Western North Carolinaâ€™s Source for Weekly News, Entertainment, Arts, and Outdoor Information
March 27-April 2, 2019 Vol. 20 Iss. 44
Residents try to halt Cherokee mound deed transfer Page 9 Jackson health, social services boards restored Page 10
CONTENTS On the Cover: With Haywood Arts Regional Theatre’s mainstage season opening just around the corner, The Smoky Mountain News takes a look back at the theatre’s 35 years in the community. From a small operation to the renowned theatre company it is today, HART’s growth has been extraordinary. (Page 22) John Highsmith photo
News Haywood NAACP discusses lynching memorial ......................................................6 Waynesville residents push for promised park ..........................................................8 Macon residents try to halt Nikwasi deed transfer ....................................................9 Jackson health, social services boards restored ....................................................10 Indoor pool survey coming to Jackson ......................................................................11 Park, tribe sign gathering agreement ..........................................................................12 New members appointed to Cherokee boards ......................................................13 Tuscola still seeks ‘level playing field’ ........................................................................14 WCU parking deck construction delayed ................................................................15 Education News ................................................................................................................16
Opinion Our job is to earn trust and keep it ............................................................................17
Books The Apollo missions were propelled by a bold vision ..........................................33
March 27-April 2, 2019 Smoky Mountain News
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CONTACT WAYNESVILLE | 144 Montgomery, Waynesville, NC 28786 P: 828.452.4251 | F: 828.452.3585 SYLVA | 629 West Main Street, Sylva, NC 28779 P: 828.631.4829 | F: 828.631.0789 INFO & BILLING | P.O. Box 629, Waynesville, NC 28786 Copyright 2019 by The Smoky Mountain News.™ Advertising copyright 2019 by The Smoky Mountain News.™ All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. The Smoky Mountain News is available for free in Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain and parts of Buncombe counties. Limit one copy per person. Additional copies may be purchased for $1, payable at the Smoky Mountain News office in advance. No person may, without prior written permission of The Smoky Mountain News, take more than one copy of each issue.
Grandson of former owner reopens RollsRite Bicycles ......................................34
Breath still bated ................................................................................................................47
1 YEAR $65 | 6 MONTHS $40 | 3 MONTHS $25
Camp spots in high demand M
• Laurel Ridge Country Club. June 24-28 and July 22-26. Kids ages 6-13 sports camp with professional golf and tennis instruction. www.laurelridgeexperience.com.
• Variety of sports camps at Waynesville Recreation Center. Call 828.456.2030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Pigeon Community Multicultural Development Center. Summer enrichment camp. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 18 through Aug. 17. Offered for nine weeks. $450 per camper, multiple camper discounts and financial scholarships available. 828.452.7232.
• Camp Henry at Lake Logan. Sessions June 20 through July 22. Cost ranges from $315 to $1,250 for different camps. www.camphenry.net or 828.475.9264.
• Skyland Camp for Girls offers summer camp stays of varying duration: 3, 9, 18 or 39 days. Sessions begin in late June and mid-July. Prices vary. For more information, call 828.627.2470 or email email@example.com.
• Fearless Athletics Day Camp. Sessions from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. June 18 through Aug. 17 at 123 Park St., Canton. $150 a week. Before and aftercare available. 828.492.1494.
• Challenger International Soccer Camp, July 22– 26, boys and girls ages 314. Prices vary. To register, visit www.challengersports.com.
• Created for a Purpose. Aug. 5-9, for children of rising-third grade to rising-eighth grade age at Providence Church, 1400 Old Clyde Rd, Clyde) in partnership with members of Vine of the Mountains Church. 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Registration opens May 1. $130 per camper. Scholarships will be available. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Smoky Mountain Aquatic Club. Summer Camp. Ages 6-17. Practices are held Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays beginning at 6:15 p.m. and on Saturdays beginning at 8:30 a.m., all at the Waynesville Recreation Center. www.smacwswimming.com. • Smoky Mountain Sk8way. Eight-week day camp from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. June 18 through Aug. 10. Ages 6-14. $140 a week. 828.246.9124. Enrollment form at www.smokymountainsk8way.com.
Smoky Mountain News
Your Legacy Leadership Summit for Girls at Western Carolina University are specifically designed to improve self-esteem and bring out leadership qualities in young girls. From Highlands to Asheville, other organizations offer speciality camps for kids with interests in sports, martial arts, ceramics, art, film, writing, science and technology. Whatever your child is interested in, you’re likely to find the perfect camp for them if you begin looking early enough. “The biggest plus of camp is that camps help young people discover and explore their talents, interests, and values,” Scales said. “Most schools don’t satisfy all these needs. Kids who have had these kinds of (camp) experiences end up being healthier and have less problems which concern us all.” While the cost to attend summer camps continues to rise, there are camp options to fit just about anyone’s budget. Also, many of the organizations offer financial aid or scholarships for students who can’t afford the tuition. Don’t be afraid to reach out to camp organizers and other nonprofits for assistance. Having a summer camp experience is about more than keeping the kids occupied during the summer — it’s about providing a valuable experience for them that they will never forget.
March 27-April 2, 2019
ost families in Western North Carolina haven’t even taken their spring break yet but already parents are clamoring to secure a spot for their kids at an area summer camp. With so many different camp opportunities in the region, parents have many choices when it comes to keeping their children busy in the summer months. Whether it’s sending them to a traditional week-long outdoors camp or a day camp for arts or technology, there are endless benefits for their mental and physical health. “Camp is one of the few institutions where young people can experience and satisfy their need for physical activity, creative expression and true participation in a community environment. Most schools don’t satisfy all these needs,” said noted educator, author and psychologist Peter Scales. Organizations like Pigeon Community Multicultural Development Center in Waynesville and the school systems have a variety of educational camps offered throughout the summer to keep students’ minds sharp in the summer so they don’t lose all the valuable information they learned during the school year. Other camps like Skyland Camp for Girls in Clyde and Live
• Waynesville Recreation Center Volleyball Camp, June 17-20, 9 a.m. to 12 noon, rising third grader through 12th grade. $85 by June 1, $100 after June 1.
S EE CAMPS, PAGE 4
CAMPS, CONTINUED FROM 3 For more information or to register please contact Amy Mull at email@example.com • Waynesville Recreation Center Shooting and Dribbling Basketball Camps, June 24-27 or July 15-18, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. $150 per camp. Applications available at the Waynesville Recreation Center, or contact Kevin Cantwell at firstname.lastname@example.org. • Waynesville Recreation Center Base Camp on the Go. A travelling camp featuring a variety of activities in a variety of locations including the Waynesville Recreation Center, Canton Town Park and Fines Creek. Free. Begins June 10. For more information contact email@example.com. • Youth for Christ Outdoor Mission Camp in Maggie Valley. Sessions start June 25 through July 16. Cost ranges $150 to $700. www.outdoormissioncamp.org or 828.926.3252. • Youth for Christ - Creativity In Creation, June 16-21. Campers experience outdoor adventures in and around the Smokies, while also spending time expressing their creative side. $50 per camper. To register, visit goo.gl/forms/MmuW6ILkYhooto503. • Youth for Christ - Wilderness 101, July 14-19. Spiritually and physically challenging wilderness discipleship camp for high school students. $350 per camper, scholarships available. To register, visit goo.gl/forms/0YS7E4cTt2CHaCL03. • Youth for Christ - La Aventura, June 23-28. Ven a vivir una aventura al aire libre con otros hablantes de español. Encontrar a Dios en su creación y hacer grandes amigos! $50. To register, visit goo.gl/forms/w4dkpK6deFAiSBQ83.
March 27-April 2, 2019
Macon • New Vision Training Center. Summer day camp opportunities for gymnastics, ninja training, bouldering, outside play, arts and crafts, games, and much more. Full days and half days. Snacks will be provided. Bring your own lunch. Ages 3-12. www.newvisiontrainingcenter.com or 828.524.1904. • Macon County Schools Summer Edventure Camp. 8-week day camp. Call Lenora Clifton at 828.524.4414, Ext. 324 or www.macon.k12.nc.us/sec. • Bascom Art Center in Highlands. Summer art camp for ages 7-14. Sessions begin June 19 through Aug. 14. $175 a week. www.thebascom.org or 828.526.4949. • Danny Antoine’s Martial Arts & Fitness Academy in Franklin. Monday through Friday starting May 28 through Aug. 23. $135 per week. Each child must be sent with a packed lunch, two snacks, and a bottle of water. To register, call 828.332.0418.
Smoky Mountain News
• Nantahala Learning Center Summer Program. $25 per day Monday through Friday. Registration fee is $50. All field trip admission, transportation expenses, and
materials is budgeted into the registration fee. Call 219.689.3443 for more info. • Boys and Girls Club in Cashiers Summer Camp. 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily June 3 through July 26. $415 per student/$350 for additional family members. firstname.lastname@example.org or 828.743.2775.
Swain • YMCA Camp Watia. Weeklong sessions from June 16 through Aug. 4 for ages 7 to 15. Limited space still available. $450-$750. Financial assistance available. www.ymcacampwatia.org. • Nantahala Outdoor Center. Whitewater kayaking camp. Five-day sessions in June and July. For ages 9 to 17. $850 to $1,500. 828.785.4977 or www.noc.com/lessons-training/paddling-school/kidskayaking-camp. • Camp Living Water Christian camp. June 30 through July 12. For ages 13-17. $490 per camper. www.camplivingwater.com or 828.488.6012.
Cherokee • Cherokee Youth Center (Boys and Girls Club). Email Patrick West at email@example.com or call 828.497-3119.
Jackson County • Western Carolina University Elite Football Camp. June 22, June 23 or July 21. WCU campus. $50; rising ninth through 12th-graders. www.loffootballcamp.com. • WCU Hawg Camp. June 21-22. WCU campus. $200 day camp; $250 overnight camp; rising ninth through 12th-graders. www.loffootballcamp.com. • Western Carolina Football Skills Academy, June 1820. WCU campus. $150 for three days or $75 for one day; rising first through eighth graders. www.loffootballcamp.com. • “Special Forces” Special Teams Camp, June 21. WCU campus. $50; kickers, punters and long snappers of all ages. www.loffootballcamp.com. • Top Gun QB Camp, June 21-22. WCU campus. $200 day camp, $250 overnight camp; rising ninth through 12th-graders. www.loffootballcamp.com. • Skills Academy Youth Camp, June 18-20. WCU campus. $150 or $75 for one day; rising first through eighth graders. www.loffootballcamp.com. • Karen Glover Volleyball Camp Skills Camp. July 2324. WCU campus. $175 day camp or $200 overnight; rising sixth through eighth-graders. www.karenglovervbcamps.com.
campus. $45-75; all ages. bit.ly/2HCnHdg. • Live Your Legacy Girls Leadership Camp. June 1622. WCU campus. $1,500 with scholarships available; rising 10th through 12th-graders. ibmee.org/live-yourlegacy-camp.
Cullowhee. $625; ages 6-12. Register March 30 online at www.rec.jacksonnc.org. 828.293.3053. • British Soccer Camp. July 22-26. Cullowhee. $97$143. Ages 3-16. www.rec.jacksonnc.org.
• Triple Arts Intensive Musical Theater Summer Camp. July 14 to Aug. 3. WCU campus. $4,300; ages 15 to 22. www.triplearts.com.
• Camp WILD exploring nature and environmental science. July 15-18. Cullowhee. $35. Rising seventh and eighth graders. Jane Fitzgerald, 828.586.5465 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Carolina Saxophone Camp. Dates TBA. WCU campus. $499; high school and undergraduate saxophonists. Ian Jeffress, email@example.com.
• Art Tastic arts camp offering ceramics, sculptures, crafts and drawing. July 15-19. WCU campus. $275; grades 6 to 19. bit.ly/2HqOBHH.
• Camp Hobbit Hill. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sleepover and day camp sessions available in June, July and August. Agues 7-17. www.camphobbithill.com or 828.808.7929.
• Rocket to Creativity Camp. June 24-28. WCU campus. $140; ages 4-14. bit.ly/2qzUQ1E.
• Camp Highlander. Boys and girls (ages 5-16). Multi-week sessions May 24 through Sept. 6. Visit www.camphighlander.com.
• Robotics with Legos Summer Day Camp. June 4-6 grades 4-6; June 17-21 grades 3-5; June 24-28 grades 6-8. WCU campus. $119 through June 1. bit.ly/2TSD89I.
• Asheville School App Development Camp. $1,850 a week for overnight, $550 a week for day camp. July 816 and July 15-20. www.ashevilleschool.org/appdevcamp. 828.254.6345, Ext. 4042.
• Summer Symposium for Marching Arts. July 7-11. WCU campus. $485 for students; free for directors. www.prideofthemountains.com.
• UNCA Summer Writing Program. For grades 6-12. $265. Week-long sessions in June and July. 828.251.6099 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Summer Reading Adventures. July 8-12. WCU campus. $139; rising first and second-graders. bit.ly/2qD7ixR.
• The Asheville School of Film will host three different rotations of it’s two-week summer film camp for teenagers (June, July and August). Class is held 1:305:30 p.m. and costs $495, which includes access to all equipment, copy of the group film, and screening at a local theater. Co-Ed for ages 13-18. Call 844.AVL.FILM or visit www.ashevilleschooloffilm.com.
• Step Back in Time Summer Day Camp. July 30 to Aug. 2. WCU campus. $99. Ages 9-11. bit.ly/2H0ZYCf. • Tales From the Dead: An Introduction to Forensic Anthropology for High School Students. June 17-21. WCU campus. $299. Ages 15-18. bit.ly/2Tex32P. • SOAR Llama Trek Camp. June 9-19, June 23 to July 2, July 7-16, July 21-30, Aug. 4-13. Balsam. $3,250$3,450; ages 8-10. www.soarnc.org. • SOAR Backpacking Camp. June 9-20, June 23 to July 4, July 7-18, July 21 to Aug. 1, Aug. 4-15. Balsam. $3,250-$3,450; ages 11-18. www.soarnc.org. • SOAR Canoeing Camp. June 8-19, June 22 to July 3, July 6-17, July 20-31, Aug. 3-14. Balsam. $3,250$3,450; ages 11-18. www.soarnc.org. • SOAR Horseback Riding Camp. June 8-19, June 22 to July 3, July 6-17, July 20-31, Aug. 3-14. Balsam. $3,550-$3750; ages 11-18. www.soarnc.org. • SOAR Expedition Camp. June 12-29, July 3-20, July 24 to Aug. 10. Balsam. $4,450.; ages 13-18. www.soarnc.org. • SOAR Academic Discovery Camp. June 10 to July 5, July 10 to Aug. 4. Balsam. $5,500. Ages 11-18. www.soarnc.org.
• Karen Glover Volleyball Camp Elite Camp. July 2426. WCU campus. $275 day camp or $325 overnight; rising ninth through 12th-graders. www.karenglovervbcamps.com.
• Jackson County Fun for Kids Day Camp. June 3 to Aug. 2. Cashiers. $700; ages 6-12. Register March 23 at Cashiers/Glenville Recreation Center. www.rec.jacksonnc.org. 828.631.2020.
• WCU Summer Swim Programs. Various dates. WCU
• Jackson County Fun for Kids Day Camp. Dates TBA.
• ECO Trek. Become a field ecologist for a week. June 17-21. N.C. Arboretum. $310. Grades six to eight. www.ncarboretum.org. • Discovery Guide Session 2: Outdoor Skills. Care for younger campers and embark on outdoor skill field trips. July 15-19. N.C. Arboretum. $235. Grades six to eight. www.ncarboretum.org. • Discovery Guide Session 3: Wildlife Management. Care for younger campers and embark on nature field trips. July 29 to Aug. 2. N.C. Arboretum. $235. Grades six to eight. email@example.com. www.ncarboretum.org. • Asheville Artist Adventure. July 22-26. N.C. Arboretum. $285. Grades six to eight. www.ncarboretum.org. • Advanced Mountain Sports. Aug. 5-9. N.C. Arboretum. $360. Grades six to eight. www.ncarboretum.org. • Camp Bell at Carolina Day School in Asheville. Ages 4-11. $285 for one-week sessions June 17 through Aug. 2. Visit www.carolinaday.org/summer. • Forest Floor Wilderness Programs. Flexible in-town drop-off/pick-up & after camp available. Monday through Friday. 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Grades K-10. Call 828.338.9787 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.ontheforestfloor.org.
Spend your summer at
Horsemanship • Riding • Arts & Pottery Leadership • Overnight Girls’ Camp and many more...
www.CampHobbitHill.com 223 Cody Embler Road • Alexander, NC • 828-808-7929
Camp Hobbit Hill YOU’RE INVITED!!! WHAT? An overnight, co-ed camp offering traditional camp sessions, as well as specialty camps, like Family Camp, Leadership Programs, and Camp Henry Outdoor School. WHO? EVERYONE! All ages, from 0-100! WHEN? 1/2 week, 1 week and 2 week sessions available during June and July. WHY? Because we believe that everyone deserves the chance to feel completely safe to discover and develop personal strengths while making new friends and playing in the beautiful outdoors! WHERE? 40 min west of Asheville at the amazing Lake Logan Conference Center. HOW MUCH? Rates vary but are competitive; scholarships available!
Use Promo Code: MAGAD2018 to receive $20 off! Check us out at: www.camphenry.net or call 828-475-9264
Smoky Mountain News
WHEN: July 22-26, 2019 WHERE: Waynesville Recreation Center WHO: Boys & Girls, ages 3 to 14 COST: Prices range from $85 to $192 (depending on age) MORE INFO: Stop by the Waynesville Recreation Center, call 828.456.2030 or email email@example.com.
March 27-April 2, 2019
SIGN UP NOW @ CHALLENGER SPORTS’ BRITISH SOCCER CAMP
PARKS AND RECREATION
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Haywood’s ‘hidden history’ Monument to Waynesville lynching victim could prove controversial
UNC’s “A Red Record” project shows the locations and details of more than 120 lynchings in North Carolina. UNC photo illustration BY CORY VAILLANCOURT STAFF WRITER lmost 120 years ago, local newspapers reported two separate instances of attempted rape in Haywood County. Similarities between the two cases are many. Both victims were young girls under the age of 11, both alleged perpetrators were grown men, both knew their victims, both were apprehended and both were immediately jailed. There were, however, some important differences between the two cases. In one, Burt Smith was given a sentence of 15 years in the penitentiary after appearing in Haywood’s criminal court. In the other, George Ratcliff was shot to death in his Waynesville jail cell the day after he was arrested. But there was another important difference in the two cases, perhaps the most important difference — Burt Smith was white and George Ratcliff was black. What happened to Ratcliff is properly known as an “extrajudicial killing,” but most people today would probably use a different word that carries with it haunting allusions to racially motivated Jim Crow-era mob justice. Ratcliff was lynched — executed without evidence, without trial, without the benefit of any judicial or legal proceeding. Now, a national project in Montgomery, Alabama, aimed at preserving the memory of lynching victims has a monument with Ratcliff ’s name on it. The idea is for community representatives to pick it up, bring it home, hold a ceremony, and install it somewhere. Not everyone in Haywood County is sure that’s a good idea.
Smoky Mountain News
March 27-April 2, 2019
eneath the blaring March 5, 1900, Asheville Citizen headline “Another Brute Pays Penalty” is recounted in 6 detail Ratcliff ’s violent lynching.
Absent from the story are the linguistic accouterments of present-day crime reporting — today, even the most obvious of fiends remains “alleged” until conviction, and great care is taken to paint all parties in a neutral light while overcoming implicit racial, ethnic and gender biases. It wasn’t like that back then. Every word in that headline serves as Ratcliff ’s ersatz judge and jury; “Another,” means these incidents are and will remain common, “Brute” dehumanizes a criminal defendant, “Pays” presumes a debt and “Penalty” declares guilt. Ratcliff, according to the story, was a “burly negro” who was lynched for “an unnamable crime committed … upon the eight years old granddaughter of Matthias Holland, a respectable farmer living 3 miles from Clyde.” As it’s written in another contemporary newspaper, the Asheville Register, Holland had employed Ratcliff, 25, for a decade before Ratcliff found Holland’s 10-year-old granddaughter — identified in the Goldsboro Headlight as Hester Wagstaff — some distance from her home around 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 3, and allegedly attempted to assault her. Per the story, Wagstaff ’s screams were heard by her grandmother, who came running. Ratcliff fled, pursued by the girl’s uncle, Joe Holland, who sent his brother John to Clyde to spread the news there and to wire Canton to be on the lookout. It wasn’t long until men from both towns, as well as the surrounding countryside, were combing the woods looking for Ratcliff. Meanwhile, Ratcliff headed south, bound for the old railroad tracks, but he couldn’t get across the Pigeon River so he took to the hills outside Clyde where he was discovered by Joe Holland mere hours after the initial alarm was raised.
Lynching incidents in N.C. by decade Decade Number 1860s.........................................................15 1870s...........................................................5 1880s.........................................................34 1890s.........................................................24 1900s.........................................................16 1910s.........................................................14 1920s...........................................................9 1930s...........................................................5 1940s...........................................................2 Total.........................................................124 Total victims............................................169 Source: lynching.web.unc.edu Ratcliff was subsequently taken to Clyde and placed in the custody of politician/attorney D.I.L. Smathers, who charged seven or eight men with the task of guarding Ratcliff until morning — an ominous sign that they weren’t necessarily concerned with Ratcliff ’s possible escape that night, but instead with his probable abduction. The next sunrise would be Ratcliff ’s last. efinitive details of Ratcliff ’s final days and his possible culpability in the alleged assault on the Holland girl are and will forever be lost to history. Thanks to a University of North Carolina project begun in 2015, his ultimate fate and the base allegations against him — fake news, or not — will forever be remembered. Called “A Red Record,” the UNC effort seeks to document lynchings in the former Confederacy, beginning with North Carolina. Its title comes from African-American journalist, civil rights advocate and NAACP co-founder Ida B. Wells’ 1895 book of the
same name, in which she argues that although lynching was ostensibly a response to crime it was actually a form of domestic terrorism meant to enforce de facto white supremacy after the Civil War. In sometimes gruesome but always authoritative detail, A Red Record’s website, lynching.web.unc.edu, details 169 lynchings in North Carolina, separated by county, decade and race of the deceased. More than 70 undergrad students — as well as grad students and community historians — contributed to the ongoing work, which was led by Seth Kotch, assistant professor of digital humanities at UNC’s department of humanities, and Elijah Gaddis, now an assistant professor of history at Auburn. “This was very much by design,” said Gaddis. “When Seth and I came up with this, we wanted it to be largely student-led. Much of that was to introduce them to the prospect of doing original research, but we also wanted them to get experience as much as possible of learning about the communities where they come from. It’s hidden history in landscapes they live amongst.” Over the course of four years, they attempted to verify 165 incidents listed in Fort Valley State professor Vann Newkirk’s Lynching in North Carolina: A History, 18651941 by collecting vital records from ancestry.com and searching for newspaper coverage on newspapers.com. Period articles — like those from the Asheville papers — are presented in digital format. When possible, a potential motive for the lynchings is noted. “These [lynchings] are things that were sort of ubiquitous to the landscape and contributed to the history of North Carolina and, more broadly, the South, but they are not marked and remembered in the way that other major historical events are,” he said. “We just wanted to start that process with students and then spread it to others, recognizing that this is an important part of our shared history.” That all serves the project’s goal by identifying and documenting the locations of known lynchings in order to “create a space for one facet of an important conversation about race, violence and power in the United States,” according to the website. “What we hope will happen is that people in the communities where these lynchings occurred will find this tool and use it to begin a dialogue amongst themselves about the history of their communities and how they might want to confront this,” Gaddis said. “Our operating assumption as historians is that the past has a profound impact on the present, and these things have a larger ripple effect on the areas where they occurred and in the decades since.” Map data from A Red Record shows the majority of lynchings in North Carolina occurring in the 1880s, followed closely by the 1890s and declining each decade after that through the 1940s. Most incidents were down east, where plantation style slavery was more widely practiced. Only eight documented lynchings, including Ratcliff ’s, took place west of Morganton, where the hilly Piedmont finally gives way in
s , s ,BY CORY VAILLANCOURT STAFF WRITER s ears after demolishing a blighted structure in Waynesville’s historic African, American neighborhood, aldermen still -haven’t funded the park that was supposed -to take its place, and neighborhood resiwdents aren’t happy. “It’s only right that the town of Waynesville dnot slight this community,” said Haywood ,NAACP Vice President Phillip Gibbs. “We have hbeen talking about this for three years now.” t After months of discussion, in March -2017 Haywood County commissioners eacquired by foreclosure three parcels home to ea disused, unsecured former church that had -become both an eyesore and a hotspot for crime in Waynesville’s Pigeon Street corridor. y The county sold those parcels to the nTown of Waynesville for $1, with the stipulastion the church be torn down, and the -parcels become a park. A further stipulation -is that if the park doesn’t materialize, owner-ship of the parcels, which required $20,000 in foreclosure costs and additional funds for ecleanup, will revert back to the county. l e
“These [lynchings] are things that were sort of ubiquitous to the landscape and contributed to the history of North Carolina and, more broadly, the South, but they are not marked and remembered in the way that other major historical events are.” — Elijah Gaddis, A Red Record project
“It’s only right that the town of Waynesville not slight this community. We have been talking about this for three years now.” — Haywood NAACP Vice President Phillip Gibbs
nother lynching commemoration project differs from A Red Record’s digital documentation by remembering victims through public art and architecture. In April 2018, The Equal Justice Initiative opened the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama. There, suspended from the roof of a large, open-air shelter, hang more than 800 rectangular steel columns, serene in their symmetry but shocking in their symbolism to the crowds craning their necks, looking up from below. Each of the casket-like 6-foot tall columns commemorates a county in which one of more than 4,000 lynchings occurred between 1877 and 1950. Twenty states are represented there, as are 64 North Carolina counties, including Buncombe, Cherokee, Haywood and Macon. Adjacent to the memorial is a 6-acre park, where identical duplicates of each of the columns lay flat and rusting down on the ground — evocative of a coffin during a graveside service. While the columns dangling beneath the shelter will remain in perpetuity, EJI hopes that each of the ones in the park will be claimed by people from the counties they represent, taken home and erected in honor of the deceased. In doing so, they’ll create a link between the memorial in Montgomery as well as change slightly the built environment throughout the American South by serving as a localized reminder of an era some may not want to remember.
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Haywood NAACP offers Civil Rights monuments trip Join members of the Haywood County NAACP Branch on a pilgrimage to some of the nation’s most sacred civil rights sites in Montgomery, Alabama. The group will depart from Waynesville’s Jones Temple AME Zion Church, 35 Thomas Park Drive, by bus at 6:30 a.m. on Friday, May 10 and return by 10 p.m. on Saturday May 11. In between, they’ll visit the New Legacy Museum as well as the National Memorial for Peace and Justice that honors victims of lynchings, like Haywood County’s George Ratcliff. Bus tickets cost $50 round trip. Call Haywood NAACP Treasurer Chuck Dickson at 828.456.8082 to reserve yours by Thursday, April 4. Additional out-of-pocket expenses include museum and memorial admission fees of $11 for adults and $7.70 for seniors over 62 and students with ID. Overnight accommodations are available at the Comfort Inn and Suites for $106.89. Call 334.409.9999 by April 10 and reserve under “Haywood County NAACP.” As of Saturday, March 23, there were only 14 seats still available on the bus. Questions? Call Chuck Dickson at 828.456.8082 before April 4.
Smoky Mountain News
murderer usually receives a light sentence or goes free. The rationale is that if society (the state) cannot protect a man or his rights, then he is justified in taking the law into his own hands.” A year after Mozeley and a year before Ratcliff, George Maney was arrested for the alleged murder of wealthy Graham County plantation owner Thad Sherrill. Like Ratcliff, Maney was taken elsewhere for “safekeeping” — to Murphy, in this case — but like Mozeley he was removed from the jail by a mob of 50 and hung from a railroad bridge. During the period studied by A Red Record, Maney was one of 22 white men lynched in North Carolina.
The building’s been torn down, but the proposed park still hasn’t been funded. Cory Vaillancourt photo
March 27-April 2, 2019
eearnest to the round ruddy knobs of -Appalachia, fundamentally unsuitable land ,for large-scale slave operations. t Still, the relatively small postbellum tAfrican-American communities in Western .North Carolina took little comfort in their hnumerical inferiority; the mob that pulled -Mitch Mozeley (also spelled Moxley) from rthe Franklin jail in Macon County in November 1898 was likely larger than the -entire African-American population in the fcounty at the time. e Mozeley, reported the Asheville CitizennTimes, was arrested for alleged burglaries dand attempted rapes, and purportedly confessed his crimes to an African-American epreacher. s According to the story, the local black ncommunity said they thought Mozeley -deserved to be lynched. y The next night, about 8:30 p.m. a crowd .estimated by the Citizen-Times at 300 sremoved the “black demon” from his cell, ran ea rope off the old railroad bridge on the east eside of town, put Mozeley on horseback, and nset the horse to walking. The horse emerged on the other side of ethe bridge. Mozeley swayed beneath it. a That particular brand of Appalachian jusytice wasn’t strictly limited to Affrilachians; in rhis seminal 1913 book Our Southern Highlanders noted naturalist Horace Kephart ereflected on how the isolated, ruggedly self-sufyficient Scotch-Irish migrants to this region felt about government involvement in their lives. - “They put little trust in the courts,” he ,wrote in chapter 14, titled Law of the nWilderness. “Murders are common, and the
The church has been gone for some time now, but the park still hasn’t emerged. According to a presentation given to the Haywood NAACP by Waynesville Parks and Recreation Director Rhett Langston March 23, it looks like a long shot for this budget year, as well. Langston presented a drawing of the proposed Craven Street park that includes a few parking spaces, a basketball court, a small playground, and a 24-foot-by-44-foot covered picnic shelter along with a few benches and grills. Phase one, he said, would consist of the parking lot, shelter pad and shelter. It’s likely the town could do the lot and pad in-house, but a quote he’d received for the shelter came in around $40,000. That funding request would compete with other major recreation needs this year, including $90,000 for a new bathroom at the Recreation Park and $700,000 for a piece of pool equipment. Phase two would consist of the playground, the basketball court, grills and benches, and would likely cost far more than the current $40,000 request. During the meeting, local attorney and NAACP treasurer Chuck Dickson made clear that he was organizing a group to go before Waynesville aldermen at the board’s April 23 meeting to advocate for the park’s funding. “And remember this is an election year,” Dickson said.
Waynesville residents push for promised park
t e c e
n Sunday, March 4, 1900, George Ratliff made the 7 miles from Clyde to Waynesville under escort and was booked into the county jail. Around 1 a.m. on Monday, Haywood County Sheriff William J. Haynes — who as was common at the time lived at the jail — awoke to a large crowd. Fifty hidden faces demanded to see Ratcliff. Sheriff Haynes refused. They broke down the exterior door with sledges and pry bars, demanding he let them into the cellblock. Sheriff Haynes refused. They broke down the interior door, and upon arriving at Ratcliff ’s cell demanded Deputy Henson work the combination lock to release Ratcliff. Deputy Henson refused. Crouching in fear in his cell, Ratcliff never did get to see a real judge or jury, but he did get to see his executioners, who struck him with several rounds fired through the bars. During the confrontation, Sheriff Haynes sought help from Waynesville’s town solicitor, a man named Ferguson who responded but to no avail. Meanwhile, the masked mob — “fearing they had not completed their work … — immediately returned and again sent several rounds in his body. Probably 40 shots were fired in all,” reads the Citizen. Miraculously, Ratcliff ’s cellmate was unharmed. In sardonic fashion, the Asheville Citizen story noted that damages to the jail were
“only slight,” as though the extrajudicial killing — the lynching — of an American citizen deprived his constitutional right to due process was of less import than two new doors and a cell wall with 40 bullets in it. Ratcliff ’s lynching is further justified in the story, which ran in newspapers across the state and as far away as Kansas, Louisiana and Minnesota, by the unsupported statement that this was not a “reckless first offense” because Ratcliff had allegedly “ran away from Turkey Creek [near Haywood County’s Fines Creek] some years ago for stealing.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, the story even brushes in rosy hues a surrealist portrait of what must’ve been the most polite and clearheaded lynch mob in recorded history. “It seemed quiet, organized and determined, and spoke but a few words,” reads the Citizen. “None were drinking, and none were recognized.” ecognizing Ratliff in Haywood County has been an ongoing discussion, especially within the Haywood NAACP branch. Branch President Rev. Walter Bryson first related the story of Ratliff to a group of 24 at a branch meeting on Feb. 23. That sparked contemplation of the issue that spilled over somewhat into the subsequent meeting on March 23, especially in light of an upcoming May bus trip the branch has planned to some of Montgomery’s Civil Rights-era sites, including the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. NAACP Vice President Phillip Gibbs said
Smoky Mountain News
March 27-April 2, 2019
H IDDEN, CONTINUED FROM 7
“You shouldn’t hide the truth. It would be something that could show people how times have changed, and how grateful we are to have the community that we have now, and how good it is that stuff like that doesn’t go on anymore.” — Dean Gibson
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More than 800 columns bearing the names of counties where lynchings took place, including Buncombe, Haywood, Graham and Macon, hang at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice.
461 MOODY FARM ROAD, MAGGIE VALLEY
during the meeting that he imagined the group would have plenty of time on the bus to and from Montgomery to discuss the matter, but after the meeting was over, a small crosssection of attendees — one white, one black, and one of mixed race — hinted that the conversation could be unpredictable. Haywood County native Dean Gibson, part of Waynesville’s small African-American community, says he can remember overhearing half-whispered Ratcliff lore while still young. “I couldn’t remember the name, but there was somebody that was supposed to have raped a white woman, and they went into the jail and they shot him,” said Gibson. “I’ve always heard that, but not in detail. They said he didn’t do it, but he didn’t even get a trial.” Gibson supports bringing the monument back to Haywood County. “It’s history,” he said. “You shouldn’t hide the truth. It would be something that could show people how times have changed, and how grateful we are to have the community that we have now, and how good it is that stuff like that doesn’t go on anymore. The nation is divided, but I think we’ve progressed a lot since then.” Although Lillian Woods now lives in
Haywood County, she was born in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, to a family she called very southern, and very mixed. “Spanish, Choctaw, Croatian,” said Woods. “Lots of mixing.” Woods also has African ancestry on her grandfather’s side, as chronicled in her cousin Emily Raboteau’s 2012 memoir Searching for Zion, which details her family’s quest for identity after her grandfather’s racially motivated murder in 1940s Mississippi. Even with the legacy of violence in her family, Woods says she’s undecided. “There are a lot of tensions that still exist with white people in this community, and I just don’t know if the black community will suffer the effects of having this memorial bring up those bad feelings and prejudices,” she said. “I don’t want to create a situation of more violence being perpetrated against the community while raising recognition of a problem.” Gibson doesn’t think that Haywood County’s African-American population — 794 of more than 61,000 people, or about 1.3 percent — will see repercussions. “No, I don’t think that’s realistic,” he said. “In this community right here, history is wellreceived. I came up in the 1980s, Tuscola, Waynesville Middle School. We got along. I came through school without a hitch. At one point, I was the only black guy on the football team, and these guys treated me like a brother.” Woods’ husband John, a psychotherapist from Springfield, Illinois, is like his wife conflicted about whether or not to bring Ratcliffe’s monument home to Haywood County. “I have two thoughts. One of them is, absolutely, to take a stance on education and honesty and owning our history, we should bring it back,” he said. “But sitting in the meeting today as a white male with all of my privilege, I can imagine how bringing that back could cause people of color harm and put them at peril. I don’t think that’s a dealbreaker, a reason not to do it, but it’s one of those things where I’m reminded about the issue of white privilege — it’s not going to cause me any difficulty to bring it back.”
The complainants insist that the language of the 1946 deed that granted the town ownership of the mound is clear — ownership shall never be transferred. Many residents of Macon County were able to pull enough money together in 1946 to purchase the mound for $1,500 and save it from development. They deeded it over to the town to keep it preserved for future generations. According to the 1946 deed, the mound “shall be preserved for the citizens of Macon County and for posterity” and shall not be excavated, explored, altered or impaired in any way or used for commercial purposes.
The complaint states that losing the mound would be incalculable, “causing emotional and financial harm to the citizens, because the Nequassi Mound has been the iconic symbol for the early history of the county …”
NIKWASI INITIATIVE People in opposition to the deed transfer say they don’t understand why the Nikwasi Initiative can’t move forward with its plans to raise awareness about the mound’s cultural significance under the town’s ownership. The mound is just one part of a much bigger plan that has been in the works for several years. Even before Nikwasi Initiative incorporated as a nonprofit and formed a board of directors, it worked under the name Mountain Partners since 2015 to explore ways in which Macon County residents and the Cherokee people could work together on economic and historic preservation projects. The results so far have been fruitful for the East Franklin corridor. Mainspring purchased the former Duncan Oil site next door to its office on East Main Street in 2015 and completed a brownfield cleanup effort on the site to remove the contamination caused by the old underground oil tanks. Now the property behind the office, which runs along the Little Tennessee River, is lush with grass and picnic
The ongoing issue will likely bring out supporters and opponents to speak up at the next Franklin Town Council board meeting on April 1. Mayor Bob Scott, who is opposed to transferring the deed to the Nikwasi Initiative, said he hopes to propose some kind of compromise. “I’m going to suggest delaying this for a while until the town joins the Nikwasi Initiative. The town isn’t a member of it, never has been,” Scott said. “Then we want to see a detailed plan for what is being proposed at the mound.” Contrary to Scott’s statement, McRae said the town is absolutely already a partner in the Nikwasi Initiative as she has given the board many updates on the project in the last couple of years and has received monetary support from the town. To date, she said, Franklin has contributed $17,500 toward the nonprofit and recognized McRae as the town’s representative on the board. Macon County gave Nikwasi Initiative $12,500 in 2017 for start-up funds and another $12,500 in 2018-19 from its economic development funds to continue to support the group’s mission. 9
Smoky Mountain News
Furthermore, the deed states that any other lease or contract that interferes with the Nikwasi deed shall be null and void. McRae and other supporters of the deed transfer interpret the language of the deed to mean it must be preserved in posterity for all citizens, but that doesn’t mean the town must maintain sole ownership in order to honor the stipulations outlined in the deed. In the event the town fails to carry out the object and purpose of the deed, the 1946 deed grants any citizen of Macon County the right to “apply to the court for injunctive relief and to prosecute said action in their own behalf and on behalf of all other citizens of Macon County.” That’s what the five complainants are now trying to do. As of Tuesday, the preliminary injunction paperwork had not yet been filed and they haven’t hired a lawyer on their behalf. Owenby said she hopes it doesn’t reach that point. “We have the right as citizens — we’re just community citizens coming together and we just want the town to honor the deed,” Owenby said. “We have nothing to gain except to preserve this in perpetuity for future generations. Our children and grandchildren will thank us down the road.” Nikwasi Initiative organizers and supporters also see having joint ownership of the mound as a step closer toward healing old wounds and repairing a strained relationship with the Cherokee people. As a lifelong Macon County resident and former president of the Macon County Historical Society, Owenby said she hasn’t experienced these so-called hurt feelings among early settlers and the Cherokee. “I never knew there was any animosity — from the time my ancestors settled here they lived peacefully with the Cherokee,” she said. “In 2008, we (historical society) erected a kiosk at the mound and held a celebration with the Eastern Band — their dancers came, we played stick ball and cooked dinners. It was a wonderful day.” Wilson, on the other hand, recently told the town board there was animosity after it refused to deed over the mound to EBCI in 2012 at the formal request of then-Principal Chief Michell Hicks. In fact, the debacle was the impetus for starting Mountain Partners and eventually Nikwasi Initiative. Hicks’ request came after the town applied herbicide to the mound in an attempt to kill off the grass and plant a different kind that would require less mowing. The wellintentioned plan — which left the grass on the mound dead and brown — backfired. Many Cherokee people saw it as an act of dis-
March 27-April 2, 2019
BY J ESSI STONE N EWS E DITOR group of Macon County residents plan to file a complaint seeking an injunction to keep the town of Franklin from giving up its sole ownership of the Nikwasi Mound. The complainants include Betty Cloer Wallace, Gloria Raby Owenby, Mary Ruth Byrd, Edward Burton “Bud” Shope and Judith Dowdle while the defendants are Franklin Mayor Bob Scott and the six members of the Franklin Town Council. The complaint comes weeks after the town council members expressed support for transferring the Nikwasi Mound deed over to nonprofit community development organization Nikwasi Initiative. Vice Mayor Barbara McRae, who also serves as the co-chairwoman for the Nikwasi Initiative, made the request to the town board, and the vote to allow the town attorney to draw up a proposed deed was unanimous. The Nikwasi Initiative is a joint effort between Franklin, Macon County, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Mainspring Conservation Trust that incorporated about two years ago in an effort to preserve Nikwasi Mound and other culturally significant sites in the area. McRae and her co-chair Juanita Wilson of Cherokee told council deeding the mound property over to the nonprofit would allow all stakeholders to have a voice in preserving it. “All the partners involved in this have enormous other responsibilities. It was our feeling that, to go forward in any meaningful way, we needed to have a committed entity,” McRae said. “This is no different, in my mind, than a city establishing a community development corporation to improve a downtrodden neighborhood or perform other revitalization work. That’s what we hope to accomplish eventually.”
tables for the public to enjoy. Mainspring also purchased the Simpson Gas and Oil Company located at 544 East Main Street to clean up and redevelop into green space while the EBCI purchased the former Dan’s Auto property on the other side of the mound. McRae said ECBI plans to invest over half a million dollars to construct a visitor center and an annex for the Museum of the Cherokee Indian on the property. All these projects will tie into Nikwasi Initiative’s plan to create a cultural heritage corridor through Macon County to Cherokee with stops at Nikwasi Mound as well as Cowee School Heritage Center and Cowee Mound. Nikwasi Initiative has already installed historic markers and educational kiosks at the Cowee School and Cowee Mound. There is also now an observation deck just across the river to give people a view of Cowee Mound. Despite the work of Nikwasi Initiative to revitalize East Franklin and increase cultural tourism for the entire county, opposition is questioning the long-term intentions of the nonprofit. As Owenby pointed out, what’s to keep the nonprofit from handing over the property to EBCI and what would happen to the property if the nonprofit dissolves in the future? McRae said all those concerns would be addressed in the new deed being drafted for the town council to consider. “Nikwasi Initiative provides a partnership that combines the resources and strengths of all the partners, and can focus its energies on improving the section of Franklin surrounding the mound,” she said. “There is absolutely no intention of changing the mound’s ownership later, or of making any changes to the mound itself. As the project progresses, we see Nikwasi Initiative owning other parcels, such as the former Simpson property, for park land.”
Macon residents try to halt Nikwasi deed transfer
respect, and Hicks asked that the deed be handed over to EBCI. The town refused. Whatever hurt feelings there may be on either side, Wallace said that’s not what the complaint is trying to resolve. “The Plaintiffs are addressing only the legal terms of the deed — not public opinion about the rightness or wrongness of reparations to other cultures or races, or about what should be done to the adjacent private property surrounding the mound parcel,” she said. “The Franklin Town Council holds the deed to the mound in Trust for the Citizens of Macon County. The Town Council does not ‘own’ the mound unconditionally, and they have no legal right to dispose of it.”
Smoky Mountain News
March 27-April 2, 2019
Split vote establishes health, social services boards in Jackson
BY HOLLY KAYS STAFF WRITER n a mirror image of a vote taken seven months ago, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners has voted to reinstate independent boards to oversee its health and social services departments. The change took place with a pair of votes at the March 19 commissioners’ meeting, during which the board approved resolutions establishing a five-member board of social services and an 11-member board of health. Previously, commissioners had doubled as the health and DSS boards following an August 2018 vote — also 3-2, though at that time the board had a Republican majority — to abolish the board established that May to oversee the newly consolidated health and social services departments. The August vote also reversed the consolidation, splitting the department in two again. Before consolidation — which was approved in January 2018 following a public hearing in which all 11 speakers stated their opposition and was enacted with the appointment of board members in May — the Board of Health met quarterly and the Board of Social Services met monthly. The consolidated board met monthly during its short existence, which commissioners brought to an end after the board’s July vote to delay hiring a director until after the November elections. The consolidation issue was contentious, with Democratic candidates running on the promise that they would reverse it if they won a majority. However, in the seven months after commissioners appointed themselves the health and social services boards, no independent meetings were scheduled to conduct health and social services department business, though commissioners did vote on various health department items in the course of their regularly scheduled meetings. “Since the Board of Commissioners are our Board of Health, every Board of Commissioners meeting could be considered a Board of Health meeting because Health Department issues could come up at any meeting,” said Health Director Shelley Carraway via email. “There are several required things to bring before the Board of Health that I will simply be bringing to the
Board of Commissioners as the year goes on.” Commissioners completed Carraway’s performance evaluation in December, for example, and on March 19 voted to allow Carraway to pursue a grant application. Since August the board has dealt with various other items from Carraway’s department as part of its regular meetings. Commissioners did not receive orientation training for their new roles as health and social services board members. For health boards, a comprehensive orientation is required within the first year of appointment, Carraway said. Because the governance structure seemed uncertain, that orientation did not happen as quickly as it normally would have. When the new health board is appointed, she said, those members will undergo an orientation to which commissioners will be invited as well.
The resolutions created the boards but did not fill their seats, so commissioners will continue to oversee the departments in the meantime. Every vote related to the consolidation issue — and there have been many over the past two years — has featured lively and at times heated debate. The same was true March 19, but the conversation had an element of tiredness to it, with all present seeming aware that there were few things to say that hadn’t already been said at some point. “We’ve put too much time into this,” said Commissioner Boyce Deitz. “We’ve wasted a lot of money or time going one way or another.” Commissioner Gayle Woody, who just joined the board in December and had not yet participated in any consolidation-related votes, read a three-page statement to make it clear where she stands. Woody said that she supported reinstating the boards for several reasons — because public hearings clearly
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Commissioner Boyce Deitz speaks during a 2017 work session on the possibility of consolidating the county’s health and social services departments. Holly Kays photo showed that citizens wanted it to be that way, because in her eyes the stated reasons for consolidation did not add up and because she believes the experienced professionals appointed to these volunteer boards will be better equipped to make decisions than will commissioners. “I take just as seriously any appointments I make to boards — who will then make decisions or recommendations — as I would making the decision myself, without the background, training and experience of appointees,” she said. “I feel health professionals like doctors, RNs, pharmacists and veterinarians are best equipped to serve our citizens as volunteers on these boards. They are truly governing of the people, by the people and for the people.” “I don’t think anybody is unaware of where I stand on this,” responded Commissioner Ron Mau. “One, it was never about jobs. Two, never did anybody ever say it was anybody doing a poor job. I was always looking forward about streamlining the structure to be able to have better performance in the future.” With upcoming changes to Medicare and Medicaid, as well as new state laws regarding accountability for social services depart-
ments, Mau said, elected officials are a better choice to govern these departments. “I can’t imagine anybody doing a better job and being able to adjust when they have had experience in these fields,” Woody responded. “Nobody knows what’s going to happen with these changes. Nobody knows that.” But, Woody added before the vote, “I think we can agree to disagree.” The discussion concluded with Mau calling for a vote on the resolution establishing a social services board, joining fellow Republican Commissioner Mickey Luker in voting no. Democrats Woody, Deitz and Chairman Brian McMahan voted yes. The vote broke down the same way minutes later when the board voted to establish the board of health. The resolutions created the boards but did not fill their seats, so commissioners will continue to oversee the departments in the meantime. Commissioners are responsible for appointing all board of health members and two of the five board of social services members. Two more social services board members are chosen by the N.C. Social Services Commission, and the four appointed members together pick the fifth member.
Indoor pool survey coming to Jackson J
PLANNING THE SURVEY
If the public wants a pool, the county will need to take out a bond to pay for its construction and raise taxes to pay the debt service and account for ongoing costs. increase?’” responded Chairman Brian McMahan. “Would you then want to move forward with putting it on the referendum to have them tell you that again?” “The way you answer that question is to put it on the ballot,” Mau replied. Commissioners then went on to talk about the particulars of the survey — how surveys should be distributed, what should be asked. Commissioner Boyce Deitz stressed that the county should take pains to distribute the survey to people representing a diversity of geography and interest within the community. They shouldn’t just be asking rec center members, for instance. Woody pointed out that folks at the senior center would likely have relevant opinions to share, since a pool could be useful for therapy and low-impact exercise. McMahan said that the survey questions should allow the county to build a picture of who each respondent is. For instance, he said, the survey should definitely ask whether the respondent owns property in Jackson County, because property owners would the ones most affected by a tax increase. “I think we ought to look strongly at how we question that and I think we ought to look strongly at who’s asked,” said Deitz. County Manager Don Adams told commissioners he would start working on survey questions and bring them for review to the commissioners’ next work session, slated for 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 9. Then the survey can be deployed for the month of May with results available in June. It will be done inhouse at no cost to the county.
DEBATING THE PROCESS Mau still wasn’t convinced that the survey was a good idea, questioning whether the other commissioners were trying to avoid putting the question on the ballot.
Waynesville town residents have long enjoyed a public indoor pool. Jackson commissioners are contemplating asking voters if they would pay higher taxes to have such an amenity in Cullowhee. SMN photo “Are we trying to survey to find out if it’s going to pass or not, or are we going to put it on the ballot and find out what happens?” he asked. “I’m confused. I don’t get doing a survey for something we’re talking about putting on the referendum when we already have all the data we have. Do you want it to go to referendum?” “We don’t have all the data we need,” replied Woody. “There’s two sitting there that says, yes, put it on the ballot, and there’s three sitting here right now that need to have their mind made up, so if it takes a survey for one of us to side with you, I think you want to support the survey,” McMahan told Mau. “This is kind of like the health department that got designed by Ron Smith 10 years ago and then by Odell (Thompson) and then by Ron Smith again,” said Mau. “We keep doing things multiple times.” Mau compiled a timeline of discussions surrounding the indoor pool, which began in 1991 when an indoor aquatic center was first included in a parks and recreation master plan. The pool continued to appear in master plan updates in 2005 and 2013, as well as in a county comprehensive plan approved in 2017. “We don’t have all the data that we need,” Woody reiterated. “We don’t.” This is the county’s second attempt to get a pool bond referendum on the ballot.
The board sitting in 2017 and 2018 considered the issue, in October 2017 instructing Adams to look for an architectural and engineering firm to do some pre-design work and figure out how much the pool might cost. But when the contract came up for a vote in December 2017, commissioners voted to table it, having second thoughts about the fact that funding the study would lock them into locating any future pool at Cullowhee. The issue returned to the agenda for Jan. 29, 2018, and once again commissioners voted to table it, effectively killing the effort for the 2018 ballot, which was when commissioners had hoped to hold the referendum. In both votes, Deitz, McMahan and then-Commissioner Charles Elders voted to table, with Mau and Commissioner Mickey Luker opposing the move. It appears that commissioners have come to agree that the pool should be built in Cullowhee, if at all. McMahan told the board that the recreation master plan mentioned Cullowhee, and Woody stated her support for the Cullowhee location. Michael Hopkins, assistant director for Jackson County Parks and Recreation, said that the recreation center in Cullowhee was designed with a pool expansion in mind. “The Cullowhee site has millions of dollars in advantage over other sites,” said Mau. 11
Smoky Mountain News
Commissioners are hoping to get a question on the November 2020 ballot asking voters to approve a bond referendum for the pool. That’s still a ways off, but the ball has to start rolling now in order to make it happen. The county needs to request that the question be added to the ballot about five months in advance of the election and requires an additional six months or so beforehand to conduct the studies necessary to determine just how much it would cost to build and operate the pool — that number will inform the size of the bond requested. Because the county is limited in the language that can appear on the ballot — the question can’t say specifically what the bond will fund — it will also need time to inform
voters about the facts surrounding the question they’ll see at the polling place. While three commissioners favor a survey as a first step to the referendum process, the remaining two don’t feel the same way. “If people don’t want to have their taxes raised, the ultimate survey is at the ballot box, and that’s where that gets answered,” Mau said. “What if you did a survey and just hypothetically, what if 90 percent of the people said, ‘No, I don’t want to see a tax
March 27-April 2, 2019
BY HOLLY KAYS STAFF WRITER ackson County residents will likely be asked to participate in a survey this spring gauging their support for an indoor pool at the Cullowhee Recreation Center. In 2013, an update to the county’s recreation master plan showed overwhelming support for a pool — 86.4 percent of 638 respondents in that survey felt that a centrally located indoor swimming pool was “important” or “extremely important” — but the 2013 survey did not dig into whether that 86.4 percent would be willing to pay higher taxes as a result. It did ask respondents whether they would support funding for a pool — 86 percent said they would — but the question didn’t specify whether funding above and beyond current taxes would be required. “If I was thinking ‘support funding for’ I might think, ‘Sure, I want some of our general fund to be used for a pool,’ but that’s not really what we’re asking,” said Commissioner Gayle Woody during a March 12 work session where the upcoming survey was discussed. “We want to know if they’re willing to pay more taxes. If you own property, are you willing to pay a higher tax so we can support a pool? I feel that’s a real key question.” Building a pool would cost millions, and ongoing operational and maintenance costs would be significant. If the public wants a pool, the county will need to take out a bond to pay for its construction and raise taxes to pay the debt service and account for ongoing costs. Based on estimates from a 2015 report Ames, Iowa, had done to look at costs and maintenance for various types of indoor pools, Commissioner Ron Mau estimated a property tax increase of 1.5 to 2.5 cents per $100 of value would be needed to build the structure on a 20-year loan and cover operating expenses.
County commissioners divided on issue
Park, tribe sign gathering agreement BY HOLLY KAYS STAFF WRITER n agreement allowing members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to gather sochan in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is now official following an event Monday, March 25, in which Smokies Superintendent Cassius Cash and Principal Chief Richard Sneed signed the historic agreement. “The signing of this agreement allows both governments to strike a better balance in honoring the rich Cherokee Indian traditions and also continuing to protect these very special resources for future generations,” Cash said. The agreement allows the EBCI to select up to 36 enrolled members each year to gather sochan, also known as green-headed coneflower. These permittees must complete an annual training and can gather up to 1 bushel of sochan leaves each week using traditional gathering techniques, with the season extending March 29 through May 31. The park will monitor populations in harvest zones and non-harvest zones to assess sochan abundance, population health and incidental impacts such as trampling.
March 27-April 2, 2019
The agreement allows the EBCI to select up to 36 enrolled members each year to gather sochan, also known as greenheaded coneflower. Park and tribal staff will meet frequently throughout the gathering period to discuss monitoring results and adjust the terms of the agreement if necessary to limit any unforeseen impacts. Sochan, Rudbeckia laciniata, is an herbaceous perennial plant that grows and spreads from its roots. Its early spring leaves were traditionally gathered by the Cherokee, and mature plants reach 3 to 10 feet, producing yellow flowers from July through October. The road to an agreement has been a long one, beginning in 2016 when a federal government rule change allowed members of federally recognized tribes to request to enter into agreements with the Park Service to
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent Cassius Cash stands with members of tribal government. Pictured are (from left) Councilmember Lisa Taylor, Councilmember Bucky Brown, Councilmember Richard French, Principal Chief Richard Sneed, Councilmember Tom Wahnetah, Cash and Councilmember Perry Shell. NPS photo gather and remove culturally important plants and plant parts. The EBCI made such a request but then had to spend $68,000 to fund the regulatory process necessary to turn that request into an agreement. The money supported staffing, operational and contractual costs for an environmental assessment.
The draft assessment was released last year and then went out for public comment, with the comment period wrapping up Dec. 13. The final document is available at parkplanning.nps.gov/grsm by following the link titled “Sochan Gathering for Traditional Purposes.”
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Haywood Habitat for Humanity is hosting Share the Love, a free wine tasting event with light hors d’oeuvres from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 28, at The Classic Wineseller, 20 Church St., Waynesville. Suggested donation of $20. Proceeds benefit affordable housing and Habitat for Humanity programs. No reservation is required. For more information, call 828.452.7960.
Join Franklin Forum Swain library looking for input The Marianna Black Library in Bryson City wants to share information with the community about its plans for expanded library services in Swain County and also wants to hear your ideas and opinions regarding library services. A community input meeting will be
“Do national reparation proposals represent justice or political posturing?” will be the topic for the next Franklin Open Forum at 7 p.m. Monday, April 1, at the Rathskeller Coffee Haus & Pub, located Downtown at 58 Stewart Street, Franklin. Franklin Open Forum is a moderated discussion group meeting.Those interested in an open exchange of ideas (dialog, not debate) are invited to attend. For more information, call 828.371.1020.
We are pleased to announce the opening of our third location in Haywood County at 33 Bennett Street in Waynesville. We are located just off Brown Ave below Hazelwood Tire and beside Pioneer Supply. Thanks to our customers, we are the largest self storage provider in Haywood County.
We offer the same Clean, Safe and Secure facility as our sites in Canton and Clyde.
• NEW CLEAN, DRY UNITS • TEMPERATURE CONTROLLED • SECURITY CAMERAS • KEYPAD ACCESS
Smoky Mountain News
Habitat for Humanity to host wine event
March 27-April 2, 2019
BY HOLLY KAYS Control Commission. Littlejohn will replace STAFF WRITER outgoing member Bruce Toineeta and serve a ribal Council approved a pair of appoint- four-year term ending July 30, 2022. He will ments March 14 that added new mem- join current TABCC board members Pepper bers to two of the tribe’s most influential Taylor, Consie Girty, Brenda Norville and boards. Mara Nelson. Birdtown resident David E. McCoy Jr. — “I appreciate your support, Chief,” said better known as Skooter — will be the newest Littlejohn. “I hope to do a good job as the member of the Tribal Casino Gaming prior people have done, and if anyone has any Enterprise Board following a vote from questions or anything they need to know Council with 11 in favor and one abstention. once we get started just let us know.” The legislation is still awaiting ratification. Established in 2011, the TABCC works to The five-member board carregulate the purchase, possesries a significant load of sion, consumption, sale and responsibilities, charged with delivery of alcoholic beverages regulatory oversight of all gamon Cherokee lands, which ing operations on the tribe’s mostly occurs at the casinos in two casinos to ensure compliCherokee and Murphy. Before ance with laws and regulations. the TABCC was created, the McCoy will serve a five-year ABC boards in Jackson and term through Sept. 30, 2023, Swain counties handled casino replacing current board memalcohol sales, with revenue ber Richard Sneed. Board from those sales going to the Member Richard Sneed is the counties rather than to the father of Principal Richard tribe. Chief Sneed — Board Member Members of both boards David ‘Skooter’ McCoy Jr. Sneed was appointed prior to are appointed by the principal Chief Sneed’s 2015 entrance chief with confirmation into tribal politics. required from Tribal Council. McCoy graduated from Before hearing who Sneed Western Carolina University was nominating to the boards, with a degree in business Councilmember Bo Crowe, of administration, and his Wolfetown, asked Sneed to resume includes positions as a make his nominees aware the stage manager at Harrah’s pay for those positions could Cherokee Casino, advertising change. Currently, TABCC and coordinator for the tribe’s marTCGE board members draw a keting department, business salary of $80,000. economics teacher at Cherokee “We’ll be bringing in an Central High School, five-seaordinance change and dropson head football coach at the Mitch Littlejohn. ping the pay down to probably high school and destination $25,000 a year,” said Crowe, marketing manager as well as market analyst adding that the change was intended to for the tribe’s Department of Commerce. ensure that board members could hold a fullHe has most recently served as general time job in addition to their board responsimanager for the Cherokee Boys Club and was bilities. named 2018 Leader of the Year by the Steve However, Sneed responded that it would Youngdeer Post No. 143 American Legion. be “premature” to say that such a change is “It’s obvious to everyone here how vital it “absolutely going to happen.” The tribe is in is for the success of the gaming enterprises of the midst of having a complete compensation the Eastern Band,” said McCoy of the board analysis done for all its positions — whether he will now join, “and I hope that with this elected, appointed or hired. nomination that I can contribute in any way “It would be my request that before any possible to continue to further the success of changes are made that we look and see what those enterprises.” the comp analysis says,” said Sneed. “There’s McCoy will join current TCGE board going to be other ordinances that are going to members Chairman Jim Owle, Norma Moss, conflict that we’ll have to address as well.” John Houser and Tommy Lambert. Editor’s note: This story was reported using After approving McCoy’s nomination, online meeting videos, as Tribal Council’s April Tribal Council voted unanimously to install 2018 decisions to ban non-Cherokee media from Mitch Littlejohn, of Yellowhill, as the newest its chambers prevents The Smoky Mountain member of the Tribal Alcoholic Beverage News from attending in person.
Haywood County Senior Games and SilverArts began in 1983 with a vision to create a year-round health promotion and wellness education program for adults 50 years of age and better who live in the county at least three consecutive months. Senior Games and SilverArts is a holistic approach to keep the body, mind and spirit fit while enjoying the company of friends, family, spectators and volunteers. Senior Games and SilverArts events are held at various locations throughout Haywood County during April and May. Registration will be held through April 5. Register at the HCRP office located at 63 Elmwood Way, Suite B, online at torch.ncseniorgames.org. For more information, contact the HCRP office at 828.452.6789) or email Ian.email@example.com.
held at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 28, at the Whittier United Methodist Church. The presentation will only take 15-20 minutes and then there will be time for comments, questions, and answers.
New members appointed to TCGE, TABCC
Register for Haywood Senior Games
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Tuscola still seeks ‘level playing field’ BY CORY VAILLANCOURT STAFF WRITER n January, Haywood County Schools Superintendent Dr. Bill Nolte told The Smoky Mountain News that HCS would engage in a “long haul process” to exhaust every “reasonable and legal thing that we can do” in the fight to reassign Tuscola High School’s athletic programs to a more appropriate division. On March 19, HCS Board Attorney Pat Smathers took another step in that fight. “It is the opinion of the Haywood County School System that the NCHSAA has created a harmful and detrimental system for high school competition, not only for Tuscola High School, but other schools and school systems throughout the state,” reads a March 19 letter from Smathers to the chairman of the N.C. State board of Education and the Superintendent of the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. “As regards to Tuscola, the solution is so simple. Reclassify Tuscola to 2A, remove it from the 9 team Mountain Athletic Conference and place it with the other similar sized schools in the Mountain Six Conference.” The dispute stems from a 2016 reclassification of Haywood County’s Tuscola High School from 2A to 3A for the purposes of athletic competition. That’s inherently unfair, according to Nolte, who pointed out that competing against larger schools — some of which are almost twice the size of Tuscola — has implications far beyond simply winning medals. Smaller colleges, Nolte said, often target student athletes who aren’t NCAA Division I material, providing much-needed scholarships in a county where poverty rates are higher than average; when Tuscola’s competitors face off against bigger schools with a larger pool of talent from which to draw, it’s harder to make a favorable impression on recruiters. Before 2015, high schools were divided evenly amongst four classifications, with 1A being the smallest and 4A being the largest, but all classifications having about 25 percent of schools. During the NCHSAA’s 2017 classification cycle, it was decided that 30 percent of schools would be placed into 1A, 30 percent
Smoky Mountain News
March 27-April 2, 2019
into 2A, 20 percent into 3A and 20 percent into 4A. Smathers’ letter alleges that the change, which boosted tiny Tuscola into 3A, “was made without a formal voting process with recorded written votes by Association members.” The letter isn’t the first time HCS has attempted to get the attention of the NCHSAA. In April 2016, HCS joined the Jackson, Macon and Henderson county school systems in an unsuccessful protest of the disparity. In November 2018, HCS made another request to be classified as a 2A school, but NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker denied that appeal. Tucker citing a new rule that reclassification would only be considered in the event a school’s population had dropped 10 percent. That rule does allow for reclassification in the event of a “catastrophic or community based event,” a fact HCS brought to Tucker’s attention when citing the closure of one of Tuscola’s feeder schools, Waynesville’s Central Elementary. According to Smathers, Tucker said she’d bring that information to the NCHSAA board, but the board’s minutes of the Nov. 28, 2018 meeting “do not reflect the issue being addressed.” In December, HCs officials requested a face-to-face meeting with Tucker, which was denied. In January, HCS asked to file a grievance, but was told there was no formal grievance or hearing process. Based on these actions, Smathers’ letter opines that the NCHSAA has been making school classification decisions “in an arbitrary and capricious manner without due process, resulting in unfair competition in Western North Carolina,” as well as across the state. Data on school populations seem to bear that out; the smallest 3A school in the state has 960 students, but the largest 3A school has more than 1,890 students. The smallest 4A school has around 1,480 students. The smallest 2A school has 580 students, and the largest has 1,140. The largest 1A school has 730 students. Tuscola, in 3A, reports it has 974. A copy of Smathers’ letter was mailed to
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Selected N.C. high school populations School Conference Students Pisgah Mountain Six 990 Franklin Mountain Six 933 East Henderson Mountain Six 901 Smoky Mountain Mountain Six 864 Brevard Mountain Six 789 Hendersonville Mountain Six 766 TC Roberson MAC 1644 AC Reynolds MAC 1372 Erwin MAC 1335 Asheville MAC 1332 Enka MAC 1191 North Buncombe MAC 1155 West Henderson MAC 1121 North Henderson MAC 1066 Tuscola MAC 974 Source: Smathers & Smathers
Tucker, as well as Gov. Roy Cooper, D-Rocky Mount, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, R-Charlotte, N.C. House Speaker Phil Berger, R-Guilford, Haywood County’s entire legislative delegation — Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, Rep. Michele Presnell, R-Burnsville, Rep. Joe Sam Queen, DWaynesville and says that if necessary, HCS will ask the legislature to take a look at the NCHSAA’s decision making process. The letter also asks both NCSBE Chairman Eric C. Davis and NCDPI Superintendent Mark Johnson to “begin an immediate investigation and examination of the procedures and policies of the NCHSAA” regarding not only their classification process, but also the NCHSAA board’s self-appointment process, absence of written voting records and lack of formal grievance procedures. “We are confident that now having been made aware of the situation,” reads the letter in closing, “you can effectively address it not only here in Western North Carolina, but throughout the state.”
WCU will discontinue use of the Scott and Walker residence halls. Plans are in motion to demolish the 50-year-old buildings and replace them with a collection of modern residence halls on the lower campus. “We believe that taking this parking lot offline in favor of building this garage at the same time Scott and Walker are offline really aligns nicely with what we need to do as far as parking supply,” said Byers. The two residence halls are currently home to 1,150 students, and the North Baseball Parking Lot where the parking deck will be built holds 400 parking spaces. By the time Scott and Walker come down, a new 600-bed residence hall will be complete on upper campus and a 500-bed housing complex will be finished on the Millennial Campus, which is outside of the main campus and does not draw from its parking resources. In their September 2018 meeting, the Board of Trustees approved a request to borrow up to $26 million for parking deck construction, though Byers said he believed the cost would actually be under $20 million. The project is not yet under contract — it will go out to bid in early 2020. The debt service will be paid using revenue from parking fees. The North Baseball site is one of three locations on campus that the Board of Trustees added as future parking deck locations in the university’s master plan during its March 2018 meeting. The other sites are Lot 21, known as the former band practice field, and Lot 37, the four-tiered commuter lot across from Hunter Library. The Camp Lot had already been designated as a future parking deck site.
Recovery education course offered
Jackson TDA earns tourism award The Jackson County Tourism Development Authority has been named the Tourism Office of the Year by the Southeast Tourism Society at the Shining Example Award Ceremony. In addition to the Shining Example Award, STS recently announced that the Jackson County TDA’s Executive Director Nick Breedlove was selected to join its Board of Directors and is one of two people from N.C. to be selected. Breedlove will serve on the board’s Education Committee. “We are thrilled and honored to have been selected for this award and I can’t wait to get started with the STS Board of Directors,” said Breedlove. “Everyone involved at the TDA is extremely passionate about the tourism industry and about Jackson County. We love being able to share this area with visitors from around the country and are overjoyed that STS has recognized our hard work with this award.”
We Are Our Own Worst Enemy Featuring:
David M. Crane Tuesday, April 9, 6:30 pm USDA Center 589 Raccoon Road Waynesville Refreshments provided David M. Crane is a retired US Special Operations Officer and Senior Intelligence Officer. He was also an Undersecretary General of the United Nations and Chief Prosecutor of the international war crimes tribunal for West Africa. He now resides in Maggie Valley.
For more info: www.haywooddemocrats.org or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Paid for by the Haywood County Democratic Party
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Smoky Mountain News
NAMI Appalachian South, the local affiliate of National Alliance on Mental Illness, is offering the nationally recognized and applauded Peer-to-Peer education course on recovery and wellness for adults challenged with a mental illness. The eight-week series offers a holistic approach to recovery through a combination of lecture, discussion, interactive exercises and stress-management techniques in a safe, confidential environment of sincere, uncritical acceptance so that each individual can explore their own experiences and make choices concerning their own options. The course is taught by trained NAMI peer mentors who themselves are in recovery from mental illness and can share their unique coping strategies with others. The class will meet in Franklin on Saturdays beginning in April 2019. Class size is limited. To register or for more information, contact Perry, 828.200.3000, or Donita, 828.507.8789 or email@example.com.
March 27-April 2, 2019
BY HOLLY KAYS STAFF WRITER Construction on a 1,000-space parking deck expected to be complete at Western Carolina University by August of this year has been delayed for a May 2020 start. “I think I’m on record as saying we would have the machines ready the minute commencement ended in December,” Mike Byers, WCU’s vice chancellor for administration and finance, told the trustees’ Finance and Audit Committee Feb. 28. “We encountered problems as we went through design, and when we still weren’t able to start construction in the middle of January we decided we needed to take a second look at our project schedule.” The nail in the coffin was learning that it would take “absolutely perfect” weather conditions to get the deck done in the small window that remained. Anyone who’s been in Western North Carolina in the past year knows that perfect conditions have been elusive. Under the original plan, WCU would start construction in December 2018 and finish in time for the fall semester this year. Fall semesters typically have higher enrollment than spring semesters. Because construction will occur on a site that’s currently in use as a parking lot, university officials hoped to avoid dealing with restricted parking options during a fall semester. The new plan, however, calls for a full year of construction. The university will begin construction after commencement in May 2020 and finish the following May. However, as fall semesters go, 2020 will be the best possible time to be down one parking lot, said Byers, because that’s also when
The Haywood County Democratic Party Presents news
Western Carolina University parking deck delayed
559 W. Main St. • Sylva
Smoky Mountain News
Tuscola ROTC recognized Haywood County Schools recently received an official written report from Headquarters, U.S. Air Force Junior ROTC Director Col. Paul C. Lips stating that Tuscola’s Air Force Junior ROTC instructors and cadets earned an overall unit assessment score of Exceeds Standards — the highest rating attainable — during their evaluation. JROTC has 878 programs worldwide and this inspection rated Tuscola against all of them. In addition to achieving over 1,600 hours of community service; the cadets scored an overall ‘exceeds’ rating, placing Tuscola JROTC in the top 2 percent in the world. Cadet Lt. Col. Jack Leslie poses The official with second-year cadets who report commented performed 30 Step Drill Evaluation. on how both Senior Donated photo Master Sgt. Steven Robertson and Maj. David Clontz have created a dynamic and supportive learning environment, coupled with an excellent community outreach program. In addition, it noted how the instructors have provided outstanding leadership in administering this cadet-centered citizenship program. During the unit inspection, Cadet Major Jonathan Delacruz and Cadet Captain Clay Payne were honored as top performers.
SCC Swain Center to hold open house Southwestern Community College’s Swain Center is extending an invitation to the public for its open house from 4-6 p.m. on Thursday, March 28. Booths will be set up, and tours will be offered for any community member who wants to learn more about the Swain Center or other general programs offered at SCC as a whole. Guests of the open house will also be treated to refreshments and door prizes. The Swain Center houses the Outdoor Leadership program at SCC, The Nantahala School for the Arts and Educational Opportunities like College and Career Readiness. For more information on the SCC Swain Center, call 828.366.2000.
Apply for Farm Bureau scholarship Haywood County Farm Bureau awards four scholarships each year — two for $3,500 and two for $1,000. The $3,500 scholarships are given to students attending a four-year college and studying agriculture. The $1,000 scholarships will go to students attending a two-year college. Students must be graduating seniors currently enrolled in a Haywood County school or enrolled in a two or four-year school and be a resident of Haywood County. Students must have a 2.5 or better G.P.A. and must be planning to enroll in an approved post-secondary program. They must also provide clear evidence
of financial need and significant community service. Haywood County Farm Bureau members and their children will be given first consideration. Applications are available at Haywood County Farm Bureau on Asheville Road in Waynesville. Applications must be submitted by April 15.
Champion Credit teaches finance Champion Credit Union recently hosted Mad City Money, a financial simulation designed to give youth a taste of the real world, at Tuscola High School. During this all-day event, sophomore students were provided a persona, complete with an occupation, salary, spouse and child, student loan debt, credit card debt and medical insurance payments, and instructed to determine their monthly expenditures based on these assigned attributes. President and CEO of Champion Credit Union Jake Robinson dealt random expenses, such as car or appliance repairs, as well as random profits, such as lottery winnings, to the students. This experiential learning process provided the students with valuable insight into balancing their financial needs, budgeting and differentiating between wants and needs, that they can take with them into adulthood. “As a former educator and personal finance teacher, I have witnessed the desperate need for financial literacy in our schools,” said Business Development Manager Lori Chappell. “It is essential that we equip our youth with basic tools to help them gain financial wellness.”
WCU leader testifies on N.C. Promise Western Carolina University Interim Chancellor Alison Morrison-Shetlar testified Wednesday, March 13, before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor, describing the N.C. Promise tuition program as a “game-changer” that is making a college education more affordable and more accessible to a larger number of students. The N.C. Promise program lowers the cost of tuition for North Carolina residents to $500 per semester at WCU and two other University of North Carolina System institutions — Elizabeth City State University and UNC Pembroke. The cost of tuition for students from other states dropped to $2,500 per semester under N.C. Promise. Total undergraduate enrollment was up at all three N.C. Promise institutions for the 2018 fall semester — 6.6 percent at WCU, 14 percent at UNC Pembroke and 19 percent at ECSU. At WCU, the number of first-time, full-time freshmen increased by 10.5 percent last fall, while the number of transfer students jumped by 40.5 percent.
Summit Charter School hires director Summit Charter School, a tuition-free K-9 public charter school in the Cashiers-Highlands plateau, has appointed Kurt Pusch as its next director, effective July 1. Pusch will succeed Billy Leonard, who has served Summit as interim director since July 2018. Edward Cole, board of trustees chair and search committee co-chair, said, “We consider ourselves very fortunate to have someone of Kurt’s award-winning experience as an administrator and educator. He has spent the past 15 years with KIPP, the nation’s largest and highest regarded network of public charter schools.” Most recently, Pusch served as Chief Schools Officer at KIPP Colorado Schools, overseeing six charter schools serving nearly 2,000 students from early childhood through 12th grade. He will receive his Executive Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in June 2019.
• Haywood County Schools Board of Education will hold a 2019-20 Local Budget Public Hearing at 6 p.m. Monday, April 1, at the Education Center in Clyde. • The Franklin High School Winds and Winterguard Group and the Franklin Indoor Percussion group travelled to Winthrop Coliseum in South Carolina last weekend where over 230 groups competed over two full days in their categories for the CWEA Regional Championships. Panther Sound Winds/Colorguard group got overall fifth place and Franklin Indoor Percussion ranked seventh.
• The University of North Carolina Board of Governors appointed Kathryn Crisp Greeley of Waynesville and Kenneth Hughes of Asheville to the Western Carolina University Board of Trustees. They will join re-appointed board members J. Bryant Kinney of Denver, who currently serves as vice chair of the WCU board, and Rebecca Schlosser of Greensboro. All four were appointed to serve four-year terms that will begin July 1.
Matthys scholarship created at HCC
• Enrollment is now open for Head Start in Jackson and Haywood counties. Call 828.452.1447 in Haywood and 828.586.2345 in Jackson County if you’re interested in receiving free, high-quality child care for school readiness for children birth to age 5. Centers are located in Waynesville, Clyde, Canton, Sylva and Cullowhee.
Haywood Community College awarded a new scholarship for spring semester 2019. The David and Denise Matthys Scholarship benefits a full or part-time student who is a resident of Haywood County. “As a young farm kid in Texas in 1960, I was awarded a $50 merit scholarship to our local junior college and I truly believe that started me on my way to completing my own college education and resulting career,” David Matthys explains. “We simply wanted to provide some financial help to any person who wants to improve their lives through higher education or through learning a trade that will allow them to make a living in the future.” For more information, call 828.627.4544 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
• The Swain County High School Maroon Devil contingent of Air Force JROTC recently spent time on a Saturday supporting Swain CLEAN. The entire group removed over 70 bags of trash from Swain County highways and made the county an even better place to live and enjoy. With this event, the cadets have completed over 400 community service hours since August.
Smoky Mountain News
Our job is to earn trust and keep it A Scott McLeod
little more than two weeks ago I was part of a public radio panel that was discussing the “state of media in Western North Carolina.” The catalyst for the show was the Gannet corporation’s — owner of USA Today and more than 100 dailies and 1,000 weeklies — nationwide layoff of reporters and editors, including five at the Asheville Citizen-Times. We discussed the importance and relevance of local newspapers and media sites, and how our communities are adapting to the shift away from one or two dominant — and trustworthy — media sources. Penny Abernathy, who holds the Knight Chair in Journalism and Editor Digital Media Economics at UNC, was on the show. Her report on “news deserts” — released in October 2018 — shows that 1,800 newspapers have closed in the last 20 years in the U.S., leaving up to 1,300 communities with no local news coverage. Zippo. That report also showed that in communities without a local newspaper government costs were generally higher. No watchdog means less of a need to worry about taxpayer reaction to tax increases, higher fees and a host of other government expenditures. Then last week I and the editors and reporters with The Smoky Mountain News traveled to Raleigh where the North Carolina Press Association holds its annual awards convention. Aside from walking away with enough awards to make us feel like we’re doing a pretty damn good job for our readers, we got to mingle with journalists from across the state. Two things stand out from that get-together. First, the takeover of media organizations by giant corporations is occurring at a frenzied pace. I’ve been attending these conventions for almost 30 years. Many of the newspaper owners I used to hang with are gone. They’ve sold out to corporations like the Gatehouse group which own 11 dailies and three weeklies in the state.
Please support Medicaid expansion To the Editor: More than one million North Carolinians have no health insurance. Many fall in what is known as the “Medicaid coverage gap” — they cannot afford to buy health insurance without fear of bankruptcy. The majority are working adults, between 18 and 64 years of age, without dependent children. Most live paycheck to paycheck. Many hold two or more part-time jobs. All of us have a family member or neighbor who lives in the gap, playing Russian roulette with their health. Expanding Medicaid will help close the coverage gap, can save lives and preserve the health of working families across Western North Carolina. The Medicaid coverage gap hits rural areas like our mountain home especially hard. Medicaid expansion can bring billions of federal dollars to the state. We are one of 14 states that has rejected Medicaid expansion. Here’s how it works. The federal government pays 90 percent of the costs of expansion
I’m not going to diss corporate media at all levels. As Asheville Citizen-Times Editor Katie Wadington said on Blue Ridge Public Radio during the show we were on together, her paper still has hard-working journalists out there in the field every day. They’re working on important stories and informing their community. The disconnect, though, is all about ownership. Shareholders in New York looking for profits won’t make the kinds of decisions local owners like us will make. Why should they? They aren’t vested, aren’t discussing local issues at their favorite watering hole with politicos and taxpayers, aren’t attending charity events or ball games, don’t get phone calls when mistakes occur or events go uncovered. The second big thing I took away from that NCPA conference is that Western North Carolina is indeed a unique place. For those of us who call this place home this is not breaking news, but that uniqueness is not only about natural beauty and an independent mindset. To this day, people who live here still have a plethora of local newspapers delivering quality content via print and online sites. Trust me, that is an anomaly. As mentioned earlier, many communities have no local news sources while others have only corporate-owned small dailies with skeleton editorial staffs who are often encouraged to cover click-bait stories — like a new Starbucks opening — rather than local government news. Hell, in Jackson County sometimes SMN, the Sylva Herald and the Crossroads Chronicle in Cashiers will all cover the same story. Same thing happens with us and The Mountaineer in Haywood County. Readers can get different perspectives from a couple of news sources and stay wellinformed. And as you can see by the list accompanying this article, all these newspapers are award-winning. It’s a challenge running a small media business today, but it’s hard to run any small business. All’s we can promise is to provide a quality newspaper that strives to be trusted, fair and objective in our news coverage and includes a diversity of opinions on our editorial pages. I’ll point to those awards as
B REIFS while N.C. would pay just 10 percent of the tab. Right now, our citizens pay federal taxes but the state does not receive the 90 percent subsidy back. Basically, we are giving away our hard-earned tax dollars to the 36 states that have expanded Medicaid. It makes no sense to give all that money away. Medicaid expansion would bring increased medical care to people with chronic conditions like diabetes or kidney disease. This would not only saves lives but result in fewer health crises, ER visits and hospital days. This saves money for all N.C. citizens. Treatment options for people with mental health issues is critical. Medicaid expansion is exactly what is needed to combat our growing opioid crisis. Out of desperation, people with untreated medical/mental health issues often self-medicate with alcohol, illegal or illicit drugs. In addition to improved health outcomes, Medicaid expansion will help to keep our rural hospitals open. This will bring jobs and with it, a boost to the local economy. Please contact your N.C. Senate and House
2018 N.C. Press Association Editorial Awards • 1st place, A&E reporting, Holly Kays • 1st place Education Reporting, Holly Kays • 1st place, News Enterprise Reporting, Cory Vaillancourt • 1st place, Sports Feature Writing, Cory Vaillancourt • 1st place, City-County Government Reporting, Cory Vaillancourt • 1st place, Election/Political Reporting, Holly Kays • 1st place, Lighter Columns, Chris Cox • 1st place, Profile Feature, Garret K. Woodward • 2nd place, City-County Government Reporting, Jessi Stone • 2nd place News Enterprise Reporting, Jessi Stone • 2nd place, Community Coverage, Staff • 2nd place, Photography Feature, Holly Kays • 2nd place, Religion and Faith Reporting, Jessi Stone • 2nd place, Use of Photography, Staff • 3rd place, Election/Political Reporting, Cory Vaillancourt • 3rd place, General Excellence for Websites, Travis Bumgardner • 3rd place, Profile Feature, Holly Kays • Duke University /Green Rossiter Award for Distinguished Newspaper Work in Higher Education, Holly Kays Other local papers also fared well in the contest:
• • • • • • •
The Mountaineer (Waynesville) — 14 awards The Sylva Herald — 13 awards Cherokee One Feather — 10 awards Crossroads Chronicle (Cashiers) — 6 awards Highlander (Highlands) — 5 awards Franklin Press — 5 awards Smoky Mountain Times (Bryson City) — 4 awards
affirmation that — according to journalists from other states who judge the contest — more often than not we do a pretty good job. (Scott McLeod can be reached at email@example.com.)
representatives to support Medicaid expansion. It makes sense. It brings money to our state. It saves lives and livelihoods. It brings jobs. We can do better. Elaine Slocumb Bryson City
Trump haters overplay their hand To the Editor: In the news story “Constituents of color: Meadows defense of Trump angers many,” published in the SMN edition March 13, the title says it all. The animosity expressed in the article against Rep. Mark Meadows has everything to do with his support of President Donald Trump. When asked what he (Meadows) “could do better and what can he do in the future to mend fences,” the answer from one of those interviewed was, “I think he could have done it better by not coming to the defense of the President.” It seems in case after case criticism of any
Trump supporter is based on just that, their support for Donald Trump. Beyond the antiTrump accusations, nothing else is credible. Further on in the article, after denouncing Meadows for his role in the Michael Cohen Congressional hearing and his support of President Trump, interviewees and the writer question Meadows’ ability to represent constituents of color. I assume this opinion is because he is white, as is his Congressional district — the other side of the racist coin. That claim is expanded because Meadows’ district is described as gerrymandered in his favor. It is remarkable that Democrats are so anti-gerrymandering now that they are out of power in the N.C. legislature after 100 years of control where they did the very same type of gerrymandering. Rep. Meadows congressional record shows no support for any legislation that can be construed as against his constituency … unless of course the support of President Donald Trump’s agenda is interpreted as anti-constituency. That Trump agenda has achieved lowest unemploy-
S EE LETTERS, PAGE 19
’m sick of looking at a pair of stylish winter boots sitting beside my bedroom door. I have other cold-weather shoes, but these gray boots seem to go with almost every outfit and also stay dry in the wetness that has become the meteorological norm as of late. Each time I pull these boots over socked feet, I’m reminded that spring has still not quite sprung. I’m ready for sunshine and painted toenails and outdoor adventures. All in due time, I guess. I’m not sure if I actually have seasonal affective disorder, but I know for certain the warm rays of sun and longer daylight hours offer a peace and energy almost non-existent during the doldrums of winter. Even though the calendar says the seasons have changed, we’re still in a holding pattern in regard to the weather actually feeling like spring. With that being said, I’m trying to embrace this time of waiting and anticipation. Ironically, it’s also the season of Lent, another period of waiting and anticipation. Most years, I try to give up something for Lent, something that will feel absent from my life. This year, I’ve given up gluten. I don’t have a gluten allergy, per sé, but if I eat too much of the gunk, I feel lethargic and bloated. It’s become a fad to “go glutenfree.” I’m not one to jump on a bandwagon, but common sense tells anyone that pro-
teins, nuts, fruits and vegetables are healthier for a person than foods high in an elastic substance that exists to hold wheat together. Several weeks ago, I attended the men’s Southern Conference basketball tournament with my boyfriend. He’s a Wofford alumnus and if you’ve had your TV tuned into March Madness at all, you’ve seen this was an epic year for Columnist the small school located in Spartanburg. We attended every Wofford game at the SoCon tournament. We had VIP passes through his company, so during half-time and in between games, we slid into the VIP section and talked to other basketball fans while drinking and eating. There was a food spread like no other, but as we grabbed a plate and contemplated what we wanted to nibble, we noticed nothing on the table was gluten-free except fruit, olives and cheese. There were barbeque sliders, macaroni and cheese, chicken tenders and a number of desserts, but none of that works on a gluten-free diet. We enjoyed our fruit, olives and cheese. A week or so later, a group of us dined at
opinion March 27-April 2, 2019
A time of waiting and yearning
HAYWOOD Carrie Keith
President and Owner Twigs and Leaves Gallery
Owner Twigs and Leaves Gallery Commercial and Residential Broker - Beverly-Hanks
the new Italian place downtown called Ian and Jo Jo’s. I love trying new pizza and comparing crust and ingredients among the different local pizza joints. All of the kiddos munched on delicious homemade pizza while we ate a small gluten-free version. After Easter, I’ll be back to try out the authentic dough. Over St. Patrick’s Day weekend, my dad made the trek from Weaverville to hang out with us on Main Street and enjoy the Luck of the Art event hosted by the Downtown Waynesville Association and Waynesville Gallery Association. When my dad visits, he loves to enjoy fish and chips and a cold beer at Boojum. I was thirsty from walking around and talking to all of the folks on the streets and in the galleries. My taste buds were badly craving a Hop Fiend, one of Boojum’s signature beers, but nope because gluten. I ordered a glass of red wine instead and resigned myself to sitting in my favorite brewery and not drinking a beer. Yet another example was when we ate breakfast last weekend at Hazelwood Farmacy. A habit of mine is to get an omelet or some other high-protein meal but finish off with one of my boys’ biscuits or pancakes as a sweet treat. Not this time. Both the biscuits and the pancakes looked delicious but I had to say no to both. Easter is on April 21, so I still have a ways
to go before I can enjoy that cold micro-brew or a hand-tossed piece of pizza. On a positive note, the lack of bread and pasta in my life has resulted in a trimmer figure just in time for shorts and swimsuit season. The lingering cold and the season of Lent have both forced me into a period of sacrifice and longing. I’m certainly ready to put away those boots and pull out the sandals. I don’t love this unpredictable time of year, but I do recognize the perspective it offers. If I lived in Southern California where it was 70 degrees and sunny year-round, I don’t think I would appreciate sun and warmth nearly as much as I do living in Western North Carolina. We earn our springs and summers around here. Likewise, if I never denied myself during the season of Lent, I may not value the luxuries and delights we Americans have at our fingertips. Over the next several weeks as these times of waiting linger, I plan to embrace the intermediary, to slow down and really lean into a phase of growing and learning. They say two of life’s biggest warriors are patience and time. As I age and the battles become darker and more challenging, I rely on these warriors more and more. (Susanna Barbee is a writer, editor, sales professional and a digital media specialist. firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Smoky Mountain News
1 8 5 6 D E L LWO O D ROA D • WAY N E S V I L L E , N C As small business owners, we have always appreciated the great “Return on Investment” the chamber provides to its members. If you consider the value of the networking, educational seminars, and advertising opportunities, it is hard for anyone to question the value of a chamber membership. The more you put into your relationship with the chamber, the more return you get for your investment. One of our successes, while owning Twigs and Leaves Gallery, includes the ability to make every dollar count. Even though belonging to the chamber can be a very social event, the bottom line should be whether or not belonging produces a positive ROI for the growth of its members. If a chamber gets it right, they will grow. We feel The Haywood Chamber of Commerce has gotten it right!
828.456.3021 HaywoodChamber.com 18
Congratulations to NAI Beverly-H Hanks’
BILL LY Y CASE
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Billy Case, CCIM (828) 508-4527 | email@example.com com
Town can keep mound and support initiative
my church welcomes LGBTQ as well. But rather than celebrate what is broken, we pray the LGBTQ, and all the broken, will seek reconciliation and healing. It breaks my heart to see people desperately clinging to that which the Bible very clearly says will separate them from God. As it relates to homosexuals, nowhere in the Bible does it speak of homosexual acts in a positive or acceptable light. But nowhere in the Bible does it say any of our acts are right with God. Each one of us is born broken, and our best are like dirty rags to God (Isaiah 34). Our brokenness separates us from God and prevents us from living the life He would have us live. The only person to ever be whole was Jesus Christ, our only hope for reconciliation with God. God’s love for us does not change our need to obey his commands. God calls us to give ourselves and all our brokenness to Him — our idolatry, selfishness, greed, gluttony and sexual immorality (including adultery, lust and homosexual acts). We are all born with these to some level. It is who we are. We must give them over to God who
loves us so much, He died for us even while we were separated. He loves us so much, He made a way for us to be reconciled (John 3). And since we are all broken, we are all in the same situation. None of us can think of ourselves as better than anyone else. It should be our life’s goal to lead everyone we can to Jesus, our only hope of reconciliation. There is no room for hate ... of anyone. God created each of us in His image, so we all deserve the same respect as humans and the same hope as broken people. Jesus thought so. That is why He came to earth and showed love to everyone. But as with the woman at the well and the woman accused of adultery (John 4 and 8), He expected them to change from what they were to what He called them to be — whole and holy. So let’s show dignity and respect to all humans. But also, let’s not embrace our brokenness but embrace the healing that God so desperately wants us all to have. He loves us too much to do anything else. David Onder Waynesville
ment numbers for workers — including minorities — a historic tax cut that put more earnings in paychecks, a booming economy, better trade deals favorable to the United States, U.S. energy independence, fewer Americans on food stamps, foreign policy that has reduced ISIS to little threat, halting North Korean missile firings and national protection with increased border patrols and illegal migrant control by vowing to finish the wall. Thank you Rep. Meadows for supporting President Trump and his agenda. Hating Trump and his supporters is tedious, trite, erroneous and way overplayed. Carol Adams Glenville
Let’s all embrace God’s healing To the Editor: A recent columnist claimed that their church embraces LGBTQ members. Well,
LETTERS, CONTINUED FROM 17
5K RACE, WALK & FUN RUN
April 20, 2019 | 9 a.m. Join runners and walkers of all ages during the Friends of the Lake 5K. All proceeds go to the maintenance and beautiﬁcation of the lake and grounds at Lake Junaluska. Early registration (until April 5): $25 Register before Friday, April 5 and receive a “Love the Lake” T-shirt! Registration: $30 Students (11-18): $15 Kids Fun Run (10 & under): Free
Grief Support Luncheon Held monthly on the first Friday at 12 pm. RSVP to 452-5039
Grief 101 An 8-week series designed to promote healthy grieving.
Smoky Mountain News
Principal Chief Michell Hicks turned to the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources seeking their help in getting the Mound. The Department of Cultural Resources advised Chief Hicks that it would be beneficial if the EBCI prepared a detailed Maintenance or Management Plan to submit to the town with specific guidelines ready for discussion. No such plan was presented. The Department also suggested a long-term lease “while acknowledging the Town’s ownership as well as its role in saving the Mound ….” The Department’s final suggestion was for the EBCI to “consider any options to buy adjoining properties to enhance the historic landscape,” which is happening now and I support it fully. In November 1980, the Mound was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. I am no lawyer, but what knowledge I have of historic registration leads me to believe this could have a legal impact, as it was placed on the registry under the terms of the 1946 deed. For the record, there is a strong kinship to the Mound, not only by members of the EBCI, but the residents of Franklin. As the mayor, it is my duty and obligation to look at all sides of issues affecting the town. I believe the best thing that can happen in this issue is for the Nikwasi Initiative to back away from everything hinging on the deed and let the town remain a partner. To do otherwise may well create hard feelings for a long time to come and hinder the vision of the Initiative to revitalize East Franklin. Bob Scott is in his third term as mayor of Franklin. He served four terms on the Town Council before becoming mayor. The above is his opinion and may or may not reflect the opinion of any Franklin Council Members.
March 27-April 2, 2019
town’s ownership as spelled out in the 1946 deed when the residents of Franklin rallied to raise the $1,500 to buy the Mound from a private landowner who was going to flatten it for a commercial venture. Some of those who took part in this effort to save the Mound are still around and to my knowledge, there has never been a formal thank you from the EBCI to the town for saving it. I have reached Guest Columnist out to three Principal Chiefs of the EBCI and offered to work with them on a mutual maintenance and preservation plan. In October of 2014 the Town council voted unanimously that it was open to discussion of the Mound’s maintenance and would honor the EBCI’s offer of assistance of maintenance of the Mound. Nothing came of it. The resolution also stated that the deed shall remain with the Town of Franklin and shall be preserved for the citizens of the town and Macon County. Deeding the Mound, according to the Initiative, would be an effort for a revitalization of the properties in East Franklin in the vicinity of the Little Tennessee River and the Greenway. In the past 17 years that I have been in town government I have always supported revitalization of East Franklin, and I believe it can be done with the town entering the partnership but holding onto the deed. I cannot understand why any of this hangs on whether the town gives up the deed. In disclosure, I was never a part of the Nikwasi Initiative which started out as Mountain Partners. Following the town’s resolution in 2014,
ive years ago, as mayor, I was placed in the position of defending the Town of Franklin against undue criticism of the town’s stewardship of the Nikwasi Mound. I am again in that position as the recently formed 501 C(3) Nikwasi Initiative has asked the Town to deed the Mound to the Initiative to “give the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians joint ownership with us and ensure that, in perpetuity, they share equally with us in its care and preservation.” (I am not sure whether the ‘us’ is the town or the Initiative). A September 2014 resolution of the EBCI’s Tribal Council says that “The Town of Franklin has repeatedly demonstrated a significant lack of respect for the Nikwasi Mound.” I strongly disagree with that and as mayor, I hate to see that attitude perpetrated. This all began with an unfortunate attempt to place a type of grass on the Mound which would allow for less mowing. It didn’t work and the grass on the Mound turned brown due to a herbicide to take out the old grass and the Mound looked awful. This was not a malicious act. It was purely accidental. I was not mayor at the time but I was a council member. So that action, in my opinion, was what put a spotlight on the Mound and created hard feelings between the Town and the EBCI. But that is water over the dam. The Mound survived and the town has consistently taken care of it. On its face, the Nikwasi Initiative proposal would be fine except for the requirement of deeding the Mound to the Nikwasi Initiative. Therein lies the sticking point with many residents familiar with the deed and how the Mound was saved. My thought, as mayor (and I do not have a vote in this unless things come to a tie with the town council) would be to enter the partnership but keep the Mound in the
FRIENDS OF THE LAKE
Call 452-5039 for info 43 Bowman Dr, Waynesville All services are free.
AT BEARWATERS BREWING Sunday: Noon-6 p.m. • Tue-Thurs 3-8 p.m. Fri-Sat: Noon-9 p.m. • Monday: Closed
101 PARK ST. CANTON 828.492.1422 PIGEONRIVERGRILLE.COM
Wine • Port • Champagne Cigars • Gifts
828-452-6000 20 Church Street Downtown Waynesville
classicwineseller.com MONDAY - SATURDAY
March 27-April 2, 2019
10:00AM - 6:00PM
828-246-6996 429 Hazelwood Ave Waynesville
Smoky Mountain News
Monday, Tuesday Wednesday Thursday, Friday Saturday, Sunday
7:30am-8 pm Closed 7:30am-8 pm 8 am-8 pm
WAYNESVILLE’S BEST BURGERS
BLUE ROOSTER SOUTHERN GRILL 207 Paragon Parkway, Clyde, Lakeside Plaza at the old Wal-Mart. 828.456.1997. Open Monday through Friday. Friendly and fun family atmosphere. Local, handmade Southern cuisine. Fresh-cut salads; slow-simmered soups; flame grilled burgers and steaks, and homemade signature desserts. Blue-plates and local fresh vegetables daily. Brown bagging is permitted. Private parties, catering, and take-out available. Call-ahead seating available. BOOJUM BREWING COMPANY 50 N Main Street, Waynesville. 828.246.0350. Taproom Open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday & Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Gem Bar Open Tuesday through Sunday 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. Enjoy lunch, dinner or drinks at Boojum’s Downtown Waynesville restaurant & bar. Choose from 16 taps of our fresh, delicious & ever rotating Boojum Beer plus cider, wine & craft cocktails. The taproom features seasonal pub faire including tasty burgers, sandwiches, shareables and daily specials that pair perfectly with our beer. Cozy up inside or take in the mountain air on our back deck.” BOURBON BARREL BEEF & ALE 454 Hazelwood Ave., Waynesville, 828.452.9191. Lunch daily 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; dinner nightly at 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday. Wine Down Wednesday’s: ½ off wine by the bottle. We specialize in handcut, all natural steaks from local farms, incredible burgers, and other classic american comfort foods that are made using only the finest local and sustainable ingredients available. CHEF’S TABLE 30 Church St., Waynesville. 828.452.6210. From 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday dinner starting at 5 p.m. “Best of” Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator
Magazine. Set in a distinguished atmosphere with an exceptional menu. Extensive selection of wine and beer. Reservations honored. CHURCH STREET DEPOT 34 Church Street, downtown Waynesville. 828.246.6505. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Mouthwatering all beef burgers and dogs, hand-dipped, hand-spun real ice cream shakes and floats, fresh handcut fries. Locally sourced beef. Indoor and outdoor dining. facebook.com/ChurchStreetDepot, twitter.com/ChurchStDepot. CITY LIGHTS CAFE Spring Street in downtown Sylva. 828.587.2233. Open Monday-Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tasty, healthy and quick. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, espresso, beer and wine. Come taste the savory and sweet crepes, grilled paninis, fresh, organic salads, soups and more. Outside patio seating. Free Wi-Fi, pet-friendly. Live music and lots of events. Check the web calendar at citylightscafe.com. THE CLASSIC WINESELLER 20 Church Street, Waynesville. 828.452.6000. Underground retail wine and craft beer shop, restaurant, and intimate live music venue. Kitchen opens at 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday serving freshly prepared small plates, tapas, charcuterie, desserts. Enjoy live music every Friday and Saturday night at 7pm. www.classicwineseller.com. Also on facebook and twitter. COUNTRY VITTLES: FAMILY STYLE RESTAURANT 3589 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley. 828.926.1820 Winter hours: Wednesday through Sunday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Family Style at Country Vittles is not a buffet. Instead our waitresses will bring your food piping hot from the kitchen right to your table and as many refills as you want. So if you have a big appetite, but sure to ask your waitress about our family style service. EVERETT HOTEL & BISTRO 16 Everett St.,Bryson City. 828.488.1934. Open daily for dinner at 4:30 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday Brunch from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.; dinner from 4:30-9:30 p.m. Serving fresh and delicious weekday morning lite fare, lunch, dinner, and brunch. Freshly prepared menu offerings range from house-made soups & salads, lite fare & tapas, crepes, specialty sandwiches and burgers. Be sure not to miss the bold flavors and creative
combinations that make up the daily Chef Supper Specials. Followed by a tempting selection of desserts prepared daily by our chefs and other local bakers. Enjoy craft beers on tap, as well as our full bar and eclectic wine list. FERRARA PIZZA & PASTA 243 Paragon Parkway, Clyde. 828.476.5058. Open Monday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday 12 to 8 p.m. Real New Yorkers. Real Italians. Real Pizza. A full service authentic Italian pizzeria and restaurant from New York to the Blue Ridge. Dine in, take out, and delivery. Check out our daily lunch specials plus customer appreciation nights on Monday and Tuesday 5 to 9 p.m. with large cheese pizzas for $9.95. FIREFLY TAPS & GRILL 128 N. Main St., Waynesville 828.454.5400. Simple, delicious food. A must experience in WNC. Located in downtown Waynesville with an atmosphere that will warm your heart and your belly! Local and regional beers on tap. Full bar, vegetarian options, kids menu, and more. Reservations accepted. Daily specials. Live music every Saturday from 7 to 10 p.m. Open Mon.-Sat. 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. FRANKIE’S ITALIAN TRATTORIA 1037 Soco Rd. Maggie Valley. 828.926.6216 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Father and son team Frank and Louis Perrone cook up dinners steeped in Italian tradition. With recipies passed down from generations gone by, the Perrones have brought a bit of Italy to Maggie Valley. FROGS LEAP PUBLIC HOUSE 44 Church St., Downtown Waynesville 828.456.1930 Serving dinner 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. 5 to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday. Frogs Leap is a farm to table restaurant focused on local, sustainable, natural and organic products prepared in modern regional dishes. Seasonal menu focuses on Southern comfort foods with upscale flavors. Reservations accepted. www.frogsleappublichouse.com. HARMON’S DEN BISTRO 250 Pigeon St., Waynesville 828.456.6322. Harmon’s Den is located in the Fangmeyer Theater at HART. Open 5:309 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday (Bistro closes at 7:30 p.m. on nights when there is
Nutrition Facts serving size : ab out 50 p ag es Am ount per Serving Calories 0 % Daily Value * Tot al Fat 0g
MON.-SAT. 11 A.M.-8 P.M.
34 CHURCH ST. WAYNESVILLE 828.246.6505 20
Taste the Mountains is an ever-evolving paid section of places to dine in Western North Carolina. If you would like to be included in the listing please contact our advertising department at 828.452.4251
Reg ional New s
Entert ainm ent
* Percent Weekly values b ased on Hayw ood, Jackson, M acon, Sw ain and Buncom b e d iet s.
Mon/Wed/Thurs 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday/Saturday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sunday 12-9 p.m.
Sandwiches • Burgers • Wraps 32 Felmet Street (828) 246-0927
Wine Down Wednesday April 3 5-8pm
3 E JACKSON ST. • SYLVA, NC
tasteTHE mountains a show in the Fangmeyer Theater) with Sunday brunch at 11 a.m. that includes breakfast and lunch items. Harmon’s Den offers a complete menu with cocktails, wine list, and area beers on tap. Enjoy casual dining with the guarantee of making it to the performance in time, then rub shoulders with the cast afterward with post-show food and beverage service. Reservations recommended. www.harmonsden.harttheatre.org HAZELWOOD FARMACY & SODA FOUNTAIN 429 Hazelwood Avenue, Waynesville. 828.246.6996. Open six days a week, closed Wednesday. 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Breakfast until noon, old-fashioned luncheonette and diner comfort food. Historic full service soda fountain. J. ARTHUR’S RESTAURANT AT MAGGIE VALLEY U.S. 19 in Maggie Valley. 828.926.1817. Open for dinner at 4:30 to 9 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. World-famous prime rib, steaks, fresh seafood, gorgonzola cheese and salads. All ABC permits and open year-round. Children always welcome. Take-out menu. Excellent service and hospitality. Reservations appreciated.
KANINI’S 1196 N. Main St., Waynesville. 828.452.5187. Lunch Monday-Saturday from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., eat in or carry out. Closed Sunday. A made-from-scratch kitchen using fresh ingredients and supporting the local food and local farm-to-table program. Offering a variety of meals to go from frozen meals to be stored and cooked later to “Dinners to Go” that are made fresh and ready to enjoyed that day. We also specialize in catering any event from from corporate lunches to weddings. Menus created to fit your special event. kaninis.com MAD BATTER FOOD & FILM 617 W. Main Street Downtown Sylva. 828.586.3555. Open Monday through
MAGGIE VALLEY CLUB 1819 Country Club Dr., Maggie Valley. 828.926.1616. maggievalleyclub.com/dine. Open seasonally for lunch and dinner. Fine and casual fireside dining in welcoming atmosphere. Full bar. Reservations accepted. MAGGIE VALLEY RESTAURANT 2804 Soco Road, Maggie Valley. 828.926.0425. 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Daily specials including soups, sandwiches and southern dishes along with featured dishes such as fresh fried chicken, rainbow trout, country ham, pork chops and more. Breakfast all day including omelets, pancakes, biscuits & gravy. facebook.com/carversmvr; instagram @carvers_mvr. MOUNTAIN PERKS ESPRESSO BAR & CAFÉ 9 Depot St., Bryson City. 828.488.9561. Open Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. With music at the Depot. Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Life is too short for bad coffee. We feature wonderful breakfast and lunch selections. Bagels, wraps, soups, sandwiches, salads and quiche with a variety of specialty coffees, teas and smoothies. Various desserts. PIGEON RIVER GRILLE 101 Park St., Canton. 828.492.1422. Open Tuesday through Thursday 3 to 8 p.m.; Friday-Saturday noon to 9 p.m.; Sunday noon to 6 p.m. Southerninspired restaurant serving simply prepared, fresh food sourced from top purveyors. Located riverside at Bearwaters Brewing, enjoy daily specials, sandwiches, wings, fish and chips, flatbreads, soups, salads, and more. Be sure to save room for a slice of the delicious house made cake. Relaxing inside/outside dining and spacious gathering areas for large groups. RENDEZVOUS RESTAURANT AND BAR Maggie Valley Inn and Conference Center 70 Soco Road, Maggie Valley 828.926.0201 Home of the Maggie Valley Pizzeria. We deliver after 4 p.m. daily to all of Maggie
THURSDAY 5-9 P.M.
SUNDAY 11 A.M-3 P.M.
Rib buffet, fried chicken, vegetables, and a twenty-three item salad bar!
Piano Man & Angie
featuring turkey and dressing
SAGEBRUSH STEAKHOUSE 1941 Champion Drive, Canton 828.646.3750 895 Russ Ave., Waynesville 828.452.5822. Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Carry out available. Sagebrush features hand carved steaks, chicken and award winning BBQ ribs. We have fresh salads, seasonal vegetables and scrumptious deserts. Extensive selection of local craft beers and a full bar. Catering special events is one of our specialties. SPEEDY’S PIZZA 285 Main Street, Sylva. 828.586.3800. Open seven days a week. Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Saturday 3 p.m.-11 p.m., Sunday 4 p.m.-10 p.m. Family-owned for 30 years. Serving hand-tossed pizza made to order, pasta, subs, gourmet salads, calzones and seafood. Also serving excellent prime rib on Thursdays. Dine in or take out available. Located across from the Fire Station. TAP ROOM BAR & GRILL 176 Country Club Drive, Waynesville. 828.456.3551. Open seven days a week serving lunch and dinner. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tucked away inside Waynesville Inn, the Tap Room Bar & Grill has an approachable menu designed around locally sourced, sustainable, farm-to-table ingredients. Full bar and wine cellar. www.thewaynesvilleinn.com. WAYNESVILLE PIZZA COMPANY 32 Felmet Street, Waynesville. 828.246.0927. Open Monday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 10 p.m.; Sunday noon to 9 p.m.; closed Tuesdays. Opened in May 2016, The Waynesville Pizza Company has earned a reputation for having the best hand-tossed pizza in the area. Featuring a custom bar with more than 20 beers and a rustic, family friendly dining room. Menu includes salads, burgers, wraps, hot and cold sandwiches, gourmet pizza, homemade desserts, and a loaded salad bar. The Cuban sandwich is considered by most to be the best in town.
Daily Specials: Soups, Sandwiches & Southern Dishes
Featured Dishes: Fresh Fried Chicken, Rainbow Trout, Country Ham, Pork-chops & more
Breakfast : Omelets, Pancakes, Biscuits & Gravy!
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MAGGIE VALLEY RESTAURANT
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OPEN SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 9AM-4PM CALL FOR MORE INFORMATION 2804 SOCO RD. • MAGGIE VALLEY 828.926.0425 • Facebook.com/carversmvr Instagram- @carvers_mvr
1941 Champion Dr. • Canton 828−646−3750 895 Russ Ave. • Waynesville 828−452−5822
Smoky Mountain News
WEDNESDAY 5-9 P.M.
Valley, J-Creek area, and Lake Junaluska. Monday through Wednesday: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. country buffet and salad bar from 5 to 9 p.m. $11.95 with Steve Whiddon on piano. Friday and Saturday: 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday 11:30 to 8 p.m. 11:30 to 3 p.m. family style, fried chicken, ham, fried fish, salad bar, along with all the fixings, $11.95. Check out our events and menu at rendezvousmaggievalley.com
March 27-April 2, 2019
JOEY’S PANCAKE HOUSE 4309 Soco Rd Maggie Valley. 828.926.0212. Open seven days a week! 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. Joey’s is a family-friendly restaurant that has been serving breakfast to locals and visitors of Western North Carolina for decades. Featuring a large variety of tempting pancakes, golden waffles, country style cured ham and seasonal specials spiked with flavor, Joey’s is sure to please all appetites. Join us for what has become a tradition in these parts, breakfast at Joey’s.
Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. with Sunday Brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Handtossed pizza, house-ground burgers, steak sandwiches & fresh salmon all from scratch. Casual family friendly atmosphere. Craft beer and interesting wine. Free movies Thursday through Saturday. Visit madbatterfoodfilm.com for this week’s shows & events.
Smoky Mountain News
The HART of a community Beloved Waynesville theatre celebrates 35 years
A stage production (above) of ‘Charlotte’s Web.’ John Highsmith photo
BY GARRET K. WOODWARD STAFF WRITER eaning back in his chair, in an office tucked in the depths of a large studio building, a slight grin rolls across the face of Steven Lloyd. “I would never have envisioned this,” Lloyd said in a humble tone. “I would have never thought 30 years ahead and have pictured this. But, everything has evolved.” What has evolved is the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre in Waynesville. With its mainstage season opening just around the corner, HART will celebrate 35 years in 2019. For Lloyd, this will mark 30 years since he first set foot in Haywood County as a visiting artist through Haywood Community College (as part of a statewide initiative, the Edwin Gill Theatre Project), only to become the longtime executive director of HART. “I’ve nursed it along and had it grow organically rather than try to push it to some place where it’s not ready for yet, which is one of the reasons that we’ve be able to financially sustain ourselves,” Lloyd said. “There’s never been a time that this organization has been in debt. We squeeze through the winter like every other business in town. But, we’ve never had a losing season.”
In the 35 years of its operation, HART has gone from a small operation — which took place onstage at The Strand, Tuscola High School and Haywood Community College — to a national renowned theatre company with two large-scale buildings on the property of The Shelton House that contain a mainstage studio, secondary studio space, black box studio and the Harmons’ Den Bistro. Since the creation of the 10,000-square-foot Performing Arts Center, which opened in 1997, and with the opening of the 9,000-square-foot Daniel & Belle Fangmeyer Theatre in recent years, Lloyd estimates there have been over 250 mainstage shows, 125 or so studio shows and another 15 Kids at HART performances. “I had already been other places. I mean, I lived in Los Angeles and worked as an actor. And I had the opportunity to build something here,” Lloyd said. “I have the opportunity to do anything I want to do. I can do any play that I want. There is nothing that’s off limits or too sensitive of material. So, where can you do that? Where am I going to have the opportunity to be this creative, to have this much freedom?” And all of this — the shows, the people, the evolution of HART — started with a group of determined local residents who
arts & entertainment One of numerous scrapbooks (left) put together by HART. An early sign depicting the future site of HART (right). Courtesy of HART
Want to go? For more information on the upcoming Mainstage season of the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre in Waynesville and/or to purchase tickets, visit www.harttheatre.org, call the box office at 828.456.6322 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. here in Haywood County would become such a vital part of the arts scene?” Libba Feichter marveled. “We certainly could not have envisioned the campus that we see now. It’s a matter of great pride to me that this community and surrounding areas have supported us, literally, as we have matured and grown. I’m eternally grateful to the Arts Council for their support since our beginning.” And it was the unrelenting sense of community pride and support that has always been at the core of HART and its mission — to bring arts and culture alive under the bright lights for all to see, hear and experience. “Each time we needed to expand or to purchase equipment or to repair something in the theatre, [the community was] there for HART. There has never been a time that this community has not risen to the occasion,” Libba said. “I’m proud of what we do and the quality of that experience. I must believe the reason for that is that the community realizes the value of HART.” Aside from the community love and support for HART, it didn’t always go without a
hitch. For a small mountain town, the theatre had moments where controversy arose from a production about to hit the stage, most notably the infamous play “The Full Monty.” “[‘The Full Monty’] was brought to the town board’s attention that the production was being scheduled. The question raised before the board was whether or not some of the scenes would violate our nudity ordinance. Having seen the movie, I found the question quite amusing,” said Waynesville Mayor Gavin Brown. “Libba Feichter was on our board at the time. She made an impassioned argument that the production would not violate community standards. Fortunately, rationality entered the discussion and the production went off without a single complaint. Rumor has it that Chief Bill [Hollingsed] told his officers not to spend much time on Pigeon Street [where the theater is located].” But, regardless of controversy, Lloyd has never shied away from bringing hot button issues and topics to the HART stage. “Waynesville was much more conservative, much more provincial back when I came here 30 years ago — we brought the world to Waynesville,” Lloyd said. “We brought in lots of things that 30 years ago we wouldn’t have dreamed of going anywhere close to. And the community has changed. As we’ve progressed over those 30 years, people have experienced all of those different pieces and it’s changed their thinking. This community is so much more cosmopolitan now, and it’s still a small town.” “I think the theatre’s call is the same as the church’s call — to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. It’s here to entertain, enlighten, inspire and instruct. It opens a world to people in this small town that
S EE HART, PAGE 24
Smoky Mountain News
— Steven Lloyd
John Highsmith photo
March 27-April 2, 2019
“This has been a healing place for so many people. What we’ve helped to create here has impacted so many lives in so many real and consequential ways.”
decided to launch their own community theatre company. Initially a branch of the Haywood County Arts Council, the community actors and stage production people wanted to set out and become an independent entity. “I think it just gave more autonomy and fewer people involved for decisions to be made, allowed us to grow and get money for ourselves and through ourselves from grants,” said Suzanne Tinsley. One of the founding charter members of HART, Tinsley has been lifelong actor aside from her work teaching in the Haywood County school system. It was also through the community theatre in the late 1970s where she met her husband, Preston. They will celebrate 39 years together this summer. “Our life together is wrapped around this theatre. I think it’s fabulous. Our children — for better or for worse — were raised in this theatre,” Suzanne laughed. “They grew up here. They were all onstage. Our friends were here. For a long time, our house was the post-production party house. I can’t think of a better place to have met.” Now a retired teacher, Preston himself caught the acting bug through Suzanne. He estimated he’s been part of around 25 productions, with Suzanne losing count after 50 plays. “If you’re a school teacher, you’re acting in front of students all the time,” Preston noted. “I just thoroughly enjoyed doing it.” The Tinsleys point to Libba and the late Rex Feichter as pivotal — more so crucial — to the creation of HART, and also in the hiring process to bring Lloyd into the fold. “Who would have thought that what began as a ‘task’ given to Paula McElroy and myself by the Haywood County Arts Council to determine if there was an interest in theatre
arts & entertainment
Preston and Suzanne Tinsley.
“I think the theatre’s call is the same as the church’s call — to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. It’s here to entertain, enlighten, inspire and instruct. It opens a world to people in this small town that many of us would never see.” — Suzanne Tinsley
March 27-April 2, 2019
HART, CONTINUED FROM 23 many of us would never see,” Suzanne Tinsley added. “It shows us what we’re capable of. And you can live a perfectly fine life and never know what it is you’re capable of. But, how wonderful that life is when you start learning what you’re capable of?” And yet, now in its 35th season, Suzanne can’t help but think of “what could have been” if HART hadn’t had the appreciation from its audience, donors, those onstage and behind the scenes. “In 35 years, I’ve seen community theatres come and go, even with the best of
Smoky Mountain News
Scene from a 1998 production of ‘Treasure Island.’ Photo courtesy of HART
intentions,” Suzanne said. “And I have seen larger community theatres with more technical bells and whistles, and people from those communities are coming here to do theatre because of what we do and the opportunities we provide.” In every discussion or trip down memory lane about the theatre, all stories and sentiments seem to circle back to the heart of HART — Steven Lloyd. “The night we hired him began with board members asking random questions about his plans and dreams for us. I asked him why, with all of the options available to him, he wanted to be here. His answer was simple, and
I believe was the reason he was hired,” Libba Feichter said. “He said that he wanted to be here because he could make a difference here. That there was a need that he felt he could fill. In all honesty, I feel that if he had not committed himself to HART, it would not be here — certainly not as it is today.” “Steve has the gumption to reach out to anybody. He’s obviously a good grant writer. He has connections everywhere. He has the national connections that have given us national recognition,” Suzanne added. “And we did some great things before he came, but I don’t know anybody who was involved at that early time who would have given the time to it. You can have expertise, but if you don’t give the time to it, then who knows what will happen. But, Steve had the expertise and, for a long time now, has lived and breathed HART.” For Lloyd himself, the work is never done. Once one production is done, onward to the next. Build up the set and then tear it down. Create the costumes. Run the lines. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. Within this organized chaos, Lloyd seldom has a moment to reflect on the road to the here and now. But, when asked about the future, he considers his words before answering. “For me, it’s just kind of laying the groundwork for the future. I’m 65 now. I’m not planning to retire, but you get to this point in your life and I need to make sure I’ve got things I’ve built that won’t evaporate or fall apart if something were to happen to me,” Lloyd said. And, in that same breath, he remembered his fondest moment at HART. “It was the mainstage ribbon cutting with [the late Waynesville] Mayor Henry Foy. There was a blue ribbon from one side of the stage to the other. We cut it, the curtains were drawn, and the Smoky Mountain Brass Band started playing — that was pretty damn satisfying,” Lloyd smiled. “This has been a healing place for so many people. What we’ve helped to create here has impacted so many lives in so many real and consequential ways.”
Scene from a 2018 production of ‘Hello Dolly.’ Photo courtesy of HART
“He said that he wanted to be here because he could make a difference here. That there was a need that he felt he could fill. In all honesty, I feel that if he had not committed himself to HART, it would not be here — certainly not as it is today.” — Libba Feichter, on hiring Steven Lloyd
BY GARRET K. WOODWARD
Garret with the Clarence White guitar. Marty Stuart photo
Renowned singer-songwriters Claire Lynch, Jerry Salley and Irene Kelley will perform on Saturday, April 6, in the Queen Auditorium at the Folkmoot Friendship Center in Waynesville.
So, there I was last Innovation Station (Dillsboro) will host John Saturday afternoon, sitting on Duncan & Friends (Americana) 7 p.m. Saturday, a couch in the depths of counMarch 30. try music legend Marty Stuart’s tour bus. Right across The “Southern Storytellers” series will continue from me, positioned on the with author/historian Bob Plott on Thursday, other side of the table — the March 28, in the Queen Auditorium at the other side of my tape recorder Folkmoot Friendship Center in Waynesville. — was Stuart himself, his Mountain Layers Brewing (Bryson City) will host trademark silver mane flutterBird in Hand (Americana/folk) 7 p.m. Saturday, ing whenever he’d move his March 30. head while in thought and within conversation. The 37th annual “Country Western Show” will And sitting right next to return to the stage at 7 p.m. March 28-30 and me, on that jet-black leather 2:30 p.m. March 31 in the Tuscola High School couch, was the “B-Bender” Auditorium in Waynesville. guitar, the same exact one owned by the late Clarence up close. Stuart goes, “Strap it on.” I was White (The Byrds/Kentucky Colonels), shocked he’d even let me hold it, let alone which has been signature to Stuart’s sound strap it on. “Go ahead, you can’t scratch it,” since it was bestowed upon him those many Stuart chuckled, seeing as the guitar is so beat years ago. Aside from Willie Nelson’s up from decades on the road. As I placed the “Trigger,” this guitar is arguably one of the heavy strap around my neck, I could feel the most famous in the world — the stories behind it, the musical icons who’ve played it, heaviness of the instrument, more so the heaviness of the history forever attached to it. the towns and cities it has appeared onstage And it was in that moment, just as Stuart to raucous cheers. snapped a picture of me holding the guitar, Following our interview (which will serve that I felt an overwhelming sense of gratias part of an upcoming cover story in The tude — for not only where I stood, but also Smoky Mountain News), I mentioned to Stuart how incredible to was to see that guitar the path to get to this point. Stepping off
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arts & entertainment
This must be the place
Stuart’s bus, I reemerged into the Suwannee Spring Reunion, a music festival just over the Georgia state line in north-central Florida. You see, when I attended this festival last year, I was in the early stages of a terrible breakup. I felt like a ghost floating through the magical festival grounds, not taking much notice of that beautiful Florida sunshine I’d been craving back in the wintry depths of Western North Carolina. Sure, I conducted interviews with musicians, making a sincere connection. But, that feeling of connectivity became a fleeting one as the music stopped and I hit the road back to Waynesville, back to an empty apartment once filled with love and laughter. Oh, what a difference a year makes, eh? Following the North Carolina Press Association award in Raleigh last Friday, I took off from the state capital and blasted down I-95, onward to I-10 and the Suwannee exit. Windows rolled down, while a warm spring breeze swirled around the truck. The road to finding my spiritual and emotional balance is an ongoing path, as it is for any one of us. But, I’ve found solace in regaining my composure and confidence in recent months. Peel away the layers of the past and slide into the new skin of what tomorrow may hold for you and me (and us). I lost who I was there for a time. But, underneath the large oak trees and rays of sunshine in Florida this past weekend, I could feel a reinvigoration within my restless soul. And while I was in the presence of Stuart, he spoke of the upcoming groundbreaking of his new country music museum, one filled with not only his back history, but also the thousands of tales and memories, trinkets and tokens, of Nashville royalty he’s collected over the decades. The museum will be located in his rural hometown of Philadelphia, Mississippi. Smack dab in the middle of the state, a piece of Stuart’s heart will always reside there, regardless of how many endless miles he himself has traveled in his 47 years as a professional musician (at 60, he got his start with Lester Flatt at age 13). I found solidarity with Stuart as we chatted about our hometowns, the hopes and dreams that seemed so far away from actually happening back then, to where we’re pushing ahead each day towards the personal and professional glory we’ve sought after since we were kids. Stuart rekindled within me a true sense of self, one where I — and probably you reading this, too — need to take a moment everyso-often to stop and reflect, to, in essence, smell the roses, and immerse oneself in the sheer gratitude of being able to live the life we choose to live, to reach and seize for longheld dreams, never once giving up in the face of adversity or the presence of obstacles. When we shook hands goodbye, I smiled at Stuart. The sentiment was reciprocated. Kindred spirits, each from completely different corners of America, separated by a generation or two. But, the yearning to be “close to the source” — of our heroes and our aspirations — remains the same. My restless soul feels lighter today. So, thanks, Marty. Life is beautiful, grasp for it, y’all.
Smoky Mountain News
March 27-April 2, 2019
arts & entertainment
On the beat
JAM Kids at Jackson library The Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) will sing and play at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 7, in the Community Room of the Jackson County Public Library in Sylva. Also performing will be Alma Russ, William Ritter, Ethan Fortner and Anita Coggins Family, Lisa Hoxit & Family, and local gospel group Spirit-Filled.
Current JAM instructors, Susan Pepper, Elaine Brown, Betty Brown and Johnny Gentry, will be performing. The Jackson County Arts Council will host a reception in the atrium following the show. Jackson County Junior Appalachian Musicians program is an after-school program for kids to learn old time mountain music on traditional instruments. This project is supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and by the Jackson County Arts Council. The event is free and open to the public.
Folkmoot welcomes Nashville songwriters Claire Lynch.
Renowned singer-songwriters Claire Lynch, Jerry Salley and Irene Kelley will perform on Saturday, April 6, in the Queen Auditorium at the Folkmoot Friendship Center in Waynesville. Started in 1996 at the Balsam Mountain Inn and modeled after similar performances at Nashville’s famous Bluebird Café, the
“Songwriters in the Round” series presents signature in-the-round shows featuring Nashville area songwriters who pen the lyrics performed by country’s biggest stars. Many performances feature Grammy and CMA award winners, and all include writers of many top-ranked songs. Three-time International Bluegrass
Music Association (IBMA) “Female Vocalist of the Year,” Lynch is an award-winning tunesmith and one of bluegrass’ most beloved acts. She’s thrice been nominated for a Grammy and is the 2012 recipient of the United States Artists Walker Fellowship Award. She co-wrote and recorded “Dear Sister” for Compass Records and garnered IBMA’s 2014 “Song of the Year.” Kelley’s signature mix of bluegrass, Country and Americana appeals to music lovers across all genres. Her songs have been recorded by Ricky Skaggs, Alan Jackson, Trisha Yearwood, Loretta Lynn, Pat Green, Brother Phelps, Rhonda Vincent, Claire Lynch, Darrell Scott, The Whites, The Osborne Brothers and others. The 2018 IBMA “Songwriter of the Year” and the 2003 SESAC “Country Music Songwriter of the Year,” Salley has had over 500 songs recorded in his multi-award winning career. To date, his songs have sold in excess of 17 million records worldwide and internationally he has penned no less than eight No. 1 country hits in Australia. In-the-round performances feature performers seated in a circle with the audience all around. The musicians trade anecdotes about the music industry and sing the songs they’ve written. There will be a social from 6 to 7 p.m. with the concert to follow. Tickets are $25 for adults, $12 for students. For more information and/or to purchase tickets, visit www.folkmoot.org or call 828.452.2997. Tickets will also be available at the door.
On the beat
â€˘ Balsam Falls Brewing (Sylva) will host Bird in Hand (Americana/folk) April 12. All shows are free and open to the public. www.balsamfallsbrewing.com. â€˘ Blue Ridge Beer Hub (Waynesville) will host an acoustic jam with Main St. NoTones from 6 to 9 p.m. March 28 and April 4. Free and open to the public. www.blueridgebeerhub.com. â€˘ Boojum Brewing Company (Waynesville) will host a bluegrass open mic every Wednesday, an all-genres open mic every Thursday and Somebodyâ€™s Child (Americana) March 30. All shows begin at 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted. www.boojumbrewing.com.
â€˘ Innovation Brewing (Sylva) will have an Open Mic night March 27 and April 3, and a jazz night with the Kittle/Collings Duo March 28 and April 4. All events are free and begin at 8 p.m. www.innovation-brewing.com. â€˘ Innovation Station (Dillsboro) will host John Duncan & Friends (Americana) March 30 and Banjo Mitch April 6. All events are free and begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted. www.innovation-brewing.com.
â€˘ Lazy Hiker Brewing (Franklin) will host an open mic night at 6:30 p.m. every Thursday, Troy Underwood (singer-songwriter) March 29 and Natti Love Joys (rock) March 30. All shows begin at 8 p.m. unless otherwise
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noted. For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit www.lazyhikerbrewing.com.
â€˘ Mad Anthonyâ€™s Taproom & Restaurant (Waynesville) will host Into the Fog March 29. All shows are free and begin at 8 p.m. â€˘ Mountain Layers Brewing (Bryson City) will host the â€œStone Soupâ€? open mic night every Tuesday and Bird in Hand (Americana/folk) March 30. All shows are free and begin at 7 p.m. www.mountainlayersbrewingcompany.com.
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â€˘ Pub 319 (Waynesville) will host an open mic night from 8 to 11 p.m. every Wednesday. Free and open to the public. www.pub319socialhouse.com. â€˘ Salty Dogâ€™s (Maggie Valley) will have Karaoke with Jason Wyatt at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays, Mile High (classic rock) 8 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays, and a Trivia w/Kelsey Jo 8 p.m. Thursdays.
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â€˘ Satulah Mountain Brewing (Highlands) will host â€œHoppy Hourâ€? and an open mic at 6 p.m. on Thursdays and live music on Friday evenings. 828.482.9794 or www.satulahmountainbrewing.com. â€˘ The Strand at 38 Main (Waynesville) will host an â€œOpen Micâ€? night from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturdays. 828.283.0079 or www.38main.com. â€˘ The Waterâ€™n Hole Bar & Grill (Waynesville) will host an â€œOpen Mic Nightâ€? on Mondays, karaoke on Thursdays, Rory Kelly Band March 29 and 80s Karaoke March 30. All events at 10 p.m. unless otherwise noted. 828.456.4750.
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