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  To the editor: I am writing in response to recent discussions of “Barking Dogs” in Jackson County and to the possibility of amendments to the current noise ordinances of Jackson County. I am the dog owner whom Norton resident…
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 00:00

Sometimes a walk is better than a run

 For many years I was a dedicated runner. These days I’m much more likely to choose to walk, both for exercise and pleasure. I enjoyed running, particularly trail running. There was a sense of freedom and power about running through…
By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist My wife and I moved here from Florida because we wanted to live in a state that valued its people, its environment, and its future as much as North Carolina did. We knew this…
 My daughter has arrived at an impossible age — impossible for her, impossible for me, impossible for her mother, impossible for her brother. If this age were a dinner, we’d send it back to the kitchen. If it were a…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:39

Rivers in WNC bear native names

Long before the first Europeans arrived, the Cherokees developed ceremonials that focused on the spiritual power of running water. When ethnologist James Mooney arrived on the Qualla Boundary in the summer of 1887, those beliefs, which he described as the…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:37

Birds of prey debut in Cashiers

A presentation titled “Winged Hunters – Birds of Prey” will begin at 7 p.m. June 26 at the Village Green in Cashiers. Michael Skinner of Balsam Mountain Trust will bring live raptors and teach participants about their habits. Participants can…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:37

Bird walk being offered into Chinquapin

The Highlands Plateau Audubon Society will host its weekly bird walk on June 23 at Chinquapin in Cashiers. The group will meet at the Highlands Town Hall near the public restrooms at 7:30 a.m. and carpool to Cashiers. Cashiers residents…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:36

Videos spotlight N.C. destinations in GSMNP

A new series of short internet videos feature North Carolina sections of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The videos were produced by the Great Smoky Mountains Association and were paid for with a Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:35

Wolf program comes to libraries in Jackson

Rob Gudger brings his Wolf Tales educational program to two local libraries in the coming days. Known as “Trapper Rob,” the Haywood County-based wildlife biologist will conduct events at the Jackson County Public Library in Sylva on Tuesday, June 26,…
Biodiviersity Days in the Smokies June 20-23 will commemorate the diversity of plant and animal life in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Biodiversity Days will include programmed seminars, demonstrations, scientist-led field trips and more. It is estimated that as…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:32

Fern workshop part of activity series

Local writer and naturalist George Ellison will conduct a “Fern Identification 101” workshop from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. July 5 at the Highlands Biological Station. Of the 70 species of ferns in western North Carolina, participants in the workshop…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:31

MedWest Rehab offers free running seminar

MedWest Rehabilitation Services is offering a free running seminar from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on June 25 at the MedWest Outpatient Care Center at 581 Leroy George Dr. on the MedWest-Haywood campus in Clyde. The seminar will be led by…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:31

In search of the rare and beautiful

The Land Trust for the Little Tennessee (LTLT) will host a hike on June 22 led by Jack Johnston to see the rare Mountain Camellia (Stewartia ovata) in bloom.  Join members of LTLT on the annual quest to find the…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:29

Hit the trail with kids in the Smokies

Two hiking programs aimed at getting families and kids outdoors and on the trail have been launched in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:27

Folkmoot 4.01K Race set for July 14

The Folkmoot 4.01K race through downtown Waynesville will be held at 8 a.m. on July 14. This year, organizers decided to tweak the traditional 5K Folkmoot race by shifting the course from Hazelwood to downtown Waynesville and offering participants a…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 15:25

Check your vital signs

The Mountain Resources Commission, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center at the University of North Carolina at Asheville have created a Western North Carolina Vitality Index. The purpose…
By Danny Bernstein • Contributor            Many hikers are amazed by the balds that dot the Southern Appalachian landscape along the Appalachian Trail. Walking out of a tunnel of rhododendrons onto an open meadow where the views go on forever can…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:53

A page turner with a WNC connection

In Frank B. Robinson’s Thirty Days Hath September (ISBN 978-1-4701-6725-7), a man with a murky past, Alex Madrid, finds temporary employment as a security guard at tiny Black Creek College in the mountains of Western North Carolina. The year is…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:52

Ann Hite to speak in Sylva

Novelist Ann Hite, author of the acclaimed debut novel Ghost on Black Mountain will speak at 7 p.m. June 28 at the Jackson County Public Library in downtown Sylva. Ghost on Black Mountain is told in the voices of five…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:51

Coffee with the Poet

John Quinnett will be featured at City Lights Bookstore’s Coffee with the Poet series at 10:30 a.m. June 21. John Quinnett is a Swain County poet who works with haiku and tanka poems. Attendees are encouraged to bring one or…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:49

Hearing all the buzz about sourwood

This is a special time of the year for beekeepers in Western North Carolina. It is the time they prepare for the sourwood honey flow. Beekeepers in this area collect two types of honey from their charges: a spring wildflower…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:48

Women make decisions for themselves

To the Editor: This is intended for all men: political office-holders, the religious of all faiths, and just plain “guys.” I speak for women. You know – us! The other half of the population. We may differ in age, ethnicity, income level, religion…
To the Editor: Election reform is needed in North Carolina. Nearly eight out of 10 North Carolina voters support Voter Photo ID legislation. Support for restoring confidence in government extends across racial demographics (whites, 81 percent; black, 64 percent; Hispanic,…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:46

Romney’s plan will benefit wealthy

To the Editor: Mitt Romney is saying his experience in the private sector means he can do a better job of “fixing” the economy and “creating” jobs. He also tells us to ignore the rhetoric and “look at the record.”…
State senators from the mountain region — and we’re especially talking about those representing the southwest, Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, and Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Spruce Pine — need to pull out all stops to save the colorful license plates that…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:10

Highlands roadwork troubles some merchants

Repaving of the steep, windy, two-lane road from Franklin to Highlands has many merchants worried about whether this heavily tourism-dependant town will find itself choked off financially.
Leah Hughes, associate editor at “Our State” magazine, will be the guest speaker at 9:30 a.m. on July 9 in the Bethea Welcome Center at Lake Junaluska. This will be a meeting of the Junaluska Women’s Club, and in keeping…
A Summer Worship Series is under way at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. Three worship services are being held as part of the series: a service of Word and Table at 8:30 a.m. in Memorial Chapel, a Praise…
The Fund for Haywood County has awarded $50,000 in grants to area nonprofit organizations that provide critical services for economically disadvantaged people. The grants include: • $25,000 to Aspire, Youth and Family for a structured afterschool program, serving 80 youth…
Haywood Community College has unveiled a new electric vehicle charging station, the only one west of Asheville. The station was made possible from a grant provided by Advanced Energy Corporation and was manufactured by Eaton located in Arden. The station…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:05

Grant to help prevent elder abuse

The 30th Judicial District Domestic Violence-Sexual Assault Alliance, Inc. has recently been awarded a $25,000 Janirve Legacy Fund Grant from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina to further its work on elder abuse and victims with disabilities in the…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:04

Meet the Telestroke Robot

Angel Medical Center in Franklin introduced the Telestroke Robot as their newest team member. The robot literally rolled in to action to demonstrate its capabilities to a crowded room. With the robot it is possible for stroke victims to be…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:03

New dog park opens in Franklin

Franklin has a new dog park on the town’s greenway adjacent to Big Bear Park. The park is fenced and has two benches for dog owners to rest on while their pooches play. Friends of the Greenway, which oversaw the…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 14:02

New health initiative under way in WNC

Hospitals and health departments across Western North Carolina have partnered to develop WNC Healthy Impact, a regional initiative designed to improve community health across a 16-county area. The partnership is currently gathering information to understand each county’s community health status.…
Supporters of Smart Start traveled recently to Raleigh to encourage the N.C. General Assembly to restore its funding. The group included parents, business leaders, faith community leaders and board members. They met with Western North Carolina’s legislative delegation. Last year,…
A public records request for Jackson County Sheriff Jimmy Ashe’s emails doesn’t tell much of a story — that’s because most of them are missing. In violation of state law, Ashe deleted all but a few messages from his email…
Business, civic and government leaders from all over Haywood County gathered last week to officially kick off Hunger Free Haywood, a countywide effort to address hunger. All the collections will stay in Haywood County and be distributed by county food…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 13:54

Cullowhee bridge could demolish business

Chris Pressley, a third-generation owner of the 65-year-old Cullowhee Automotive Service, has been on edge since learning about plans for a new bridge in the Cullowhee community.
On the heels of a vote that now allows alcoholic beverages to be sold countywide, Jackson County is considering opening two new ABC stores: one in Cashiers and the other along the highway leading to Cherokee in the Qualla community.…
As a third generation steeplejack, Tony Stratton is used to a view from the top. As one of a handful of people in the nation still specializing in repairing church steeples the old-fashioned way, Stratton travels the country rappelling from…
Western Carolina University’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved a new strategic plan — the 2020 Vision — at its meeting two weeks ago. The plan is designed to give the university a clear set of goals for the next decade.…
An effort to save those colorful specialty license plates has stalled in the N.C. Senate, which seems reluctant to take a bill up that would spare the popular plates. Supporters of the specialty plates have rallied to save them from…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 13:45

Barking dogs on short leash in Jackson

Faced by a rising tide of complaints about barking dogs, Jackson County commissioners indicated this week that they would consider passing an ordinance that would muzzle the offenders. “I’ve had negative experiences with barking dogs,” said Commissioner Doug Cody. “I…
Swain County is permanently etching its history in stone. In the next couple of months, the first of about 60 black marble panels will be installed along the wall outside the county government building and courthouse in downtown Bryson City.…
Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce will be forced to close its visitor center after its major source of funding has suddenly dried up. For at least two decades, the Maggie Chamber has relied on a cut of tourism tax dollars…
The Internet and smartphones are turning brick-and-mortar visitor centers into an antiquated resource for travelers and are part of the reason why the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority plans close two of its four visitor centers in the next year.
After inching its way back from recession-driven declines during the past year, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel is back in the catbird seat. You could even call it a Royal Flush. The advent of live dealers and table games coincides…
Business owners in Cherokee are making their own preparations for the influx of new visitors as a result of live gaming, hoping to draw them away from the casino and into their stores, restaurants or other businesses.
After nearly a decade of negotiations and broken promises, the state finally approved an agreement that allows table games with live dealers at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino. The Eastern Band has worked since the early 2000s to get the state’s John…
Wednesday, 20 June 2012 13:04

Street dances return to Waynesville

The popular Mountain Street Dances held in downtown Waynesville on select Fridays throughout the summer kick at 6:30 p.m. on June 22. Whitewater Bluegrass will be performing along with the Dixie Darlin’s Dance team. Special guests will be the Trantham…