Arts + Entertainment

fr rescueWhen Rob Kelly climbed behind the wheel of a bus two Saturdays ago for a relatively routine assignment shuttling paddlers up and down the Nantahala River, little did he know he would soon be face to face with death and hold a fellow kayaker’s life in his hands.

fr fedcourthouseAlthough it has been spared for now, federal belt tightening could eventually lead the government to close its federal court site in Bryson City, which serves as the only one west of Asheville.

Swain County is outsourcing medical care for inmates at the county jail to an independent firm that specializes in the niche field of health care for prisoners, and move the county hopes could save several thousand dollars a year.

The county currently spends between $105,000 and $150,000 on health care for its inmates each year. The new contract with Southern Health Partners could mean a savings of $20,000 annually.

fr steamengineSwain County leaders have pledged $700,000 to help the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad expand its already bustling operations in Bryson City.

It’s a long wait for residents of Nantahala in Macon County when they dial the Sheriff’s Office.

Deputy response time to the small community of Nantahala from the sheriff’s office in Franklin can take up to 30 minutes, which is why Sheriff Robbie Holland wants to expand his force and station someone in Nantahala fulltime, but that too has been a long time coming.

coverThe steep-walled gorge of Nantahala River may be one of the best spots to host a world class, extreme kayak competition — at least that’s what the organizers of the upcoming 2012 International Canoe Federation Freestyle World Cup final are hoping.

The competition, slated for Sep. 7-9 in front of the Nantahala Outdoor Center, will feature over more than freestyle kayaking, squirt-boating and canoeing athletes from more than a dozen countries, including Australia, Costa Rica, Slovakia, Japan and Russia. But the secret to making the river a churning pool of boat acrobatics and assorted water moves is hidden beneath the surface.

Economic development and tourism leaders in Swain County are treating the Freestyle Kayaking World Cup two weeks away as a dry run for the far more highly anticipated World Freestyle Kayaking Championship coming in 2013.

“This will start the ball rolling with the exposure,” said Ken Mills, the economic development director for Swain County. “For us, this is kind of a dress rehearsal.”

The former Bryson City fire chief Joey Hughes is facing criminal charges following a months-long investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation into missing funds from fire department coffers.

His wife, Cylena Hughes, has also been charged in connection with missing funds from the fire department. She was a signatory of two fund-raising arms of the fire department — the Friends of the Firemen and the Ladies’ Auxiliary. Donations from the community to the fire department were funneled through these accounts, which were solely controlled by the Hughes.

fr brysonghostsBy Peggy Manning • Correspondent

Tim Hall relishes in the history and folklore of the mountains but also knows when a little embellishing is in order — especially when it comes to ghost stories.

fr dolcevitaGianna Carson stood behind the bakery register helping two young women decide which of her treats they wanted to taste. On the wall overhead hang black and white photos of her children, niece and nephew posing with one of her cupcakes.

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Reading Room

  • A strange mix of books crosses my desk
    A strange mix of books crosses my desk The first weeks of 2018 have seen some offbeat books shamble across my desk and into my fingers. First up is John Buchan’s Mr. Standfast, also known as Mr. Steadfast. Buchan, a Scottish novelist and politician who served as Governor General of Canada from 1935…
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