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Wednesday, 08 February 2006 00:00

Wal-Mart talk still going strong in Cherokee

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer In the meat aisle of the Reservation Foodliner IGA a customer picks up a large pack of bacon, and calls out to a store employee. “How much do you think this’d be at Wal-Mart?”…
Wednesday, 08 February 2006 00:00

A wide open race in Jackson

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer In what outgoing Jackson County commissioner Eddie Madden has called an “unusually quiet” election season, things are finally starting to heat up as the Feb. 13 start to the filing period approaches. Madden, Cashiers’…
Wednesday, 08 February 2006 00:00

Civil War in the Smokies

The war in the Smokies proved to be an intensely personal conflict. A curious conjunction of terrain, history, politics and culture bred in the Smokies ... a tragic division of loyalties and a brutal partisan conflict between supporters of secession…
Wednesday, 08 February 2006 00:00

Looking in on the iPod cocoon

It is now official. I am not young anymore. I guess I should have paid more attention to the signs, and perhaps it wouldn’t come as such a shock, but I didn’t and it does. My youth has expired, gone…
Wednesday, 08 February 2006 00:00

Customers say restaurant grades matter

Editor’s note: Last week The Smoky Mountain News cover story was about cleanliness at restaurants and what health department inspectors look for when they grade them. As we found out by interviewing several people, most do look to see what…
Wednesday, 08 February 2006 00:00

Religion and public schools a volatile mix

When a high school biology teacher in Macon County asked students to compare evolution and creation from a scientific perspective, he was treading too close to the Supreme Court’s long-held directive that mandates the separation of church and state. It’s…
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 14:32

Snowbird youth club gets a home

A dream eight years in the making met reality earlier this month when the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians cut the ribbon on a new youth center in Snowbird. The 15,000-square-foot building will offer Cherokee youth opportunities ranging from Cherokee…
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 14:32

Hospital sales on track to close this week

The sale of the MedWest hospital trio in Haywood, Jackson and Swain counties will go through on July 31, in keeping with the transaction date that’s been in the crosshairs for the past few months. Duke LifePoint HealthCare, a national…
After oscillating on how much money to give Folkmoot USA during annual budget machinations last month, Waynesville town leaders have revisited the issue and upwardly revised their contribution. Folkmoot historically got $10,000 to help with its general operating costs. But…
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 14:30

Canton debates public alcohol ordinance

A new push to change the public alcohol consumption and possession law in Canton has not come without controversy.
A day earlier the room was full. Wall-to-wall children and snakes. “That was in this room,” said Swain County Librarian Jeff Delfield.
Lake Junaluska homeowners have suspended their push to merge with the town of Waynesville until next year due to political roadblocks in the N.C General Assembly. The vast majority of homeowners at Lake Junaluska support merging with Waynesville as the…
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 14:25

Maggie Valley mudslide lands in court

A lawsuit casting blame for a massive landslide in Maggie Valley four years ago is headed to a jury trial in Haywood County this week. A couple whose home was in the path of the landslide have sued a bevy…
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 14:23

WCU launches lifelong learning program

Western Carolina University is launching a new lifelong learning institute aimed at people age 50 and older across Western North Carolina who are interested in enriching their lives through the pursuit of knowledge. The institute, based on the idea that…
The Cullowhee Community Planning Advisory Committee will meet July 31 to review proposed development standards for the area. The proposed standards are an attempt to better define and regulate the growth occurring around Western Carolina University.  For the past year,…
Michell Hicks, Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, told a U.S. Senate committee in testimony on July 23 that gaming on the Cherokee reservation in North Carolina has had a “dramatic impact” on the lives of Cherokee…
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 14:21

Canton gets new fire chief

The Town of Canton has selected J. Derek Littlejohn as its next fire chief.  Littlejohn has been employed with the Canton Fire Department for the past 28 years and has served in numerous capacities including firefighter, shift lieutenant and captain. …
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 14:20

Swain passes fracking resolution

Swain County recently passed a resolution in opposition to fracking. “Are you familiar with what fracking is?” asked Swain County Commissioner Steve Moon. “That’s why we’re opposed to it.”
The North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission has scheduled a public hearing on fracking for Western North Carolina. The hearing is slated for Sept. 12 on the Western Carolina University campus in Cullowhee.
With the lease drawn up and fundraising underway, most people attending the Haywood County Commissioner meeting last week figured that approving the lease for a trio of Christian groups to renovate the old Hazelwood prison would be a matter-of-fact agenda…
Carson Angel is excited to show off her reading skills as she waits outside East Franklin Elementary for her mom to pick her up. From the pile of hand-colored posters, worksheets and drawings at her feet, the 8-year-old picks out…
Austin Fore calls it “a blessing.” “If I’m not there every other day I’m bummed,” the Clyde skateboarder said.
In a letter to the editor of the Smoky Mountain News published several weeks ago, Gwen Franks Breese took exception to a Back Then column of mine originally published in SMN in November 2013.  That column went into considerable detail…
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 13:51

Graveyard Fields celebrates new look

Better public access and trail improvements for Graveyard Fields, one of the most popular spots on the Blue Ridge Parkway, will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Aug. 4, with representatives of The National Park Service, U.S Forest Service and Blue…
Native plants are getting a boost in Cherokee with the opening of a 2,200-square-foot greenhouse designed to produce and propagate native plants. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians designed the building to propagate black willow, silky dogwood, Carolina rhododendron, Catawba…
The Nantahala Racing Club and the North Carolina Wildlife Federation came out on top in an online voting contest from The North Face, winning $25,000 for special initiatives aimed at connecting youth with the outdoors. The organizations were two of…
More than 1,200 outdoor atheletes will converge on Lake Logan in Haywood County this weekend for the annual Lake Logan Multisport Festival.
Sam Fowlkes, who teaches paddlesports and rescue at Western Carolina University, has received prestigious recognition in the field of technical swiftwater rescue for an American Canoe Association conference he helped coordinate.
Taking a walk with Ila Hatter is the outdoors equivalent of sitting beside a scrapbooker as she pages through the family photo album. Every step is a story, a meeting with a plant bearing its own history and its own…
Each time Stephen King is interviewed, he finds himself responding to the same question: “Where do you get your ideas?” Usually, the question is prompted by the questioner implying that an author who writes about serial killers and psychotics must…
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 13:33

This must be the place

When the camera bulb flashed, it hit me — had it really been that long? Standing in the Belhurst Castle, a Great Gatsby-esque property situated on Seneca Lake in Geneva, N.Y., I realized it had been around a decade since…
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 13:22

BBQ Festival & Car Show in Franklin

The 6th Annual Mountain High BBQ Festival and Car Show will be held Aug. 8-9 at the Wayne Proffitt Agricultural Center in Franklin. Gates will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.…
“A Songcatcher’s Notebook: Traditional Music and Storytelling” with singer-songwriter/storyteller Lee Knight will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 31, at the Marianna Black Library in Bryson City.
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 13:18

Sylva welcomes Whitewater Bluegrass Co.

The Whitewater Bluegrass Company will perform as part of the Concerts on the Creek Series at 7: 30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1, at Bridge Park in Sylva.
Karyn Tomczak, director of the Western Carolina University dance program, will receive the 2014 Dance Teacher Award for Higher Education at the Dance Teacher Summit to be held in New York City in August.
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 13:14

In other beer news

A home brewing class for beginners will be led by Clark Williams of Frog Level Brewing Company every Tuesday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 5-26 at Southwestern Community College in Sylva.
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 13:12

Franklin brewery readies for spring opening

As the snow melts in Southern Appalachia, the beer will begin to flow from the taps of the Lazy Hiker Brewing Company in the former Franklin Town Hall.
In the last two weeks, Joe Rowland has soaked in the California sunshine, rafted the Grand Canyon, wandered the Rocky Mountains, gone skydiving and tamed the endless cornfields of the Midwest, all the while cruising the country in a rock…
To the Editor: The issue of fracking by the oil and gas industry — already one of the most controversial issues of our time — is not a political issue, but one which has the potential to forever alter the…
To the Editor: Most letters to the editor are benign or overly active, but the one in the July 2 edition of The Smoky Mountain News (“Let’s stop yellow journalism politics,” July 2, 2014, The Smoky Mountain News, www.smokymountainnews.com/opinion/item/13676) was…
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 13:06

Honest survey or deceitful phone ad?

To the Editor: Recently “SSI” surveys popped up on my called ID and in a moment of curiosity I answered my phone. I figured it was a political questionnaire and it was. What I didn’t anticipate was a veiled attempt…
Most anyone who has worked for a living, volunteered, or held elected office has stood at the edge of the abyss, looked over it, and made a very important decision: complete honesty and unyielding integrity, or maybe a little dishonesty,…
Wednesday, 15 February 2006 00:00

New talent and old influences enter jam genre

By Chris Cooper Approaching the “jam band” thing from some very different angles, Umphrey’s McGee manage to bring shades of vintage Yes, Peter Gabriel and Rush to the mix in lieu of the usual suspects (Grateful Dead, Phish, Allman Bros.)…
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel is planning a $254 million expansion and upgrade of its operations, including a third hotel tower, new entertainment venue and overhaul of the casino floor.
Wednesday, 15 February 2006 00:00

Wonderful words

  Like many of my fellow writers and readers, I am a sucker for word books. I love dictionaries — I own at least six of them, ranging from the Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary to my own…
Wednesday, 15 February 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

“Bubble” Director Steven Soderbergh, the darling of the Sundance film festival, had an audacious idea. Take a bare bones script into a small town, find locals to play the major roles, use their actual homes as “sets,” encourage the “actors”…
A $1.66 million plan to build middle turn lanes on Plott Creek Road from Hazelwood Elementary School to Sulphur Springs Road in the Hazelwood district of Waynesville drew strong opposition from residents at a public hearing last week.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Law enforcement officers might spend their entire careers without ever firing their gun in the line of duty. It is a distinction most wear like a badge of honor. For those officers who are…
Wednesday, 15 February 2006 00:00

Lyon was among WNC’s notable botanist

Andre and Francois Michaux, and John Fraser, and soon to be followed by Thomas Nuttall, Asa Gray, and Moses Ashley Curtis, among others, John Lyon was among the intrepid plant collectors who first penetrated the mountains of Western North Carolina…
Wednesday, 15 February 2006 00:00

A primer on the right way to use a gun

By Sarah Kucharski On a chilly, rain soaked Sunday morning the last weekend of January I stood under a peaked, sheet metal roof at the Moss Gap shooting range on the Jackson/Macon line, staring down at a loaded Glock Model…