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Wednesday, 09 August 2006 00:00

Elk population on the rise

The elk herd in Cataloochee Valley added at least eight babies to its ranks this summer, giving the herd a needed population boost. Since the elk herd was released in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park five years ago, black…
Wednesday, 09 August 2006 00:00

WCU professor leads Elwha project

Thanks to a National Science Foundation grant-funded project led by a Western Carolina University professor, 25 young people from Washington’s Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe are seeing firsthand how the nation’s largest dam removal project will impact a river system with…
Wednesday, 09 August 2006 00:00

Beak tweaking or evolution

One of the tenets of the theory of evolution is a phenomenon known as character displacement. Character displacement states, in essence, that when two similar species inhabit the same environment and compete for the same resources, natural selection favors a…
Wednesday, 09 August 2006 00:00

Peregrine falcons make a tenuous comeback

Peregrine falcons, a recovering endangered species, once again nested successfully this spring on Whiteside Mountain in Highlands.
Wednesday, 09 August 2006 00:00

First-Ever Tour de Tuck to challenge cyclists

Cyclists will be testing their legs and lungs on the roads of Western North Carolina later this month in the debut of the Tour de Tuck Bike Challenge on Saturday, Aug. 19.
Checking email has gotten a lot more exciting for Wendy Johnson lately. As the organizer for the 28th Annual Maggie Valley Moonlight Race this year, Johnson sees a message show up in her in-box every time a runner registers on-line.…
Wednesday, 16 August 2006 00:00

Monarch migration

The king of insect migration – King Billy – will soon be gliding its way to Mexico by the millions. The monarch butterfly was dubbed “King Billy” by early North American settlers because its bright orange color reminded them of…
Wednesday, 16 August 2006 00:00

Remarkable talent shines in Rosser’s latest

By Chris Cooper Man, I don’t want to start off with the whole “He’s done it again!” thing. You know, the kind of review where the author is obviously a fan of the artist already, and can do nothing but…
Students in Haywood Community College’s Film and Video Production Technology Program just finished an original film written by one of its students.
Canton’s 100th Labor Day Celebration will feature three showings of a 30-minute documentary about the town’s history at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25; 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27; and at 4 p.m. on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4. All showings…
Wednesday, 16 August 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Storytelling The term “storytelling” has been acquired by a diverse number of creative folks from musicians (the late Harry Chapin, for example) to artists, filmmakers and writers.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer For the past 24 years, crowds have gathered at Happy Holiday Campground in Cherokee for the annual Cherokee Bluegrass Festival.
Wednesday, 16 August 2006 00:00

Captives and Captivations

Narratives of confinement have long held a fascination for readers. From Saint Paul’s account of his imprisonment to modern stories of Turkish prisons, Alcatraz, and the Hanoi Hilton, we find ourselves roused by stories of courage and tenacity shown in…
Wednesday, 16 August 2006 00:00

Blue Ridge shows profit

By Michael Beadle Profits are up for Blue Ridge Paper Products nearly two years after devastating floods washed through the Canton paper mill, causing $7 million in damages and temporarily shutting down production.
Wednesday, 16 August 2006 00:00

Community appeals to Jackson commissioners

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Members of a grassroots citizens group rallying against a proposal to build a rock quarry in the Tuckasegee community of Jackson County will appear before county commissioners Thursday, Aug. 17, to plead their case…
Wednesday, 16 August 2006 00:00

Ghost Town comes to life

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Once more, for the last time — Ghost Town has sold. The announcement came Tuesday morning as regional economic developers unveiled plans for the Maggie Valley theme park to reopen in May 2007. Hank…
Wednesday, 16 August 2006 00:00

Loan obtained for Waynesville fire station

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., has helped Waynesville obtain a loan of $2 million to construct its new fire station.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer About half way between Sylva and Cashiers on N.C. 107, between Jackson County’s Caney Fork and Glenville communities, is the small but busy Tuckasegee.
Wednesday, 16 August 2006 00:00

Sylva set to expand planning district

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Sylva Town Board members are expected to move forward with plans to make the Allen’s Branch community part of the town’s extra territorial jurisdiction Thursday, Aug. 17. However, several local residents are pushing for…
Wednesday, 16 August 2006 00:00

The turkey’s role in Cherokee culture

The come back of the wild turkey in the southern mountains in recent years is one of the notable success stories in wildlife restoration. Thirty or so years ago, the sighting of a flock of wild turkeys was a rarity.…
Wednesday, 16 August 2006 00:00

The time has come to lift Cuban embargo

This is about political ignorance, ignorance highlighted by the recent news about Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s apparently serious illness.
Wednesday, 16 August 2006 00:00

A little surer, a little more lost

I can’t help feeling, just slightly, like we cheated. You be the judge. The table had been set on our recent family vacation for a trip unlike any I’d ever experienced. We had planned a four-night sailing trip on my…
Wednesday, 16 August 2006 00:00

Unified voices calling for a better big box

When Waynesville leaders met earlier this month to discuss the site plan and variance requests for the proposed big-box development at the old Dayco site, it seems they spoke with a unanimous voice, urging construction of something other than an…
Wednesday, 23 August 2006 00:00

Strange happenings in music today

By Chris Cooper Here are a few things about “modern” rock and pop that I’ve found interesting (in a morbid curiosity kind of way) or just plain depressing recently. Maybe I’ve too much time on my hands. Maybe some of…
Wednesday, 23 August 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

“Scoop” The world’s been in need of a good Woody Allen film and this murder-mystery/comedy fabulously fills the void. As the magician “Splendini” Allen is a hoot, essentially playing himself with a few card tricks up his sleeves.
Wednesday, 23 August 2006 00:00

Betrayed, rejection and self-destruction

15 years ago, Donna Tautt’s The Secret History managed to acquire an amazing following among university students in the United States and England. Within a year of its publication (1992), campus clubs and Internet web sites were formed solely for…
As the new owners of Ghost Town in the Sky pondered whether the dated mountaintop amusement park was a good business venture, one of their first questions was how many visitors they could feasibly expect to attract.
Wednesday, 23 August 2006 00:00

Cotton selected as Haywood manager

David B. Cotton of Seven Lakes has been named Haywood County manager
Wednesday, 23 August 2006 00:00

Grant allows Sylva to conserve Fisher Creek

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer The Town of Sylva has been awarded a $3.5 million grant from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund to purchase a conservation easement to protect its 1,088-acre Fisher Creek watershed.
Wednesday, 23 August 2006 00:00

Huge crowd celebrates Ghost Town’s revival

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Wednesday, 23 August 2006 00:00

From military campaign to political campaign

If politics makes strange bedfellows, then surely Rutherford Trace offers some curious pillow talk in the legislative halls of Raleigh and Washington, D.C.
Wednesday, 23 August 2006 00:00

Quarry opponents get county support

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer The grassroots group United Neighbors of Tuckasegee celebrated another victory in the battle to keep a rock quarry from locating in its community when county commissioners passed a resolution Thursday night (Aug. 17) imploring…
When Todd Berrong, a former gun fighter at Ghost Town amusement park, walked through the gate of his old stomping grounds this week, he saw a circle of six men dressed in cowboy hats and boots, gun holsters slung around…
By Michael Beadle To some, it was a crucial military campaign early in the Revolutionary War, an unprecedented patriot force that crushed a potential British ally and paved the way for American independence and inevitable white settlements in Western North…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Town aldermen are moving ahead with plans to vote the Allen’s Branch community into Sylva’s planning jurisdiction.
Wednesday, 23 August 2006 00:00

Wal-Mart rolls out unique design

The controversy over a proposed Super Wal-Mart complex in Waynesville took a turn at a town planning board meeting this week when developers presented a design for the store’s façade that by all accounts was the nicest looking Super Wal-Mart…
Wednesday, 23 August 2006 00:00

Chinquapins a hardy, unusual shrub

Do you have chinquapins growing on your property or in your vicinity? If so, you’re fortunate. For my money, “the little brother of the chestnut” (as it’s sometimes called) is one of our more graceful and interesting plants, especially during…
Wednesday, 23 August 2006 00:00

Immigration and a complicit, angry America

On July 13, the Buncombe County Republican Action Club posted two billboards in Asheville featuring a photograph of a Mexican flag flying over an American flag, the latter of which was also turned upside down. The accompanying message read, simply,…
Wednesday, 23 August 2006 00:00

Quarry plan showcases planning shortfalls

Citizens in Jackson County’s Tuckasegee community should consider themselves lucky. The problem, however, is that luck doesn’t always hold. It appears very likely now that a proposal to construct a rock quarry in this rural community is not going to…
Wednesday, 23 August 2006 00:00

Bethel group receives grants for conservation

On-going farmland conservation efforts in the rural Haywood County community of Bethel got a boost with a $20,000 grant from the Pigeon River Fund this month.
Wednesday, 23 August 2006 00:00

Two flew over the cuckoo’s nest

Nothing takes me back to that shotgun shack along the dusty road around Horseshoe Lake quicker than the call of the rain crow. In late July and early August it’s a common sound coming from the woods around my home…
Wednesday, 23 August 2006 00:00

SCC students help with Parkway film

When Bentley Robison enrolled in the Surveying Technology program at Southwestern Community College, he never imagined he would become an actor in a film. But this summer he and three of his classmates, his instructor, his boss and another employee…
Wednesday, 23 August 2006 00:00

Quarry opponents speak out at public hearing

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer   About two hundred concerned citizens packed into a Jackson County courtroom Tuesday night to show their opposition to a proposed rock quarry to be located in the Tuckasegee community.
Wednesday, 30 August 2006 00:00

Charlie Daniels rocks Canton Sept. 1

The Town of Canton’s Labor Day celebrations reach fever pitch this weekend with the Paper Bowl — the football game between Haywood County rivals Pisgah and Tuscola high schools — followed by a concert on Sept. 1 featuring renegade country…
Wednesday, 30 August 2006 00:00

Jim Black’s enablers carry on

The scandals around N.C. House Speaker Jim Black, D-Mecklenburg, multiply like mushrooms on the forest floor. Yet a casual reader of the news might be inclined to think that Mr. Black was a politician in some other state.
Too often people tend to write off efforts by the most hard-core social activists as excessive or simply impossible to achieve. These people and their movements are out of the mainstream, many say, their ideas worthy yet impractical, or that…
Wednesday, 30 August 2006 00:00

The oil nut’s curious little green fruits

For me, the fall season is one of the most invigorating times to get out in the woods and prowl around. Many of the most beautiful wildflowers found in the Blue Ridge, especially the lobelias and gentians, are then coming…
Wednesday, 30 August 2006 00:00

The unfriendly skies

I was working in the yard the other afternoon when I heard a crisp “whap!” — like the sound of a line drive in the third baseman’s mitt — just above my head. A pipevine swallowtail butterfly spun to the…
Wednesday, 30 August 2006 00:00

Smokies’ coneflowers get around

Several times a year, Park Ranger Susan Sachs heads up to the ozone garden at the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center with a trowel and digs up a few new shoots sprouting from the garden’s coneflower plants.
When Aaron Patterson graduated from Tuscola High this year, little did he know a big chunk of his summer break would be spent, clipboard in hand, sprawled out in the dirt on a 5,000-foot mountain top, sharing long intimate moments…