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Wednesday, 02 January 2008 00:00

Competing road studies likely for N.C. 107

The next year could play out as a battle of the traffic studies between the Department of Transportation and opponents to a new four-lane divided highway through Jackson County.
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer After investigating the actions of the Macon County School Board for the past two months, officials at the North Carolina State Board of Elections have determined that the school district violated two campaign finance…
Wednesday, 09 January 2008 00:00

In living colour

Cedar waxwings and American holly are with us year round. The waxwings wander around a lot in extended family groups, but they can be spotted in any season here in the Smokies region. Holly trees don’t wander around, of course,…
Wednesday, 09 January 2008 00:00

An account of Haywood County

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer The crowning achievement of Haywood County’s bicentennial celebration is a 600-page, hardcover book that will be the first definitive account of the county’s 200-year history.
One is a new law that just took effect Jan. 1, and the other is a hoped-for statute that we believe is absolutely necessary for the continued prosperity of Western North Carolina. Both are good for the region.
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer The Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail hope its first-ever executive director will be able to complete the missing lengths in the footpath that runs the breadth of the Tar Heel state.
Jackson County commissioners are contemplating drastic measures in their fight against Duke Energy to stop the Dillsboro dam from being torn down.
Wednesday, 09 January 2008 00:00

Parkway rangers work to save hemlocks

With a massive die-off of hemlock trees all but imminent in the mountains, Ranger Chris Ulrey is putting faith in a handful of high-elevation hemlocks along the Blue Ridge Parkway to be the species’ saving grace.
Wednesday, 09 January 2008 00:00

Recommended diversions

Skinny Dip, Carl Hiaasen This 512-page novel is a fast read that unfolds like a movie, painting a vivid picture of crime and adventure in South Florida. The story itself isn’t deep — Chaz Perrone offs his wife in an…
Wednesday, 09 January 2008 00:00

Southern Comfort Food

By Michael Beadle Long before the days of microwaves and fast food meals, there was the slow-cooked stew, a Southern standard prepared in vast pots over an open fire. These stews included tender meats, fresh vegetables, secret seasonings and a…
Wednesday, 09 January 2008 00:00

‘Rainbows’ plays as Radiohead should

There was an interesting coincidence on July 11, 2006. Thom Yorke released Eraser to mixed reviews, and the same day a band that still desperately wants to be Radiohead (that would be Muse) dropped their newest, Black Holes And Revelations.
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer The widening of Howell Mill Road in Waynesville will take years to complete, cost millions of dollars and displace residents who live along the thoroughfare. The two-lane road starts at Russ Avenue next to…
Wednesday, 09 January 2008 00:00

Day hikes along the Mountains-to-Sea Trail

Balsam Gap Segment This portion of the trail runs for approximately 35 miles from Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) Balsam Gap Ranger Station (milepost 442.9) to the intersection of the BRP with NC 215 (BRP milepost 423.2). Abundant wildflowers and shrubs…
Wednesday, 09 January 2008 00:00

Sylva manager resigns, but new job is in limbo

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Sylva Town Manager Jay Denton has resigned from his job to become the executive director of Jackson County’s Economic Development Commission, but county commissioners refused to confirm his appointment to that position when they…
Wednesday, 09 January 2008 00:00

Big as a mountain

The Encyclopedia of Appalachia.  University of Tennessee Press, 2007. 1864 pages Sometimes good things come in big packages. And the Encyclopedia of Appalachia is big. More than 1,800 pages of finely-printed prose make up this boxlike book. I’m not sure…
Wednesday, 09 January 2008 00:00

Stew recipes

Upcountry Carolina Beef Hash 5 lbs lean beef, cut up for stew 1 1/2 lbs large onions diced 1 lb butter 1-2 tbsp salt pepper for taste — York County, S.C., recipe Brunswick Stew of Brunswick Co., Va. 6 hens…
Wednesday, 09 January 2008 00:00

Haywood fields to get artificial turf

School official will use lottery proceeds to install artifical turf at the Pisgah and Tuscola high school stadiums, it was announced at a county commissioners meeting on Jan. 7.
Wednesday, 09 January 2008 00:00

Jackson students need a balanced education

By Michael Sanera • Guest Columnist In what appears to be a first in Jackson County, planners from a private consulting firm have been invited to teach students at Smokey Mountain Elementary and Cherokee Indian Reservation schools. The consultant will…
Wednesday, 09 January 2008 00:00

Winter tourism up in WNC

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer As Shelli Milling of Georgia unpacked her minivan she watched her two sons play in the snow at Maggie Valley’s Jonathan Creek Inn parking lot.
The state recently gave Duke Energy the green light to tear down the Dillsboro dam, a move that Jackson County and the town of Franklin are now formally protesting.
Wednesday, 09 January 2008 00:00

A big bowl of politics and football

By David Curtis College football and presidential primary politics make strange bedfellows, but in this New Year I think they have been sharing the same sheets.
Wednesday, 16 January 2008 00:00

When the snows fell on Babbie’s house

When winter comes now, and I see those familiar pale shafts of sunlight that briefly touch the tops of the Balsams — just before total darkness settles on Rhodes Cove — I find myself remembering a trip to see my…
By Michael Beadle Brad Ulrich was 10 years old when he began playing the trumpet. He’d started with the guitar but picked up his brother’s trumpet to sneak a few notes here and there.
The Machiavelli Covenant by Allan Folsom. Forge Books,2006. 560 pages The last 20 years have seen the creation of a special niche within the genre of ÒSuspense NovelsÓ as more and more books have appeared featuring a tiny group of…
Wednesday, 16 January 2008 00:00

Next president has abig hole to dig us out of

“Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just.” — Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson believed in a strict code of ethics and morality that was Christian-like, and judged according to that belief. When I came across…
Wednesday, 16 January 2008 00:00

Turn and face the change

Are you ready for a change, I mean a REAL change? The candidates for president of the United States are clearly ready.
Wednesday, 16 January 2008 00:00

Shine on you crazy Miners

By Chris Cooper A few years ago there was this gangly guy with a mop of shaggy blonde hair sitting on a bench reading Beneath The Wheel by Herman Hesse. I recognized the book because a friend of mine had…
Wednesday, 16 January 2008 00:00

Last challenge to Duke worth a try

Jackson County is almost at the end of its rope in the fight against Duke Power, but it is important that it make this final appeal. Its citizens deserve one more attempt at getting their fair share in what has…
Wednesday, 16 January 2008 00:00

Sneaky snipe stamps scouts

Until I started birding seriously as an adult, I didnÕt know that snipe actually existed. For years that bird was categorized in my mind with other mythic critters that included hoop snakes, side-hill winders, and dragons.
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Tom Dowell searches a large topographic map of Jackson County for his home located along Airy Lane. He is one of the many residents whose homes may be in jeopardy if the North Carolina…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Patricia Frisbee Meyer’s son needed help. The mental illness he had battled since childhood stayed mostly under control, but Meyer knew the onset of a bad episode when she saw it. Meyer, along with…
Wednesday, 16 January 2008 00:00

Stay out of my space with the cell phone

By Angela Faye Martin Presently, I am stalking though my local library collecting my thoughts on what I will write about in my next column when, wham! Someone across the room is getting a call on their cell phone.
Wednesday, 16 January 2008 00:00

Watershed represents diverse ecosystems

Norm Christensen told the Waynesville Watershed Advisory Board (WAB), representatives from the town and a few interested onlookers that despite heavy logging in the past the forest ecosystems in Waynesville’s 8,600-acre watershed were, “remarkably healthy” and “remarkably intact.” Christensen, founding…
Wednesday, 16 January 2008 00:00

TDA chair says pot charge no problem

The chair of Haywood County’s Tourism Development Authority says a misdemeaor marijuana charge against the organization’s executive director will not affect her job status.
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Viewers across the state will have the opportunity to learn about Jackson County’s green energy production from their living room.
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer The Southern Appalachian brook trout population is surviving through the drought that has been plaguing Western North Carolina this past year, according to Great Smoky Mountain National Park fisheries biologists Matt Kulp.
Wednesday, 16 January 2008 00:00

Denton waits for green light on EDC job

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer After working two years as Sylva’s town manager, Jay Denton will be leaving his post Jan. 31 with the hopes of becoming the new executive director for Jackson County’s Economic Development Commission.
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer When Denise Tyson realized she would have to trek to another county to take part in celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, she did just what the famous civil rights leader would have done…
Wednesday, 16 January 2008 00:00

Recommended diversions

Since in this age of home video, I seldom get to see many of the best movies of any given year until the following year — when they are finally released on DVD — please consider the following list of…
Wednesday, 23 January 2008 00:00

Evolution In a Nutshell — the book

Evolution In A Nutshell by Martin Malloy. Trafford Publishing, 2007. 302 pages Evolution is one of those wonderfully fiery topics which, when broached at parties or family gatherings, can convert otherwise reasonable friends and relatives into raging maniacs, shouting, slamming…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer In one room, a jagged crack runs from wall to wall, evidence of an unstable foundation. In another, the shifting earth has pushed one side of the floor higher than the other at a…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Emergency rooms crowded with mentally ill patients. Sheriff’s deputies spending 96 hours supervising one individual. A sick man or woman whose situation is growing more dire by the second. It all adds up to…
Wednesday, 23 January 2008 00:00


It’s nine o’clock and my 6-year-old is snug in her bed and sound asleep even though she’s been told it will likely snow this evening. I, on the other hand, am pacing back and forth in front of the large…
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Rachel Upchurch wants to protect the mountains that tower throughout Jackson County however; the Smokey Mountain Elementary student also wants to see more houses and shopping centers built throughout the Qualla community.
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Macon County welcomed its new County Manger Jack Horton back to Western North Carolina earlier this month. Horton, 57, returned to Macon County to fill the county manager position after the retirement of former…
By Michael Beadle What would New York City be without its Statue of Liberty? Picture St. Louis without its Gateway Arch. What would towns and cities be without their signature sculptures and eye-catching murals?
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Coal-fired power plants and renewable energies took center stage as topics at last Saturday’s lieutenant governor’s debate in Asheville.
Wednesday, 23 January 2008 00:00

Is it unpatriotic to save the rebate?

Don’t you just love being an American. Just the mere mention of the word “recession” and the next thing you know the government is proposing to spend billions of dollars in the form of tax rebates for people just like…
Wednesday, 23 January 2008 00:00

The growing issue of elder abuse in WNC

The senior citizen population is growing in Western North Carolina, and with that increase comes the increasing potential for abuse, exploitation, or neglect of the elderly.
Reverend Horton Heat: Reverend Organdrum Maybe all that needs to be said is that somewhere around three and a half minutes into Booker T’s “Can’t Be Still” you realize the Reverend and company have slipped a little snippet of Black…