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Western Carolina University’s quintet in residence should consider letting the Travel Channel tag along before embarking on its next international tour. After returning from China last month, the Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet can count 49 first-time foods tasted in 14…
The Cherokee uses and ecology of river cane will be discussed during a guided walk from 10 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, June 9, in Franklin. “We Brake for River Cane” will discuss biology and ecology of canebrakes, and the…
Wednesday, 02 June 2010 20:01

Cherokee passport checkpoint a fun reminder

Martie Hoofer was driving her motorcycle into Cherokee from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park when an Anikituhwa warrior dressed for battle stopped her and asked for her passport. “I was shocked,” Hoofer said. “I believed him. My passport is…
Wednesday, 02 June 2010 19:59

Rediscovering inspiration

In the mid-1970s my primary writing interest was poetry. I was consumed night and day by poetry for perhaps five years and took part in poetry readings throughout the southern mountains. Some poems were published in little magazines like “Wind,”…
In March Swain County commissioners voted to enact a moratorium that put a halt to Duke Energy’s substation project on a hill overlooking the Cherokee mound site, Kituwah. The moratorium was passed amidst a heated dialogue between the county, the…
“Putting Mr. Finn out of business is not a duty of the Jackson County sheriff. Is that a fair statement?” asked Frank Contrivo Jr., the lawyer representing David Finn. “That statement or thought has never crossed my mind,” said Jackson…
On one side are local farmers, toiling from dawn to dusk, trying to compete in an increasingly globalized economy. On the other are local restaurant owners, caught up with the myriad responsibilities of running a successful small business. Hovering in…
Downtown Waynesville merchants hope a plan to remodel the old Strand theater as an entertainment venue, restaurant and microbrewery will return the former icon to a Main Street magnet once again. “We are excited about it. We think it is…
It doesn’t get much fresher than this. Horticulture students at Smoky Mountain High School in Sylva are helping to feed their peers by supplying the school cafeteria with lettuce. Students are growing lettuce hydroponically in a greenhouse, where plant roots…
Wednesday, 02 June 2010 16:37

From garden to table in Sylva

In Sylva, the buy local mantra is being reinterpreted as grow your own. Volunteers at the Community Table, a nonprofit that provides free, nutritious meals to anyone who needs them, helped to create the Sylva Community Garden six years ago…
I was heartened recently by two op-eds I read in area newspapers regarding industrial-sized wind turbines in the mountains of Western North Carolina. The reasoned commentaries were written by individuals with firsthand knowledge of science, the scientific method, Appalachian history,…
The Haywood Arts Regional Theatre kicks off summer with a hilarious backstage romp “Falling in Like” an “almost romantic comedy” written and directed by the playwright Jerry Sipp. This performance is a unique opportunity to have a playwright come into…
Lorin Shaw was barely 16 when he landed a job with a crew building the Blue Ridge Parkway in the late-1930s. “We were lucky to get the work because there was no work back then,” said Shaw, who was born…
By Brent MartinI went down to the water but he left me in the mud; I wanted me some wine but he turned it into blood. — from the Dean Williams painting, “Jesus gave me the blues”. A little over…
An election watchdog in Swain County is protesting the tallying of early votes before the close of polls on Election Day, claiming it could have given some candidates an unfair advantage if those results be leaked. The results from early…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:56

The butternut in the creek bend

Like dimly-lit rhododendron tunnels or ancient sphagnum-layered bogs, creek bends are special places that invariably precipitate beauty. Sitting in the blue-gray shadows of my porch, I watch lower Lands Creek flow by on its way to the Gulf of Mexico.…
Researchers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park need volunteers to help map stands of ash trees and look for signs of the deadly Emerald Ash Borer. The Emerald Ash Borer has been spreading and is now as close as…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:55

Tsali targeted for trail work

The famed mountain bike trails of Tsali will get a workover this fall thanks to federal stimulus funding. Vegetation will be trimmed back 4 feet on both sides from the center of the trail and 10-feet overhead, and areas with…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:54

Triathlon combines best of mountain sports

The ultimate triathlon for outdoors adventure lovers — with the triple combo of paddling, trail running and mountain biking — will come to the trails of Tsali this weekend, Aug. 28 and 29. The Tsali Challenge will be held at…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:51

Franklin 5k for Clean Water in Africa

The Franklin Blue Planet 5K for Clean Water will be held Saturday, Sept. 4, along the Little Tennessee Greenway. The Interact Club at Franklin High School is putting on the race to raise money for the Blue Planet Network, which…
A 110-acre tract along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Waynesville has been protected thanks to the longtime landowner selling the land to the Conservation Trust of North Carolina at a bargain rate. The Conservation Trust in turn plans to deed…
Cataloochee Ranch in Maggie Valley is hosting a chestnut celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11. The festivities will honor the all-important role of chestnut trees for early Appalachian settlers and efforts to repopulate the mountains with…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:48

Jackson lakes lowered

Boating at Tanasee Creek and Wolf Creek lakes will be reduced while Duke Energy repairs a hydroelectric generator below the two lakes. Both lakes are 18.5 feet below full, rendering the boat ramp at Wolf Lake useless. The current schedule…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:48

Fireman’s 5K blazes into Bryson City

The Fireman’s Day 5K will be held in Bryson City Saturday, Sept. 4, in conjunction with the 29th annual Fireman’s Day Street Festival. The 3.1-mile course starts and finishes at the Bryson City Fire Department. It makes a loop out…
Growers looking for greenhouse space may find what they need at the Jackson County Green Energy Park in Dillsboro, where large greenhouses are heated using energy from methane given off by decomposing trash. There is more than 4,000 square feet…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:44

Won one for the piper

On Aug. 17, federal judge Royce C. Lambeth ruled that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s designation of critical habitat for the federally threatened piping plover in areas of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore were in compliance with the Endangered…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:43

First Blue Ridge Breakaway a great success

Barring relentless rain and a couple of mishaps, the inaugural Blue Ridge Breakaway was a resounding success, according to ride organizers. About 300 avid cyclists headed out early on Saturday, Aug. 21, for the newest long-distance bike ride in Western…
A reading and book signing for the new anthology Echoes Across the Blue Ridge will take place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28, at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville.   The anthology includes a variety of stories,…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:40

A fascinating murder story

On a hot July night in 1935, a young Wise County, Virginia, school teacher named Edith Maxwell came home late. Her father Trigg, who did not approve of his daughter’s late hours, confronted her and a violent argument (which turned…
I admit to being slightly irked when I initially thought about writing this column. It has been about a year since Jeff Seiler retired as the director of the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service for Swain and Jackson counties, and more…
“Do I want to dictate what the college does? That is not my job. As county commissioners, it is my job to ask questions.” Haywood County Board of Commissioners Chairman Kirk Kirkpatrick The Haywood County commissioners have done their job,…
Alternative energy has emerged as a sticking point in the debate over a proposed $10 million creative arts building at Haywood Community College. The project is in limbo as it awaits approval from county commissioners, who have expressed reservations for…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:29

Spine Center coming to Angel Medical

Spine care for residents of Macon and adjoining counties will be available in Franklin beginning Tuesday, Sept. 7 with the opening of Mission Outpatient Spine Center at Angel Medical Center. A grand opening celebration will be held at noon on Sept.…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:28

HCC offers business planning course

Rural Entrepreneurship through Action Learning will be offered from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursdays from Sept. 14 through Oct. 7. This four-week course will be held at Haywood Community College in the Freedlander Building in Room 204.…
The historic significance of the Cowee Valley corridor received a national boost this month following the designation of N.C. 28 as part of the Indian Lakes Scenic Byway. “We had to make our case for the project, document the project…
Ghost Town in the Sky is staring down the barrel of foreclosure. BB&T has filed for foreclosure against the amusement park, which owes BB&T $9.5 million dating back to 2007. Of that amount, $6.5 million was to purchase of the…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:24

Blue Ridge Hall opens its doors

Of the 1,450 Western Carolina University freshmen set to move in Aug. 20, about 375 will score a room in the brand new Blue Ridge Hall. The hall is the second of a pair of residence halls built as part…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:24

Free hand screening to be held at Harris

Dr. Paul Cutting, an orthopedic doctor at Western Carolina Orthopedic Specialists who specializes in hand and upper extremity surgery, will offer a free hand screening from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday. Sept. 9, at the outpatient therapy department in…
Lake Junaluska Assembly invites youth and children to become peacemakers at the 2010 Lake Junaluska Peace Celebration: Mosaic of Hope, Sept. 18 through 19. The unique two-day event features leadership from children’s activist Jeni Stepanek, as well as youth and…
A Jackson County grading company was left holding the bag on more than $200,000 in site work after the developer who hired it went bankrupt. The grading company has filed a lawsuit targeting the current property owner in hopes of…
For the second time in three years, the Jackson County Child Support Enforcement Program has achieved the ranking of No. 1 in the state, according to a report released by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services for fiscal…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 19:20

Rabies shots likely in store for dozens

More than 40 people in Haywood County might have been exposed to rabies after a baby raccoon a family was caring for died and tested positive for the disease. The raccoon died of rabies infection Aug. 13. Prior to its…
In the 1970s, blue jeans and boys with shaggy hair were as scandalous in Western North Carolina schools as miniskirts and pants sagging well below the waist are today. Teenage fashion continues marching onward in its evolution, leaving school administrators…
Bryson City merchants can expect some relief from the downtown parking crunch once the old Swain County Jail is torn down in the next two weeks. The crumbling jail was abandoned a couple of years ago for a new multimillion-dollar…
Attorneys in the state’s seven westernmost counties sent a message to the governor this week that they don’t want a temporary fill-in as judge before the November election. The retirement of longtime District Court Judge Danny Davis would typically trigger…
Finding a new police chief for Sylva might take more time than anticipated after some of the town’s board members balked at using outside help. In early August, Town Manager Adrienne Isenhower notified commissioners via email she intended to enlist…
Get ready for two evenings of bluegrass music and wholesome family fun on Friday, Aug. 27, and Saturday, Aug. 28, on the grounds behind the old Fines Creek School. Sponsored by the Fines Creek Community Association to raise funds for…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 18:48

The Farewell Drifters come to Stecoah

The 2010 “An Appalachian Evening” season comes to an end on Saturday, Aug. 28, with one of Nashville’s most exciting new acts. The Farewell Drifters perform at 7:30 p.m. at Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center. “An Appalachian Evening” was named…
The Haywood Arts Regional Theater’s next play never played Broadway, or even New York, but it is one of the most popular comedies being done today. “Catfish Moon” by Laddy Sartin tells the story of a group of close friends…
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 18:46

Songwriters series continues in Balsam

Grammy Award winner Leslie Ellis and Grammy Award nominee Casey Kelly will share their creative talents starting 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 28, at the Balsam Mountain Inn. The performance is part of the Songwriters In-The-Round series, which brings audiences…