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Wednesday, 22 August 2007 00:00

Beach Boys coming to Canton

By Chris Cooper The ocean’s a powerful thing. Source of life, nice to look at ... all that stuff. How many fond memories do you have of the beach, the sights and smells, seagulls and bikinis? Ever found yourself wandering…
Wednesday, 22 August 2007 00:00

Nature inspired art

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education specialist Lee Sherrill dips out a cup full of water from a five-gallon bucket and holds it up to the small group of students gathered around. He inserts a…
Wednesday, 22 August 2007 00:00

Duke just hasn’t offered much to the region

The phrase “do the right thing,” the name of an early Spike Lee movie, has become a part of the lexicon of this generation. It’s a phrase that has often come to mind — as in, “we wish they would…
Wednesday, 22 August 2007 00:00

Swain appoints members to re-configured TDA

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer The restructuring of the Swain County TDA is well under way with a host of new board members appointed at the county commissioners’ Aug. 14 meeting. The selection of the new TDA differed from…
After visiting the Town of Waynesville’s recreation center, Michelle Green left marveling at the range and quality of activities the facility provides Haywood County residents. Swimming, racquetball, basketball courts, an indoor walking track and more — there’s simply not a…
Balsam Mountain Preserve has failed so far in its promise to make things right following a dam break that unleashed a wave of sediment into more than eight miles of mountain streams, according to state and federal environmental agencies. Balsam…
Wednesday, 22 August 2007 00:00

A telling tale

“Gambling on a Ghost Bird” in the current issue of the journal Science (www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/5840/888/F1 - there’s a $10 fee) regarding the “rediscovery” of the ivory-billed woodpecker in 2004 and the subsequent lack of documentation, makes for a very interesting read.
Balsam Mountain Preserve is off the hook on one front: it didn’t need a permit from the state dam safety office before constructing a dam at its golf course.
Wednesday, 22 August 2007 00:00

Muddy math plays into sediment calculations

Calculating the volume of mud that washed downstream with the collapse of a large earth dam at Balsam Mountain Preserve has emerged as a source of contention between the developer and state and federal agencies. The packed earth dam —…
Wednesday, 22 August 2007 00:00

Remarkable red cedar

I sometimes have occasion to drive Interstate 81 up the Great Valley of Tennessee and Virginia to Washington, D.C. As soon as I pass out of Western North Carolina into the terrain north of Knoxville, the dominant tree along the…
Wednesday, 22 August 2007 00:00

Recommended diversions

 In the Heart of the Sea: the Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, by Nathaniel Philbrick If you want an adventure-tragedy story, read this book. In 1820 a whaling ship from Nantucket was attacked by a sperm whale in the Pacific…
Wednesday, 22 August 2007 00:00

It’s always somebody’s fault, isn’t it

We are a nation of blamers. When something goes wrong, or something tragic happens we, as Americans, are quick to look for someone or something to blame. This is very apparent to most all teachers. Call out a student’s name…
Wednesday, 22 August 2007 00:00

Duke tries to get out of dredging behind dam

Duke Power does not want to dredge backlogged sediment from behind the Dillsboro dam before tearing it down despite both state and federal agencies insisting otherwise. Duke filed an appeal this week protesting a decision by the Federal Regulatory Energy…
Wednesday, 22 August 2007 00:00

New TDA make-up leaves questions unanswered

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer New legislation to restructure the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority calls for a drastic overhaul of the organization while leaving much open to interpretation. The overhaul was prompted by controversy over the TDA’s budget,…
Wednesday, 22 August 2007 00:00

Canton bridge project to cause delays

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Construction is slated to begin immediately on a structurally deficient bridge in downtown Canton, a project the Department of Transportation says will take months and force them to re-route a major thoroughfare. The bridge…
After years of debate over stray animals in Macon County — namely the lack of anywhere to take them — county leaders decided last week that it’s time to build a county animal shelter. Along with the shelter will come…
Haywood County has emerged as the high bidder for 22-acre tract of land in Jonathan Creek that will become a recreation park. The county’s bid of $1,114,029.15 was not upset. For the last two months the county and a private…
Wednesday, 22 August 2007 00:00

Put your money on Saratoga Fleshpot

Murdering Americans by Ruth Dudley Edwards. Poisoned Pen Press, 2007. 236 pages. Skewering the politically correct codes of our colleges and universities can be great fun, particularly for those writers and readers who are not yet humor-impaired. Like the Babbitts…
Wednesday, 22 August 2007 00:00

TDA changes ramrodded by county manager

By Scot Warf As past chairman of the Swain County Tourism Development Authority (TDA), I feel compelled to share with the community the events surrounding the recent hostile takeover of the Swain County TDA. In the fall of 2006, Kevin…
Wednesday, 29 August 2007 00:00

Republicans to Taylor: Make up your mind

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Ever since Democrat Heath Shuler’s upset of incumbent Charles Taylor in the 2006 election, Republicans have been plotting their strategy to take back control of the 11th Congressional District. Taylor is the first choice…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Heath Shuler’s time so far in the House of Representatives is shorter than his career in pro-football, but he’s already attracting more attention as a rookie member of the House than he ever did…
Wednesday, 29 August 2007 00:00

HRMC announces $16.5 million expansion

Haywood Regional Medical Center is planning a $16.5 million expansion including a surgery support wing, an endoscopy unit, a new lobby and unfinished shell space for future expansion. The expansion is being billed as a new surgery center, although it…
Wednesday, 29 August 2007 00:00

Hospital defends timing of expansion

Haywood Regional unveiled plans for a $16.5 million expansion two weeks ago on the heels of a workforce reduction designed to stem three months of financial losses. Hospital officials realize the timing of the expansion announcement following layoffs is “sensitive,”…
Families piling into rafts at the Dillsboro put-in on the Tuckasegee River last week cast a leery eye at what seemed like a scene from a ‘70s James Bond movie: three men in black wetsuits and masks moved stealthily up…
Wednesday, 29 August 2007 00:00

Voting in North Carolina just got easier

The U.S. Justice Department gave final approval last week to a new North Carolina law allowing people to register and vote on the same day during the state’s early voting period. All we’ll say is it’s about time.
Wednesday, 29 August 2007 00:00

Voter rolls in Swain get house cleaning

The Swain County Board of Elections last week purged 110 voters from its rolls who had listed their voting address as the Oconaluftee Job Corps Center, a job training and education center for at-risk youth. The voters had been students…
Wednesday, 29 August 2007 00:00

Burning down the house

An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England by Brock Clarke. Algonquin Books, 2007. 305 pages. Some writers come to seem like friends to their readers, even like family. Oddly enough, in my own case these writers are not…
Wednesday, 29 August 2007 00:00

All in a day’s work

One of the more interesting and entertaining early descriptive accounts of the southern mountains is contained in a diary kept by surveyor John Strother. In 1799, he was appointed one of the surveyors for determining a portion of the boundary…
Wednesday, 29 August 2007 00:00

Recommended diversions

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Ah, the old TV cartoons from childhood...The Smurfs. The Super Friends. Scooby Dooby Doo. Remember when predictable heroes could save the day and still provide us with a few corny jokes?
A.J. Rowell of Cullowhee is ticking off the miles on his transcontinental bike ride from the Arctic Ocean back home to Jackson County. Rowell posts regular dispatches from his journey on his blog, entertaining readers with both his adventures and…
Wednesday, 29 August 2007 00:00

Case between McClure, Jackson County rages on

A lawsuit against Jackson County for disbanding the Jackson County Airport Authority two-and-a-half years ago is headed for another round in court. The case had advanced to the N.C. Court of Appeals, which last week ruled the lawsuit was a…
Wednesday, 29 August 2007 00:00

Vick a poster child for depraved stars

Has any professional athlete ever made more a mess of his life than Atlanta Falcon quarterback Michael Vick? At the ripe old age of 27, Vick had it made. After a stellar senior season at Virginia Tech, Vick was drafted…
Wednesday, 29 August 2007 00:00

On being Heath Shuler

The Smoky Mountain News caught up with Rep. Heath Shuler at his home in Haywood County. Here’s what he had to say about the attention surrounding his good looks, the fast pace of life in Washington, and how his time…
Wednesday, 29 August 2007 00:00

Truth is, Sloe Gin fizzed

By Chris Cooper Robben Ford: Truth Not many guitarists can meld the harmonic sensibilities of jazz with the visceral punch of blues and make it work. Often, the “blues” part of it gets watered down in order to better accommodate…
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…