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Registration is up and running for the 31st Cullowhee Native Plant Conference to be held July 16-19 at Western Carolina University. Workshop topics include native plant propagation, nature photography and garden design tips, while field trips will include visits to…
A summer lecture series dedicated to natural history and conservation will kick off with a talk from Dr. Lee Alan Dugatkin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 19, at the Highlands Nature Center.  Dugatkin is a biology professor at the University…
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 14:33

Local agriculture robust in WNC

Local food sales are surging in Western North Carolina, and agriculture is alive and well.  Direct farmer-to-consumer food sales in the region increased nearly 70 percent between 2007 and 2012, growing from just under $5 million to more than $8…
 A book by Western Carolina University biology professor and Highlands Biological Station director James Costa titled Wallace, Darwin and the Origin of Species has been published by Harvard University Press. The book provides an in-depth look at the work of…
The North Carolina League of Conservation Voters has released its 2013 scorecard for North Carolina legislators, a number based on the legislators’ voting record on key environmental issues.  This year, a record number of legislators — 82 — earned a…
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 14:29

Annual garden tour a go in Haywood

The Barn at the Mountain Research Station, on Raccoon Road in Waynesville, will serve as the hub for ticket purchasing, vendor presentations and tour directions. The station includes a range of soil types and elevations and a diversity of horticultural,…
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 14:28

Falling tree gives Arizona woman a fright

Jan Eagle got a scare when a tree fell on her campsite at Cataloochee Campground during her stay at Great Smoky Mountains National Park May 30. Eagle, who lives in Tucson, Ariz., was on the first day of her 12-day…
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 14:27

Youth to reenact ancient fishing practices

Children will get a chance to learn firsthand about Cherokee fishing traditions by re-enacting a fish harvest on an ancient stone fishing weir at 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday, June 23, on the Tuckaseegee River.
Outdoor Mission Camp, an affiliate of Youth For Christ USA based in Maggie Valley, is offering a wilderness camp for Western North Carolina students, grades 6 to 12, on a donation basis, as well as a 10-week wilderness discipleship course…
A black bear — and possibly one of its cubs — is dead after a run of bird seed raids resulted in a confrontation with a Maggie Valley homeowner’s 12-gauge.  “Everyone has a right to protect their property, and it…
Back in the day when the “culture wars” focused more on literature, music and movies — Tipper Gore, for example, then the wife of Al Gore, in 1985 led a crusade advocating age-appropriate labels on popular music — Christians often…
The Cherokee Voices Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 14 at The Museum of the Cherokee Indian.
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 14:09

HART celebrates 30 years

The Haywood Arts Regional Theatre will celebrate 30 years with a “Hart Hat Party” from 6 to 8 p.m. June 12 in Waynesville.
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 14:08

WCU Bardo Center receives acclaim

The Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University was recently named among BestValueSchools.com’s list entitled “The 25 Most Amazing University Performing Arts Centers.” 
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 14:06

Bluegrass in Cherokee Festival returns

The Bluegrass in Cherokee Festival will run June 12-14 at the Happy Holiday RV Village in Cherokee. Showcasing some of the finest bluegrass, gospel and Appalachian music in the Southeast, the festival will include Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road, Doyle…
Alternative rock bands Gin Blossoms and Spin Doctors will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 19, at Harrah’s Cherokee.
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 14:02

This must be the place

Waylon Jennings is alive. Figuratively. Not literally, folks. Strolling down Haywood Road in West Asheville one evening last summer, I came across the Double Crown, a dive bar of the most enjoyable proportions. And I love dive bars, places where…
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 13:59

Tell it from the mountain

It all started with a drum solo. “My mother was of the big band generation, and she’d watch all of these movies when I was a kid with big bands in them,” said Michael Reno Harrell. “I remember seeing Gene…
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 13:43

Franklin Gem Museum is a gem indeed

To the Editor: What to do?  On a recent pouring-down-rain Saturday when my daughter and grandsons were here for their annual three-day visit ... the boys opted for “let’s go to the movies” and moaned and groaned when I dragged…
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 13:43

The flim-flam men at work in Jackson

To the Editor: I thought that I would warn you about a multimillion dollar foreign-owned operation that is attempting to con and manipulate elected officials here in Jackson County out of millions of your money for their personal gain. Heery…
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 13:42

GOP leaders take on regulatory reform

To the Editor: Now that the state legislature is in short session, one of the themes is regulatory reform.  Let’s examine what their version of reform has meant to you so far.   Until the ash spill, Duke Power has…
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 13:42

Bear shooter should be prosecuted

To the Editor: On Monday June 2, a man shot and killed a bear because she supposedly tried to attack him on his porch in Maggie Valley. He also said that she had been in his bird feeder and then…
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 13:41

Standing up for Haywood GOP and its future

To the Editor: I am a 55-year-old native of Haywood County, who has been a registered Republican from the time I turned 18. I am writing this in response to all the negative articles written about the Haywood GOP and…
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 13:39

If war is not the answer, then what is?

By Doug Wingeier • Columnist A group calling ourselves “Neighbors for Peace” have been holding a peace vigil in front of the Haywood County Courthouse nearly every Wednesday — rain or shine — since before the start of “Shock and…
The National Science Foundation has awarded a grant of more than $625,000 to Western Carolina University for a project designed to boost the number of students pursuing degrees in engineering and technology fields as part of an effort to address…
Evergreen Packaging paper mill in Canton could get $12 million in state assistance to offset the cost of converting from coal to natural gas, if a proposal pending in the General Assembly goes through.
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 13:31

State law eliminates business license fees

Business license fees will disappear in North Carolina following the recent passage of the Omnibus Tax Law Changes. Currently, towns and cities use any of a number of schemes for calculating how much a business must pay for the privilege…
It’s been more than a month since seven of the Pigeon River Fund Board’s nine members learned that a dictum from Raleigh was booting them off midterm, but the restructured board is still raising eyebrows and ire. Typically, the board…
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 13:24

Jackson assesses cell tower regulations

A conversation has begun in Jackson County regarding the revision of the county’s regulations pertaining to cell phone towers.  “We’re just barely into it,” said Ed Weatherby, a member of the Jackson County Planning Board. 
Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, faced a group of 50 Macon County teachers and staff last Tuesday in the library of South Macon Elementary School, and it was not a happy crowd. 
Thom Tillis has a recurring daydream. The Republican Speaker of the North Carolina House of Representatives and candidate for the U.S. Senate, laid out his fantasy during the GOP’s annual convention held last weekend in Cherokee.    “It goes something…
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 13:13

Sylva mother questions park ban

After her teenage daughter was banned from Poteet Park for a year, a Sylva mother sought an audience with the town’s commissioners.  “Everywhere I try to address my concerns, I’m ignored,” Deborah Woolverton told Sylva commissioners during a recent board…
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 13:13

Haywood GOP faction loses bid to oust chair

An ongoing tug-of-war for control of the Haywood County Republican Party reached a finale last week. A faction of conservative activists failed in their bid to wrest the chairman’s seat away from Pat Carr, who represents the mainstream party establishment.…
Waynesville leaders will face a tough choice in coming weeks: either raise the property tax rate by 3 cents or cut town services and amenities. That’s the message Town Manager Marcy Onieal shared with Waynesville aldermen at a budget workshop…
By Michael Beadle Take to the rails through Western North Carolina, and you’re bound to hear some history. In the late 19th century, tracks were being laid from Asheville to Murphy by a group of convicts working on a portion…
Wednesday, 13 September 2006 00:00

Newgrass with strong roots

It seems that in the realm of jam-oriented “newgrass” music, there are very clear lines between the things that work and those things that don’t. Extended improvisations are fine, but they have to be grounded in actual songs, not mere…
Mention the phrase “insect society,” and most folks automatically think of such natural phenomena as the bee hive, the ant colony, the wasp nest or the termite mound — structured civilizations characterized by a precise division of labor among their…
Wednesday, 13 September 2006 00:00

Town quells Allens Creek ‘jake’ brake problem

Residents along Allens Creek in Waynesville are cheering a long-sought ban on the use of “jake” brakes by gravel trucks on their way to and from a rock quarry located in their otherwise residential community. “It is like living in…
Controversy over the handling of flood repairs by Haywood County Schools two years ago have been the subject of media attention over the past two weeks. This week, school board members were asked to weigh in and share their thoughts…
Wednesday, 13 September 2006 00:00

Slate of events focuses on Hispanic Heritage

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer The third annual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration in Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties will kick off with a Mexican Independence Day celebration held from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, in the…
Wednesday, 13 September 2006 00:00

The war in Iraq: local residents speak out

By Michael Beadle When it comes to the war in Iraq, Americans are divided on what should be done, but a majority of Haywood County residents recently interviewed in a random sampling say the U.S. should stay in Iraq until…
Wednesday, 13 September 2006 00:00

Taylor vs. Shuler: In the hot seat

By Michael Beadle Editor’s note: From today until the election on Nov. 7, The Smoky Mountain News will run a series of articles on issues we have asked Rep. Charles Taylor and challenger Heath Shuler to address. As U.S. Rep.…
Wednesday, 13 September 2006 00:00

Nighttime navigators

Usually I sit on the front deck of our house for a while after getting home from work. Then, before dusk, I normally retire to the kitchen area to listen to the radio while eating supper. One evening last week,…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Mickey Rooney. Chances are that if you’re into classic Hollywood you’ve seen at least one of his films, and even if you’re not, well you probably know the name. Pretty much everybody does.
Wednesday, 13 September 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Myspace Surely you’ve heard of Myspace. It’s that Internet phenomenon where people can find out a little too much about each other in way too little time, musicians can network with other musicians, and people can continue communicating without actually…
Wednesday, 13 September 2006 00:00

Death call Everyman

When I registered as a sophomore at Western Carolina University (then, Western Carolina Teachers’ College) in 1954, I heard a number of my classmates talking about Dr. George Herring. “Get a class under him, Gary,” they said. “Hurry! His literature…
Wednesday, 13 September 2006 00:00

Duke convinces Dillsboro to ‘retract’ letter

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Dillsboro Mayor Jean Hartbarger has retracted a letter that could have led to a legal squabble with Duke Power. Hartbarger had signed a letter requesting that the N.C. Division of Water Quality hold a…
Wednesday, 13 September 2006 00:00

Certain medicines can be a killer combination

By Dr. Allan Zacher & JC Walkup Editor’s note: A recent overdose by a patient inspired Dr. Allan Zacher of Hywood County to work with a free-lance writer on the following article. “I hope that my story will prevent at…
Wednesday, 13 September 2006 00:00

The race is on to Election Day

As the front page of this week’s paper illustrates, it’s election season. Trouble is, it’s just not feeling much like it yet. U.S. Rep. Charles Taylor, R-Brevard, and Heath Shuler, this Democratic challenger from Waynesville, are still mostly preaching to…
It’s a chicken or egg argument, but in this case it doesn’t really matter which is right. Either way the whole region benefits.