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In North Carolina, it’s illegal to hit a prison inmate. You can’t hit a child in a day care center. Military officers can’t hit their subordinates. In workplaces, nursing homes, hospitals and elsewhere, hitting is forbidden. It is even illegal…
A proposal by Duke Energy to hike electricity rates by 17 percent isn’t sitting well with many of the company’s customers in this region, who question why the power giant should be seeking any increase — much less such a…
New Congressional districts crafted by state GOP leaders that appear to position the party for political domination in North Carolina for the next decade drew sharp criticism late last week during a state hearing in Cullowhee. Asheville and parts of…
When walking a trail in the Smokies (or Nantahalas or Great Balsams or wherever) here in the southern Blue Ridge, I sometimes pause to observe the landscapes and flora and imagine that I’m in the mountains of northern Japan or…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 12:56

Well-known Asheville hiker joins AT board

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy recently announced that Asheville resident Lenny Bernstein, plus two other North Carolinians, have been elected to the group’s board of directors. Bernstein, an active member and past president of the Carolina Mountain Club, is an Appalachian Trail…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 12:55

See the Little T on guided canoe trip

A guided float down the Little Tennessee River will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, July 21, as part of the Highlands Biological Foundation’s “Think About Thursdays” summer event series. Jenny Sanders of the Little Tennessee Watershed…
After 21 years of monitoring the health of the Little Tennessee Watershed, the group most responsible for that work will release a “State of the Streams” report. The unveiling of this report by the Little Tennessee Watershed Association will take…
Want to give your daughter a taste of what it means to be an archaeologist? Girls ages nine through 14 can participate in an upcoming SciGirls program called “Digging Archaeology: Techniques for Finding and Preserving the Past” at The Pisgah…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 12:51

MedWest Triathlon winners

Jason Mehler of Asheville crossed the finish line as the overall winner during the MedWest Triathlon held Saturday, July 9, at the Haywood Regional Medical Center Health and Fitness Center. Nicole Crane of Asheville was the overall female winner as…
Explore Balsam Mountain Preserve with two hikes this month, including to Jackson County’s most iconic and distinctive mountaintops. The 4,400-acre private eco-development between Waynesville and Sylva has 3,500 acres in conservation and a team of staff naturalists, who occasionally offer…
There are opportunities abound for amateur photographers in the region, from the very youngest to those more advanced in years. Here’s a quick roundup of what’s going on: • Monday, July 18: An outdoor photography for beginners’ class will be…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 12:48

WCU gets grant for multi-use trail

Western Carolina University has won a $5,000 grant from a bicycle parts manufacturer to support construction of a multi-use, community trail system on campus. Motion Makers Bicycle Shop in Sylva helped WCU land the grant from Specialized Bicycle Components based…
Before you go gallivanting about hunting or fishing on private property, be aware that a new law passed by the N.C. General Assembly requires hunters and anglers to carry written permission from a landowner or leaseholder when on posted property.…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 12:47

Boating safety course offered at HCC

Learn to float your boat safely at a July 18-19 boating safety course at Haywood Community College. The program is through the college’s Natural Resources Division and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. They will take place from 6 p.m.…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 12:45

More owl pellets

I mentioned in last week’s Naturalist’s Corner that I found the decision by U.S. Fish & Wildlife to kill barred owls in an effort to save spotted owls intriguing on many levels. I will use this week’s and next week’s…
It’s a busy day at the farmers market, and William Shelton is red-faced and sweaty as he hands out boxes of vegetables to his regular weekly customers. One of his four sons — his namesake, Wil — is manning the…
The novel A Virtuous Woman by Kaye Gibbons is the next book up for discussion in the series Discovering the Literary South from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on July 14 at the Waynesville Library. The book is available free of charge at…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 12:41

Former Senator to read from thriller

Bob Graham, former U.S. senator and former Florida governor will be in Sylva next week to promote his first novel, Keys to the Kingdom. Graham will present the new book, a political thriller, at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 21,…
Cherokee cookbook author and Native American food expert Johnnie Sue Myers will be at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville at 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 16, signing her new book, The Gathering Place: Traditional Cherokee Dishes, Wild Game Recipes &…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 12:40

Author shares Hillbilly Tales

Whittier resident and author Patricia Graham will read from her book, Hillbilly Tales from the Smoky Mountains, at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 15 at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva. The book includes several short stories based on the folklore…
The sale features DVDs, CDs, vinyl, puzzles, books on tape/CDs, and of course books in every category. More than 50,000 books will be on sale. In addition to some specially priced higher quality, rare or unique books, most hardcover, soft…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 12:25

Liberals: Demonic or Liberating

“Look left and right, and be careful.” Your mother probably said those words to you when you were learning to cross the street. Her same admonition might apply to today’s political arena. In one of the summer’s best-sellers, Demonic: How…
With the weather so hot and sticky, it’s hard to grasp that now is the time to start preparing the fall garden. I, for one, am glad. I’ve always hated summer gardening, which for organic gardeners poses particular difficulties. Heat…
To the Editor: American students still aren’t learning their country’s history. In the latest National Assessment of Educational Programs, only 12 percent of high school seniors knew what they should. Even with the text before them, barely 2 percent understood…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 12:21

Social Security is a great success

To the Editor: As the saying goes, “if you repeat a lie often enough people will begin to believe it.” Such is the case with the fears being raised about Social Security going bankrupt because the boomer generation (born 1946-1964)…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 12:18

Article on pastor was clearly biased

To the Editor: Some contrarian commentary is in order about Colby Dunn’s news and opinion piece (and it was both) in the July 6 issue of The Smoky Mountain News concerning Pastor Daniel “Cowboy” Stewart’s graduation speech at the Nantahala…
To the Editor: Duke Energy Carolinas (DEC) ignited a firestorm over its request to the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) to raise electric rates an average of 15 percent in order to collect an additional $646 million from customers to…
To the Editor: In response to “Strange at best – tacky at worst” (Smoky Mountain News, June 22 edition), I was confused by the statement that read “When it was done, Democrats William Shelton, Tom Massie and Brian McMahan were…
Redistricting is always political, and voters on both sides have to accept that. The party with a majority will get districts that it hopes will advance its ideology. But the recently released map for our 11th Congressional District has ripped…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 19:49

Basulto Academy adds offerings

The Basulto Academy of Defense in downtown Waynesville has expanded its schedule of its Brazilian Jiu Jitsu program to include more classes in the sport of Vale Tudo. Also known as No-Holds-Barred or as Mixed-Martial Arts, the term Vale Tudo…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 19:47

New inn opens its doors in Waynesville

A new bed and breakfast has opened in downtown Waynesville. Twin Maples Farm house is located two blocks off of downtown at 65 North Hill Street. Nestled on three acres of lush country land, yet located just two blocks off…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 19:46

SCC, Harrah’s help workers earn GEDs

Harrah’s Casino has partnered with Southwestern Community College to provide free GED training to Harrah’s employees. Classes are taught at the casino from 2-9 p.m. Thursdays and from 3-8 p.m. Mondays at SCC’s Cherokee Center. Travis Boisclair, a table games…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 19:46

Herb sale benefits hospice center

The Mountain View Garden Club held its third biannual “A Celebration of Herbs” at the Laurel Ridge Country Club on June 20. Proceeds that were raised from the event will be donated to The Homestead, an inpatient hospice center currently…
The Rye Holler Boys will perform a concert of bluegrass, old-time country and gospel music at 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 17, at Swain County Center for the Arts in Bryson City. Immediately following the concert there will be a…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 19:44

Songstress trio mixes country with comedy

A cowgirl, a diva and a shameless hussy, a trio of performing songwriters, bring their combination of humor and original country, jazz, blues and pop to the Balsam Mountain Inn at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 21. Many will recognize…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 19:43

Southern songwriter performs at WCU

Beau Bristow, a singer-songwriter native to rural Alabama, will perform a free concert at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 14, at Western Carolina University. Bristow seeks to connect with members of the audience through candid, powerful lyrics and guitar performance.…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 19:42

Trace Adkins comes to Cherokee July 22

Country music star Trace Adkins will perform at 9 p.m on Friday, July 22, at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino. Adkins debuted in 1996 with the album “Dreamin’ Out Loud.” Since then, he has released seven more studio albums and two greatest…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 19:42

Award-winning drama opens in Highlands

The second show of the Highlands Playhouse’s 73rd season is set to open on Thursday, July 17. “Harvey,” a play about Elwood P. Dowd, who claims to have an unseen — and presumably imaginary — friend named Harvey, a six-foot-tall…
Jim Curry, performing the music of the late John Denver, will take the stage of the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 15. “Take Me Home: The Music of John Denver Starring Jim…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 19:38

Library hosts Patton String Band

The Patton String Band is set to perform at 7 p.m. on July 14, at the Macon County Public Library. The group will play old-time traditional mountain tunes, as well as country and gospel songs. Thursdays at the Library is…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 19:37

The Farewell Drifters return to Stecoah

The Farewell Drifters will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 16, at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center. The Farewell Drifters combine elements of bluegrass with classic folk and acoustic American music. The concert is preceded by two dinner…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 19:36

Community band series continues

The Haywood Community Band will present its third performance in the Maggie Valley Concert Series at 6:30 p.m. on July 17 in the pavilion adjacent to the Maggie Valley Town Hall.   The concert is sponsored by the Maggie Valley…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 19:36

Library hosts guitarist Pete Friedman

Pete Friedman will bring his music to the Jackson County Public Library at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 14, with a program of jazz and blues tunes on electric and acoustic guitars. Friedman has been playing guitars for 47 years…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 19:35

Hit the ballroom dance floor this Friday

Everyone is invited to the Haywood Dancers Ballroom Dance from 8 to 10:30 p.m. on Friday, July 15, at Angie’s Dance Academy in Clyde. A free dance class will start at 7:30. Dress is smart casual. Admission is $10, including refreshments and…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 19:34

Hollywood humor hits Bryson City

The Smoky Mountain Community Theatre presents its summer production “My Son is Crazy - But Promising” by Tim Kelly. The show opens at 7:30 p.m. on July 15, and will be the first show using the theatre’s new lighting system.…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 19:34

Brain Gym opens to seniors

The grand opening of the Boomerang Brain Gym is slated for 10 a.m. on Thursday, July 14, at 81 Elmwood Way in Waynesville. Dr. Lisa Verges and Dr. Leigh Odom will be guest speakers. The Boomerang Brain Gym is designed…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 19:32

Discover the past in historic Glenville

Historic Glenville churches, a one room school house and the Drake Cabin, parts of which are thought to be 150 years old, are three of nine stops on the Glenville Area Historical Tour set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.…
The Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands continues its fine craft tradition July 21 to 24 in Asheville. More than 200 craftspeople will fill two levels of the Asheville Civic Center selling their works of clay, glass, leather, metal, fiber,…
Wednesday, 13 July 2011 19:29

Franklin features mountain culture July 16

The Franklin Folk Festival will celebrate its 8th year on July 16, continuing the tradition of craft, song, dance and cuisine in the heart of Franklin. This year’s theme, “Trails, Tales and Settlements” promises more entertaining and educational information than…
The field was narrowed from five to two yesterday in the race for principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. When votes were tallied following the July 7 primary election, incumbent Michell Hicks and Patrick Lambert, Hicks’ challenger…