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Wednesday, 16 April 2014 14:20

In search of White Oak String Band members

With a second album of historic mountain music on the horizon, the producers of the Grammy-nominated “Old-Time Smoky Mountain Music” are searching for anyone with knowledge of the following musicians:
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 14:17

This must be the place

Monday is the new Saturday. Heading down Frazier Street in Waynesville to BearWaters Brewing Company, one can barely find a place to park on a typical Monday evening. For the last couple of months, the location has played host to a…
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 14:15

Through his eyes

Pulling into his steep, gravel driveway, the first thing you notice about Gary Montanari are his numerous pets. “I hope you like dogs,” he said, as several barks are heard from around the property. The second thing you notice about…
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 13:58

GOP’s simple truths just aren’t true

To the Editor: Bob Wilson’s most recent published letter (www.smokymountainnews.com/opinion/item/12729-kids-can-endure-a-little-stress) typifies the callous oversimplification and blanket insults typical of today’s Republican Party fed by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, etc. To quote Mr. Wilson, “One must dismiss opinions that teachers come…
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 13:57

Jackson commissioners doing some good

To the Editor: There are several people running in Jackson County for public office this year and many are claiming to do one thing — raise the pay for school teachers in Jackson County. Who could be against that issue?…
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 13:56

Don’t penalize prosperous industry

To the Editor: As the economy sputters along, members of Congress and the Obama Administration are singling out one of the most productive economic sectors in America. By proposing increased taxes on the oil and natural gas industry, President Obama…
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 13:56

Haywood GOP is out of control

To the Editor: Wow, I’ve seen a lot of small-town politics in this area but the Haywood County Republicans are out of control. A bully stands up and takes over an official meeting. What was he thinking? Who does he…
By Mark Swanger • Guest Columnist Regardless of their magnitude, all disasters — natural or man-made — are local events and require an immediate, coordinated response from local government to protect public health, safety and welfare. This function is called Emergency…
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 13:50

HCC leaders talk vision

Haywood Community College is entering phase two of a process it started last spring when trustees decided it was time to clean up the college’s mission statement and come up with some focused goals for the future. 
The path to a new fly fishing museum in Cherokee has been cleared of a final hurdle after the Cherokee Tribal Council last week upheld a contract to lease the old Tee Pee Restaurant building to the Cherokee Chamber of…
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 13:44

KARE helps children who are victims of abuse

The nice, open room in the KARE house in Waynesville is a welcoming space. There’s books and toys and a wash of bright colors. There’s a rug featuring dolphins, hearts and shooting stars. 
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 13:42

Big booms outside Clyde upsets neighbors

There have been reports of explosions in the Clyde area. People have written to Haywood County officials out of concern. The issue recently came up during a commissioners meeting.  “Basically, what they’re saying was it shook the earth, it rattled…
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 13:40

Franklin manager resigns

The search for a new town manager is on in Franklin after Warren Cabe submitted his resignation at the town board’s April meeting. His old job as emergency services director for Macon County came open again, and Cabe applied. He’s…
Clyde’s new police chief has only been on the job a few weeks. But Terry Troutman already had his hands full before he even got sworn in.
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 13:37

The bar vote is in, the appointment is nigh

The legal community in the seven western counties has thrown its support behind Attorney Tessa Sellers, from Murphy, to fill a district court judge vacancy.
The takeaway from Western Carolina University’s inaugural Tourism Works conference was pretty straightforward.  “I don’t think tourism gets enough credit for what it does for county economies, and I think it’s about time it did,” summed up Steve Morse. “In…
It’s been three months since Macon County officials unearthed $50,000 worth of embezzlement, but a return to normalcy is just beginning to crack the horizon at the Macon County Board of Elections. Hours after sending a petition requesting that the…
The Swain County commissioners race has attracted a deep bench of Democratic candidates — nine contenders vying for the four commissioner seats and two more for commissioner chairman.
There’s only one primary in the Macon County commissioners’ races, but it’s a good one to watch. It might well be a political bellwether.  “You have varying opinions on what’s best for the county,” said Macon County Commissioner Jim Tate,…
Three Haywood County commissioners running for re-election this year are standing on their track record of balanced leadership from the center of the political spectrum. The three sitting commissioners on the ballot are Democrats, but they describe themselves as moderate.
Property taxes have emerged as a top issue in the Democratic primary for Haywood County commissioner candidates. The three sitting commissioners running for re-election say the property tax platform of their challengers is a predictable one. Pledging to lower taxes…
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 13:18

County commissioner races heat up

As the primary approaches, local candidates are making their case. Around the region, county commissioner seats are opening up and incumbents and challengers alike are looking for votes.  • Navigating the political stripes of the Haywood commissioners’ race• Are Haywood commissioners big spenders,…
“Eagles, as they still do, lived on the creek. One day in the 1890s, an eagle dropped a piglet into the yard of Orville Welch, who was living on Ecoah Branch on Eagle Creek. He kept this strange gift from…
Tribal families got some help jumpstarting their summer gardens when Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ Principal Chief Michell Hicks handed out 750 springtime garden kits last week.
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 14:40

Carolinas to experience total lunar eclipse

Astronomy lovers and night owls in the Carolinas will get the chance to witness a total eclipse of the moon on the morning of April 15, and photographers will have a chance for some spectacular moon photos during its eclipse…
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 14:39

Roadside bottles: a death trap for shrews

Learn how bottles tossed out along the roadside are killing small mammals in the mountains during a talk held on Earth Day at 7 p.m. April 22 at the Highlands Nature Center. Small mammals like shrews and other rodents enter…
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 14:38

Turkey season open

Turkey hunting season will open April 12 and run through May 10. A youth-only turkey season is already underway.
A multi-media program, Make Way for Monarchs, will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. April 19 at the Cradle of Forestry.
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 14:36

Help clean up a stream to honor Earth Day

Haywood Waterways Association is heading up several Earth Day themed activities this month, including a series of stream clean-ups. 
Western North Carolina is covered with more than 1,500 square miles of national forest, and residents often measure their assets in terms of towering hardwoods, flocks of turkeys and mountain streams. National forest land belongs to everybody, but “everybody” includes…
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 14:17

A well-written, lively look through history

In the first half of the fifteenth century, decades before Columbus set sail, the great Chinese admiral Zheng He commanded a fleet that seven times sailed across the Indian Ocean and reached the shores of East Africa. This talented admiral…
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 14:10

Cherokee weaving talk and workshop

A workshop and presentation on Cherokee weaving will be held April 11-12 at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 14:09

Open call for Taste of Chocolate

An open call for bakers is currently underway for the 15th annual Taste of Chocolate Plus, which will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. April 19 at the Maggie Valley Club.
A concert to benefit landslide victims in Snohomish County in Washington state titled “The Circle is Unbroken: A Benefit for Oso, Washington, from Western North Carolina,” will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 11, at Bridge Park…
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 14:02

This must be the place

So, what are you going to ask him? That was the question constantly asked to me when friends and curious folks alike found out I was interviewing Kevin Costner. Yes, that Kevin Costner. You see the Academy Award-winning actor/director fronts…
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 14:00

Dancing with one’s dream

Staring into a 2,250-degree furnace, Tadashi Torii sees his passion come to life. “I’m really calm,” he said. “I try not to be bothered by anything else. I try to create my inner-peace area and then go from there and…
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 13:58

Sen. Hagan is for the people, not big money

To the Editor: Sen. Kay Hagan’s path to Washington began in high school when she helped elect her uncle Lawton Chiles to the Senate. It was a low-budget campaign which he won by walking from the Florida Panhandle to the Florida Keys,…
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 13:57

County oversteps its authority

To the Editor: The Haywood County Emergency Management Ordinance was signed into effect Nov. 16, 2009, by J.W. “Kirk” Kirkpatrick, then chairman of the board of county commissioners, from a motion made by Mark Swanger (the present chairman) and seconded…
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 13:57

Kids can endure a little stress

To the Editor: Wondering what all the fuss is over the use of Common Core standards in school, I looked up what information I could find. Frankly, it gets pretty weird. One expert said that requiring kids to meet certain…
Words sometimes change meaning. It may take a few years, but it happens, and it especially happens in politics. A comment was recently posted on www.smokymountainnews.com in response to a column I wrote two weeks ago about the Haywood County…
An ordinance designed to keep student housing from taking over the village of Forest Hills is creating an obstacle for a drug recovery program looking to start up there. Mia Boyce, director of the Christian nonprofit Kingdom Care, began her…
Fundraising for a $1.3-million shelter for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse is underway in Macon County, with REACH of Macon County hoping to move to a new building by September 2015.  “This has been a dream from the…
A trio of Republican candidates have lined up to challenge N.C. Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville, for his District 119 House seat. One is barely old enough to drink, one campaigned for Barry Goldwater and one features Second Amendment-chest thumping…
Six attorneys vying for a vacant district court judge seat in the region will try to win the endorsement of the legal community this week, which could help their chances of landing the coveted spot on the bench.
North Carolina’s District 50 senator represents the state’s seven western counties. In 2010, Sen. Jim Davis (R-Franklin) narrowly wrested the seat from incumbent John Snow but then beat Snow by a much-wider margin in 2012. 
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 13:21

Cullowhee considers development standards

Cullowhee is awash in new developments. Specifically, the community is buzzing with the construction of high-density developments aimed at housing Western Carolina University’s growing student population. 
The folks in Franklin are not yet sure what direction they may go with the revamping of the town’s gazebo on Main Street. Representatives of Venture Local Franklin presented the town board of aldermen with alternative plans for the gazebo…
Wednesday, 09 April 2014 13:18

Cherokee museum looks to the future

The Museum of the Cherokee Indian has been having some trouble with its exhibit light and sound system lately, but that’s not too much of a surprise. After all, that electrical system has run constantly since its installation in 1998.…
Despite the automated security system that speaks up every time a door is opened and the whiteboard grid tracking points for the shelter’s behavior management program, “institutional” is the last word that comes to mind when you enter Hawthorn Heights…
A coup within the Haywood County Republican Party was set in motion this week by a group of precinct chairs who called for the ousting of the party’s chairwoman.   A takeover of the local party by a faction of…