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Western Carolina University will hold a trio of commencement ceremonies over a two-day period – Friday and Saturday, May 9-10 – to recognize the academic achievements of what is expected to be a record-breaking spring class.
Three grants totaling $12,110 were recently awarded by The Fund for Haywood County.   The grants include: • $5,000 to Folkmoot USA to support the renovation of the kitchen and cafeteria space in the Folkmoot Friendship Center to create a…
As part of the Dillsboro Business Plan Competition, roughly a half dozen aspiring entrepreneurs and existing small business owners transformed their ideas into business plans over the past four months while regularly attending free weekly seminars through Southwestern Community College’s…
Wednesday, 07 May 2014 13:55

Quid pro quo, or just due?

Cashiers area property owners have long complained that they pay more than their fair share when it comes to property taxes — ponying up 60 percent of the county’s total property taxes.
Wednesday, 07 May 2014 13:53

The lowdown on the high end

The vibe in the Cashiers library was thick with polite tension as Jackson County Manager Chuck Wooten recently stood before a roomful of curious skeptics. The undertone was summed up by an audience member about halfway through the meeting.
Wednesday, 07 May 2014 13:50

Enclosed pool coming to Highlands

A $1.1 million donation from residents Art and Angela Williams of the Old Edwards Inn will net the town of Highlands a retractable roof for its new swimming pool, a new floor and bleachers for the civic center gym and…
Swain County Superintendent Sam Pattillo is taking a new approach this year. He’s requesting that county commissioners participate in the school district’s budgetary process.  “I feel like we need to be more together in our planning process,” Pattillo told commissioners…
Justin Phillips narrowly avoided a stand-off with Maggie Valley town hall last week, but rest assured, he was ready to go the distance if need be. Phillips launched a new farmers market last week in a large grassy field beside…
Jackson County employees could be seeing a little extra in their paychecks next year if commissioners approve County Manager Chuck Wooten’s recommendation for the upcoming budget. Wooten’s budget proposal will include a 1.5 percent cost of living increase and 20…
More than three months after the State Bureau of Investigation started looking into $50,000 worth of embezzlement from the Macon County Board of Elections, a return to normalcy is in sight for the elections office. Kim Bishop, the county elections…
If there’s a word that precedes Ira Dove, it’s smart — really smart, very smart, even super smart. “He’s always the smartest person in the room,” said Haywood County Commissioner Mark Swanger. “He is intelligent, he is very organized, he…
It’s been over a year since North Carolina began the rollout of a new computer program called NC FAST, for North Carolina Families Accessing Services through Technology. The system was supposed to make it easier to process applications for social…
Wednesday, 07 May 2014 13:39

REACH aims for new shelter

For nearly a year, REACH of Macon County has been helping domestic abuse victims in Jackson County. The group has handled more than 400 cases in Jackson since last July.  “To be honest with you, we feel like that number…
Haywood County commissioners decided this week to install an irrigation system for the lawn of the historic courthouse to ensure the downtown Waynesville icon lives up to its landmark status.
Wednesday, 07 May 2014 12:34

2014 Primary Election results

The primary election was held Tuesday, May 6, in counties throughout North Carolina. Here are the results from the local races in our coverage area of Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties.
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:33

Déjà vu in the woods

I was invited to help lead a bird walk focusing on wood warblers at this year’s 64th annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I was invited to help by Dr. Patricia Blackwell-Cox. 
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:28

Hike to wildflowers and waterfalls

Wildflower blaze expected on Highlands hike A wildflower hike will step off from the Jones Gap parking area near Highlands at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 4. Sponsored by the North Carolina Bartram Trail Society, the hike will be led by botanist…
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:27

Plant sale, plant clinic

Plant sale planned for Franklin The 12th annual plant sale of the Macon County Master Gardener Association will be held 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 3, at the Environmental Resource Center on 1624 Lakeside Drive in Franklin. The selection…
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:26

Cherokee language exhibit tours region

Cherokee language and culture is the focus of a touring exhibit slated to visit ten sites in the region throughout the month of May. The exhibit “Understanding our Past, Shaping our Future” is based largely on excerpts from conversations originally…
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is accepting comments on a proposed temporary rule change that would prohibit using dogs to hunt deer and bear on certain portions of game land. The proposed rule is designed to address trespass and safety…
A hike to see the rare pink shell azalea on the slopes of Black Rock Mountain near Panthertown, scheduled for May 5, will give participants a chance to see plenty of blooms while supporting the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust.
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:00

Opportunity for Highlands birders

Free, weekly bird-watching trips from the Highlands Plateau Audubon Society will start up in Highlands beginning May 3. Walks leave from Highlands Town Hall at 7:30 a.m., with binoculars, field guides and knowledgeable leaders provided. 
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:00

Fishing festival to take over

A deluge of fly fishermen will soon descend on Western Carolina University. It’s the annual Southeastern Fly Fishing Festival, and for the second year in a row, it’s happening in Cullowhee. 
When I finally roll up Pavilion Road for my casting lesson, I’m nearly half an hour late. A wrong turn had set me back, but Mac Brown seems pretty unperturbed. He’s standing in the field uphill from the Swain County…
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:00

A story in which nothing is as it seems

Early in this novel, an old retired teacher with Alzheimer’s, mistaking a visitor for his son, gives the young man a copy of a novel by Charles Brockton Brown and suggests that he read it. The novel is Wieland (1798,)…
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:00

Moscow Festival Ballet to hit Franklin stage

The Moscow Festival Ballet will perform “Sleeping Beauty” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 9, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin.
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:00

Art After Dark returns to Waynesville

Art After Dark continues from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 2, in downtown Waynesville.
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:02

Blues, brews and BBQ

“Woofstock — Blues, Brews & BBQ” will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday, May 3, at McGuire Gardens in Sylva.
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:00

REO Speedwagon to play Harrah’s

Iconic rockers REO Speedwagon will play at 9 p.m. Feb. 14 at Harrah’s Cherokee Event Center.
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:00

This must be the place

What does a washboard, a bucket and a beard have in common? They make up the melodic magic that is The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. A three-piece country-blues outfit barreling out of southern Indiana, the group has one foot…
Running downhill with a tray of wine glasses, Janelle Trevino had a simple objective: she didn’t want to drop any. “It was intense,” Trevino said. “It’s a lot harder than it looks. I was pretty nervous.” A server at Tipping…
By Don Livingston • Guest Columnist Congress is not our most popular branch of government, not by a long shot. Its lowest job approval rating, according to one respectable polling organization, was 9 percent late last year. Earlier this year,…
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:00

Same-old, same-old just won’t work

To the Editor: I read with interest the article regarding Western Carolina University and the regional tourism conference with hopes of learning something new in the industry. Disappointment set in knowing that the same-old, same-old hadn’t changed over the years.…
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:00

The Republicans are right

To the Editor: This may be liberal heresy, but it is true. Republicans are right about many things: “Family Values,” education and jobs. Republicans clearly saw the serious social damage caused by ignoring these issues. Republicans correctly argue that the…
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:00

Don’t let anyone buy your vote

To the Editor: Rumor has it that once again vote buying may be taking place in Swain County and on The Cherokee Reservation. These vote buyers will use cash, liquor or fear to get your vote, because your vote is…
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:00

Making adjustments for mom’s new job

Friday afternoon on the deck. The kids are home from school, and the three of us are enjoying another beautiful spring day, watching the squirrels and chickadees compete for the bird seed strewn all over the deck, thanks to the…
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:00

Cullowhee’s vision

A public input session regarding the future growth in Cullowhee is scheduled for 6 p.m. May 6 at the Cullowhee Valley School Library.  The session will focus on the Cullowhee Vision Plan, which has been prepared based upon comments provided…
A controversial proposal to roll back Jackson County’s steep slope rules has become politically charged in the countdown to county commissioner elections this fall — prompting the sitting commissioners to delay their discussion of it until after November.
Folkmoot USA International Dance Festival once again saw its grant funding cut by the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority. The  event that brings in international folk dance and music troupes from eight to 10 countries for a 10-day extravaganza has…
It’s an unenviable task, but one Haywood County tourism leaders face every year: weighing dozens of festivals and niche marketing campaigns vying for a share of tourism promotion dollars. Deciding which festivals hold the most promise for luring coveted tourists…
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:00

Bridge Park is public place finalist

Whatever qualities make for an ideal public space, Sylva’s Bridge Park seems to have them. At least Sarah Graham thinks so.  “That’s exactly what everybody had in mind,” Graham said. 
The cemetery is up a dirt road, past an old barn and its bygone basketball  hoop. A tread-worn path leads up the hill, where Confederate reenactors have arrived in pickup trucks. 
By Jake Flannick • Correspondent He had gained enough wealth as a young marketing executive to fulfill almost any of his aspirations. But the very trappings of success are perhaps what led Justin Phillips, 33, to turn elsewhere for clarity.
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:00

Parsing out a position in party primaries

Next week is decision time for voters who disagree with the new conservative tack of North Carolina’s policy makers and want to reverse the emergent Republican majority now at the state’s helm.
It’s been three decades since the shooting range now operated by Southwestern Community College first opened, and the college is hoping for some money to address issues that have been mounting since then.
Not everyone was happy about the free shoes. Betty Cloer Wallace was more concerned about the “holy war.”
Give a museum director an open opportunity to tout his facility’s newest this, unique that and state-of-the-art these, and no one could blame him for taking it.    But talking with Bo Taylor wasn’t like that. Just named director in…
A life-sized bronze sculpture of three children catching tadpoles will soon have a new pad in the Frog Level district of downtown Waynesville.
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:00

Students get hands-on with science

Rocky Peebler’s wearing waders and a white T-shirt as he kneels on the shore of the Oconaluftee River. His boots are dripping from a recent foray into the river, and he’s picking through the critters wriggling across the surface of…
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 15:11

Greening Up the Mountains 2014

The 17th annual Greening Up the Mountains Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 26, in downtown Sylva. Named for the way spring’s green gradually progresses up a mountain, the festival is Sylva’s largest annual…