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When it comes to the election season, 2012 has turned into a bellwether year for North Carolina, and Republicans are clammoring to claim state and federal seats currently held by Democrats. Even the popular N.C. House Democrat Ray Rapp, who…
Sunburst Trout Farms in Haywood County plans to add jobs and expand its operations thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The farm received a nearly $300,000 Value Added Producers Grant from the USDA to help expand…
Driving down Maggie Valley’s main drag, it’s hard not to notice the gauntlet of signs offering cheers of support for Ghost Town in the Sky’s new owner Alaska Presley. Business owners on both sides of U.S. 19 have rearranged the…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:28

Different tribes treated captives differently

I conduct workshops on Southeastern Indian history and culture at the John C. Campbell Folk School for two full weeks a year and for various Elderhostels throughout the year. One topic that surfaces quite often is the manner in which…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:27

A different martial arts style comes to Sylva

Aikido, a form of martial arts that means “the Way of Spirit Harmony,” will be offered in Sylva from 7:30 till 9 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday evenings at the White Dragon Academy. An initial meeting and free introductory class…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:27

Eat wings on the run in Finger Lickin’ race

Runners will have a chance to mix running and chicken-wing-eating as a Western Carolina University student organization, the Western Athletic Training Association, hosts the Zaxby’s Finger Lickin’ Fun Run at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 10. Runners who register for the…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:26

WCU’s Valley of the Lilies Half Marathon

Runners still have time to register for Western Carolina University’s Valley of the Lilies Half Marathon and 5-K at early registration rates before March 1. The half marathon held Sunday, March 25, and take runners on a 13.1-mile journey through…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:25

Re-discovering Cherokee Trails focus of program

The historic Cherokee trails in Jackson County and the surrounding areas will be highlighted during program held at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 6 at the Jackson County Public Library. Lamar Marshall, cultural heritage director of Wild South, will be the…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:25

Farmers get new community kitchen

Thanks to an $8,000 grant from WNC Agricultural Options, the Jackson County Farmers Market in Sylva will open a community commercial kitchen for farmers to process, preserve and package foods. Classes in cooking, nutrition and food safety and sanitation will…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:24

Learn to grow your own mushrooms

The Jackson-Macon Conservation Alliance will hold a workshop on shiitake and oyster mushroom cultivation at 2 p.m., March 24, at the Bascom Art Center in Highlands. The event will take place in the adult studio room downstairs.   Rodney Webb,…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:24

Learn how to take care of your fruit tree

The N.C. Cooperative Extension Service will hold free fruit tree workshops that will cover the basic needs of apple, pear and peach trees.   Learn about site selection, the differences between dwarf, semi-dwarf and seedling trees, proper soil conditions, pollination…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:23

Bass fishermen set sights on Fontana Lake

A bass tournament hosted by Fontana Village Resort will be held on Fontana Lake March 17 and March 18. With water temperatures and lake levels already rising, local anglers are reporting an increase already in the action on the lake.…
A special StarLab Planetarium presentation will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, March 9, at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) in Pisgah Forest.   PARI Science Educator Stephen Hawk will share stories of the spring constellations. The evening’s activities…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:22

Land Trust gets “heroes” thumbs-up

The Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust was awarded an honorable mention in “eco-preservation” category of Southern Living magazine’s “Heroes of the New South” edition because of the group’s efforts to preserve the region’s heritage. Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust currently protects 2,400 acres of…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:21

What light over yonder horizon shines?

Due to a lack of foresight and copious amounts of poor planning, I found myself last Sunday evening (Feb. 26) on the side of U.S. 19 across the highway from Kituwah with not one but two flat tires (yeah, the…
Chris Graves had just parked a school van in a field, and his wildlife students were filing out for some hands-on, out-of-the-classroom learning when they spotted a flock of about 80 crows clustered together. No sooner were they out of…
Asheville resident, Trey Carland will read from and discuss his book A Seeker’s Guide to Inner Peace at 2 p.m. on March 3 at City Lights Bookstore. The book is a collection of blogs written about his experiences and is…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:18

Local author publishes new children’s book

Jane Grahl, a Waynesville resident, has published a new book, Just One Won’t Hurt, about the demands of high school and peer pressure. The story focuses on 15-year-old Kellie Jamison, the perfect daughter who found the transition from middle school…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:17

Bob Plott returns to City Lights

Bob Plott will revisit City Lights to present his newest book Colorful Characters of the Great Smoky Mountains at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 2. The Smoky Mountains have been the home of many fascinating individuals, and this book details…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:15

A newfound power in 20 minutes a day

Twenty minutes a day. In early January, writing in my book column for this paper, I made a New Year’s resolution to read 20 minutes a day from a bucket-list of books, heavy tomes which I’d laid aside in the…
The King’s Messengers, a Southern Gospel music quartet who will soon celebrate 48 years singing, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $10 each. Based out of Gainesville,…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:14

Three country greats to perform March 9

Aaron Tippin, Sammy Kershaw and Joe Diffie — all platinum-certified country music recording artists — will come together for a country music super show March 9 at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts. The show, a part of…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:13

Vienna Boys Choir to perform at WCU

The Vienna Boys Choir, one of the most celebrated choirs of all time, will perform at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, at the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University. The choir, founded in 1498,…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:12

Music and storytelling with Lee Knight

City Lights Bookstore will host an evening of music and storytelling with local performer Lee Knight at 7 p.m. on March 3. Knight lives in Cashiers and currently works as a folk singer, storyteller and outdoor activities leader. He leads…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:12

Bladesmithing symposium March 8-11

Haywood Community College’s Continuing Education Department will hold a Great Smoky Mountain Bladesmithing Symposium “Spring Hammer In” on campus from March 8-11. All events are tailored to the knife enthusiast, knife collectors and knife makers from beginner to master. Demonstrators…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:11

WCU to offer stained glass course

Western Carolina University will offer a course on creating stained glass from 6-9 p.m. Thursdays from March 8 through April 12 in the Cordelia Camp Building’s south lobby. Course instructor Moya O’Neal is an active member of the International Guild…
Cook Smart, Eat Smart Cooking School is hosting a four-part class on preparing simple, healthy and delicious food during March and April in Sylva. The event will be held from 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays — March 14 and…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:10

Bethel organization seeks local artists

Bethel Rural Community Organization’s Historic Preservation Committee will be entertaining bids from Haywood County artists who are interested in painting historic sites and rural scenes of Bethel. The project is an ongoing program for BRCO each year, with the historic…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:10

Sylva group schedules its next contra dance

The next contra dancing event in Sylva will be from 2:30 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 11. The dance will be held on the second floor of the old courthouse in the Jackson County Library. Frederick Park will call…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:09

Moe on display

The Macon County Library will display paintings, drawings, furniture and photographs by Justin Moe in its meeting room throughout the month of March. “I have always felt compelled to create. It was not until 2002 though that I started painting…
The Cherokee Language Program at Western Carolina University is collaborating with EarlyLight Books of Waynesville to publish a bilingual and Cherokee-only version of a book titled “Animal Colors,” which is designed to teach early readers about colors and animals. The…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:08

Stress management workshop offered

Author and inspirational speaker Kim May will lead a workshop from 1 to 4 p.m., March 3, at The Creative Thought Center on Pigeon Street in Waynesville. The event, titled “Tools for Change,” is free and open to the public.…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:07

HART to hold auditions for ‘Look Homeward’

The Haywood Arts Regional Theatre will hold auditions for its spring production of the Thomas Wolfe classic “Look Homeward Angel” at 6:30 p.m. on March 4-5. The production is being directed by Steve Lloyd and will have a two-week run,…
Tuscola High School’s show choir will put on a country western performance, titled “Thirty Years and Counting,” to celebrate its 30-year existence March 8-11. Summit, which was created in 1982 by former director David Traynham, performs to sell-out crowds year…
There’s a meeting this week to determine the future of “The Liar’s Bench.” This is a two-year-old throwback of sorts to the old-timey variety show, a gathering of local talent for the enjoyment, amusement and, on occasion, the edification of…
Gary Carden didn’t realize he had an audience. He was coaching Lara Chew through a rehearsal of “Mother Jones,” a play he wrote three years ago about the famous American labor and community organizer. “Mother Jones” will be on stage…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 22:00

Critics off mark in planning board attacks

To the Editor: Back in the 1990s, I was privileged to serve several years on the Macon County Planning Board, six of those years as chairman. During that time I served with a good number of persons, some of whom…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 21:59

Lest we forget: Whitney was a criminal

Pardon my insensitivity. Whitney Houston was a great singing talent, indeed. That was a gift of nature. She was also a criminal. There are over a million people in our jail and prisons today, and another two million on probation…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 21:59

We should provide health care to all

To the Editor: As of 2010, 50 million people in the U.S. had no health insurance (no doubt more now). Compared to people with health insurance, 40 percent more deaths occur among people lacking insurance. In 2009, nearly 45,000 people…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 21:58

Justice delayed is justice denied

To the Editor: For centuries, the citizens of our state have extolled the virtues of a fair and judicious court system. But state budget cuts, promoted by Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, and the Republican-led General Assembly, are seriously challenging the…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 21:58

Ordinance revisions deserve public scrutiny

To the Editor: The Jackson County Planning Department is methodically revising sections of the subdivision ordinance. In the fall, the section pertaining to road design in subdivisions was simplified and, in our opinion, improved. Now, the department has issued proposed…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 21:57

Racial Justice Act should remain intact

To the Editor: It is painful and, frankly, disgusting to witness North Carolina’s prosecutors and their allies in the General Assembly trying to sabotage the Racial Justice Act and the Innocence Commission. These are two of the finest achievements ever…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 21:47

When it’s all about the writing, I’m all in

Even after laboring for some two decades at various news publications I can’t say that I ever particularly considered myself “a writer.” A reporter, an investigative reporter, an editor, a newspaper administrator: those were some of the labels that fit…
A performance and program on the role of foster parents titled “Ellen Foster and Friends: A Look at Foster Care,” will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, March 3, in the auditorium of the Haywood County Public Library in Waynesville.…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 21:46

Economic efforts in Macon focus of luncheon

Tommy Jenkins, who oversees economic development efforts in Macon County, will give a talk on economic development plans and projects at 12:15 p.m. on Thursday, March 8, at the League of Women Voters in Franklin. Jenkins will speak about efforts…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 21:45

School of Nursing to host education fair

Prospective nursing students can find out about prospective career opportunities at an education fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 10, in the Haynes Center on the Enka campus of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. The event is sponsored…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 21:45

Chinquapin development likely to get green light

An older development in Cashiers operating under a new name is likely to get Jackson County go-ahead for putting in, over time, 200 house lots on 2,000 acres. A public hearing is set for March 5. The Chinquapin development near…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 21:44

Swain County’s tourism website goes mobile

Swain County tourists can now get information via the mobile site m.GreatSmokies.com using their smartphones. “In 2011, 10 percent of our website visitors were using some sort of mobile device,” said Karen Wilmot, chamber director. “And that was a 300…
Wednesday, 29 February 2012 21:44

Free guide available from Jackson County

A comprehensive 36-page guide for Jackson County visitors is now available. The guide provides details on hiking, waterfalls, fly fishing, rafting and other leisure activities. There’s also information about hotels, inns, cabin rentals, shopping and dining in Jackson County’s popular…
Sharron Donnahoe of Waynesville has been named a Main Street Champion through the N.C. Main Street Annual Awards program. Donnahoe was nominated by Downtown Waynesville Association for her contributions to the downtown revitalization process. Donnahoe was elected to the board…