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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 20:21

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…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 20:07

Government-education complex is self-serving

To the Editor: What if you knew that your state senator or state representative knew there were proven ways to improve a broken public education system that is graduating less than two-thirds of our high school students and yet did…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 20:06

Our representatives forget who is boss

To the Editor: Here we go again. Our two state representatives, both of whom are Democrats, fail to see the reality of the primary cause of the state’s budget woes. They fail to grasp the reality that it is the…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 20:06

Those who protect children deserve thanks

To the Editor: For almost 20 years I have found myself involved in the concern of child abuse either professionally or in some volunteer capacity. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and though it’s almost over it provides an opportunity…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 20:05

With care, many hemlocks can survive

To the Editor: With all due respect to Mr. Ellison — who wrote in his “Back Then” column a few issues back about the inevitable demise of the hemlock — I would have to enjoin him and other like minds…
The crane games are beautiful beasts, shiny and brightly lit, with a glass belly full of forlorn and lonely stuffed animals waiting to be rescued by obsessive 9-year-old girls with a pocketful of quarters and reasonably good aim. My daughter…
In the world of Haywood County tourism, a turf battle is brewing, and the fiefdoms under fire are the county’s visitor centers. What might seem like the friendly face of local tourism has once again become a battleground where funding…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 20:02

Folkmoot funding gets the ax

Folkmoot festival has lost a vital source of advertising money, jeopardizing its ability to lure visitors to Haywood County during the festival’s two-week summer run. The Haywood County Tourism Development Authority announced its intention this month to yank its annual…
A new building started taking shape last month at Southwestern Community College’s campus in Sylva, with completion slated for next March. When finished, the nearly $8-million project will be called the Conrad G. Burrell building after longtime board of trustee…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 19:58

A Jackson County library primer

For Jackson County’s book-loving residents, the temporary closure of the public library in Sylva presents true hardship, a time of doing without and intense, shared community pain. The current library on Main Street closes May 2 while some 40,000 items…
Dr. C.L Gray, who is well known for his activities promoting healthcare reform, will speak on May 3 at the Mountain High Republican Women’s Club luncheon at the High Hampton Inn and Country Club. Gray founded Physicians for Reform in…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 19:57

WCU sends off graduates May 6-7

Western Carolina University’s spring graduating class will be honored as the university holds a trio of commencement ceremonies over a two-day period, May 6 and 7. Commencement for WCU’s Graduate School will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, May 6.…
The organization many credit with helping to create and nurture Sylva’s vibrant downtown scene is facing the possibility of going belly up over funding issues. During a budget work session last week, a majority of town commissioners indicated they might…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 19:54

Training for dealing with the mentally ill

A 40-hour training program for professionals who have encounters with mentally ill people will be held May 16 through 20 at Haywood Community College. CIT (Crisis Intervention Training) specializes in teaching the best methods to defuse and stabilize encounters with…
The Macon County Health Department implemented a new open-access appointment system in February that has cleared a four-week backlog of appointments. The open-access system replaced the previous system of clinic days. Now, most services are available every weekday, allowing patients…
Haywood County, like everyone else, is bracing for the impact of state budget cuts. But the good news is that they may leave the budget fray with fewer scrapes than they thought. In Raleigh, budget committees have been busily trying…
For the last month, Greg Petty has been on a leaflet campaign around Canton. He’s been to parking lots. He’s been to offices. He’s been to bulletin boards. He’s been inside Evergreen Packaging, the paper mill that looms large in…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 19:49

MMS offers three-day mediation training

Mountain Mediation Services will hold a three-day community mediation training from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.,  May 24 through 26 in the Bryson City United Methodist Church at 76 Main Street. The training is recommended for those who want to…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 19:48

Social safety net failed Cherokee baby

Additional evidence has surfaced indicating Swain County social workers failed to act on reports of alleged abuse and neglect of a Cherokee baby who later died. Court papers reveal that Swain County social workers had reports of physical abuse of…
Depending on which town leader you ask, Dillsboro is prepared to co-sign on a more than $300,000 loan for the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad — or, short of that, the town is inclined to help the railroad in some significant,…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 19:33

May celebrations to benefit the arts

The 2011 FUNd Party Series will kick off with Cinco de Mayo in the Garden from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 5, at the home of David and Rosemarie Harrington at 225 Seasons Drive in Clyde. The series…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 19:32

Gems shine at Mother’s Day show

The Mother’s Day Gemboree will open its doors from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on May 6 and 7 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m on May 8 at the Macon County Community Building in Franklin. Gem and mineral dealers…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 19:31

Quilts come out for Mother’s Day

Airing of the Quilts, a new event showcasing quilt artistry, will be held on Saturday, May 7, in downtown Franklin. Businesses and homeowners will hang quilts from their storefronts and porches to create a burst of spring color throughout the…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 19:29

Waynesville kicks off 2011 Art After Dark

The first Art After Dark of the season will kick off from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, May 6, in downtown Waynesville. Presented by the Waynesville Gallery Association, Art After Dark takes place the first Friday of each month…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 19:28

Beginner photography class gets going

An introductory photography class will begin Tuesday, May 3, at First Baptist Church in Waynesville. The class is offered by Lori Johnson and will teach students to work with buttons and menus, as well as how to start making better…
Macon County youth will take the stage at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, at the Franklin High School Fine Arts Center in Showcase of Talent 2011. The showcase is a non-competitive talent show for third- to 12th-graders, featuring students…
A poetry slam will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 28, at the Marianna Black Library in Bryson City as part of National Poetry Month. The event will feature fifth-graders from the Mountain Discovery Charter School, whose poetry…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 19:25

Stained glass course offered at WCU

A stained glass course will be offered from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursdays, May 5 through June 9, at the Cordelia Camp Building at Western Carolina University. Courses are run by the school’s Division of Educational Outreach. The course,…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 19:24

Sylva brings art to summer evenings

The first of this season’s Sylva After Dark events is coming to downtown from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, May 6. The evening is an opportunity to stroll through downtown Sylva and enjoy arts, dining, music, shopping and more.…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 19:23

Maggie Club hosts Chocolate for charity

The 12th annual Taste of Chocolate competition will run from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 30 at the Maggie Valley Country Club. Tickets are $12 each and can be purchased at Fun Things, Etc. or Blue Ridge Books…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 19:23

Needtobreathe stops in Franklin

Needtobreathe will play at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin. The 4-piece rock band will perform songs from their current album “The Outsiders,” which debuted at No. 20 on…
Wednesday, 27 April 2011 19:21

Troupe brings live comedy, animal tricks

Animal lovers and those in the mood for a laugh will find plenty of entertainment when Popovich Comedy Pet Theater comes to Western Carolina University’s Fine and Performing Arts Center at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 1. Comedian Gregory Popovich leads…
If there’s one thing Western North Carolina is rooted in, it’s music. The rolling Appalachians were the birthplace of bluegrass, and the region has long been known as a bastion of folk tradition and talent. Along with music, another industry…