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Wednesday, 18 January 2006 00:00

Storytime just didn’t work out for me

By Stephanie Wampler One day last year, I had high hopes for a glorious time at the library. I envisioned smiling children listening attentively to the librarian, singing the innocent songs of childhood, learning all about the world around them.…
(Editor’s note: Haywood County Manager Jack Horton tendered his resignation to the board of commissioners on Jan. 3. The three commissioners who wrote this letter supported his resignation.) This letter to the citizens of Haywood County sets forth our views…
Top fly and bass fishermen will be coming to Cherokee to show off their skills at the North Carolina Casting Championships scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 4. The casting competition will be held at the Cherokee Fairgrounds. Fishermen will compete for…
Wednesday, 18 January 2006 00:00

Bird nerds unite

I learned, when I worked full-time for the Smoky Mountain News, that it helps if newspaper writers are thick-skinned. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing an op-ed piece, a feature or a news story. There will be someone somewhere who…
A new cycling shop opened in Waynesville just in the nick of time for Bob Gatis. The notion recently struck him to take the parts of his Trek road bike and put them on a bare Jamis frame — a…
Wednesday, 18 January 2006 00:00

Ordinary World: twisted, welcome catharsis

By Chris Cooper When the bio sheet for a band arrives with the greeting “Dear Pop Revivalists,” I feel a mixture of curiosity and dread. Good pop or bad pop? Classic pop, schlock pop, punk pop (ugh) or what? For…
Wednesday, 18 January 2006 00:00

Recommended diversions

A Soldier of the Great War Recently a friend recommended this book to my 17-year-old son as a sort of fictional primer for growing into manhood. Though I had enjoyed the novel when I read it 10 years ago, I…
Wednesday, 18 January 2006 00:00

The Sounds and the stories

By Michael Beadle In gathering the performers who would help make the Sounds of Jackson County a reality, organizers invited 40 different local musical groups to donate their time and talents to record an album and play a concert that…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Backstage at Western Carolina University’s Fine and Performing Arts Center, the rehearsal room buzzed with activity as musicians tuned guitars, rosined their bows and warmed up their voices in preparation for last Tuesday’s (Jan.…
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 15:01

Western counties celebrate hospital sale

A visiting team from LifePoint Hospital network made the rounds to their newly acquired hospitals in Haywood, Jackson and Swain counties over the past week. They pledged to roll up their sleeves and get to work fulfilling the promises made…
It took nearly two months of conferencing, but a state budget bill is finally passed and signed. At the heart of that drawn-out process was education funding. Specifically, what state Republicans are hailing as the largest raise in history for…
The Western Carolina University community is making preparations to welcome what is expected to be a record number of students for the start of fall semester classes on Monday, Aug. 18. “Indicators are pointing to another all-time high in student…
Two more local governments in Western North Carolina have passed resolutions opposing fracking this month. Franklin and Forest Hills are the most recent to formally oppose the natural gas exploration method green-lighted by state legislators earlier this year.
U.S. Senator Kay Hagan visited the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation Aug. 6, meeting with Chief Michell Hicks, Vice Chief Larry Blythe and members of the Tribal Council to receive an update on the reservation and discuss her advocacy…
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 14:51

Whiteside cell tower off table

The cell phone tower proposed for the Whiteside Cove area is off the table for now. Verizon has “indefinitely suspended” plans to locate a tower in the area after requests from Jackson County planning officials that various issues be addressed…
A Haywood County businessman who has historically supplied dishwasher detergent and rinse agent for Haywood County school cafeterias lost his contract for the coming school year to a major national cleaning supply company.
By mid-August, there’s already a chill in the air outside Pisgah Inn. Employees and experienced guests walk around in pants and long sleeves, while visitors who didn’t realize August could be this cool sport shorts and tank tops. At 5,000…
The type of visitors being eyed by Jackson County tourism officials fall into various categories. Each one of those “types” is being targeted through different ads. There are advertisements featuring flyfishing. And gambling. Or how about kayaking or pottery?
A challenger in the Haywood County commissioner race lost ground last week in a fight with the county over his property values, a three-year dispute laced with political overtones. Denny King claims the county incorrectly pegged the value of his…
Editor’s note: George Ellison’s column this week is a sort of fable based on one of the seldom-seen (almost mythical) rodent species found in the Smokies region that climbs trees with acrobatic ease and builds platforms from twigs that it…
A Winston-Salem man is hoping to set a record for a good cause with his plan to run the entire Blue Ridge Parkway in nine days. Ned Erickson started his 469-mile run Aug. 9 in Cherokee and plans to finish…
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 14:26

Road improvement to close Black Balsam

A popular trail access area and jumping off point for the Shining Rock Wilderness area at Balsam Road will be closed from Sept. 2 through early October for a resurfacing project.  Balsam Road, located off the Blue Ridge Parkway in…
This year’s Taste of the Market celebration at Jackson County Farmers Market from 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 16 in downtown Sylva,will feature a tomato tasting contest right next door to the 100th anniversary festivities for Jackson County Cooperative Extension. 
A $25,000 Pigeon River Fund grant will help the Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department purchase kayaking supplies to add paddling to the offerings of Base Camp Waynesville, a department program dedicated to helping town residents enjoy the outdoors.  “This program…
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 14:21

Cataloochee documentary to screen in Jackson

The historical documentary film Cataloochee will be shown at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Cullowhee at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 21.   The documentary tells the story of the Cataloochee Valley, the settlers who lived there for a hundred…
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 14:18

Breakaway breezes into year five

More than 400 riders will push off from Lake Junaluska Aug. 16 for the fifth year of the Blue Ridge Breakaway ride, their routes winding through the curvy, rural roads of Haywood County, with the two longer routes even venturing…
The watermelons will take over Aug. 16 at the Original Waynesville Tailgate Market’s August Kids Corner Market.
A Save the Trails ride and run through DuPont State Forest will be held Aug. 23 to help Pisgah Area Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association raise money to maintain trails that mountain bikers use. The event will feature four long-distance fun…
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 14:13

Summer in the park a win-win

A handful of teachers, high school and college students recently completed a program designed to teach them about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park through six weeks of hands-on engagement.
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 14:12

Friends of the Smokies telethon to air

Friends of the Smokies will take to the silver screen from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14, for the 20th annual Friends Across the Mountains Telethon to benefit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Over the last two decades…
When Franklin RiverFest’s Anything That Floats Raft Regatta kicks off Aug. 23, Warren Cabe hopes to see the Franklin Fire Department cross the finish line first. The Macon County Emergency Services Director is holding the details of the team’s raft…
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 14:06

Novel explores life in Chairman Mao’s China

After running into numerous critical references to this little novel, which has won a series of international awards and has been published in nineteen countries and made into a popular film, curiosity got the best of me, so I ordered…
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 13:52

State gives lip service to fracking concerns

To the Editor: The Johnny-come-lately public hearing on fracking scheduled by the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission (MEC) at Western Carolina University on Sept. 12 appears to be nothing more than a public relations move to appease those Western Carolina…
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 13:51

Cell towers, fracking, and food trucks

To the Editor: First, kudos to Gerald Green and the Jackson County Planning Council for requiring Verizon to use cell tower designs that do not ruin our beautiful views. I applaud their continued work to ensure Verizon conforms to permit…
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 13:49

Is torture an aberration or a trend?

By Doug Wingeier • Columnist Based on actual events, the movie “The Railway Man” tells the story of how British soldiers captured by the Japanese at the fall of Singapore in 1942 were taken in boxcars four days north through…
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 13:18

Craft beer fest returns to Waynesville

The Waynesville Craft Beer Faire will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, at the American Legion Post 47 in Waynesville.
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 13:16

In search of the best sweet potato recipe

The 40th annual Mountain Heritage Day will be held Saturday, Sept. 27, at Western Carolina University.  The event will once again feature the traditional foods competition A Gathering In, where baked goods, canned and dried foods and — this year…
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 13:16

Masters of Illusion come to Harrah’s

The Masters of Illusion’s Believe The Impossible professional magic showcase will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, at Harrah’s Cherokee.
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 13:15

WCU Big Birthday Bash celebrates 125 years

Western Carolina University’s 125th anniversary Big Birthday Bash will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26, at the A.K. Hinds University Center lawn in Cullowhee. All alumni, friends, students, faculty, staff and members of the surrounding community are…
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 13:14

Music, animals and fun return to Haywood fair

The 2014 Haywood County Fair will be held Aug. 19-24 at the Haywood County Fairgrounds in Lake Junaluska. Bingo will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21, in the Apple Orchard Building. Just a few of the door prizes…
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 13:12

This must be the place

He was beloved by all who knew him. Richard Coker embodied the spirit of Appalachia. As a co-owner of the Cataloochee Ranch in Maggie Valley, his warmth and hospitality radiated from the top of the mountain and shined brightly to anyone…
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 13:09

So funky you can smell it

Who the hell are those guys? It’s a question constantly asked about Porch 40, a Sylva-based funk/rock outfit barreling out of the Southern Appalachian woods like a black bear on speed. “We’re like a ’69 Corvette, fire engine red, revving…
Wednesday, 25 January 2006 00:00

Creation or evolution: an age old debate

As the nation debates the role of creation and evolution in the classroom, a research paper assigned in a 10th-grade biology class at Franklin High School in Macon County has sparked a local controversy on the issue. Students were asked…
Wednesday, 25 January 2006 00:00

Cashiers residents form civic group

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Members of the Cashiers area are organizing a new civic association to direct the community’s future. The formation of the association is an outgrowth of a planning project a group of Louisiana State University…
Wednesday, 25 January 2006 00:00

Grassroots organizing

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer As residents in the Cashiers area pull together to address their community’s needs through the creation of a civic association, members of some of the region’s established grassroots groups weighed in on what makes…
Wednesday, 25 January 2006 00:00

Town will be forced to make adjustments

Waynesville’s residents have long reaped the benefits of the town’s electricity enterprise — a sideline business that was making $1.2 million a year. The money paid for the Waynesville Recreation Center — a $6.5 million fitness center with indoor pool,…
Two years ago, the future of Waynesville’s electric system — a lucrative cash cow for the town — was turned on its head by a single email that popped up in the inbox of an energy consultant in Raleigh.
As judges and lawyers, politicians and lobbyists, and parents and school officials debate the place of evolution and creationism in the classroom, what do students think? At Franklin High School, students in Lee Berger’s journalism class — an arena where…
Wednesday, 25 January 2006 00:00

The thrill of the chase lives on

Through the years, I’ve written at every opportunity about Aquilla (Quill) Rose — Civil War veteran, fiddle player, storyteller, moonshiner, and hunter — who was surely one of the more picturesque characters ever produced in the Smokies region. As an…
Wednesday, 25 January 2006 00:00

Celebrating culture and the need for a library

There are many worthwhile upshots from The Sounds of Jackson County recording project, but two stand out among them: one, that something special can indeed happen when a community comes together; and two, the support for a new Sylva library…