Cory Vaillancourt

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Barring an unforeseen breakdown in contract negotiations, the Haywood Healthcare Foundation will manage the estimated $20 million in funds that resulted from the sale of Haywood Regional Medical Center to Duke LifePoint in 2014.

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Haywood Community College’s new Creative Arts Building was supposed to be a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient, environmentally friendly facility.

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Haywood County officials and volunteers continue to minister to the needs of 140 — and counting — dogs removed from a property on Terrace Drive in Canton over the weekend. 

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Haywood County officials and volunteers continue to minister to the needs of 140 – and counting – dogs removed from a property on Terrace Drive in Canton over the weekend.

The dogs, which were voluntarily surrendered by their owners, require varying levels of medical care and a 72-hour quarantine. Some are pregnant as well.

A press release issued by Haywood County Animal Services Director Doyle Teague said that approximately 55 small breed dogs – Chihuahuas, dachshunds and the like – were living with their owners in a single-wide mobile home on the half-acre property, but dozens of larger dogs were being kept in kennels, a camping trailer and on chains around the property.

“My understanding is that animal services received an animal welfare concern report, which then allowed them to look at the property,” said Haywood County Program Administrator Dona Stewart on Saturday morning.

The owners, James and Angela Croft, appear to be in violation of several county ordinances regarding the care of companion animals, especially those that demand “minimal standards of nutrition, sanitation, shelter, and veterinary care” and prohibit keeping animals in a “severely” overcrowded environment.

Currently, the animals are being housed at a makeshift shelter located in the former Lea Industries building in Hazelwood, leased by the county from building owner Kelly West for $1.

Volunteers in the building as well as county employees and inmate work crews have been cataloging demographic information about each dog, vaccinating them, and feeding and cleaning up after them with an eye on adopting them out once their quarantine expires Tuesday.

On Monday, county commissioners took an added step towards rehoming the dogs; since the current county shelter is full, commissioners waived adoption fees.

Luckily for the county, this animal rescue came just days before a regularly scheduled meeting of the board of commissioners; had it not, County Manager Ira Dove said, it could have been up to two or three weeks before the fees could be waived.

Alternatively, the county could have called a special meeting to adjust the fees.

Instead, commissioners – at the urging of Chariman Mark Swanger – gave County Manager Ira Dove the power to waive such fees in future emergencies at his discretion.

Although commissioners Michael Sorrells and Kirk Kirkpatrick initially balked at giving the county manager what Sorrells called “blanket authority,” Kirkpatrick opined that any county manager abusing the privilege would be “taking his position in his own hands.”

The measure passed unanimously, however, giving the county manager – whether it be Dove or someone else in the future – the ability to incentivize adoptions.

The Asheville Humane Society, Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation, Duke’s Animal Haven and Friends of the Haywood County Animal Shelter have also been working towards that end, providing hours of volunteer labor and thousands of dollars of donated food, bedding, and cleaning supplies.

Those interested in adopting, volunteering or donating should visit the Friends of the Haywood County Animal Shelter Facebook page for more information. Dogs will be available for adoption beginning Nov. 9. 

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According to a press release issued earlier this morning, Haywood County officials are currently involved in the rescue of more than a hundred dogs from a property on Terrace Drive in Canton.

“My understanding is that animal services received an animal welfare concern report, which then allowed them to look at the property,” said Haywood County Program Administrator Dona Stewart. “Doyle [Teague, Haywood County animal services director] has worked with the owners and we were able to achieve a voluntary surrender.”

 The press release issued by Teague at 10:30 a.m. said that approximately 55 small breed dogs – Chihuahuas, dachshunds and the like – were living with their owners in a single-wide mobile home on the half-acre property, but dozens of larger dogs were being kept in kennels, a camping trailer and on chains around the property.

Currently, the animals are being housed at a makeshift shelter located in the former Lea Industries building in Hazelwood. 

Hollie Burris, office manager at the Haywood County Animal Shelter said that volunteers were cataloging demographic information about each dog, vaccinating them and would crate them for 72 hours per state law.

Soon, Stewart said, Teague would formulate a plan of action on what to do with them after that.

“When we found out we needed to create a temporary shelter that met all of the state guidelines, we started to reach out to owners of buildings that would meet the need, and we were very very fortunate that this businessman was willing to grant us a lease gave us on incredibly favorable terms,” Stewart said.  

The lease was signed by the county last night.

“He’s just a really good member of the community who wanted to do something to help out,” she said of the building’s owner. “We have a very active animal rescue community in Haywood County.”

Indeed, volunteers from Sarge’s animal shelter were on hand to assist with intake, but volunteers had also come from outside the county as well.

Michael Mustin is the medical director for the Asheville Humane Society. He said he’d been a part of four other large-scale rescues like this one.  

“I got a call last night saying they were bringing in about a hundred animals, so I just came out to help,” he said.

There was no word on what the owners will be charged with, if anything, but this situation is developing rapidly as of early Saturday afternoon. Check back for updates as they become available. 

 

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UPDATED Nov. 4 , 2016 10:11 a.m.

Third-quarter campaign finance disclosures from state candidates were due by Oct. 31, and as the state board of elections slowly posts them online, they’re also slowly revealing who’s giving, and who’s getting.

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Hard-luck Hazelwood may be creating a more lucrative future not by building, but by tearing down.

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Safety and aesthetic improvements are coming to the Soco Road corridor in Maggie Valley, and town officials are looking for input to determine their scope.

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Voters in North Carolina hoping to visit the polls before the Election Day rush have just a few more days to do so, but they should be able to look forward to a short, smooth trip — especially in Haywood County. 

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A group of Second Amendment supporters planning an open-carry gun rights rally will move ahead with their event, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 5.

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As with any problem, the first step toward solving it is admitting that there is a problem.

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As of 2 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 24, almost 4,300 Haywood County residents had already cast their vote in person at one of three area One Stop voting locations. 

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The Smoky Mountain News held a forum with all four of the Haywood County Commission candidates at the Folkmoot Friendship Center Oct. 20. If you missed it, be sure to check out the video on YouTube — https://youtu.be/aeyUEDKc_FQ. In the meantime, here are some of the highlights of the evening.

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Four more-or-less equally well-qualified candidates are competing for just two open seats on the Haywood County Board of Commissioners, leaving voters with some hard decisions come Nov. 8. 

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Perhaps it’s because Haywood County residents haven’t seen such a measure since the Truman administration, but the wording on the county’s alcohol sales referenda has left many voters confused as to what, exactly, they’re being asked.

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Two organizations hoping to manage an estimated $20 million in restricted funds resulting from the sale of Haywood Regional Medical Center to Duke LifePoint in 2014 made their case Oct. 17 to the Haywood County Board of Commissioners.

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Residents of Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties wishing to vote in advance of the Tuesday, Nov. 8, election in have multiple times and locations to choose from, beginning Thursday, Oct. 20, until early voting ends on Saturday, Nov. 5. For more information, visit www.ncsbe.gov.

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Feminism is cancer. Patriarchy is good for everyone. The wage gap is a myth. Islam is not a religion of peace. Fat shaming works.

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Last month, the town of Canton’s highly anticipated municipal pool project hit an unexpected snag when it was learned that a 40-year United States Department of Agriculture loan would not be available as part of the complex, 10-part financing package town leaders created to pay for the project.

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Close your eyes and imagine this: It’s another picture-perfect Western North Carolina Wednesday morning with Chamber of Commerce weather and nary a cloud in the sky.

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Some employees in the Haywood County school system will see more money in their paychecks this month, thanks to state legislators.

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Rhonda Cole Schandevel is a survivor. 

“I hate it. I miss him terribly,” she said, a limpid pool of tears welling up in her eyes. “Sure, I’m sad that my husband died, but I’m very proud that I’ve been able to raise my son in a state that valued public education and valued the working class. Those are values our legislature does not hold today, especially my opponent.”

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Nestled betwixt the Great Balsam and Plott Balsam ranges not far from Western Carolina University in Jackson County, the town of Sylva is in the midst of a transformation.

Originally from Jackson, Tennessee. Tammy Fuller moved to Sylva seven years ago. Four years after that she opened Sassy Frass Consignment on West Main Street, which will celebrate its third anniversary on Halloween.

The two-year journey from the primaries to the polls is almost over – but not until you cast your vote! Follow along with this handy guide to make sure you have what it takes to make your voice heard.

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Haywood County Commission candidates faced off last Thursday at a forum hosted by The Mountaineer, and while there wasn’t a lot of dissention among them, the questions they received provide insight into the needs and wants of Haywood County residents.

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The all-important push to bring high-speed internet to Western North Carolina generated a lot of optimism earlier this summer when the town of Waynesville and the Land of Sky Regional Council entered into an agreement with the goal of expanding high-speed internet service to the area. 

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Born and raised in Swain County, Mike Clampitt is a sixth-generation Western North Carolinian with roots in the area dating back to the Revolutionary War.

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Area residents who avail themselves of Waynesville’s recreational facilities and programs have a chance to shape their respective futures — but only for a few more days. 

“Bottom line, this is about what the public would like to have,” said Rhett Langston, director of Waynesville’s Parks and Recreation department. “We have ideas ourselves in Parks and Recreation, but the bottom line is, it has to come from the public.”

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It is known by many names. 

Some call it the Second Indochina War. Some call it the Resistance War. Some call it the American War.

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On Tuesday Nov. 8, voters in Haywood County will decide from amongst a slew of candidates seeking election to the Haywood County Board of Education in a non-partisan race. 

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The town of Canton has scored several small victories of late in its effort to diversify its economic base and improve services and amenities available to residents. 

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Another of Canton’s highly anticipated capital improvements on the horizon is a new municipal pool to replace the leaky aging one that has served residents for more than 70 years. 

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Children, the elderly, the ill, the mentally challenged and the incarcerated in Haywood County all have at least one thing in common: in the event of an emergency or evacuation, they might not be able to move to safety quickly or efficiently.

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The Town of Waynesville’s area increased by 2.82 acres last week with the annexation of a parcel at 1023 Dellwood Road that Alderman Gary Caldwell said was “part of our growth.”

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For 223 years, the highest office in the land has been passed from one man to another without bloodshed or widespread violence. This year the same will likely occur regardless of the sex of the victor.

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Motorcyclists have always been a distinct subset of the American population, long before they gained infamy in Hunter S. Thompson’s Hells Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga, published by Random House in 1966; Marlon Brando gave credibility to the “outlaw” stereotype in the 1953 biker flick “The Wild One,” and James Dean solidified it in the 1955 movie “Rebel Without a Cause.”

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The longest running Labor Day festival in the South is meant to commemorate the contributions of the organized labor movement in the Unites States; appropriately, the Town of Canton’s popular weekend event wasn’t just spent guzzling sweet tea, pounding barbecue and listening to bluegrass.

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Geography and population conspire to make much of Western North Carolina a terrible place for an airport; west of Asheville, commercial airstrips are practically nonexistent.

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This November, voters will have another choice to make at the polls — whether to allow beer and or wine sales in areas of Haywood County that currently don’t offer such conveniences.

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Allen Alsbrooks serves on the Maggie Valley Zoning Board, and used to serve on the town’s planning board; he’s also been the owner of the Hearth and Home Inn on Soco Road in Maggie Valley since 2007, so it’s safe to say he’s got his finger pretty close to the pulse of Haywood County’s tourism-based economy. 

SEE ALSO:
Jackson plans for angling increase
• Hikers happy with Franklin’s hospitality

“It’s the best year I’ve ever had,” Alsbrooks said. 

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Although the closure of Ghost Town in the Sky several years back has left many Maggie Valley businesses struggling just to keep their doors open, others like the half-century-old Joey’s Pancake House and the 15-year-old Wheels Through Time motorcycle museum have continued to succeed despite slowly climbing tourism numbers amidst the lingering aftertaste of the worst recession in living memory.

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Dr. Kristen Hammett had just left the current Haywood County Animal Shelter when she appeared before the Haywood County Board of Commissioners Sept. 6, clad in her familiar teal T-shirt emblazoned with the Friends of the Haywood County Animal Shelter logo.

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Charter schools have long been touted by proponents as an innovative and enticing option for parents of children in low-performing schools, but according to numbers recently released by the North Carolina State Board of Education, charters had both a higher percentage of failing schools and a higher percentage of excellent schools.

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School performance indicators issued last week paint a picture of a very good Haywood County School System that continues to improve but is still haunted by a few troubling issues.

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A request by Gov. Pat McCrory to reinstate North Carolina’s 2013 voter identification requirement and shortened early voting period was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court last week.

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Haywood County political activists hope to hold a gun rights rally on the grounds of the Historic Haywood County Courthouse just days before the General Election in November.

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The Canton Board of Aldermen was in high spirits Aug. 25 even before Town Manager Seth Hendler-Voss walked in to the meeting five minutes late.

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The future site of Shining Rock Classical Academy at 1023 Dellwood Road isn’t in the town limits of Waynesville, but that hasn’t stopped the Lake Junaluska Assembly from asking town aldermen to annex the parcel so it can receive municipal services.

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A high water table wreaking havoc with aging septic systems that has left some residents in one Waynesville neighborhood seeking creative answers to nature’s call is finally drawing attention from the town, while at least one homeowner watches his pipe dream go down the drain.

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