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By Michael Beadle It’s been called the poor man’s silver, but its shine and durability have made it prized in kitchens and living rooms around the world. “You can do three things with pewter,” says Ruth McConnell, a third-generation pewter…
Wednesday, 29 August 2007 00:00

The perilous world of mussels

Decades ago, fresh water mussels littered the river bottoms of Western North Carolina. River otter and muskrats ate them, Cherokee harvested them and early settlers apparently cussed them.
Wednesday, 29 August 2007 00:00

Keep me in the dark

Scott McLeod, my editor, tossed an Aug. 20, 2007, New Yorker on his desk and said there was a good article about light pollution in it and wondered if I was interested. I was. But I’m sure that doesn’t come…
Wednesday, 29 August 2007 00:00

Deed faux pas gives animal shelter to airport

Jackson County accidentally gave away the county’s animal shelter to the Jackson County Airport Authority 10 years ago, and now it wants it back. The blunder was only recently discovered. The error dates back to 1998 when the county transferred…
Samuel J. Hunnicutt was one of the original characters of the Smokies region before the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was founded in 1934. He is far less well known than Quill Rose, Horace Kephart, or Mark Cathey, but he…
The King of the Smokies sprint and international distance triathlons will be held at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center on Sept. 1.
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:53

Talk looks at learning outside the classroom

Dr. Karen Kandl, associate director at the Highlands Biological Station, will speak on “Biodiversity of the Southern Appalachians: Learning outside of the classroom” at 7 p.m. on Aug. 23. Kandl has extensive experience teaching outside of the classroom and believes that…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:52

Labor Day LakeAlooza party at Fontana Village

Fontana Village Resort will host a LakeAlooza party on Labor Day weekend. A full day of water activities at Fontana Marina begins at noon on Sept. 1 and includes a burgers and hotdog cookout, friendly competition lake games such as…
This American Land, a new weekly half-hour series that delves into key environmental issues, is now airing on UNC-TV every Thursday at 9:30 p.m. The show focuses on issues affecting the nation’s national heritage, and segments for the upcoming season…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:49

High school students complete WCU bike trek

Eleven high school students from Western North Carolina had an opportunity to learn about biology and ecology this summer as they participated in “Life-Cycle,” a 200-mile exploration by bicycle offered through Western Carolina University’s Project Discovery-Talent Search Program.
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:46

Volunteer needed at Oconaluftee

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recruiting volunteers to help the park staff by roving the River Trail, Mountain Farm Museum and fields along U.S. 441 (Newfound Gap Road) and providing visitors with useful park information regarding regulations such…
A field photography program that includes four Wednesday morning shoots, three evening group critiques and field discussions will be held Sept. 4-Oct. 2.
It’s amazing what can happen in just 60 minutes. Each year, the Friends Across the Mountains telethon showcases inspiring images and stories from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and each year individuals, local businesses, and foundations provide necessary support…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:39

DuPont forest trip for seniors

The Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department will offer a trip for seniors to DuPont State Forest near Brevard on Sept. 12. The trip will leave from the Waynesville Recreation Center at 10:30 a.m. and return by 4 p.m.  DuPont contains…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:39

Interactive fishing map released

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission recently added a new interactive map to its website that identifies more than 500 public fishing areas across the state, many of which are owned or managed by the commission. The map allows users to…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:39

Plant-insect symbiosis focus of hike

Blue Ridge Parkway rangers will lead a “Sweet Summer Nectar” hike to the meadow near Sams Knob beginning at 10 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 17. The easy to moderate, 2.5-mile round-trip hike will focus on the relationship between summer wildflowers…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:37

Stoked for storks

As we started over the bridge on the Isle of Palms Connector, I noticed a line of large black and white birds through the pine trees. “Gourd heads,” I must have said out loud, because my wife said, “What?” “Wood…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:35

AT celebrates 75 years

As the legend goes, Earl Shaffer, the first man to hike the Appalachian Trail from end-to-end in 1948, used leather footwear without socks. He only sprinkled foot powder in his boots each morning — some say he used sand —…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:34

Rare book harkens back to a different time

Ramblin’ in Rabun is a reprint of a delightful book that was written down in Clayton, Ga., some 40 years ago. I have always been a fan of books that were compiled by some imaginative journalist who became profoundly interested…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:31

Reading Room news briefs

Real-life mystery talks focus Margaret Dunbar Cutright, author of A Case for Soloman, will be at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville at 3 p.m. on Aug. 25. Cutright’s book tells the spellbinding story of one of the most celebrated kidnapping…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:21

Letter writers were simply off the mark

To the Editor: A pair of letters in this (last) week’s Smoky Mountain News made me check the calendar to see if it was April Fool’s Day. One of them asserted that Republicans want everyone to work and aren’t the…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:09

Let’s restore common sense in November

To the Editor: Last Saturday afternoon, Aug. 11, hundreds of people traveled to Jackson County to attend a rally which featured the North Carolina Council of State and other Democratic candidates. This rally was an historic happening, and was put…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:09

We need laws to control loud, dangerous pets

To the Editor: What an ignorant letter (“People, not dogs, are the problem,” Aug. 1, The Smoky Mountain News) written by Mylan Sessions of Clyde. We were the second homeowners to build in our area — nice, quiet and lonely…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:08

It’s important to protect the golden goose

To the Editor: As Western North Carolina strives to attract more businesses into this area, a major selling point is the natural beauty of our mountains. Not only does this incredible natural resource promote a high quality of life, but…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 14:07

Valid criticism better than false accusations

To the Editor: I have been in such a state of shock over a letter published in your newspaper (“Obama wants to limit free speech rights,” Aug. 1 edition) that it has taken me this long to respond. I have…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 13:59

Raymond Fairchild and a vanishing tradition

By Charles and Cynthia Seeley • Guest Columnists I am a visitor to Maggie Valley. My husband, two friends and I chose this area of the North Carolina mountains as our vacation destination by pure chance. Our goal was to…
Jackson County leaders appear to be backing down from a lofty vision to transform U.S. 441 leading to Cherokee into a pedestrian-friendly boulevard. The planning board has spent several months rewriting commercial development guidelines for the 3.5-mile stretch of highway.…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 13:55

State senate candidates stake out positions

Verbal sparring over key campaign issues in this fall’s state senate race was lively and pointed between N.C. Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, and former Democratic state Sen. John Snow at an Aug. 9 forum the Macon County League of Women…
When Tom Sigmon tells people in Charlotte that he only lives there part-time, they often ask where he spends the rest of his year. Waynesville, he responds.
A task force charged with creating guidelines for a joint Jackson County Tourism Development Authority is still struggling to figure out exactly how everything will work — and the deadline for making recommendations to the county leadership is drawing nearer. Jackson…
Many counties are seeing an increase in tourism-related spending this year, but most have still not bounced back to their pre-recession numbers. The only real way for counties to measure how many tourists are stopping in their towns is through…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 12:34

Team weight-loss competition starts soon

The Franklin Angel Medical Center is hosting the kick-off for its third team weight-loss competition 9 a.m. Aug. 25 in the hospital dining room. The competition is call Lighten UP 4 Life and consists of four-person teams who face-off against…
The Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation in Waynesville is lowering the fee to $5 to adopt cats five months or older. The promotion will run for five days starting Aug. 14. The unwanted cat population increases in the summertime, and many…
The HRMC Foundation is hosting its 21st annual Charitable Classic Golf & Gala, a two-day fundraiser Aug. 28-29 to benefit MedWest-Haywood. The tournament will kick off with the men’s golf tournaments at 8:30 a.m. at the Maggie Valley Club and…
The Haywood Community College Board of Trustees have apparently rejected five finalists in its search for a new college president and will now cast a wider net by selecting five additional candidates. In a split vote earlier this month, the…
For a little less than the cost of a cup of coffee, Haywood County is buying the small, closed-down state prison in the Hazelwood community of Waynesville. The county is buying the 128-bed minimum security prison from the state for…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 12:29

MedWest-Haywood to fill key slots

The county is looking to fill five open positions on MedWest-Haywood’s hospital authority board during a critical time when the MedWest system as a whole is trying to decide its future. Growing discontent among some Jackson County doctors has the…
The Maggie Valley Board of Aldermen will vote this week whether to relax restrictions on sweepstakes machines for businesses that plan to make their money mostly from the controversial mechanisms. If the ordinance passes as is, sweepstake-specific businesses can have…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 12:26

Low values prompt reval delay

Real estate prices have taken such a drastic plunge in Macon and Jackson counties — which once boasted the highest concentration of mega-developments catering to the high-end second home market — that county commissioners there keep postponing the countywide property…
As Macon Bank scurried to get in on the ground floor of the real estate heyday in the mountains, it unwittingly stumbled into a house of cards, and found itself caught up in a scheme akin to insider trading that…
Haywood County temporarily backed off its hard-line stance against tiny Confederate flags being stuck in the ground around the base of a memorial for Confederate soldiers on the lawn of the historic courthouse in Waynesville, but has once again started…
The former Bryson City fire chief Joey Hughes is facing criminal charges following a months-long investigation by the State Bureau of Investigation into missing funds from fire department coffers. His wife, Cylena Hughes, has also been charged in connection with…
The Friends of the Library will present the final novel in the “Let’s Talk About It: Civil War Novels” discussion series, Lincoln’s Dreams, at 4 p.m. Aug. 22 in the Waynesville library auditorium. Emory Maiden, professor at Appalachian State University,…
Jody Kraner, owner of Amaste Woman, will speak from 1-3 p.m. Aug. 20 in the conference room of the Cooperative Extension Office. Amaste Woman is a company that creates and offers sewing patterns for making flattering, asymmetrical robes or tunic…
Members of the Western Carolina Civic Orchestra — conducted by William Henigbaum — will present a string chamber orchestra concert at 7 p.m. on Aug. 21 in the community room of the Jackson County Public Library.  The string players of…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 00:00

‘Wine for the Arts' celebrates 12th year

The Haywood County Arts Council will host its 12th annual “Wine for the Arts” from 7-9 p.m. Aug. 23 at The Classic Wineseller as part of the 2012 FUNd Party Series. The Classic Wineseller, which is located on Church Street…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 00:00

Design school faculty to present work Aug. 23

Western Carolina University’s Fine Art Museum will host a reception from 5-7 p.m. Aug. 23 for its biennial School of Art and Design faculty art show. The exhibition features the work of WCU faculty members, all teaching artists, who work…
The Highlands Cashiers Players’ will premiere an uproarious, laugh-out-loud new Ken Ludwig comedy “The Fox on the Fairway” Aug. 23. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Aug. 23-25 and Aug. 30-Sept. 1 and 2:30 p.m. Aug. 26 and Sept. 2. The…
Appalachian Fire Bluegrass Band of Flat Rock will perform a concert of classic bluegrass and gospel music at 3 p.m. Aug. 19 at Swain County Center for the Arts in Bryson City. Immediately following the one-hour concert, there will be…
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 00:00

Kenny Rogers is coming to Cherokee

Country legend Kenny Rogers will take the stage at Harrah’s Event Center in Cherokee at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 1.