Thu11272014

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Wednesday, 19 November 2014 16:17

Ground broken on Smokies Preservation Center

Work on a new National Park Service Collections Preservation Center is underway following a Nov. 13 groundbreaking at the site in Townsend, Tenn. Once finished, the facility will house 418,000 artifacts and 1.3 million archival records documenting history of Great…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 16:17

East Street Park project scores grant funds

A project to revamp East Street Park in Waynesville has received a grant from the Pigeon River Fund that will allow the vision to move forward. East Street Park received $17,650 of its $25,200 grant request.  “We’re ecstatic and are…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 16:16

Arboretum lights up for holidays

A new holiday light show at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville will open Saturday, Nov. 22, and run through Jan. 2, adorning the Arboretum’s most visited landscapes with spectacular light installations to celebrate the winter season. 
An agreement has been reached in a lawsuit waged by multiple environmental groups claiming that wreckless coyote hunting laws were jeopardizing endangered red wolves in eastern N.C. — the only wild population of red wolves on the planet. 
Haywood Waterways Association will celebrate the Pigeon River watershed at its annual membership dinner from 6-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, at Lake Junaluska’s Lambuth Inn.  The Haywood Waterways Association Board of Directors and staff invite the public to join them…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 16:14

Blackrock Outdoor changes ownership

After nearly 20 years of existence, Blackrock Outdoor Company has a new owner. Kelly Custer, who also owns Sylva’s Sheds Hunting Supply, purchased the store from owners Holly Hooper and Heather Ferguson after an August fire in downtown Sylva caused…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 16:13

Scuba certs offered in Waynesville

A scuba certification course Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Waynesville Recreation Center will give wannabe divers the know-how and practice they’ll need to pass an open water evaluation and earn their scuba certification. 
Word on the river is that more and more people are getting into fly fishing, spurring a push for fly-focused tourism and marketing – and the opening of a pair of new fly shops.  “‘A River Runs Through It’ with…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 16:00

Teen horror sequel is a wild ride

About three years ago, I reviewed a bloody little horror tale filled with black humor called Breed. It was a page-turning shocker, allegedly written by Chase Novak but actually spawned by a remarkably gifted novelist, Scott Spenser who became famous…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 15:42

Balsam Range to play KARE fundraiser

Acclaimed bluegrass group Balsam Range will play the Kids Advocacy Resource Effort’s (KARE) 4th annual Festival of Trees fundraiser at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, at Laurel Ridge Country Club in Waynesville.  The event will begin with a cocktail hour…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 15:41

GSMR is North Pole bound

The Polar Express themed train will celebrate the holiday season Nov. 21-23 and 25-26 at the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad depot in Bryson City. The classic children’s book comes to life as the train departs for a special visit at…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 15:40

Cherokee exhibit showcased at Dugan Center

The touring exhibit “Understanding our Past, Shaping our Future,” will be on display through Dec. 17 at the Chief Joyce Dugan Cultural Arts Center at Cherokee Central Schools.
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 15:39

New roof for Appalachian Women’s Museum

The Appalachian Women’s Museum has recently completed the repair of the roof to the Monteith House in Dillsboro. Funds for the roof project came from the Jackson County Board of Commissioners, AWM board member Roberta Buckner, and private donors from…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 15:32

This must be the place

It’s Saturday morning. And as most folks are either sleeping in a couple extra hours or seizing the day by hitting the great outdoors, Kelsie Baker is working. But she isn’t behind an office desk or working the typical 9-to-5…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 15:26

Erasing ignorance expands opportunities

By Deborah Miles • Guest Columnist As the Director of the Center for Diversity Education, I and other educators have been hosting “Festivals of Light” for some 5,000 students each year across WNC since 1995. Now that the election is over,…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 15:25

Don’t make sophs live on campus

To the Editor: First, let me say that I greatly respect Dr. Sam Miller and the administration at Western Carolina University, having gotten to know them over the years I was a student there. Miller has more WCU spirit than…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 15:25

Junaluskans should pay for upgrades

To the Editor: Your opinion piece a few months back, “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, 19 November 2014 15:22

A briefcase of possibilities

I grade about 2,000 essays a year. I do so because I am a high school English teacher, and because I also score Advanced Placement essays for a week every summer for Educational Testing Service. The first year I worked…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 15:20

Obama poised to give the GOP the finger

Just as President Obama seems poised to sign an executive order preventing the deportation of up to 5 million illegal immigrants, we read in the Nov. 17 Asheville Citizen-Times that a newcomer center for immigrants in the city school system…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 15:08

Teaching students about driving dangers

Safe driving program “VIP for a VIP” impacts students in partnership with EMS and local law enforcement. Harris Regional Hospital, which provides Emergency Medical Services for Jackson County, recently participated in a safe driving program for students at Smoky Mountain…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 15:05

Canton aims for improvements at Recreation Park

The Town of Canton Recreation Commission is leading a volunteer effort to make safety improvements to the playground at Recreation Park, a popular destination.  The project will include slide repairs, mulching, painting and construction of a wooden border and perimeter…
Thanks to community generosity, many of Haywood County’s neediest families will eat a hot turkey dinner this Thanksgiving. The Maggie Valley Area Lodging Association is once again seeking donations to help provide food baskets to those who may not otherwise…
The key to economic and community development in Western North Carolina is for leaders of the public, private and nonprofit sectors to reach beyond town limits and county lines to embrace a more regional approach, steeped in a spirit of…
At T-minus three days until the scheduled opening day for Haywood Pathways Center, Nick Honerkamp still wasn’t sure how to answer the big question: will the shelter open? “That is the question of the week,” said Honerkamp, one of the…
The long-time tax collector in Haywood County was narrowly defeated in the November election, a surprise upset that has sent county leaders into a tailspin the past two weeks. Haywood County commissioners fear the newly elected tax collector — who…
After landing a $10,000 grant from the Southwestern Commission — and putting in $10,000 of its own money — Sylva is waiting on a report to come back from JM Teague Traffic Engineering that will answer that one pivotal question:…
Downtown Franklin is sporting some fresh paint after an October decision to spruce up the fading road lines, but over the winter town aldermen will be considering some changes that could be a tad more noticeable. “During the winter when…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 14:54

Walleyed mercury

It’s probably best to avoid eating fish out of Lake Glenville. At least the walleye. “I’d like to tell you I know what a walleye is,” said Paula Carden, health director for Jackson County Department of Public Health. “I think…
The commercial revitalization of South Main Street in Waynesville has taken another step forward this month with the bulldozing of a dilapidated, vacant building to make way for a new Bojangle’s. The run-down corridor has been gradually transforming into a…
A shake-up in the medical world of maternity care and childbirth means more choices for pregnant women in Jackson, Swain and Macon counties, but also heightened competition for the profitable labor and delivery line. Two new obstetrics practices were launched…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 14:48

Swain sheriff alarmed over false alarms

The Swain County Sheriff’s Office responds to its share of security alarms. Between January and the middle of November, the department has responded to 1,019 such calls — and rarely is there an actual need for its services. “We may…
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…
It’s been more than a week since Atlanta resident Alec Lansing, 17, walked off from the group he was camping with near Heady Mountain Church Road in the Cashiers area, but rescuers are still combing the woods and trolling the…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:48

Hello darkness, my old friend

The full Hunter’s Moon is waning and the night sky will be revealing more of her secrets till we spin around and catch December’s Long Night Moon. Around the world it’s getting harder and harder to see those dark sky…
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…
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