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Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:26

Historic harmony: “Songs From Haywood County”

By Christi Marsico • Staff Writer Providing a historic glimpse into triumph and tragedy of real life in Haywood County over the past 200 years, professional musicians Buddy Melton, Milan Miller and Mark W. Winchester have combined their talents to create…
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:24

College students squeeze value out of trash

It took a team of Western Carolina University students just 10 days and dozens of discarded plastic bottles to design and build a product that is original, innovative, creative, useable — and award winning. Three seniors in engineering technology at…
The North Carolina Court of Appeals has dismissed a lawsuit filed against a domestic violence shelter by the family of a woman who was murdered by her deranged husband at the facility. Woody Woodring broke into the REACH shelter in…
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:23

Public land stewardship as economic stimulus

Editor’s Note: The following is testimony delivered by Mark Singleton of Sylva, who is the chairman of the Outdoor Alliance. Singleton is the executive director of the Sylva-based American Whitewater, a paddling advocacy organization. The Outdoor Alliance is made up…
Editor’s note: The following is series of student-written excerpts from a five-day camping trip taken to the Hazel Creek area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The trip was taken by eighth-grade students from Mountain Discovery Charter School in…
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:21

Franklin development pushes village-style design

The days of suburban sprawl could be coming to an end as a new type of development — mixed use — is ushered in. With carbon footprints and gas prices on the minds of so many these days, mixed-use development…
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:20

The Naturalist's Corner

Gun-toting tourist deters smarter than average bear Setting: A campground in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, nightfall, Jan. 13, 2009. 911: Hello, 911, what’s the nature of your emergency? Caller: Hey, hey, hey, it’s an emergency in nature! 911:…
It’s time for Waynesville to get going on its land use plan review, especially since the economic downturn has slowed development and provided a window of time where big projects just aren’t coming along. Waynesville’s land use plan is about…
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:19

School air data suspect, officials say

Officials from Haywood County and the state Division of Air Quality are disputing a recently released report by USA Today that lists two schools in the paper mill town of Canton as among those with the worst air quality in…
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:18

WestCare, Haywood hospitals hunt for partner

The boards of Haywood Regional Medical Center and WestCare Health System are officially seeking proposals from three hospital systems that will likely result in an affiliation with one of them. The document lays out the primary advantages of HRMC’s and…
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:17

Verizon cell tower violates county ordinance

A cell tower company jumped the gun by building onto its tower without the necessary permits from Haywood County. Verizon Wireless added 20 feet to the height of its tower off Mauney Cove without applying for a permit. When it…
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:16

Russell’s ‘dog of a book’

Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell. Random House, 2008. 272 pages. One of the great delights in browsing library shelves or bookstores is to encounter a totally unfamiliar book which seems to promise, from the first touch of…
U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville, voted against the proposed bailout of the auto industry last week. Gary Tallent, manager of a Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge dealership in Franklin, said he is disappointed in Shuler’s decision. “I don’t know if he understands what it…
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:14

Home Depot scraps Waynesville plans

Home Depot has officially yanked plans to build a store in Waynesville next to the town’s new Super Wal-Mart. The decision comes after months of continual delays on the project. The home improvement chain had pushed the opening date back…
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:12

HCC serves up student-grown produce

This spring, the greens served in Haywood Community College’s cafeteria couldn’t have been more local — they were grown just outside on the college campus itself by horticulture students. The buy-local movement has taken off at HCC. In addition to…
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:11

There ain’t no shelter here

There aren’t many options for those without a home in Western North Carolina. Sleeping outside is one, but winter nights can get dangerously frigid. Non-profit agencies can sometimes pay for a hotel room, but only for a couple nights at…
Although Jackson County and the Airport Authority prevailed in a lawsuit this month blaming them for slope failure at the airport, they can’t rest easy yet. Work on projects to make the airport more geologically stable is set to begin…
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:09

Ye Olde Christmas CD roundup ...

By Chris Cooper I guess it’s a kind of Christmas tradition. Every year around this time I go on the hunt for Christmas music that provides a bit of the prerequisite holiday spirit without making the listener want to smack…
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:08

No guns, no bikes, and no dogs

By Danny Bernstein • Guest Columnist Our national parks have been assaulted by new rulings in the closing days of the Bush Administration. Users and lovers of the national parks have to say no — no guns, no bikes, and…
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:07

Macon may be out of money for K-4 school

There may not be enough money to build a new K-4 school in Macon County because of the economic downturn, two county commissioners told school board members on Monday (Dec. 15). Commissioners Ronnie Beale and Jim Davis agreed the new…
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:06

Taking a likin’ to the lichen

On a winter walk you will encounter numerous evergreen plants. None is more mysterious or delightful to behold than the lowly lichen. Except for pollution, nothing much disturbs lichens. They grow ever so slowly, as little as one millimeter a…
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:05

Lending a hand

Recently, more than 50 members of the Haywood County community gathered in a church fellowship hall to brainstorm ways to help with the rising level of need. In the middle of the meeting, a woman and her son entered the…
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:04

A word with the musicians

Mark W. Winchester (MW) and Milan Miller (MM) answer questions about the collaboration of “Songs From Haywood County.” SMN: How was this project different for you from other CDs you have worked on? MW: It was different in a lot…
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:03

Cherokee petition closes in on alcohol vote

Organizers of a petition drive in Cherokee believe they have enough signatures to force a referendum by voters on whether alcohol sales should be allowed at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino. Don Rose, a volunteer with the committee that circulated the petition,…
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 15:03

The economic downturn hits home — hard

The trickle down effect from the national economic downturn is starting to feel more like a flood to agencies in Western North Carolina, which report being inundated with people hurting from layoffs and foreclosures. “We’re absolutely slammed — it’s more…
It appears local government officials obeyed the Open Meetings Law when they attended a private N.C. Department of Transportation meeting about the controversial N.C. 107 connector last week. The Smoky Mountain News reported in the Nov. 26 edition that the…
Wednesday, 10 December 2008 14:40

About Nance Dude

A brief synopsis of “Nance Dude,” which is one of three dramatic monologues in “Land’s End” written by Gary Carden: In February of 1913, Nancy Kerley, more commonly known as Nance Dude, was told by her son-in-law, Will Putnam, to…
Visitors could soon be toting loaded, concealed guns in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A long-standing ban on loaded guns in national parks has been lifted by the Bush Administration. Of 140,000 public comments that came in on the…
As the economic picture gets more and more bleak, the ironies loom larger and larger. Public school systems, community colleges and the state’s universities are being asked to send money back to the state or plan reductions in the coming…
Wednesday, 10 December 2008 14:38

DOT gets earful from public on Southern Loop

Jackson County resident Susan Leveille opposes the construction of a N.C. 107 bypass. “I am very hopeful DOT and all other powers who make decisions will take a look at the alternatives to a bypass for alleviating traffic concerns,” Leveille…
Wednesday, 10 December 2008 14:37

Smokies plate helps Friends help the park

The new specialty license plate for Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, sporting a black bear against a mountain ridge line, continues to show record support among drivers. Friends of the Smokies brought in $338,280 from its special black…
Wednesday, 10 December 2008 14:36

Traffic simulations for 2035 takes leap of faith

As the debate over the Southern Loop rages on, a faceless cadre of number crunchers have been assigned a seemingly impossible task: predict who will be driving on N.C. 107 and why 25 years from now. The answer could ultimately…
Wednesday, 10 December 2008 14:35

Don’t jump up and do anything

With Clayton Cathey On a weekday afternoon the Walker Service Station in Waynesville is busy with a steady stream of customers dropping off and picking up their cars. A woman sits, sipping coffee and reading the newspaper in a sunny…
Wednesday, 10 December 2008 14:34

Tough times strike dealerships

Scott Rodes’ first job in the automobile industry was 30 years ago washing and selling cars for his grandfather in Sylva. Rodes was in high school, and the car business was much easier then. Now the owner of a GM…
Wednesday, 10 December 2008 14:33

Swain hunts for inmates to fill overbuilt jail

When 400 people poured in to Swain County’s jail one day in late September, Sheriff Curtis Cochran was thrilled. And on an equally unusual note, the crowd at the jail was more than happy to be there. Of course, the…
Wednesday, 10 December 2008 14:33

Commissioners make extra meetings official

The Macon County commissioners on Monday voted to start having two regularly scheduled meetings a month, rather than just one — a move that follows a Smoky Mountain News article that criticized the board’s meeting practices. Macon County Commissioner Brian…
The town of Waynesville has done little to jumpstart a promised review of its land use plan, and critics say the lack of movement is causing the town to lose prospective businesses that don’t want to abide by the plan’s…
Wednesday, 10 December 2008 14:31

Task force seeks answers to water shortages

The newly formed Jackson County Water Study Task Force met for the first time Thursday (Dec. 4) to begin discussing ways to combat water shortages. The task force was formed after several county residents recently reported that their wells and…
U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville, said he is unsure if he will support a bailout of the auto industry. The auto industry over the years has made poor decisions that led to its current situation, Shuler said. Shuler wonders why…
Wednesday, 10 December 2008 14:29

Nance Dude: Legend, murderer, victim

By Christi Marsico • Staff Writer Stoned by children, considered a witch by some and a complete outcast by others, the story of Nance Dude has left a legacy in Haywood County. Local playwright and storyteller Gary Carden has written…
By Linda McFarland • Guest Columnist Here we are in the holidays, the most sacred and profane time of year. When we yearn for simple pleasures and traditions, for celebrations which affirm connection and presence, how do we find meaning…
Wednesday, 10 December 2008 14:27

Town settles disagreement over pilfered stone

The town of Franklin has settled a disagreement with a man who took slate and doors that belonged to the town without first receiving permission from the town board. Under the agreement, the former resident, David Whitmire, now of Alaska,…
Wednesday, 10 December 2008 14:25

Come rain, snow or cold, holiday lights go up

By David Curtis If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise? If a man is putting up Christmas lights and his wife is not there to supervise, is…
With only a couple weeks left for holiday shopping, local outfitters are stocked with solutions for the outdoor aficionados on your list. Even for the casual outdoors person, simply living in the mountains gives rise to the need for outdoor-related…
Wednesday, 10 December 2008 14:23

A night of music with a purpose

By Chris Cooper My participation in the Play For Peace project has been, honestly, primarily for purely selfish reasons. The opportunity to play music live is one I’ll rarely pass up, especially when the lineup includes an abundance of fine…
By Dr. Allan Zacher, M.D. Flu season is here. You and your family and friends have not gotten it yet, but if you look at Google Flu Trends (http://www.google.org/flutrends/) you will see that we are on the early part of…
Wednesday, 03 December 2008 14:21

Vintage King

Just After Sunset by Stephen King. Scribner and Sons, 2008. 367 pages. Unlike the majority of his peers, Stephen King keeps expanding his territory. Certainly, he could have put down roots in any of a dozen horror genres ranging from…
Wednesday, 10 December 2008 14:20

The Naturalist's Corner

Bees do it and die Honeybees are not native to the States. But these prolific pollinators arrived with the earliest settlers. With the changing agricultural landscape, i.e., thousands of acres of monoculture crops and the decimation of native pollinators through…
While sales of new vehicles have plummeted, the service side of the automotive industry is holding steady as people opt to keep their old cars and trucks running. “So far, it’s extremely busy,” said Earl Hannon, service department director at…
Wednesday, 10 December 2008 14:11

Here come the seed catalogs

By Jim Janke Editor’s note: This is a regular feature on gardening by the Haywood County master gardeners. Look for it every other week.   Does cold weather cause gardening catalogs to stuff my mailbox? Or does the arrival of…