Where Jackson commissioner candidates stand

Whether a grassroots movement to spark planning in Cullowhee dies or moves forward will rests with the next Jackson County board of commissioners.

A group of Cullowhee residents have called for development guidelines. Without standards, Cullowhee is vulnerable to unattractive development according to proponents. But, they need the county’s blessing to put them in place.

Inch-by-inch, Jackson County plods toward vision of Tuckasegee greenway

fr cullowheeThe vision is grand: a snaking, multi-use recreational path along the shores of the Tuckaseegee River — approximately 20 miles stretching from East Laporte to Whittier — lined with trees, dotted with parks, fishing spots, river access, picnic tables and pedestrian bridges.

The battle before the war

fr tailgatingIt was a tranquil Saturday afternoon when the stampede began.

Lines of vehicles, like mechanical horses with flags waving high, hurtle down the highway, resembling some cavalry charging into battle, desperately in search of a cherished parking space near the football stadium at Western Carolina University.

Students find balance in slacking

fr slacklineWith a steady flow of noisy cars and chatty pedestrians zooming through the Western Carolina University campus, Kyle Coleman straddles a tiny rope, ignoring the commotion and focusing on the task at hand.

High-end apartment complex caters to shortage of WCU student housing

Housing developer Scott Austin did a little simple math before deciding to pursue an $8 million dollar project to build two four-story apartment complexes in Cullowhee, right on the front doorstep of Western Carolina University.

He looked at the number of dormitory beds provided by the university for student housing — about 4,000. Then he researched the number of available, quality units in the area around the university and came up with another 1,000.

WCU treads cautiously in light of record enrollment

Western Carolina University will target transfer, graduate and distance learning students to help grow its enrollment without creating greater strain on its residence and dining halls.

This fall, enrollment at WCU reached a record 9,608, a 2.7 percent increase compared to fall 2011. Of those, 7,500 attend classes on campus in Cullowhee. The number of freshman who returned to the university for their sophomore year has also increased.

WCU could benefit from more equitable state funding formula

Western Carolina University leaders hope to benefit from a philosophical switch in state funding for higher education — one that would clamp down on universities gaming the system, whether on purpose or unintentionally, when it comes to funding student growth.

Every year, colleges and universities in North Carolina send the state their predictions for the following year’s enrollment. The state then allocates funding for each school based on the number of students it expects to attend.

New college landscape greets returning WCU students

fr alcoholIt’s been more than three months since voters in Jackson County approved a countywide alcohol initiative. Yet, except for a few telltale signs, a look around Cullowhee on the doorstep of Western Carolina University wouldn’t lead anyone to believe that much has changed at all.

New Health and Human Sciences building to greet returning WCU students this fall

fr wcu hhsWestern Carolina University will unveil a state-of-the art $46 million Health and Human Sciences building when students return to campus in a few weeks.

WCU’s Millennial Campus gets its first building

The new Health and Human Sciences building is the first building to crown WCU’s Millennial Campus, and hopefully a stepping stone to help realize the initial vision for the 344-acre addition to campus.

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