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Republicans aren’t the only ones who will have a reason to head to the polls in the May primary. While Republican voters sort out who their presidential nominee will be, Democrats have a race of their own to narrow down,…
Wednesday, 11 January 2012 14:10

A bold fix for South Main Street

Maybe it’s pie in the sky, but the right ingredients could transform South Main Street into a thriving commercial district. A consultant with LaQuatra Bonci has mapped out a new look for the corridor. The plan banks on new-found aesthetic…
South Main Street is a mess. That’s the message from a consultant hired by the town of Waynesville to develop a revitalization plan for the struggling artery. The consultant spent six months studying South Main and developing a master street…
Jackson County commissioners plan this week to discuss the upcoming property revaluation, though it remains unclear whether they will postpone the process as some residents are requesting. In a revaluation, every home, lot and tract of land is assigned a…
Haywood County has offered a helping hand as towns grapple with how to cover the extra cost of hauling resident’s trash to the White Oak Landfill. Starting in July, towns will have to drive trash out to the White Oak…
Haywood Community College has hit a nearly $227,000 roadblock during the construction of it new creative arts building. The $10.2 million building — a controversial project to begin with — will tap into contingency funds for the project to pay for previously…
Wednesday, 04 January 2012 02:57

Live well with diabetes

Learn how to better manage diabetes at a two-day workshop at Angel Medical Center. The event will be held Tuesday, Jan. 17, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, in the third floor videoconference room from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Information on…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:55

The playful raven is a Smoky Mountain favorite

Along with plants like red spruce, Fraser fir, yellow birch, mountain maple, mountain ash, Canada Mayflower, witch-hobble, and bluebead lily, as well as animals such as the northern flying squirrels, black-capped chickadees, winter wrens, and northern water shrews, ravens are…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:54

Garden seed ordering set for this month

The fourth-annual Group Seed Order will take place at St. John’s Episcopal Church on Jackson Street in Sylva on Saturday, Jan. 14, between 9 a.m. and noon. The Jackson County Farmers Market sponsors this seed-ordering event. The volume from collectively…
Volunteers are needed at Gorges State Park in Sapphire to help build and maintain trails, with work parties scheduled weekly on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., weather permitting. The new state park is located on the Jackson-Transylvania county…
Volunteer organizations have donated labor and money to improve cooking and sleeping quarters for campers, while also reducing potential problems with black bears in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The groups involved were the Friends of the Smokies, the…
Learn topnotch, competitive-level fly-fishing techniques via a filmed fly-fishing competition that took place last year here in Western North Carolina. Local angler Paul Bourcq captured the fishermen in action and filmed interviews with them during the competition. The 2011 U.S.…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:50

Night hunting now legal for wild hogs

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission now allows hunting of feral swine and wild hogs at night — but hunters need a special permit. The permit is free and is available at www.ncwildlife.org. The permits are valid through March 31. The…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:48

WCU students help children with autism

A local fly-fishing guide and recreational therapy students at Western Carolina University teamed up recently to provide a fly-fishing outing for children with autism. Jennifer Hinton, WCU associate professor of recreational therapy, organized the event. Alex Bell, retired principal of…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:48

AT Bald Trail permanently protected

The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy transferred 35 acres to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the U.S. Forest Service to protect adjacent land along the famous footpath. Wesser Bald in Macon County was at risk of development when the Southern Appalachian…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:46

Rain for wind

This year’s ninth annual Balsam Christmas Bird Count (CBC) was held Friday Dec. 30. As I was driving home from work at 7 a.m. that Friday morning things were looking good. By the time I got a nap and met…
Living in the mountains of Western North Carolina, it is hard to imagine never seeing snow — but Elizabeth Comberg and Amber Damato of Jacksonville, Fla., got their first taste of the fluffy white stuff last Friday at Cataloochee Ski…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:42

Submission being accepted for fiction prize

The North Carolina Writers’ Network is now accepting submissions for its 2012 Doris Betts Fiction Prize. The competition is named in honor of author and North Carolina native Doris Betts, a three-time winner of the Sir Walter Raleigh Award and…
The Mountain Writers of North Carolina will meet at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan.10, at Blue Ridge Books in Waynesville. David Madden, an expert in the art of the revision process, is the guest speaker. Madden earned an M.A. at San…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:40

Planning a year of purposeful reading

The New Year’s resolution typically leads a short and tragic life. Its father is misdeeds, its mother remorse. Once born, the resolution swarms about its maker as irritating as a fruit fly. Often, too, it lives no longer than the…
The Marianna Black Library in Bryson City will host several youth events in the coming weeks. The library will resume its pre-school program on Jan. 11. The program begins at 10:30 a.m. in the auditorium. The pre-literacy skill focus for…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:31

Bryson City library puts on music jam

The next community music jam at the Marianna Black Library in Bryson City will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m., Jan. 5, in the library auditorium. Anyone with a guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, dulcimer — anything acoustic — is invited…
The Marianna Black Library in Bryson City will play the live-action adaptation of Richard and Florence Atwater’s children’s book, “Mr. Popper’s Penguins,” at 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 10. Jim Carrey plays a businessman who inherits a small flock of penguins…
Tickets for two Chippendales shows at Harrah’s Casino will go on sale Jan. 6. The shirtless, bowtie-wearing performers will be at Harrah’s in Cherokee on Feb. 11 for two shows — one at 6 p.m. and another at 9 p.m. The…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:29

Sylva begins a new year of Contra dancing

The next Second Sunday Contra Dance will be on Jan. 8. on the second floor of the old courthouse in the library in Sylva. Contra dancing will begin at 2:30 p.m. and go until 5 p.m. Anne Marie Walters from…
Kindermusik International, a publisher of music and movement programs, has named Lori Richards a Maestro Producer for 2011-12. Richards is an early childhood specialist at The Music Village and teaches Kindermusik in Cullowhee and Waynesville. The Maestro Producer award recognizes excellence…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:27

B.B. King to perform in Asheville

B.B. King will make a pit stop at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in Asheville on Jan.14. All tickets must be reserved and cost $75, $49.50 and $39.50. Tickets are already on sale and can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets,…
The Moody Blues will perform at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel on March 31 as part of their 32-city U.S. tour in 2012. The tour will celebrate the 45th anniversary of their album “Days of Future Passed,” and will kick…
Eve Haslam and Satin Steel Jazz will perform at Cafe 50 restaurant on Main Street in Waynesville at 7 p.m., Jan. 19. Haslam is a native of New York City and began singing at the age of 7. In 2007,…
Thursday, 05 January 2012 03:20

A small farm in photos

Photographer Rachael Bliss will showcase photos at Rosetta’s on Broadway in Asheville. The photos tell the story of a small bio-dynamic farm with a little more than three acres that helps support a milk cow, nearly 100 chickens, three goats,…
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…