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Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:57

Lace your shoes for the Bethel half marathon

The popular Bethel half marathon and 5K race is set for Saturday, Oct. 8, the 18th version of this event. Both races will begin simultaneously at Bethel Middle School on Sonoma Road at 8:30 a.m., and the courses will take…
The Western North Carolina environmental community recently lost one of its most credible and visible faces with the death of Esther Cunningham of Macon County. Cunningham died Sept. 20 at age 93. The Macon County native was a wife, mother…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:56

Fall color forecaster tells all

Hear this fall’s official leaf forecast, including the why and how of leaf color production, at the Jackson-Swain Master Gardeners’ Association meeting at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 12. Kathy Mathews, associate professor of biology at Western Carolina University who…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:55

Valentine to sign books

A book signing with nature photographer James Valentine, a well-known naturalist, photographer and filmmaker, is set for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 12 at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin. His new book is Southern Appalachian Celebration: In…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:54

Hiking to celebrate

The Nantahala Hiking Club offered three hikes (Ranger Falls, Appalachian Trail north of Winding Stair Gap, and Bartram Trail) this past Saturday Sept. 24 to celebrate Family Hiking Day and National Public Lands’ Day. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy and its…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:52

See John Muir “live” in Waynesville

Pull a chair up to the fire and enjoy listening to America’s famed wilderness adventurer, John Muir, a critical player in the formation of our National Parks. The one-man performance will be played by acclaimed actor/storyteller Lee Stetson at 7…
Learn about hiking and camping in a year when the bear activity is particularly high, forcing the closures of many campsites in the Smokies. The B.E.A.R. Taskforce will hold “B.E.A.R. Talk ... Hiking and Camping in Black Bear Country” on…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:51

Photography exhibit open in Asheville

A juried exhibit of the Carolinas’ Nature Photographers Association “Autumn in the Southern Appalachians” is ongoing through Oct. 24 at the Pack Place gallery in Asheville. An opening reception is set for Friday, Oct. 7, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:50

Workshops dig in to points of vermicomposting

Learn all about keeping worms for making compost at two upcoming workshops. The N.C. Cooperative Extension Service and the Jackson/Macon Conservation Alliance will hold free composting, a.k.a. vermicomposting events, on Wednesday, Oct. 5, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:48

Western icon with ties to Western NC

Acclaimed storyteller and actor Lee Stetson will bring his one-man show on John Muir to Western North Carolina in October. Stetson who was the “voice of John Muir” in Ken Burns’ recent PBS special “The National Parks-America’s Best Idea” has…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:46

Tour de Franklin to showcase fall’s best

Bicyclists from near and far will take to the road for the eighth-annual Tour de Franklin “Halloween Hunard” charity bicycle ride on Sunday, Oct. 30, starting from Smoky Mountain Bicycles in Franklin at 9 a.m. With more than 100 cyclists…
Joe and Dawn Johnson of Atlanta might be making another trip to the mountains next weekend after learning about the WNC OutdoorAthlon in Franklin Oct. 8 and 9. The couple both enjoy mountain biking, and she jogs routinely for exercise…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:37

Escape to the backroads with guidebook author

Carolyn Sakowski will read from the third edition of her book, Touring the Western North Carolina Backroads, at noon on Friday, Oct. 7, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva. Scenery, history and folklore intertwine in 21 unique tours that span…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:33

Skippy Dies: The anguish of being young

Kind Hearts, this is an astonishing book. Frankly, I never would have read this one, if I had not blundered on a comment by Donna Tartt (my pick for our greatest living Southern writer). Recently, when a book store owner…
The Great Smoky Mountains National Park might finally get a place to store its sizeable cache of historical artifacts, but it almost certainly won’t be in Swain County. Earlier this year, when the park broke the news about what it’s…
Tourists staying in Jackson County will pay more on their hotel bills starting Jan. 1. Commissioners this week hiked the tax from 3 to 6 cents, the highest room tax rate allowed by state law. “If this money is spent…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:22

MaconSense to speak on steep slopes

MaconSense, a non-partisan organization promoting civic engagement and community service projects, will present a program at 12 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13, at the Tartan Hall in Franklin. The program is sponsored by the Macon County League of Women Voters.…
Water supply sampling on six wells near the closed Francis Farm Landfill in Haywood County shows that all are safe for drinking and other purposes, according to a report issued by Bunnell-Lammons Engineering (BLE). In August, Haywood County contracted with…
Village of Forest Hills leaders are saying no thanks to a Charlotte company that wanted to build luxury student apartments on a 19.5-acre tract in the tiny town across the highway from Western Carolina University. This does not mean that…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:20

Swain gets new fire chief as probe continues

Bryson City has a new fire chief, after a police investigation spurred the ouster of long-term fire chief Joey Hughes last month. Brent Arvey has been named as the new department head, replacing Erwin Winchester, the Swain County fire marshal…
The Cherokee Preservation Foundation will use a new grant application, beginning with the Spring 2012 grant cycle. The Foundation staff will explain the new grant application process at community meetings in October.    The new grant application process will allow…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:19

Give the gift of warmth this winter

Coats for Kids is now accepting donations in Jackson County. Donations of gently used or new winter clothing items — coats, warm clothing, hats, gloves, shoes and new undies and socks new in original packaging due to health safety —…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:19

Walk to remember Trail of Tears

The Trail of Tears Memorial Walk will begin 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8, at the Cherokee Historical Association building, continuing on the Cherokee River Loop Trail on Acquoni Road, back to Tsali Boulevard onto Drama Road, ending at the…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:18

Authorities search for rape suspect

Law enforcement officials are looking for information on a rape which occurred at approximately 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25, in Macon County within the Nantahala National Forest. Authorities are seeking information in identifying a possible suspect, a white male,…
The Village of Forest Hills wants to control its future by possibly acquiring a 74-acre, abandoned golf course located within its borders. If the privately owned property is obtained, the town’s leaders indicated that they might try to offset the…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:16

HCC gets $2 million grant to re-train workers

Two million dollars in grant money is coming to Haywood Community College for laid-off workers to find a new place in the workforce. The money is part of a grant from the Department of Labor that’s been handed out across…
Haywood County commissioners sent a message to Raleigh lawmakers this week to abandon the notion of merging small community colleges. The plan to merge some administrative functions at small community colleges was floated by some Republican lawmakers as a cost-cutting…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:14

Battling the bureaucracy for veterans

David Gifford proudly stood as a congressman presented him with medals for meritorious service in the Air Force and the Army. The assembled crowd applauded as the representative gave a short speech. Photos were snapped and a news camera rolled.…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:14

Volunteers needed for Toys for Tots

The Toys for Tots coordinator for Macon, Jackson and Swain counties is beginning the search for volunteers. Randy Dean Hughes, the TFT Local Coordinator for Macon, Jackson, Swain counties, he says all donations collected from this area will be used…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:13

WCU students sponsor shoe donation drive

Students in Western Carolina University’s Criminal Justice Club will host a shoe donation drive to benefit people in need during the month of October as part of the WCU Poverty Project. Shoes of all types — athletic, running, dress, sandals,…
The disembodied voice crackled through the walkie-talkie: “I’ve got someone who wants to buy two lots, cash deal.” “Sell ‘em,” L.C. Jones urged, seemingly to himself, but his response included Michelle Masta, a passenger in the backseat of his big,…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:11

Benefit bash to help Haywood animals

Furry Friends Benefit Bash will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13, at the Gateway Club in Waynesville to benefit Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation. This year’s event will be a sit-down dinner with four entrees to choose from:…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:10

Learn about Medicare options

There will be a presentation on Medicare Low Income Subsidy at 1 p.m. on Oct. 7 at the Haywood County Office Building in Waynesville. The program is put on by the Haywood Jackson Volunteer Center/NC SHIIP(Senior Health Insurance Information Program)…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:10

Bring your animals to be blessed

A Blessing of the Animals will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9, at Grace Episcopal Church in the Mountains in Waynesville. The annual event is held in memory of St. Francis of Assissi.  All are welcome to…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:09

Federal grant expands dental care for the needy

The Haywood County Health Department will be able to expand dental services for the needy thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission The money will be used to outfit and equip two additional dental exam rooms, one…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 13:08

East Haywood to get public safety center

An ambulance garage and substation for deputies is being constructed in the Canton area, allowing for faster delivery of medical and law enforcement response in the eastern part of Haywood County. It will have showers and bunks for ambulance crews…
The growing local food movement that is gaining traction around the country has made its way into Haywood County Schools, where the first shipment of Haywood County produce rolled in earlier this year. The tomatoes, peppers and corn came courtesy…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 20:34

In my dreams, I am organized and efficient

I am a great admirer of efficient people. In my enthusiasm for them I sometimes mistake myself for one of those types. I wrongly imagine I’m a getting-it-done kind of person who never goes upstairs or downstairs with empty hands;…
To the Editor: While the good folks at Frontier (Everett, Wash., customer service call center) offered as a good faith gesture to lower my monthly landline phone charge by $11, my original request for an update on DSL service was…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 20:33

Rep. Phil Haire wrong on gay marriage bill

To the Editor: I found Rep. Phil Haire’s recent letter outlining and justifying his opposition to SB 514, the Defense of Marriage Bill, very alarming. Rep. Haire was 100 percent wrong when he said that to put the issue of…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 20:33

Haire should support the people’s vote

To the Editor: I’d like to address the letter three weeks ago by my representative to the General Assembly, The Honorable Phil Haire. Short and to the point, I have two issues. First, it is very telling that our elected…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 20:32

Go ahead and do the Macon revaluation

To the Editor: If property revaluation is postponed until 2015, the Macon County Commissioners are again gambling that property values will be comparable to the current valuations in order to maintain the current budget level. Consider that they could be…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 20:32

Some questions for progressives to answer

To the Editor: These questions are directed to progressives, liberals or left-thinking people. • Why do you think it’s OK for the government to hold a gun to my head and take my money to give to more deserving or…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 20:30

It is time to move beyond gay marriage debate

When will we say, “It is enough”? On Sept. 19, a 14-year-old boy named Jamey Rodemeyer from Buffalo, N.Y., committed suicide after suffering from being bullied by classmates who harassed him with gay slurs both at his school and online.…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 19:55

Delve into the arts with fall courses

The Oconaluftee Institute for the Cultural Arts is offering evening classes this fall in a variety of disciplines.   • Intro to Printmaking will be offered from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 10 and Nov. 14 in Cherokee. Students…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 19:55

Fall craft show in Maggie

The Maggie Valley October Leaves Craft Show will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 8 and 9, at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds. Admission is free and there is plenty of parking for…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 19:54

Calling all chili cooks

The Bryson City Chamber Chili Cook Off will mark its 21st year, on Saturday, Oct. 15, and the Swain County Chamber of Commerce is looking for cookers in all classes: traditional (red), white, and vegetarian. Cash prizes will be awarded…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 19:53

Fall festival fills Waynesville streets

The Church Street Art and Craft Show will fill the streets of downtown Waynesville from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8. The festival usually attracts more than 20,000 visitors and more than 120 juried artists and crafters…
The Tuckasegee Terror Tales Tour will run every Thursday, Friday and Saturday in October, starting at 7 p.m. in Whittier. Boarding of the tour wagon will be at the corner of Whittier School Road and Whittier Depot Street in downtown…
Wednesday, 05 October 2011 19:52

A taste of German culture in Franklin

An Oktoberfest will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8, at the National Guard Armory in Franklin. The festival is put on by the Foundation for Angel Medical Center and will benefit the renovations for the Outpatient Medicine…