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Sam Fowlkes, who teaches paddlesports and rescue at Western Carolina University, has received prestigious recognition in the field of technical swiftwater rescue for an American Canoe Association conference he helped coordinate.
Taking a walk with Ila Hatter is the outdoors equivalent of sitting beside a scrapbooker as she pages through the family photo album. Every step is a story, a meeting with a plant bearing its own history and its own…
Each time Stephen King is interviewed, he finds himself responding to the same question: “Where do you get your ideas?” Usually, the question is prompted by the questioner implying that an author who writes about serial killers and psychotics must…
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 13:33

This must be the place

When the camera bulb flashed, it hit me — had it really been that long? Standing in the Belhurst Castle, a Great Gatsby-esque property situated on Seneca Lake in Geneva, N.Y., I realized it had been around a decade since…
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 13:22

BBQ Festival & Car Show in Franklin

The 6th Annual Mountain High BBQ Festival and Car Show will be held Aug. 8-9 at the Wayne Proffitt Agricultural Center in Franklin. Gates will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.…
“A Songcatcher’s Notebook: Traditional Music and Storytelling” with singer-songwriter/storyteller Lee Knight will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 31, at the Marianna Black Library in Bryson City.
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 13:18

Sylva welcomes Whitewater Bluegrass Co.

The Whitewater Bluegrass Company will perform as part of the Concerts on the Creek Series at 7: 30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, at Bridge Park in Sylva.
Karyn Tomczak, director of the Western Carolina University dance program, will receive the 2014 Dance Teacher Award for Higher Education at the Dance Teacher Summit to be held in New York City in August.
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 13:14

In other beer news

A home brewing class for beginners will be led by Clark Williams of Frog Level Brewing Company every Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 5-26 at Southwestern Community College in Sylva.
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 13:12

Franklin brewery readies for spring opening

As the snow melts in Southern Appalachia, the beer will begin to flow from the taps of the Lazy Hiker Brewing Company in the former Franklin Town Hall.
In the last two weeks, Joe Rowland has soaked in the California sunshine, rafted the Grand Canyon, wandered the Rocky Mountains, gone skydiving and tamed the endless cornfields of the Midwest, all the while cruising the country in a rock…
To the Editor: The issue of fracking by the oil and gas industry — already one of the most controversial issues of our time — is not a political issue, but one which has the potential to forever alter the…
To the Editor: Most letters to the editor are benign or overly active, but the one in the July 2 edition of The Smoky Mountain News (“Let’s stop yellow journalism politics,” July 2, 2014, The Smoky Mountain News, was…
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 13:06

Honest survey or deceitful phone ad?

To the Editor: Recently “SSI” surveys popped up on my called ID and in a moment of curiosity I answered my phone. I figured it was a political questionnaire and it was. What I didn’t anticipate was a veiled attempt…
Most anyone who has worked for a living, volunteered, or held elected office has stood at the edge of the abyss, looked over it, and made a very important decision: complete honesty and unyielding integrity, or maybe a little dishonesty,…
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…
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 15:09

Sylva comes out against fracking

The town of Sylva is now the second Jackson County locale to formally oppose hydraulic fracturing for natural gas within its boundaries.  “I’m concerned about it,” said Commissioner Barbara Hamilton. “It’s not going to affect my life, but it will…
A summer school horse therapy offering at South Macon Elementary School in Franklin will be sticking around once the school year starts, thanks to some successful fundraising efforts at Macon TRACs. The nonprofit, which provides horse therapy to children with…
Wednesday, 23 July 2014 15:04

Road to Nowhere bill advances

Swain County is one step closer to getting $4 million in “Road to Nowhere” funds after a bill introduced by U.S. Congressman Mark Meadows, R-N.C., advanced through the House Committee on Natural Resources last week. Though the bill, H.R. 3806,…
Eight defendants charged with the 2013 murder of Calup Joe Caston in Swain County are slated for an Aug. 11 court date.  “If their attorneys have any motions they’ll be heard, if not it’ll be continued,” explained Alison Barnes, of…