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There is a refinement to Catherine Carter’s poetry, a sense that each poem is finished, polished and complete, worked exactly the right amount and not a jot too much. There’s also in Carter’s poems an edge, a whiff of wild…
I unpacked my *euphonium recently — my first love was music; writing was a fallback position — and started fooling with it again. Despite not having held this horn more than just a few times in some two decades, I’m…
To the Editor: A headline on a Feb. 29 article in The Smoky Mountain News creates a misleading impression of the support the N.C. Education Lottery has provided for Haywood schools. Through June 30, 2011, Haywood County received more than…
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 13:26

Brigman story needed a second opinion

To the Editor: It is interesting that The Smoky Mountain News in its reporting on superintendent of Macon County Schools Dan Brigman both last summer and recently cites the legal opinion of only one organization. That is unfair. Sadly, it…
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 13:25

Headline showed SMN’s political bias

To the Editor: Somewhere during my school years I was taught about slanted journalism. One of the best examples of slanted journalism is the headline for an article about Sen. Jim Davis on page 5 of the Feb. 29 edition…
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 13:24

Time to send Barack down the road

To the Editor: Over the weekend we heard from our 44-year-old niece. She was fretting over her 401k. She is employed as a teacher in Alaska and has been since she got out of college, so she has around 20…
Government at all levels needs to spend money judiciously. It is, after all, our money. I’m not convinced either major political party is doing that very well right now. What we get is competing priorities, which is why voters need…
To hear Franklin Alderman Bob Scott tell it, fellow town leaders and tourism experts haven’t begun to adequately plan for and consider what an influx of some 4,000 bikers could mean to a small town of 3,500 residents. Franklin will…
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 21:54

Public records workshop at WCU

“Full Disclosure,” a public records workshop, will be held from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 15, in Room 144 of WCU’s Stillwell Building. The workshop will provide information on the existing laws and advice on drafting a request for…
The transportation department will hold a citizens’ informational workshop from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 15, about a proposed project to improve N.C. 107 from north of Old Cullowhee Road in East LaPorte to N.C. 281 in Tuckaseegee in…
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 21:53

Sarge’s photo contest under way

Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation is accepting pet photographs for its Pet Photography Contest sponsored by Ellen Schattie, owner of Bocelli’s Italian Eatery in Waynesville. Entry forms are available on Sarge’s website at www.sargeandfriends.org and at the following locations: The Dog…
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 21:52

Good Samaritan Clinic is subject of talk

Kristin Gruner, of the Good Samaritan Clinic, will speak to the Bethel Rural Community Organization at 7 p.m. at the community hall in Bethel. Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m. Gruner will be updating the community on the fundraising…
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 21:51

Girl Scout volunteers needed

Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont will host “Information Hours” for new volunteers at the Haywood County Library in Canton from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, March 12. This is also a time for current troop leaders, parents and…
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 21:51

Spring Break camp at Waynesville Rec Center

The Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department will offer “Spring Break Camp” from April 16 - 20. This will take place at the Waynesville Recreation Center each day from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The camp will include games, movies, swim…
Haywood County Democrats will hold a rally to support public funding for pre-K education and to oppose privatizing it. The event will take place at noon on Friday, March 16 on the Historic Courthouse lawn in Waynesville. 828.452.9607 or haywooddemocrats.org.
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 21:50

Organizing for America to host kickoff event

Organizing for America volunteers are hosting the kickoff for the Haywood County campaign to reelect President Barack Obama at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 10, at Sid’s on Main in Canton. Food and drink will be available for purchase. The…
Joe Cline, executive director of the Tuckaseigee Water and Sewer Authority, has suddenly voluntarily resigned without publicly specifying why. TWSA board Chairman Randall Turpin said Cline tendered his resignation during a closed session. Turpin is temporarily overseeing the agency until…
The Swain County Board of Elections has decided to continue running a satelite early voting site in Cherokee, but to the chagrin of some nixed for now the idea of an additional site in the rural Alarka community. The Swain…
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 21:47

Room tax increase sails to passage in Swain

With little brouhaha or fanfare, the Swain County Board of Commissioners voted last week to nudge its room tax up 1 percent, less than two months after the idea was first floated publicly. “We felt like it would be a…
Derreck Kayongo, a former child refugee who now serves as the senior advocacy coordinator in the Southeast for the CARE International relief organization, will deliver the keynote address at Western Carolina University’s the 11th annual Gender Research Conference on Thursday,…
Wednesday, 07 March 2012 21:45

Local Post members to mark anniversary

The American Legion will observe its 93rd anniversary March 15-17, and Legionnaires of Jackson and Swain counties will celebrate that milestone at their regular 7 p.m. meeting at William E. Dillard Post 104, Sylva, on Monday, March 12. Founded in…
Margaret Wakefield is not a college student nor does she sport dreadlocks and Birkenstocks while chatting about how the world should focus more on peace and love. Wakefield has short dark hair, pink fingernails and silver heart-shaped earrings. Wearing a…
The Town of Sylva, in a quiet way, is busy setting a green example for its Western North Carolina neighbors. First the fire department, and now the new police department, incorporate green, environmentally friendly components. Sylva’s police soon will take…
Courtney Hall pawed through a cardboard box wedged in the corner of the utility closet at Panacea Coffee Shop bearing cut-out letters from a magazine pasted in an artistic rendition of the infamous words: “Lost and Found.” Inside was the…
Selling off a high-speed internet system of fiber optic lines in Sylva that belonged to the now-defunct Metrostat Communications is coming up short. The 10-year-old company provided Sylva high-speed Internet and phone service until going under late last year. Metrostat…
Jackson County, two failed attempts to the contrary, looks poised to once again hold hands with the county’s four towns when it comes to crafting a new economic development strategy. How this will actually look and play out isn’t yet…
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…