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Anyone headed to Canton will need to book a little more drive time starting this fall, when a key downtown bridge is razed and replaced. A dog-legged detour around the construction is expected to seriously slow traffic on the town’s…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 13:45

Add acreage to your spiritual landscape

Lots of folks like to study those molded relief maps of the region, the ones that show the upraised contours of the mountain ranges. Some have even pieced together the maps for the Southern Blue Ridge Province from Southwestern Virginia…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 13:45

The many desirable and luscious traits of moss

A workshop titled “Go Green with Moss” will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, August 11, at the Highlands Biological Foundation as part of the Foundation’s Think About Thursdays series. Annie Martin, founder of Mountain Moss Enterprises, will…
Master Gardeners from Jackson and Swain counties have joined together to form the Jackson-Swain Master Gardeners’ Association. The group works to increase its own knowledge about gardening in order to be a better gardening resource for the community through education,…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 13:44

Smokies expands firewood ban

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is ratcheting down its firewood policy for campers over fears of invasive insects and fungus that destroy trees. Firewood from six neighboring counties in Tennessee can no longer be brought into the park, specifically to…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 13:43

Smokies black bear license plates keep growing

The black bear license plate has had strong sales and has benefitted wildlife throughout the Great Smoky Mountain National Park this summer. The number of motorists sporting specialty Smokies license plates has been climbing impressively since the new plate design,…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 13:43

Race in the shadow of Fontana Dam

The Fontana Dam 5K and 10K race will be held on Saturday, August 27, along with a one-mile fun run. The race will be held along the shores of the Little Tennessee River below Fontana Dam. The course is relatively…
The second annual Waynesville Main Street Mile will be held on Friday, August 12. The race ends at the historic courthouse, and starts a mile up the street from it, making for a mostly downhill, one-way course. A post-race party…
Another 207-acre tract on Little Yellow Mountain in Mitchell and Avery counties has been saved from development thanks the efforts of The Nature Conservancy and the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. The two organizations have purchased the tract, which takes in…
Haywood County will be crawling with runners, bikers and swimmers this weekend for the Lake Logan Multi-Sports Festival on August 6 and 7. On Saturday, triathletes will do a swim-bike-run course that takes from the waters of Lake Logan to…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 13:40

Gone Fishin’ at the lake

A Gone Fishin’ program will be offered from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, August 13. Participants will meet at High Falls Parking Area in DuPont State Recreational Forest and take a hide ride to the lake. All of…
A Farm to School movement, an effort to get fresh, healthy foods in front of school kids, has taken off in the region, witnessed by more than 100 participants in a recent Farm To School Cooking conference in Asheville where…
Nine Haywood County farmers and growers boosted their business planning with agriculture-specific training through Mountain BizWorks. Bethel farmer Skipper Russell, owner of Seasonal Produce Farm, said the course gave him tangible tools to diversify his markets. He has been farming…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 13:37

Haywood farmers market makes shopping festive

Haywood Historic Farmer’s Market will pull out all the stops this Saturday, Aug. 6, with a festival celebrating the full arrival of summer’s bounty, including long-awaited heirloom tomatoes and corn now in complete swing. Fresh fish and meat vendors will…
That’s probably not the exact scenario but a recent article in Current Biology claims that most, if not all, of today’s living polar bears are descended from one Scottish brown bear. Mama bear lived in Ireland near the peak of…
With the explosion of outdoor sports over the past few decades in Western North Carolina, perhaps it shouldn’t come as that big a surprise another outfitting store has opened in the region. But this one is different, in at least…
A panel discussion of young adult literature will be held at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva at 1 p.m. on Saturday, August 6, featuring three young authors: Beth Revis, Myra McEntire and Victoria Schwab. Revis is the author of Across…
Maya, a golden retriever reading assistance dog, will be at the Bryson City Library at 1 p.m. this Saturday, August 6, for children who would like to read to her. Maya and her handler, Bobbie Mosher, are part of a…
Back in 1987, a young West Virginia writer, Pinckney Benedict, published a highly lauded collection of short stories entitled Town Smokes. In some instances, the critical response was a bit excessive. Benedict was hailed as a “new voice in Southern…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 13:05

Living the good life includes the arts

Art is aesthetic; crafts are practical. That’s the difference between the two, at least in theory. The distinction between arts and crafts becomes blurred, however, when you attend an event as tremendous as the annual Craft Fair of the Southern…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 13:04

Put blame for budget woes where it belongs

To the Editor: The ad from Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS organization, funded by anonymous sources, about “no more blank checks” for Obama, epitomizes what is wrong with politics in our country. It plays to our fears, uses two lies and counts…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 13:03

New state abortion law slaps of irony

To the editor: I have just received a notice from Sen. Jim Davis that the N.C. Senate passed a bill requiring women who are considering an abortion to have an ultrasound.   I would be more impressed if the Republicans…
To the editor: I urge conservation-minded residents of Western North Carolina and all those hikers, birders, campers, anglers, hunters, nature photographers, picnickers and local people who prefer the true solitude of a magnificent, wild national resource to again take pen to…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 12:59

Wake up America, the world is watching

From the hotel window in Durban, South Africa, I can see the Indian Ocean. Freighters line the horizon like parapets on a castle wall, waiting their turn to berth at the busiest container port in the entire continent of Africa.…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 12:58

Grandparent parenting program offered

A new program called Parenting the Second Time Around is being offered for grandparents who are raising grandchildren. The program will be held each Friday morning from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. beginning August 19, and will run through October…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 12:58

Bridge work in Haywood County set to go

The bridge over the Pigeon River on U.S. 19/23 in downtown Canton will be replaced over the coming year, with work to start as soon as next month. The $2.9 million project contract was awarded to Taylor and Murphy Construction…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 12:57

Haywood schools, HCC form credit partnership

Haywood Community College and Haywood County Schools recently signed an agreement to provide high school students with a seamless transition from secondary to post-secondary education. The agreement minimizes content duplication for high school students entering the community college system. More…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 12:56

Harrah’s brings career fair to Haywood

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino recruiters will be at Haywood Community College’s West Waynesville Campus from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, August 17. They will accept up to 13 candidates in a panel interview to staff their resort’s expansion. Harrah’s…
A family is protesting after they say the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians seized land they claim is rightfully theirs. When Gladys Wright died in 2009, she left all of her property to her four children. But last month, Cherokee…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 12:55

Caregiver information on dementia offered

MemoryCare, a program to assess memory and cognitive functioning, will present its Professional Caregiver Education Program curriculum in a three-part series with one part beginning Aug. 9. Parts two and three will be given Aug. 16 and Aug. 23, respectively.…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 12:55

Need a hand recovering from storm damage?

If you are a private forest landowner and suffered severe damage from the tornado or high winds earlier this year, you might be eligible for federal help. The Swain/Jackson Farm Service Agency office administers the Emergency Forest Restoration Program. If…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 12:54

No taxes this weekend on back-to-school items

Time to go shopping — this weekend, Aug. 5 through Aug. 7, is the annual back-to-school tax free weekend. Retailers searching for back-to-school items will be able to find clothing, shoes and school supplies (under $100 per item) tax free,…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 12:54

Swain Visitor Guide kickoff scheduled

The Swain County Chamber of Commerce and The Smoky Mountain News will host a meet-and-greet at the chamber office from 1 to 4 p.m. on Aug. 5 to kickoff sales in the 2012 Visitor’s Guide. This will be an opportunity…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 12:53

New urgent care center to open in Sylva

MedWest Health System will open a new Urgent Care Center on Aug. 15 in Sylva. It will be located at 176 Walmart Plaza, and will provide walk-in examinations six days a week to patients with non-emergency illnesses or injuries. The…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 12:52

Back-to-school date lands Macon in court

If this were a race, Macon County Schools would win for being the first in Western North Carolina — maybe even the state — to end summer vacation and start classes again. Teachers returned Monday; students go back Thursday (August…
Maggie Valley’s business community hopes to bring natural gas lines to the valley, but it will hinge on drumming up enough interest from paying customers to making it worth the gas company’s while. Natural gas is a cheaper form of…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 12:50

Fontana Dam post office targeted for closure

The U.S. Postal Service wants to close Fontana Dam’s tiny post office to save money, a downsizing move critics say would further isolate the small community. This far-flung outpost in Graham County is frequented by tourists, and serves as a…
Harrah’s Cherokee casino bought nearly half a million dollars of liquor over the past year, netting almost $50,000 in profits each for the ABC stores in Sylva and Bryson City — which had the privileges of being the casino’s suppliers.…
In the current political debate, the word ‘debt’ has become ubiquitous. Cherokee is no exception, where discussion of the debt of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians — and how, precisely, to dispose of it — has dominated the election…
Jackson County commissioners are considering whether to renovate the former Southern Lumber Co. building to get the county out of paying rent elsewhere for office space. The county purchased the property and the 34,633-square-foot building on Skyland Drive in 2008.…
Chuck Wooten’s wings are still clipped as Jackson County’s manager, at least for now, but it looks like he’ll get big-boy hiring and firing powers soon. Commissioners this week failed to act on Wooten’s request that he no longer bring…
The oft-threatened closure of the state prison in Haywood County has finally come to pass, but by now, it hardly comes as a surprise. “Every year, they would always say it is going to close,” said Haywood Commissioner Kirk Kirkpatrick.…
Counties with jail beds to spare will soon be able to make a little cash housing state prison inmates. Under a new program introduced by the N.C. General Assembly earlier this year, minor criminals with short sentences won’t be housed…
Western North Carolina is losing one of its strongest municipal work forces. And a quick look at their record of projects shows that, in towns and counties around the region, they will be sorely missed. But this loss isn’t exactly…
Western Carolina University and the Cullowhee area could prove the decisive battleground in the coming debate about whether alcohol sales should be legal countywide in Jackson, and not just confined to the towns of Sylva and Dillsboro. Ikran Mohamed, hurrying…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 12:37

Meth lab cleanup costs sloughed onto counties

In what promises to become an increasingly expensive proposition, county taxpayers must now pick up the tab for cleaning up illegal methamphetamine labs. The federal government notified states in February that it would no longer pay for such clean ups,…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 12:35

Pilot on pot patrol hits the jackpot

After hours of scouring the ground for renegade marijuana plants from the air last Thursday, the pilot of a Highway Patrol helicopter was ready to call it day. But as he crested the Balsams, in the homestretch of his flight…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 20:44

Workshops help artists get their game on

Two Handmade in America Craft Labs are coming to Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center in Graham County. Learn how to engage visitors in your studio and tips for arranging and selling from your booth during a session on August 10.…
Wednesday, 03 August 2011 20:44

Sylva artist headlines art society gathering

The next meeting of the Blue Ridge Watermedia Society will be held from 6:45 p.m. to 9 p.m. on August 9 at Haywood Community College Building 1400. The featured artist will be Pam Haddock. Haddock lives in Sylva and has…
The Popcorn Sutton Summer Jam is scheduled for noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, August 6, at the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds. In its second year, this event celebrates the life of legendary moonshiner and Maggie Valley native, Popcorn Sutton.…