Blog :: 03-2008

Melange of the Mountains of Haywood County

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Thomas & Christine Mallette, Owners/Brokers of Realty World Heritage Realty had the distinct pleasure of serving as judges for the 2008 Melange of the Mountains event held at the Balsam Mountain Inn on Thursday March 26.

Thomas was a judge for the salad, seafood, and dessert portion and Christine used her vast tasting skills for the soup, meat, and dessert dishes. It may have been the best jobs Thomas or Christine have ever had!

The event is four years old and was started to give more exposure to Haywood and Jackson County eateries. The following eateries participated in the event this year: Coffee Zone, The Sweet Onion, Maggie Valley Club, Nico's Cafe, Balsam Mountian Inn, The Gateway Club, Sycamores on the Creek, Waynesville County Club, and Harrah's Cherokee Casino.

And the winners are.....

Best Salad: 1st Place: Nico's Cafe 2nd Place: Maggie Valley Club 3rd Place: The Sweet Onion

Best Soup: 1 st Place: Balsam Mountain Inn 2nd Place: Harrah's Cherokee Casino 3rd Place: The Gateway Club

Best Seafood: 1st Place: Maggie Valley Club 2nd Place: Harrah's Cherokee Casino 3rd Place: Balsam Mountain Inn

Best Meat: 1st Place: Nico's Cafe 2nd Place: The Gateway Club 3rd Place: The Sweet Onion

Best Fowl: 1st Place: Harrah's Cherokee Casino 2nd Place: Maggie Valley Club 3rd Place: The Sweet Onion

Best Vegetarian: 1st Place: The Sweet Onion 2nd Place: Balsam Mountain Inn 3rd Place: The Gateway Club

Best Dessert: 1st Place: Balsam Mountain Inn 2nd Place: Balsam Mountain Inn 3rd Place: Nico's Cafe

If you did not attend be sure to make it to the event next year. The event is open to the public and it is incredible!

Maggie Valley NC Events

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2008 Festivals and Events

Spring is here and there is alot of upcoming events in Maggie Valley NC!

April 4 ---"Linda Davis"
Eaglenest Entertainment. 7PM. Call 828-926-9658 for ticket info.

April 5-- "Little Miss Maggie Contest"
Carolina Nights Dinner Theater. Calling all Haywood County Girls age 5 - 10.
Must Register by April 1st. 828-926-1686

April 18 -- Great Smoky Mountain Railroad.
Home School Day - Special school rates available to home-schooled children. Departs at 10:30am.
Call 800-872-4681 for reservations.

April 25-- Josh Bates
Eaglenest Entertainment.7PM A free night of worship, fun & incredible music. 828-926-9658 or

April 25-27-- Cherokee Survivors Motorcycle Rally.
Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds. 865-724-4105

April 25-27-- Thunder in the Smokies Motorcycle Rally.
Maggie Valley Festival Grounds. 828-246-2101 or

April 26 -- Great Smoky Mountain Railroad.
Biltmore Estate Wine Dining Train. A special gourmet dinner train pairing premium wines of the Biltmore Estate. Call 800-872-4681 for reservations.

May 2-- Ghost Town opens for the season.

May 2-4-- Chevy/GMC Truck Nationals
Maggie Valley Festival Grounds. 423-237-1502

May 10-- Great Smoky Mountain Railroad.
Mother's Day Dining Train. Evening Gourmet Dinner Train with a special recognition corsage for mothers. Call 800-872-4681 for reservations.

May 10 & 11-- Ghost Town will be hosting a Haywood County Bicentennial Weekend.

May 16-18-- 'Cruise the Smokies" Spring Rod Run.
Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds. Pre 1972 vehicles.

May 16-23-- Great Smoky Mountain Railroad.
"The Little Engine That Could" Two 3-day weekends!
Bryson City Depot. Call 800-872-4681 for reservations.

May 23-24-- "Golden Voice of Soul" Percy Sledge
Eaglenest Entertainment. 8:30PM.Call 828-926-9675 for tickets.

May 24-25--Memorial Day Powwow.
Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds. Champion Indian dancers in competition and exhibition will stir your blood. 828-497-8128.

May 24 & 25 -- Vettes in the Valley.
Maggie Valley Festival Grounds. Corvette enthusiasts come from all over the US to compete in this annual event. Call 828-926-0201 for more information.

May 31 -- Great Smoky Mountain Railroad.
Carolina Wine Dining Train. Evening features a special menu pairing wines produced in the Carolinas. Departs Dillsboro Depot at 7:30PM. Call 800-872-4681 for reservations.

May 31 & June 1-- "The Larkins" will be performing at Ghost Town in the Sky.

Haywood Regional Medical Center Update

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Changes under way at HRMC
Kim Gardner - Staff writer, The Mountaineer Publishing, Printed 3/28/08

At Haywood Regional Medical Center, the way of doing business is being examined "” and changed "” from top to bottom. The goal: to regain Medicare and Medicaid certification and improve patient care. The hospital lost its certification Feb. 24. Officials are aiming to be ready for another survey as of March 31. A portion of the hospital's cafeteria is dedicated to skills fairs, allowing staff to brush up on skills. One week of the fair was spent reviewing the basics of policies and procedures for all hospital staff, with the second fair more detailed and geared toward clinical staff. The fairs were developed to re-educate staff in nine areas identified by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as places in the hospital that needed improvement. Nine stations were set up in the cafeteria for clinical staff to receive re-education, as well as to take pre- and post-tests on the materials presented at the fair. "We all think it's a great thing," said Tracy Baker, a respiratory therapist. "We all have to work as a team to make sure the hospital gets back on track to take care of patients." Baker, along with fellow respiratory therapist Michelle Caldwell, was presenting information on nebulizer therapy to Becky Murray, a registered nurse with the hospital. All three women agreed that the training is beneficial to helping HRMC receive recertification, but to also continuously improve patient care. "It is a team effort," Murray said. The nine areas at the skills fair were medication administration, hand hygiene, patient complaints, fall prevention, SBAR or nurse-doctor communications, pain management, respiratory therapy, restraints and skin care. The training is only one part of HRMC's efforts to regain certification from CMS. Officials have also reviewed and revamped all areas that were cited as deficient by CMS in February. In a news conference held Thursday, hospital spokespersons discussed three of those areas "” patient complaints and grievances, quality oversight and assurance and medication administration. Patient complaints In the past, complaints were handled by various individuals in the organization, and there were lapses in tracking the complaint and any resulting changes. The hospital developed new policies and procedures to handle patient complaints and grievances, and the program will be overseen by Kim Kwiatkowski in the staff development department. "We did not have very good structure and tracking," Kwiatkowski said of past procedures. "We have fine- tuned it so complaints don't fall through the cracks. Complaints can be received through surveys, phone calls, letters and in-house concerns shared with staff. Kwiatkowski said the new process provides structure and accountability. She added that all complaints will be acknowledged with a letter to the complainant within seven days. Quality assurance The new quality oversight and assurance procedures are being headed up by Dr. Richard Riehle, the interim chief medical officer for HRMC. He said the hospital will collect and analyze data to improve hospital procedures. To ensure this happens, a steering committee will oversee the flow of data, which will be collected and analyzed daily, weekly and monthly. "Haywood Regional is committed to excellent patient care and to continue to improve patient care, and that commitment is from everybody," Riehle said. Data collected from the hospital will be compared to other hospitals of similar size to ensure HRMC is doing its best work. To improve communications among the staff, Riehle said the collected data will be shared with staff throughout the institution, whether it is how processes could be better or when they are done right. The committee will ultimately report to the hospital's governing board, who will receive training in the future, said Al Byers, interim CEO of Haywood Regional. The training will help with "what the board needs to know and what to ask," Riehle said. Amanda Brown will serve as the interim director of quality assessment and oversight until a person can be hired to fill the newly-created position full time. In the past, there was a three-member governing board committee which included at least one physician, that dealt with quality assurance issues. Kate Fenner, CEO of the Compass Group, a national consulting firm helping Haywood Regional through the recertification process, said there was plenty of data collected, but little analysis or subsequent improvements made based on the findings. Medications The third area the hospital is revamping is medication administration. Bettye Conley, who has worked as a nurse for 20 years at HRMC, said the hospital's policies and procedures regarding medication administration has been updated, with medication nursing specialists in attendance whenever medication is administered. She said there will also be electronic directives on medication administration to help eliminate errors, as well as a thorough process to follow for medication delivery from the pharmacy to the patient. Included in the process is patient education, Conley said. When nurses administer the medications, they will talk with the patients about the medications they are receiving, why they were ordered, if they are able to tolerate the medications and if they are comfortable with the medications given. "We want to make sure they understand," she said. This education process also gives patients the right to refuse medication, Conley said. If a patient refuses, then the new policy dictates that the nurse immediately notifies the physician. A procedural change for medication administration was shifting the times pharmacists stock the Pyxis Medstation, a computerized medication tracking and dispensing system located on each nursing floor of the hospital. Before, pharmacists would stock medications at 9 a.m., one of the busiest times of the day for nurses who were attempting to obtain medications for their patients. This caused a logjam, said Eileen Lipham, vice president for professional services. The backlog had the potential to delay the administration of medications, which was one area for which HRMC was cited by CMS. With a new schedule in place, the backlog should be eliminated, Lipham and Conley said. While the training and policy revisions were spurred by the decertification by CMS, Lipham said it has been a good opportunity to refresh nurses' medical training. "Delivering health care is very complex, and is not like working at a factory," Lipham said. "With the human body, you're taking care of patients and every patient is different. (With the current situation) we said let's go ahead and reinforce the education while (the nurses) are here."

Haywood County Real Estate 08 First Quarter Stats

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We have compiled the 2008 first quarter statistics for residential properties in Haywood County NC. We have also listed 2007 statistics for comparison.


Total Units Sold: 195
Average Listing Price:250,974
Average Selling Price: 238,199
List to Sell Ratio: 95%
Median Listing Price: 200,000
Median Selling Price: 197,000
Average Days on the Market: 139


Total Units Sold: 125
Average Listing Price: 241,653
Average Selling Price: 226,196
List to Sell Ratio: 94%
Median Listing Price: 200,000
Median Selling Price: 185,000
Average Days on Market: 156

As you can see we have started 2008 on a slower note, but from all indications our market is picking up. We have been battling the negative media reports about the mortgage and the housing industry which have caused many buyers to sit on the sidelines with the wait and see approach. With the average selling price down about $12,000 it is a great time to buy in Haywood County. We do feel like most "experts" in the media that the housing market and economy will turn around by the 3rd quarter of 2008. That being said, if you are thinking of buying do not wait to long. We do not know when the bottom has been reached until it has started going back up. If you waited you will miss the best prices in years!

Haywood County/Cataloochee Elk Release Update

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Elk reintroduction project appears successful
Beth Pleming - Staff writer
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From: The Mountaineer Printed 2/28/08

Despite a few unforeseen challenges along the way, the elk of Cataloochee Valley appear to be adjusting to their new habitat well, and park officials said their chances of staying look promising. This year marks the expiration of an extended experimental period to determine whether elk populations could again be successfully sustained by the Great Smoky Mountain habitat. Great Smoky Mountain National Park Wildlife Manager Joe Yarkovich, who has been deeply involved in the elk reintroduction project, provided an update on the elk's progress Monday night at the Waynesville branch of the Haywood County Library. While data is still being examined to determine the herd's chance of survival, "I will say unofficially that it's a success," Yarkovich said. "We're looking pretty good. We've finally got the number of animals we wanted. We"ve got a ton of public support. Calves are hitting the ground and surviving. We're in pretty good shape for the future." Once all of the project's data has been reviewed, University of Tennessee researchers will determine whether the experiment was a success. Based on their models, they will make the call, then report their findings to park officials who will make the final decision as to whether it's a successful reintroduction, said Yarkovich. "If it was looking like a failure, we may remove the elk from the park all together. If it's a success, we will scale back on our research and (animal) tracking and let the animals go on their own," he said. "In my personal opinion, things are looking very positive." But while the results are looking good, things haven't always gone as planned. Unforeseen problems In keeping with the national park system's mission to restore extrapated species whenever possible, park officials in 1996 began efforts to reintroduce the once-native elk back to the mountains of North Carolina. Park officials, working in conjunction with the University of Tennessee, determined an area with less than 10 percent canopy would be necessary for elk to survive, which limited the options for their release to two locations: Cades Cove and Cataloochee Valley. Of those, Cataloochee was most suitable, Yarkovich said. It was also determined that an adequate sample size would require a minimum of 75 to 90 animals. Next, a five-year experimental phase began in 2000 to determine whether the Cataloochee Valley habitat could sustain the elk population long term. The plan was to release elk in three yearly increments "” one herd per year from 2001 to 2003, but that didn't happen. The first herd "” including 25 elk from Land Between the Lakes, Ky. "” was released in 2001, followed by the release of 27 additional Elk from Elk Island National Park, Alberta, in 2002. But in 2003, things were interrupted when a nation-wide concern regarding chronic wasting disease stopped the movement of deer and elk between states. No animals were released that year, leaving park officials with inconclusive results due to an inadequate sample size. At that time, the experiment was extended for three years. "The results were different than what we had in mind,"said Yarkovich. "We needed 75 to 90 animals, and we ended up with 52." There were other challenges, as well. In addition to an overall population that was too small, the existing herd lacked enough females, he continued. Furthermore, due to the high density of black bears living in the Smokies, predation became a problem. Finally, although calves were being born, few were surviving, and those that did survive were mostly males. "You can't sustain a population if babies don't survive," said Yarkovich. "Things were not going our way." But park officials had an idea. The solution Park officials initiated efforts to manage predation by relocating black bears to another area of the park, about 40 miles outside of Cataloochee Valley. Contrary to rumor, "we did not kill any bears," Yarkovich noted. Also, the elk were learning how to deal with predators more effectively. They became less afraid to fight back, he said, and mother elk were learning how to better hide their young calves. Unlike adult elk, calves don't put off a scent, said Yarkovich. So, the mother elk were learning to feed their calves during the mornings and evenings, then bed them down in the woods where they are well-hidden during the day. As long as they left the calves alone and didn't go near them, there was no scent for predators to follow. The park's fire management plan, which included prescribed burns, further contributed to better calf protection by creating a more diverse, therefore better, habitat for both hiding calves and feeding. The result While several factors contributed toward the solution, efforts to transplant bears seemed to produce the most dramatic results, said Yarkovich. In 2005, prior to moving any bears, the calf survival rate was at 25 percent, he said. The following year, after bears were relocated, that percentage jumped to 80 percent. In 2007, calves survived at a 70 percent rate. Although bears have an incredible homing instinct and eventually migrate back, Yarkovich said, the time it takes them to migrate (about 11 days) seems to have been enough to do the trick. While elk typically give birth to one calf per year, and with the increased chance of survival, park officials finally have the population size they were initially after. Although a few years behind schedule, "we may have just got them now, but hey, we've got them," Yarkovich said. And given all the circumstances "” less predation problems, higher calf survival rate and an adequate population size, which now includes an effective female to male ratio (1.3 females to every 1 male) "” park officials are optimistic, believing the elk of Cataloochee Valley may be here to stay.

Happy Easter from Maggie Valley NC

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Realty World Heritage Realty in Maggie Valley NC would like to wish all a very Happy Easter! We look forward to seeing you all in Maggie Valley and Haywood County this spring and summer.

Popcorn Sutton News

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Maggie Valley's icon and self-proclaimed legendary moonshiner Popcorn Sutton has been arrested in Greene County, TN and is facing federal charges related to the manufacturing, possessing, and selling of untaxed whiskey or "moonshine" and a charge of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, according to the Mountaineer News. Authorities confiscated three 1,000 gallon capacity stills, over 850 gallons of moonshine, hundred's of gallons of mash- ingredients used to make the liquor, firearms, and ammunition. A search of a storage site in Haywood County resulted in seizure of 797 gallons of moonshine and one case of moonshine soaked cherries. Sutton faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on the weapons charge and up to 5 years for each moonshining charge. Sutton is being held without bond due to a previous conviction in Cocke County, TN.


  1. Mallette Real Estate Inc. on

    What's the matter you can't catch a drug dealer? or what about the meth labs? Let the old timer be! He doesn't have that many years left!
    • Mallette Real Estate Inc. on

      Popcorn's of the world make waking up in the morning worth while. We need characters like him in the world. How wonderful it would be if this was all we had to worry about. Movement to parden Popcorn maybe in order.Paul
      • Mallette Real Estate Inc. on

        Popcorn's of the world make waking up in the morning worth while. We need characters like him in the world. How wonderful it would be if this was all we had to worry about. Movement to pardon Popcorn maybe in order.Paul
        • Mallette Real Estate Inc. on

          I met this old fellow when my Mom lived in Maggie Valley and I have had his butt kicking cherries. I think he is a charater and adds charm to the county. With out him why would I ever consider returning to Maggie Valley. Free Popcorn!!! Florida loves Popcorn
          • Mallette Real Estate Inc. on

            My mother-in-law used to live in Maggie Valley, and she took us over to Popcorn's one day to get some "cherry bombs". Wow, they were the bomb all right! Popcorn was the kind of local character we're all going to miss having around someday. In our safe-at-any-cost, politically correct, mommy knows best society there isn't room for someone like him. He's an anachronism, and for that we have ourselves to blame. Shame on us.

            Blue Ridge Parkway Opening Soon

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            The famed Blue Ridge Parkway will be re-opening in April. The concession area at Mt. Pisgah will be opening on Thursday March 27, weather permitting. For more information please visit


            1. Clemente Weirather on

              Very informative text. I've found your blog via Bing and I'm really glad about the information you provide in your posts. Btw your blogs layout is really messed up on the Kmelon browser. Would be great if you could fix that. Anyhow keep up the great work!

              Pisgah Bears!

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              The Pisgah Bears fell short in their bid for a Boy's State Basketball Championship over the weekend. The Canton, NC high school boy's basketball team fell to West Bladen 65 - 50 at the Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh. The Bears finished the season with a record of 25-5. Realty World Heritage Realty would like to congratulate the team on an outstanding season!