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With North Carolina suffering from some of the worst unemployment rates in the country, the U.S. Treasury Department is dedicating $159 million to help laid off workers in the state avoid foreclosure. Another $121 million is likely on the way,…
Wednesday, 29 September 2010 19:36

Forest Hills in holding pattern on WCU annexation

A timetable is still being hammered out on when Forest Hills leaders will receive a formal proposal from Western Carolina University on annexing land for a commercial development. WCU wants to develop 35 acres of its main campus into a…
Monday, 27 September 2010 13:56

Maggie may mandate mountain motif

The days of building as you like in Maggie Valley may be numbered, with design standards in the works to guide the town’s commercial district toward a mountain theme. Maggie Valley’s planning board has released a draft version of standards…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 20:01

Mica — from art to technology

“Oh, what is that shiny stuff in the rocks?” someone will ask during any sort of outing. And invariably, someone in the group will reply, “Oh, that’s just mica.” I think to myself, “How could anything so pretty be ‘just…
The Boy Scouts of America will celebrate 100 years of scouting this weekend with a camporee at Camp Daniel Boone at the base of the Shining Rock Wilderness in Haywood County. Scouts will get a flavor for pioneering, rifle shooting,…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:59

Elk excursion to include ranger talk

A field trip to view the elk rut season in Cataloochee Valley will be held by the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust on Tuesday, Sept. 28, as part of the eco tour series. There will be a special talk by Park Ranger…
Monarch butterflies are migrating through the mountains on their way to Mexico for the winter, and volunteers are needed to help catch, tag and release them. A Monarch day will be from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct.…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:56

Take a tour of off-the-grid farm living

A tour of an off-the-grid, sustainable farm and homestead in Macon County will be held on Saturday, Oct. 2. Lara and Paul Chew are master improvisers. They’ve invented and built systems to bring water, heat and coolness, light and earth-friendly simplicity into…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:56

Help harvest a garden for a good cause

The Haywood County Meals on Wheels Community Garden is seeking volunteers to help harvest potatoes at the Johnson Farm Road location in Canton during one of two sessions, at either 9 a.m. or 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23. The…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:55

NOC festival to cap off summer outdoor season

Nantahala Outdoor Center’s famous end-of-season Guest Appreciation Festival is this weekend starting at 9 a.m. on Friday, Sept. 24, and running through Sunday. The annual event celebrates active outdoor lifestyles. The major highlight is a giant outdoor flea market for…
The Outdoorsman Triathlon is coming to the Little Tennessee River in Swain County this weekend, Sept. 25 and 26. The nation’s oldest continuous triathlon started in 1976, when outdoorsman Payson Kennedy, the founder of the Nantahala Outdoor Center, and Olympic…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:53

A rare romp in the watershed

A guided hike in the Waynesville watershed preserve, an 8,600-acre tract typically off-limits to the public, will be offered at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9. The preserve reaches from Allens Creek up to the Blue Ridge Parkway, a massive…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:51

Center to engage girls in science

SciGirls, a science program for girls ages 9 to 14, will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. the last Tuesday of the month at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute starting in September.   “SciGirls is a groundbreaking new attempt…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:48

The Naturalist's Corner

Panther Top fire tower My family spent a wonderful sunny Sunday afternoon this week in the Tusquitee Ranger District of the Nantahala National Forest just west of Murphy. Our first stop was the Panther Top Lookout tower on Forest Service Road…
As the recession worsens, more and more animals need help, and fewer and fewer funding sources are available to animal rescue non-profits. “This is the worst year we’ve seen. I think that’s true for everybody in this business,” said Karen…
The twenty-ninth Banned Books Week Sept. 25 through Oct. 2 celebrates not only the freedom to choose what to read but also the freedom to select from a full array of possibilities. This year’s theme is “Think for Yourself and…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:37

Southern stories don’t disappoint

The publication of New Stories from the South 2010 marks the 25th anniversary of this prestigious series. Obviously, the folks down at Algonquin Books in Chapel Hill know how to put together an appealing anthology. In the introduction to this…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:36

Excuses, excuses – don’t give me that

I remember my outrage bubbling up as she spoke. “Mrs. Langley,” my fellow first-grade classmate and yellow-bellied, snitch-of-a-former friend said to our teacher. “Tink had her eyes open during the prayer.” A few words of explanation are necessary. My nickname…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:33

Miller is choice in 11th District

To the Editor: If you are unfamiliar with Jeff Miller, the Republican candidate for the 11th Congressional District, or if you are confused as to whom to vote for this November, then I suggest that you log onto Jeff Miller’s…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:32

Don’t muzzle public input in Haywood

To the Editor: As citizens of Haywood County, we would like to call your attention to some proposals that the Haywood County commissioners have put forth which we find potentially dangerous.  1. The proposal to limit speaking time in front…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:31

Incumbents are best for commissioner seats

To the Editor: The race is on now that Labor Day has come and gone. For a while we will hear good points about the candidates and what wonderful character they have. They will then take off the gloves and…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:29

Democrats are the problem solvers

To the Editor: I am a proud Democrat. An intelligent, articulate Democrat became President and he brought back America’s honor throughout the world. During these historically difficult times the President succeeds in spite of constant pressure from an opposition party…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:28

Why we need a public forum in Jackson County

To the Editor: Why did the Jackson County Home Builders Association organize the upcoming Jackson County Town Hall Forum at 6 p.m. on Sept. 28 in the Cashiers Community Center? It is quite simple: we have some questions that we…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:27

I go to carnivals, therefore I love my children

Part of becoming a parent is making peace with the proposition that virtually everyone in the world except you knows best how to discipline your children. I was once part of that world, casting judgmental “if those were my kids”…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:25

Digging out Lake Junaluska … again

In the ongoing battle to keep Lake Junaluska from filling with silt, the lake will once again be partially lowered this winter so accumulated sediment can be dug out. Scooping sediment out of the lake is a costly proposition. There…
The airwaves in Bryson City are active again now that WBHN is back up and running. The radio station, the only one that calls Swain County home, went off the air about a year ago because of financial problems. Two…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:23

Open House to be held on WCU campus Oct. 2

Prospective college students who want to learn the ins and outs of campus life will have an opportunity for a sneak peak as Western Carolina University holds Open House on Saturday, Oct. 2. Hosted by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions,…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:23

Rabies clinics planned around Haywood

Haywood County Animal Control, the Haywood County Health Department and veterinarians from the county’s six animal hospitals are collaborating on a series of rabies clinics the week of Sept. 27-Oct. 1. The clinics will be held from 5 to 6:30…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:22

Spruce sell will benefit Haywood schools

TCA Tree Farm in Ironduff is selling “dig your own” 4-foot Norway spruce trees Sept. 25 and Oct. 2 as a benefit for the Haywood County Schools Foundation. The trees are immune to the woolly adelgid that attacks hemlocks, and…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:21

Radical makeover

A major remodeling job to convert the abandoned Wal-Mart in Clyde to house the Haywood County Department of Social Services could get underway by November. This rendering by Asheville firm Padgett & Freeman Architects shows how the dreary big-box storefront…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:19

Maroon Devil Classic Golf Tournament

The Seventh Annual Maroon Devil Classic Golf Tournament to will be held at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 2, at The Ridges Resort and Golf Club in Hayesville. The tournament will be a four-man captain’s choice format. Registration is $75…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:17

Seminar focuses on Internet “findability”

The Haywood County Tourism Development Authority and Haywood Community Colleges’ Small Business Center will co-sponsor a seminar for small business owners titled “Findability on the Web: Tips and Tricks From The Pros” from 10 a.m. to noon on Sept. 28.…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:10

HCC offers new solar course series

Haywood Community College’s Division of Continuing Education will offer a new solar course series called Harnessing the Power of the Sun. The series will provide more than 20 hours of instruction including some hands-on lab activities. The cost of the…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:09

Haywood Chamber to host candidates

The Haywood County Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Meet and Greet the Candidates forum at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 6, at the Gateway Club. Cost to attend the breakfast is $10 for chamber members and $15 for…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:08

Jackson County candidate forum

The Jackson County Home Builders Association will hold a Jackson County Town Meeting Forum at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 28, at the Cashiers Community Center. All candidates for county commissioner have confirmed they will attend, as well as both candidates…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:04

Needmore Road debate heats up

Dorothy and Steve Poole are among the few who live along a 3.3-mile stretch of Needmore Road the state Department of Transportation wants to widen and pave. “I agree with the people who want to keep it beautiful,” Dorothy Poole…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 19:02

A snake in the courthouse? Believe it

Deputy Gregory Wood was looking forward to a mundane Monday morning manning the metal detector at the Haywood County courthouse when a woman came in with some strange news: a snake had taken up residence in the elevator of the…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 18:58

Violations stack up against Cherokee bear zoo

Chief Saunooke Bear Park in Cherokee has been cited with federal violations for the treatment and condition of captive bears kept in pits for viewing by tourists. It marks the fourth federal inspection of the bear zoo in two years…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 18:57

Panel finally formed to pick Sylva’s top cop

One town commissioner, the town manager and two business owners will help pick Sylva’s next police chief. The panel, agreed on last week at a board meeting, replaces one originally conceived by Town Manager Adrienne Isenhower that sparked dissent among…
Richard Collings suffered a stroke the night he arrived in Western North Carolina to take over as president of Southwestern Community College. What followed, as Collings described it, was “kind of a weird interlude” into his new job. There had…
Two veteran officers, Sheriff Robert Holland and George Lynch, are vying to fill Macon County’s top law-enforcement post. The campaigns of both men have been remarkable. More for what isn’t happening rather than what has taken place. Both Holland, the…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 18:54

Jackson sheriffs race marked by acrimony

Mary Rock wants to become the first female sheriff in Jackson County, but gaining that title against two-term incumbent and Democrat Jimmy Ashe won’t be easy. Part of Rock’s tactic is that she is running unaffiliated rather than under the…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 18:53

Haywood sheriff challenger pledges modern approach

Voters will have a choice between a fresh or familiar face in this year’s Haywood County sheriff’s race. Democratic incumbent Bobby Suttles has worked law enforcement in Haywood for 35 years, including 18 years at the Haywood County Sheriff’s office.…
It’s nearing showtime for the most heated race in Swain County: the battle between Republican Sheriff Curtis Cochran and his challenger, Democrat John Ensley. Controversial issues were neither few nor far between during Cochran’s first term as sheriff: a suspected…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 18:38

Carden play premiers in Highlands Oct. 1-3

The Martin Lipscomb Performing Arts Center and the Highlands Cashiers Players will present the world premier of Gary Carden’s newest play, “Signs and Wonders,” on Oct. 1, 2 and 3.  This Small Stages production will also include another of Carden’s…
“Confessions of a Clergy Wife,” performed by Barbara Bates Smith, will take the spotlight at 3 p.m. Sept 26 in Thatcher Hall at Grace Church in the Mountains in Waynesville. The candid and humorous spiritual journey has led to thought-provoking…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 18:36

Fiddling Dills Sisters to perform in Sylva Oct. 18

The Fiddling Dills Sisters will appear at the Jackson County Public Library at 7 p.m. on Oct. 18. Amanda Dills Stewart and Sharon Dills have been playing music together for many years. Amanda started playing violin at age 5 and Sharon…
A free guest artist concert beginning at 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 4, at Western Carolina University Coulter Building recital hall will feature The Trio de Llano, a chamber music ensemble based at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La. The Trio…
Irish dancing and fiery fiddling take center stage when the Hunt Family performs at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24, at the Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University. The Hunt Family, Clint, Sandy and their seven children: Jessica,…
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 18:28

Tickets on sale for WCU gala event

Western Carolina University will mark five years of art and entertainment beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct.22, at the Fine and Performing Arts Center with a gala featuring art, music and a theatrical revue of songs by George and…