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Wednesday, 19 November 2014 15:25

Don’t make sophs live on campus

To the Editor: First, let me say that I greatly respect Dr. Sam Miller and the administration at Western Carolina University, having gotten to know them over the years I was a student there. Miller has more WCU spirit than…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 15:25

Junaluskans should pay for upgrades

To the Editor: Your opinion piece a few months back, “Changing mind  now won’t undo the damage,” left out a more common solution to the annexation of the 775 homes in Lake Junaluska with its woefully and poorly maintained Lake…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 15:22

A briefcase of possibilities

I grade about 2,000 essays a year. I do so because I am a high school English teacher, and because I also score Advanced Placement essays for a week every summer for Educational Testing Service. The first year I worked…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 15:20

Obama poised to give the GOP the finger

Just as President Obama seems poised to sign an executive order preventing the deportation of up to 5 million illegal immigrants, we read in the Nov. 17 Asheville Citizen-Times that a newcomer center for immigrants in the city school system…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 15:15

Marching toward The Big Apple

“The whole world is watching.” That’s the statement echoing from a megaphone strapped to the side of David Starnes, director of athletic bands at Western Carolina University. On a recent crisp late fall afternoon, 505 college students march up and…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 15:08

Teaching students about driving dangers

Safe driving program “VIP for a VIP” impacts students in partnership with EMS and local law enforcement. Harris Regional Hospital, which provides Emergency Medical Services for Jackson County, recently participated in a safe driving program for students at Smoky Mountain…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 15:05

Canton aims for improvements at Recreation Park

The Town of Canton Recreation Commission is leading a volunteer effort to make safety improvements to the playground at Recreation Park, a popular destination.  The project will include slide repairs, mulching, painting and construction of a wooden border and perimeter…
Thanks to community generosity, many of Haywood County’s neediest families will eat a hot turkey dinner this Thanksgiving. The Maggie Valley Area Lodging Association is once again seeking donations to help provide food baskets to those who may not otherwise…
The key to economic and community development in Western North Carolina is for leaders of the public, private and nonprofit sectors to reach beyond town limits and county lines to embrace a more regional approach, steeped in a spirit of…
At T-minus three days until the scheduled opening day for Haywood Pathways Center, Nick Honerkamp still wasn’t sure how to answer the big question: will the shelter open? “That is the question of the week,” said Honerkamp, one of the…
The long-time tax collector in Haywood County was narrowly defeated in the November election, a surprise upset that has sent county leaders into a tailspin the past two weeks. Haywood County commissioners fear the newly elected tax collector — who…
After landing a $10,000 grant from the Southwestern Commission — and putting in $10,000 of its own money — Sylva is waiting on a report to come back from JM Teague Traffic Engineering that will answer that one pivotal question:…
Downtown Franklin is sporting some fresh paint after an October decision to spruce up the fading road lines, but over the winter town aldermen will be considering some changes that could be a tad more noticeable. “During the winter when…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 14:54

Walleyed mercury

It’s probably best to avoid eating fish out of Lake Glenville. At least the walleye. “I’d like to tell you I know what a walleye is,” said Paula Carden, health director for Jackson County Department of Public Health. “I think…
The commercial revitalization of South Main Street in Waynesville has taken another step forward this month with the bulldozing of a dilapidated, vacant building to make way for a new Bojangle’s. The run-down corridor has been gradually transforming into a…
A shake-up in the medical world of maternity care and childbirth means more choices for pregnant women in Jackson, Swain and Macon counties, but also heightened competition for the profitable labor and delivery line. Two new obstetrics practices were launched…
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 14:48

Swain sheriff alarmed over false alarms

The Swain County Sheriff’s Office responds to its share of security alarms. Between January and the middle of November, the department has responded to 1,019 such calls — and rarely is there an actual need for its services. “We may…
Monday, 17 November 2014 14:45

Search still on for missing teen

The search for Alec Lansing, the missing 17-year-old in Jackson County, has yet to produce any viable leads. He has not, to the best of investigators’ knowledge, contacted any family or friends, and searchers have found the reflective vest he…
It’s been more than a week since Atlanta resident Alec Lansing, 17, walked off from the group he was camping with near Heady Mountain Church Road in the Cashiers area, but rescuers are still combing the woods and trolling the…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:48

Hello darkness, my old friend

The full Hunter’s Moon is waning and the night sky will be revealing more of her secrets till we spin around and catch December’s Long Night Moon. Around the world it’s getting harder and harder to see those dark sky…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:44

Mountain photo contest open

The Appalachian Mountain Photography Competition is looking for the best images of the people, places and pursuits that characterize the Southern Appalachians. Sporting a variety of categories and offering more than $4,000 in cash and prizes, the contest is open…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:40

Protecting plants with a forest plan

With a new forest management plan now in the works for the Pisgah and Nantahala national forest, Brent Martin, regional director of The Wilderness Society, will speak on the subject 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, at the Macon County Public…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:38

New edition of Kephart book released

A new version of Our Southern Highlanders by Horace Kephart is out, and it includes eight Kephart articles not included in any earlier editions.
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:37

Return of the meteors

Astronomers at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute are reminding the public of the annual Leonid Meteor Shower in November.
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:36

Motion Makers bike shop reopens

Motion Makers Bicycle Shop has reopened in its new location at 36 Allen St. after an August fire in downtown Sylva resulted in extensive water, smoke and soot damage. 
As fall colors fade from the landscape, the bright yellows and oranges become a vivid memory marking the peak of the autumn season. As winter approaches, now is the time for the rich reds, burnt yellows and russet colors donned…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:34

WNC towns earn top outdoors honors

Bryson City earned the top honor in Blue Ridge Outdoors’ list of top outdoor towns of 2014, which appeared in November’s issue.
Brian Railsback learned a valuable lesson when he missed a September meeting of the Western Carolina University Honors College Student Board of Directors: skip a meeting, and you just might wind up volunteered to do a century bike ride through…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:26

Book explores clash between religion and science

In Lauren Grodstein’s novel The Explanation For Everything (Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2013, 336 pages, $24.95), we meet Andrew Waite, a biology professor and widower living with his two young daughters in Southern New Jersey. Andrew is an evolutionist,…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:22

SMN editor lacks journalist ethics

To the Editor: Journalists like Scott McLeod, SMN Editor, usually follow a code of ethics that includes fairness and impartiality during the acquisition and reporting of news articles to the public. Unbiased reporting is an integral part of journalistic ethics,…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:21

Do something together for Nikwasi Mound

To the Editor: I have read the opinions going back and forth regarding the Nikwasi Mound in Franklin and am aware there are serious disagreements and difficulties on both sides.  So I would like to present an idea of the…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:21

Doing just as he accuses others

To the Editor: Regarding Bob Wilson’s latest letter on negative campaign rhetoric, Wilson exemplified the hate-filled distorted rhetoric that he criticizes. First off, Wilson didn’t give a single example of the “lies” and “distortions” that he complains about. Instead he blames…
By Bob Scott • Guest Columnist In a letter to the editor published in the Nov. 5 edition of  The Smoky Mountain News, Rachel Truesdell wrote that as mayor, I “have a lot of explaining to do because most of…
Absenteeism in American public schools has reached epidemic proportions. Six million students, one in eight, miss 30 days of school each year and are considered chronically absent. Children of poor families are four times as likely to be chronically absent…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 16:04

Trade you an itchy shirt for a little shiver

We called it “in-between weather,” too warm for a coat, too chilly for short sleeves. Back then, just about every boy in town — and many of the girls, too — wore flannel shirts from late September until spring came around…
For the past few years, the Blue Ridge Breakaway has lured cyclists to Haywood for a ride through the mountains. The big attraction is the sweeping views to be had along the route. “They’re wanting to get up on the…
When Brent Martin emerged from the Forest Management Plan meeting in Franklin, the first glimpse into the direction that management in the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests might take over the next few decades, he was upset. Shocked. Disbelieving, even.
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 15:37

Contemplating the evolution of Fry Street

It’s not much of a street now. And soon, Fry Street might not be a street at all. “What we’re working towards there is, of course, permanent closure to vehicular traffic,” said Karen Wilmot, executive director of Swain County Tourism…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 15:36

Maggie’s big plan

Maggie Valley is on its way to building a downtown. “This is something I’m very excited to present to the board,” Town Manager Nathan Clark said during the Nov. 10 meeting of the town board of aldermen. “This was a…
Cell phone towers in Jackson County cannot currently be built on ridgetops. That looks likely to change as revisions to the county’s ordinance governing cell towers progress.  Thus far in the revision process, the Jackson County Planning Board has dug…
It’s been three months since publicly owned Haywood Regional Medical Center became a private hospital owned by Duke LifePoint Healthcare, but it will be years before the county knows for sure how much it will get from the $26 million…
A $3 million project to build a central 911 dispatching center inside the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office aims to reduce response times for police, fire and rescue calls.
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 15:23

New tax collector had to have wages garnished

In a narrow upset in the Haywood County Tax Collector race last week, voters elected a man with a history of delinquent property tax bills and little experience for the job.
A new tax collector has been elected in Haywood County, but when he takes office next month his duties will be substantially less than the outgoing tax collector.
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 15:10

Democrats, GOP see new era in Haywood

Karin Wollin had just taken a break from a sullen morning of sorting through stacks of campaign signs at the Haywood County Democratic headquarters in Waynesville when a clatter was heard on the sidewalk outside.
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 15:08

Hymnbook breathes life into Cherokee lyrics

It’s Sunday afternoon, and a quartet of musicians — one guitarist, three vocalists — stands at the front of a small room whose rows of chairs hold about twenty people. The guitarist strums a few chords, and the voices join…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 00:00

HCC showcasing fiber exhibition

A national fiber exhibition, EXCITE, will be on display through Dec. 6 at Haywood Community College in Clyde. The exhibition includes 15 artists, some of which are HCC Professional Crafts Fiber graduates and current students. The theme of the exhibition…
Pam Meister, interim director and curator of Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center, was honored Oct. 22 with the James R. Short Award from the Southeastern Museums Conference. A nonprofit organization committed to supporting and connecting museum professionals in 12…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 00:00

McCreery returns to Harrah’s

Country sensation Scott McCreery hits the stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, at Harrah’s Cherokee Event Center. Since coming into the national spotlight in 2011, McCreery quickly emerged as country music’s most successful new artist. His first studio album, Clear As…
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 00:00

Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet to play WCU

The Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet will present its fall concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 18, in the Coulter Building at Western Carolina University. Members of the SMBQ, the quintet-in-residence at WCU, are P. Bradley Ulrich, trumpet; David Ginn, trumpet;…