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Wednesday, 16 March 2011 19:22

Books are an end unto themselves

Books are one of the greatest delights of my life. I don’t need many excuses to buy new ones, frankly, but when I do feel the situation is spinning out of control (my third trip in a week, say, to…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 19:20

Make open government a part of constitution

In this country, the people own the government. It’s ours. End of debate. That’s something we can all be thankful for. A bill in the North Carolina General Assembly is attempting to enshrine this simple fact in the state constitution.…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 19:17

Mountain visitors guide now available

Tourists and visitors can now pick up a free copy of the 2011 NC Mountains Visitors Guide from the Jackson County Travel & Tourism Authority. The 36-page, full color guide details hiking, rafting, fly fishing and other outdoor activities in…
The economy be damned — the burgeoning restaurant scene in Sylva continues to boom, with four eating establishments in this town of just more than 2,400 people expanding, changing hands or soon opening their doors. “A hard economic time is…
A $138,000 fountain, the crowning jewel in a larger, $2.3 million construction project, is being built at Western Carolina University. This is just one of five big-ticket undertakings now under way on campus during this time of state-mandated budget cuts.…
The inaugural Golf Classic hosted by the Wesley Foundation at Western Carolina University is coming April 16 to the Lake Junaluska Golf Course. The classic will include a shotgun start at 1 p.m., and will be captain’s choice. The entry…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 19:08

Documentary screening on school reform

A viewing of Davis Guggenheim’s film, “Waiting for Superman” will be held at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 24, in the Waynesville library auditorium. A discussion will follow after the movie on the issue of school choice. The movie is a…
The Town of Waynesville is negotiating with its biggest water customer, trying to take a stronger role in the future of how — and to whom — it sells water. The Junaluska Sanitary District, which provides water to some of…
Eve Boatright isn’t prepared to openly criticize motorists speeding past her bookshop along U.S. 23/441 south of Franklin. The British transplant has a keen sense of humor, and recognizes those criticized could, in turn, question her ability to drive on…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 19:00

Sylva bypass loses steam as priority

Sylva leaders, asked to list their top road-building priorities, did not include a controversial bypass proposed by the state Department of Transportation. Instead, town commissioners opted for less drastic measures to improve N.C. 107, a congested traffic corridor for Sylva.…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 19:00

Cherokee trust shaken in Swain DSS

Tribal members and leaders alike vented their discontent with Swain County’s handling of child welfare for Cherokee children at this month’s tribal council meeting. The Eastern Band no longer wants to rely on Swain County’s Department of Social Services but…
A large crowd turned out at the Swain County commissioners meeting this week to voice support for the beleaguered Department of Social Services Board. Supporters said local board members tasked with overseeing the agency have been unfairly criticized following the…
Haywood County Schools is currently without a finance director, after long-time finance officer Larry Smith stepped down amid an investigation into accounting irregularities involving one of his employees. Payroll Administrator Sheila Nix, who had been with the district for more…
All is fair in love and war, but apparently not in politics. Former state Sen. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville, is suing his opponent in the last election for violating state campaign finance laws. The suit claims Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Spruce…
The Haywood County Arts Council held its 13th Annual Student Honors Recital on Sunday, March 13, at 3 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center in Waynesville. More than 100 audience members enjoyed a wide range of performances at the Haywood…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 18:40

Cooking up a Taste of Home

Part class, part performance, the Taste of Home Cooking School is coming to the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 24. Tickets are $10. Chef Michelle Roberts will teach 10 new recipes, from…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 18:39

Pirate’s Ball docks in Waynesville

The Pirate’s Ball, an annual gala to raise funds for Folkmoot, will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, April 2, at the Laurel Ridge Country Club. The evening will be emceed by Waynesville Mayor Gavin Brown and…
The Haywood County Historical and Genealogical Society will hold its next monthly meeting at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 25, at the First Baptist Church in Waynesville. The annual dinner meeting will be in the fellowship hall with dinner prepared…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 18:38

Jazz Duo Performs at Macon County library

“Jazz It Up,” a concert by saxophonist Lloyd Weinberg and vibraphonist Paul Babelay, will be presented at 8 p.m., Thursday, March 17, in the main hall of the Macon County Public Library. The program spans jazz styles from Dixieland, Latin…
A St. Patrick’s Day Irish Buffet Fund Raiser will be held at the Station Restaurant and The Storytelling Center in Bryson City from 5 p.m., with storytelling to begin at 7 p.m., on Thursday, March 17, hosted by The Storytelling…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 18:37

‘Kiss Me, Kate’ stages at WCU

Western Carolina University musical theater students will present Cole Porter’s classic musical “Kiss Me, Kate” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, March 24 to 26, and at 3 p.m., Sunday, March 27, in the Fine and Performing Arts Center. The…
Kids who love to sing and are in first through 12th grades next year are invited to Open Rehearsal Night for Voices in the Laurel Children’s Choir. There will be singing, fun, instruments, food and audition information. Open rehearsals are…
Blood, Sweat and Tears will appear at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 19. Chuck Negron, former lead singer of Three Dog Night will also appear with the group. Racking up sales…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 18:34

Barn dance to honor veterans

The next Winter Barn Dance at the Bascom in Highlands is scheduled for 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, March 26. The evening will be to honor veterans and tickets are $5 per person. Admission for honorees is complimentary.…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 18:33

Frog Level festival calls for vendors

The 9th Annual “Whole Bloomin’ Thing” Spring Festival Committee is now accepting applications from local growers, artisans, and wellness-and-nature-related professionals for this year’s event, to be held on Saturday, May 7, in Waynesville’s Frog Level. E-mail to request an application.…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 18:32

New tavern makes its mark on Bryson City

The Tuckasegee Tavern, a new tavern on Depot Street in Bryson City, is opening its doors for a St. Patrick’s Day celebration at 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 17, featuring musical guests Aaron Plantenburg and Larry Barnette. The bar will…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 18:31

Secretariat screened at Groovy Movie Club

The Groovy Movie Club will show the film “Secretariat“ at 7 p.m. on Friday, March 18, at the home of Buffy Queen in Dellwood. A mostly organic potluck dinner will precede the screening at 6:15 p.m. This event is free…
For those looking to learn more about the sculptures that dot the campus at Western Carolina University, well, there’s an app for that. Or at least there will be soon, thanks to a collaboration between the school’s Fine Arts Museum…
The following statement was issued by the Swain County Board of Commissioners after the DSS board failed to take action Tuesday night to suspend employees named in an SBI investigation: The Swain County Board of Commissioners is extremely disappointed with…
The Swain County Department of Social Services board met for three hours Tuesday night (March 8) to discuss whether employees named in an investigation should be suspended with pay pending the outcome. The board failed to come to a consensus.…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 21:24

Archery lessons with James Dickey

During the course of a recent interview for a literary magazine, I was asked: While in grad school at the University of South Carolina, you began an association with James Dickey. What was it like to hang out with one…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 21:23

Deadly bat threat spreading in WNC

Biologists recently confirmed white-nose syndrome at a third site in North Carolina, meaning two counties are now positive for the disease that has killed hundreds of thousands of bats in the eastern United States. The disease was confirmed late last…
The Rev. Daniel P. Matthews of Waynesville has been selected as the new board chair of Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the first from North Carolina since the regional organization’s inception in 1993.   Matthews and his wife,…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 21:20

Learn about white-nose syndrome in bats

Western North Carolina Alliance has put together a panel of experts to talk about white-nose syndrome, a disease that threatens our bat population. The program will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 10, at the University…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 21:19

Agriculture program set for March 25

A free workshop will be held March 25 on the voluntary agricultural district programs and farmland protection planning for counties and municipalities. The workshop (rescheduled from March 18) will be at the Haywood County Center in Waynesville from 9 a.m.…
Wednesday, 09 March 2011 21:19

Go green on this St. Patrick’s Day

A St. Patrick’s Day “green” fundraiser is set for Saturday, March 12, from 6-9:30 p.m. at Nantahala Brewery in Bryson City. The brewery is on Depot Street. There will be Irish music by Bean Sidhe (“Banshee”), plus Celtic jamming. Bring…
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…