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Friday, 04 February 2011 19:55

NC General Assembly update

Most people predicted that this session of the North Carolina General Assembly was going to be fast and furious, and it appears that is indeed the case. The GOP-led General Assembly is advancing legislation that Democrats have traditionally not supported,…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 21:22

Ghost Dance has a long history in Cherokee

(Note: This is part one of a two-part series regarding the Cherokee Ghost Dance. Part two will present Michelene Ethe Pesantubbee’s conclusions and perspectives on the movement.) The belief in the coming of a messiah, or deliverer, who shall restore…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 21:21

Informal camping club needs members

In the hunt for an informal camping club with no annual dues and no actual meetings except for actually going to campouts? Check out the Vagabonds, which is now seeking new members. While there are no planned activities, members do…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 21:20

Free guide available to managing invasive plants

The U.S. Forest Service is distributing free copies of a new guide, titled “A Management Guide for Invasive Plants in Southern Forests,” that gives homeowners, gardeners, land managers and others information on controlling and removing invasive plants in the South.…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 21:19

Registration open for Maggie Moonlight Race

Runners can register now for one of Western North Carolina’s most storied summer road races. Registration for the Maggie Valley Moonlight Race opened this Feb. 1, and continues through race day, Saturday, Aug. 27. The fee to participate in this…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 21:19

Conservation group seeking feedback

Wild South, a regional nonprofit that works to restore the South’s natural landscapes, wants help on accessing wildlife resources. An online survey has been set up at: www.wildsouth.org/index.php/component/content/article/3-newsflash/400-wildlife-survey. Wild South says concerns regarding wildlife resources have arisen, including: illegal activities,…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 21:18

Trees, berries order to benefit 4-H

The Swain County Cooperative Extension is now taking orders for 3- to 4-foot apple, pear and peach trees, along with three-year old blueberry and two-year old grape varieties. Prices are $12 for the apple, pear and peach trees and $8…
The Commissioners of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission unanimously adopted a resolution recently reaffirming the agency’s longstanding support for hunting with the use of dogs. “We support the use of dogs in hunting in North Carolina where such hunting is…
Tuesday, 01 February 2011 21:15

Gardening for a cause

The Sylva Community Garden project is seeking new members to join for the upcoming season. Plots of 15-feet by 30-feet are available for free in downtown Sylva. Gardeners participating must agree to donate at least one-half of the produce grown…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 21:12

The Naturalist's Corner: Take this book outside

Don’t put this book on your bookshelf, mounted there like some hunter’s head of a deer, to prove you can read. Don’t put this book on the coffee table, turned slightly askance — to be noticeable, so people will know…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 21:10

New wilderness area near Highlands unlikely

The situation doesn’t look promising for the formation of a new wilderness area in the Nantahala National Forest, the dream child of Brent Martin, the Sylva-based Southern Appalachian program director for The Wilderness Society. Martin envisioned easy political passage of…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 21:09

Author recounts unique parenting journey

Some novels call to mind certain family members. There are the wise old stories that remind us of our grandparents, the zany tales whose style and tone dredge up our crazy but loveable Uncle Harry, the comic narratives whose humor…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 21:07

Rash commemorates paperback release

Local author Ron Rash will hold a reading at City Lights in Sylva to celebrate the paperback release of his short story collection, Burning Bright, at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 13 Rash teaches writing at WCU and is an…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 21:07

Taxpayer money wasted on silly studies

To the Editor: Recently the National Science Foundation (NSF) granted Professor Thomas Ford (WCU) and Associate Professor Julie Woodzicka (Washington and Lee University) $300,000.00 to research how sexist humor contributes to imbalanced relations between men and women. Naturally it’s assumed…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 21:06

Too much Fox News in the public sphere

To the Editor: Fox News seems to be playing in public places all over Haywood County — restaurants, bars, even the lobby of my favorite fitness center. I am troubled that the divisive message of Fox News is further polarizing…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 21:06

Rowing and paddling aren’t synonymous

To the Editor: As usual, your paper continues to cover important issues of our area that others largely ignore, but I feel I must call attention to a recent blunder.    After seeing your front page titled “Room to Row,”(SMN…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 21:04

Muirhead piece lost its focus

To the Editor: The title of Scott Muirhead’s op-ed on Frog Level (“A place where two worlds collide,” The Smoky Mountain News, Jan. 25) lures us with a deceptively disingenuous, “A place where two worlds collide head on.” Search as…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 20:59

Hate by any name is still hate

Back in the day, say the late 1980s through about 2000, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s hate map featured Western North Carolina prominently. In fact, along with a few states such as Idaho and Montana, in many ways this section…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 20:57

Vindication for HEP, a little satisfaction here

This is a very odd business, the telling of the news. It’s even more odd as part of an independent media operation. You work weird hours, meet all kinds of  people, find yourself in lots of odd places and odd…
The Green Energy Park would stand on its own financially within five years if Jackson County adopts recommendations made last week by interim County Manager Chuck Wooten. The park, which uses methane created by decomposing trash at the old Dillsboro…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 20:32

‘The Last Flapper’ stops off in Waynesville

The one-woman show “The Last Flapper” comes to Waynesville’s HART Studio this month, portraying the life of Zelda Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald, wife of author F. Scott Fitzgerald, spent the final years of her life in Asheville’s Highland Mental Hospital. She died…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 20:32

HART to hold auditions

Auditions will be held for “Shipwrecked,” the latest production of the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre, at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday and Monday, Feb. 6 and 7, in Waynesville’s Performing Arts Center at the Shelton House. The show is based on…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 20:31

Guild to offer up knitting know-how

Free knitting classes for both children and adults are ramping up at the Waynesville Public Library, courtesy of the Smoky Mountain Knitting Guild. Classes for children, ages 8 through 12, are forming now, and will meet at the library on…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 20:29

Community Chorus practices Poulenc

The Western Carolina Community Chorus will begin rehearsals of Francis Poulenc’s “Gloria” from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 6. Experienced singers interested in joining the chorus should attend the initial session which will be held in the Western…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 20:28

Winter Market dresses up for Valentine’s

A special Valentine’s Market will be held by the Jackson County Winter Farmers Market from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 5, at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Sylva. The market will feature items like strawberry champagne jam,…
Local actress Barbara Bates Smith will bring her one-woman show “The C-Word: A Life-Meets-Art Cancer Story” to St. David’s Episcopal church at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19 . “The C-Word: A Life-Meets-Art Cancer Story” is a frank, humorous and poignant…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 20:26

Valentine’s brings baking to Frog Level

Valentine’s treats will be cooked up in Frog Level through a community baking event sponsored by the Daydreamz Project and Kids at Work. The baking will take place at Open Door Kitchen at Frog Level in Waynesville from 4 to…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 20:25

Calling all kids to Valentine’s Storytime

Children’s storytime takes on a Valentine’s theme at the Jackson County Library this month with Valentine stories and a party. The fun begins at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 8. Children are asked to bring 20 valentines with “From: (the Child’s…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 20:24

Taste of Chocolate seeks volunteers

The 12th annual Taste of Chocolate is coming to Waynesville and the Haywood-Jackson Volunteer Center is seeking volunteers. They’re seeking friendly self-starters who are comfortable approaching local businesses to request sponsorships and donations for the event. The Taste of Chocolate…
When Jackson County opens its new library, it will be with a little more than just the usual fanfare. Thanks to the efforts of the Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet, the occasion will also be marked by a performance of “Smoky…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 20:17

Past blunders cost hospital in ER lawsuit

A group of emergency room doctors has been awarded $1.6 million in a lawsuit against Haywood Regional Medical Center. Haywood Emergency Physicians was ousted by the hospital in 2006 and replaced with a corporate physician staffing outfit before the group’s…
The second and final public hearing on whether the N.C. Department of Transportation should widen and pave Needmore Road took place in Macon County last week. Needmore Road is a rough, one-lane, 3.3-mile gravel road along the Little Tennessee River…
Good things come to those who wait. It’s an adage Jackson County library users will need to bear in mind this spring during a month-long closure of the Sylva branch during the massive move into its brand-new, first-class digs. Librarians…
This year in Cherokee, a major change will quietly work its way into law, causing little fanfare but marking a historic shift in policy towards the casino profits that, for 15 years, have been divided among all members of the…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 19:59

Maggie ABC stores face questions amid losses

Maggie Valley’s liquor stores lost money in 2010 for the second year in a row, prompting some aldermen to question whether the ABC stores are being properly managed. The two stores are opening for fewer hours. Three part-time employees have…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 19:58

Maggie alderman Colin Edwards resigns

Maggie Valley Alderman Colin Edwards resigned last week, prompting a special called meeting where barely-concealed animosity among the remaining board members threatened to bubble up into outright conflict. Alderman Phil Aldridge voted against accepting Edwards’ resignation — the only member…
Wednesday, 02 February 2011 19:56

New real estate values due out soon in Haywood

Property owners in Haywood County will soon learn how their home and land values weathered the recession. Every home, lot and tract of land in the county — all 50,000 of them — have been reappraised to reflect the current…
Local boards are finding themselves on the wrong end of the dog when it comes to putting together budgets for the upcoming fiscal year. In Jackson and Macon counties, at work sessions held by commissioners in their respective counties last…
Haywood County has landed a $1 million grant to turn the methane pouring off a no-longer-used landfill into energy. The money comes from the N.C. State Energy Office as a part of their Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan, which offers…
Wednesday, 26 January 2011 17:39

GEP does produce private-sector jobs

To the Editor: I thoroughly agree that it is past time to wake up, get Jackson County moving.” For too long we have relied upon the national and state governments to provide leadership and direction for us in Jackson County…
Wednesday, 26 January 2011 21:25

Dogs that make our lives whole

If you don’t like dogs, come back next week. Dogs have been an integral part of my life since I was a boy. My first dog -– part something, part something else –- was named Rascal. He was my boyhood…
Wednesday, 26 January 2011 21:25

Agrarians: Learn to write a business plan

Mountain Bizworks wants to help farmers and would-be farmers looking to turn an idea into a practical business plan. The ag-biz foundations course will cover key elements every business plan needs, including writing a mission; financial planning and resources; and…
Wednesday, 26 January 2011 21:24

State slashes power bill

A mandate to cut electricity use in state government buildings has saved North Carolina tax payers $55.3 million last fiscal year. The state law passed in 2003 required public buildings to reduce water and power use by 20 percent by…
Wednesday, 26 January 2011 21:23

Soccer for big kids

Co-ed soccer for adults will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday nights starting Jan. 26 at the Old Hazelwood Gym in Waynesville. The soccer games are organized by Haywood County Recreation and Parks Department. The cost is $3…
Wednesday, 26 January 2011 21:23

Reel basics class set for Pisgah Center

Learn the ins and outs of the fly fishing rod and reel from 10 a.m. until noon Jan. 29 at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education. Participants will learn to attach backing and line to the reel, discuss the various…
A podcast released by Great Smoky Mountains National Park outlines efforts to save bats from White-nose syndrome, a potentially fatal disease sweeping through the Smokies’ bat population. The park is home to at least 11 species of bats, a primary…
Wednesday, 26 January 2011 21:20

The Naturalist's Corner: Godzilla meets Barbi

Pandemonium had engulfed Shoal Creek by the time authorities arrived. One fisherman sat, dazed, on a boulder, rocking back and forth, his head in his hands, mumbling, “It was big as a horse – and those pinchers, oh, those pinchers…
Rafting outfitters in the Nantahala Gorge have arrived at a compromise with summer camps and colleges vying for the chance to take kids down the Nantahala River without going through an existing commercial outfitter. The U.S. Forest Service issues only…
A book co-authored by Western Carolina University professor Rob Young about the global threat to coastal communities posed by rising sea levels has proven so popular that its publisher is announcing a release in paperback. Written by Young and Orrin…
Wednesday, 26 January 2011 21:14

Cancer survivor to talk at Jackson Library

In May 2008, Jane SpottedBird was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. Her doctor gave her 6 to 12 months to live with no hope of survival. In October 2009, her doctor was astounded and said, “She is a miracle.” Today…