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U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler took a calculated loss when he challenged Rep. Nancy Pelosi for the position of House minority leader. The payoff for losing? Shuler, the Democrat representing this region who is from Bryson City and now calls Waynesville…
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 20:24

Baking classes set for next month

Southwestern Community College is offering two holiday baking project classes in early December at its Jackson Campus. Learn to make Cookie Bouquets from 6-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 9. Instructor Raquel Moore will show participants how to create festive cookie arrangements…
A proposed update of Waynesville’s progressive land-use ordinance that has been several years in the making is close to becoming law, as planners gear up to inform the public at two information sessions next week. The new ordinance will update…
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 20:22

Workshop offers college tuition tips

Learn what you need to know now about paying for college during a free workshop scheduled 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2, on Southwestern Community College’s Jackson Campus. The workshop, titled How to Pay for College, includes three concurrent sessions that…
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 20:21

Angelou to speak at women’s expo May 21

Area women will have a chance to learn more about health issues, while growing in mind, body and spirit during the day-long Flourish Women’s Expo, on May 21, 2011, at Harrah’s Cherokee Resort Events Center. The highlight of the event,…
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 20:20

Holiday roundup

It’s that time of year. Now that Thanksgiving has arrived, so have holiday events — lots of them. If you have an event you want listed, send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Parades • Franklin’s Christmas Parade. Nov. 28. The town of…
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 20:14

Middle class needs the tax break

To the Editor: Regarding the Nov. 14 Associated Press article in the Asheville Citizen-Times, “GOP lawmakers stand tall for all Bush tax cuts,” I see the next two years in Congress as totally unproductive — thanks to the Republicans taking…
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 20:13

Honor Bob Zahner with a real wilderness area

To the Editor: The proposal to make the Overlook Area in Blue Valley a wilderness area in honor of Bob Zahner does not meet the criteria for a wilderness area. The criteria for a wilderness area are: • No vehicular roads.…
You can be excused for perhaps having overlooked the recent fireworks, but a minor war has erupted over one of this region’s favorite sons (or, not-favorite sons). Pick your side. Horace Kephart, the definitive writer of Western North Carolina history…
By Raymond Turpin • Guest Columnist Bullying, unfortunately, has always existed in the American school systems and it continues to be a pervasive problem. Many historically have dismissed it as a schoolyard rite of passage or just a part of…
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 20:05

Find the perfect gift at your local bookshop

For many people, Thanksgiving is a holiday that delivers on its promises. The table sags beneath platters of ham and turkey, bowls of mashed potatoes and yams, green bean casseroles, hot bread, and pies. Family and old friends gather together…
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 20:05

Macon County natives release book

Two Macon County natives, Gail Shepherd Diederich and Gail Kelly Lester, recently released a new book, Tales of Two Gails. With 38 true stories and 68 photos, many shot in the Macon County area during the 1950s and the 1960s,…
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 20:03

Trying to preserve a national treasure

The U.S. Forest Service spent the first two weeks of November felling approximately 150 dead and/or dying eastern hemlocks in the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest adjacent to the Joyce Kilmer National Recreation Trail. The hemlocks, many of them centuries old,…
The answer is, in the case of the federally endangered Carolina northern flying squirrel, a resounding yes. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission with the aid of North Carolina Department of Transportation, Duke Energy, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and…
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 19:57

Mountain grown Fraser fir Christmas trees

There’s nothing quite like a real Fraser fir Christmas tree. In recent years, the value and quality of locally produced food has re-inspired many Western North Carolina citizens to purchase locally grown food. After all, products produced in Western North…
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park recently took delivery of seven Ford Escape Hybrid vehicles that were purchased using a $197,550 grant from the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Program.   The CMAQ funding…
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 19:56

Park photo contest open until Dec. 31

The National Park Service is accepting entries in the Share the Experience photo contest through Dec. 31. The photo taken by the grand prize winner will appear on a 2012 America the Beautiful – National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands…
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 19:55

Clay County trail routed off private land

The U.S. Forest Service has rerouted a portion of the Rim Trail Clay County. The Rim Trail is a 26-mile Forest Service trail that travels along the rim of the Fires Creek basin near Hayesville. The approximately 2.5-mile section of…
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 19:54

Take precautions while out hunting

During the holiday season, when family and friends gather, many go on traditional hunting trips. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is reminding hunters to take proper precautions when hunting during the holidays. The Wildlife Commission’s “Home From The Hunt” campaign…
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 19:51

A story about darkness, light and the red bird

Ho down down … Ho down dee Red bird dancin in custody Way down in New Orleans. Ho down down … Ho down dee A jailer stoned & barred the door: “Red bird soon be dark & dead.” Ho down…
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 19:19

David Holt to play Dec. 2 at WCU

The First Thursday Old-Time and Bluegrass Jam Session Series at Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center will continue Thursday, Dec. 2, with a concert by traditional music icon David Holt and a jam session in which local musicians are invited…
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 19:19

Jazz trumpeter to perform Nov. 30

Trumpet player Scott Harrell will be the featured soloist at a concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 30, at the Fine and Performing Arts Center on the campus of Western Carolina University. The concert, part of the WCU School of…
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 19:18

Chance to sing with NewSong up for grabs

A singing contest will be held in Franklin to choose a male youth from 9 to 14 to appear onstage with the contemporary Christian group NewSong. WPFJ’s and Sleep USA will hold auditions at 6 p.m. on Nov. 30 at…
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 19:18

Smoky Mountain Center presents gospel Dec. 3

Archie Watkins and Smoky Mountain Reunion will perform at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 3. The show will include a special appearance by Karen Peck and New River. Multi Grammy nominated Peck and New…
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 19:17

Winter Wonderland is Dec. 3 in Franklin

Franklin’s Winter Wonderland holiday celebration will be held one night only this year from 5 to 9 p.m. on Dec. 3 in downtown. Among this year’s new attractions are ice artists Masterpiece Ice Sculptures (MIS). This group of Asheville artists…
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 19:16

Hard Candy Craft Show returns Nov. 26-27

The 23rd Hard Candy Christmas Arts and Crafts show that will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Nov. 26-27 at the Ramsey Center on the campus of Western Carolina University. Admission is $3 and children are free.…
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 19:14

Dillsboro lights up December nights

One of the more traditional holiday experiences in Western North Carolina takes place in Dillsboro the first two weekends of December. Each year, this small mountain village is awash in the glow of white paper bag luminaries during the Dillsboro…
Wednesday, 24 November 2010 19:14

Silvia Williams to demo at Leapin’ Frog Gallery

Leapin’ Frog Gallery will host local artist Silvia Williams for a one-hour art talk and demonstration on “Experimental Painting” beginning at 1:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 2. Williams has been an artist for many years and has recently transitioned from realism…
It’s by Nature Gallery of Sylva is pleased to announce that the gallery will be hosting a one-man-show during the month of December for Cullowhee watercolor painter Craig Forrest. Forrest has been represented exclusively by the gallery since its opening. This show…
By Brittney Burns • SMN Intern While preparing Western Carolina University’s Pride of the Mountains marching band for their debut appearance in the 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade, band director Bob Buckner and wife — band auxiliary coordinator Donna —…
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 20:43

A father’s influence

Horace Kephart (1862-1931) was the author of Our Southern Highlanders, Camp Cookery, Sporting Firearms, Camping and Woodcraft, Smoky Mountain Magic, and other books. He also played a well-documented role in the founding of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Most…
More than $2,000 is cash and $5,000 in prizes were won by anglers participating in the Rumble in the Rhododendron Fly-Fishing Tournament Nov. 12-14 in Cherokee. First place overall went to the team of Paul Borcq and Nick Johnson who…
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 20:41

Henson wins Service to Forestry award

Steve Henson, the executive director of the Clyde-based Southern Appalachian Multiple Use Council, has been awarded the N.C. Forestry Association’s Outstanding Service to Forestry Award at the association’s 2010 annual meeting. “Steve is one of the respected voices in the…
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 20:40

Students hike Siler Bald with AT speed hiker

Three Macon County school teachers (Joan Lansford and Jae Crawford, of Franklin High School, and Shelley Marshall of Union Academy) and a Gear Up instructor (Mary Bennett) recently took classes on a four-mile round trip hike to Siler Bald. The…
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 20:39

Plants suck up toxins

Some common air pollutants found in cities can be absorbed by plants at far greater rates than ever suspected. The discovery has big implications for modeling how vegetation affects pollutants, as well as how particles in the atmosphere affect human…
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 20:38

Redheads, rustys and hairys – oh dear

A beautiful morning and Lake Junaluska was calling again. I approached the lake along Golf Course Road on the side that borders U.S. 19. A thick white mist was rising from the warm water into the crisp morning air and…
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 20:38

Live owls, presentation at Asheville store

Steve Longenecker and his live owls will be at the Asheville Wild Birds Unlimited store presenting programs at 1 and 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 27. As well as bringing along a pair of eastern screech owls and a great…
New data suggest that bats, like birds, may follow specifically defined routes when migrating rather than simply migrating in a dispersed way across a broad area. Wind energy turbines located in these routes may cause fatalities of migrating bats. As…
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 20:34

White nose syndrome decimating bat populations

It’s only a matter of time before the fungal infection white nose syndrome (WNS) appears in North Carolina, say wildlife experts. White nose syndrome is decimating bat populations across the country. It was first reported in the winter of 2006-2007…
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 20:33

Zafón back… but not, this time, in Barcelona

For millions of readers, Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind proved to be one of the most captivating novels of the last decade. Zafon’s talent for combining fantasy, suspense and realism produced unforgettable scenes that linger in the…
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 20:32

Poetry, storytelling and music at City Light

City Lights Bookstore in Sylva will host Karen Holmes for the bookstore’s monthly Coffee with the Poet gathering at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 18. Then at 7 p.m. on Nov. 20, the store will host Gary Carden’s Liar’s Bench featuring…
“The Nutcracker,” Peter Tchaikovsky’s famous and beloved ballet, is being presented again this year by Betsy’s School of Dance and the Rabun Gap Dancers. Performances are set for 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 3 and 4, at the…
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 20:31

Visit with Santa in Cashiers Nov. 27

The Greater Cashiers Area Merchants Association is bringing Santa to the Village Green from 1 to 4 p.m. on Nov. 27. Members of GCAMA will be on hand to serve cider and cookies as well as to assist with picture-taking…
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 20:31

WCU students ring in the holidays Rockettes style

Karyn Tomczak, director of Western Carolina University’s dance program and a former Radio City Music Hall Rockette, helps WCU dance students prepare for a Rockettes-inspired holiday show to be performed in the Asheville Holiday Parade on Saturday, Nov. 20. “As…
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 20:30

Celtic band to perform Nov. 20 in Bryson City

The Celtic band Bean Sidhe (ban shee) will perform a concert of traditional Irish and Scottish music at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20, at Swain County Center for the Arts in Bryson City. Immediately following the concert there will…
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 20:29

Hard Candy Christmas returns to WCU Nov. 26-27

A popular post-Thanksgiving arts and crafts tradition will once again fill Western Carolina University’s Ramsey Center for two days of holiday fun. The 23rd annual Hard Candy Christmas Fine Art and Craft Show is Nov. 26-27, featuring more than 100…
Songwriter and storyteller Michael Reno Harrell will make what is becoming an annual holiday appearance at Ridge Runner Naturals on Main Street in Waynesville at 8 p.m. on Nov. 27. “This one is always very special,” Harrell says on his…
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 20:28

Making art at ArtSpace

All ages of children at the ArtSpace Charter School in Swannanoa learned about art during a recent two-week artist residency.  Students worked with a western North Carolina artist to create a mobile sculpture that will permanently hang in their school. …
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 20:27

Christmas Tree auction to benefit KARE

The Kids Advocacy Resource Effort (KARE) will hold its first Festival of Trees fundraising event at 6 p.m. on Nov. 22 at the Gateway Club in Waynesville. Festivities begin with a dinner buffet followed by a live auction of uniquely…
Wednesday, 17 November 2010 20:25

Honoring a lost art

By Kristen Davis • Contributing Writer The newest piece of public art in downtown Waynesville — a metal railing that depicts a mountain scene — could have been crafted centuries ago. The artists, Richard Coley and Ben Kastner of Wilmington…