This week in local history:
70 years ago - Feb. 10, 1949
• A birthday party was set to honor professor Robert Lee Madison, who founded Western Carolina Teachers College 60 years earlier.
• A Legion Home dance was scheduled in an effort to boost funds for Jackson County’s efforts against polio.
• The Western North Carolina Coon Hunters Club was selected as the name of the newly organized group of sportsmen hoping to further the preservation and restoration of the raccoon in Jackson County. Ed Bumgarner was elected president.
60 years ago - Feb. 12, 1959
• The State Board of Education approved $331,000 for construction of a new Sylva-Webster consolidated high school and a new shop building for Glenville High.
• The A&P had apple sauce on sale, eight cans for 99 cents.
• The Claude Jacobs home in Dillsboro suffered about $1,000 in damage in an early morning fire. The origin of the fire was attributed to a defective flue.
50 years ago - Feb. 13, 1969
• Bob Waters, an assistant coach at Stanford University and a former collegiate and pro quarterback, was named head football coach at Western Carolina University. The 30-year-old Waters was selected from a field of more than 50 applicants.
• Free-running dogs killed two of the 12 deer released into the Caney Fork Wildlife Restoration Area.
• Sylva-Webster High’s men’s basketball team ran its record to 15-2 with wins over Glenville, Andrews and Hayesville in a one-week span.
40 years ago - Feb. 8, 1979
• The snowy winter continued as four to six inches fell in the Sylva area and more than seven inches fell around Cashiers.
• North Carolina’s deer restoration program was touted as a success, with 59 deer stocked in the Yellow Mountain area.
• Harold’s Supermarket had T-bone steaks on sale for $2.29 a pound.
30 years ago - Feb. 9, 1989
• Plans for the new Jackson County courthouse located adjacent to and west of Mark Watson Park were outline by county commission chair Wayne Hooper.
• Country music star Hank Williams Jr. choppered into Cullowhee for an unannounced practice session with eight members of his band ahead of a concert in Greensboro. “They wanted to come somewhere where they wouldn’t have people all over them, and we had what they needed in the way of facilities, power sources and space,” said WCU public relations spokesperson Jim Rowell.
20 years ago - Feb. 11, 1999
• Sylva town board members voted unanimously to mandate recycling in town limits.
• Ken Henke was named principal at Smoky Mountain High School.
• The demise of the Ritz Theatre hit the fast track when Sylva officials approved a contract for its destruction. The project was awarded to local businessman Wayne Smith, who submitted a low bid of $28,000 for the job.
10 years ago - Feb. 12, 2009
• Commissioners began looking at capital projects for the 2009-10 fiscal year. Officials discussed three projects that were currently under way: expansions to the solid waste transfer station on Mineral Springs Road, the new library building and expansion of the Sylva Fire Department building. A new building at Southwestern Community College to house the Jackson County Early College was also discussed.
• Commissioner Tom Massie brought up the issue of making the budget process more transparent during a budget work session as officials discussed proposed capital projects. Massie said during his two years as a commissioner he had never seen a process to evaluate and prioritize capital projects. That’s something that needs to be changed, he said.