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To the Editor: I have never met George Ellison, but I am appalled as a result of his referring to Granville Calhoun as an untruthful person in a column published back in November 2013.  I am a great niece of…
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 03:29

Time to accept reality of climate change

To the Editor: Alduous Huxley once said, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” Recently, in a conversation with a friend, somehow the talk turned toward the subject of climate change. While he did not deny that…
To the Editor: The cage is open and the monster is on the loose. Despite promises of comprehensive safeguards for the health and safety of affected North Carolinians, Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, and Rep. Roger West, R-Marble, knocked the door…
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 03:25

Changing mind now won’t undo the damage

“Absolutely ridiculous.” Those are the words of Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville, to describe the actions of Rep. Michelle Presnell, R-Burnsville, who has twice in two consecutive legislative sessions stopped in its tracks a bill that would merge Lake Junaluska…
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 00:00

Folk festival in Franklin

The 11th annual Folk Festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 19, in downtown Franklin. The event includes over 100 heritage demonstrations, which include basket making, woodcarving, moonshining, weaving, spinning and more. There will also…
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 00:00

Sweet Corn Festival in Franklin

The 17th annual Sweet Corn Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 12 at St. Cyprian’s Church in Franklin. Food, with a focus on sweet corn, can be enjoyed at tables under the shade of large…
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 00:00

Contestants sought for youth talent contest

The Heritage Alive! Mountain Youth Talent Contest will be held at 3 p.m. July 19 during the Franklin Folk Festival.
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 00:00

‘Hello Dolly’ to hit HART stage

The 50th anniversary production of the Broadway blockbuster “Hello Dolly” will be held at 7:30 p.m. July 11-12, 17-19, 24-26, Aug. 1-2 and at 3 p.m. July 13, 20, 27 and Aug. 3 at the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre in…
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 00:00

ArtFest to feature Folkmoot performers

The Haywood County Arts Council will once again host ArtFest (formerly called International Festival Day) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 19 in downtown Waynesville. 
Wednesday, 09 July 2014 00:00

Emporium to bring the dance, funk to Sylva

Funk/soul group Emporium will perform as part of Concerts on the Creek from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, July 11, at Bridge Park in Sylva.
Tuesday, 08 July 2014 16:17

This must be the place

It’s the soundtrack of my life. Growing up in the Champlain Valley (Upstate New York/Vermont), the music of my native land echoed through the albums of moe. They are North Country boys, whose central blend of rock, jam, funk and…
All is not well at the Uptown Gallery in Franklin. “It’s pretty bad,” said Sue Weathers. “We’re losing money, and keeping the gallery open is getting pretty hard.” Co-director of the gallery and a member of the Macon County Art…
A major motion picture starring Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig and others will be partly filmed at a Waynesville location in mid-July.
Now is sourwood time. From late June into mid-August sourwood trees will be flowering throughout Western North Carolina, from the lowest elevations to almost 5,000 feet. Here, then, more or less at random, are some notes from my sourwood file:
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 13:32

Local water supplies get state recognition

Maggie Valley Sanitary District and the town of Waynesville got props from the N.C. Division of Water Resources for an outstanding drinking water supply earlier this summer. The water providers were two of 38 statewide to receive the N.C. Area…
A coalition of 17 organizations based in Western North Carolina is calling for a public hearing somewhere in the western part of the state on new oil and gas rules being developed the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission. Three public…
The next public meeting in the forest plan revision process for Pisgah and Nantahala national forests is planned for 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 10 in Asheville. Wildlife habitat and managing for ecosystem integrity and diversity will be the…
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 13:29

WNC trails hit the app store

A new app for iPhone and Android will give hikers a guide to more than 300 hikes in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Georgia and upstate South Carolina.
The Hemlock Restoration Initiative is seeking proposals to turn $50,000 worth of grant funding into a win in the battle to save hemlocks from the wooly adelgid.
Part contest, part festival, part education and part science, the 2014 Discover Life in America BioBlitz will bring citizens and scientists from across the country together in a race against time to see how many fungal species they can count…
Walk into Bowed Up Outdoors, and the first thing you’ll notice is the friendly banter moving back and forth between customers seated at the stools in front of the gun counter and the staff on the other side of it.…
Since I happen to love folklore and storytelling, I have always felt blessed to be a resident of Jackson County. Sitting on my front porch, I can see Black Rock, where a local law officer vanished 80 years ago while…
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

Litter in Sunburst was just heartbreaking

To the Editor: I am writing today with a heavy heart. I am saddened, frustrated and embarrassed. We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, and the fact that I have to pick up garbage everywhere…
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

Let’s stop yellow journalism politics

To the Editor: I am a politician — a local one — and while I make jokes about politics, I take the work seriously because it’s an opportunity to make changes that benefit people. To get elected, I talked about…
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

State lawmakers are shifting tax burden

To the Editor: Actions speak louder than words. North Carolina residents need to pay attention. The loud, false, words of the Republican legislators in Raleigh attempt to drown out the truth. Republicans claim to be the party of less big…
A few weeks ago, my brother called me to ask if I thought he should apply for the job as president of Wilkes Community College. I have been teaching in the community college system for 23 years and was a…
By Martin A. Dyckman • Guest Columnist Although Kansas is among the reddest of red states, its Republican governor, Sam Brownback, is in big trouble. Current polls show his Democratic challenger ahead, 47 to 41. Are pigs flying? The reasons should…
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

Cherokee Bear Zoo lawsuit moves forward

Cherokee Bear Zoo hoped a federal civil lawsuit alleging it mistreats grizzly bears in its care would be tossed out.
It was suppose to be Canton’s wrap-up budget meeting. But community members showed up to voice concerns about a specific item tucked within that budget: a proposed firing range in the Gibsontown neighborhood.
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

Canton budget passes, with hesitation

Though unanimously passed 4-0, Canton town board members approved the 2014-2015 budget with some hesitation. The budget came in at $7,718,836, which is up from $7,085,956 for 2013-2014.
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

Social enterprise: business with a mission

What began as a vision to convert a shutdown state prison in Waynesville into a halfway house, homeless shelter and soup kitchen has spiraled into a larger vision of transforming society one life at a time.
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

Merger bill moves forward in Raleigh

Lake Junaluska’s bid to merge with the town of Waynesville flickered to life in the state legislature last week after languishing in political purgatory for the past year.
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

Considering a cell tower in Whiteside Cove

The Jackson County Planning Board has of late been engaged in a discussion about the revision of the county’s ordinance governing cell phone towers. That discussion is likely to attract additional voices soon, as the board also prepares to weigh…
The Swain County Farmers Market recently enjoyed its final Friday alongside Main Street in Bryson City. After taking a break for the Fourth of July holiday, it will reopen on the other side of the Tuckasegee River.
The one-way stretch of Main Street running through the heart of downtown Sylva has a new traffic pattern. The left lane now sports turn arrows and solid white lines. 
To some, they might seem like pet projects, budgetary fat in tough times, or frivolous earmarks. But Waynesville leaders are defending $100,000 in annual contributions to a slate of 30 nonprofit organizations as a form of economic development, community advancement…
A budget-trimming effort in Macon County has leaders in multiple counties talking about what’s fair when it comes to community college funding. Charged with proposing an as-small-as-possible budget in advance of expected hard times ahead, Macon County Manager Derek Roland…
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

Fireworks: the economics of the intangibles

This Fourth of July there will be plenty of places from which to watch a fireworks display. North Jackson County will not be among them. “I understand Sylva’s not having them this year,” said Cindy Cavender, marketing director with the…
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

Partial reopening at Haywood hospital

Haywood Regional Medical Center is on its way to recovery after a small fire in its power room earlier this month knocked out the electrical system, closing the hospital and causing its 62 patients to be shuttled to hospitals in…
Haywood Community College Professional Crafts Fiber students and recent graduates recently won awards in the national juried student fiber exhibition Spotlight on Student Fiber Trends 2014 at the Lamar Dodd School of Art Galleries at the University of Georgia in…
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

Stained glass classes in Dillsboro

Appalachian Art Glass will teach the Tiffany method of making stained glass through August at the Jackson County Green Energy Park in Dillsboro.
Acclaimed musicians Laura Boosinger and Josh Goforth will open the Songcatchers Music Series at 4 p.m. Sunday, July 6, at the Cradle of Forestry in America.
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

Summer Jazz Series returns to Waynesville

The Summer Jazz Series returns for the month of July at The Classic Wineseller in Waynesville. The series takes place at 7 p.m. July 5, 12, 19 and 26. 
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

This must be the place

Screw it all. There have been days, many days, where I’ve found myself sitting in traffic, standing in line, waiting on the phone, ordering something I really don’t want (or need), drinking and eating something that probably isn’t good for…
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 00:00

An Appalachian Fourth

Nothing says summer more than the Fourth of July, and in Western North Carolina, we celebrate Independence Day with gusto. Between majestic fireworks, sizzling hot dogs and hamburgers, cotton candy, games, live music and craft demonstrations, there’s a little of…
Monday, 02 June 2014 00:00

Higher aspirations

Why do we seek the high places? The easiest explanation for going to the mountains is for the scenery. Even so, there must be something ingrained in the human experience that draws us to lofty summits and places where we…
Monday, 02 June 2014 00:00

The WNC summer concert series

From welcoming, backwoods front porches to raucous downtown stages, the music of Western North Carolina weaves together the rich history, passion and camaraderie of Southern Appalachia and its inhabitants. At the heart of this deep love and appreciation for music…
Bouncing around her gallery like a rubber ball, the energy of Teri Siewert is contagious. “The ambiance here is something you can’t buy or make, it’s either there or it’s not, and it’s definitely here,” she said. 
It was time for something different. “We’ve been looking at doing something like this for years,” said Sally Peterkin. “And when we found the right place, we knew it was time to do it.”
Monday, 02 June 2014 00:00

Shelton House celebrates 35 years

The Shelton House, which is home to the Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts, opens for its 35th season this summer.