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A public hearing over a sewer discharge permit into the Little Tennessee River will be held on Tuesday, July 7, in Rabun County, Ga. Rabun County plans to convert a former industrial wastewater treatment plant at a closed-down textile mill…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 17:30

Freaks and morality

Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor by Brad Gooch. Little, Brown and Company, 2009. 464 pages. “Whenever I am asked why Southern writers particularly have this penchant for writing about freaks, I say it is because we are still able…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 17:29

Will Sylva vote expose usual fault line?

The race for the Sylva town board this fall could once again gauge the extent of shifting demographics of the town. Two seats on the board are up for election. Town Commissioner Stacey Knotts confirmed she will run again while…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 17:28

Who’s running and who’s not?

Canton Mayor Pat Smathers could face opposition this fall from his leading opponent on the town board, Alderman Eric Dills. Dills said this week he is considering a run for mayor against Smathers, although he has not made up his…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 17:26

Tourism office takes tech strides

In her nearly six-month tenure as executive director, Lynn Collins has been helping Haywood County’s Tourism Development Authority make strides — especially in using technology to be more effective for tourism operators and visitors. As a prominent example, the tourism…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 17:25

Tindall-Taylor leaving HRMC

The director of Haywood Regional Medical Center’s Foundation and Corporate Communications Department for the past 20 years, Robin Tindall-Taylor, has resigned her position at HRMC to take the position of the new executive director of the Highlands-Cashiers Hospital Foundation. “Over…
The plaza at the entrance to the new Waynesville Police Station is nearing completion. Workers are placing the final touches to the brick paver design that captures the heritage of the town of Waynesville. Courtney Boessel, a rising senior at…
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 16:35

Recipes, 6/24/10

Rainbow trout with lemon caper sauce: Grill filleted trout over medium-hot coals. Baste with butter and fresh herbs (parsley, chives, dill). Grilled trout does not need much to accompany it, but a lemon caper sauce is nice if you like…
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 16:33

Mountains of mushrooms

Is this going to be a bumper year for wild mushrooms? Maybe so, if the rainfall we have been experiencing in recent weeks continues to any significant extent into late summer and fall. My wife, Elizabeth, and our youngest daughter,…
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 16:13

Ode to the Sylva Coffee Shop

Most small southern towns have a place like The Coffee Shop in Sylva — a cafe that has become a local landmark. I hopped curb here in 1950 when it had a wooden frame exterior and the jukebox had both…
The town of Franklin acted appropriately by making public the terms of an out-of-court settlement offer extended to the town by Duke Energy. The offer was aimed at getting the town of Franklin and Jackson County to drop their opposition…
Downtown merchants in Waynesville hope to get a boost in customers when the Haywood County Historic Courthouse throws open its doors to the public Monday, June 29, following a two-year renovation. Main Street shops lost frequent customers when courthouse construction…
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…