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Wednesday, 29 December 2010 20:09

Elderly Brothers ring in New Year’s at Legion

The Elderly Brothers will perform on New Year’s Eve at American Legion Post 47 in Waynesville. The Elderly Brothers have been playing together for more than 40 years. “Our group originally started playing together over 40 years ago,” said band…
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 20:09

Chocolate lovers, head to Bryson City Feb. 12

The Friends of the Marianna Black Library will host the 4th Annual Chocolate Cook-Off from 2-4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 12, at the Bryson City Presbyterian Church. The Friends are looking for the best chocolate dessert in Western North Carolina…
Storyteller and author Gary Carden will present a program titled “Old Christmas Traditions” at 7 p.m. on Jan. 4 at the Jackson County Library. During the program Carden will regale the audience with stories of bygone traditions such as serenading…
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 20:07

Learn the art of bookmaking Jan. 6

Phyllis Jarvinen of Sylva will demonstrate and teach a mini-workshop on book arts and book binding at the Art League of the Smokies meeting at 6:15 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 6, in the lobby of Swain County Center for the…
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 20:05

Pride of the Mountains is California-bound

Nearly 400 members of Western Carolina University’s Pride of the Mountains Marching Band will travel to Pasadena, Calif., to march in the internationally televised 2011 Rose Parade. The band is scheduled to appear at the 49th position in the parade,…
Haywood County residents looking to brave the ice and leave their firesides this January can find an afternoon of respite from the winter in Waynesville’s second annual Winterfest. The festival, themed Fire and Ice, is hosted by the Haywood County…
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 19:55

Year in review 2010

Editor’s note: Here is The Smoky Mountain News’ annual Year in Review, but ours comes with a nod and a wink — and an award. News is serious and sometimes tragic, but in hindsight we can at least try to…
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 19:54

North Shore Road funds in danger of disappearing

Battles in Congress are nothing new. Practically every day that the legislature is in session, there is a fight, argument or debate about something, some more trivial than others. But there’s one issue that residents of Swain County are watching…
When Mountain Projects came calling on Sylva leaders earlier this year because the group wanted to build five affordably priced homes within the town’s limits, commissioners found themselves in the uncomfortable position of having to deny the request. The problem?…
Andrew Whalen, an up-and-coming political insider who helped craft U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler’s entry onto the political scene five years ago, has rejoined the congressman’s staff. Whalen, 30, announced he would leave his position as executive director of the N.C.…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 20:54

Big fish of the Smokies

Each of us inhabits several landscapes. On the one hand, there is our everyday exterior topographic landscape. We call it reality. On the other there is our interior landscape … the world of imagination, dreams and nightmares. Whether we are…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 20:53

Appalachian Trail guide debuts 33rd edition

The legendary Appalachian Trail grew by 1.9 miles in 2010. Every December, the latest mileage and shelter information for the 11 official guides to the AT is updated from volunteers who are constantly improving the trail. Volunteer Daniel D. Chazin…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 20:52

Forest health takes teamwork

The University of North Carolina at Asheville and the U.S. Forest Service are joining forces to boost awareness and understanding of threats to forest health. The joint venture will team UNCA’s advanced computer modeling and imaging capabilities with Forest Service…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 20:51

Learn to garden organically at UNCA

Early registration is now open for the 2011 Organic Growers School Conference on March 5-6 on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Asheville campus. More than 1,500 farmers, gardeners, chefs, food activists and consumers are expected to…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 20:50

Wildlife Advocates to meet at Lake J

The Western North Carolina Wildlife Advocates will meet from noon to 3 p.m. on Jan. 7 at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center.   North Carolina Rep. Ray Rapp, D-Mars Hill, will present his ideas for increasing funding and manpower for wildlife law…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 20:49

The Naturalist's Corner: Invasion of the PUFIs

Don’t worry, PUFIs won’t harm you. They won’t even take you up to the mothership to probe and prod you and send you home with nothing but a vague recollection of bluish lights and otherworldly mutterings. PUFI is simply bird-nerd…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 20:46

National Audubon’s 111th Christmas Bird Count

Tis the season to be counting. The National Audubon Society’s century-old citizen-science prototype — the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) — began Dec. 14 and will run through Jan. 5, 2011. Area birders will join forces with counters across the state…
In her previous novels — two of which, Coming Back To Me and Girls In Trouble, have been reviewed here — Caroline Leavitt showed an exquisite talent for bringing her characters alive on the page. These novels were marked by…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 20:39

Make love, not war, when you garden

This is a good time of the year to order seeds and plant carrots. That’s not a misprint: It’s an excellent time to plant carrots. Starting this week, if there’s a weather window allowing for it, go into the garden…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 20:38

Shuler isn’t doing much to win my votes

To the Editor: The local radio station in Sylva, WRGC, has reported that the unemployment rate in Jackson County increased by one tenth of a percent from 7.2 to 7.3 in October. Unemployed workers in Jackson County have received over…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 20:38

Let the tax cuts for the wealthy expire

To the Editor: Give the wealthy $700 billion over the next decade? Absolutely, say the Republican politicians led by Rep. John Boehner. It would be unfair to allow their tax rates to return to the pre-Bush rates. Giving the rich…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 20:37

Is anyone paying attention to government?

To the Editor: Whether it be a deficit or a debt, no amount of money owed a creditor is a good thing; not on the federal, state, or local level. Unfortunately, for too long it has been much too easy…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 20:34

Hagan, Senate wrong on DREAM Act

Few things are as maddening to me as when politics gets in the way of doing the right thing. That’s just what happened in the U.S. Senate last week when the DREAM Act failed to pass. Worse, the Senate vote…
Steam engines are coming back to Western North Carolina, thanks to the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. The railroad announced that in coordination with Rail Events Inc., it has closed on the purchase of a steam locomotive — #1149 — and…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 20:33

Wooten to serve as stopgap Jackson County manager

Chuck Wooten will become interim Jackson County manager for six months or so starting next month. Commissioners this week in a unanimous vote hired Wooten for $10,000 a month. Wooten retires Jan. 1 from Western Carolina University after 30 years…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 20:32

Board holds off on land use vote

The Waynesville Planning Board said this week it will hold off on adopting a major update to the town’s land use plan until February at the earliest, and will delay voting even then if it thinks citizens still want time…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 20:20

Tavern joins Haywood restaurant scene

A new tavern is set to make its debut this week in downtown Waynesville, featuring barbecue, beer, and a friendly, welcoming atmosphere in the Main Street space that was formerly Headlights Bar and Grill. Tipping Point Tavern is a joint…
Town of Sylva leaders have sent a letter to the state Department of Transportation endorsing what supporters would like called a connector — and detractors a bypass — around N.C. 107. The letter was approved by unanimous vote last week.…
To Vida Cody, Dec. 6 didn’t seem unlike any other average Monday. She was the finance manager for Swain County, and with the new board of commissioners due for a swearing in, she expected an hour-long pause in her otherwise-busy…
The Haywood County Board of Commissioners is accepting applications for the following boards: Haywood County Board of Health – This board is a policy-making, rule-making and adjudicatory body for the Haywood County Health Department. The Board adopts rules necessary for…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 19:47

Free seminar offers organization tips

The Small Business Center of Haywood Community College will offer a free seminar entitled, “Organizing your Work and Life — a Great Way to Start the Year!” from 6-9 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 6, on campus on the first floor…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 19:46

Haywood chooses contractor for Wal-Mart project

Clyde’s old Wal-Mart is now on track to get a new life after Haywood County commissioners voted Monday to sign a contract with Murray Construction of Monroe for the renovations. The project had stalled earlier this fall after the first…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 19:45

An attorney for everyone

Jay Coward, newly hired to serve as Jackson County’s attorney, will receive $175 an hour, commissioners agreed in a unanimous vote this week. He’ll also serve the sheriff’s department when the sheriff and his deputies need legal advice. Coward, a…
A tuition hike spells additional hardships for many students at Western Carolina University, at least those who already find it difficult to scratch up the dollars needed to obtain a college degree. “I’m sure it’s going to be hard on…
No one could specify exactly who made the decision to remove the maps or when precisely that occurred, but some members of a Macon group studying steep-slope safety want them returned to the county’s website. The taxpayer-funded Slope Movement Hazard…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 19:39

Lottery money put to bleachers, but grudgingly

A wide selection of bleachers at nearly every secondary school in Haywood County will get some repairs and replacements thanks to lottery funds approved by county commissioners, but the decision was not without contention from some on the board. Commissioner…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 19:33

County to pay fairgrounds loan

Haywood County commissioners will be stepping in to save the county’s fairground from the bank’s clutches after a vote at their Monday meeting. The fairgrounds have two loans taken out on their buildings, and since the county slashed the $150,000…
Listeners to WWNC-AM can hear a broadcast of the Western Carolina University presentation of the holiday classic “A Christmas Carol” at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 24. “We’re looking forward to airing it,” said Brian Hall, director of programming with Clear…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 19:31

‘Saturdays at The Bascom’ Program

In 2011, The Bascom in Highlands will be open year round. In January and February visit us on Fridays and Saturdays and take part in a variety of activities. Spend “Saturdays at The Bascom” and discover Art Cinema. Beginning at…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 19:31

Heinzelmannchen debuts Merry Gnome Christmas Ale

In the tradition of his German heritage, brewmeister Dieter Kuhn of Heinzelmannchen Brewery has crafted a specialty beer for the Christmas season. Heinzelmannchen’s Merry Gnome ale debuted Dec. 17 and will be available at the brewery in downtown Sylva through…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 19:30

Polar Express now departing from Bryson City

The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad’s version of The Polar Express™ will continue running through Dec. 24. The round-trip excursion comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City depot for a journey through the quiet wilderness for a special…
A two-time Grammy-nominated songwriter and a Grammy winning singer will host a New Year’s Eve show at the Balsam Mountain Inn that will showcase jazz, folk, blues, Americana and other styles of music. Casey Kelly’s hits include “Soon” (recorded by…
Rush of Fools, a Birmingham-based Christian band, will perform at Lake Junaluska New Year’s Ministries with Young People (MYP) INFUSE Ski celebration for youth on Dec. 31. Local youth and churches are invited to attend the New Year’s concert. Tickets…
Wednesday, 22 December 2010 19:24

RTCAR: Enabling artisans to preserve tradition

In the storefront of Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, shelves and tables are laden with handmade baskets that shimmer dully with a multitude of brown hues. From deep walnut umber to the blanched eggshell of white oak and the glinting…
Wednesday, 15 December 2010 21:34

Noticing the little things of winter

Editor’s note: George Ellison, like many in the mountains, was snowed in and unable to get an internet connection. This column was first published in The Smoky Mountain News in 2005 I’m sure you’ve noticed it’s the little things that,…
A local group has raised more than $10,000 to support local, state and national efforts to bring back that mighty giant, the American chestnut tree. The Cataloochee Branch of The American Chestnut Foundation sponsored its first annual Chestnut Saturday and…
Wednesday, 15 December 2010 21:32

Houck Medford steps down from Foundation

Dr. Carolyn Ward of Asheville was recently named as head of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. Ward replaces Dr. Houck Medford, a Waynesville native, who has served as the founder and CEO of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation since its…
Wednesday, 15 December 2010 21:31

Casada takes home writing awards

A Swain County native now living in South Carolina has won several writing awards from the South Carolina Outdoor Press Association. Jim Casada writes frequently about the Smokies and is a regular columnist in The Smoky Mountain Times in Bryson…
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Supervisory Fisheries Biologist Steve Moore was recently recognized with two national awards for his leadership in native trout stream restoration in the Smokies and at national parks across the nation. Moore recently received the Aldo…
Wednesday, 15 December 2010 21:28

Cataloochee collects coats, food for the needy

Cataloochee Ski Area continued a long tradition of holiday giving to the local community recently with its 9th Annual Can-U-Ski Food and Coat Drive.   Cataloochee skiers and riders turned out in record numbers to participate in the area’s annual…