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My weekdays begin at 5 a.m. I have time to drink coffee with my husband, thank him for making my lunch, make myself presentable and read, pray, and meditate. I also clean out the cat’s litter box, which is perhaps…
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 15:23

‘Remember, the flying itself is the thing’

It is a fine day for a cookout, this Father’s Day. It is hot enough that most of the younger folk are wearing shorts and T-shirts, revealing traces of recent sunburn and the random bruises and scratches of youth. This…
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 14:52

Monarchs to Mexico

Monarch butterflies, like orange autumn leaves filling the skies, have been winging it to Mexico for the last month or so. Peak migration for the mountains of Western North Carolina is from mid- to late September through early to mid-October. 
Duke Energy Progress customers may see some changes in their communities as the utility embarks on a new initiative to modernize outdoor lighting across its service area. Duke will replace more than 100,000 mercury vapor street and area lights with…
A partnership between the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project and the Rural Advancement Foundation International is aimed at increasing farmer direct sales and expanding access to local foods.  The project, called Connect2Direct, aims to increase farm-to-consumer direct sales and food stamp…
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 14:47

WCU gets $436K to protect coastal parks

 The National Park Service has awarded a $436,000 grant to the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University to help produce strategies for the future preservation of infrastructure and resources at all U.S. coastal parks threatened…
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 14:44

Trout Unlimited looking for photogenic fish

Trout Unlimited is looking for fishy photos to contend for gear prizes in its 2014 photo contest.  The contest is open through Oct. 31 and will award prizes to first- through third-place category winners as well as one grand prize…
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 14:40

Arboretum plans geocaching adventure

Geocaching will be the main topic on the agenda Saturday, Nov. 1, at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville. This high-tech treasure hunt involves downloading GPS coordinates for hidden loot and then adventuring around to find it. 
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 14:39

Park offers reward for information on theft

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials are offering a reward for information after artifacts were stolen from a locked display case in the Palmer House, located in the Cataloochee Valley area.
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 14:37

Learn how to keep gardening as temps dip

A workshop on winter gardening and spring garden prep to teach gardeners how to avoid putting growing season to bed in the winter months will be held from 12:30-2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, at the Cullowhee Community Garden.
At 7:30 a.m., darkness is just barely beginning to lift from the pre-dawn fields and forest of Cataloochee Valley. Joe Yarkovich steers his National Park Service vehicle through the valley and past a herd of elk bedded down in a…
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 14:31

Economic development summit set for Nov. 12

Leaders from government, business and nonprofits across Western North Carolina will gather with economic development experts and others to discuss solutions leading to sustainable economic and community development at LEAD:WNC, a one-day summit set for Wednesday, Nov. 12,  at Western…
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 14:29

Ebola panel discussion offered at WCU

A panel discussion and question-and-answer session on the Ebola crises and the risk it poses will take place 4-5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 4, at the Forsyth Building at Western Carolina University.  Four WCU faculty members, including an environmental health professor…
It’s been two years since Alen Baker, the self-described “instigator” of the effort to create the Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians, sent an unsolicited pitch to the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce. But now, the building is renovated and…
The Jackson County Tourism Development Authority is pursuing a leader, someone to act as the organization’s executive director. The workload is becoming more than volunteer board members can handle. “Some of us feel, and I feel, it’s going to be…
With park funding falling and visitation increasing, keeping those iconic views open along the 46 miles of Blue Ridge Parkway in Haywood County — without breaking the bank — is a challenge. Fast-growing trees and shrubs grow up around the…
With its landfill nearing capacity, Macon County is taking steps to add a new cell before the existing area fills up about two years from now. They’ve had another phase permitted for about 20 years, but rather than just install…
Inside and out, the Swain County Heritage Museum is an ode to history. The very building that houses the museum long served as the courthouse in Bryson City, and now serves to usher visitors through all those many years gone…
The Village of Forest Hills is about to go on a vision quest. The quest begins Nov. 3 with a community workshop.  The village will be the latest community to ponder a vision, a long-range view. It follows in the…
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 14:15

Waynesville Soda Jerks win national award

The Waynesville Soda Jerks, an independent artisan beverage company, recently won first place at the National Association of Community Colleges Entrepreneurship conference in Phoenix. 
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 14:13

All OK after bomb threat clears Tuscola

Things are back on track at Tuscola High School after some threatening graffiti found in a boys bathroom last week caused school officials to send students home a few minutes early. 
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 14:13

Election Day countdown

Early voting turnout is outpacing the last statewide, non-presidential election year of 2010. And in the seven western counties, early voting is happening at one of the highest rates in the state. Early voting turn out per capita for the…
Domestic violence in Haywood County — and its effect on children — could take a hit as the Thirtieth Judicial District Domestic Violence-Sexual Assault Alliance starts using the $1 million it won through a competitive federal grant. Only $10 million…
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 14:05

Cullowhee proposals in for a tweaking

They weren’t thrilled about it, but members of the Cullowhee community did show an appetite for possible development standards during a recent second public input session focusing on the proposed regulations. “This is not a pretty plan, there are parts…
When Jackson County commissioners halted the controversial rewrite of the steep slope development rules earlier this year, critics were both pleased and skeptical. Pleased that a rollback of the county’s steep slope rules wouldn’t be pushed to the finish line…
Controlling mountainside development is a universal issue grappled with across Western North Carolina. But Jackson County’s residents have wrestled more passionately, more vocally, more extensively and more heatedly over mountainside development than almost any other county in the region.
Canton exists against the backdrop of the paper mill. Both literally and figuratively.  For generations, the paper mill — currently run by Evergreen Packaging — has helped to define the community of Canton. Its billowing factory by the railroad tracks…
Hanging out at the confluence of crossroads that embraces downtown Canton, two young skateboarders while away a lazy afternoon. They’re leaping stairs against the backdrop of a mural depicting the town’s glory days — a ball team from the 1950s,…
The Town of Webster invites the public to attend its Oct. 27 Community Stroll to help identify ways to improves the community's health, walkability and social interactions. Starting time is 6 p.m. for this one-hour interactive walk starting at the Southwestern Child Development Center…
By Bob Hall As an independent watchdog group, Democracy North Carolina receives all kinds of reports on our hotline at 888-OUR-VOTE. We encourage voters to review the candidates at www.ncvotered.org and call the hotline if you have any problems as you…
Thursday, 23 October 2014 18:17

Early voting has begun

Registered voters who can't wait until Election Day to vote now have the opportunity to vote in person across North Carolina.
Thursday, 23 October 2014 18:11

Cullowhee community meeting tonight

Tonight will be the last of two public input meetings concerning the proposed Cullowhee Planning Area  development standards. Tonight’s meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Hospitality Room of the Ramsey Center at Western Carolina University. 
Thursday, 23 October 2014 15:27

Dockie Brendle’s bridge dedication

Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient Dockie Brendle will have a bridge officially named in honor of him this month. The NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata will be in attendance next week as the department recognizes Brendall’s bridge, located off U.S.…
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 15:23

Ancient hunters had some mammoth prey

Names of places throughout the Blue Ridge country pay tribute to the familiar wildlife of the region: Bear Wallow Stand Ridge, Beaverdam Creek, Buck Knob, Fox Gap, Wild Boar Creek, Coon Branch, Wildcat Cliffs, Possum Hollow, Polecat Ridge, Raven Rocks,…
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 15:21

Celebrate Halloween and fall at NOC

Nantahala Outdoor Center’s annual NOCtoberfest event will celebrate leaf season in the Smokies from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25, at NOC.  The event features contests, pumpkin painting, live music and prizes for all ages — as well…
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 15:17

Comment open for boater access trails

An environmental analysis released by the U.S. Forest Service is proposing five boater access trails in national forests in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia, and the plans are open for comment through Oct. 29.  The proposal is linked to…
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 15:16

Photographer presents Blue Ridge vistas guide

Photographer and author Tim Barnwell will present his new book, Blue Ridge Parkway Vistas, at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva. In the book, Barnwell identifies the mountain peaks visible from each overlook, marking the…
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 15:15

Rangers rescue family of six

When George and Heather Ferrell, of Louisiana, began to hike up Mount LeConte Oct. 18 with their four children, they didn’t expect to become the subject of a search and rescue. The family, whose children are aged 4, 5, 10,…
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 15:14

Kayak Lake Junaluska

A kayaking program from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on Oct. 23 at Lake Junaluska will give paddlers of all skill levels a chance to practice their strokes.
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 15:13

Plowing demos at Darnell Farms

The annual Fall Plow Day at Darnell Farms in Bryson City Saturday, Oct. 25, will feature a full day of plowing demonstrations with teams of horses and mules as well as music, contests and food and crafts for sale.
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 15:12

Park plans prescribed burn in Cataloochee

Prescribed burns will light up the Canadian Top Knob, Mathews Branch and Noland Mountain areas adjacent to Cataloochee Valley in Great Smoky Mountains National Park later this week or early next week. Exact dates are dependent on weather. 
Ken Czarnomski has always loved sketching and writing, but as a department chair for the sustainability and construction management programs at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, his projects consisted mainly of razor-straight lines and technical engineering language. There wasn’t a lot…
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 15:01

Being manipulated by a book not all bad

Gone Girl is currently the most popular novel in America and it has been around since 2012; it is also now a major motion picture starring Ben Affleck. Gillian Flynn’s  “thriller” (and it is definitely that!) is a favorite topic…
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 14:54

Cowee Pottery School receives RTCAR grant

The Cowee Pottery School at the Macon Heritage Center in Franklin has announced the nonprofit’s receipt of a grant from the Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisan Resources (RTCAR).   Funded by the Cherokee Preservation Foundation, the RTCAR initiative is committed…
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 14:54

PumpkinFest rolls into Franklin

The 18th annual PumpkinFest will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Saturday, Oct. 25, in downtown Franklin. During this event you can take part in some traditional and some very non-traditional fall festivities. Bring your pumpkin or purchase…
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 14:53

Music, craft beer converge at Hiker Jam

The inaugural Hiker Jam will be held from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, at The Village Green in Cashiers. Two music stages featuring Porch 40, The Corbitt Brothers, Hurricane Creek, Mangus Colorado, SmokeRise, and many more. Over…
The outdoor drama “The Legend of Tommy Hodges” will hit the stage at 6:30 p.m., 7:45 p.m. and 9 p.m. Oct. 24-25 at the Cradle of Forestry. 
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 14:51

Contemporary photo exhibit at WCU

More than 600 photographs will be featured in a two-part exhibition titled “David Raymond’s Other People’s Pictures” and “Eric Oglander: Craigslist Mirrors” that will run Oct. 30-Jan. 9 in the Fine Art Museum at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 14:49

Pottery festival fires up in Dillsboro

The 10th annual WNC Pottery Festival will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, in downtown Dillsboro. 
The Jackson County Chamber of Commerce will host a fireworks benefit with Soldier’s Heart and the 96.5 House Band from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, at Bridge Park in Sylva.