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Wednesday, 29 January 2014 15:59

Sarge’s pet photo contest begins

Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation is now accepting photographs for its 8th annual “Pet Photography Contest.”
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 15:58

This must be the place

The end is near. On Feb. 5, I’ll turn 29 years old — the last official birthday of my young adulthood. I’ve always subscribed to the adage “you’re only as old as you feel,” and though I’ve never been one…
There’s a buzz going on at the Mahogany House in Waynesville. Normally, one could attribute that to a woodturning tool, handheld blowtorch or whatever else an artist might need to turn one’s vision into a physical reality. But today, that…
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 15:54

Climate change still an important issue

To the Editor: A critical skill for magicians is to be able to misdirect your attention while executing the deception. “Look at this hand while I fool you with the other one.”   Such is the current attack on climate…
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 15:54

We need to oppose fracking in WNC

To the Editor: James Womack, Chairman of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Mining and Energy Commission, would ask us to suspend disbelief when he states on a recent visit to the fracking fields of Bradford County, Penn.,…
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 15:53

Support Sen. Hagan, not Koch brothers

To the Editor: The billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch don’t live in North Carolina. One resides in New York City, the other in Kansas. So they can’t vote here. But what they’re doing to North Carolina has vastly more…
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 15:52

Wildlife officers did a good job for us

To the Editor: Thanks to the wildlife officers for catching the poacher who shot the mother bear on our private property. Well done!      Jerry Bevino Bryson City
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 15:50

Low-wage workers deserve a better deal

By Doug Wingeier • Columnist Debate is picking up these days on help for the unemployed and low-wage workers. Congress is balking on extending unemployment compensation. The media and public are going back and forth on raising the minimum wage. The…
Sales of the Friends of the Smokies specialty license plate in North Carolina increased in the fourth quarter, benefiting priority projects in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) including science education programs. The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles has…
Swain County students may have been cheering when the high school football team’s trip to the state semifinals meant everyone got out early that day, but not all parents felt the same way. Elizabeth Wilmot, a Bryson City resident with…
Haywood’s elected leaders plan to invite their three General Assembly representatives to a March meeting in hopes of reviving a bill that would raise the tax on overnight lodging stays and using the additional money for capital projects to boost…
Time has nearly run out for the beleaguered N.C. Department of Health and Human Services to fix the systemic problems plaguing its food stamp program. After months of admonishments, the federal government has given the state until Feb. 10 to…
Maggie Valley town leaders are questioning the amount of money the town plows into its festival grounds each year and how much of a support role the town should play for outside events staged at the venue.
Haywood County leaders have substantially lowered the asking price for the empty, run-down, old hospital — it’s now free.
A fifth attorney has added his name to the list of possible nominees for an open District Court judge position in the seven western counties.
Wednesday, 29 January 2014 14:55

Computing for the future

Waynesville residents will soon be reaping the benefits of an information technology makeover at town hall. While town employees will be happy to see the last of the decades-old computers some of them have been using, residents will notice an…
Waynesville will soon have a new section of walking path along Richland Creek and, if all goes as planned, public access to a 15-acre wooded area adjoining the trail. 
Jake Flannick • SMN Correspondent For as long as he can remember, Austin Brown’s fascination with plants has remained rooted in their relationship with people.
By Holly Kays & Becky Johnson • Staff writers An embezzlement investigation at the Macon County Board of Elections locked down the office for nearly a week between Jan. 17 and Jan. 23, but business is far from returning to usual. 
It’s been six months since the N.C. General Assembly passed a budget earmarking $10 million for school vouchers to low-income students, but the issue is just heating up in Western North Carolina. On Jan. 9, Macon County became the first…
A Sylva farm-to-table restaurant is featured in the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s (ASAP) Get Local initiative for its additional sourcing this month from Appalachia Grown certified farms. Guadalupe Café added additional meat-based items to its menu after January was designated…
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. Last year also saw the completion of several…
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 15:41

Keeping track in the Smokies

Tracking elk in Great Smoky Mountains National Park just got a little easier, thanks to a grant from Charter Communications. The communications and technology company gave a grant for $13,720 to Friends of the Smokies for the purchase of 15…
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 15:40

Good times at Tube World

Tube World in Maggie Valley treated 170 students from Clyde Elementary to a fieldtrip last week as part of a creative school incentive program to encourage positive behavior.
Three new public access sites and boat put-ins have been developed along the Tuckasegee River in Jackson County:
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 15:37

New fees tacked on to all-electric cars

This year all-electric vehicles registered in North Carolina — about 1,600 of them — are required to pay a $100 annual fee in addition to normal registration fees.
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 15:36

Grant helps buy feed for abused horses

STAR Ranch Rescue, a refuge for abused and neglected horses and other animals in Haywood County, has received a $750 grant from the Haywood County Community Foundation to help purchase horse feed for the winter. 
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 15:34

Discovery Place

Looking for something fun for the kids on a cold and/or rainy winter’s day. The Discovery Place in Charlotte has got you covered. We spent three-and-a-half hours there this past weekend with our two daughters Izzy (12) and Maddie (8)…
From the oil fields of North Dakota to the Marcellus Shale of Pennsylvania, the U.S. oil and gas industry is booming in a way that few would have predicted 20 years ago. Energy extraction is now possible — and financially…
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 15:21

Slave narratives an insightful collection

This remarkable collection of interviews with African-Americans in North Carolina who were once slaves is a fascinating discovery. Conducted by the Federal Writers Project in the 1930’s, the participating writers and researchers interviewed ex-slaves wherever they found them. All of the…
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 15:11

NC Arts Council grants open call

The deadline for submitting applications for grants from the North Carolina Arts Council is Monday, March 3. The grant programs are designed to sustain and advance the state’s arts industry, to enhance the education of the state’s children and youth,…
The Haywood County Tourism Development Authority has announced its “Homegrown Picks” for 2014. Buy Haywood, is the only county-specific agritourism initiative in Western North Carolina and works diligently to introduce high-quality farm products to community-minded consumers. Each year Buy Haywood…
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 15:09

Jackson County Arts Council awards grants

Six Western North Carolina artists have received funding from the Jackson County Arts Council to support their artistic endeavors. Regional Artist Project grants support professional artists at any stage in their careers to pursue projects that further their artistic development.
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 15:08

Cullowhee fire victims fundraiser at WCU

Donations for people affected by a November fire in Cullowhee will be collected at Western Carolina University’s men’s basketball game at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, at the Ramsey Regional Activity Center.
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 15:06

This must be the place

If Keith Richards had been born below the Mason-Dixon Line, his name might have been Mike Cooley.
Nearly 30 years after Bill Eleazer put the finishing touches on “Chasing Tadpoles,” a multi-piece bronze sculpture of three children playing in a pond, the former Tuscola High School art teacher’s work has come home to Waynesville. The only question…
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 14:53

GOP leaders should provide emails

To the Editor: Everybody wants transparency in government — everybody except our Republican legislators in Raleigh. Last year, they passed the most repressive voter suppression law in the nation, arguing that it would eliminate the almost-nonexistent voter fraud in North…
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 14:53

Keystone Pipeline could help economy

To the Editor: Are you concerned if you are in your 50s or late 40s that the Social Security fund could run out of money too soon?  In December, only 74,000 people found jobs, and some of those may have…
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 14:52

On the way to an imperial presidency

To the Editor:  This is what President Barack Obama said this week: “Where I can act on my own without Congress, I’m going to do so.”  “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone. And I can use that…
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 14:52

Weaker slope law could lead to lawsuits

To the Editor: After reading the Jan. 15 edition and seeing continued plans to weaken the present Steep Slope Ordinance in Jackson County (www.smokymountainnews.com/news/item/12322), I am reminded of the letter below that I wrote last year. The facts and issues…
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 14:51

Awards deserve a little more comment

To the Editor: I always look forward to the “Awards” issue of The Smoky Mountain News. May I make three short observations? The “It’s all fun and games until ...” award had one oversight. The unfortunate elk did not “have” to…
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 14:50

Education is alternative to killing more bears

To the Editor: The changes in the five-year black bear management plan currently being proposed by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission puts major emphasis on killing and relaxed hunting regulations of our valued bears with little or no options…
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 14:49

Plan for teacher raises a bone of contention

The ramifications of one particularly disturbing directive passed in the last session of the General Assembly is unfolding right now in every county in North Carolina, and it promises to provide some spirited political drama that just about no one…
The Golden LEAF Foundation and Duke Energy recently funded a trio of advanced manufacturing training grants, totaling $1.3 million, to Southwestern Community College and several partners. The funding has ensured that ConMet and other manufacturers throughout Western North Carolina can…
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 14:42

HRMC labor and delivery unit to be remodeled

The Haywood Regional Medical Foundation has donated $400,000 to MedWest Haywood for a remodel of the fourth floor, which includes the Women’s Care Unit and Progressive Care Unit. “We are so grateful to the HRMC Foundation for making this remodel…
The Haywood County Tourism Development Authority will see unprecedented turnover on its board this month, with five of the 12 seats being filled by newcomers.
Editor’s note: Alice Aumen has been a major voice in Haywood’s tourism landscape for more than half a century — as a founder of Cataloochee Ski Area, operator of the third-generation family-run Cataloochee Ranch and a leader in the Maggie…
After a split vote that followed nearly an hour of discussion, the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority hired three different marketing companies for a five-month period ending when the new fiscal year begins in June. 
Hunters from all over the mountains came together last weekend to speak out against the tactics used by undercover wildlife officers in a multi-year investigation  — one that presumably targeted bear poachers.
Jake Flannick • SMN Correspondent Some homeowners in Waynesville might have started wondering why a certain visitor who had routinely appeared in their yard is no longer coming around: town public works employees, pen and paper in hand, jotting down readings…