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Back in the days when WCU was WCTC (Western Carolina Teachers’ College), I was one of a few kids that hung around “the little theatre” with Mabel Crum, the Chair of the English Department (circa 1950’s). In the absence of…
The new years toasts are over, and we’re a week into 2009. If hindsight is 20-20, then it’s time to feel pretty confident inpassing judgment on 2008 — it sucked. Ever want to just drop kick a time span into…
The new lines of kayaks and canoes this year have one mission in common: to lure new converts. “Most of the manufacturers are coming out with boats that are more beginner and intermediate friendly. This is a push to get…
A visitor center that would showcase the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and a local heritage museum could one day occupy the Swain County historic courthouse on Everett Street if and when the senior center currently in the courthouse moves…
Duke Energy filed a lawsuit against Jackson County and county Planning Director Linda Cable on Monday (Jan. 5) for failing to issue permits necessary for the removal of the Dillsboro dam. Duke warned the county about a month ago that…
Wednesday, 07 January 2009 13:45

Striking an electronic chord

By Chris Cooper Truth be told, I’m not exactly the biggest fan of — here’s the old fogey coming out — “electronic” music. I hear bleeps and bloops, repetitive motifs that are often harmonically half baked and build and build…
Wednesday, 07 January 2009 13:45

A second Gilded Age is upon us

By Bob Scott Steal a loaf of bread to feed your family and you go to jail. Steal $50 billion from investors and you get to stay in your luxury New York apartment under electronic monitoring. Senators and House of…
When the new line of 2009 kayaks hits the outfitters’ stores in coming weeks, the mark of paddling guru Wayner Dickert will be lurking beneath more than one hull. The former Olympic paddler has long been a go-to guy for…
Wednesday, 07 January 2009 13:45

Therapists: Hard times test marriages

The national economic downturn is taking its toll on married couples dealing with financial stress, according to area marriage counselors. Dr. Helen Andrews of Waynesville said the poor economy seems to be the primary issue on her clients’ minds. Money…
Wednesday, 07 January 2009 13:52

The Naturalist's Corner: In the midnight hour

Like ships that collide in the middle of the night, “midnight rules” and their undoing perpetuate and reinforce philosophical and ideological divisions in this country while enhancing partisanship and strengthening the hold and influence politicians and power brokers have over…
Wednesday, 07 January 2009 13:51

Wolf lore

In the beginning, the people say, the dog was put on the mountain and the wolf beside the fire. When winter came the dog could not stand the cold, so he came down to the settlement and drove the wolf…
A member of the Jackson County Smart Roads group told county commissioners on Monday (Jan. 5) that there needs to be more planning when it comes to the proposed N.C. 107 connector, a.k.a. Southern Loop. The proposed road would connect…
By Christi Marsico • Staff Writer David Bromberg, the well-known vocalist/guitarist/multi-instrumentalist, was headed home for a quiet evening with his family this New Year’s. “New Year’s is not a big deal for me, and I‘m resolved not to make any…
Wednesday, 07 January 2009 13:45

Grow your plants from seeds

By Jim Janke Editor’s note: This is the first of a three-part series on growing plants from seeds. Today we talk about the benefits of growing plants from seeds, and what seeds need to germinate. Next week we’ll discuss how…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 19:50

Cherokee’s own big fish legend

Editor’s note: This George Ellison column first appeared in The Smoky Mountain News in March 2005. “Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the Fish’s belly …. The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the…
A trout-fishing tournament open to all ages will be held March 26 in Cherokee from daybreak until 5 p.m. The tournament features $10,000 in cash prizes. The Cherokee Chamber of Commerce and the fish and wildlife management department of the…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 19:49

Pink Beds area slated for controlled burn

In the next six weeks, depending on weather conditions, rangers in the Pisgah National Forest plan a prescribed burn in the Pink Beds area of Transylvania County.   The burn area will be up to 2,000 acres in size. The…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 19:48

Learn to fly fish from seasoned anglers

The Tuckaseigee Chapter of Trout Unlimited will conduct basic fly-fishing courses at St. John’s Episcopal Church on Jackson Street in Sylva through May. The classroom sessions run the first and second Thursday of each month from 6 p.m. to 8…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 19:47

Runners embrace spring with lineup of 5Ks

Spring is nearly here, and the running calendar proves it. Here are some 5Ks coming up in the next few weeks. • Meadowbrook Cubs on the Run 5k and fun-run held March 19 will benefit Meadowbrook Elementary School’s physical education…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 19:47

Want to keep bees?

A daylong course in beginner beekeeping will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at the Swain County N.C. Cooperative Extension Service in Bryson City. The school is sponsored by Smoky Mountain Beekeepers, representing Jackson, Swain…
A growers’ fair will be held April 16 in Dillsboro to benefit Full Spectrum Farms, a nonprofit devoted to supporting those in the autism community. The fair will be at Monteith Farmstead, the site of last year’s popular Appalachian Growers…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 19:45

First major paddling race of the season

Watch world-class paddlers compete in both downriver and slalom competitions in the season’s first major competitive event on the Nantahala River March 26-27. Paddlers from across the country will be compete in the Bank of America U.S. Open, which serves…
The 2013 World Freestyle Kayaking Championships being held in the Nantahala Gorge are still two years away, but planning must start now if the region wants to be ready in time. The freestyle kayaking championship will bring thousands of international…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 19:43

Kayak demo day at WCU

Western Carolina University’s Base Camp Cullowhee has teamed up with local kayak manufacturers to host its sixth annual kayak demo day on the East Fork of the Tuckaseigee River at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 19. Attendees will be able to…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 19:43

Know what to do in a wilderness emergency?

A Wilderness First Aid course will be held at Medwest Health & Fitness Center in Haywood County from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 26 and 27. Learn how to respond to a variety of emergencies in remote locations such…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 19:41

The Naturalist's Corner: Ridin’ the tide

On a recent trip to Isle of Palms, South Carolina, we had access to a sea kayak and decided to take advantage. There’s a pretty dramatic tide at Isle of Palms with currents to match so you have to plan…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 19:37

Hemp house going up at Lake Junaluska

If someone said the word “hemp,” the first thing to spring to mind probably wouldn’t be home construction. But if you’re looking for a strong, green, energy-efficient building material that’s resistant to pretty much everything, hemp might be your best…
City Lights Bookstore in Sylva will feature local authors of poetry and nonfiction in the coming week. Coffee with the Poet will meet at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 17, with Brent Martin. Martin, the featured poet, lives in Cowee…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 19:36

Mystery author gives reading

Author Leanna Sain will give a reading at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville from 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 26. Sain is the author of the mystery trilogy, which includes Gate to Nowhere, Return to Nowhere and Magnolia Blossoms. Sain’s…
Some The Smoky Mountain News readers may remember a review here several seasons ago of Bill Walker’s Skywalker: Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail. In that book we met the appropriately named Walker narrating his adventures while hiking the Appalachian…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 19:28

We must expand energy exploration

To the Editor: An absence of vision and leadership in Washington is threatening the very existence of our nation. Our national defense, economy and our entire way of life is based upon the availability of economical energy. Special interests have…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 19:27

WCU could do better with job reductions

To the Editor: I find the stories regarding the downsizing of personnel at WCU deeply disturbing. As an alumnus, be it one from many years ago, I am ashamed of my university, particularly in the way the dismissals were handled.…
Wednesday, 16 March 2011 19:26

Don’t pass a voter ID requirement

To the Editor: I ask that our newly elected Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, lead the way for the state Republican representatives and vote no to the unneccessary imposition of a government issued Voter ID on North Carolinians. This will ultimately…
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…