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Wednesday, 11 December 2013 15:15

Haynes takes pride in ties to Asheville, WNC

By Joe Hooten • Correspondent Asheville will once again be the home of the annual Warren Haynes Christmas Jam at the Asheville US Cellular Center Dec. 13-14, where hometown hero and all-around guitar god Haynes will present yet another impressive lineup…
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 15:12

This must be the place

Named of the “12 Comics to Watch” for 2013 by LA Weekly, Atlanta-bred comedian Dave Stone has been taking over the stage with his southern flare meets keen observations of modern society.
On a recent crisp early winter evening, hundreds of folks from around Western North Carolina and beyond converged onto the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin. “This year, 2013, was a great year for us,” said Paul…
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 15:00

Affordable Care Act a blessing for my family

To the Editor: Today I visited healthcare.gov on the internet, and thanks to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, I am now, at age 63, covered by healthcare insurance for the first time in my adult life. Throughout…
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 15:00

Libertarians alive and well in Haywood County

To the Editor: I would like to respond to the article in the Oct. 30 issue of The Smoky Mountain News discussing the “internal debate” which “divides Haywood GOP.”  In this article, some members of the Republican party of Haywood…
I was trying to sell myself to my prospective new boss, Scott McLeod. I may not know anyone in the Haywood County area yet, I told him, but don’t worry — I’m a horse person. We have a network.  So…
Dark clouds hung above Cullowhee last Friday morning. And as the rain fell on the mountain community, tears slid down the face of Suzanne Stone. “I’m numb,” she said. “I rotate between crying and disbelief. It’s like losing your home.”
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 14:48

Jackson still ‘economically distressed’

Jackson County retained its status as one of the economically distressed counties in North Carolina according to just-released rankings, but county manager Chuck Wooten thinks some of the factors in that ranking are improving and others are “distorted.”
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 14:45

Jackson voids tax bill for Anglican Church

Leaders from Christ Anglican Church in Cashiers convinced Jackson County commissioners to waive their property tax bill for 2013 even though they applied for a tax-exempt application after the Feb. 1 deadline. Father Jim Murphy explained to commissioners that the…
Maggie Valley town leaders hope to create a new tone and tenor for town meetings, with “civility” being the operative word.
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 14:39

Jailer’s love saga comes full circle

Who knows what Anita Vestal saw in Jeffrey Miles, or why she sprang him from jail and ran away with him, or how she justified leaving her husband and four young children behind, possibly forever.
Faculty and student representatives at Western Carolina University expressed concern last week over recent legislative actions in Raleigh. 
A meeting of the Sylva Town Board took an unexpected turn last week when mayor-elect Christina Matheson announced that she would not be able to accept the office. The board then appointed outgoing Mayor Maurice Moody to continue in office…
Ghost Town in the Sky has been cited for safety violations by the North Carolina Department of Labor stemming from an injury during one of the amusement park’s theatrical gun fights. The gun fights are a signature attraction at the…
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 14:33

Macon goes local in picking new manager

At just 28 years old, Derek Roland might be the youngest county manager Macon County has ever seen, but what he lacks in age he makes up for in passion, enthusiasm, charisma, diplomacy, confidence and smarts — all the attributes…
A new campus Master Plan endorsed Friday (Dec. 6) by the Western Carolina University Board of Trustees is designed to closely link physical facilities of the university, including future construction and renovation, to goals of its recently approved strategic plan.
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 14:32

Fund for Haywood gives $40,000 in grants

The Fund for Haywood County has approved $40,000 in People in Need grants to local nonprofit organizations that provide critical services for economically disadvantaged people. The grants were made in partnership with The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC)…
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 14:30

Abrahams gives sermon at Mandela funeral

Bishop Ivan Abrahams, the South African general secretary of the World Methodist Council who lives at Lake Junaluska, gave the sermon at the funeral of Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg.
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 14:30

Cherokee elders file suit against bear zoo

Two months after sending a notice informing the Cherokee Bear Zoo of their intent to sue the roadside menagerie for violations of the Endangered Species Act, two enrolled elders of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians have filed a lawsuit…
The mother lode of charity operations was less than 24 hours away, and the daunting punch list should have had Johnny Strickland sweating bullets.
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 16:41

Cherokee homes were warm and smoky in winter

“Two or more Families join together in building a hot-house, about 30 feet Diameter, and 15 feet high, in form of a Cone, with Poles and thatched, without any air-hole, except a small door about 3 feet high and 18…
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 16:38

Find unique gifts at the farmers market bazaar

The Jackson County Farmers Market will hold its annual Holiday Bazaar from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 and 14 at The Community Table in Sylva.
Western North Carolina residents are asking Duke Energy to rethink its use of fossil fuels in the region.  Community leaders delivered to Duke Energy representatives more than 5,500 petitions from area residents urging the company to move from burning coal…
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 16:37

Moss Knob shooting range to reopen in 2014

The Moss Knob Shooting Range, located in the Nantahala Ranger District, Nantahala National Forest, will reopen in spring 2014 following improvements to the area, such as a new access road to the shooting range from behind the shooting line and…
College students who spent the past semester doing research at the Highlands Biological Station will present their findings at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, in the seminar room of the Coker Laboratory, 265 N. Sixth St., Highlands.
Western Carolina University’s athletic training major is giving hands-on experience to its students while helping area high school athletic departments, as part of the curriculum.
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 16:35

Experts taking wildlife education to area schools

Mountain Wildlife Days has created a wildlife education speakers bureau of sorts to share its pool of wildlife experts with area schools and other organizations in the area, a spokesman for the new Mountain Wildlife Outreach said. Mountain Wildlife Outreach…
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 16:33

Hunting season

Orion the Hunter has taken to the late autumn skies. One of the loveliest and most easily recognized constellations will be stalking the heavens until he slides into the daytime sky early next spring. Astronomers believe the Hunter, in his…
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 16:31

WCU will digitize historic Smokies photos

Western Carolina University’s Hunter Library will produce a new digital collection of 2,000 items focused on the history of Great Smoky Mountains National Park with support from a $93,000 grant from the North Carolina State Library. “The park certainly has…
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 16:24

‘Green’ text more relevant today than ever

Although this book was published over a decade ago, A Fierce Green Fire has grown steadily in popularity and is currently receiving maximum exposure, both as a required text in environmental courses in universities and as a provocative film which…
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 16:21

Mountain Momma

Last weekend, I sat down with a calendar and began sifting through all the fabulous Christmas-related events happening this month. As I plotted out which ones we could try to squeeze in — Christmas parades, Christmas concerts, Christmas plays, live…
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 16:16

Model train set open house, Dec. 7-8

This holiday season pull the kids away from their headsets and video games and show them another version of an electronic toy.
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 15:06

Sale, demos and classes at Green Energy Park

A holiday sale and demonstrations of glassblowing and blacksmithing will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Jackson County Green Energy Park in Dillsboro.
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 15:02

‘Sounds of the Season’ at WCU

The School of Music at Western Carolina University will present its annual “Sounds of the Season” holiday concert, a performance featuring faculty and students in small chamber groups and larger ensembles, at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at the John…
Renowned bluegrass/gospel group Balsam Range 4th annual “Winter Concert Series” will return to the Colonial Theatre in Canton.  Guest artists for each of the five concerts include The Jeff Little Trio with Steve Lewis and Josh Scott on Dec. 7;…
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 14:59

Ringing in Christmas in Franklin

Brasstown Ringers will present “A Brasstown Christmas” at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, at the First United Methodist Church in Franklin.
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 14:57

This must be the place

The strings of tradition and progress echoed from the back alley. Upon further inspection (and a lone door cracked open), the harmonic tone was radiating from the mandolin of Darren Nicholson.
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 14:52

Holiday Roundup: Christmas comes to Appalachia

As the temperatures drop in Western North Carolina, the fun only heats up. The holiday season here is filled with events and activities aimed at celebrating the best way we know how — with friends, family and visitors alike. Families…
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 14:40

WestCare employees excited about changes

To the Editor: Recently, we the employees of WestCare learned of an exciting decision that we are entering into a  partnership with Duke LifePoint Healthcare that will provide resources to help our hospitals in Sylva and Bryson City and our…
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 14:38

Righting what’s wrong means making changes

We are now — officially — barreling into the holidays. Thanksgiving is already a fading, drowsy memory of turkey carcasses and piles of dirty dishes. As we march onward toward Christmas and the new year, my mind always goes into…
Waynesville leaders last week voted to loosen the town’s sign rules at the behest of some business owners, but stopped short of allowing giant, blow-up inflatable characters.
The jury deciding the fate of a former Swain County jailer who helped a murderer escape and then ran away with him to California began deliberating Tuesday morning (Dec. 3).
Jake Flannick • SMN Correspondent Building consensus among the increasing number of residents and business owners in Cullowhee is critical to shaping the identity of the area. Growth is outpacing steps to establish a long-term plan for building and economic development,…
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 14:32

Reception for Jackson Librarian Dottie Brunette

Jackson County Librarian Dottie Brunette will retire at the end of the year, and the public is invited to a reception in her honor from 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, at the Jackson County Public Library in Sylva.…
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 14:31

On a mission to fight drug abuse, help families

To Jean Parris, the drug bust in Haywood County last month wasn’t just a matter of locking up suspected drug dealers. It was about saving lives.
An undercover investigation in Haywood County targeting alleged drug dealers culminated in a sweeping roundup last month, netting 31 suspects with 114 charges in all.
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 14:21

Student profiles

Michael Bruce  2nd year assoc. Hometown: Waynesville Major: Web Technologies  App: Class Schedule Organizer As soon as he learned how to build a mobile application, Michael Bruce put his knowledge to work for his fellow-students. He started developing an app…
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 14:20

Coding for the rest of us

If the very thought of trying your hand at computer programming or writing software code is intimidating, Dr. Jonathan Wade has got an event for you.
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 14:19

At WCU, an app to keep students out of the rain

By Paul Clark • SMN Correspondent So, here’s the problem. It’s raining and you need to catch the CAT TRAN, one of the purple vans that shuttle students and staff around Western Carolina University.
Imagine you’re a college student in the summer of 2010. One of your professors offers you a job. He has just acquired 30 of the newest android phones. Your assignment? Just fool around with them. See what they can do.…