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Maybe it’s the fear of snakes, mountain lions, or Bigfoot. Or the perceived boredom of time spent unplugged. Perhaps it’s basic opposition to exertion and sweat. Whatever the reasons, fewer people nationwide are spending time in the great outdoors. If…
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:43

A thank you to our elected officials

To the Editor: I’d like to thank the state House of Representatives for putting rich white kids first in North Carolina with your vote on May 3. It’s about time! I am so tired of these hard working, poor and…
To the Editor: Do you think more of your car than you do of your children? If something is wrong with your car, you take it to a dealer to be fixed. When you get it back and it still…
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:41

Transportation plan won’t help economy

To The Editor: I attended the recent public hearing on the Comprehensive Transportation Plan and came away confused.  First, according to the Division Engineer who manages Division 14 of the N.C. Department of Transportation, of which Macon is a part,…
To the Editor: I’d like to thank Quintin Ellison and The Smoky Mountain News for Ms. Ellison’s excellent article about the Corneille Bryan Native Garden at Lake Junaluska (www.smokymountainnews.com/news/item/3978-don’t-rush-by-this-little-lake-junaluska-treasure). She gave a succinct history and an accurate and appealing description…
To the Editor: Having served for more than a decade as president of Southwestern Community College, I was dismayed by what was reported in The Smoky Mountain News and the Sylva Herald as  opposition by some Jackson County commissioners to…
Last night, lying in bed on the screened porch reading before darkness fell, I looked up from my book and noticed a wasp crawling on the inside of a window screen. I was reading “The Way of the Bodhisattva” by…
A planned new access road that will provide an exit and entrance into Southwestern Community College in Webster should not be a controversial project. The college’s growth, the entire country’s renewed emphasis on public safety in the post-9/11 era, and…
Haywood Vocational Opportunities has donated 103,500 black medical table covers to AmeriCares, a global disaster relief organization that delivers medicine and supplies to those in need around the world. The donation is being shipped to the AmeriCares warehouse in Haiti…
MedWest Health System is expanding its access to health care to the communities served by its hospitals in three counties. A third urgent care center will soon be available in Jackson County and a new one will be built in…
The rooftops of both offices of Smoky Mountain Foot and Ankle Clinic are now equipped with solar electric modules that will generate electricity through solar energy. Sundance Power Systems installed the panels at both the Waynesville and Asheville locations. The…
Two cardiologists with MedWest Health System now offer the first pacemaker designed, tested and approved by the Federal Drug Administration for use in the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) environment. Dr. David Peterson and Dr. Glenn Harris have successfully implanted the…
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:32

Insurance to decrease for Clyde residents

Clyde Fire Department recently underwent a state inspection that improved their insurance rating. The businesses and homeowners in the Clyde/Central Haywood fire district will most likely see a reduction in their insurance premiums as a result.  A homeowner who lives…
The fate of the organization tasked with marketing and promoting downtown Sylva remains in flux, but it appears positioned to survive in a yet-to-be determined restructured form. “We are working very cooperatively, jointly with the town board, to come up…
If you visit Macon County, keep your head down — there’s a war over property rights in progress. In this community of 33,922 people that presses hard up against the Georgia border, a place with a long history of attracting…
Hypothermia is a possible cause of death for Aubrey Kina-Marie Littlejohn, a 15-month-old Cherokee baby who died in January, according to a state autopsy report released last week. The autopsy also showed indications of multiple bruises to the head and…
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:26

Green Energy Park completes upgrade

A blower upgrade to the landfill gas system that helps power Jackson County’s Green Energy Park has been completed. The upgrade, which included a moister separator, should help the system be more efficient, according to Director Timm Muth, director of…
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:25

New president named at SCC

 Southwestern Community College this week got a new president, Donald Tomas of Aledo, Texas, who takes over July 1. Tomas replaces Richard Collings, who served in the top slot at SCC for just six months before resigning suddenly. Collings, who…
Principal Chief Michell Hicks hinted last week at a renewed effort to bring live dealers to Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel and Casino, in a ceremony renewing the management contract between the Eastern Band of Cherokee and Ceasars Entertainment. At an event…
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:22

HCC offers day camp

A summer day camp for children from the ages of 6 to 12 will run from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, from June 15 through August 17. The camp is run by Haywood Community College’s Regional Center…
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:21

HCC restructures auto body program

A new associate degree program at Haywood Community College will upgrade the existing one-year diploma program in auto body this fall. The Collision Repair and Refinishing Technology program will prepare students to become qualified technicians to perform repairs and refinishing…
Know someone, maybe yourself, who should be minority businessperson of the year? The Minority Enterprise Development Week Committee is now accepting nominations for this year’s awards. Businesses open for at least two years can nominate themselves. In addition to the…
A grandparent support group will meet from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 1, at the Jackson Family Resource Center in Sylva. Grandparents will have opportunities to share their own experiences as a grandparent, including struggles or successes.…
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:17

Public perspectives on Corridor K

Health and Prosperity Two of the main arguments in favor of Corridor K construction are safety and economic growth. Road advocates maintain that having an easily traveled corridor into the area will allow larger companies — and their requisite supplies…
In Graham County, a public hearing last week on Corridor K drew a crowd of 200 people, speaking for and against a new four-lane highway that would end rural isolation but destroy virgin countryside in the process. The 9.9-mile highway…
At Macon Barber Shop, you can get a haircut for $10 and a shampoo for $5, but the talk is free for the asking. In between snips of her scissors and reaching, on occasion, for the electric razor used to…
Angel Medical Center in Franklin, one of the last, small independent hospitals in the state, is now part of Mission Health System in Asheville. After months of negotiations, Angel last week came under Mission’s management umbrella — likely a temporary…
Wednesday, 25 May 2011 22:01

Ubiquitous phone book still a staple

This June, 91,000 pounds of paper will make its way into Western North Carolina. Some of it will end up in kitchen drawers, some will be used as doorstops, some will end up as litter dotting the roads, while still…
For Mary Edwards, the owner of Craft Collection in downtown Waynesville, news of a possible Michaels coming to town is devastating. “Well, that’s the end of me,” said Edwards. “I’m small, so I can’t complete with big stores.” Edwards is…
Belk department store in Waynesville might be moving from its anchor spot beside Ingle's grocery store to a much larger and brand-new building beside Super Wal-Mart.A Michaels craft store and Pet Smart might also join the ranks of big-box chain…
Tuesday, 17 May 2011 20:08

Tea time for the arts

Get a taste of English tradition at Mountain High Tea, a fundraising party for the Haywood County Arts Council. The event starts at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 26, at the home of Nancy Rhead. Party-goers will enjoy a traditional…
Bryson City resident Jane Spotted Bird will read from her recently published memoir, Still Here: Dancing to the Beat of My Own Drum, at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, at City Lights bookstore in Sylva. The book tells the…
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 12:32

Author to speak on the publishing

The Marianna Black Library in Bryson City will host an afternoon with Kim Michele Richardson, author of The Unbreakable Child: a Memoir of Forgiving the Unforgivable, at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 21. She will discuss her book and present…
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 12:30

A thinking person’s crime novel

Kind hearts, allow me to introduce Police Detective, Harry Hole. Let me warn you in advance, he is an alcoholic who manages to keep his job in the House of Pain (Oslo’s Robbery Division) by cunning and a talent for…
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 20:50

Magnolias not just a Deep South species

Mention magnolias and images of plantations and mint juleps come to mind. But here in Western North Carolina we have an array of magnolia species that thrive in an upland hardwoods setting. These trees are most noticeable, of course, in…
The Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department will offer TetraBrazil Soccer Camp for ages 10 to 18 July 11 through 15 at the Waynesville Recreation Center. The camp will offer Brazilian coaching staff, individual technical development and a unique cultural experience.…
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 20:49

Competitive youth soccer try-outs

Carolina Mountains Soccer Club in Haywood County is holding tryouts May 24 through 26 for the coming season. The soccer club is designed for youth players who have the skill, drive and desire to take their development to the next…
Adults with a hankering for soccer this summer can sign up to play in a league run by the Haywood County Recreation and Parks. There is a open league and a women’s league. Teams in the open league (maximum of…
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 20:47

Gardening for Wildlife series in Macon

Do you want to attract more birds, butterflies, beneficial insects and other native species to your backyards? It’s easy, fun for the family and an important way to help restore native habitats. Friends of Rickman Store, in the historic Cowee…
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 20:46

Learn how to build a backyard habitat

The Great Smoky Mountains Audubon Society will hold a Backyard Habitat Workshop from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 4, at the Maggie Valley Pavilion. Come learn how to transform yards into native plant and wildflower paradises. Presented by…
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 20:46

Four planets visible to naked eye in May

Western North Carolina stargazers will be able to witness a rare astronomical phenomenon this month when four of the five planets visible to the naked eye can be observed close together in the early morning sky. That’s the word from…
The Mountain Sports Festival returns to Asheville on May 27-29, with a line up to entice any pro or amateur athlete to test themselves in mountain sports. The festival brings in more than 15,000 visitors and competitors. Competitions will take…
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 20:45

Make money off your forestland

A wildcrafting, general make-your-forest work for you workshop is scheduled from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. May 26 at the Cashiers library in Jackson County. Topics include new ginseng regulations, how to start an agro-forestry business, green certification and branding…
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 20:44

Lend a hand for the birds

Volunteers are needed at the bird-monitoring station at Tessentee Bottomland Preserve in Macon County. The program is a nationwide effort coordinated by the Institute for Bird Populations to monitor productivity, survivorship and population trends of breeding birds throughout North America.…
Want to see some of the best fly-fishing imaginable? The 2011 U.S. National Fly Fishing Championship will be held May 19 through May 22. It will be headquartered in Cherokee with fishing held on several waterways in the region The…
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 20:40

Quiet please!

Last Saturday morning I was racing around in the woods of the Tusquitee Ranger District on the other side of Murphy, surveying some of the outlaying bird points, trying to finish up that district. I don’t know why it is,…
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 20:40

Get on that bike and ditch the car

A “Bike to Work” ride will be held in Waynesville May 20 on National Bike to Work Day. The length is about three miles and is mainly over flat terrain. The ride will begin at the large parking lot beside…
Hiwassee-Valley Land Trust, a project of the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee, has purchased the 100-acre Salman Farm that lies on Valley River near Andrews. The farm was acquired by the land trust last month, and is now protected…
Some of the scientists helping to identify every living species in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are giving up rights to name their discoveries for an even bigger prize: raising money to ensure the continued survival of the Discover…
I traveled over the Balsams this past weekend from Sylva to Lake Junaluska for a native plant sale, and I’m very glad that I set time aside to make the trip. Not only were there some nice specimens to be…