Thu04172014

     Subscribe  |  Contact  |  Advertise  |  RSS Feed Other Publications

Wednesday, 24 June 2009 16:04

The Naturalist's Corner

WNS impacts western Carolina caving The USDA Forest Service issued an order on May 21 closing all caves and abandoned mines on FS property — unless specifically posted as open — in its Southeastern Region 8. The states affected include…
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 16:02

Lawmakers veer way off path

By Bob Scott • Guest Columnist North Carolina Legislators have declared war on tube roses. Tube roses are little roses and pens in glass tubes. Also on the legislator’s list of evil products are cigar splitters. Splitters are plastic tubes…
The mountains of Western North Carolina were no stranger to tourism prior to the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which today rakes in 9 million visitors and is by far the most visited national park in the…
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 16:00

Humanizing literature

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Dial Press. 277 pages For readers who love epistolary novels, T.G.L.A.P.P.P.S. will prove to be a delight. In addition to containing bright and witty letters…
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 15:59

No we aren’t becoming socialists

Don’t you just love how words and labels take on a life of their own in the ideological debate that helps shape public policy. The give-and-take of real debate is important — as it helps us find a middle ground…
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 15:58

Waynesville seeks input on pedestrian plan

A master plan for making Waynesville even more pedestrian friendly has been unveiled after a year in the making. The long-range plan lays out priorities for new sidewalks over the next 15 years. “The basic rationale was to fill in…
After two-and-a-half years of operating in temporary quarters, the big move is here. Stacks of boxes are piled high in the hallways and offices of Haywood County workers, awaiting transfer to their new home. This weekend, they’ll be moved in…
Cherokee isn’t the only one that potentially stands to make money off the sale of alcohol to patrons at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino. Swain or Jackson counties could see a mini-windfall of their own if Harrah’s purchases vast quantities of liquor…
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 15:55

In search of hidden lookout towers

The line-up of hikes in the Lookout Tower Challenge spans Western North Carolina. Seven are located in the Nantahala National Forest, including Wayah Bald and Albert Mountain along the Appalachian Trail. Five more towers can be found in the Great…
As Jackson County leaders continue their fight against Duke Energy, an unassuming local lawyer that few have heard of has appeared as the county’s heavy-hitter against the politically powerful and uber-wealthy Fortune 500 utility. Attorney Gary Miller, 52, a former…
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 15:52

An unfortunate object of affection

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has long been synonymous with black bears. From the first automobile tourists to today’s long-distance backpackers, catching a glimpse of the the iconic animal is the ultimate Smokies’ experience. Of course, it was much…
By Peter Barr • Guest writer The Carolina Mountain Club is challenging hikers to seek out some of Western North Carolina’s most spectacular panoramas. The group’s new Lookout Tower Challenge rewards outdoor enthusiasts for completing hikes to 24 of the…
Swain County will continue contracting with the Bryson City Fire Department to provide county fire service, despite threatening to cut ties with the department after it asked the county for more money. Earlier this year, the county balked at a…
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 15:49

Sunburst: Fantasy and Reality

By Karen Dill Sunburst. The word evokes a magical image. Yet, in my childhood community of Bethel, Sunburst was simply a place visited on lazy Sunday afternoons in June. It was a mere section of land beyond Lake Logan, but…
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 15:46

Buy local

Haywood Sunburst Trout FarmMakes: Smoked Tomato Jam, trout dip, trout cakes, trout jerky, trout sausage, trout caviar, marinated trout.Find it at: The Nest on Main Street, Waynesville (Smoked Tomato Jam); Ingles (trout dip); or order online at www.sunbursttrout.com.Bethel Eden FarmMakes:…
Across Western North Carolina, an increasing number of people are discovering new and creative ways to use the bounty of produce and farm goods raised in the mountains. From jams to sauces to salves, homegrown chefs and artisans are turning…
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 15:43

Tour retraces Haywood County history

By Ellen Cirino • Special To The Smoky Mountain News The fifth Cold Mountain Heritage Tour, a self-driving tour to historic sites in and around the Haywood County community of Bethel that aren’t open for public access, will be held…
Come the start of fall semester, some Western Carolina University freshmen could find themselves residing in unusual living quarters. A delay in the construction of a new residence hall is forcing WCU staff to scramble for places to put incoming…
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 20:14

Maggie festival embraces all things trout

Maggie Valley will celebrate the trout heritage of the Smoky Mountain region with its annual Trout Festival, held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 20, at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds. One of the integral aspects of…
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 20:11

Out like trout

Anybody who knows any thing about Western North Carolina is aware of the bountiful rivers and stream waters that paint an awesome landscape for trout fishing. Urban and backcountry waters running in all directions makes the area an attractive mecca…
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino has donated $10,000 to Friends of the Smokies in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park this year. The contribution recognizes the value of having the most visited national park in the…
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 20:01

NC Utility Commission OK with dam seizure

Jackson County appears to be on firm footing in its quest to seize the Dillsboro dam from Duke Energy as far as state law goes, but it is unclear whether the county could hit a roadblock from the Federal Energy…
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 19:57

Swain budget cuts target Sheriff’s office

Swain County commissioners have opted to target one department rather than spreading out county budget cuts among all county employees. Commissioners have scrapped the idea for a mandatory one-week employee furlough, which they had initially seemed to support, and have…
A member of the public was escorted from a Haywood County commissioners meeting Monday (June 15) by a deputy after getting into a verbal altercation with Chairman Kirk Kirkpatrick. Tension has been high at county meetings for the past two…
Haywood County became the Westminster of Western North Carolina this past weekend as more than 1,000 dogs and their owners flocked to the area to compete in the first AKC-sanctioned dog show ever held in the far western region. The…
The Cherokee Preservation Foundation recently awarded $87,700 to Western Carolina University’s Craft Revival Project to continue the university’s Cherokee crafts documentation project. Following its initial year, which explored Cherokee baskets and basket makers, the second year of the project will…
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 19:49

They’re here, with beer

The beer business has exploded on the scene in Western North Carolina in the past several years, with Asheville alone now home to seven craft breweries. A recent poll cemented the city’s status as an up-and-coming brewery epicenter, naming it…
Landowners have won a lawsuit against Haywood County claiming they were victims of overbearing enforcement of erosion control laws. Judge Laura Bridges issued her ruling this week, although the case was heard six weeks ago. Bridges ruled in favor of…
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 19:43

Northerners in our southern climes

Elevations above 4,000 feet in the Blue Ridge Province can be thought of as a peninsula of northern terrain extending into the southeastern United States, where typical flora and fauna of northeastern and southeastern North America intermingle. Many plants and…
Swain County will be able to rescind its latest property revaluation — which caused property values to increase by an average of 30 percent — thanks to a bill in the General Assembly. The county had hoped to scrap its…
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 19:41

Bardo declines nomination

Western Carolina University Chancellor John Bardo will not be among the pool of candidates being considered for president of the University of Cincinnati, he announced at a university board of trustees meeting June 5. The fact that his name was…
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 19:38

Garden records

By Jim Webb Don’t you wish you kept good records? I sure do. Those Elvis Presley 45’s, purchased the first day they hit the record store, would probably be worth a fortune now. Oh, well, what did I know in…
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 19:36

The Naturalist's Corner

Birds of a feather Yep, they’ll be flocking June 25 at 10 a.m. at the North Carolina Arboretum, 100 Frederick Law Olmstead Way in Asheville. The event will commemorate the publication of North Carolina Birding Trail’s Mountain Trail Guide. The…
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 19:32

Terms of Duke’s offer made public

The terms of Duke Energy’s counter-offer to Jackson County and the town of Franklin in exchange for dropping their opposition to Dillsboro dam removal have been made public. Duke Energy made a confidential offer to their opponents two weeks ago…
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 19:29

Woman turns passion into beneficial career

When Suzanne Wilson’s job was eliminated last December, she quickly found a new career, one that would allow her to use her creative talents and provide financial assistance to a cause near and dear to her heart. Wilson, a resident…
Gudger Palmer has never forgotten the fond memories of growing up in Cataloochee Valley. At 100 years old, one memory in particular brings a smile to his lips every time he returns to his old one-room school. “That’s the place…
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 19:27

Macon budget avoids tax increase, layoffs

If you’re a county commissioner in Western North Carolina, it’s hard not to feel envious of Macon County’s budget. While surrounding counties are grappling with layoffs and — in Haywood’s case — a tax increase, Macon County commissioners have managed…
After months of struggling to solve a $7 million budget shortfall, Haywood County commissioners voted 3 to 2 Monday night (June 15) to raise property taxes by 1.7 cents in lieu of more severe cuts to county workers. The two…
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 19:25

Duke begins prepping for dam removal

Despite the looming threat by Jackson County to win control of the Dillsboro Dam using eminent domain, Duke Energy announced that it will begin preparing for its demolition this week by dredging the backlog of sediment from behind the dam.…
By John Sanderson • Guest Columnist It was great to learn recently about the effort the Haywood County Schools Foundation (HCSF) is making to support our school system in these difficult economic times. I applaud HCSF for donating $30,000 to…
A ceremonial groundbreaking was held this week for a new visitor center at the main North Carolina entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park outside Cherokee. The new visitor center will showcase the cultural heritage of the region, from…
Wednesday, 17 June 2009 19:18

Snippets from a poet’s life

Fall of Frost by Brian Hall. Penguin Group, 2008. 352 pages Since his death in 1963, Robert Frost has come to occupy a place in the highest echelon of American poets. In anthologies and textbooks, poems like “Stopping by Woods…
Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:17

Jackson uses eminent domain to take dam

Jackson County played the ultimate trump card in the drawn-out fight against Duke Energy over the Dillsboro dam this week. County commissioners voted 4 to 1 Monday (June 8) to use the power of eminent domain to seize the dam…
Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:16

Recreating the past with nostalgic

Remembering Henderson County by Louise Bailey. History Press, 2005. 144 pages. In Louise Bailey’s Remembering Henderson County, the author recreates the past with affection, nostalgia and humor. To me, reading any of her books (I’ve located six of them) is…
Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:15

The Naturalist's Corner

Goodbye to a native son A light has dimmed in the universe. It was a light that shone with gracious comforting warmth yet it was sparked by a lucidity so radiant, so white hot, that it cut laser-like through the…
Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:14

Caught in the spider’s alluring web

Spiders are one of the most interesting — and sometimes disconcerting — critters to observe. Especially fascinating, to me, are the various webs they create to capture prey and provide themselves with protection. Spiders are often confused with insects, which…
A proposed tax increase that Haywood residents have fought hard against could likely be avoided if residents would just pay their taxes on time in the first place. But property tax collections are down this year, presumably due to the…
Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:11

Commissioners' viewpoints

Chairman Brian McMahan “I believe that river belongs to the people of the United States of America. That’s our river. Yes we have benefited from the production of power, but it still belongs to the people. I don’t argue the…
Wednesday, 10 June 2009 19:08

Frequently asked questions

Why does Duke want to tear down the dam? Dam removal is tied to the larger issue of mitigation for Duke’s hydropower operations in the region. Duke operates 10 other dams on five rivers in the region. The permits for…
Photographer Ken Wilson of Waynesville recently published his first book, The Aleutian Islands of Alaska, Living on the Edge. The book is a stunning compilation of photos from Alaska where Wilson went with wife, Kathy, to serve as missionaries to…