Thu04242014

     Subscribe  |  Contact  |  Advertise  |  RSS Feed Other Publications

Wednesday, 24 February 2010 17:50

Trash down, recycling up

The recession has been good news for landfills. Due to the economic downturn, less trash was thrown in landfills in North Carolina last year than any year in the past two decades. The biggest reduction in trash came from the…
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 17:50

County and architect cross wires on library fee

Last week a confused set of Jackson County commissioners learned their new library may cost more money than they thought, but County Manager Ken Westmoreland said the administrative mix-up won’t result in a higher price tag than the one originally…
It’s a watershed year for the legal community in Western North Carolina as attorneys gear up for a hotly contested election for three open judge seats. There’s at least nine and possibly 10 candidates running for the three seats. Two…
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 17:50

Sylva market changes local foodscape

Armed with an e-newsletter and an indefatigable entrepreneurial spirit, Eric Hendrix is determined to bring the fruits of the ocean to the mountains of Western North Carolina. “The goal is to consistently provide fresh fish in the mountains, because you…
Business owners with cyber sweepstakes machines in Maggie Valley received both good and bad news last week. Luckily for them, the town board passed a much lower business license fee than originally proposed and delayed the pay-up date till July,…
A bill before Congress could help save views along the Blue Ridge Parkway by setting aside $75 million over five years to buy adjacent land threatened by development. Blue Ridge Parkway Protection Act was introduced in honor of the 75th…
Forget Asheville. Forget cities altogether. Angela Faye Martin’s impressive first full-length album “Pictures from Home” could only have materialized deep in the mountains. With no shortage of characters and inspiring natural beauty, the Smokies have served as an ever-giving muse…
Wednesday, 24 February 2010 17:50

‘Judge not,’ or so my mom always taught me

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in…
The threat of another landslide isn’t stopping volunteers from facing the mudslide head-on and helping wherever they can. Local volunteers are working in the absence of state and federal aid for residents who find themselves banished from their homes indefinitely.…
In rare good news for Swain County’s jail, a new agreement will soon usher federal prisoners into the often half-empty facility. Sheriff Curtis Cochran has worked for months to secure an official deal with the U.S. Marshals Service, which will…
Wednesday, 17 February 2010 17:10

Macon fly-over shows what’s at stake

There’s no way to prevent landslides in the mountains, but there is a way to make their impact on humans more predictable. That’s the message that N.C. Geologist Rick Wooten and the staff of the North Carolina Geological Survey have…
Wednesday, 17 February 2010 17:10

Cataloochee grows racing tradition

No one expected Franco Rossi. The Italian, raised in Milan in the shadows of the mighty Dolomites, stepped off the lift, unzipped his snowsuit, and mounted the start platform in bright yellow racing tights. He had driven just under three…
Wednesday, 17 February 2010 17:10

Topography and language

I enjoy using variants on the phrase “lay of the land.” One can “get the lay of the land” in a number of ways. If your hiking partner says that he or she is “going on ahead to get the…
A group of Christians paid a visit to Haywood County commissioners Monday night to urge them to pray to Jesus when opening each meeting. Commissioner Kevin Ensley, the sole commissioner who referred to Jesus during invocations, decided in late January…
Dozens of local businesses owed money by Ghost Town are mulling over ballots this week that will ultimately decide the amusement park’s fate. Ghost Town, which landed in bankruptcy a year ago, owes a total of $13.5 million. It hopes…
Wednesday, 17 February 2010 17:10

Geologists: Maggie landslide still unstable

While residents wait for answers and 16,000 tons of debris hangs precariously over the Rich Cove community, an army of people are assessing the aftermath of the latest landslide in Maggie Valley. Representatives from the North Carolina Geological Survey, the…
Wednesday, 17 February 2010 17:10

Nuts and bolts of landslide mapping

Macon County was the first to be targeted under a statewide initiative launched in 2006 to map areas prone to landslide in the mountains. Over a one-and-a-half-year period, a team of state geologists led by geologist Rick Wooten surveyed 770…
Wednesday, 03 February 2010 15:01

An American original

Devil’s Dream by Madison Smartt Bell. Pantheon, 2009. 352 pages. Although several biographies of Nathan Bedford Forrest have found publishers over the last 60 years, Civil War buffs, serious followers of fiction, and those who simply enjoy a great read…
Jackson County Sheriff Jimmy Ashe may not have done anything illegal, but he’s stepped into the middle of a controversy in the run-up to his re-election campaign. Ashe used state and federal money from narcotics seizures to operate an informal…
Ghost Town in the Sky amusement park was behind on its general liability insurance payments in the months leading up to a massive landslide that originated from its property. Ghost Town has been struggling with bankruptcy for the past year.…
Wednesday, 17 February 2010 17:10

Haywood acquires fiberoptic line

Haywood County recently dropped a lawsuit against Wynncom, after the telecommunications company agreed to hand over its fiberoptic network to the county for $6,500. Wynncom, based in Lexington, N.C., was hired to build a fiberoptic line for Haywood and be…
Wednesday, 17 February 2010 17:10

Making sure Swain County gets its due

The cash settlement now signed and sealed for Swain County in lieu of building the North Shore Road is a good thing, right? Well, it’s a good thing only if the entire $52 million comes through, and that’s something that…
Wednesday, 17 February 2010 17:10

The Naturalist's Corner

Snow Day! Enough already with the “Enough already!” I know it’s snowing again. Yep school is closed again. I’ve got an idea — call in well. To paraphrase Blowing Rock’s mountaintop yogi, Tom Robbins, from Even Cowgirls Get the Blues,…
Wednesday, 17 February 2010 17:10

A book about beer, food, and Gnometown cooking

Cooking with wine is familiar. Cajun chef Justin Wilson, one of television’s first real food celebrities, liberally tipped Chablis into his etouffe (who-wee), and Julia Child introduced America to the French style of cooking, deglazing and saucing with wine in…
A disagreement over Duke Energy’s placement of a power substation near Cherokee’s most significant cultural site has instigated a meeting between the top leaders of the tribe and the company. Principal Chief Michell Hicks, the tribal council, and the attorney…
Wednesday, 17 February 2010 17:10

Watching sleazy 80s movies late at night

“Don’t do it, Dan.” Michael Douglas is Dan Gallagher, and he is sitting across the table from Alex Forrest, played by the incomparable Glenn Close. Alex is beautiful, all right, but she is also not his wife, who is out…
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 17:04

Rich Cove may be a portent of things to come

Writing about the weather is usually about as exciting as a yawn. For 12 months, though, we in the mountains have been taking it on the chin time and again, and it’s got me wishing for a bit of a…
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 17:04

A taste of Appalachian poetry

This past weekend was given over to reorganizing the books in my home library. In the process, I relocated a volume of poems I had feared was long lost. My favorite “Appalachian” poets would be Robert Morgan, Kay Stripling Byer,…
Chris Carver found himself in the unusual position of being both rescuer and evacuee when a massive mudslide struck Rich Cove Road in Maggie Valley on Friday night. “I live there, right where it stopped,” said Carver, assistant chief of…
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 17:04

Sylva teen club closes quietly

A Sylva teen club that sparked controversy two months ago by disseminating a flyer inviting high school students to “come as wasted as you want” has closed its doors. In December, concerned parents brought 500 signatures to a town board…
What happens when a smart, talented young man desires to serve God, but is mostly driven by his fear of death and Hell? How is a conflicted heart torn by love and desire? And what happens when that heart finally…
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 17:04

Cash settlement here at last

Swain County officially signed a cash settlement with the federal government in a moving and historic ceremony Saturday, ending a bitter decades-long dispute over the North Shore Road. Swain will received $52 million from the government, and in exchange will…
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 17:04

The Naturalist's Corner

The good; the bad and the ugly The good Ben Morrison, compiler of the Wilmot, Ohio, Christmas Bird Count, contacted the Ohio Birds Records Committee and provided documentation for the purple martin I wrote about in the Jan. 20 Naturalist’s…
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 17:04

Messy lawsuits likely left in landslide’s wake

It could take months or even years for lawsuits over a massive landslide in Maggie Valley to be resolved, leaving affected property owners in limbo over who is financially responsible for the damage to their homes. The landslide originated from…
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 17:04

Corridor K sent back to drawing board

A proposed four-lane highway through a mountainous region of Graham County has suffered a setback. The N.C. Department of Transportation was nearing the final planning stages and hoped to start construction in a few years on what is commonly known…
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 17:04

The Oak Tree and the Great Dumpling Debate

By Karen Dill The ancient oak tree is bare. It stands majestic in the yard of our old two-story farmhouse. Our house sits on a small knoll and is surrounded by magnolias, dogwoods and mountain laurel, but it is the…
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 17:04

Going, going, gone

When Duke first broached the idea of tearing down the Dillsboro dam eight years ago, Mark Singleton thought he would see this day come much sooner than it did. A champion of dam removal both for the ecological and recreation…
By Buffy Queen • Guest Columnist As the middle school girls trailed out of the classroom one morning last spring, I began packing up my materials after sharing my last “Safe Dates” session at their school. My Safe Dates topic…
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 17:04

Recipes - Feb. 2

Chicken and Dumplings: 1 chicken, about 3 pounds 2 Quarts water 1 Teaspoon Salt 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper 2 Cup All-purpose flour 1/2 Teaspoon Baking soda 1/2 Teaspoon Salt 3 Tablespoon Shortening 3/4 Cup Buttermilk A dash of sherry Place chicken…
Betty Miner was standing in her kitchen getting ready to fix supper last Friday when the pictures on her walls fell to the ground. “I heard a sound and ran to where I heard it and that’s when the mud…
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians may pursue legal action against Duke Energy after learning about the utility company’s plans to put an electric substation near Kituwah mound, the tribe’s most sacred site. On Friday the EBCI’s tribal council passed…
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 17:04

Power struggle

Enemy of God by Bernard Cornwell. Saint Martins Press, 1998. 397 pages Several years ago, when I was reading everything I could find about mythical figures such as King Arthur, Lancelot, Guinevere, Tristan, Iseult and Galahad, I blundered on the…
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 17:04

AT license plates fund mini trail grants

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy will hand out mini-grants for projects in the region that benefit the long-distance hiking trail. Grants can include trail work, conservation projects and trail promotion and education. Past projects have included: • Efforts by the Nantahala…
Chronic wasting disease, a deadly disease that affects deer, elk and other hoofed animals, has been detected in white-tailed deer in Virginia. The discovery has ramped up concerns about the disease migrating into North Carolina. Chronic wasting disease is a…
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 17:04

No road in or out

On Friday night, a mudslide thundered across Rich Cove Road in Maggie Valley, taking out a section of a guardrail and bending a drainage pipe in its path, causing water to flow alongside the road and collect at the bottom.…
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 17:04

Waynesville moves on skate park

Skateboard enthusiasts in Waynesville will be happy to hear the town has been busily preparing for a long-awaited skate park on Vance Street near the recreation center. The town board recently dropped $28,500 on a California firm called Spohn Ranch…
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 17:04

What is Kituwah?

Kituwah is a concept much larger than the mound site proper, which is recorded with the state register of historic places. The name signifies the mothertown of the Cherokee, a kind of original community with which all Cherokees identify. “The…
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 17:04

Safeguards in place, but cracks remain

While buckling and cracks were readily visible in old retaining walls built out of railroad ties at Ghost Town in the Sky amusement park owners failed to officially notify anyone with Haywood County of the town of Maggie Valley. Mountainside…
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 17:04

A time for healing

The signing of a cash settlement deal for Swain County last week was a heartbreaking end to a lifelong struggle for many. For decades, road supporters held on to hope — hope that the government would honor the promise it…
Wednesday, 10 February 2010 17:04

Local fishermen sad to see the dam go

The first day of demolition on the Dillsboro Dam attracted hundreds of spectators last Wednesday. A roadside pull-off overlooking the Tuckasegee afforded a bird’s eye view of the machinery chipping away at the dam below. Some vying for a spot…