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By Michael Beadle Helen Keller is an unruly child. She eats food with her fingers, drops her silverware on purpose, kicks and whines, and throws temper tantrums. She also happens to be blind, deaf and mute with very little way…
First, an admission: I didn’t get to talk to Kenny Wayne Shepherd at all. No interview or anything. Kind of a bummer, because it means I couldn’t ask him how it feels to look back on a performing and recording…
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Frank may be gone, but not frugality

Some people say I can be cheap, or at the very least, my priorities are out of whack. They say, “You’ll spend $30 for a bottle of wine, but won’t spend 30 to get that dent in your car fixed.”…
Every year when the local tailgate farmers markets begin opening, it’s a good time to ponder just what it means to be able to hop down to some designated spot and buy produce, flowers and other goods fresh from a…
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Float trips return to Waynesville

The sight of bobbing caravans of inflatable kayaks floating down Richland Creek through Waynesville will return on Saturday, May 6 when Whitewater of Waynesville, a.k.a. WOW, opens back up for its second season.
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Mount Sterling — a hikers’ crossroads

Climbing the 80 rickety feet of metal and wood got my adrenaline flowing a bit. Once up there, I found it to be a precarious perch, especially since the plywood floor was rotten and some of it missing. I was…
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Declare war on incumbents

By Marshall Frank • Columnist Time to send a message to our government leaders. Our democracy is ruled by the will of the people. It appears our president, and our senators and congressional representatives from both parties have forgotten that.
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

The life-long legacy of a few brushmarks

By Lew Garnett Without his ever knowing it, Blaine Richardson was one of my heroes. It was a recent breezy Saturday at our karate school, where over the past few years I’d fought a sharp contest between my 50-year-old body…
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

A brand new world

Anyone who hasn’t been to the woods in the last month would swear they’re in a different world. In a sense, they are. At the end of March most anything above 2,500 feet still looked like winter. A hike today…
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Reaching out for the Little T

When Cass and Mary Lou Combs attended a conservation celebration along the shore of the Little Tennessee River in Macon County last Friday, their mind occasionally wandered from the speaker at hand to thoughts of a new great-grandchild being born…
For two and a half years, David Erikson at Twigs and Leaves has offered a monthly drawing for a gift certificate as a surreptitious means to compel customers to share their hometown address.
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Beach Trips My first vacation of any real length is coming up in two weeks’ time. My boyfriend and I are heading south to Delray Beach, Fla. — a place picked solely for being home to the Morikami Museum and…
By Chris Cooper There’s this thing that can happen when you research an artist for a review. I’m not sure what the technical term for it is, but it goes something like this: you find that many people (usually well…
By Michael Beadle There’s so much art to see in downtown Waynesville, gallery owners are now offering to keep their businesses open extra hours. For the first Friday of the month starting this May, the Waynesville Gallery Association is kicking…
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

A lost soul finds a home

On a spring night in 1929, Mary Seneca Steele escapes from her home in Charleston, taking only her two children (Pet and Hugh), a new Auburn Phaeton (belonging to her abusive, shiftless husband, Hubert (Foots) Pettigrew Lamb, and $33. Her…
Local writer Jeanne Nutter, 72, of the Caney Fork Community took first place in the Jackson County Extension and Community Association’ s recent Cultural Arts Contest.
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Ashe cruises by Cruzan in sheriff race

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer In a landslide win, Jackson County Sheriff Jimmy Ashe held off challenger and former sheriff Jim Cruzan in what many have called the election’s most heated race.
Former North Carolina Highway Patrolman C.D. Jenkins emerged from a field of three Democrats to win the Macon County Sheriff’s primary and the opportunity to run against incumbent Sheriff Robert Holland.
Despite a slate of challengers campaigning for change in the Swain County commissioners race, all but one incumbent running for re-election was ousted by voters.
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Sylva voters pass liquor by the drink

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Sylva residents have decided — it’s time for a good stiff drink. Voters approved mixed beverage sales 257 to 182. Only 34 voters chose not to cast ballots on the measure.
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Newcomer, incumbent win in Macon

Political newcomer Ronnie Beale and incumbent Bob Simpson beat two other Democrats in Tuesday’s primary and will move on to the Nov. 7 general election against two Republicans.
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Pro-planning group wins in Jackson

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Jackson County will usher in a new board of commissioners committed to addressing the county’s growth issues with the election of pro-planning candidates William Shelton, Tom Massie, Joe Cowan and Mark Jones in Tuesday’s…
By Michael Beadle Incumbent Kirk Kirkpatrick and newcomers Charles “Skeeter” Curtis and Bill Upton have won the top three slots in the Haywood County commissioner Democratic primary. Incumbent commission chairman Mark Swanger and former commissioner Bill Noland were the fourth-…
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Tips for B&B guests

• Costs — Before you book a reservation at a B&B, be sure you check the fine print and know the total cost of your stay. Inns have room taxes that are added on to the bill and there may…
By Michael Beadle Western North Carolina prides itself as a tourist destination — the mountain getaway where you can hike and shop and rest among the soothing sounds of nature.
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Hepatica — a thing of beauty and lore

Nothing is fairer, if as fair, as the first flower, the hepatica. I find I have never admired this little firstling half enough. When at the maturity of its charms, it is certainly the gem of the woods. What an…
Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

The past, present and future on Alarka

By Dawn Gilchrist-Young (Editor’s note: Writer Dawn Gilchrist-Young is conducting a series of interviews with mountain natives to gauge their reaction to changes taking place in the region and their memories of the past. These stories will appear intermittently in The…
By Michael Beadle Last week, Cherokee students found themselves stretching, swooning, thrusting imaginary swords and spouting 400-year-old Elizabethan English. All that without textbooks or boring lectures about William Shakespeare being the greatest playwright ever.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer From behind the waist-high counter that divides his studio and gallery in half, potter Mark Karner pauses for a moment to extend a hand and make introductions before getting back to work applying handles…
Wednesday, 10 May 2006 00:00

Five CDs that deserve a spin

I’m going to take a brief detour from the regular album/show review format and present five CDs that I feel are worth seeking out. The idea started out as a “top 5” of the last year, but apparently I got…
Wednesday, 10 May 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

Spring One diversion in my life this past month was the weather. Surely this spring is among the most gorgeous of the last two decades. There is a lush, warm quality to the landscape this season, and the very air…
Well, it’s spring — a beautiful spring indeed this year — and that time on the calendar when a young man’s fancy turns to love.
Wednesday, 10 May 2006 00:00

Art auction brings in record amount

Quick Draw in the Mountains raised a record amount of money this year off a live and silent auction that supports budding artists and art in the schools.
Wednesday, 10 May 2006 00:00

Canton minister tells story of cancer survival

Written by
As artist Ann Vasilik was nearing the home stretch in Quick Draw — an annual event in Waynesville where artists race against the clock to complete a piece of artwork in one hour — the blow-dryer aimed at her watercolor…
The American Forest and Paper Association recently announced that Macon County resident Joel Ostroff has received the 2006 Ed Hurley Memorial Paper Recycling Award. The award recognizes an individual who has had a significant and positive influence in advocating paper…
Wednesday, 10 May 2006 00:00

Peeping tom caugh in Ingles’ restroom

Kim Pettit and her husband were on vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains from Minnesota two weeks ago and had popped into the restroom at the Ingle’s grocery store in Bryson City when she heard a noise coming from the…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Turn to the classified pages in any Western North Carolina newspaper and the employment section bears similar traits. Jobs listed tend to be those in the growing service sector — housekeepers, night shift hotel…
Wednesday, 10 May 2006 00:00

The honest little bird

On one level, the natural history of a region consists of its terrain, habitats, plants, animals and how they interrelate. I also believe that no full understanding of the natural history of a region can be realized without coming to…
By Lee Shelton Those who stated that Haywood County Commission Chairman Mark Swanger, who lost in last week’s primary election, was “over managing” or interfering are wrong. He was just doing the job that he was elected to do by…
Around the region and throughout the world, there’s a lot going on right now. My “column ideas” folder runneth over, so here’s a little house cleaning, a few random thoughts as the news keep churning:
Wednesday, 10 May 2006 00:00

Half a big day

What some masochistic birders do for fun is called a “Big Day.” It’s when birders set out to spend the majority of the day afield recording as many species of birds as possible.
When Dr. Robert Jenkins proclaimed in 1992 that he had discovered a new fish species in the Hiwasee and Little Tennessee rivers, it likely caused a stir among ichthyologists who found their library of fish field guides suddenly out of…
Wednesday, 17 May 2006 00:00

Building a better life

By Michael Beadle Norma Brown knows how hard it is to get legal citizenship in the United States.
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer This summer residents of Franklin will vote on whether to allow restaurants to sell alcoholic beverages, following a town board decision to hold a referendum on the issue.
Wednesday, 17 May 2006 00:00

Learning the language

By Michael Beadle When Lori McLeod first started teaching English as a Second Language at Tuscola High School in Haywood County, she had two students. They didn’t constitute enough to make a class, so she would pull them out of…
Rhett Langston with the Buncombe County Parks and Recreation Department has been selected from a pool of 63 applicants to become the new Waynesville Recreation Director.
The Haywood County Health Department has asked for state assistance to conduct tests in two subdivisions after soil samples from a vacant lot tested positive for lead, arsenic and other pesticides similar to those detected in Barber Orchard, which was…
Wednesday, 17 May 2006 00:00

Everything old is new again

The inter-related geologic and geographic heritage of the Blue Ridge Province is a complex but fascinating and rewarding subject to consider. As part of the introductory portion of my natural history workshops, I give a presentation called “Where Are We?”…
Wednesday, 17 May 2006 00:00

Swain election protest appealed to state

An election protest in Swain County over alleged irregularities in the May 2 primary was dismissed in a 2 to 1 vote by the local election board last week but will be appealed to the state election board for a…