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Wednesday, 24 April 2013 01:06

Dillsboro and Jackson need railroad back

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To the Editor: How will the saga of the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad end? There have been many letters written…
Wednesday, 24 April 2013 01:05

I will miss my conversations with Roger Ebert

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I cannot credit film critic Roger Ebert, who died just a couple of weeks ago after a lengthy battle with…
Chris Cooper, associate professor and head of the Department of Political Science and Public Affairs at Western Carolina University, has been named one of the best teachers in the University of North Carolina system in recognition of his engaging and…
Wednesday, 24 April 2013 00:52

WCU names Drake to board

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors elected Phil Drake, chief executive officer of Drake Enterprises, and Kenny Messer, an executive with Milliken Corp., to four-year terms on the Western Carolina University Board of Trustees. A native of Franklin,…
The Fines Creek Community Association is offering $500 scholarships to graduating high school seniors living within the Fines Creek, Panther Creek and White Oak communities, as well as home-schooled students who graduate from a program certified by the N.C. Division…
A free kids festival featuring music, activity areas, performances and give-aways will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at the Haywood County Fairground by Haywood Smart Start. There will be craft and activity stations for…
It is a day Lawrence Hyatt looks forward to all year — venturing into the Smokies backcountry to pay homage at the graves of early settlers who lived there.
Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center has unveiled a $40 million, 10-year campus master plan in hopes of bolstering convention business and attracting a new breed of resort tourist.
Ask vacationers why they pick Jackson County, and you might heard words like “escape,” “relief” and “tradition.” 
Wednesday, 24 April 2013 00:23

Lots of winners in festival grants

The Haywood County Tourism Development Authority will hand out a bevy of grants for festivals and niche tourism projects throughout the county this year — most of them old standards but a few new events.
Wednesday, 24 April 2013 00:21

Folkmoot back in the tourism grant fold

The Haywood County Tourism Development Authority will restore annual grant funding for Folkmoot USA, reversing a move last year to cut off the highly popular international folk dance festival. 
The Maggie Valley town board will soon divest itself from the role of both judge and jury for new businesses moving into the town’s commercial district.
Wednesday, 24 April 2013 00:17

Flourishing in a fading art form

It’s Monday morning, and Mary Lou Rinehart is taking a moment to relax. Owner of Clyde Ray’s Flower Shop in Waynesville, Rinehart spent most of the weekend putting the final touches on innumerable corsages and arrangements for the two high…
Jackson County Schools brokered a sweet deal with county commissioners last year, or so it seemed at the time. School leaders wanted to build a new gym and auditorium at Smoky Mountain High School in Sylva, but the $11.4 million…
A 16-year-old Tuscola High School student was arrested by Haywood County Sheriff’s Office deputies Thursday afternoon, April 18, and charged with a felony after telling fellow students he planned to commit mass acts of violence at the school the following…
If a student at Central Elementary has a particularly tough weekend at home, school counselor Leslie Smith won’t get to hear about it until four days later.
As Lieutenant James Rossi took the stage in his fatigues, a toddler’s voice cut across the auditorium, breaking the otherwise formal and borderline somber ceremony marking the imminent deployment of local National Guard troops to Afghanistan.
The domestic violence nonprofit REACH of Macon County is facing a more than $80,000 shortfall next year due partly to state budget cuts and partly to repercussions of stepping up to the plate when assault victims in neighboring Jackson County…
Nearly a year has passed since a domestic violence support agency in Jackson County abruptly shut down under financial duress, and so far there’s no sign on the horizon of a new nonprofit to fill the void. In the meantime,…
For years, state funding for libraries has been on the decline. But librarians in Western North Carolina are not taking this next round lying down. In response to a recommendation by Gov. Pat McCroy to cut the state library budget…
The construction of a bridge and entrance road to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ second casino in Murphy has jumped from not even on the radar to the front of the N.C. Department of Transportation’s list of top road-building…
As the manhunt ends, the nation begins to cope and the primary suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing either lay dead or in custody, Dr. Allan Panter, a Sylva emergency room doctor who visited Boston for the race, is still…
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 13:48

The blue-grey gnatcatcher is a mighty mite

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Elizabeth and I were sitting on the deck Monday evening when a tiny bird made an abbreviated appearance — apparently…
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 13:47

Beginners luck, or magic touch?

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Fire is a life source. Without fire or some other form of heat, it’s nearly, if not impossible, to survive…
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 13:46

Volunteers needed to liaison with elk viewers

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The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recruiting volunteers to impart wildlife viewing etiquette in high-traffic tourist areas at the…
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 13:45

Delve into nature with Highlands Nature Center day camps

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The Highlands Nature Center is offering a lineup of summer Nature Day Camps for children. Five different camps on ecology…
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 13:45

Stomach bug takes to the A.T.

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A pesky stomach virus has turned up among hikers along the Appalachian Trail near Hot Springs, especially on a stretch…
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 13:44

Hikes explores pocket of old-growth forest

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A guided hike involving some off-trail bushwhacking to a little-known stand of old growth forest in Graham County will be…
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 13:44

Share your favorite swimming holes

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Don’t be greedy and keep your favorite swimming hole for yourself. A regional environmental organization is developing a new guide…
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 13:42

Arbor Day plantings planned for Island Park

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An Arbor Day flower planting will be from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 20, at Island Park in…
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 13:41

Tour de Cashiers bike ride off and pedaling

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Riders are gearing up for this year’s Tour de Cashiers coming on Saturday, May 4. The route will feature stunning…
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 13:40

Poacher gets jail time for killing bear cub

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A Robbinsville man was sentenced to five months in prison last week for killing an black bear cub in Nantahala…
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 13:37

Earth Day rant

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Earth Day 2013 is Monday, April 22. The first official “Earth Day” occurred in 1970 and environmentalists celebrated. Environmental lawyer…
Dana Dowdy raised a razor-sharp axe above her head, let it hover a moment and then slammed into her competition…
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 13:28

History of Cherokee War is top notch

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We Americans sometimes forget how new we are to the history of the world. Here in Western North Carolina, for…
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 13:26

Presnell not interested in freedom of religion

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To the Editor:  I was horrified to learn that my representative in the N.C. House, Rep. Michele Presnell, R-Burnsville, co-sponsored…
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 13:26

Drive a hard bargain with railroad

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To the Editor: I’d like to ask the Jackson County Commissioners why, in the midst of high unemployment and a…
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 13:26

Rep. Presnell violates oath of office

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To the Editor: There are conflicting lights in which to view the co-sponsorship by Rep. Michele Presnell, R-Burnsville, of the…
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 13:24

Legislators should support Haywood room tax hike

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The room tax hike being sought by Haywood leaders needs to pass and deserves the support of the legislative delegation…
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 13:12

Students to share ideas at Discovery Forum

Western Carolina University will host its inaugural Discovery Forum, an event designed to encourage students to share innovative ideas for making their communities a better places to live, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Monday, April 22, in Blue Ridge…
Seniors around the region are gearing up for Senior Games during the month of May. In Haywood County, registration will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 17-19 at the Haywood County Parks and Recreation office at 1233 N.…
Barium Springs, a nonprofit that serves troubled youth, is hosting its first Giving Them Hope Breakfast at 8:30 April 25 at the new conference center in the Burrell Building at Southwestern Community College in Sylva. The free, hour-long breakfast will…
A Swain County social worker pleaded guilty in court this week to doctoring and fabricating records two years ago following the death of a 15-month-old baby.
The town of Waynesville has hired a consultant to help create mandatory design standards for buildings in historic districts.
Macon County commissioners narrowly voted last week to buy a 50-acre tract for $550,000 to create a sprawling baseball and recreation complex. It would take another $550,000 to put in the first two baseball diamonds and a parking lot.
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 12:59

Building freedom through mobility

It was a moment that forever stuck with Don Schoendorfer. While on vacation in Morocco several years ago, the southern California engineer/inventor witnessed a disabled woman dragging herself across a busy street. She had no wheelchair. Nobody seemed to even…
What if a tornado ripped through Western North Carolina? What if a tanker hauling dangerous chemicals overturned on Interstate 40? What if a blizzard caused power outages and trapped people in their homes?
Macon County government employees will have a fatter paycheck now, thanks to a new pay plan approved last week by commissioners. Three of the five commissioners voted in support of the pay raises.
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 12:55

Robbery ring targeting vacation homes busted

Ten suspects have been charged in connection with a rash of property crimes in the Cashiers and Glenville area.
A new cell phone tower in the Pigeon River Gorge could mean fewer dropped calls as motorists cruise down Interstate 40.