Becky Johnson

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An ambitious dream of expanding and remodeling the main Haywood County library in Waynesville has been abandoned, with sights now set on a renovation plan to improve and upgrade the library within the existing footprint.

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A Haywood County woman has pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges for filing bogus unemployment claims on behalf of unsuspecting victims, a scam that bilked the government for more than $29,000 in fake unemployment benefits over a two-year period.

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Todd Dillard isn’t the kind of guy who leaves anything to chance. What-ifs are his forte, as they should be for the Jackson County emergency management director.

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Two conservative activists in Haywood County have been banned from Republican Party functions under the threat of trespassing charges from state party officials.

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An 83-year-old women died after falling 150 feet from an overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Graveyard Fields in Haywood County last Friday (May 19).

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Jackson County Schools has found itself at the back of the line to get a piece of the quarter-cent sales tax voters passed last year.

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A progressive tour de force has emerged across the mountains since the election of President Donald Trump.

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Thousands of pop-up progressive activist groups have emerged around the country since November’s election.

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A progressive tour de force has emerged across the mountains since the election of President Donald Trump.

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The recent tug-of-war for control of the Haywood County Republican Party has left many conservatives cringing and embarrassed over the portrayal of petty infighting, but it has played out like a microcosm of the national political landscape.

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A shake up in the Haywood County Republican Party has pitted mainstream party members against an ideological “patriot” faction.

The patriot faction recently lost its grip on the party, following a mass ousting from the party’s executive committee during this year’s annual precinct gatherings. But what drove the two branches of the local party apart and resulted in the patriots’ ousting isn’t easy to sum up.

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A power struggle has embroiled the Haywood County Republican Party over the past several months, culminating in the mass overthrow of a conservative “patriot” faction by the mainstream branch of the party.

SEE ALSO: Patriot faction of Haywood GOP blindsided by ousting

The story of internal turmoil within the Haywood GOP is a familiar one. Feuding factions have been at loggerheads for several years running. But the latest commotion is more than just another chapter in the same old tug-of-war.

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Eddie Cabe suspected something big was afoot in the weeks leading up to the annual precinct gathering of the Haywood County Republican Party. 

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With a redesign of N.C. 107 officially in the works, the controversial Southern Loop appears to be toast.

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Years in the making, design options for a new N.C. 107 in Sylva were recently unveiled by the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

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Waynesville, Sylva and Franklin’s main commercial thoroughfares are getting a makeover, reshaping the fabric of these communities for decades to come.

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The congested, five-lane drag through Sylva will soon meet its maker.

A $36 million project to re-do the commercial thoroughfare of N.C. 107 is officially in the planning stages, and last week the N.C. Department of Transportation unveiled the long-awaited schematic designs of what the new road might look like.

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Haywood Arts Regional Theatre is known for is top-rate shows and high-caliber acting not typical of community theaters.

But HART has a well-kept secret that pulls its stage action together, a secret that’s hidden in plain sight of audiences, always noticed but rarely noted: its stunning backdrops.

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Lyle Baskin is a man of high places. He’s spent most of his life on a ladder.

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Think your honey-do list is long? Wait until you meet Jack Carlisle.

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After five years of trying to merge with the town of Waynesville, the Lake Junaluska community has given up and charted a new course for its future.

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Hopes for a major renovation and expansion of the Waynesville library were temporarily shelved by county commissioners last year and remain in limbo, now hinging on a to-be-determined strategic plan for the entire library system.

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Mike Fitzgerald rarely skipped a beat as he darted spryly between his cobbler’s bench and the vintage, grime-coated machines anchoring his narrow shoe repair shop.

It’s hard to fathom, but Fitzgerald knows every nook and cranny of the controlled chaos. Floor-to-ceiling shelves brim with a disheveled array of tack boxes, heaps of leather scraps, and a small army of polish and dye cans.

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A crowd of more than 150 people took to the streets of downtown Sylva Sunday joining protestors in cities across America for a national day of action to save the Affordable Care Act.

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From the control room of Canton’s water plant, a steady barrage of numbers flash across the computer monitors.

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As days slid by without rain last fall, and the days stacked into weeks, Neil Carpenter watched the water gauge on Jonathan Creek like the ticking hands of a doomsday clock.

SEE ALSO:
Haywood water systems join forces to aid each other in times of need
TWSA reviews water shortage plan following drought
Haywood water systems by the numbers

Carpenter usually has 4 million gallons of water a day at his fingertips — triple what he needs to serve the 3,800 homes and businesses in greater Maggie Valley.

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Joe Sam Queen counts his campaign wins and losses like innings in a baseball game.

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Mark Swanger tucked into his leather armchair beside a roaring gas fire, an expansive view of his Fines Creek family farm unfurling beyond the bay windows of his log home.

Calm, cool and collected as always, he was ready for another round of a marathon interview aimed at capturing the sweeping tenure of his 20-year political career in Haywood County.

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Haywood County Schools is at a crossroads, making this year’s crowded election for school board a pivotal one.

Thom Morgan isn’t the type to be star struck. 

When a location scout approached him two years ago about filming a major movie at his mansion in Waynesville, the agent hoping to sell him on the idea ticked off the famous comedians in the playbill for “Masterminds,” a true-crime comedy about an armored car heist in Charlotte in the late 1990s.

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Haywood County was abuzz with excitement during the filming of the major motion-picture “Masterminds” two summers ago, but exactly how the directors set their sights on a local mansion for their movie location has been a closely held secret until now.

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A year in the making, Western Carolina University has sealed a deal with the Charles Koch Foundation for a $1.8 million gift to set up an economic research center on campus with a focus on economic development and free market ideas.

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Few if any universities have made the Charles Koch Foundation jump quite so many hurdles before opening its wallet as Western Carolina University has.

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Western Carolina University faculty tasked with overseeing a $2 million gift from the Charles Koch Foundation had their work cut out for them when they collectively rolled up their sleeves last February.

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A firestorm over a $2 million gift from political operative Charles Koch ignited the campus of Western Carolina University last fall in a rare but heated clash between faculty and university leadership.

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Haywood Regional Medical Center and county officials  are locked in a dispute over how much the hospital should pay in property taxes.

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fr utilitiesWaynesville utility crews will no longer donate labor to run power, water and sewer connections for community projects on a handshake agreement.

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fr HCCfireA lawsuit over the historic sawmill that burned down at Haywood Community College nearly four years ago was settled last week in a ruling by the N.C. Court of Appeals.

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fr trashSuspicions that people are concealing old sofas and worn-out mattresses over state and county lines to dump on the sly in Jackson is irking county commissioners, but stopping the illicit trash smugglers could be tough.

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jacksonWhen Travis Lewis was hit with a $600 charge for going over his monthly cell phone data allotment two years ago, he was taken aback to say the least.

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jacksonJackson commissioners were put in a tough spot this month by county staff seeking special treatment for wireless internet towers that would exempt them from the typical oversight and public hearing process for erecting towers.

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coverStephen Metzger was like a kid in a candy shop as he clambered over a massive mound of behemoth tree trunks piled high in the wood salvage yard behind Moose Crossing, a woodworking studio on the outskirts of Waynesville.

 “Ashe, red oak, box elder, white oak, walnut, hard maple, sugar maple, sycamore,” Stephen said. “We’ve got a huge investment right here — huge.”

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fr jacksonmanagerJackson County commissioners last week unanimously named a new county manager with a long and successful local government track record in the mountains.

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fr waynesvilleplanningDowntown Waynesville has racked up another accolade with the Great Places in North Carolina award — an honor that carries a little more clout and honor than the typical online poll or best-of list.

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haywoodA dispute over how much Haywood Regional Medical Center owes in county property taxes is headed for a showdown this month.

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medicalHaywood and Jackson counties could have a long road ahead in their property tax disputes with Duke LifePoint, which owns Haywood Regional Medical Center and Harris Regional Hospital.

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fr foodtrucksAn ongoing debate over food trucks and pushcart vendors in Waynesville made its way to the town board last week, but a vote was delayed after it became evident town board members differed on their views.

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haywoodThe Waynesville town board met Tuesday for a third stab at narrowing down their pool of applicants for the town manager position.

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haywoodWaynesville town leaders will decide this month whether to raise property taxes to hire additional firefighters, and if so, by how much.

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fr billhollingsedLaw enforcement officers in Haywood County are pulling double duty in the war on drugs: they’re saving lives as well as fighting crime.

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