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There’s not a one-size-fits-all model for how counties should promote economic development, but at the very least there should be one skilled specialist on the county’s payroll whose sole responsibility is to promote job growth and help existing business. Put…
Wednesday, 06 February 2008 00:00

Business owners and their trash

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Jackson County solid waste officials are cracking down on how businesses dispose of their trash, a move that has small business owners like Teresa Dowd up in arms.
By Jennifer Garlesky & Julia Merchant • Staff Writers Two Swain County employees will join representatives from the Department of Interior, the State of North Carolina and the Tennessee Valley Authority to negotiate a new contract that will replace the…
The U.S. Forest Service is about to release its opinion on whether to allow boating on the Chattooga River. It’s been a long and complicated battle, but here’s hoping that American Whitewater’s attempt to open the river to kayaking is…
By Victoria McDonald • Guest Columnist Reverend C. T. Vivian is a living legend of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. He was a rider on the first “Freedom Bus” that went to Jackson, Miss. He worked on the executive staff…
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Macon County’s eight-month moratorium on the permitting of recreational vehicles in the floodplain will be lifted next month.
Unsafe levels of fecal coliform in the Tuckasegee River and two tributaries around Dillsboro have Jackson County public health officials puzzled over how seriously to take the issue and what to do next.
Wednesday, 13 February 2008 00:00

Upper world guardians

We are all fascinated by birds. In addition to being pretty (even buzzards are pretty in their own way), they can sing and fly. Unlike me, many of you can actually sing; so, you will not be as awestruck by…
By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer Owners of Plott Hounds will say that the hound is unlike any other.
Wednesday, 13 February 2008 00:00

Sylva wants to diversify Pinnacle Park usage

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Sylva Town Board members want to see hikers, horseback riders and mountain bikers sharing the trails in Pinnacle Park, 1,100 acres of land located at the northern part of town.
Wednesday, 13 February 2008 00:00

The greening of America

“I suddenly think about my friends, you know, getting on their private jets. And I think, well, you know, maybe they have the right idea. Maybe all that we have to do is mouth a few platitudes, show a good,…
Wednesday, 13 February 2008 00:00

Gems from the used bin

By Chris Cooper Ah, the joy of finding good stuff in the “undeservedly discarded disc” section of any music store. Here a few recent scores: pop melodrama from Bleu and a superb album from the most underappreciated — and one…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer It’s a scenario that plays out every day: A bored 12-year-old girl named Crystal enters a Yahoo chatroom. Immediately, a screen pops up. “A/S/L/?” — age, sex, location? — another chat user inquires. Within…
Wednesday, 13 February 2008 00:00

Recommended diversions

Poems from Guantanamo They’re supposed to be the worst of the worst from al-Qaeda and the Taliban, evildoers locked up for plotting unspeakable crimes of terror under the twisted doctrines of Islamo-fascism.
Wednesday, 13 February 2008 00:00

Development regs at issue in Jackson election

When Jackson County commissioners passed strict mountainside development regulations last year, opponents pledged to get even come election time.
Voters in Jackson County could have a rematch in the May primary between two candidates who ran against each other for county commissioner two years ago — Joe Cowan and Darrell Fox for the district that includes Webster and Cullowhee.
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer A plan to distribute Macon County’s occupancy tax has been formulated, leaving the final approval up to the board of commissioners.
Wednesday, 13 February 2008 00:00

Franklin leaders mull downtown options

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Sandi Dotherow loves the town of Franklin so much that she spends all her free time shopping and dining at downtown businesses.
Wednesday, 13 February 2008 00:00

Poetry dying for readers

In a Prominent Bar in Secaucus: New and Selected Poems, 1955 by X.J. Kennedy. — The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007. 224 pages Although tens of thousands of American citizens today may call themselves poets, the fact is that poetry…
Wednesday, 13 February 2008 00:00

My bags are packed

And I’m Loosiana bound — you do know it was named after Louis, not Louise?
Wednesday, 13 February 2008 00:00

A long time coming

The public is two-and-a-half years late learning that a popular area for swimming, rafting and fishing in Jackson County isn’t safe for extended human contact with the water due to high levels of fecal coliform.
Wednesday, 13 February 2008 00:00

Too close to call

The most fascinating race for President of the United States in my lifetime could have become a good bit more settled after the Super Tuesday round of primaries. Hillary Clinton, the “establishment” candidate and heavy favorite going into the primary…
The endangered Indiana bat saw a 9 percent population increase between 2005 and 2007, continuing a 12-year rise in bat numbers. However, a mysterious illness in the Northeast poses a threat to this success. The number of Indiana bats rose…
Wednesday, 20 February 2008 00:00

Painting over Bureaucracy

By Michael Beadle Phyllis Jarvinen was tired of all the paperwork, the endless forms and bureaucratic red tape that clogged up her job as a therapist working with children.
Wednesday, 20 February 2008 00:00

Birdapalooza results

My brother and I conducted our annual Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) at Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Monroe, La., last Friday, Feb. 15. While we didn’t set any records, we had a good count. We bested last…
When the Democratic primary election rolls around in Jackson County on May 6, many will finally get the chance they’ve been wanting — the opportunity to vote on the strict development regulations passed last year by county commissioners.
Wednesday, 20 February 2008 00:00

A favorite plant

By Jim Janke • Special to SMN Editor’s note: This is a regular feature on gardening by the Haywood County master gardeners. Look for it every other week. Polka Dot Plant (Hypoestes) is one of my favorites. Sow the seeds…
Wednesday, 20 February 2008 00:00

The innate traits of the male species

By Stephanie Wampler Step-by-cautious step, the man crosses the room, casting his eyes in all directions to make sure no one is watching. He moves quietly but intently, focused completely on the object which beckons to him from across the…
Wednesday, 20 February 2008 00:00

This one's for Rob

By Chris Cooper Last summer I wrote an article titled “I Played In A Classic Rock Cover Band And Lived To Tell About It.” It was a semi-humorous account of some friends getting together under the moniker of Alpine Taxi,…
Wednesday, 20 February 2008 00:00

Is feeding the hungry bad for business?

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer It’s lunchtime at the Open Door, a 12-year-old soup kitchen in the Frog Level community of Haywood County, and chatter and laughter fill the modest dining hall. Here, down-on-their-luck residents can get a free…
Wednesday, 20 February 2008 00:00

Resisting the prospect of extinction

By Brent Martin Almost 10 years ago, science writer David Quammen published an essay in Harper’s Magazine titled A Planet of Weeds, which was later selected for Houghton Mifflin’s Best American Essays, 1999. It made a lasting impression on me,…
Wednesday, 20 February 2008 00:00

DOT accused of convoluted planning

Opponents to the Southern Loop again urged the N.C. Department of Transportation to halt planning for the new highway last week during a meeting of the Jackson County Transportation Task Force.
Wednesday, 20 February 2008 00:00

Recommended diversions

EcoBuilders This Asheville area green building company co-owned by former Haywood County Environmental Science teacher Rob Moody and organic farmer turned Realtor Jack Bebber has just announced that it has been selected to be a part of a special edition…
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer As Macon County officials move forward with plans to build two new schools, community schools in Cowee, Iotla and Cullasaja could close their doors forever.
By Ed Seavey • Guest Columnist The recent issue of the Smoky Mountain News (Jan. 16, “WNC Confronts Mental Health Crisis”) on the mental health crisis was interesting. Officials quoted proclaimed diplomatically that the issue is complex, as they wonder…
Wednesday, 20 February 2008 00:00

Highlands plateau still a world of green hills

Several years ago I wrote about Bradford Torrey’s A World of Green Hills, which was published in 1898 by Houghton Mifflin and Co. The book is divided into two parts, equally devoted to Torrey’s travels in Western North Carolina and…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Sometimes, amid the focus on such divisive issues as growth regulations or steep slope construction, it’s easy to forget that on the most basic level most people in the region share a similar feeling…
By Marsha Crites • Guest Columnist Whether I am working on a watercolor design, organizing a community group, decorating a room, or getting to know a new person, I always enjoy beginning with a blank slate. No old baggage, muddled…
Wednesday, 20 February 2008 00:00

Valentine's Day, often, is about survival

By David Curtis Whew ... I survived another Valentine’s Day. That is a big accomplishment if you are a man, a man who’s married with teenage daughters.
Wednesday, 20 February 2008 00:00

WCU enjoys a surge in popularity

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer When Callie LaDue started shopping for a college, there was only one school that she had her eyes on — Western Carolina University. “I liked it because it was a small campus but it…
Wednesday, 20 February 2008 00:00

Rash's Chemistry "notable"

Chemistry and Other Stories by Ron Rash. Picador, 2007. 230 pages This remarkable collection of short stories has already been named one of the 15 “notable books” of 2007 by the Story Prize Committee — an award that is presented…
Wednesday, 20 February 2008 00:00

Swain's drug problem worries officials

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer The beautiful mountain scenery that covers Swain County hides an ugly truth — the area is combating a major drug problem, and officials aren’t quite sure how to stop it.
Wednesday, 20 February 2008 00:00

State forest users protests proposed bear hunt

A handful of lucky hunting parties were about to embark on a special bear hunt in DuPont State Forest last fall when wildlife managers realized they had gotten themselves in a bit of snare.
Wednesday, 20 February 2008 00:00

Grand plans in store for Cherokee trout hatchery

The Cherokee Tribal Trout Hatchery is embarking on $500,000 renovation project that will more than double its already impressive capacity for raising trout.
Wednesday, 27 February 2008 00:00

Crisis brewing at HRMC

Doctors, patients, nurses, ambulance drivers — even hospital board members — were unaware of a crisis brewing at Haywood Regional Medical Center that jeopardized its Medicare and Medicaid status and, as a result, the future of the hospital.
Wednesday, 27 February 2008 00:00

Alum Cave for a breath of fresh air

I recently happened upon an interesting article that described an excursion made in 1860 to the Alum Cave on the Tennessee side of the present-day Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Titled “A Week in the Great Smoky Mountains,” it was…
Wednesday, 27 February 2008 00:00

Rice resigns, cites need to move forward

David Rice, CEO of Haywood Regional Medical Center for 15 years, resigned Monday in the wake of a financial crisis resulting from the hospital’s loss of its Medicare and Medicaid status. “I think the fallout is so negative, I think…
Wednesday, 27 February 2008 00:00

Board surprised by HRMC situation

The resignation on Feb. 25 of Haywood Regional Medical Center CEO David Rice was preceded by a tense, hour-long public meeting where hospital trustees expressed surprise and irritation toward Rice’s lack of candor about ongoing, serious problems uncovered by inspectors.
Wednesday, 27 February 2008 00:00

Saddle up for song and dance

By Michael Beadle Mamas, it’s OK to let your sons grow up to be cowboys — especially if they end up singin’ and dancin’ in the Summit choir at Tuscola High School.
Wednesday, 27 February 2008 00:00

Westcare prepares for patient load

WestCare’s Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva will be filling a major void in the region’s health care in the wake of to the Medicare and Medicaid crisis at Haywood Regional Medical Center.