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Wednesday, 21 September 2011 13:48

Is our region a threat or an opportunity?

To the Editor: It was exciting last week to read of Western Carolina University’s move to re-open its strategic planning process under its new chancellor. The university and the region certainly have an opportunity here. Beginning with an assessment of strengths, weaknesses,…
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 13:48

Rep. Haire votes against same-sex ban

To the Editor: Recently my office received more than 125 written requests from Haywood, Jackson and Swain counties requesting that I oppose SB 514, the Defense of Marriage Bill. Because of this large number, it would not be feasible to reply…
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 13:46

WCU’s future important for entire region

Once you hit the Haywood County line after heading west on Interstate 40 out of Asheville, Western Carolina University is the acknowledged cultural focal point for all the remaining seven counties in this southwestern corner of our great state. We…
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 13:45

Clip your way to savings

Interested in saving money? The Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department is offering a coupon class. Nicole Chouinard will teach the class, which will take place at the Old Armory Recreation Center at 44 Boundary St. in Waynesville. The classes will…
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 13:45

I-40 lane closure forces detour through Canton

Work on a the exit 33 bridge in Canton on Interstate 40 will cause night lane closures next week from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 26, to Wednesday, Sept. 28 for westbound lanes. To follow the alternate…
A public hearing to discuss the White Oak Landfill’s future In Haywood County was little more than a formality this week, with only one person standing up to question the plan. Haywood County has been in talks with Tennessee company…
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 13:43

Mountain BizWorks to close Sylva field office

You know economic times are tough when the business that helps other businesses thrive shuts its doors, too. The Mountain BizWorks office in Sylva, which serves would-be entrepreneurs and other small business owners in the state’s seven westernmost counties, will…
Organizers of the World Freestyle Kayaking Championship in 2013 have a short-term fix for getting telecommunication capabilities into the Nantahala Gorge, but have yet to find a long-term solution for business owners and residents there. BalsamWest FiberNet, a company jointly…
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 13:40

Bark In the Park to be held in Cullowhee

The annual Bark in the Park will be held Sunday, Oct. 2, from 1-5 p.m. at the Jackson County Recreation Complex in Cullowhee. Western Carolina Dog Fanciers Association and the Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department are sponsoring this event…
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 13:39

Help women in need by riding your bike

A motorcycle ride and concert to help benefit Haywood Regional Medical Center Foundation and the Power of Pink is set for Saturday, Oct. 1, at the Festival Grounds in Maggie Valley. The ride will depart from the Festival Grounds at…
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 13:39

Protect your pets against rabies

If you have pets that need a rabies vaccination, mark your calendars for the week of Sept. 26-30. This has been a busy year for rabies in Haywood County. In June and July, four cases of rabies were reported in…
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 13:38

Republican women hold inaugural meeting

A new tri-county Republican’s women’s organization will hold its first meeting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24, at the Iron Skillet Restaurant in Bryson City. Brunch will be at 10 a.m., and the meeting will begin at 10:30 a.m.…
For the second time this year, a Maggie Valley alderman is resigning from his seat, leaving it up to the rest of the board to pick a replacement. But in what appears to be an about-face from the process used…
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 13:36

The greatest show in town?

Watching the sausage being made at local government meetings isn’t most people’s idea of high entertainment … or low entertainment, or entertainment of any kind of all, for that matter. Outside of the occasional spat between elected board members or,…
Getting a kidney dialysis center in Franklin grew more likely last week after a state committee agreed Macon County had demonstrated a tangible need for such a facility. With a county population older than that of many surrounding communities, an…
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 13:35

Focusing on dementia

Developing empathy and understanding what it’s like for someone to have Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia prompted “the virtual dementia tour.” The tour is for family caregivers and others interested; the multi-sensory experience is free of charge, available…
A $250,000 gift from Mission Health System will provide financial assistance to students from Western North Carolina who want to study in health-related programs at Western Carolina University. Mission Health System will provide $50,000 annually over the next five years…
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 13:34

Raise Your Hand against AIDS at fundraiser

Raise Your Hand 2011, a fundraiser for the Western North Carolina Aids Project, will begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24, at the Doubletree Hotel in Biltmore. From 6 to 8 p.m., a silent and live auction will be…
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 13:33

Public asked to weigh in on road projects

Care about what new roads should be built or which existing ones should be widened or redesigned? Or perhaps the bigger question when it comes to some of the region’s controversial roads, which ones should be nixed? Here’s your chance…
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 13:31

Magistrate cuts cause consternation for cops

A state plan to eliminate a part-time magistrate in Highlands is being roundly condemned — and resisted — by Macon County law enforcement leaders and government officials. Slashing the positions in the name of savings has been likened to a…
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 13:27

Same-sex marriage heads to the ballot

Next spring, voters in North Carolina will voice their opinions on gay marriage when a constitutional amendment banning the practice will appear on the spring primary ballot. The question isn’t whether gay marriage should be allowed; it’s already outlawed in…
Wednesday, 21 September 2011 13:22

It should not be so in America

Editor’s note: North Carolina legislators have voted to place a proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage on the ballot in the May 2012 primary (see related story). The Smoky Mountain News asked Marilyn Jody, a professor emeritus at Western…
A 12-acre empty tract beside Super Wal-Mart in Waynesville has sold for $3.5 million, slated for a Michael’s craft store, Pet Smart and new location for Belk department store. Belk will move from beside Ingle’s grocery store to the, much…
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 13:42

South Main makeover: Let the brainstorming begin

When new bikers show up for his weekly ride in Waynesville, Cecil Yount pulls out all the stops: a riveting trip through town to Super Wal-Mart and back. While lacking in scenery, Yount is sending a message to the cyclists…
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 13:41

Waynesville Rec Center to close temporarily

The Waynesville Recreation Center will be closed for routine maintenance work through Sept. 18. The center will reopen on Sept. 19 at 5 a.m. The pool will be closed through Sept. 25. The lap pool will reopen Sept. 26 at…
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 13:39

Prepare for flu season with vaccine

MedWest Haywood Home Care Services will offer flu shots at the Home Care building from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday on a first-come, first-served, walk-in basis. No appointment is necessary. The Home Care building is located directly…
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 13:39

Waynesville calls for street adopters

The Town of Waynesville is asking residents and businesses to take part in the Adopt-A-Street program. Volunteers can choose a street in town and be responsible for picking up litter on that street. For their efforts, a street sign is…
Phil Drake acknowledges that he has two kinds of enterprises. There are those launched or purchased for strategic business reasons; others he owns to ensure family members in Macon County have places to work. Drake has a lot of family,…
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 13:35

Diversity week at WCU

The 12th annual Diversity Week will take place at Western Carolina University Sept. 18-24. A series of events, designed to help the university become a more inclusive community, include a picnic, speakers and Mountain Heritage Day. An International Day of…
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 13:34

Constitution Day this Saturday

Readings by local residents of the U.S. Constitution will take place Sept. 17 in Maggie Valley, Cashiers and Cherokee.   This is part of a nationwide effort to revitalize civic culture. The event in Cashiers begins at 11 a.m. at…
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 13:34

Matthews to share 9/11 experience

The Rev. Dan Mathews will share his experience of being in New York during the 9/11 attacks 10 years ago during a Live and Learn event on at 2 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22. The program will be in the Reynolds…
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 13:33

Truck turnarounds slated for U.S. 64

A workshop on a plan to build truck turn-around locations and information stations on U.S. 64 between Franklin and Highlands in Macon County will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, at the Cullasaja Gorge Rescue…
Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel and Casino towers over the landscape in Cherokee, its three hotel towers only surpassed in height by the mountains providing its backdrop. The polished product it offers patrons — legal gambling in a refined setting with a…
A 36-member commission charged with developing a new strategic plan for Western Carolina University is on a tight timeline: Chancellor David Belcher wants the guiding document in the board of trustees’ hands next June. The commission, a mix of university…
Macon County commissioners decided last week to try to buy the old Cartoogechaye School, raze it and build two ball fields on the site. County Manager Jack Horton called a special board meeting last Friday after realizing the possibility of…
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 13:17

Town manager forced out in Sylva

Sylva leaders this week demanded their town manager resign, just more than two years after she was hired. “This was not my decision,” Adrienne Isenhower, now Sylva’s former town manager, told The Smoky Mountain News on Tuesday. Isenhower resigned Monday…
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 13:15

Haywood closes in on deal to privatize landfill

Haywood County is inching closer to exiting the landfill business, with plans to hand over the county’s White Oak landfill operations to a private company who will sell space to out-of-county haulers. County commissioners will vote next month whether to…
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 13:15

Learn Spanish at SCC

Beginner Spanish is being offered at Southwestern Community College’s Jackson Campus Monday evenings beginning Sept. 12. The course will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. through Nov. 14, and will provide the foundation for future levels. The focus of…
Haywood County business owners who have been dodging the 4 percent lodging tax will now find themselves facing a crackdown, although some dodgers may not even be aware of their crime. The lodging tax applies not only to hotels, B&B’s…
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 13:00

Farmers are almost always willing to lend a hand

Tammara Talley, while gracious in her acknowledgments during the shower of verbal high-fives raining down upon her at Saturday’s farmers market, couldn’t help but beam proudly. No different, really, than any mother just delivered of perfect babies bearing precisely the…
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 12:59

Riding the Parkway for a cause

Seconds after I heard the doorbell, my little feet hit the stone floor landing that served to separate the front door from the living room. The cold temperature of the floor on my feet meant it was colder outside. Thanksgiving…
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 12:58

Tea Party wants to restore America

To the Editor: In a Quinnipiac University polling (8/16-8/27), 29 percent of Americans responded that they couldn’t formulate an opinion of the Tea Party because they hadn’t heard enough about it. Following are the core beliefs of the Tea Party.…
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 12:58

Let’s send Obama to unemployment line

To the Editor: We need a plan that will help grow jobs in our district. The message to the world and the nation is simple: Western North Carolina is open for your business. We need to ease the rules that…
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 12:57

Kudos to Haywood for landslide mapping

To the Editor: It’s good to see Haywood County leaders talking sense about landslide hazard mapping instead of stoking the fires of misinformation and conspiracy that exist in other parts of the region. The county commissioners are to be commended…
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 12:57

Harrah’s should not have a monopoly

To the Editor: Regarding the editor’s article, “It’s time to approve dealers at Harrah’s casino” (SMN, Sept. 7-13), I agree the time is now for the North Carolina to approve live dealers. This could be a win-win situation for both…
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 12:55

More media is almost always beneficial

I don’t listen to local radio so much anymore, but the story in last week’s edition about the demise of WRGC in Sylva still struck and emotional chord somewhere inside. When I say I don’t listen to local radio regularly,…
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 12:51

A tribute to fishing and fish

In last week’s The Smoky Mountain News, Gary Carden began his review of Ron Rash’s collection of poems, Waking, by praising the writer’s description of a trout brought home and kept alive in a trough, where “its gills were like…
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 12:50

Author Chris McMillan to read from debut memoir

Local author Chris McMillan will read from her new memoir at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17, at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville. Backwards Off the Curb is the story of McMillan who, at 54, decided to leave the comforts…
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 12:50

Revisit the library with special events

In celebration of National Library Card Sign-Up Month, the Haywood County Public Library is joining with other North Carolina libraries to urge citizens to use the smartest card in your wallet. Haywood County Public Library will be celebrating Library Card…
Wednesday, 14 September 2011 12:49

Library to host author Pam Duncan

 Novelist Pamela Duncan will read from and discuss her novels at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 20, at the Jackson County Public Library. Duncan was born in Asheville and raised in Black Mountain, Swannanoa and Shelby, and currently lives in…