Weather or not: Local Yokel Weather fine tunes forecasts for your neck of the woods

out frHave you ever been told by the evening news to expect three inches of snow overnight, but after stocking up on bread, toilet paper and flashlight batteries, you walk out the next morning, snow shovel in hand, to find only a pitiful dusting in the driveway? If you live in Western North Carolina, chances are you’ve been there, done that.

The ultimate gift: Jackson church builds new house for 93-year-old woman

fr margiebradleyMargie Bradley has called a ramshackle shack in the hills of Cullowhee “home” for almost 60 years. The ceilings sag, the floor is made of plywood and the wind enters through the numerous cracks scattered about the windows and walls.

College kids gum up Jackson County’s economic stats

The economic situation seemed to be looking up in Jackson County: unemployment was on a steady decline; the real estate market was rebounding; and tourists were finding more expendable income to travel.

Despite student pleas, WCU hikes tuition again

Western Carolina University’s Board of Trustees approved an 8 percent increase in tuition next academic year — much to the vexation of its student body.

“We came in here, and it was not an easy decision,” said Trustee Grace Battle. “I think everybody in here struggled.”

Professors struggle with increased class sizes

fr wcuclassesWhile Western Carolina University’s budgets have been shrinking in recent years, its class sizes have been growing.

Sweet single-track coming to WCU

out frOutdoors enthusiasts and diehard mountain bikers are waiting in anticipation the winter opening of a seven-mile mountain biking and hiking trail in the Sylva and Cullowhee area.

The trail will be the first of its kind accessible by foot, or bike, from the Western Carolina University campus and is expected to be a vital link in a recreation system that may one day expand to connect county, regional and even state trails.

WCU has its fair share of misdemeanors, but thankfully devoid of violent crime

Although college for many is an oasis of learning, fun and social interaction, it is also a sprawling crime scene for everything from drug busts to rape. Despite its idyllic mountain setting, Western Carolina University is no exception.

Last month, WCU officials released their annual crime statistics report for 2011. The campus showed noticeable declines compared to 2010 crimes rates, including a drop in the number of reported sex offenses, aggravated assaults and burglaries.

WCU lines up against the Crimson Tide, for good or ill

coverDown by six touchdowns to the University of Alabama at halftime, Western Carolina University head coach Mark Speir never gave up on his team.

“When you’re getting into an ugly ball game like that, our players didn’t quit playing; they kept fighting,” he said. “At halftime, we were going to play for 30 more minutes and see where our program is at in [its] infant stage.”

WCU eyes long-term infrastructure needs

Plans made in the coming months could set the tone for the following decade or two of construction, renovation and development on Western Carolina University’s campus.

Faculty, staff, administrators and students at the school have been working since September to craft the institution’s next campus master plan — a process that is expected to last about 16 months and create a final product that is a general guideline for all aspects of the university’s infrastructure development.

A push for planning in Cullowhee gets lukewarm reception from county for now

fr cullowheeThis November could prove to be the do or die month for the planning effort in Cullowhee when Jackson County commissioners decide whether to give the thumbs up or down on the next pivotal step in Cullowhee’s journey to become an official planning district.

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