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News Headlines

French Kirkpatrick just wanted to play music.

“I kind of wanted to be a singer, but I couldn’t sing worth a hoot,” the 75-year-old chuckled. “I wanted to be a regular picker, a banjo player, I even tried to play the fiddle one time, played the harmonica — I was a multiple-testing type of person.”

Wednesday, 27 August 2014 02:57

Swain polling place moves to Cherokee

fr birdtownSwain County voters living in Cherokee and Whittier will begin a new routine on Election Day this November. The precinct’s longtime polling place in Whittier is moving five miles down the road to Birdtown, a change that board of elections officials say was prompted by accessibility concerns. 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014 02:54

Malcolm’s swan song

fr malcolmMalcolm graced the waters of Lake Junaluska for only a little while. He will be on its shore for much longer. 

“I think it’s gorgeous, I think it’s simply gorgeous,” said Diane Nabors, of the sculpture of Malcolm the swan. “I stop and look at it all the time.”

Wednesday, 27 August 2014 02:52

Webster embarks on planning study

How can Webster be improved? What would make it more walkable? What would encourage community socialization? 

Town leaders aim to find out. Having secured a $5,000 Southwestern Commission Toolbox Implementation Fund grant — and matching it with another $5,000 — they are pursuing a planning study in an effort to map out some possible changes to consider.

fr visitorcentersThe Haywood County Tourism Authority is exploring whether to close its two visitor centers in Waynesville and Maggie Valley, questioning whether money to run the sites could be better spent luring tourists in the first place rather than itinerary planning once they arrive.

fr industryIt’s an industrial mechanic’s worst nightmare.

A machine on the assembly line goes down, and production screeches to a halt. Workers stand idle despite being on the clock. Orders are backing up. All eyes are on the mechanic. Is it a worn bearing, a loose belt, a slipped coupling, a blown fuse? The trouble-shooting within the bowels of the hulking metal parts is endless. 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014 02:43

Highlands pursues new Verizon tower

Highlands residents will soon be seeing better cell phone coverage in town following the town board’s unanimous vote to move forward in negotiating a contract with Verizon Wireless. 

fr dockieA group of Vietnam veterans in Swain County have accomplished their goal. Soon, an Alarka-area bridge will bear the name of three-time Purple Heart recipient Dockie Brendle.

fr forumNorth Carolina education has seen its share of high-profile issues over the last couple of years. Teacher raises, tenure, vouchers, budget calculations and adoption — and then abandonment — of the Common Core State Standards have all made headlines. A roomful of people gathered at last week’s Macon County League of Women Voters’ meeting to hear a panel of Macon County teachers, administrators and teachers address those changes’ effect on the classroom. The question: Is public education reforming or declining? 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014 01:37

Round’n’round with Rep. Meadows

Recently, U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows made the rounds in his district visiting with constituents. While in Haywood County, he made a stop at the county fair. With a table full of political schwag, the representative held court in a building sandwiched between agricultural exhibitions and carnival rides. 

Friday, 22 August 2014 15:40

Metal-siding moratorium rejected in Sylva

downtown-sylvaThe town of Sylva will not be enacting a moratorium on metal-sided buildings in its downtown area in an effort to preserve its aesthetic integrity, but an ordinance outlining such a prohibition will be explored.

In a last-minute turnaround, North Carolina lawmakers wrapped up their short session last week with passage of a bill granting Evergreen Packaging’s paper mill in Canton $12 million for natural gas upgrades.

fr petacowsSwarming flies. Cows trudging through knee-deep manure. Lame legs, an overgrown hoof, blood oozing from a nose. Bones protruding from emaciated bodies. There’s no denying that the picture painted in a recently released video from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was a grim one.