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Wednesday, 28 December 2005 00:00

Environment in 2005

Outdoor recreation and the environment go hand in hand. Paddlers like clean rivers, hikers prefer old-growth forests over those that have been logged, road bikers generally disapprove of red alert ozone days and fishermen hate it when the property adjacent…
Wednesday, 28 December 2005 00:00

Parks in 2005

Nature’s lessons A $105,000 grant from North Carolina’s GlaxoSmithKline Foundation to Friends of the Smokies will connect several hundred teachers in North Carolina with the resources of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park over the next four years.
Wednesday, 28 December 2005 00:00

Outdoor rec

The world of outdoor recreation had several milestones this year, especially in the whitewater arena.
Wednesday, 28 December 2005 00:00

Eureka! Dilemma dissolved

I can’t understand how imminent ornithologists, in particular, and biologists, scientists and researchers in general have overlooked the obvious truth regarding the newly rediscovered ivory-billed woodpecker. By borrowing a well established principle from the arena of philosophy and applying it…
Wednesday, 28 December 2005 00:00


For the past two years the Smoky Mountain News has culled Top 10 Albums of the Year lists from avid music listeners across our coverage area — a task both challenging and educational.
By Joe Hooten Throughout the 1700s, immigrants from European nations began pouring into the 13 colonies with dreams that were as unique as the people themselves, they fanned out all across the eastern seaboard and eventually made their way into…
1) The Hold Steady, Separation Sunday If lead singer Craig Finn weren’t fronting this band, he’d be writing short stories for a living. He’s got the verbal chops, believe me. In fact, he IS writing short stories, but instead of…
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 16:27

Hail, hail the gang’s still here

I’ve recently been seeing lots of posts like these on Carolina Birders’ FaceBook page: “… My pine siskins have departed, I am sad to say. I have not seen one in a week... It was such a pleasure having them…
Hiker Haze Weekend will welcome the season’s first Appalachian Trail thru-hikers at Fontana Village Resort March 25-26, along with a ceremony honoring the town of Fontana Dam as an official trail community. The two-day Hiker Haze events will include presentations…
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 16:21

WNC air quality to be unpacked

The Annual Ozone Season Kickoff will unveil the state of Western North Carolina’s air quality in 2014 with a program held 8:30 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 31, at the Land of Sky Regional Council office in Asheville.  Ground-level ozone,…
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 16:11

Family Nature Summit comes to Lake J

Each year, the Family Nature Summit is held in some part of the country known for its special beauty and recreation value. This year, it will be based in Lake Junaluska, June 27 to July 3.
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 16:09

Nature for the whole family

By Danny Bernstein • Guest columnist When I first thought about taking my granddaughter, Hannah, on an outdoor experience, I looked at various intergenerational offerings but realized that she and I would be doing the same activities.
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 16:08

Nation’s best paddlers to compete at NOC

The Nantahala Racing Club’s Whitewater U.S. Open will keep the river churning at Nantahala Outdoor Center March 27-29.
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 16:07

Prescribed burn planned for Cataloochee

A 550-acre prescribed burn will start soon near Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
It’s been nearly 20 years since Burt Kornegay first started looking into land along Hickory Knoll Road in Macon County, but dirt is finally moving on the Bartram Trail Society’s vision of routing a piece of the long-distance trail away…
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 16:00

Is Sen. Tom Tillis some kind of traitor?

To the Editor: Sen. Tom Tillis, R-N.C., is probably not a traitor, but he surely is an embarrassment to the state of North Carolina. About as soon as his hand came down from swearing in, he allowed as how restaurant…
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 16:00

Waynesville smoking ban just a bad idea

To the Editor: For years I have promoted downtown. I tell my friends to shop locally, eat at our local restaurants and enjoy our festivals. If the smoking ban goes into effect, I won’t be doing any of those things…
Over the past few months, my 10-year-old son, Jack, has developed an insatiable appetite for all things basketball. We spend hours out in the driveway playing “around the world” or “pig” (an abbreviated version of “horse”), where he unveils a…
I spent a week reading this novel, and each time I laid it down, I expected to find a damp spot under it when I picked it up again. Rivers is about rain — unrelenting, unforgiving rain. This novel begins, “It had…
Nicole Dexter and Chip Owen haven’t been able to sleep well lately. “I think all I’ve been feeling the last couple days is anxiety,” Dexter said.  Tucked away last week in a booth at Innovation Brewing in downtown Sylva, the…
Haywood Community College’s Creative Arts Professional Crafts and Continuing Education departments recently participated in the American Craft Council show March 13-15 in Atlanta.  This initiative is designed by the American Craft Council to bridge the gap between educational curriculum in…
The film adaptation of the Ron Rash novel The World Made Straight will make its Western North Carolina big-screen premiere at 3 and 7 p.m. Monday, March 23, in the A.K. Hinds Center at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 14:26

Diffie brings country hits to Franklin

Country star Joe Diffie will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin.
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 14:24

Rollergirls season opener is March 21

The Smoky Mountain Rollergirls and their junior league The Lil’ Nemesisters will open the 2015 home season with a doubleheader at 4:30 p.m. March 21 at the Swain County Recreation Center in Bryson City.
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 14:21

This must be the place

Great people. Beautiful music. Endless outdoors. Delicious beer. Simply put, those are the exact reasons I moved to Western North Carolina from Upstate New York almost three years ago. And everyday, I’m constantly justified in that decision by those reasons…
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 14:12

Overnight tourism spending strong in Haywood

The Haywood tourism industry is on a winning streak.
Elected government leaders in Haywood County have lined up behind a state bill to add Lake Junaluska to Waynesville’s town limits.
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 14:09

Food truck trend traveling to Canton

Downtown Canton could have more food options if the town board approves allowing food trucks to set up shop. 
A lofty vision to build a 220-foot cross on the mountaintop above Maggie Valley has been downwardly revised to 125 feet, but it could still run afoul of the state ridge law.
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 14:03

Tribe gains ability to prosecute non-Indians

Proponents of domestic violence prevention are cheering following the launch of a federal law that will allow tribal courts to prosecute non-Indians who commit domestic violence on tribal land.    “It’s going to be a really good thing for the…
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 14:01

New Haywood animal shelter on the fast track

The Haywood County Fairgrounds is being eyed as the possible site for a new county animal shelter. The fairgrounds was identified as a potential site by county leaders unbeknownst to the Haywood County Fair Board, who may have reservations about…
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 13:58

Elections board threatens Swain with lawsuit

“We’re not on trial here,” said Swain Commission Chairman Paul Carson.  But the commissioners’ meeting room did feel more like a courtroom once Board of Elections Chairman John Herrin took a seat in front of the board last week and…
Haywood County commissioners aren’t convinced a designated smoking area is needed after receiving little feedback on proposed changes to the county’s tobacco use policy.
Wednesday, 18 March 2015 13:55

Franklin Main Street Program takes a break

Without much warning, the Franklin Main Street Program board of directors decided last week to suspend the program. The board voted to place the program in “inactive status” for the time being until it could regroup and reorganize. The decision…
After allegedly depositing money meant to purchase emergency rescue equipment in a personal account, Cullowhee resident Addam Carl Holdorf, 21, is free on $20,000 bond.
Western Carolina University has held steady on its rate of tenured and tenure-track professors over the last decade, keeping numbers of permanent faculty that far outstrip the national average.
When Bruce Henderson first came to Western Carolina University back in 1978, he was just happy to have a job. The market was tight when he finished his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota, so he took what he was…
A new guard sewed up its takeover of the Haywood County GOP at the party’s annual convention last weekend.
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 15:55

Celebrating the odiferous ramp

Purple rhododendron is the most admired flowering plant in the Southern Appalachians. Ginseng is the most celebrated medicinal plant. And ramps are the most sought-after culinary plant — a fact that has led to its overharvesting in the wild.
Gardeners can get a head start on the growing season by renting greenhouse space for their seed trays at the Old Armory Recreation Center in Waynesville.  You pay only $5 for a tray and greenhouse space, but plant your own…
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 15:35

Celebrate the diversity of the Smokies

The public is invited to mingle with researchers from around the world March 19-21 during the annual conference of Discover Life In America, whose mission is to inventory every species that makes its home in the Great Smoky Mountains National…
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 15:34

Jump on the solar train with Solarize WNC

A campaign to introduce homeowners and businesses to the option of solar energy is underway in Jackson, Haywood, Macon and Swain counties. The first in a series of forums exploring the viability of small-scale solar will be held at 7…
Les Saucier, a professional nature photographer, will speak at the Sylva Photo Club at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 14, at the Cullowhee Methodist Church.
A U.S. Forest Service project aiming to improve wildlife habitat and forest health will allow logging, fire, thinning and other forest management techniques in a small area of the Nantahala National Forest on the Swain and Macon county line.
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 15:30

WNC gear builders to show their stuff

Outdoor lovers will get a chance to see some of the best locally made gear during Outdoor Gear Builders of Western North Carolina’s inaugural Get in Gear Fest, slated for noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at RiverLink Park…
Brevard-based SylvanSport has been named a finalist in the internationally renowned Edison Awards for its product GO, a lightweight pull-behind trailer that functions as a camper and versatile outdoor gear hauler. The awards, inspired by revered inventor Thomas Edison’s persistence…
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 15:26

Waynesville pursues bike-friendly roads

Big white stencils of helmeted bikers now adorn a growing number of streets throughout Waynesville.
The plans are set: Waynesville’s getting invaded this fall, and the army will be 1,000 strong.  Semi trucks will haul luggage and portable showers, tents will dominate the lawn of the Waynesville Recreation Center and, most importantly, the soldiers, adventurous…
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 15:17

Raleigh does a job on senior citizens

To the Editor: You're 83 years old, on a fixed income of out-of-state retirement and Social Security, living in Franklin. Your 2013 North Carolina state tax was $37. You get your 2014 state tax done by AARP as usual, and…
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 15:04

All information is not created equally

Google is a wonderful thing, but it sometimes makes things harder for journalists. That’s why a new emphasis on transparency among newspapers and news sites may be one of the measures that helps save real journalism and differentiates it from…