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When Mike Schoonover was 10 years old, he had a transformative experience. It wasn’t a religious conversion per se. There was no epiphany-inducing encounter with a sports hero. But there was a cathedral of sky and a 10,000-foot high playing…
Alcohol has historically been slow to come to the mountains — much slower than the rest of the state. Only two counties in Western North Carolina allow alcohol sales outside town limits. Statewide, 60 counties allow some form of alcohol…
Whether you’re a college student in Cullowhee or a socialite in Cashiers, stocking up on beer, wine and spirits requires a trip into town — a trip most would apparently rather not make. A majority of Jackson County residents support…
Voters in Jackson County will get to decide next year whether to allow alcohol sales countywide. Four of the county’s five commissioners told The Smoky Mountain News this week they would support an alcohol referendum. The commissioners have not publicly…
Swain County should finally have a budget by early August, nearly six weeks after the start of the new fiscal year. Commissioners passed an interim budget to keep the county running over the summer, one of only two counties in…
Visitors to Bryson City will have a free place to go when nature calls once public restrooms are installed in the historic courthouse. There are plans for the now-vacant courthouse to one day be home to a visitor’s center manned…
Wednesday, 27 July 2011 13:39

Are community colleges efficient?

The answer is no, according to a recent study by the state Program Evaluation Oversight Committee. Here’s what they found: • While North Carolina’s 58 community colleges were established to meet community needs, their independence challenges administrative efficiency. Colleges vary…
Local and state leaders in Western North Carolina are vigorously opposing a cost-savings plan to consolidate administrations of 15 of the state’s smallest community colleges, including those of Haywood Community College and Southwestern Community College. A joint state legislative committee…
A flash flood struck the Cherokee fish hatchery last week, pummeling fish in the raceways with a wall of water laden with mud, rocks and branches. It wiped out hundreds if not thousands of trout and left a massive clean-up…
A new strategic plan for Western Carolina University will include ideas and voices from the local community, new Chancellor David Belcher promised Jackson County’s town and county leaders. In a wide-ranging address at a breakfast gathering held late last week…
Smoky Mountain Living prominently features images from across the southern Appalachians in each edition. Photo essays adhere to the issue’s…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:37

Constructing your own coffin

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A portion of this Back Then column appeared in SMN in August 2004 as “A Box to Call Your Own.”…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:36

Run for Joyce Kilmer

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A 5K and 10K race will be held in conjunction with the 75th anniversary events for Joyce Kilmer on Saturday,…
The Franklin Blue Planet 5K for Clean Water, a charity run, will be kick off at 9 a.m. August 6…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:35

Folkmoot gives 5K a festive flair

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The annual Folkmoot 5K Walk/Run and Kids’ Fun Run, held in conjunction with the Folkmoot Dance and Music festival, will…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:34

Master Gardeners offer mini-grants for projects

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The Haywood County Master Gardener Volunteer Association is offering grants for research or education in the areas of environment, gardening…
BatFest 2011 will be held from 2 p.m. until 5:30 p.m Sunday, July 31, in Crossnore, giving the public an…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:32

Bear photographer to share insights at talk

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Bill Lea, renowned nature photographer, will present “Understanding the Black Bear,” a free lecture at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:32

Calling fly fishing volunteers

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The Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education is recruiting experienced fly fishing anglers who are interested in volunteering.  The Pisgah Center…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:31

Cherokee elder to share insight on natural world

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Jerry Wolfe, an elder of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, will give a presentation titled “From the Cherokee…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:31

Roan Mountain makeover includes new observation deck

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Roan Mountain Gardens Recreation Area has reopened after a year-long renovation project funded by $700,000 in federal stimulus money. Located…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:30

Anniversary celebration salutes Joyce Kilmer

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A celebration honoring the 75th anniversary of the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest in the Nantahala National Forest will be held…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:29

Western NC develops as a hotspot for natural products

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WNC Naturally, an event to strengthen the natural products industry, will be held from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. August…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:28

Man vs. nature

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Unless you are of a philosophical bent, you might want to skip this last installment of the spotted owl trilogy.…
For two decades, the Little Tennessee Watershed Association in Franklin has been monitoring the health of the river’s water basin…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:07

Mysterious tribe’s tale

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This remarkable book has two protagonists. One is a learned, sophisticated (and somewhat jaded) scholar who has decided to spend…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:06

Spinning fibers with local artist

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A fiber art demonstration by Gail Johnston will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 26, at the Jackson…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:06

Workshops for young artists

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A youth art workshop will be held from 2 until 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 27, at the Jackson County…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:05

Apple Harvest Festival seeks vendors

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Applications are being accepted for the 23rd annual Haywood County Apple Harvest Festival for artists, crafters and craft demonstrators. The…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:04

Grace Church prepares for annual Parish Fair

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Grace Episcopal Church in the Mountains in Waynesville is getting ready for the annual Parish Fair from 9 a.m. to…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:03

Writer and comedian stops at Harrah’s

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Rodney Carrington will be performing at 9 p.m. on Friday, July 29, at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel’s Event Center.…
The Dismembered Tennesseans will play at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 23, at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center. It…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:01

Sylva singer plays heritage blues show

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Karen “Sugar” Barnes will perform at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 23, at the Marianna Black Library in Bryson City.…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:01

Eight plays slated for reading in Cashiers

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Playfest, an evening of staged play readings, will begin at 7:30 p.m. on July 28 at the Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:01

Camp offers a taste of Broadway and more

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MusicWorks! Studio of Performing Arts in Waynesville is offering a musical theater/show choir camp experience for young people ages 7…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:00

Oconaluftee starts old time music jam session

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park is starting up an acoustic old-time jam session from 1 to 3 p.m. every third…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 14:00

The Barn Cats to perform

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The Community Room at the Jackson County Public Library will come alive with country music when the Barn Cats Old…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 13:59

Singer-songwriter sings from debut album

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The Macon County Library hosts singer/songwriter Angela Faye Martin at 7 p.m. on July 21. Martin is a native of…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 13:59

Oldie favorites on stage in Franklin

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B.J. Thomas and Billy Joe Royal will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 22, at the Smoky Mountain Center…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 13:57

Brevard trio continues free concert series at WCU

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Serious Clark, a folk-fusion trio from Brevard, will perform a free concert at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 21, at…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 13:55

Creativity: An international affair

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In one gallery in Waynesville this month, the nations of the world will gather. While the international dance and song…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 13:54

Take part in Folkmoot USA

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Folkmoot 5K The Folkmoot 5K Run/Walk and Kids Fun Run at 8 a.m. on July 23 has become one of…
Folkmoot’s International Festival Day will be held from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 30, in Waynesville. The…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 13:51

Making a joyful noise

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In 1984, Flora Gammon agreed to a favor for a colleague and friend, Dr. Clinton Border. He needed her musical…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 13:49

The groups of Folkmoot 2011

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Batimbo Drummers Ensemble The Republic of Burundi in central Africa has always been known for its hypnotic drum music, and…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 13:46

A gourmet makeover for Folkmoot’s food

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There are certain things that are nearly exclusive to cafeterias. Mystery meat. Square pizza. Chicken rings, presumably to go on…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 13:41

Schedule of Events

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Wednesday, July 27    1:00 pm    Hazelwood Elementary School. Free Event. 2:00 pm    Blue Ridge Community College, Bo Thomas Auditorium, Flat…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 13:19

HART production just as good as Broadway

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To the Editor: Have you ever wanted to go to Manhattan and see a Broadway musical? Well, you don’t have…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 13:18

General Assembly was fair with education

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To the Editor: When funds are limited and cuts need to be made, wise decisions are imperative. As a former…
Wednesday, 20 July 2011 13:17

SCC worked for years to fund road

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The basic issue is safety. That’s it, plain and simple. While one Jackson County commissioner has questioned the need for…