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Wednesday, 01 February 2012 21:01

Program was a unique, moving experience

To the Editor: My wife and I were richly blessed at a recent presentation of a unique ministry called “Let Heaven and Nature Sing” before a packed auditorium at the Music Road Hotel in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. This one-of-a-kind ministry…
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 21:01

We must fix election spending fiasco

To the Editor: There are two ways to look at the Supreme Court decision that enables corporations to spend what they wish to influence elections to public office. It will come to be known either as the death knell of…
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 21:00

Soon, we may all be working in our 70s

To the Editor: Last year I watched news coverage of the Occupy movement as it took root in cities around the globe, but I didn’t imagine it would reach Main Street in Bryson City. But there we were — about…
Macon County residents, indeed all local history buffs, are about to receive a great gift from Barbara McRae, editor of The Franklin Press. Barbara is a noted regional historian with unmatched knowledge, in particular but not exclusively, of Macon County.…
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 20:57

Shame on you, Smoky Mountain News, for poking fun

Shame on you, Smoky Mountain News, for making fun of my attempts at public service and, in so doing, potentially deterring other qualified individuals from running for public office. We need more interested young people to run for elected office,…
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 20:55

Celebrating our little corner of the world

“[I] discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it …. — Novelist William Faulkner What makes a good newspaper? That’s a complicated and…
Concerns among Jackson County doctors that Harris Regional Hospital is not thriving as it should under a partnership with Haywood Regional Medical Center has prompted a change in top leadership. Harris once more has its own CEO, and Haywood will…
Supporters of Jackson County’s revolving loan program describe the financial give-outs as a tool in the county’s economic toolbelt, a boost to deserving businesses that can’t receive critical, even lifesaving, financial help through banks. But five defaults since 1993 when…
The town of Waynesville is suing a Hendersonville contractor for negligence in the construction of its new fire station on the outskirts of downtown. In its complaint, the town alleges that Construction Logic’s work was defective and did not follow…
Teeheeheehee, yuk yuk yuk, ho ho ho, BAHAHAHA — no matter how you do it, laughter can boost your mood, lower your blood pressure and help prolong your life. “It’s spontaneous; it’s contagious; it’s incredibly powerful,” said Cindy Miles, a certified…
Giles Chemical pledged last week to do what it could to appease neighbors fed up with intrusive truck traffic on their town streets, but residents maintain the small industry has outgrown its location. Throughout the day, trucks traveling to and…
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 20:12

Financial series for women planned

Mountain BizWorks will host a free, women only three-part series on increasing your financial independence. The series is sponsored by OnTrack Women’s Financial Empowerment Center, and starts Thursday, Feb. 9 from 5:30-7 p.m. at City Lights Cafe located in downtown…
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 20:12

Lighten Up 4 Life seeks participants

Angel Medical Center and Macon County Public Health will kick-of Lighten Up 4 Life, a community wide weight loss challenge, at 9 a.m., Feb. 4 at Franklin High School’s Fine Arts Center The purpose of the challenge is to help…
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 20:10

Local students compete in science fair at WCU

Students from across Western North Carolina will participate in the 2012 Western Regional Science Fair at Western Carolina University’s Ramsey Regional Activity Center on Tuesday, Feb. 7, and Wednesday, Feb. 8. More than 600 students attend the fair each year,…
It ain’t easy be green. Nor is it particularly easy for a full-grown man to position himself beside a busy highway and gyrate wildly for hours on end, day after day, in a Statue of Liberty costume. Bryan Pixa is…
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 20:08

Cleanup leaders in Haywood County recognized

Winners of “Community Pride” awards through Haywood County’s Commission for a Clean County will gather at noon, Feb. 15, at the Waynesville Inn. The award winners demonstrated exceptional environmental stewardship in the county during the past year. Being recognized are…
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 20:07

Shuler confirms that he won’t run for governor

U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler (D-Waynesville) on Tuesday ended speculation that he was considering a run for governor. “I will not be running for governor of North Carolina in 2012,” Shuler announced in a statement distributed to media outlets. “It is…
It’s been nearly a year-and-a-half since Edna Queen lost her son, and despite forking over $1,100 for a headstone to mark his gravesite in Fairview Memorial Gardens in Sylva, there’s nothing but a patch of grass where his body lies.…
A former Jackson County funeral director has been charged with fraud for swindling people who paid for their own funerals in advance. Ronnie and Thomasine Riddle, 55 and 56, of Sylva systematically defrauded as many as three dozen funeral customers…
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 20:03

Macon planning board on the chopping block?

The fate of Macon County’s planning board and whether it will exist in a meaningful form will be decided at next week’s commissioners’ meeting. At stake are the implementation of term limits, and whether those term limits should be retroactively…
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 19:31

WCU will host ‘Vagina Monologues’ Feb. 10-11

Western Carolina University’s Department of Intercultural Affairs will host “The Vagina Monologues” at 7 p.m. on Feb. 10-11 in the A.K. Hinds University Center Grandroom. “The Vagina Monologues” is a series of 18 monologues written by Eve Ensler with one…
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 19:31

Four Waynesville women recount trek through Nepal

Four local women who hiked in Nepal will give a talk at 2 p.m. on Feb. 8. The event is sponsored by the Friends of the Library and the Waynesville Book Club. Elizabeth Allen, Wendy Bowen, Jane Cole and Marilyn…
The Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley is celebrating its first special weekend opening of 2012. The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Feb. 3-5, and will hold demonstrations and exhibitions of various new machines…
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 19:29

ECA members earn state accolades

Two Jackson County Extension and Community Association members won first place in the State ECA Cultural Arts Competition in New Bern recently. Ruth Bryson’s needle tatting took top honors in the hand needlework category. Bryson is a member of Cane Creek…
Colorfest, Art & Taste of Appalachia, plans to change Dillsboro into a Paris-like setting with artists painting at easels under colorful umbrellas along the main streets. Although the festival is not until October, only 40 artists will be chosen following…
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 19:27

‘La Pasion Flamenca’ to hit WCU on Feb. 13

The Arts and Cultural Events Series at Western Carolina University will present “La Pasion Flamenca” at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 13, in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center.   Presented by the Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana dance company,…
The Overlook Theatre Company will present “Where the Wild Things Are” at 7 p.m. on Feb. 7 at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts. The Overlook Theatre Company’s performance of “Where the Wild Things Are” is based on…
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 19:25

New Saturday story time begins in Sylva

The Jackson County Public Library in Sylva will begin offering a new children’s story and craft time at 2 p.m. every Saturday afternoon, beginning Feb. 4. Hosted by library staffer Sally Salyards, the story time will include an activity and…
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 19:24

OICA to exhibit paintings by TJ Holland

The gallery at the Oconaluftee Institute for Cultural Arts will feature an exhibition of paintings by artist TJ Holland during the month of February. Holland’s work explores Cherokee myths and legends. He is enrolled member of the Eastern Band of…
The Old-Time and Bluegrass Jam series will feature the Chompin’ at the Bit String Band from Asheville at Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center on Feb. 2. The band’s 7 p.m. performance will be followed by an 8 p.m. jam…
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 19:23

Old Fines Creek School to house dance Feb. 4

The Fines Creek Community Association will host a broom dance from 7 to 10 p.m. on Feb. 4 in the gym of the old Fines Creek School. During a traditional broom dance, the men scramble to find a new partner…
Wednesday, 01 February 2012 19:23

Winter Concert Series continues at Colonial

Balsam Range will perform with special guest The Harris Brothers on Feb. 4 at the Colonial Theater in Canton. The all-ages show will begin at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $15. Balsam Range is a five-member band named after a…
Western Carolina University will present a concert version of “Music Is” by George Abbott at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 4, and 3 p.m., Feb. 5, in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center. “Music Is” is based on Shakespeare’s…
Molly McCurdy is rare. Specifically, she is one of a small number of female luthiers in the U.S. A dulcimer is a three- or four-stringed instrument that gained popularity in the Appalachian Mountains in the early 1800s and is linked…
Tuesday, 31 January 2012 14:12

Slide closes westbound I-40

A rockslide has shut down a portion of Interstate 40 in Haywood County for up to two weeks. In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, a rockslide occurred near mile marker 451 in Tennessee, about one mile from the North…
Thursday, 26 January 2012 03:42

The fascinating story of the Plott hound

A new book has been published that will be of particular interest to area hunters, outdoorsmen, and dog lovers. It will also be of considerable value to those concerned with the region’s human history. The Story of the Plott Hound:…
Thursday, 26 January 2012 03:41

Guided hike to be held at Cataloochee Ranch

A 4.4-mile hike on the Wallhalla Trail at Cataloochee Ranch in Haywood County will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 4, Cataloochee Ranch is a private, family-owned, eco-tourism destination. The guided hike with the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy offers…
Thursday, 26 January 2012 03:41

Bike race coming up at Fontana Village

The Icycle Mountain Bike Racing Classic will return to Fontana Village Resort on January 28. The race is packed with four different classes of daytime racing and the always exciting Nighttime Downhill Race. The seven-mile course serves up some of…
Thursday, 26 January 2012 03:40

National forest seeking trail allies

Learn about the U.S. National Forests’ Trail Strategy initiative at a Thursday, Jan. 26, workshop in Franklin, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Macon County Community Facilities Building south of town on U.S. 441. Any hikers, mountain bikers…
Overall visitation to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most-visited national park in the nation, was down overall last year, but visitors flocked there during the last month of the year. The Cherokee entrance to the Smokies — North…
Thursday, 26 January 2012 03:39

Getting bears out of backpacker food fare

The specialty Appalachian Trail license plates have raised money to help backpackers safeguard their food from roving black bears along the AT in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy recently granted $2,000 from its specialty license…
Thursday, 26 January 2012 03:38

Indoor soccer kicks off in Waynesville

Get ready to play indoor soccer through the Haywood County Recreation and Parks Department, which starts the winter playing-season this week. Pick-up style games are held at the Old Hazelwood Gym (216 Virginia Avenue) every Wednesday through March 28, from…
Thursday, 26 January 2012 03:38

Adult swim lessons available MedWest

It’s truly never too late to learn how to swim, and the MedWest Health & Fitness Center in Haywood County is offering a special program for young adults and adults who want to be able to paddle about the water.…
A grant from Healthy Haywood has helped launch an Outdoor Mission Camp for court-involved kids. Positive Community Connections is designed to help keep kids of the streets and out of the courtrooms. The directors are Ruffin and Jamie Shackelford, who…
Dry Fall Trails in Macon County will see a $446,000 restoration project to stabilize the historic trail and reconstruct the entire walking path to its base — all while preserving the historic integrity of the trail, built by the Civilian…
Thursday, 26 January 2012 03:35

Land surrounding Judaculla Rock now protected

Jackson County resident Jerry Parker has entered a conservation agreement on 107 acres to help protect the ancient petroglyph Judaculla Rock in the Caney Fork valley in Jackson County. The large, soapstone boulder is carved with hundreds of symbols carved…
Thursday, 26 January 2012 03:33

Cold-weather wimps

No, I’m not talking about those of us who stay in the warm confines at Cataloochee, nursing Ninja porters, while the kids hit the slopes. These cold-weather wimps are ruby-throated hummingbirds. As most of you hummer-watchers know, our ruby-throats, basically…
Enter Balsam Mountain Trust’s nature center and you’ll come face to face with bobcats, skunks, black bears, maybe even a sharp-taloned raptor poised for the kill. But, don’t worry — the animals don’t bite. The taxidermy creatures are just a…
Bob Grove will facilitate the North Carolina Writers Network West new Prose Critique Sessions at 7 p.m. on Feb. 9 at Tri-Community College in the McSwain Building, Room 152. The purpose of the critique group is to provide an immediate…
City Lights Bookstore will celebrate the release of High Vistas Volume II at 6 p.m. on Jan. 27 with a reception and discussion with a few of the authors featured in the book. The second volume continues the tradition set…