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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.
Swain County commissioners said they have fielded queries lately about why jail inmates aren’t put to work picking up trash along the roadsides or Tuckasegee River, and so in turn they posed that question to Swain County Sheriff Curtis Cochran…
A state bill that would bring Lake Junaluska into Waynesville’s town limits has cleared the N.C. Senate and is now headed for passage in the N.C. House of Representatives. The Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center and the 760-home residential…
County commissioners across the state are protesting proposed state budget cuts and bills that they say pass the buck and put more burdens on counties.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians could open a new $110 million casino in Murphy as early as spring 2015, with a temporary gambling operation up and running on the site in just a year from now.
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 12:48

Trial by dirt

While sunlight, water and good soil may seem a simple enough equation for getting a plant from seed to fruit, like anything it becomes a lot more complicated when people are involved. During the past decade, community gardens have been…
Western Carolina University is open to suggestions — from students, faculty and the general public — as it undergoes a campus-wide planning process that will steer infrastructure at the institution for the coming decade.
Landslide repairs to U.S. 441 through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park were completed early this week — reopening the primary tourist corridor through the park nearly a month ahead of schedule.
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 12:38

Empty Bowl: a meal and music with a cause

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The Empty Bowl fundraiser will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 26, at The Community Table in…
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 12:37

‘Greening Up the Mountains’ in Sylva

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 The 16th annual Greening Up the Mountains street festival will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 27,…
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 12:37

Dramatic comedy embraces small town life

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Haywood Arts Regional Theater in Waynesville will kick off its 29th main stage season this month with a stage adaptation…
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 12:36

Mom’s Music Fest returns to Waynesville

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The outdoor Mom’s Music Festival will be held from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, in Waynesville, featuring…