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Friends of the Smokies met a challenge grant from the Aslan Foundation of Knoxville to raise $4 million for the Trails Forever endowment. A small group of donors hiked the Forney Ridge Trail with the Trails Forever crew and volunteers…
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is starting a new program beginning this summer to create a Youth Leadership Class of 2016. Ten students that will graduate from high school in 2016 will be chosen to be a part of…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 13:52

Tremont announces bird banding program

Volunteers are needed to assist Tremont and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park by monitoring birds through bird banding on June 14, July 22, July 5, July 25, Aug. 2 and Aug. 8. Scientists estimate that there are nearly 230…
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is hosting three free fishing events in early June at its Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education in celebration of National Fishing and Boating Week 2012. “Fly Fishing Skills: Casting for Beginners” will be held at…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 13:50

Bird banding at Tessentee preserve

The public is invited to the bird-banding project at Tessentee Preserve in Otto at 8 a.m. June 2.  Participants will join Mark Hopey as he captures and bands birds for his long-term migratory bird study. Participants will be hiking a…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 13:50

Free rafting trip on the Tuckasegee

The Dillsboro River Company will offer free unguided rafting trips down the Tuckaseegee River from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 3. Participants only have to donate 10 cans of food per person. The food will be donated to United…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 13:49

Jackson County Golf Club summer schedule

The Jackson County Golf Club has planned its summer schedule, which will include rounds at Mill Creek, Sequoyah National, Bear Lake, and Smoky Mountain. Members of the club will be able to play each of these courses at a reduced…
Western Carolina University is offering an online course beginning June 1 on topics related to surviving accidents and dangerous encounters in the wilderness. The 10-hour course “Wilderness and Disaster Emergencies” will cover topics such as animal dangers, environmental dangers, natural…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 13:46

Cradle of Forestry to host Curiosity Club

The Cradle of Forestry will hold a nature and educational series titled “Woodsy Owl’s Curiosity Club” from 10:30 a.m. to noon every Thursday this summer from June 7 to Aug. 2. The Curiosity Club allows kids ages 4 to 7…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 13:45

Kids in the Creek T-Shirt competition

Robert Coleman won the Kids in the Creek T-shirt design competition and will have his design printed on 785 T-shirts for Kids in the Creek. Robert is an eighth-grader at Haywood Middle Academy. Andrew Woody from Bethel Middle School was…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 13:44

Forum to discuss alternative energy

The Franklin Open Forum will discuss “Is alternative energy a viable alternative?” at 7 p.m. on June 6 at the Rathskeller Coffee House and Pub in downtown Franklin. The Franklin Open Forum is a moderated discussion group that meets on…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 13:44

Mast General Store to hold Land Trust Day

Mast General Store and the Appalachians Highlands Conservancy will celebrate Land Trust Day on June 2 by encouraging customers to become members of the conservancy. Representatives from the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy will be on hand at the Mast Stores…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 13:43

View the transit of Venus in Cashiers

View the transit of Venus from 5:30 p.m. until sunset Tuesday, June 5, behind the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library. The transit of Venus is when the planet Venus passes directly between the earth and the sun. This is seen as…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 13:41

Lily here and lily there

I was in the Grandfather District of the Pisgah National Forest the other morning preparing to go to one of my Forest Service bird points when I noticed two tall white flowers at the edge of the woods. My first…
Richard Baird, a plant pathologist from Mississippi State University, was hard at work one day last week examining mushrooms in a small laboratory at the Highlands Biological Station. Baird is trying to determine which fungus might help Fraser firs grow…
Ron Rash, Charles Frazier and Wayne Caldwell will be among a group of southern writers to speak at the Summer Authors Speakers Series in the Manheimer Room at UNC-Asheville’s Reuter Center. The sessions are from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on…
UNC Asheville’s Great Smokies Writing Program is offering “A Feast of Memories,” a course in Waynesville that will help local writers hone their skills in poetry and prose. The event will take place from 5 to 7:30 p.m. June 5,…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 13:28

Finding the right word

In his Foreword to Robert Hartwell Fiske’s The Best Words (ISBN 978-193333882-8, $14.94), Richard Lederer reminds us of Mark Twain’s much-quoted declaration: “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter – ’tis…
Folkmoot USA has changed the date of its popular International Festival Day celebration to July 21. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in historic downtown Waynesville. More than 100 artists, craftsmen and international guests will…
Since it is the 150th anniversary of Civil War, the Waynesville library has decided to make the momentous war the subject of one of its “Let’s Talk About It” series. The series begins June 6 with meetings from 4-6 p.m.…
The world premiere of Outlander, a play written by Gary Carden of Sylva and Horace Frank Lee of Bryson City, will take place from June 2 to June 16 at the Parkway Playhouse in Greensboro. Outlander tells the story of…
Registration has begun for the “Dream Big – Read” summer reading program at the Marianna Black Library in Bryson City and the Macon County Library in Franklin. The programs start on June 4 with different events for all ages. The…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 13:24

Book arts workshops at City Lights

Jackson County Visual Arts Association will present two workshops on book arts from 9 a.m. to noon on June 2 and 23 at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva. Phyllis Jarvenin will teach “Introduction to Book Arts” on June 2 and…
The Jackson County Arts Association will hold an artist reception as part of  “Sylva After Dark” from 6 p.m. to 9.m., June 8, at Gallery 1. At the event, visitors can walk through the streets of Sylva and enjoy a…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 13:21

Gourd Art Festival in Cherokee

The 10th annual Gourd Artists Gathering and Art Festival will be held at the fairgrounds in Cherokee from 1 to 4 p.m. on May 31, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 1 and 2, and 9 a.m. to noon…
The Leapin’ Frog Gallery in Waynesville will host a workshop on mixed media abstract collages from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., June 9. Local artist Silvia Cabrera Williams will teach participants how to create a mixed media abstract collage. Williams…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 13:20

WWII display to stop in Franklin

A World War II exhibit from the Museum of Military Memorabilia in Naples, Fla., will travel to Franklin in June. The mini-museum will be open to the public in Franklin’s Tartan Hall from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 6…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 13:19

Motorcycle ride comes to Maggie Valley

“Thunder On the Parkway,” a new motorcycle ride from Gainesville, Ga., to Maggie Valley, will take place from June 8-10. The ride will follow part of the Blue Ridge Parkway and end up at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds. There…
Haywood County Arts Council’s will host an artist reception for its new exhibit, “Celebrating Appalachia,” from 6-9 p.m., June 1, at Gallery 86 in conjunction with Waynesville’s Art After Dark. The new exhibit will be display from 10 a.m. to…
The Cherokee Voices Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 9 at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. All are welcome to come attend,and meet with Cherokee people and learn about their history and culture.…
Catch the Spirit of Appalachia awarded the Elmer and Irene Hooper Civic Leadership Scholarship to Autumn Skye Baird. The scholarship was established in memory of Elmer Hooper by his wife Irene Hooper and Catch the Spirit of Appalachia. The fund…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 13:13

Take time to traverse the quilt trail

The Haywood County Quilt Trails project is bringing tourists to Haywood County with the colorful display of traditional quilting patterns. The Quilt Trail joined several other trails in Western North Carolina in November 2010. That made WNC the largest concentrated…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 13:12

Midtown Men to perform in Franklin June 2

The Midtown Men will take the stage at The Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m., June 2. The Midtown Men are made up of Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, David Reichard and J. Robert Spencer — four…
The Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts will welcome two comedy acts to its stage at 7:30 p.m., May 31. Jimmy Travis and comedy duo Bean and Bailey will offer good, clean, wholesome fun for audiences of all ages.…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 13:10

Free concert by Smoky Mountain Brass Band

Smoky Mountain Brass Band will perform a free concert at 2 p.m., June 2, on the lawn of the historic Haywood County Courthouse in Waynesville.   The group is a 30-member brass band conducted by John Entzi, a trumpet professor…
By Paul Clark • Contributing Writer A village that attracts residents because of its spectacular beauty has attracted a film festival that celebrates mountain splendor and exploration. Mountainfilm in Telluride, one of the country’s oldest film festivals, is bringing its…
To the Editor: At the most recent Jackson County commissioner meeting at the Balsam-Willets-Ochre Hill Volunteer Fire Department, Commissioner Mark Jones once again showed his true colors. His siding with an anti-capitalist, anti-commerce group like the Occupy Movement is consistent…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 13:02

Left changes it’s tune when it loses

To the Editor: According to recent letters to the editor, Christians, or anyone else, should not be allowed to vote on amendments the “tolerant left” does not support. This form of discrimination and attacks on Christianity continues to grow in…
Some time back I wrote that at a future date I’d print seed-starting dates for the remainder of the growing year. I’ve had a couple people ask about that, so I thought now would be as good a time as…
To the Editor: Sometimes misunderstandings can get completely out of hand. Such was the case at the last meeting of the Jackson County Commissioners at which a group of citizens, including myself, again attempted to offer and gain the passage…
To the Editor: I commend Becky Johnson and The Smoky Mountain News for providing the facts to its readers regarding the non-payment of the Settlement of 2010. It is a bad situation. By all appearances the National Park Service is…
I’ll admit that I have never been much of a cat person. It’s because I am a little selfish, I guess. When I come home at the end of the day, I like to have a pet who is happy…
You’d be hard pressed to name a state-run entity more closely aligned with the region it serves than the Mountain Research Station in Waynesville. The work going on there is important for the agriculture economy and critical for the emerging…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 12:52

Still no settlement money for Swain

Swain County’s uphill battle to get the federal government to make good on its promise of a $52 million cash settlement may have just gotten tougher. The federal government is supposed to pay Swain County $4 million a year over…
A seminar intended to help small businesses in Canton develop the town’s potential will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Monday, June 4, at the Colonial Theater Annex in Canton. “Developing Canton Businesses:  Where Are We Now?” will…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 12:51

Organizing for America chapter to launch

Haywood Organizing for America, the local campaign to re-elect President Barack Obama and other Democrats, will hold its first monthly county team meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 31, in Waynesville. People will have the chance to meet other volunteers…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 12:50

Input needed about regional bike plan

Community meetings seking input on a regional bike plan will be held in Haywood, Jackson and Swain counties. • Haywood County from 5-7 p.m., May 31, at Waynesville Recreation Center. • Swain County from 5-7 p.m., June 12, at Southwestern…
A motorcycle rally initially planned to take over the streets of downtown Franklin in August has been given the boot, albeit a gentle one, and now will instead have to set up camp in a large field on the outskirts…
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 12:48

Welfare fraud on the rise with recession

Swain County’s Department of Social Services has started cracking down on welfare fraud after seeing a rise in violations. “We have found that welfare fraud is on the rise,” reported Melissa Adams, a fraud caseworker, who spoke to the Swain…
Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville will host a chess tournament starting at 10 a.m., June 21. The Smoky Mountain Chess Club will conduct the tournament, which will start with practice games, registration and lunch from 10 a.m. to noon. Those…