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Don’t have a greenhouse, or worried your cat will destroy any new plants? Then get an early start on this year’s garden by letting the folks at Old Armory Recreation Center Greenhouse take on your plants. The greenhouse will open March…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 21:17

Five best hikes of the Smokies

Still haven’t checked out the national treasure of hiking trails in our backyard in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park? Or haven’t ventured beyond one or two trailheads? Join Friends of the Smokies hiking enthusiast and author Danny Bernstein and…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 21:16

Only Catamounts left in WNC are at WCU

Last week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tried to put the last nail in the coffin of the eastern cougar by declaring it extinct. The cougar (catamount, panther, puma, painter, mountain lion) will surely not go quietly. This legendary…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 21:13

Local mountain bikers join forces

In Western North Carolina’s thriving outdoors community, mountain bikers have long been at the center of the action. But now, they’re looking to make their presence official by kicking off a local chapter of the Southeast Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA).…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 21:11

Love, devotion and a restless journey

The great kite of the crucified Christ loomed and caused the crowd to vibrate. Like a pyre before him, the bank of burning candles waited. The hot pure smell of burning. A woman’s fan of blonde hair in front of…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 21:11

Library offers books for sale

Western Carolina University’s Hunter Library will have hundreds of books, DVDs, CDs and other media on sale from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 16. Fiction and nonfiction, reference materials…
We spend winter anticipating spring. But, when warmer weather arrives, we often rob ourselves of enjoyment in the rush to complete tasks. We think of what needs to be done but hasn’t been. We see what’s undone instead of contemplating…
To the Editor: As a resident of Sylva, a dog lover, and a volunteer for several local rescue groups, I am astonished that any reasonable person would oppose the very basic protections that regulating commercial dog breeders would offer to…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 21:07

I apologize for my behavior at meeting

To the Editor: To the taxpayers, business owners and residents of Maggie Valley, I personally apologize to each and everyone of you for my behavior during our Feb. 15 town meeting. Needless to say I was very angry with the…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 21:06

Budget bill will hurt this country

To the Editor: There is a battle going on in the U.S. Congress for the soul of our country. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a budget which, if enacted, would plunge our economy back into recession. According to The…
Growing up, I knew America was the country of grand ideas carried out from the moral high ground. We could put a man on the moon, we could end institutionalized racism, fight a war on poverty and try to wipe…
The predicament surrounding the arena began when Monroe Miller — the county’s leading critic who regularly lambasts commissioners at their meetings and via email on any and every topic — filed a complaint with the North Carolina Department of Insurance,…
The Haywood County Fairgrounds are on the way to being back in business after a scare that shuttered the covered arena for code-compliance violations. An infusion of cash by Haywood County commissioners saved the fairgrounds from cancelling upcoming events at…
Work to bring broadband to all of North Carolina — including adding missing sections of fiber in the mountains — is well under way, leaders with a state nonprofit group said. Construction on an important link from Enka to Sylva…
Mountain Projects might take control of the REACH village in Sylva, ensuring the low-income housing would remain available to area residents in need, especially victims of domestic violence. This does not mean, however, that REACH of Jackson County, an anti-domestic…
Macon County is losing an incredible amount of experience this year with the impending retirements of two employees. Between them, Wilma Anderson — assistant to the county manager/human-resources director and Evelyn Southard — finance director — have more than 60…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:38

Red Cross offers free CPR training

Haywood and Jackson County residents can attend free CPR training from the American Red Cross. Registration is open for “CPR Saturday,” which is sponsored by MedWest Carolina’s Healthcare. The event will be held with two classes at each location March…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:38

Small Towns program under way in Bryson

HandMade in America is working with Bryson City as a part of its Small Towns program, which assists small towns in revitalization efforts. A resource team with the nonprofit will visit Bryson City March 16 through March 18 to conduct…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:36

Healthy Haywood kicks off fitness challenge

Healthy Haywood will kick off its annual fitness challenge beginning March 14. Registration is $10. Participants can attend a variety of fitness classes offered by local fitness centers and businesses. Participants are free to choose which classes to attend over…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:35

MedWest expands mental health services

A mental health program at MedWest-Haywood hospital has been expanded to include the general population through a behavioral health outpatient program. The program began as a counseling and support system for active and veteran members of the military. The pilot…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:34

Volunteer opportunity with Arc of Haywood

The Arc of Haywood will be promoting advocacy for those with development disabilities in March. This is to honor Development Disabilities Awareness Month. A United Way agency, The Arc of Haywood was founded in 1976 in Haywood County and continues…
In a we-were-really-just-kidding-around reversal, Jackson County commissioners this week decided to delay their previous decision to delay property revaluation. A draft resolution to push back the countywide appraisal from next year to 2016 was thoughtfully included by county staff in…
The state could step in to run the Swain County Department of Social Services if the top leaders are among those put on leave during a probe into an alleged cover-up. Swain DSS falsified records relating to the abuse and…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:30

Second-home economy makes its mark on WNC

The second-home economy has fueled far more than construction and real estate jobs over the past decade. “If it’s someone’s second or third home, they aren’t bringing anything with them,” said Doug Worrell, the president of High Country Furniture in…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:27

Reading between the census lines

Although population in Western North Carolina increased only by a modest amount over the past decade, home construction grew at a much higher rate, according to 2010 census data released last week. The census counts year-round residents. But much of…
Urban areas grew at a torrid pace over the past decade — so get ready, legislators in the mountains and on the coast, because your already large districts are about to expand. Why? Because, as Christopher Cooper, a political science…
Macon County isn’t exactly asking for a recount, but officials here do want to know why the county’s 2010 census numbers fell well short of what they expected — call it more of a pointed request that federal census workers…
For upwardly mobile professionals who are looking for an outdoor lifestyle, scenic mountain beauty and the company of like-minded individuals, Jackson County has proven the perfect fit. Just-released 2010 census data shows Jackson County emerging over the last decade as…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:11

Former HRMC CEO gets $150,000 settlement

The former CEO of Haywood Regional Medical Center will get $150,000 from the hospital after settling a lawsuit claiming he was wrongfully fired. David Rice was at the helm during a near meltdown of the hospital in 2008. At the…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:10

Jackson student art on exhibit

The artwork of regional students will be on display as part of the 2011 Jackson County Youth Art Month exhibit, from March 14 through April 11, in the lobby of Western Carolina University’s Fine and Performing Arts Center. A reception…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:09

Learning to grow the modern family

A program entitled The Thoroughly Modern Family is offered from 3 to 4:15 p.m. on Saturday, March 19, at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville. The event is designed to be a fun, fast-paced event with presentations by local marriage and…
The Macon County Public Library is calling for entries in its “Waking with Spring” Appalachian Trail photography contest. The competition is celebrating Franklin’s designation as an Appalachian Trail Conservancy Community. Any photographs of hikers, landscapes, or nature taken on the…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:06

Bowls for bovines set for March 12

The Gamma Zeta chapter of Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity at Western Carolina University will host a chili and handcrafted ceramic bowl fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 12. The fundraiser is to benefit Heifer…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:05

Honors students put on annual show

The Haywood County Arts Council will present its 13th-annual Student Honors Recital at 3 p.m., Sunday, March 13, at the Performing Arts Center in Waynesville. A cookies and punch reception will take place immediately following the recital. The annual concert…
A Cherokee Music Day is coming to Cherokee Central School on Wednesday, March 16, with a full slate of free concerts and hands-on interactive instruction between North Carolina Symphony members and students. The day begins with two small ensemble concerts,…
Local author Johnnie Sue Myers will be at Sylva’s City Lights Bookstore at 2 p.m., Saturday, March 12, for a presentation and tasting promoting her recent cookbook, The Gathering Place: Traditional Cherokee Dishes, Wild Game Recipes & Preparation Tips, and…
A benefit for Asheville’s Rathbun Center will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 18, at The Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin. Groups participating are the Rye Holler Boys, Dueling Piano Players, WestSound, and Sherri…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 20:00

Quilt Trail adds a few new squares

Haywood County’s Quilt Trails project will unveil three quilt blocks at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 12, beginning at the Shook-Smathers House in Clyde. Ceremonies at Lil’s and the Haywood Institute building will immediately follow the Shook-Smathers unveiling. The Shook…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 19:58

Bottoms up! Bryson City brewery opens

Beer brewing in Bryson City just took on a whole new look this weekend when Nantahala Brewing Company threw open the doors of its brand new tasting room. The town’s fledgling brewery welcomed friends and fans into its front room…
Swain County commissioners voted 4 to 1 in a special meeting Thursday (March 3) to formally recommend that the  Department of Social Services Board suspend with pay four employees involved in a State Bureau of Investigation probe into an alleged…
The Swain County Department of Social Services board has agreed to meet with the Swain County commissioners to discuss whether DSS employees and officials should be suspended due to an ongoing criminal investigation of the agency. The two boards will…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 21:16

Walking a mountain gives it life

Hiking a designated trail involves prescribed origins and destinations, whether it be a four-mile jaunt from Clingman’s Dome to Siler’s Bald in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or a 2,000-mile trek from north Georgia to Maine along the Appalachian…
Two outreach sessions for members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to develop a 10-year “legacy plan” for tribal lands, environment and natural resources have been setup by the tribe’s Natural Resources Department. The sessions will be conducted on…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 21:14

Wildlife advocates gather for March meeting

Western North Carolina Wildlife Advocates — including Wild South, Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education, the Jackson-Macon Conservation Alliance, and representatives from Mountain Wildlife Days, among others — will will gather at 1 p.m. on Friday March 11 at Haywood Community College’s main…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 21:14

Take a group trip to see Cataloochee’s elk

The WNC Nature Center’s “NC Elk Experience” trip to Cataloochee Valley will take place on Tuesday, March 15. Tickets are $18 for Friends of the WNC Nature Center and $20 for others. Those who purchse tickets should meet at the…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 21:13

Volunteers needed at Clingmans Dome

Want to become a volunteer in the Smokies, wear a uniform and help visitors figure out where they are? Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recruiting volunteers to help staff the new visitor contact station at Clingmans Dome when it…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 21:12

Blue Ridge Breakaway registration is open

Registration begins this week for the second-annual Blue Ridge Breakaway bike ride, which is scheduled for Aug. 20. The cycling event brought more than 300 riders to Haywood County last year. The event will feature a century (105 miles), metric…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 21:12

Public workshop to design Webster trail

Anyone interested in helping design, build or use a trail at Jackson County’s new Department on Aging campus in Webster are urged to attend a workshop on Tuesday, March 15. The workshop will be in the conference room at the…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 21:11

Need a summer job?

The Waynesville Recreation Center is looking for lifeguards, with a training course on tap for this month for those who do not have certification. Lifeguards must be at least age 17. A pre-test for the course will be held on…
Wednesday, 02 March 2011 21:09

Life of Riley in Louisiana

Different people have different ideas of camping. Some people like to carry their camp on their back as they hike for untold miles, eating freeze-dried beans and drinking purified water from the streams. Some people’s idea of the camp is…