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Monday, 17 November 2014 14:45

Search still on for missing teen

The search for Alec Lansing, the missing 17-year-old in Jackson County, has yet to produce any viable leads. He has not, to the best of investigators’ knowledge, contacted any family or friends, and searchers have found the reflective vest he…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:44

Mountain photo contest open

The Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition is looking for the best images of the people, places and pursuits that characterize the Southern Appalachians. Sporting a variety of categories and offering more than $4,000 in cash and prizes, the contest is open…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:40

Protecting plants with a forest plan

With a new forest management plan now in the works for the Pisgah and Nantahala national forest, Brent Martin, regional director of The Wilderness Society, will speak on the subject 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, at the Macon County Public…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:38

New edition of Kephart book released

A new version of Our Southern Highlanders by Horace Kephart is out, and it includes eight Kephart articles not included in any earlier editions.
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:37

Return of the meteors

Astronomers at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute are reminding the public of the annual Leonid Meteor Shower in November.
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:36

Motion Makers bike shop reopens

Motion Makers Bicycle Shop has reopened in its new location at 36 Allen St. after an August fire in downtown Sylva resulted in extensive water, smoke and soot damage. 
As fall colors fade from the landscape, the bright yellows and oranges become a vivid memory marking the peak of the autumn season. As winter approaches, now is the time for the rich reds, burnt yellows and russet colors donned…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:34

WNC towns earn top outdoors honors

Bryson City earned the top honor in Blue Ridge Outdoors’ list of top outdoor towns of 2014, which appeared in November’s issue.
Brian Railsback learned a valuable lesson when he missed a September meeting of the Western Carolina University Honors College Student Board of Directors: skip a meeting, and you just might wind up volunteered to do a century bike ride through…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:26

Book explores clash between religion and science

In Lauren Grodstein’s novel The Explanation For Everything (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2013, 336 pages, $24.95), we meet Andrew Waite, a biology professor and widower living with his two young daughters in Southern New Jersey. Andrew is an evolutionist,…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:22

SMN editor lacks journalist ethics

To the Editor: Journalists like Scott McLeod, SMN Editor, usually follow a code of ethics that includes fairness and impartiality during the acquisition and reporting of news articles to the public. Unbiased reporting is an integral part of journalistic ethics,…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:21

Do something together for Nikwasi Mound

To the Editor: I have read the opinions going back and forth regarding the Nikwasi Mound in Franklin and am aware there are serious disagreements and difficulties on both sides.  So I would like to present an idea of the…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:21

Doing just as he accuses others

To the Editor: Regarding Bob Wilson’s latest letter on negative campaign rhetoric, Wilson exemplified the hate-filled distorted rhetoric that he criticizes. First off, Wilson didn’t give a single example of the “lies” and “distortions” that he complains about. Instead he blames…
By Bob Scott • Guest Columnist In a letter to the editor published in the Nov. 5 edition of  The Smoky Mountain News, Rachel Truesdell wrote that as mayor, I “have a lot of explaining to do because most of…
Absenteeism in American public schools has reached epidemic proportions. Six million students, one in eight, miss 30 days of school each year and are considered chronically absent. Children of poor families are four times as likely to be chronically absent…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:04

Trade you an itchy shirt for a little shiver

We called it “in-between weather,” too warm for a coat, too chilly for short sleeves. Back then, just about every boy in town — and many of the girls, too — wore flannel shirts from late September until spring came around…
For the past few years, the Blue Ridge Breakaway has lured cyclists to Haywood for a ride through the mountains. The big attraction is the sweeping views to be had along the route. “They’re wanting to get up on the…
When Brent Martin emerged from the Forest Management Plan meeting in Franklin, the first glimpse into the direction that management in the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests might take over the next few decades, he was upset. Shocked. Disbelieving, even.
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 15:37

Contemplating the evolution of Fry Street

It’s not much of a street now. And soon, Fry Street might not be a street at all. “What we’re working towards there is, of course, permanent closure to vehicular traffic,” said Karen Wilmot, executive director of Swain County Tourism…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 15:36

Maggie’s big plan

Maggie Valley is on its way to building a downtown. “This is something I’m very excited to present to the board,” Town Manager Nathan Clark said during the Nov. 10 meeting of the town board of aldermen. “This was a…
Cell phone towers in Jackson County cannot currently be built on ridgetops. That looks likely to change as revisions to the county’s ordinance governing cell towers progress.  Thus far in the revision process, the Jackson County Planning Board has dug…
It’s been three months since publicly owned Haywood Regional Medical Center became a private hospital owned by Duke LifePoint Healthcare, but it will be years before the county knows for sure how much it will get from the $26 million…
A $3 million project to build a central 911 dispatching center inside the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office aims to reduce response times for police, fire and rescue calls.
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 15:23

New tax collector had to have wages garnished

In a narrow upset in the Haywood County Tax Collector race last week, voters elected a man with a history of delinquent property tax bills and little experience for the job.
A new tax collector has been elected in Haywood County, but when he takes office next month his duties will be substantially less than the outgoing tax collector.
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 15:10

Democrats, GOP see new era in Haywood

Karin Wollin had just taken a break from a sullen morning of sorting through stacks of campaign signs at the Haywood County Democratic headquarters in Waynesville when a clatter was heard on the sidewalk outside.
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 15:08

Hymnbook breathes life into Cherokee lyrics

It’s Sunday afternoon, and a quartet of musicians — one guitarist, three vocalists — stands at the front of a small room whose rows of chairs hold about twenty people. The guitarist strums a few chords, and the voices join…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 00:00

HCC showcasing fiber exhibition

A national fiber exhibition, EXCITE, will be on display through Dec. 6 at Haywood Community College in Clyde. The exhibition includes 15 artists, some of which are HCC Professional Crafts Fiber graduates and current students. The theme of the exhibition…
Pam Meister, interim director and curator of Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center, was honored Oct. 22 with the James R. Short Award from the Southeastern Museums Conference. A nonprofit organization committed to supporting and connecting museum professionals in 12…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 00:00

McCreery returns to Harrah’s

Country sensation Scott McCreery hits the stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, at Harrah’s Cherokee Event Center. Since coming into the national spotlight in 2011, McCreery quickly emerged as country music’s most successful new artist. His first studio album, Clear As…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 00:00

Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet to play WCU

The Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet will present its fall concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, in the Coulter Building at Western Carolina University. Members of the SMBQ, the quintet-in-residence at WCU, are P. Bradley Ulrich, trumpet; David Ginn, trumpet;…
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 21:40

Clark to present at the Rickman Store

A special presentation of Appalachian stories of the “unusual” with Gregg Clark will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, at the Rickman Store in Cowee. A local resident of Macon County, Clark is constantly seeking the unexplained. He…
A madrigal dinner evoking the elaborate and festive flare of the Renaissance will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22, in Waynesville by the premier youth choral ensemble Voices in the Laurel. The show, “A Knight to Remember,”…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 00:00

This must be the place

Why do you do it? Sitting in a tiny coffee shop in downtown Knoxville last week, I was posed this question by a high school kid. I knew the answer, at least in my head I did. But, to be…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 00:00

Working to preserve ‘Cherokee Traditions’

By Anna Fariello • Guest Editorial In writing the text for an exhibition on Cherokee culture a few years ago, I began with this opening line, “Chances are, where you are standing is part of the Cherokee’s ancestral lands.” While, perhaps,…
Monday, 10 November 2014 19:19

I-40 Canton-exit closure Nov. 10

Tonight (Nov. 10) at 7 p.m., the N.C. Department of Transportation will close the westbound on-ramp to Interstate 40 at Exit 37 (Wiggins Road/East Canton Exit). The ramp is expected to reopen at 6 a.m.  Tuesday morning.
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 15:17

Greenery is a Southern Appalachian specialty

This region has been furnishing the eastern United States with quantities of various evergreen materials (trees, running ground cedar, mistletoe, galax, and so on) for well over a century. Of these, one of the most interesting is American holly. In…
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 15:14

Spelunk with Jackson Parks and Rec

An expedition to Worley’s Cave in Bluff City, Temm., on Nov. 22 will give people of all experience levels a taste of the underground. The caving expedition will take in stalagmites, columns, flowstone and more cave features, but it’s not…
Public input gathered at a series of statewide hearings on fracking rules was supposed to be presented in a report to the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission last week, but the meeting was delayed to give hearing officers more time…
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 15:07

Five-year plan guides future for the AT

A new five-year strategic plan from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy will guide management of the Appalachian Trail over the coming years with an emphasis on reaching younger and more diverse populations, engaging partners and AT clubs and communities and keeping…
Nantahala Area SORBA, the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association, will hold an end-of-year celebration 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5, at Innovation Brewery in Sylva to recognize their contribution to the mountain biking climate in the far west.
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 15:04

Lichen, ozone and trees, oh my!

Waynesville Middle School seventh graders got to explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s Purchase Knob Education Center last week.
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 15:02

Fall burns planned for forest, national park

Prescribed burns are planned in the Nantahala Ranger District of Nantahala National Forest and areas of Great Smoky Mountains National Park over the next few weeks. 
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 15:01

First tracks come early at Cataloochee

Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley had its third earliest opening day in history when a winter storm and chilly temperatures allowed for lifts to open at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 2. 
When the North Carolina Audubon Society announced its campaign to install 10,000 small-holed bird boxes to bolster the population of brown-headed nuthatches, Russ Regnery was intrigued. But, like many environmental issues coming down from Raleigh, the plight of the little…
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 14:45

Political rhetoric reaches a new low

To the Editor: It was very sad to witness all the hateful rhetoric tossed around during elections this year. I don’t think I’ve seen such a display of lies and distortions, and we have sunken to a new depth of…
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 14:44

Make Lake Junaluska annexation more fair

To the Editor: Your opinion piece from the summer titled "Changing mind now won't undo the damage" left out a more common solution to the annexation of the 775 homes in Lake Junaluska with its woefully and poorly maintained Lake…
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 14:44

There is no moral equivalent to ISIS

To the Editor: A recent letter to the editor states a moral equivalence between ISIS weird beards who behead journalists, crucify Christians, drive crosses into the throats of children in front of their parents, and turn young girls into sex slaves…
Wednesday, 05 November 2014 14:44

Big mistake not to return Nikwasi Mound

To the Editor: I am writing in regards to the Nikwasi Indian Mound. I am concerned for the community of Franklin and the image it is giving off to the rest of this country. Franklin has a lot of part-time…
Every attentive person knows there is a revolution occurring in language, and much of what was once communicated by words is now communicated by images. Texting is quicker than calling, snap chatting quicker than texting, and emoticons quicker than either.…
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