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Wednesday, 27 November 2013 15:32

Who are the real job creators?

To the Editor: As I write this, the stock market is hovering around record highs. The Federal Reserve is keeping interest rates low to stimulate borrowing and investment. Corporate profits are generally high and many companies are sitting on record…
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 15:32

Zoning advocates had predictable response

To the Editor: The response from zoning advocates — to my letter that was printed two weeks ago — was typical. There will always be people who place their aesthetic values over the rights of others. They will be supported by…
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 15:31

Freedom versus limited government

To the Editor: Limited government was ridiculed in a recent Smoky Mountain News article. Most Americans are strong believers in limited government because we believe in our individual rights.  These rights (such as free speech) must be protected against a…
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 15:30

Resilient living on a different planet

By Doug Wingeier • Columnist In early October we spent two weeks in our 150-year-old log cabin situated on a corner of our daughter Ruth and husband John’s 40 acres in central Minnesota, which has no electricity or running water.  While there…
By Paul Clark • Correspondent Mary McNeil carried her shopping bag around Haywood’s Historic Farmers Market like a kid on Halloween. In went fresh-ground sausage, newly prepared chorizo and a few cuts of meat from animals that spent the summer happily…
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 15:13

Recycle your cooking oil this Thanksgiving

Hey, all you turkey deep-fryer users. What are your plans this Thanksgiving for all that cooking oil once you have fried the big bird?  Here’s an idea: bring your used cooking oil to one of Blue Ridge Biofuels drop-off bins…
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 15:13

Waynesville Judo team dominates tournament

The Waynesville Judo team took top honors at the Fall Brawl judo tournament Oct. 5 at the Waynesville Recreation Center by winning the coveted Team Trophy. The Waynesville team competed among nearly 100 contenders from five different states, who attended…
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 15:12

Forest service seeks camper

U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officials have released a picture of a man they believe may have information about the Linville Gorge wildfire, which is now 100 percent contained after burning nearly 2,600 acres. They are hoping the public can…
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 15:11

Black Friday has reached the Smokies

The Great Smoky Mountains Association will hold a “blow-out sale” on select merchandise starting Thanksgiving Day at its Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
More property along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Waterrock Knob is now protected, thanks to The Conservation Trust for North Carolina (CTNC) and a Salisbury couple.
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 15:08

Town has begun thinning white pine

I believe it was in 2010 when the Town of Waynesville signed off on a plan to thin the stands of white pine in the Waynesville Watershed. Today (11/25), Cecil Brooks began doing just that. Brooks said that, weather permitting,…
An investigation is underway to determine the cause of a fire that broke out Nov. 21 in the commercial strip in the center of the Western Carolina University campus and caused heavy damage to three popular businesses. No injuries were…
By Colby Dunn • Correspondent On a recent sunny afternoon, Deb Shalosky is standing in the kitchen pantry at the Fines Creek Community Center, a little autumnal sun glinting off the neatly labeled octagonal jar in her outstretched hand. 
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 15:02

Franklin pub crossroads for people, history

By Jake Flannick • SMN Correspondent The legendary Rathskeller Coffee Haus and Pub, an institution and social mainstay in downtown Franklin, saw a generational changing of the guard this year after 15 years in the hands of its original founder and…
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 15:01

Dig Sylva, buy local

By Jake Flannick • SMN Correspondent A group of merchants in Sylva rallying their fellow shopkeepers and restaurateurs in the downtown area to jump on the buy local movement as a way to strengthen their own economy from the ground up.
Maggie Valley’s interim town manager has only been on the job for a few weeks, but already has been offered the role on a more permanent basis — sort of.
Jake Flannick • SMN Correspondent A nearly decade-long dream to build an inpatient hospice house for the terminally ill and their families in Franklin is closer to becoming a reality.
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 14:56

The how-to of a jail break

It was a fairly simple inside job in the end, one easily borrowed from the playbook of any Hollywood jailbreak. Anita Vestal was just a novice jailer, with less than six months on the job at the Swain County jail.…
The jury trial of a Swain County jailer accused of springing a murderer from jail more than four years ago will conclude next week with a certain guilty verdict.
By Paul Clark • Correspondent In the old Imperial Hotel in Canton, Sid’s on Main is creating a little history of its own.  Sid Truesdale, who owns the restaurant with his wife Page, is honoring the building’s place in local history…
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 14:48

GroWNC presents to EDC

In an effort to promote growth and a positive impact on Western North Carolina communities, GroWNC came in front of the Haywood County Economic Development Commission to showcase their project and its goals for the region.
The Haywood County Economic Development Commission last week listened to a summary of task force reports on how it and the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce could work under the same roof to promote economic development. 
Some steam and water-powered sawmills were established in the Smokies region during the 1870s and 1880s. But full-fledged industrialized logging didn’t commence until after the construction of the major railroads was finalized in the 1890s. This opened the region for…
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:00

Winds prevent containment of Linville Gorge fire

Light rainfall over the weekend wasn’t enough to slow the Table Rock fire in Linville Gorge nor will this week’s expected weather help much either, a fire official said Monday. “[The rain] has helped, but a half inch is not…
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:00

Upgrades coming to Graveyard Fields

Portions of the popular Graveyard Fields Loop Trail are closed for upgrades, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The agency expects to complete the work by late December.   The Forest Service will construct a board walk on the east…
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:00

Illustrated guide to Purchase Knob available

Talk about mission creep. What was supposed to be a simple, final project for his Blue Ridge Naturalist certificate of merit turned into a full blown illustrated hiking guide for Haywood County. And so much the better, says Ken Czarnomski,…
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:00

Grants available to help Appalachian Trail

Have an idea for a project that will benefit the Appalachian Trail but have limited funds to make it happen? Apply for an Appalachian Trail Special License Tag Grant through the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. The deadline is Jan. 10, 2014.
It will likely take awhile for the smoke to clear after the Table Rock Fire near Linville Gorge in the Grandfather District of the Pisgah National Forest either burns out or is suppressed. The fire was first spotted Tuesday, Nov.…
Jake Flannick • SMN Correspondent Michael Wagenseil is settling into his element, arranging displays of ski equipment and clothing as he finishes a flurry of preparations at a new rental shop in Maggie Valley amid the beginning of what is considered…
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:00

Tarrt delivers once again — a decade later

I first encountered a Donna Tartt novel some 20 years ago when a friend reverently placed a copy of The Secret History (1992) in my hands, and said, “You will never forget this one.” 
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:00

Civility begins with us

By Doug Wingeier • Columnist  The cover story in the Oct. 30-Nov. 5 issue of The Smoky Mountain News described divisions in the Haywood County Republican Party caused partly by differences in ideology and partly by conflict over strategy and approach.
We had talked about going to Disney World for so long that it had become an abstraction, so distant and unreal that we might as well have been talking about taking a trip to Saturn. Still, the notion kept forcing…
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:00

Library branches collecting food for holidays

All branches of the Haywood County Public Library are currently collecting food to help meet the needs of local residents through Dec. 18.  Citizens can bring their contributions to the front desk and give it to library employees.  The most-needed…
Swain County leaders were relieved this month when the state gave them the go ahead to tap $382,000 in interest from the North Shore Road settlement trust fund.
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:00

Applicants sought for Haywood boards

The Board of County Commissioners is seeking applicants to fill three vacancies on the Haywood County Agriculture Advisory Board (Farmland Preservation) and three vacancies on the Tourism Development Authority Board. The three positions on the Agriculture Advisory Board are at-large…
Assistant District Attorney Ashley Welch, a Republican from Macon County, announced this week she will be running for district attorney next year. 
A plan to move the Haywood County Economic Development Commission under the umbrella of the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce is moving forward.
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:00

Human interaction can be fatal to elk

A young male elk in Cataloochee Valley was put down by park rangers last week for repeatedly rushing and taunting visitors.  A love of junk food led the elk to lose its leeriness of humans. Despite a barrage of rubber…
Waynesville leaders haven’t decided whether they will back a plan to reconfigure the intersection of North Main and Walnut streets, but at least one resident thinks it would harm businesses.
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:00

Education changes, woes discussed at forum

What was billed to be a town hall style education forum for the Macon County School System, filled with parents and teachers, was held at an almost empty Franklin High School auditorium. But, that didn’t stop the passionate message being…
Some Jackson County commissioners expressed trepidation this week over changing the way the county’s seven volunteer fire departments are funded.
Over the next few weeks, Southwestern Community College will host a pair of information sessions for anyone interested in pursuing a career in one of Western North Carolina’s fastest-growing industries. Jobs are available now in the field of table gaming,…
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:00

‘Hard Candy Christmas’ returns to WCU

The 26th annual “Hard Candy Christmas Arts & Craft Show” will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 29-30 at the Ramsey Center at Western Carolina University. This popular event features the original work of over 100 regional artisans. Customers…
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:00

Mountain Momma

Dear Pottery Barn photographers, Please consider hiring a consultant who actually has kids before you shoot your next product magazine. Otherwise, your catalogs will be reclassified and shelved in the comedy section.  From, Been-there-done-that-and-it-sure-didn’t-look-like-that.
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:00

Salute to Johnny Cash at WCU

“Ring of Fire — The Music of Johnny Cash” comes to life at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 24, in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:00

Santa Claus, author bring cheer to Franklin

Joe Moore, author of the Santa Claus Trilogy, will make a special appearance from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 29 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 30 at Santa’s Gift Shop at the Macon County Community Facilities Building…
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:00

Holt brings holiday bluegrass cheer to Highlands

Four-time Grammy Award winner David Holt will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 29, at the Martin Lipscomb Performing Arts Center in Highlands. Holt will be joined by musician Josh Goforth. 
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:00

Music, art converge in Bryson

Asheville blues/rock group Mojomatic will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23, at Swain County Center for the Arts Bryson City. Following the concert there will be a meet and greet reception for the musicians and exhibiting artist, Vickie S.…
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:00

This must be the place

Editor’s Note: After receiving a heartfelt letter in the mail recently from an inmate at a North Carolina correctional facility, Garret decided to write back. Here is his response. Dear A***, First off, thank you from the bottom of my…
By Jacob Flannick • SMN Correspondent After ending a series of lessons in which she learned the basic steps of clogging, Dee Decker did not want to stop dancing. So she held out hope for another floor, eventually moving into a…