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Hundreds of chefs gathered in Washington, D.C., Friday, June 4, to launch Chefs Move to Schools, a program designed to get healthy food into cafeterias. Among their ranks was Charles Hudson, the research and development chef for Sunburst Trout Company…
Lake Junaluska, a century-old retreat for Methodist clergy and their families, will remain the favored venue for a major annual conference of the United Methodist Church. The Western North Carolina Conference — a formal gathering of Methodist churches from the…
For decades the story of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians wasn’t their own. Tourists flocked to see Cherokee men dance in the streets dressed as Great Plains Indians, arrayed in long feathered headdresses. The tribe’s history play, “Unto These…
Wednesday, 09 June 2010 13:47

Downtown Sylva to get more free parking

Years of complaining by Sylva merchants that there isn’t enough parking downtown has spurred the Sylva town board to lease a private parking lot near the intersection of Mill and Main Streets. The board voted 4 to 1 to lease…
Duke Energy wants an option to buy land at the Swain County Industrial Park with the intention of using it as the alternate site for an electrical substation, which was originally slated for the Ela area. According to Jason Walls,…
Wednesday, 09 June 2010 13:43

WCU grad drowns during tubing trip

A river tubing trip on a sunny day ended in tragedy last week when a recent Western Carolina University grad drowned. Allen Stanley Brisson, 22, of Cullowhee was tubing with friends on the Tuckasegee River on June 3. According to…
Wednesday, 09 June 2010 13:41

Apartment complex fills unmet need in WNC

The demand for stress-free, turnkey living was largely an untapped market in the region until the recent debut of VantagePointe Homes, a newly completed apartment community located in Waynesville. The 160-unit apartment development on 13.5 acres isn’t the first community…
Wednesday, 09 June 2010 13:40

The Naturalist's Corner

uddling – a kaleidoscope adventure Maddy (my 4-year-old) and I had been in the woods at Harmons Den checking on some bird points. We came out of the woods at the Harmons Den Horse Camp. At the intersection of Cold…
Kaleigh Davis, 12, comes to the Haywood County Public Library with her aunt Marlene Arrington almost every Thursday night. Arrington said the family can’t afford a computer at home so when Davis had to do a project that was a…
When the hour finally arrived for Haywood County commissioners to vote on a budget for the upcoming year, Haywood County Chairman Kirk Kirkpatrick expressed his wish for a unanimous vote. That’s exactly what he got. But that 5-0 victory for…
Wednesday, 09 June 2010 13:35

Towns demand parity in Haywood trash plan

There was one thing Haywood County commissioners, town officials, private haulers and county employees could all agree upon at last week’s public hearing on the budget: Someone, somewhere has to pay for the skyrocketing costs of trash operations in the…
Despite its peaceful atmosphere and long history as a spiritual center for Methodists, Lake Junaluska may lose the annual United Methodist Church conference it has hosted for more than half a century. Space limitations at the Lake have prompted the…
A 92-acre tract near the Little East Fork of the Pigeon River in the Bethel community in Haywood County has been protected through a conservation agreement by the property owner. “We are very grateful to everyone involved in this project…
Wednesday, 09 June 2010 13:30

Civil suit targeting Jackson sheriff fails

“The only reasonable verdict here is for Sheriff Ashe,” Patrick Flanagan told the jury. “He did not commit any wrongdoing here.” The eight-person jury in the Bryson City federal courtroom agreed, taking slightly less than an hour to clear Jackson…
Wednesday, 09 June 2010 13:29

An ongoing preservation

This past week, we took our 11-year-old granddaughter, Daisy, who is visiting from Colorado, to the Cherokee Indian Village. She had been reading about the Cherokees and wanted to see “real Indians.” The tour was excellent. There were plenty of…
Wednesday, 09 June 2010 13:28

Yearning for ancient ties

The Memory of Gills by Catherine Carter. Louisiana State University Press, 2006. 59 pages. Recently, when Catherine Carter was asked for a bit of biographical information that could be used to publicize her appearance as a participant in the Gilbert-Chappell…
An 8,000 acre tract in Transylvania County, the largest block of privately owned wilderness in the southern Blue Ridge Mountains, may soon be protected if enough funds can be raised. The landowner, former Congressman Charles Taylor who is also a…
A couple of stories we’ve covered in the last two weeks illustrate better than any data the new face of economic development here in the mountains. Community coordinators paid with tax dollars can help small businesses grow in our post-manufacturing…
Catch the Spirit of Appalachia and the Appalachian Homestead Farm & Preserve recently presented a hand pieced, appliquéd quilt of Jackson County to the staff of Jackson County Recreation Center for its assistance for the past five years with the…
Wednesday, 02 June 2010 20:17

Juggling through books

In Spite of Myself: A Memoir by Christopher Plummer. Knopf, 2008. 656 pages. Like most readers, I usually have a stack of books going beside my bed and in the living room. In addition, the books in my permanent collection…
Many people might say Lilian Parks is a staple to the regional art community. “Lil” as she is known to her students and fellow artists, is originally from San Francisco and has lived in Haywood County for more than 20…
Hidden behind 16 feet of Main Street storefront, the inside of The Strand Theater looks like a cave. The floor slopes down to a black stage surrounded by tall, black walls. Old theater chairs are stacked on the wall closest…
Gov. Beverly Perdue visited Main Street Friday to announce that Waynesville received a $300,000 grant from the state’s Main Street Solutions fund to help with The Strand Theater renovations. “We decided Waynesville would be one of the best places in…
On May 25 the Friends of the Jackson County Main Library marked the completion of their astonishing two-year fundraising drive, reaching their goal of $1.6 million to outfit the interior of the new library on Courthouse Hill in Sylva. Jane…
Wednesday, 02 June 2010 20:08

Waynesville bookstore changes ownership

Waynesville residents may soon notice the sign on Main Street’s Blue Ridge Books & Café switched out for a new one that says just Blue Ridge Books. The name change will be the most conspicuous sign of the switch in…
Wednesday, 02 June 2010 20:05

Haywood County 911 director calls for help

Haywood County’s technology director Kristy Wood wasn’t exactly latching onto the hope that commissioners would grant her $2.8 million budget request for the county’s 911 Communications department this year. The proposed budget shows an allocation of about $495,000 instead, a…
Western Carolina University’s quintet in residence should consider letting the Travel Channel tag along before embarking on its next international tour. After returning from China last month, the Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet can count 49 first-time foods tasted in 14…
The Cherokee uses and ecology of river cane will be discussed during a guided walk from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, June 9, in Franklin. “We Brake for River Cane” will discuss biology and ecology of canebrakes, and the…
Wednesday, 02 June 2010 20:01

Cherokee passport checkpoint a fun reminder

Martie Hoofer was driving her motorcycle into Cherokee from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park when an Anikituhwa warrior dressed for battle stopped her and asked for her passport. “I was shocked,” Hoofer said. “I believed him. My passport is…
Wednesday, 02 June 2010 19:59

Rediscovering inspiration

In the mid-1970s my primary writing interest was poetry. I was consumed night and day by poetry for perhaps five years and took part in poetry readings throughout the southern mountains. Some poems were published in little magazines like “Wind,”…
In March Swain County commissioners voted to enact a moratorium that put a halt to Duke Energy’s substation project on a hill overlooking the Cherokee mound site, Kituwah. The moratorium was passed amidst a heated dialogue between the county, the…
“Putting Mr. Finn out of business is not a duty of the Jackson County sheriff. Is that a fair statement?” asked Frank Contrivo Jr., the lawyer representing David Finn. “That statement or thought has never crossed my mind,” said Jackson…
On one side are local farmers, toiling from dawn to dusk, trying to compete in an increasingly globalized economy. On the other are local restaurant owners, caught up with the myriad responsibilities of running a successful small business. Hovering in…
Downtown Waynesville merchants hope a plan to remodel the old Strand theater as an entertainment venue, restaurant and microbrewery will return the former icon to a Main Street magnet once again. “We are excited about it. We think it is…
It doesn’t get much fresher than this. Horticulture students at Smoky Mountain High School in Sylva are helping to feed their peers by supplying the school cafeteria with lettuce. Students are growing lettuce hydroponically in a greenhouse, where plant roots…
Wednesday, 02 June 2010 16:37

From garden to table in Sylva

In Sylva, the buy local mantra is being reinterpreted as grow your own. Volunteers at the Community Table, a nonprofit that provides free, nutritious meals to anyone who needs them, helped to create the Sylva Community Garden six years ago…
I was heartened recently by two op-eds I read in area newspapers regarding industrial-sized wind turbines in the mountains of Western North Carolina. The reasoned commentaries were written by individuals with firsthand knowledge of science, the scientific method, Appalachian history,…
The Haywood Arts Regional Theatre kicks off summer with a hilarious backstage romp “Falling in Like” an “almost romantic comedy” written and directed by the playwright Jerry Sipp. This performance is a unique opportunity to have a playwright come into…
Lorin Shaw was barely 16 when he landed a job with a crew building the Blue Ridge Parkway in the late-1930s. “We were lucky to get the work because there was no work back then,” said Shaw, who was born…
By Brent MartinI went down to the water but he left me in the mud; I wanted me some wine but he turned it into blood. — from the Dean Williams painting, “Jesus gave me the blues”. A little over…
An election watchdog in Swain County is protesting the tallying of early votes before the close of polls on Election Day, claiming it could have given some candidates an unfair advantage if those results be leaked. The results from early…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:56

The butternut in the creek bend

Like dimly-lit rhododendron tunnels or ancient sphagnum-layered bogs, creek bends are special places that invariably precipitate beauty. Sitting in the blue-gray shadows of my porch, I watch lower Lands Creek flow by on its way to the Gulf of Mexico.…
Researchers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park need volunteers to help map stands of ash trees and look for signs of the deadly Emerald Ash Borer. The Emerald Ash Borer has been spreading and is now as close as…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:55

Tsali targeted for trail work

The famed mountain bike trails of Tsali will get a workover this fall thanks to federal stimulus funding. Vegetation will be trimmed back 4 feet on both sides from the center of the trail and 10-feet overhead, and areas with…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:54

Triathlon combines best of mountain sports

The ultimate triathlon for outdoors adventure lovers — with the triple combo of paddling, trail running and mountain biking — will come to the trails of Tsali this weekend, Aug. 28 and 29. The Tsali Challenge will be held at…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:51

Franklin 5k for Clean Water in Africa

The Franklin Blue Planet 5K for Clean Water will be held Saturday, Sept. 4, along the Little Tennessee Greenway. The Interact Club at Franklin High School is putting on the race to raise money for the Blue Planet Network, which…
A 110-acre tract along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Waynesville has been protected thanks to the longtime landowner selling the land to the Conservation Trust of North Carolina at a bargain rate. The Conservation Trust in turn plans to deed…
Cataloochee Ranch in Maggie Valley is hosting a chestnut celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11. The festivities will honor the all-important role of chestnut trees for early Appalachian settlers and efforts to repopulate the mountains with…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:48

Jackson lakes lowered

Boating at Tanasee Creek and Wolf Creek lakes will be reduced while Duke Energy repairs a hydroelectric generator below the two lakes. Both lakes are 18.5 feet below full, rendering the boat ramp at Wolf Lake useless. The current schedule…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:48

Fireman’s 5K blazes into Bryson City

The Fireman’s Day 5K will be held in Bryson City Saturday, Sept. 4, in conjunction with the 29th annual Fireman’s Day Street Festival. The 3.1-mile course starts and finishes at the Bryson City Fire Department. It makes a loop out…