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Too often people tend to write off efforts by the most hard-core social activists as excessive or simply impossible to achieve. These people and their movements are out of the mainstream, many say, their ideas worthy yet impractical, or that…
Wednesday, 30 August 2006 00:00

The oil nut’s curious little green fruits

For me, the fall season is one of the most invigorating times to get out in the woods and prowl around. Many of the most beautiful wildflowers found in the Blue Ridge, especially the lobelias and gentians, are then coming…
Wednesday, 30 August 2006 00:00

The unfriendly skies

I was working in the yard the other afternoon when I heard a crisp “whap!” — like the sound of a line drive in the third baseman’s mitt — just above my head. A pipevine swallowtail butterfly spun to the…
Wednesday, 30 August 2006 00:00

Smokies’ coneflowers get around

Several times a year, Park Ranger Susan Sachs heads up to the ozone garden at the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center with a trowel and digs up a few new shoots sprouting from the garden’s coneflower plants.
When Aaron Patterson graduated from Tuscola High this year, little did he know a big chunk of his summer break would be spent, clipboard in hand, sprawled out in the dirt on a 5,000-foot mountain top, sharing long intimate moments…
Wednesday, 30 August 2006 00:00

Maggie re-invents itself – again

People are saying the new Ghost Town will be a shot in the arm for Maggie Valley. That’s probably an understatement, but the new development and its cash infusion into this tourist town will also provide an important opportunity to…
Wednesday, 30 August 2006 00:00

Eric Johnson: Live at the Orange Peel 8/30/06

By Chris Cooper OK, the title of this one is a bit misleading, seeing as how Eric Johnson’s appearance at Asheville’s Orange Peel technically hasn’t happened yet. And since I was never able to get my hands on one of…
By Michael Beadle What keeps people coming back year after year to the Smoky Mountain Folk Festival at Lake Junaluska each Labor Day weekend? Maybe it’s the award-winning performers such as Marc Pruett, David Holt and Sheila Kay Adams. Maybe…
Wednesday, 30 August 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

“Crash” Sometimes a movie or a book can rock us like a hook to the jaw. This movie, which tells the stories of a dozen or more people as they crash in and out of one another’s lives in a…
Wednesday, 30 August 2006 00:00

Steep Canyon Rangers climb to the top

The Steep Canyon Rangers, the host band of the upcoming Mountain Song Festival in Brevard, continues to carve out their position as one of the nation’s top bluegrass bands.
Wednesday, 30 August 2006 00:00

Frank delivers another fine detective novel

In Marshall Frank’s latest Miami detective novel, The Latent (ISBN 1-4137-9890-X), a serial killer is terrorizing Miami’s gay community. Rockford “Rock” Burgamy, the detective assigned to the case and a stranger to the gay subculture, must not only track down…
Wednesday, 30 August 2006 00:00

Franklin VA clinic to open in April 2007

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer A new outpatient clinic designed to serve 3,200 area veterans will open in Franklin in spring 2007, Department of Veterans Affairs officials said Thursday, Aug. 24.
Haywood County schools must pay back more than $300,000 in state flood repair grants after double-billing both the state and the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the same work.
By Fred Alexander • Guest Writer There’s never been a more entertaining book for those who enjoy working in a home machine shop than Randolph’s Shop by Randolph Bulgin of Franklin. The gentle, penetrating humor so clearly captured in the…
Wednesday, 06 September 2006 00:00

Study credits park for tourist spending

According to a recently-released National Park Service study, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is not only the nation’s most visited national park, it also tops the 388 national park units in visitor spending.
Wednesday, 06 September 2006 00:00

Scams targeting elderly a growing problem

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Assistant Attorney General David Kirkman hits the play button on a small stereo and turns up the volume. A recording of two voices fills the room at the Jackson County Department of Social Services…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Shoes stained with red clay mud and covered with sweat and bits of hay from a morning spent cleaning out the shed on the back of the Monteith property, Sam Hale leads a one…
Wednesday, 06 September 2006 00:00

Quarry opponents urge state to deny permit

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer About 200 concerned citizens packed into a Jackson County courtroom to show their opposition to a proposed rock quarry to be located in the Tuckasegee community. State mining specialists from the N.C. Department of…
Wednesday, 06 September 2006 00:00

Kudzu players to build theater

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer On a conference table covered with blueprints perches a small paper model of a building. The paper model represents the future for the Kudzu Players, Jackson County’s community theater group.
Ted Norman, former maintenance director of Haywood County Schools, claims he was the target of whistle-blower retaliation by the school system after repeatedly raising ethical concerns over the school’s handling of state and federal flood repair money.
Recent soil and water testing in the former Francis Orchard in Haywood County have not revealed levels of contamination high enough to initiate a cleanup operation. However, state and local health officials are encouraging residents of the Tanwoods and Orchard…
Wednesday, 06 September 2006 00:00

Camp’s name officially attached to WCU building

A Western Carolina University building now bears the name of a beloved community leader in public education as the WCU board of trustees unanimously approved a resolution renaming the University Outreach Center as the Cordelia Camp Building.
Wednesday, 06 September 2006 00:00

Expect the unexpected

When writing about the natural world, I prefer to write about specific natural areas, plants, and animals here in the southern highlands. But from time to time I do like to pause and consider the philosophical aspects of comprehending the…
Wednesday, 06 September 2006 00:00

Who’s the wimp now?

Just in the past couple of months, I have been forced to confront a prejudice I didn’t really know I had. For years, as it turns out, I have secretly harbored a suspicion that most people who claim to suffer…
By Kirkwood Callahan • Guest Columnist As the final weeks of summer fade into the cooler days of autumn, we are reminded that voters will soon be confronted with another election – theirs to embrace or ignore.
Wednesday, 06 September 2006 00:00

Workers need help to secure their future

The month-long celebration of Canton’s centennial Labor Day festival, which had much to offer, wasn’t really about organized labor. Now that the feel-good readings, concerts and historical affairs have passed, though, it’s a good time consider the history of organized…
Wednesday, 06 September 2006 00:00

Night-jarring, goat sucking bullbats

I was clicking Izzy into her booster seat last Saturday about 9 p.m. when she said, “Look Daddy, there’s a bird.” We were on the top deck of Waynesville’s parking garage and it was dark. “I bet you saw a…
In the old days, the months leading up to the Tsali Challenge triathlon meant a great scramble was on among racers to find a boat that could help them win the paddling leg of the race across Fontana Lake.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer There’s money to be had. That’s what National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia told members of several area arts organizations gathered for an NEA grants workshop Tuesday, Aug. 29.
Wednesday, 06 September 2006 00:00

Unique bluegrass musicianship

By Chris Cooper For all practical purposes, the County bluegrass label is also the Rebel Records label. CD’s bearing the County brand are typically (though not always) early bluegrass and old-time gems that have been saved from the clutches of…
Wednesday, 06 September 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Tsali Recreation Area One of my wife’s best household accomplishments in the last few years has been reducing the car camping gear for a family of five to an easy-to-find, easy-to-load combination of two plastic tubs, a picnic basket and…
By Michael Beadle Ticket sales and attendance were both up this season for Cherokee’s long-running outdoor drama “Unto These Hills,” which saw major changes to its cast, crew and storyline. The retooled production also found its share of detractors, who…
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 14:43

An unapologetic scientist

The cosmos loom large and wondrous again, and much of the credit goes to one charming, affable but steadfastly rigorous — when it comes to scientific principles — host Neil deGrasse Tyson. 
Michael Beadle, a local poet and educator, will read poetry that speaks to the mystery of nature and wildness 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, June 19, at the Haywood Public Library in Waynesville. “Call of the Wild” will feature poets…
Registration is up and running for the 31st Cullowhee Native Plant Conference to be held July 16-19 at Western Carolina University. Workshop topics include native plant propagation, nature photography and garden design tips, while field trips will include visits to…
A summer lecture series dedicated to natural history and conservation will kick off with a talk from Dr. Lee Alan Dugatkin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 19, at the Highlands Nature Center.  Dugatkin is a biology professor at the University…
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 14:33

Local agriculture robust in WNC

Local food sales are surging in Western North Carolina, and agriculture is alive and well.  Direct farmer-to-consumer food sales in the region increased nearly 70 percent between 2007 and 2012, growing from just under $5 million to more than $8…
 A book by Western Carolina University biology professor and Highlands Biological Station director James Costa titled Wallace, Darwin and the Origin of Species has been published by Harvard University Press. The book provides an in-depth look at the work of…
The North Carolina League of Conservation Voters has released its 2013 scorecard for North Carolina legislators, a number based on the legislators’ voting record on key environmental issues.  This year, a record number of legislators — 82 — earned a…
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 14:29

Annual garden tour a go in Haywood

The Barn at the Mountain Research Station, on Raccoon Road in Waynesville, will serve as the hub for ticket purchasing, vendor presentations and tour directions. The station includes a range of soil types and elevations and a diversity of horticultural,…
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 14:28

Falling tree gives Arizona woman a fright

Jan Eagle got a scare when a tree fell on her campsite at Cataloochee Campground during her stay at Great Smoky Mountains National Park May 30. Eagle, who lives in Tucson, Ariz., was on the first day of her 12-day…
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 14:27

Youth to reenact ancient fishing practices

Children will get a chance to learn firsthand about Cherokee fishing traditions by re-enacting a fish harvest on an ancient stone fishing weir at 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday, June 23, on the Tuckaseegee River.
Outdoor Mission Camp, an affiliate of Youth For Christ USA based in Maggie Valley, is offering a wilderness camp for Western North Carolina students, grades 6 to 12, on a donation basis, as well as a 10-week wilderness discipleship course…
A black bear — and possibly one of its cubs — is dead after a run of bird seed raids resulted in a confrontation with a Maggie Valley homeowner’s 12-gauge.  “Everyone has a right to protect their property, and it…
Back in the day when the “culture wars” focused more on literature, music and movies — Tipper Gore, for example, then the wife of Al Gore, in 1985 led a crusade advocating age-appropriate labels on popular music — Christians often…
The Cherokee Voices Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 14 at The Museum of the Cherokee Indian.
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 14:09

HART celebrates 30 years

The Haywood Arts Regional Theatre will celebrate 30 years with a “Hart Hat Party” from 6 to 8 p.m. June 12 in Waynesville.
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 14:08

WCU Bardo Center receives acclaim

The Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University was recently named among BestValueSchools.com’s list entitled “The 25 Most Amazing University Performing Arts Centers.” 
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 14:06

Bluegrass in Cherokee Festival returns

The Bluegrass in Cherokee Festival will run June 12-14 at the Happy Holiday RV Village in Cherokee. Showcasing some of the finest bluegrass, gospel and Appalachian music in the Southeast, the festival will include Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road, Doyle…
Alternative rock bands Gin Blossoms and Spin Doctors will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 19, at Harrah’s Cherokee.