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Wednesday, 04 May 2011 20:27

Chunky Gal campout and hike this weekend

A hike and campout at Tusquitee Bald, the highest point in Clay County, will be held Friday, May 6, by the WNC Alliance, a regional conservation group. A carpool leaves Asheville at 5 p.m. on Friday. Hiking takes place Saturday…
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 20:26

Buzzin’ right along

I spoke with Blair Ogburn, senior naturalist at Balsam Mountain Trust, the other day and she related a perplexing incident. She said she was leading a group on a nature hike when she heard a blue-winged warbler. Now, blue-winged warblers…
A Songbird Celebration will be held at the Cradle of Forestry in America Saturday, May 7, to honor the annual migratory bird influx. At 8 a.m., the cradle will offer a guided walk to learn and practice identifying birds by…
In a combination celebration of migratory birds and Balsam Mountain Trust’s 10 year anniversary, hikes and classes are scheduled at the preserve 115 bird species call home from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on May 14. Events include a beginner’s…
The U.S. Forest Service is warning hikers to stay back a good 50 feet or so from a towering poplar tree in Macon County that is now rotting and falling apart. The Wasilik Poplar is the second-largest tree of its…
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 20:23

Romance novelist to speak in Waynesville

Jacquelyn Frank, a the New York Times best selling author, will speak at the Mountain Writers meeting at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 10, at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville.  A paranormal romance writer, she’ll talk about building worlds — creating…
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 20:23

Never fear, summer reading program a go

Even with the old library closing, Jackson County kids can’t get out of their parents enrolling them in Jackson County’s annual summer reading program. This year it is “One World, Many Stories,” in which children will explore places from Oceania…
Storytellers draw inspiration from sources as varied as Shakespeare, the Brothers Grimm and the Bible; however, the tales that immediately produce a resonating chord in most hearts are the ones that are drawn from a storyteller’s own life. If the…
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 20:15

Weedeaters teach lesson in overkill

Just a few minutes into weedeating and I feel lobotomized. Perhaps the heady roar of the little engine that can obliterates my ability to discern what’s being whacked until I’m in full, lethal motion. Maybe it’s the power of wielding…
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 20:15

Revaluation now was just a bad idea

To the Editor: Now that you have received the re-evaluations of your Haywood County property, are you pleased county commissioners chose to re-evaluate your home? Are you getting the runaround when you try to get inflated values reviewed? These commissioners…
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 20:14

Where are the GOP-promised jobs?

To the Editor: Where are the real jobs? During the 2010 election season, an organization named Real Jobs NC targeted Democratic incumbents in the North Carolina legislature with attack TV ads and mailers. This organization, a 527 group created May…
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 20:14

Make Haywood whole in redistricting

To the Editor: On Saturday, April 30, the Republican Party of Haywood County submitted a resolution to the Redistricting Committee of the North Carolina General Assembly. That resolution requested that they comply with the Whole County Provision of the North…
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 20:13

Is Great Smoky Mountain Railroad serious?

To the Editor: At first the shakedown to the county was over $817,000 in grants and loans. Then, seeing that was a totally ridiculous sum, the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad slashed their ‘request’ to $95,176 in cash and $322,000 in…
We’ve written before about how important the downtown business districts in our mountain towns are to their communities, but it needs to be said again in light of the debate now going on in Sylva. Town leaders in the Jackson…
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 19:51

New visitor center opens in Waynesville

The public is invited to a celebration of National Travel and Tourism Week on Friday, May 6, at Haywood County Tourism Development Authority’s new visitor center on Main Street in Waynesville. Enjoy music and more, as well as the first…
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 19:51

HART to hold auditions for ‘GYPSY’

The Haywood Arts Regional Theatre will hold auditions for its July production of the Broadway Musical “Smash Gypsy” at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday and Monday, May 8 and 9, at the HART Theater in Waynesville. “Gypsy” was created by the…
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 19:50

Grammy winner comes to Cataloochee

Grammy winner Peter Rowan will give an after-dinner solo performance on Saturday evening, May 7, in the main ranch house at Cataloochee Ranch. The cost of the evening event, which includes dinner with beverage and dessert, will be $40 per…
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 19:49

Shakespeare steps out in Swain

The Shakespearean classic “Much Ado About Nothing” is coming to Bryson City at 7:30 p.m., May 12 through 15, at the Smoky Mountain Community Theatre. The lauded playwright’s popular comedy of misunderstandings and mistaken identity will feature a mixed cast of…
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 19:48

Spring blooms in Frog Level

The Whole Bloomin’ Thing Festival is coming to Waynesville’s Frog Level district from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 7. Now in its ninth year, the spring festival kicks off the growing season with flowering baskets, vegetable and…
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 19:48

Win big in Voices giveaway

Voices in the Laurel, Western North Carolina’s regional children’s choir, is holding its inaugural car and truck giveaway to raise funds. Tickets are on sale for $100 and each ticket will have the chance to go home with the winner’s…
A contra dance will be held from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 8, at the Bridge Park Pavilion in Bryson City. There will also be a potluck dinner following the dance, starting at 5:30 p.m. The dance is…
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 19:46

Local artist demonstrates talents

The Blue Ridge Watermedia Society will meet at 6:45 p.m. on May 10 at Haywood Community College. The meeting will feature Waynesville illustrator Dominck “Nick” DePaolo, who has been a freelance artist for over 40 years and will do a…
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 19:45

Community band kicks off its season

The Haywood Community Band will start its ninth concert season with a free concert at 6:30 p.m. on May 15 at the pavilion next to the Maggie Valley Town Hall. The concert will feature conductor favorites from previous seasons’ concerts.…
Sylva’s Guadalupe Café will host “Bigaroo” beginning at 6:30 p.m. on May 7, a tribute to the musicianship and spirit — and college graduation — of Adam Bigelow. Standing 6 feet 4 inches with a distinctive baritone, Bigelow is one of…
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 19:44

Chinese acrobats leap into Franklin

The Golden Dragon Acrobats will grace the stage of the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 6. Tickets are $15 to $20. The Golden Dragon Acrobats feature performers who have been trained in…
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 19:33

Big Stakes at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino

Of the many games that grace the floors at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, poker might be the most universal. From casino floors to living room floors, the World Poker Tournament estimates that nearly 60 million Americans play the game. Even the…
Finding childcare, particularly for infants, has surfaced as a growing problem for the young professionals who make up much of Western Carolina University’s faculty and staff. Take Elizabeth McRae, a professor of history at WCU, who when she gave birth…
Legislation that would bring alcohol regulation in Cherokee completely under tribal control is now working its way through the General Assembly. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians established its own Alcoholic Beverage Commission in 2009 following a resolution to allow…
Sylva leaders want their Jackson County counterparts to lease, for $1 a year, the old library building to them, citing space needs and a heightened Main Street presence for the town’s police department. The Sylva library is in the process…
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 19:29

No tax increase projected for Jackson

No increase in taxes, more funding for the new public library, the same amount for the schools and a more than 3 percent overall drop in spending highlight Jackson County’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Does the proposal…
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 19:28

A recipe for helping kids

It’s 4:30 on a Tuesday afternoon, and in a kitchen in Frog Level, a chocolate almond layered torte is beginning to take shape. It’s a paragon of decadent, gourmet virtue, and it’s being lovingly crafted, layer on layer, for entry…
Wednesday, 04 May 2011 19:25

Is it worth it?

Despite years of negative publicity surrounding the contamination of soil at Barber’s Orchard, the actual health risk posed by the soil is miniscule, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. The only health hazard comes from eating the soil, not just…
Residents of Barber’s Orchard will safely be able to eat the dirt on their lots after a $15 million federal cleanup of the subdivision. Trace levels of arsenic in the soil date to its former days as an apple orchard,…
Federal contractors performing a $15 million cleanup of Barber’s Orchard have violated state erosion laws, failing to keep the arsenic-tainted soil from eroding and washing away, according to state environmental inspectors. The massive operation calls for digging up the top…
The state’s bloodletting has begun, and for Haywood County Schools, the losses might add up to more than $4 million siphoned off next year’s budget. School officials have been steadily crunching numbers since the state House of Representatives offered a…
A formerly notorious bar will reopen in Maggie Valley despite bombastic protests from the owner of Wheels Through Time Museum, who fears it will attract the same seedy crowd and societal ills as the past establishment. Dale Walksler commanded a…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 12:39

Satirical writer to read debut novel

Alex Kudera will read from his new satirical novel, Fight for Your Long Day, at 7 p.m. on May 6 at City Lights bookstore in Sylva. The book is a day-in-the-life tragicomedy that follows the unraveling and misadventures of Cyrus…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 12:37

An agnostic searches for answers

For Christians, Easter is a moveable feast day — this year the celebration fell about as late in the spring as it possibly can — which sparks consideration of the resurrection of Christ and all that this resurrection means for…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 20:23

A look back at Kephart’s cabin

As part of this coming weekend’s third annual Horace Kephart Day, a group of 20 or so participants will visit Kephart’s cabin site on Hazel Creek, where he resided from 1904-1907. In that regard, I thought it would be appropriate…
Hikers, hunters and others who enjoy North Carolina’s mountain landscapes will soon have access to 534 acres of gameland and a national historic trail that are accessible from the Blue Ridge Parkway near Spruce Pine. The Conservation Trust for North…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 20:22

Smokies ranger honored for service

Kevin M. FitzGerald, deputy superintendent of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, recently was presented the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Meritorious Award, the department’s second-highest honor.    FitzGerald was recognized for his extraordinary performance of duties during the span…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 20:22

News for birders

Go birding, support the arts A “Birding for the Arts” outing in Haywood County will be held from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, May 7. The Blue Ridge Mountains have become the summer-nesting sanctuary for many neo-tropical varieties, as…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 20:21

Spring wildflower and bird pilgrimage

Celebrate Appalachian nature with the 39th-annual Spring Wildflower and Bird Pilgrimage April 29-May 1, with a line-up of 16 hikes, talks and guided tours on local flora and fauna. The program is sponsored by UNC Asheville’s Biology Department and is…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 20:21

Time to wet those hooks

The West Swain Fire Department is hosting its 18th annual Bass Tournament at Almond Boat Park on May 7. The fire department auxiliary will dish up barbeque (lunch and dinner) with all the trimmings. A raffle will be held, with…
The North Carolina Arboretum will host the annual show of the American Rhododendron Society’s Southeast Chapter from noon until 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 30 and May 1. Hundreds of blooms will be featured at this yearly event. Spring and summer…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 20:19

HCC student advances to championships

Daniel Jones, a forest management and fisheries/wildlife management student at Haywood Community College from Hayesville, took home top honors in the Stihl Timbersports Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Qualifiers. The event was held April 17 at Penn State Mont Alto. Chopping and sawing…
A Kids Indoor Triathlon and Aquathlon will be held May 6 for ages 15 and under, hosted by MedWest Health and Fitness Center in Haywood County. The Asheville Triathlon Club will help coordinate this event, which begins at 6:30 p.m.…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 20:18

New nesters

I believe all of my feathered friends that nest and raise families in my yard and in the woods surrounding my yard are once again setting up housekeeping. That includes the year round residents like downy woodpecker, red-bellied woodpecker, pileated…
Luke Hyde is too young to remember Horace Kephart, but his parents and grandparents knew the great American outdoor writer well when the St. Louis transplant was living in the Bryson City area. “He was a highly talented man who…
The next time you are standing about the yard scratching your head in confusion about which tree climber in Jackson County to call because there’s a swarm of bees in the tippy-toppy portion of a tree, let me please recommend…