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Ghost Town in the Sky amusement park in Maggie Valley will not open this summer, contrary to previous assertions by park owners and managers. The amusement park is still mired in bankruptcy and remains in a holding pattern until a…
The Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet takes the stage 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, July 23, for the weekly Concerts on the Creek series in downtown Sylva, and the group encourages other brass musicians to join the fun. Brass players of…
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 20:59

Trail volunteers needed in Smokies

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recruiting for volunteers for the Adopt-a-Trail program. A mandatory training program will be held on Saturday, July 31, on the North Carolina side of the Park for interested volunteers. Volunteers are asked to…
The Great Smoky Mountains Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation will throw its annual banquet at 5 p.m. Saturday, July 31, at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation was integral to the reintroduction of elk…
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 20:48

Storytime with puppets

Jackson County resident Josie Williams will be guest storyteller at a special children’s storytime at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 24, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva. Williams is co-creator (with her sister-in law Kim Williams) of Shert: The Helping…
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 20:47

All about the Carltons

Dr. Barbara Carlton will autograph copies of her book, This Nearly Was Mine: A Journey Through Carlton Country at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, July 28, in the Friendship Garden at the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library. In June 1994, the Albert…
A group of award-winning mountain dulcimer players — including several national champion musicians — will present a concert of dulcimer music at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 22, at Western Carolina University’s Fine and Performing Arts Center. The concert is sponsored…
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 20:39

Celtic music in the Smokies

Join Bean Sidhe, pronounced ban-shee, for a lively evening of traditional music from the British Isles. The premier Celtic band of the Smokies will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 22, at the Marianna Black Library in Bryson City. The…
Celebrate the remarkable bonds of familial harmony this weekend at The Highlands Cashiers Chamber Music Festival. “All In The Family” parts I and II will feature performances by brother and sister pianist William Ransom and violinist Kate Ransom and the…
The popular play, “The Prince of Dark Corners,” by local writer and storyteller Gary Carden will be performed at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 31, at the historic Rickman Store in Macon County’s Cowee Valley. The play centers on the life…
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 20:31

Annual fair at Waynesville church

The annual Parish Fair will feature smoked barbecue, a drawing for a locally-made colorful quilt, and music and entertainment, including a children’s booth and games. The fair takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 31, at Grace…
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 19:39

Haywood Habitat holds open enrollment

Haywood Habitat for Humanity is holding an open enrollment through July for perspective new-home partner families. Applicants must be residents of Haywood County and have lived in North Carolina for the past year, have an annual household income of $18,700…
The Haywood County Historical and Genealogical Society will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 27 at the Shook House in Clyde. Following the business meeting, Ted Carr and Evelyn Coltman will present a program entitled, “The Best of the Cold…
As the director of Southwestern Community College’s new Plus 50 program, Michael Rich is rapidly working in the community to get his face and program recognized. An initiative of the American Association of Community Colleges, Plus 50 focuses on learning,…
Mountain Projects, Inc. through a collaborative effort with the Area Agency on Aging and Progress Energy is sponsoring Operation Fan-Heat Relief Program for seniors. People 60 years or older whose health would otherwise suffer during hot summer months and seniors…
After a tenuous state budget debate, The Farmland Preservation Trust Fund emerged with $2 million in funding for the upcoming fiscal year. The Farmland Preservation Trust Fund helps permanently protect tracts of farmland by funding conservation agreements with working farmers.…
A raffle drawing and silent auction will be held on 6 p.m. Saturday, July 24, at Mountain View Intermediate School in Franklin with proceeds going to the Roy Rickman Scholarship. The Rickman Scholarship is Macon County’s largest local private scholarship.…
The Sylva town board voted unanimously to adopt a new parking ordinance that will fine downtown employees and business owners if they park on Main or Mill streets — a move aimed at alleviating the parking pinch downtown during commercial…
The sweltering heat this summer is restricting some outdoor activities, but it’s a prime time for lizard watching. Lizards don’t mind the heat; indeed, many of them are highly adapted to dry climatic conditions. Lizard watching can be done from…
Whether you’re a birder or mountain biker, paddler or hiker, photographer or hunter, now is your chance to bend the President’s ear on the future of outdoor recreation in America. A series of listening sessions are being held across the…
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 19:25

Hosta, hosta, hosta

The Dixie Region Hosta Convention will be in Waynesville Friday and Saturday, July 16 and 17, at Rux Gardens. Lovers of the shade tolerant plant will assemble for seminars, garden tours, vending and auction. Plant vendors will be set up…
Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market will have a festival in conjunction with the long-awaited arrival of summer corn and tomatoes from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 17. The market has been bustling for weeks with colorful produce, homemade bread,…
The Watershed Association of the Tuckasegee River members and all who are interested in clean mountain streams are invited to the WATR Summer Public meeting on Wednesday, July 21, at the Sylva Town Hall in Jackson County. The Watershed Association…
From bark shingles to edible mushrooms, entrepreneurs across Western North Carolina are being encouraged to tap the resources of the national forests for creative business endeavors. More than $1.2 million in federal stimulus money has been granted to 14 small…
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 19:08

Bee balm

The girls love to surprise Mom with bouquets of wildflowers. The other day they came in with a handful of one of my favorites, bee balm. Monarda didyma, bee balm or Oswego tea, is a striking perennial wildflower common across…
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 19:06

New toilets in Cataloochee Valley

Cataloochee Valley, a popular section of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Haywood County, finally has restrooms. Cataloochee Valley offers a historical representation of an early mountain community with farmhouses, cemeteries, a church and school house. It also has…
The mountains of Western North Carolina are rapidly becoming the top destination for serious cyclists east of the Mississippi. The latest long-distance race to join the local cycling scene is the Blue Ridge Breakaway on Aug. 21, the first of…
Mary J. Messer, author of the Haywood County based memoir, Moonshiner’s Daughter, will hold the kick-off launch for her newly published book from 10 a.m to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 17, in front of the historic courthouse in Waynesville Messer’s…
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 18:49

Piecing together a picture of home

Although Americans are known for their wandering ways, traveling to California in Conestoga wagons, taking the train to find a place in Broadway’s spotlight, many also retain in their hearts a deep affection for a particular place. Whether that place…
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 18:48

Help feed Folkmoot’s dancers

More than 350 dancers and musicians from across the globe will arrive in Waynesville on July 19 to participate in the 27th annual Folkmoot International Festival, and a project is under way to provide as much fresh food as possible…
The Original Twin Piano Twins, Mark and Clark, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 16, and Saturday, July 17, at Eaglenest Entertainment in Maggie Valley. Mark and Clark Seymour have been playing the piano since they were 4 years…
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:…
The Haywood Arts Regional Theatre is pulling the stops out for its production of the smash hit “Chicago,” which opened July 9. “Chicago The Musical” has become the longest-running revival in Broadway history, with more than 5,600 performances, along with…
Aaron Plantenberg was relaxing by a lake in northern Wisconsin when his vacation was abruptly cut short by a phone call. Fortunately, it was a good surprise. Plantenberg and his bandmates in Bryson City-based Big House Radio learned they were…
To the Editor: The Smoky Mountain News and Western Carolina University’s Gibb Knotts and Chris Cooper are to be commended for a job well done (“Jackson County Political Poll” in the July 7 Smoky Mountain News). County Commissioners Tom Massie…
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 18:33

The real problem with the economy

To the Editor: Let’s look at what truly stimulates an economy, creates jobs, drives markets and produces tax revenue to fund government services. Should it be a mystery that in a brief period of time the greatest economy in history…
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 18:31

Feds listening to our outdoors agenda

By Ken MurphyWestern North Carolina is a special place, a region with awe-inspiring scenic vistas, waterways and forested watersheds that are home to unmatched biodiversity, and rural landscapes and cultural sites that remind us of our heritage on a daily…
By Christopher A. Cooper and H. Gibbs Knotts Beginning in 2009 with a series of protests focusing on what participants viewed as excessive government taxation, the TEA Party movement has grown into one of the most prominent political stories of…
By Christopher A. Cooper and H. Gibbs Knotts A creature once roamed the American South that many now presume to be endangered if not extinct — the conservative Democrat. For nearly a century following the Civil War, almost all white…
By Michael Morris • Guest ColumnistThe sale of alcohol has become a hot topic in Western North Carolina. In 2010, voters in Burnsville and Weaverville passed ballot measures approving alcohol sales, and last August voters in Clay County approved countywide…
By Christopher Cooper and Gibbs Knotts Confidence in politics, politicians and government is low. President Obama’s approval rating hovers around 50 percent as he deals with two wars and what may turn out to be the worst environmental disaster in…
Franklin Alderman Bob Scott wants to know what people think about a proposed Super Wal-Mart on the edge of town. Instead of stumping on the street corners, Scott has posted a survey on the web using an online polling tool.…
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 18:21

Scam targets hotel owners

When a $4,000 payment showed up in the mail to cover a $1,195 bill, Jim Freeman knew something was up. Freeman, owner of Freeman’s Motel in Almond, made his way to Google and learned he had just narrowly avoided a…
When the Summit Charter School found a new home last year, it left behind an empty space in the heart of the Cashiers’ Village Green, a 12.5-acre green space created with private donations in 1992. The board of directors for…
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 18:15

HRMC uses garden therapy

The engineering, grounds and Behavioral Health Unit at Haywood Regional Medical worked together to brighten the hospital community by planting a rose garden. Research has shown that hospital patients whose windows looked out at landscape scenery recovered from surgery quicker…
At the end of a rough week, your dog might consider stopping in at Smoky Mountain Dog Bakery in Dillsboro for “Yappy Hour” or perhaps heading to Woof Gang Bakery in Cashiers for a homemade gourmet treat. Dogs older than…
A state mental health agency and its sister nonprofit are locked in a debate over whether the nonprofit should continue operating independently. Millions in state and county tax dollars have been funneled to Evergreen Foundation, a mental health nonprofit serving…
Board members of Smoky Mountain Center, a state mental health agency for the 15 western counties, have questioned whether its partner nonprofit foundation does enough to benefit mental health and substance abuse services in the region. Tom McDevitt, the director…
For farmers who rely on the Tuckasegee River to irrigate their crops, a brutal summer heat wave and dry spell took a turn for the worst this month when too much mud in the river forced them to shut down…
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 18:06

SCC recognized for performance

Southwestern Community College was one of only 11 colleges to earn an exceptional rating in the annual performance measures report recently released by the North Carolina Community College System. The performance measures were adopted by the State Board of Community…