70 years ago - Jan. 12, 1950


• A total of 14 miles of county roads were set to be paved.

• The Jackson County Polio Fund Drive kicked off with a goal of raising $4,000 in 1950.

• In an editorial the Herald reported sightings of wingless transports, “dirigibles standing on end” and flying neon signs no further away than Waynesville. The Herald wrote “right across the mountain Tom Lee of Waynesville saw ‘what looked like a wingless transport plane – with no motor – made of bright metal like aluminum’ cruising along at 4,000 feet.”


60 years ago - Jan. 14, 1960


• Agricultural income in Jackson County rose by $345,000 from the prior year, with the biggest jump coming in green cabbage sales.

• The Board of Control of the Smoky Mountain Conference, headed by Sylva Coach Joe Hunt, announced that a three-year probation period had been placed on Andrews High teams for unsporting behavior, including an incident at the Murphy football game where a referee was hit by an Andrews fan.


50 years ago - Jan. 15, 1970


• Temperatures dipped below zero for three consecutive nights, wreaking havoc with the local water supply to the point that the Mead Corporation was shuttered for 32 hours.

• Western Carolina University student Charlie Batts traveled with Bob Hope’s troupe touring Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

• Western Carolina’s Catamounts hoped to even their record at 9-9 with a win against upcoming foe Lenoir-Rhyne. 


40 years ago - Jan. 17, 1980


• Sylva-Webster routed Hiwassee Dam 88-33 in men’s basketball action.

• As an energy-saving measure, town hall hours in Sylva were trimmed by an hour, moving to an 8 a.m.-4 p.m. schedule.

• A water supply for the new Goodson Garments plant under construction near Dillsboro received approval from Sylva commissioners.


30 years ago - Jan. 18, 1990


• The dropout rate for the consolidated Smoky Mountain High school was 20 percent lower than the rates for Cullowhee and Sylva-Webster High Schools the prior year.

• The Blue Ridge Parkway showed a 3.5 percent jump in visitors for 1989.

• Western Carolina University named Steve Hodgin as head football coach. Hodgin replaced Dale Strahm, who left to take the defensive coordinator’s post at Duke University.


20 years ago - Jan. 13, 2000


• Football coaching legend Boyce Deitz, coach of the Smoky Mountain Mustangs for the last three seasons, announced his plans to retire. Deitz compiled a 218-72-2 record and was involved with nine state championship squads as a head coach, assistant coach and player.

• Sylva leaders heard disappointing news when they learned from engineers that a planned renovation of the town pool couldn’t be completed before the opening date in June.


10 years ago - Jan. 14, 2010


• Duke Energy scored a legal victory in its five-plus year fight with Jackson County over the Dillsboro Dam as Superior Court Judge Zoro Guice signed orders denying the county’s request for an injunction against the power company to prevent Duke from moving forward with demolition of the dam. 

• Though downtown only received a half-inch or so of snow Jan. 7, it was enough to make roads slick and cause accidents on U.S. 23-74 toward Balsam. Temperatures plummeted and were below freezing for four days. Both Duke Energy and Progress Energy reported record winter electricity use by their customers.

• Four months after voting to allow dogs at Bridge Park on a trial basis, Sylva board members revisited the issue and decided it was good policy.