Fri07252014

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The Merrell Adventure Dash, held at 4:30 p.m. May 24 in the Nantahala Gorge, will give participants of all ages a chance to negotiate a series of obstacles while racing to the finish at Nantahala Outdoor Center.
Ducks — of the rubber variety — will take to the Tuckaseegee River 1 p.m. Saturday, May 24, in an annual race to raise money for Southwestern Community College’s New Century Scholars program, which provides last-dollar tuition scholarships for deserving…
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 14:32

Parkway project funding announced

More than $700,000 in funds raised from license plates, gifts and grants will go toward projects and programs on the Blue Ridge Parkway this year in a list recently approved by the Parkway Foundation Board of Trustees. According to a…
Take a walk in mid-May, and you probably won’t get far before finding somebody bent over a garden bed, weeding. Eric Romaniszyn and Christine O’Brien were doing just that on a warm Thursday afternoon, but they weren’t in a garden…
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 14:25

The excitement in a bag full of books

Recently I returned from a trip to the library with a bagful of books. When handling these books in the library, flipping through the pages and reading the blurbs, I experienced a familiar excitement, that thrill felt by all booklovers…
Haywood Community College’s Professional Crafts department 2014 Graduate Show will run from May 17 through Sept. 14 at the Southern Highland Craft Guild Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville. A reception will be held from 3…
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 14:19

Blues, Brew & BBQ festival in Cashiers

The Blues, Brew and BBQ festival will be from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 24, at the Village Commons in Cashiers. The event mixes local barbecue, craft beers and two of the most popular blues bands in the southeast.…
The Proctor Revival Organization will once again honor the history of Graham County through May 31 with “A Time To Remember” celebration.
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 14:15

Dolly Parton to play Harrah’s

Country superstar Dolly Parton will perform at 7:30 p.m. May 25 at Harrah’s Cherokee.
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 14:13

This must be the place

Short shorts and a neon orange trucker hat. Strolling down Main Street in downtown Waynesville, I found myself adorned with those exact pieces of clothing. You see, I was headed to Tipping Point Brewing, and that evening I was going…
Now celebrating its third season, Cullowhee Mountain ARTS will be hosting creative writing workshops, taught by nationally recognized writers, as part of the 2014 Summer ARTS Series of artists’ workshops, presentations and youth art camps.  The Summer ARTS Series is…
To the Editor: A friend of mine just bitterly complained that the new pope is a communist. It seems that representative of Christ on earth had the audacity to suggest that the very wealthy should share some of their vast…
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 13:55

PCs for GED grads a grand success

To the Editor: Seventeen. Seventeen, as a number, doesn't normally mean much when compared to other numbers, does it? But, seventeen was a very significant number May 2 as 17 Haywood Community College (HCC) GED graduates were awarded refurbished computers…
For school systems in relatively poor, rural areas where resources are scarce and student achievement is low, there’s no magic bullet that will suddenly transform the public education system. No, it’s mostly just roll-up-your-sleeves hard work by teachers and administrators…
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 13:49

Dog survives shot, Canton man charged

A Haywood County terrier is earning points for toughness after surviving a gunshot to the face.  “The dog is alive and expected to recover,” said Heidi Warren, public information officer for the Haywood County Sheriff’s Department. 
It was a pretty normal Wednesday morning was for most students at Tuscola High School last week, but as the school day went on word leaked out that one second-period biology class had involved threats, a call to the Haywood…
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 13:41

WCU athletic professor gets top honor

James Scifers, professor of athletic training at Western Carolina University, received the North Carolina Athletic Trainers’ Association Educator of the Year Award for 2014. The award is North Carolina’s most prestigious honor for teaching in the athletic training profession, said…
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 13:40

Downtown Waynesville a model of success

Downtown Waynesville was recently recognized as a model of success at the annual NC Main Street Conference this year, titled Main Street: Two Billion Reasons to Celebrate.  Of the more than 100 officially designated Main Street Communities in the state,…
About 200 Swain County students recently got an up-close look at emerging technologies at a manufacturing expo at the Swain Regional Business Education and Training Center. They were able to check out robotics, computer programming, a 3-D printer and other…
A telecommunications outage hit the Waynesville area last Thursday evening, knocking out cell phones, TV, Internet and even landlines for thousands of residents. “One by one, across the county people are realizing on their own that they have no cellular…
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 13:34

Grid failure sparks shooting, car chase

A man shot up the outside of a Verizon Wireless store in Waynesville last week following a town wide outage of both Verizon service and Charter Cable. The dual outages cut off communication with the outside world for thousands of…
Kingdom Care Ministries, a faith-based recovery home for women that had been looking to locate in the village of Forest Hills, is searching for another place to settle. In mid-March, the organization had applied for a conditional use permit for…
With two of four incumbents losing their seats during the primary election, there will soon be some new blood on the Swain County Board of Commissioners. That sounds about right to Ben Bushyhead. “I think if you stay in office…
Jane Hipps was quickly anointed front-runner status in the Democratic primary for N.C. Senate — from the day she entered the race, in fact — but the victory she pulled out was the epitome of a clean sweep.
Karen Wallace knows the importance of a library. “In a rural area, the library is the single greatest man-made resource offered to residents and tourists,” she said.
Public outcry over a proposal to weaken steep slope rules in Jackson County has led to the creation of an online planning portal so the public can follow along, virtually, with what the planning board is up to. The groundswell…
A single primary wasn’t enough to clear out the crowded field of candidates for the sheriff’s seat in Jackson County. Though Deputy Sheriff Chip Hall carried 42 percent of the vote in a field of six Democratic candidates, the three…
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 13:19

Cullowhee plan inches toward finish line

Don Kostelec stood in front of a flip pad in the cafeteria of Cullowhee Valley Elementary School. He asked for it all. Hold nothing back.
A soda bottling operation. An original children’s book. A new music album. A mural downtown. Pallets and pallets of Mason jars, and fresh jam to fill them.  They’re all good things, but they all require money to become reality. And…
When summer school starts up at South Macon Elementary this year, a pair of horses will be standing in a round pen outside, waiting for their first playmates. The equines will be helping Macon TRACS, a nonprofit dedicated to providing…
Since the year 2000, I have written going on 750 Back Then “columns” for The Smoky Mountain News. I am enormously proud of that association. Many of the “essays” in my books have been filtered through SMN to their benefit.…
Spots are going fast to view the unique synchronous firefly display in the Elkmont area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park June 4-11. Every year, thousands of visitors gather to watch the synchronized flashing of Photinus carolinus, a firefly…
Soccer players ages 11 to 18 looking for a challenge beyond their local leagues will have a chance to try out for a spot on the Mountain United Classic Soccer Teams May 17-18. The teams will travel to compete with some…
Tuesday, 03 June 2014 00:00

Updates for birders

Dinner for the birds The Highlands Plateau Audubon Society’s first program of the season will include a potluck for the bird-brained at 6 p.m. Monday, June 9, at the Highlands Civic Center. Dinner-goers should bring a dish to share and…
A Birds of Prey program planned for 1 p.m., May 9, at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center will give visitors an up-close look at birds ranging from the eastern screech owl to the northern bald eagle.
Wednesday, 07 May 2014 15:16

Smokies to offer glimpse of park careers

Anyone who’s wondered what a day in the life of a National Park Service employee looks like will get a chance to see at National Park Career Day, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. May 10 in Great Smoky Mountains…
Wednesday, 07 May 2014 15:14

Springtime, garden time

Unearth the secret of square-foot gardening A free introduction to square-foot gardening at 5:30 p.m. May 13 at the Canton Branch Library will teach participants how to get a high yield from a small space.
The grassy field is empty and the playground vacant as the sun sheds evening beams across the grounds of Cowee School. But when Susan Ervin looks at the unoccupied asphalt track and pavilion bare of coolers and tablecloths, she sees…
Wednesday, 07 May 2014 14:39

The Jane Goodall of sea turtles

As I write this, I am wondering if I should disqualify myself from writing a review about a book written by someone I know. But in this case I must write, and trying to be objective, let you know that…
Wednesday, 07 May 2014 14:28

Chicago to hit the Harrah’s stage

Classic rock icons Chicago will perform at 9 p.m. May 16 at Harrah’s Cherokee. The Grammy and American Music Award-winning group is the first American rock band to chart Top 40 albums in five decades. They were recently ranked #13…
The Galaxy of Stars Series at Western Carolina University will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a lineup highlighted by a return engagement of country-western icons Riders in the Sky, a Grammy Award-winning group that performed during the inaugural season of…
Musician Marshall Ballew will perform at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 13, at the Jackson County Public Library in Sylva.
The comic/drama “Painting Churches” will kickoff Smoky Mountain Community Theatre’s 2014 production season at 7:30 p.m., May 9-11 and 16-19 in Bryson City. 
Wednesday, 07 May 2014 14:23

This must be the place

“Hey, Garret, what’s up, man?” I looked up from my notebook and there standing in front of me was a familiar face. Tony Casey, from the North Country. It was last Saturday evening and I was sitting at a picnic table…
Wednesday, 07 May 2014 14:20

Soldiering on: WNC band releases debut

What a difference a year makes. For the last 12 months, Haywood County group Soldier’s Heart has been roaming Western North Carolina and beyond with their unique Appalachian porch-n-soul tone. 
Wednesday, 07 May 2014 14:17

Court rules in favor of clean air, water

To the Editor: Human health, wildlife resources and sportsmen had a big win recently in the Federal Appeals Court. The court reaffirmed the EPA’s authority to set limits on mercury, arsenic, and other pollutants from power plants under the Mercury…
Wednesday, 07 May 2014 14:17

Raising minimum wage is a mistake

To the Editor: On the way to Wilmington using the smaller roads off the interstate, I found it depressing to note so many of what appeared to have been small manufacturing businesses shut down. Empty parking lots told the story…
Wednesday, 07 May 2014 14:15

Obama’s socialist agenda has failed

To the Editor: It appears that Bob Wilson, a frequent letter writer, is stuck in a 1950’s time warp. He’s still fighting the Red Menace and the Cold War, and thinks the enemy is still communism and its little brother…
I think Jack Debnam was wise to delay action on the rewrite of the Jackson County steep slope rules until after the November election, but I don’t believe that will take politics out of the final decision on this issue.…
Wednesday, 07 May 2014 14:00

Graduation, and beyond

Alumni Tower is enjoying a late-semester afternoon on the Western Carolina University campus. Its clock keeps watch over students as they hustle between exams or toss a Frisbee on the grass. A short walk from the tower, a fountain has…