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MedicForce, a nonprofit that provides medical care and clinics in remote, third-world areas, is looking for donations of used outdoor gear. Unneeded kayaks, backpacks, tents, mountain bikes, cycling gloves or any other equipment that’s just been sitting around is being…
A Bryson City man will serve five months and 15 days in jail for illegally harvesting 83 American ginseng roots from Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It’s the fourth time Billy Joe Hurley, 46, has been caught poaching ginseng, and…
A self-guided tour of 37 farms in a several-county region of the mountains will be held Sept. 20-21, giving locavores a chance to see how food is grown and farm animals are raised, taste farm-fresh products and meet the people…
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 21:25

Party with PARI

The Friends of Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute’s will unveil a new outdoor amphitheater planetarium with an adjoining nature center on Friday evening, Sept. 12, as part of the annual meeting.
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 21:23

Cherokee help sicklefin redhorse make a comeback

A new fisheries program on the Cherokee Reservation aims to restore the imperiled sicklefin redhorse fish to its native habitat on tribal waters.
A trio of projects will launch renewed efforts to save the eastern hemlock following awards of $75,000 under the Hemlock Restoration Initiative.
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 21:20

Sunburst’s trout jerky, caviar gets boost

Sunburst Trout Farms in Haywood County has received a $150,000 matching fund USDA Value Added Producers Grant.
Bryson City will soon have another feather in the cap proving its worth as an outdoors Mecca. If all goes well, the town will get its name added as a Mountain Heritage Trout Water City by the time summer rolls…
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 20:34

Time to clear the desk of books waiting for review

For many reasons, this summer in particular afforded many opportunities for reading. During a 60-hour stay at Figure Eight Island, for example, I finished a novel and a book of essays, mostly because my hosts wanted to do nothing more…
With a mix of Western song classics and zany send-ups, Riders in the Sky will return to the Western Carolina University stage as they kickoff the Galaxy of Stars series at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14, at the John W.…
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 20:26

RailFest rolls into Bryson City

The 13th annual RailFest will be held Sept. 12-14 at the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad depot in Bryson City. 
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 20:21

Youth Arts Festival coming to Dillsboro

The 6th annual Youth Arts Festival will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20, at the Jackson County Green Energy Park in Dillsboro.
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 20:12

Phillips, Craig and Dean to play Franklin

Christian music group Phillips, Craig and Dean will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin.
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 20:10

This must be the place

How do you do it? I get asked this question quite often. Folks, whether friends, family or strangers, approach me and wonder how I’m able to write, day in and day out, about anything and everything. 
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 20:05

Never giving up Hope

Tracy O’Neil has a lot less weight on his shoulders these days. “We never accepted that we could lose the camp,” he said. “If we had lost the camp, we would have lost a cornerstone of the history of our…
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 20:02

Tillis out of step on birth control issue

To the Editor: Thom Tillis is one slick fellow. During his debate with Sen. Kay Hagan last Wednesday, he slithered right around the Hobby Lobby issue. Rather than say whether he agrees that employers should be allowed to deny contraceptives…
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 20:00

Evergreen paper and the fracking debate

By Avram Friedman Last year Becky Johnson of The Smoky Mountain News interviewed me about Evergreen Packaging’s plans to convert their electrical power plant from being fueled by coal to natural gas. This transformation was being touted as an advancement…
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 19:57

Beer town bragging rights go west of Asheville

I heard about this story from the Facebook crowd, so I imagine some of you have already read it. There was a story in this past Sunday’s Raleigh News and Observer that had this to say about Waynesville and Sylva:…
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 06:19

Pisgah Inn contract renewed

Bruce O’Connell was pretty surprised to see Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent Mark Woods appear at his door Sept. 8. The Pisgah Inn owner had submitted his bid for a contract renewal to operate the inn off the Blue Ridge Parkway…
It hasn’t take long for the interim CEO of Haywood Regional Medical Center to pick up on the hospital’s biggest strengths: high-quality doctors and broad community support.
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 06:03

Cash mobs Sylva

More than 100 shoppers flocked to downtown Sylva on Sept. 5, dollars in hand, to flood the fire-damaged district with an influx of business. Organized by Venture Local, a Franklin organization dedicated to promoting local business, the cash mob drew…
Six candidates are vying for three seats in the Haywood County commissioners race. They fall in two tidy camps when it comes to their views on the county’s emergency management ordinance, making the issue a quick study for voters. When…
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 05:55

Sylva extends reach, approves ETJ expansion

In an effort to assure aesthetic uniformity beyond town borders, Sylva’s commissioners have begun expanding the town’s extraterritorial jurisdiction. The first phase of the expansion was approved following a Sept. 4 public hearing, but not without some spirited back-and-forth between…
This year’s race for Jackson County commissioner chairman is a rematch between two familiar figures. Each have claimed the title for their own four-year stints. The baton was handed over following an close contest in 2010. So close, that Brian…
A $4 million public safety facility will be constructed at Haywood Community College over the next two years, providing police, fire and rescue workers of all stripes a state-of-the-art training center for simulations, drills and classes. The HCC Board of…
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 05:40

Fracking opponents prepare for battle

It was back to school for a group of staunch fracking opponents on Friday, Sept. 5. The corner conference room in the Jackson County Public Library was a bit small for the 20 people crammed in to it, but they…
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 05:35

Fracking panel draws crowd in Franklin

A walk through the parking lot was all that was necessary to see that a diverse crowd had gathered to hear what the group of panelists N.C. Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, had assembled had to say about fracking. Cars outside…
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 05:34

WNC shale gas study cancelled

Western North Carolina is no longer on State Geologist Ken Taylor’s schedule for this fall’s tour de hydrocarbons in North Carolina. Taylor had planned to come to WNC in September to collect rock samples from road rights-of-way to test their…
Anyone who’s read a newspaper, turned on a TV or listened to chitchat in a grocery store sometime over the last six months has probably heard about North Carolina’s impending foray into the world of natural gas exploration. At the…
Wednesday, 10 September 2014 04:32

U.S. House candidates square off at WCU

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-Cashiers, went head-to-head with Tom Hill, D-Zirconia, his challenger for the 11th District Congressional seat, in a debate last week at Western Carolina University. Open seats were sparse in the A.K. Hinds University Center’s auditorium as the…
Cherokee leaders have formally asked the town of Franklin to turn over Nikwasi Mound, the latest turn of events in a two-year controversy swirling around the cultural and historical site. The town owns the prominent landmark at the edge of…
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 20:01

Sylva ETJ public hearing tomorrow

Sylva commissioners will hold a public hearing tomorrow, Sept. 4, on expanding its extraterritorial jurisdiction, or ETJ. An expanded ETJ would mean that property owners within the area in question — an area not currently in town limits — would…
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 15:44

And then there were none

“As I traveled on, the air was literally filled with pigeons. The light of noon-day was obscured as by an eclipse, and the continued buzz of wings had a tendency to lull my senses. Before sunset I reached Louisville, Kentucky.…
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 15:37

Reliving the Plott Hound legacy

A program titled “Touching the Face of History: The Story of the Plott Hound” will be held at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 9 at the Jackson County Library. This fascinating story of the Plott family and the Plott hound, bred for…
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 15:33

Cashiers adventure race kicks off second year

Runners looking for a wilderness challenge will get their chance with the Second Annual Cashiers Trail Mix Mountain Run Experience Saturday, Sept. 13.
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 15:31

Bryson City Bicycles snags national honor

Bryson City Bicycles has been named one of America’s Best Bike Shops of 2014. Awarded by the National Bike Dealers Association, fewer than 300 shops out of over 4,000 across the country can claim this honor.
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 15:29

Nantahala Kids Club introduces youth to paddling

Nantahala Kids Club, a program designed to engage kids in paddling, will kickoff a six-week outdoor recreation program Sept. 8.
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 15:28

Waynesville mom takes on Iron Man

Waynesville resident Jennifer Jacobsen recently crossed the finish line of the Ironman Louisville, a challenging race that involves a total 140 miles of swimming, biking and running, in a time of 15 hours, 43 minutes and 8 seconds.
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 15:28

Fracking debate heats up in WNC

The fracking issue is exploding in Western North Carolina as a public hearing on proposed oil and gas rules in the state draws closer. Look for special coverage in next week’s issue of The Smoky Mountain News on what the…
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 15:25

Fish food: Aquaponics offers full-circle farming

Tucked away along a squirrely offshoot of Jonathan Creek Road, Dennis “Bear” Forsythe’s 15-by-15-foot greenhouse is like his own private Eden. The small outbuilding in rural Haywood County holds 500 plants representing 58 species, everything from pineapple to pepper.  “I…
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 15:02

A dark world explored by a gifted writer

In case you haven’t noticed, let me call your attention to a disturbing fact regarding current Appalachian literature: some critics have been describing the new crop of Appalachian writers as latter-day Jeremiads who are predicting the coming of a kind of literary apocalypse in Appalachia. Lately,…
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 14:56

ArtShare returns to Haywood

Because of its success last year, the Haywood County Arts Council is bringing back its planned giving exhibition, ArtShare, from Sept. 4-27 at Gallery 86 in Waynesville.  This unique project is a service to help art collectors or estate agents…
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 14:54

Art Talk welcomes Hardin Sept. 12

The Jackson County Arts Council will be sponsoring an Art Talk by local artist and board member Clint Hardin that will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12, at the Jackson County Library in Sylva.
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 14:49

‘The Odd Couple’ to hit HART stage

A production of Neil Simon’s Broadway hit “The Odd Couple” will be held at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 5-6 and at 3 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre in Waynesville.
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 14:47

This must be the place

They were stuck. Sitting around the bar at No Name Sports Pub in Sylva, the members of rockabilly band Rumble Seat Riot were wondering if they’d make their upcoming show in St. Louis, if their broken down van in Greenville was…
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 14:45

Rester brings horn talents to WCU

Guest artist James Rester, principal horn player with the Reading Symphony Orchestra and Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, will perform a recital at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4, in the Coulter Building at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 14:42

Crafting the future — Dillsboro at 125

Joe Frank McKee knows what Dillsboro is capable of. “It’s a fighting town,” he said. “There are more craftsmen involved here these days, which means if you’re making your product and selling your product, you have more of a reason…
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 14:32

GOP has not kept its promises

To the Editor: How can you tell if a politician is lying .... his lips are moving. It’s an old joke; but, as with most humor, there is some truth. When the Republicans took over governing North Carolina in 2010, they…
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 14:31

PETA got it right at Osborne Farm

To the Editor: As one who blew the whistle on Osborne Farm Inc., I can attest that PETA’s footage shows what I saw week after week: cows wading knee-deep through their own waste, which splashed onto their udders right before…
Anyone who reads The Smoky Mountain News regularly knows we emphasize in-depth, investigative stories when that’s what is called for to get to the bottom of something. Everyone at our company takes great pride in that aspect of our identity.