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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…
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 16:47

Regrets: books I now know I shall never read

For many of us, the bells ringing in the New Year carry a bittersweet tune. We look forward to better times, which means we’ve gone through some hard times. We make resolutions, which means we have found faults in ourselves.…
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 16:32

Societal comedy to hit HART stage

The societal comedy “Elemeno Pea” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 16-17 and at 3 p.m. Jan. 18 at the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre in Waynesville.
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 16:30

MacLean to speak on architectural photography

John MacLean will be the guest speaker during the Sylva Photo Club’s meeting at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 10, at the Cullowee Methodist Church on the Western Carolina University campus.
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 16:27

Haywood libraries welcome piano, jazz

Pianist Richard Shulman and jazz band One Leg Up will perform in the Haywood public libraries.
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 16:25

This must be the place

364 days down, one to go. Hurtling down Interstate 95 from Boston to New York City, I’m sitting on a charter bus with my eyes aimed once again at New Year’s Eve in The Big Apple. It’s become a tradition…
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 16:21

One Way Out — Gregg Allman

It’s the soundtrack of America. Forty-five years ago, The Allman Brothers Band burst onto the scene. With an intoxicating blend of squealing LA rock-n-roll, poignant Greenwich Village folk and bayou voodoo blues, the Macon, Georgia band plugged in and kicked off…
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 16:19

We have to close the widening gap

To the Editor: About 10 years ago I said to a client of mine perhaps the most outrageous thing I’ve ever said: “The worst thing that ever happened to America was the loss of the Soviet Union.” For a moment,…
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 16:18

New animal shelter is long overdue

To the Editor: I was happy to read the article about the need for a new animal shelter in Haywood County. There is no doubt that the current one has long served its purpose. I really believe that many people…
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 16:17

Some successional habitat a good thing

To the Editor: The recent announcement by the U.S. Forest Service of more potential logging in the new forest management proposals led some environmental groups to hype it as if every tree in the forest were going to be cut…
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 16:15

Time to break the holiday laws of inertia

Two miserable characters — the larger one in a terry cloth bathrobe and fleece pajama bottoms, the smaller one in his new school clothes and orange parka — stand at the bus stop, huddled together in a sad and pathetically…
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 16:03

Park changes firewood rules to protect forests

Great Smoky Mountains National Park will limit the type of firewood brought into the park in order to protect forests.  Beginning in March 2015, only heat-treated firewood that is bundled and displays a certification stamp by the USDA or a…
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 15:59

A possumless possum drop

Just like they have for the last two decades, residents of Clay County and beyond gathered in Brasstown to ring in the New Year with the annual Possum Drop. But unlike the last two decades, they had to do so…
More than $6 million has been spent on upgrades and improvements at Haywood Regional Medical Center since it was bought by Duke LifePoint hospital network last year. Pumping cash into the facility and equipment was a condition of the deal,…
Wednesday, 07 January 2015 15:57

Haywood Regional’s new CEO now on the job

The new CEO of Haywood Regional Medical Center assumed his role this week, pledging to lead the hospital into a new era under the ownership of Duke LifePoint. The sale to Duke LifePoint last year ended Haywood Regional’s proud history…
Dinnertime came a little late at Haywood Pathways Center Sunday night (Jan. 4), but for all the right reasons. It was the inaugural night for The Open Door’s Hazelwood kitchen, the final piece in turning the dream behind the Pathways…
Each year an economic report card issued by the North Carolina Department of Commerce determines which counties will be given first dibs on state grant money — and each year no one seems satisfied with their grades. Haywood’s status improved, for…
Fred Baker’s title isn’t particularly glamorous. For nearly three decades, he kept the potholes patched, the trash picked up, the sewer lines repaired, the clean water flowing, the lights on and the gutters swept all over Waynesville. “It is a…