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Wednesday, 01 October 2014 15:38

Fracking debate needs more research, facts

To the Editor: The letter writer on fracking in the Sept. 17-23 issue of The Smoky Mountain News appears to have been influenced by the bombastic and fictional style of the extreme right. He begins by demeaning those who are critical…
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 15:38

Why textbooks matter even now

To the Editor: Although Speaker Thom Tillis, R-Mecklenburg, and his fellow Republicans Sen.  Jim Davis, R-Franklin, and Rep. Michele Presnell, R-Burnsville, like to tout their $1 billion increase in funding for public education, they have little to say about how…
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 15:37

Fracking is a ticking time bomb

To the Editor: As someone with 25-plus years of experience in water and wastewater equipment design, manufacture and installation, I can guarantee that 100 percent of fracked wells will fail at some point in the future and they will release their residual gases…
Tammy is out in the yard burning the couch. There is no telling where this will end. All by herself, she somehow managed to push and pull an overstuffed sofa out of our guest bedroom, through the downstairs den, and…
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 15:00

A conversation with Ty Pennington

Ty Pennington is a celebrity carpenter best known for “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” a show that involved lightning-quick remodels of less-than-stellar homes for families with compelling stories about why they needed a better living space. After taking the grand prize…
It was a scene that any fan — or casual viewer — of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” would find familiar. A crowd, ramped-up and excited, gathered together wearing matching T-shirts. A decrepit property in the background. And Ty Pennington, host…
N.C. Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville, and Republican challenger Mike Clampitt are on a similar mission. Each is trying to assure voters they are nothing like the other guy. Recently, the two candidates seeking the 119th District House seat faced…
Cullowhee is the fastest growing area of Jackson County. The growth owes much to Western Carolina University and is evidenced in recent years by a surge in private student housing complexes and smattering of bars. Without regulations in place, Cullowhee’s…
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 14:44

Macon approves final school officer position

All 11 Macon County schools will now have their own school resource officer, called an SRO, after county commissioners voted unanimously Monday night to institute the eleventh position at Cartoogechaye Elementary School. 
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 14:42

Dillsboro sells Duke property to Jackson County

The quiet, early morning streets of Dillsboro seemed still asleep as the town board ambled in. They arrived one by one, easing in with casual conversation about health and grandchildren and how delicious Town Clerk Debbie Coffey’s homemade cheese Danish…
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 14:38

Swain sees three-way race for sheriff

With Election Day nearing, Odel Chastain seemed pretty relaxed.  “I’m sitting on my porch with my feet thrown up, watching the deer,” Chastain said. 
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 14:35

Jackson candidates drill down on fracking

The three Democratic challengers in the Jackson County commissioners race took the sitting commissioners to task for their inaction on fracking at a candidate forum last week.
Three challengers for Jackson County commissioner opened with a strong offensive charge at a candidate debate last week, rarely letting up from their hard-driving line as the night wore on.
Jim Moore and Ashley Welch have been on the same team for years, working side-by-side in the district attorney’s office to put criminals behind bars, seek justice for victims and keep society safe in the seven western counties.
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 15:57

A prolific year for buckeye productions

A large buckeye tree overhangs and supports the swinging gate leading into our property. Thereby, we have the opportunity to observe buckeye in all seasons. The year 2014 is a big one for buckeye seed production — the most prolific…
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 15:54

Timbersports team to take on competition

Chopping, sawing, axe throwing, tree climbing, log rolling and more will be on tap during an intercollegiate Woodsmen’s Meet Saturday, Oct. 4 at the Cradle of Forestry in America. Haywood Community College’s famous Timbersports Team will be one of six…
The Cradle of Forestry’s Forest Festival Day will be held 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4. More than 80 traditional craftsmen, exhibitors and forestry students will be on site sharing demonstrations of old-timey and outdoor skills, such as…
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 15:45

Smokies celebrates Wilderness Act

Ed Zahniser, son of the man who was widely regarded as the father of the Wilderness Act, will speak at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27 as the keynote speaker of a Wilderness Act celebration at Sugarlands Visitor Center in Great…
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 15:42

NOC recognized as top 100

Outdoor USA Magazine named Nantahala Outdoor Center, located outside Bryson City, as one of the top 100 outdoor specialty retailers in the United States in its September issue. Nominations were judged on outstanding work and entrepreneurial drive, and they were…
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 15:38

Franklin loves the AT, and the AT loves Franklin

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy recently recognized a passel of Franklin businesses and organizations for their support of the Appalachian Trail, naming them AT. Community Supporters for helping out the hiking community, the ATC or the trail itself. Recipients were: •…
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 15:36

A bevy of 5K’s this fall

As the weather cools down, the competitive edge will be heating up in the running communities of Western North Carolina over the next few weeks. Push your limits with a fall race in your community. 
“I’m gonna mark the spot with an X, right here,” says Tim Petrea, program supervisor for the Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department, tracing his kayak paddle through the water. “That’s a good spot.” Katie Durbin, 8, maneuvers her stand up…
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 15:24

A realist writer examines uncomfortable topics

“Evil is no more at an end than History, and so long as there are men there will be no final victory over it.” —Theodore Dalrymple Regarding politics and language, George Orwell once wrote that modern speech and writing are…
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 15:21

‘Elemeno Pea’ comedy hits WCU stage

A comedy set in Martha’s Vineyard that explores a wealthy world of infinity pools, Bentleys and yacht clubs with men in pink pants, “Elemeno Pea” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1-3 and at 3 p.m. Oct. 4 in…
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 15:17

Fall, art comes alive at ColorFest

The 6th Annual ColorFest: Dillsboro Fine Arts & Crafts Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, in downtown Dillsboro.
Frank Brannon, Jr., proprietor of SpeakEasy Press in Dillsboro, will present “How to Make and Print Photopolymer Plates” for Art League of the Smokies at 6:15 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, at Swain County Center for the Arts in Bryson City.
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 15:12

Taste of Sylva returns

Featuring local food, music and children’s activities, the 5th annual Taste of Sylva culinary tour will run from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, in downtown Sylva restaurants and in the pavilion at McGuire Gardens on West Main Street.
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 15:11

Music, fall camping at Barnaroo

The 5th annual Barnaroo fall music festival will be held Oct. 4 at Franny’s Farm in Leicester. 
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 15:11

Claire Lynch to play Cataloochee Ranch

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Claire Lynch will perform at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 5, at Cataloochee Ranch in Maggie Valley. Long recognized and praised as a creative force in acoustic music, Lynch is a pioneer who continually pushes the boundaries of the…
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 15:08

Balsam Range to command the Colonial stage

Acclaimed bluegrass/gospel group Balsam Range will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30, at the Colonial Theatre in Canton. The concert is part of the Homegrown in Haywood series being put on by the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North…
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 15:07

Jake Owen to perform at Harrah’s

Country megastar Jake Owen will perform at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at Harrah’s Cherokee. Tickets are $45 and $55. 800.745.3000 or www.harrahscherokee.com. 
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 15:05

This must be the place

It’s a lot harder than it looks. Stepping up to the first tee of the disc golf course at Grand Targhee Resort in Alta, Wyo., I was handed what looked like a smaller, heavier, more defined type of Frisbee. It was…
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 00:00

Tapping into Macon County

Dale Heinlein never thought he’d set down roots in his hometown of Highlands. “Living in Atlanta, in suburbia, with the summer heat and traffic, I had to get back to the mountains, back to nature, back to the earth, back…
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 14:55

Use better science to support position

To the Editor: Ironically, the executive director of an organization named for the sacrificial bird used in mining operations endorses wind and solar power. Is he aware, for example, that California’s Ivanpah solar generating plant is routinely incinerating small birds…
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 14:54

Nikwasi Mound belongs to people of Macon

To the Editor: The deed to the Nikwasi Mound states that, “the mound shall be preserved for the citizens of Macon County and for posterity, and the same shall be kept as it now stands and shall not be excavated,…
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 14:54

U.S. also commits acts of barbarism

To the Editor: We have chosen war yet again because we have deemed someone else’s behavior to be barbaric; in this latest case, it is against ISIS. I agree: beheading civilians is barbaric. Here are some other things I find barbaric.…
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 14:53

North Carolina’s great balancing act

To the Editor: Since they took over control of the North Carolina Legislature, there has been a great cry among Republican ranks to get our fiscal house in order. They have cut spending on schools, they have cut spending on…
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 14:52

Cutting taxes not always the best way to lead

To the Editor: A candidate for the county commission wants to cut your taxes. That is the basis for his whole campaign. He will save you money. It is an excellent bumper sticker and campaign slogan. For Tea Party types, that is all…
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 14:49

Ellison just plain wrong about Granville Calhoun

To the Editor: I have read with interest the original article by George Ellison questioning the account that Granville Calhoun has provided about the trip of Horace Kephart to Hazel Creek in 1904 and the response made to that article…
To the Editor: Readers may well be approaching exhaustion with this ongoing exchange regarding circumstances surrounding Horace Kephart’s arrival at Hazel Creek, but since his death the Kephart saga has been misrepresented to a degree rivaling the pervasive stereotyping and…
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 14:44

Webster wants to keep post office open

To the Editor: The letter from Mark Jamison of Webster that’s published in your most recent edition (“What does Webster hope to achieve with planning initiative,” Sept. 17) leaves readers with the impression that the town board refused to act…
More than 200 acres of scattered tracts along the meandering Pigeon River Valley in Haywood County are quiet sentries to the not-so-pretty past of Canton’s century-old paper mill.  SEE ALSO: A better way | The good, the bad and the silver lining…
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 14:25

The good, the bad and the silver lining

The Canton paper mill has been an economic anchor in Haywood County since 1908, providing livelihoods for tens of thousands of workers over its proud and storied history.
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 14:23

Industrial landfills: A better way

The dangers of coal ash have taken center stage in North Carolina in the wake of the Dan River disaster, when a breach in a faulty Duke Energy coal ash pond near Eden unleashed a toxic slurry downstream.
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 14:18

Community notes

• A blanket drive is currently underway at the Jackson County Family Resource Center in Webster. They are in need of slightly used and new blankets. Blankets will be accepted through Dec. 1. Their office is at 1528 Webster Rd.,…
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 14:17

Haywood Habitat welcomes new director

Jamye Cooper will be taking the reins of Haywood Habitat for Humanity, bringing with her 25 years of professional experience in all aspects of nonprofit organizations.  Her experience includes work as director of corporate and foundation relations at UNC-Asheville and…
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 14:17

Swain graduate serves on Navy ship

Petty Officer 1st Class Chavella Bailey, a 1994 Swain County High School graduate and native of Cherokee, is serving aboard USS Forrest Sherman, one of the world’s most versatile multi-mission combat ships. Bailey is a master-at-arms aboard the Norfolk-based ship,…
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 14:16

Swan Man Ken Zulla wins Chief Junaluska award

Ken Zulla was called a lot of things during his 30 years as an auditor for the United States government, but his latest title, winner of the 2014 Chief Junaluska Award from the Junaluska Associates, is more positive.
Come November, voters will be selecting candidates to fill all four seats on the Swain County Board of Commissioners. They will choose from a slate of six candidates — four Democrats and two Republicans. 
Late last month, Superior Court Judge Bradley Letts wrote a letter. “He kind of drew a line in the sand,” said Jackson County Manager Chuck Wooten.