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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…
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 12:33

New GSMNP visitor center is worth a trip

This past Friday (April 15) I attended the dedication ceremony for the new Oconaluftee Visitor Center on the North Carolina side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Cherokee. I wouldn’t normally enjoy a program made up of eight…
The Great Smoky Mountains chapter of the Audubon Society, based in Maggie Valley and Waynesville, has been officially recognized and accepted by The National Audubon Society after initially forming a year ago. The mission of the chapter is to promote…
A pesticide disposal collection day has been scheduled in Haywood County from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, at the N.C. Cooperative Extension Center at 589 Raccoon Road. The primary objective is to assist farmers and homeowners in…
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 12:31

Get wet and help monitor area streams

Help protect the creeks in the Tuckasegee River Watershed by learning to collect and identify aquatic insects, considered key indicators of how polluted a creek is. The Watershed Association of the Tuckasegee River (WATR) will hold a one-day training on…
Western North Carolina has one of the highest concentrations of summer camps in America, and an economic-impact study completed in January by a team of researchers from N. C. State University found it amounts to about $365 million. The researchers…
Families can discover how the great outdoors exists in their own backyards during “Outdoor Adventure Day,” from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday, April 30, in Asheville. The event is being put on by the N.C. Arboretum but will be…
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 12:29

Plant sales in full force this spring

Several plant sales are coming up for gardeners and flower lovers. • Haywood Community College will hold a Spring Plant and Craft Sale from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Friday, April 29. The sale will be held on campus…
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 12:28

Celebrate new bike trails at Jackrabbit

The grand opening of a 14.5-mile trail system near Hayesville in Clay County is set for 10 a.m. Saturday, April 30. The Southern Appalachian Bicycle Association, Clay County Communities Revitalization Association and Tusquitee District of the Nantahala National Forest will…
Nantahala Outdoor Center and The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa have unveiled plans for NOC’s Basecamp Asheville, solidifying a strategic relationship between two classic Southern travel destinations. NOC will operate an experiential retail and outdoor activity concept shop within…
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is seeking volunteers to help remove the invasive weed garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) from the trail’s corridor at Max Patch in northern Haywood County this Saturday, April 23. Teams will competing to pull the largest amount…
A meteor shower with up to 20 meteors per hour will happen Friday night, April 22. The most meteors are expected Friday night and early Saturday morning, but might be as good Thursday night as well. Unfortunately, the light of…
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 12:26

Want to take photos this good?

Wildflowers, Waterfalls and Vistas will be featured in an upcoming Field Photo Program by Bob Grytten beginning May 17 to June 14. Participants will meet at the Waynesville Armory Recreation Center Wednesday morning at 8 a.m., and carpool to the…
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 12:24

Sixty-one years young!

Pilgrims from across the country and around the globe are on the move. They are headed to the Mecca of biodiversity – the Great Smoky Mountains National Park – to join in celebrating the 61st annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage, April 26-May…
Richland Creek is now teaming with new inhabitants raised by Haywood County students in classroom fish tanks. After feeding and caring for the fish all year, the students set them free last week as part of an effort to restore…
Ed Williams lugged a giant plastic bag teaming with silvery blue fish down a creek bank in Waynesville where they would soon test the waters of their new home. Earlier that day, the fish were scooped out of Jonathan Creek…
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 12:16

Poet to read from new prose collection

Asheville writer and poet Holly Iglesias will read from her new collection, Angles of Approach, at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 22, at City Lights bookstore in Sylva. Iglesias, who teaches at UNC Asheville, is a recent recipient of a…
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 12:15

Franklin headlines book club meet in Sylva

Cyrano’s Book Club will meet at 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, in the Senior Citizen’s Center in Sylva. The current book discussion will deal with Tom Franklin’s new novel, Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. New members are welcome. Additonal information…
When I was a teenager, I became addicted to a late-night horror movie host named Bestoink Dooley. Based in Atlanta, Bistoink came on at midnight, and I can still see his stark-white face and his silly grin, complete with bloody…
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 20:31

GOP Medicare plan is totally off-base

To the Editor: The Republican design on Medicare comes straight from that dubious chapter of the Vietnam War in which “it became necessary to destroy the town to save it.” Rep. Paul Ryan’s voucher scheme would destroy Medicare as surely,…
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 20:31

Macon County needs to clean up litter

To the Editor: Circumstances have prevented the organization of the annual county-wide litter pick-up/recycling event to celebrate Earth Day here in Macon County.   Because there has been no one able to fill this breach for a spring-time effort, let…
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 20:30

Accepting federal rail money a bad idea

To the Editor: In the April 6-12 issue of The Smoky Mountain News, Carole Larivee wrote a letter to the editor that was headlined “GOP legislators try to block federal money.” Larivee referenced House Bill 422 sponsored by three Republican…
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 20:30

Will McCoy Bridge become a memory?

Once more the Department of Transpor-tation will come to Macon County, in the name of listening to community input, when they hold a hearing on the fate of McCoy Bridge Monday evening, April 25, at 6 p.m. at Cowee School.…
Governments at all levels and all across the nation are broke. At every county courthouse and state house, money taken in from taxes and fees can’t match the spending elected officials have become accustomed to. As they say in literature,…
Tonight’s menu calls for salad from the garden, which reminded me to jot down a method for growing lettuce that, being very lazy busy lately, I’ve grown quite fond of doing. Lettuce doesn’t need coddling, or careful spacing of the…
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 20:24

Ghost Town bankruptcy hits dead end

Ghost Town in the Sky has no hope of pulling itself out of bankruptcy, according to a federal bankruptcy administrator. The court will decide this week whether to let the amusement park continue to languish in bankruptcy, where it has…
With Jackson County set to take possession next month of the renovated historic courthouse and new library, commissioners agreed it’s high time to get some ground rules in place for their future tenants. The county wants formalized agreements not only…
Jackson County Schools isn’t asking for extra money this year from county commissioners despite an expected 10 percent or more cut from the state. What is taking a back seat in these tough economic times, however, are school-board members’ wishes…
An angry crowd accused Haywood County commissioners this week of unfairly slapping some property owners with higher values while letting others off the hook in the recent countywide appraisal. About 50 people turned out at the commissioners meeting Monday to…
The Small Business Center of Haywood Community College will offer a free seminar entitled, “Business Owner’s Guide to Facebook and Twitter: Starting from Scratch to Online Success” from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26. The hands-on workshop will be held…
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 20:21

Jackson dropout rates decline in 2009-10

Jackson County is one of four counties in North Carolina that has decreased its dropout rate the most, according to a report recently released by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction. Jackson County’s dropout rate fell from 4.43 percent in…
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 20:20

Hearing planned for McCoy Bridge project

The N.C. Department of Transportation will hold a public hearing from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday, April 25, regarding alternatives for replacing the McCoy Bridge on Rose Creek Road over the Little Tennessee River in Macon County. NCDOT has…
While the construction industry, the Haywood Home Builders’ Association is giving itself a makeover, one it hopes can keep them afloat and the doors open. With home building still flagging, membership has been steadily declining, and instead of waiting on…
Mike Decker is retracing the steps he made 11 years ago when he left county government for a job across the street in Franklin’s town hall. Decker is returning to county government as human resource director and deputy clerk to…
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 20:16

Regional food forum to look at WNC needs

With the latest increase in gas and grocery prices, the already long lines at soup kitchens and food pantries across Western North Carolina are growing even longer. “The need is going up again,” said Amy Grimes, executive director of The…
Swain and Macon commissioners believe a state plan to widen and pave a 3.3-mile gravel road along a remote stretch of the Little Tennessee River goes too far. Leaders of both counties have unanimously called for a scaled down version…
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 20:14

Chamber trash pick-up planned

A trash pick-up of Veterans’ Boulevard and U.S. 19 is being organized by the Swain County Chamber of Commerce beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 30. Participants will meet in the Ingles’ parking lot and the chamber will provide…
A presentation on a state bill to overhaul energy consumption will be given by the Canary Coalition at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 21, in Sylva. Avram Friedman, director of the Canary Coalition, will explain the Efficient and Affordable Energy Rates…
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 20:13

Hagan sets constituent meeting this week

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan will meet with constituents Thursday, April 21, from 10:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. at the Southwest Development Commission in Sylva. The office is at 125 Bonnie Lane, across from Southwestern Community College. The purpose is to…
Plink plink plink. A moment of silence. Again – plink plink plink. It’s 6 a.m. and the sky is still unlit, the color of chalky charcoal. But in a corner,  a small orange light is on a steady, metronomic blink,…
Waynesville resident Kristen Wall, a trainer with the Asheville Compassionate Communication Center, will present two workshops on conflict resolution. “Communication: Skills for Transforming Conflict” will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 7, at the Haywood County Library in…
The absence of alcohol in Cherokee is hurting tourism, according to the business community. And that’s something the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce might like to change. Over the past month, the chamber has conducted an informal poll of businesses to…
The likelihood of the state Department of Transportation building a bypass around Sylva seems increasingly unlikely after Jackson County commissioners elected this week not to push for the new highway. The Jackson County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 on a…
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 19:56

Spring preview opening

A two-day preview of The Main Street Artists Co-op gallery will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, April 22, and Saturday, April 23. Twelve returning artists will join nine new members displaying a wide spectrum of the…
Western Carolina University’s Concert Choir and University Chorus will present a free concert at 8 p.m. Monday, April 25, in the Coulter Building recital hall. This will be Director Robert Holquist’s final concert before he retires after more than 30…
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 19:55

Cross-country cyclist to tell tales of trek

Local lawyer Bill Jacobs will chronicle his cycling journey across the United States in a program at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 28, at the Albert Carlton Library in Cashiers.   Starting in California last September, Jacobs spent 40 days traveling…
Wednesday, 20 April 2011 19:54

Musical theater workshop takes applications

Students ages 16 to 22 who dream of a life on stage can have the opportunity to work with musical theater professionals at Western Carolina University’s 2011 Triple Arts Broadway Series, to be held July 17 through Aug. 1. Broadway…
The documentary “Waiting for Superman” will be screened at 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, at the Albert-Carlton Library in Cashiers. The movie chronicles the state of the nation’s public schools. After the film, charter school advocate and activist Ned…