Canton adopts long-term bike and pedestrian plan

There are a number of reasons to walk or bike to work, to play or to shop — saving money on gasoline, experiencing the health benefits of regular physical activity, or just a general desire to stop and smell the roses — but that’s especially so in the compact, walkable communities that dot much of Western North Carolina. 

Canton gears up for budget talks

Although it wasn’t a formal budget retreat, leaders in the Town of Canton met last week to begin identifying budget priorities for when that time does come. 

Small-town closed sessions few, far between

Haywood County’s five local governments more or less fall into two tiers — there’s the county and there’s Waynesville, and then there’s everybody else. 

African-American history at Sunburst oft overlooked

In a county as old as Haywood, there exist all manner of half-remembered places and faces long gone from the physical world yet immortalized through penciled notes on the backs of dog-eared, sepia-toned photographs.

Sunburst, in southeastern Haywood County, is one of those places; the subject of intense historical research, it’s been documented better than most ghosts of Haywood past, but the story of Sunburst has always been short one chapter. 

Local officials weigh in on legal marijuana

On Jan. 15, The Smoky Mountain News contacted almost every elected official in Haywood County for whom an email address was listed with the county’s board of elections. Around half failed to respond, but those who did were sometimes too verbose for print, so an excerpt from their response was used in the Jan. 23 edition of The Smoky Mountain News. In the interest of transparency, their full responses are included here.

Winter Storm Diego prompts state of emergency in Haywood County

Around a foot of heavy, wet snow that started yesterday afternoon and continued through the night brought down trees, snapped power lines and made travel impossible for some, prompting Haywood County Board of Commissioners Chairman Kevin Ensley to declare a state of emergency as of 8:15 this morning.

Maps from Duke Energy show more than a hundred separate outages affecting at least 4,000 Haywood County customers, who remain without power as of about 11 a.m.

State of emergency in Haywood, Canton, Maggie Valley

Early on Sept. 14, a flurry of press releases from Haywood County, the Town of Maggie Valley and the Town of Canton declared states of emergency in each jurisdiction.

While no effect has yet been felt in Western North Carolina due to Hurricane Florence, the next 72 hours could bring heavy rain, downed limbs, gusty winds and localized flooding.

Here’s the full text of the Haywood County declaration:

As a precautionary measure, Haywood County will declare a state of emergency effective noon today. The state of emergency allows the County to access critical resources, coordinate support and provide assistance in case conditions worsen. In order to receive FEMA reimbursement, a local state of emergency declaration is required.

Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency for all 100 counties in North Carolina on September 7, 2018.

Haywood County Board of Commissioners Chairman Kirk Kirkpatrick stated, “Our emergency response teams and law enforcement have been monitoring and preparing for the storm all week. Haywood County is taking the necessary precautions with the uncertainty of the storm.”

“We know the storm is coming. We don’t know the impact the storm will have on our area,” said Emergency Services Director, Greg Shuping. “A state of emergency alerts our citizens to monitor the rain, wind and landslide potential during the storm. Please take the time to make necessary preparations now.”

Citizens should stay tuned to your local news stations and the latest updates from state and local authorities.

Haywood County Alerts was developed for these types of emergencies. This system provides emergency alerts for Haywood County and all municipalities within Haywood County. To receive emergency (emergency only) *text message* alerts, simply text your Haywood County zip code to the number 888-777.To receive additional information including road closures and utility interruptions, visit to choose the types of alerts you want to receive.

A seat at the table: Organized labor remains strong in Haywood County

For more than a century in the tiny Haywood County town of Canton, the sun has risen and set — literally and figuratively — on the sprawling paper mill located in the heart of town. 

Flag flap far from finished

Just weeks after a violent “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville last August, complaints arising from the display of Confederate imagery in the Town of Canton’s 111th annual Labor Day parade prompted an alderman to propose regulating the display of controversial speech in town-sponsored events. 

Cartoon, July 18, 2018

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