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Wednesday, 12 August 2009 13:45

Methane-powered foundry opens at JCGEP

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The Jackson County Green Energy Park recently opened the first landfill methane-fueled art foundry in the world. “Because of the…
Wednesday, 12 August 2009 13:43

Lake island dwellers lobby for fire protection

Homeowners on Buck Knob Island in the middle of Lake Glenville say they are owed fire protection by local volunteer firefighters and have appealed to Jackson County commissioners to settle the conflict. The homes lie within the 135-square-mile territory covered…
Wednesday, 12 August 2009 13:41

Megow-Dowling announces resignation

Jackson County’s economic development director Dorothea Megow-Dowling had been on the job for less than a year when she announced her resignation last week. She came from a long career in economic development and specialized in strategy and planning processes.…
While some students dread returning to the classroom this time of year, children in Cherokee have been asking for weeks about when they would get to go back to school. With the unveiling of The Eastern Band of Cherokee’s new…
While most national parks serve as conduits for science, the Smokies is a window on history as well. Churches, schools,…
Wednesday, 12 August 2009 13:33

Land swap integral to Cherokee school

The Cherokee faced a long, uphill battle spanning decades to secure the idyllic tract of land now housing a brand new K-12 school for the tribe. The 143-acre parcel was part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park until a…
They came. They saw. And this past Saturday, they — nearly 1,000 volunteers from almost 50 churches — painted, scraped, powerwashed, mulched, planted and repaired the campuses of 14 Haywood County schools. When First United Methodist in Waynesville put out…
Wednesday, 12 August 2009 13:29

Touch-me-nots and poison ivy

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Jewelweed, or “touch-me-not,” is one of the most appealing wildflowers commonly encountered throughout Western North Carolina. Many recognize the plant…
Wednesday, 12 August 2009 13:28

Mountain granny comes to life in book by former WCU student

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Former WCU student Matthew Link Baker will read from his new book, My Mountain Granny: The Story of Evelyn Howell…
Wednesday, 12 August 2009 13:27

Junior bids farewell to forest service

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Harry “Junior” Ward, Jr. recently retired from the North Carolina Forest Service as the Haywood County Ranger. Ward was a…
Wednesday, 12 August 2009 13:23

Homeschooled students on the rise

More parents in Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties opted to teach their children at home this year, concurring with a recent statewide report that found a record high in the number of students being home schooled in North Carolina.…
By Michael Beadle There’s a view on the way up to Clingmans Dome, an overlook where a maze of finger-like…
Jackson County’s Economic Development Commission has again been thrust into turmoil, a near constant state of affairs for the entity in recent years. The county’s economic development director announced her resignation last week, and along with it, offered her views…
Wednesday, 12 August 2009 13:14

Funding cut for after school program is a mistake

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“I can see test scores going down and higher dropout rates in high school,” he said. “These kids are struggling.…
Wednesday, 05 August 2009 20:23

Slow cookers converge for Franklin BBQ festival

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The Mountain High BBQ & Music Festival will be held at the Macon County fairgrounds Aug. 7-8. Gates open at…
Trevor Dalton, Macon County’s first paid economic development coordinator, is back on his home turf. Dalton, 24, grew up in Macon County, and majored in business administration at Appalachian State. He worked in the Wilmington, N.C., area in the insurance…
Wednesday, 05 August 2009 20:20

Jackson County’s mosaic is still being painted

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Although I sometimes wish that the maps of my Jackson County had a more beguiling shape — perhaps a bear…
Haywood County is being sued for $2 million by the contractor in charge of renovations to the newly restored historic courthouse. Haywood County commissioners fired the contractor 18 months into the job, citing serious delays and poor work. The construction…
By Andre A. Rodriguez • Special to the Smoky Mountain News A new travel study revealed potential visitors lack awareness about activities and attractions in Cherokee and the surrounding region, detering them from planning a visit. “People don’t have a…
Jackson County leaders are considering an economic development incentive that will provide property tax credits to Stonewall Packaging in exchange for a minimum $10 million investment in a new facility in Sylva and creation of at least 40 full-time jobs…
Wednesday, 05 August 2009 20:14

Particular parables and perverse ponderings

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Willful Creatures Stories by Aimee Bender. Doubleday & Company. 208 pages. Recently, Garrison Keilor mentioned a new writer, Aimee Bender…
Wednesday, 05 August 2009 20:13

Facing unpleasant changes in aftermath of hemlock die off

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As if the death of hemlock trees across the Southern Appalachians wasn’t bad enough already, forest researchers believe the loss…
Despite public pressure from animal rights activists, including a visit from legendary game show host Bob Barker, Cherokee leaders do not plan to address the living conditions of captive bears at three small zoos in Cherokee. A campaign to shut…
Wednesday, 05 August 2009 20:11

North Toe River freed of crumbling dam

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A decrepit dam is being torn down along the North Toe River near Spruce Pine this week, clearing the way…
Wednesday, 05 August 2009 20:10

The pains of summer vacation

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There, swirling miserably in the bottom of my morning coffee mug, are the dregs of summer. I had such plans…
Western North Carolina has seen its share of Hollywood productions. But unlike many of the other movies filmed here, “Road…
Wednesday, 05 August 2009 20:07

Workers will come if we create jobs, great lifestyle

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When Macon County economic development officials met last week and decided the aging workforce was among the county’s most pressing…
Wednesday, 05 August 2009 20:06

Qualla’s art goes worldwide

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Known for its legendary craftsmanship, Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc. just launched its new website, www.quallaartsandcrafts.org. For the first…
Wednesday, 05 August 2009 20:04

Outfitters brace for early end to season

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By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Whitewater releases from the Nantahala Lake dam will be suspended in October, forcing rafting…
Wednesday, 05 August 2009 20:02

Letting nature point the way

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Horace Kephart is best known for Our Southern Highlanders (first published in 1913, with an expanded edition in 1922) and…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer The year was 1954. An up-and-coming singer named Elvis Presley was beginning his musical…
Wednesday, 05 August 2009 19:59

The Naturalist's Corner

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You say to-mah-to, I say to-ma-to At least Avram and I are talking. Want to join us? If we could…
Proposed cuts to the state budget have threatened after school care for middle school students, with programs in Canton, Franklin, Bryson City and Sylva already shut down or in jeopardy of closing. As a result, middle school students who have…
Haywood County leaders held a ribbon cutting ceremony Monday on the steps of the newly renovated historic courthouse. The $8.2 million renovations to the 1932 courthouse have been a long time in the making. The project has been under discussion…
Macon County has hired a full-time economic development coordinator, finally joining the ranks of most counties who employ paid directors tasked with growing jobs and recruiting businesses. Trevor Dalton, 24, has no economic development experience or training — but the…
Wednesday, 29 July 2009 19:25

Recipes, 7/29/09

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Zach’s Barbecue Pork: Zach takes a Boston Butt pork shoulder — the cheaper cut of meat the better. He marinates…
Wednesday, 29 July 2009 19:24

Conversation – what conversation?

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Regular readers of this column probably already know that I’ve run afoul of many regional environmental groups by questioning the…
Wednesday, 29 July 2009 19:23

Cookouts, lightning bugs, and the relatives

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By Karen Dill • Guest Writer July brings warm and often muggy weather to the usually cool mountain glens. It…
Wednesday, 29 July 2009 19:21

Barker visits WNC in campaign to help bears

Members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians didn’t have to duke it out with other contestants or so much as wager a guess, but somehow, they got the price exactly right. On Tuesday, July 28, the tribe won a…
Wednesday, 29 July 2009 19:20

Local authors proud of fishing trail map

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Ask any fisherman what their favorite stretch of stream is and you may as well be asking for directions to…
By Andre A. Rodriguez • Special to the Smoky Mountain News It’s been at least a dozen years since Waynesville’s leaders began contemplating a public skate board park to provide a safe alternative to illegal skating on streets and parking…
The end of this year’s Folkmoot USA, some of the acquaintances I made during the festival, and my own ongoing…
Alex Bell can’t resist striking up a conversation with fellow fishermen he encounters on the Tuckasegee. But lately, he’s had…
Wednesday, 29 July 2009 19:17

Macon mulls workforce challenges

While it doesn’t seem like much of a news flash, it has emerged as one of the top concerns in Macon County economic development circles: the workforce is aging. “It actually is something to be concerned about. It is getting…
Will wind-generated power save the environment or sacrifice it? The answer depends on who you ask and it could have broad implications for the future of clean energy in North Carolina. In a debate raging in the General Assembly, Western…
Wednesday, 29 July 2009 19:12

Tunnel greenhouses fend off winter’s grip

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A workshop on how to build a simple greenhouse will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 30, as part…
Wednesday, 29 July 2009 19:11

Toole explores boxing from inside the ring

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Pound for Pound by F.X. Toole. HarperCollins, 2007. 416 pages. Million Dollar Baby by F.X. Toole. Harper Perennial 2005. 256…
Wednesday, 29 July 2009 19:11

Thoroughly modern millipedes

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By Jim Janke Every summer one or two people bring samples of ugly little insects into the plant clinic and…
A Tennessee man claims he was defrauded of $328,000 by the players behind Cataloochee Wilderness Resorts, a planned mega development in Haywood County that is in the preliminary conceptual stages. Plans for Cataloochee Wilderness Resorts call for a 4,500-acre development…
When Art Pohl moved to Jackson County from Florida 10 years ago, he imagined a golden retirement filled with lazy days of playing golf. But after a few years of living the dream life, his wife wondered just how much…