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Four years ago, Jennie Wyderko — then finishing up her undergrad at Virginia Tech — had barely even touched a mountain bike.  Fast forward to 2015, and she’s one of two female officers for the Nantahala Area Southern Off Road…
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 02:28

A withering cultural critic takes aim

In Withering Slights: The Bent Pin Collection (National Review Books, 2015, ISBN 978-0-9847650-3-4, 186 pages, $24.95), Florence King demonstrates once again why she remains, even in poor health, one of America’s most biting and genuinely funny social and political critics.
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 02:22

Creating a healthier future

Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital have embarked on exciting futures for our hospitals and communities.   Early this month, we unveiled new names and logos for our hospitals that highlight our connection to Duke LifePoint Healthcare. While this…
Sixth grade was not so kind to my daughter. She did better than she expected on the social part — and that was the part that really worried her, since she had heard so many frightening rumors about the chamber…
Haywood School Superintendent Anne Garrett came up with a novel approach for predicting how many students a new charter school will siphon out of the public school system.
Haywood County Schools have been losing students slowly but steadily over the past decade. Despite high academic performance, the school system has 500 fewer students. Where did they go? Why? Will the decline continue? • Case #1: The homeschool factor•…
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 01:55

WCU LLC to spur economic development

The Western Carolina University College of Business is establishing a new, for-profit limited liability company designed to provide entrepreneurial business, scientific and technical services to help spur economic development activity in Western North Carolina. The new LLC will replace WCU’s…
A public hearing at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 30, at the Cashiers-Glenville Recreation Center will take the public’s temperature on a proposed fire tax for Jackson County residents in the Cashiers-Highlands area.  The county’s board of commissioners has been discussing…
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 01:52

Final round for Cullowhee standards

Cullowhee residents crowded the basketball court at the Cullowhee Recreation Center last week for a chance to sound off during the last public hearing before Jackson County Commissioners take a final vote on whether to adopt the Cullowhee Community Planning…
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 01:51

Bryson businesses unite

There is power in numbers, and businesses in Bryson City are ready to join forces to have their voices heard.  With guidance from the Swain County Chamber of Commerce, merchants are working to form a Bryson City Downtown Merchants Association. 
The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad introduces new people to all that Bryson City has to offer throughout the year, yet many locals are still not on board with the changes the train has brought with it.
Voters could see more Ds and Rs on their election ballot in 2016 if Republicans push through legislation to make local school board and statewide judicial races partisan.
Earlier this year, it looked like Monarch Ventures, a Charlotte-based company that’s been trying for years to build a high-density 500-bed student housing complex in Cullowhee, could be history.
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 01:43

Fraternity gets five-year suspension

The Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity will be absent from Western Carolina University’s roster of Greek life opportunities until 2020, following a February incident in which a PKA pledge claimed to be waterboarded by his fraternity brothers.
When the Cherokee Tribal Council voted to give itself a hefty pay raise last fall — $10,000 extra a year plus tens of thousands in backpay for the years when it supposedly should have already been receiving those extra dollars…
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 21:13

Celebration honors Graham’s history

The Proctor Revival Organization will once again honor the history of Graham County May 1-31 with “A Time To Remember” celebration. The celebration will focus on the construction of the Fontana Dam as well as the deep, pioneering roots of…
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 21:12

New art installation in Waynesville

A solid marble statue is the newest art installation by the Waynesville Public Art Commission. 
Tuesday, 28 April 2015 21:11

QuickDraw at Laurel Ridge

The WNC QuickDraw will be from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at Laurel Ridge Country Club in Waynesville.
Wednesday, 06 May 2015 21:09

Civil War remembrance, reenactment

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War and the “Last Shot Fired” at the Battle of Waynesville, there will be a weekend of events May 8-10 at The Shelton House in Waynesville and around…
Tuesday, 28 April 2015 21:08

This must be the place

She knows me better than anybody. She’s a little rough around the edges. Her beauty has seen better days. She’s a dirty girl, one who’ll take to cosmopolitan city streets as easily as rugged backwoods trails. Her needs always seem…
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 21:02

The act of words to paper

For Wiley Cash, being a writer is not about milestones in his career that define his passion. Rather, it’s the simple idea of a person sitting down with a blank page, one ready to be filled with the unlimited possibility…
Haywood Regional Medical Center’s recent decision to purchase the Evergreen Family Medical Center in Canton will keep Evergreen employees from losing their primary care physician and will expand health care services to the entire community.  Since Evergreen announced in January…
“The cascading, four foot, doubly-compound leaves of devil’s walking stick, bunched near the end of long crooked thorny stems reaching as tall as 20 feet, give this plant a decidedly tropical look — it’s a plant that might fit in…
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 16:03

Local food guide now available

A new edition of Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s Local Food Guide is out in time for the spring growing season.  The guide lists farmers markets, farms and restaurants and grocers selling local produce in the Southern Appalachians. It is free…
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 16:02

Grant brings real-life science to classrooms

A $500 grant from the N.C. Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts’ Auxiliary will mean some hands-on science for students of Hayley Cox and Noal Castater, both teachers in Haywood County.  Cox, a fourth-grade teacher at Junaluska Elementary School,…
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 16:02

Paul Carlson honored for conservation work

Paul Carlson of Land Trust for the Little Tennessee was named Outstanding Conservationist in the 2015 Roosevelt-Ashe awards given out by Wild South, an environmental organization that works in several southern states. Carlson, LTLT’s founding director, led LTLT for 18…
Heritage Life Skills, a fourth-year event featuring classes in survivalist cooking, self-defense and food production skills is coming up May 29-31 at Haywood County Fairgrounds, with registration rates jumping after May 1.
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 15:58

Pancakes popular with AT hikers

Appalachian Trail hikers in search of a satisfying meal found it at the First Baptist Church of Franklin this year — 633 of them, representing 44 states and seven foreign countries.
More than 200 fifth graders from Jackson County Schools spent two days learning about natural resources at East LaPorte Recreation Park this month.
Wednesday, 13 May 2015 15:54

Fly-fishing museum opening delayed

The grand opening of the Fly-Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians in Cherokee, originally intended for May 1, has been rescheduled to 10 a.m. June 6.
From paved 5K routes to epic trail runs and triathlons, Western North Carolina is rife with outdoor races of all types. But a peek at the history shows that the bulk of these events are new arrivals on the landscape,…
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 15:39

Greening Up the Mountains: Through the Hills

3 p.m. • Signature Brew Stage The newest musical entity in Western North Carolina, the Haywood County quartet brings together singer-songwriter Kevin Fuller with banjoist Joey Fortner (formerly of Soldier’s Heart). Add in teenage fiddle prodigy Alma Russ, and you…
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 15:36

Greening Up the Mountains: Rye Baby

1:05 p.m. • Signature Brew Stage Hailing from Chattanooga, Rye Baby is a fiery duo, one that encompasses the honky-tonk blues and Americana-roots sounds that runs deeply through Southern Appalachia.
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 15:25

Dam politics and freedom of religion

The growing threat of drought in the Southeast and the problems of “water politics” has prodded the memory of many legislators and ecologists to anxiously recall the snail darter controversy.
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 15:17

Controlled Chaos Film Festival at WCU

Films created by Western Carolina University students will be screened at the sixth annual Controlled Chaos Film Festival at 7 p.m. Friday, May 1, at the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center in Cullowhee.
Folkmoot USA invites area collectors to its spring-cleaning fundraiser from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 2, at the old Hazelwood Elementary School in Waynesville.
American Idol Season 13 winner and Asheville native Caleb Johnson will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 2, at Harrah’s Cherokee.
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 15:09

This must be the place

It is the single most essential thing in my life. Running. The action of putting on jogging shorts, a comfortable t-shirt, lacing up your shoes and heading out the front door for the open road. It is oxygen for my…
Caleb Burress sees a rebirth — in himself and his music. “2014 was an education for us on many levels — we had a lot going on,” he said. “I think the changes we’ve experienced couldn’t have come at a…
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 15:04

Criminals fear those who carry guns

To the Editor: As a long-time N.R.A. member, I wish to respond to Publisher Scott McLeod about his recent gun control column. I haven’t read Senate Bill 708 so will not comment on it.  However, his “by the numbers” source…
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 15:03

More rhetoric from the liberal press

To the Editor: It appears the long arm of the liberal press has made it to your publication. Scott McLeod’s anti-gun rhetoric (The Smoky Mountain News, April 15, www.smokymountainnews.com/opinion/item/15568) concerning “super permits” (your words) is laughable at best. You failed…
“You bet I’m happy. I feel this was only right. My goal is to improve Waynesville and set it apart as a first-class mountain community.”  — Former Waynesville Mayor Henry Foy in May 2003, upon receiving notification from DOT about…
Haywood County Schools will get a modest 2 percent increase each year for the next three years in its student per capita funding from the county.
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 14:47

HCC enrollment dips as economy improves

Marlowe Mager isn’t an economist by trade, but a little-known data set at his fingertips puts him on par with the nation’s best forecasters.
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 14:44

Exchanging students, exchanging cultures

When Donna Bell invited the first exchange student into her home seven years ago, she had no idea the lasting impact it would have on her family as well as the lives of the students.
A man attempting to rob alleged pot growers and dealers in the Bethel community of Haywood County was shot and killed Friday night. At least that’s the story the alleged pot dealers have given cops to explain why a man…
About 200 people gathered for the ribbon cutting of a $3.2-million renovation of the Terrace Hotel at Lake Junaluska, the anchor lodging facility of the conference and retreat center.
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 14:38

New apartment complex in the works for Sylva

Plans are under way to build a new apartment complex near — but not in — the town of Sylva, an idea that seemed to meet favor from the planning board when it was presented earlier this month.
As the old saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child.
The old Drexel furniture factory in Whittier isn’t producing much these days, unless you count bird nests and ivy vines as products. Tall grasses wave across the 21-acre property, obscuring the wood pallets strewn across the yard and reaching into…