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Wednesday, 12 December 2007 00:00

The way of the sword

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The 47th Samurai by Stephen Hunter. Simon & Schuster, 2007. 384 pages. Eight seconds. Eight seconds, according to Stephen Hunter…
Wednesday, 12 December 2007 00:00

Preserving the giant’s rock

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By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Up in the mountains along Caney Fork Road in Jackson County lies an important…
Wednesday, 12 December 2007 00:00

Rocking out

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Here in the southern mountains there are magical habitats to be explored in every direction and at every elevation. Periglacial…
Duke Energy has received clearance from the state to tear down the Dillsboro dam but will be forced to dredge a backlog of sediment from behind the dam first.
Wednesday, 12 December 2007 00:00

A year from the Naturalist’s Corner

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“ATBI identifies 5,000-plus species — 1/10/07 I have written several columns regarding this ambitious program to document all species within…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Developers in Swain County eyeing a quick, easy connection to Bryson City’s sewer system for their newly built properties are out of luck — at least for now. Bryson’s town board is currently denying…
Wednesday, 12 December 2007 00:00

The maples face an emotional buzz saw

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By David Curtis Trees are making the news again in Haywood County as two commissioners are debating the sugar maples…
Wednesday, 19 December 2007 00:00

The new year begins

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I know, I know, it’s not Jan. 1 yet. But that’s just a date on a calendar. This year, Dec.…
Wednesday, 19 December 2007 00:00

Macon seeks solution to animal woes

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Dealing with stray dogs and cats has been a problem for Macon County officials for some time now, Sheriff Robbie Holland said.
Wednesday, 19 December 2007 00:00

You cats dressed in blue, this is for you

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(Editor’s note: Smoky Mountain News columnist Chris Cox delivered this address to the graduating class at Southwestern Community College this…
An ornately decorated tree in the foyer of the Women’s Care Center at Haywood Regional Medical Center will help families who have lost children at, or shortly after, birth because of birth defects.
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Tommy Calhoun of Whittier stares at a web page on his white Mac notebook’s screen. He is checking his email at Bubacz’s Underground, a coffee shop in downtown Sylva. Connecting to the Underground’s wireless…
Wednesday, 19 December 2007 00:00

Christmas traditions from the Moravians

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Moravian Christmas in the South by Nancy Smith Thomas. The University of North Carolina Press, 2007. 184 pages Easter is…
Wednesday, 19 December 2007 00:00

Recommended diversions

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Flight Of The Conchords on DVD Two discs of complete silliness from Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement, New Zealand’s “not…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Nearly 200 people packed a Swain County public hearing on Dec. 10 to voice their opposition to the county’s first-ever development regulations — a subdivision ordinance dictating road widths and grades.
Wednesday, 19 December 2007 00:00

Foy’s influence will endure

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The praise for outgoing Waynesville Mayor Henry Foy has been plentiful. Both of the other newspapers in Haywood County have…
Jackson County commissioners are weighing whether to continue a four-year fight against Duke Energy or cut their losses and bow out.
Wednesday, 19 December 2007 00:00

Ten yers after Harrah’s, Cherokee is a better place

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Harrah’s Cherokee Casino quietly marked its 10th anniversary in November, but it’s impossible to ignore exactly what it has meant…
Wednesday, 19 December 2007 00:00

A honey of a locust

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Every few years, there will be a bumper crop of long flat strap-shaped honey locust pods, many up to two…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer This Christmas season, Laura Ammons has scoured for presents for her loved ones, checking off her list as she scoops up the perfect item. Rather than encountering a mad frenzy of crowds, however, Ammons…
Wednesday, 19 December 2007 00:00

Disappearing fringes threaten national forests

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By Brent Martin We see it everywhere we look in Western North Carolina — land advertised and marketed for its…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer As mayor of Canton, Pat Smathers has overcome his fair share of obstacles — most notably the floods that devastated this Haywood County community in 2004. Now, Smathers is gearing up to face perhaps…
Wednesday, 19 December 2007 00:00

Warren Haynes’ 19th Annual Christmas Jam — mostly

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By Chris Cooper Before getting started, let me say that I completely missed Grace Potter’s performance at the Christmas Jam.…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer As captain of the Maggie Valley police department, Jason Moody normally keeps his emotions in check. Today, though, as he leads a tour around the police department’s new building, he’s beaming.
Wednesday, 19 December 2007 00:00

Gifts that keep giving

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Looking for a Christmas present? Western North Carolina is home to many outdoors organizations, conservation groups, outing clubs, nature societies…
After a successful five-month run at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the “Emissaries of Peace: The 1762 Cherokee and British Delegations,” will return to the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and reopen on Jan. 3.
Wednesday, 26 December 2007 00:00

TWASA waits for capacity expansion go-ahead

By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Officials at Tuckaseigee Water and Sewer Authority are waiting for the go-ahead from the state to increase sewer treatment plant capacity, which could end the current moratorium on sewer hook-ups.
Wednesday, 26 December 2007 00:00

2007

It marked the end of an era for North Shore Road supporters and Blue Ridge Paper Products, and ushered a new wave of progressives into office. Counties tackled tough development questions, voters said no to taxes that would have funded…
Wednesday, 26 December 2007 00:00

Mountain protections gained wide support in 2007

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For those of us who have been beating the drum about the need for mountain communities to get serious about…
Wednesday, 26 December 2007 00:00

A Christmas Day playlist

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By Chris Cooper Years ago I read an article in one of the many music and entertainment publications out there…
Wednesday, 26 December 2007 00:00

Pinnacle Park's future

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By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer Sylva Town Board members are brainstorming for ways to manage Pinnacle Park, 1,100 acres…
Wednesday, 26 December 2007 00:00

2007: A year for development news

This year marked a turning point across Western North Carolina when it comes to political will and the development industry.
Wednesday, 26 December 2007 00:00

Blessed be the tin-eared hymn singer

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By David Curtis “Hark! the herald angels sing, Glory to the new born King.”
Wednesday, 26 December 2007 00:00

Fed OKs $6 million for North Shore Road payment

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer After 64 years, it looks like the battle over the North Shore Road in Swain County may have finally reached a resolution.
Wednesday, 26 December 2007 00:00

Hike to Pinnacle Peak

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There are two ways to hike to Pinnacle Peak, which is renowned for its 360-degree views from the Plott Balsams.
Wednesday, 26 December 2007 00:00

The honesty of a cat’s purr opens my eyes

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By John Armour We have two cats: Weasel, a grey female calico, and Orion, a male orange and white tabby.…
Wednesday, 26 December 2007 00:00

A Christmas gift

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Citizens of Washington County, hundreds of thousands of migrating waterfowl and Navy pilots who would have been put in harm’s…
Wednesday, 26 December 2007 00:00

WCU trustees OK fee increases

Western Carolina University’s board of trustees unanimously approved proposed tuition and fees for the 2008-09 academic year, including increases to support operational costs for a new indoor recreation center currently under construction and to begin meeting student requests for enhanced…
A Franklin-based mining company has filed an appeal against the North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources decision denying a permit to operate a rock quarry in the Tuckasegee community in Jackson County.
Wednesday, 26 December 2007 00:00

A plant’s purpose

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There are more than 300,000 plant species in the world. Some are edible, some can be used for their medicinal…
Wednesday, 26 December 2007 00:00

Recommended diversions

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Christmas Eve dinner Not the particular food, per se, but the tradition. In our home it’s Lori’s homemade lasagna, and…
Wednesday, 26 December 2007 00:00

In WNC, voters showing support for Edwards, Huckabee

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By Tom Jensen • Guest Columnist John Edwards and Mike Huckabee are the most popular Presidential candidates in their own…
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer On June 1, 2007, A.J. Rowell left Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, and began pedaling a bicycle across North America. Just before 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday (Dec. 19), the Jackson County native pulled into Sylva, seven…
Wednesday, 26 December 2007 00:00

Parkway views from Waynesville overlook protected

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A ridgeline tract adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway overlooking Waynesville has been saved from development, thanks to the acquisition…
Wednesday, 26 December 2007 00:00

When Florida was wild

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Crackers in the Glade: Life and Times in the Old Everglades edited Betty Savidge Briggs. University of Georgia Press, 2007.…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Frank Singleton, the spokesman for the 4,500-acre proposed Cataloochee Wilderness Resort in Haywood County, stopped by The Smoky Mountain News office to answer some questions about the planned development. Singleton said the ball is…
Wednesday, 26 December 2007 00:00

A little moss, hopefully, is forever

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By Stephanie Wampler A thick, green sheet of moss is growing across my roof. When I first noticed it the…
When back-to-back tropical storms hit the mountains with heavy rains in 2004, the saturated soils triggered more than 140 landslides. Some were small, others big, but all pointed to how vulnerable some mountain slopes are to the forces of nature…
By Jennifer Garlesky • Staff Writer For more than 60 years, students have been learning at Cowee Elementary School. But with the rise in Macon County’s student population, county leaders are looking to build a new school to accommodate the…
By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Landfills in North Carolina should become a lot emptier due to a new law requiring nearly 8,000 restaurants to start recycling alcoholic beverage containers.