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Southwestern Community College leaders unveiled a master plan last month outlining a major expansion of its campus in Macon County.  The campus would double in size from 20 to 40 acres. The master plan has several phases, but the first…
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 14:30

Folkmoot to finally get title to old school

An old elementary school in Waynesville that serves as a giant bunkhouse for troupes of international performers during the signature Folkmoot festival each summer is being relinquished by the Haywood County school system and turned over to Folkmoot for good. 
From Clingmans Dome to Juneywank Falls to the winding Blue Ridge Parkway, Swain County is rich in natural beauty. But all that public land can make the budget tight for county government, which depends on property tax for much of…
“Smokey Joe’s Café,” a song and dance revue of hit tunes from the rock ’n’ roll era before the Beatles, will hit the stage as part of the Galaxy of the Stars series at 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26, in…
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 00:00

Cherokee exhibit at Jackson County library

The touring exhibit “Understanding our Past, Shaping our Future,” will be on view through Feb. 9 at the Jackson County Library in Sylva. The exhibit focuses on Cherokee language and culture, using sound recordings as the basis for presenting a…
The new Earl Scruggs Center, honoring one of the nation’s premier banjo artists, will celebrate its grand opening at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, in the Cleveland County Court Square in Shelby.
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 00:00

Haywood celebrates MLK weekend

Haywood County will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a pride march and a weekend full of services, including the 24th annual MLK prayer breakfast at Lake Junaluska. • A pride march will be at 11 a.m. Jan. 18…
Western Carolina University has several speakers and programs as part of its annual Martin Luther King celebration, which is themed “Beloved Community: Peace and Unity,” running from Jan. 20 to Jan. 25.
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 00:00

This must be the place

The train came to a halt. Looking out the foggy window, a cold, snowy landscape awaited me.  “The current temperature is 10 below zero. Make sure you all bundle up. It’s like Siberia out there,” the conductor said over the…
By Colby Dunn • Correspondent If someone asked you to describe the world of competitive, non-electronic gaming, your first thought might be poker, perhaps followed closely by chess. Dungeons and Dragons might get a mention in there somewhere, but cribbage…
Wednesday, 01 January 2014 00:00

WNC Beef Cattle Commission honors champion

Waynesville cattleman Tony McGaha was honored recently by the WNC Beef Cattle Commission with the Happy Hollow Award for his efforts to promote and support the beef cattle industry. The winner is selected by past recipients based on the person’s…
About 200,000 gallons of untreated wastewater spilled from a manhole and made its way into a small tributary that feeds Richland Creek outside Waynesville last week.  The sewer overflow began during a period of intense rainfall at about 1 p.m.…
A $30,000 grant to repair failing septic systems in Haywood County will help reduce bacteria contamination in local waterways.
Wednesday, 01 January 2014 00:00

Slide on U.S. 441 will not disrupt traffic

A landslide in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was recently discovered along Newfound Gap Road, but is not blocking the road and is not considered a safety threat.
Wednesday, 01 January 2014 00:00

Time to rejoin the “battle outside”

This appears especially true in the Old Home State where the (first in over 100 years) Republican triad used the 2013 session of the General Assembly to lay waste to decades of progressive environmental policy and programs that produced a…
Survey your supermarket and you’ll see pretty much the same stuff anywhere in the country: oranges from Florida, onions from Georgia, potatoes from Idaho.  Some variety has crept in recently — with artful displays of mountain-grown produce paying homage to…
Wednesday, 01 January 2014 00:00

The remaking of a learned writer

The new year is a time when many people, dissatisfied with some condition of their lives, resolve to make changes. Often these attempted transformations involve shedding weight or unwanted habits like smoking or drinking. Depending on all sorts of variables…
To the Editor: This move by the state to “reward” 25 percent of the state’s teachers (and I’m not even focusing here on all of the far-from-minimal strings attached to those “rewards”) while at the same time dismissing 75 percent…
Each new year brings out the list-makers, pundits and critics who catalogue everything from the year’s best movies, books, and music to predictions regarding politics and the economy for the next 12 months. With the exception of composing my own…
Wednesday, 01 January 2014 00:00

2013: The year in review

2013 is behind us now, and all the news reported over the last 12 months is headed for the history books or perhaps a less-lofty final resting place. But lest we all forget, here’s our annual tongue-in-cheek awards, a tribute…
Wednesday, 01 January 2014 00:00

Ellison to host watercolor, collage demo

Painter and paper maker Elizabeth Ellison will demonstrate the use of collage in a landscape painting at the Art League of the Smokies meeting at 6:15 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9, at the Swain County Center for the Arts in Bryson…
Wednesday, 01 January 2014 00:00

Folkmoot generates $9.2 million economic impact

Folkmoot USA had a $9.2 million impact on Western North Carolina in 2013, according to an economic impact study conducted by Tom Tveidt of SYNEVA Economics.
Wednesday, 01 January 2014 00:00

WCU Mountain Dulcimer Winter Weekend at Lake J

Dulcimer fans and aficionados will gather for the annual Mountain Dulcimer Weekend held Jan. 9 through 12 at Lake Junaluska, put on by Western Carolina University’s continuing education program. The conference will offer more than 50 hours of instruction on…
Balsam Range’s annual “Winter Concert Series” will continue with John Driskell Hopkins at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 4, at the historic Colonial Theatre in Canton. Hopkins is a multi-award winner and founding member of the Zac Brown Band. 
Wednesday, 01 January 2014 00:00

This must be the place

Every Jan. 1, a clean slate arrives. It’s a chance to start over, to push into exciting pursuits where curiosity roams free. The past year is already in the history books. Everyone has returned to square one — a level…
Wednesday, 01 January 2014 00:00

Taking to the open road of success

The real deal is hitting the airwaves. Blasting out of the backwoods of Robbinsville, My Highway is a crossroads for country, rock-n-roll and mountain music. Led by Josh Beasley and Josh Lane, the quintet has been making names for itself…
By Melanie Threlkeld McConnell • SMN Correspondent Think of it as somewhere over the rainbow.  You know the place, only this time not in Oz, in Waynesville, on Frazier Street, behind the parking lot of Sagebrush Steakhouse, in a non-descript building…
Wednesday, 25 December 2013 00:00

Convert your used cooking oil into biofuel

Christmas is a time to recycle many things: bows, wrapping paper, gifts . . . and cooking oil. The Haywood County Solid Waste Department accepts used cooking oil at all 10 convenience centers around the county and at the Materials…
Wednesday, 25 December 2013 00:00

New Taekwondo school opens in Haywood

A new taekwondo school had opened in Clyde offering classes for preschoolers through adults.
Wednesday, 25 December 2013 00:00

After-school skiing and tubing at Cataloochee

Kids can hitch a ride to and from Cataloochee Ski Area after school with the Waynesville Recreation Center.
Wednesday, 25 December 2013 00:00

WCU earns eco kudos for new building

Western Carolina University’s new Health and Human Sciences Building has received gold LEED-certification for its comprehensive energy-efficient and environmentally friendly features.
Wednesday, 25 December 2013 00:00

A white Christmas

We touched on this winter’s irruption of snowy owls a couple of weeks ago, but these birds continue to pop up, not only in the Carolinas but across the South and into the mid-section of the country. I recently heard…
Jacob Flannick • SMN Correspondent Jonathan and Abby Landry don’t limit the spirit of giving to the holiday season. For this couple, giving is a way of life. And their gift of choice is eggs. They share them with friends, neighbors…
Wednesday, 25 December 2013 00:00

Koch novel a hearty serving of words, plot

Back in 1981, a provocative film called “My Dinner With Andre” created quite a stir by reducing drama to the bare essentials. For more than two hours (an earlier version was three hours in length), two intelligent, gifted, but very…
Wednesday, 25 December 2013 00:00

Earth’s warming will harm wildlife

To the Editor: I love this time of year. Cold, crisp days remind me of the days I spent with my dad and our beagles chasing rabbits. Now it means it’s time to share a blind with a wet retriever…
Wednesday, 25 December 2013 00:00

Gov. McCrory, N.C. are moving forward

To the Editor: No doubt 2013 was a much better year for Western North Carolina than was the previous year.  The unemployment rate has dropped down to 7.4 percent in November from 8.9 percent when the year started.  Every county…
Wednesday, 25 December 2013 00:00

My, how the universe has changed course

To the Editor: After the Clinton administrations’ efforts to get a universal health care bill passed back in the 90s, guess what group was next to propose sweeping health care legislation? No, not the Obama administration. It was the Heritage…
Wednesday, 25 December 2013 00:00

Why voter ID and not background checks?

To the Editor: I do not understand why so many Republican congressmen support voter I.D. laws when it has been proven over and over that voter fraud is extremely negligible and does not warrant the cost to implement and make voting…
Wednesday, 25 December 2013 00:00

Christmas ‘peace’ in the land of the Holy One

Doug Wingeier • Columnist Some years back I spent the Christmas season in the Land of the Holy One. (It is not the land that is holy, but the One who was born, lived, died, and rose there.) This was one…
Wednesday, 25 December 2013 00:00

Barking up the right tree

By Paul Clark • Correspondent Harvesting poplar bark to make bark shingles is never easy, but this summer Danny Heatherly and his crew had a short season shortened even further by all the rain that fell.
Wednesday, 25 December 2013 00:00

WCU to mark 125th year in 2014

When the clock strikes midnight and Dec. 31 gives way to Jan. 1, the tolling of the bell won’t symbolize the start of just another typical new year at Western Carolina University. Instead, the first day of 2014 will mark…
Wednesday, 25 December 2013 00:00

WCU receives Golden LEAF grant

Western Carolina University has received a $500,000 grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation to help expand engineering education across Western North Carolina through a partnership with regional community colleges. The funding will support WCU’s efforts to ensure a seamless transition…
A new formula for business license fees will mean a six-fold increase in collections for the town of Waynesville this fiscal year, bringing in a projected $128,000 compared to $20,000 last year.
Wednesday, 25 December 2013 00:00

Capturing success in a jar

It’s about preserving tradition — delicious tradition. “We live in a small town, and it’s wonderful when you start meeting local farmers and seeing what they’re trying to do, trying to support themselves by living off the land,” said Jessica…
Wednesday, 25 December 2013 00:00

The big screen comes to a small town

By Colby Dunn • Correspondent For residents of Highlands, the list of things to do in town, depending on the season, can be pretty short and “go to the movies” has never been on it. But the town is filmless no…
To Jenifer Bauer, the conditions couldn’t be better for a hike. It’s cold and soggy. There’s no leaves left, nothing green at all on the forest floor save the rhododendrons and mountain laurels. Even the views are dreary and gray,…
Wednesday, 25 December 2013 00:00

Mountain Momma

Supposedly just 8 percent of Americans who make a New Year’s resolution keep it. The obvious reason is human beings just aren’t very good at self improvement. But some resolutions are doomed from the start.
Wednesday, 25 December 2013 00:00

Film and TV at the Haywood County Tourism Office

The Haywood County Tourism Development Authority has officially revived the Haywood County Film Commission.  Becky Seymour, video marketing manager of the Haywood TDA, is committed to draw more TV and film production to Haywood County. The TDA is currently working…
Wednesday, 25 December 2013 00:00

Kool & The Gang, ZZ Top to play Harrah’s

Funk group Kool & The Gang and rock band ZZ Top will perform at Harrah’s Cherokee Event Center. Kool & The Gang performs at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 29. The group has sold over 70 million albums worldwide and influenced the…
Wednesday, 25 December 2013 00:00

GSMR plans New Year’s Eve Gala

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is ringing in the New Year at 7:45 p.m. Dec. 31 in Bryson City. The train leaves the Bryson City depot at 9 p.m. and returns after midnight.