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A controversial bill to regulate development on steep slopes to prevent landslides will be reintroduced in the state legislature this year after dying in committee last time. The bill was crafted by Rep. Ray Rapp, D-Mars Hill, who said it…
An effort to end a six-year-long dispute between Jackson County and Duke Energy failed in a 3-2 vote last week, as the county commissioners decided to move forward with the case to save the Dillsboro dam. County Commissioner Tom Massie…
Wednesday, 28 January 2009 16:39

Quieting the monster cries

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For nearly a year, my 3-year-old son Jack has been obsessed with heavy machinery. We rent films from the library…
Wednesday, 28 January 2009 16:38

Cherokee covers lunch for its own

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has recently begun funding the school lunches for enrolled members of the tribe who attend school off the Qualla Boundary. The tribe has funded the lunches of those who attend school on the reservation…
Five candidates vying to be the next Haywood County Sheriff appeared at a question and answer forum Saturday, Jan. 24 before a crowd of almost 100, the majority of which were members of the Haywood County Democratic Party executive committee.…
Wednesday, 28 January 2009 16:34

Your friendly guide to area museums and historical sites

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By Christi Marsico While looking for something fun and inexpensive to do in these tough economic times, look no further…
A hulking space in the strip mall along U.S. 74 in Clyde that has sat vacant since the departure of Wal-Mart could get a new tenant — the Haywood County departments of Health and Social Services. A new building to…
Wednesday, 28 January 2009 16:31

The common beauty of the robin

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Wednesday, 28 January 2009 16:27

A new take on murderess legend

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Midwinter by Maurice Stanley. Whittler’s Bench Press, 2008. 208 pages. North Carolina’s folklore and music resonates with the pain of…
The state legislative session began in Raleigh this week with the big issue being the budget during tough economic times. The current fiscal year budget of $21.35 billion is expected to have a shortfall of $2 billion, and Gov. Beverly…
Wednesday, 28 January 2009 16:25

Military a strong pull in this economy

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The military remains a popular employment choice for young people today, and the poor economy is probably helping steer many…
It was the ultimate David and Goliath battle. North Carolina officials, fed up with coal-fired power plants pumping pollution into their state, took on the nation’s largest public power company — the Tennessee Valley Authority — and won. The landmark…
Wednesday, 28 January 2009 16:22

Celebrating the vision of Joe Legge

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Joe Legge’s “official funeral ceremony” was held at the Estatoah Wayfarers’ Chapel in Dillard, Ga., on Jan. 17 at 4…
Canton Mayor Pat Smathers is determined to realize his dream of turning a historic house in downtown Canton into a hotel, restaurant and retail space— and he wants taxpayers to help fund it. Smathers has sat on the 129-year-old building…
Wednesday, 28 January 2009 16:20

Long-awaited Panthertown maps, trail signs move forward

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The Friends of Panthertown has received a $7,500 grant from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area to develop a trail…
Wednesday, 28 January 2009 16:19

Dillsboro dam fight heads into state hearing

In the latest in Jackson County’s quest to save the Dillsboro dam from demolition, the county will get its day in court to argue the merits of a state water quality permit that makes or breaks whether the dam comes…
Wednesday, 21 January 2009 16:09

Massie questions permit hold-up

Jackson County Commissioner Tom Massie is skeptical of whether it is legal for the county to withhold permits that Duke Energy may need to tear down the Dillsboro dam. Massie also questions whether Duke actually needs the county permits to…
Wednesday, 21 January 2009 16:08

The blue side of Derek Trucks

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By Chris Cooper The Derek Trucks Band: Already Free It’s tough to find something new and profound to say about…
Wednesday, 21 January 2009 16:07

Westward Revelations

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Art in America by Ron McLarty. Viking Adult, 2008. 384 pages. In Art in America (ISBN 978-0670—01895-6, $25.95), Ron McLarty…
Bright colors, vibrant beats and contagious joy flood the room as the African Children’s Choir performs, and their boundless energy…
Wednesday, 21 January 2009 16:05

Waynesville land use plan review moves forward

A comprehensive review of the town of Waynesville’s award-winning land use plan is set to begin following the town’s selection last week of a consulting company to lead the process. The board of aldermen unanimously approved a $54,000 contract with…
The attorney representing Jackson County in its legal fight against Duke Energy was expected to meet with county commiseting Tuesday (Jan. 20). The meeting will fall after The Smoky Mountain News’ deadline, but be sure to check smokymountainnews.com for a…
Wednesday, 21 January 2009 16:03

Duke, county at odds over permits

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Duke Energy, which sued Jackson County two weeks ago for failing to issue county permits to tear down the Dillsboro…
Swain County residents with family buried in cemeteries in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park claim the park service is…
Wednesday, 21 January 2009 16:00

Special moments, a spoonful at a time

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You hear it often, mostly from those of us who are guilty. I’m talking about making a promise of spending…
An effort to end a six-year-long dispute between Jackson County and Duke Energy failed in a 3-2 vote Tuesday night (Jan. 20), as the county commissioners decided to move forward with the case to save the Dillsboro dam. County Commissioner…
Wednesday, 21 January 2009 15:58

Graves in the park

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When Fontana Lake was constructed during WWII, some communities were submerged by the rising lake while others were merely rendered…
Wednesday, 21 January 2009 15:57

Getting to know liverworts

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Some years ago, when I was first interested in plant identification, I became curious about liverworts. They are one of…
Wednesday, 21 January 2009 15:56

Woodsmen’s coach Jimmy Lawrence is devoted to the sport

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Jimmy Lawrence, the coach for Haywood Community College’s Woodsmen’s Team and president of the South Atlantic Woodsmen’s Association (SAWA), loves…
Allegations that the Swain County Sheriff’s Department mishandled the capture of an escaped inmate earlier this month has strained the already-tense relationship between county officials and Sheriff Curtis Cochran. Jody Smallwood, 37, escaped from a holding room in the Swain…
Wednesday, 21 January 2009 15:45

Plants that are easy to grow from seeds

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We’ve talked about saving money by growing plants from seeds, and that many more plant varieties are available as seeds…
Wednesday, 21 January 2009 15:42

The Naturalist's Corner: Winter miracle

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It’s late January and it’s 15 degrees outside, snow is flying, the Alberta Clipper has the huge yellow buckeye swaying…
Democratic officials in Haywood County are gearing up to choose a successor to outgoing Haywood County Sheriff Tom Alexander, who will retire from his post of more than 22 years on Feb. 2. Sheriffs are usually elected to office, but…
Wednesday, 21 January 2009 15:39

Poor economy boosts military recruiting

When Brandon Lenhart of Sylva was laid off from his construction job, he looked for work for four months but didn’t have any luck. Finally, he turned to one place that is always hiring — the military. With unemployment on…
Wednesday, 14 January 2009 14:56

Growing plants from seeds — the basics

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Editor’s note: (This is the second of a 3-part series on growing plants from seeds.) Growing plants from seeds can…
Wednesday, 14 January 2009 14:55

WestCare cuts 45 jobs

The financially struggling WestCare Medical Center with hospitals in Sylva and Bryson City has eliminated 45 full-time positions, according to a statement from the hospital. Some of the cuts were achieved through attrition, but others have been laid off. WestCare…
A mentally ill man allegedly beat by a Bryson City policeman will not be charged with assaulting the officer involved in the incident. Jacob Grant, 25, pled guilty last week to a lesser charge of resisting arrest and obstruction of…
Wednesday, 14 January 2009 14:53

Dillsboro quietly assessing merger with Sylva

It appears Dillsboro has launched an official study into the pros and cons of merging with neighboring Sylva, although the planning board chairwoman leading the process was unwilling to release many details. Dillsboro Planning Board Chairwoman Teresa Dowd asserted that…
Wednesday, 14 January 2009 14:52

Civil rights and the arts

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Christi Marsico • Staff writer Bright colors and inventive images offering a kaleidoscope of memories and historic moments will be…
Wednesday, 14 January 2009 14:50

From Here: Authors spotlight Haywood County

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In an expanding spotlight of regional and national acclaim, three of Western North Carolina’s own have distinguished themselves by penning…
Wednesday, 14 January 2009 14:49

The view from the bench

For 25 years, Superior Court Judge Marlene Hyatt has often worked as much as 12 hours a day, five days a week presiding over some of the toughest legal cases in North Carolina. Her job has taken her to every…
Wednesday, 14 January 2009 14:47

More gems from the used bin

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Robben Ford and the Blue Line: Handful Of Blues No, it’s not out of print, nor is “Handful Of Blues”…
Wednesday, 14 January 2009 14:46

The Naturalist's Corner

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Happy new ivory-billed search in 2009 May old woodpeckers be forgot and never photoshopped. A $50,000 reward has been offered…
Wednesday, 14 January 2009 14:45

Merger prospect talk of the town

While Dillsboro leaders claim the idea of merging Sylva is in its mere infancy, opinions on the issue are already swirling in the small town. Several Dillsboro residents interviewed around town last week said they are opposed to the merger.…
Of course I had HEARD of Facebook. I may be well into the marrow of middle age by now, but…
Wednesday, 14 January 2009 14:42

Franklin seeks AT town designation

Franklin’s role on the Appalachian Trail Franklin is an important town on the Appalachian Trail because it is one of the first or last towns depending on which direction you’re coming from. It is about 106 miles from the start.…
Wednesday, 14 January 2009 14:41

This time, WCU passes academic integrity test

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This time, WCU passes academic integrity test If you want a messy issue with lots of overtones, then let’s talk…
Wednesday, 14 January 2009 14:39

Casino job losses first since Cherokee opening

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino is cutting 100 jobs because of the national economic downturn. The cuts represent about 5 percent of the casino’s approximately 1,800 employees. Harrah’s hopes to achieve the workforce reduction voluntarily, with the offer of a severance package…
Wednesday, 14 January 2009 14:38

An interested observer

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omething banged against the office window above my desk. I assumed it was a bird of some sort. And since…
Wednesday, 14 January 2009 14:37

WNC continues to captivate

There’s something about Haywood County. In recent years, the small Western North Carolina community has found itself as the setting of three nationally acclaimed novels. It started with the release of Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain in 1997. Audiences ate up…