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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.
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 14:27

The chronic complainers will never change

Some people complain all the time, about everything. They complain about the weather, the price of gasoline, their neglectful friends, the ratio of cashews in the average can of mixed nuts. Everything is a conspiracy against them.  Road construction makes…
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 14:15

Celebration of women in Methodism at Lake J

A Celebration of Women in Methodism will begin at the World Methodist Museum at 3:45 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, at the World Methodist Museum in Lake Junaluska.
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 14:14

Date set for prison renovation weekend

After winning a nationwide voting contest to land a $50,000 prize, Haywood Pathways Center is looking for volunteers to pitch in on a three-day work project Sept. 25-27 to make its prison renovation project a reality. TV personality Ty Pennington…
The Parker Meadows project is taking a slight turn after the discovery of a Cherokee gravesite launched a series of meetings and negotiations between the county and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. 
The Franklin Main Street Program has been soaking up some criticism lately, and the issues came to a head at an Aug. 19 meeting of Franklin residents, town administrators, business owners and board members. The verdict: Shape up by January,…
In a never-ending quest to lure tourists to Haywood County, the county tourism agency has once again changed the logo and slogan that will appear in its marketing and advertising materials.
The Canton Town Board has recently made changes to their alcohol ordinances, allowing for the option of public consumption at events. “As an elected official and Christian, I understand this is a divisive issue,” Alderman Zeb Smathers said. “After hearing…
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 13:59

District Attorney race: No rest for the weary

Few put as much thought into their to-go morning coffee as Jim Moore. Most of us grab whatever’s on the way, whatever’s cheapest, or whatever brew we like the best.
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 13:58

The institution on the corner

The Jarrett House has stood in Dillsboro since 1884. Since before Dillsboro was Dillsboro. 
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 13:56

Celebrating the 125th

The town of Dillsboro, established in 1889, was named after William Allen Dills, a Confederate veteran who was born nearby. The town is located on the site of Dills’ farm. Prior to the town’s establishment, the area was beginning to…
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 13:54

WCU lends Dillsboro a hand

Dillsboro’s relationship with Western Carolina University began in 2009, after the economic downturn and as the town struggled to regroup.
Dillsboro sits at the crossroads of U.S. 441 and N.C. 23. Nestled between the past and future, it is a town that continues to evolve. “I think it’s just a classic, old American town. Laid-back,” said Jim Hartbarger, sitting in…
It’s been a couple of weeks since the downtown Sylva fire. And while most of downtown is humming along nicely, the handful of businesses directly impacted by the fire continue working to recover.
When Gna Wyatt called People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals about the manure piles covering Osborne Farms in Clyde, she wasn’t trying to make headlines. She just wanted life to get better for the cows she had spent the…
French Kirkpatrick just wanted to play music. “I kind of wanted to be a singer, but I couldn’t sing worth a hoot,” the 75-year-old chuckled. “I wanted to be a regular picker, a banjo player, I even tried to…
The meeting between Granville Calhoun and Horace Kephart (the quintessential highlander and outlander, respectively) is a noteworthy event in this region’s cultural history. Janet McCue and I are especially interested in events associated with that encounter for the Kephart biography…
Liner notes for the new album released by the Great Smoky Mountains Association — “Carroll Best and The White Oak String Band: Old-time Bluegrass from the Great Smoky Mountains, 1956 & 1959.”
French Kirkpatrick can sum up Carroll Best. “What he did with the banjo was above and beyond,” Kirkpatrick said. “He was the most, probably without a doubt, the most creative banjo player I was ever in a room with.” Recently at…
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 04:31

Jump on the gem mine caravan tour

A tour of four historic gem mines will give a view into Franklin’s past, beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 30. Following a gem mine introductory presentation, tour-goers will get in their own vehicles and caravan to historic mines in…
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 04:30

Key rule makers to speak at fracking forum

A forum organized by N.C. Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, will give the public a chance to learn more about shale energy rulemaking, exporation and development in North Carolina at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, at the Smoky Mountain Center for…
Jim Costa, executive director of the Highlands Biological Station, will close out the Highlands Biological Foundation’s summer Zahner Conservation Lecture Series with a talk titled “The Force of Admiration: Wallace and Darwin on the Evolutionary Trail,” 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept.…
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 04:26

Freestyle paddlers to hit the Nantahala wave

A major freestyle paddling competition will come to the Nantahala Gorge Sept. 4-6, with top freestylers from across the continent converging on the Nantahala River’s famous “wave” to vie for the title of Pan American Champion.
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 04:24

Running for support

More than 350 runners streamed down Main Street in downtown Waynesville last Friday evening for the annual Main Street Mile. Top male runners crossed the finish line in just over 4 minutes.
A monument built to commemorate a popular 1800s watering hole has long been hidden by ivy and vines, but an Eagle Scout project by Joey Rolland has restored the Pigeon Gap Watering Hole outside the Bethel community of Haywood County…
Despite warnings of thunderstorms earlier in the week, Aug. 22 came with a blue sky and a light breeze, temperatures hovering around a sunny 70 degrees at the Black Balsam Trailhead. Gail Fox, a National Park Service ranger for the…
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 04:07

Book challenges me to critique the critic

In Why Read?, University of Virginia professor Mark Edmundson discusses the practice of student reviews of a teacher, then writes: “As I read the reviews, I thought of a story I’d heard about a Columbia University instructor who issued a…
Author Michael Beadle will present an illustrated talk focusing on the history of the town of Canton and, specifically, the town’s annual Labor Day Celebration at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4, in the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University.…
Local residents will have an opportunity to learn interesting and historical details about their family quilts during the Quilt Discovery Evening from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, in the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University.