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Wednesday, 24 May 2006 00:00

An encore for mama

By Joanne Meyer • Guest Columnist A soft, spring breeze wafted through the open window, sending a sheer, cafe curtain dancing across the strings of a mandolin leaning upright against the back of a chair. The sound the instrument produced…
Back last fall, about the time the Jackson County Library controversy mutated into an issue with all of the appeal of a dead mule in doorway of the Town Hall, I decided to give up my role as “gadfly.” I…
Wednesday, 24 May 2006 00:00

The test, and nothing but the test

I don’t bash public schools. My wife’s a teacher, my children have gotten a great education at these schools, and we’ve been able to solve every major problem that ever arose with a teacher.
Wednesday, 24 May 2006 00:00

Remembering the Mother Town

By Michael Beadle Kituhwa. To the Cherokee, it represents one of the most sacred sites in the world, the first Cherokee town, a mound where the sacred fire burned for centuries. It is from this site that the Cherokee named…
Wednesday, 24 May 2006 00:00

The phoenix has crashed

In 2005 the ivory-billed woodpecker rose from the ashes of extinction on the merits of an announcement from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The bird had been rediscovered in 2004 in the Big Woods of Arkansas.
Wednesday, 24 May 2006 00:00

Recycling gets a boost in the Smokies

Thanks to a new recycling trailer, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is closer to its goal of diverting half of all its waste from local landfills compared to the 42 percent of park trash that currently is recycled.
Wednesday, 24 May 2006 00:00

Trout Unlimited: Brook trout need help

A report by Trout Unlimited documenting the continued decline of brook trout has given rise to concerns over water quality and invigorated efforts to protect the remaining strongholds of brook trout in WNC.
Wednesday, 31 May 2006 00:00


A blistering fight over whether paddling should be allowed along the upper stretch of the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River has landed in court. American Whitewater, the premier national paddling advocacy group whose headquarters are in Jackson County, filed a…
Wednesday, 31 May 2006 00:00

The Naturalist's Corner — Thunderstorm

The other evening with toddler and infant asleep, my wife and I found ourselves alone as a thunderstorm rolled over the Balsams. We turned out the lights and watched and listened as the storm approached with the sky flickering brighter,…
Wednesday, 31 May 2006 00:00

A gem from Charlotte’s crown

By Chris Cooper Some songwriters have the gift of saying volumes with very little. They don’t need to spell it out, plaster it with tinsel and candy, and do a little dance to get your attention — it’s as if…
By Sarah Kucharski The Shady Ladies, a diverse group of quilters based in Haywood County, are gearing up for their third annual show at Lake Logan Episcopal Center held June 2-4.
Wednesday, 31 May 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Mental Floss For those who love collecting trivia in bite-sized tidbits, look no further than Mental Floss magazine, the sugar-coated candy that’s spinach for your noggin. (OK, too many metaphors, but this publication inspires such tangents.)
Wednesday, 31 May 2006 00:00

Life in the (really) fast lane

By Michael Beadle Welcome to the Autobahn: land of the speedy, home of the brave. You have to be brave if you want to pass a car going a mere 80 miles an hour and not end up as the…
Wednesday, 31 May 2006 00:00

Zeitgeist of Germany, circa 2006

By Michael Beadle Editor’s note: Smoky Mountain News Writer Michael Beadle recently traveled to Europe. The following is the second of two stories about his experiences abroad.
Wednesday, 31 May 2006 00:00

Hard times and happy days

On March 4, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt took office. Frank C. Davis, the author of My C.C.C. Days, says “the lights in all the government buildings in Washington, D. C., burned all night, that night.”
Wednesday, 31 May 2006 00:00

Critics say FERC not tough enough on Duke

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Since the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s draft environmental assessment recommending removal of the Dillsboro Dam has come out, concern has arisen over mitigation measures planned for the Tuckasegee River.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Macon County schools personnel director Tamra Tisdale has filed a sexual harassment suit against outgoing Macon County School Superintendent Rodney Shotwell. The filing brings to light the probable content of recent closed-door Macon County…
Wednesday, 31 May 2006 00:00

Momentum builds to challenge TDA

Dissatisfaction among the Haywood County tourism industry with the way tourism tax dollars are spent has long been a constant in the divided tourism community. But critics from Maggie Valley appear to have reached a new momentum in a push…
Wednesday, 31 May 2006 00:00

Sylva residents rate quality of life high

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer “Overall, citizens seem fairly satisfied with the quality of life in the town of Sylva.” So reads the first line in the summary of responses collected last month in a citizen satisfaction survey of…
A tug-of-war over the $600,000 in tourism tax money in Haywood County and how it is used to lure travelers reached a new level last week. At the prodding of Maggie Valley motel owners, the Maggie Valley Town Board is…
Wednesday, 31 May 2006 00:00

A world without end

Two weeks ago, we reviewed current theories about the uplift of the Appalachian Mountains about 250 million years ago, as well as opinions about how high the Appalachians might have been when originally uplifted. Last week, we took a closer…
Wednesday, 31 May 2006 00:00

The art of the graduation speech

A few years ago, I was asked to give the keynote speech for an area high school’s graduation ceremony. At first, I thought one of my so-called friends must be playing a joke on me. Why would anyone want a…
Wednesday, 31 May 2006 00:00

Personal heart therapy with Homer Harris

I have found that not being able to hear in a crowded room is a constant frustration. Usually, when people talk to me in an earnest fashion, I take the path of least resistance and pretend to understand. That is…
Wednesday, 31 May 2006 00:00

Making Jennings Randolph proud

Jennings Randolph does not leap from the pages of history. Perhaps he should. His likeness is not found on any T-shirts, but perhaps it should be, especially of those graduating from high school. No, Jennings Randolph was not a founding…
Wednesday, 31 May 2006 00:00

Gibson case highlights larger problems

When the jury came back with a not guilty verdict in the case against Michelle Gibson, many across the country let out a collective sigh of relief. Gibson had been charged with second-degree murder after her 8-year-old son died from…
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 14:22

Confederates pushed road over Newfound Gap

On Jan. 12, 1864, a Confederate battery of artillery and about 650 men under the command of Gen. Robert B. Vance crossed the Smokies at Indian Gap — situated at 5,317 feet between Clingmans Dome and Newfound Gap along the…
The Grammy Award-winning bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers gathered on the Blue Ridge Parkway this spring, instruments in hand, to help the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation raise the $50,000 they still need to complete the $350,000 Graveyard Fields restoration project. 
Libraries across the mountains are in summer mode with a robust lineup of educational programs for kids. Special guests will offer several free programs on science and nature topics, as well as their regular line-up of story times and other…
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 14:13

Get your race on with Haywood Waterways

Haywood Waterways is now selling “trout” to compete in their annual Trout Race held at 5 p.m. on June 22 in Maggie Valley in conjunction with the weekend PlottFest.
Comments are open regarding a proposed prohibition on coyote hunting in a five-county area in northeastern North Carolina. The area is home to the world’s only native red wolf population, which look similar to coyotes — posing a dangerous case…
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 14:07

Foraging field day in Cashiers

Famed Asheville forager Alan Muskat will answer all your burning questions about forest foods during the next installment of the Village Nature Series at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 24, at the Village Green Commons in Cashiers, with a private foraging…
It’s a little after 7 p.m. when the first trolley shows up to Elkmont Campground. Green, red and yellow, the flashy Gatlinburg transit vehicle seems a bit out of place in the backwoods greenery of Great Smoky Mountains National Park,…
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 13:58

Old West comes alive in Enger novel

If you love epic tales that celebrate the American West; if you treasure novels like Trail of the Lonesome Dove, Edna Ferber’s So Big (Giant) and McCarthy’s Cities on the Plain, you might want to saddle up for Peace Like…
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 13:56

Science helps us find God’s truths

To the Editor: I am writing this letter for the sakes of my fellow creationists and any questioning minds who may be concerned about an argument, by Neil deGrasse Tyson, mentioned in the last edition of “The Naturalist’s Corner.” I…
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 13:55

GOP works to make Haywood better

To the Editor: This is in response to Mitchell E. Powell’s letter to the editor, “‘Group is hurting Haywood GOP,” in the June 4 edition of The Smoky Mountain News. Powell attended only a few meetings in his short stint…
By Kathy Ross • Guest Columnist In the last few weeks, I’ve been stuck between speaking my mind and doing what is best for my community. I hate it when systems operate that way, always believing wide-open debate is the best…
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 13:36

Prison conversion project needs votes

Haywood Pathways Center, the working title for the trio of Christian ministries working to make the old prison in Hazelwood into a center for restoration, has made it to the top of the pack in an online contest to win…
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 13:35

Another Swain sheriff candidate joins race

A new candidate has joined the field of potentials for the Swain County sheriff’s race. In addition to Republican Sheriff Curtis Cochran and Democratic challenger Chuck McMahan, the November ballot will also feature unaffiliated candidate Odell Chastain. “I’m running on…
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 13:35

Folkmoot USA holds June 26 open house

Folkmoot USA will host an Open House from 4:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, June 26, to celebrate Haywood County’s generous donation of the historic Hazelwood School to the cultural organization. On June 16, the Haywood County Board of Commissioners…
Sitting in the judge’s seat, Jackson County Commissioners Chairman Jack Debnam took a look around. He absorbed the courtroom, glanced down at Commissioner Doug Cody on the witness stand and County Manager Chuck Wooten in the jury box. 
A cross-section of Haywood County business leaders took over the reins of economic development this month, with county government passing the torch to the Greater Haywood County Chamber of Commerce to blaze a new path of economic prosperity.
Consumers will start seeing some extras added to their subtotals as a result of a state law adding sales tax to a variety of items that had previously not been taxed, or were taxed at a lower level. Among them…
Western Carolina University is sweating out the North Carolina General Assembly’s budgetary process, but perhaps not as much as some institutions of higher education.
Two months after a management shake-up in which the Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise removed construction manager Sneed, Robertson and Associates from the casino construction project in Murphy, the project is on time and on budget, according to TCGE chairman Ray…
A group of past Macon County Commissioners spent an hour reminiscing about their triumphs and reflecting on lessons learned in front of an audience that included two Election Day hopefuls last week. The lunchtime program was the third in a…
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 13:25

Franklin passes property tax hike

Franklin residents will be paying a bit more on their property taxes next year following a unanimous decision by the Franklin Board of Alderman to increase the rate by 2 cents per $100. Currently, the rate is set at 25…
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 13:22

Front row seat to history

Randall E. Murff remembers the guns shooting at him. “The Germans really could shoot those guns, they were good,” he said. “If you gave them 17 seconds, they’d knock you right down.”
A group of vacant, ramshackle buildings at an anchor intersection on South Main Street in Waynesville has been purchased, signaling continued revitalization could be in store for the rag-tag corridor.
The public hearing on Jackson County’s steep slope regulations struck Dave Waldrop as special.  “It was so unbelievable,” Waldrop said.
“See that up there?” asked Alaska Presley as she piloted her Mercedes up a back road to the top of Ghost Town in the Sky. “That’s the drop tower there.”