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By Michael Beadle Making a mess never looked so fun. It’s Friday morning at Studio 598 in downtown Sylva, and art instructor Norma Smith is guiding several young students through a fresco workshop. These Jackson County home-schoolers range in age…
Wednesday, 10 October 2007 00:00

Where do postage stamps come from?

By Sami Felmet • Columnist My muse seems to be marred in divorce and family issues lately. I think it was about this time of year that I became a single woman again. There were some surprises along the way.…
Wednesday, 10 October 2007 00:00

The wilderness around the corner

For the more intrepid sojourner, the word “wilderness” may conjure up visions of Death Valley, the Alaska Peninsula or the Atchafalaya Swamp. For a soon-to-be 2-year-old and a soon-to-be 6-year-old, a wilderness may be as close as a nearby weedy…
Wednesday, 10 October 2007 00:00

New owners cut 150 jobs at paper mill

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer A round of layoffs struck Evergreen Packaging (formerly Blue Ridge Paper) last week when officials cut the positions of 28 salaried employees outright and decided to eliminate 122 hourly positions through attrition.
Wednesday, 10 October 2007 00:00

Crowded field seeks Canton seats

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Five candidates are stepping up to challenge the four incumbents on Canton’s town board, who are all running for re-election. For the past several election cycles, the board has gone unopposed. Two major issues…
Wednesday, 10 October 2007 00:00

An undefined culture gets its own guide

Emo. Emo. Emoooooo. Occasionally the word (pronounced, I believe, I-moo) pops up on the Internet or jumps out of some conversation overheard on the street, snagging the ear and eye, but I keep ignoring it. The word and concept belong…
Wednesday, 10 October 2007 00:00

Recommended diversions

The Green Book Looking for more ways to help save energy costs and be more environmentally responsible? Check out this helpful book from Elizabeth Rogers and Thomas M. Kostigen. It’s chock full of easy-to-follow tips for helping save the planet…
Wednesday, 17 October 2007 00:00

A Storm in the Big Easy

The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke. Simon & Schuster, 2007. 384 pages. Fans of James Lee Burke’s bayou detective, Dave Robicheaux, have doubtless wondered not if, but how well, Burke would incorporate Hurricane Katrina into his next novel…
Wednesday, 17 October 2007 00:00

Ex Tempore: Impromptu excellence

By Chris Cooper I first heard Johnny Irion years ago at a little venue in Charlotte. He was performing with his then quite pregnant wife Sarah Lee Guthrie, and the two of them exemplified everything that’s good about smart, latter…
By Kathryn Sherrard • Contributing Writer Do you like to visit a state or national park? Why? For thousands of us, it is the chance to see wildlife. People flock to see bears, elk, moose, deer, wild turkeys, foxes, coyotes,…
Wednesday, 17 October 2007 00:00

Recovering a ghost

NBC News did a segment of their “Fleecing of America” on the $27.8 million proposed by the recovery plan, which prompted a flurry of emails in the blogosphere and across birding listservs noting that $27.8 million was a paltry sum…
Wednesday, 17 October 2007 00:00

Breaking the made in China addiction

By Angela Faye Martin My husband is unwittingly celebrating my month-long, albeit relative, independence from Chinese goods. He sits across from me at an all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet in Sylva. Realizing that we chose Chinese, I remark, “you know, this marks…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer A mammogram costs $200 out of pocket. A round of radiation is close to $40,000. And so far, this bill doesn’t include chemotherapy, a mastectomy, or hospital stays.
Wednesday, 17 October 2007 00:00

Two more seek 11th District GOP nomination

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Spence Campbell, chair of the Henderson County Republican Club, declared his intentions two weeks ago to run for the 11th Congressional District seat against Rep. Heath Shuler.
Wednesday, 17 October 2007 00:00

Two more seek 11th District GOP nomination

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Last week, John Armor, a Highlands attorney, became the third candidate to declare his bid for the 11th District Congressional seat.
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer The removal of an anonymous opinion column in the Cherokee One Feather has sparked a heated freedom of speech debate among Cherokee leaders.
Wednesday, 17 October 2007 00:00

Uncovering winter’s delight

Some trees that might be difficult to locate during the spring through fall foliage season become more apparent in winter. This is the instance with sweetgum, which holds its leaves into early winter after most other deciduous trees have shed…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Bright yellow sunflowers ring the edges of Skipper Russell’s Cold Mountain Corn Maize in Canton, a memorial to his wife, Frances, who lost her battle with renal cell and thyroid cancer this February.
Wednesday, 17 October 2007 00:00

Sharing the moments as time marches on

By David Curtis Does time go by faster the older you get, or do we just have a better way to gauge its passing?
The dean of Western Carolina University’s Honors College hopes to replicate a successful fundraiser from a decade ago when he begins a three-day bicycle ride to Mount Mitchell to raise scholarship money for the college’s students.
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Now that a site has been chosen for the new Jackson County library, the Friends of the Library have a huge undertaking — raising up to $1 million for furnishing the interior of the…
Wednesday, 17 October 2007 00:00

Tax opponents organize in Macon, Swain

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer A property transfer tax that could potentially bring nearly a million dollars a year to county coffers is meeting fierce opposition in two Western North Carolina counties where the tax will appear on the…
Wednesday, 17 October 2007 00:00

Recommended diversions

Rock On: An Office Power Ballad Written by Dan Kennedy, this venture into life in the corporate music business isn’t available to the general public until Feb. 12, 2008. But that’s OK. That just means that you can go ahead…
Wednesday, 17 October 2007 00:00

The right too often hides behind the children

On a political talk show recently, a well-known Republican political consultant spent a lot of time attacking public schools in North Carolina and the people who run them. No surprise there.
Wednesday, 24 October 2007 00:00

Sharon Jones conjures up the heart of soul

By Chris Cooper Sharon Jones and her amazing band of funk/soul revivalists were responsible for one of the happiest musical misunderstandings I’ve ever experienced. Having seen her previous CD filed in the blues section of the local record shop, with…
Wednesday, 24 October 2007 00:00

Residents debate motives behind proposed road

Some Macon County residents are questioning the need for a proposed $11.5 million road project billed by the N.C. Department of Transportation as vital to assist development.
Wednesday, 24 October 2007 00:00

The gall

The various relationships that exist between plants and animals are fascinating. My view of wildflower ecology is dominated by the specific pollination requirements of a given plant. Insect pollination is usually a two-way exchange in which the insect benefits as…
Wednesday, 24 October 2007 00:00

Watershed logging remains election issue

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer An issue that caused a firestorm of controversy for Waynesville’s current town board is rearing its head in this election cycle — and may prove to be a defining factor in how voters cast…
Wednesday, 24 October 2007 00:00

A health care fix is needed

Our story last week about a fund that helps women pay for breast cancer testing and treatment pointed out cracks in the health care system. It’s not surprising that this situation exists, and while we hope the funding issues for…
Wednesday, 24 October 2007 00:00

Free press and tribal politics

The decision by Michell Hicks, chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, to do away with a column in The Cherokee One Feather was a mistake.
Wednesday, 24 October 2007 00:00

Forgotten poetry illuminated by Dark Horses

Dark Horses: Poets on Overlooked Poems by Joy Katz and Kevin Prufer.  University of Illinois Press, 2007. 232 pages Dark Horses: Poets on Overlooked Poems (University of Illinois Press, 2007) might seem at first glance merely another collection in the…
Wednesday, 24 October 2007 00:00

Four options considered for the new road

The N.C. Department of Transportation is mulling four options for a new road in Macon County that would facilitate future development, but some members of the community wonder why a fifth option — simply improving the existing road — isn’t…
Wednesday, 24 October 2007 00:00

Halloween recipes

Pumpkin Nut Bread 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon each salt and baking soda 1/2 teaspoon each cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon each baking powder, browned allspice and cloves 1/2 cup of softened butter 1 cup packed dark brown…
Wednesday, 24 October 2007 00:00

Siler Road timeline

The benefits to private development of the Siler Road project in Macon County figured prominently in early planning documents and meetings, but were later toned down. Here’s a time line.
Wednesday, 24 October 2007 00:00

Something Pumpkin this way rolls ...

By Michael Beadle Carve ‘em. Cook ‘em. Turn ‘em into glowing faces. There’s plenty you can do with this year’s bounty of pumpkins.
Wednesday, 24 October 2007 00:00

The Naturalist's Corner

I’m so dizzy I tripped over the equinox and fell backwards away from the sun, and now I’m spinning so fast it takes me longer to raise my head high enough to see the sunrise. The light quickly passes my…
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer A complaint filed against the Macon County School Board over questionable campaign actions has the school district in hot water with the North Carolina Board of Elections.
Wednesday, 24 October 2007 00:00

Days like these can go on forever

I miss all those Sundays at my grandma’s house, so many Sundays, so many years. Once upon a time, it seemed we would never run out of them. It seemed as if there would always be cars lined up like…
Wednesday, 24 October 2007 00:00

Recommended diversions

“Away From Her” Based on the great short story “The Bear Came Over The Mountain” by the ever-amazing Alice Munro, “Away From Her,” adapted for the screen and directed by 28-year-old Sarah Polley, chronicles the devastation of Alzheimer’s without flinching…
Wednesday, 31 October 2007 00:00

Overnight hibernation

As I write this on Monday morning, we’ve just had our initial hard frost of the year here in Swain County. For the first time in seven or so months, I had to dig around and find my windshield scraper.…
Wednesday, 31 October 2007 00:00

Some people really can work miracles

By Stephanie Wampler I walked across the floor, the crowds cheering, the woman smiling as she handed me an award. Then the crowd fell utterly silent. I turned towards the camera man, smiled, and held up my plaque. It was…
The Land Trust for the Little Tennessee has taken the protection of the historic landscape one step further with the recent purchase of a century-old general store in the Cowee community in Macon County.
Wednesday, 31 October 2007 00:00

Recommended diversions

Brian Regan Live! Whether you purchase this CD or simply Google Brian Regan on your computer, you will find yourself listening to one of the funniest comedians to arrive on the scene in years. Brian Regan performs riffs on everything…
Wednesday, 31 October 2007 00:00

The nice ones are all red and shiny

By David Curtis If you are driving west along U.S. 23/74 and nearing exit 102, the Waynesville exit, you will see growing along side the road, a tree radiating a brilliant red. Chances are, you will also say something like,…
Wednesday, 31 October 2007 00:00

Transfer tax would help Swain schools

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer After several years of trying to secure funding for school improvements, Swain County officials say that money generated by a land transfer tax may be the answer they’ve been looking for.
Wednesday, 31 October 2007 00:00

Bear frenzy over acorns attracts a crowd

Sometimes Bill Stiver, a wildlife biologist in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, feels more like a social scientist than animal expert — especially when it comes to bears and tourists.
Wednesday, 31 October 2007 00:00

Who’ll pay the price?

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer It’s lunchtime in downtown Hazelwood, and the small area’s only parking lot of roughly 30 spaces is jam-packed. People jump out of their cars to grab a bite to eat, a haircut, medications, or…
By Michael Beadle Indulge in a seven-course meal that includes roasted pheasant, foie gras and braised wild boar. Sip award-winning wines from Tuscany. Savor sushi, soft-shell crab and sake. Tempt your tongue with rich chocolates.
Wednesday, 31 October 2007 00:00

What to do when you meet a bear

In his younger, more naïve hiking days, Joel Zachary found himself watching in slow motion as a bear charged toward him.
Wednesday, 31 October 2007 00:00

Halloween Ramblings, 2007

There’s a connection between being a musician and Halloween that goes beyond the obvious skulls/pumpkins/fake blood/heavy metal stereotype, at least for me. It’s a holiday where you can be as nutty as you want; roll yourself in tinfoil and carry…