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Wednesday, 16 November 2005 00:00

Schools must help with obesity woes

It should come as no shock to learn that children in Western North Carolina, as in the rest of this country and in much of the industrialized world, are getting fatter. What is surprising, however, is that many school systems…
The clock is ticking for hemlock trees in Western North Carolina.
Wednesday, 16 November 2005 00:00

A season of our own

Here’s a riddle for you. If the leaves turn in the mountains and there are no tourists to see them, are they still beautiful?
Wednesday, 16 November 2005 00:00

New shelter near Max Patch ready for hikers

A new Appalachian Trail shelter that can sleep 18 backpackers has been built in the Max Patch area of Haywood County.
By Michael Beadle At first it sounds like a contradiction — a land developer interested in protecting the environment. Is it possible to balance commercial interests and at the same time protect pristine forests with diverse habitats?
Wednesday, 23 November 2005 00:00

Landslide death case ends in mistrial

A wrongful death lawsuit surrounding a landslide in Maggie Valley was declared a mistrial this week after a jury failed to come to a unanimous decision.
By Chris Cooper Let’s just go ahead and say it: terrible title for an album. Thankfully, a lot of the music on the disc is quite good, and even does have some soul, as noted in the press release. This…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer David Lamotte is a safe driver. Headed south to Columbus, Ga., last Friday afternoon he pulled over his car when his cell phone rang, his voice amiably, but absently, chorusing the words “hang on,”…
Wednesday, 23 November 2005 00:00

Recommended diversions

“Elizabethtown,” Soundtrack From everything I hear, the movie turned out to be entirely less than it was cracked up to be – another faux pas a la Orlando’s pretty face not having much substance between the ears. It’s a shame…
Wednesday, 23 November 2005 00:00

Pottery, naturally

By Greg Sessoms • Correspondent Upon entering Susan Balentine’s home off of Howell Mill Road in Waynesville, one could be forgiven for assuming that the quaint brick farmhouse is just a typical family residence and Balentine, a friendly and dedicated…
Wednesday, 23 November 2005 00:00

Remembering the Civil War

This year marks 140 years since the end of the American Civil War. In that time a gigantic library of books regarding the conflict between the Gray and the Blue has come into being with scores of books published annually…
Wednesday, 23 November 2005 00:00

The body count keeps rising

As of Nov. 20, the total number of U.S. troops killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom climbed to 2,083. Eleven more U.S. troops’ deaths are still waiting to be confirmed. In addition, more than 15,000 U.S. soldiers have been wounded since…
Wednesday, 23 November 2005 00:00

Choosing replacement puts board, director at odds

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer There was a showdown at last Tuesday’s meeting of the Fontana Regional Library Board. Randolph Bulgin, chairman of the Macon County Library Board of Trustees, issued a terse response to a pointed memorandum from…
By Michael Beadle Michael Parrott wanted to be in Iraq. He told his wife Meg about it every Sunday morning while he was over there. “Greetings from Mesopotamia,” he would write in letters. He savored his time in the cradle…
Wednesday, 23 November 2005 00:00

Latest Ghost Town suitor eyes May 2006 opening

The owner of the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad has teamed up with a venture capitalist and an amusement operator to strike a deal to buy Ghost Town and get it back in operation.
Wednesday, 23 November 2005 00:00

New laws should help curtail meth plague

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Swain County Chief Deputy Jackie Fortner never thought he’d equate marijuana with more simple times.
Almost two years ago, a retired couple from Florida was crushed in their home after the hillside behind their house in the Wild Acres subdivision of Maggie Valley collapsed.
Wednesday, 23 November 2005 00:00

Making use of natural surroundings

When the Cherokees emerged as a distinctive culture more than a thousand years ago, they situated themselves so as to take advantage of the many resources available in the southern mountains and adjacent foothills. By locating major settlements in the…
Wednesday, 23 November 2005 00:00

Pressure mounts to get out of Iraq

Many of us who call these mountains home rely on the isolation, the distance from the cold realities of modern times that one can find in a home nestled deep in a high mountain cove. But it’s really a false…
Wednesday, 23 November 2005 00:00

Brothers in arms

Jacob, Luke and Ben Sutton were once considered renegade snowboarders at Cataloochee Ski Area.
Wednesday, 23 November 2005 00:00

Chickadee code cracked

Chickadee #1: Chick-a-DEE!-DEE!-DEE!-DEE!-DEE!-DEE!-DEE! Translation: There’s a sharp-shinned hawk behind you!
Wednesday, 23 November 2005 00:00

NOC founder inducted into Hall of Fame

Payson Kennedy, co-founder of Nantahala Outdoor Center, was inducted into the inaugural class of the International Whitewater Hall of Fame last month.
Wednesday, 23 November 2005 00:00

Ranger Rick rappels into cave to rescue dog

Rangers with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park rappelled into a 70-foot underground cave last week to rescue a hunting dog that had fallen into a sinkhole in the Cades Cover area.
Phil Francis, the long-time assistant superintendent of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, has been appointed superintendent of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Wednesday, 30 November 2005 00:00

Bright nights in Dillsboro

By Michael Beadle Dillsboro becomes a village of glittering lights for the first two Friday and Saturday nights in December during the annual Festival of Lights and Luminaries.
Wednesday, 30 November 2005 00:00

NY rock quartet conjures a blast from the past

By Joe Hooten Scene: A Friday night, Firebirds and Camaros fill a Main Street parking lot after the big high school football game, teenagers are mingling and celebrating human nature, speakers are pumping a thunderous noise. A distinctively 70s-era riff…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer This Friday (Dec. 2) marks the close of what Waynesville Gallery Association chairman David Erickson has called an “off the top of the charts” Art After Dark season.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer On a cold, grey Sunday afternoon just before Thanksgiving, Polly Smith sits behind the register counter at Outer Spaces Gallery in Waynesville wrapped in a sweater, not too far from the store’s gas fireplace.
Wednesday, 30 November 2005 00:00

Recommended diversions

Graham Greene Recently I have begun revisiting authors I read back in my 20’s — Thomas Wolfe, Hemingway, Faulkner, some of the Russian greats, and Graham Greene. Greene in particular hits home with me in his handling of moral dilemmas…
Shortly after completing Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier discussed the possible subject of his next novel. Frazier said that he wanted to write about the life of a white man who was made an Indian chief, served in the government in…
Wednesday, 30 November 2005 00:00

Land too valuable to conserve, residents say

Nearly two years after Bryson City town leaders agreed to conserve 900 acres once used as the town’s drinking water source, some residents are clamoring to see the tract sold off for development instead.
A new elementary school under construction in Haywood County will serve as an environmental model for developers in the region.
Wednesday, 30 November 2005 00:00

Study says water, sewer needs rising

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer The state’s water, wastewater and stormwater systems are faced with $6.8 billion in capital improvement needs, a figure that is expected to reach $16.5 billion by 2030, according to a new study released by…
Wednesday, 30 November 2005 00:00

A long tradition of greenery and Christmas

Christmas greenery is a Southern Appalachian specialty. This region has been furnishing the eastern United States with quantities of various evergreen materials (trees, running ground cedar, mistletoe, galax, and so on) for well over a century. Of these, one of…
Wednesday, 30 November 2005 00:00

Playing politics at the expense of our soldiers

By Major Gen. Geoffrey B. Higginbotham In 1998, while serving as a Marine Corps Bases Commander in Japan, I had the opportunity to brief Rep. John Murtha, D-Pennsylvania, on Pacific Rim political and military issues. I was very impressed with…
Wednesday, 30 November 2005 00:00

Things change, and sometimes not for the best

I’m not sure where home is, but my children know. They’re first-generation mountaineers, which means, should they stay, they’ve got a lot riding on their shoulders. I hope they’re up to it.
Wednesday, 30 November 2005 00:00

The Naturalist's Corner

The front that passed through the week before Thanksgiving brought the first waterfowl fallout of the season to Lake Junaluska. I passed by on Thursday afternoon (11/17) and observed one snow goose with a small group of Canadian geese. Friday…
By Michael Beadle It’s 26 degrees on a November morning, and Jamie Tidmore has just finished another whitewater kayaking run at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in Wesser.
Wednesday, 07 December 2005 00:00

The boats that once plied mountain waters

When one thinks about navigation in regard to the rivers here in the Smokies region, its old-time ferries and modern-day canoes, kayaks, rafts, tubes, and motorboats come to mind. But there have been other sorts of navigation involving flatboats, keelboats,…
When I read the notice about a new book — The Fishes Gathered in Cherokee Country — in the Nov. 16 edition of the Smoky Mountain News, it piqued my curiosity. I contacted the book’s author, U.S. Fish and Wildlife…
Wednesday, 07 December 2005 00:00

The downside of motorcycle tourism

By Lee Shelton • Guest Columnist There has been much discussion about attracting more motorcyclists and motorcycle rallies to the Maggie Valley area as part of the tourism efforts. I understand that the TDA recently committed funds to this endeavor.…
Wednesday, 07 December 2005 00:00

Remember the privilege of giving

By Bill Nolte • Guest Columnist Last week I was providing my ongoing parental taxi service. I can’t remember if we were rushing to soccer practice or Wednesday night church activities or wherever. From the back seat one of the kids…
Wednesday, 07 December 2005 00:00

Jackson, others need to learn to plan

By John Edwards • Guest Columnist Positive planning by developers, government officials and local citizens could be of great benefit in dealing with the rapid growth taking place in southern Jackson County.
Wednesday, 07 December 2005 00:00

Hemp and the rule of law

It looks like the old adage “necessity is the mother of invention” may bear fruit (or gas) when it is applied to our current energy crisis. In fact, one “alternate energy” source is already generating considerable interest in Canada, North…
Wednesday, 07 December 2005 00:00

Watershed decision was right on target

Bryson City leaders avoided the temptation to sell off their watershed land for development, instead opting to follow through with an earlier commitment to conserve the pristine property. It was the right decision and one that will pay a long-term…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Jewelry artist Debbie Higdon makes what she likes to wear — handmade pieces, created from twisted and soldered silver wires and cut silver sheets.
Wednesday, 07 December 2005 00:00

Power guitar trio delivers

By Chris Cooper The G3 tours are a traveling celebration of the virtuoso rock guitarist. Joe Satriani developed the concept of G3 in reaction to his sense of isolation from other artists in his genre.
Wednesday, 07 December 2005 00:00

Larry Watson — a student of the song

By Michael Beadle It was Chet Atkins who really put the hook in Larry Watson. Atkins had that masterful style of finger-picking on the guitar Watson saw one night on “The Jimmy Dean Show” back in the 1960s while growing…
Wednesday, 07 December 2005 00:00

(Un)RecommendedDiversions

Here’s the deal. I’m not going to be “recommending” anything in this installment of “Diversions.” I’m just going to tell a story about Wednesday, Nov.16, 2005 — starting right around noonish.
Wednesday, 07 December 2005 00:00

Make way for the holidays

The Compleat Gentleman by Brad Miner. Spence Publishing, 2004. 264 pages. The Truth of the Matter by Robb Forman Dew. Little & Brown, 2005. 336 pages.