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Wednesday, 15 February 2006 00:00

New talent and old influences enter jam genre

By Chris Cooper Approaching the “jam band” thing from some very different angles, Umphrey’s McGee manage to bring shades of vintage Yes, Peter Gabriel and Rush to the mix in lieu of the usual suspects (Grateful Dead, Phish, Allman Bros.)…
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel is planning a $254 million expansion and upgrade of its operations, including a third hotel tower, new entertainment venue and overhaul of the casino floor.
Wednesday, 15 February 2006 00:00

Wonderful words

  Like many of my fellow writers and readers, I am a sucker for word books. I love dictionaries — I own at least six of them, ranging from the Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary to my own…
Wednesday, 15 February 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

“Bubble” Director Steven Soderbergh, the darling of the Sundance film festival, had an audacious idea. Take a bare bones script into a small town, find locals to play the major roles, use their actual homes as “sets,” encourage the “actors”…
A $1.66 million plan to build middle turn lanes on Plott Creek Road from Hazelwood Elementary School to Sulphur Springs Road in the Hazelwood district of Waynesville drew strong opposition from residents at a public hearing last week.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Law enforcement officers might spend their entire careers without ever firing their gun in the line of duty. It is a distinction most wear like a badge of honor. For those officers who are…
Wednesday, 15 February 2006 00:00

Lyon was among WNC’s notable botanist

Andre and Francois Michaux, and John Fraser, and soon to be followed by Thomas Nuttall, Asa Gray, and Moses Ashley Curtis, among others, John Lyon was among the intrepid plant collectors who first penetrated the mountains of Western North Carolina…
Wednesday, 15 February 2006 00:00

A primer on the right way to use a gun

By Sarah Kucharski On a chilly, rain soaked Sunday morning the last weekend of January I stood under a peaked, sheet metal roof at the Moss Gap shooting range on the Jackson/Macon line, staring down at a loaded Glock Model…
Wednesday, 15 February 2006 00:00

Small towns make for different news

I remember the specific moment in my journalism career when I sealed my future as a small-town newspaperman. I was at my third newspaper job out of college, had moved up to successively larger publications, and an offer came to…
“It’s going to be a bit of a change, but change is not always bad. This is just one little story in our evolution as a people.” — Mary Jane Ferguson, a board member for the Cherokee Historical Association, speaking…
Wednesday, 15 February 2006 00:00

TDA board on track, confident in director

By Dori Pope • Guest columnist I recently had the honor and exciting challenge of being voted the Chair of the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority. As the new chair, I should share current business and future goals of the…
Wednesday, 15 February 2006 00:00

Bigfoot: personal encounter?

For 12 years, Wanda Childers has brushed off encounters with a mysterious creature lurking around her trailer in the Whittier area near Cherokee. But last summer, after a particularly harrowing evening, she got on the Internet and realized her experience…
Wednesday, 15 February 2006 00:00

The hunt for Bigfoot comes to town

Stealth is not the preferred modus operandi of the Bigfoot team when they roll into town. Their black suburban, bound to elicit double-takes, is stenciled in large letters along both sides with the team’s name: Searching for Bigfoot.
Wednesday, 15 February 2006 00:00

The Bigfoot crew

The team of Bigfoot researchers who came to Cherokee last week to investigate reports of a mysterious creature encounter run the gamut from long-time believers, recent converts and even Bigfoot agnostics.
Wednesday, 15 February 2006 00:00

We’ll weather the weather, whatever it is

One of my daughter Izzy’s favorite videos is “Little Bear’s Winter Tales.” She likes the episode with the blizzard. The mantra for the characters becomes, “Whether the weather is hot or whether the weather is cold, we’ll weather the weather…
Wednesday, 22 February 2006 00:00

Open government always a good thing

It’s easy for elected leaders to say they support open government. Proving that support is something altogether different and more difficult. A recent case in Jackson County highlights what often happens in real life. A judge last week ruled that…
Wednesday, 22 February 2006 00:00

A thank you for helping hands

Editor’s note: Barbara McCarty worked on a flood task force that allocated more than $800,000 in private donations to victims of the 2004 floods. This column focuses on the contributions of business that agreed to accept vouchers from flood victims…
Wednesday, 22 February 2006 00:00

Land trusts launch national vetting process

Land conservation trusts cropping up across Western North Carolina and the rest of the country will soon be able to certify themselves with an official accreditation.
Wednesday, 22 February 2006 00:00

The guns of winter

There was a blast from Vice President Dick Cheney’s 28-gauge shotgun — a gun, by the way, that one Web site touts as “...just right for petite shooters” — and lawyer Harry Whittington was down.
Wednesday, 22 February 2006 00:00

A pickle of a Prong

I felt like I should have had crampons on my boots, like the spikes mountain climbers use on ice. The steep trail was so slick I would take two steps forward, then slide back a step.
Wednesday, 22 February 2006 00:00

Boggs represents country music’s greatest hope

Though it’s become a standard target for critical blasting, not all of modern country music is bad. Keith Urban turned in a rousing performance at the Grammy awards, Emmylou Harris really can do no wrong, and the same can be…
By Michael Beadle “Pivot Points” is not your typical art exhibit. Then again, the new Fine Art Museum on the campus of Western Carolina University in Cullowhee is building a reputation for unique exhibitions that challenge typical notions of what…
Wednesday, 22 February 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Joni Mitchell “Anything that moves me, influences me.” — Joni Mitchell
Wednesday, 22 February 2006 00:00

Undressing: Sex, scandal and character

Campus Sexpot: A Memoir! by David Carkeet. The University of Georgia Press, 2005. 137 pages. Before I was 10 pages into this “memoir,” Campus Sexpot, I found myself carried back to a little town in Georgia where I began teaching…
Wednesday, 22 February 2006 00:00

Bethel gets $30,000 for flood recovery

The North Carolina Rural Center has provided a $30,000 grant to Haywood County to assist with flood recovery and flood prevention in the Bethel area.
Wednesday, 22 February 2006 00:00

Board made wrong decision, says press attorney

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Jackson County commissioners’ failure to follow state Open Meetings Law was a failure to use common sense, said Mike Tadych, counsel to the North Carolina Press Association.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer A Superior Court Judge has ruled that Jackson County Commissioners acted illegally when they closed meetings to discuss Economic Development Commission dealings.
Wednesday, 22 February 2006 00:00

Haywood schools appear ready to pass tobacco ban

Haywood County schools could go tobacco free starting in the fall of 2007, banning smoking and chewing not only for students, but also teachers, janitors, cafeteria workers, parents, sports fans, and anyone setting foot on a school campus or attending…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Jackson County Airport Authority members are hoping to get on with business following a Superior Court ruling that re-establishes Tom McClure as the authority’s rightful chairman.
Wednesday, 22 February 2006 00:00

Gilfillan’s Burnt House to Paw Paw

Several weeks ago I was perusing the used bookstores in Asheville, where there are, somewhat surprisingly, at least four excellent establishments in the immediate downtown area. I always check out the sections featuring Western North Carolina and southern Appalachian titles.…
Wednesday, 22 February 2006 00:00

With Mike gone, train’s call is truly lonesome

Mike and I were not exactly a match made in heaven. In fact, I didn’t think we were much of a match at all. At the time we were “introduced,” I lived in a tiny rented house with an equally…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer The race for the 11th District’s U.S. House of Representatives seat is officially off and running as the filing period closed Tuesday (Feb. 28), but a recent tour of the district found that a…
By Chris Cooper The brainchild of programmers Robert Smith (no, not the guy from the Cure) and Bill Walters, Blue Stone produces evocative, dreamy textures that skate between subtlety and head-spinning surprise. Taking cues from Enigma, Tangerine Dream and maybe…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Travel writer and National Public Radio commentator Jeff Biggers spent 20 years collecting and researching the stories and historical papers that make up the backbone of his new work The United States of Appalachia.
By Michael Beadle OK, first things first — Craig Karges is not a comedian though he makes his audiences laugh. He’s not a magician, though he uses magic. And he’s not a psychic, though psychic happenings occur in his shows.…
Wednesday, 01 March 2006 00:00

A look at three self stories

After reading three autobiographies in less than 10 days, I emerged from the encounter feeling much like a lover who has finally encountered the full physicality of his beloved: I’m thankful for the romp but find myself a little disillusioned,…
By Michael Beadle Art class is not just a place to make art for yourself — sometimes it’s a place to help those who are less fortunate. “We need to help the homeless people,” said Hunter Creson, a fifth grader…
Wednesday, 01 March 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Kindergarten The other day I went to a kindergarten class for “Career Day.” I had 15 minutes to talk about cartoons, draw some cartoons, and find out what these 5-year-olds knew about cartoons. When I was a kid, adults talking…
Wednesday, 01 March 2006 00:00

TDA wants Reece off board

The Haywood County Tourism Development Authority called for the removal of one of its board members, Wade Reece in a 5 to 3 vote last Thursday (Feb. 23). The request to remove Reece from the board will be up to…
Wednesday, 01 March 2006 00:00

Sequoyah: inventor of talking leaves

By Michael Beadle Sequoyah is perhaps one of the most recognizable names in Native American history — and quite rightly so. After all, he was the only person in human history to invent a language on his own without first…
Residents opposed to a plan to add a middle-turn lane along sections of Plott Creek Road in Waynesville have garnered new hope that there could be a compromise with the local Department of Transportation over the project.
By Michael Beadle It’s a special day for 14-month-old Tawodi Clapsaddle. Several adults including his father, Ethan, look on as the curious toddler explores tiny furniture and grabs a hold of toys in his new classroom at the Dora Reed…
Some members of the Waynesville board of aldermen are questioning whether Mayor Henry Foy acted in bounds when he wrote a letter of support to the Department of Transportation for the Plott Creek Road project. The Waynesville Town Board voted…
Wednesday, 01 March 2006 00:00

Table Mountain pine

Have you ever been walking one of the wind-swept, sun-bitten, high-elevation rock outcrops in the Smokies region when you suddenly encountered a grove of strange, almost stunted looking pines with outlandish cones? As described by Donald C. Peattie in A…
There’s really not much to say except this: why has it taken so long? The Haywood County School Board apparently is going to pass a ban on tobacco products at schools and all school-related events, including football games, graduation ceremonies,…
Wednesday, 01 March 2006 00:00

No loaves, just fish ... sticks

I pride myself on being a good cook. After 10 years of effort, I have finally mastered homemade cinnamon rolls. Entire batches have been known to disappear in seconds. I can cook suppers dripping with cheeses and overflowing with tangy…
Wednesday, 01 March 2006 00:00

Power carries a yoke of responsibility

By Michael Beadle • Columnist The recent worldwide protests against cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Mohammed have given humanity a chance to take a closer look at itself, and it’s not a pretty sight. Too often the opportunity for self-examination…
Wednesday, 01 March 2006 00:00

Logging plan for Kirby Knob forest upheld

A coalition of environmental groups and local residents lost their appeal against a logging operation in the Nantahala National Forest in Jackson, Macon and Swain counties. Residents in Macon and Jackson counties joined three regional conservation groups — Southern Appalachian…
Wednesday, 01 March 2006 00:00

A double crested whammy

We were leaving Monroe, La., just after dawn last Sunday, Feb. 19. We crossed over a small levee and dam on Bayou Desiard. There, strung out down the bayou like a flotilla, were 100 or more double-crested cormorants. When I…
Wednesday, 08 March 2006 00:00

The Underground Panthers

A hunter was in the woods one day in winter when suddenly he saw a panther coming toward him and at once prepared to defend himself. The panther continued to approach, and the hunter was just about to shoot when…
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