I admit to being slightly irked when I initially thought about writing this column. It has been about a year since Jeff Seiler retired as the director of the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service for Swain and Jackson counties, and more…
“Do I want to dictate what the college does? That is not my job. As county commissioners, it is my job to ask questions.” Haywood County Board of Commissioners Chairman Kirk Kirkpatrick The Haywood County commissioners have done their job,…
Alternative energy has emerged as a sticking point in the debate over a proposed $10 million creative arts building at Haywood Community College. The project is in limbo as it awaits approval from county commissioners, who have expressed reservations for…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:29

Spine Center coming to Angel Medical

Spine care for residents of Macon and adjoining counties will be available in Franklin beginning Tuesday, Sept. 7 with the opening of Mission Outpatient Spine Center at Angel Medical Center. A grand opening celebration will be held at noon on Sept.…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:28

HCC offers business planning course

Rural Entrepreneurship through Action Learning will be offered from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursdays from Sept. 14 through Oct. 7. This four-week course will be held at Haywood Community College in the Freedlander Building in Room 204.…
The historic significance of the Cowee Valley corridor received a national boost this month following the designation of N.C. 28 as part of the Indian Lakes Scenic Byway. “We had to make our case for the project, document the project…
Ghost Town in the Sky is staring down the barrel of foreclosure. BB&T has filed for foreclosure against the amusement park, which owes BB&T $9.5 million dating back to 2007. Of that amount, $6.5 million was to purchase of the…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:24

Blue Ridge Hall opens its doors

Of the 1,450 Western Carolina University freshmen set to move in Aug. 20, about 375 will score a room in the brand new Blue Ridge Hall. The hall is the second of a pair of residence halls built as part…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:24

Free hand screening to be held at Harris

Dr. Paul Cutting, an orthopedic doctor at Western Carolina Orthopedic Specialists who specializes in hand and upper extremity surgery, will offer a free hand screening from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday. Sept. 9, at the outpatient therapy department in…
Lake Junaluska Assembly invites youth and children to become peacemakers at the 2010 Lake Junaluska Peace Celebration: Mosaic of Hope, Sept. 18 through 19. The unique two-day event features leadership from children’s activist Jeni Stepanek, as well as youth and…
A Jackson County grading company was left holding the bag on more than $200,000 in site work after the developer who hired it went bankrupt. The grading company has filed a lawsuit targeting the current property owner in hopes of…
For the second time in three years, the Jackson County Child Support Enforcement Program has achieved the ranking of No. 1 in the state, according to a report released by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services for fiscal…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:20

Rabies shots likely in store for dozens

More than 40 people in Haywood County might have been exposed to rabies after a baby raccoon a family was caring for died and tested positive for the disease. The raccoon died of rabies infection Aug. 13. Prior to its…
In the 1970s, blue jeans and boys with shaggy hair were as scandalous in Western North Carolina schools as miniskirts and pants sagging well below the waist are today. Teenage fashion continues marching onward in its evolution, leaving school administrators…
Bryson City merchants can expect some relief from the downtown parking crunch once the old Swain County Jail is torn down in the next two weeks. The crumbling jail was abandoned a couple of years ago for a new multimillion-dollar…
Attorneys in the state’s seven westernmost counties sent a message to the governor this week that they don’t want a temporary fill-in as judge before the November election. The retirement of longtime District Court Judge Danny Davis would typically trigger…
Finding a new police chief for Sylva might take more time than anticipated after some of the town’s board members balked at using outside help. In early August, Town Manager Adrienne Isenhower notified commissioners via email she intended to enlist…
Get ready for two evenings of bluegrass music and wholesome family fun on Friday, Aug. 27, and Saturday, Aug. 28, on the grounds behind the old Fines Creek School. Sponsored by the Fines Creek Community Association to raise funds for…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 18:48

The Farewell Drifters come to Stecoah

The 2010 “An Appalachian Evening” season comes to an end on Saturday, Aug. 28, with one of Nashville’s most exciting new acts. The Farewell Drifters perform at 7:30 p.m. at Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center. “An Appalachian Evening” was named…
The Haywood Arts Regional Theater’s next play never played Broadway, or even New York, but it is one of the most popular comedies being done today. “Catfish Moon” by Laddy Sartin tells the story of a group of close friends…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 18:46

Songwriters series continues in Balsam

Grammy Award winner Leslie Ellis and Grammy Award nominee Casey Kelly will share their creative talents starting 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28, at the Balsam Mountain Inn. The performance is part of the Songwriters In-The-Round series, which brings audiences…
A back to school celebration with local band 32 Reasons will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 27, at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville. Teens and pre-teens are invited to come and celebrate (or mourn) the start of…
A CD containing 34 1930s-era recordings of music performed by Smoky Mountain musicians will be released in October by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Great Smoky Mountains Association, the park’s nonprofit educational organization. In the meantime, Great Smoky…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 18:44

Sign up for watercolor workshops

Registration is going on now for the 2010 calendar of workshops and Art Academy at The Bascom in Highlands. Pat Fiorello, whose work is pictured above, will teach three watercolor workshops: “Watercolor for Non-Artists,” “Watercolor Landscape,” and “Watercolor/Color Workshop,” from…
The WNC group of the Southeast Chapter of the National Cartoonists Society will be presenting a day of “Shop Talk” on Saturday, Sept. 11, at the Skyland/ South Buncombe Library in Asheville. The program will run from 10 a.m. until…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 18:43

Free swimming party for families in Canton

Healthy Haywood’s annual Family Fun Day will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 29, at the Canton Recreation Park outdoor pool. Enjoy free swimming for the whole family, a DJ, and health information booths from Healthy Haywood…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 18:42

Free square dance lessons offered

The Pisgah Promenaders will host the annual “Back to School Dance” from 7:15 to 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28, at the Old Armory Recreation Center in Waynesville. The dancers will be asked to bring back to school items for…
More than 100 artists and crafters from all over the Southeast, including Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia and Alabama will gather for the Labor Day Craft Show in Maggie Valley. Artists will demonstrate and sell their original handicrafts works from…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 18:39

HCC fiber students create Sandburg rug

Haywood Community College Professional Crafts-Fiber students recently delivered a Navajo rug they crafted to the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site in Flat Rock. The students were commissioned to craft a replica of a worn and faded Navajo rug that…
Artists from Haywood and Jackson counties are eligible to submit work for the next “Art in the Airport” exhibit at the Asheville Regional Airport. With approximately 600,000 passengers traveling through the Asheville Regional Airport each year, artwork on display receives…
“Cool!” was the typical response from kids as Fun Factory visitors walked in to find a colorful, life-sized killer whale on display just inside the Fun Factory’s entrance. It’s the centerpiece of a free August and September arts and crafts…
Some musicians just have to discover themselves. Waynesville singer-songwriter Lorraine Conard grew up singing at church and in plays, jotting down song verses here and there in college. Music was an inextricable part of Conard’s life, but without outside confirmation…
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:47

Overlooks in southern Appalachia

High-elevation overlooks are one of our finest natural resources. These vantage points allow us to rise above our everyday humdrum existence and see the world with fresh eyes. Many of the finest overlooks along the Blue Ridge Parkway, in the…
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:45

A forest guide for the novice

A new book titled The Forests of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park serves as a guide to understanding and identifying southern Appalachian forest types for the non-scientist. The book explores the evolution of the diverse forests of the Smokies,…
An eight-week course on the Fundamentals of Green Building will be held at Haywood Community College starting Aug. 30. The course is designed to help construction workers and contractors land work in the emerging green construction industry. The course is…
The tenth annual Southern Energy and Environment Expo this weekend in Asheville will features dozens of programs and exhibits on how to create a more sustainable society. Thousands of people attend each year to hear the talks, attend workshops and…
Photographers should get to work now to come up with their best mountain images for the eighth annual Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition. The photo contest celebrates the unique people, places, and pursuits that distinguish the Southern Appalachians. The contest has…
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:39

Foot Rx brings 5K race to Jackson County

A cross-country style 5K race in Cullowhee sponsored by Foot Rx of Asheville, a running shoe store, will be held this Saturday, Aug. 21. The Foot Rx 5k Cross Country Challenge starts at 9 a.m. at the Jackson County Recreation…
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:38

The oil is gone! Long live the oil!

A week or so ago White House energy adviser Carol Browner was hitting the morning TV circuit, telling anyone who would listen that the majority of the more than 200 million gallons of crude that gushered into the Gulf of…
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:29

A few wrong turns on the way to paradise

I grabbed my guidebook and pen and wrapped my camera in a plastic grocery bag as it started to rain. Stuffing it all into my backpack, I headed down the ancient looking road, nothing but two narrow ruts overgrown by…
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:26

The allure of falling water

Although most people are drawn to waterfalls, many pause before they can articulate why. For some, it’s the sound of the water tumbling over the rocks. For others, it’s the sheer beauty or tranquility. “Everybody loves them, but nobody can…
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:26

Coffee with poet Bill Everett

Poet Bill Everett, author of Red Clay Blood River, will appear at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 19, as this month’s guest at City Lights Bookstore’s Coffee with the Poet. After a break for lunch, attendees can come back to enjoy…
Michael Beadle and Peter Yurko have published a new photographic history of Waynesville in honor of the town’s bicentennial this year. Their first book signing will be held 3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28, at Blue Ridge Books in downtown…
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:25

Authors of two new mountain memoirs speak

Jean Boone Benfield, of Asheville, will read from her new book, Mountain Born: A Recollection of Life and Language in Western North Carolina, at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 20, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva. The book recalls her…
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:23

A grim look at Appalachia

Authors often dig into their childhood to mine for the coal and diamonds of their books. Sometimes they use the picks and shovels of fiction; Charles Dickens, Charlotte Bronte, and Thomas Wolfe come most famously to mind as writers who…
To the Editor: I recently had occasion to take a 10-day camping and motorcycling trip. Maggie Valley was selected as my turn-around destination. The draw to Maggie Valley was great. The potential to ride the Blue Ridge Parkway, which would include…
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:21

Nothing good about another Wal-Mart

To the Editor: The dollar signs twinkling in the aldermen’s eyes were glaringly visible at the town of Franklin meeting last night. Clearly the advent of this unnecessary Wal-Mart is a forgone conclusion, evidenced by the limited debate to only…
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:21

Honor suffragists by voting in November

To the Editor: In a column dated Aug. 13, Gail Collins of The New York Times reminds us that August marks the 90th anniversary of women being granted the right to vote. She also reminds us that before that August 90…
To the Editor: I commend Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., for his support of H.R. 1586, the “Education, Jobs, and Medicaid Assistance Act.” According to Reuters, this bill provides $26 billion to the states to save the jobs of teachers, firefighters,…
Tuesday, 17 August 2010 20:19

Our thanks to the Haywood health board

To the Editor: Tuesday night (Aug. 10) the Haywood County health board voted to table the amendment (for 90 days) to the health rule that would have allowed for a Class 1 misdemeanor in cases of health rule violations. Many…