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An “old-fashioned” groundbreaking will be held July 30 for the new Homestead hospice inpatient facility, complete with a working mule and plow and banjo music. The hospice has raised $2.8 million of the $3.6 million needed to build and equip…
Tuesday, 27 July 2010 20:45

Drowned student had 0.38 BAC

A college student who drowned in the Tuckasegee River last month was highly intoxicated, according to toxicology reports that have now been released. Allen Stanley Brisson, 22, a new graduate from Western Carolina University, had a blood alcohol content of…
An unusual proposition has landed on the doorstep of Forest Hills, a tiny speck of a town at the edge of Western Carolina University. In hopes of transforming Cullowhee into a more vibrant college community, a group dedicated to reinventing…
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is urging the state to formally license Cherokee language teachers, enabling Cherokee courses taught in public schools off the reservation to count toward a student’s foreign language requirement. Earlier this month, tribal and school…
No one is more intimate with the highs and lows of amusement park Ghost Town in the Sky than the people of Maggie Valley. In its heyday, the mountaintop theme park routinely drew 400,000 visitors a year to the small…
The town of Dillsboro, once a thriving retail market for tourists, has taken a beating in the past two years. First, the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, a business that delivered 60,000 visitors per year to the downtown, moved its operations…
Tuesday, 27 July 2010 20:33

Two towns at a crossroads

For decades Maggie Valley and Dillsboro were two of the mountain’s most iconic tourist towns. Sadly, both relied heavily — too heavily — on a single cash-cow. When Ghost Town shut down in Maggie and the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad…
With ever shrinking pockets, the regional economic development arm AdvantageWest is scaling back its investment in tourism for the time being. The group — which represents 23 Western North Carolina counties — says it will primarily focus on agribusiness, entrepreneurship,…
Starting next February, all law enforcement officers will be required to collect DNA from people arrested for certain crimes. Anyone arrested for murder, rape, burglary, kidnapping or even cyberstalking will automatically have their DNA collected via a cheek swab. The…
For community nonprofits facing a daily test of survival, thefts from the thrift stores they rely on are like a slap in the face. Anita Robinson, manager of Swain/Qualla SAFE Thrift Shop, has seen emboldened thieves brave security cameras to…
Tuesday, 27 July 2010 20:27

Asheville Quilt Guild holds annual show

Western North Carolina’s rich cultural heritage comes to life on Aug. 6 through during the Asheville Quilt Guild’s 28th Annual Show at The North Carolina Arboretum. The popular show is a judged event featuring more than 250 quilts of exceptional…
Tuesday, 27 July 2010 20:24

Season tickets on sale for WCU plays

Tickets for Western Carolina University’s 2010-10 University Theatre Mainstage season, which is packed with popular Broadway musicals and smaller experimental works, will go on sale Tuesday, Aug. 10. Mainstage productions are directed by faculty members from the School of Stage…
The two-day Mountain High BBQ & Music Festival is back for its second year at the Wayne Proffitt Agricultural Center, home of the Macon County Fair. Doors will be open from 10:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 13,…
Every category of knitted items imaginable will be represented at The Smoky Mountain Knitting Guild’s 2nd Annual Benefit Fashion Show — including socks, mittens, menswear, baby clothes, skirts, sweaters, hats, handbags, children’s wear and more. This year’s benefit — with…
Angela Faye Martin and the Scarlet Oak Sway will showcase its unique rock-and-roll sound when the band performs from 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 30, at Sylva’s Bridge Park Pavilion. Martin, a talented musician from Franklin, added the…
Tuesday, 27 July 2010 20:19

Josh Fields Band to perform at Materfest

The Josh Fields Band will perform a free concert at Materfest at 7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 6, in Canton. From Haywood County, The Josh Fields Band mixes classic and contemporary country, Southern rock and a bluegrass leaning to make a…
Dehlia Low will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 31, at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center. The Asheville-based band offers fresh originality while also echoing the sounds of early country with a strong bluegrass flavor. The show is…
Tuesday, 27 July 2010 20:18

Celebrate mountain heritage at Railfest

Every year, railroad enthusiasts and history buffs gather in Bryson City for the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad’s Railfest. This year, the 9th annual weekend railroading event takes place Sep. 17, 18 and 19. The fun begins Friday night with a…
The Liquid Ginger Band — featuring former Graham County resident Ginger Edwards Fawcett on lead vocals — will perform from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, July 30, in front of the Wildwood Grill restaurant at Fontana Village Resort. Working out…
Tuesday, 27 July 2010 20:16

Relax to jazz classics in Waynesville

If you love the mellow, romantic songs of the oldies jazz big band era, check out Oldies Night with the Waynesville Wildcats. The oldies jazz band will take the stage from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, July 30,…
Registration for fall personal enrichment classes is beginning at Southwestern Community College. The first course offering at SCC-Cashiers Center (217 Frank Allen Road) will be an eight-hour workshop on Digital Camera Basics, starting Monday, Aug. 16. The class will meet…
Two FUNd Parties will be held in August to help raise money for the Haywood County Arts Council’s Arts in Schools program. Join in on an evening under the stars at the 10th Annual Wine for the Arts, starting at…
Tuesday, 27 July 2010 20:12

Catch film with WCU ties

The feature film “Wesley” will be screened at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 13, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin. “Wesley” is based closely on the actual events of John Wesley’s life, a story that…
Tuesday, 27 July 2010 20:11

Bascom presents August workshops

In August, educational programs continue in Highlands with three diverse artists-in-residence workshops. • Lewis Knauss, “Fiber and Handmade Paper into Sculpture,” Aug. 10 to 14. Combining ceramic and fiber, this workshop will guide students through five days of sheer enjoyment…
Tuesday, 27 July 2010 20:09

Luggage logistics

At the Folkmoot Friendship Center in Waynesville, performers’ costumes erupt from the sleeping quarters to fill spare rooms, hallways, and an unused nook in the auditorium. “We always assume that the costumes and performers will fit in the same room,”…
Longtime Folkmoot volunteer and supporter George Escaravage was given the Alan Brown award for service to the international dance festival at the July 22 Gala Preview held at Eaglenest Entertainment in Maggie Valley. Escaravage is a former Folkmoot USA board…
An unseen cultural exchange takes place every day in the cafeteria where Folkmoot performers take their meals. Before, during and after a grueling day of performances, Folkmoot dancers fuel up on North Carolina fare. Whether it’s squash casserole or a…
For those who think getting a travel visa is a headache, try steering hundreds of Folkmoot dancers from a dozen different countries through the highly bureaucratic process. That’s what Folkmoot USA’s group relations committee is responsible for doing months before…
Wednesday, 28 July 2010 13:08

Bird’s the word

Are you a fledgling birder? Would you like to learn more about the feathered flocks that visit your feeder and grace your yard? Join Simon Thompson at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville on Wednesday, Aug. 4, at 8:15 a.m.…
While national pundits predict Republican challengers will steal seats from Democrats in Washington come November, Congressman Heath Shuler likely has little to worry about, based on a recent poll of registered voters in Jackson County. Shuler, D-Waynesville, has a general…
Wednesday, 21 July 2010 13:00

Energy industry is not all bad

To the Editor: I wish the article written by Thomas Crowe (“The terrorists are right here among us,” July 23 Smoky Mountain News) would have never been published, but I reckon this is freedom speech being exercised. I live in…
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 19:56

Haywood Garden Tour was a great success

To the Editor: We are writing to express our gratitude for your excellent coverage of the 2010 Haywood County Garden Tour. Your full page spread was really appreciated. Our attendance was up over 15 percent from 2008 thanks, we’re sure,…
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 20:55

WATR hosts walk ‘n talk

The Watershed Association of the Tuckasegee River will host a “Walk ‘n Talk” in the Deep Creek area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park outside Bryson City at 5:30 p.m. Friday, July 23. Two retired WCU professors, Glenn Liming…
Creating a youthful, energetic mood, the new 175-seat Entertainment Lounge at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel is the focal point in the property’s Mountain Breeze zone, one of four themed zones of the casino, which is soon to be doubled…
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 20:32

Latin aerobics class shakes things up

Local residents of all ages are exploring one of the newest and hottest fitness classes: Latin Aerobics. This upbeat class offers a fun-filled, hip-shaking cardiovascular workout where students can enjoy Salsa, Samba, African, Cumbia, and Reggaeton rhythms, all while toning…
Penland School of Crafts will host a professional development workshop for artists living in Western North Carolina from Oct. 1 to 3. The workshops will be taught by the nonprofit group Creative Capital and is geared for all artists who…
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 20:26

David Arms showcases artwork

A special art showing of David Arms’ works will run July 30 through Aug. 1 as part of Old Edwards Inn and Spa’s Season of the Arts. For many years, Arms was one of the leading special event designers in…
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 20:24

Sign up your team for Downtown Dog Walk

For the first time, Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation invites teams as well as individuals to sign up for the 5th Annual Downtown Waynesville Dog Walk on Aug. 7. Last year, almost 280 dogs walked down Main Street. The fun begins…
The upland waterways of the southern highlands provide one of the region’s most interesting natural areas. Unlike most upland habitats — which generally occur as blocks or patches — streams form long corridors that afford rich and varied niches for…
Stocking a river with one of the nation’s rarest fish is a slow and gentle process. On a recent summer day, biologist Steve Fraley lowered a clear-plastic bag full of water and 50 small, threatened fish called spotfin chub, into…
Wednesday, 21 July 2010 13:00

Goats who stare at trees

They not only stare at them, they eat them. Well, maybe not all trees, but woody browse in general. Hopefully, this penchant for woody invasives like Canada blackberry will make goats the perfect organic weed-whacker for protecting the grassy balds…
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 20:49

America’s Great Outdoors Initiative

Not even the looming shadow of the nation’s worst environmental disaster in two decades could spoil the mood at the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative listening session in Asheville last week. Recreation, conservation and preservation-minded environmentalists from all over Western North…
There are books that get your attention, and then there are books that GRAB your attention. The new book by Bill McKibben (author of The End of Nature and founder of the 350 Movement) is of the latter variety. Not…
On International Festival Day, Main Street in Waynesville will transform into a world bazaar where more than one hundred artists, craftsmen and international guests sell all forms of arts and crafts. The day offers the ultimate cultural exchange for all…
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 20:18

Volunteers invaluable at Folkmoot

Last year, Folkmoot USA relied on about 4,000 hours of community service to pull off the festival. Volunteers hosted BBQs, sold souvenirs, bandaged sprained ankles, answered phones, served four meals a day and helped in many more ways. In April,…
To the Editor: Last week I announced that I would be conducting an online poll seeking input about public sentiment surrounding the proposed Super Wal-Mart project. Many community members responded, and I would like to give them my sincere thanks…
To the Editor: On behalf of the Franklin Chamber of Commerce, I would like to thank those who helped to make Franklin’s Annual 4th of July Fireworks & Fun Day such a huge success. Businesses donated not only money but…
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 19:51

Taking the pulse of a region

We in the news business provide historians with some of the crucial data necessary to write the story of any particular point in time. Reporters gather facts and opinions that are snapshots of how people feel, and then we make…
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 19:49

Elder abuse training available to public

The 30th Judicial District Domestic Violence-Sexual Assault Alliance is working to end elder abuse by offering training sessions across the far western counties of North Carolina. Statistics from the National Center for Elder Abuse state that between one and two…
Four years ago, new laws regulating the sale of pseudoephedrine in pharmacies slowed the illegal production of methamphetamine. The chemical compound commonly found in over-the-counter cold medication is a fundamental ingredient in the production of the illegal drug. But a…