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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…
Wednesday, 28 June 2006 00:00

Delving into dialect

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Gary Carden was in fifth grade when he learned to be ashamed of his accent. His teacher, perhaps meaning well, said simply, “‘Gary, you need to change the way that you talk. Your dialect…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer The Stop I-3 Coalition — the grassroots organization that aims to prevent construction of a proposed interstate running from Savannah to Knoxville — has received a boost to its efforts as the Southwestern Regional…
Wednesday, 28 June 2006 00:00

On Sacred Ground

By Michael Beadle Nearly two centuries have passed since the last time Cherokees held a council meeting on the sacred ground of Kituwah, the tribe’s revered Mother Town.
Wade Reece, a well-known figure in Maggie Valley civic life and the tourism industry, passed away last week, leaving a void that will be hard to fill, according to the Maggie Valley business community.
Wednesday, 28 June 2006 00:00

Purt, nigh Lizabethan

I’m no expert on regional linguistics, but through the years I’ve delighted in the dialect English still spoken here in the Smokies region. One sometimes hears or reads that it dates back to the Elizabethan era — that is, to…
Back in 1952, when I was one of a dozen Western North Carolina high school students who wrote winning essays on the Trail of Tears, I sat with a transfixed audience in Cherokee’s Mountainside Theatre and watched T’sali die.
Wednesday, 28 June 2006 00:00

Truth about kids and synchronicity

Before our son was born almost a year and a half ago, Tammy and I made an important decision. She would stop working and stay home with our two kids until they were both in school. We weighed the advantages…
For most people who live and work in Western North Carolina, the inner workings of our citizen legislature in Raleigh are just about as arcane as the inner workings of the federal Congress in Washington, D.C. Unfortunately, it also suffers…
The town of Bryson City finalized a conservation easement this month that will protect a 750-acre tract known as Lands Creek that’s adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Swain County.
A ban on logging and road building in roadless areas of the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests is on track to be reinstated one year after the Bush Administration lifted the ban.
Wednesday, 28 June 2006 00:00

Can you say inevitable?

I recently saw some previews for the documentary “Grizzly Man.” You may remember the story. Back in 2003, after 13 summers of camping among Alaska’s brown bears, Timothy Treadwell was mauled and partially eaten by a bear. A companion, Amie…
Wednesday, 05 July 2006 00:00

Macon free dental clinic eyes expansion

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Macon County’s Molar Roller is on the move in a forward direction. The mobile dental clinic, which travels from school to school providing service to low-income children has hired a full-time dentist and is…
Wednesday, 05 July 2006 00:00

Green power: no longer a pipe dream

By Michael Beadle At first it sounds too good to be true. Imagine being able to pipe methane gas from a landfill to heat greenhouses, run a biodiesel refinery, and power blacksmithing forges and art studios for glassblowers and potters.
Wednesday, 05 July 2006 00:00

In need of help

Steve Salerno’s SHAM: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless (ISBN 1-40005409-5, $24.95) is not only an attack on the self-help movement — SHAM is the acronym for Self-Help and Actualization Movement — but also a very amusing book.
Wednesday, 05 July 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

“Metropolitan” Writer-director Whit Stillman had a surprise hit with this comedy about a middle-class young man and his encounters with New York debutantes. Stillman is a director with a great eye for nuance both social and personal, and as his…
By Chris Cooper A rather popular band was recently branded with the criticism of being “a small band trying to sound big.” It’s an interesting idea, because in a different context (and in regards to a different band), it could…
By Michael Beadle As a Broadway hit, “My Fair Lady” made Julie Andrews a star. As a film, it made Audrey Hepburn a Hollywood icon.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is questioning whether Duke Power concealed the boundary of its hydropower operation on the Oconaluftee River to avoid sharing a portion of its profits with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Wednesday, 05 July 2006 00:00

DSA rallies support to oppose funding cut

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Sylva town board members should expect a heated public comment session at their upcoming meeting on Thursday, July 6, as Downtown Sylva Association members are rallying support to persuade aldermen to overturn their decision…
Wednesday, 05 July 2006 00:00

Baby steps toward green power

Talitha and Louis Mes erected a 100-foot tall wind tower on a ridge above Crabtree last week to generate environmentally-friendly power for their home, marking the first privately installed wind turbine in this part of the mountains.
Wednesday, 05 July 2006 00:00

Subject to tax, where applicable

Every few weeks, Scotty Ellis cruises the newspaper classifieds, scans Web sites and scrounges brochures from kiosks at visitor centers looking for vacation homes to rent in Haywood County.
Preliminary results of a zip code market analysis being conducted in Waynesville shows signs of a strong and healthy retail economy.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Fifty years ago, Jackson County’s Greens Creek was used as a dumping ground — milk jugs, tin cans and all kinds of unwanted items, local residents say.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Late last month Macon County consultant Gary Nicholson sent out 351 letters to local accommodations owners to begin building a database of who is supposed to pay the county’s 3 percent tax on overnight…
Wednesday, 05 July 2006 00:00

Careful of the jimson weed

“Jimson Weed is featured in a set of mystic books recently popular, Carlos Castaneda’s tales of mind expansion with the Mexican Indian shaman, Don Juan. Seeds of this common weed do indeed contain an hallucinogenic component, but, as is so…
Wednesday, 05 July 2006 00:00

Media freedom could easily slip away

When Federal Communications Commission officials came to Asheville last week to discuss media ownership regulations, they got an earful from a crowd that was mostly against media consolidation of any kind. We hope FCC officials get this reaction everywhere they…
Wednesday, 05 July 2006 00:00

N.C. counties have gotten more democratic

By Lee Shelton After the primary election results were in, I offered a commentary on county government and the implications of the election’s outcome. That column elicited several responses, and led me to explore the history and role of county…
The North Carolina Sierra Club and Southern Environmental Law Center have filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency for allowing air pollution from other states to continue to pollute the air North Carolinians breathe.
Wednesday, 05 July 2006 00:00

Avian nomads

I have just finished by bird point survey for the Forest Service, which takes me to Mt. Mitchell and Roan Mountain. It’s a chance every year to get reacquainted with Western North Carolina’s high-elevation nesters.
Wednesday, 05 July 2006 00:00

The race is on

By Michael Beadle You’ll have to excuse Greg Duff if he greets you out of breath. If he’s not in the middle of coordinating the upcoming Bele Chere 5K, the Inaugural Lake Logan Triathlon, Jackson County’s Tour de Tuck bike…
The All Taxa Biological Inventory hit the 5,000 species milestone this summer in an ongoing effort to document every species in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
By Ed Kelley If you spend much time in the outdoors, you will eventually have an encounter with wildlife. I am always on the lookout for signs of animal activity. Tracks, scat, scrapings, digging, paths through the leaves or grass,…
Wednesday, 12 July 2006 00:00

Someone who understands me

In every town I’ve ever lived in — and I have lived in several — I have made a Sports Friend. In case you don’t know what a Sports Friend is, perhaps a brief definition is in order: a Sports…