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The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is seeking nominations through Jan. 30 for the seventh annual Thomas L. Quay Award. The award recognizes individuals who make outstanding contributions to wildlife diversity in North Carolina and who are considered leaders in wildlife…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 15:07

Land protections see an increase

Voluntary land protections have increased by 27 percent over the five-year period from 2005-2010. The first census of land trusts during this period found 10 million new acres conserved nationwide since 2005, including 339,669 acres here in North Carolina. The…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 15:06

New wells tapping more landfill gas in Jackson

Four new landfill gas extraction wells are being drilled at the Green Energy Park in Jackson County, with the resulting energy helping to fuel craftspeople at work. The Green Energy Park taps methane landfill gas to provide fuel for blacksmith…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 15:04

A new twist on backyard habitats

There are butterfly gardens and wildlife-oriented gardens, so why not reptile and amphibian gardens, too? For people looking to make their property more inviting to frogs, toads, lizards and snakes, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has on its website a…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 15:01

Deja vue all over again

Friends of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge just finished waving goodbye to the Navy, its fighters and their outlying landing field only to turn around and see seeds planted that would sprout 500-foot tall wind turbines, each with a blade…
Mark Rozof sat behind a beat-up white desk surrounded by skis, walkie-talkies, snow jackets and other sundry gear strewn about the office, chuckling as he recalled his experiences as a ski instructor. During his 23 years of teaching, Rozof, the…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:58

Selections for your favorite bibliophile

The rigors of holiday shopping are hard upon us, and bibliophiles, like everyone else, will turn their eyes toward bookshops, online stores and e-books to make purchases for their families and friends. It’s also that time of the season when…
Mary J. Messer, author of the Appalachian memoir Moonshiner’s Daughter, will read from her book and answers questions from the audience from 3:30-5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at the WCU Bookstore in Cullowhee. Messer’s powerful and often disturbing memoir,…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:54

Holiday events

• A Traditional Thanksgiving & Tree Trimming will be held from Thursday, Nov. 24, through Sunday, Nov. 27, at the Fontana Village Resort. www.fontanavillage.com. • Lake Junaluska will host a Thanksgiving Dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursday,…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:54

WCU Jazz Ensemble to perform Nov. 29

The Western Carolina University Jazz Ensemble will present its annual fall concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29. Under the director of Pavel Wlosok of WCU’s School of Music faculty, the ensemble will perform in the recital hall of the…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:53

Stillwell returns to SMHS for homecoming concert

Popular Nashville recording artist Matt Stillwell returns home to the mountains of Western North Carolina on Saturday, Dec. 3, for a concert at the Smoky Mountain High School gym. Stillwell is partnering with his alma mater, Smoky Mountain High School,…
The Museum of the Cherokee Indian will take its story on the road in 2012, holding a series of new programs showcasing Ostenaco’s and Henry Timberlake’s journey to each other’s countries 250 years ago in a traveling exhibit called ‘Emissaries…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:50

Holiday craft show returns to Cullowhee

A popular post-Thanksgiving arts and crafts tradition will once again fill Western Carolina University’s Ramsey Center for two days of holiday fun. The 24th annual Hard Candy Christmas Fine Art and Craft Show is Nov. 25-26, featuring more than 110…
The Jackson County Public Library will host a performance of “Deck the Halls with Southern Writers,” the new one-woman Christmas play adapted and performed by Barbara Bates Smith, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 29, in the Community Room. The…
There are still limited tickets available for $25 for the Balsam Range concert with John Wiggins at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 3 at the Colonial Theater in Canton that will kick of the band’s Winter Concert Series and benefit Haywood…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:48

Polar Express now boarding in Bryson

In 1985, Chris Van Allsburg wrote The Polar Express, a story of a magical train ride on Christmas Eve. The train takes a young boy to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa Claus. “The Polar Express,”…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:45

Roller derby divas

Judy Lau is a mom and detective with the Macon County Sheriff’s Office; Miss Demeanor is a tough-looking roller derby girl, sporting a helmet with fake bullet holes and red socks with guns and brass knuckles. Miss Demeanor is part…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:34

The mad, mad world of Scroto Baggins

Newspaper people are a special breed. As a type, these are individuals who tend toward the eccentric and are decidedly off-kilter; perhaps, dare I say it, are even slightly mad. They are ill suited for employment anywhere except at newspapers,…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:33

Warm memories from a frozen scout – awesome

During the winter, we met every Tuesday night in the conference room of the First Methodist Church, and on the colder nights of December and January, the smell of the kerosene heater stung our nostrils and coated the inside of…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:32

Enjoyed talking to mountain farmers

To the Editor, I just want to express my sincere appreciation to the farmers of Haywood County, the members of the Farm Services Agency and the Haywood County Cooperative Extension office for providing the public with the opportunity to ‘Talk To a Farmer’…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:31

‘I hear the train a comin’ … to Dillsboro

To the Editor: Every businessman and political and community leader in Jackson County should feel some gratitude this Thanksgiving and exercise some vision towards an economic reality check — I hear the train a comin.’ Thanks Johnny Cash for that…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:31

Tea Party and Occupy are so similar – not

To the Editor: I guess it’s inevitable that comparisons will be made between the Occupy and Tea Party movements. In many respects Occupy is a mirror image of the Tea Party. To the Tea Party, government is the enemy. To…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:30

No more important time than now to keep it local

There’s more than just a little irony the official Small Business Saturday promotion that encourages people to spend their money with small, independently owned businesses on Nov. 26 rather than only with big box retailers. Irony or no irony, though,…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:28

Local scout troop gifted CPR dummy

Local Boy Scout Troop 999 sponsored by Sylva First Methodist Church is focusing this year on what to do when a person suffers a heart attack. This vital training program was greatly enhanced this week when the North Carolina Automobile…
The Haywood County Chamber of Commerce will participate in the second-annual Small Business Saturday, Nov. 26. Small Business Saturday is a day for dedicating a portion of holiday shopping to local, independently owned small businesses. Small business advocate groups, public…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:26

Chief to decide on alcohol referendum

Michell Hicks, principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, will decide this week whether to veto tribal council’s decision to hold an alcohol referendum. In a previous interview, Hicks called the decision a difficult one that required prayer…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:25

Commissioner steps down after second DWI

Brian McClellan will resign from the Macon County Board of Commissioners following his second drunken-driving arrest in just more than two years. McClellan, a two-term Republican who served as board chairman, announced his resignation Tuesday. A replacement hasn’t been named…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:24

Cherokee plays hardball with state on casino

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has agreed to give up 8.5 percent of the gross revenue from new table games if the state will open the doors for live dealers at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort. In addition to…
N.C. Senator Jim Davis spoke about the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ contribution to Western North Carolina at a tribal council meeting in Cherokee last week. Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort contributes about $375 million to the economy in Western…
Gil Crouch was working in his Bryson City business one day this summer when a regular visitor to town told Crouch that he would not be returning ever again because he was repulsed by its deteriorating look. “Quite frankly, this…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:20

Renegade houseboat meets its demise

A houseboat on Fontana Lake was dismantled and hauled off this month after the owner repeatedly failed to dispose of waste properly. For more than a year the houseboat owner dodged rules against straight piping sewage into the lake. The…
Renovating the old library on Main Street in Sylva for a new police department is on something of a hiatus until a new town board convenes. The town board will get a new member following this month’s elections. Lynda Sossoman…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:17

Jackson subdivision rules come under review

It could mark the first move in an effort to dismantle a set of strict land regulations in Jackson County that are widely considered some of the most progressive in all of Western North Carolina. Or perhaps the renewed focus…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:17

There is more than one road to Cherokee …

Jackson County wants some of the Cherokee-bound traffic diverted its way despite highway signs that indicate the way to Cherokee is through Maggie Valley. Anyone coming to Western North Carolina from Interstate 40 encounters a sign in Waynesville pointing the…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:15

Consultant talks traits for new town manager

The clock is ticking on what will be a rigorous and thorough process to replace long-time Waynesville Town Manager Lee Galloway. A series of meetings was held in Waynesville Nov. 16-17 by the firm hired to steer the town through…
A group protesting ever-earlier school starts in North Carolina has turned the heat down for now on its shining Bad Example in the state, Macon County, but that reprieve might prove temporary. Save Our Summers-NC joined forces with Highlands resident…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:11

WCU students collect winter wear for youth

The Nurses Christian Fellowship student organization at Western Carolina University is seeking donations of gloves, scarves, hats and mittens to give to youth in Jackson County. A collection box for donations is located at Room 209 of Moore Hall on…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:10

Capitol’s Christmas tree stops in Cherokee

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree will make a stop in Cherokee during this year’s national tour. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is hosting the event at the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds on Wednesday, Nov. 23, beginning at 10 a.m. The…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:09

Maggie awarded funds for law enforcement

The Town of Maggie Valley was awarded a $184,786 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. The funding, which will be distributed during a three-year period, is the reimbursement to the town for…
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 14:09

Hooper House gets historic designation

The Hooper House on West Main Street in Sylva has received Jackson County’s first designation as a Local Historic Landmark. The house, which now serves as home for the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, was built in 1906. It was…
Macon County has turned to veteran lawmaker and businessman Tommy Jenkins of Franklin to head local economic development efforts. Jenkins, who previously chaired the regional economic group Advantage West and served stints in both the state House and Senate, will…
When many businesses are still cutting back or maintaining their current workforce, Sonoco Plastics announced last week that it will add 35 jobs and expand its current Waynesville operations. “Every job in today’s environment is important,” said Mark Clasby, executive…
During the past decade, Haywood County’s economy has seen some ups — but mostly downs. A presentation given at the recent Haywood County Economic Development Commission meeting offers a glimpse of how the county fared before and during the recession.…
A challenger for the mayor’s seat in Waynesville protested the election results this week, claiming residents of a new apartment complex were disenfranchised. A mapping error caused temporary confusion on Election Day over whether residents of the apartment complex were…
A brouhaha among Jackson County commissioners at a meeting last week prompted a follow-up public apology from Chairman Jack Debnam. Debnam told The Smoky Mountain News there was a time and place for such disagreements but that the county meeting…
The yippy-yappy cries of barking dogs have left Jackson County commissioners in a quandary as they face a rising tide of howls from unhappy residents. How best to balance dog owners’ rights with residents’ growls for peace? “I’m hoping that…
It’s not everyday that you can shop at the local feed and seed store for organic foods and produce, but that’s the case these days in Sylva. Last year at almost exactly this time, Deb and Randy Hooper took a…
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 14:29

A poetic tribute from a son of the Smokies

The second volume of an anthology of nature writing from Western North Carolina and the Great Smokies that I edited will be published in a couple of weeks by The History Press in Charleston, S.C. The first volume (1674-1900) offers…
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 14:28

Open for skiing

Thanks to cold temperatures, Cataloochee Ski Area began cranking out the snow last Thursday night and by Saturday, the first slopes were open to skiers in Haywood County. It plans to reopen Saturday, Nov. 19, for the regular early season…
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 14:27

Generating Christmas cheer for our troops

Christmas tree growers from across Western North Carolina are donating Christmas trees as part of the nationwide Trees for Troops program, sponsored by the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation and FedEx Corp This holiday season, 17,000 trees are expected to be delivered…