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Wednesday, 08 April 2015 20:20

Jail death sparks state investigations

It was about 5:15 p.m. on March 13 and Mark Leamon, a jailer at the Jackson County Jail, was in the midst of his routine visual check of the male inmates incarcerated there. It’s an oft-repeated exercise, a quick check…
The smokestacks at Evergreen Packaging paper mill in Canton will be significantly cleaner within four years thanks to $50 million in pollution upgrades.
Tuesday, 07 April 2015 14:19

Lincoln assassination drama at HART

As part of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the production of “The Actor and The Assassin” will hit the stage at 7:30 p.m. April 10-11, 14, 17-18 and 3 p.m. April 12 and 19 at the Haywood Arts…
More than 60 Jackson County school students received awards for work exhibited at Western Carolina University during Youth Art Month.
Tuesday, 07 April 2015 14:08

‘Peter Pan’ flies into WCU

The School of Stage and Screen will close its 2014-15 Mainstage season with a high-flying production of the J.M Barrie classic “Peter Pan: The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up,” at 7:30 p.m. April 16-18 and 3 p.m. April 19…
Tuesday, 07 April 2015 14:07

New art studio opens in Franklin

Colorful Creations, a “Paint Your Own Pottery” studio owned by Jimbo and Stacy Ledford, recently opened in Franklin.
The Smoky Mountain Oyster & Seafood Festival will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 18, at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds.
Country/southern rocker Joe Lasher Jr. will perform at 7 p.m. April 18 at the Colonial Theatre in Canton. Tickets are $7, with proceeds going to The Community Kitchen, a local MANNA FoodBank partner.
Tuesday, 07 April 2015 14:01

This must be the place

It’s my favorite place to sit. In a diner, tucked away in a booth, with a notebook, pen and endless cups of coffee. It’s where I feel most comfortable, and at peace, when immersing myself in society. While the organized…
A writer looking at a blank page is a like a painter staring at a fresh canvas, a sculptor facing a block of clay or a woodworker holding a chunk of wood. The desire to grab words from thin air…
Wednesday, 01 April 2015 15:49

Put the forest first!

I was commiserating with a friend who works for the Forest Service just after it was announced that they were taking a step back from the plan revision process to schedule another round of public meetings.  The FS rolled out…
Wednesday, 01 April 2015 15:44

Clingmans Dome Road opens for the year

Clingmans Dome Road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park opened last week, six days ahead of its scheduled April 1 opening.
Wednesday, 01 April 2015 15:43

Bike rodeo comes to Jackson County

The Jackson County Bike Rodeo is calling all kids to come out 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 11, to the Jackson Recreation Park in Cullowhee to learn more about life on two wheels.
The fifth annual Assault on BlackRock trail race is now in the rearview mirror, with 82 brave souls battling freezing temperatures frosted with snow and ice to complete the grueling 7-mile race.
A forum on how to transition to solar energy will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 7, at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin, the second in a string of events to be held throughout the region this…
A pair of hikers camped near the Lower Falls in Graveyard Fields got a rude awakening March 16 when a bear entered the tent where the backpackers — and at least one of their packs — were spending the night. …
Wednesday, 01 April 2015 15:19

An outlandish life makes for hilarious novel

Irish novelist Kennedy Marr is making millions of dollars through the sale of his books and as a Hollywood scriptwriter. Directors vie for his scripts, actresses and actors want to perform in his movies, and a university in England offers…
At its annual Scholarship Fundraising Dinner on March 20, the board of Catch the Spirit of Appalachia in Jackson County awarded three scholarships to three deserving applicants. In the presence of over 100 attendees in the fellowship hall of Cullowhee…
Wednesday, 01 April 2015 14:59

Photography, folk art exhibit at Gallery 86

A creative photography and folk art exhibit, “Memories — Past, Present and Future” will be showcased April 6-28 in Gallery 86 at the Haywood County Arts Council in Waynesville.
One year after hosting a highly successful event at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., the Cherokee Nation, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians are again partnering to host “Cherokee…
Wednesday, 01 April 2015 14:54

Gypsy jazz, swing at Classic Wineseller

The 9th Street Stompers will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, April 17, at The Classic Wineseller in Waynesville.
Wednesday, 01 April 2015 14:51

Loretta Lynn to hit Harrah’s stage

Country music legend Loretta Lynn will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 11, at Harrah’s Cherokee.
Wednesday, 01 April 2015 14:49

This must be the place

My friend died yesterday. Way up in New York State, 1,000 miles or so away from me, my friend passed away. And he left us all for no reason. He didn’t save a kitten from a burning building. He didn’t…
Wednesday, 01 April 2015 14:46

One day at a time

Don’t hire C.J. Deering. “I don’t know why people hire me,” she laughed. “Maybe I’m just lucky, maybe they see something in me that I don’t.” Sitting in her dressing room, backstage at the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre in downtown…
Wednesday, 01 April 2015 14:36

I quit teaching because I love children

To the Editor: Recently, I had to make a tough but necessary decision. As I entered my 23rd year of teaching in North Carolina in traditional public schools as well as a charter school and in all regions of our…
“She can wiggle her toes.” This text message — a simple statement of fact pertaining to my mother — would have seemed absurd just a week ago. It would have meant next to nothing, the punchline to some silly joke…
Wednesday, 01 April 2015 14:31

A son grows up, a father faces the future

My cousin has always been an inspiration. Wilton Collins Jones Jr. — he’s always been called “Corky” — is one year younger than me (54) and has been a lifelong professional musician. We were raised in Fayetteville, our mothers were…
A plan to turn Waynesville’s old town hall into a visitor center and the headquarters for a suite of tourism, commerce and business development agencies appears to be dead.
Wednesday, 01 April 2015 14:17

Swain retirement dispute referred to state

When the Swain County Board of Elections didn’t get the response it wanted from the county commissioners, it decided to ask the state for an answer to a retirement benefits dispute that has been going on for about 10 years.
Wednesday, 01 April 2015 14:17

Food trucks to roll into Canton

Tina Tuten was in tears when she left the Canton Board of Alderman meeting last week, but luckily for her they were tears of joy.
Third-grade teacher Carolyn Cope deals with many stresses day in and day out —making sure her students are happy and healthy, teaching them a new curriculum and making sure she’s prepared them well enough to pass their extensive reading tests.
Harris Regional Hospital and Swain County Hospital have finally settled on new names following the purchase of the hospitals by Duke LifePoint Healthcare last year, but the change announced this week is a minor one.
Waynesville has emerged victorious in a nail-baiting quest for cheaper wholesale power to resell to its own electric customers.
Cherokee will have a new chief when Election Day concludes this September. Principal Chief Michell Hicks, who is serving his third four-year term, will not seek re-election, but five candidates have filed in hopes of taking his place.
Jackson County Commissioners have voiced their opposition to fracking in the mountains loud and clear, and now they’ve signed an agreement making Jackson the first county in North Carolina to lean on the Natural Resources Defense Counsel for help writing…
Wednesday, 01 April 2015 14:02

Fracking rules go into effect

The way is now open for oil and gas companies to start drilling in North Carolina, but no wells are going to pop up any time soon. Besides the time lag automatically built into the permitting process, low natural gas…
A Haywood County political operative and local government critic was cleared of alleged cyberstalking charges in court last week. Monroe Miller, 67, was accused of cyberstalking by Savannah Tedesco, 24, who claimed Miller would not stop sending her intimidating and…
Sharing food can be a simple thing. Like passing a bag of trail mix to the hiking buddy who forgot to pack lunch, or ladling an extra bowl of chili for the neighbor who stopped by at dinnertime.
June Johnson’s foray into the world of gardening began in the dead of winter. A sunny January day last year inspired her to venture outside, and her walk brought her to the path behind Maggie Valley United Methodist Church and…
Waynesville leaders are wrestling over how far to go with a smoking ban in public spaces. The proposed ban would apply to sidewalks and streets in business districts throughout town, from Main Street to Russ Avenue.
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 16:13

Bear encounter causes camping restrictions

Graveyard Fields is closed to overnight camping following a bear break-in to a tent in the popular recreation area, and the U.S. Forest Service is also requiring campers to use bear canisters in adjacent public lands.
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 16:06

Winter ends for Cataloochee

Cataloochee Ski Area closed for the season Sunday, ending 141 days of open slopes for 2014-15. The season outstripped the ski area’s average 126 days per season, but closure came slightly earlier than last season’s March 27 ending. However, the…
A recently awarded $200,000 grant will pay for two years of work to improve water quality and raise public awareness of clean water for Richland Creek in Haywood County.  The N.C. Division of Water Resources Grant will pay for the…
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 16:04

Brookies get a boost in the Smokies

Following a seven-year brook trout restoration project, Lynn Camp Prong in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is now open to fishing.
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 16:02

Blue Ridge Breakaway registration open

Early registration is open for the Blue Ridge Breakaway, a multi-distance bike ride based in Haywood County.
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 16:02

Grants awarded to fight hemlock adelgid

The battle against the hemlock wooly adelgid in North Carolina will continue with help from a bevy of grants from the Hemlock Restoration Initiative, a grant pool set up to fund promising research in the fight against the invasive aphid-like…
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 16:01

Sales strong for Smokies plates

Friends of the Smokies got its largest-ever fourth-quarter check from sales of the Smokies bear license plate, accruing $105,080 for projects on the North Carolina side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 
Wednesday, 25 March 2015 15:59

WNC teens strut environmental know-how

Teams of middle and high school students from across Western North Carolina went head-to-head over their knowledge of environmental science and natural resource management March 13, with students from Haywood, Swain and Macon counties all representing at the Area 1…
If the stack of boxes piling up on the counter of the outfitter store at Nantahala Outdoor Center is any indication, thru-hiker season is coming fast. The parcels of food, reminders of home and creature comforts are welcome diversions from…
Like some other readers I know, my taste in books these last 20 years or so has shifted from fiction to non-fiction, especially history, biography, and literary studies. I still follow certain novelists — Anne Tyler, Pat Conroy, James Lee…