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By Mark Singleton • Guest Columnist Even in times of crisis, we’re called to take the long view to preserve our national heritage — because in doing so we fulfill one of the responsibilities that falls to all of us…
Wednesday, 28 April 2010 17:37

Alcohol banned at recreation sites

The US. Forest Service has banned alcohol use at 11 recreation sites in the Nantahala National Forest. The sites include: Balsam Lake Recreation Area, Big Choga Dispersed Camping Sites, Bristol Fields Campground, Cheoah Point Swimming Area, Dry Falls Recreational Area,…
Wednesday, 21 April 2010 17:37

Kephart’s persona was well crafted

Our consideration of “books and all things related” continues with a look at an instance when a well-known author (and former librarian) chose to disguise his reading so as to create a literary persona. Horace Kephart was often guarded, sometimes…
Wednesday, 21 April 2010 17:37

N.C. 47th Senate

North Carolina’s 47th District Senate seat represents Haywood, Madison, Yancey, Mitchell, Avery and McDowell counties. Republican voters will choose between Andy Webb, Ralph Hise, and Tamera Frank in the May 4 primary, and the winner faces incumbent Democrat Joe Sam…
The Jackson County Sheriff’s race is hot and getting hotter. While a controversial pay raise and allegations of questionable financial transactions are dogging incumbent Sheriff Jimmy Ashe, the possibility of a politically-motivated arson at challenger Robin Gunnels’ business has provided…
Wednesday, 21 April 2010 17:37

Candidates weigh in

Democrats Donnie Dixon: “I can’t rightfully say he’s done a bad job. It could reflect the commissioners’ doings...I have nothing against the man. I’m not going to point a finger.” Janice Inabinett said the county must rely on an evaluation…
Wednesday, 21 April 2010 17:37

Evergreen Foundation needs to be reined in

It is past time someone looked closely at just what is going on with the Evergreen Foundation, because apparently those in control of a whole lot of what should be public assets have strayed very far from their original mission.…
Wednesday, 21 April 2010 17:37

Sylva board elects to pay music licensing

With Sylva’s annual street festival Greening Up the Mountains right around the corner, town commissioners had a somewhat unusual decision land on their doorstep last week: risk a lawsuit or pay a licensing fee to a music industry group. Apparently,…
A primary owner of Ghost Town in the Sky wants to buy the amusement park out of bankruptcy. But there’s a catch. The owner would walk away from more than $5 million in debt, yet continue to own the park…
While a hotly contested judge’s race is dominating the water cooler gossip in lawyers’ offices, the average voter likely has their work cut out for them. The choices are overwhelming: 10 candidates running for three seats. All the names on…
Wednesday, 21 April 2010 17:37

N.C. 50th Senate

The 50th Senate seat represents Jackson, Macon, Swain, Clay, Graham, and Cherokee counties, along with a portion of Haywood. Republican voters will choose between Jim Davis and Jimmy Goodman on the May 4 primary, and the winner will face Democratic…
In the lead-up to the primary elections on May 4, criticism of the current administration is stewing underground in Swain County. Most commissioner candidates admit reluctantly that much of that frustration is directed toward County Manager Kevin King, though few…
Wednesday, 21 April 2010 17:37

Jackson EDC debate is over, again

Anyone who thought the discussion over the Jackson County Economic Development Commission’s missing audits was over when the board closed the issue last December got a surprise on Monday night. Chairman Brian McMahan announced that he had gotten a letter…
Haywood County Attorney Chip Killian had his response ready for the citizen activists who have incessantly demanded referendums on a string of controversial county decisions. At Monday’s commissioners’ meeting, Killian informed them that state law actually forbids counties from holding…
Wednesday, 21 April 2010 17:37

Early voting off to slow start

Early voting began last Thursday, April 15, and runs through noon on Saturday, May 1. As of press time Tuesday, here’s how many people had voted early so far. Haywood 119 voted in the Democratic primary 54 voted in the…
Wednesday, 21 April 2010 17:37

The Naturalist's Corner

Earth Day: hope vs. optimism Lordy, lordy look who’s 40 — Earth Day and the EPA. Officially created and established in 1970, Earth Day was the spirit and philosophy that was going to take us to Nirvana; was going to…
Friday, 03 September 2010 13:46

Trout Festival comes to Maggie Valley

From buttered trout fillets to a trout race, all things trout will be celebrated during the 21st annual Great Smoky Mountain Trout Festival from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 1, at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds. The…
Wednesday, 21 April 2010 17:37

Meet the candidates

Three District Court judge seats are up for election in the seven western counties. The race for judge isn’t partisan, so candidates aren’t distinguished as Republican or Democrat on the ballot. Candidates have to designate which of the three seats…
Wednesday, 21 April 2010 17:37

Bring poetry to the people

“April is the cruelest of months, breeding/ lilacs out of the dead land” — so wrote T.S. Eliot in the much-cited first two lines of “The Waste Land.” April is also National Poetry Month. Had he lived today, Eliot may…
Wednesday, 21 April 2010 17:37

Politicking illegal at county meetings

At the last Haywood commissioners meeting, a citizen asked Commissioner Kirk Kirkpatrick and Commissioner Bill Upton to answer a political question as election candidates. This week, county attorney Chip Killian said that move was unlawful. Commissioners cannot use the forum…
Wednesday, 21 April 2010 17:37

Veterans take to Cherokee waters for healing

I don't do people, Bart Crowe said matter-of-factly. But there he was getting his fishing tackle together to hit the trophy waters in Cherokee with a couple of fishing buddies. Crowe carried an M-60 machine gun during Operation Desert Storm…
Diehard fans of “The Andy Griffith Show” would know there’s more than meets the eye to Rafe Hollister. The coarse hillbilly overall-clad farmer turns up to audition for the skeptical local choir and blows the crowd away with his powerful…
Wednesday, 14 April 2010 17:37

Haywood Waterways’ new leader

After years of being the in-the-stream science guy behind Haywood Waterways Association, Eric Romaniszyn is taking the helm as the nonprofit’s executive director, something he sees as a natural outgrowth of his work in conservation biology. “Doing what I do…
Wednesday, 14 April 2010 17:37

Debate Web site new to WNC election scene

Shane Burrell’s idea was simple: create a Web site where political candidates can talk to directly to voters about issues. “I knew that a lot of the candidates just weren’t able to get out there and online is an easy…
Six Democrats and five Republicans are vying for three seats on the Haywood County board of commissioners. Only three from each party will advance past the May 4 primary to the November election. The Smoky Mountain News spoke with the…
Six Democrats and five Republicans are vying for three seats on the Haywood County board of commissioners. Only three from each party will advance past the May 4 primary to the November election. The Smoky Mountain News spoke with the…
Wednesday, 14 April 2010 17:37

Scant primary in Jackson commissioner race

While three of five seats are up for election on the Jackson County board of commissioners, there is primary competition for just one of the seats: the Democratic primary for the Cherokee/ Whittier/Dillsboro district profiled here. William Shelton, 47, Whittier,…
Wednesday, 14 April 2010 17:37

Swain commissioner candidates

Democratic candidates, pick four Steve Moon, 59, owner of a tire shop, incumbent Moon is finishing up his first term as commissioner and has served on the school board for six years. Moon said he’d like to be re-elected to…
This year in Macon County, three seats on the board are up for election. Each commissioner represents a geographic district in the county, although all voters get to vote for all seats. Once the board is elected, the sitting members…
Wednesday, 14 April 2010 17:37

Catching air on the Nantahala

Big names in paddling will dish up their best stunts and tricks in the NOC Freestyle Shootout kayak rodeo on the Nantahala River this weekend, April 17 and 18. Freestyle kayaking, like skateboarding or snowboarding on a half-pipe, involves technical…
Wednesday, 14 April 2010 17:37

Haywood commissioner candidates

Democrat candidates, pick three Raymond L. Brooks, 59, owner of trucking company Brooks has worked with citizens for more than 30 years as a preacher at Waynesville’s Bible Baptist Church. He wants to reduce the county debt and be more…
Wednesday, 14 April 2010 17:37

Cherokee casino renovation halfway home

Last week, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians celebrated the topping off of their new 21-story hotel tower, the centerpiece of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino’s $633 million expansion. “This, for us, is a game-changer,” said Harrah’s Cherokee General Manager Darold Londo.…
Western North Carolina’s mental health agency may be headed for a civil war with its partner foundation. Smoky Mountain Center, a quasi-state body that oversees mental health in the region, hopes to wrest $20 million in assets away from its…
Swain County is nearing the end of an ongoing saga with neighboring Graham County over who will provide emergency services to Deal’s Gap. The sparring counties reached a tentative agreement last week pending approval by both boards. According to the…
Wednesday, 14 April 2010 17:37

Will cell phones rule the World??

By John Beckman • Guest Columnist If Alexander Graham Bell were alive today he’d probably be carrying an iPhone. Based on Samuel Morse’s first telegraph sent via “Morse Code” in 1838, Mr. Bell and others began working on a “speaking…
Wednesday, 14 April 2010 17:37

Time to tackle immigration reform

Now that the health care debate is over, here’s what we have: a very middle-of-the-road health insurance reform package. Most on the left wanted much more (the public option), while those on the right admitted they’d like to control health…
Nine Democrats and four Republicans have set their sights on four open commissioner seats in Swain County. A primary on May 4 will decide which four Democrats will advance to the November election. All four Republicans will automatically advance, along…
Wednesday, 14 April 2010 17:37

Dillsboro bats looking for new homes

Throughout the years-long bickering over the future of the Dillsboro Dam, the little brown bats that spent the summer in the dam’s powerhouse had no voice. Each April, the little browns would return to the Tuckaseegee from their winter homes…
Nine bat species across the South are at risk from a deadly fungus decimating certain bat populations known as white-nose syndrome. The disease has now been confirmed as close as Tennessee and Virginia. Susan Loeb, a leading bat expert with…
Wednesday, 14 April 2010 17:37

A modern take on Chaucer’s classic

eoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales: a Retelling by Peter Ackroyd. Viking Press, 2009. 436 pages Being an old English teacher, I am aware of a literary tradition regarding classical works of literature: every generation of so, “masterpieces,” such as The…
Looking for a high-energy spring art evening that’ll make your jaw drop, open your eyes and please your palate, give a vantage point to view creation, and make you eager to come back the next year? It’s time for Waynesville’s…
Wednesday, 14 April 2010 17:37

Remembering when books were magic

We’re still at it—considering books and related matters like shelving strategies, bookplates, home libraries, favorite books, and “How do we go about discovering the next book we’re going to read?” This could go on forever. This week, not having anything…
Wednesday, 14 April 2010 17:37

The Naturalist's Corner

Spring in the watershed The Town of Waynesville’s annual spring pilgrimage to the Waynesville Watershed will be Saturday, April 24. This one will be set up similar to last fall’s event with an early morning birding option. Those who want…
It’s not often that soccer players go head-to-head with softball and baseball athletes. But whenever Haywood County decides to build a new recreation park, they may do just that. A competitive spirit creeps from the field into public meetings, as…
Wednesday, 07 April 2010 17:37

A knack for helping others

With a long trail of accomplishments already behind him, Tony Giorgio is ready to work his magic on Western North Carolina. In the nearly three decades of work, Giorgio’s charity Compassion for Kids has raised $1.5 million for 2,000 seriously…
Avram Friedman is not your average North Carolina political candidate. Born in the Bronx, Friedman studied political science at Hunter College, and he’s been a grassroots activist since the late 1960s. After spending his life affecting change from outside the…
Last month, officials from the Tuckaseigee Water and Sewer Authority and the Town of Sylva clashed over who was responsible for fixing a clogged town sewer line. The issue has since been resolved, with TWASA’s board voting 4-1 to reimburse…
Wednesday, 07 April 2010 17:37

The Naturalist's Corner

Spring’s a buzzin’ Mom was a little concerned the other day as she helped Izzy find a butterfly net to catch white-headed “bumblebees.” Izzy was back in a couple of minutes with a roaring buzz emanating from her closed, cupped…
Wednesday, 07 April 2010 17:37

Smoky Mountain Center privatizes services

Smoky Mountain Center, the mental health management entity for Western North Carolina, has finally gotten itself out of the game of providing services. The suite of programs known as Smoky Operated Services would be handed over to a partnership forged…
Wednesday, 07 April 2010 17:37

Jackson ridge law review off the table

The Jackson County planning board is no longer contemplating revisions to the county’s ban on ridge top construction. The ridge law posed logistical challenges for county staff tasked with enforcing the ordinance. But discussion over how to tweak the ridge…