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Wednesday, 24 June 2015 14:05

Legislature weakens voter ID requirement

In an unexpected turn of events, the North Carolina General Assembly passed legislation last Thursday that will allow people to cast a ballot in 2016 even if they don’t have an acceptable form of identification. 
A bear euthanized following an attack against a backpacker in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was not the right bear, park rangers learned late last week.
A new charter school slated to open in Haywood in August has been scrambling the past few weeks to find somewhere to put kids and teachers after its initial facility plan fell through.
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 15:43

Trumpet vine is tenacious and beautiful

It’s mid-June again … the time of the year when certain plants can be relied upon to do their thing in our yard and on the decks that enclose the house on three sides. Yuccas, oak-leaf hydrangeas, spiderworts, coral vines,…
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 15:28

Unveiling Horace Kephart

A pair of programs about Horace Kephart, an adopted son of the Smokies who captured the culture of mountaineers in the early 1900s in writing and championed the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, will explore the life…
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 15:28

Swain gets second farmers market day

The Swain County Farmers Market is branching out, this week launching a second market day 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Sept. 16.  The market, located at the barn on Island Street in downtown Bryson City, sells produce, nursery plants,…
Seven Cherokee cyclists from North Carolina are in the midst of a 950-mile bike ride to Tahlequah, Oklahoma, an annual ride commemorating the forced removal of the Cherokee people along the Trail of Tears in 1839.  “The ‘Remember the Removal’…
A program featuring scaly reptiles as the stars will return to the Jackson County Public Library at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Thursday, June 25.
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 15:25

Bird-banders wanted

Volunteers are needed for a summer monitoring project involving up-close contact with birds.
The Women’s Work Festival in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will give a glimpse into the historical roles rural women held in their families and communities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 20.
There was no doubt about how the Smoky Mountains got their name as day dawned on the Friends of the Smokies’ planned hike to Hemphill Bald. Sky seemed to meet earth as the carpool headed up the mountain from Maggie…
It is mid-June in England, and the skies are a brilliant blue. Sunshine spills on the street and the clipped green lawns of homes and parks. A breeze stirs the leaves of the trees, and when you are in the…
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 14:49

‘Dancing With The Stars’ at Harrah’s

The live stage production of “Dancing With The Stars: Live!” will hit the stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 27, at Harrah’s Cherokee. Following a sold-out winter tour and the 10th Anniversary Season of ABC’s hit show “Dancing with the…
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 14:49

Green Energy Park summer art camp

There will be a summer art camp held June 22-26 at the Jackson County Green Energy Park in Dillsboro. Ages 4-6 will be 10 a.m. to noon, with ages 7-10 at 1 to 3 p.m. Campers will explore various creative…
“An Appalachian Evening,” a summer bluegrass/Americana weekly concert series, will return to the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center in Robbinsville. The 2015 series will include The Snyder Family Band July 19, The Walking Roots Band July 25, Balsam Range Aug.…
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 14:46

HART presents Hitchcock classic

The stage production of the classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller “The 39 Steps” will held at 3 p.m. Aug. 1 at the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre in Waynesville.
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 14:44

Bryson City craft beer, barbecue

A “BBQ & Brews Dinner Train” will be departing at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 27, at the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad depot in Bryson City.
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 14:41

Fiddler brings Americana to Marianna

Americana fiddler Alma Russ will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 25, at the Marianna Black Library in Bryson City.
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 14:39

This must be the place

There is a lot of truth to it. “Money can’t buy happiness,” the old adage goes. It’s a sentiment that has permeated through society for generations. And while most of us are aware of the phrase, how many of us…
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 14:36

A world of art in your backyard

Coming into its fourth year, Cullowhee Mountain ARTS has grown into a vast array of workshops, one that seamlessly brings together professional artists from around the country. It is a program aiming to nurture creativity at every skill level, where…
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 14:33

Do people really believe this stuff?

To the Editor: Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with all the scientific discoveries made on almost a daily basis, some of which are jaw dropping. Earlier, we learned about the goat that was put in jail for car theft…
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 14:32

Reacting to changing climate of medicine

To the Editor: As a pediatrician, it has been my privilege to serve the families of Western North Carolina for over 20 years. My colleagues and I are honored to be invited into your lives, to share your greatest joys,…
I remember someone once telling me that all the seemingly trivial, decidedly unimportant choices you make every day prepare you for when the big thing comes along and the right decision might have life-changing consequences. Do right everyday for the…
A new charter school opening in Haywood County has downwardly revised its projected student count for the coming school year.
By Katie Reeder • SMN Intern  The Canton Planning Board is considering a building maintenance ordinance that would regulate downtown commercial properties and hold owners to certain standards.
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 14:14

Fireworks on for Sylva

For the first time in seven years, Sylva residents will be able to watch Fourth of July festivities from downtown.
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 14:12

Proposed Cashiers cell tower draws debate

A proposal to put in a new cell tower a half-mile from the Cashiers crossroads has sparked heated debate between long-time neighbors Mark Zachary and Rick Barrs, but the outcome of an upcoming hearing on the issue will affect more…
After nearly four years of trying, a Charlotte-based development company has gotten the OK to build a high-end student housing complex in Cullowhee. 
Business is booming for a Waynesville factory that mixes and packages Epsom salt. Giles Chemical has doubled its employees over the past decade to 150 and plans to build a 35,000-square-foot warehouse to accommodate its growing trade.
One deputy is under investigation while another has resigned after allegations surfaced regarding excessive force being used on inmates at the Swain County Jail.
Macon County commissioners weren’t exactly sure what to expect when they saw Thing 1 and Thing 2 sitting in the front row at the proposed budget public hearing.
By Katie Reeder • SMN Intern  The North Carolina State Board of Elections held a public hearing last Thursday to allow people to comment on the proposed rules for North Carolina’s new voter identification laws. The hearing was the seventh of…
The merger of Lake Junaluska with the town of Waynesville cleared a critical milestone in the N.C. General Assembly last week and finally seemed headed for passage, but was sidelined again at the 11th hour.
Rangers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park hope a bear they caught and killed last week is the same one that attacked a teenager who was sleeping in a hammock.
Recently recovered from rotator cuff surgery, Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher hasn’t popped a single prescription pain pill since the operation. Instead, he’s been using a combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen, over-the-counter meds that don’t pose the same risks of…
The clock is ticking for Ghost Town in the Sky entertainment park in Maggie Valley to get its humble trio of kiddie rides inspected and permitted before its target opening day of July 2.
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 13:46

Ghost Town aims for July 2 opening

After lying dormant for the winter, Ghost Town in the Sky was once again showing signs of life last week with preparation work under way for a July 2 season opener.
Breathing easy in the Smokies is a better bet than it’s been in decades. Ozone pollution is down 36 percent, and particle pollution has been cut in half. The mountain view on the haziest days now extends nearly four times…
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 17:46

Summer camp time at Highlands Nature Center

Summer is here at the Highlands Nature Center, with a variety of summer day camps and half-day camps. Look through the offerings to find one that will fit your family: • Amazing Animals, aimed at children 7 to 10, will…
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 17:45

Saving the world one seed at a time

James Veteto has a theory that seeds are a link to the past, connecting one generation to the other, not merely little packets of DNA but also shared human heritage.
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 17:44

A.T. plates pass $1 million milestone

It’s official: North Carolina Appalachian Trail license plates sales have crossed the $1 million mark.
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 17:43

Parkway gets its own quarter design

The Blue Ridge Parkway will take its place on U.S. currency with a special quarter design this summer, as part of the the U.S. Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters Program, a series honoring one site or park in each state.
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 17:40

Parkway programs start up for summer

A ranger-guided hike along the Blue Ridge Parkway this Friday will mark the beginning of summer for the high-elevation road as its ranger-led programs for the public gear up for the season.
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 17:39

Albinism in plants

The other day, while chasing birdies for the Forest Service, I encountered a pretty wildflower along an abandoned logging road. The plant was small purple-fringed orchid, Platanthera psycodes. It was unusual in that the flowers were white rather than the…
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 16:29

The literary signposts will point the way

In the opening pages of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, we meet Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who treasures his snug home and the routine of his days. All is well with Bilbo until the wizard Gandalf arrives and nominates him as…
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 16:10

Art, craft festival in Dillsboro

The Front Street Arts & Crafts Show will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 20, in downtown Dillsboro.
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 16:04

Franklin celebrates Scottish heritage

The Taste of Scotland & Celtic Festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 20, in downtown Franklin.
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 15:59

All that jazz

Jazz performance planned in Waynesville Jazz pianist Marquita Someliana will perform at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 20, at the Haywood County Public Library in Waynesville. Someliana is a singer-songwriter who enjoys performing jazz, Americana and other genres.  Free.  www.haywoodarts.org. 
Acclaimed bluegrass act Darin & Brooke Aldridge will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, June 19, at The Strand at 38 Main in Waynesville.
He stood out like a sore thumb. Standing on the red carpet at the International Bluegrass Music Association awards in Raleigh last fall, I found myself in the midst of the biggest names in the genre. To the right were…