Fri09042015

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The tactics of state and federal wildlife officers in a multi-year undercover sting targeting bear hunters continue to come under fire.
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 14:04

Term of WCU trustee comes to a close

By Katie Reeder • SMN Intern Teresa Williams’ eight years on Western Carolina University’s Board of Trustees has come to a close, and at her final meeting, board members thanked her for her contributions to the university.
A plan to turn the old Drexel furniture factory in Whittier into a Mecca of resources for small-time farmers and agricultural producers in Western North Carolina is likely dead in its tracks after a building assessment found it would take…
Four years after a state landslide mapping project for Jackson County was axed midstream, the commissioners are moving toward a vote to fund the work out of county coffers.
Swain County officials are hoping new leadership in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park means the start of a new relationship — one that will include better communication between the park and the county that is a gateway community. 
Certain questions inevitably pop up during plant identification outings. One has to do with whether or not eastern hemlock trees are poisonous.
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 16:33

Volunteers sought to maintain trails

Volunteers willing to work hard in the backcountry are sought to form this year’s Smokies Wilderness Elite Appalachian Trail Crew, a mobile group of trail maintainers that works sections of the Smokies more than 5 miles from the nearest road.
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 16:29

Research gives hope for bat survival

The release of 150 bats in Hannibal, Missouri, May 18 marked a milestone for the fight against white-nose syndrome, a disease that’s been decimating bat populations all along the east coast.  The bats were the first to be successfully treated…
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 16:27

Fly fishing museum headed for grand opening

The Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians will hold its grand opening Saturday, June 6, in Cherokee, marking a milestone in more than a year of planning, renovations and exhibit construction. 
Purchases at Waynesville’s Mast General Store Saturday, June 6, will help out with land conservation.  For that day, the store will donate a percentage of its sales to the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy to support local land and water conservation…
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 16:26

New rec area open on Lake Glenville

The Pines Recreation Area on Lake Glenville is now open, featuring a new swimming beach, fishing pier, picnic area, signage, parking enhancmeents, vault toilets and a life jacket loaner board.
In a woodsy neighborhood up a winding mountain road from Franklin, late May is pretty quiet — at least from a human perspective. Many of the second-home owners who live there haven’t yet moved in for the summer, and with…
I have always been a Russell Banks fan, and when I look back over the last 40 years, he has always been there with memorable portraits of flawed but unforgettable people — all products (or victims) of American culture. I…
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 16:10

Ray Stevens to play Franklin

Legendary comedian and singer-songwriter Ray Stevens will be hitting the stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 12, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin. A regular on the Andy Williams Show, Stevens became a popular entertainer…
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 16:08

New interactive Cherokee history program

“Cherokee Friends,” Ani-Tsalagi Digali, is an exciting new program that will expand on visitors’ experiences within the community of Cherokee.
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 16:04

Summer, fall art classes at The Bascom

A wide array of adult art classes and workshops are now open to those interested at The Bascom in Highlands.
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 15:59

Exhibit honors Cherokee artisan legend

“Solitude & Mystery,” an exhibit showcasing for the work of John Julius Wilnoty will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 13, at the Qualla Arts & Crafts gallery in Cherokee.
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 15:55

Celebrate Appalachian culture, history

The 5th annual Appalachian Lifestyle Celebration will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 13, in downtown Waynesville. During the event, there will be local authors, artisan demonstrations and crafter booths including basket making, blacksmithing, quilting, weaving,…
Catch the Spirit of Appalachia will be hosting a day of Western North Carolina culture from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 14, at the Folkmoot USA Fellowship Hall in Waynesville.
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 15:50

American Gonzos bring rock, funk to WCU

American Gonzos will perform as part of the Summer Concert Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 11, in the Central Plaza at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 15:48

This must be the place

Part Two: The Wedding As I adjusted my tie in the hotel mirror, I noticed more grey hairs in my beard.
In art, as in life, what matters most is following your heart, never compromising your beliefs and holding steady to a strong sense of integrity.
To the Editor: First, and foremost, I want to thank you for the article in The Smoky Mountain News, your May 27 edition on page 10, regarding the new bistro opening in Dillsboro. Please allow me to make a few…
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 15:35

Playing the blame game in Jackson County

To the Editor: Have you noticed when officeholders (elected or unelected) are attempting to wiggle out from responsibility for some scandal they always say “to the best of my recollection …?” Despite the statement that “I do not believe anyone…
What’s your dream job? Recent college graduates are perhaps honing in on the difficult task of searching for a satisfying career, but I’m standing at my desk today thinking “what next?” I’m 55, and for the last 16 years I’ve…
Members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will have free opportunities to attend UNC Asheville as part of an instructional credit agreement that was signed by the university and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The agreement, signed in…
Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, executive director of the Cherokee Preservation Foundation, submitted her resignation to the board and staff effective July 6.  An enrolled member of the EBCI, Clapsaddle will return to the classroom as a teacher at Swain County High…
A group of Cherokee people angry over Tribal Council’s decision last fall to give itself a 15 percent pay raise and back pay is planning to file a lawsuit against its members this month.
Following discovery that a March suicide in the Jackson County Detention Center had occurred during an 85-minute gap in jailers’ rounds — the state minimum requirement is 30 minutes — the N.C. Department of Health and Human Resources took a…
In addition to wanting more curriculum classes offered for residents, Swain County commissioners want better representation on the Southwestern Community College Board of Trustees. 
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 15:12

Swain to beef up courtroom security

Swain County commissioners know they need to address security concerns at the county administrative building in Bryson City, but they are still torn on whether they need to secure the entire building or just the courtrooms.
Waynesville town leaders plan to broker a sit-down between Frog Level merchants and the Open Door soup kitchen in coming weeks to discuss an on-going conflict over a loose-knit band of homeless people who spend their days loitering and drinking…
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 15:07

WCU students charged in off-campus fight

A pair of Western Carolina University fraternity brothers are facing assault charges after student Zach Denson left an off-campus party this spring with a broken nose, concussion and spinal injury.
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 15:06

Four arrested for illegal fishing

Four men from Buncombe and Henderson counties are facing a slew of Class 3 misdemeanor charges after officers with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission caught them fishing Lake Waterville using gill nets.
Macon County Sheriff Robbie Holland has found some recent budget relief since Angel Medical Center took over supervising mental health patients that are brought in for evaluation.
Improving communication between the Main Street Association and downtown merchants was the goal of a survey sent out to merchants and property owners this winter, and the recently compiled results of that survey showed that communication itself is one of…
By Katie Reeder • SMN Intern  A great restaurant at a great location in a great town — it’s all part of The Imperial’s appeal, according to the restaurant’s assistant manager Monte Bumberknick.
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 14:50

WCU students react to NC voting law changes

By Katie Reeder • SMN Intern  Some opponents of North Carolina’s new voting law claim it negatively impacts college students because of provisions that cut the early voting period and do not allow students to use their campus photo identification cards…
By Katie Reeder • SMN Intern  It may be too late to change North Carolina’s new voting laws, but it’s not too late to have a say in how those laws are going to be implemented. SEE ALSO:• Be prepared at…
The days of simply walking into a polling place and casting a ballot are over.
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 14:37

Waynesville walks the line at budget time

The town of Waynesville has rolled out a budget plan for the coming fiscal year that’s nearly identical to the year before.
A new animal shelter is in the works in Haywood County despite a major decline in the number of stray and orphaned animals over the past decade.
A new $3 million animal shelter on the horizon in Haywood County has become a catalyst for a philosophical shift in animal control.
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 16:09

Beige – the new orange

Neotropical migrants can be flashy things — think scarlet tanager, Baltimore oriole, rose-breasted grosbeak or those tiny butterflies of the bird world like American redstart, blackburnian warbler, hooded warbler and northern parula, just to name a few. And often when…
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 16:08

WNC conservationists get recognition

Western North Carolina was well represented in the round of annual conservation awards bestowed by the state’s 24 land trusts.  The N.C. Land Trust Awards recognized 11 individuals or organizations for efforts to protect the state’s land. Among them were:…
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 16:07

Give the A.T. some love

A coalition of trail-loving organizations will join forces to celebrate National Trails Day with an opportunity to work on the Appalachian Trail Saturday, June 6.
A draft plan for sustainable river access on the upper segment of the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River is now open for review.  The plan stems from a years-long fight to allow paddling on the upper waters of the Chattooga,…
The Mt. Le Conte Backcountry Shelter and trails to the popular Cliff Tops area have re-opened following closure due to a May 17 encounter with an aggressive bear.
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 15:55

Solarize seeing success

The Solarize WNC program — an effort to connect people interested in converting to solar energy with the resources to do so — is starting to see some success, with one solar contract signed and two more pending.
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 15:54

Coal on the outs at Asheville plant

Coal will no longer be the cornerstone of power production in Asheville when Duke Energy completes a newly announced $1.1 billion plan to retire its coal-fired power plant and construct a natural gas plant and solar farm in its place. …