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That the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest in Graham County isn’t what it once was is true — the large hemlocks are dying or dead, victim of the hemlock wooly adelgid, a tiny insect that is changing the landscape of Western…
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 14:31

Local author speaks on Haywood history

Local author Louise K. Nelson will be at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 30. Nelson has written several books, mainly on Haywood County’s early history. Nelson was born in Haywood County 85…
Danielle Ganek’s The Summer We Read Gatsby (ISBN 978-0-670-02178-9, $28.95) tells the story of two half-sisters, Cassie, a translator for a Swiss lifestyle magazine, and Peck, an often-unemployed actress who loves vintage clothing, gossip, and parties. When their cherished Aunt…
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 14:26

Local Confederate history comes alive

Historians Reed Henson and David and Debbie Patterson will hearken back to the Confederacy at 7 p.m. on July 28 at the Macon County Library with their collection of arms, clothing, flags and equipment that would have been used at…
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 14:25

‘Liars Bench’ returns to WCU

Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center will host and sponsor a free performance of “The Liars Bench” Southern Appalachian variety show at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4. “The Liars Bench” was founded by Sylva writer and storyteller Gary Carden in…
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 14:24

Library wraps up summer reading

The Marianna Black Library in Bryson City has been celebrating “One World, Many Stories” during its annual summer reading program all summer long.  Community children have had a chance to bring their own hand-crafted passports to Australia, Egypt, England, China,…
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 14:24

Lakeside dinner to benefit The Bascom

Dine at Lakeside Restaurant on Wednesday, July 27, and help The Bascom Visual Arts Center. Lakeside will donate 15 percent of the gross sales from the evening’s supporters to the art center. When making your reservation, be sure to mention…
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 14:24

Learn to create abstract art

Local artist Silvia Cabrera Williams will lead a teaching session on from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6, at Leapin’ Frog Gallery in Waynesville’s Historic Frog Level. Some basic instruction about paints, values, shapes and color placement…
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 14:20

Exhibit celebrates downtown Waynesville

The Haywood County Arts Council will host an exhibition titled, “Main Street Moments in Time,” celebrating 25 years of the Downtown Waynesville Association and featuring photographs from the DWA’s archives, the Historical Society’s SnapShot project, and photographs of the downtown…
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 14:19

JAM comes to Jackson County

In March, a group of interested local leaders met to discuss the formation of an affiliate program of the regional the Junior Appalachian Musicians Program. The meeting set the wheels in motion for the implementation of an after-school program for…
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 14:19

Evening of acoustic music in Bryson City

As part of a Summer Music Series, the Marianna Black Library in Bryson City will host acoustic country musicians Ron and Julia Thompson at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 28. The program will be presented on the front porch of…
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 14:18

Groove on the Green all summer in Cashiers

Groovin’ on the Green, Cashiers’ summer concert series, continues at 6:30 p.m. on Friday evenings through September at the Cashiers Commons. July into September featured bands are Velvet Truckstop on July 29; Les Freres Michot on Aug. 12; The Fishsticks…
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 14:18

Library hosts origami workshop

Emiko Suzuki will conduct a workshop in origami at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 4, at the Jackson County Public Library. Origami is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding which began in the 17th century.   In addition to…
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 14:17

Artists holds beading workshop

Nan Smith, a local beading artist, will lead a program on jewelry beading at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 28, at the Jackson County Library. During her workshop she will teach the group how to make seed bead and crystal…
The Creative Thought Center in Waynesville invites the public to its Colossal Rummage Sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 30. The sale will be held indoors and cover 6,000 square feet and will include a diverse…
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 14:16

Junaluska women model fashions

The annual Junaluska Woman’s Club Fashion Show Scholarship Luncheon will be held at 12 p.m. on Aug. 2 at the Foundation for Evangelism at Lake Junaluska. Fashions provided by Krismart in Sylva will be modeled by club members, with commentary by…
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 14:15

Country stars visit Franklin

The Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts will host an evening of American music with superstars Lee Greenwood and Louise Mandrell at 7:30 p.m. on July 30. Along with his patriotic hit “God Bless the USA,” Greenwood has won…
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 14:11

Heeding the call of the drumbeat

In the tradition of good old American music, it’s not usually women you’ll find manning the drums. Dozens of bands are known for their legendary drummers — The Rolling Stones, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, KISS — and none of…
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 14:06

A few notes on habits and change

In her teachings, Buddhist nun Pema Chodron often relates a story about a great spiritual teacher, Atisha, who planned a trip from India to Tibet. Atisha was told the people of Tibet were good-natured, pleasant and wonderful to be with.…
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 14:05

A chink in the good ol’ boys’ armor

I remember both my grandfathers very well.  Both served in the military during WWI, and their grandfathers fought in the American Civil War. With that perspective, one can readily comprehend how quickly time moves along. Nowadays, at age 59, I…
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 14:04

Liberals will take this country down

To The Editor: Before Shirley Ches graced us with her commentary on the state of the universe in her recent letter to a local paper, most of us didn’t know we had a spokesperson for USA Earthlings right here in…
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 14:03

Is Duke a for-profit business or a utility?

To the Editor: Bob Scott, alderman, town of Franklin, wrote a pointed letter to the editor titled, “Rate increase should be met with salary cuts.” Scott has done solid research in to the hefty salaries of Duke energy’s top executives.…
EDISTO, S.C. — If you’re going to roast in a record-breaking heat wave anyway, you might as well do it at the beach. Here, at least, we have the ocean breezes, a swimming pool at the resort, merciful air conditioning…
Needed school supplies for students attending Central Elementary School is the focus of the fifth-annual “Vineival,” on Saturday, July 30, at Vine of the Mountains in Frog Level. Besides providing backpacks filled with the required free school supplies for Central…
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 13:58

Help kids get school supplies

Buying school supplies for children is becoming increasingly expensive, and some local groups want to help cash-strapped families. Altrusa International of Waynesville and the Haywood Rotary club will be spearheading a drive to collect school supplies for needy children in…
The town of Waynesville is dusting off the drafting table, ready to launch a community planning initiative to shape the future look and feel of South Main Street. The area has been primed for growth by the recent addition of…
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is continuing to target bear pits on the Cherokee Indian Reservation, this time with a billboard on Interstate 26. The new billboard shows a little girl with a bloody bandage around her…
Maggie Valley took a leap of faith this year with its inaugural Red, White and Boom festival. It was a four-day, July 4th spectacular the town hoped would raise its profile with tourists and tempt locals to venture into Maggie.…
It’s a typical late afternoon weekday in Hollifield Jewelers on Main Street in Sylva, with four or five customers in the store at one time. Busy — just the way owner Steve Dennis likes it. But that busyness, the marks…
Since 1917, the Red Cross has flown its archetypal white flag in Haywood County. In the 94 years that have since passed, the charity’s presence in the county has been steadily dwindling. First, the Waynesville chapter disappeared. Then the Canton…
When Mike Schoonover was 10 years old, he had a transformative experience. It wasn’t a religious conversion per se. There was no epiphany-inducing encounter with a sports hero. But there was a cathedral of sky and a 10,000-foot high playing…
Alcohol has historically been slow to come to the mountains — much slower than the rest of the state. Only two counties in Western North Carolina allow alcohol sales outside town limits. Statewide, 60 counties allow some form of alcohol…
Whether you’re a college student in Cullowhee or a socialite in Cashiers, stocking up on beer, wine and spirits requires a trip into town — a trip most would apparently rather not make. A majority of Jackson County residents support…
Voters in Jackson County will get to decide next year whether to allow alcohol sales countywide. Four of the county’s five commissioners told The Smoky Mountain News this week they would support an alcohol referendum. The commissioners have not publicly…
Swain County should finally have a budget by early August, nearly six weeks after the start of the new fiscal year. Commissioners passed an interim budget to keep the county running over the summer, one of only two counties in…
Visitors to Bryson City will have a free place to go when nature calls once public restrooms are installed in the historic courthouse. There are plans for the now-vacant courthouse to one day be home to a visitor’s center manned…
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 13:39

Are community colleges efficient?

The answer is no, according to a recent study by the state Program Evaluation Oversight Committee. Here’s what they found: • While North Carolina’s 58 community colleges were established to meet community needs, their independence challenges administrative efficiency. Colleges vary…
Local and state leaders in Western North Carolina are vigorously opposing a cost-savings plan to consolidate administrations of 15 of the state’s smallest community colleges, including those of Haywood Community College and Southwestern Community College. A joint state legislative committee…
A flash flood struck the Cherokee fish hatchery last week, pummeling fish in the raceways with a wall of water laden with mud, rocks and branches. It wiped out hundreds if not thousands of trout and left a massive clean-up…
A new strategic plan for Western Carolina University will include ideas and voices from the local community, new Chancellor David Belcher promised Jackson County’s town and county leaders. In a wide-ranging address at a breakfast gathering held late last week…
Smoky Mountain Living prominently features images from across the southern Appalachians in each edition. Photo essays adhere to the issue’s overall theme. Our October/November issue will be SML’s “Mountain Men” issue. Submit your photographic interpretations of this theme for possible…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:37

Constructing your own coffin

A portion of this Back Then column appeared in SMN in August 2004 as “A Box to Call Your Own.” It has been rewritten and expanded. The notes regarding ancient (pre-Cherokee) burial practices can be found online: www.handsontheland.org/HistoryExploration/cultural_comparison/archives.cfm?cl=death&site=&period=0)   When…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:36

Run for Joyce Kilmer

A 5K and 10K race will be held in conjunction with the 75th anniversary events for Joyce Kilmer on Saturday, July 30. The races start at 8 a.m. from the Avey Branch Boat Launch A one-mile fun run will be…
The Franklin Blue Planet 5K for Clean Water, a charity run, will be kick off at 9 a.m. August 6 in Franklin. The run is hosted by the Franklin High School Interact Club. All proceeds will go to the Blue…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:35

Folkmoot gives 5K a festive flair

The annual Folkmoot 5K Walk/Run and Kids’ Fun Run, held in conjunction with the Folkmoot Dance and Music festival, will kick off at 8 a.m. on Saturday, July 23, in Waynesville. A kid’s fun run will be held at 9…
The Haywood County Master Gardener Volunteer Association is offering grants for research or education in the areas of environment, gardening or horticulture in Haywood County. The organization raises money through plant sales, as well as sales of its gardening almanac.…
BatFest 2011 will be held from 2 p.m. until 5:30 p.m Sunday, July 31, in Crossnore, giving the public an opportunity to connect with wildlife biologists and learn everything they’ve ever wanted to know about bats. Each year wildlife biologists…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:32

Bear photographer to share insights at talk

Bill Lea, renowned nature photographer, will present “Understanding the Black Bear,” a free lecture at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 26, at the Village Commons on the Village Green in Cashiers. Lea may best be known for his artistic documentation…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:32

Calling fly fishing volunteers

The Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education is recruiting experienced fly fishing anglers who are interested in volunteering.  The Pisgah Center offers fly fishing programs on a year round basis for anglers of all ages.  Volunteers are needed to assist participants…
Jerry Wolfe, an elder of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, will give a presentation titled “From the Cherokee View” at the Highlands Biological Foundation at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 28, as a part of the Highlands Biological…