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This little slice of Western North Carolina just landed the big one when it comes to competitive fly-fishing. The 2011 U.S. National Fly Fishing Championship will be held this spring from May 19 to 22 in Cherokee. In addition to…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 20:49

WCU to host literacy conference

Educators from throughout the region are invited to attend a one-day conference focusing on literacy hosted by Western Carolina University’s College of Education and Allied Professions. The conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25,…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 20:44

A novel that sparkles with quality writing

In Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand (ISBN 978-1-4000-6893-7, 2010, $25), first-time novelist Helen Simonson has created a superb portrait of life and love in a contemporary English village. Edgecombe St. Mary is the name of the village, and by the end…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 20:43

Tea Party got worse than it deserved

To the Editor: The tragedy in Arizona resulting in loss of life and injury to so many people was horrible. For one deranged person to have caused such pain is beyond belief. What made the event even worse, if possible,…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 20:43

If they’ve forgotten, shame on us

To the Editor: I’m not sure if I’m angry, embarrassed, disappointed, or a combination thereof because of an event that was held here in Franklin, Saturday, Jan. 22. The American Legion Post 108 held a Constitutional Speech competition for high…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 20:42

Train decision good news for Dillsboro

To the Editor: I read with interest your article, “A New Day for Dillsboro” (Smoky Mountain News, Feb. 9). As a resident of Jackson County and a former business owner in town, it has been unfortunate to watch what has…
By Scott Muirhead • Guest Columnist Politics aside, what could possibly be more absurd than plastic flowers? (OK, there are hundreds of things, I know, but we’re on a tight schedule here. Besides, polyethylene gladioli are long overdue for a…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 20:37

Just look around, and cultural pursuits abound

After high school, I moved downstate to attend music school. I lived for a number of years in Greensboro and then Winston-Salem. While a resident of these two cities I fully enjoyed the wide range of cultural perks urban life…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 20:37

Sharpen your marketing skills, increase sales

A seminar on how to use marketing to increase sales will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Bethea Welcome Center at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. More seminars are scheduled for Feb. 24,…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 20:36

MedWest to honor outstanding athletes

MedWest Health System will recognize outstanding athletes from Haywood, Graham, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties and the Cherokee Indian Reservation through the Game On! spot in local newspapers. The Game On! spot will acknowledge individuals who have exemplified outstanding performance,…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 20:36

Shuler appointed to budget committee

U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville, has been appointed to serve on the House Committee on the Budget. “Our nation’s exploding debt has become the single greatest threat to America’s economic future,” Shuler said. “The Budget Committee in the 112th Congress…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 20:34

Cherokee police ask citizens to text their tips

Crime reporting in the region has moved into the digital age, thanks to the Cherokee Police Department’s new text-a-tip program. The system offers tipsters the option to text, via their cell phones, about crime they know about. This can be…
Remodelers who don’t want to send their old kitchen cabinets, bathroom sinks or screen doors to the dump will soon have a place to send unwanted wares that seem too good to throw out. Haywood Habitat for Humanity is opening…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 20:28

Girl Scouts ramp up cookie drive

Local Girl Scouts will begin this year’s cookie drive beginning Feb. 12.   Cookies are only available for approximately two months, then the girls decide where the proceeds go. This year, Girl Scouts can also track their goals online and…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 20:27

Walk to benefit student emergency fund

Western Carolina University supporters have the chance to grow a student emergency fund when they commission a brick paver for the Catamount Legacy Walk. Each 4-by-8-inch, reddish-orange brick paver commissioned through a $125 gift to the Catamount Legacy Walk will…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 20:27

Health-care policy forum Feb. 22 at WCU

A health-care policy forum is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22, in the Catamount Room of the A.K. Hinds University Center at Western Carolina University. The Department of Political Science and Public Affairs and the Public Policy Institute is…
The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership today announced twenty grants, totaling nearly $245,000, have been awarded to help preserve and promote Western North Carolina’s heritage. The grant awards will help support diverse initiatives across the North Carolina mountains and…
Jackson County commissioners have been asked to select their Top Six road priorities to pass along to the state Department of Transportation — a decision that could help decide whether a controversial, five-mile bypass around Sylva is ever built. The…
New protocols for the unlikely event that one of Duke Energy’s dams shows a sign of weakness could speed evacuation of residents downstream. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission wants power companies such as Duke Energy to cut the amount of…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 20:22

Business news

The Haywood County Board of Realtors is offering continuing education classes for current N.C. Real Estate License holders. The four-hour class called Mandatory Update will be held in the morning and the elective class Client Level Negotiating will take place…
Maggie Valley has extended its deadline for alderman applications by a month, despite already having five applications in hand. The town set an application deadline of Feb. 9 after Alderman Colin Edwards tendered his resignation last month. Edwards told The…
With a clipboard under one arm and a giant measuring spool under the other, Greg West climbed into a county-marked truck last Wednesday, cranked the engine and consulted a large Waynesville map on the seat beside him. “Today we’re hitting…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 20:10

Golden LEAF on the chopping block

It’s no secret that the state budget is in a tight spot. In the few weeks the General Assembly has been in session, a raft of new laws already have hit the legislative floor, most proposing cuts in varying degrees…
The financial situation facing REACH of Jackson County is so bleak the nonprofit is facing the possibility of shutting down, leaving women and children who live in abusive relationships nowhere locally to turn for help. The nation’s economic downturn, coupled…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 20:03

The cassoulet recipe

I combine several recipes for my own version of the cassoulet and I don’t think that I’ve make a cassoulet the same twice. That’s the beauty of this dish — it is versatile and can be adapted to accommodate available…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 20:00

Love and food

By Karen Dill • Guest Writer I was driving through the south of France in February 1985 when I had an experience that taught me the importance of the mystical union of food and love. I had my mother and…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 19:58

Class to help boost ‘Slow Cooking Savvy’

A “Slow Cooker Savvy” presentation to help inspire healthy crock-pot meals will be offered from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 23, at the Jackson County Senior Center Complex.   The N.C. Cooperative Extension Service in Jackson County is…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 19:58

Come have coffee with the poet

The monthly meeting of Coffee with the Poet is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 17, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva. The featured poet will be Barbara Duncan of Cherokee, author of Crossing Cowee Mountain and education director…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 19:56

Community music jam in Bryson City

The next community music jam at the Marianna Black Library will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 17, in the library auditorium. Anyone with a guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, dulcimer – anything unplugged – is invited to…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 19:54

John Davidson brings banjo performance to WCU

John Davidson, star of television and Broadway for more than 50 years, will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 24, at Western Carolina University as part of the 2010-11 Galaxy of Stars Series. Davidson will present a…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 19:54

Junior Roller Derby calls for members

Mad Divas Junior Derby is looking for new members at a registration session at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 20, at Smoky Mountain Sk8way in Waynesville. Mad Divas is an all female, flat-track, low-contact roller derby league specifically for girls…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 19:53

Course teaches the ways of Tiffany glass

Local residents are invited to join a stained glass course to be offered in February and March by Western Carolina University’s Division of Educational Outreach. Classes will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursdays beginning Feb. 21 and…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 19:52

Poetry Alive! performs in Franklin

Poetry Alive! will present a program of poetry performance at 7 p.m on Tuesday, Feb. 22, in the Macon County Public Library in Franklin. Bringing poetry from the page to the stage, the Poetry Alive! team of two professional actors…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 19:50

Pan Harmonia bring flute and guitar to Bryson

Pan Harmonia will perform music of Latin America, new sounds by American composers and Carmen Fantasy at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 20, in the Swain County Center for the Arts.   Musicians are flutist and artistic director Kate Steinbeck…
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 19:48

Christian illusionist comes to Franklin

Christian illusionist Brock Gill will appear on Feb. 25 at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, bringing a new brand of illusions and daring escapes to the stage. Gill has been performing since 1997, when he left work…
In modern America, the term ‘women’s work’ is not exactly a complimentary phrase. It’s less descriptive, more derisive, not so much an adjective as an epithet. It’s a wordplay not lost on the curators of the exhibit by the same…
With a clipboard under one arm and a giant measuring spool under the other, Greg West climbed into a county-marked truck last Wednesday, cranked the engine and consulted a large Waynesville map on the seat beside him. “Today we’re hitting…
Jackson County commissioners have been asked to select their top six road priorities for consideration by the state Department of Transportation, a decision that could help decide whether a controversial bypass around Sylva is ever built. Division 14, a 10-county…
Richard Collings has submitted his resignation as president of Southwestern Community College after just six months on the job. The resignation was submitted Tuesday, to be effective Wednesday, Feb. 9. No reason was given for the resignation. Collings suffered unexpected…
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 16:26

Malady deadly to bats found in North Carolina

White-nose syndrome, the disease that has killed hundreds of thousands of bats in the Eastern United States, has been discovered in a retired Avery County mine and in a cave at Grandfather Mountain State Park, marking the arrival of the…
Travelers can sign-up to receive status updates about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s most frequently used roads via text message or the Internet.   Previously, travelers had to place phone calls to the park to determine the status of…
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 21:08

New staffer in Jackson conservation group

The Wilderness Society recently appointed Jill Gottesman as outreach coordinator in an effort to increase conservation efforts in North Carolina. She will work out of the conservation group’s Sylva office. Gottesman, former outreach director at Georgia ForestWatch, will be responsible…
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 21:07

Watch for crossing fish

You’ve heard of deer crossings? Well, fish need crossings too, the Little Tennessee Watershed Association announced recently after the Franklin-based conservation group and some partners studied the group’s river namesake from the North Carolina state line to Lake Emory in…
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 21:06

Focused efforts to save hemlocks showing promise

Good news on the hemlock front — the U.S. Forest Service reports it has had some success in ongoing efforts to protect these trees from the hemlock woolly adelgid. The non-native invasive insect has killed thousands of hemlocks in the…
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 21:05

Ease pain of income tax by helping wildlife

Whether you love to hunt, fish, bird watch, or just want to do your part to ensure that wildlife in North Carolina flourishes, you can help conserve the state’s wildlife and wildlife habitats by checking line No. 30 on your…
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 21:05

State grants commission new power

Starting March 1, the executive director of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will have the power of implementing an emergency response plan in the event of a wildlife disease outbreak. An emergency response plan would be developed in consultation with…
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 21:02

The Naturalist's Corner: A bog of dreams

The Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) and partners are literally moving the earth over in Flat Rock to help restore the Ochlawaha bog. Excavators are stripping about a foot of fill dirt from an old tomato field in hopes of…
The rest of the economy might have suffered, but a couple of snowy winters are adding up to big bucks and good times for North Carolina’s ski industry. Last year, the total economic impact of this segment of the state’s…
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 20:47

Oil lamps are useful… and nostalgic

Editor’s note: The second installment in George Ellison’s research into the Ghost Dance has been delayed due to the inability to reach certain sources. Look for the article in next week’s Smoky Mountain News. This article first appeared in SMN…
Wednesday, 09 February 2011 20:46

New book looks at remarkable work of therapy dogs

Author Deanna Klingel of Sapphire Valley will be at City Lights Bookstore at 2 p.m. on Feb. 12 to discuss her new book, Just for the Moment: The Remarkable Gift of the Therapy Dog. Klingel says the book is not…