Flips, spins, big jumps and high speeds — these things challenge the average human being, but, for big-air snowboarder Zeb Powell, they’re no big deal.
Five days out of the week during ski season, the 13-year old can be found out on the slopes at Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley, grinding on rails, zipping down hills, twisting and turning head over heels in the air. He dominates most competitions he enters into and is always working on the next big move.
Developers of a large college student housing complex in Cullowhee got an OK from the Jackson County Planning Board to deviate from engineering rules on man-made slopes.
A longer season, a higher quota, shooting over bait piles — these are just a few aspects of the state bear hunting laws the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is looking at changing to keep the ever-growing bear population in check.
To test the public’s reaction to possible widespread changes to bear hunting laws, the agency held a series of public meetings across the state. Last week at Haywood Community College, wildlife commissioners and staff faced a crowded auditorium — including both hunters and wildlife activists.
From wedding planners to elk tour guides to non-profit organizations, the closing of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park hasn’t only disrupted the livelihood of federal workers.
The park is home to a wide variety of outside enterprises working independently yet inextricably tied to it. In many ways, the federal impasse that caused the ongoing shutdown has hurt these operations more than the federal workers who have been furloughed.
Where heavy-handed fines fail, the Jackson County Health Department is pushing a program to urge negligent drivers to put their child passengers in car seats.
Most people who call up Google Earth are hunting a hard-to-find address or scoping out satellite images of their next vacation destination, but the ubiquitous online mapping tool is also proving useful in navigating years of bygone Cherokee civilization.
The future of Jackson County’s Green Energy Park may depend on county commissioners doubling down.
This year’s election in Franklin is shaping up to be one of the most interesting — and crowded — the town has seen in a decade, or more.
The impasse at the federal level will touch all areas of operation at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Blue Ridge Parkway, closing picnic areas, campgrounds, bathrooms, visitor centers and historic sites.
The Jackson County tourism industry adopted a new logo last week to go with their new slogan: “Play On.”
The new owners of the iconic Lulu’s on Main restaurant in downtown Sylva are dedicated to keeping around the diner’s favorite menu items, but they’re also looking forward to adding some of their own.
Nicole Dexter and Chip Owen might be the only brewmasters in Western North Carolina who left Asheville — the Mecca of microbreweries — in the rearview mirror when looking for a good spot to make craft beer. But the two young entrepreneurs have a good feeling about their new business venture in downtown Sylva.
An indoor swimming pool, a river park in Dillsboro and more greenways emerged as top priorities in a 10-year master recreation plan created by the Jackson County’s Recreation and Parks Department.
Macon County closed the application window last week and will soon begin paring down applicants in search of its next county manager.
They made it a top priority, but Western Carolina University administrators were still a bit surprised when they learned they succeeded in raising the freshmen retention rate by a significant margin.
After a surge in the freshmen retention rate at Western Carolina University, school administrators are trying to get a feel for why fewer students jumped ship this year than any other year in recent history.
In what he characterized as simply starting the discussion, Jackson County Commission Chairman Jack Debnam broached the idea of changing how voters elect county commissioners.
An abandoned, county-owned furniture factory in Whittier could transform into a center for agritourism in Jackson County, or it could become something entirely different.
The Macon Aero Modelers Club members are not afraid to fly much of anything. Large, wooden aircraft churning through the sky, small, light planes twisting and turning at 10, 15, 20 Gs — if it’s got wings, it’s their forte.
The Macon County Commission last week narrowly approved funding for upgrades and an expansion of the runway at the county airport.
Thousands of uninsured Western North Carolina residents will soon benefit from the Affordable Care Act, despite most people still being confused over what health insurance reform truly entails, according local health experts.
It is a common story — a species once eliminated returns to find not everyone welcomes it back with open arms. The return of wolves to northern Wisconsin, the reintroduction of beavers to the United Kingdom, and now the elk in Western North Carolina.
After disappearing from North Carolina in the late 1700s, the elk have since made a comeback from the history books in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park — from zero to a successful and ever-growing herd in short time. But with their renewed success in their historic home, so comes a newfound set of problems.
To relieve sewer gridlock in the Cashiers area, the Tuckasegee Water and Sewer Authority may change its rules to let developers swap, transfer and even sell unused sewer capacity.
Forest Hills residents and town leaders overwhelmingly opposed purchasing a 60-acre abandoned golf course in the middle of their community at a public hearing last week.
The Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute is making use of citizen scientists from around the world to help sort and catalog its photo albums of the universe.
Since the late 1800s, astronomers have been taking images of the night sky, using the telescope like a long camera lens and putting either film or small, photographic plates at the eyepiece.
Passion, love, hate and violence — are all very human. But the best way of understanding these and other human attributes might not be by studying humans at all. The animals around us, says Western Carolina University Psychology Professor Harold Herzog, may hold the key.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s march on Washington, D.C., political activists in Western North Carolina celebrated a dream of their own.
With September’s tropical storm season gearing up, residents living downstream of large Duke Energy dams in Western North Carolina may spend the fall on high alert, wondering when and if Duke will open the flood gates to release pent-up water from its dams on the Nantahala and Tuckasegee rivers.
When it comes to a high-speed chase, law enforcement must constantly ask the question: is it worth it?
A 23-year-old Franklin man took police on a chase through Macon County in August reaching speeds of nearly 125 miles per hour. The chase took off after a deputy tried to pull David Ridao over for going 74 miles per hour in a 55-mile zone on U.S. 64.
The Jackson County Planning Board is delving into a review of cell tower regulations and discussing changes that could ultimately allow for taller towers on mountaintops and ridges.
A communications tower in Macon County is expected to bring better wireless phone coverage to a remote region but has environmentalists concerned over its visibility from the Appalachian Trail.
Construction could start in September on a paved 1.2-mile section of greenway along the Tucksegee River in Cullowhee.
Jackson County commissioners turned down a start-up Internet provider asking for a $1 million economic development loan to bring high-speed internet to rural areas.
Jackson County has extended the application deadline for a new economic development director after the first round failed to attract a large pool of applicants from Western North Carolina.
The Appalachian Women’s Museum finally has a home to call its own.
Dillsboro town council members agreed Monday to lease a section of the historic Monteith farmstead to the organization, whose members have sought a brick and mortar place to honor the feats of Appalachian women.
While lines of cars zip down the Blue Ridge Parkway and hikers scurry along its zigzagging trails, Graveyard Fields moves at its own pace.
The high elevation meadows of Graveyard Fields are a crowned jewel of the Shining Rock Wilderness. No trees means great views — views without scrambling up a mountain peak or peering out from intermittent windows in the tree canopy.
It’s not quite little Las Vegas, yet, but new sign laws in Sylva are clearing the way for a brighter, blinkier town.
An old closed-down elementary school in the rural Cowee community in Macon County will soon reclaim its role as a community focal point and gathering place.
This year’s Aug. 17 Blue Ridge Breakaway is hoping to attract nearly 600 cyclists to Haywood County, and leading those riders out of the gate will be Asheville resident and Olympic medalist Lauren Tamayo.
The 29-year-old Tamayo won a silver medal on her bike last summer in London.
Whether you live in Macon County or Jackson County may depend on which one you ask.
The building sector in Jackson County has continued its upward swing in 2013.
In addition to food, shelter and medical care, access to a phone is one of life’s bare necessities — at least according to the American federal government.
One man’s mission to bring to light an obesity epidemic in Macon County has offended many in the community, prompted threats from some and even prompting a response from the sheriff.
Back to school essentials have always been a familiar list of pens, pencils, fresh notebooks, new sneakers and a calculator, but a changes in the state law might be adding one more thing to that list: a gun and carry permit.
Western Carolina University students will open their textbooks this year with a livelier Cullowhee awaiting them after the class bell rings, one with more dining options, hangout spots and beer on tap.
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An incident at a farm facility in Macon County last week left one worker dead and caused the hospitalization of more than a dozen people.
Town board members said no to expanding Sylva’s zoning laws to be more inclusive for churches downtown, citing a desire to reserve the center of the city for commerce, nightlife and retail.
A decade-long saga in deciding the fate of Duke Energy’s former dam near Dillsboro is drawing to a close as the company prepares to hand the site and surrounding land over to local officials.
It’s not quite Robocop, but the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office is getting a law enforcement boost thanks to technology.
To lend a helping hand in Jackson County, a willingness to volunteer may not be enough.