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Wednesday, 07 December 2016 15:38

Haywood County wipes the dust off the bottle

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The State of North Carolina has long had a conflicted relationship with alcohol; although largely unregulated during colonial times, it became an irritant to the agrarian, conservative majority of 19th-century voters who, like much of the nation, watched the ultimate administration thereof descend from federal to state to, finally, local authorities in the early 20th century. 

• The alcohol permitting process
• A Spiritual Affair: The history of alcohol in Haywood County

Since then, cities and counties in North Carolina have come full circle, but continue to wrestle with a complex issue that includes social, economic, judicial and religious viewpoints overlaid by ever-present concerns about individualism, collectivism, traditionalism and progressivism.

Wednesday, 07 December 2016 15:36

The alcohol permitting process

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Although it is now legal to sell wine and beer outside of incorporated municipalities in Haywood County, businesses can’t just start slinging suds — a thorough permitting process is in place to ensure the responsible issuance of retail permits. 

Just after the secular American Revolution, many Americans also experienced a theological revolution; from the 1790s through the 1830s, a religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening saw Protestant denominations — especially Baptists and Methodists — rise to new levels of popularity.

Wednesday, 07 December 2016 15:28

After the fire

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When hurricane-force winds met burning, bone-dry forest, the city of Gatlinburg transformed overnight on Nov. 28-29 from lively tourist town to panic-seared disaster area. Gusts clocking in as high as 87 miles per hours blew balls of fire down from the blaze’s origin in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, catching residents and visitors by surprise in the days following Thanksgiving. People raced to evacuate, to escape the flames that threatened to consume the entire city.

GATLINBURG — It started with an ember. 

One single ember, falling from the sky into Michael Luciano’s front yard in Chalet Village in Gatlinburg. 

GATLINBURG — Just before hitting the McDonald’s along U.S. 321 east of Gatlinburg on Dec. 2, traffic slows to a crawl. Then, to all but a stop. Hundreds of homeowners, business owners and residents line up in anxious anticipation as to what they’ll find when they finally make it through the checkpoint. An intact home, landscaped with magically unsinged shrubs? Or a pile of ash, nothing left except perhaps a few concrete steps leading to a nonexistent porch?

GATLINBURG — Coaches and team jerseys were absent from Rocky Top Sports World Friday morning, but the sports-complex-turned-Red-Cross-shelter surged with activity as Dec. 2 began.

Wednesday, 07 December 2016 15:12

Rain quells wildfires across the region

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It took mere hours for the Chimney Tops 2 Fire to escape the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and sweep down to engulf parts of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge Monday, Nov. 28. But as wind fueled the roaring fire, rain was on its way. The first drops of precipitation fell late Monday night, continuing into a steady rain Tuesday morning. More rain came on Wednesday, and precipitation resumed Sunday, Dec. 4, with rain still falling as of press time Tuesday, Dec. 6.

Dec. 7, 1941. It’s a date that conjures numerous images and thoughts. The USS Arizona engulfed in smoke and flames. Fighter pilots zooming across the sky with the “rising sun” emblazoned on the sides of their aircraft. Machine guns blasting upwards, bombs being dropped down onto unsuspecting soldiers and civilians.

Locals react to Japanese attack
Witness to history
Swain band performs at Pearl Harbor Anniversary

When the Japanese bombed the U.S. base at Pearl Harbor on that dark day, our country not only found itself now pulled into World War II, it also signaled a turning point in our history that still reverberates into today — politically, economically, and socially.

With over 2,400 Americans killed at Pearl Harbor, it was the largest foreign attack on U.S. soil until the World Trade Center in 2001. What Pearl Harbor represents is where the line in the sands of time was drawn. It’s where Appalachian farm boys grabbed their rifles and became national heroes, where housewives grabbed their tool belts and built war machines. It was the unification of a nation that had the weight and fate of the world on its shoulders as the likes of Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito salivated at the idea of complete domination and destruction.

My late grandfather was there — front and center — at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Enlisted in the United States Army, Frank Kavanaugh was a 21-year-old from rural Upstate New York, ready to see the world on his own, unbeknownst to the real dangers that lay on the horizon. He rarely spoke of his time at Pearl Harbor, and also of his experience during several key battles in the Pacific Theatre of World War II. But, he did however conduct an interview on Pearl Harbor in 1994 (Google: Home Town Cable Frank Kavanaugh). 

And as the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor rolls around, we celebrate those brave men and woman of “The Greatest Generation,” who answered the call of war in hopes of defeating the Axis powers in an effort to create a better tomorrow in the face of peril and utter doom. 

— By Garret K. Woodward, staff writer

Wednesday, 07 December 2016 15:07

Locals react to Japanese attack

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On Thursday, Dec. 4, 1941, newspapers in Western North Carolina revealed cities in full holiday swing — ads for Philco tube radios, canned Christmas hams and silk stockings filled their pages, along with announcements for holiday parties and special sales.

Turning onto Qualla Road in Waynesville, the meandering route goes from pavement to gravel to dirt within a half-mile. By the time you realize it has been a little while since you’ve seen a mailbox, a small cabin appears in the tree line to the left.

Wednesday, 07 December 2016 15:02

Swain band performs at Pearl Harbor Anniversary

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The Swain County High School marching band was noticeably absent from the annual Bryson City Christmas Parade last weekend, but they had a good reason.

Wednesday, 07 December 2016 15:00

Haywood Commission selects new chairman

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In addition to welcoming newly-elected Commissioner Brandon Rogers and welcoming back newly re-elected Commissioner Kevin Ensley at its Dec. 5 meeting, the Haywood County Board of Commissioners selected Commissioner Kirk Kirkpatrick to serve as chairman.

Wednesday, 07 December 2016 14:59

Maggie Chamber restructures membership options

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Maggie Valley Area Chamber of Commerce is responding to criticism in the community by restructuring its membership options for businesses.

Wednesday, 07 December 2016 14:57

Macon man admits to igniting small wildfires

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A Franklin man is facing federal arson charges after admitting to setting fire to two separate areas in Macon County about a month ago.

Making their way around a room studded with tables, informational posters and documents for review, Jackson County residents took advantage of their first opportunity — Tuesday, Nov. 29 — to see where county leaders envisioned steering the county over the next 25 years.

Friday, 02 December 2016 13:23

Waynesville water safe despite discoloration

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Although the water situation in the area seems to be improving thanks to the recent rains, the town of Waynesville Water Treatment staff discovered another unintended side effect of the low water levels.

Thursday, 01 December 2016 22:00

Untreated sewage discharged into Richland Creek

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The Junaluska Sanitary District experienced a discharge of untreated sewage from a blockage in a line located Southeast of Loop Road in Clyde this afternoon.