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Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:31

Has Maggie found its heroine?

Longtime Maggie Valley resident Alaska Presley has seen it all when it comes to Ghost Town in the Sky’s ups and downs. Presley, now 88, and her late husband Hugh met R.B. Coburn, founder of Ghost Town, more than 50…
Tears gathered in Alaska Presley’s eyes as she moved one step closer to attaining a Maggie Valley icon that has remained close to her heart but out of her possession for more than 50 years. Surrounded by supporters, former Ghost…
Steve Heatherly made sure there were plenty of Diet Cokes queued up in the office mini-fridge before work Monday morning — he would need at least a dozen, probably more, to get through the next 24 hours. Heatherly faced hundreds…
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:24

Shared finances complicate MedWest partnership

Some within the Jackson County medical community are wondering whether their hospital has gotten a fair shake in the partnership forged with neighbor Haywood County under the MedWest umbrella two years ago. When the hospitals in Haywood, Jackson and Swain…
Wednesday, 15 February 2012 21:24

Haywood schools score major grant

The Haywood County School District has landed a $1 million grant to fight childhood obesity by encouraging an active, healthy lifestyle through the Carol M. White P.E. program. Haywood County Schools was one of only 76 successful applications selected from…
A domestic violence and sexual assault agency serving victims of abuse in Jackson County abruptly shut its doors last week after more than three decades in operation. REACH of Jackson County has been plagued for two years by an on-going…
Tuesday, 07 February 2012 21:33

Chocolate Cook-off planned for Feb. 11

The Friends of the Marianna Black Library will host the 5th Annual Chocolate Cook-Off between 2 and 4 p.m., Feb. 11, at the Bryson City Presbyterian Church on Everett Street. The event will raise money to help the library improve…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:54

Geronimo’s brush with Western North Carolina

The names Geronimo and Gen. George Cook are interwoven in the lore of northern Mexico, southeastern Arizona, western New Mexico and the Indian territories in Oklahoma. An association with the Smokies region and the remnant Eastern Band of Cherokees in…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:54

Blue Ridge Breakaway wins critical acclaim

The Blue Ridge Breakaway was recently named the 2011 Ride of the Year by blogger Aaron West of StepClimbs.com. The cycling event brought more than 400 riders to Haywood County last August, and placed first for overall enjoyment. Blogger West,…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:53

Women’s and girl’s sports day

Women and girls can learn about a variety of activities that will inspire them to lead active, healthy lives at National Girls And Women in Sports Day, set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at the UNC-Asheville…
Waynesville Middle School student Jed Messer designed a project about water quality for the regional science fair. The project was part of work for Messer’s sixth-grade science class. “Students at Waynesville Middle School take part in a science fair that…
With several centuries under its belt, the Osborne Boundary Oak on N.C. 110 in Haywood County’s Bethel community has long since qualified for the historic marker recently erected alongside it. Historic Preservation Committee members with the Bethel Rural Community Organization…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:51

Order those fruit trees and berry bushes

The Swain County Cooperative Extension is now taking orders for 3- to 4-foot tall apple, pear and peach trees, plus three-year-old blueberry, two-year-old grape and thornless blackberry varieties. Money raised will be put into the Swain County 4-H fund and…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:51

Lace up your boots and hit the Walhalla Trail

A hike on the Walhalla Trail at Cataloochee Ranch is set for Saturday, Feb. 11, a postponement of an earlier hike date. The 4-mile hike will begin at 11 a.m. at Cataloochee Ranch, a private preserve and eco-tourism location located…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:50

Shiitake mushroom workshop in Swain

Learn how to grow your own shiitake mushrooms through the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service and the Master Gardener Association from 9 a.m. until noon on Feb. 25 at the Swain Extension Center at 60 Almond School Road. The workshop is…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:50

Beekeeping class being held this month

An introductory beekeeping class will be held this month in Haywood County from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, and Saturday, Feb. 25, at the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service building. Topics covered include equipment, selection of beehive…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:49

Grab the binoculars and get ready to count

The Great Backyard Bird Count, an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent, is coming up. This year’s version of the…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:48

Punxsutawney Phil was right

I think the shrewd rodent hedges his bet a bit. I mean if you think about it, the difference between Feb. 2 and March 20, first day of spring, is about six weeks. So to say there will be six…
Anyone can run or bike. And if any two people could testify to that, it’s Gerri Grady and Hugh Lambert. Both Grady and Lambert have used exercise to overcome health problems. Now, both are leaders in two separate exercise- and…
Judith Toy, ordained by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh as a core member of his order, will be at City Lights Bookstore at 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 11 to read from her book, Murder as a Call to Love.…
Author Art Ramsay will present a free workshop based on his newest spiritual adventure novel, The Tibetan Wisdom Code at 3 p.m. on Feb. 11 at Blue Ridge Books & Cafe on Main Street in Waynesville. The event will include…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:39

Book delves into a dark corner of our world

Thursday. Throughout this anguished and gripping tale, this day of the week, Thursday” is usually italicized, suggesting that it has some special (and possibly sinister) significance. Specifically, it is the day that Eva Khatchadourian’s son, Kevin (two days shy of…
Relive the classic age of MGM movies, the magic of Disney and the special effects of contemporary film through the music that made them memorable as sung by Voices in the Laurel Children’s Choirs. The Valentine’s concert will be held…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:38

Songwriters festival announces contest

Songwriters have three months to enter The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival 2012 Songwriters Contest in Gatlinburg. “The primary goal of the SMSWF 2012 Songwriters Contest is to showcase and bring a broader spotlight to the talent we have here in…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:37

Share the Warmth concert is Feb. 12

Haywood Community College and Champion Credit Union will once again host a Share the Warmth benefit concert from 2 until 5 p.m. on Feb. 12. Donations collected will go 100 percent to Mountain Projects to help area residents with heating…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:36

Artist-in-residence Andrea Dezsö to speak Feb. 9

Visual artist Andrea Dezsö will speak at 4 p.m., Feb. 9, in Room 130 of the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University. The lecture is free and the public is invited. Originally from Eastern…
Whimzik, a mask and music performance, will perform a Valentine’s dinner theater at 7 p.m. on Feb. 14 at the Mad Batter Bakery & Café in Cullowhee. Kjelsty Hanson wears masks that she sculpts while Glenn Kastrinos improvises to her…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:35

Woodworkers’ art on display in Sylva

A new display at the Jackson County Public Library in Sylva showcases the artistic work of 10 local woodworkers. The display opened in late January and will remain on view until March 31. It features the work of Jackson County…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:34

Hornbostel, Teves to perform in Bryson

Lois Hornbostel and Ehukai Teves will perform a concert at 3p.m. on Feb. 12 at the Swain County Center for the Arts in Bryson City. Their music will feature dulcimer, ukulele and the Chapman Stick guitar along with original songs…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:34

Community band begins its 10th season

The Haywood Community Band will begin rehearsing for its 10th season of free concerts. Concerts take place on the third Sunday of each month from May to October and are held in Maggie Valley. In addition to the scheduled themed…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:33

Haywood’s Taste of Chocolate is April 21

The Haywood Jackson Volunteer Center is looking for volunteers to help coordinate its annual Taste of Chocolate fundraiser as well as bakers to participate in the event. The fundraiser will take place April 21 at the Maggie Valley Country Club.…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:32

Workshop, Valentine’s party for kids in Macon

Elementary school-aged children and their families are invited to a free ARTSaturday workshop and Valentine party from 10 a.m. to noon on Feb. 11 at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin. Make-and-take projects include 3-D valentine cards and decorations,…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:32

Learn card embroidery at Feb. 16 workshop

Learn how to make handmade cards for any occasion from weddings to birth announcements to holidays with card makers Doris Mackey and Pam Galloway on Feb. 16. Mackey and Galloway will teach an “Embroidery on Cards” workshop from 10 a.m.…
Local artist Jo Ridge Kelley will exhibit the latest painting from her WaterDance series at The Jeweler’s Workbench on Main Street in Waynesville starting Feb. 11. The paintings are a personal expression in vivid colors played against subdued darks with…
The Liars Bench, a program featuring authentic traditional Southern Appalachian storytelling, music, poetry, and drama, has announced that its February performances will be a benefit for the organization. In addition to Liars Bench regulars, the February performances will feature a…
Sarah T. Meltzer, an assistant professor of secondary education at Western Carolina University, has published her book Step-by-Step Professional Development in Technology. The educational book offers guidelines for bringing about effective professional development in technology and contains tools and resources…
The HART Studio season continues this week with “Collected Stories” by noted playwright Donald Margulies. Margulies won the Pulitzer Prize for his 2000 play “Dinner With Friends,” and has followed that up with a number major works on and off…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:21

Serena headed to the big screen

Ron Rash’s novel, Serena, was birthed in an image: his mind’s eye pictured a woman on horseback. From the woman’s posture on that horse, her very way of being, Rash said he knew this would be a novel about a…
A good friend of old came to stay last week. A great respecter of proper etiquette, she provided ample warning of her pending arrival, noting that she planned on getting in midweek and staying for the foreseeable future. That bold…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:19

Newspaper criticism was just off the mark

To the Editor: I had to read “Shame on you, SMN, for poking fun” (Smoky Mountain News, Feb. 1 edition) twice before I grasped that Danya VanHook was serious in her criticism of The Smoky Mountain News and hurt by…
To the Editor: In a recent article in The Smoky Mountain News, Jackson County Commissioner Jack Debnam was quoted as saying that he did not believe in self-gratification. The Debnam quote went on to say “I would prefer the plaque…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:17

Who does Sen. Jim Davis really represent?

To the Editor: State Sen. Jim Davis had an excellent idea. He suggested that anyone who wondered about contributions to his 2010 campaign could just check out the NC. Board of Elections website. I did. Here is what I found.…
In this country built on capitalism, it’s a constant source of antagonism among politicians and citizens. I’m talking about the intersection of government aid to private businesses, and when is too little and when is too much. Jackson County has…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:15

Candidate forum to be held in Bryson City

Several Republican candidates for the 11th Congressional District will participate in a Feb. 17 forum sponsored by the Smoky Mountain Republican Women. The forum will be held at 7 p.m. at the Swain County Community Services Facility on Brendle Street…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:14

Girl Scouts seeking new troop leaders

In an effort to recruit new Troop Leaders and volunteers, Girl Scouts will host “Information Hours” from 1 to 6 p.m., Feb. 15, at the Haywood County Library in Waynesville. Current Troop Leaders, parents and Girl Scouts are also welcome…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:13

Class on self-defense for women Feb. 16

Western Carolina University is offering a self-defense class for women Thursday, Feb. 16. The class, sponsored by WCU’s Division of Educational Outreach, will be held from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in Room 143 of the Cordelia Camp Building. The class will focus…
Whittier’s $5 million wastewater treatment plant could be facing eventual financial insolvency, saddled with too much overhead and too few customers to make operation viable. The sewer plant, in hindsight, was overbuilt for growth and development that failed to materialize…
The Haywood Board of Commissioners agreed to put its John Hancock on a letter asking the N.C. Department of Transportation to post an additional “This way to Cherokee” sign near Dillsboro. The letter is a classic case of turn-about being…
Wednesday, 08 February 2012 21:09

Gender equality on pay under the magnifying glass

Western Carolina University has launched a pay study to determine whether male employees are paid more than their female counterparts when doing the same jobs. The study is expected to take up to two years to complete. It has been…
Swain County’s Board of Elections will decide this month whether it is worth several thousand dollars to operate an early voting site in Cherokee again this election year. The three-member election board all agreed the county might not be able…