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A national bestselling author, a local icon, and a well-known regional outdoor writer and photographer will all make their way to City Lights Bookstore in Sylva soon. • First, Gary Carden returns to the store for a special program on…
Tuesday, 06 July 2010 20:41

Shakespeare still valuable in space

Muse of Fire by Dan Simmons. Subterranean Press, 2008. 105 page In recent years, it has become fashionable for writers who have “cult followings” to issue limited editions of handsomely packaged and extravagantly priced short works. Somebody like Stephen King,…
The Waynesville Public Art Commission members would like to express their gratitude to all of the artists and all of the public that helped to make Salamander Splash, on Thursday, June 24, a huge success. Forty-eight Haywood County artists stepped…
Tourism leaders in the mountains agree they’ve got to re-invent their marketing tactics over the next decade to stay competitive. Apparently, there are a multitude of opinions on how to do that. When we ran a story in last week’s…
Tuesday, 06 July 2010 19:45

Full Spectrum Farms seeks auction items

Full Spectrum Farms is accepting silent auction donations for its annual Starlight Night fundraiser, Oct. 2. The local non-profit helps individuals with autism. Event sponsorships are available for $500 or $1,000. Donations and sponsorships are tax deductable. To donate, contact…
Tuesday, 06 July 2010 19:44

Shuler announces WNC job fairs

Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., has announced a series of job fairs throughout the summer month. Workforce training and employer training seminars will run from 10 a.m. to noon July 9 at the Franklin Employment Security Commission Office at 427 Harrison…
Tuesday, 06 July 2010 19:43

Information offered to small businesses

Two informational sessions will be available for Western North Carolina’s small businesses. “Ask the Experts: What’s new for small businesses in 2010” events will focus on access to capital and entrepreneurial development. They will offer updates about new opportunities as…
Haywood Habitat for Humanity marked its 20th anniversary at the organization’s Annual Meeting. To celebrate, Habitat Executive Director Marnette Colborne announced the creation of the annual Walton Garrett Award to recognize special volunteers. Garrett started the organization in the county…
An ongoing debate over the cost of a new building on the Haywood Community College campus lacks a clear resolution, with neither county commissioners nor college leaders budging from their position since the conflict first arose four months ago. County…
The make-up of Sylva’s town board shifted this week when board members voted 3-1 to replace outgoing board member Sarah Graham with Harold Hensley. The vote changes the town’s disposition from one with a progressive voting majority to one likely…
Though many Jackson County residents shy away from publicly airing their views on alcohol, a recent poll shows that a comfortable majority of voters support alcohol sales countywide. Whether you’re a college student in Cullowhee or socialite in Cashiers, stocking…
A year ago, Scott Cummings would never have pictured himself standing on the sidewalk pumping a homemade sign in the air for passing motorists to see. But last week, he found himself front and center in a 200-strong crowd at…
Government approval ratings are low all over the country. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that they’re also low in Jackson County. “The state of the economy is the strongest predictor of trust in government that I know of,” said…
Tuesday, 06 July 2010 19:27

Jackson County Poll Results

1. Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Jackson County government? Favorable 33% Unfavorable 46% Not Sure 20% 2. Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of the federal government? Favorable 29% Unfavorable 62% Not Sure 9%…
A new polling project developed by Western Carolina University’s Public Policy Institute and The Smoky Mountain News aims to get data that is the meat and bread of political scientists into the hands of the voting public. “As academics, we’re…
Tuesday, 06 July 2010 19:22

Senate clamps down on sweepstakes

If Rep. Ray Rapp has his way, the state House will crush video sweepstakes as fervently as the state Senate did late last month. N.C. senators voted 47-1 to ban the video gambling machines that have evolved to circumvent a…
Restaurant and bar patrons in Maggie Valley may see an extra tax on their bills to support tourism promotion and projects in town by this time next year. Maggie Valley’s town board has unanimously approved applying to the state for…
After decades of bitter division among Swain County residents concerning the North Shore Road controversy, people on both sides have come to a surprisingly easy agreement in its aftermath. County leaders and citizens all agree that an advisory committee must…
The rich, downhome sound of the Josh Fields Band will be showcased from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, July 2, during the Concerts on the Creek series at Sylva’s Bridge Park Pavilion. This free live music series takes place every…
What do you get when you mix the pristine vocals of Ella Fitzgerald with the guitar licks of Robert Johnson? Find out as the “sweetest” singer in Dillsboro, Karen “Sugar” Barnes performs with Dave Magill at 7 p.m. Thursday, July…
Tuesday, 06 July 2010 19:10

Lonesome River Band to play in Stecoah

The Lonesome River Band will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 10, on the Grand Old Stage at Stecoah Valley Cultural Center as part of the Appalachian Evening series. Longtime band member and driving banjo picker, Sammy Shelor, will play,…
Tuesday, 06 July 2010 19:10

Twain impersonator comes to Franklin

Marvin Cole, a Western Carolina University graduate famous for his impersonations of Mark Twain, will entertain at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 10, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Franklin’s Summer Coffee House. Compelling performances by Cole as Twain have…
Middle school students in the area will have an opportunity to learn about Cherokee heritage during a “Mini-Camp for Middle Schoolers” offered by Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center. Designed for rising sixth-and seventh-graders, the camp will be held from…
Tuesday, 06 July 2010 19:08

American Craft Today seeks submissions

Craft artists are invited to submit digital images of their work by July 19 to be considered for inclusion in The Bascom’s juried exhibition “American Craft Today.” This national competition and exhibition will feature original works in all craft media:…
Witness the arresting culture of Apache, Totonac, Aztec, Crow, Navajo and Cherokee through ancient wisdom, song, dance, legend, arts and regalia all in one place. Indigenous tribes will gather for the 6th Annual Festival of Native Peoples on Friday, July…
Eight-year-old Devon Heenan stood with her arm extended in the parking lot of the Ingles in Cashiers. With her cell phone camera, she and a friend were taking pictures of the summer sun in hopes of seeing a sky ship…
Monday, 30 August 2010 14:12

A unique old time reporter

Many characters surface in stories related to Horace Kephart, regional author and one of the founders of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. F.A. Behymer, a journalist from St. Louis who would have been aware of the basic story behind…
Wednesday, 02 June 2010 20:07

What is Buy Haywood?

Supported by the Golden LEAF Foundation since 2007, Buy Haywood has enjoyed success promoting the county’s farms. Its first project targeted grocery store chains and successfully enlisted Whole Foods, Ingles, Food Lion, Bi-Lo, Lowes Food and others into carrying tomatoes,…
Thursday, 20 May 2010 17:06

Bringing poetry back to life

Once upon a time the queen of literature, poetry finds itself nowadays, like the tale of Cinderella run in reverse, a poor stepchild of pen and paper, pale-limbed, gray ashes on ashen cheeks, seated on a broken stool off in…
Ricky Skaggs, the legendary, fourteen-time Grammy-award winning country and bluegrass artist, will be featured at Lake Junaluska’s 10th Annual Appalachian Christmas this December, in addition to two Lake Junaluska Singers concerts and the Christmas Craft Show. Skaggs and his talented…
By Bruce Gardner • Guest Columnist The Tea Party movement is sweeping the nation and has found its way through the media and into almost everyone’s living room. It is not a political party; it is a frame of mind.…
“Barbecue is all about slow and low,” said Blackrock BBQ owner and pit master James Aust. “The secret’s in the rub, and I can’t share that.” Barbecue, as a food, lends itself to mysterious discourse, in part, because it’s so…
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 15:01

Auto dealer reinvents to stay alive

When Daniel Allison III learned last May that General Motors wouldn’t renew his franchise agreement, he couldn’t believe it. “Shock,” Allison said. “I think you go through being angry and then, once I got through all my feelings, I worried…
There is, perhaps, no sheriff’s race as hotly contested as the one currently taking place in Swain County. Sheriff Curtis Cochran’s volatile first term as sheriff has brought no shortage of issues — or candidates — to the Swain sheriff’s…
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 15:01

Arson case thickens plot in sheriff’s race

A fire at the business of a Jackson County sheriff candidate last week has cast a shadow over the race. Robin Gunnels, owner of Custom Truck Covers in Sylva and a Democratic candidate for sheriff, believes the attack on his…
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 15:01

Landslide count keeps climbing

In a record year for landslides, yet another one struck this week, this time along U.S. 441 in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The slide occurred Monday near Newfound Gap, about a mile from the Tennessee state line. One lane…
“It’s the oldest constitutional office in the state,” said Eddie Caldwell, executive vice president of the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association. “We had sheriffs in North Carolina before we had counties.” Just because something is old, doesn’t mean it’s good. Increasingly,…
Horns by Joe Hill. William Morrow Publishers, 2010. 370 pages. Ignatius William Perrish (“Iggy” to his friends) awoke one morning to find that, in addition to a headache, he had a very tangible set of horns sprouting from his forehead.…
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 15:01

Candidate profiles

Democrat candidates Steve Buchanan, 50, Bryson City resident, owner of a construction company “Most of the thefts relate back to drug use, people stealing to pay for their drug habit, and I feel that it’s at a point now where…
A conference that connects faith and the environment will be held at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center April 8 through 11. Caring for Creation, now in its fourth year, imparts a message of stewardship and responsibility for people of…
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 15:01

The Naturalist's Corner

Pug catcher Early last week, we were inundated with small gray moths. You couldn’t open a door without two or three coming inside. Moths inside are cool for Izzy, Maddy and the cat — all like to play with them.…
A group of activists arrested for civil disobedience during protests of Duke Energy’s new coal plant last year have been let off the hook for a second time. Activists were arrested for trespassing in two separate demonstrations last year, one…
Readers will be in for a surprise when thumbing through the pages of the all-Cherokee issue of Appalachian Heritage literary journal, which will be celebrated at Western Carolina University next week. The issue turns on its head every generalization about…
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 15:01

The art of choosing the next book

Of late, we’ve been considering books. The feedback (mostly email) from readers to recent columns regarding books in general, book shelving strategies, bookplates, home libraries, favorite books, and so on, has been instructive. Before we move on to this week’s…
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 15:01

Meet the thru-hikers

It’s a sure sign of spring for Southern Appalachian communities along the Appalachian Trail: hikers loaded down with backpacks hitchhiking to town and back to stock up on supplies, eat that hamburger they’ve been craving, and knock back a few…
Wednesday, 31 March 2010 15:01

Ashe squares off against three opponents

Voters in the Democratic Primary in Jackson County must choose which of the four candidates profiled below should advance to the November election. Two other candidates, Mary Rock and Tim O’Brien, plan to run in November as unaffiliated candidates, but…
For years, Appalachian Trail thru-hikers have been stopping in Franklin for supplies, rest, and Internet access, but last week the town solidified its place as a trail destination. Mayor Joe Collins signed a proclamation accepting the town’s designation as an…
Voters in the Democratic Primary in Haywood County must choose which of the two candidates profiled here will advance to the November election. Republican candidate Bill Wilke is running unopposed in the primary and will automatically advance. Bobby Suttles, 65,…
The Jackson County Courthouse, Sylva’s most distinctive building, was built in a rush. C.J. Harris, a prominent industrialist and wealthy Sylva businessman, bankrolled the $50,000 project in 1914 in return for the county seat being moved from Webster to Sylva.…