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Legasus developers have been attracting attention from Jackson County residents for almost two years. When news of the plans got out in early 2007 — calling for 1,800 lots on 3,500 acres between Tuckasegee and Glenville — Legasus evoked the…
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 19:47

Chick-lit at its finest

Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo. Guideposts, 2009. 288 pages Art and literary whodunits are so plentiful these days that they might nearly constitute their own genre. The DaVinci Code is the best-selling of these works, but anyone…
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 19:45

Folkmoot expands into three new counties

Last year Cindy Gilbert took her Polk County band students to China to perform. This year she is bringing the world’s music to them — thanks to Folkmoot USA and its drive to expand its presence in Western North Carolina.…
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 19:43

Director says community values festival

By Melanie Threlkeld McConnell Forget Europe. Haywood County is where the action is for Karen Babcock this summer, and she couldn’t be happier. Well, give her a piece of dark chocolate and she could be. Babcock is the new executive…
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 19:41

Public split on South Main’s future

In the heyday of curbside service, Jim Caldwell had a special talent for dressing hot dogs. He could balance 10 buns up on one arm, stacked from his wrist to his bicep, while his other wielded ketchup and mustard bottles,…
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 19:38

Public art showcases Folkmoot USA

Folkmoot will be the subject of a public art piece commissioned by the Waynesville Public Art Commission (WPAC).Artist Wayne Trapp has been selected to be the artist for the third public art piece. With an installation date scheduled for early…
As 10-year-old Dayini Lossie stood on the shore eyeing the wide shallow waters of the Tuckasegee River last week listening to the marching orders for the exercise about to unfold, one word came to mind: awesome. Lossie had never heard…
South Main Street in Waynesville is headed for a major roadway redesign, one that could take out rows of long-time businesses to make way for more lanes, sidewalks, bike lanes and a median. South Main Street — the two-lane thoroughfare…
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 19:35

The Naturalist's Corner

A note of interest The US Fish & Wildlife Service has extended the public comment period on its John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System Digital Mapping Pilot Project through Aug. 5, 2009, and has included opportunities for public participation…
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 19:33

Heritage, naturally

By Joann B. Poindexter • Special to The Smoky Mountain News The Franklin Folk Festival will celebrate the region’s cultural heritage with music, historical re-enactments and preservation information during an all-day celebration from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July…
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 19:32

From the chaos come ‘uktena’

The natural history of a region consists of the plants, animals, and landscapes we can see and explore any given day. But no full comprehension of any region can be had without coming to some understanding of its spiritual terrain.…
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 19:28

Duke starts dredging above Dillsboro Dam

Duke Energy has begun work preparing a site along the Tuckasegee River upstream of the Dillsboro Dam in order to start dredging the river there. While virtually everyone agrees the dredging is a good thing in and of itself, the…
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 18:31

Ghost Town coaster an open-and-shut case

The much-anticipated roller coaster at Ghost Town opened amid fanfare last week, then was promptly shut down again. The coaster is one of the primary attractions at the mountaintop amusement park in Maggie Valley, but has been plagued by a…
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 18:27

Popcorn Sutton film wins regional Emmy

The Last One, a locally produced documentary film featuring moonshiner Popcorn Sutton, received an Emmy at the 35th Emmy Awards Southeast ceremony on June 27 in Atlanta, Georgia. The film depicts Sutton distilling his final batch of illegal liquor, while…
A much smaller contingent of Rainbow Family members than North Carolina’s Nantahala National Forest has sometimes experienced descended on Buck Creek in the forest’s Tusquitee District in late June. In 1987, an estimated 12,000 Rainbow Family members converged on Nantahala…
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 18:27

Fish weir Q&A

What is a fish weir? Fish weirs are long, low rock walls built in the riverbed, extending from opposite shores and shaped like a giant funnel pointing downstream. They are the visible remnants of an ancient form of community fishing…
“Cherokee has so much to offer, such as its beautiful mountains, museums, cultural and historical exhibits, Native American shops, friendly residents, and casino. The caged bears may have been a big attraction at one time but are now seen as…
By May 2008, members of Earla Mae Cowan’s family had begun to suspect a trusted nephew was stealing from her. And, in the first few months when they were most anxious to see the matter taken seriously and looked into…
Lamar Marshall had been canoeing the Little Tennessee for years before he knew what a fish weir was. In retrospect, the low rock walls spanning the river are too symmetrical and too uniform to be a naturally occurring rock vein.…
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 18:19

Take a chance on Ravens

When a friend sent me an advanced reading copy of Ravens with a note that said, “There is no one to like in this one,” I prepared myself for a dark and bleak journey through South Georgia grunge. That is…
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 18:18

441 corridor plan poised for passage

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners held a final public hearing on the proposed U.S. 441 “Gateway” Corridor ordinance Monday (July 6). Michael Egan, the county’s consulting attorney on land development matters, gave an overview of the ordinance before comments…
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 18:17

Fish stew: better than it sounds

While today’s fishermen are partial to the big fillets like brook trout and small-mouth bass, Cherokee used even the tiniest fish, like silversides and shiners, drying them on long strings or making them into stews. Myrtle Driver, a Cherokee elder,…
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 18:05

Long-time Sylva mayor won’t run again

Sylva’s mayor for the past 17 years, Brenda Oliver, has announced that she will not run for re-election this fall.Oliver, 67, said she has enjoyed serving the town and is optimistic about the direction it is headed. Oliver said she…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 18:04

New map leads the way to Haywood farms

Local residents and tourists have a new resource to help them support the farms and farmers of Haywood County. A recently unveiled brochure and map lists more than 30 locations to buy local produce, plants, trout, and more. The featured…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 18:03

Canton election hangs on vision for town

How Canton residents envision the future of their town could play a pivotal role in who gets elected this fall. The current town board has been locked in a power struggle recently, with two long-time board members often at odds…
There is only so much you can do to help a child recover from a broken heart, especially the first time it is broken. You can say, “Honey, I know it seems like you’ll never get over it, but someday…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 17:59

New bike shop opens in Bryson

Andy Zivinsky and Diane Cutler were determined to move to the mountains. Their passion for all things outdoors was making the Raleigh area increasingly ill-suited to the type of lifestyle they wanted. “We were only taking an outdoor trip once…
Two-term Franklin Alderman Bob Scott has wanted a turn as vice mayor going back a while — an honor that traditionally rotates among aldermen. But a couple of years ago, Mayor Joe Collins reportedly told him, Bob, “ain’t gonna happen.”…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 17:56

PETA targets bear zoos in national campaign

Recently, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians found itself the whipping boy of an unlikely opponent. Much to the tribe’s surprise, the national organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals last month released a statement calling for an end…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 17:55

Stimulus funds boost WNC mass transit

Mass transit is set to get a boost in Western North Carolina thanks to some economic stimulus money targeted for park and ride and carpooling lots. The Region 14 DOT office in Sylva was recently awarded $460,000 for several projects.…
In the game of musical chairs stemming from the library moving out of its current digs on Sylva’s Main Street, “rear ends” may be landing in unexpected places. The Sylva Police Department was at least temporarily rebuffed — not “rebutted,”…
By Michael Beadle On a quiet perch atop Bethel Cemetery, two unmarked graves are all that’s left of a pair of Confederate soldiers who left Haywood County to fight a war far, far away, only to return and be shot…
The Cherokee School Board is on the verge of appointing a new superintendent following the termination of Rosemary Townsend after three years on the job. Board Chairman Anthony Sequoyah said Townsend was an at-will employee and that the board chose…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 17:37

How Bob Barker took on the Eastern Band

Bob Barker?! The involvement of famed television host Bob Barker in the fight to end the Cherokee bear exhibits took many by surprise. During a phone interview with The Smoky Mountain News, Barker explained that he first became aware of…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 17:36

A nose for finding rare plants

I enjoy leading natural history workshops, but I no longer derive much pleasure from herding people along a trail while naming things right and left. What continues to motivate me is helping participants learn to use specific source and identification…
The Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tour will debut this month with a half-mile series of forest-enveloped ziplines, where people hang from a harness and slide along an overhead cable strung between platforms and trees. The course zigzags over 20 acres and…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 17:33

Jackson farm and garden tour has it all

Farmers and gardeners in Jackson County are inviting the public to traipse through their garden rows during the third annual Jackson County Farm Tour and Garden Walk July 11 and 12. Tour-goers get a brochure of the 16 participating farms…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 17:32

The Naturalist's Corner

New neighbors I have always had a good number of neotropical migrants nest every season in the woods around my home. The mornings and evenings are filled with the flute-like melodies of wood thrushes, various selections from the wide-ranging repertoire…
A public hearing over a sewer discharge permit into the Little Tennessee River will be held on Tuesday, July 7, in Rabun County, Ga. Rabun County plans to convert a former industrial wastewater treatment plant at a closed-down textile mill…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 17:30

Freaks and morality

Flannery: A Life of Flannery O’Connor by Brad Gooch. Little, Brown and Company, 2009. 464 pages. “Whenever I am asked why Southern writers particularly have this penchant for writing about freaks, I say it is because we are still able…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 17:29

Will Sylva vote expose usual fault line?

The race for the Sylva town board this fall could once again gauge the extent of shifting demographics of the town. Two seats on the board are up for election. Town Commissioner Stacey Knotts confirmed she will run again while…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 17:28

Who’s running and who’s not?

Canton Mayor Pat Smathers could face opposition this fall from his leading opponent on the town board, Alderman Eric Dills. Dills said this week he is considering a run for mayor against Smathers, although he has not made up his…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 17:26

Tourism office takes tech strides

In her nearly six-month tenure as executive director, Lynn Collins has been helping Haywood County’s Tourism Development Authority make strides — especially in using technology to be more effective for tourism operators and visitors. As a prominent example, the tourism…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 17:25

Tindall-Taylor leaving HRMC

The director of Haywood Regional Medical Center’s Foundation and Corporate Communications Department for the past 20 years, Robin Tindall-Taylor, has resigned her position at HRMC to take the position of the new executive director of the Highlands-Cashiers Hospital Foundation. “Over…
The plaza at the entrance to the new Waynesville Police Station is nearing completion. Workers are placing the final touches to the brick paver design that captures the heritage of the town of Waynesville. Courtney Boessel, a rising senior at…
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 16:35

Recipes, 6/24/10

Rainbow trout with lemon caper sauce: Grill filleted trout over medium-hot coals. Baste with butter and fresh herbs (parsley, chives, dill). Grilled trout does not need much to accompany it, but a lemon caper sauce is nice if you like…
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 16:33

Mountains of mushrooms

Is this going to be a bumper year for wild mushrooms? Maybe so, if the rainfall we have been experiencing in recent weeks continues to any significant extent into late summer and fall. My wife, Elizabeth, and our youngest daughter,…
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 16:13

Ode to the Sylva Coffee Shop

Most small southern towns have a place like The Coffee Shop in Sylva — a cafe that has become a local landmark. I hopped curb here in 1950 when it had a wooden frame exterior and the jukebox had both…
The town of Franklin acted appropriately by making public the terms of an out-of-court settlement offer extended to the town by Duke Energy. The offer was aimed at getting the town of Franklin and Jackson County to drop their opposition…
Downtown merchants in Waynesville hope to get a boost in customers when the Haywood County Historic Courthouse throws open its doors to the public Monday, June 29, following a two-year renovation. Main Street shops lost frequent customers when courthouse construction…