Three Haywood County towns will be used as filming sites for an upcoming feature movie. The film — a Catalyst Pictures project called “Chasing Grace” — is a faith-based thriller.

Lake Junaluska residents spearheading the annexation effort realized they needed more and better ammunition to prove their case and sway holdouts in the General Assembly to let the community merge with next-door Waynesville.

fr lakejThe large majority of Lake Junaluska property owners and registered voters want to join the town of Waynesville, according to a volunteer petition drive carried out over the last six months.

coverFire, smoke, and efforts to make more of both fill the event pavilion at Haywood County Fair Grounds on a chilly May morning that feels more like early March. The Dutch oven class gathers around a fire in the right corner of the open-walled building, the blacksmiths get ready for their afternoon class in the far end and a cotton ball flames placidly atop the green metal case that Doug Knight is using to hold flint rocks for his fire-starting class. Class is in full swing, but nobody is paying the burning cotton any mind. They’re all too busy trying to ignite nests of frayed rope and char cloth with hard-won sparks from flint and steel.

It’s harder than it looks. 

It was a pretty normal Wednesday morning was for most students at Tuscola High School last week, but as the school day went on word leaked out that one second-period biology class had involved threats, a call to the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office and the arrest of 16-year-old sophomore Joseph “Joey” Jacobs. 

A telecommunications outage hit the Waynesville area last Thursday evening, knocking out cell phones, TV, Internet and even landlines for thousands of residents.

“One by one, across the county people are realizing on their own that they have no cellular services or voice or data communication tool,” said Greg Shuping, the Haywood County Emergency Services Director.

fr doveIf 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 is an excellent communicator, he is a good listener, he is a good leader and has good common sense.”

fr grassHaywood 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.

fr publicartA life-sized bronze sculpture of three children catching tadpoles will soon have a new pad in the Frog Level district of downtown Waynesville.

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 is a balancing act, and one that’s sure to produce its share of winners and losers.

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