Gateway to the Smokies Half Marathon

Runners will take to the streets of downtown Waynesville as the inaugural Gateway to the Smokies Half Marathon starts from Main Street at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 2. 
Haywood Community College just became the only two-year community college in North Carolina to offer a forest management technology program accredited by the Society of American Foresters, a national organization for professional foresters.
Registration is now open for the fifth Wilderness Skills Institute, a training program for Wilderness stewardship and management, held at the Cradle of Forestry in Pisgah National Forest.
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 15:28

Polar Plunge lands cash for waterway education

Lake Junaluska was only 39 degrees on Jan. 31, but 120 people still braved the cold to participate in Haywood Waterways Association’s Third Annual Polar Plunge.
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 15:27

Smokies invites you to meet new superintendent

Two open houses this month will offer the chance to meet and greet the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent, Cassius Cash, who had his first day at work this Monday (Feb. 9).
Pushing through 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 of biking and 26.2 of running, it was all Jennifer Jacobson could do to keep moving toward the finish line of Ironman Louisville in Kentucky last summer. But she did make it, earning…
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 15:10

Guys, don’t fear Valentine’s Day, embrace it

Note to readers: this is one of the few times I have written a column addressed to one sex — or gender, if you prefer that term. This one is for the guys facing the next holiday. It’s Valentine’s Day,…
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 15:02

Catch the Spirit scholarships available

A nonprofit organization, Catch the Spirit of Appalachia wishes to once again provide four opportunities for a scholarship in the amount of $500 each for Appalachian Studies to be presented to four deserving seniors in the Western North Carolina counties.…
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 15:01

WCU to showcase Barnwell collection

A collection of images by acclaimed photographer Tim Barnwell that reflects the musical and craft traditions of the Southern Appalachian Mountains is currently on display through April 1 at Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center.
Wednesday, 01 April 2015 15:00

Open call for Appalachian Lifestyle festival

The Downtown Waynesville Association is seeking heritage themed vendors for the fifth annual Appalachian Lifestyle Celebration that will take place Saturday, June 13.
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 14:59

Outhouse Race returns to Sapphire Valley

The annual Outhouse Race will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 14, at the Sapphire Valley Ski Area.
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 14:56

Heart to rock Harrah’s

Renowned classic rock act Heart will hit the stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, at Harrah’s Cherokee.
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 14:54

This must be the place

What are you thinking about? Staring out the window, the question asked shook me out of a trance. My gaze drifted to the femme fatale who just got out of my bed, putting her clothes back on and heading into…
Transvestite. Transsexual. Transylvania. Three words that immediately conjure images of extravagant parties, mad scientists, death, rock-n-roll, Meatloaf, aliens, sing-a-longs, freedom and sexual liberation. What “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” did, and continues to do, for society can never be overstated.…
Jackson County commissioners will spend $100,000 on a storage room at the Cashiers library for the Friends of the Cashiers Library to house used book donations.
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 14:47

Haywood to offer some teachers signing bonuses

Haywood County Schools will be offering signing bonuses for teachers in hard-to-get fields starting next school year.
When Jackson County’s subdivision ordinance was revised last year, it included some changes that would apply to development at Western Carolina University. Namely, all WCU projects with more than 60 bedrooms — including dorms — would have to comply with…
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 14:45

Cullowhee land-use plan on the move

A land-use plan to guide growth in Cullowhee will take a detour past the planning board en route to Jackson County commissioners this spring. There was some uncertainty over what trajectory the land-use plan would take once the Cullowhee planning…
Maggie Valley leaders could land in the middle of a controversy in coming months about whether the owner of Ghost Town in the Sky amusement park should be allowed to build a giant cross on the ridgeline above Maggie Valley.
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 14:37

Jackson deputy fired

The investigation is ongoing following a Halloween party at Dillard Excavating in Sylva that allegedly involved underage drinking and allegedly resulted in the rape of a 14-year-old girl, but the career of a Jackson County sheriff’s deputy who was suspended…
Call it a foyer, an atrium, a lobby, a cattle call — an addition is being planned for the Jackson County Justice Center to house metal detectors and lines of people waiting to pass through each morning.
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 14:33

Fire burns 400 acres near Cherokee

A blaze in Cherokee has been fully contained, but not before burning up 400 acres of forest in the Qualla Boundary.  “It was more than likely arson,” said James Condon, fire management officer for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in…
Downtown Waynesville could feel the not-so-pleasant trickle-down effects if a proposed smoking ban on Haywood County property goes through. The county ban would evict smokers from the grounds of the justice center and historic courthouse. Striking out in search of…
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 14:29

Sylva citizenry sounds off about noise dispute

Conflict surrounding noise complaints at No Name Sports Pub — and the Sylva town ordinance that addresses how those complaints are handled — brought out a crowd of about 25 to the town board meeting last week.
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 14:27

Canton considers extensive special event policy

Event organizers may have to go through a more thorough application process if the Canton Board of Aldermen adopts a new special events policy.
Wednesday, 11 February 2015 14:21

Canton considers Labor Day overhaul

Canton’s annual Labor Day Celebration has been a beloved community tradition for more than 100 years.  As attendance and excitement have started to wane over the last few years, however, the town is looking at ideas to revamp the holiday…
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 16:09

The bizarro world of plan revision

The Haywood County Board of Commissioners decided that today (Feb. 2) was the day they would boldly venture into the world of Forest Plan Revision. They did this by unanimously passing a “non-binding” resolution, which had been publicly vetted —…
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 16:01

Up close with the Smokies

The Experience Your Smokies program is looking for applicants who want to get an insider’s look at park operations while getting some exploration into their lives as well.
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 16:00

Two areas added to potential wilderness inventory

Two potential candidates for wilderness designation in the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests were accidentally left off a master list compiled by the U.S. Forest Service.
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 15:59

Wildlife Commission says no more red wolves

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has publicly denounced the red wolf reintroduction in coastal counties, calling for the red wolves to be rounded up — despite being the only wild population of red wolves on the planet.
The northern slopes of Little Sandy Mush Bald, an iconic view for those who live in the coves and farms of the surrounding Sandy Mush community in Buncombe County, will remain undeveloped following the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy’s purchase of…
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 15:57

Arboretum to memorialize landscaping great

The father of American landscape architecture will soon be memorialized at the North Carolina Arboretum.
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 15:56

Learn from Leopold

Aldo Leopold and his writings are cornerstones of modern environmental ethic, and a program teaching how to use his work as a springboard to engage students in natural science and literature is now being offered through the Jackson and Swain…
Though a mixture of rain and ice pelted the windshield as I headed toward the Balsam Gap access of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the forecast was calling for a high of 52 and the car thermometer read 48 degrees.  I…
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 15:49

King’s newest novel is as good as it gets

During the past 60 years, I have maintained a hearty appreciation for what is called “fantasy/horror” literature. I guess it began with the dark little fairy tales of Lord Dunsany, Arthur Machen and yes, the Grimm Fairy Tales, and it…
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 15:37

Three men walk into a bar ...

To the Editor: A rich man, a middle class man and a poor man walk into a bar. They sit at a table with 12 cookies. The rich man takes 11 cookies and then tells the middle class man that…
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 15:32

Harris Regional committed to the region

Over the past couple of months there has been a fair amount of coverage in area media outlets about the “changing” landscape of women’s health care services in Western North Carolina. A couple of individuals have chosen to provide their…