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Wednesday, 14 December 2011 20:58

WCU prepares for graduation ceremonies

Western Carolina University will honor its fall graduating class and recognize a group of graduates who received their degrees after this year’s summer school sessions, as the university holds fall commencement at 2 p.m., Dec. 17. The ceremony at the…
Bryson City Fire Department failed its state mandated insurance inspection last week for failing to respond to false alarms. The department would often be en route to a call when firefighters heard from 9-1-1 dispatchers that it was actually a…
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 20:50

Waynesville artist to teach painting class

Waynesville artist and teacher Nick DePaolo will help people create an oil painting with his follow-along technique. The two-hour class is open to any skill level and will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. on Dec. 16 and Dec.…
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 20:49

Skaggs Family to release album, perform Dec. 17

The Skaggs Family will perform songs from its new, 10-song holiday album, A Skaggs Family Christmas Volume Two, at the Smoky Mountain Performing Arts Center in Franklin at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 17. The CD, which is now available nationwide,…
The Overlook Theatre Company will present Disney’s “Aladdin” at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin on Dec. 13 and Dec. 15. The story of Aladdin is based on the folktale of “Aladdin and the Magic Lamp”…
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 20:48

Community caroling and holiday crafts in Macon

The Macon County Public Library is hosting an old-time carol-along at 5 p.m. on Dec. 20. The song list will feature “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer,” “Silent Night,” “White Christmas” and many familiar holiday carols and hymns. Attendees…
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 20:47

Brewery to put on Nanta Claus Christmas benefit

The Nantahala Brewing Company in Bryson City is hosting its first Nanta Claus party and benefit Dec. 17. The event will begin at 6 p.m. and will feature several Christmas brews. All attendees are asked to bring an unwrapped, unused…
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 20:47

Replay of parades to run on Haywood TV station

WNC Television will air the Christmas Parade Special, a compilation of this year’s Waynesville and Canton parades, beginning Dec. 19. The program will air on Charter channel 16 in Haywood County 12 times between Dec. 19 and Christmas morning. People…
The Brasstown Ringers will perform their 2011 concert program “Christmas Bells” at 6 p.m., Dec. 16, at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Franklin. “Christmas Bells” has a mixture of well-known Christmas favorites, pieces with roots in the 1700s, and a few…
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 20:46

Holiday community music jam planned for Dec. 15

The Marianna Black Library in Bryson City will hold its next community music jam 6 to 7:30 p.m., Dec. 15, in the library auditorium. Participants will play holiday favorites during the jam. Anyone with an instrument, such as a guitar,…
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 20:45

Free family flicks in Macon throughout December

The Marianna Black Library in Bryson City is showing family-oriented Christmas movies each Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. in December. The movies are free to the public and projected onto an 8-by-10-foot screen with a theater sound system. Popcorn will also be…
The Marianna Black Library in Bryson City will have a teen Friends of the Library meeting at 3:30 p.m. on Dec 15. Local teens will share their ideas about materials of interest, including what sort of programming they’d like to see at…
Wednesday, 14 December 2011 20:44

National Park hosts holiday homecoming

Great Smoky Mountains National Park will host a Holiday Homecoming at the new Oconaluftee Visitor Center Dec. 17. Park staff and volunteers will provide hands-on traditional crafts and demonstrations from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Children and adults can to…
Rockwood United Methodist Church in Canton will host two holiday programs Dec. 18. The Chancel Choir will present “One Small Child,” a Christmas musical at 10:45 a.m. The re-telling of the Christmas story will include several familiar songs, such as…
The Catamount statue at the main entrance of Western Carolina University is now sporting a red and green holiday sweater trimmed with colored lights made by the WNC Fiber Folk Group. The group is comprised of people who share an…
With a Billie Holiday-style microphone, an Apple computer camera and her two bandmates on either side, Maggie Tobias transforms from a lively newspaper reporter into a sultry jazz singer. “You can put on a mask a little bit; it’s very…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:45

Going back to explain ‘back of beyond’

Most of us at one time or another hanker for a place where we can get away from it all for awhile … recharge our batteries as it were. But some yearn for a place where they can hide away…
Assault on Black Rock trail race is a go next year in Jackson County, so mark your calendar for Saturday, March 17, and start practicing steep ascents. As occurred this year, proceeds from the race will go to support the…
The scenic Cullowhee Valley will serve as the backdrop again when runners from throughout the region gather at Western Carolina University for the second annual Valley of the Lilies Half Marathon and 5-K on Sunday, March 25. The half marathon…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:43

Friends of the Smokies board member named

Award-winning businessperson Meridith Elliot Powell has been selected to join the Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Board of Directors. Powell is an internationally certified coach, speaker and author. She is founder and President of Motion First, a…
Learn all about bears and bear behavior at a monthly “Green Drinks” social at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 14 at Rathskellar Coffee House in Frankin. Green Drinks is a meeting of area conservationists. This gathering will highlight a Bear…
Twenty-two high school science teachers from across North Carolina recently visited the Highlands Biological Station for a weekend retreat focusing on the impact of climate change on the Southern Appalachian mountain ecosystem.   The Highlands Biological Station, an inter-institutional center…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:41

Oh, dear – disease hits N.C. deer

Deer hunters may encounter sick or diseased deer afflicted with hemorrhagic disease this hunting season, according to the N.C. Wildlife Commission. Two closely related viruses — epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus and bluetongue virus — cause hemorrhagic disease. Both are spread…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:40

Unique book collection displayed in Sylva

A collection of handmade books created by Kathrine Cays, artist-in-residence at The Rickman Store in the Cowee community of Macon County, will be on display this month at The Wilderness Society’s office in Sylva. Since the early 1990’s Cays’ work…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:39

Wildflower award winners announced

Regional efforts to make highways more beautiful added up to statewide recognition recently when the N.C. Department of Transportation announced the winners of the 22nd Annual Wildflower Awards. The awards recognize the efforts of NCDOT staff to carry out North…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:36

The good fight

As too often happens, in this whirlwind life, I lost my roundtoit. I received an email from the Western North Carolina Alliance at the end of November announcing public information meetings that would be held across the region regarding the…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:32

Gear guide 2011

The Smoky Mountain News has teamed up with outfitters for yet another installment of our annual Outdoor Gear Gift Guide. Outdoor fans are no doubt the easiest people on your Christmas list to shop for. Gear makers are constantly pushing…
Mary J. Messer, author of the Appalachian memoir Moonshiner’s Daughter, will read from her book and answers questions from the audience from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec 10 at the Penland & Sons Department Store in Marshall. Messer’s…
Friends of the Haywood Public Library will present Barbara Bates Smith will appear in the one-woman play Christmas play “Deck the Halls with Southern Writers” at 3 p.m. on Dec. 11 in the Waynesville Library auditorium. This new play was…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:30

WCU students to share works

Creative writing students from Western Carolina University will read original works at 6 p.m. on Dec. 13 at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva. During the two-hour event, 17 students from an advanced fiction writing class at WCU will read selections…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:28

When it comes to books, here is what women want

“What do women want?” During the month of December, Sigmund Freud’s famous question haunts the minds of many men. Unlike the perturbed analyst, however, men face a more practical and restricted version of this question, specifically: “What do women —…
I normally veer from airing my opinion as a columnist in the editorial pages on issues that I cover as a news writer in the news pages for The Smoky Mountain News. In my world, and in the worlds of…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:14

People too gullible about Occupy movement

To the Editor: After reading Carol Larivee’s letter noting the differences between the Tea Party and the Occupy movement, it amazes me that in this day and age of vast online resources a person can continue to be so gullible…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:14

Tea Party faithful are decent Americans

To the Editor: In the Nov. 23-29 issue of The Smoky Mountain News, Carole Larivee wrote a letter comparing the TEA Party to the Occupiers. As I read her letter at first I thought it was a joke. However, I…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:06

Remember that it’s Democrats raising taxes

To the Editor: So the Democrat North Carolina state senators have waived off the chance to cap the automatic 4 percent gas tax increase set for January, claiming they’ll lose jobs and money needed for roads. Liars. This is not…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 14:02

Backhanded compliments all a part of turning 50

When I turned 50 last week, I did not feel any older and certainly no wiser, but I did realize one thing I hadn’t really noticed before. I have now reached that age when people begin qualifying certain kinds of…
An expected rubberstamp by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners to build a new auditorium and gym at Smoky Mountain High School took a brief — but wild while the ride lasted — turn this week. Commissioners have already expressed…
Jackson County’s subdivision ordinance is destined for more tweaking by the planning board. The planning board spent several months revising the county’s four-year-old subdivision ordinance before sending the recommended changes along to county commissioners for approval this week. Commissioners promptly…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 13:55

Radio station wants loan from Jackson County

Prospective buyers of an AM radio station in Sylva could land a $289,000 loan from the Jackson County economic development fund in exchange for creating 11 jobs. Jackson County commissioners already approved $179,000 of the loan and are poised to…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 13:55

Haywood Chamber holds holiday networking event

The Haywood County Chamber of Commerce will host a Holiday Open House from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 14 at the chamber office in Waynesville. New, current and potential new members are encouraged to attend to network with other…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 13:54

New Republican group formed

A new Republican women’s group in Western North Carolina also has a new name, “Smoky Mountain Republican Women.”   The group has been meeting for two months and will be a new club affiliated with the N.C. Federation of Republican…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 13:53

Ceremony to celebrate veterans

A candlelight service to honor soldiers and veterans who have served in the Iraq war from Swain County will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 31 on the square in front of the historic courthouse. The service coincides with…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 13:51

Shuler to face challenger in Democratic primary

Despite his limited name recognition and his significantly smaller war chest, Cecil Bothwell is confident he can outrun U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler during next May’s primary race for the 11th Congressional District’s Democratic nomination. “I would not be doing it…
A heavy-lifting helicopter flexed its muscle in Cherokee Wednesday in the ongoing expansion and construction at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel. The Sikorsky helicopter — one of the largest helicopters commercially available — performed 17 lifts to the roof. The…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 13:50

Discover how to give back at Dec. 8 meeting

Learn about programs and services in Macon County to help the less fortunate at the monthly League of Women Voters in Franklin at noon on Dec. 8. Gwen Taylor, public information officer for Macon County Department of Social Services, will…
An orientation session for high school students interested in taking classes at Haywood Community College will be held at 1 p.m. and again at 4 p.m. on Dec. 19 at the HCC auditorium. Dual-enrollment opportunities through the Career and College…
Macon County GOP leaders on Monday selected a Highlands landscaping company owner as their pick to fill a vacant slot on the county’s board of commissioners. James “Jimmy” Tate will replace Commissioner Brian McClellan who resigned after receiving his second…
Niche marketing and regional cooperation were the reoccurring topics of this year’s Smoky Mountain Host meeting held in Cherokee last week, an annual forum that brings together the major tourism players of the Smoky Mountain region. “Our greatest customers are…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 13:46

Rec Center offers new after-school program

An after-school program for sixth graders will be offered from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursday starting in January at the Waynesville Recreation Center. The first hour will be devoted to homework with assistance for students who need help.…
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 13:44

Library opens collection for homeschoolers

The Haywood County Public Library has opened to the public a unique library collection to help meet the recreational and educational needs of children that are homeschooled. This special collection contains a variety of formats including fiction, biographies, history, language…