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When the new owners of the Canton paper mill announced a few weeks ago that company headquarters were being moved to Memphis, it was seen as mostly a footnote to the larger story of Blue Ridge Paper’s sale to the…
Wednesday, 05 September 2007 00:00

Its not easy being green

Balsam Mountain Preserve is, first and foremost, a real estate development. As such, it is subject to all the pressures, schedules, deadlines, etc., that plague all developments. What was to (and in many cases has) separate BMP from most real…
By Chris Cooper The phrase “well rounded” gets thrown about pretty often, but it fits few people better than banjoist extraordinaire Alison Brown. Her forays into the many facets of bluegrass music, as well as her superb technical and compositional…
When a workshop on proper and improper sexual behavior in preschoolers premiered at a childcare conference in the region a few years ago, more than 60 childcare workers packed the session, surprising even the organizers. The reason for the popularity…
Wednesday, 05 September 2007 00:00

Enchanting the summer evening

No late summer wildflower is more widely recognized than evening primrose. The four broad yellow petals that open in the evening and often linger into mid-morning on overcast days are a dead giveaway. If you’re looking for the plant, you…
Wednesday, 05 September 2007 00:00

Fontana Lake businesses close for the season

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Two of the three boat docks on the Swain County side of Fontana Lake shut their doors before Labor Day, traditionally one of the biggest money-making weekends of the season for lake businesses.
Wednesday, 05 September 2007 00:00

Jackson’s Green Energy Park undergoes expansion

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer The Jackson County Green Energy Park is slated to get even greener with the expansion of the Smoky Mountain Biofuels’ production facility and the addition of six greenhouses on the site.
By Michael Beadle Once upon a sitcom, Linda Lavin was America’s hardest-working waitress. Remember “Alice” — a household name in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s? What you may not know about this Golden Globe and Tony Award-winning actress is…
Wednesday, 05 September 2007 00:00

SCC ranks fourth among all U.S. community colleges

Southwestern Community College ranks fourth in the nation in a new listing of America’s best community colleges and was the only representative from North Carolina in the top ten. That’s according to a report in the Washington Monthly. While colleges…
Wednesday, 05 September 2007 00:00

Childcare center’s closing surprises community

First United Methodist Church’s Child Development Center in Waynesville suddenly closed its daycare and after-school programs two weeks ago, leaving 65 children without childcare. The preschool is still operating. The center cited the loss of both its director and assistant…
By Stephanie Wampler Have you ever doubted the existence of Heaven? If so, then I will jump to the hasty conclusion that you have never picked and eaten fresh blueberries. Yes, it seems a bold statement but entirely true as…
Wednesday, 05 September 2007 00:00

Chickens and fall garden chores

By Kathleen Lamont I have had laying hens on and off for the past 20 years. My first flock of White Leghorns came from my cousin’s chicken farm. I brought them home, and after a few months of contented pecking…
Wednesday, 05 September 2007 00:00

Roll the credits, please – ASU 34, Mich. 32

For the last 24 hours, I have felt like a character in a movie. You have seen the movie, probably dozens of times. A small-town team nobody has ever heard of gets its big chance against a nationally ranked powerhouse.…
Wednesday, 05 September 2007 00:00

Bond hearings planned in Macon

Macon County leaders will get their first real taste of how the public feels about a $64 million bond vote at a public hearing at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10, in the Macon County courthouse. Macon residents will be voting…
Wednesday, 05 September 2007 00:00

Recommended diversions

Spray Paint Took a page from “Trading Spaces” and all those other home renovation/redecoration shows this past weekend and salvaged a light fixture with a little creativity. For the cost of a can of Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Hammered paint in…
By Michael Beadle It’s 5:30 on a steamy Monday night at the Waynesville Recreation Park, and pairs of disc golfers are setting out to play 18 holes on the new course, which opened in April. Kevin McBride of Clyde and…
Wednesday, 05 September 2007 00:00

Osama, this is George: I need you, man

By Arthur Hancock • Guest Columnist I had a dream that the following communication came into my hands. I read it and woke up screaming ... TOP SECRET: CLASSIFIED! TO: Osama bin Laden, Tribal Areas FROM: George W. Bush, Leader…
Wednesday, 05 September 2007 00:00

Swain to put land transfer tax on November ballot

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Swain County residents will vote November 6 on whether to enact a new tax on real estate transactions to bolster county coffers. The tax is equivalent to 0.4 percent of a real estate transaction,…
A new community group dedicated to revitalizing Cullowhee will host an open house at the Cullowhee Café from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 22. “CuRvE, the Cullowhee Revitalization Endeavour, is still in the initial planning stages, and now is…
A public hearing Monday on a $64 million bond for various construction projects in Macon County attracted relatively few naysayers. Voters in Macon will get to weigh in on the slate of construction projects in a countywide vote on Nov.…
In this day and age, as the gap between the rich and poor continues to widen and this country’s manufacturing economy undergoes a dramatic transformation, community colleges are more important than ever.
Wednesday, 12 September 2007 00:00

What Sylva is and isn’t: you be the judge

Buxton, a consulting firm that analyzes a community’s demographics, has 60 some population classes that it uses to describe the population. The Jackson County Economic Development Commission disagrees with how the firm described the Sylva area. The analysis seems to…
Wednesday, 12 September 2007 00:00

Incumbent Hicks wins in tight Cherokee election

The election for chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians came down to a mere 30 votes last week, and apparently isn’t over yet.
Wednesday, 12 September 2007 00:00

EDC says marketing study not worthwhile

An $18,000 marketing study conducted for Jackson County by consultants from Texas fell short of what the firm promised, according to members of the Jackson County Economic Development Commission. So the economic development commission is asking for its money back.
Recreation at a four-wheel drive and ATV playground in the Nantahala National Forest could be curtailed after environmental and outdoor groups have forced the forest service to address ecological impacts of the sport.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Sarah Rolland first connected with clay on an emotional level. With lunch plans to meet a friend who was taking a course in Haywood Community College’s craft program, Rolland walked into the school’s pottery…
Wednesday, 12 September 2007 00:00

Fresh voices gain ground

Angi West: Orange Thread In A Blue Sea Thoughtfully arranged tunes that wander through elements of folk, sun-dappled guitar and piano-driven pop and the occasional hint at twangy alt-country aren’t difficult to find on Angi West’s new CD. Carried by…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer A petition by Maggie Valley Mayor Roger McElroy to re-zone a 90-acre tract of land to allow for higher density development is being met with vehement protests from town residents.
Wednesday, 12 September 2007 00:00

Defending their turf

Four-wheel drive enthusiasts are prepared to defend their use of the Tellico Off-Road Area in the Graham County section of the Nantahala National Forest. “There are very few places for full-size four-wheel drives,” said Heather Spivey, spokesperson for the Southern…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Much like a band-aid on a kid’s scraped elbow, No Child Left Behind was put in place to mend an educational system many claimed was in disrepair. An increasing number of critics, however, are…
Wednesday, 12 September 2007 00:00

Life in the midst of change

A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas. Harcourt, 2006. 192 pages A blurb on the front cover of Abigail Thomas’ A Three Dog Life: A Memoir reads as follows: “The best memoir I have ever read. This book is a…
Wednesday, 12 September 2007 00:00

Baby birding

It’s almost fall and the skies are beginning to fill with feathered vagabonds headed to their traditional southern winter habitats. I have noticed mixed flocks of songbirds foraging in my yard recently. Mr. Mom — that’s me on Tuesdays and…
Wednesday, 12 September 2007 00:00

Voter interviews reflect close race

Interviews with Cherokee voters exiting the polling booths last week revealed just how divided the tribe is over who will be their next chief. The race was decided by just 30 votes — representing less than 1 percent of the…
Wednesday, 12 September 2007 00:00

Is oil like a mineral, vegetable or animal?

By S. Michael Hewitt • Guest Columnist Remember the game of 20 Questions? One person thinks of a thing. A second person tries to figure out what that something is by asking a series of questions that can be answered…
Wednesday, 12 September 2007 00:00

Recommended diversions

“Come Early Morning” This is the kind of movie that gets past you, a small budget movie that didn’t get wide release or big studio backing, one you might have noticed briefly in the papers or trailers upon its initial…
Wednesday, 12 September 2007 00:00

For gays, desperation too often a way of life

A few years ago, I received a letter from a reader that I have never forgotten. Upset over the suicide of a former student — who I knew had long agonized over dealing with his homosexuality due to various painful…
Wednesday, 12 September 2007 00:00

Duke seeks permit for new coal plant

A public hearing on whether Duke Energy should be allowed to build a new coal-fired power plant in the Shelby area will be held Tuesday, Sept. 18, in Forest City. Duke Energy must get an air pollution permit from the…
Wednesday, 12 September 2007 00:00

Walnut toxicity

The walnut trees along the creek where we live are exhibiting a bumper crop this year. At night we are starting to hear their fruits dropping with heavy thuds on the ground or like depth charges into the water. Hopefully,…
By Michael Beadle Peter Bates inspects a trio of cucumber trees growing closely together on a 20-acre tract of woods in the Balsam Mountain Preserve in Jackson County. He checks to see if one of the trees died from a…
Wednesday, 19 September 2007 00:00

School gets scant attention out in the jungle

By David Curtis As a teacher in the public school system I have often heard teachers express their frustrations by using the famous middle school axiom, “How do they expect us to train a wild animal if each night we…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Nearly two years after receiving a grant to study traffic issues on Russ Avenue, Waynesville is finally moving forward with the project. Town planner Paul Benson said the…
Jackson County leaders might be lending their tacit endorsement, albeit unintentionally, to the proposed Southern Loop, a controversial highway that would bisect Jackson County.
By Susan Leveille Editor’s note: This letter, which contains some updates, was sent by Susan Leveille to the Maggie Salas, secretary of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, in 2004. She asked that we publish it as a guest column. Dear…
Wednesday, 19 September 2007 00:00

Courthouse site doable for new Jackson library

Years of wrestling over a location for a new Jackson County library will come to a close next month. Jackson County commissioners pledged to pick a site for a new library at their next meeting on Oct. 1. There are…
Wednesday, 19 September 2007 00:00

Time to fix NCLB to better reflect the real world

Congress is likely to re-authorize the No Child Left Behind Act sometime this fall. If that is indeed the case, then we can only hope it makes some significant changes in this flawed bill that will help school systems use…
Wednesday, 19 September 2007 00:00

Waynesville PD net 6 arrests in Internet sex sting

When Crystal Shuler posted an ad on Craig’s List this summer offering a full-service massage in Waynesville, she was flooded with email responses, more than 70 to be exact. Shuler, a Waynesville police detective, wasn’t actually surfing for action but…
Wednesday, 19 September 2007 00:00

Swain nearly ready to vote on road rules

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Swain County’s first-ever planning board is nearly finished with its first project — drafting an ordinance to regulate road construction — and will send it on to county commissioners to review next week.
Wednesday, 19 September 2007 00:00

Intersection of American minds

American Bloomsbury by Susan Cheever. Simon & Schuster, 2006. 240 pages Susan Cheever, novelist, critic, and writer of acclaimed memoirs (Note Found in a Bottle and Home Before Dark) shifts her interests to the field of literary biography in American…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer David Tripp’s workshop is piled head-high with wood. There are tree limbs here, locust logs there, stands of chestnut boards leaned against the wall and lying on the floor.
Wednesday, 19 September 2007 00:00

Balsam Range redefines regional bluegrass

By Chris Cooper Two things still stick in my mind about Darren Nicholson’s excellent self-titled 2006 release; state of the art musicality married to a completely down to earth attitude, whether in person or on disc. Nicholson’s mastery in bluegrass…