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The northern slopes of Little Sandy Mush Bald, an iconic view for those who live in the coves and farms of the surrounding Sandy Mush community in Buncombe County, will remain undeveloped following the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy’s purchase of…
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 15:57

Arboretum to memorialize landscaping great

The father of American landscape architecture will soon be memorialized at the North Carolina Arboretum.
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 15:56

Learn from Leopold

Aldo Leopold and his writings are cornerstones of modern environmental ethic, and a program teaching how to use his work as a springboard to engage students in natural science and literature is now being offered through the Jackson and Swain…
Though a mixture of rain and ice pelted the windshield as I headed toward the Balsam Gap access of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the forecast was calling for a high of 52 and the car thermometer read 48 degrees.  I…
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 15:49

King’s newest novel is as good as it gets

During the past 60 years, I have maintained a hearty appreciation for what is called “fantasy/horror” literature. I guess it began with the dark little fairy tales of Lord Dunsany, Arthur Machen and yes, the Grimm Fairy Tales, and it…
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 15:37

Three men walk into a bar ...

To the Editor: A rich man, a middle class man and a poor man walk into a bar. They sit at a table with 12 cookies. The rich man takes 11 cookies and then tells the middle class man that…
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 15:32

Harris Regional committed to the region

Over the past couple of months there has been a fair amount of coverage in area media outlets about the “changing” landscape of women’s health care services in Western North Carolina. A couple of individuals have chosen to provide their…
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 15:25

Pardon the explanation, but I can’t help myself

I am living the days I have dreamed of all my life. “One day,” I said, somewhere ages and ages ago, “I will have children, and I will watch the Super Bowl with them just like I watched it with…
Anna Eason has nothing but good things to say about Haywood County Public Schools. It’s a “good school system,” doing “an amazing job with what the state gives.” Two of her three children are students there now, and she herself…
More than 30 downtown Waynesville businesses are offering discounts for local residents throughout the month of February. Look for the big red heart on the door and be prepared to show proof of local residence.
Law enforcement officers in Western North Carolina have been spending too much time and money driving all across the state in search of available hospital beds. When magistrate judges issue an involuntary committal order, an officer from that county is…
It’s been two weeks since new property values hit the mailboxes in Macon County, but there’s nary a line to be seen at the county property appraisal office. Only 400 appeals have trickled in so far. The last property revaluation…
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 14:59

Macon planning board drafts noise ordinance

Macon County Planning Board members are still hashing out the details of a proposed noise ordinance.  The board held two meetings in January to figure out what language could be used to help address complaints about nuisance neighbors intentionally making…
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 14:54

Counties facing animal control inadequacies

Commissioners in Western North Carolina counties have been discussing the growing need for better animal control services.  While Jackson and Haywood County are struggling with inadequate animal shelter facilities, Swain County lacks a facility and an ordinance to deal with…
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 14:53

Nonprofit employer set to expand in Sylva

Webster Enterprises is growing, and a newly leased building on Harold Street in Sylva is expected to allow the nonprofit to expand a recently added component of its business and add at least 30 local jobs.
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 14:51

Dead dog drama

There’s no doubt that No Name has neighbors who are upset about noise. Next-door neighbor James Lupo had approached the town board in 2012 to complain, and according to Carl King, who lives next to Lupo, the sound is so…
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 14:48

Sylva to get an earful over bar noise dispute

A showdown over noise at No Name Sports Pub is on tap for the Sylva Town Board meeting Feb. 5.  With their own respective petitions in hand, both the bar’s supporters and its neighbors who are upset about the noise…
Jay Coward will keep his job as Jackson County attorney — for five more months, at least.  When a new board of commissioners took over in December, they put out a call for applications to select a new attorney, pulling…
If all goes according to plan, Jackson County could have a permanent homeless shelter up and running by April.  That “if,” though, is a big one. Jackson Neighbors in Need hopes to get commissioners’ approval to lease the old rescue…
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 14:42

HCC rolls out rebranded products

Trying to create a small logo that encompasses everything Haywood Community College stands for is no easy task.  But with only three letters and a symbolic leaf, Aaron Mabry, marketing and communication director, thinks he and Lee White Media pulled…
Overbearing language in Haywood County’s emergency management protocols is being revised to make it more palatable to civil liberty watchdogs. The emergency plan spells out powers the county can evoke in a major crisis — be it a mundane blizzard…
The town of Franklin recently passed a Charitable Solicitations ordinance in order to have more control over groups who stand in the middle of the road asking for money. But it appears the ordinance has backfired. The group the town…
There’s been a new turn in the much-anticipated redevelopment of Ingles’ super market site in Waynesville: Chick-fil-A has joined the party. Ingles’ site development plans on file with the town of Waynesville have been updated recently to include a Chick-fil-A…
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 00:00

‘Tar Heel Tour’ at WCU

There will be an interactive presentation to “tour” the state of North Carolina during “Tar Heel Tour: Our State, Our Time” from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, in the A.K. Hinds University Center at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 00:00

SCC offers $3,000 in artist biz plan contest

Professional craft artists in Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties and the Qualla Boundary have a $3,000 incentive to create or update their business plans.
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 00:00

Learn the art of paper cutting at two events

Valentine’s Day paper arts class A book/paper arts workshop will be held from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 7 at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville.
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 00:00

Uptown Gallery re-opening in Franklin

The Macon County Art Association will host a “Grand Re-Opening” of their Uptown Gallery from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13, at 30 East Main Street in Franklin.
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 00:00

Valentine’s Day jazz at Classic Wineseller

A special Valentine’s Day dinner and live performance by jazz singer Jesse Earl Junior will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14, at The Classic Wineseller in Waynesville.
Tuesday, 03 February 2015 15:30

Avalon brings the classics to Franklin

1950s pop sensation Frankie Avalon will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin.
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 00:00

This must be the place

Wait, what?! Ah, crap. By the time you read this, I’ll have turned 30. It’s a number that seemed as far away from reality as it was impossible to ever cross paths with. But, here it is, staring right at…
Wednesday, 04 February 2015 00:00

Good for what ales you

A rising tide lifts all ships. It’s not only a motto for life, but also for the ever-evolving cultural ambiance in downtown Sylva. From mainstays City Lights Café, Heinzelmannchen Brewery, Lulu’s On Main and Guadalupe Café, to newcomers like Innovation…
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 16:22

Cherokee knew how to handle the chill of winter

“Two or more Families join together in building a hot-house, about 30 feet Diameter, and 15 feet high, in form of a Cone, with Poles and thatched, without any air-hole, except a small door about 3 feet high and 18…
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 16:14

New museum to celebrate Fontana Dam’s 70th

A community museum and learning center at Fontana Village along Fontana Lake will commemorate the 70th anniversary of power production at Fontana Dam, thanks to an alliance between Proctor Revival Organization, Fontana Village Resort, Graham Revitalization Economic Action Team and…
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 16:13

More land conserved around Waterrock Knob

A 10-acre tract along the Blue Ridge Parkway and a new section of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in Jackson County will likely become Blue Ridge Parkway land following its Dec. 18, 2014, purchase by the Conservation Trust for North Carolina.
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 16:12

Grant allows kids hiking trails to expand

Trail adventures for kids will expand in North Carolina over the coming years, thanks to a $921,000 grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.
A three-year stream-mapping project in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is now complete, revealing new information about the park’s water resources.  Using a combination of aircraft-mounted scanners and a Global Positioning System verification system, scientists determined that the park…
It’s shaping up to be an exciting year for water-lovers in Western North Carolina. After more than a decade of hydropower relicensing negotiations and years more of permitting and construction, Duke Energy is finishing a slate of river accesses that…
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 16:02

Advice for becoming a body ‘gardener’

In French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure, Mirielle Guiliano produced a No. 1 New York Times bestseller and became an international sensation, with her book translated into 37 languages.  Now Guiliano is back with another…
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 15:51

This must be the place

It is the single greatest influence on my life. The people, music and culture that encompasses the Grateful Dead is the exact reason I find myself typing this right now. The sights and sounds associated with this melodic ocean liner…
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 15:49

Hardin display in Macon

A new showcase of work by artist Clint Hardin will be on display for the month of February at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin.
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 15:48

Irish psych-mystery stages at HART

The winter theater season continues with the Tony nominated Broadway play “Shining City” that will run at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 30-31 and at 3 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre in Waynesville.
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 15:47

Nicholson to bring bluegrass, Americana to WCU

Award-winning mandolinist Darren Nicholson of Balsam Range will perform with his solo band as part of the First Thursday concert series at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, in the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 15:44

State of the Arts — Haywood

As the crowd found their seats and got settled, all eyes were on Marty Sohovich. “I really believe 2014 was one of our best years,” he said. “And we’re turning a corner.”
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 15:34

Facts and beliefs are different animals

To the Editor: Vic Drummond’s recent letter about “The Economic and Employment Costs of Not Expanding Medicaid in NC.” was just opinion and left-wing propaganda and not fact at all.   It seemed apparent that Drummond has not read the…
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 15:34

U.S. youth need unifying experience

To the Editor: Historical injustices, real and perceived, create seeds of terrorism. Today’s policies create a fertile environment for the seeds of terrorism to flourish.  The first environmental factor is overpopulation. Where there is cultural pressure and/or lack of access…
By Bill Lea • Guest Columnist In the article about the bear dogs attacking a camper’s dogs (, Wallace Messer (a bear hunter whose dogs were not involved in the attack) begins by suggesting the blame for the attack should perhaps…
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 15:29

Surely there is a solution for noise dispute

Here’s hoping No Name Sports Pub and the town of Sylva can work out their differences on noise so that both get what they need. As it stands now, the establishment has stopped booking live music because neighbors have complained…
Southwestern Community College students who earn an associate’s degree in criminal justice technology have a new transfer option thanks to SCC’s recent articulation agreement with Lees McRae College in Banner Elk.
The Commission for a Clean County (CCC) has announced the 2014 winners of its annual Community Pride Awards program. This program honors businesses, community groups, civic clubs, schools and individuals (both adults and children) for exceptional efforts in the categories…
Wednesday, 28 January 2015 15:11

Broadband survey needs more rural responses

Haywood County leaders are still in the process of collecting data on broadband Internet service, but they need help from residents living in rural parts of the county.  Maggie Valley Mayor Ron DeSimone sits on the Haywood County Economic Development…