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A visitor in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park got nipped on the foot by a bear after getting too close last week. The visitor was on a high-traffic foot path at the entrance to the park right outside Gatlinburg,…
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is talking about moving to DNA testing as a way of verifying the blood requirement to be enrolled as a tribal member. The tribe’s latest quandaries over its enrollment audit have led Principal Chief…
Haywood County commissioners are fighting opposition on all fronts after a county task force recently recommended major changes to trash and recycling operations. The central debate is revolving around a proposal that would privatize a portion of the county’s trash…
A new road that would traverse the campus of Southwestern Community College and provide a new link between two of Jackson County’s major roads is in the final planning stages. The proposed two-lane road is designed to alleviate congestion and…
Wednesday, 19 May 2010 13:19

The EBCI enrollment audit at a glance

What is the enrollment audit? A review of the nearly 14,000 people on the tribe’s roll to determine whether they qualify as being Cherokee. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians requires members to be one-quarter Cherokee by blood and to…
As one development after another began to bite the dust two years ago, lenders who had bankrolled the mountain building spree in its heyday fretted nervously. The demand for high-priced lots had evaporated into thin air. Banks reluctantly foreclosed, resigned…
A collaborative effort between The American Chestnut Foundation and the Coker family has put Cataloochee Ranch in Maggie Valley on the frontlines of the effort to reintroduce a tree that was integral to life of early settlers in Western North…
Ten-year-old Waynesville resident Zeb Powell has exclusive, 24-7 access to a skate park in town — it’s in his driveway. Powell got hold of a half-pipe, rails and multiple ramps when the indoor BP Skate Park closed down last fall.…
Jackson County Manager Ken Westmoreland said he would deliver a balanced budget with no cuts to services or staff and that is exactly what he did on Monday night. While neighboring counties are taking drastic measures to offset budget shortfalls…
$6,342,044. That’s approximately how much money needs to be raised before Haywood County residents can expect to see a recreation park built in Jonathan Creek. With the recession retaining its stranglehold on the nation, county commissioners aren’t contributing a single…
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 12:34

America’s Favorite Journey

The Blue Ridge Parkway unravels gracefully across the landscape, at times suspended from high cliffs and etched into rocky crags, then deftly shifting gears to skim over hayfields and past log cabins bound by split-rail fences. The road seems unfazed…
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 12:34

The tannery and the Green Fly

During my first year at Western Carolina Teachers College (now Western Carolina University) in 1953, I managed to offend my grandfather so severely that he banished me. “Out of my sight!” he said, and sent me to Brevard to spend…
Sylva Commissioner Sarah Graham will step down from the town board at the end of June because her family has decided to move outside town limits. Graham said she and husband, Bill, had been looking at homes that offered more…
The Friends of the Jackson County Main Library have completed their remarkable effort to raise $1.6 million to outfit the interior of the new library under construction on courthouse hill in Sylva. The Friends announced this week that a $200,000…
A downtown Waynesville project that would put a live entertainment venue, a microbrewery and a pizza restaurant together in the old Strand Theater on Main Street has been awarded a $300,000 grant. Gov. Beverly Perdue will visit Waynesville this Friday…
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 12:34

Stand up paddling takes off

Okay, so we didn’t cross the Kauai Channel, but last Friday Mark Singleton, executive director of Sylva-based American Whitewater, took me stand-up paddling for the first time. The sport –– which is basically standing up on a surfboard with a…
Steve Lampl paints with acrylics and loves to golf. But last year when he had shoulder surgery, he had to put golfing on hold. That’s when he decided to organize The Mainstreet Artists Co-op Gallery. A year later, the co-op…
The traditions of spinning, weaving, quilting, caning, blacksmithing, sewing, hand stitchery, and other folk arts have survived in the Appalachian culture through the generations. At the Patchwork Folk and Fabric Festival, these skills will be showcased and honored, demonstrated and…
How do you kick out a member of a Native American tribe? The Eastern Band of Cherokee is about to find out, and there’s no way it’s going down without some bitterness and fighting. The EBCI is almost finished with…
Once repair work is complete, a precarious Maggie Valley mountainside destabilized by a major mudslide will be returned to its natural state. The hard part will be getting to that point. Last Wednesday, anxious residents downslope of the slide along…
Angel Medical Center in Franklin may soon come under the wing of Mission Hospital in Asheville. Smaller, rural hospitals are increasingly forging partnerships with larger hospitals as it becomes tougher financially to go it alone. Angel’s 15-member hospital board unanimously…
The cause of a fish kill on an isolated stretch of Jonathan Creek in Maggie Valley last Saturday is eluding environmental agencies and will likely remain a mystery. A number of trout, from fingerlings to foot-long fish, turned up dead…
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 12:34

The Naturalist's Corner

Bird Lag Last weekend (5/21-5/23) was a blur of birds, bears and blooms — a combination of work, friends, fellowship and family that left me beat and begging for more. I started out in the thick damp predawn hours Friday…
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 12:34

Reading Nina Simone’s tragic life

Princess Noire: The Tumultuous Reign of Nina Simone, by Nadine Cohodas. Pantheon Books, 2010. 449 pages. The first time I ever heard Nina Simone sing, I was in one of those pretentious “high fi” stores in Atlanta back in the…
A parking study of downtown Sylva conducted by a Western Carolina University graduate student has gotten local merchants talking and left the town board facing a puzzle. For years downtown merchants have complained that the lack of available parking for…
Wednesday, 26 May 2010 12:34

A place called home

One doesn’t tire of certain places. Even though they inevitably change through the years, they become more than friends. The cove we live in has become that sort of place even though, in most ways, it’s just another mountain cove.…
In the eyes of Canton’s town leaders, the status quo in recreation funding just isn’t cutting it. For years, the town of Canton has had to maintain an aging public pool and has struggled to obtain stadium lighting to allow…
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 20:31

A coyote in the yard

Monday morning … 9:15 or so … suddenly the coyote was there … as if from out of nowhere … a shadow moving in the pasture across the creek.   I had glanced out of my workroom window moments before…
Catch the steepest and deepest in high-adrenaline outdoor sport films when Radical Reels Tour comes to Asheville on Monday, Sept. 13. Hurtle down steep untouched powder, feel the cold spray of stomach-dropping kayak first descents, fly high with the world’s…
Landscape design, botany, horticulture and gardening will be the highlight of “Landscaping and Gardening With Native Plants” conference held in Highlands on Sept. 10 and 11. Hundreds attend the annual conference featuring two days of fieldtrips, workshops and speakers. Get…
A 5K race will traverse the front nine holes of the Old Edwards Club in Highlands on Saturday, Sept. 11, serving up a tranquil setting and a twist on the typical 5K route through town streets. “Doing the PAR 5K…
With guns now allowed in national parks, red tape faced by hunters crossing the Blue Ridge Parkway en route to a hunting spot has been lifted. Hunting is still illegal in national parks, but this year it became legal to…
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 20:24

HCC Low-Impact Development fast track

A Low Impact Development FastTrack Certification will be held at Haywood Community College on Wednesday, Sept. 15 through Friday, Sept. 17. The course will give an overview of low-impact development from a holistic perspective and covers design, planning, implementation and…
A workshop on bringing local farm produce into the schools will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, at Shelton Family Farms in Jackson County. Participants will learn how to integrate school gardens, farm field trips,…
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 20:21

Fox sightings up

Fox sightings in town are on the rise, including residential suburban neighborhoods and they have even been reported on busy town streets. Simply seeing a fox is not a cause for alarm, according to the N.C. Wildlife Commission. Nonetheless, don’t…
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 20:18

WNC birders jolted from summer doldrums

Birders are a restless, impatient lot. From the end of June till the end of August they walk around in a kind of stupor. You will see them occasionally stop shuffling, cock their head with hand cupped behind their ear,…
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 20:16

Cataloochee Elk deemed a success

Fans of the elk herd in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park would be surprised to learn that until now, the elk’s existence here was merely an experiment — they theoretically could be rounded up and hauled away at any…
Western Carolina University psychology professor Hal Herzog will celebrate his new book, Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight About Animals, with an appearance at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7, at…
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 20:14

Decoration Day authors offer presentation

Alan Jabbour and Karen Singer Jabbour, authors of Decoration Day in the Mountains: Traditions of Cemetery Decoration in the Southern Appalachians, will appear at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 7, at the Marianna Black Library in Bryson City. Decoration Day…
Stephen Hunter’s I, Sniper (ISBN 978-1-4165-6515-4, $26) brings to readers once again that intrepid sniper, now old and aching from his lifetime of combat, Bob Lee Swagger. As in previous novels in this series, the government entangles itself into the…
Start your Labor Day weekend with free live music at the Concerts on the Creek series in downtown Sylva. The Porch Music Club, an old-time string band, will play a two-hour show beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 3,…
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 20:08

FPAC anniversary gala features music, drama

Western Carolina University will mark five years of art and entertainment at the Fine and Performing Arts Center with a gala featuring art, music and a theatrical revue of songs by George and Ira Gershwin on Friday, Oct. 22. Tickets…
Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and producer Brett James, along with Ginny McAfee, will perform on Saturday, Sept. 18, at the Haywood Community College auditorium. Doors open at 6 p.m. Money raised from this evening’s concert will support art, music and literacy…
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 20:06

WCU presents 2010-11 arts and events series

A string band, an all-male chorus, irreverent sketch comedy and an environmental writer with a question fill the bill for the 2010-11 Arts and Cultural Events Performance Series at Western Carolina University. The series entertainment is as follows: • Doxita,…
Modern country artist Corey Smith will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, at Western Carolina University’s Ramsey Regional Activity Center. Smith is a Georgia-based singer/songwriter who has sold an impressive 150,000 albums and 700,000 singles to date — all…
Wild Bill Turner will play the Sunday Series at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19, at the Haywood County Public Library in Waynesville. Wild Bill will show off his mastery of jazz skills on the saxophone, clarinet and trumpet, offering an…
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 20:02

P.A.W.S holds wine tasting, silent auction

The Seventh Annual P.A.W.S. Wine Tasting and Silent Auction — benefitting the only animal welfare organization in Swain County — will be held on Saturday, Sept. 4, at the Lands Creek Log Cabins “Harmony Hall” in Bryson City. Doors open at…
David Newell, also known as speedy deliveryman Mr. McFeely from public television’s “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” will appear at the Canton Public Library on Sunday, Sept. 12, and at the Waynesville Library on Monday, Sept. 13. Newell played the role of…
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 20:00

Learn how to knit for free at library

The Smoky Mountain Knitting Guild is offering free “Learn to Knit” classes — for both adults and children — on Tuesdays at the Waynesville Library. The adult class meets from 1 to 2:30 p.m. starting Sept. 7, while boys and…
Tuesday, 31 August 2010 19:59

Fun evening planned for Sylva After Dark

The next Sylva After Dark — held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 3, in downtown Sylva — offers an evening of art, music, food and shopping. • Signature Brew Coffee Company will offer a free sampling of its…