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General Grant knew from a young age he was an artist. “I was gifted, it was a gift from The Creator,” he said. “He gave me multiple talents and I was not afraid to experiment with them. Through my experimentation,…
First United Methodist Church in Sylva will celebrate its 125th anniversary with a Homecoming on Sunday, Oct. 6. Bishop Larry Goodpaster will deliver a sermon at a 10:30 a.m. church service in the sanctuary, followed by a luncheon in the…
Thursday, 03 October 2013 00:48

Waynesville street art belongs to the public

To the Editor: The enthusiasm was very evident! The Waynesville Public Art Commission would like to thank everyone who came to the Friday, Sept. 6, dedication celebration for the art created by Grace Cathey for the downtown mini-park’s final piece…
Thursday, 03 October 2013 00:47

New North Carolina ID law turns away voters

To the Editor: The North Carolina Legislature has passed, and Gov. McCrory has signed, a bill requiring a photo ID in order to vote. This bill will disenfranchise a large number of voters in our state, especially the elderly (which…
By Doug Wingeier • Guest Columnist Back in March, my wife and I, together with a couple from Brevard, paid a visit to Congressman Mark Meadows, R-Cashiers, in his Washington office. We were part of an event called Ecumenical Advocacy Days,…
The future of Jackson County’s Green Energy Park may depend on county commissioners doubling down.
Wednesday, 02 October 2013 16:17

Cherokee Bear Zoo in legal crosshairs

Two enrolled members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians plan to sue the owners of the Cherokee Bear Zoo if they don’t make some substantial changes to their grizzly bear habitats.
Waynesville Alderman Gary Caldwell was the man of the hour, or perhaps the man of the decade, during the official ribbon cutting of the Waynesville Skate Park last Friday.
A Swain County High School junior varsity football player was suspended from school for 10 days and kicked off the team for racially derogatory comments made to a member of the Cherokee JV football team.
Wednesday, 02 October 2013 16:09

Wide-open race for district attorney in 2014

District Attorney Mike Bonfoey publicly announced plans to retire next year when his current term of office expires. Bonfoey has been the lead prosecutor for the seven western counties for 10 years, directing a team of 10 assistant district attorneys.
Wednesday, 02 October 2013 16:07

Meet the candidates for Bryson town board

Candidates have lined up to run for the town board in Bryson City this November after two current aldermen have bowed out of public office, leaving two empty seats up for grabs in a wide-open race.
This year’s election in Franklin is shaping up to be one of the most interesting — and crowded — the town has seen in a decade, or more.
The impasse at the federal level will touch all areas of operation at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Blue Ridge Parkway, closing picnic areas, campgrounds, bathrooms, visitor centers and historic sites.
The tourism industry in Western North Carolina is not letting the shut down of visitor facilities on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or national forests in the region darken their spirits as the mountains head…
When Joe and Dolly Parker approached the entrance of the Deep Creek campground Tuesday morning, the sign read “Office Closed.” “We can’t believe this,” Dolly said. A retired couple from Key Largo, Fla., the Parkers spend upwards of five months…
The Maggie Valley Board of Aldermen voted unanimously last week to suspend Town Manager Tim Barth and Festival Director Audrey Hagar for a week with pay after questions arose about dubious decisions made by both leading up to a country…
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 15:39

The crossroads of humanity and nature

I like visiting those sites here in the Smokies region where there is what I think of as an “overlay;” that is, places where both natural and human history commingle. At such places, one encounters the confluence of all or…
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 15:35

Pitch in on public lands day

Celebrate National Public Lands Day on Saturday, Sept. 28 by volunteering at DuPont State Forest to help clear a section of trail on Hickory Mountain Loop. The service project will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and focus on…
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 15:34

HCC fish and wildlife students honored

Haywood Community College has honored two Fish and Wildlife Management program students for their achievements in the field. Jacob Longworth and Alex Wilson were recently awarded the 2013 Dave Dudek Wildlife Award. They are the first recipients of this award…
Chimney Rock State Park has become North Carolina’s 70th tourist destination to earn recognition for its environmentally friendly practices, according to officials with the N.C. GreenTravel Initiative. Chimney Rock Management LLC, which operates Chimney Rock, earned its place among N.C.…
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 15:33

Muzzleloading and pig picking

The French Broad Rifles club will host a Primitive Black Powder Muzzleloading shoot Oct. 4-6 near Marshall.
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 15:31

Gear sale, music and whitewater at the NOC

It’s a big weekend at the Nantahala Outdoor Center, Sept. 27-29, with its Guest Appreciation Festival, the U.S. Slalom Nationals, and a big water release on the Upper Nantahala. 
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 15:30

Child cancer benefit to race through Cherokee

The annual Chief’s Challenge one-mile run and walk benefit for victims of childhood cancer will take place at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, before the Cherokee Indian Fair parade. The event will take participants through downtown to the Cherokee Immediate…
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 15:29

Website offers guide to leaf viewing

The U.S. Forest Service is promoting its fall foliage webpage, which features scenic drives and other areas in the Nantahala and Pisgah national forests for visitors to enjoy this autumn.
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 15:28

Disc golf for kids

The Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department will offer a beginner’s disc golf class for youth ages 8 to 17. The class will take place from 4:30 to 6 p.m. each Tuesday in October at the Waynesville Disc Golf Course on…
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 15:26

Serendipitous hawk watch

The rains came Saturday. It was a good day for a soaker, from my perspective. I had writing I needed to catch up on and it’s not as hard being stuck away down in the dungeon when it’s pouring. We…
As Brent Martin stared down the barrel of an impending tug-of-war over WNC’s national forests, he dreaded yet another round in the same old fight that’s played out time and time again in his decades as an environmental advocate. Loggers…
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 15:09

Another AT book, but a new set of lessons

An online visit reveals hundreds of books written on hiking the Appalachian Trail. These range from Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods, which is the witty account of a man who hiked part of the trail, to Bill Walker’s…
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 15:07

Mountain Momma

I had a bit of a wake-up call this week as I read over a fabulous collection of kid’s nature activities compiled by the folks at “Take a Child Outside” week.  The list of splendidly simple ideas for exploring the…
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 15:01

Cowee Pottery School forming

A group of friends have come together to create a non-profit entity to operate a new pottery school in the Macon County Heritage Center at the old Cowee School. 
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 15:00

Acclaimed painter offers demo in Swain

Watercolor and oil painter Jo Ridge Kelley will demonstrate oil painting techniques in a naturescape for Art League of the Smokies at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, at the Swain County Center for the Arts in Bryson City.
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 14:58

Youth String Ensemble begins in Haywood

Voices in the Laurel will hold auditions for “Laurel Strings,” a new string ensemble open to students in grades two-12 in area counties who are currently taking private lessons in violin, viola, cello or bass or have taken at least…
Acclaimed musician/folklorist Lee Knight will perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 1, at the Jackson County Public Library Complex in Sylva.
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 14:51

Boho show coming to Waynesville

The Boho Stage Show will bring aerial trapeze, circus acts, belly dancing, hula-hooping and other eccentric forms of performance art for two shows — one at 2 p.m. and one at 7 p.m. — on Saturday, Sept. 28, at The…
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 14:49

This must be the place

I know a lot about nothing. As far back as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with everything. How many dimples are there on a golf ball? — Ranging from 330-500, depending on model. What’s the deepest point in the…
Dillsboro will soon be graced with a large mural depicting the cultural heritage of the village, its key landmarks and its natural setting.
Amy Ammons Garza has always looked out for her little sister, Doreyl Ammons Cain. “Make sure you mention when the mural will be unveiled,” Garza said. “She’s always forgetting things.” “I am not,” Cain countered with a laugh. “Ever since…
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 14:32

New ID law turns away voters

To the Editor: The North Carolina legislature has passed, and Gov. McCrory has signed, a bill requiring a photo ID in order to vote. This bill will disenfranchise a large number of voters in our state, especially the elderly (which…
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 14:30

Class Notes: The new reality for teachers

By Dawn Gilchrist-Young I’m writing this because I teach three sections of senior English at Swain High School, where I’ve taught English in grades nine through 12 for almost 15 years. However, I can only say I’ve loved what I…
My people are rooted in the South. On both mom’s and dad’s sides of the family, very few have moved far from North and South Carolina, Virginia and Georgia. It’s not one town or a single homeplace we embrace, but…
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 14:27

Every good slogan needs a logo

The Jackson County tourism industry adopted a new logo last week to go with their new slogan: “Play On.”
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 14:25

Sylva’s beloved Lulu’s under new ownership

The new owners of the iconic Lulu’s on Main restaurant in downtown Sylva are dedicated to keeping around the diner’s favorite menu items, but they’re also looking forward to adding some of their own.
Nicole Dexter and Chip Owen might be the only brewmasters in Western North Carolina who left Asheville — the Mecca of microbreweries — in the rearview mirror when looking for a good spot to make craft beer. But the two…
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 14:22

Sweepstakes to cops: your move

A woman charged with illegally operating sweepstakes-style video gambling machines got off in court this week after prosecutors dismissed the charges.
An indoor swimming pool, a river park in Dillsboro and more greenways emerged as top priorities in a 10-year master recreation plan created by the Jackson County’s Recreation and Parks Department.
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 14:17

Replacing power poles a never-ending job

If you come across men in bright orange vests directing traffic around crews handling a towering power pole into the ground, steer clear and drive slow.
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 14:16

Macon on the prowl for a new county manager

Macon County closed the application window last week and will soon begin paring down applicants in search of its next county manager.
Wednesday, 25 September 2013 14:14

Franklin unable to shake Nikwasi Mound missteps

The saga of Nikwasi Mound in Franklin being sprayed with potent weed killer more than a year ago continues to unfold.
Western North Carolina’s educational institutions must re-emphasize the importance of mathematical skills at all levels — from basic addition and subtraction to advanced statistics, analysis and predictive modeling — if mountain students are to succeed in the modern workforce.
Changes to the voting laws in North Carolina will have only a small effect on voter turnout, according to a Western Carolina University political analyst.