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Two groups of Jackson County’s World War II veterans visited Washington, D.C.’s war memorial this year thanks to a project spearheaded by the Sylva Rotary Club. Honor Air flew eight veterans in fall 2008 and 13 veterans in spring 2009…
Jimmy and Keith Leatherwood were always glad to see the developers of Cataloochee Wilderness Resorts walk in to their local hangout, the Jonathan Creek Café. It meant free coffee. The developer would unfurl maps on the table outlining plans for…
Sounds like Waynesville’s leaders heard just what they expected last week regarding South Main Street — many people feel many different ways, and so no matter what the outcome many are going to be unhappy. Waynesville’s leaders and residents have…
The new Swain jail costs the county $610,000 a year more than the old jail: $450,000 in debt payments and an additional $160,000 on overhead and staff. The county hoped to make $500,000 a year housing prisoners from out of…
Wednesday, 22 July 2009 18:51

Life in the richest place on earth

When Jim Lowe strikes out on his twice-monthly foray to check insect traps in the Smokies, he never knows just what is in store. Lowe runs various and sundry traps — tiny cups sunk in the ground, large mesh nets…
Wednesday, 22 July 2009 18:49

Don West’s affinity for Appalachia

A Hard Journey by James J. Lorence. University of Illinois Press, 2009. 344 pages. Once on a warm, summer afternoon (circa 1957), I met Don West in the Townhouse Restaurant in Cullowhee. He was visiting his daughter, Hedy (a student…
When Mary Ann Enloe was growing up in the blue-collar hub of Hazelwood, she didn’t know anyone with an alarm clock. The town woke to the sound of the factory whistle and followed its cues all day long. “Everybody here…
Wednesday, 22 July 2009 18:47

HVO to purchase Wellco site

Although Wellco shoe plant in Waynesville is closing, the community will be spared the blight of another vacant industrial site. Haywood Vocational Opportunities, which manufactures and assembles medical supplies, is buying the site to expand its own operations. HVO, which…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Gaily colored petals of long-stemmed Cosmos flowers lilt along on the sea-swept winds that blow across Great Cranberry Island, located just off the coast of Maine where Patricia Bailey, an associate professor of art…
Wednesday, 22 July 2009 18:44

Volunteers keep the Smokies ticking

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park boasts more volunteers than nearly any other park. Last year, 2,780 volunteers logged a total of 117,537 man-hours. They wielded Pulaskis on trails, handed out maps at visitor centers, donned historic costumes for heritage…
By Andre A. Rodriguez Twenty-five years after their father represented the Netherlands at the first Folkmoot festival, a second generation of folk dancers has arrived from Holland to take part in the two-week international dance festival. Oscar and Victor Peeters…
Wednesday, 22 July 2009 18:42

The Naturalist's Corner

Up in the air Western North Carolina senators Joe Sam Queen, Martin Nesbitt and John Snow might be wishing they had a wind turbine to cool down some of the heat they’ve been taking for throwing a kink into plans…
Wednesday, 22 July 2009 18:41

Can Duke supporters sleep at night?

By Carl Iobst • Guest Columnist Over the past few weeks several individuals and one media outlet have provided Jackson County citizens with a comedic Greek Chorus concerning the Jackson County commissioners and their decision to condemn the Dillsboro Dam…
Macon County residents fearful that a proposed sewage treatment plant in Georgia will harm the Little Tennessee River turned out en masse at a public hearing last week to voice those concerns. The Little Tennessee River flows north from Rabun…
A regular guest at the Dillsboro Holiday Inn Express upset by phone and Internet outages at the hotel discovered it is no longer affiliated with the Holiday Inn corporate brand. The inn’s de-listing was confirmed by a spokeswoman for brand…
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 20:03

‘Skeleton’ of a plan

Derek Roland’s presentation about the effort to create a comprehensive planning document for Macon County suggested that a progressive document might come out of the planning process. But it was evident from the ensuing question-and-answer session [see main article] that…
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 20:02

Jackson Paper proud of its successes

By Tim Campbell • Guest Columnist Jackson Paper Manufacturing Company has been a proud part of Sylva and Jackson County since 1995. Our community’s highly-skilled and dedicated workforce, solid infrastructure, good business climate and quality of life all combine to…
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 20:01

Macon to create broad plan — again

At a forum on Macon County’s move to begin working on a comprehensive plan to address future growth, the presenter focused on the what, the how and the why. Following the talk, by new county Planner Derek Roland, audience members…
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 20:00

A door opens and the light shines for Irene

Irene has been in this country for only four years. When she came, she could not speak a word of English. The smugglers became frustrated with her because she kept mispronouncing the one word she had to get right in…
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 19:59

Pawpaw is unique among fruits

(Editors Note: George Ellison is on leave this week. But he says that his pawpaw trees have even more fruit on them this year than they did when he wrote this about them last year.) Way Down Yonder in the…
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 19:58

The Naturalist's Corner

PETA - Cherokee bears part deaux I have been watching the story in Smoky Mountain News regarding PETA and the caged bears in Cherokee with some interest and have a couple of observations. First, reporter Julia Merchant states in her…
A mega developer in Jackson County has landed in foreclosure due to sluggish lot sales in the down real estate economy. Legasus development company saw a portion of its massive land holdings auctioned off on the courthouse steps last week.…
Construction will soon begin on a medical office building on the Harris Regional Hospital campus in Sylva. The new 45,000-square-foot, three-story building will house physician practices, allowing for growth of the medical community. The building will also house an outpatient…
The Cherokee Nation and Harrah’s pulled out all the stops to mark start of construction on a third hotel tower at the tribe’s casino — an addition that will make the property the largest hotel in the state. The $633…
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 19:52

Threats on all fronts

Only the most farsighted and intuitive of those who labored for the creation of the Smokies could have foreseen the slate of environmental challenges that would be facing the park mere decades after President Franklin Roosevelt stood astride the North…
Legasus developers have been attracting attention from Jackson County residents for almost two years. When news of the plans got out in early 2007 — calling for 1,800 lots on 3,500 acres between Tuckasegee and Glenville — Legasus evoked the…
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 19:47

Chick-lit at its finest

Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Pattillo. Guideposts, 2009. 288 pages Art and literary whodunits are so plentiful these days that they might nearly constitute their own genre. The DaVinci Code is the best-selling of these works, but anyone…
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 19:45

Folkmoot expands into three new counties

Last year Cindy Gilbert took her Polk County band students to China to perform. This year she is bringing the world’s music to them — thanks to Folkmoot USA and its drive to expand its presence in Western North Carolina.…
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 19:43

Director says community values festival

By Melanie Threlkeld McConnell Forget Europe. Haywood County is where the action is for Karen Babcock this summer, and she couldn’t be happier. Well, give her a piece of dark chocolate and she could be. Babcock is the new executive…
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 19:41

Public split on South Main’s future

In the heyday of curbside service, Jim Caldwell had a special talent for dressing hot dogs. He could balance 10 buns up on one arm, stacked from his wrist to his bicep, while his other wielded ketchup and mustard bottles,…
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 19:38

Public art showcases Folkmoot USA

Folkmoot will be the subject of a public art piece commissioned by the Waynesville Public Art Commission (WPAC).Artist Wayne Trapp has been selected to be the artist for the third public art piece. With an installation date scheduled for early…
As 10-year-old Dayini Lossie stood on the shore eyeing the wide shallow waters of the Tuckasegee River last week listening to the marching orders for the exercise about to unfold, one word came to mind: awesome. Lossie had never heard…
South Main Street in Waynesville is headed for a major roadway redesign, one that could take out rows of long-time businesses to make way for more lanes, sidewalks, bike lanes and a median. South Main Street — the two-lane thoroughfare…
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 19:35

The Naturalist's Corner

A note of interest The US Fish & Wildlife Service has extended the public comment period on its John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System Digital Mapping Pilot Project through Aug. 5, 2009, and has included opportunities for public participation…
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 19:33

Heritage, naturally

By Joann B. Poindexter • Special to The Smoky Mountain News The Franklin Folk Festival will celebrate the region’s cultural heritage with music, historical re-enactments and preservation information during an all-day celebration from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July…
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 19:32

From the chaos come ‘uktena’

The natural history of a region consists of the plants, animals, and landscapes we can see and explore any given day. But no full comprehension of any region can be had without coming to some understanding of its spiritual terrain.…
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 19:28

Duke starts dredging above Dillsboro Dam

Duke Energy has begun work preparing a site along the Tuckasegee River upstream of the Dillsboro Dam in order to start dredging the river there. While virtually everyone agrees the dredging is a good thing in and of itself, the…
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 18:31

Ghost Town coaster an open-and-shut case

The much-anticipated roller coaster at Ghost Town opened amid fanfare last week, then was promptly shut down again. The coaster is one of the primary attractions at the mountaintop amusement park in Maggie Valley, but has been plagued by a…
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 18:27

Popcorn Sutton film wins regional Emmy

The Last One, a locally produced documentary film featuring moonshiner Popcorn Sutton, received an Emmy at the 35th Emmy Awards Southeast ceremony on June 27 in Atlanta, Georgia. The film depicts Sutton distilling his final batch of illegal liquor, while…
A much smaller contingent of Rainbow Family members than North Carolina’s Nantahala National Forest has sometimes experienced descended on Buck Creek in the forest’s Tusquitee District in late June. In 1987, an estimated 12,000 Rainbow Family members converged on Nantahala…
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 18:27

Fish weir Q&A

What is a fish weir? Fish weirs are long, low rock walls built in the riverbed, extending from opposite shores and shaped like a giant funnel pointing downstream. They are the visible remnants of an ancient form of community fishing…
“Cherokee has so much to offer, such as its beautiful mountains, museums, cultural and historical exhibits, Native American shops, friendly residents, and casino. The caged bears may have been a big attraction at one time but are now seen as…
By May 2008, members of Earla Mae Cowan’s family had begun to suspect a trusted nephew was stealing from her. And, in the first few months when they were most anxious to see the matter taken seriously and looked into…
Lamar Marshall had been canoeing the Little Tennessee for years before he knew what a fish weir was. In retrospect, the low rock walls spanning the river are too symmetrical and too uniform to be a naturally occurring rock vein.…
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 18:19

Take a chance on Ravens

When a friend sent me an advanced reading copy of Ravens with a note that said, “There is no one to like in this one,” I prepared myself for a dark and bleak journey through South Georgia grunge. That is…
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 18:18

441 corridor plan poised for passage

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners held a final public hearing on the proposed U.S. 441 “Gateway” Corridor ordinance Monday (July 6). Michael Egan, the county’s consulting attorney on land development matters, gave an overview of the ordinance before comments…
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 18:17

Fish stew: better than it sounds

While today’s fishermen are partial to the big fillets like brook trout and small-mouth bass, Cherokee used even the tiniest fish, like silversides and shiners, drying them on long strings or making them into stews. Myrtle Driver, a Cherokee elder,…
Wednesday, 08 July 2009 18:05

Long-time Sylva mayor won’t run again

Sylva’s mayor for the past 17 years, Brenda Oliver, has announced that she will not run for re-election this fall.Oliver, 67, said she has enjoyed serving the town and is optimistic about the direction it is headed. Oliver said she…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 18:04

New map leads the way to Haywood farms

Local residents and tourists have a new resource to help them support the farms and farmers of Haywood County. A recently unveiled brochure and map lists more than 30 locations to buy local produce, plants, trout, and more. The featured…
Wednesday, 01 July 2009 18:03

Canton election hangs on vision for town

How Canton residents envision the future of their town could play a pivotal role in who gets elected this fall. The current town board has been locked in a power struggle recently, with two long-time board members often at odds…