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Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:19

Groovy Movie Club to feature ‘Buck’

The Groovy Movie Club will host its first screening of the new year at 7 p.m. on Jan. 6. The Haywood County group will show the Sundance Film Festival’s 2011 Audience Award Winner for Documentary “Buck.” Buck, directed by Cindy…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:18

Voices in the Laurel holding auditions

Voices in the Laurel auditions for the 2012 winter season continue at the First Baptist Church, 100 S. Main St., in Waynesville. Singers in grades one through 12 are welcome to audition. Voices in the Laurel is a youth choral…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:17

Macon potter cuts ribbon on new studio

Hank Shuler has opened a new clay studio in Oak Grove. Having retired from Southwestern Community College two years ago, Shuler and her husband, Bruce, decided to design and build the studio. “It’s been great fun working with Bruce again.…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:15

The story behind the storyteller

Lloyd Arneach likes to make people cry. “That means they understand the stories I am telling,” said Arneach, a 68-year-old storyteller from Cherokee. “A superb storyteller in one program can make you laugh, make you think and move you to…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:10

Warm weather brings unseasonable activity

Cutting collards this past weekend, I was surprised to find colonies of purplish-colored aphids under many of the leaves. That discovery spurred me into a more extensive garden inventory. I discovered several of the more tender greens, such as the…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:09

Court ruling promises sleazy campaign season

To the Editor: Are you sickened by the millions of dollars spent to elect politicians at a time when too many of our citizens are hungry? Did you get disgusted by the incessant TV ads during the 2008 election season?…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:08

Medwest affiliation will benefit patients

By Kate Queen • Guest Columnist At the beginning of December, Mountain Medical Associates, an established, multi-specialty internal medicine practice in Clyde, joined the MedWest Physician Network. Our new affiliation with MedWest is a continuation of Mountain Medical Associates’ longstanding…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:05

A good time to get back to the beginning

I’ve put my keyboard-soft finger on what is probably the most common flaw of the human species: the unnerving tendency to quit doing what we know is good for us. Or, put another way, to make destructive or unwise choices.…
Town residents in Haywood County will almost certainly see the cost of their garbage service go up this year when the county shuts down its central trash dump. Starting in July, towns will have to haul their residents’ trash all…
With the advent of new leadership for commissioners, Macon County’s planning board could undergo a metamorphosis into what’s being dubbed a truer “advisory” role. In recent years, the planning board has been a magnet of negativity for factions on both…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 02:59

‘OccupyWNC’ a low-key, but intense affair

A loosely affiliated group of 30 some people have been quietly meeting, more or less each week, in Jackson County on the heels of an Occupy Sylva event held last October. This confederacy of the self-dubbed “99 percent” has morphed…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 02:58

Fighters rally to raise money for a good cause

A benefit to assist Western North Carolina resident Donna Smith, recently diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, is set for Jan. 14 at the Bird Town Recreation Center in Cherokee beginning at 7 p.m. The Palaestra Combat Sports Club, a mixed…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 02:58

New emergency services director in Macon

David Key, longtime assistant director of Macon County Emergency Services, will take over as the agency’s director. Key has held the position on an interim basis since mid-August. He has been with emergency services in that county for more than…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 02:57

DSS services continue during relocation

Haywood County residents needing aid from social services will continue to receive it as the department shifts physical locations. Employees will relocate to new offices on Friday, Jan. 6, and Monday, Jan. 9. The new building is the newly renovated,…
When Merrily Teasley returned for her second first day at the Balsam Mountain Inn in early September, a familiar couple was sitting on the entry room couch — a St. Louis duo who had visited the inn those years when she…
More than $2 million in mostly federal dollars will pay for repaving the runway at the Macon County Airport, likely boosting a surge of business-class jets now landing there since an extension of the runway was added last year. The…
New owners of the high-end Balsam Mountain Preserve development aren’t daunted by the choppy waters of Western North Carolina’s real estate landscape. Despite the still tepid demand for pricey second homes in the mountains, they say they have charted a…
The Haywood County Tourism Development Authority will hold two mandatory workshops this month for any organization or event organizer applying for a tourism grant. The meetings will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 10 and at 2 p.m. on…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 02:46

Bryson land-use standards up for public review

Critics of Bryson City’s land use regulations will get another opportunity to sandblast the ordinance. The town of Bryson City is inviting the public to a working meeting with the town planning board to discuss their concerns and issues with…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 02:43

Stuck in a rut: Too few jobs coming on line

Similar to other parts of the U.S., counties in Western North Carolina have been plagued with high unemployment rates and little job growth. “We have a lot still unemployed,” said Vicki Gribble, head of Haywood County’s Employment Security Commission. There…
People once again lined up at the Biltmore Square Mall in Asheville last week, but this time they weren't waiting for hours to see Santa Claus. Instead, they were looking for a belated Christmas gift — a job. The mall was…
The town of Fontana Dam can still send and receive mail via its own post office — at least for now. The U.S. Postal Service decided to delay closing or merging scores of post offices nationwide following protests from lawmakers…
Wildlife officers have charged a Cashiers man with killing a bear that he claimed was damaging his property, the second such case in Jackson County in less than a year. Jeffrey Spencer Green, 39, was charged recently with illegally shooting…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 02:28

Dogs’ anti-freeze deaths sadden families

Two dogs in the rural countryside of Upper Crabtree in Haywood County died from antifreeze poisoning last week, a tragic fate that has left the dog owners wondering whether it was an accident or malicious deed. Pat and Stone Reuning…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 14:11

The poetry in a weather’s sharp vision

Note: This essay was originally written for The Smoky Mountain News. It was subsequently revised and collected in Mountain Passages, which was published by the History Press (Charleston, S.C.) in 2005. This time around it has been re-revised and a…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 14:10

Farm and forest land eligible for tax breaks

If you have 10 acres or more of agricultural land or five acres of horticultural land and make a gross production amount of $1,000 for three proceeding years, you might be eligible for a property tax break. Landowners with 20…
Farmers are eligible for grant money to help with projects to make their operations more environmentally-friendly through the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. The Conservation Stewardship Program is a voluntary program that encourages farmers to put conservation practices into use…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 14:08

Group runs to inspire half-marathon hopefuls

If the holidays resulted in a few extra inches to your waistline and you’re determined to get fit, a free half-marathon training program will kick-off in Jackson County in January. The program culminates in Western Carolina University’s Valley of the…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 14:07

The ethics of conservation in your own backyard

A program called “Land Ethics: Reconnecting with the Natural World” will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12 at the Macon Library in Franklin. The free program includes a short film that is based on conservationist Aldo Leopold’s visionary…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 14:07

HCC a national model of sustainable practices

Haywood Community College’s hard work to build a sustainable campus is featured on a campus sustainability case study database. The National Wildlife Federation built the database, the only catalog of its kind, at ww.nwf.org/campuscasestudies. Work by other American colleges and…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 14:06

Mount Mitchell gets new superintendent

Bryan Wilder, a veteran state park ranger, has been promoted to superintendent of Mount Mitchell State Park. Wilder takes over from Jack Bradley, who retired as superintendent earlier this year. As superintendent, Wilder will function as the chief of operations…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 14:05

A Wild Week in the Wilderness

The 22nd Annual Wilderness Wildlife Week is scheduled for Jan. 7-14 in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. This year’s Wildlife Week boasts 288 programs and activities. Likely due to the time of year (winter in the Smokies), the bulk of Wildlife Week’s…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 14:02

Origin of WCU white squirrel a mystery

A rare sighting of a white squirrel at Western Carolina University has workers there abuzz. The squirrel has been spotted a number of times, and is clearly not albino because it doesn’t have pink eyes, said Roger Turk, grounds superintendent…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 14:01

Separating the good guys from the bad

About 20 years ago, the book collector’s magazine “First” published an impressive article on George Pelecanos, a new writer that was not only imminently collectable, but was (in their opinion) destined to “change the face of crime fiction.” That was…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 14:00

Suzanne Raether at City Lights

Suzanne Raether will read from and sign her novel, Judaculla, Friday, at 7 p.m. on Jan.13 at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva. Set in Jackson County, Judaculla tells the story of Timothy Fletcher, a 19-year-old WCU student athlete who discovers…
Michael Revere will present his poetry for the January “Coffee with the Poet” series at 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 19 at City Lights Bookstore. He has written several books, including, War, Madness and Love, What Co$t Freedom, and an audio…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 13:57

Vigil planned for troops

Honor the troops who have fought in the war in Iraq by participating in a candlelight vigil on Friday, Dec. 30 at 5:30 p.m., below the steps to the Jackson County Public Library at the Veterans Memorial Fountain. The event…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 13:57

Support available for prostate patients

MedWest Health System is sponsoring “Man to Man” support group meetings for prostate cancer patients and survivors. The meetings are from 7-8 p.m. the second Monday of the month in the Annex Conference Room on the MedWest-Harris campus in Sylva.…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 13:57

Judo classes to start

Beginner judo classes in Waynesville start Jan. 3 through the Waynesville Kodokan Judo Club. The club practices at the Waynesville Recreation Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m. Children participate from 4 to 5:30 p.m. and adults…
Despite a double-digit rise in revenue this year, the Sequoyah National Golf Club in Cherokee is at least five more years away from breaking even — let alone turning a profit. “The cost of maintaining a golf course is astronomical,”…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 13:53

School wants to help foundation

Smokey Mountain Elementary seventh-grade students will help the Tye Blanton Foundation through their “Service to Others” project. Tye, who died after a four-and-a-half month battle in Neo-natal ICU, was the son of slain Highway Patrol Trooper Shawn Blanton and his…
Jim Pennington’s rebuilt Mustang car is a thing of beauty. Candy-apple red, spotlessly clean, sleek lines and an immaculate, original interior make for one amazing car. Toiling over the Mustang has been a labor of love for Pennington. He needs…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 13:17

2011 In Review

The Smoky Mountain News takes note this week of some of the newsmakers of 2011 by handing out our annual awards. Back issues of the newspaper never fail to reveal a variety of humdingers: the funny, the astonishing, the interesting,…
N.C. Rep. Phil Haire’s decision not to run for re-election after 14 years in office opens the door for a possible free-for-all of both Democratic and Republican candidates seeking the suddenly available House seat. Tuesday’s news spread like an out-of-control…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 21:53

Long-time state legislator retires

N.C. Rep. Phil Haire, D-Sylva, will retire from the state legislature this year after 14 years in office. Haire will be 76 next year and said that he realized it’s time to trade in the long drives back and forth…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:57

Building community protects against calamity

While reading the article “Getting ready: Growing number of preppers work to ensure survival in case of societal collapse” (Dec. 7 edition, www.smokymountainnews.com/news/item/5738) in a recent edition of The Smoky Mountain News, I paused often to really think about what…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:56

99 percenters better pay attention to GOP

To the Editor: To all 99 percenters. You had better be paying attention to what Newt Gingrich and his cronies are proposing for the future of your country. Get informed about what is being thrown out there. Then, get involved!…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:56

Does the right practice what it preaches?

To the Editor: We find ourselves during the holidays celebrating the birth of a man whose teaching greatly affected our present-day social contract. He taught us to be tolerant towards each and every one and to love our neighbors as…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:55

Cutting Russ Avenue trees was bad move

To the Editor: I think that clear-cutting the slope on Russ Avenue across the road from Kmart was ridiculous. I understand that they needed soil for the contaminated apple orchard, but they could not have chosen a worse place to…
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 20:55

Why spend money moving art during tough times?

To the Editor: As I bounce merrily along the potholes on the way into town, I often wonder if the money spent on pubic displays of artwork could have been better spent in these trying economic times. I may be in the…