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EDISTO, S.C. — If you’re going to roast in a record-breaking heat wave anyway, you might as well do it at the beach. Here, at least, we have the ocean breezes, a swimming pool at the resort, merciful air conditioning…
Needed school supplies for students attending Central Elementary School is the focus of the fifth-annual “Vineival,” on Saturday, July 30, at Vine of the Mountains in Frog Level. Besides providing backpacks filled with the required free school supplies for Central…
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 13:58

Help kids get school supplies

Buying school supplies for children is becoming increasingly expensive, and some local groups want to help cash-strapped families. Altrusa International of Waynesville and the Haywood Rotary club will be spearheading a drive to collect school supplies for needy children in…
The town of Waynesville is dusting off the drafting table, ready to launch a community planning initiative to shape the future look and feel of South Main Street. The area has been primed for growth by the recent addition of…
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is continuing to target bear pits on the Cherokee Indian Reservation, this time with a billboard on Interstate 26. The new billboard shows a little girl with a bloody bandage around her…
Maggie Valley took a leap of faith this year with its inaugural Red, White and Boom festival. It was a four-day, July 4th spectacular the town hoped would raise its profile with tourists and tempt locals to venture into Maggie.…
It’s a typical late afternoon weekday in Hollifield Jewelers on Main Street in Sylva, with four or five customers in the store at one time. Busy — just the way owner Steve Dennis likes it. But that busyness, the marks…
Since 1917, the Red Cross has flown its archetypal white flag in Haywood County. In the 94 years that have since passed, the charity’s presence in the county has been steadily dwindling. First, the Waynesville chapter disappeared. Then the Canton…
When Mike Schoonover was 10 years old, he had a transformative experience. It wasn’t a religious conversion per se. There was no epiphany-inducing encounter with a sports hero. But there was a cathedral of sky and a 10,000-foot high playing…
Alcohol has historically been slow to come to the mountains — much slower than the rest of the state. Only two counties in Western North Carolina allow alcohol sales outside town limits. Statewide, 60 counties allow some form of alcohol…
Whether you’re a college student in Cullowhee or a socialite in Cashiers, stocking up on beer, wine and spirits requires a trip into town — a trip most would apparently rather not make. A majority of Jackson County residents support…
Voters in Jackson County will get to decide next year whether to allow alcohol sales countywide. Four of the county’s five commissioners told The Smoky Mountain News this week they would support an alcohol referendum. The commissioners have not publicly…
Swain County should finally have a budget by early August, nearly six weeks after the start of the new fiscal year. Commissioners passed an interim budget to keep the county running over the summer, one of only two counties in…
Visitors to Bryson City will have a free place to go when nature calls once public restrooms are installed in the historic courthouse. There are plans for the now-vacant courthouse to one day be home to a visitor’s center manned…
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 13:39

Are community colleges efficient?

The answer is no, according to a recent study by the state Program Evaluation Oversight Committee. Here’s what they found: • While North Carolina’s 58 community colleges were established to meet community needs, their independence challenges administrative efficiency. Colleges vary…
Local and state leaders in Western North Carolina are vigorously opposing a cost-savings plan to consolidate administrations of 15 of the state’s smallest community colleges, including those of Haywood Community College and Southwestern Community College. A joint state legislative committee…
A flash flood struck the Cherokee fish hatchery last week, pummeling fish in the raceways with a wall of water laden with mud, rocks and branches. It wiped out hundreds if not thousands of trout and left a massive clean-up…
A new strategic plan for Western Carolina University will include ideas and voices from the local community, new Chancellor David Belcher promised Jackson County’s town and county leaders. In a wide-ranging address at a breakfast gathering held late last week…
Smoky Mountain Living prominently features images from across the southern Appalachians in each edition. Photo essays adhere to the issue’s overall theme. Our October/November issue will be SML’s “Mountain Men” issue. Submit your photographic interpretations of this theme for possible…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:37

Constructing your own coffin

A portion of this Back Then column appeared in SMN in August 2004 as “A Box to Call Your Own.” It has been rewritten and expanded. The notes regarding ancient (pre-Cherokee) burial practices can be found online: www.handsontheland.org/HistoryExploration/cultural_comparison/archives.cfm?cl=death&site=&period=0)   When…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:36

Run for Joyce Kilmer

A 5K and 10K race will be held in conjunction with the 75th anniversary events for Joyce Kilmer on Saturday, July 30. The races start at 8 a.m. from the Avey Branch Boat Launch A one-mile fun run will be…
The Franklin Blue Planet 5K for Clean Water, a charity run, will be kick off at 9 a.m. August 6 in Franklin. The run is hosted by the Franklin High School Interact Club. All proceeds will go to the Blue…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:35

Folkmoot gives 5K a festive flair

The annual Folkmoot 5K Walk/Run and Kids’ Fun Run, held in conjunction with the Folkmoot Dance and Music festival, will kick off at 8 a.m. on Saturday, July 23, in Waynesville. A kid’s fun run will be held at 9…
The Haywood County Master Gardener Volunteer Association is offering grants for research or education in the areas of environment, gardening or horticulture in Haywood County. The organization raises money through plant sales, as well as sales of its gardening almanac.…
BatFest 2011 will be held from 2 p.m. until 5:30 p.m Sunday, July 31, in Crossnore, giving the public an opportunity to connect with wildlife biologists and learn everything they’ve ever wanted to know about bats. Each year wildlife biologists…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:32

Bear photographer to share insights at talk

Bill Lea, renowned nature photographer, will present “Understanding the Black Bear,” a free lecture at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 26, at the Village Commons on the Village Green in Cashiers. Lea may best be known for his artistic documentation…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:32

Calling fly fishing volunteers

The Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education is recruiting experienced fly fishing anglers who are interested in volunteering.  The Pisgah Center offers fly fishing programs on a year round basis for anglers of all ages.  Volunteers are needed to assist participants…
Jerry Wolfe, an elder of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, will give a presentation titled “From the Cherokee View” at the Highlands Biological Foundation at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 28, as a part of the Highlands Biological…
Roan Mountain Gardens Recreation Area has reopened after a year-long renovation project funded by $700,000 in federal stimulus money. Located near the North Carolina-Tennessee state line between Asheville and Boone, the recreation area has gotten an overhaul of its facilities,…
A celebration honoring the 75th anniversary of the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest in the Nantahala National Forest will be held Saturday, July 30, starting at 10 a.m. There will be guided walking tours, presentations by the Eastern Band of Cherokee…
WNC Naturally, an event to strengthen the natural products industry, will be held from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. August 6 at the Almond Center outside Bryson City. The event is designed for growers, wild-harvesters, manufacturers, buyers, and all those…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:28

Man vs. nature

Unless you are of a philosophical bent, you might want to skip this last installment of the spotted owl trilogy. I have been intrigued by the dichotomy of man vs. nature for a long time. I can’t remember exactly what…
For two decades, the Little Tennessee Watershed Association in Franklin has been monitoring the health of the river’s water basin from north Georgia to Fontana Lake. Last week, the group released a State of the Streams report, showcasing both its…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:07

Mysterious tribe’s tale

This remarkable book has two protagonists. One is a learned, sophisticated (and somewhat jaded) scholar who has decided to spend the summer in Florence, Italy, “reading Dante and Machiavelli and looking at Renaissance paintings.” However, his plans go awry when…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:06

Spinning fibers with local artist

A fiber art demonstration by Gail Johnston will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 26, at the Jackson County Public Library. She will be demonstrating carding and loom spinning techniques with a variety of fibers. Johnston, a registered…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:06

Workshops for young artists

A youth art workshop will be held from 2 until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27, at the Jackson County Community Center, part of ColorFest, Art of the Blue Ridge. Young artists will create a finished pastel art piece in…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:05

Apple Harvest Festival seeks vendors

Applications are being accepted for the 23rd annual Haywood County Apple Harvest Festival for artists, crafters and craft demonstrators. The festival will be 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15, on Main Street in Downtown Waynesville. The festival, which…
Grace Episcopal Church in the Mountains in Waynesville is getting ready for the annual Parish Fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on July 30. Each year the fair draws crowds to find bargains, enjoy lunch and listen to music…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:03

Writer and comedian stops at Harrah’s

Rodney Carrington will be performing at 9 p.m. on Friday, July 29, at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel’s Event Center. Carrington is a multitalented comedian, actor, and writer who has recorded six major record label comedy albums. He starred in…
The Dismembered Tennesseans will play at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 23, at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center. It was back in 1945 when a group of students got together and began singing and playing a brand of Bluegrass…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:01

Sylva singer plays heritage blues show

Karen “Sugar” Barnes will perform at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 23, at the Marianna Black Library in Bryson City. Barnes plays heritage blues and was one of the founding members of the “Blue Bombers” from Sylva. Along with singing,…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:01

Eight plays slated for reading in Cashiers

Playfest, an evening of staged play readings, will begin at 7:30 p.m. on July 28 at the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library’s meeting room. Eight entries have been selected from the numerous submissions received from all over the United States. The…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:01

Camp offers a taste of Broadway and more

MusicWorks! Studio of Performing Arts in Waynesville is offering a musical theater/show choir camp experience for young people ages 7 to 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 1-5. In addition to selections from some of Broadway’s hottest…
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is starting up an acoustic old-time jam session from 1 to 3 p.m. every third Saturday of the month at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee. The jam will be held on the porch of…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:00

The Barn Cats to perform

The Community Room at the Jackson County Public Library will come alive with country music when the Barn Cats Old Time String Band performs at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 21. Their repertoire includes country blues, bluegrass and honky-tonk style…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 13:59

Singer-songwriter sings from debut album

The Macon County Library hosts singer/songwriter Angela Faye Martin at 7 p.m. on July 21. Martin is a native of Atlanta and now a resident of Cowee. She released her first album, “Pictures From Home,” in 2010 and she’ll bring…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 13:59

Oldie favorites on stage in Franklin

B.J. Thomas and Billy Joe Royal will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 22, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin. Their Raindrops & Boondocks tour features band favorites and may even include duets of…
Serious Clark, a folk-fusion trio from Brevard, will perform a free concert at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 21, at Western Carolina University. Serious Clark incorporates elements of alternative rock, improv and country with its looped acoustic guitar and soul-influenced…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 13:55

Creativity: An international affair

In one gallery in Waynesville this month, the nations of the world will gather. While the international dance and song of Folkmoot will take their traditional place in Haywood County’s summer calendar, this year international art will also make an…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 13:54

Take part in Folkmoot USA

Folkmoot 5K The Folkmoot 5K Run/Walk and Kids Fun Run at 8 a.m. on July 23 has become one of the festival’s signature events. The race winds through the Hazelwood section of Waynesville and is relatively flat. Expect more than…