Colonial Theatre enters third act

art frWhen he thinks of the Colonial Theatre, Zeb Smathers sees untapped potential.

“There are so many things it can used for — movies, concerts, plays, school productions,” he said. “It’s been a goal of mine from early on to use the Colonial for not just more things, but also in new ways.”

Smokers could become scourge of downtown sidewalks

Downtown Waynesville could feel the not-so-pleasant trickle-down effects if a proposed smoking ban on Haywood County property goes through.

The county ban would evict smokers from the grounds of the justice center and historic courthouse. Striking out in search of safe harbor, they would no doubt make their way to town sidewalks to light up.

Canton considers extensive special event policy

fr cantonfestsEvent organizers may have to go through a more thorough application process if the Canton Board of Aldermen adopts a new special events policy.

Brick by brick: Fred Baker’s long view crafts Waynesville into model town

fr fredbakerFred Baker’s title isn’t particularly glamorous. For nearly three decades, he kept the potholes patched, the trash picked up, the sewer lines repaired, the clean water flowing, the lights on and the gutters swept all over Waynesville.

“It is a slow news day when public works is in the paper,” Baker said.

Back to the future: Historic movie marquee crowns Waynesville’s Main Street once more

fr strandAn iconic symbol of downtown Waynesville’s glory days is back. 

A quintessential movie marquee for The Strand theater was hoisted into place last Friday, reclaiming its rightful spot above the benches and lampposts of Main Street’s quaint-but-classy streetscape.

Sylva commissions second 2014 study to look into two-way traffic on Main Street

After landing a $10,000 grant from the Southwestern Commission — and putting in $10,000 of its own money — Sylva is waiting on a report to come back from JM Teague Traffic Engineering that will answer that one pivotal question: is two-way traffic on Main Street a no or a go? 

“Would it be safe? That’s the main thing,” said Town Manager Paige Dowling. “We don’t want it to cut down on parking or hurt business. Also, in the 1950s Sylva had two-way traffic but cars are bigger now, as are trucks. With Main Street being a highway, could trucks make the turn on Main Street if it were to be two-way?”

Mill town riddle: Bearing the burden and reaping the rewards

fr millCanton exists against the backdrop of the paper mill. Both literally and figuratively. 

For generations, the paper mill — currently run by Evergreen Packaging — has helped to define the community of Canton. Its billowing factory by the railroad tracks are as much a part of Canton’s horizon and landscape as the setting sun. 

Canton economic initiative strives to hold on to past while looking to the future

fr cantonHanging out at the confluence of crossroads that embraces downtown Canton, two young skateboarders while away a lazy afternoon. They’re leaping stairs against the backdrop of a mural depicting the town’s glory days — a ball team from the 1950s, the Labor Day parade and, as ever, the mill.

It’s pretty quiet around town. Slow streets and green lights wanting for traffic. Jason Burrell would like to see that change — he’d like to see more action. More energy.

Just let the music play

art frIf Norman Rockwell were alive today, he might have painted a record store.

It’s as American and iconic as children playing outside until the streetlights came on or a young couple sharing a milkshake at a soda fountain. The record store is a place of congregation, of discovery, and of communicating the universal language — music.

Sylva allows more time for window replacements

Downtown Sylva property owners will still have to replace any plywood currently covering up windows, but they will be provided with more time to do so. 

In September, the Sylva Board of Commissioners considered a trio of ordinance amendments aimed at shoring up both aesthetics and safety in the downtown area. One of the amendments disallowed structures with exteriors of metal siding or concrete blocks, while a second targeted manufactured housing in the district. Those two passed.

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