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Macon County Schools superintendent Dan Brigman, school board attorney John Henning Jr. and the school board as a whole did not do itself any favors in its handling of the very important bond referendum that citizens voted on Tuesday. In…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Convicted sex offenders don’t have many advocates, but a recent rush of laws banning them from public parks has called into question just how many civil liberties these people should have to give up.
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Building a strong downtown district will be a top priority of the new Sylva Town Board of Commissioners.
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Former alderman Gavin Brown is now the new mayor of Waynesville, unseating 16-year incumbent Henry Foy. The two candidates were aligned on almost all issues but one — Brown has promised to make a…
Wednesday, 07 November 2007 00:00

Some memories just spell T-R-A-U-M-A

I am pretty sure I am going to get lashed for saying this, especially as an English teacher, but I do not really believe there is much that can be done to improve one’s ability to spell words. I haven’t…
Wednesday, 07 November 2007 00:00

Jackson Airport study OK’d

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Jackson County commissioners have decided to invest money in the county’s airport. Commissioners voted 4-1 on Monday (Nov. 5) to award $65,000 to the airport authority to conduct a feasibility study of the mountaintop…
Voters in Swain and Macon counties soundly defeated land-transfer tax ballot initiatives Tuesday, dashing hopes that the newly approved measures would provide a new revenue source.
Wednesday, 07 November 2007 00:00

Franklin takes steps to fix sewage woes

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Franklin town leaders are in the process of fixing some of the sewage spills throughout town, Franklin Town Manager Mike Decker said.
Wednesday, 14 November 2007 00:00

Recommended diversions

Ski season Count me among those who continue to be like a kid at Christmas when it’s the beginning of ski season. It’s a freeing feeling, strapping on skis and just flying down a hill with gravity as your motor.
By Michael Beadle When nurse Josie Ellis set out to take pictures of Hispanic migrant families several years ago, she had no intention of creating an art exhibit. It was simply an attempt to share photographs of children with their…
Wednesday, 14 November 2007 00:00

Tuckasegee quarry permit denied

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Tuckasegee community members are at ease now that the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources denied a quarry permit to Carolina Boulder and Stone.
Wednesday, 14 November 2007 00:00

Carter through the eyes of a friend

Prophet From Plains: Jimmy Carter and His Legacy by Frye Gaillard. University of Georgia Press, 2007. 144 pages In the prologue to Prophet From Plains: Jimmy Carter and His Legacy (University of Georgia Press, 2007), Frye Gaillard writes that his…
Wednesday, 14 November 2007 00:00

Gauging a country’s greatness

By David Curtis Making the rounds in teacher’s email inboxes is a story about an educator from Arkansas who taught her students an invaluable lesson on the right to an education.
Wednesday, 14 November 2007 00:00

Highlands prepares for mixed drinks, beer

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Restaurant patrons in Highlands will soon be able to sip on rum and coke while eating a steak or order a pitcher of beer while eating pizza now that citizens voted “yes” to an…
Last Tuesday’s vote was as illuminating as any recent elections, and it should send a few good signals to those already looking ahead to 2008.
Wednesday, 14 November 2007 00:00

Haywood TDA shakeup underway

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Legislation passed in the most recent session of the General Assembly calls for the restructuring of the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority Board.
Wednesday, 14 November 2007 00:00

Courthouse on track for bicentennial festivities

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer The renovation of Haywood County’s historic courthouse is halfway complete, and things continue to move along smoothly — for the most part.
Wednesday, 14 November 2007 00:00

Winter preparation

If you’ve been getting out in the woods at all lately, you’re aware that it’s been an especially good season for chipmunks; indeed, perhaps because of the late frosts and dry weather, it’s been a chipmunk kind of fall. They…
Wednesday, 14 November 2007 00:00

Filling up a room with more than a table

By Sarah Kucharski Sunlight streams in our house’s south facing windows. The rays bring out the color in the Kiatt wood that makes up the top of the new table sitting in our dining room.
Wednesday, 14 November 2007 00:00

Krauss and Plant deliver no less than expected

By Chris Cooper It’s not such an odd pairing when you think about it; two voices as recognizable as these, weaving and twisting around each other, using their considerable interpretive skills on a set of songs written by the likes…
Wednesday, 14 November 2007 00:00

Avian rescue at Central Elementary

It’s a little unsettling to hear your kindergartner’s voice when you answer the phone at midday. But I could tell immediately from Izzy’s voice that she was OK — just a bit excited.
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Snow is once again blowing at the Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley, marking the official start of the winter ski season in Western North Carolina.
Wednesday, 14 November 2007 00:00

New mayor embraces new face of Bryson City

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer The election of Brad Walker, Bryson City’s new mayor, is more than just a changing of the guard — it’s representative of how the tiny Swain County town has transformed in recent years from…
Wednesday, 21 November 2007 00:00

Of Fathers and Wardrobes

Men’s Style: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Dress by Russell Smith. Thomas Dunne Books, 2007. 256 pages. For many years Bill Cosby has passionately sought to shore up the deteriorating American family. Both “The Cosby Show” and Cosby’s best-selling Fatherhood…
Wednesday, 21 November 2007 00:00

Recommended diversions

Omnivore’s Dilemma What should we eat for dinner? Do we buy organic? Do we grow our own food? Should we eat fewer carbs or curb our protein? The basic idea of what to eat now fraught with unprecedented choice and…
By Brent Martin For those who have read Charles Frazier’s excellent Western North Carolina tale, Thirteen Moons, you will most likely remember his descriptions of the dark Nantahala Mountains and the vivid imagery associated with their empty night skies and…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer If all goes as planned, Haywood County will one day be home to a 4,500-acre mega-resort that could drastically change the face of tourism in Western North Carolina — and what it means to…
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Voters in Macon County rejected a $42.1 million bond that would have provided new funding to build new schools, leaving county officials no choice but to seek out alternative funding.
Wednesday, 21 November 2007 00:00

Surreptitious sounds

By Chris Cooper Every so often a few releases slip beneath the radar, or at least my radar. Massachusetts based Rounder Records released a few (honestly, more than a few) fine recordings over the last year, notably those by endearingly…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer It’s been more than a week since Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue raised some eyebrows with his atypical approach to getting rain to fall in the drought-ravaged state. With no rainfall in site and the…
Wednesday, 21 November 2007 00:00

The last syrup of makers

By Brent Martin • Contributing Writer I recently met with Merritt Fouts, a multi-generational resident of Macon County, to talk about his family’s syrup making that would take place the next day. Merritt is a retired school principal and editor…
Wednesday, 21 November 2007 00:00

Cherokee asks for input into corridor planning

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer As Jackson County officials work to develop a plan to regulate commercial growth along U.S. 441, officials from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians say a partnership needs to be formed to ensure that…
Wednesday, 21 November 2007 00:00

Charlotte voters make tough, smart choice

These days Americans aren’t known for making tough choices. To the contrary, our national reputation is one of being soft. We eat too many bad foods and complain about our health, sit around way too much instead of exercising, and…
Wednesday, 21 November 2007 00:00

Horton returns to WNC as Macon county manager

By Jennifer Garlesky & Becky Johnson • Staff Writers An influential yet controversial figure in public policy is reclaiming a leadership post in the mountains three years after his forced departure as Haywood County’s manager.
Wednesday, 21 November 2007 00:00

How the cookie crumbles

I look at you. You look at me. We’re dancing sort of, but I’m not much of a dancer and neither are you. There is no practical reason why you would want or need to buy cookie dough from my…
By Julia Merchant and Becky Johnson • Staff Writers One of the consultants involved in pulling off Cataloochee Wilderness Resorts — a 4,500 acre development supposedly coming to Haywood County — has raised some eyebrows in the community.
Wednesday, 21 November 2007 00:00

Aerial assassins

Alaskan shooters are poised to take to the skies again this year to slaughter as many wolves as possible. This is about to happen despite the fact that the Airborne Hunting Act of 1972 makes the use of aircraft to…
Wednesday, 21 November 2007 00:00

Allen ends bid for re-election

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Sylva town board member Danny Allen conceded his race against fellow board member Ray Lewis on Monday, settling the tie between the two candidates following the Nov. 6 election.
Wednesday, 21 November 2007 00:00

Quiz time

Naturalists are always being quizzed about this or that. Turn about is fair play. So, are you ready for a natural history quiz? Here are 20 questions related to the natural history of the southern mountains. My answers are given…
By Michael Beadle For the longest time, Buffy Queen and John Buckley wanted to share their love of movies with other people. As avid film fans, they’d see an amazing documentary and say to themselves, “People need to see this.”
Wednesday, 28 November 2007 00:00

Burrell, Setzer plug plan for Southern Loop

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Members of Jackson County Smart Roads Alliance are sifting through paperwork at the North Carolina Department of Transportation Division 14 office in Webster to find out how the Southern Loop road project suddenly appeared…
Wednesday, 28 November 2007 00:00

Even Grinch knows Christmas isn’t in the store

“And they’re hanging their stockings!” he snarled with a sneer. “Tomorrow is Christmas! It’s practically here!” Then he growled, with his grinch fingers nervously drumming, “I MUST find a way to keep Christmas from coming!” — The Grinch   Most…
Wednesday, 28 November 2007 00:00

Pardon the irruption

Common redpolls have been reported in Chatham County and evening grosbeaks in Catawba County here in North Carolina. Bohemian waxwings and pine grosbeaks have been recorded from Maine to Michigan and Wisconsin. It looks like winter finches may be on…
Wednesday, 28 November 2007 00:00

Today’s youth are missing in action

I was 22 years old in 1967. Although it’s become fashionable to downgrade the sweeping changes brought about by my generation to the meaningless antics of a bunch of spaced-out druggies and naive idealists, history confirms that we really shook…
Wednesday, 28 November 2007 00:00

An English breakdown

Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog: The Quirky History and Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences by Kitty Burns Florey. Melville House Publishing, 2006. 154 pages. Lovers of the English language have always suffered the pistol-whip cuts of poor spelling, dreadful grammar, and…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Looking to start your own business? You should do well in Western North Carolina. Seeking a job in traditional manufacturing? Good luck, experts say — it won’t be easy to find.
Wednesday, 28 November 2007 00:00

Recommended diversions

“The Santaland Diaries” If you’re reading this, you may already be too late — get thee right now to a phone and call the Asheville Community Theater to reserve tickets for David Sedaris’ short story turned play, “The Santaland Diaries.”…
Wednesday, 28 November 2007 00:00

Smokies plates lead to annual sales record

Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park appear to have hit a home run with a new license plate design sporting the image of a black bear.
Wednesday, 28 November 2007 00:00

The essential nature of winter

When late November finally arrives, my wife, Elizabeth, and I go into another mode. Her busy season in the gallery-studio she operates here on the town square in Bryson City pretty much comes to an end. The Elderhostel programs, workshops…