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Assault on Black Rock trail race is a go next year in Jackson County, so mark your calendar for Saturday, March 17, and start practicing steep ascents. As occurred this year, proceeds from the race will go to support the…
The scenic Cullowhee Valley will serve as the backdrop again when runners from throughout the region gather at Western Carolina University for the second annual Valley of the Lilies Half Marathon and 5-K on Sunday, March 25. The half marathon…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:43

Friends of the Smokies board member named

Award-winning businessperson Meridith Elliot Powell has been selected to join the Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Board of Directors. Powell is an internationally certified coach, speaker and author. She is founder and President of Motion First, a…
Learn all about bears and bear behavior at a monthly “Green Drinks” social at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 14 at Rathskellar Coffee House in Frankin. Green Drinks is a meeting of area conservationists. This gathering will highlight a Bear…
Twenty-two high school science teachers from across North Carolina recently visited the Highlands Biological Station for a weekend retreat focusing on the impact of climate change on the Southern Appalachian mountain ecosystem.   The Highlands Biological Station, an inter-institutional center…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:41

Oh, dear – disease hits N.C. deer

Deer hunters may encounter sick or diseased deer afflicted with hemorrhagic disease this hunting season, according to the N.C. Wildlife Commission. Two closely related viruses — epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus and bluetongue virus — cause hemorrhagic disease. Both are spread…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:40

Unique book collection displayed in Sylva

A collection of handmade books created by Kathrine Cays, artist-in-residence at The Rickman Store in the Cowee community of Macon County, will be on display this month at The Wilderness Society’s office in Sylva. Since the early 1990’s Cays’ work…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:39

Wildflower award winners announced

Regional efforts to make highways more beautiful added up to statewide recognition recently when the N.C. Department of Transportation announced the winners of the 22nd Annual Wildflower Awards. The awards recognize the efforts of NCDOT staff to carry out North…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:36

The good fight

As too often happens, in this whirlwind life, I lost my roundtoit. I received an email from the Western North Carolina Alliance at the end of November announcing public information meetings that would be held across the region regarding the…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:32

Gear guide 2011

The Smoky Mountain News has teamed up with outfitters for yet another installment of our annual Outdoor Gear Gift Guide. Outdoor fans are no doubt the easiest people on your Christmas list to shop for. Gear makers are constantly pushing…
Mary J. Messer, author of the Appalachian memoir Moonshiner’s Daughter, will read from her book and answers questions from the audience from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec 10 at the Penland & Sons Department Store in Marshall. Messer’s…
Friends of the Haywood Public Library will present Barbara Bates Smith will appear in the one-woman play Christmas play “Deck the Halls with Southern Writers” at 3 p.m. on Dec. 11 in the Waynesville Library auditorium. This new play was…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:30

WCU students to share works

Creative writing students from Western Carolina University will read original works at 6 p.m. on Dec. 13 at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva. During the two-hour event, 17 students from an advanced fiction writing class at WCU will read selections…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:28

When it comes to books, here is what women want

“What do women want?” During the month of December, Sigmund Freud’s famous question haunts the minds of many men. Unlike the perturbed analyst, however, men face a more practical and restricted version of this question, specifically: “What do women —…
I normally veer from airing my opinion as a columnist in the editorial pages on issues that I cover as a news writer in the news pages for The Smoky Mountain News. In my world, and in the worlds of…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:14

People too gullible about Occupy movement

To the Editor: After reading Carol Larivee’s letter noting the differences between the Tea Party and the Occupy movement, it amazes me that in this day and age of vast online resources a person can continue to be so gullible…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:14

Tea Party faithful are decent Americans

To the Editor: In the Nov. 23-29 issue of The Smoky Mountain News, Carole Larivee wrote a letter comparing the TEA Party to the Occupiers. As I read her letter at first I thought it was a joke. However, I…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:06

Remember that it’s Democrats raising taxes

To the Editor: So the Democrat North Carolina state senators have waived off the chance to cap the automatic 4 percent gas tax increase set for January, claiming they’ll lose jobs and money needed for roads. Liars. This is not…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:02

Backhanded compliments all a part of turning 50

When I turned 50 last week, I did not feel any older and certainly no wiser, but I did realize one thing I hadn’t really noticed before. I have now reached that age when people begin qualifying certain kinds of…
An expected rubberstamp by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners to build a new auditorium and gym at Smoky Mountain High School took a brief — but wild while the ride lasted — turn this week. Commissioners have already expressed…
Jackson County’s subdivision ordinance is destined for more tweaking by the planning board. The planning board spent several months revising the county’s four-year-old subdivision ordinance before sending the recommended changes along to county commissioners for approval this week. Commissioners promptly…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 13:55

Radio station wants loan from Jackson County

Prospective buyers of an AM radio station in Sylva could land a $289,000 loan from the Jackson County economic development fund in exchange for creating 11 jobs. Jackson County commissioners already approved $179,000 of the loan and are poised to…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 13:55

Haywood Chamber holds holiday networking event

The Haywood County Chamber of Commerce will host a Holiday Open House from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 14 at the chamber office in Waynesville. New, current and potential new members are encouraged to attend to network with other…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 13:54

New Republican group formed

A new Republican women’s group in Western North Carolina also has a new name, “Smoky Mountain Republican Women.”   The group has been meeting for two months and will be a new club affiliated with the N.C. Federation of Republican…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 13:53

Ceremony to celebrate veterans

A candlelight service to honor soldiers and veterans who have served in the Iraq war from Swain County will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 31 on the square in front of the historic courthouse. The service coincides with…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 13:51

Shuler to face challenger in Democratic primary

Despite his limited name recognition and his significantly smaller war chest, Cecil Bothwell is confident he can outrun U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler during next May’s primary race for the 11th Congressional District’s Democratic nomination. “I would not be doing it…
A heavy-lifting helicopter flexed its muscle in Cherokee Wednesday in the ongoing expansion and construction at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel. The Sikorsky helicopter — one of the largest helicopters commercially available — performed 17 lifts to the roof. The…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 13:50

Discover how to give back at Dec. 8 meeting

Learn about programs and services in Macon County to help the less fortunate at the monthly League of Women Voters in Franklin at noon on Dec. 8. Gwen Taylor, public information officer for Macon County Department of Social Services, will…
An orientation session for high school students interested in taking classes at Haywood Community College will be held at 1 p.m. and again at 4 p.m. on Dec. 19 at the HCC auditorium. Dual-enrollment opportunities through the Career and College…
Macon County GOP leaders on Monday selected a Highlands landscaping company owner as their pick to fill a vacant slot on the county’s board of commissioners. James “Jimmy” Tate will replace Commissioner Brian McClellan who resigned after receiving his second…
Niche marketing and regional cooperation were the reoccurring topics of this year’s Smoky Mountain Host meeting held in Cherokee last week, an annual forum that brings together the major tourism players of the Smoky Mountain region. “Our greatest customers are…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 13:46

Rec Center offers new after-school program

An after-school program for sixth graders will be offered from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursday starting in January at the Waynesville Recreation Center. The first hour will be devoted to homework with assistance for students who need help.…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 13:44

Library opens collection for homeschoolers

The Haywood County Public Library has opened to the public a unique library collection to help meet the recreational and educational needs of children that are homeschooled. This special collection contains a variety of formats including fiction, biographies, history, language…
Running a small hotel in Western North Carolina isn’t the easiest way to make a living, particularly not in these penny-pinching times when prospective customers want a full range of amenities and a rock-bottom room price. “It is hard for…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 13:41

Cashiers TTA briefs county on marketing efforts

The Cashiers Travel and Tourism Authority briefed Jackson County commissioners on some of their marketing campaigns from the year, responding to calls that the agency was too insular. Mark Jones, a member of the Cashiers tourism board who is also…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 13:39

Do-over an option in Jackson tourism spat

It’s not too late for Jackson County leaders to go back to the drawing board on a state bill that consolidates the county’s two separate tourism agencies. Commissioners have found themselves in the hot seat over a bill that would…
Swain County High School’s football players and coaches on Monday were in a different sort of huddle than usual. Instead of planning the next play, they were picking out a design for their championship rings following Saturday’s 20-14 win over…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 13:37

Local woman opens music lessons studio

Deborah Horn, from Lake Junaluska, is now teaching music lessons out of her home studio. Horn has taught music lessons since she was seventeen and recently working in the public school system. She also performs with her flute, piano and…
Laurie Oxford’s department is getting smaller; some of her former co-worker’s offices sit empty. Oxford, an assistant Spanish professor at Western Carolina University, spoke at a public forum about university cuts Monday on how multi-level reductions have affected the Arts…
At Carolina Readiness Supply in Waynesville you can buy freeze-dried macaroni and cheese by the 20-ounce can and a solar oven in which to warm it. You can get a woven bracelet in a variety of fashionable colors that converts…
Emergency agencies throughout Haywood County expect to be clocking in quicker response times soon. Fire, police and EMS divisions within the county will begin using a new Computer-Aided Dispatch and Mobile Data Information System this week, aimed at improving efficiency…
Businesses skirting Haywood County’s room tax laws should pay up or they could soon find themselves slapped with a lawsuit. The Haywood County Tourism Development Authority plans to sue six accommodation owners who have repeatedly and openly neglected to pay…
The Haywood County Tourism Development Authority board backed down from plans to cut grant funding for long-celebrated events such as Folkmoot USA, Downtown Waynesville street dances and Canton’s Labor Day Festival. The tourism board had been contemplating new grant guidelines…
Join in holiday caroling and a concert by the strings section of the Western Carolina Civic Orchestra on Dec. 15. Caroling will begin at 6:30 p.m. on the steps of the Jackson County Public Library Complex in Sylva, which will…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 21:22

Dust off your dancing shoes

The next Second Sunday Contra Dance will take place on Dec. 11 in the Community Room on the second floor of the old courthouse in the Jackson County Library Complex in Sylva. Contra dancing is a form of English country…
Lee Knight, a folklorist and musician, will perform holiday folk music in the community room of the Jackson County Public Library Complex in Sylva at 7 p.m. on Dec. 13. Knight, a native of the Adirondack Mountains and a long-time…
The Western Carolina University School of Music will present the Christmas portion of George Frideric Handel’s oratorio “Messiah” at 3 p.m. on Dec. 11 at the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center. The performance will feature the WCU…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 21:19

Join the Oconaluftee Old-Time Music Jam

A monthly old-time music jam in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is bringing together musicians from across the region. Music played includes traditional folk tunes of the Southern Appalachians but often branches off into newer songs by the Carter…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 21:18

A festive celebration at the Rickman Store

The T.M. Rickman Store in Cowee will host a full day of arts events on Dec. 9 with crafters and artisans who will display their work, including exhibits from artist in residence Kathrine Cays and photographer Ralph Preston. The Nikwasi…
Take a trip to downtown Waynesville for its “A Night Before Christmas” celebration from 6-9 p.m. on Dec. 10. “This is a magical evening in Downtown Waynesville.  Let us entertain you and create wonderful holiday memories,” said Buffy Phillips, executive…