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A sweeping review of the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests will get under way in a matter of months, a behemoth, multi-year process that will layout a new blueprint for how the forests are managed for the first time in…
 A million acres of national forests sounds like a lot, and indeed it is. But consider the 8.6 million people who visit the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests every year and those vast green swaths that checker any map of…
 A couple in Macon County is trying to raise $2 million to open a childcare center that would serve 120 children.
Don’t expect business as usual at the Cashiers Chamber of Commerce as a new director takes over for the first time in more than 20 years. The business organization became embroiled in controversy last year amid questions about whether the…
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 00:00

Maggie police under the gun in budget talks

The Maggie Valley Police Department will see minimal cuts to its new budget despite multiple discussions about whether the small valley has more officers than it needs. The budget was cut by $55,000 to $854,000. The town will postpone replacing…
Maggie Valley’s mayor and Board of Alderman voted quickly Monday to cut the tax rate by three cents and approve an amended version of the town’s budget — even though one alderman said she was not privy to the last minute…
The Sylva town board has lost what was arguably its most progressive member with the resignation of Stacy Knotts, who is following her professor husband Gibbs Knotts to the College of Charleston in South Carolina.
Western mountain counties will have a new representative on the N.C. Department of Transportation board with the departure of long-time board member Conrad Burrell, who has stepped down from the powerful post after more than 11 years.
 Lee Galloway never goes anywhere without a spare copy of Waynesville’s yard waste ordinance. Even a simple evening jaunt to the grocery store can find Galloway scanning the curbs
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 00:00

Haywood businesses catch the solar bug

 Two technology-related businesses in Haywood County are looking to save some green by going green.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has denied any wrongdoing in a lawsuit related to investment losses in a trust fund that safeguards casino earnings on behalf of Cherokee youth. The tribe has, among other things, asked a judge to…
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 00:00

Opportunities to serve in Waynesville

  The Town of Waynesville is seeking citizens willing to serve on its boards and commissions, including its ABC Board, Firemen’s Relief Fund Board, Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission, Public Art Commission, Board of Adjustment, Historic Preservation Commission, Planning Board…
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 00:00

Richard Twiss to preach at Lake Junaluska

  Richard Twiss will preach Sunday, July 1, at Lake Junaluska as part of the Native American Summer Conference. Twiss will preside at the 8:30 a.m. communion service in Memorial Chapel and will also preach at 10:45 a.m. in Stuart…
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 00:00

Roller Girls competition set for Haywood

  Swain County’s Smoky Mountain Roller Girls will travel to Haywood County to take on the Thunder Road Roller Girls in the upcoming “Debut Taunt Brawl” at 6 p.m. June 30 at the Haywood County Fairgrounds. This event marks Smoky Mountain’s…
The tiny town of Fontana Dam is getting to keep its post office, but what’s not clear yet is whether the post office will be manned or not. Fontana Dam was included 10 months ago in a list of 3,700…
Three elk were shot dead last month just outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the Mount Sterling area of Haywood County, and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is asking for the public’s help in finding the poacher or…
  To the editor: The barking ordinance that Jackson county commissioners recently said they’d support sounds at first like a good idea. After all, the idea of dogs barking all night long is upsetting and annoying. Tax-paying property owners deserve…
  To the editor: Remember when we would say “Sleep tight and don’t let the bedbugs bite” as a nod to the mid 20th century quote? Well, bedbugs have literally raised their ugly heads again. Why? Probably because a single…
  To the editor: I am writing in response to recent discussions of “Barking Dogs” in Jackson County and to the possibility of amendments to the current noise ordinances of Jackson County. I am the dog owner whom Norton resident…
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 00:00

Sometimes a walk is better than a run

 For many years I was a dedicated runner. These days I’m much more likely to choose to walk, both for exercise and pleasure. I enjoyed running, particularly trail running. There was a sense of freedom and power about running through…
By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist My wife and I moved here from Florida because we wanted to live in a state that valued its people, its environment, and its future as much as North Carolina did. We knew this…
 My daughter has arrived at an impossible age — impossible for her, impossible for me, impossible for her mother, impossible for her brother. If this age were a dinner, we’d send it back to the kitchen. If it were a…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:39

Rivers in WNC bear native names

Long before the first Europeans arrived, the Cherokees developed ceremonials that focused on the spiritual power of running water. When ethnologist James Mooney arrived on the Qualla Boundary in the summer of 1887, those beliefs, which he described as the…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:37

Birds of prey debut in Cashiers

A presentation titled “Winged Hunters – Birds of Prey” will begin at 7 p.m. June 26 at the Village Green in Cashiers. Michael Skinner of Balsam Mountain Trust will bring live raptors and teach participants about their habits. Participants can…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:37

Bird walk being offered into Chinquapin

The Highlands Plateau Audubon Society will host its weekly bird walk on June 23 at Chinquapin in Cashiers. The group will meet at the Highlands Town Hall near the public restrooms at 7:30 a.m. and carpool to Cashiers. Cashiers residents…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:36

Videos spotlight N.C. destinations in GSMNP

A new series of short internet videos feature North Carolina sections of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The videos were produced by the Great Smoky Mountains Association and were paid for with a Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:35

Wolf program comes to libraries in Jackson

Rob Gudger brings his Wolf Tales educational program to two local libraries in the coming days. Known as “Trapper Rob,” the Haywood County-based wildlife biologist will conduct events at the Jackson County Public Library in Sylva on Tuesday, June 26,…
Biodiviersity Days in the Smokies June 20-23 will commemorate the diversity of plant and animal life in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Biodiversity Days will include programmed seminars, demonstrations, scientist-led field trips and more. It is estimated that as…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:32

Fern workshop part of activity series

Local writer and naturalist George Ellison will conduct a “Fern Identification 101” workshop from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. July 5 at the Highlands Biological Station. Of the 70 species of ferns in western North Carolina, participants in the workshop…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:31

MedWest Rehab offers free running seminar

MedWest Rehabilitation Services is offering a free running seminar from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on June 25 at the MedWest Outpatient Care Center at 581 Leroy George Dr. on the MedWest-Haywood campus in Clyde. The seminar will be led by…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:31

In search of the rare and beautiful

The Land Trust for the Little Tennessee (LTLT) will host a hike on June 22 led by Jack Johnston to see the rare Mountain Camellia (Stewartia ovata) in bloom.  Join members of LTLT on the annual quest to find the…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:29

Hit the trail with kids in the Smokies

Two hiking programs aimed at getting families and kids outdoors and on the trail have been launched in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:27

Folkmoot 4.01K Race set for July 14

The Folkmoot 4.01K race through downtown Waynesville will be held at 8 a.m. on July 14. This year, organizers decided to tweak the traditional 5K Folkmoot race by shifting the course from Hazelwood to downtown Waynesville and offering participants a…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:25

Check your vital signs

The Mountain Resources Commission, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center at the University of North Carolina at Asheville have created a Western North Carolina Vitality Index. The purpose…
By Danny Bernstein • Contributor            Many hikers are amazed by the balds that dot the Southern Appalachian landscape along the Appalachian Trail. Walking out of a tunnel of rhododendrons onto an open meadow where the views go on forever can…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:53

A page turner with a WNC connection

In Frank B. Robinson’s Thirty Days Hath September (ISBN 978-1-4701-6725-7), a man with a murky past, Alex Madrid, finds temporary employment as a security guard at tiny Black Creek College in the mountains of Western North Carolina. The year is…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:52

Ann Hite to speak in Sylva

Novelist Ann Hite, author of the acclaimed debut novel Ghost on Black Mountain will speak at 7 p.m. June 28 at the Jackson County Public Library in downtown Sylva. Ghost on Black Mountain is told in the voices of five…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:51

Coffee with the Poet

John Quinnett will be featured at City Lights Bookstore’s Coffee with the Poet series at 10:30 a.m. June 21. John Quinnett is a Swain County poet who works with haiku and tanka poems. Attendees are encouraged to bring one or…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:49

Hearing all the buzz about sourwood

This is a special time of the year for beekeepers in Western North Carolina. It is the time they prepare for the sourwood honey flow. Beekeepers in this area collect two types of honey from their charges: a spring wildflower…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:48

Women make decisions for themselves

To the Editor: This is intended for all men: political office-holders, the religious of all faiths, and just plain “guys.” I speak for women. You know – us! The other half of the population. We may differ in age, ethnicity, income level, religion…
To the Editor: Election reform is needed in North Carolina. Nearly eight out of 10 North Carolina voters support Voter Photo ID legislation. Support for restoring confidence in government extends across racial demographics (whites, 81 percent; black, 64 percent; Hispanic,…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:46

Romney’s plan will benefit wealthy

To the Editor: Mitt Romney is saying his experience in the private sector means he can do a better job of “fixing” the economy and “creating” jobs. He also tells us to ignore the rhetoric and “look at the record.”…
State senators from the mountain region — and we’re especially talking about those representing the southwest, Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, and Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Spruce Pine — need to pull out all stops to save the colorful license plates that…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:10

Highlands roadwork troubles some merchants

Repaving of the steep, windy, two-lane road from Franklin to Highlands has many merchants worried about whether this heavily tourism-dependant town will find itself choked off financially.
Leah Hughes, associate editor at “Our State” magazine, will be the guest speaker at 9:30 a.m. on July 9 in the Bethea Welcome Center at Lake Junaluska. This will be a meeting of the Junaluska Women’s Club, and in keeping…
A Summer Worship Series is under way at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. Three worship services are being held as part of the series: a service of Word and Table at 8:30 a.m. in Memorial Chapel, a Praise…
The Fund for Haywood County has awarded $50,000 in grants to area nonprofit organizations that provide critical services for economically disadvantaged people. The grants include: • $25,000 to Aspire, Youth and Family for a structured afterschool program, serving 80 youth…
Haywood Community College has unveiled a new electric vehicle charging station, the only one west of Asheville. The station was made possible from a grant provided by Advanced Energy Corporation and was manufactured by Eaton located in Arden. The station…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:05

Grant to help prevent elder abuse

The 30th Judicial District Domestic Violence-Sexual Assault Alliance, Inc. has recently been awarded a $25,000 Janirve Legacy Fund Grant from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina to further its work on elder abuse and victims with disabilities in the…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:04

Meet the Telestroke Robot

Angel Medical Center in Franklin introduced the Telestroke Robot as their newest team member. The robot literally rolled in to action to demonstrate its capabilities to a crowded room. With the robot it is possible for stroke victims to be…