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Wednesday, 11 November 2009 13:37

Coweeta leads research on watershed dynamics

Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, an experimental research station for the U.S. Forest Service outside Franklin, celebrated its 75th anniversary this month. The 5,500-acre forested basin in southern Macon County has been fertile ground for research into how forests behave — and…
A federal judge has dismissed a civil lawsuit by Maureen Lackey, a 45-year old Franklin resident who alleged discrimination by Macon County and the Sheriff’s Office. Lackey, who suffers from epilepsy, claimed jailers denied her medicine after she was arrested…
Wednesday, 11 November 2009 13:37

Satulah has long been a WNC favorite

One can still see why flatlanders started pouring into the Cashiers-Highlands region after the Civil War. The scenic ridge, valley and gorge country here remains one of the most interesting areas in Western North Carolina to explore. Some of the…
Wednesday, 11 November 2009 13:37

New company part of a long local legacy

The merger of Osondu Booksellers and Blue Ridge Books and Café will eventually bring under one roof the long legacy of two beloved Waynesville institutions catering to readers and etched in the memory of the downtown community A legacy of…
Wednesday, 04 November 2009 20:00

Allen joins Knotts on Sylva board

Danny Allen, a former Sylva town commissioner who has been off the board for two years, will reclaim his seat after being the top vote-getter in the town election. Commissioner Stacy Knotts followed closely on his heels, while Harold Hensley…
Wednesday, 04 November 2009 20:00

Tracing the roots of WNC’s signature style

Love it or hate it, mountain vernacular architecture has stubbornly planted its roots in Western North Carolina and shows no signs of abandoning the area. The style that favors steep pitched roofs, native stonework, timber frame gables and earth-tone colors…
When Candace Stimson lost her job last winter due to the recession, she seized the opportunity to go back to school and pursue something meaningful. She wasn’t sure just what that would be, however, until she happened upon a new…
Wednesday, 04 November 2009 20:00

Ivey’s ‘Up River’ offers valuable lessons

Up River: A Novel of Attempted Restoration by George Ivey. Dog Year, 2009. 304 Pages. George Ivey’s Up River: A Novel of Attempted Restoration (Dog Year Publishing, ISBN 978-160844-164-8, $16.95) tells the story of Peter Bailey, a young man who,…
The main message that local and state authorities are frenetically broadcasting to the world is that Western North Carolina is still open for business even though a major rockslide will likely shut down a portion of Interstate 40 near the…
After a feel-good race lacking much controversy, Maggie Valley voters have re-elected Saralyn Price to her second term on the town board, sending with her a fresh face, motel owner Scott Pauley. Both Price and Pauley ran on campaigns that…
Wednesday, 04 November 2009 20:00

Ugly public discourse and the future of truth

More and more these days, it seems those who follow the news have strong opinions on the tone of public debate, a topic that elicits as much discussion — perhaps more — than the actual news items we want to…
A model home under construction on the Haywood Community College campus is giving construction majors hands-on training in green building techniques. The demonstration house will take two years to build. It was launched in conjunction with a new green building…
Wednesday, 04 November 2009 20:00

Regional election results

Clyde Town boardSeats up for election:    2Total seats on board:    4Carroll Mease (I)    103Jim Trantham (I)    95Alan Trantham    42Registered voters:    780Voter turnout:    127 (16%) Village of Forest Hills MayorJames Wallace (I)    49(running as write-in)Mark Teague    22Town boardSeats up for election:  …
Wednesday, 04 November 2009 20:00

Franklin voters stick with familiar faces

Not one face is changing in Franklin’s local government despite close contests for mayor and aldermen. In a neck-and-neck race, Franklin Mayor Joe Collins beat out Alderman Bob Scott by only 14 votes to reclaim the office for another two…
Wednesday, 04 November 2009 20:00

Fresh faces will lead Canton

As with the election two years ago, Canton will once again see three new faces on the board. Voters had a deep bench of candidates to chose from: 10 running for four seats on the board. The only two returning…
Western Carolina University’s Pride of the Mountains Marching Band has been awarded the prestigious Sudler Trophy, the nation’s highest and most-coveted award for college and university marching bands. Formal presentation of the award, which has been called the “Heisman Trophy”…
Wednesday, 04 November 2009 20:00

The Naturalist's Corner

It’s 11 p.m. – do you know where your wood thrush is? “Hello, Ms. Stutchbury, this is OnStar. Your wood thrush that is supposed to be on its way to Mexico is actually in New Orleans.” It’s really not as…
Balsam Mountain Preserve has been stripped of control and custody of its development as lenders continue their march toward foreclosure. The 4,400-acre development in Jackson County owes nearly $21 million to its lender, a private equity investment firm called TriLyn.…
Wednesday, 04 November 2009 20:00

The grand finale

We tend to hone in on the showy flowering phase of a plant’s life for observation, identification, and enjoyment. But the greatest pleasure in coming to recognize and appreciate plants occurs when we learn to follow favorite plants from their…
An overwhelming majority of citizens who showed up at a public hearing in Robbinsville spoke out against the Corridor K road project last Thursday (Oct. 29). The proposed four-lane highway would supplant the winding, two-lane roads that are currently the…
A bill is moving through Congress that could help boost the local economy and create jobs by drawing international tourists to Western North Carolina. The legislation would charge overseas visitors a $10 fee. The revenue would be used to market…
Faced with a collapsing tourism marketplace caused by a national recession and the pullout of its featured attraction — the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad –– Dillsboro’s voters elected a new leadership team to steer the town towards an uncertain future.…
Western North Carolina has so embraced mountain vernacular architecture that local planning boards across the area are prodding developers into adopting the style. While officials stop short of handing over a checklist to architects that includes stacked stone, steep pitched…
Wednesday, 04 November 2009 20:00

21 write-ins get votes in Webster

In an unusual election storyline, voters in Webster cast ballots for a total of 21 write-in candidates because too few candidates signed up to run for the five available seats on the town council. When the new town council convenes,…
Wednesday, 04 November 2009 20:00

Blue Ridge Parkway kicks off 75th anniversary

The Blue Ridge Parkway will kick off its 75th anniversary celebrations this month with several historical, symbolic and entertaining events, even though the official anniversary isn’t until next year. • A program called “Natural Resource Stewardship – An American Indian…
The National Park Service and Swain County appear locked in a stalemate over how much the federal government should pay up for breaking its long-standing contract to replace a road flooded by the creation of Lake Fontana in the 1940s.…
Lessie Williams, a well-known and nationally recognized gospel singer, will give a concert of inspirational music at 7 p.m. Oct. 30 at the Community Services Building in Sylva. The performance is a fundraiser for the new Jackson County library. Williams’…
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 20:42

NOC expedition gains attention

An outdoor expedition to Bolivia that puts paddlers to work delivering medical supplies to remote villages organized by Nantahala Outdoor Center got a major plug by National Geographic ADVENTURE. The November issue of the magazine listed the trip in its…
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 20:41

Old houses, spirits and comfort food

By Karen Dill • Special to Smoky Mountain News October is a glorious month. Brilliant colors dot the mountains against clear blue Carolina skies. Fall leaves turn our world into an amazing canvas and spirits soar like the geese that…
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 20:39

Canton’s future pivots on heated board race

When voters head to the polls in Canton next week, they will face a daunting and even unwieldy list to choose from: 10 candidates for four seats on the board. Town politics in Canton have been marked by division the…
Despite their requests, Haywood County commissioners will not be guaranteed a spot on the new joint operating board of Haywood Regional Medical Center and WestCare. Commissioner Mark Swanger initially called for the seat to ensure transparency and accountability to the…
Affluent property owners in Balsam Mountain Preserve have raised commitments of $16.3 million in an effort to stave off foreclosure of the development by lenders. Balsam Mountain Preserve, a mega development on 4,400 acres in Jackson County, owes nearly $20…
By Gibbs Knotts • Guest Columnist Some local sportswriters have expressed bewilderment at a recent ranking by a nationally circulated magazine, The Sporting News, that placed Cullowhee at No. 199 among the United States’ top 399 sports cities. These pundits…
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 20:35

Meet the candidates

Two of the five seats on the Sylva town board are up for election. Both incumbents are running for re-election and will face three additional challengers. The mayor’s seat is up for election as well, but Mayor Brenda Oliver chose…
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to one of the most intact and comprehensive collections of early Americana, lining row after row, room upon room, of metal shelves, drawers and floor space in a sprawling, albeit hidden, storehouse.…
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 20:31

Withstanding winter’s cold

Editor’s note: George Ellison is on sabbatical this week and will return next week. This is a previously published column. As I write this on Monday morning, we’ve just had our initial hard frost of the year here in Swain…
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 20:30

Irritating public comment must be tolerated

Haywood County elected officials may sometimes get fed up dealing with the incessant public record requests and the three-hour meetings that a new wave of public scrutiny is forcing upon them, but there’s no good alternative except to take the…
Is it true that Haywood and WestCare have merged? No. The boards of Haywood Regional Medical Center (HRMC) and WestCare Health System (WestCare) have formally agreed to form a unified healthcare system that will integrate the strategic, operational, and financial…
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 20:26

Waynesville Rec Center struck by vandals

The Waynesville Recreation Center was vandalized late sometime late Monday night or early Tuesday morning. The vandals entered the building through a broken window into the pool area. Once inside, they broke internal windows, threw furniture around, pulled clocks off…
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 20:25

HRMC, WestCare affiliation creates MedWest

A long-awaited affiliation of the hospitals in Haywood, Jackson and Swain counties will become official in January 2010. That’s when a newly created hospital company, dubbed MedWest Health System, will take over day-to-day operations for Haywood Regional Medical Center and…
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 20:24

A peculiar angst

Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book by Walker Percy. Picador, 2000. 272 pages. Walker Percy not only wrote these lines (see below), but he also lived them. He recognized early on that he was indeed a peculiar bird.…
The election for Sylva town board next week will determine the philosophical direction for the town. The board has been marked by split votes over the past two years, stemming from deep-seated ideological differences. Two years ago, the majority on…
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 20:21

No quick fix for rock slide that closes I-40

Western North Carolina is bracing itself for the impact of a massive rockslide that will shut down a major chunk of Interstate 40 near the Tennessee border for about three months. The rockslide occurred 2 a.m. Sunday morning three miles…
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 20:18

Meet the candidates

There are 10 candidates running for four seats on the Canton town board. Only two sitting aldermen are running for re-election, with eight challengers. All four seats are up for election every two years. Mayor Pat Smathers is running for…
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 20:16

The Naturalist's Corner

The rush to be green is making me blue Let’s see, automakers can get CAFÉ (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) credits for making gas guzzlers like Chevy’s suburban that can run on ethanol. That way they can rate one of those…
By all indications, the closing of Interstate 40 due to a massive rockslide will be more than just a minor headache for many. Through traffic heading west to Tennessee will be directed to I-26 from Asheville, where cars would have…
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 20:13

Recipes

Spiced Pumpkin, Lentil and Goat Cheese Salad (loosely based on the recipe from the October 2009 Bon Appétit magazine) • 3/4 cup lentils • 6 cups 1-inch pieces peeled seeded sugar pumpkin (from about one 2-pound whole pumpkin or butternut…
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 20:11

Macon rallies to defense of river and wins

Macon County has won a partial victory in the fight over the permitting of an industrial wastewater treatment plant in Rabun County, just across the state line in North Georgia. Earlier this month, Georgia environmental protection officials issued a discharge…
Wednesday, 28 October 2009 20:01

Downtown platform

Several candidates have made downtown revitalization the central tenet of their campaign and consider it the one of the most important issues on the town’s agenda. They include Gene Monson, Carole Edwards, and Kenneth Holland. “When I was growing up,…
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 19:59

The Naturalist's Corner

Slogging through the watershed It was dark, 39 degrees and a steady light drizzle when I walked from the house to my truck last Saturday morning at 6:30 a.m. By the time I got to town, the rain had stopped,…