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Wednesday, 12 February 2014 16:51

Cherokee Bear Zoo fined by OSHA

Cherokee Bear Zoo has been fined by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration for violating worker safety regulations. Cherokee Bear Zoo was cited for allowing workers to have “unprotected contact with bears while feeding, cleaning cages and assisting in…
Four Asheville residents were arrested after an attempt to steal a logsplitter from Lowe’s in Waynesville drew the attention of an alert citizen. Something about the scene apparently didn’t sit quite right: a person in the bed of a pickup…
Wednesday, 12 February 2014 16:48

2014 election filing season opens

The 2014 election season officially got underway this week. Candidates could begin signing up to run for office on Monday. The candidate sign-up period runs for two weeks, closing on Feb. 28.
Limits on mountainside development and standards for steep slope building are once again in the spotlight in Jackson County.  The Jackson County planning board has spent the past 14 months rewriting steep slopes regulations first put in place seven years…
By Jake Flannick • SMN Correspondent A design for a new gazebo on the town square in downtown Franklin has been sent back to the drawing board.
Wednesday, 12 February 2014 16:35

Ghost Town gunfight negotiations finalized

A compromise has been reached between Ghost Town in the Sky and state inspectors over a violation and fine stemming from a staged gunfight at the Maggie Valley amusement park.
Robert Holland has been pushing to place a resource officer in every school for years — long before the Sandy Hook school shooting tragedy catapulted cops in schools to the top of county funding debates, and even before assuming the…
Usually, you’d expect a school system to jump at the chance to give its teachers a raise, but superintendents statewide are now rolling up their sleeves for an unpleasant task: figuring out a process to determine the top 25 percent…
Restaurants in Haywood County are being encouraged to jump on the Melange of the Mountains train, which will return this year April 10-13. The event is expanding again this year, with a growing  lineup of culinary-themed festivities over several days. …
Wednesday, 12 February 2014 16:28

Canton debates alcohol policy at armory

A request to serve keg beer at an event in the Canton Armory prompted a broader discussion of the town’s alcohol policy at public venues it rents.
By Jake Flannick • SMN Correspondent Haywood County leaders have all but signed off on plans by a pair of faith-based groups running social service ministries in the county to convert a defunct state prison into a homeless shelter and halfway…
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 16:10

Tallulah Hike steps off a year of wilderness

A guided hike along the Tallulah River in the Southern Nantahala Wilderness will be held on Saturday, Feb. 15, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of passage of the Wilderness Act. It is being led by the Nantahala Hiking Club and…
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 16:08

Outhouse race to run in Sapphire

So, when else would you have an opportunity to race an outhouse down a ski mountain? Thought so. 
A whole lot of people visited the WNC Nature Center last year. The Friends of the WNC Nature Center report that 107,949 people visited the Nature Center in 2013, a record-breaking attendance.
A Haywood County teacher, Janet Frazier, has been named the 2013 North Carolina Elementary Conservation Education Teacher of the Year.
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 16:03

Macon hiker talks about life feat

Octogenarian Jim Pader will talk about his record-setting hike up Mount Whitney from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, at REI in Asheville.
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 15:59

Dinosaurs, LEGOS and toads, oh dear

No better way to celebrate a big thaw than an impromptu field trip. We rounded up kids, friends and friends’ kids and headed for the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville. Our first stop at the Arboretum was the Baker Exhibit…
There’s nothing abnormal about the pair of armchairs in Jim and Baraba Mills’ living room, or about the television — the old tube kind — and wooden entertainment center that they face. Typical, too, is the hodgepodge of DVDs and…
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 15:40

‘Night Film’ is a tiring yet mesmerizing read

I did not like this book. My first response on finishing it was that I would not review it, but there is a paradox here. The author has an enviable and encyclopedic knowledge of the history of film, and this book is…
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 15:35

Background checks are government overreach

To the Editor: The Jackson County commissioners recently made a mistake — an honest, well-meaning, well-intentioned error, yet a mistake nonetheless. Imposing background checks on county volunteers is government intrusion and is wrong. These infringements to our freedoms are totally…
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 15:35

How did county finance not catch on?

To the Editor: The alleged embezzlement of around $50,000 from Macon County taxpayers by a county employee highlights incompetency within the county’s “award winning” finance department. The allegations in Judge Letts’ search warrant for the Macon County Board of Elections…
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 15:34

Teachers, public education get raw deal

To the Editor: If you have been following the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, you have recently learned that 85 individuals control more wealth than the less wealthy half of the world’s population …  that’s 3.5 billion people. It…
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 15:33

Public Art Commission needs to speak up

To the Editor: I served on the Waynesville Public Art Commission from 2006 until March of 2011. Public art was a brand new commission at the time, tasked with not only starting a public art collection for the town of Waynesville…
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 15:30

Vouchers are just bad education policy

The Smoky Mountain News published an excellent analysis of the controversy centered on the current legislation called the “Opportunity Scholarship Program” in the Jan. 29 issue ( SMN Staff Writer Holly Kays presented this material in exemplary form.  I was…
A plan to turn the old state prison campus in Hazelwood into an epicenter for changing lives is moving forward fast. 
By Jake Flannick • SMN Correspondent Years have passed since Jack McJunkin’s dog was struck and fatally injured by a car on a Swain County road. But memories of the episode linger.
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 00:00

Finding a culprit behind parking crunch in Canton

Free parking has its drawbacks, at least for the Country Music and Dance Parlor in downtown Canton.
David Brooks grew up dirt poor. His dad farmed corn, apples and tobacco, always with a plow and mule, never with a tractor. Brooks’ mom and five siblings were often left to tend to the 100-acre hillside farm in Jackson…
Who shows up and speaks out at a steep slope public hearing in Jackson County next week could alter what mountainside development looks like for decades to come.
After discovering $50,000 worth of unauthorized checks had disappeared from its budget and placing director Kim Bishop on paid investigatory leave, the Macon County Board of Elections is now trying to regain its footing.
Three weeks after the State Bureau of Investigation launched a probe into possible embezzlement at the Macon County Board of Elections, county leaders are still sifting through the paperwork to figure out just where it all went wrong.
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 00:00

REO Speedwagon to rock Harrah’s

Iconic rockers REO Speedwagon will play at 9 p.m. Feb. 14 at Harrah’s Cherokee Event Center. Formed in 1967, signed in 1971, and fronted by legendary vocalist Kevin Cronin since 1972, REO Speedwagon is a band whose career will always…
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 00:00

‘A Doll’s House’ at WCU

The 1960s version of the production “A Doll’s House” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 12-15 and at 3 p.m. Feb. 16, in the Hoey Auditorium at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 00:00

Artist reception, showcase for Macon painter

A reception and conversation with artist Lizzy Falcon will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb.13, at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin. Her paintings and sculptures will be on display through February at the library.
A “Coffee and Chocolate Reception” and gallery talk with artist Matt Liddle will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at the Jackson County Public Library Complex in Sylva. 
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 00:00

Haggard brings honky-tonk to Harrah’s

Legendary country singer Merle Haggard will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at Harrah’s Cherokee Event Center. Haggard has 40 #1 hits, a spot in the Country Music Hall of Fame and countless music awards for songwriting and performing.
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 00:00

This must be the place

What does the “K” stand for? “It stands for Kavanagh,” I told the lady behind the counter. “My mother’s maiden name, now my middle name.”
Wednesday, 05 February 2014 00:00

Haywood revives film commission

Becky Seymour can see the bright lights of Hollywood from Haywood County. “Right now we’re in the major infancy stage, but we want to basically put Haywood on the map in the film and television world,” she said.  As video…
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 16:59

You yellow-bellied sapsucker

In my youth, never did a B-western movie make it to the end without the bad guy being cornered and denounced for the “yellow-bellied sapsucker” he was. Yellow-belly and/or yellow-bellied has, for various etymological reasons, been associated with cowardice. Sapsucker,…
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 16:54

Agritourism contributors needed

Buy Haywood is collecting listings for an agri-tourism guide to feature produce stands, farmers markets, value-added products with local ingredients and even restaurants that feature locally-grown or raised foods on their menus. “Find Your Adventure! 2014 Haywood County Agritourism Guide”…
The Western Regional Science and Engineering Fair will bring students from across the region to Western Carolina University on Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 5-6. The theme for this year fair is “Climate Change: What it Means to You.” Science projects…
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 16:52

Photography happenings

Photography workshop to focus on Appalachian barns A weekend photography workshop called “The Appalachian Barn Workshop: The Barns of Haywood and Madison Counties” will be held March 28-30 through EarthSong Photography. Photographer Don McGowan will offer a full day of field…
A program about birds of prey called “Heads Up for Hunters of the Sky” will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park outside Cherokee.
More than 60 brave souls are taking the Polar Plunge challenge by jumping into Lake Junaluska this Saturday, Feb. 1.
Roger Skillman had just finished a hike and was driving home through the Pisgah National Forest in Transylvania County when something caught his eye.
The silence seeped from the mountain ridges and hung heavily over the forest, silence like a deep well, so deep that a pebble tossed in just might go on forever, swallowed up for what seems like an eternity until at…
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 16:20

Raising youth in the digital age

Four years ago in November, a schoolteacher in Knoxville asked her English class to write a composition on family dinner together. With two exceptions, the class — a racially mixed, lower income group of students — hooted at her in…
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 16:04

WCU kicks off celebration of 125 years

A yearlong celebration of Western Carolina University’s 125th anniversary kicked off Thursday, Jan. 23, in Cullowhee.
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 16:02

Beatles tribute band comes to WCU

Recreating the music of the Beatles, “1964: The Tribute,” will perform at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 16:01

HCC to offer new creative arts classes

Haywood Community College’s Continuing Education Department will offer a number of classes in the Creative Arts Building in the coming weeks. From learning several programs on a Mac computer to stained glass, there’s something for everyone.