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Middle school students in the area will have an opportunity to learn about Cherokee heritage during a “Mini-Camp for Middle Schoolers” offered by Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center. Designed for rising sixth-and seventh-graders, the camp will be held from…
Tuesday, 06 July 2010 19:08

American Craft Today seeks submissions

Craft artists are invited to submit digital images of their work by July 19 to be considered for inclusion in The Bascom’s juried exhibition “American Craft Today.” This national competition and exhibition will feature original works in all craft media:…
Witness the arresting culture of Apache, Totonac, Aztec, Crow, Navajo and Cherokee through ancient wisdom, song, dance, legend, arts and regalia all in one place. Indigenous tribes will gather for the 6th Annual Festival of Native Peoples on Friday, July…
Eight-year-old Devon Heenan stood with her arm extended in the parking lot of the Ingles in Cashiers. With her cell phone camera, she and a friend were taking pictures of the summer sun in hopes of seeing a sky ship…
Monday, 30 August 2010 14:12

A unique old time reporter

Many characters surface in stories related to Horace Kephart, regional author and one of the founders of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. F.A. Behymer, a journalist from St. Louis who would have been aware of the basic story behind…
Wednesday, 02 June 2010 20:07

What is Buy Haywood?

Supported by the Golden LEAF Foundation since 2007, Buy Haywood has enjoyed success promoting the county’s farms. Its first project targeted grocery store chains and successfully enlisted Whole Foods, Ingles, Food Lion, Bi-Lo, Lowes Food and others into carrying tomatoes,…
Thursday, 20 May 2010 17:06

Bringing poetry back to life

Once upon a time the queen of literature, poetry finds itself nowadays, like the tale of Cinderella run in reverse, a poor stepchild of pen and paper, pale-limbed, gray ashes on ashen cheeks, seated on a broken stool off in…
Ricky Skaggs, the legendary, fourteen-time Grammy-award winning country and bluegrass artist, will be featured at Lake Junaluska’s 10th Annual Appalachian Christmas this December, in addition to two Lake Junaluska Singers concerts and the Christmas Craft Show. Skaggs and his talented…
By Bruce Gardner • Guest Columnist The Tea Party movement is sweeping the nation and has found its way through the media and into almost everyone’s living room. It is not a political party; it is a frame of mind.…
“Barbecue is all about slow and low,” said Blackrock BBQ owner and pit master James Aust. “The secret’s in the rub, and I can’t share that.” Barbecue, as a food, lends itself to mysterious discourse, in part, because it’s so…
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 15:01

Auto dealer reinvents to stay alive

When Daniel Allison III learned last May that General Motors wouldn’t renew his franchise agreement, he couldn’t believe it. “Shock,” Allison said. “I think you go through being angry and then, once I got through all my feelings, I worried…
There is, perhaps, no sheriff’s race as hotly contested as the one currently taking place in Swain County. Sheriff Curtis Cochran’s volatile first term as sheriff has brought no shortage of issues — or candidates — to the Swain sheriff’s…
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 15:01

Arson case thickens plot in sheriff’s race

A fire at the business of a Jackson County sheriff candidate last week has cast a shadow over the race. Robin Gunnels, owner of Custom Truck Covers in Sylva and a Democratic candidate for sheriff, believes the attack on his…
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 15:01

Landslide count keeps climbing

In a record year for landslides, yet another one struck this week, this time along U.S. 441 in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The slide occurred Monday near Newfound Gap, about a mile from the Tennessee state line. One lane…
“It’s the oldest constitutional office in the state,” said Eddie Caldwell, executive vice president of the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association. “We had sheriffs in North Carolina before we had counties.” Just because something is old, doesn’t mean it’s good. Increasingly,…
Horns by Joe Hill. William Morrow Publishers, 2010. 370 pages. Ignatius William Perrish (“Iggy” to his friends) awoke one morning to find that, in addition to a headache, he had a very tangible set of horns sprouting from his forehead.…
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 15:01

Candidate profiles

Democrat candidates Steve Buchanan, 50, Bryson City resident, owner of a construction company “Most of the thefts relate back to drug use, people stealing to pay for their drug habit, and I feel that it’s at a point now where…
A conference that connects faith and the environment will be held at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center April 8 through 11. Caring for Creation, now in its fourth year, imparts a message of stewardship and responsibility for people of…
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 15:01

The Naturalist's Corner

Pug catcher Early last week, we were inundated with small gray moths. You couldn’t open a door without two or three coming inside. Moths inside are cool for Izzy, Maddy and the cat — all like to play with them.…
A group of activists arrested for civil disobedience during protests of Duke Energy’s new coal plant last year have been let off the hook for a second time. Activists were arrested for trespassing in two separate demonstrations last year, one…
Readers will be in for a surprise when thumbing through the pages of the all-Cherokee issue of Appalachian Heritage literary journal, which will be celebrated at Western Carolina University next week. The issue turns on its head every generalization about…
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 15:01

The art of choosing the next book

Of late, we’ve been considering books. The feedback (mostly email) from readers to recent columns regarding books in general, book shelving strategies, bookplates, home libraries, favorite books, and so on, has been instructive. Before we move on to this week’s…
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 15:01

Meet the thru-hikers

It’s a sure sign of spring for Southern Appalachian communities along the Appalachian Trail: hikers loaded down with backpacks hitchhiking to town and back to stock up on supplies, eat that hamburger they’ve been craving, and knock back a few…
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 15:01

Ashe squares off against three opponents

Voters in the Democratic Primary in Jackson County must choose which of the four candidates profiled below should advance to the November election. Two other candidates, Mary Rock and Tim O’Brien, plan to run in November as unaffiliated candidates, but…
For years, Appalachian Trail thru-hikers have been stopping in Franklin for supplies, rest, and Internet access, but last week the town solidified its place as a trail destination. Mayor Joe Collins signed a proclamation accepting the town’s designation as an…
Voters in the Democratic Primary in Haywood County must choose which of the two candidates profiled here will advance to the November election. Republican candidate Bill Wilke is running unopposed in the primary and will automatically advance. Bobby Suttles, 65,…
The Jackson County Courthouse, Sylva’s most distinctive building, was built in a rush. C.J. Harris, a prominent industrialist and wealthy Sylva businessman, bankrolled the $50,000 project in 1914 in return for the county seat being moved from Webster to Sylva.…
Tony Elders didn’t realize quite how much on-the-job exercise he was in for when he was hired to oversee Jackson County’s new development regulations three years ago. He often must lace up his boots and take off cross-country, GPS unit…
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 17:50

Take a gander along the Smokies Scenic byway

The stunning beauty that surrounds U.S. 441 through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park outside Cherokee draws thousands of tourists each year who come to enjoy the cool mountain summers or marvel at the vivid fall foliage along the route.…
There’s free wireless up for grabs to anyone ambling down Main Street in Waynesville, but it’s so obscure that even those who work downtown are oblivious to its existence. When tourists file into stores and restaurants asking where they can…
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 17:50

Bench holds tradition of balanced temperament

Steve Bryant was fresh out of law school and just learning his way around the courtroom when the judge hearing his case one day threatened to throw him in jail. The judge had announced a recess, and Bryant seized the…
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 17:50

Gun ban in national parks lifted

Loaded guns are now legal in national parks. The new rule is two years in the making. Previously, guns had to be unloaded and stowed in the trunks of vehicles when traveling through a park. While hunting or firing a…
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 17:50

Judicial candidates

There are three district court judge seats up for election this year. Candidates must designate which seat they are running for. The race is non-partisan. Two candidates for each seat will advance past the May primary to the general election…
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 17:50

The nuts and bolts of the bench

The starting salary for a judge is $109,000, but can climb much higher for judges with a long tenure thanks to cost of living raises plus a bump in pay for every five years spent on the bench. Judge Steve…
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 17:50

One fateful night

The Turnaround by George Pelecanos. Little, Brown and Company, 2009. 320 pages On a sweltering summer night in 1972, three white teenagers in Washington, D. C., decide to cruise through a black neighborhood called Heathrow Heights. On a dare, the…
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 17:50

Swain starts to budge on Deal’s Gap debate

Despite Graham County pledging to end all emergency services to Deal’s Gap starting Jan. 1, its EMS director has already sent rescue squads to respond to tractor trailer wrecks in the Swain territory since the year began. Graham’s emergency services…
After months of hard work, Macon County’s steep slope committee shared its recommendations with the county’s planning board last week.Now the question is whether the committee’s work will survive with its core principles intact if or when it is adopted…
A landslide at the Waterdance development in the Tuckasegee area of Jackson County washed out a road and dumped a significant amount of mud and concrete into the Tuckasegee River in early February. Robbie Shelton, erosion control officer for Jackson…
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 17:50

Perfecting the art of shelving books

Some readers might recall that three weeks ago — in a column about relocating my long lost inscribed copy of James Still’s “Hounds on the Mountain” — I mentioned in passing that the book had reappeared as I was in…
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 17:50

The Naturalist's Corner

Bird’s the word North Carolina’s state parks and Audubon North Carolina have joined together to celebrate the “Year of the Birds” in 2010. Birds grab our attention. Just ask my wife, who discovered, unexpectedly, the other afternoon that the Carolina…
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 17:50

Report shows Duke considered impact on Kituwah

In the wake of the controversy surrounding the company’s proposed substation, Duke Energy representatives claimed they were unaware of the project’s potential impact on the Cherokee’s most valued site. But Russ Townsend, historic preservation officer for the Eastern Band of…
After a day of discussions between the leadership of Duke Energy and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the dispute over the construction of a proposed power substation near the tribe’s most sacred site remains unresolved. Last Wednesday (Feb. 17)…
When it comes to landfills, rain isn’t just inconvenient — it’s dangerous. In 2009, the White Oak landfill in Haywood County had to contend with more than 35 million gallons of rainwater seeping into disposed waste. While 80 percent of…
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 17:50

Trash down, recycling up

The recession has been good news for landfills. Due to the economic downturn, less trash was thrown in landfills in North Carolina last year than any year in the past two decades. The biggest reduction in trash came from the…
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 17:50

County and architect cross wires on library fee

Last week a confused set of Jackson County commissioners learned their new library may cost more money than they thought, but County Manager Ken Westmoreland said the administrative mix-up won’t result in a higher price tag than the one originally…
It’s a watershed year for the legal community in Western North Carolina as attorneys gear up for a hotly contested election for three open judge seats. There’s at least nine and possibly 10 candidates running for the three seats. Two…
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 17:50

Sylva market changes local foodscape

Armed with an e-newsletter and an indefatigable entrepreneurial spirit, Eric Hendrix is determined to bring the fruits of the ocean to the mountains of Western North Carolina. “The goal is to consistently provide fresh fish in the mountains, because you…
Business owners with cyber sweepstakes machines in Maggie Valley received both good and bad news last week. Luckily for them, the town board passed a much lower business license fee than originally proposed and delayed the pay-up date till July,…
A bill before Congress could help save views along the Blue Ridge Parkway by setting aside $75 million over five years to buy adjacent land threatened by development. Blue Ridge Parkway Protection Act was introduced in honor of the 75th…
Forget Asheville. Forget cities altogether. Angela Faye Martin’s impressive first full-length album “Pictures from Home” could only have materialized deep in the mountains. With no shortage of characters and inspiring natural beauty, the Smokies have served as an ever-giving muse…