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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…
Wednesday, 03 February 2010 15:01

All three incumbents to run again in Macon

Macon The Macon County board has four commissioners and one chairman. This year, the seats of two commissioners and the chairman are up for re-election. A party primary in May will narrow the field to one Democrat and one Republican…
County commissioners in Western North Carolina face a fork in the road after a federal judge in Forsyth County made it clear last week that prayers mentioning “Jesus” at county meetings are unconstitutional. They can submit to the law, or…
Wednesday, 03 February 2010 15:01

Where ideology meets environmental reality

The term “off-the-grid” means living in a self-sufficient manner without the services of a public utility. Wikipedia estimates that in 2007 there were around 250,000 off-the-grid households in the U.S. that supplied their own water, electrical and sewer systems. Living…
Wednesday, 03 February 2010 15:01

Fitzgerald comes to life in Asheville

The Fitzgerald Ruse by Mark De Castrique. Poisoned Pen Press, 2009. 250 pages. Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and magazines like Black Mask are the great-grandfathers of the American detective novel. Readers, for example, can open a Chandler novel and from…
Wednesday, 03 February 2010 15:01

Two wide-open seats will define Swain race

Swain The Swain County board has four commissioner seats and one chairman. All five seats are up for election every four years. A party primary in May will narrow down the field of candidates on the ticket to four Democrats…
There’ll be a movie for every taste at the third annual Short Circuit Traveling Film Festival this year. The festival’s selections include both fiction and documentaries, with experimental and animated films also in the mix. This festival is the only…
Back in early January, I found myself waking early to pack for a day-long excursion into the backwoods of Chunky Gal Mountain with a friend who was home from graduate school in Forestry. It was close to 10 degrees up…
Wednesday, 03 February 2010 15:01

Road to Nowhere crusade over at last

A defining moment in the decades-long debate over the North Shore Road will play out in Swain County this week. Commissioners are slated to vote in favor of a cash settlement from the federal government in lieu of building the…
Two contrasting images of the Pigeon River emerged at a public hearing on a controversial new water pollution permit for Evergreen Packaging, a paper mill in Canton. The mill needs to renew its state permit to continue drawing roughly 29…
By Chris Cooper Kea was a filthy, grease-covered little miscreant when she was found by In Your Ear Music Emporium owner Lauren Calvert some 16 years ago hiding in some random machinery (in the snow, no less). Sixteen years ...…
Leaders of the town of Dillsboro and members of Western Carolina University’s faculty unveiled the framework for an ongoing partnership that will help Dillsboro build a business identity. Discussions between former mayor Jean Hartbarger and WCU Chancellor John Bardo last…
Haywood The Haywood County board has five commissioner seats. Three seats are up for election this year. A party primary in May will narrow down the field to three Democrats and three Republicans for the three vacant seats. Haywood Commissioner…
Wednesday, 03 February 2010 15:01

Simple signs of the evergreen

You can almost smell the word “evergreen.” The word is at once one of the most aptly descriptive and highly evocative botanical terms. Simply reading or hearing it conjures up a mix of personal associations with particular landscapes. Evergreens are…
Jackson The Jackson County board consists of four commissioners and one chairman. This year, the two commissioner seats and chairman are up for election. Commissioners must live within their voting district to seek election, but the county chairman is elected…
Wednesday, 03 February 2010 15:01

SCC’s Cecil Groves to retire at end of year

Cecil Groves, president of Southwestern Community College since 1997, informed the board of trustees and college faculty and staff that he will retire at the end of this academic year. “As for everything and everyone, there is a season. My…
Wednesday, 03 February 2010 15:01

Back to the old homestead

Sometimes you have to go away to come home again. Way up Coweeta Gap in south Macon County is a place at the end of Shope Road called Sanders Knob. Paul and Lara Chew live there in a cabin that…
Wednesday, 03 February 2010 15:01

The Naturalist's Corner

On the road to recovery Friends of the Western North Carolina Nature Center unveils its New Winter Speaker Series on native animals at the Folk Art Center at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 6. Asheville native Warren Parker, retired chief…
Wednesday, 03 February 2010 15:01

Quick facts

• The mill is operating within state pollution limits on most counts. The current permit allows a variance in two areas: temperature and water color. In the new permit, the mill is again seeking a variance for temperature, but not…
Wednesday, 03 February 2010 15:01

Sun power supplies a path to simplicity

Lydia Aydlett first moved to the mountains of Western North Carolina during the height of the back-to-the-land movement, and it’s taken her all the time since to understand why living a sustainable life is so important to her. Aydlett grew…
Macon County Chairman Ronnie Beale knew the county had a problem when two young working mothers contacted him directly following the closure of a daycare and unable to find openings elsewhere. “They were saying ‘We don’t have anywhere to send…
Wednesday, 03 February 2010 15:01

Haywood Waterways applauds water guardians

Haywood Waterways Association recently gave out 2009 stewardship awards to several people and organizations that have worked to protect and improve the waterways of Haywood County. n Volunteer Organization of the Year went to Mike Gillespie and the Richland Creek…
Wednesday, 27 January 2010 17:37

Not for the faint of heart

The highly technical and extremely dangerous work to stabilize the rockslide is being carried out by Janod, a Canadian company. A leading expert in rock stabilization, they get called in by mines, quarries, railroads and highway departments to shore up…
Wednesday, 27 January 2010 17:37

The Naturalist's Corner

And the dam - came tumblin’ tumblin’ The Dillsboro Dam story is as twisted and convoluted as the Tuck itself. You had Jackson County commissioners who made property rights one of the underpinnings of their election campaigns voting in favor…
Wednesday, 27 January 2010 17:37

All about tea

Editor’s Note: Since January is National Tea Month, The Smoky Mountain News talked to some of the tea connoisseurs in Western North Carolina about their love of tea and disdain for the traditional iced tea so popular in the South.…
If all goes according to plan, a new regional livestock market will open in Canton by late May to more than 3,000 happy cattle farmers from Western North Carolina. The venue will again provide a stable market to help livestock…
Balsam Mountain Preserve, a mega-development in Jackson County, was sold to the highest bidder on the courthouse steps Monday (Jan. 25) in a closely followed foreclosure proceeding. TriLyn, a private equity investment firm which initiated the foreclosure, was the highest…
Wednesday, 27 January 2010 17:37

How to fix a mountainside

In the first days following the rockslide on Interstate 40 last October, Jody Kuhne had the unenviable job of rappelling down the freshly scoured rock face and into a gaping chasm left in the mountainside. As the DOT’s resident expert…
Wednesday, 27 January 2010 17:37

Virtual fieldtrip brings park into classrooms

Three Cherokee Middle School students starred in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park live field broadcast via the web to hundreds of schools across the nation last month. The rest of Cherokee’s middle school students watched the virtual fieldtrip from…
By Joe Cowan • Guest Columnist Editor’s note: Jackson County Commissioner Joe Cowan made the following comments following a vote last week to stop legal proceedings against Duke Energy over its plan to take down the Dillsboro Dam, the centerpiece…
With the rest of the region’s construction economy at a standstill, Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel and Casino is in the midst of a massive expansion project employing nearly 1,000 workers. “We’re kind of creating our own gravity in terms of labor…
After making the journey to Western North Carolina from China, Niu Jun discovered Bryson City was nothing like she imagined. Driving through the town of about 1,300, a confused Niu Jun asked, “Bryson City? Where’s the city?” Niu Jun, 33,…
Wednesday, 27 January 2010 17:37

Jackson finally folds in long feud with Duke

The seven-year battle between Jackson County commissioners and Duke Energy has come to a close. After losing a critical court battle this month, Jackson County commissioners voted 4 to 1 to give up their legal fight against Duke Energy last…
Wednesday, 27 January 2010 17:37

A different take on a legend

The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell. Saint Martin’s Press, 1997. I was probably 10 years old when I discovered King Arthur in the local library. I never got over it. That battered copy of Bullfinch’s Mythology was filled with illustrations…
The newest addition to Southwestern Community College’s Oconaluftee Institute of Cultural Arts holds a piece of Cherokee history. OICA will soon obtain a letterpress that will be used to print books in the Cherokee syllabary. “We are bringing back the…
Another rockslide struck along the already closed section of Interstate 40 over the weekend. The new slide is nothing like the earlier one, but big enough in its own right. It covered both westbound lanes just past exit 7 at…
The Waynesville Public Art Commission recently issued a Call for Artists for its fourth public art project. The proposed art will celebrate the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and its historic relationship to Waynesville. For many years an arched sign…
Wednesday, 27 January 2010 17:37

Waynesville producer wins national award

Producer, editor and videographer John Kenyon of Waynesville has been selected to receive the Award of Excellence in the slide and multimedia programs category by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education for District III. Kenyon was cited…
Wednesday, 27 January 2010 17:37

Family farm builds Brasstown Beef brand

It’s a slogan even the slickest New York ad firm couldn’t top if it tried: “Real Beef. Raised Right. Around Here.” It would be equally hard to find a cattle ranch better suited to the motto than Brasstown Beef, a…