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By Chris Cooper The best rock album of the year is about to be released. No kidding. My first encounter with Roman Candle was sometime in 2002. I was slinging beer in a little venue in Charlotte, and the band…
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Charles Bukowski So, you don’t like poetry? Well, maybe Charles W. Bukowski will ring your chimes. Talk about ugly? This guy was so ugly, people actually cringed when they met him. As a teenager, his acne-ravaged face had to be…
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

A Taste of Scotland

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Western North Carolina boasts more people of Scottish descent than Scotland itself — and for that Franklin hosts its annual Taste of Scotland this weekend, June 16 and 17.
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

Amazing language found in a lost novel

Recently, the New York Times set off a hotly contested literary skirmish by naming what their literary staff considered to be the greatest novels of the past 25 years. A platoon of critics entered the fray, and after a bit…
Craig Buchner and his father didn’t say much during their weekends in upstate New York checking spigots on sugar maples, chopping wood and boiling sap to make syrup, but the Western Carolina University student found comfort just spending time with…
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

Bryson City developing first zoning plan

An influx of growth has prompted Bryson City leaders to address land-use planning with hopes of drafting the town’s first development ordinance by January 2007.
Butch Deals’ day doesn’t fit the image of the simple farming life. Perched in the air-conditioned cab of a John Deere towing a baler across raked winnows of straw, Deals’ cell phone traffic rivaled that of a busy banker or…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer N.C. Geological Survey staff hopes to finish its survey of Macon County’s landslide prone areas by the end of this month and present its research to county commissioners.
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

Haywood considers wider tourism study

The town of Maggie Valley could be getting more than it bargained for when it called on fellow towns in Haywood County to consider overhauling the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority.
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

Hearing heated, but no surprises

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s public hearing regarding the recently released draft environmental assessment of Duke Power’s hydroelectric projects on the Tuckasegee and Oconaluftee rivers held last Thursday (June 8) began quietly enough.
The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area has announced its 2006 Heritage Grants Program, which will provide and leverage funding for innovative projects that preserve and promote the heritage of Western North Carolina.
Land for Tomorrow is a statewide campaign to raise $1 billion in state funds to preserve farmland and forestland, create new state parks and natural areas, restore historic sites, develop local parks and greenways and protect views along scenic highways.
Wade Reece, a member of the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority and a Maggie Valley businessman, was in a motorcycle accident Saturday (June 10). Reece was listed in critical condition at Mission Hospital in the Neurotrauma ICU unit as of…
Joetta Rinehart, a member of the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority board, recently moved to Asheville, throwing into question her legitimacy as a tourism board member.
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

Living inside the box

Five turtle species reside in Western North Carolina: snapping, musk, and painted turtles are primarily found in streams, lakes, and ponds. The elusive and rare bog turtle is found in the habitat for which it’s named. The eastern box turtle…
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

The principle is always important

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly…
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

Finding a father while keeping a Dad

By Marshall Frank Imagine having a fathers of all varieties. Step, biological and adopted? Here’s a story about such a person. Not everyone’s life is utopia, complete with white picket fence, family barbeques and one set of happy parents. No…
By Eric Larson Where I grew up, you had to choose sides early: You were either a University of Alabama football fan or you pulled for the Auburn “War Eagles.” I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but some…
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

Scared of the Dark?

By Stephanie Wampler • Columnist The dark is a strange creature. It has so many faces. “Dark” is how we have always described our worst times. Thousands of years ago, the phrase “the valley of the shadow of death” was…
After last week’s surprising meeting of the Haywood County Council of Governments regarding the tourism board, perhaps there is finally an end in sight to the controversy regarding this board.
Rafting fans have only two more shots this year at a trip down the Cheoah River, a rugged river in Graham County that has just recently been opened to rafting.
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

Things that go blink in the night

By Michael Beadle As springtime visitors flock to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to see the phenomenon of synchronous fireflies, researchers are hoping to learn more about how and why these beetles produce such amazing light shows. It may well…
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

The Little River watershed

Nestled in the northern center of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Elkmont was once a thriving logging community that inspired Walt Disney’s screen image of Snow White’s cabin and now serves as a key research site for studying synchronous…
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

Mitigation demand holds in Supreme Court

In a 9-0 vote last week, the Supreme Court upheld the right of states to demand mitigation from hydropower companies for the damming of rivers under the Clean Water Act.
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

All together now – flash

Around 2 a.m. the other morning I was walking Maddie, my seven-month-old, around the house trying to convince her that it was still bedtime. We passed by our wall of windows in the living area and our yard was ablaze…
Wednesday, 14 June 2006 00:00

First Tour de Tuck to challenge cyclists

A new cycling tradition begins this summer with the debut of the Tour de Tuck Bike Challenge on Saturday, Aug. 19.
Wednesday, 21 June 2006 00:00

Soul Infusion’s fifth

By Chris Cooper Late Friday night, after the festivities died down and the crickets had begun a serenade for the wee hours, I asked Jason and Karin Kimenker to imagine what they might say 40 years from now about their…
By Michael Beadle Growing up in South Carolina, Robert Lathan remembers how just about everything and everyone was named after Wade Hampton — schools, parks, hotels, towns, and especially children. More than a century after Hampton’s death, this wealthy landowner,…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer As a child in Diana Fisher’s music class at Camp Lab School in Cullowhee, I never held the mountain dulcimer in very high regard.
Wednesday, 21 June 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

The Pool There is a lot to be said for going out into the woods, finding a quiet, isolated stream, and taking a refreshing swim in the cold pure water. On the other hand, a visit to your neighborhood pool…
Wednesday, 21 June 2006 00:00

Money verses morals

During my senior year of high school, my brother, some friends, and I went to a James Bond film festival. If I remember correctly, we entered the theater around seven in the evening and staggered out about one the next…
Wednesday, 21 June 2006 00:00

Macon survey

The survey in Macon County set out to quantify the value the public places on the landscape. Surveys sought to measure the public’s willingness to contribute toward conservation, and if so, how much.
Wednesday, 21 June 2006 00:00

Bethel survey

The Bethel survey polled a random sample of 273 residents in Bethel via telephone. The Bethel Rural Community Organization sanctioned the study to identify community sentiment toward development, farmland and what makes their community special. Here are some of the…
A study committee charged with examining the role and structure of the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority will be formed in July and asked to report its findings to the Haywood County Board of Commissioners.
Wednesday, 21 June 2006 00:00

Franklin hires Main Street coordinator

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer A month into her new job as Franklin’s Main Street Program Coordinator, Nancy Deeks is just starting to get things organized. She helped out with the town’s annual Taste of Scotland Festival, held this…
It was a big week in the legislative building in Raleigh last week. The House of Representatives would vote on its version of the budget, prompting a great deal of last-minute wrangling by those who hadn’t gotten what they wanted.…
Editor’s note: Smoky Mountain News reporter Becky Johnson spent two days in Raleigh last week covering local representatives at work in the General Assembly. Johnson’s reporting of the activities in Raleigh covers the gamut, from the omnipresent professional lobbyists to…
Wednesday, 21 June 2006 00:00

How to herd a bill

Sen. John Snow, D- Murphy, had a whopper of a week last week. He had four bills on the table he hope to push through committee, the Senate and the House in a matter of days.
Wednesday, 21 June 2006 00:00

Sylva slashes funding for downtown group

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Faced with a $20,000 budget cut, the Downtown Sylva Association is re-examining its plans after Sylva aldermen voted 3 to 2 last Thursday (June 15) not to renew the town’s annual contribution to the…
Wednesday, 21 June 2006 00:00

Verizon expands DSL service in rural areas

High-speed Internet access has been expanded into several rural areas in the region thanks to a technology investment by Verizon landline company.
Wednesday, 21 June 2006 00:00

Medicinal uses of black cohosh

“The first large, successful American business run by a woman was said to be the Lydia E. Pinkham Medical Company, founded in 1875 by Lydia Estes Pinkham. Her main product was Lydia E. Pinkham’s Vegetable Compound, a patent medicine to…
By Avram Friedman In January of 2006, Jim Hansen, a climatologist advising the Bush Administration, said that we have “at most 10 years” to make the drastic cuts in emissions that might head off climatic catastrophe. Hansen was speaking to…
Wednesday, 21 June 2006 00:00

Saving farms is not about nostalgia

If you think taking tangible steps to protect farmland is more about nostalgia than anything else, guess again. As change continues at its rapidly accelerating pace, having protected private land on which to grow crops could become an important part…
Sylva town officials have OK’d a budget for the upcoming fiscal year that has just about eliminated funding for the Downtown Sylva Association (formerly SPIR). That’s a mistake the citizens of Sylva and the downtown business community should not tolerate.
Wednesday, 21 June 2006 00:00

The battle for the Chattooga rages on

The Sumter National Forest has fired back at American Whitewater, a paddling organization that is challenging a ban on paddling the upper Chattooga River. The Chattooga is a federally designated Wild and Scenic River that tumbles off the Cashiers Plateau…
The growing demand from researchers wanting access to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park prompted recent renovations to the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center with an expansion of accommodations and quarters.
Wednesday, 21 June 2006 00:00

Let’s get buggy with it

“Daddy, Daddy come see!” called Izzy, my four-year-old daughter, running down the sidewalk to catch me as I was leaving for work. “See what?” I asked.
Wednesday, 28 June 2006 00:00

An eclectic night at Guadalupe Café

By Chris Cooper There’s an age-old argument that rears up whenever there are multiple acts on the roster for a show: who goes first? Nobody wants to go first. It’s like being “volunteered” for the chore everybody else skillfully avoided.…
Wednesday, 28 June 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Pictures of the Week Every Friday CNN features on its Web page a small link to Offbeat Photos and Time’s Pictures of the Week. Sometimes funny, sometimes touching, but always interesting, the pictures carve out a little slice of the…
Wednesday, 28 June 2006 00:00

Real Mountain dialect

Like hundreds of other mountain folk who grew up listening to “the old folks talking,” I always wanted to be a storyteller. Sitting on the dark end of my granny’s porch on a windy October night, I listened to her…