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By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist Even authoritarian regimes like Russia’s pretend to respect the right to vote. The contrast with authentic democracies is defined by these factors: the ease or difficulty of actually casting a vote, how honestly it is…
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 00:00

Iglesias to bring laughs to Harrah’s

Acclaimed comedian Gabriel Iglesias will perform at 7:30 p.m., March 22, at Harrah’s Cherokee.
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 00:00

Encaustic demo at Gallery 86

Artist t.e. siewert will hold an encaustic painting demonstration from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 15, at Gallery 86 on Main Street in Waynesville. 
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 00:00

‘Gentle Giant’ returns to Franklin

Country music’s legendary “Gentle Giant” Don Williams will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 15, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin.
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 00:00

This must be the place

But, it’s only mid-March? I’m well aware of that, dear readers. Yes, it is mid-March, but 2014 is hitting the ground running with a slew of incredible musical releases. Normally, I would wait until at least early July or the…
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 00:00

Playing the sounds of your dreams

He was a toddler with tenacity and talent. At three years old, Seth Taylor picked up his first guitar. Seeing musicians on television and hearing them on the radio sparked something inside of the Bryson City native. Once that instrument…
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 03:11

Somebody got some splainen to do

People say the corporate world has no soul. Corporations don’t give a rat’s behind about their employees, especially after they’re gone. And the flip side is employees are just there to get a paycheck. They do what it takes, and…
The U.S. Forest Service plans to conduct a series of prescribed burns over the next three to six weeks on about 3,500 acres of the Nantahala Ranger District in the Nantahala National Forest.  The prescribed burn will take place in…
The Nantahala Racing Club Glacier Breaker is set for March 8-9 at the Nantahala Bridge Gates at the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC).  The Glacier Breaker is the season-opener for both wildwater and slalom competition in the United States.  Late registration…
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 03:05

Left loop of Tsali Trail system reopened

The left loop of the Tsali Trail system has been reopened.  Last month, the U.S. Forest Service closed the trail because of a slide along the trail. Located near Fontana Lake, Tsali Recreation Area is nationally known for its 42-mile…
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 03:04

Classic hikes of the Smokies kicks off

Friends of the Smokies’ first Classic Hike of the year will be to Little Cataloochee on Tuesday, March 11. Join renowned outdoor author and hiking expert Danny Bernstein on this easy, 6.1-mile hike on Little Cataloochee Trail in Great Smoky…
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 02:51

Park seeks volunteer citizen scientists

Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers need volunteers to help track nature’s calendar.
Heidi Dunkelberg is determined to make hops synonymous with Western North Carolina. “I’ve got to figure it out,” she said. “There’s just got to be some way, there’s just got to be.”
I have always been fascinated by the folklore attending the too-short life of Robert Johnson, “King of the Delta Blues Singers.” For me, he was another doomed genius like James Dean, John Keats and Hank Williams — men who flashed…
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 02:37

Ron Robinson supports education for all

To the Editor: Ron Robinson, a Democrat and Sylva businessman, has launched his campaign to become the next senator from District 50, attempting to replace incumbent Republican Sen. Jim Davis of Franklin. Ron recognizes that the ill-advised attack on the…
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 02:36

Do not encroach on our freedoms

To the Editor: Our basic freedoms in the Bill of Rights are encroached on almost daily by some branch of government, political organization or social group. The latest is the attempt by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to monitor media…
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 02:36

N.C. 107 is a plain disaster

To the Editor: Jackson County's main business corridor, Highway 107 South, is a disaster.   By allowing all the main businesses and an (expanding) high school and elementary school, and now a Verizon Store/Cook Out restaurant, in a place where…
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 02:35

Local tourism leaders aren’t qualified

To the Editor: In response to Mr. Robert Jumper's letter in the Feb. 19 edition and the Jackson County TDA, I’m wondering how many of those who serve on that board even have a clue as to the big picture…
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 02:35

Ridgetop houses are too common

To the Editor: Regarding Clark Lipkin's guest opinion column in the Feb. 26 opinion, I find it incredulous that he states [ridgetop houses] "tend to be hard to find". All he needs to do is take a short drive through…
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 02:29

Tools to help cope with an uncertain future

“The less you know, the more you believe.” – Bono Quality journalism is a powerful force. I’ve been fortunate to be able to witness that truth often during my career in the newspaper business. I’ve seen stories that helped the…
The seventh Western Carolina University physics research balloon to be launched to the edge of the Earth’s atmosphere – Cat 7 – left Cullowhee on Saturday, Feb. 1, and traveled unexpectedly to Tennessee, across Virginia and on to the Atlantic…
The informal process for picking people to serve on the planning board in Jackson County has come under scrutiny, prompting county commissioners to double-down on the how, when and who of their appointments.
The daunting challenge of courting industry, cultivating entrepreneurs, helping businesses expand — and ultimately adding new jobs to the economy — will soon become an all-hands-on-deck affair in Haywood County.
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 02:16

Jackson’s optimistic cheerleader

After a few months on the job, Jackson County’s economic development director laid out the landscape for community leaders. He painted a portrait of cautious optimism. 
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 02:14

No more Mr. Nice Guy

With the bottomed-out real estate market still stagnant, some property owners are having trouble seeing the point of paying property taxes.
A big one got away in Cherokee earlier this year when the case against a drug dealer was thrown out by a federal judge who found Cherokee police officers had lied in a search warrant.
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 02:11

Fire at Cherokee motel under investigation

The cause of a fire that caused substantial damage to the Pageant Inn in Cherokee last week is being investigated. 
Nearly a year after cutting down the historic maple trees in front of the Haywood County Courthouse, the lawn still isn’t as grassy or green as county commissioners would like.
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 13:08

County races: Swain

Swain County Swain Commissioners What’s up for election? All five seats on the county board are up for election, including four commissioner seats and commissioner chairman. Both Republican commissioner candidates here automatically advance. About the race: As usual, there’s a…
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 13:08

County races: Macon

Macon County Macon Commissioners What’s up for election: One seat in the Highlands district and two seats in the Franklin district. About the race: There are three commissioner seats up for election in Macon County: one seat for the district…
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 13:08

County races: Jackson

Jackson County  Jackson Sheriff  About the race:  This promises to be one of the most hotly contested elections in the region this year. Current Sheriff Jimmy Ashe will step down and that has thrown the floodgates wide open for contenders…
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 02:04

County races: Haywood

Haywood County Haywood Commissioners  What’s up for election? Three out of five seats on the county board.  About the race: The current Haywood commissioners have enjoyed a stable tenure, consistently winning their seats when they come up for reelection. They…
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 02:01

Statewide races

U.S. Congress About the race: This used to be a toss-up district, but clever redrawing of voting boundaries by the Republican-led legislature in Raleigh two years ago tipped the scales to the right. The liberal stronghold of Asheville was carved…
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 01:48

Voucher legislation hits roadblock

After a morning of arguments from both sides of the school voucher debate, N.C. Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood ordered the state to refrain from accepting voucher applications, selecting recipients, awarding money or implementing any other part of its program…
Haywood County Schools’ attorney has countered accusations that Pisgah High School administrators allegedly hampered a student’s attempt to form a club for atheists and non-religious students. 
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 00:00

‘Trail Magic’ party at Nantahala Brewing

The Trail Magic No. 7 Release Party will be March 14-15 at Nantahala Brewing in Bryson City.
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 21:09

McMahan, Nicholson solo shows

Mountain Faith fiddler Summer McMahan will perform at a release party for her new solo album, “The Story of My Life,” at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 8, in the Community Room of the Jackson County Courthouse in Sylva.
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 21:08

Celtic concert in Bryson City

The sixth annual Celtic concert featuring Bean Sidhe will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday March 13, at the Smoky Mountain Community Theatre in Bryson City.
Tuesday, 04 March 2014 21:05

This must be the place

Pouring its first pints in October 2013, Innovation Brewing in Sylva was created by Nicole Dexter and Chip Owen. The couple has a deep love for the craft beer, one that developed over the years through various jobs in the…
Sitting at her loom, weaver Amy Tromiczak feels right at home. “It’s an amazing thing. You’re making cloth, and I love it,” the 25-year-old said. “It’s all about the whole process of choosing your fibers, deciding what kind of cloth…
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 16:11

Gypsies conjure memories of the past

When I was a boy growing up in south-central Virginia during the early 1950s, my home was situated near a wooded area, one side of which was traversed by a narrow dirt road beyond which there was a natural spring.
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 16:08

Haywood’s first ever seed lending library

Learn about the new seed library of Waynesville at an open house from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 2, at the Haywood County Public Library in Waynesville. This is how the seed library works: Gardeners “borrow” seeds, plant them…
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 16:07

Trail of Tears exhibit on display at WCU

A reception and talk to accompany the new exhibit “Fewer Footprints and More Tears: Commemorating the 175th Anniversary of the Trail of Tears” will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, at the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina…
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 16:06

Join the world of backyard chickens

Interested in keeping chickens? Learn all about it from Ashley English at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 2, at the Canton Library.
Retired national park wildlife biologist Kim DeLozier will speak about his book, Bear in the Back Seat, on Saturday, March 15, at Sugarlands Visitor Center on the Tennessee in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Gatlinburg.
Great Smoky Mountain National Park is recruiting volunteers to staff the Information Center at Clingmans Dome, from April 1 through Nov. 30.
A 10-day workshop in May will cover everything you need to know to join trail crews on overnight expeditions in Wilderness Areas.
Not just anybody can keep up with Jim Pader. Last year alone, he hiked 534 miles and has logged 738.4 miles in Great Smoky Mountains National Park since 2001. Besides that, he works out for at least one hour per…
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 15:49

Of rhyme and reason, for better or worse

Poetry. Po-e-tree. A word with a lovely sound, but with bleak connotations.
“An Evening with Gloria Steinem” will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 6, in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western North Carolina. An award-winning writer and activist, Steinem has been involved globally in feminist and…