The Mountaineer

The Mountaineer The Mountaineer. Proudly serving as the Haywood County, North Carolina community newspaper for 125 years.

The Mountaineer. Proudly serving as the Haywood County, North Carolina, community newspaper for 125 years.

“If it hadn’t been for my family, there’s no way I could have done this, the understanding and support,” Swanger said, t...
01/30/2020
Canton police officer receives advanced certificate

“If it hadn’t been for my family, there’s no way I could have done this, the understanding and support,” Swanger said, turning to his wife. “Amy, thank you. I appreciate it.”

Canton Police Department Sgt. Neal Swanger was awarded his advanced law enforcement certificate during a town board meeting Thursday, Jan. 23.

The long-blessed, long-battled services provided by The Open Door will relocate by mid-June.
01/29/2020
The Open Door to exit Frog Level

The long-blessed, long-battled services provided by The Open Door will relocate by mid-June.

The Open Door, a ministry started by Long’s Chapel United Methodist Church in 1996, is looking for an alternate place to offer outreach services to the homeless and the poor.

Kobe Bryant made an impact that went far beyond the basketball courts he played on. Across Haywood County, basketball pl...
01/29/2020
Haywood basketball community mourns NBA legend

Kobe Bryant made an impact that went far beyond the basketball courts he played on. Across Haywood County, basketball players, coaches and alumni were shocked and heartbroken by the passing of an all-time great.

Shockwaves rippled across the sports world Sunday with the news that NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash in

Haywood real estate professionals merge with Charlotte's Canopy; set vision on helping with affordable housing in the co...
01/29/2020
Realtors gather under new mantle

Haywood real estate professionals merge with Charlotte's Canopy; set vision on helping with affordable housing in the county.

In its first meeting since merging with Charlotte-based Canopy Realtor Association, the now-defunct Haywood Board of Realtors handed out awards that will be the last to bear the name of

The Historic Courthouse was packed with gun advocates last week. Here's what they had to say.
01/28/2020
Hundreds petition commissioners for Second Amendment resolution

The Historic Courthouse was packed with gun advocates last week. Here's what they had to say.

Hundreds of gun rights supporters peaceably assembled, and dozens voiced their desire for Haywood County to become a Second Amendment sanctuary during a board of commissioners meeting the evening of

Pisgah senior Carter Gibson: “It’s literally a dream come true. As soon as I started playing volleyball in middle school...
01/27/2020
Pisgah's Gibson makes college commitment

Pisgah senior Carter Gibson: “It’s literally a dream come true. As soon as I started playing volleyball in middle school, whenever it was available to me, I knew that this was going to be the sport that I loved and that I would want to pursue for the next two, four, however many years that I get to play.”

Pisgah senior Carter Gibson told her coach, Josh Simmons, midway through last season that she wanted to play volleyball in college.

Haywood County Schools is dismissing students at 12:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27, according to an email from Superintendent B...
01/27/2020
HCS announces early dismissal Jan. 27, NWS issues winter weather advisory

Haywood County Schools is dismissing students at 12:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27, according to an email from Superintendent Bill Nolte.

https://www.themountaineer.com/news/education/hcs-announces-early-dismissal-jan-nws-issues-winter-weather-advisory/article_2ec3f216-411e-11ea-8856-7724a869ea8f.html

Haywood County Schools is dismissing students at 12:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27, according to an email from Superintendent Bill Nolte.

Those with a dream of entertaining others can perhaps fulfill it by auditioning for the upcoming cabaret show. Audition ...
01/27/2020
Audition for Kiwanis Cabaret show

Those with a dream of entertaining others can perhaps fulfill it by auditioning for the upcoming cabaret show. Audition on Jan. 29 for the March 1 performance.

The Waynesville Kiwanis Club will be hosting its Kiwanis Cabaret Variety Show again this year.

Financial realities — along with the expense of developing a steep site — has led to downsized goals for a Waynesville p...
01/26/2020
Pigeon community park faces reality check

Financial realities — along with the expense of developing a steep site — has led to downsized goals for a Waynesville park.

The lofty wish list for a neighborhood park in Waynesville’s historically African-American community has been pared down due to cost.

A glitch in the system that notifies parents and other interested citizens of school-related weather delays and closures...
01/26/2020
School notification system had a glitch

A glitch in the system that notifies parents and other interested citizens of school-related weather delays and closures is being investigated.

Early Wednesday morning, Haywood County Schools received several calls informing them that its telephone notification for the two-hour delay did not go out on the evening of Tuesday, Jan. 21

The challenges of homelessness were among the top election issues in Waynesville last year. The town is moving forward a...
01/26/2020
Squatters quarters: homeless set up camp in vacant buildings

The challenges of homelessness were among the top election issues in Waynesville last year. The town is moving forward a task force, something all candidates promised to form. The Mountaineer has been taking an in-depth look into the problems behind the issue.

Captain Brian Beck flipped on his flashlight as he ducked through the rusty metal doorway of an abandoned warehouse, but it was no match for the dark recesses of the

A Haywood County principal is in the running to be named the top principal in the state — and perhaps beyond.
01/25/2020
Fox named principal of the year — NC Western region

A Haywood County principal is in the running to be named the top principal in the state — and perhaps beyond.

Haywood Early College Principal Lori Fox has been named the 2020 N.C. Western Region Principal of the Year.

Take a peek into the mountain charm of unique retail stores, restaurants and places to visit in Haywood County. This Way...
01/25/2020
Happiness in a store: Logan’s Gifts and Home Décor

Take a peek into the mountain charm of unique retail stores, restaurants and places to visit in Haywood County. This Waynesville location has become a shopper's delight.

In the heart of Waynesville’s charming mountain shops lies a whimsical outlier, Logan’s Gifts and Home Décor, showcasing items of varying themes, taste and cost.

State health officials are investigating a possible case of the Wuhan City coronavirus in North Carolina.As of the time ...
01/24/2020
N.C. health officials investigating possible coronavirus case

State health officials are investigating a possible case of the Wuhan City coronavirus in North Carolina.
As of the time of this post, two cases have been confirmed in the United States.

https://www.themountaineer.com/news/state/n-c-health-officials-investigating-possible-coronavirus-case/article_7f70218c-3ef1-11ea-948b-2718a960ffa8.html

RALEIGH — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is investigating a possible case of infection with the newly discovered 2019 coronavirus.

Waynesville's new police chief spoke briefly with The Mountaineer this afternoon after the announcement.
01/24/2020
Waynesville Police Department names new chief

Waynesville's new police chief spoke briefly with The Mountaineer this afternoon after the announcement.

Waynesville Town Manager Robert Hites announced that he has appointed David P. Adams as Waynesville’s Chief of Police. Adams is currently serving as Chief of Police for the Town of

Waynesville ponders rules about cemetery usage.
01/24/2020
A new day is dawning in Green Hill Cemetery debate

Waynesville ponders rules about cemetery usage.

A task force charged with blazing a new path for Green Hill Cemetery has found common ground in the wake of last year’s grave decoration controversy.

As property owners wait on right-of-way decisions for the South Main road project, buildings fall into disrepair; become...
01/23/2020
Crack down on Waynesville's skid row: blighted block deemed 'unsafe'

As property owners wait on right-of-way decisions for the South Main road project, buildings fall into disrepair; become havens for the homeless.

The owners of a run-down row of abandoned buildings on South Main Street in Waynesville known as a hot-spot for squatters are being asked to clean up their act.

“They really are affordable,” Shannon Blaylock said. “We really have no idea where we would be living now if it were not...
01/23/2020
Roots within your reach — Mountain Projects self-help available

“They really are affordable,” Shannon Blaylock said. “We really have no idea where we would be living now if it were not for this program. Owning our own home would still just be a dream.”

https://www.themountaineer.com/news/roots-within-your-reach-mountain-projects-self-help-available/article_1c9c3118-393d-11ea-8fb2-8732e4ec7f79.html

The dream of home ownership today is too often just that, a dream. Mountain Projects is seeking to change the conversation around affordable housing, turning these dreams into a reality.

After one year in operation, Haywood County non-emergency ambulance services have reduced 911 call volume, served a need...
01/22/2020
Non-emergency ambulance supports EMS operations

After one year in operation, Haywood County non-emergency ambulance services have reduced 911 call volume, served a need in the community and generated a profit, said county emergency services director Greg Shuping.

https://www.themountaineer.com/news/local/county_government/non-emergency-ambulance-supports-ems-operations/article_2b825e98-36f7-11ea-9818-676be21580bc.html

After one year in operation, Haywood County non-emergency ambulance services have reduced 911 call volume, served a need in the community and generated a profit, said county emergency services director

Pisgah swim coach Courtney Phillips: "They’ve really picked up and really worked hard to get where they’re at.”
01/22/2020
Pisgah swim places third at Mountain Six Meet

Pisgah swim coach Courtney Phillips: "They’ve really picked up and really worked hard to get where they’re at.”

Pisgah’s swim team wrapped up the regular season strong. Following an Invitational Meet against a pair of nonconference foes, the Bears enjoyed a good performance at Mountain Six Meet.

“Personally, I did have a really successful freshman season,” Sarah Swaim said. “I worked my butt off to be able to star...
01/22/2020
Tuscola's Swaim enjoys strong freshman season at Coker

“Personally, I did have a really successful freshman season,” Sarah Swaim said. “I worked my butt off to be able to start and to get all the playing time so I could really be there for the team and really start integrating myself into the team dynamic. My team just worked really hard for me and I tried to reciprocate that with them.”

Former Tuscola girls soccer player Sarah Swaim hit the ground running in her first college season with Coker women’s soccer.

As classes resume at Waynesville Middle School, extra counselors will be on hand to help students cope with the loss of ...
01/22/2020
School mourns death of Waynesville Middle School student

As classes resume at Waynesville Middle School, extra counselors will be on hand to help students cope with the loss of one of their own.

Following the Saturday death of a Waynesville Middle School student, there will be additional counselors, social workers, law enforcement officials and staff in the school when students return to classes.

UPDATE: WPD has released that it is investigating the incident that left two dead on Long St. this morning as a murder-s...
01/21/2020
WPD begins homicide investigation after finding two bodies

UPDATE: WPD has released that it is investigating the incident that left two dead on Long St. this morning as a murder-suicide.

The Waynesville Police Department is in the middle of a homicide investigation after two dead bodies were found outside a home on Long Street.

The effort to include all individuals of civil liberties in this nation is an age-old one. Consider the case made by thi...
01/20/2020
A century ago, farm girl crusaded for women’s rights

The effort to include all individuals of civil liberties in this nation is an age-old one. Consider the case made by this early Haywood suffragette.

A century ago, Haywood County had its own suffragette in the form of a 15-year-old farm girl from Hyder Mountain.

Many are passionate about their gardens — and about non-GMO seeds. Here are the top varieties that can be found in seed ...
01/20/2020
What's hot in gardening circles

Many are passionate about their gardens — and about non-GMO seeds. Here are the top varieties that can be found in seed catalogues this spring.

Gardeners have their favorites when it comes to plant varieties.

There are always those special teachers who leave a legacy that endures beyond their lifetime. Mountaineer columnist Kat...
01/20/2020
African American teachers left a heritage of motivation, reconciliation

There are always those special teachers who leave a legacy that endures beyond their lifetime. Mountaineer columnist Kathy Ross recalls two.

Most of us have teachers we adore, those who saw the best in us and pushed our limits. But can we imagine the influence of teachers who filled that role

A commissioner's concern about carelessly disposed syringes prompted a county meeting to discuss the issue.
01/20/2020
Commissioners, health officials discuss syringe exchange

A commissioner's concern about carelessly disposed syringes prompted a county meeting to discuss the issue.

Haywood County syringe exchange data will now be kept locally to better gauge the program’s impacts, as was agreed upon at a Jan. 8 meeting between county commissioners, administrators and

The weekday public transit route between Canton and Waynesville that runs hourly with numerous stops is picking up steam...
01/20/2020
Transit routes rolling steady

The weekday public transit route between Canton and Waynesville that runs hourly with numerous stops is picking up steam.

Haywood County Public Transit buses are rolling steady after their first few months on the road.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday kicked off with a march down Waynesville's Main Street Saturday, continued with a pr...
01/19/2020
Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday kicked off with a march down Waynesville's Main Street Saturday, continued with a prayer service Sunday and will wrap up with an 8 a.m. breakfast at Lake Junaluska's Lambuth Inn Monday.

https://www.themountaineer.com/news/remembering-martin-luther-king-jr/article_56217aac-3a63-11ea-8388-0355bbef7b4d.html

The weather was nippy Saturday when about 35 people congregated at the Haywood County Justice Center to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. weekend.

Tuscola junior Nate Brafford: “I’ve just got to come out every night and play my best, never take a night off. If people...
01/19/2020
Tuscola's Brafford shoots to milestone

Tuscola junior Nate Brafford: “I’ve just got to come out every night and play my best, never take a night off. If people do come to watch me, the kids or even a college scout, people are always watching, you’ve always got to bring your A-game every night.”

Given the astounding season he’s having, that Tuscola’s Nate Brafford hit his big scoring milestone as a junior shouldn’t have been a surprise.

Pisgah senior Carter Gibson:  “It was always my dream to wear this jersey and to make my small town proud.”
01/19/2020
Pisgah's Gibson achieves career dream with 1,000th point

Pisgah senior Carter Gibson: “It was always my dream to wear this jersey and to make my small town proud.”

Pisgah’s Carter Gibson corralled the pass from under the basket, settled herself, pulled up for a mid-range jumper and watched the basketball go through the hoop to give her team

Pisgah head coach Jonathan Whitson: "I think going on out, this is going to be our focus is those two words, family and ...
01/19/2020
'Family, team': Pisgah boys come together for big conference win

Pisgah head coach Jonathan Whitson: "I think going on out, this is going to be our focus is those two words, family and team. As long as we do family and team, I think everybody here will like where we are at the end of the year.”

Coming off a tough loss at Hendersonville Tuesday night, Pisgah boys basketball played perhaps its best game of the season, topping conference rival Franklin 53-30 in dominant fashion.

If you have a special talent to share with others, consider auditioning for the upcoming Kiwanis Cabaret.
01/18/2020
Audition for Kiwanis Cabaret show

If you have a special talent to share with others, consider auditioning for the upcoming Kiwanis Cabaret.

The Waynesville Kiwanis Club will be hosting its Kiwanis Cabaret Variety Show again this year.

Helping ensure Haywood County youth get the nourishment they need is an effort being confronted on many fronts. Here's w...
01/18/2020
Ministry will now provide lunches instead of snacks

Helping ensure Haywood County youth get the nourishment they need is an effort being confronted on many fronts. Here's what one church is doing.

First Fruits Ministry, an effort through Long’s Chapel United Methodist Church to help ease student hunger at Pisgah and Tuscola high schools, is undergoing a transformation.

Party unity was the rallying cry when N.C's top Democratic Party official visited Haywood.
01/18/2020
State Democratic party chair visits Haywood

Party unity was the rallying cry when N.C's top Democratic Party official visited Haywood.

North Carolina Democratic Party Chair Wayne Goodwin visited Haywood County last week.

Grammy-award winning banjo player Marc Pruett not only tears it up on the stage, but can tell a mountain tale with a fla...
01/17/2020
Renowned musician Pruett pens ‘Rascally Mountain Boy’

Grammy-award winning banjo player Marc Pruett not only tears it up on the stage, but can tell a mountain tale with a flair. His first book is filled with Haywood County mountain memories.

Grammy-award winning Appalachian musician and scholar Marc Pruett delivers in spades, with his first book, “Rascally Mountain Boy.”

County, hospital invest heavily in wellness. Focus on wellness is hoped to inspire others in Haywood.
01/17/2020
Tackling a health crisis

County, hospital invest heavily in wellness. Focus on wellness is hoped to inspire others in Haywood.

Haywood County commissioners have 2.5 million reasons to hope that a new partnership with Haywood Regional Medical Center will improve the overall health of county employees.

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