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Western North Carolina’s Source for Weekly News, Entertainment, Arts, and Outdoor Information

February 15-21, 2017 Vol. 18 Iss. 38

Harrah’s Casino expansion nearly nixed Page 3 Painter Jo Ridge Kelley holding art workshops Page 26



On the Cover: Haywood County Commissioners are locked in an increasingly bitter power struggle with elected Tax Collector Mike Matthews over his job performance and work habits, and there doesn’t appear to be any easy resolution to the festering dispute. Matthews, a Republican who has been a lightning rod of controversy since taking office in December 2014, is the only elected tax collector in the state, but commissioners are trying to change that. (Page 6) Cory Vaillancourt photo

News Harrah’s Casino expansion nearly nixed ...................................................................... 3 Raleigh Roundup: bobcats and beers edition ............................................................4 Tourism tax hike for Haywood is DOA ..........................................................................5 New school opening in Sylva ........................................................................................10 Franklin bike walk plan lays out potential projects ..................................................12 Franklin hears proposal to one-lane Main Street .................................................... 13 Macon schools reach full capacity .............................................................................. 14 Corbin introduces K-12 school funding bill .............................................................. 14 High-density apartment proposal a no-go for Sylva .............................................. 16 Fontana houseboat owner seeks TVA appointment .............................................. 17 Community Almanac ........................................................................................................21





Scott McLeod. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Greg Boothroyd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Micah McClure. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Travis Bumgardner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Emily Moss. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amanda Belue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amanda Bradley. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hylah Birenbaum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Scott Collier. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jessi Stone. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Becky Johnson. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cory Vaillancourt. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Holly Kays. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Garret K. Woodward. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amanda Singletary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Scott Collier. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeff Minick (writing), Chris Cox (writing), George Ellison (writing), Gary Carden (writing), Don Hendershot (writing), Susanna Barbee (writing).

CONTACT WAYNESVILLE | 144 Montgomery, Waynesville, NC 28786 P: 828.452.4251 | F: 828.452.3585 SYLVA | 629 West Main Street, Sylva, NC 28779 P: 828.631.4829 | F: 828.631.0789 INFO & BILLING | P.O. Box 629, Waynesville, NC 28786

A&E Jo Ridge Kelley holding art workshops ...................................................................... 26


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Smokies looks at impacts of shifting seasonal patterns ...................................... 42

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Casino expansion nearly nixed Tribal Council decides in split vote to continue with $250 million project


Councilmembers also questioned the project’s timing, with several of them referencing the administration of President Donald Trump, whose companies own multiple casinos across the country. Would policies unfavorable to casinos on Indian land be forthcoming, they wondered? In addition, they

Bowling alley management agreement signed Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort has signed a management agreement with UltraStar, part of Dynamic Entertainment Group, in anticipation of a September opening for a new bowling facility now under construction. The two-story, 52,000-square-foot facility will house 24 bowling lanes, full-service dining and an arcade featuring about 50 different games. The top floor will be for guests 21 and older and cater to events and parties, while the bottom floor will provide a familyfriendly bowling experience. Based in Toronto, Canada, Dynamic Entertainment group was founded in 1986. It operates another UltraStar Multi-Tainment Center at Harrah’s Ak-Chin in Arizona. “They’ve had a solid performance there,” said Leeann Bridges, regional vice president of marketing for Harrah’s. Dynamic Entertainment’s president Adam Saks said that UltraStar strives to be the “gold standard of entertainment experience,” with Harrah’s Cherokee General Manager Brooks Robinson expressing enthusiasm for the partnership. “They’re going to help us extend the Harrah’s Cherokee experience to an even wider range of guests in this terrific family-friendly venue, which will help make Harrah’s Cherokee a destination for tourists as well as members of our own communities,” Robinson said. said, what about the casino legalization in Georgia that’s been rumored for years? Would the tribe be stuck holding the bag on a giant debt as the facility’s potential for profit plummeted? “Of all the times we need to be really careful with this tribe’s resources, especially its money, it’s now,” McCoy said. “We have to be careful and cautious.” Meanwhile, Harrah’s regional vice president of finance, Adele Jacobs-Madden, made the case that the timing is just right. Doing the expansion project now will save the tribe money on financing costs, and it will further establish Harrah’s as a leader in the convention market, she said, putting it head-andshoulders above any future facility to come about in Georgia. “If it (Georgia gaming) was approved tomorrow, it would still be two or three years out,” she said. “By that time we’ve established ourselves as a destination market and conventions book two, three, five years out,

so we could theoretically have that convention business already booked by the time it was open.”

POINTS OF TRUST McCoy, however, felt it made sense to halt the project and take time to talk over the details — of expansion plans, and of other points of trust between the casino and the tribe. Over the past two years, Harrah’s has had two parking decks fail. And the controversy over the Dakota Access Pipeline’s potential impact on the Standing Rock Sioux has caused Tribal Council to question whether it is supporting banks that are financing the pipeline project. McCoy asked Brooks Robinson, general manager at Harrah’s, to provide a list of banks that Caesar’s Entertainment — Harrah’s parent company — invests with or borrows from. Robinson told McCoy he did not have that information immediately available but would provide it.

pany constructed both failed decks, and Harrah’s is currently in litigation over the failures. “It would be very doubtful in my opinion that we would contract with that company” to build the new parking deck proposed with the expansion, Bridges said. Tribal Council came down divided on the question, with six members voting to table the resolution for a work session and six members voting to pass it. Voting to pass the resolution were Councilmember Richard French, of Big Cove; McCoy, Wachacha, Jones, Rose and Crowe. Voting to table it for a work session were Chairman Bill Taylor, of Wolfetown; Councilmembers Tommye Saunooke and Marie Junaluska, of Painttown; Councilmembers Alan “B” Ensley and Anita Lossiah, of Yellowhill; and Councilmember Travis Smith, of Birdtown. The weighted vote came out to 50-50, meaning that the resolution is dead and the project will continue. However, council will likely schedule a work session later to discuss the expansion. Bridges said that councilmembers had “very good questions” but that Harrah’s is “very, very confident” that its business will support the cost of expansion. “We have to keep improving so we stay competitive in our environment, the entertainment industry,” Bridges said. “That’s what we’re charged with, and we’re always going to go through these steps and make recommendations on solid projects. Our role is to answer questions and do our best to assuage any fears about is this the right thing to do for the tribe.” 3

Smoky Mountain News


The two-story bowling wing is expected to be finished in September. Donated rendering

Currently, the casino holds contracts with outside hotels where casino guests spend about 80,000 nights per year. However, Harrah’s also turns away about 120,000 hotel guests each year due to lack of space.

February 15-21, 2017

BY HOLLY KAYS STAFF WRITER newly approved expansion project at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort was nearly derailed when a resolution to kill the project was narrowly rejected in Tribal Council this month, with the final vote an even 50-50. On Jan. 17, Council had voted 8-3 to allow the Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise — which oversees the casino — to borrow up to $250 million to build a fourth hotel tower, 100,000-square-foot convention center and new parking deck. Tribal Council votes are weighted by the population of each community represented, so the 8-3 vote translated to a 69-24 approval. Councilmember Bo Crowe, of Wolfetown; Councilmember Adam Wachacha, of Snowbird; and Vice Chairman Brandon Jones, of Snowbird, were the only nay votes. Councilmember Teresa McCoy, of Big Cove, was absent. Some councilmembers apparently had second thoughts on the decision, and on Feb. 2 the body considered a resolution from Councilmember Albert Rose, of Birdtown, that would overturn the decision to approve the project. Rose had originally voted in favor of the expansion. “I haven’t seen a plan for it. With an amount like that, you need to see a plan,” Rose told council. “There’s a lot of unanswered questions about the hotel part, why we’re still going to have to contract rooms out.” Currently, the casino holds contracts with outside hotels where casino guests spend about 80,000 nights per year. However, Harrah’s also turns away about 120,000 hotel guests each year due to lack of space. Last month, Jeremiah Wiggins, the casino’s director of planning and analysis, told council that outside hotel contracts would likely continue even after the expansion, as the new event center is expected to generate additional demand for overnight stays. As to the planning issue, said TCGE Chairman Jim Owle, it didn’t make sense for the casino to spend $100,000 for detailed plans before knowing whether Tribal Council wanted to pursue the project. Now that it’s received approval, Owle said, the casino will soon have those plans developed.

“I’m not going to borrow money from another bank that has anything to do with a bank that’s going to kick the crap out of a bunch of native people in the Dakotas,” McCoy said. Leeann Bridges, Harrah’s regional vice president of marketing, said in a follow-up interview that she does not have information on Harrah’s banking ties to share publicly but that the issue with parking deck failures has been addressed and should not be an issue going forward. Following the failures, Harrah’s had independent engineers look at the structures, and the casino has improved the structures at every deck level to ensure no repeat failures will occur, Bridges said. The same com-


Raleigh Roundup: bobcats and beers edition BY CORY VAILLANCOURT STAFF WRITER ith the new session of the North Carolina Legislature underway, a flurry of bills has been filed in both the House and Senate — more than 180 of them — as of Feb. 14. While not all will become law, some of them may. And while not all are notable, some of them are, and it’s the job of Haywood County’s legislative delegation — Rep. Mike Clampitt, R-Bryson City, Rep. Michele Presnell, R-Burnsville, and Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin — to represent the views of their constituency while in the legislature. Western North Carolina’s remaining legislator Kevin Corbin, R-Franklin, represents Macon, Clay, Graham and Cherokee counties, and deals with many of the same bills talked about in Haywood and Jackson counties as well. When talking about North Carolina House bills, one can’t not talk about the famous — or infamous — HB2, passed into law in 2016. But each year, House and Senate bills are numbered in the order in which they are filed, and this year’s HB2 is shaping up to be far less controversial — if passed in its current form, it would allow for disabled veterans to exclude 100 percent of the assessed value of their permanent residence from taxation, whereas currently only $45,000 can be excluded. The bill also includes a homestead exemption for the surviving spouse (who has not remarried) of an “emergency personnel officer” killed in the line of duty. Rep. Corbin is a sponsor of the bill, which remains in the Committee on State and Local Government. As for that other HB2 — the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act, which removed anti-discrimination protection from LGBT people and stipulates that individuals in government buildings can only use restrooms that correspond to the gender on their birth certificates — opponents of the measure will want to adopt one of several new acronyms to rally around: SB25, HB78 or HB82 would repeal the so-called “bathroom bill” that became the subject of international ridicule and national scorn in 2016. Neither Presnell, Clampitt, Corbin nor Davis are listed as sponsors or primary sponsors on any of the repeal bills. Another repeal of sorts lies in HB69, which would eliminate the need for a permit to carry a concealed handgun. Some Second Amendment supporters have called concealed carry a natural right and declared permitting requirements unconstitutional, summing up their cause with the popular “your person is your permit” slogan. Rep. Clampitt and Rep. Presnell are both sponsors of the bill, which is now in the Committee on the Judiciary II. “We have a constitutional right to carry concealed,” Presnell said. “Also, it is only the good guys who get their concealed carry permits. I have had mine for several years. Bad guys don’t get permits. They just carry con4 cealed.”

Smoky Mountain News

February 15-21, 2017


A similar 2015 attempt to amend the N.C. constitution to eliminate permitting restrictions fell flat, leaving the ultimate fate of HB69 up in the air. Also up in the air — maybe — will be two new rescue helicopters for the State Highway Patrol. HB34 would appropriate $18.2 million for the purchase of the aircraft, $355,000 for training and $3.3 million for the operation thereof; the bill also states vaguely that one helicopter is to be stationed in the eastern part of the state, and one in the west. Clampitt is a sponsor of the bill, which has been referred to the Appropriations Committee. Of particular interest to Western North Carolinians is HB32, which has Presnell as a primary sponsor and Reps. Clampitt and Corbin as sponsors. The bill would grant limited immunity from civil liability to rescue squad volunteers certified by the National Ski Patrol System. Currently, the bill is in the Committee On Insurance. The Clampitt-sponsored HB35 also ostensibly seeks to protect a group of North Carolina workers, but seems to hold a litany of unforeseen consequences. Titled as the “Protect North Carolina Workers Act,” this measure seeks to amend the definition of “employee” to specifically exclude farm workers, independent contractors and domestic help. Private employers with more than 24 employees are required to use the federal EVerify system to ensure their employees are eligible to work in the United States; removing farm workers from the definition of “employees” effectively allows large agricultural operations to hire workers who lack legal authorization to work in this country. Primary sponsor Destin Hall, R-Lenoir, did not respond to multiple email requests for comment on this bill, which has been referred to the Committee on Commerce and Job Development. Large businesses aren’t the only ones that will benefit from proposed legislation if HB61 becomes law. Small businesses calculating their North Carolina taxable income can already deduct from their adjusted gross income any number of items, including interest income from government, nonprofit and hospital financial investments, social security payments and some retirement benefits, among other things. HB61 is sponsored by Corbin and Clampitt and adds to that list $50,000 of net business income; the bill has been referred to the Finance Committee. Some legislators — especially former legislators — may also see reductions in their net business income if HB48 passes. Clampitt and Presnell are sponsors of this bill, which would restrict lawmakers and public servants from registering as lobbyists for a period of one year after leaving office; the current timetable is six months. The bill

has been referred to the Committee on Rules, Calendar and Operations of the House and mirrors to some extent anti-lobbying restrictions proposed by President Trump. The timetable for municipal elections is also a topic of debate in HB64, which would change municipal elections in cities, towns,

incorporated villages and special districts from odd-numbered years to even numbered years beginning in 2022. Voter turnout is much higher during even-numbered years, when state legislators, members of the U.S. Congress, and presidential candidates are also on the ballot, as opposed to odd years that only feature local officials. In 2016, the average voter turnout in the counties of Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain was 66.29 percent — owing largely to the presidential race. In 2014, when state legislators ran in those counties, average voter turnout was 44.32 percent; but in 2015 when many local officials ran, average turnout was just 19.52 percent. No WNC legislators are listed as sponsors of this bill, which is now fermenting in the Committee on State and Local Government. On the topic of fermentation, North Carolina is one of few states that allows brewers to distribute their own products at wholesale. That permission, however, does come with limits; brewers that produce more than 25,000 barrels per year must utilize a wholesaler, which can be a mixed bag. Although using a wholesaler allows brewers to focus more on brewing without managing the drivers and vehicles necessary for a distribution operation, it also cuts into profit margins and can affect product quality when beer sits in warehouses for an extended period of time. HB67 would amend General Statue 18-1104 to allow brewers to produce 100,000 barrels per year before they are forced to use a wholesaler. For comparison, the soon-to-open BearWaters brewery in Canton expects to produce 3,000 barrels a year, and their facility as configured would cap out at 11,000 barrels per year, according to owner Kevin Sandefur. Clampitt is a sponsor of this bill, which has been referred to the Committee on Alcoholic Beverage Control. Proposed HB39 would reduce the number of members on the UNC board of governors from 32 to 24 in two phases. These members are elected by the legislature. Republicans like sponsor Clampitt support the change on the basis of efficiency, but Democrats are afraid that it will lead to a

lack of diversity. This disagreement has led to a lot of contention over the bill, which has already seen several changes as has been rereferred to the Committee on Education and Higher Education. A series of unusual joint resolutions have also made their way through the legislature, demanding what’s called an “Article V” convention. Article V of the U.S. Constitution states that Congress shall propose amendments to the Constitution whenever two-thirds of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate call for them. Alternatively, two-thirds of state legislatures can ask for a convention to propose Constitutional Amendments by submitting an application calling for one. Illinois, Kentucky and New Jersey, for example, made just such an application in February 1861 to attempt to resolve the national dispute over human slavery. North Carolina first did so in 1965 when the state proposed allowing states with bicameral legislatures the option of utilizing “factors other than population” in apportioning one legislative house as long as state voters approved. Nothing ever came of it. Currently, 28 states including North Carolina have submitted applications for an Article V convention to consider a balanced budget amendment; for such a convention to occur, 34 states would need to apply. Three separate resolutions call for another application to be made, this time to “impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.” Clampitt is a signatory to one of the competing resolutions, all of which are primarily sponsored by Sen. Ralph Hise, R-Spruce Pine, and Sen. Joyce Krawiec, R-Kernersville. Regardless of which resolution — if any — comes to pass, it will also face competition from HB52, which is sponsored by a Republican but has Democratic support, notably Asheville Rep. Susan C. Fisher. HB52 seeks to rescind all existing Article V applications made by the legislature. It does so by citing Arthur J. Goldberg, a former associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court appointed by President Kennedy. Goldberg opined that such a convention could propose sweeping changes to the Constitution, creating “imminent peril” for the established rights of citizens of the country, and the state. But the state legislature doesn’t always occupy itself with such grand ideas dealing with the very underpinnings of government; HB74 would make the bobcat the official state cat of North Carolina, but if a separate bill passes, you won’t be able to motor around town with one sticking its head out your driver’s side window and tongue flapping in the breeze — House Bill 73 would make it unlawful to operate a motor vehicle while holding any live animal in your lap; violators could face a $100 fine.

Tourism tax hike for Haywood is DOA H

Even with the support from the board of commissioners and local municipalities, the proposal doesn’t stand a chance if Haywood’s delegation doesn’t support it. Newly elected Rep. Mike Clampitt, R-Bryson City, said he was open to the discussion and learning more about the issue. Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, said he would support letting the residents vote for the measure with a referendum on the next ballot. Presnell remains unmoved from the position she took with The Smoky Mountain News in November 2016, as well as the position she took with the previous attempt at a TDA tax hike in 2013. “To stay competitive, business owners could find themselves in a position where they would need to lower prices to keep consumer prices unchanged,” she said. “As for the argument that out-of-towners pay the tax and the tourism market can withstand increased prices, why couldn’t business owners raise prices without the tax? That way, they could invest in more jobs, higher wages, more products and services for their customers, etc. — it would be their choice, not the TDA’s.”

— Zeb Smathers, Canton alderman

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February 15-21, 2017

“Once again this issue has unanimous support in Canton as it would help us in funding recreation projects at Camp Hope and promote our Labor Day. The revenue raised would be provided from tourists visiting Haywood County, not our own citizens.”

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Last year, the TDA took in revenues of about $1.2 million; an increase from 4 to 6 percent would bring in by Collins’ estimate another $650,000 in its first year. From Presnell’s point of view, that $1.8 million per year would be better spent by tourists themselves, not by the TDA. As an example, Presnell cited the TDA’s contract with its marketing agency. “There are also restrictions on the use of occupancy taxes. At least two-thirds must be used for tourism promotion. I understand the TDA is using Crawford Strategy from Greenville, S.C.,” she said. “According to their website, their industry expertise is health care and finance. They are getting at least $5,000 per month from the Haywood County TDA.”

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Smoky Mountain News

BY CORY VAILLANCOURT STAFF WRITER aywood County Tourism Development Authority Executive Director Lynn Collins has been making the rounds like a travelling saleswoman lately — pitching a room occupancy tax increase to anyone who will listen. Her efforts however may be in vain since Rep. Michele Presnell, R-Burnsville, has made her anti-tax position clear since the proposal was first made in 2013. “I would not vote in favor of raising occupancy taxes in Raleigh,” she said on Feb. 11. The TDA proposal is to increase the occupancy tax from 4 to 6 percent in Haywood County to fund tourismrelated infrastructure projects. After shepherding the resolution through the TDA with only minor discussion Michele Presnell Jan. 25 and then the Haywood County Board of County Commissioners with a lone dissention Feb. 6, Collins took her act to Canton Feb. 9, where the resolution was passed unanimously. Collins said she felt “positive” about the support she’d received, especially from Canton; the tax hike would mean Canton’s TDA revenue would climb from about $7,500 a year to about $25,000. Canton Alderman Zeb Smathers was out of town participating in a UNC School of Government Sentencing Seminar and therefore missed the vote, but would have joined Aldermen Carole Edwards, Dr. Ralph Hamlett and Gail Mull — as well as Mayor Mike Ray — in their enthusiastic support of the measure had he been present. “Once again this issue has unanimous support in Canton as it would help us in funding recreation projects at Camp Hope and promote our Labor Day. The revenue raised would be provided from tourists visiting Haywood County, not our own citizens,” Smathers said. “Also I believe that if surrounding counties can benefit and increase economic development from their additional tourist revenue, Haywood County should not be left without this advantage.” Collins’ next stop was Maggie Valley on Feb. 13, formerly a hotbed of opposition to the measure. In 2013, Alderman Phillip Wight and then-Alderman Mike Matthews opposed the plan, citing unfair division of revenues. But this time, the resolution passed unanimously. She was also scheduled to spend her Valentine’s Day evening with the Town of Waynesville Board of Aldermen and Mayor Gavin Brown; that meeting occurred after The Smoky Mountain News went to print so the results can’t be recorded here, however, they probably don’t even matter.

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news February 15-21, 2017 Smoky Mountain News 6

In front of the lens: Tax collector faces uncertain fate

Haywood County Tax Collector Mike Matthews in the county tax office. Cory Vaillancourt photo BY CORY VAILLANCOURT STAFF WRITER aywood County Commissioners are locked in an increasingly bitter power struggle with elected Tax Collector Mike Matthews over his job performance and work habits, and there doesn’t appear to be any easy resolution to the festering dispute. Matthews, a Republican who has been a lightning rod of controversy since taking office in December 2014, is the only elected tax collector in North Carolina. Commissioners are set to consider a resolution to make his position an appointed one, but would need the General Assembly to pass a resolution approving the measure. That


may prove difficult. Historically, local bills need the support of the full local legislative delegation in order to pass muster in Raleigh. Rep. Michele Presnell, R-Burnsville, appears to be in Matthews’ corner. “Haywood County is receiving more property tax money from the elected tax collector, Mike Matthews — about 17 percent more than when the appointed tax collector was in that chair,” Presnell said on Feb. 11. “I would think the county commissioners would be very pleased.” It’s not clear where Presnell’s numbers came from, but it does seem that at this point she is opposed to any legislative measure to make the tax collector an appointed position.

Haywood County’s other General Assembly members — Sen. Jim Davis, RFranklin, and Rep. Mike Clampitt, R-Bryson City — could not be reached for comment by press time. The resolution that would allow commissioners to hire a tax collector was first discussed formally at a Feb. 6 meeting. Haywood County Manager Ira Dove took to the podium to explain why Haywood County’s tax collector should be an appointed position, rather than an elected one. He told commissioners that beginning in 1971, residents of N.C. counties began giving away their right to elect their county tax collectors, conceding that perhaps government — in

this case, at least — is better equipped than voters to make such a decision. “I would submit to you that this is analogous to the assessor’s office, which is appointed, the manager’s office, which is appointed, and to the attorney’s office, which is appointed,” Dove said. “Therefore, I am putting forward this resolution as requested earlier, for your consideration.” Haywood County’s proposed resolution says that “the current method of selection of tax collector by election provides little opportunity for oversight of personnel and monitoring tax collection activities, as the tax collector is not subject to supervision by the County Manager and/or the Board of County Commissioners in the same manner as tax collectors in the remaining 99 counties of the State of North Carolina.” Given that the majority of the current board has either criticized or expressed concern over Matthews, the resolution’s fate looked to be a foregone conclusion. However, newly elected Republican Commissioner Brandon Rogers — who won his seat in November 2016 — asked Chairman Kirk Kirkpatrick for a public hearing on the matter. Kirkpatrick felt that a public hearing wasn’t appropriate, but acknowledged the concerns Rogers said he’d heard from a constituent, namely that because the meeting agenda was first posted on Friday, the public had less than three full days to become acquainted with the resolution and speak in support of or opposition to it. “I think we owe it to them to hear them out,” Rogers said. Commissioner Mike Sorrells said he was ready to vote and has been consistent in his opinion that the entire issue has “brought a question on the integrity” of both the office and the county. What Sorrells may have been referring to is Matthews’ vehicular blooper reel — which includes citations for driving without a license and without insurance in May 2016, another citation for driving without a license that August and a subsequent October arrest for failing to appear in court to face those charges. At the time, Sorrells probably wasn’t aware of Matthews’ latest citation for driving without a license because it occurred 37 minutes before the meeting began and was served to him in his county office by Waynesville Police Officer Tyler J. Howell. Commissioner Kevin Ensley said that in contrast to Rogers, he had received plenty of negative comments over the weekend, he was prepared to vote, he was eager to send the res-

Public comment session at next commission meeting The next meeting of the Haywood County Board of Commissioners will be held at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20, inside the Historic Courtroom of the Haywood County Courthouse, in Waynesville. The agenda always offers a period for public comment, but with free speech comes responsibility; here are just a few of the important guidelines the county has issued for those wishing to address the board: • Prior to the start of the meeting, persons wishing to address the board are requested to register on a sign-up card

located at the speakers’ podium. It is recommended that any related documents and/or materials the speaker wishes to distribute to the board be delivered to the county manager’s office at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the meeting, if the speaker wishes to have copies available for administrative staff and/or the media. • Comments are generally limited to three minutes per individual, unless the speaker is representing a group for which the comment period may be extended to five minutes, unless the chairperson grants additional time.

• Speakers will not discuss matters regarding the candidacy of any person seeking public office, including the candidacy of the person addressing the board; the viewpoints or platforms of any political party or political action committee; or political issues currently of interest on a state or national level unless those issues relate directly to actions under consideration by the Board of Commissioners. Read the full policy here: Public_Information/PublicCommentGuidelines_final_.pdf.

HOW DID WE GET HERE? This saga almost sounds the plot of like a Hollywood movie: an employee’s complaint lodged with a rural county government against an elected official already under scrutiny for job performance issues sparks an independent investigation that produces a secret report, which is then anonymously leaked to a small-town newspaper. The findings of that leaked report and the circumstances surrounding its release prompt the target of the investigation to fire off a complaint of his own with his reputation, his job and the county’s budget all on the line. But this gritty drama is real life in Haywood County. At some point in 2016, a Haywood County employee filed a workplace complaint against Matthews. Such personnel-related documents are generally not public record, so it’s unknown who filed it or why, but the complaint caused the board of commissioners to contract with attorney Missy Spainhour of Asheville in November 2016 to investigate the allegations. Matthews is cast in an odd role; as the state of North Carolina’s only elected county tax collector he is technically a county employee, but is not subject to the same kind


— Ira Dove, Haywood county manager, on why the tax collector position should be appointed, not elected

was conducted. Two other attachments were performed on Henson’s residential accounts from 2015 as well, with no follow-up. Some of the accounts also list Jan Rice Henson as a responsible party. “I know I owe taxes, and they’re not showing me any favoritism, I can assure you that,” Henson said. “This is only coming up because crooked David Francis is mad.” While Henson said he couldn’t recall the last time he’d seen any communications from the tax office — in the form of a call, a letter or a personal visit — he blamed county commissioners for making it hard for Matthews to do his job. “The people voted for him, he’s the people’s man, and you’ve got five county commissioners who have been on a witch hunt since day one. They’ve been gunning for him since day one. That’s something that a czar would do, Obama, or Castro. This is America.”

BY CORY VAILLANCOURT STAFF WRITER Smoky Mountain News inquiry into collection procedures in the Haywood County tax collector’s office shows that some county GOP leaders are not being aggressively pursued for payment. While the oath of office taken by Mike Matthews on Dec. 8, 2014, contains the usual phrases about solemnly swearing and supporting the Constitution, one additional phrase is included at the very end: “I will not allow my actions as Tax Collector to be influenced by personal or political friendships or obligations.” Haywood County GOP Chair Ken Henson seems to be catchCounty tax records obtained ing a break from the Republican tax collector. Feb. 13 show that Haywood County tax records obtained County GOP Chair Ken Henson Feb. 13 show that Henson currently owes more than $6,200 in currently owes more than taxes across four of his residential tax accounts. Almost $2,600 $6,200 in taxes across four of of that dates back to 2015. his residential tax accounts. Last October, Matthews presented a collection plan to comAlmost $2,600 of that dates missioners in response to county concerns that only about back to 2015. $720,000 in delinquent taxes out of a possible $2.5 million had been collected during the 2015-16 fiscal Henson, however, isn’t the only local year. During 2014-15 — when Mike Republican leader with delinquent Matthews took over for his predecessor accounts that don’t appear to have been David Francis about halfway through the properly pursued. fiscal year — that number was about $1.1 GOP activist and county precinct chair million. Jeremy Davis owes $3,600.44 across two Matthews promised in his plan to serve residential accounts. Of that, $1,355.89 attachments on all accounts with balances dates to 2015, and $903.40 dates to 2014. prior to 2016. Both accounts also list Amy Honaker Davis Henson’s two business accounts owe as well. an additional $1,920.04, of which $983.55 Davis’ last payment came in September dates back to 2015; in one case, a final 2016, after missing payments for June, July notice had been sent for $745.86 owed on and August. machinery and equipment in 2015 but no By contrast, a selection of local follow-up has been conducted, and in Democratic Party officials showed outanother case an attachment was perstanding tax bills for just one — county formed for $237.75 owed on machinery party Vice Chair Chad Upton, who owes and equipment, but again no follow-up $149.53 from 2016.


Smoky Mountain News

“I would submit to you that this is analogous to the assessor’s office, which is appointed, the manager’s office, which is appointed, and to the attorney’s office, which is appointed. Therefore, I am putting forward this resolution as requested earlier, for your consideration.”

Unfair collection practices in tax collector’s office?

February 15-21, 2017

Mike Matthews (left) and County Manager Ira Dove (right) await an interpretation from County Attorney Chip Killian (foreground).


olution to the General Assembly and that the public had weighed in previously. “Unlike Brandon, I’d gotten comments this weekend about that public hearing, but I got a slew of comments,” Ensley said. “The common question I’m asked is about the tax collector position. We’ve had public comment here, there’s been letters to the newspaper. I don’t mind having the public weigh in some more if we need to. I want to get this to the General Assembly and get it changed before the next election. That would be my comment. There’s the transparency part of me that wants to have as transparent a process as possible and I understand what Brandon’s saying about the transparency and I always fall on that side even though I’m prepared to vote for it today, but I will fall on that side if that’s what everybody wants. I’ll come down on that side I guess.” Commissioner Bill Upton said having an elected tax collector leads to a lack of oversight, and he described how a typical county might evaluate the position of tax collector — by establishing a set of measurable criteria, agreeing to that set of criteria and then measuring growth (or lack thereof ). “We’ve kind of battled this around for two years,” said Upton, who was also originally prepared to vote on the measure on Feb. 6. The resolution is now on the commissioner agenda for their Feb. 20 meeting.



of oversight from commissioners as a department head might be. Narrowly elected in November 2014, Matthews defeated longtime incumbent David Francis, a Democrat, in a contentious election made worse by questions about Matthews’ qualifications and claims that some voters thought they were voting for a different Mike Matthews. During the campaign it was also revealed that Matthews had faced financial trouble in the past, including a debt lawsuit, an unpaid tax bill and two wage garnishments from the very county he sought to serve. Matthews himself said he was surprised he’d even won.

LET THE CONFLICTS BEGIN Mike Matthews (left) and his predecessor Davis Francis, who serves as county Tax Administrator. File photo

Comparing tax collections under Francis, Matthews BY CORY VAILLANCOURT STAFF WRITER aywood County Tax Collector Mike Matthews’ efficiency and his use of attachments to collect past due taxes have been called into question recently by county commissioners. At a Feb. 6 county board meeting, commissioners expressed concern that of $2.5 million in past due taxes from the 2015-16 fiscal year, only about $720,000 had been collected. During the 2014-15 fiscal year, that number was closer to $1.1 million. Questions were raised about Matthews’ methods for collecting past due taxes, including his use of attachments — a method where employers are instructed to return a portion of late payers’ earnings to the governmental agency whose taxes have not been paid. Matthews took office in December 2014, but the county’s fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30, meaning Matthews took office after former Tax Collector David Francis had still been in office half the year. According to data provided by Haywood County, in that “blended” 2014-15 fiscal year attachment actions numbered 1,396. For the 2015-16 fiscal year — Matthews’ first full year at the helm — that number dropped to 1,064, a decline of almost 24 percent. For 2014-15, garnishments numbered 1,404 but in 2015-16 plummeted to just 361, a decline of almost 75 percent. And the foreclosures he says he won’t do? Well, they’re up. In 2014-15, 164 taxpayers entered the foreclosure process; 108 paid immediately upon notification, 47 agreed to payment 8 plans and nine were foreclosed upon. In

Smoky Mountain News

February 15-21, 2017


2015-16, 264 taxpayers entered the foreclosure process, 196 paid immediately upon notification, 62 agreed to payment plans and six were foreclosed upon as a last resort. Halfway through the 2016-17 fiscal year, 139 taxpayers had entered the foreclosure process, putting the tax collector’s office on pace to surpass 2014-15’s 164 cases, and possibly even 2015-16’s 264 cases.

At a Feb. 6 county board meeting, commissioners expressed concern that of $2.5 million in past due taxes from the 2015-16 fiscal year, only about $720,000 had been collected. During the 2014-15 fiscal year, that number was closer to $1.1 million. As far as Matthews’ collection rates, he’s correct in that they’re “97 percent plus.” In that blended year of 2014-15, they were 97.54 percent, but slipped to 97.28 percent in 2015-16 (the state average climbed from 98.6 to 98.91 percent, due greatly to the effects of a recovering real estate market and a new state law that forces taxpayers to pay motor vehicle fees in order to maintain a valid Department of Motor Vehicles registration card).

Even before taking office, Matthews went from the limelight to the spotlight. His past financial troubles contributed to his difficulty in obtaining the requisite personal liability bond, which in turn prevented him from taking his oath of office on time. Francis, meanwhile, stayed on as the county’s tax administrator — a more comprehensive position with a higher salary than that of tax collector. Some Republicans accused the Democrat-majority board of trying to circumvent the results of the election by retaining Francis. Democrats on the commission countered by stressing the importance of the job, as the county derives well over half its revenue from tax collections. Then-chairman of the board, Democrat Mark Swanger, told The Smoky Mountain News just prior to Matthews taking office that if Matthews wasn’t successful, it could affect county budgeting. Then-commissioner and current chairman Kirkpatrick said at the same time that if Francis didn’t agree to stay, it would put the county in “serious jeopardy.” Matthews has maintained that the scrutiny was the result of political animosity resulting from his defeat of Francis and not related to his own financial history. Thus, essentially serving under the man he defeated at the polls and facing criticism from the board he reports to, Matthews and county officials predictably began to clash behind the scenes. And it wasn’t just Swanger and Kirkpatrick. Although the commission had a 4-1 Democratic majority at the time, even Ensley — the board’s lone Republican — earned Matthews’ ire. They come from vastly different wings of the party, and Matthews has called Ensley “the furthest thing from a Republican that I’ve ever met.” Ensley said their relationship got off to a rocky start. “Around October of 2015, I went down to his office, because I’d heard from people who work at the courthouse that he hadn’t been around much,” said Ensley. “He wasn’t there but he called me and said he was there ‘all day every day.’ We got into some kind of an argument, and it was just all downhill from there.” Spainhour was sought as an impartial, outside party because she would thereby

eliminate any thought that the investigation of the initial complaint might be — or become — a politically motivated fishing expedition.


The county hasn’t released Spainhour’s report. Despite repeated requests for a copy and despite the fact that excerpts were published in The Mountaineer, the county continues to insist it’s confidential because it’s a personnel record. Dove and County Attorney Leon “Chip” Killian maintain the document is confidential, but some commissioners think it should be made public. According to reports in The Mountaineer, the original claim against Matthews that prompted the investigation was unfounded. The Mountaineer’s excerpts, however, revealed a number of witness statements containing allegations of Matthews’ absenteeism inhibiting departmental functions, alcohol use during working hours, office naps and generally unprofessional workplace communication, among other things.

“Around October of 2015, I went down to his office, because I’d heard from people who work at the courthouse that he hadn’t been around much. He wasn’t there but he called me and said he was there ‘all day every day.’” — Kevin Ensley, Haywood commissioner

Matthews disputes all of it. He deemed the investigation itself “bullshit,” called out Ensley for not communicating concerns and expounded on the reasons for his perceived persecution, which include political animosity and a difference in his collections philosophy. He also says he has $1,700 worth of legal bills that the county refuses to pay. “They [county officials] have that mentality that ‘I’m going to beat you over the head and take it from you’ as opposed to giving you a call and saying, ‘Hey, what can we work out?’ That’s what I’ve been trying to do,” Matthews said in regard to his preference to avoid attachments, foreclosures or garnishments when possible. Matthews doubled down by alleging that commissioners are angry because they’ve not been able to profit from foreclosures like they have in the past under Francis. “The gripe that I have, and you could speculate on this however you want to, is that it’s a revenue stream that they’re not able to purchase, their friends aren’t able to purchase, or however — they’re losing income off of this somehow,” he said. In yet another twist, Matthews has gone from being complained about to being a complainant himself.


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Swain County commissioners are accepts ing applications from community members y to serve on a newly formed Broadband - Advisory Committee. - The committee will be tasked with devela oping a county initiative focused on stimulaty ing the deployment of broadband networks s throughout the county and assist the underk served and unserved areas of Swain in obtaining affordable internet connectivity. , Swain County residents have had a hard t time getting new internet service from local providers because the existing broadband , infrastructure is maxed out. Providers haven’t - been constructing new towers because the m infrastructure is too expensive to only serve a l small and spread out population in Swain. It d just isn’t worth the investment — but it’s a - problem many of the Western North Carolina counties are dealing with at the moment. “High-speed internet is something we all need in our homes but it’s hard to get,” said Commission Chairman Phil Carson. “It’s not the dial up that we did have but it’s expensive. Citizens deserve getting better broadband for communicating with the world.” Commissioners are looking to make nine appointments to the committee — two county representatives, two Swain County Schools representatives, one Bryson City town representative and four at-large appointments.

Cherokee man sentenced in murder case Joshua Daniel Calhoun, 22, of Cherokee, was sentenced Feb. 14 in Swain County Superior Court to a maximum of 38 years and five months in prison for his role in the 2013 murder of Calup “Joe” Caston. He will serve at least 30 years before he is eligible for consideration for parole. Calhoun is the third of eight co-defendants sentenced to not less than 30 years nor more than 38 years five months in prison for this crime. Two of the ringleaders, Joshua Tyler Price and Marcos Cardonne, have previously been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.


Haywood man convicted of voter fraud A Haywood County jury recently convicted Dewey George Gidcumb, 52, of Haywood County of felony voter fraud for voting twice in the 2016 Primary Elections in North Carolina. Gidcumb voted during One-Stop Early Voting on March 3, 2016, and then voted a second time on Election Day on March 15, 2016, in the same Republican primary. Choices included candidates for president and governor. Robert Inman, director for the local Haywood County Board of Elections, caught the double vote and reported the activity to the North Carolina Board of Elections. After an investigation by election officials, District

Attorney Ashley Welch indicted Gidcumb for voter fraud. Gidcumb first claimed that he thought his second vote was in a different election. When pressed, he then claimed that he forgot that he voted the first time. However, prosecutors pointed out that Gidcumb was an experienced voter who had voted in each primary and general election since 1996 in Haywood County, and that he had even been a chairman of his local precinct.

Jackson Democrats to hold precinct meetings All precincts of the Jackson County Democratic Party will hold their annual meetings over the next two weeks. A combined meeting for all precincts except for Cashiers, Glenville, River and Canada will be held at noon on Feb. 25 at the Jackson County Family Resource Center in Webster. After lunch the individual precincts will hold breakout sessions. Cashiers and Glenville precincts will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, at the Cashiers Recreation Center. River and Canada precincts will meet at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 17 at the VFW building on Highway 107 near Tuckasegee. All local Democrats are encouraged to attend these important annual meetings and participate in precinct-level organization, including planning and the election of officers and convention delegates.

Tombstones Tombstones of of our our Anscestors Anscestors

As we begin the hustle and bustle of another year, let us not forget our ancestors and their final resting place. They may have tombstones, Military markers, or even mountain flatrocks to mark them, but they live through us.

As spring arrives and the flowers and trees start to bloom, let us take time to check on the condition of our ancestor’s final resting place. Let’s make them nice for homecoming day or Decoration day, which is the day of remembrance for our ancestors and loved ones.

As the long hot days of summer get here and the grass, mold, and weeds start to grow, try not to let them take over your ancestor’s tombstones. This will also help the caretakers of the cemeteries.

As the cool days of fall come in and leaves start to change colors, let us look closer to the burial site of our ancestors to make sure the dates are correct. Let us clean up any residue from mold and make sure the stone is not cracked.

As winter and the holiday season approaches and snow is flying around, there is nothing more peaceful than a well kept cemetery, so put out your flowers and decorations to remember your ancestors,

Smoky Mountain News

Spainhour’s investigation — something Matthews called “Mark Swanger’s last middle finger to me” — apparently concluded without finding any serious, impeachable behavior. Not that he could be “impeached” — North Carolina generally has no procedures short of felony conviction that would allow voters to remove or recall a local elected official from office. What it did find, however, was a series of credible allegations that aligned with some of the past criticisms of his behavior as tax collector. Whilst weighing all of this — plus the public comments called for by Rogers — commissioners must on Feb. 20 again take up the matter of whether they think it’s a good idea to join the other 99 counties of North Carolina in appointing a tax collector, or continuing to elect one. As written, the county’s resolution seeks to change the position to an appointed one and terminate the current tax collector upon enactment, meaning probably by May, if passed. Alternatively, the resolution seeks to change the position to an appointed one and terminate the current tax collector at the end of the current term in 2018. With his reputation, his job and the county’s budget all on the line, Matthews awaits the final cut of this ongoing drama still being played out before a live audience.

The conviction is the second murder conviction to be recorded this week in Swain County. On Feb. 13, Nicholas Berlatsky, 35, was sentenced to a maximum of 22 years and 11 months in prison for the Nov. 30, 2012, murder and robbery of James Williams. “When I took office in January of 2015 there was a backlog of 14 pending murder cases in Swain County. That’s one murder case for every 1,000 residents,” said District Attorney Ashley Welch. “My office has worked hard since then and has resolved 10 of those cases … With every conviction we take a big step closer to restoring public confidence that Swain County is a beautiful and safe place to live and vacation.”

February 15-21, 2017

On Feb. 10, Matthews — who has seen the Spainhour report but won’t release it on advice from his attorney Scott Jones — filed what he called a formal grievance against Dove, the board of commissioners and “anyone else who may have been responsible for d leaking the investigation report to The t Mountaineer.” d The letter, addressed to County Human d Resource Director Kathi McClure, alleges - that “non-public records may have been mis- handled” and “closed session laws may have l been violated.” “Commissioners can make a decision to - investigate a personnel matter behind d closed doors,” said Jonathan Jones, director u of the N.C Open Government Coalition. k “Even though the tax collector is elected and ” is not supervised by the commissioners, he o is still an employee of the county and so it - would be part of his personnel file, I think. Similar issues have come up when sheriffs t have had troubles.” t Commissioners Mike Sorrells and y Kevin Ensley stopped short of calling for an investigation into how the newspaper - obtained the report but said they were at s odds with Killian and Dove on the status of - the document. r “We haven’t discussed it,” Sorrells said of s a potential investigation. “I think we all felt like it’s a public document.” e “In my opinion, that’s a public document, because it concerns an elected official,” said Ensley.

Committee members will serve a threeyear term and will not serve more than two consecutive terms. Members will serve without compensation and will meet at least once a month. Members are required to attend at least 75 percent of the meetings or they will be removed. Once established, the committee will be required to provide quarterly reports to the commissioners. The first report will be due in July. If you are interested in serving on the committee, contact County Clerk Cindi Woodard for an application at or 828.488.9273, ext. 2225.


Applicants needed for Swain broadband committee

A nd just maybe, the next generation will do the same for your tombstone. If you do not know of your ancestors, Contact:

Tim Morgan

David Duvall

North C arolina Family Resercher


828-332-1224 9


New school opening in Sylva

Fast facts • School name: Catamount School • Grades served: Six through eight, with 25 students per grade. • Location: The B wing of Smoky Mountain High School • Governance: Western Carolina University Board of Trustees, with an appointed advisory committee. • Funding: Per-pupil state funding • Opening date: August 2017 • Enrollment: Voluntary and open to Jackson County students. Application not yet available.

WCU’s Catamount School will serve grades six through eight BY HOLLY KAYS STAFF WRITER lans are crystallizing for a new middle school in Jackson County, but it’s a race against the clock for Western Carolina University and Jackson County Public Schools to meet the deadline for opening set by the General Assembly. Dubbed the Catamount School, it will be located within Smoky Mountain High School and run by WCU. It’s the result of a law the legislature passed in July requiring that eight of the University of North Carolina’s 17 institutions start “laboratory schools,” which will aim to develop innovative teaching methods to reach students in low-performing schools while also bolstering education programs for teachers and administrators. WCU is one of the eight institutions selected to run a school, and it’s in the first wave of schools to open, required to start in August of this year. The second wave of lab schools will open next year. “It’s hard to think of doing all the work that needs to be done between now and in the fall when it opens up,” said Jackson Schools Superintendent Mike Murray.

Smoky Mountain News

February 15-21, 2017


“The devil’s in the details, and there’s a lot of details in a short period of time to pull this off,” Murray said.

PRIORITIZING PARTNERSHIP The new school will be located within Smoky Mountain High School. Holly Kays photo Some of the big decisions have already been made. The school will serve grades six through eight, with 25 spots in each grade for a maximum enrollment of 75. It will be housed in the B wing of Smoky Mountain High School, which is currently used mostly for storage. It will run on the same calendar as Jackson County Schools, with the school system providing transportation and meals, and it will use the same learning standards as the public school system.

However, there’s still a lot to be done. WCU must hire staff, including an administrator, teachers and any support staff needed. It’s also got to market the school to parents so there will be students come August. A board of advisors must be formed. The physical space has to be upgraded to accommodate students. Myriad details related to staffing, budgets and plans for allowing students to participate in extracurricular activities must be discussed.



CHATTANOOGA, TN Sunday, March 5 to Wednesday, March 8 See the Tennessee Aquarium, hike around Lookout Mountain and downtown Chattanooga, visit Nancy Wards Home, and Point Park Civil War site. Trip participants are responsible for paying their own hotel fees, Tenneessee Aquarium tickets and meal. Breakfast at the Hampton Inn Downtown is included in hotel cost.

The cost is $50 per person. Participants will need to bring luggage for 3 night stay, hiking shoes, small backpack, water bottle, and money for all lunch and evening meals. Ages below 16 must be accompanied by an adult.


To that end, Jackson Schools and WCU staff have been in conversation almost daily to make sure that, when August rolls around, the Catamount School will be ready to go. While the legislation itself doesn’t mention public school districts having any role at all in how the lab school implementation unfolds — the school is solely WCU’s responsibility — Murray’s made an effort to be a partner from the beginning. “I can’t say enough about Jackson County Public Schools,” said Dale Carpenter, dean of WCU’s College

PARKS AND RECREATION 828.456.2030 or email

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The new school will be open to any student in the sixth through eighth grade but will target students from schools designated as lowperforming and students who have tested in the low-performing category.

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Smoky Mountain News


February 15-21, 2017

schools. So, if a student at Cullowhee Valley Elementary School decided to enroll in the Catamount School next year, the roughly $6,000 that Jackson Schools had been receiving to teach that child would go to WCU instead. The school system would no longer be responsible for teaching the child, but costs don’t always adjust in direct proportion to the student population. One student’s transfer wouldn’t cause a decrease in heating and cooling costs, for example, or in the number of support staff or teachers or buses needed. It’s a calculation public schools across the state have done over and over as they’ve found themselves in increasing competition with charter schools, online schools and private schools. However, Murray said he sees the lab school as being an overall benefit to the public school system — if the partnership between WCU and Jackson Schools is strong. “It creates more opportunities for kids,” he said. “The people within the high school shouldn’t ever feel threatened by the early college, and the people who are in the trenches (in public schools) shouldn’t be threatened by another choice. What they should be is excited that this is an opportunity.”

The Catamount School will have a paid staff of classroom teachers, but it will also have hefty involvement from professors of education, as well as from students in the teaching and school administration programs. WCU faculty are “some of the best middle-level leaders in the country,” Murray said, so having them directly involved in the schools will likely produce valuable insights into how to help kids learn better. “As we look at our schedules for the fall semester, we’re already making provisions for some of our faculty to be involved with the Catamount School and that be part of their job,” Carpenter said. With a campus full of expert staff and motivated students, Carpenter said, WCU is in a position to lavish expertise and personnel on the lab school, enabling a high degree of small-group and personalized teaching, in addition to innovative ideas. To those who have been following the charter school issue, the idea of creating new schools as laboratories of innovative educational theory isn’t new, and many charter school critics have alleged that charters haven’t delivered on the promise of cycling educational innovation back to the public schools. Murray, however, feels that WCU will deliver. The new school’s co-location on the Smoky Mountain campus will be instrumental to that end. “We’ll have a quick pipeline out there to our own teachers,” he said. Neither Jackson Schools nor WCU had a choice in the lab schools mandate, Murray stressed. Neither organization was asked to give input before the law was passed and the mandate finalized. Some aspects of it — such as the funding mechanism and the timeline — are less than ideal. However, overall Murray believes that the concept is a good one that will benefit children in Jackson County. He also envisions the lab school as being a boon to Jackson Schools — because of the trickle-down of innovative teaching methods, and also because of the benefits to individual students. The new school, Carpenter said, will be open to any student in the sixth through eighth grade but will target students from schools designated as low-performing — Murray takes issue with this designation, saying that small student populations and poverty-related issues distort the numbers — and students who have tested in the low-performing category. When Catamount School students rejoin the public school system as ninth-graders, Murray said, in theory they’ll return as stronger students whose presence will benefit the school system as a whole. “Any gains we make, we’ll all benefit when we transition those kids into our other programs,” he said.

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Investment and Insurance Products:  NOT FDIC Insured  NO Bank Guarantee  MAY Lose Value Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. © 2016 Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. All rights reserved. 0916-04574

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of Education and Allied Professions. “They’re not reluctant partners. They’ve been great partners. And because of that we know it’s going to be successful.” The lab school concept is not a new one in North Carolina. The building that once housed the Cordelia Camp Laboratory School still stands on WCU’s campus, but the current iteration of the laboratory school is almost the exact opposite of that school, known as Camp Lab. Camp Lab was a school on WCU’s campus that was run by Jackson Schools. The Catamount School will be a school on Jackson Schools’ campus run by WCU. It would be easy to make a case for why Jackson Schools might root against the Catamount School’s success. The law creating t the lab schools states that funding will come s from the per-pupil funding that the state gives to students who attend its public



Franklin bike walk plan lays out potential projects BY J ESSI STONE N EWS E DITOR proposed comprehensive plan to improve Franklin’s pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure includes more than 20 recommended projects to fix the town’s sidewalks, increase connections to the greenway and make downtown more navigable for visitors and residents alike. JM Teague Engineering presented the final draft of Franklin’s Bike Walk Plan — funded by a $36,000 North Carolina Department of Transportation grant — to the board of aldermen last week. The entire 174-page document carries a $10 million price tag, but JM Teague Planner Kristy Carter said the town could begin work on the simple projects now while looking for funding opportunities for some of the larger scale projects included in the plan. “We give you this huge long range plan with a huge price tag so we also like to give our communities 10 easy things to get done without a lot of money,� Carter said. The projects all came out of public input sessions in the community and were then ranked by priority based on criteria established by the steering committee. Projects receiving high priority are ones that would improve safety, increase connectivity in town

February 15-21, 2017


and fill in infrastructure gaps. “It’s not just about how do we get good sidewalks on the ground,� Carter said. “It’s really about how you build the community.� The top-ranked project is the Southwest Loop Trail — a multi-use path for bicyclists and pedestrians separate from vehicle traffic. The loop would run from Memorial Park to Old Murphy Road over to Westgate Plaza and back to Memorial Park by way of Georgia Road. Even though it’s top ranked, the 3.7-mile project would cost an estimated $4 million and would require a lot of construction and right-of-way acquisition. A project to add sidewalk infrastructure to the intersection of Porter and Palmer streets ranked No. 2 on the list. The busy and confusing intersection could benefit from pedestrian signals and crosswalks and would only cost $125,000 to complete. An extension to the Highlands Road sidewalks is the third project. For $550,000, a mile-long sidewalk extension could be made on the west side of the road to allow pedestrians to access many businesses and a grocery store. Besides the cost, the only other challenge is limited space for a buffer between the sidewalk and traffic. The fourth-ranked project would extend the sidewalk 750 feet on Highlands Road

Franklin residents took part in a community bike ride last year, which was part of the process for developing the town’s comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian improvement plan. Donated photo from Crane Circle to 1st Avenue on the east side of the road to connect a isolated stretch of road. The cost would be $90,000. Extending the sidewalk along both sides of Georgia Road from Golfview Drive to Belden Circle also made the top five list. It would connect the U.S. 23-441 southern corridor with downtown, adding safe pedestrian paths along the wide road. The project would cost $540,000 would also connect the Macon County Fairgrounds and Recreation Park, the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin Chamber of Commerce,

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Franklin High School and all the businesses in between. If the town does nothing else on the list, Carter suggested that the town establish a long-range sidewalk capital improvement plan to begin chipping away at replacing crumbling infrastructure and adding new sidewalks around town. The board said it would need time to digest the proposed plan and would take a vote on it at its March meeting. To see the complete plan, visit projects-franklin-nc.html.





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Any other streetscaping improvements the town wants to do could easily be implemented from the 2013 JM Teague study instead of paying another $15,000 for a new study. “Without taking this lane away I wouldn’t consider doing another study,” Setzer said. “You’ve got a good streetscaping plan already — you just need to find out if it’s feasible.” After Setzer’s presentation, Mayor Bob Scott asked the aldermen their thoughts on testing out some of the proposed changes before taking any action. He said he spoke to NCDOT about the idea of the town putting out traffic cones or drawing some new lines on Main Street to give residents a little taste of what it would be like with parallel spots and one lane of traffic. “Now that we’re in the slow season, there are some ways we could practice some of these ideas that have come up,” Scott said. “What’s the feeling of the board?” Other board members seemed amenable to the idea if all the legalities check out. Alderman Brandon McMahan asked that the town make a concerted effort to alert the public prior to the experimentation with Main Street and come up with a way to get feedback afterward. Town Attorney John Henning Jr. had some reservations about making temporary changes on Main Street and wanted to speak to NCDOT before the board decided on anything. No vote was taken on the matter.

February 15-21, 2017

BY J ESSI STONE N EWS E DITOR ranklin’s town board has been hearing different proposals for improving Main Street’s parking and appearance — and the latest proposal included turning it into a one-lane thoroughfare. Engineers from different firms in the sregion have recently given their proposals ofor a parking and streetscaping study to make project recommendations to the sboard. Suggestions have varied from making Main Street a two-way street, changing ,the angled parking to parallel or some acombination of both, but this isn’t the first ttime the town of Franklin has commisgsioned a study to improve Main Street wparking. JM Teague Engineering completed a oparking study for the town in 2013, but it awas never implemented because the town ecouldn’t get residents on board with the rec/ommendation to transition into parallel parking spots. Joel Setzer, a former regional head of the North Carolina Department of Transportation who currently works for Vaughn and Melton Engineering in Sylva, said another study is the last thing the town needs. “You have been down this road — this is not your first study,” he told the board during a Feb. 6 meeting. “I looked at JM Teague’s parking study done in 2013 — it’s a good study with good recommendations.” After reviewing the previous recommendations and looking at the obstacles downtown, Setzer said the town should keep Main Street one way, but begin to examine the pros and cons of repurposing one of the lanes to make more space for parking spots. Currently Main Street has two, one-way lanes running through it and has 45-degree angled parking on both sides. While the spots are easier to get into than parallel spots, visibility is an issue when trying to back out of the spots. The angled spots aren’t long enough to accommodate larger trucks and SUVs either, which presents safety issues for vehicles driving down Main Street. They often have to swerve into the other lane to avoid hitting larger vehicles. “Parking is at a severe angle — when larger vehicles park you can’t stay in your lane and pass the trucks — so at times the road truly functions as a one-lane road already,” Setzer said. Removing the one lane would give the town enough space to change its 45-degree


Franklin hears proposal to one-lane Main Street

angle parking to 30-degree on one side of the street and create parallel spots on the other side. It would also allow the town to create more sidewalk ramps to increase accessibility for residents and tourists with mobility challenges. The only study Setzer proposed was to see if the one lane on Main Street would work and whether the change would be acceptable to residents. “Getting 100 percent consensus on something like this is hard, but sometimes you have to go with the majority,” he said. Setzer’s $11,000 proposal would look into whether the NCDOT would allow Main Street to be a one-lane road since it’s state-maintained. His firm would conduct traffic counts to determine how much congestion the change would cause downtown and whether that would be palatable for residents. The firm would also lead the town through a public input process. “The only way to find out is to stick your toe in the water and see,” Setzer said.


The board narrowed down the list to request about $2.9 million in capital outlay funding from the county. Needs that made the list included replacing two school activity buses for $83,000; $114,000 for school furniture and equipment; $223,344 to replace iPads; $262,119 to

replace desktop computers; $150,000 to replace windows at Macon Middle School and $40,000 to replace old bleachers at Franklin High School’s football stadium. The board unanimously approved the recommended $2.9 million in capital outlay requests and also voted unanimously to allocate $12,000 for the repair of the heat pump at the Franklin High School gym. Baldwin said it was too early in the budget process to decide how many teachers and teacher aides would be needed for next year since the state hasn’t completed its budget yet. “It’s too early for action because we don’t know what will happen with the K-3 class size bill or the state budget,” Baldwin said. “We don’t know what the teacher assistant allotment will be — that will impact a lot of these requests.” School board members are keeping their fingers crossed that the General Assembly will pass House Bill 13. The piece of legislation — introduced by newly elected Rep. Kevin Corbin, R-Franklin, — would give local school systems a little more flexibility with class size maximums in kindergarten through third grade. The current law states that classroom sizes for K-3 can’t exceed 19 to 21 students depending on the grade, but HB13 would allow classroom sizes to exceed the cap by no more than three students. “We will need seven to nine more teachers if that law doesn’t get passed and things stay the same,” Baldwin said. Corbin said every school superintendent in his district has endorsed the HB13 measure because it will save them from having to hire more teachers just because they’re a few kids over in a classroom. “That bill will save the average county in my district $350,000 a year,” Corbin said. “It’s common sense — it gives the superintendent the ability to vary class size a little bit instead of it being dictated from Raleigh.” County commissioners will be discussing the school board’s capital improvement requests in the coming months as they begin to piece together the 2017-18 county budget. The Smoky Mountain News was able to report on the school board budget meeting thanks to video available at

from Highlands or Nantahala isn’t feasible either given the terrain and winter weather, but legislators to the east have a hard time grasping that obstacle. Corbin said Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, introduced a similar bill last year but it never got through the House of Representatives. “This is a true story — in committee, one of Kevin Corbin the legislators from Wake County said he looked at a map and said it was only a half inch from Nantahala to Franklin, so just bus the kids to Franklin,” Corbin said. Corbin said he thinks the bill has a good chance of getting through this year since he’s made it clear that consolidation isn’t a possi-

bility. While he was campaigning for office, Corbin got Speaker of the House Tim Moore to spend a day with him in Macon County and drive him to Murphy through the Nantahala community. “So now he understands,” Corbin laughed. Corbin’s proposed bill would require the state board of education to allot additional classroom teachers to schools containing grades kindergarten through twelfth grade when consolidation is not possible due to geographic isolation. To qualify, the school would have to meet at least one of two requirements — either the school is located in a local school district in which the average daily membership is less than 1.5 per square mile or the school is located in a school district for a county containing more than 150,000 acres of national forest owned by the federal government.


Macon schools reach full capacity Classroom expansion needed at South Macon Elementary BY J ESSI STONE N EWS E DITOR acon County elementary schools are near, at or over capacity, and administrators can only shuffle students around so much before a more long-term solution will be needed. According to Chris Baldwin, Macon County Schools superintendent, Cartoogechaye Elementary has only four more openings for students, East Franklin Elementary is 20 students over capacity, South Macon Elementary is 42 students over capacity and Iotla Valley Elementary can only fit another 57 students before reaching capacity. “We could redistrict East Franklin and move some 20 kids to Iotla,” Baldwin said, but that would only be a shortterm fix. “Ideally, we have a little room at Iotla and that’s for future growth Chris Baldwin in the north end of the county — we’re growing that direction — so you’re still not solving the problem,” said Terry Bell, a consultant for Macon County Schools. At a recent 2017-18 budget workshop, the school board began prioritizing a long laundry list of capital projects that would need to be funded through the county budget. The board agreed that one of those priorities would be a six-classroom expansion at South Macon Elementary to keep classrooms sizes down. The expansion — which is estimated to cost $1.6 million — would allow the school system to free up some space at other schools by consolidating all of the Exceptional Children classrooms at South Macon. EC teachers could also share resources and class-

Macon County Board of Education is looking at a six classroom expansion at South Macon Elementary School. Donated photo

Smoky Mountain News

February 15-21, 2017


room spaces if all the EC students were in one location. “If we build six classrooms at South Macon we can create space at East Franklin and Cartoogechaye and keep Iotla where it is so we’re not looking at any additional construction for five to 10 more years,” Baldwin said. But even with an expansion at South Macon, the school board has to begin looking at what its needs will be for the next five to 10 years, and the bottom line is that even the slightest growth in the next couple of years is going to cause overcrowding in the elementary schools. Baldwin said the plan at South Macon was to move the computer lab into the library to create additional classroom space and keep the student capacity manageable for the 2017-18 school year. “They’ll be crowded but we can manage. After that we’ve got a real problem at South Macon,” he said. “There’s nothing else we can do there — we’ve got ‘em in every closet we have.” The $1.6-million expansion project cost is just a drop in the bucket considering the total requests for capital projects from school prin-

Corbin introduces bill to help Macon’s K-12 schools

BY J ESSI STONE N EWS E DITOR hen Kevin Corbin decided to run for state representative, one of his main goals was to secure adequate funding allocations for K-12 schools. On his second day in office he introduced House Bill 23 — legislation to provide teacher allotments for geographically isolated schools in the state. As a former chairman for the Macon County Board of Education and board of 14 county commissioners, education funding


has always been a top priority for Corbin. Since Macon County is home to two K-12 schools — Highlands School and Nantahala School — he has seen firsthand how these institutions have suffered from a cookie-cutter funding formula. The only other K-12 schools in the state is located on the Outer Banks. These isolated schools have a low student population, which means the per pupil allotment provided by the state isn’t enough to cover the number of teachers truly needed for each classroom. Busing kids to Franklin

cipals exceeded $14 million. Obviously all those requests can’t be fulfilled in the county budget in one year, which is why hard decisions have to be made before Baldwin presents the final budget request to county commissioners.

“We’ve got a real problem at South Macon. There’s nothing else we can do there — we’ve got ‘em in every closet we have.” — Chris Baldwin, Macon County Schools superintendent


r y . l h h 3 p



o The one-page legislation also states that lthe state school board shall allot teachers to tgeographically isolated schools on the basis of one classroom teacher per grade level and -shall allot teachers to the remainder of the ylocal school system using the regular allot-ment formula. p Corbin said the measure could have been introduced as a budget appropriation but tthen it could be removed from the budget in dthe future, which is why he introduced legisrlation to change the formula for these .schools. If passed, he said, K-12 would receive twhat they need to actually run the school einstead of what the state thinks they need. e - Corbin’s proposed bill e

would require the state board of education to allot additional classroom teachers to schools containing grades kindergarten through twelfth grade when consolidation is not possible due to geographic isolation.

February 15-21, 2017

“This will be a state law with a million tand a half for all K-12 schools,” he said. - The bill would appropriate $1,527,006 ofor the 2017-18 fiscal year and $1,527,006 for wthe 2018-19 fiscal year to implement the provisions. n The bill was filed Jan. 26 and has passed .a first reading. It has now being reviewed by -the Committee on Education and will head tto the Appropriations Committee if approved. Davis introduced the same bill — gSenate Bill 15 — in the Senate. t n

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o Corbin introduced two other education gbills that will help schools in his district — -HB13 to give schools class size flexibility and HB53 to give schools flexibility with setting their school calendars. Current law states that school systems can’t start fall classes earlier than the Monday closest to Aug. 26. Corbin said the requirement ends up forcing high school students to take their first term testing after they return from Christmas break, which isn’t ideal. The proposed legislation would change the language to say schools can’t start classes before Aug. 10. It also removes language stating that schools must have a minimum of 185 instructional days and refers only to a minimum of 1,025 instructional hours. “This would give back local control to set their calendar,” Corbin said. “Taking tests before Christmas will increase test scores, increase our graduation rates and get more kids accepted to college.” Corbin serves on the Education Appropriations Committee and the Education K-12 committee and says he plans to keep pushing for legislation to help local school districts.

@SmokyMtnNews 15


High-density apartment proposal a no-go for Sylva Issues surrounding traffic, lack of open space concern commissioners BY HOLLY KAYS STAFF WRITER ylva’s leaders have long grappled with how to spur the town’s stagnant residential tax base and get more high-density housing within its limits, but when a proposal for a 136-unit apartment complex made its way before town commissioners last week, the board was less than enthusiastic about the concept. “I do like the thought of high-density housing, but there’s a lot of unknowns here,” said Commissioner David Nestler. “This is such a preliminary plan. They way I see the CUP (conditional-use permit) process is this is our chance to look at your plans and put our conditions on it, and we don’t even know the height of the buildings. It’s difficult to put conditions on really no plans.” “I don’t like to tell anybody what they can and can’t do with their property, but at the same time I do think that the neighbors should have an input, and that’s a lot of houses on that piece of ground,” concurred Commissioner Harold Hensley. The landowner, Monroe resident and former attorney Thomas Caldwell, had pur-

Smoky Mountain News

February 15-21, 2017


chased the 8.81-acre property in 2005 as an investment. He’s been sitting on it since the recession hit in 2008, and now the market’s to a place that he’d like to get his money out of it. “It looks to me like there is a dire need for dwelling units in Jackson County,” he said. “And so my thought was maybe this could help fulfill a need. But it’s got to be economically feasible.” The property, located along N.C. 107 across from the Print Shak and Perfect Reflections Hair Salon, is zoned such that Caldwell could construct up to 75 units without going through the CUP process. However, he said, building only 75 units wouldn’t justify the investment. He wanted the town board to tell him how many units they’d allow so he could work backward from that number. “This is very preliminary,” he told commissioners. “I’m just trying to figure out what the options are.” The plans called for 136 units with 240 total bedrooms, divided into eight, threestory buildings. The grounds would have 204 parking spaces — the minimum required — and no amenities such as a pool or clubhouse. Because the property is steep with a grade over 15 percent, the plans call for a 50-foot retaining wall. However, even if commissioners had approved the concept as presented to them, the plans would have had to change substantially before construction began. Two of the

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Property owner Thomas Caldwell, of Monroe, explains his plan to commissioners. Holly Kays photo

planned parking lots don’t have the emergency apartments, but they felt that it was too many turnaround space that’s required, and no open units and wanted the open space designated,” space is identified, though about 3.5 acres said Town Manager Paige Dowling. The planning board is currently working would be required for a 136-unit complex. Owners of the neighboring properties through town zoning ordinances to make them attended the meeting as well, speaking less restrictive when it comes to building higher-density developments or homes on smaller against the plan. “I’m just real nervous about it,” said Sylva lots. However, they didn’t see Caldwell’s appliresident Irene Ball. “I’m all for development cation as the best way to proceed toward that and I’m all for the county growing and I’m all goal of higher-density housing. Nestler told Caldwell that, while he for business adventures and whatnot because I’m a businessperson myself, but I think that understands that more detailed plans are expensive, they’re necessary if the town is to many units is just going to be a cluster.” “I don’t think he’s planned ahead,” said make any kind of informed decision on the Ann Sellers, who owns 25 acres adjacent to CUP request. “I have no idea what this is going to look Caldwell’s property. “If you’ve been on 107 you know you’d better start 30 minutes early like,” he said. “The only condition I could if you want to go to town at certain times of day.” “The planning board liked the concept Both women also expressed concern that of increasing the density and the lack of open space in encouraging apartments, but they felt the plan would result in tenants making their way that it was too many units and wanted to adjoining private lands for recreation. the open space designated.” “If people don’t have — Paige Dowling, Sylva town manager any recreation, it’s only common sense you want to be out and exploring the woods,” Sellers imagine we put on it is that we need to see it said. “I have some nice trails on my property, again. There’s too many ifs for me, too many and I do not want to pay additional home- unknowns.” The traffic issue also seemed to concern owner’s insurance on account of unwanted commissioners. guests.” “It creates a really dangerous situation, The 50-foot wall planned just feet from the property line, they added, was another and we have to think about the particular point of concern. The plans clearly call for the case-by-case basis in this proceeding, so with 50-foot wall. But Caldwell threw that detail one entrance you have 200 cars leaving at the into question, stating that it would likely be same time for work every morning or coming home at the same time,” said Commissioner too expensive to build such a structure. “I’m not going to build a 50-foot retaining Greg McPherson. “That for me really creates a bottleneck at that particular place on 107.” wall,” he said. As commissioners prepared to vote on the The Sylva Planning Board considered the CUP request at its Jan. 26 meeting, with all request, Caldwell interjected. “I think I can save y’all some time,” he but two members of the seven-member board voting to recommend that the town deny the said, withdrawing the application. However, the apartment complex concept application. “The planning board liked the concept of is not necessarily dead. “Maybe I’ll see y’all again,” Caldwell said. increasing the density and encouraging


opportunity to get someone on that board from North Carolina. In the history of the TVA, there’s not been a rep from North Carolina.” Swain commissioners have long felt the TVA has neglected its duties to the North Carolina communities where it draws water from lakes like Fontana. Commission Chairman Phillip Carson said it seems the TVA forgets that the water it uses to produce electricity comes from North Carolina. Sneed said the board appointment will be a highly sought-after position, but with all the regional support he’s received, he could have a good shot. He has a formal recommendation from Rep. Meadows and received letters of support from Patrick Lambert, principal chief of the Eastern

Erik Sneed (left) and his wife Laura Sneed pictured with U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-Asheville, in Washington, D.C. Donated photo

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Band of Cherokee Indians Chief Lambert, the Graham County Revitalization Economic Action Team and he’s working to get similar letters from Gov. Roy Cooper and Larry Kernea from the Murphy Electric Power Board. “With the momentum and success we’ve had this year, we’ve gotten to know a lot of people with the TVA — we’ve got the respect of a lot of folks in the organization,” Sneed said. “But the board members don’t care for us now because we showed them up.” While the fight to keep their lake property is over, Sneed said the TVA staff is still in the process of creating new regulations for floating houses and he hopes to be able to have an influence on what new regulations the board passes. He also wants to make sure Western North Carolina has a voice at the table. “I hundred percent support you being on that board because you will stand up for Swain and Graham counties,” said Commissioner David Monteith. The board unanimously approved sending a letter of support to The White House for Sneed’s appointment to the TVA board. The appointment will probably be made in April or May. Sneed was born and raised in WNC. He and his children are enrolled members of the EBCI and Sneed serves as the director of finance for the tribe.

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February 15-21, 2017

BY J ESSI STONE N EWS E DITOR fter a successful campaign to keep houseboats on Fontana Lake, floating homeowner Erik Sneed is now campaigning for a presidential appointment to the Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors. Erik and his wife Laura Sneed of Cherokee led the fight last year against the TVA board’s policy decision to have all 1,900 floating homes removed from TVA’s lakes within 30 years, including 350-plus homes on Fontana. The Sneeds’ grassroots effort to organize all the floating homeowners and get the TVA’s new policy overturned was a long shot, but proved successful with the help of congressional intervention. With the support of U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-Asheville, and U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-Winston-Salem, the houseboat owners were able to prevail. Meadows and Burr introduced an amendment to a larger piece of legislation — the Water Resources Development Act of 2016 (WRDA) — to allow existing floating homes to stay on TVA lakes while still prohibiting the construction of new structures. The bill made it through Congress and President Obama signed it into law in late December. “Our work with TVA on the floating homes issue expanded my knowledge greatly as to the impact that organization has on Western North Carolina,” Sneed said. “I feel like I can be a champion for common sense regulations within TVA and continue the positive evolution of that organization.” Sneed came before the Swain County Board of Commissioners last week to ask the board to send a letter of support to President Donald Trump’s transition team for his appointment to the TVA board. The TVA is a federal corporation established by legislation in 1933 with the purpose of providing flood control, creating jobs and economic development opportunities and offering affordable electricity to businesses and residents. TVA board members are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate, and each serves a term of five years. The board is currently made up of members from Tennessee, Georgia and Mississippi, but none of them reside in North Carolina. “We had an interesting year and a half working with the federal government and the TVA trying to save floating houses,” Sneed told commissioners. “Now there’s an


Fontana houseboat owner seeks TVA appointment

SUPPORTED BY: Haywood County Chamber of Commerce, Haywood Economic Development Council, Haywood Community College Small Business Center, Haywood Advancement Foundation.



Permanent tourism director hired in Jackson Tourism numbers up significantly in 2016 BY HOLLY KAYS STAFF WRITER he Jackson County Tourism Development Authority has its first permanent employee following a unanimous vote from the Jackson County Commissioners this month. Tourism Director Nick Breedlove isn’t new to the job, however. He was hired in January 2016 but has been serving as a contract worker for the past 13 months, with the county paying him $54,000 for the year — a sum that does Nick Breedlove not come with benefits typically given an employee, such as reimbursement for mileage and office supplies, or health insurance. “We initially looked at it and said, ‘We don’t know if it fits into the category of job or contracted work,’ so we took this time under contracted to determine as to whether we needed a long-term contractor or someone on staff,” TDA Chairman Robert Jumper told commissioners Feb. 6. “As we did that evaluation over the past 13 months, it

February 15-21, 2017


became very apparent to us that we need someone on staff.” In particular, Jumper said, they need Breedlove on staff. Prior to landing the contract director’s job last year, Breedlove hadn’t had any direct experience in the tourism industry and bid one of the lowest contract amounts submitted to the TDA. The board opted to give Breedlove a chance and has been impressed by what he’s delivered over the past year. Its vote to recommend Breedlove’s hire to the commissioners was unanimous. “Nick Breedlove has excelled at the work for the county with regard to tourism,” Jumper told commissioners. “The man lives, eats and breathes tourism for Jackson County, and he loves Jackson County. We have been very satisfied with his work.” The proof is in the numbers, Jumper said. The TDA is funded by room tax collections, and it’s been posting double-digit increases from the previous year just about every month, with the January 2017 numbers showing a whopping 41 percent increase over January 2016 numbers. For the calendar year 2016, total collections were up 13.6 percent over 2015, before Breedlove joined the TDA. Jackson’s TDA formed in December 2012



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with an all-volunteer board. However, as the workload became too much for volunteers to bear the board formed an exploratory committee in April 2014 to consider whether to hire a director. A year later, the TDA had decided to hire a contract worker for the position and launched its search. Breedlove started the job in January 2016.

“In the last 13 months, I’ve been working day in, day out, long hours to get our tourism program up to speed,” Breedlove said. “Without having a director for that long, there was so much to hit the ground running, but it’s the most rewarding role I’ve ever been in.” A typical workweek includes about 50 or 60 hours work, he said, with few days off, but it’s been worth it.

“I have a true passion for it,” Breedlove said, “because it enhances the lives of not only the people who visit here, but also our residents.” With the change to a permanent position, Breedlove will get a salary bump from $54,000 to $61,500, which Jumper said is a “midrange, average starting point for a salary.” The county’s total cost for the position will be $78,000, an amount that reflects costs such as health insurance and 401k. Breedlove’s own costs will go down, as he’ll no longer have to pay self-employment tax or purchase his own gas and supplies. The TDA did reimburse him $7,940 last year for some expenses such as networking, social media reports and postage but not for gas or supplies. In March, Finance Director Darlene Fox will submit a budget for the director’s position that anticipates those additional expenses. Jumper pointed out that the TDA’s own profitability has grown since Breedlove came on board. Room tax collections for the calendar year 2016 were $119,426 higher than for calendar year 2015. “Obviously it’s working for us,” Jumper said. “We feel like we justified the need for the position.”


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water quality,” he said. “That’s to be spent on cleaning up the creek and maintaining our water quality. This is a report required by the state we don’t get anything from. It’s just a study.” Nestler ran his 2015 campaign partially on the belief that Fisher Creek funds should be safeguarded solely for water quality projects and has advocated for a cleanup of Scotts Creek and for rehabilitation and expansion of trails at Pinnacle Park, where the Fisher Creek watershed is located. Mayor Lynda Sossamon pointed out that, were the dam to fail, it certainly would

impact water quality, while Commissioner Mary Gelbaugh said that future water quality projects could be funded out of the 60 percent were the 40 percent depleted. Nestler maintained, however, that the study should be funded with dollars not earmarked for water quality. The rest of the board wound up going along with Nestler’s assertion, voting unanimously to fund the study out of the 60 percent portion of the Fisher Creek Fund. Vaughn and Melton will complete the study within eight weeks.

Smoky Mountain News

Tax revenue can be spent only within city limits, and the Fisher Creek Dam is outside of city limits, part of the town’s former watershed at Pinnacle Park. Therefore, the $25,000 must come from the Fisher Creek Fund.

February 15-21, 2017

BY HOLLY KAYS STAFF WRITER ylva will have to spend $25,000 on an emergency action plan for Fisher Creek Dam, due to a 2016 state law requiring dams designated as high-hazard to have such a plan in place. “It’s not deficient,” Town Manager Paige Dowling said of the dam. “My understanding is it’s on there because of the size of it and the amount of water and where the water would go. I don’t think it would come off that list.” She showed town commissioners examples of similar plans, inches-thick documents that would be beyond town staff ’s ability to develop. Asheville-based Vaughn and Melton Consulting Engineers provided the $25,000 estimate, she said. The resulting document would outline a plan of action to follow in case of dam failure, reducing the resulting liability and loss. The board could choose to simply remove the dam, she said, but that would destroy the pond below it that the fire department uses as a water resource for training. “If we want to keep the dam, we don’t really have a choice,” she said. Tax revenue can be spent only within city limits, and the Fisher Creek Dam is outside of city limits, part of the town’s former watershed at Pinnacle Park. Therefore, the $25,000 must come from the Fisher Creek Fund, money the town got when it preserved the Fisher Creek watershed as a conservation easement. The fund currently holds $3.2 million, with 40 percent required to go toward projects related to water quality and the remaining 60 percent unrestricted. Dowling suggested the $25,000 be paid out of the 40 percent, as it would meet the parameters for a water quality project. Commissioner David Nestler, however, was adamant that it not come out of the water quality portion of the fund. “Let’s take it out of the portion of it that does not necessarily need to be spent on



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Community Almanac Richard Reeves receives service award Richard Reeves has been awarded the N.C. Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service and the Elaine Kuhl Volunteer Service Award for his work to provide firewood to underprivileged individuals in Haywood County. Sponsors such as Mountain Projects Community Action Agency and Long’s Chapel United Methodist Church assist him in acquiring logs and supplying gas to fuel his chainsaw while Reeves and volunteers supply the labor. During 2016, he delivered 299 cords of wood to help keep someone warm. Cords of wood normally sell for about $225 each, saving these people $67,275. Reeves has done all this with a budget of less than $4,000.

Junaluska to host nurses retreat

Haywood doctors donate to REACH

“The Rekindling Your Nightingale Flame: A Healing Retreat for Nurses,” will take place Friday, Feb. 17 through Sunday, Feb. 19, at Lake Junaluska. Padma Dyvine, Trish Rux and Lillian Woods will host the retreat at The Providence Lodge and Gallery on the grounds of the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. Rekindling Your Nightingale Retreats assist nurses to re-ignite their pride and passion for nursing through dedicated time for contemplation, growth, and support related not only to the workplace, but the individual's identity as a nurse as well. Register at For more information, contact Trish Rux at 828.734.0882. or email

Haywood Regional Medical Center physicians decided to extend a helping hand this holiday season by donating $2,000 to a local nonprofit in hopes of helping women in Haywood County who have experienced domestic violence. Physicians typically receive a small holiday gift from administration, but decided to “opt” it to REACH of Haywood County instead. Since 1982, REACH has served victims of domestic violence and sexual assault through advocacy, community outreach and prevention education to empower individuals to live a selfsufficient life free of violence.

WCU offering nonprofit credentialing program Western Carolina University has joined the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance as a campus partner and soon will be offering one of the leading nonprofit management and leadership credentials, the Certified Nonprofit Professional. Starting later this month, Western Carolina is launching a CNP program designed for emerging nonprofit leaders. The program, which blends faceto-face and online elements, is designed to help fast track or launch careers in the nonprofit sector. To earn the CNP credential, learners must complete eight courses (five weeks in length). Each course includes a one-day, on-site workshop, with the remaining four weeks offered online. An open house to learn more about the program will be held from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, in Suite 102 of WCU’s instructional site at Biltmore Park in Asheville. To register for this course and learn more about the program, visit, call 828.227.3070 or email

Mountain Projects hires Head Start director Mountain Projects, Inc. has named Joy M. Wallace as its new director of Mountain Projects Head Start/Early Start. Wallace began her new position Dec. 7 and replaced Holly Crawford, who has directed the program since 1999. Before joining Mountain Projects, Wallace was assistant principal at Rockwell Elementary School in Rowan-Salisbury Schools, and prior to that, was assistant principal/curriculum coordinator at North Albemarle Elementary School in Stanly County.

Haywood Regional donates to fire relief Haywood Regional Medical Center Chef Derek Sword and Shane Danner, pastor of Cullowhee Valley Baptist and purchasing agent of Haywood Regional, donated kitchen supplies to a Gatlinburg church and members that lost homes and property during the wildfires last December. Items donated included coffee mugs, a microwave, and food serving platters.

Smoky Mountain News

Lake Junaluska hires program director Lake Junaluska recently hired Mitzi Johnson to serve as director of programming. In this position, Johnson will oversee the Summer Worship Series, Choir Music Weekend, youth events, and other programs and events at Lake Junaluska. Johnson is an ordained elder in the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. She most recently served as the pastor of spiritual formation at University United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill. She is a graduate of Duke Divinity School and UNC-Chapel Hill.

Local grant helps Folkmoot A Natural and Cultural Resources grant awarded to Folkmoot International Festival North Carolina’s International Folk Festival has helped the nonprofit improve the decades-old festival, create a year-round plan for programming that included a detailed strategy for efficient and sustained use of the Folkmoot Friendship Center and develop a succession plan for one of its most loyal, beloved and effective supporters, 86-yearold Rolf Kaufman. The Fund for Haywood County partnered with The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina to award the grant. Folkmoot Executive Director Angeline Schwab said the grant gave Folkmoot an opportunity to renew and grow the organization. Beginning in 2015, new programming included the first-ever Halloween “Spookmoot” haunted house and December

• A free acupuncture clinic for Haywood County veterans will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, at Waynesville Wellness Center, 1384 Sulphur Springs Rd. First come, first served. • The Small Business Center at Haywood Community College will offer a free seminar entitled, “Choosing Your Legal Structure,” from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, in room 3021 at the HCC Regional High Technology Center. Register at or call 828.627.4512.


• Pocket Saver, a consignment store in Hazelwood, is helping Mountain Projects with fundraising by allowing the nonprofit to place a special digital donation device in their store located at 1507 South Main St., Waynesville. • Bi-Lo of Franklin’s Relay for Life Team is raffling a 40-inch big screen TV to benefit the American Cancer Society. The TV will be given away at Relay for Life in Franklin on May 19. To purchase, call 828.399.9560.


“Falala Sing-Along” events for youth and families. In 2016, Folkmoot added a large quilt show, cultural leadership training and an historical lecture held in conjunction with the town of Waynesville. Funding also supported several international dinner programs that highlighted the food, people and culture of Serbia, the Middle East, Eritrea and Appalachian cultures.

HCC staff surpasses giving campaign Haywood Community College faculty and staff recently surpassed the goal set by the College’s Foundation for the Employee Giving Campaign. More than $8,000 was raised in a three-week period. Funds from this campaign will go to the HCC Excels Fund which supports faculty and staff professional development, equipment purchases, and new program development. For information regarding giving opportunities, contact Pam Hardin at the HCC Foundation at 828.627.4544 or

Father Daughter Dance in Sylva The 10th annual Father Daughter Dance will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, in the Christian Life Center at First United Methodist Church in Sylva. Daughters of all ages are invited to enjoy an evening of great music, desserts and punch. Every couple will receive a complimentary photo to remember this special event. Each daughter will receive a corsage and a party favor. The fee for advanced registration is $30 per couple and $5 for each additional daughter. The price at the door is $35 per couple and $5 for each additional daughter. Visit or call 828.586.1640.

Applicants sought for Haywood County library board The Haywood County Board of County Commissioners is seeking applicants to fill one position on the Haywood County Public Library Board of Trustees. The position will be for a six-year term. Download an application at or picked up from the County Manager’s Office, Haywood County Courthouse, Third Floor, 215 North Main Street, Waynesville, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Completed applications may be returned to the County Manager’s Office or attached to an email to Candace Way, The deadline for applications is 5 p.m., Friday, March 3, 2017. For more information, contact the County Manager’s Office at 828.452.6625.



Smoky Mountain News

The next war must not happen BY STEPHEN WALL GUEST COLUMNIST n August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb exploded 1,500 feet over Hiroshima. Only 1.5 percent of the 60-plus pounds of uranium 235 actually underwent nuclear fission, but the blast was the equivalent of 15 thousand tons of TNT. About 70,000 people, mostly civilians, were incinerated almost instantaneously, and another 70,000 died in the following months. Currently the U.S. and Russia each have about 1,700 nuclear warheads on actual readyto-launch status, aimed at each other’s homeland. A typical Russian missile carries six warheads, each with about 10 times the destructive power of the Hiroshima bomb. So each of several hundred deployed Russian missiles has the destructive force of 60 Hiroshima bombs. Every American needs to think about what those numbers mean to them and their families. China has a smaller force of 260 nuclear devices, some deployed on long-range missiles. As these and the most modern Russian missiles are designed to re-enter the atmosphere at up to 20 times the speed of sound, experts generally agree there is no way to stop them once launched.


••• The United States and its people have been

pulled into at least two disastrous wars by deliberate lies. In 1964, it was falsely claimed that U.S. naval ships were attacked twice by the North Vietnamese Navy in the Gulf of Tonkin. Eleven years of bloody warfare followed, with 56,000 dead Americans and untold hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian dead, mostly civilians. Then in 2003 the Bush administration sold the American public the falsehood that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. Four thousand dead Americans and chaos in the Middle East resulted. Based on a campaign of lies, a large percentage of Americans believed that Iraqis were among the 9/11 hijackers. There were none. Today we see a growing campaign to incite the American people to a global conflict. Presidential adviser/strategist Steve Bannon and National Security Adviser Mike Flynn both see a great global conflict between “Western Civilization” and the billion-plus Muslims as not only inevitable but desirable. The Trump administration is preparing for war by creating an atmosphere of fear and hatred. There is talk of taking Iraq’s oil and of putting Iran “on notice.” Allies in Muslim countries who are dying alongside our soldiers fighting ISIS have been humiliated by having them and their families banned from

Most presidents learn from criticism — not this one Donald Trump’s tantrums when he’s criticized or doesn’t get his way betray an emotional maturity that did not get beyond the “Terrible Twos.” Unfortunately, there is no one and no way to send the man-child in the White House to time out. To the contrary, grownups around him and in Congress are encouraging and enabling his behavior because it serves their own dark purposes. There is Steven Bannon, the ultra-right hater of Islam who crawled out of the Breitbart sewer to become the most crackpot and most dangerous senior advisor in presidential history. Trump wants this warmonger on the National Security Council. In an eerie reprisal of Goebbels' warning to the German press to print no criticism that would embarrass the new regime, Bannon declared, just six days after the inauguration, that the American press “should be embarrassed and humiliated” by Trump’s election and should “keep its

mouth shut and just listen for a while.” The media, he said, is the “opposition party.” There is Kellyanne Conway, the Trump staffer who seems to be competing with Anne Coulter to be considered the worst woman in the world. On Fox “News” she complained that no journalists who “talked smack” about Trump had been fired. And there is, most remarkably, Guest Columnist Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, the sciencedenying chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. In a floor speech comparing Trump to Teddy Roosevelt — that’s blasphemy, in my book — he called on Americans to get their news “unvarnished,” straight from the president rather than the news media. Straight from Big Brother, that is. No

Martin Dyckman

The press must be the keyboard on which the government can play. — Joseph Goebbels, Nazi propaganda minister, March 15, 1933


coming to the U.S. And the constant antiMuslim rantings of the alt-right are not just random acts of bullying, indecency and dishonesty. They are part of a familiar and frightening pattern of trying to lead the American people into a war. During the recent presidential campaign, Donald Trump made many statements concerning nuclear weapons that triggered concern around the world. “Why build them if we can’t use them.” If ISIS hits us, “you wouldn’t fight back with a nuke?” “Europe is a big place — I’m not taking the nuclear card off the table,” “The Saudis and Japan will get nukes — it’s inevitable … it’s no big deal …” etc. etc. This mentality puts other nuclear powers on a razor-edge state of high alert. With Russia closely allied with Iran and building up its forces in Europe, with China greatly dependent on Mideast oil and expanding its power in the Eastern Pacific region, the danger of a confrontation escalating into a nuclear catastrophe grows greater by the day. Therefore, in addition to demanding the Trump administration disassociate itself from the poisonous Islamophobia of the alt-right, many other steps must be taken to avoid the unthinkable. Among them: n The U.S. nuclear force must be taken off launch-on warning status — which can give the president as little as six minutes to react

What to make of Trump’s eruptions To the Editor: It’s gotten to the point that I’m hesitant to listen to or read the news. President Trump’s most recent series of denigrating tweets and pronouncements are more suited to a petulant 4-year-old than the president of the United States. His sophomoric behavior and rants remind me of the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s “red scare” of the 1950s. Trump’s erratic behavior, outright falsehoods, and bizzare outbursts have thrown the world into chaos. What we as a country need in our chief executive is leadership, not attacks on anyone who happens to disagree with him. What this world needs is stability, not disarray. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I’m deeply concerned at our president’s incredibly thoughtless demeanor. Even the most ardent of Trump supporters have to be wondering what’s going on. The president has revealed what I and the majority of Americans who didn’t vote for him feared ... that this individual is totally unsuited to the office to which he was elected. The president may have gotten away with his autocratic, bullying tactics as a businessman, but it just doesn’t cut it when it comes to being the leader of the free world. Even members of the Republican-dominated

to a middle-of-the-night situation, like the flock of geese that put our strategic forces on the verge of launch several years ago. Tweeting will not be sufficient to avoid nuclear Holocaust. n The Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations all made progress working with the Russians in securing nuclear material from former Soviet republics and keeping bombmaking material out of the hands of terrorists. With North Korea pursuing its insane drive toward offensive nuclear capability, and ISIS seeking to create a dirty bomb, our working productively with Russia and China is more critical than ever. Provocations over a trade war with China will not help this happen. n Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., has introduced a bill that would allow the U.S. to be the first to use nuclear weapons only if Congress first declares war. Supporting this bill is an important step towards decreasing the danger of rashly blundering into nuclear war. Our elective representatives can and must put aside partisan politics and address these issues. One misread signal during a time of heightened tension and aggressive rhetoric, one missed chance to gain information from an Islamic ally about a potential nuclear threat from terrorists, could be the last blunder an American president ever makes. (Dr. Stephen Wall of Waynesville practices pediatrics in Haywood County and has been associated with Physicians for Social Responsibility since the 1980s.) Congress are finally coming to the reality that this “leader” is seriously flawed. This is not the behavior of a normal person. Bad ... really bad. God help us all. Kurt J. Volker Otto

Valuable lessons from failed annexation To the Editor: Thank you Smoky Mountain News and Becky Johnson for writing an article bringing to a close the chapter on the proposed annexation of Lake Junaluska with Waynesville. Your coverage was excellent and served all parties with factual information. A lesson all can learn from this experience is that relationships are more important than our personal opinions. Another is to make the best of any situation. The improvements made to the Conference and Retreat Center and to the Department of Public Works are a reflection of the attributes of Jack Ewing and Jack Carlisle. Their dedication to the Lake Junaluska Mission Statement plus their leadership through and beyond controversy is greatly appreciated. Both will leave huge shoes to fill sometime in the future. Ron Clauser Lake Junaluska

An escape into a magical world


Smoky Mountain News

We visited all four parks: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. Each offered a unique vibe which made every day different. The attractions, rides, firework displays, shows, food, character spots, everything was amazing. My mom who passed away last August had been integral in the initial planning of our trip. In fact, she and I spoke on the phone the day before she went into the hospital about which resort the boys would like the best. She so badly wanted them to go on a big Disney trip while they’re both at ages when life seems magical. And while I think it’s true children find significant joy in Disney World, I’m now convinced it’s magical for folks of all ages. I saw glimpses of my mom throughout the week which made the trip even more meaningful. She always said the boys would like Animal Kingdom, and it ended up being their favorite park. We rode The Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios, and my mom’s all-time favorite actors (Clint Eastwood, Lauren Bacall, Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne, Gene Kelly, Harrison Ford, Judy Garland, and more) came alive as animatronics. I smiled during the entire ride as I continually passed bigscreen faces that made her so happy throughout her life. My mom was born in 1940 and always said “Snow White” was her very favorite Disney movie. She said it’s the one she remembers as a little girl. She bought the movie for my boys and loved watching it with them. When we walked through the Walt Disney museum last week, I learned that “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was Disney’s first feature film. I never knew that before, but it warmed my heart knowing it was my mom’s favorite. There were many other moments as well where I could feel her by my side. There truly is something special about Disney World, something I don’t feel at Dollywood or Carowinds or Busch Gardens. While I enjoy those other parks, there’s something different about Disney I can’t quite put my finger on. I read somewhere last week that Walt Disney was an extreme perfectionist which often took a toll on his bank account and his mental health. I learned that many tragedies befell him, but he constantly pulled himself from the mire to continue on relentless dream-achieving quests. The story of the man and the deep, rich history of the parks weave together to offer an unparalleled world of friendly people, unique rides, phenomenal shows, and more Even at the age of 37, I was able to escape last week into a magical world of fun and entertainment. In Walt Disney’s neverending goal to entertain everyone in the family, he once said, “Adults are only kids grown up, anyway.” Last week reminded me how very true that is and that I need to remember it more often. (Susanna Barbee can be reached at

February 15-21, 2017

BY SUSANNA BARBEE COLUMNIST was in the Disney bubble for seven days straight, so it was rather depressing driving home with the daily grind looming up ahead. A blogger friend of mine coined this discombobulating experience “re-entry.” I’m sure you’ve experienced it yourself. An amazing vacation, a weekend music festival, a holiday vacation from work. “Re-entry” is when you leave that happy façade of a world and return to reality. While I was looking forward to it, I had zero expectations for our trip to Disney. Throughout my life, I’ve learned that disappointment is worse when I build something up and happiness more acute when it’s unexpected. I wasn’t sure if I was going to find Disney World cheesy or overwhelming or exhausting or hokey. Now that I’m home and reflecting upon it, I found it none of those things. We were exhausted each day, but it was a good, pleasant exhaustion full of memories and giggles. A couple of years ago I read Randy Pausch’s book The Last Lecture. Man, that book’s amazing. If you haven’t read it, add it to your list. Randy was a brilliant computer science, human-computer interaction, and design professor at Carnegie Mellon. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in his mid-40s. He died less than two years later. Knowing his diagnosis was terminal, he gave an incredible “last lecture” called “Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” which became a popular YouTube video. He then co-authored a book of the same name which was a New York Times Bestseller. Randy’s childhood dream was to become a Disney Imagineer, so he talks a lot in his book about Walt Disney World. As an adult he served as an Imagineer consultant during work sabbaticals and helped design attractions featured at Disney parks. Something about the way he talked about Disney and the world of Imagineering intrigued me. From that point on, I thought differently and fondly of the person Walt Disney and his corporation. With that thought in the back of my mind, I had a feeling Disney would be much more than princesses and kiddie rides. Then again, I’m not easily impressed, so I still wasn’t totally convinced I would love it, but I was willing to go all in because my two little boys were ecstatic and had been counting down the days since last December. Now that I’m back in Waynesville with my mind full of memories and thoughts from the trip, I can honestly say Disney was simply wonderful. They say it’s the happiest place on earth, and I think “they” may be right. Everyone was genuinely friendly and knowledgeable, and especially engaging with the boys.

DYCKMAN, CONTINUED FROM 22 wonder that sales of George Orwell’s 1984, a classic riff on tyranny, are soaring. The campaign against dissent is almost anyplace you look. At the State Department, where civil servants are being warned against expressing their professional alarm over the administration’s war on Islam. At the EPA, which has been muzzled. The petulant president is even refusing to let administration figures appear on CNN, which doesn’t gush over him like Fox “News” does. This is not simply about humoring the crybaby in the Oval Office. It’s a lot worse than that. The scheme is to intimidate the newspapers and broadcast voices that they don’t own, as they do Fox and Breitbart. It is to poison the public’s mind against any media that dare to criticize anything about Vladimir Putin’s puppet, firming up Trump’s “base” especially. All that is to serve the most radically reactionary political agenda in American history: making the Supreme Court a right-wing dump for the next half-century, loosing the wolves of Wall Street and the banking industry to repeat the disaster of 2007-08, abolishing the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, crippling environmental protection and unleashing big oil and big coal, criminalizing abortion, eviscerating Social Security and Medicare, terrorizing immigrants and wasting billions of dollars on a useless wall, erasing workplace safety regulations, plundering national forests and monuments, siphoning public school dollars to for-profit private school corporations, turning tax-exempt churches into tax-exempt PACs, erasing scrutiny of potential native terrorists like the Ku Klux Klan, obscene tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 percent, cozying up to Putin, and much more. You won't hear all of this from Trump himself, but it's a compilation of what his enablers in the White House, Congress, and the less responsible elements of business and industry have been dreaming of for years, and why they supported his election despite knowing how unfit and unworthy he is. The same happened in Germany after Adolf Hitler became chancellor with the help of industrialists who thought they could use him. “... The Nazi consolidation of power in 1933 was characterized by an alliance between traditional elites in the military, major industry, large-scale agriculture and governmental bureaucracy,” writes the German author Volker Ullrich in his highly regarded 2016 biography: Hitler — A Biography, Volume 1: Ascent 1889-1939. “We will only be satisfied when we know that the entire people understands us and recognizes us as its highest advocate,” said Goebbels. “... There should be only one opinion, one party, and one faith in Germany.” Every aspect of public opinion and cultural life came under control almost immediately, starting with radio — Hitler’s preferred medium; there was no Twitter—and extending to the press. Newspapers that weren’t banned “were softened up by economic pressure and subjected to government monitoring.” Those that still had some freedom yielded to government instructions and self-censorship, as Trump and Bannon clearly intend for the American press to do. A scholarly 2003 article by political scientist Lawrence Britt studied fascist regimes around the world and identified 14 common characteristics. His list: A powerful and continuing nationalism, disdain for the recognition of human rights, identification of enemies and scapegoats as a unifying cause, supremacy of the military, rampant sexism, controlled mass media, obsession with national security, religion and government are intertwined, corporate power is protected, labor power is suppressed, disdain for intellectuals and the arts, obsession with crime and punishment, rampant cronyism and corruption, and fraudulent elections. Eleven are already fully evident in Trumpistan. He hasn't suppressed labor, yet, but perhaps his Supreme Court will; the military is not supreme, yet; and our elections are not fraudulent, yet, except in Trump’s paranoid mind. But if he succeeds in making it harder everywhere to vote, as he plainly intends and as some Republican states already have, that will make 12 of the 14. Every president, not excluding Washington, has had to deal with press criticism, and most did so with maturity and grace. John F. Kennedy’s remarks in May 1962 are classic: “I’m reading more and enjoying it less,” he said. But he went on to call the press “an invaluable arm of the presidency” — not as the keyboard Trump and Bannon would want, but as “a check really on what is going on the administration… More things come to my attention that cause me concern or give me information,” he said. JFK put bad news to good use. Trump doesn’t want to read or hear any, which is very bad news for the United States. Martin A. Dyckman is a retired journalist, who recently moved from Waynesville to Asheville.


tasteTHEmountains Taste the Mountains is an ever-evolving paid section of places to dine in Western North Carolina. If you would like to be included in the listing please contact our advertising department at 828.452.4251 BLOSSOM ON MAIN 128 N. Main Street, Waynesville. 828.454.5400. Open for lunch and dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Mild, medium, to hot and spicy, our food is cooked to your like-able temperature. Forget the myth that all Thai food is spicy. Traditional Thai food is known to be quite healthy, making use of natural and fresh ingredients, paired with lots of spices, herbs, and vegetables. Vegetarians and health conscious individuals will not be disappointed as fresh vegetables and tofu are available in most of our menu as well as wines and saki chosen to compliment the unique flavors of Thai cuisine.

Smoky Mountain News

February 15-21, 2017

BLUE ROOSTER SOUTHERN GRILL 207 Paragon Parkway, Clyde, Lakeside Plaza at the old Wal-Mart. 828.456.1997. Open Monday through Friday. Friendly and fun family atmosphere. Local, handmade Southern cuisine. Fresh-cut salads; slow-simmered soups; flame grilled burgers and steaks, and homemade signature desserts. Blue-plates and local fresh vegetables daily. Brown bagging is per-

BOURBON BARREL BEEF & ALE 454 Hazelwood Ave., Waynesville, 828.452.9191. Lunch served 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Monday through Saturday. Dinner 5 to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Closed on Sunday. We specialize in hand-cut, all natural steaks from local farms, incredible burgers, and other classic american comfort foods that are made using only the finest local and sustainable ingredients available. BREAKING BREAD CAFÉ 6147 Hwy 276 S. Bethel (at the Mobil Gas Station) 828.648.3838 Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday-Saturday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Chef owned and operated. Our salads are made in house using local seasonal vegetables. Fresh roasted ham, turkey and roast beef used in our hoagies. We hand make our own eggplant and chicken parmesan, pork meatballs and hamburgers. We use 1st quality fresh not preprepared products to make sure you get the best food for a reasonable price. We make vegetarian, gluten free and sugar free items. Call or go to Facebook (Breaking Bread Café NC) to find out what our specials are. CATALOOCHEE RANCH 119 Ranch Dr., Maggie Valley. 828.926.1401. Family-style breakfast seven days a week, from 8 am to 9:30 am – with eggs, bacon, sausage, grits and oatmeal, fresh fruit, sometimes French toast or pancakes, and always all-you-can-eat. Lunch every day from 12:00 till 2 pm. Evening

cookouts on the terrace on weekends and Wednesdays, featuring steaks, ribs, chicken, and pork chops, to name a few. Bountiful family-style dinners on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, with entrees that include prime rib, baked ham and herb-baked chicken, complemented by seasonal vegetables, homemade breads, jellies and desserts. We also offer a fine selection of wine and beer. The evening social hour starts at 6 pm, and dinner is served starting at 7 pm. So join us for milehigh mountaintop dining with a spectacular view. Please call for reservations. CHURCH STREET DEPOT 34 Church Street, downtown Waynesville. 828.246.6505. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Mouthwatering all beef burgers and dogs, hand-dipped, hand-spun real ice cream shakes and floats, fresh hand-cut fries. Locally sourced beef. Indoor and outdoor dining., CITY LIGHTS CAFE Spring Street in downtown Sylva. 828.587.2233. Open Monday-Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tasty, healthy and quick. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, espresso, beer and wine. Come taste the savory and sweet crepes, grilled paninis, fresh, organic salads, soups and more. Outside patio seating. Free Wi-Fi, pet-friendly. Live music and lots of events. Check the web calendar at THE CLASSIC WINESELLER 20 Church Street, Waynesville.

828.452.6000. Underground retail wine and craft beer shop, restaurant, and intimate live music venue. Kitchen opens at 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday serving freshly prepared small plates, tapas, charcuterie, desserts. Enjoy live music every Friday and Saturday night at 7pm. Also on facebook and twitter. COUNTRY VITTLES: FAMILY STYLE RESTAURANT 3589 Soco Rd, Maggie Valley. 828.926.1820 Winter hours: Wednesday through Sunday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Family Style at Country Vittles is not a buffet. Instead our waitresses will bring your food piping hot from the kitchen right to your table and as many refills as you want. So if you have a big appetite, but sure to ask your waitress about our family style service. FERRARA PIZZA & PASTA 243 Paragon Parkway, Clyde. 828.476.5058. Open Monday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Real New Yorkers. Real Italians. Real Pizza. A full service authentic Italian pizzeria and restaurant from New York to the Blue Ridge. Dine in, take out, and delivery. Check out our daily lunch specials plus customer appreciation nights on Monday and Tuesday 5 to 9 p.m. with large cheese pizzas for $9.95. FRANKIE’S ITALIAN TRATTORIA 1037 Soco Rd. Maggie Valley. 828.926.6216 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Father and son team Frank and Louis Perrone cook up dinners steeped in Italian tradition. With recipies passed down from generations gone by, the Perrones have brought a bit of Italy to Maggie Valley.


Real New Yorkers. Real Italians. Real Pizza.

Mon.-Fri. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Saturday 12 p.m.-10 p.m.

Dine-In ~ Take Out ~ Delivery

Closed Tues.

Sun. 12-9 p.m.

An Authentic Italian Pizzeria & Restaurant from New York to the Blue Ridge. Just to serve you! Featuring: Calzones · Stromboli Subs · Pasta and More NOW OPEN SUNDAYS NOON to 8 P.M. Monday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

243 Paragon Parkway | Clyde 24

mitted. Private parties, catering, and take-out available. Call-ahead seating available.


Sandwiches • Burgers • Wraps 32 Felmet Street (828) 246-0927

Open for Breakfast MON.-SAT. 11 A.M.-8 P.M.

34 CHURCH ST. WAYNESVILLE 828.246.6505 C


tasteTHEmountains JUKEBOX JUNCTION U.S. 276 and N.C. 110 intersection, Bethel. 828.648.4193. 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday; Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Serving breakfast, lunch, nd dinner. The restaurant has a 1950s & 60s theme decorated with memorabilia from that era. MAD BATTER FOOD & FILM 617 W. Main Street Downtown Sylva. 828.586.3555. Open Monday through Wednesday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Handtossed pizza, steak sandwiches, wraps, salads and desserts. All made from scratch. Beer and wine. Free movies with showtimes at 6:30 and 9 p.m. with a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. Visit for this week’s shows. PASQUALE’S 1863 South Main Street, Waynesville. Off exit 98, 828.454.5002. Open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Sunday. Classic Italian dishes, exceptional steaks and seafood (available in full and lighter sizes), thin crust pizza, homemade soups, salads hand tossed at your table. Fine wine and beer selection. Casual atmosphere, dine indoors, outside on the patio or at the bar. Reservations appreciated.

SAGEBRUSH STEAKHOUSE 1941 Champion Drive, Canton 828.646.3750 895 Russ Ave., Waynesville 828.452.5822. Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Carry out available. Sagebrush features hand carved steaks, chicken and award winning BBQ ribs. We

SMOKY MOUNTAIN SUB SHOP 29 Miller Street Waynesville 828.456.3400. Open from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. A Waynesville tradition, the Smoky Mountain Sub Shop has been serving great food for over 20 years. Come in and enjoy the relaxed, casual atmosphere. Sub breads are baked fresh every morning in Waynesville. Using only the freshest ingredients in homemade soups, salads and sandwiches. Come in and see for yourself why Smoky Mountain Sub Shop was voted # 1 in Haywood County. Locally owned and operated. TAP ROOM BAR & GRILL 176 Country Club Drive, Waynesville. 828.456.3551. Open seven days a week serving lunch and dinner. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tucked away inside Waynesville Inn, the Tap Room Bar & Grill has an approachable menu designed around locally sourced, sustainable, farm-to-table ingredients. Full bar and wine cellar. VITO’S PIZZA 607 Highlands Rd., Franklin. 828.369.9890. Established here in in 1998. Come to Franklin and enjoy our laid back place, a place you can sit back, relax and enjoy our 62” HDTV. Our Pizza dough, sauce, meatballs, and sausage are all made from scratch by Vito. The recipes have been in the family for 50 years (don't ask for the recipes cuz’ you won't get it!) Each Pizza is hand tossed and made with TLC. WAYNESVILLE PIZZA COMPANY 32 Felmet Street, Waynesville. 828.246.0927. Open Monday through Friday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 10 p.m.; Sunday noon to 9 p.m.; closed Tuesdays. Opened in May 2016, The Waynesville Pizza Company has earned a reputation for having the best hand-tossed pizza in the area. Featuring a custom bar with more than 20 beers and a rustic, family friendly dining room. Menu includes salads, burgers, wraps, hot and cold sandwiches, gourmet pizza, homemade desserts, and a loaded salad bar. The Cuban sandwich is considered by most to be the best in town.

Smoky Mountain News


February 15-21, 2017

RENDEZVOUS RESTAURANT AND BAR Maggie Valley Inn and Conference Center 70 Soco Road, Maggie Valley 828.926.0201 Home of the Maggie Valley Pizzeria. We deliver after 4 p.m. daily to all of Maggie Valley, J-Creek area, and Lake Junaluska. Monday through Wednesday: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. country buffet and salad bar from 5 to 9 p.m. $11.95 with Steve Whiddon on piano. Friday and Saturday: 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday 11:30 to 8 p.m. 11:30 to 3 p.m. family style, fried chicken, ham, fried fish, salad bar, along with all the fixings, $11.95. Check out our events and menu at

have fresh salads, seasonal vegetables and scrumptious deserts. Extensive selection of local craft beers and a full bar. Catering special events is one of our specialties.

207 Paragon Parkway, Clyde

828-456-1997 Monday-Friday Open at 11am

Real Local Families, Real Local Farms, Real Local Food 25



Smoky Mountain News

“Whatever is happening around me, I try to leave myself vulnerable to the energy that nature is providing me. Whether it’s a sunrise, sunset, reflection on the water or deep shadows in the woods — it’s the painting speaking back to me, more so now than ever before.” — Jo Ridge Kelley

A lifelong painter, Jo Ridge Kelley has made a name for herself around Southern Appalachia with her distinct and captivating artwork, which focuses on natural landscapes. Ed Kelley photo

Sharing the craft Jo Ridge Kelley Fine Art

BY GARRET K. WOODWARD STAFF WRITER ith the traffic and noise of a busy Main Street in downtown Waynesville zooming by outside her window, Jo Ridge Kelley creates works of tranquility and natural wonders inside her cozy studio. “I love being able to pull from myself,” she said. “I’m a very soulful person, and painting is a way to work with my feelings — to be living in the moment.” At 59, Kelley has been creating most of her life. Growing up on a dairy farm in High Point, she found herself constantly mesmerized by the vast and varied scenery of the property, where light and shadows shifted hourly. “The landscape always inspired me, watching the light change across the farm,” Kelley said. “I started drawing and painting as a


young girl. I loved it, and stuck with it.” Relocating to Waynesville in 1981, Kelley has become a beloved and highly sought after artisan around Western North Carolina. With vibrant colors and soothing tones in her art, one finds themselves immediately drawn to Kelley’s pieces, where the distractions of the outside world seem to melt away. “I’ve been focusing more on color lately,” Kelley said. “I think everybody needs a happy place to go. And if you can’t find it outside or wherever, maybe you could find it in a painting.” Whether she disappears into the back woods of Southern Appalachia or simply wanders around the neighborhood of her studio, Kelley finds inspiration in whatever it may be that catches her eye. “I’ve always been observant,” she said. “I could just walk right outside here on Main Street and find a place to paint, a spot that inspires me or inspires a painting. It can be a feeling or the energy of a place, sometimes it’s just the color, too.”

Want to create? Acclaimed Western North Carolina painter Jo Ridge Kelley is currently holding art workshops for adults and children at her studio on Main Street in Waynesville. For more information on classes, to sign up or to learn more about Kelley’s work, visit 828.226.0549 or When she puts brush to blank canvas, Kelley lets her fingers flow with whatever it is they’re channeling in her “plein air” (open air) style, where the energies of time and place move her brush strokes across the emerging image. “Whatever is happening around me, I try to leave myself vulnerable to the energy that nature is providing me,” Kelley said. “Whether it’s a sunrise, sunset, reflection on the water or deep shadows in the woods — it’s the painting speaking back to me, more so now than ever before.” Throughout her life, Kelley taught high school art and also held private workshops. And since she moved into her new studio last year (after 22 years in downtown at the helm

of Ridge Runner Naturals), she has been hosting a series of painting classes for adults and kids alike. “Art is in everything we do, everywhere, and in every aspect of our lives,” Kelley said. “And with children especially, it’s a way they can excel and perform. I love to share, love to see those young artists grow — it’s beautiful.” Kelley noted that it was being exposed to art at a young age, and having her art encouraged by her parents, that really set the stage for what she would ultimately do with her life, and also how she conducts herself in the grand scheme of things. “Art is a way children can excel and perform,” she said. “For me, growing up in a large family, art was a way for me to get a little recognition, to boost my ego and help me in other subjects like math and science, which studies show how art will excel those other subjects.” In trying to spread her love and pure enthusiasm for art and the endless depths of the creative spirit, Kelley tells folks to go with what they genuinely feel, where each person shouldn’t compromise what they see in their minds with any sort of preconceived notion of “what art is” and “what art should be.” “Trust your instincts,” she said. “It’s about feeling alive and feeling that energy, being joyful and happy with your interactions with people and with nature.” Now settled in her new digs, Kelley is setting the stage for increasing her presence in the community as a creative force aiming to connect the dots of people and art, where the intersection and interaction will yield the fruits of artistic and collaborative efforts. “It’s been such a wonderful journey,” she said. “Art is something I’m very dedicated to growing in our area. You put your heart out there, and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else but creating and teaching — it’s where the magic is.”

Mardi Gras Ball is foundation’s largest fundraiser T

he ninth annual Haywood County Schools Foundation Mardi Gras Ball is at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 25, at Laurel Ridge Country Club in Waynesville.


The race for this year’s King and Queen is well underway, and candidates have already been seen around the county petitioning for donations for the Haywood County Schools Foundation. The Mardi Gras Ball, sponsored by Entegra Bank, is the Haywood County Schools Foundation’s largest fundraiser of the year. Since 2008, the event has raised more than $320,000 for the Haywood County Schools Foundation. Last year’s fundraiser alone brought in more than $71,000 in donations thanks to the reigning Mardi Gras King Rick Webb and Queen Jane Hipps. Each year, dedicated community members volunteer to run as candidates for the Mardi Gras court in an effort to raise money for the students, schools, and employees of the 15 Haywood County Public Schools. The male and female candidates who raise the most money throughout the month of February are crowned king and queen of the Mardi Gras Ball. All money raised from the competition and at the Mardi Gras Ball on February 25 is used for student scholarships, teacher recruitment and retention, and to fund grants for Haywood County teachers to purchase classroom supplies and attend training and workshops. Entegra Bank is the lead sponsor of the event. Entegra Bank is committed to meeting the financial needs of Haywood County. To purchase tickets, make a donation to a candidate’s fundraiser, or to make a donation to the Haywood County Schools Foundation, contact Haywood County Schools Foundation Executive Director Jenny Wood Valliere at or 828.456.2400 ext 2117. You can also make donations online via PayPal at Be sure to enter the name of the candidate you would like to support in the notes section.

2016 Mardi Gras King Rick Webb and Queen Jane Hipps.

Foundation has been helping Haywood Schools for 33 years The Haywood County Schools Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization whose purpose is to make available to students and faculty members of Haywood County Public Schools educational opportunities not normally available through regular public funding sources. Currently, the Haywood County Schools Foundation manages more than 65 scholarship funds, which assist high school seniors in Haywood County Schools to attend institutions of higher learning. Last year, more than $176,000 was awarded to 97 students.

The Foundation also offers grant opportunities available to students and faculty of Haywood County Schools. The Foundation gave more than 170 grants to teachers totaling more than $35,000 for the 2016-17 school year. Students who have faced emotional or financial hardships are also eligible for assistance from the Foundation.

making a tax deductible (cash or other) contribution to the Haywood County Schools Foundation Inc. Contributions may be a cash gift, appreciated securities, life insurance, charitable remainder, non-profit organization assets, memorials, estate gifts or wills and bequests, or other real or personal property.

Generous donations and efforts by members of the community enable the Haywood County Schools Foundation to assist students and faculty. Individuals and businesses can support the students and educators of Haywood County by

For more information, contact Haywood County Schools Foundation Executive Director Jenny Wood Valliere at, call 828.456.2400 ext 2117, or visit

2016-2017 Haywood County Schools Foundation Board of Directors Hylah Birenbaum – Smoky Mountain News Tommy Bourque – Entegra Bank Lisa Brown – Haywood County Board of Realtors Rufus Dale – RDS Bria Davis – Home Trust Bank Chuck Francis – Chairman, Haywood County School Board Yvonne Hart – Retired Teacher 2

Vicki Hyatt – The Mountaineer Dale Jackson – Retired Teacher Dann Jesse – Evergreen Packaging Bruce Johnson – Champion Supply Kathy Lance – LN Davis Insurance Chad McMahon – State Farm Insurance Lynn Milner – Retired Principal

Julie Mulhern – Parent Tom Posey – Charter Member Jake Robinson – Champion Credit Union Bill Upton – County Commissioner Matt Wells – Woodmen of the World Selena Williamson – State Employees Credit Union

Who will be King & Queen? Becca Swanger

Liz Henley Queen candidate Liz Henley has been a Haywood County resident since she was 18 months old. She was raised in the Lake Junaluska community and grew up in the Haywood County Schools system. She was a graduate of Tuscola High School and was thrilled to be named class clown of her graduating class. Liz is currently the market manager for physician practices at Haywood Regional Medical Center (HRMC). Prior to joining HRMC, Liz worked as the regional operations manager for United Allergy Services. In Liz’s first life, she was a dance instructor and office manager at Angie’s Dance Academy in Clyde for 18 years. Liz has a degree in Mathematics from Western Carolina University, as well as a Health Information Management degree from Herzing University. Liz is honored to be representing Haywood Regional Medical Center as a Haywood County Schools Foundation Mardi Gras Ball Queen candidate. She is excited about the opportunity of giving back to the children in the community in which she was raised. After all … it’s all about the kids!

Becca Swanger

Liz Henley

Joretta Ezell

Nathan Lowe

Joretta Ezell Queen candidate Joretta Ezell was born and raised in Haywood County. She worked for the county for 14 years. Joretta, her husband Michael, and their son Jacob are all graduates of Tuscola High School. While her son was in school, Joretta was an active school volunteer and served as vice president of the Boosters for Waynesville Middle School. Joretta is a founding member of Encouraging Word Baptist Church where she enjoys working with children. “I am volunteering for this great event because I want to give back as much as possible,” Joretta said. “The kids, teachers, and volunteers deserve our help! I am honored to represent the Haywood County Schools Foundation.”


Queen candidate Becca Swanger is the deputy director of services and a children’s therapist for Meridian Behavioral Health Services. She received her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Appalachian State University and her Masters of Social Work from University of Georgia. Since returning to Haywood County three years ago, Becca has become active in several nonprofits, such as Women of Waynesville, whom she is representing as a Mardi Gras candidate, and also Folkmoot USA, where she serves on the board of directors. Becca is very outgoing and social, and she enjoys NFL football, golf, tennis and spending time with friends and family. Though not originally from Haywood County, Becca graduated from Tuscola High School and knows that the public education she received through Haywood County Schools cemented her love of learning, which led her down the path of pursing higher education.

Nathan Lowe King candidate Nathan Lowe has several businesses in Haywood County. He and his wife Michaela own and operate the restaurant Southern Porch in Canton. Prior to getting in the food industry, Nathan started BKL Boards, a custom cornhole board company. Nathan also founded Blue Ridge Cornhole, which helps organize cornhole tournaments across Western North Carolina. Nathan is a product of Haywood County Schools and graduated from Tuscola High School.


Mardi Gras – fun fundraiser


The annual Haywood County Schools Foundation Mardi Gras Ball is the nonprofit’s largest fundraiser of the year. This year’s event is at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, February 25, at Laurel Ridge Country Club and will feature dinner and music. For ticket information, contact Jenny Wood Valliere at or 828.456.2400 ext 2117.


This must be the place BY GARRET K. WOODWARD

Gulf Coast of Texas. Garret K. Woodward photo

So many miles, so many roads

New England Patriots made a miraculous comeback). A nice, hot shower and fresh bed sheets for a well-deserved nap, only to hit the town with our red paint buckets in hand, all up and down Bourbon Street. Not to mention the spicy jambalaya and gumbo I found in front of me, real deal NOLA cuisine in a courtyard restaurant tucked away right off the main drag. Or what about the random overnight stop in Waverly, Alabama? Population 140, the town is home to the Standard Deluxe, a beloved music venue (and screen printing business) which also includes a legendary outdoor stage for the Waverly Old 280 Boogie, a twice-a-year festival that attracts upwards of 1,200 folks, hosting the likes of Charles Bradley, Jason Isbell, Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley, Alabama Shakes, and countless others. I arose the next morning and went for a run down a muddy dirt road behind the building, only to find myself a ways down the desolate route, standing in awe of a long forgotten waterfall and abandoned mill at the end of a 35-acre lake. And I think the most important thing I took away from these last several weeks was the mere notion that I’m still able to connect deeply and sincerely with a member of the opposite sex. Being on my own for many years, and also kind of distancing myself from the dating scene (over the drama and anxiety of it all), it was a pleasant surprise to be in the presence of a femme fatale during the entire excursion, having her as my co-pilot and partner-in-crime from the Deep South to the

Big Apple and back again. After the last couple of tumultuous breakups, I put an end to even attempting any form of a relationship beyond either being friends or, well, short-lived flings that never really seem to go anywhere. I’d rather just be on my own, doing my own thing, even if, at times, it can get very lonely with a deafening silence those long nights in your apartment just leaning back in your chair, gazing out the window onto a world rushing by. I’m not sure what will come of the femme fatale. Right now, she’s somewhere in Nicaragua, wandering the coast and probably striking fire in conversation with some stranger, now kindred spirit and lifelong friend — a trait of hers that always made me smile. Plans are in the works for her to return to the states at some point this spring. Who knows? I remain happy, nonetheless, more so since she has entered the picture. Sitting here at my desk, typing away, what remains is that justified feeling — that sense of self only obtained when jumping off the edge — where the entire odyssey was worth it, every single second and mile it took to complete the jaunt. Like I said, it’ll be awhile before I’ll be able to figure it all out in my head on just exactly what it was I experienced out there in the great beyond. But, there will come a time when I do, and in that time I’ll place that knowledge, love and pure wonder on the shelves of my mind, next to other lines in the sand between my intent and the ultimate outcome. Life is beautiful, grasp for it, y’all.



February 15-21, 2017

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Smoky Mountain News

There will be a “Chocolate & Bier Pairing” I hadn’t slept that long in years. event and fundraiser for The Community Table After driving up and down the from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at East Coast for the better part of Heinzelmännchen Brewery in Sylva. the last two months, from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast, I No Name Sports Pub (Sylva) will host The found myself awakened from a Swinging Tire Drinking Choir (Americana) at deep slumber last Thursday 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18. morning — almost 6,000 miles The fifth annual Smoky Mountain Home and 15 states total. Builders Association “Chili Cookoff” will be The purpose of the trek was to held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, at Frog simply reconnect with the deepLevel Brewing in Waynesville. est part of my soul, which resides along the open road. Sure, I find The 11th annual Outhouse Race will be held myself out and about most everyat 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at the day as a regional journalist in Sapphire Valley Ski Area. Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachia. But, where There will be a winter art reception from 4 to 6 I’m in my essence is exploring p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, at the Franklin Uptown areas never before seen or interGallery. acted with by this bearded writer incredible thing to experience, and ultimately hailing from the Adirondack Mountains of will hone in more on the core of your being. Upstate New York. I remember one morning when I awoke What’s funny is that when you finally in a chilly tent in the middle of Brazos Bend return back (to your home, your bed and State Park, a surreal and mesmerizing well-worn lounge chair), who you are in that prairie-meets-swamp landscape just south of moment isn’t the same person who put the old pickup truck into drive and merged onto Houston. The early sunshine soon warmed my face when I emerged from the tent. the highway those many weeks ago. Moseying over to the nearby campground I find it takes awhile after you return to bathroom, I brushed my teeth, spit, and fully comprehend and make sense of your smiled at the familiar face in the mirror. road trip. You’re usually more tired coming There I was, some 1,005 miles from where I home than how you felt before you skipped currently live in Waynesville, 1,979 miles town. But, that’s OK (it’s ideal actually), seefrom my hometown on the Canadian Border. ing as you threw yourself out into the chaos Then there was that night — after — no mercy, no prisoners, no problem. numerous days of truck camping — when I Emotionally? Between serendipitous encounters and unexpected vehicular repairs, finally decided to splurge on a nice hotel I tend to break even, but with my soul always room for my birthday — the Astor Crowne Plaza in the French Quarter of New Orleans leaning towards the positive, seeing as every(on Super Bowl Sunday when my beloved thing — good, bad and the ugly — is an


5 7 3 W. M a i n S t . S y l v a • 8 2 8 . 5 8 6 . 6 4 0 4 M O N . 1 2 - 6 T U E . - S AT. 1 1 - 7 C L O S E D S U N D AY



arts & entertainment

On the beat

WCU welcomes ‘Queen of Bluegrass’ HARMONS’ DEN

Rhonda Vincent.


February 15-21, 2017

Asheville singer-songwriter Brie Capone will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at Harmons’ Den Bistro at the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre in Waynesville. Dinner, wine and beer available for purchase. $5 cover charge.

Bluegrass legend Rhonda Vincent & The Rage will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center at Western Carolina University. Dubbed the “Queen of Bluegrass,” Vincent is a magnetic force on nature, onstage and off. She was named a seven-time (in a row) “Female Vocalist of the Year” by the International Bluegrass Music Association (2000-2006), along with the IBMA “Entertainer of the Year” in 2001. The Society for Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America named her “Entertainer of the Year” from 2002 to 2006. Tickets are $24 for adults/seniors, $20 for WCU faculty/staff and $8 for students/children. They can be purchased online at or by calling the box office at 828.227.2479.

of this trio’s powerful musical voice. Tickets are $15. To purchase tickets, visit

Smoky Mountain News

Bryson City community jam


‘Chamberfolk’ at The Strand Acclaimed chamberfolk act Harpeth Rising will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, at The Strand at 38 Main in Waynesville. Fusing folk, newgrass, rock and classical music, the trio are lyrically rooted in the singer/songwriter tradition, and wrapped in three-part vocal harmonies reminiscent of both Appalachia and Medieval Europe. The three musicians each hold classical performance degrees from some of the most venerated schools in the world: Indiana University, Oberlin, Eastman School of Music. But their classical background is only one dimension

A community music jam will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, at the Marianna Black Library in Bryson City. Anyone with a guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, dulcimer, anything unplugged, are invited to join. Singers are also welcomed to join in or you can just stop by and listen. The jam is facilitated by Larry Barnett of Grampa’s Music in Bryson City. The community jams offer a chance for musicians of all ages and levels of ability to share music they have learned over the years or learn old-time mountain songs. The music jams are offered to the public each first and third Thursday of the month — year-round. This program received support from the North Carolina Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of North Carolina and the National Endowment of the Arts. 828.488.3030.

On the beat

• The Classic Wineseller (Waynesville) will host Sheila Gordon (piano/jazz) Feb. 17, Joe Cruz (piano/pop) Feb. 18 and 25, and Kevin Lorenz (guitar) Feb. 24. All events begin at 7 p.m. 828.452.6000 or


• Derailed Bar & Lounge (Bryson City) will have music at 7 p.m. on Saturdays. 828.488.8898. • Frog Level Brewing (Waynesville) will host Ed Kelley & Steve Goldman (singer-songwriter) 7 p.m. Feb. 24. All shows are free. • Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort will host “Purple Reign: The Prince Tribute Show” at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18. For tickets, visit • Innovation Brewing (Sylva) will have an Open Mic night Feb. 15 and 22, and a jazz night with the Kittle/Collings Duo Feb. 16

duction of “We’ve Only Just Begun: The Carpenters Remembered” at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18. Tickets starting at $20 per person.

History of African American music DJ Justin Moe will host “Timeline: A Brief History of African American Music” from 5:15 to 7:15 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin. Moe is honored to be presenting this program in conjunction with “Black History Month” to celebrate the influence of African American music in the United States. He'll be using music in his collection to present a timeline of sorts, from field songs to current hip hop and much in between. He has a genuine love for the music and plans on having a reference sheet available with resources such as books, documentaries, and music available to check out from libraries throughout North Carolina via the N.C. Cardinal system. The program is free and open to the public. 828.524.3600 or

• No Name Sports Pub (Sylva) will host Jonny Monster Band (rock) Feb. 17, Swinging Tire Drinking Choir (Americana) Feb. 18, Fumblebuckers (bluegrass) Feb. 24 and PMA (rock/reggae) Feb. 25. All shows are free and begin at 9:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. There will also be a “Roller Derby Speed Dating” fundraiser at 8 p.m. Feb. 18.

• The Ugly Dog Pub (Highlands) will host a weekly Appalachian music night from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Wednesdays with Nitrograss. 828.526.8364 or

and 23. All events are free and begin at 8 p.m. • Lazy Hiker Brewing (Franklin) will host Calvin Get Down (funk/soul) Feb. 18 and Tea 4 Three (rock/blues) Feb. 25. All shows are free and begin at 8 p.m. 828.349.2337 or

• The Strand at 38 Main (Waynesville) will host an “Open Mic” night from 7 to 9 p.m. on Saturdays. All are welcome. 828.283.0079 or

• The Oconaluftee Visitor Center (Cherokee) will host a back porch old-time music jam from 1 to 3 p.m. Feb. 18. All are welcome to come play or simply sit and listen. • Satulah Mountain Brewing (Highlands) will host “Hoppy Hour” and an open mic with Jimandi at 5:30 p.m. on Thursdays, “Funky Friday” with Bud Davis at 7 p.m. on Fridays and Isaish Breedlove (Americana) at 7 p.m. on Saturdays. 828.482.9794 or • The Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts (Franklin) will host a pro-

• The Water’n Hole Bar & Grill (Waynesville) will Bender Kills (rock) Feb. 17, Jonny Monster Band (rock) Feb. 18, Sugar Lime Blue Feb. 24 and A.P.E. (rock/acoustic) Feb. 25. All shows begin at 9 p.m. • The Waynesville Public Library will host One Leg Up (gypsy/jazz) at 3 p.m. Feb. 18. Free. • Western Carolina University (Cullowhee) will host a Horn Studio Recital 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16 and a Community Service Choir Concert 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 in the Recital Hall of the Coulter Building. Hailey Klinkhammer will perform at 7 p.m. Feb. 23 at UC Illusions. There will be a Musical Theatre Senior Recital at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Feb. 25 in the Niggli Theatre.

February 15-21, 2017

We welcome Dr. Oswald back to Jackson & Macon and our practice!


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At Asheville Eye Associates, Our Mission is Your Vision.

144 Holly Springs Park Dr.




828.258.1586 800.531.EYES (3937) 828.258.1586

arts & entertainment

• The Canton Armory will host “Winter Pickin’ in the Armory” at 7 p.m. every first and third Friday of the month. The event includes mountain music, vintage country, clogging and dancing. Doors open at 6 p.m. Free.


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arts & entertainment

On the street Remembrance of Victoria Casey McDonald The Jackson County Public Library will host “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, in the Community Room in Sylva. “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” celebrates Black History Month in Jackson County and serves as a tribute to the life and legacy of Victoria Casey McDonald. The event will include musical guests, a Story Circle of shared memories featured friends, family and former students, moderated by Marie T. Cochran. For additional information, contact Victoria’s daughter, Faustine McDonald Wilson, owner of Survival Pride clothing at or Marie T. Cochran at, or call the library at 828.586.2016. This event is co-sponsored by Survival Pride Clothing, the Affrilachian Artist Project, and the Jackson County Public Library.

Smoky Mountain News

February 15-21, 2017

Haywood Schools Mardi Gras fundraiser There will be a few upcoming fundraisers for Becca Swanger, who is running for the 2017 Mardi Gras Ball queen to raise money for the Haywood County Schools Foundation. • “Pale to the Queen” from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18 at Frog Level Brewing in Waynesville. A portion of the beer proceeds will be donated to Swanger's Mardi Gras campaign. Food, music and a 50/50 raffle. • Tipping Point will donate 10 percent of food and drink sales to Swanger's Mardi Gras campaign from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, during Trivia Night. • The Waynesville Inn has agreed to donate 10 percent of dinner proceeds to Swanger's campaign from 4 to 9 p.m.

• The fifth annual Smoky Mountain Home Builders Association “Chili Cookoff” will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, at Frog Level Brewing in Waynesville. Registration begins at 5 p.m. Free to enter. Free to taste for SMHBA members and member guests, $5 to the general public. RSVP to 828.454.0221 or

• Chef Ricardo Fernandez will be hosting a Mountain Cooking Club class from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Folkmoot Friendship Center in Waynesville. His classes combine his native Argentine cuisine with influences from Spain and Italy. Class fee is $65 plus a $1 Mountain Cooking Club 2016 membership fee. To reserve your space, please mail a check (payable to 34

Thursday, Feb. 23 at The Tap Room. Reservations required and can be made by calling 828.456.3551 or they can be made online by visiting To donate to the Swanger campaign or to other candidates, click on, find the Mardi Gras Ball link on the bottom of the page and donate with the candidate’s name in the memo.

Outhouse Race returns to Sapphire Valley

Do you like chocolate and beer? There will be a “Chocolate & Bier Pairing” from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at Heinzelmännchen Brewery in Sylva. Six samples of Heinzelmännchen Biers and six delectable chocolates from Baxley's. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door and can be purchased at either business. Cash or check only. $5 of each ticket will go to The Community Table, a nonprofit that provides nutritious meals to neighbors in need in a welcoming environment. 828.631.4466 or 828.631.3379.

Cashiers Chocolate Cook-Off The sixth annual Chocolate Cook-Off will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Albert Carlton Library in Cashiers. Those who cannot attend are welcome to make a dessert to be auctioned off during this event. Entry forms can be found at the Sapphire Valley Community Center or by emailing Hand it in to the front desk at the library, or send it to Bonnie Zacher, 497 Tower Road, Sapphire, N.C. 28774. The event is put together by the Friends of the Albert Carlton Cashiers Library. 828.743.0489 or 828.743.5940.

Ricardo Fernandez) to Suzanne Fernandez at 3553 Panther Creek Road, Clyde, North Carolina 28721. Reservations confirmed upon receipt of payment. 828.627.6751 or • The Balsam Mountain Inn will host a “Valentine’s Package” through Feb. 28. Add a candlelit dinner for two, fresh flowers, champagne, souvenir flutes and freshly baked cookies for an additional $125 to the room rate. To reserve, 800.224.9498.


• A wine tasting will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Feb. 18 and 25 at Papou’s Wine Shop in Sylva. $5 per person. There will also be a

The Sapphire Valley Outhouse Race will be Feb. 18. Garret K. Woodward photo The 11th annual Outhouse Race will be held on Saturday, Feb. 18, at the Sapphire Valley Ski Area. This event kicks off with the display of all the racing outhouses, with the event beginning at 11:30 a.m. Over a dozen outhouses take part in this crazy, full of fun, wild and

wacky elimination race. It’s expected that a record number of entries will be on hand for this year’s event. Live music and food will also be onsite. The race raises money for local charities and nonprofits. Want to enter? Do you need an outhouse to rent for the race? Call 828.743.2251.

‘Jack Tales’ at Mountain Heritage Center As part of its Appalachian Living series, Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center will host a multimedia presentation on “Jack Tales” and storytelling from 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, in the Hunter Library in Cullowhee. “Jack Tales” is a Southern Appalachian storytelling staple and a continuation of an English tradition going back hundreds of years. The most familiar and often repeat-

ed of the genre is “Jack and the Bean Stalk.” The oral history and storytelling presentation will include two live stories told by Ashton Woody, a junior majoring in English at WCU, and an open discussion about regional entertainment traditions and mountain dialects. For more information, contact the Mountain Heritage Center at 828.227.7129.

Spanish wine dinner with Chef Jackie Blevins at 7 p.m. Feb. 23 ($70 per person, three courses and three wines) and a “popin” small plate and wine evening from 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 24. or 828.586.6300.

wines for $3 a glass. All recipes posted online.

• The Classic Wineseller (Waynesville) will host a wine tasting on Wednesdays and a craft beer tasting on Thursdays. Both events run from 4 to 8 p.m. There will also be tapas from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. • Free cooking demonstrations will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturdays at Country Traditions in Dillsboro. Watch the demonstrations, eat samples and taste house

• A free wine tasting will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Feb. 18 and 25 at Bosu’s Wine Shop in Waynesville. or 828.452.0120. • The High Mountain Squares will host their "Mardi Gras Dance" from 6:15 to 8:45 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, at the Memorial United Methodist Church in Franklin. Dr. Jim Duncan from Otto will be the caller. Western Style Square Dancing, main/stream and plus levels. New dancers lessons will begin March 6. Everyone is welcome. For information, call 828.342.1560, 828.332.0001 or

arts & entertainment February 15-21, 2017

Smoky Mountain News



Smoky Mountain News February 15-21, 2017

arts & entertainment

On the wall

• A fusion of film, dance and music, “Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical Revue” will be screened at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, in the Bardo Arts Center at Western Carolina University. Part of the WCU Arts and Cultural Events series, tickets are $10 for students, $18 for WCU faculty and staff, and $23 for general admission. or 828.227.2479. • A winter art reception will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, at the Franklin Uptown Gallery. Fine art and appetizers. Meet the artists and see their works. All welcome. 828.349.4607.


FOLK ART AT CITY LIGHTS Local folk artist and writer Brent Martin will host an opening reception for a new folk art series from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, at City Lights Café in Sylva. The Moxie Nerve Food Diaries are Martin's renderings of the famous 19th century nerve food into both words and images, utilizing salvaged tin and other salvaged material. The event is free and open to the public.

Open call for crafters

The Haywood County Arts Council in Waynesville is currently hosting an open call for Western North Carolina artists to participate in their April and May shows. • April — “Coming Together: Healing through Art.” All kinds of societal healing are open to exploration: political, economic, and environmental. All mediums are welcome for this juried exhibit. Applications are due Feb. 15. • May — “A Ruby Anniversary: 40 Years of Passion for the Arts.” The HCAC celebrates its 40th (ruby) anniversary in 2017, and they want to celebrate with an exhibit. They ask that interested artists select one piece to submit for this show — they are seeking variety and wide participation. Ruby/red colored work or work themed around passion and the arts are encouraged. All mediums are welcome for this juried exhibit. Applications are due March 15. For applications or more information, visit

This year, the town of Dillsboro will be hosting three arts and craft shows open to vendors from the surrounding region. The Dillsboro Merchants Association is scheduling over 40 artisans for each of these festivals, artisans who will be displaying and demonstrating their hand made arts and crafts from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. • Saturday, June 17 — The 3rd annual “Front Street Arts & Crafts Show.” Application due April 1. • Saturday, Aug. 19 — The Dillsboro Summer Arts & Crafts Market showcases local art and fine crafts, with a focus on family and children activities. Application due by June 1. • Saturday, Oct. 7 — The ninth annual ColorFest will line Front Street with colorful art and fine crafts. Application due by July 1. Vendors may apply by downloading an application from the town’s website, For more information, call Connie Hogan at 828.586.3511 or email

• The High Country Quilt Guild is holding its next meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, at the First Methodist Church in Waynesville. Members will share tips and tricks. The group meets the third Thursday of each month. Newcomers welcome. • The Jackson County Extension Office will be offering an “Alcohol Ink Workshop” from 10

Want to make a broom? The Mountain Heritage Center, Western Carolina University’s museum of Appalachian culture, will hold a cobweb broom workshop from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, in Cullowhee. The free demonstration, part of the ongoing Appalachian Living craft and skills series, will be led by Cullowhee resident and business owner Mickey Sizemore in the center’s gallery at Hunter Library. Made

• An “Abstract Expressions” exhibit will run through Feb. 25 in the Gallery & Gifts showroom at the Haywood County Arts Council in Waynesville. Free and open to the public. • “The Magic Starts Here” exhibit will run through Feb. 25 at The Bascom in Highlands. Featuring numerous students from the Master of Fine Arts program at Western Carolina University, there will be a reception from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, at The Bascom. • The “Women Painters of the Southeast” exhibition will run through May 5 in the Fine Arts Museum at Western Carolina University. A reception will be held at the museum from 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 19. • The Adult Coloring Group will meet at 2 p.m. on Fridays in the Living Room of the Macon County Public Library in Franklin. Supplies are provided, or bring your own. Beginners are welcome as well as those who already enjoy this new trend. or 828.524.3600. • “Stitch,” the gathering of those interested in crochet, knit and needlepoint, meet at 2:30 p.m. every first Sunday of the month at the Canton Public Library. All ages and skill levels welcome.

from local materials, the cobweb broom was designed to access hard-to-reach areas, especially corners that collect spider webs and dust, and is one of several styles of specialty brooms used in Appalachia. Sizemore, a local craftsman who attended WCU, owns and operates Gray Branch Soaps. He has been making mountain-style brooms for six years and has led workshops at Warren Wilson College and the Jackson County Library. For more information, call the Mountain Heritage Center at 828.227.7129.

Smoky Mountain News

Call for WNC artists

• There will a pine needle basketry class from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum in Vonore, Tennessee. Cost of the class is $15 and includes materials. To register, call 423.884.6246 or stop by the museum.

• A showcase on the life and times of Horace Kephart will be on display through March 31 in the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University. In 1904, Kephart’s numerous articles and books captured a disappearing culture, provided practical advice for generations of outdoor enthusiasts, and spearheaded the movement to establish the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 828.227.7129 or

February 15-21, 2017

• There will be a showcase for artist Shawna Solito from noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at Donno’s Higher Ground Tattoo in Bryson City. Besides drawing most of her life, she has produced numerous art punk recordings, classical and jazz compositions as well as short animations and videos. Solito works in watercolor, ink, and acrylics. Her style ranges from detailed abstracts to strange imaginative creatures and landscapes. Her works also include political commentary on conflicts and the environment.

a.m. to noon Thursday, Feb. 16, in Sylva. Instructor Sherri Roper will be teaching this unique class using alcohol ink to create colorful backgrounds for stamping, cardmaking and painting or learn to add color to different surfaces such as glass or metals. You will have the opportunity to create several different projects in this one class. The cost is $10 and all supplies are provided. Class size is limited. To register, call 828.586.4009.

arts & entertainment

• Paint Nite Waynesville will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, at Frog Level Brewing in Waynesville. Sign up on the Paint Night Waynesville Facebook page (search event: Brush N’ Brew) or call 828.400.9560.


Vendors needed for Folkmoot Two crowd-pleasing events, part of the annual Folkmoot Festival, are seeking professional artists, community craftspeople, nonprofit organizations, and food vendors. Specifically, vendors are sought for the 2017 Many Cultures Children’s Carnival and the International Festival Day. The 2017 Folkmoot Festival marks the second year for the Many Cultures Children’s Carnival, a kids/family-centered event, which will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 22, on the green space adjacent to the Folkmoot Friendship Center, 112 Virginia Ave., Waynesville. The 2016 carnival hosted 3,000 visitors.

February 15-21, 2017

arts & entertainment

On the stage

HART announces 2017 auditions Smoky Mountain News

The Haywood Arts Regional Theatre will hold auditions for principal roles in its 2017 season on Sunday, Feb. 19 and Monday, Feb. 20, at the theatre in Waynesville. Directors for all of the theatre’s productions will be in attendance to see actors interested in being considered for principal roles. Following these auditions directors will have the discretion of casting from those who auditioned or conducting follow-up auditions at a later date. All chorus and dance company casting for large musicals will be done at a later time. Actors are discouraged from attending both evenings of auditions. HART is primarily a volunteer based community theater, but offers limited stipends to professional actors cast in leading roles. To 38 qualify as a professional, actors must have a

International Festival Day, scheduled for July 29, attracts about 25,000 to 40,000 attendees and is produced by Folkmoot and the Downtown Waynesville Association. Entertainment features two stages, cultural performances and community dance lessons taught by twelve international troupes. Makers and producers of handmade arts, crafts, nonprofit organizations, and food vendors are encouraged to apply for booths. The Many Cultures Carnival will host up to 60 vendors, and International Festival Day will include up to 100 arts and craft spaces as well as up to five food booths. Application packets can be downloaded or entered electronically at Vendors who prefer to receive packets by mail can call the office at 828.452.2997. The deadline for applications and fees is March 14. Applications will be juried and selected vendors notified by May 1. Folkmoot’s yearround programming initiatives have been made possible by Haywood Regional Medical Center, the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina and the Cherokee Preservation Foundation. Folkmoot is a nonprofit organization celebrating its 34th International Folk Festival. Folkmoot Friendship Center is located in the Historic Hazelwood School at 112 Virginia Avenue in Waynesville. Staff can be reached by phone at 828.452.2997 or by email at

professional head shot and resume with credits at other professional theaters or be enrolled in actor training programs at area universities. Auditions must include a prepared monologue and musical selections if auditioning for lead musical roles. These actors will be seen by all directors beginning at 6:30 p.m. Community theater actors are not required to have photos, resumes or prepared audition material beyond 16 bars of a song with sheet music if auditioning for musical roles. Priority is given to volunteer actors in all casting. Immediately following the professional auditions, at approximately 7:30 p.m., community theater actors will be considered based on cold readings from the scripts of each show they are interested in being considered for. These auditions will be conducted in different parts of the building for each show. An accompanist will be provided for those

‘Schoolhouse Rock’ at HART

The Haywood Arts Regional Theatre’s new youth drama program, KIDS AT HART, opens its second production, the musical “Schoolhouse Rock Live! JR.,” with performances at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18 and 25, at the theatre in Waynesville. The show is based on the 1970s TV series and features songs that are meant to help teach the multiplication tables and grammar. HART’s production is under the direction of Shelia Sumpter, with Madison Sugg as assistant director and will feature: Austin Clark, Andrew Delbene, Ashlyn Clark, Sydney Lyles, Harrison Ray, Lily Klinar, Abigail Cumber, Megan Galloway, Anika Gossett, Delilah Jenkins, Josie Ostendorff, Sarah Elizabeth Super, Abby Welchel, Haiden Woods and Cami Wright.

The musical is a great show for children of all ages and even adults who grew up in the 1970s will have a nostalgic good time. The series' original run lasted from 1973 to 1985. It was later revived with both old and new episodes airing from 1993 to 1999. Additional episodes were produced in 2009. The show covers topics that included grammar, science, economics, history, mathematics, and civics. The infectious songs make it easy for children to remember and many who grew up with the show can still sing the songs today, including “Conjunction Junction,” and “Three is a Magic Number.” Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids. To make reservations, call the HART Box Office at 828.456.6322 or visit

auditioning for roles in musicals. Additional information is available at

its original language, French, and has been equally acclaimed in English-translated productions in both London and New York. Reza’s father was a Jewish Iranian engineer, businessman, and pianist of Russian descent and her mother was a Jewish Hungarian violinist from Budapest. She won acclaim as a playwright for “Art,” which premiered in 1994. Her work is known for its humorous observation of the breakdown in civility when otherwise rational people are put into conflict. The Harmons’ Den Bistro will be open for dining before the evening performances and for Sunday Brunch. Patrons do not have to be attending the performance to dine in the Bistro. Though studio productions are general admission, reservations are recommended as shows often sell out. To make reservations for the play or for dinner, call the HART box office at 828.456.6322 or go online to

‘God of Carnage’ at HART As part of the Haywood Regional Art Theatre’s winter play festival, the Tony Award Winning Best Play “God of Carnage” by Yasmina Reza will hit the stage at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17-18 and 2 p.m. Feb. 19 in Waynesville. The play is about two sets of parents after a playground altercation between their boys brings them together for a meeting to resolve the matter. At first, diplomatic niceties are observed, but as the meeting progresses, tensions emerge and the gloves come off, leaving the couples with more than just their liberal principles in tatters. The play was a success in

On the stage

Symphony Orchestra also were involved in the production. The WCU Artist-In-Residence Orchestra conducted by Frazier provided musical accompaniment for the program. The ensemble represents a partnership between WCU and the Asheville Symphony Orchestra in which WCU students play alongside professional musicians in a collaborative orchestral experience. The show, which helped raised money to fund scholarships, was the eighth in a series of academic-based entertainment projects that hark back to the golden age of radio, featuring a live orchestra and sound effects. The productions have raised nearly $40,000 for departmental scholarships. The Broadcast Education Association is the premier international academic media organization, Connelly said. The BEA Festival of Media Arts is an international refereed exhibition of faculty creative activities and a national showcase for student work. The Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation was created by King World Productions, which is known for its television program syndication including “Wheel of Fortune,” “Jeopardy,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “Dr. Phil.” The foundation was created in 1988 to support individuals, institutions and organizations committed to educational excellence and professional development in the media. The company was purchased by CBS in 2007. For more information, contact Connelly at 828.227.3851 or

WCU presents ‘King Lear’

explorations of the human condition and demonstrates how relevant the Bard’s great works are for our generation. For more information on the show and tickets, visit • The Highlands Performing Arts Center will continue the “Live via Satellite” series with The National Theatre of London as they present a production of “Saint Joan” by Bernard Shaw at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18. Tickets are available online at, at the door or by calling 828.526.9047.


• The LMP Late Night Comedy will be held at 9 p.m. Feb. 24 in UC Illusions at Western Carolina University.


mobile technology to help you get a lot less mobile.

Smoky Mountain News

A stage production of “King Lear” will be held at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15-18 and 3 p.m. Feb. 19 in the Hoey Auditorium at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee. Renowned as one of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedies, “King Lear” is an electric tale of an aging monarch’s decent into madness and his personal hell forged from tested love, betrayal, and a kingdom divided. It is the ultimate political thriller where King and kingdom are scorched, human nature scrutinized, and the wise are made fools. Yet, at his lowest, Lear attains new wisdom, discovers true loyalty, and finds salvation in a banished daughter’s love. “King Lear” is one of the deepest artistic

February 15-21, 2017

Western Carolina University’s 2016 original radio-style production of “Blackbeard’s Ghost and the Queen Anne’s Revenge” has won a “best of festival” award from the national Broadcast Education Association. The WCU show received the Best of Festival King Family Foundation Award in the association’s Festival of Media Arts faculty audio division. This marks the fourth time in seven years that an annual radio-style show performed live at WCU has garnered the honor – the highest award presented at the Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts. The 2017 Best of Festival winners were selected from a pool exceeding 1,450 entries and representing more than 175 colleges and universities. The show’s creators are writer and producer Don Connelly, head of WCU’s Department of Communication, and music director Bruce Frazier, WCU’s Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor of Commercial and Electronic Music. Frazier wrote the original musical score for the production. They will be honored Monday, April 24, at the Broadcast Education Association national convention in Las Vegas. Peter Savage, an adjunct professor who teaches acting in WCU’s School of Stage and Screen, directed the show. The show featured musicians from the School of Music, actors from the School of Stage and Screen and sound effects technicians and actors from the Department of Communication. Area residents, professional actors and members of the Asheville

arts & entertainment

‘Blackbeard’s Ghost’ wins national award

Log on. Plan a trip. And start kicking back.


Books Blizzard of 1993 is catalyst for a fine first novel I 40

Smoky Mountain News

Chilean poet, Miguel. After the couple was murdered, most likely by a hit team from Pinochet’s Chile, Lloyd and his wife Marianne

Jeff Minick

n True Stories At The Smoky View (She Writes Press, 2016, 325 pages, $16.95), Vrai Stevens Lynde — the “Vrai” is short for Vraiment — finds herself and a 10-yearold runaway boy trapped in a room at the Smoky View Motel near Bristol, Tennessee, during the great blizzard of 1993. Snowbound for several days — the monster storm has completely closed I81, and the motel desk clerk delivers Writer food to the stranded travelers on a tractor — Vrai and Jonathan begin comparing notes and sharing stories from their life, an exchange of information resulting in a lifelong friendship and a mutual decision to embark on a crusade to right an injustice. Vrai, a librarian at a university in Baltimore, has returned to Knoxville to attend the funeral of an old friend, Skip, who had also worked at the same library, was fired, and died in mysterious circumstances. The newly hired library director, who was refused tenure as a history professor, seems psychotically intent on driving away key members of his staff through harassment and intimidation. With two of her colleagues dead, Vrai believes she is next on the man’s list of employees to be fired. In addition, Vrai is separated from her husband — she refused to move to Seattle with him, and their marriage is a shambles — and she has taken as her lover another friend from her Tennessee childhood, a married businessman, Lloyd, who lives in Asheville. Adding to Vrai’s burdens is Jonathan Santiago, son of Laramie, Lloyd’s sister, and a

had take the orphaned Jonathan into their home. Neither of them was particularly fond of the boy, and when after the funeral for Skip Jonathan quarrels with Marianne, she and Lloyd leave him shoeless and on the street in the cold while they make a coffee run.

Franklin poetry night An open-mic poetry event for adults will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, at The Rathskeller CoffeeHaus & Pub in Franklin. All area poets and lovers of poetry are invited to read or recite their original works, as well as share their favorite works by other poets in the Rathskeller’s relaxed, intimate atmosphere. No pre-registration is needed; participants will be given stage time on a firstcome basis. No admission charge. This event is produced by the Arts Council of Macon County, supported in part by the Grassroots Arts Program of the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. or 828.524.ARTS.

WCU presents book program Western Carolina University’s Free Enterprise Speaker Series will host a book program at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, at the Blue Ridge Conference Room, Cullowhee. Michelle Albert Vachris, professor of economics at Christopher Newport University, will discuss her recently published book, Pride and Profit: The Intersection of Jane Austen and Adam Smith.

Vrai then picks up Jonathan, tries to track down Marianne and Lloyd, and through a series of misconnections, ends up taking the boy north, where the storm forces them from the road and into the motel. While there, Vrai and Jonathan read some material found on Skip’s computer, make some connections, and realize the head librarian was probably complicit in the death of Skip. True Stories At the Smoky View offers readers several gifts. First, of course, is the description of the ’93 storm. Author Jill McCroskey Coupe does a fine job of recreating the chaos caused by this enormous storm. The highways shutting down, the motels filling up, the problems in some places getting food to the snowbound, the power outages: all these and more are in True Stories At The Smoky View. Through Jonathan’s eyes and Vrai’s observations on the murder of his parents, Coupe gives us a quick but vivid survey of the dictatorial policies of Augusto Pinochet in the 1990s. At the end of the novel Jonathan, now 17, still does not know who murdered his parents or why, but Coupe leaves us with the hope that justice will finally find the killers. And though Chile is now a democracy, albeit with some problems, True Stories At the Smoky View reminds us that dictatorships and communist governments still remain alive, if not always well, in our 21st century. (See

Smith was a mid-18th-century philosopher, best known as the founder of modern economics, whose first book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, examines how people acquire and apply moral reasoning to daily life. Vachris looks at how both authors’ perspectives reflect and define the bourgeois culture of earlier times, and the timeless habits of virtue and propriety that direct and control individual ambition, Lopez said. The program is free and open to the public, with pizza and soft drinks served. For more information, visit or contact Lopez at 828.227.3383 or

Identifying as Southerners A book by a Western Carolina University political science professor and a former WCU colleague examines the American South in contemporary terms of its population and how Southerners view themselves and are viewed in today’s world. In The Resilience of Southern Identity: Why the South Still Matters in the Minds of Its People by Chris Cooper and Gibbs Knotts, the authors make the case that the South’s sometimes drastic political, racial and cultural changes have not lessened the

Finally, the tangled relationships among the characters and their interior complications in True Stories At The Smoky View will appeal to some readers. Coupe has created fully human characters, with all their virtues and flaws. Vrai, for example, is an admirable woman, inquisitive, compassionate, and humorous, yet she also commits adultery with Lloyd, who turns out to be a liar. Bob, Vrai’s husband, seems a solid man, but eventually takes a lover who bears his child. The hatred and paranoia of the villainous Frank, the director of the library who persecutes his employees with lies, gossip, and even obscene phone calls, will strike a familiar chord in anyone who has dealt with such a personality. Even Jonathan, who has a passion for truth and justice, deceives Vrai at the beginning of the book, telling her that Lloyd and Marianne are not coming back for him. One minor quibble about this novel: the first 20 pages of True Stories At The Smoky View offer readers too many characters, too many stories. Many readers, I suspect, will find themselves as I did, stopping the middle of a paragraph to turn back to the preceding pages to try and identify which character we were now meeting again. Patient readers will eventually work out the tangled relationships of Vrai’s various friends and family. True Stories At The Smoky View examines the mysteries and complexities of family, friendship, love and romance, and evil both grandiose and petty. In Vrai Lynde, in particular, Coupe has given us a vivid portrait of a complicated woman torn in many directions by her loves and her loyalties. Jill Coupe grew up in Knoxville, worked as a librarian at Johns Hopkins University, and earned an MFA in Fiction from Warren Wilson College. True Stories At The Smoky View is her first novel.

importance of regional identity but actually have played a key role in keeping it relevant in the 21st century. The University of North Carolina Press publication is expected to begin hitting bookshelves locally and nationally. Notably, the American South has seen once familiar landmarks and features fade. In small towns in the past couple of decades, mom-and-pop diners have been replaced by fast food restaurants, local hardware stores have given way to home improvement superstores and interstate highways crisscross the region. What constitutes a Southern identity varies. For some, it is about the connection to their origins or traditions and folkways, or maintaining cultural themes. The book examines how music, food and other commonalities play a part, and obviously politics. It also looks at the darker side, with discrimination and white supremacist activity commonly associated with the South, especially during the turbulent 1950s and 1960s. Because of the timeliness of the topic and current political and cultural divisions within the nation, many expect the book to have an appeal for a broader audience than academics, demographers and pollsters.

New e-book sharing service for children The NC Kids Digital Library was launched this month by the North Carolina Public Library Directors Association together with OverDrive. This new digital resource sharing service is for kids pre-K through fourth grade, and is available to Haywood County Public Library card holders through OverDrive's digital reading platform. Here’s how it works: n A collection of 3,029 e-books, 689 audiobooks and 37 streaming videos on a custom website, or through the OverDrive app. n 300 titles are available with simultaneous access, available anytime with no wait lists. n All titles can be accessed via the app on all major computers and devices, including iOS, Android, Chromebook and Kindle. n Easy, secure access. All that’s needed to get started is a library card. OverDrive’s collection development team chooses the books for the kid’s collection and are reviewed and approved by a committee appointed by the NCPLDA executive board. Many e-books list the ATOS level and text difficulty to help parents find the right book for their child’s reading level. The 2016 Appropriations Act was signed into law for fiscal year 2016-2017 that included a funding provision for $200,000 for the State Library to work with NCPLDA to create a statewide consortium for all public library cardholders. For more information, call Haywood County Public Library Youth Services Librarian Lisa Hartzell at 828.356.2511.


February 15-21, 2017

• The Waynesville Public Library’s technology instructor will be leading an information literacy program at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21. Open to teens and adults, participants will learn how to spot fake news, why there’s a need to analyze sources of information, and tips on recognizing reliable information and how to evaluate what they read. Free. 828.356.2531.

New young adult novel Smoky Mountain News

Jackson County native Natalie C. Anderson will present her debut young adult novel at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva. Her novel City of Saints and Thieves is a thriller set in Kenya and has been described as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets Gone Girl. Anderson is an American writer and international development professional living in Geneva, Switzerland. She has spent the last decade working with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and the United Nations on refugee relief and development, mainly in Africa. She was selected as the 2014–2015 Associates of the Boston Public Library Children’s Writer-inResidence, where she wrote her debut novel, City of Saints and Thieves.




Smoky Mountain News

Comprehending climate Smokies seeks to understand impacts of shifts in seasonal patterns BY HOLLY KAYS STAFF WRITER ccording to the National Phenology Network, Punxsutawny Phil had it all wrong when he emerged from his hole this month to declare six more weeks of winter — across the Southeastern U.S, the NPN’s data shows, spring 2017 is arriving three weeks earlier than the 1981-2010 average. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is looking for volunteers to help gather the data that will bring such generalizations down to a more local level. Phenology — the ways that plants and animals respond to seasonal changes — has been the subject of increasing interest as discussions about climate change have heated up, and the park is now four years into a volunteer program to collect data for the larger NPN project. Basically, each volunteer is assigned a plot of trees, which they visit once a month to spend 15 minutes or so taking data on trees in the plot. For example, does the tree have leaves, and if so about what percentage of its


Teachers attending a workshop learn how to collect tree phenology data on their school campus. NPS photo

leaves are out? Are they changing color yet? Is fruit present? “Trees are a really good indicator, because if it’s getting warm and staying warm, they will start to bloom earlier than in recent springs,” said Natalie Rothenberg, an AmeriCorps member working on the project. “Conversely, if it stays warm in the fall, the leaves will change later in the season.”

PIECES OF A PUZZLE Trees aren’t the only indicators that Smokies scientists are considering to quantify seasonal shift. They’re looking at everything from wildflowers to birds to insects. But when it comes to trees, volunteers get a chance to help out the professional scientists. Each year, a training session gives science novices all the information they need to generate data that can be plugged into the NPN’s nationwide database. The idea, said Smokies education coordinator Susan Sachs, is to not only understand

whether and how the seasons are changing but how those changes affect the ecosystem as a whole. For example, does an early spring mean that an early fall is likely? Does an early spring in the Southeast usually correlate with an early spring further north? If birds time their migration based on length of day rather than temperature, how will warmer temperatures during migration season affect their food sources? “What does that mean for insects, and what does that mean for birds who eat those insects?” Sachs said. “If the birds aren’t there yet, does that mean we’ll have a boom of insects?” There’s also the question of how an earlier leafout can affect the wildlife species that feed on fruits and nuts. “It’s a phenomenon we like to call summer in March, winter in May,” Sachs said. When leafout happens early, she said, trees might be well into growing fruit by the time May rolls around. But at that stage of

Become a citizen scientist Volunteers are needed to help the Great Smoky Mountains National Park amplify its data on how seasons are shifting in the park, with a training session scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 11, at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee. Each volunteer will adopt one of 28 treemonitoring plots scattered throughout the park, visiting the plot about once per month throughout the growing season to collect data such as when trees leaf out, when they start to change colors or when migratory birds appear in their branches. All plots are located near parking areas, with a roughly even number on the Tennessee and North Carolina sides of the park. Last year, about 80 people collected data, with multiple people assigned to each plot to decrease the burden on individual volunteers. However, more volunteers are always needed. “We can never get too much data,” said Susan Sachs, education coordinator for the park. “Especially in the spring and the fall, if we have people doing data collection in the same day, there’s a difference between data collected in the morning in the spring and in the evening. You will actually see things happen that quickly.” The schedule is flexible, and no expertise is necessary to join. All data goes into a nationwide database managed by the National Phenology Network. Sign up for the training with Natalie Rothenberg, or 828.497.1945.

development, a hard freeze — something that’s not unusual for May in the Smokies — can spell disaster for fruit production. “You loose your berry and your nut crop, so when it comes to fall bears don’t have enough to eat, and they come down into people’s yards,” Sachs said. “We’ve been seeing a pattern of that happening more. We want to know for sure, is this our imaginations?” The more data the park has, the more conclusions it can draw. By looking at tree data together with data on insects, wildflowers and other organisms, scientists can get a better idea of how all these facets of park life adjust and interact when climate shifts. A better understanding of seasonal changes is also important when it comes to working with visitors. The Smokies is the most-visited national park in the country, logging more than 11 million visits last year. Many of those visits are related to seasondependent attractions, like wildflowers and fall colors. One of the most in-demand visitor programs of the year is the two-week synchronous firefly

Have a hiker happy hour A happy hour for hikers is coming to Franklin, planned for 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, at Lazy Hiker Brewing Company. Hikers, trail maintainers and Appalachian Trail enthusiasts alike are invited to enjoy a brew and listen to Nantahala District Ranger Mike Wilkins discuss the impact and legacy of the 2016 fire season on Western North Carolina. The event will also provide a chance to learn about area hike groups, best outdoor practices and ways to volunteer for the A.T. Hosted by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Nantahala Hiking Club and the Lazy Hiker.

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viewing at Elkmont, a phenomenon whose timing can shift depending on the weather. The event is so popular that the park has to arrange a shuttle system to ferry people from Gatlinburg, so it’s important to plan ahead. “We have to arrange that before we know when they’re going to come out,” Sachs said. “It’s kind of temperature-driven. So if we can see some patterns in when spring is arriving, it helps us do a better job of managing some of our visitor programs.”

This will be the Smokies’ fourth year of NPN data collection, with some of the pilot sites at the Tremont Institute now in their sixth year. That’s not a long enough collection period to draw any firm trends, though what’s been gathered so far seems to indicate that springs are longer and warmer than they’ve been in the past. In the Smokies, “the past” goes back a pretty good distance, with weather data on file from 150 years ago. “You definitely see patterns and fluctuations, but what appears to be happening is in the past 20 years in particular it looks like there might be a new pattern forming,” Sachs said. “It looks like a new pattern, but we don’t have enough data yet to say for sure.” Five to seven years from now, though, the data set will be large enough to draw some pretty solid conclusions, and thanks to volunteer efforts Sachs expects the Smokies’ data to be some of the most robust in the NPN database. “The more data you get, the more likely it is the story that’s shaping up is valid,” she said. “Individual people may make mistakes, but if there’s enough data, that noise gets canceled out. The data that has been coming from the Smokies in that National Phenology Network map is, to be honest, among some of the clearest data because there’s so much of it.”

Wild game dinner to support education

A crash course in choosing a backpacking stove and safely treating water on the trail will be offered 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Cullowhee Recreation Center. Choosing the right stove can be overwhelming — the class will help by introducing the basic types of stoves and how to use them, as well as the pros and cons of different fuel types, stove styles and applications for cooking. Effective treatment of water for drinking and cooking will also be covered. $5. Organized by Jackson County Parks and Recreation. Register online at 828.200.3345.

Enjoy wild game dishes while supporting education at the 11th annual Wild Game Dinner, 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at the Haywood County Fairgrounds in Lake Junaluska. The evening will feature door prize drawings, a silent auction and a live auction, as well as live entertainment and a competition for game and non-game calls. A fundraiser for the Wildlife Club at Haywood Community College, the dinner will help send students to the Annual Southeastern Wildlife Conclave and support a wildlife student scholarship, among other opportunities. Bring a wild game dish, vegetables or dessert. $10 admission or $5 if you bring a dish. Children under 12 eat free. Shannon Rabby, 828.627.4560 or

Hunt safely A free hunter safety certification course will be offered 6 to 9 p.m. Feb. 20-21 at

N I & T U O Getting LEMENTS O ur E

For rising 1st–7th graders Limited enrollment for each age group

Registration opens March 2 at 5 a.m. Volunteers study their notes during a phenology training. NPS photo

Smoky Mountain News


February 15-21, 2017

You don’t have to go to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to help gather data about climatological changes. A training for NASA’s Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment — an international science and education program that gives people a chance to participate in the scientific process through weather data collection — will be held noon to 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin. The Macon Early College Environmental Science Club will lead the workshop, teaching participants how to become effective GLOBE citizen scientists. GLOBE data collection kits will be available for checkout from the library following the program. 828.524.3600.


Get set up to cook in the backcountry


Haywood Community College. The course is offered by HCC’s Department of Arts, Sciences and Natural Resources in partnership with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. Participants must come both days to get certified. Free and no age limits, though classes are taught at a sixth-grade level and tests must be completed without assistance. The certification is accepted in every state and province in North America. Pre-registration required at


PARKS AND RECREATION 828.456.2030 or email


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February 15-21, 2017

The project team is developing designs for upgrading N.C. 107 to a four-lane, median divided facility with access management considerations to relieve congestion and improve traffic operations along this heavily traveled route. The public meeting will take place on Thursday February 23, 2017, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Southwestern Community College, in the Conrad Burrell Building (Room 102C), located at 447 College Drive, Sylva. Interested citizens may attend at any time and NCDOT representatives will be available to answer questions and receive comments regarding the proposed project. Attendees will also have the opportunity to submit written comments and questions until March 13, 2017. No formal presentation will be made. The public can view information online at

Smoky Mountain News

Anyone desiring additional information may contact Steve Williams, NCDOT Division 14, Design Construction Engineer; 253 Webster Road, Sylva, NC 28779 by phone; (828) 586-2141 or via email; NCDOT will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for disabled persons who wish to participate in this meeting. Anyone requiring special services should contact: Mr. Williams as early as possible so that arrangements can be made. Persons who speak Spanish and do not speak English, or have a limited ability to read, speak or understand English, may receive interpretive services upon request prior to the meeting by calling 1-800-481-6494. Aquellas personas que hablan español y no hablan inglés, o tienen limitaciones para leer, hablar o entender inglés, podrían recibir servicios de interpretación si los solicitan antes de la reunión llamando al 1-800-481-6494. 44

Conference to examine outdoor tourism and the economy A conference exploring the link between outdoor tourism and the economy will be held Tuesday, Feb. 28, at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee. Hosted by Western Carolina University’s Hospitality and Tourism Program, the conference aims to discuss ways to grow demand for outdoor tourism, which contributes to Western North Carolina’s economy. Speakers will address evolving outdoor tourism and generational marketing trends, as well as the outdoor tourism economy’s contribution to the region’s economic development. Berkeley Young, president of Young Strategies in Charlotte, will give the keynote address on outdoor travel trends and the how the future of outdoor adventure tourism fits into market demands. Event sponsors are Harrah’s, Duke Energy, Nantahala Outdoor Center and Smoky Mountain Host. Registration is $139 and $29 for the TDA session. Discounts available for overnight accommodations. Register at

Forest Service to give pointers on contract bidding People looking to do contract work for the U.S. Forest Service will have a chance to learn the ins and outs of bidding on projects during a pair of drop-in Industry Days events this month. n Noon to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, at the Nantahala Ranger District Office in Franklin. n Noon to 4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at the Southern Research Station Headquarters in Asheville. Takele Woldu, 828.257.4205 or

Trail maintenance volunteers sought A monthly Saturday trail maintenance hike is launching in Franklin, with the first work hike planned for Saturday, Feb. 25. For years, the Nantahala Hiking Club ran a monthly maintenance hike on Saturdays, but the event lapsed about four years ago. Bringing it back will give working folks a chance to do their part to support Western North Carolina’s hiking trails. The group will leave at 9 a.m. from the NHC clubhouse at 173 Carl Slagel Road in Franklin and return around 4 p.m. No experience is required, but participants should bring water, lunch, work gloves and work clothes. The outing will include up to 4 miles of hiking. Youth welcome with adult guardians. Register with Bill Van Horn, 828.369.1983.

Birdwatchers wanted

Franklin Bird Club members go birdwatching near Highlands.

The Great Backyard Bird Count will return for its 20th year Feb. 17-20, calling bird lovers everywhere to help collect data for ongoing research to better understand how birds are affected by the changing climate. Anyone anywhere in the world can contribute by counting birds for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count. Last year, birdwatchers from more than 100 countries participated and tallied more than 5,000 species. North Carolina is a top-performing state, ranking seventh in 2016 with birders documenting 200 species. The GBBC is a joint project of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, the National Audubon Society and Bird Studies Canada. Visit for instructions to participate.


Holly Kays photo

Learn to start plants from seed Starting plants from seed is fun and easy — or at least that’s what Master Gardener Volunteer Jim Janke will demonstrate 1-2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, at the Waynesville Library Auditorium. Janke will give a crash course on how to successfully start plants from seed, allowing gardeners to grow exactly what they want to eat and save some money while they’re at it. Free, with registration required. Refreshments provided by Friends of the Library. 828.356.2507 or

Meet the birds of Cherokee mythology The Cherokee myths and legends surrounding birds of the region will be explained during a program at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 20, at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin. Barbara Duncan, education director at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, will discuss the birds of the Southern Appalachians and their place in Cherokee myths and leg-

ends. The Cherokee were close observers of birds’ habits and appearance and incorporated them into their traditional mythology — in Cherokee lore, birds are involved in every-

thing from the origin of the stickball game to the creation of the mountains. Free. Part of the Franklin Bird Club’s regular monthly meeting. 828.524.5234.

Discover how to help monarch butterflies

Diane E. Sherrill, Attorney

A crash course on keeping backyard poultry will be offered 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Macon County Extension Office in Franklin. The workshop will cover breed selection, hatching, brooding, nutrition, housing, diseases, biosecurity, egg production, meat production, processing and predators. The flock of poultry producers in attendance will also get the chance to network with other producers and enjoy lunch. Free. Register at 828.349.2046.

February 15-21, 2017

Learn how to become an official monarch butterfly supporter during a presentation 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, at the Bethea Welcome Center at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. Master Gardener Marcia Tate will share how to create a waystation to help monarchs refuel as they travel through the area. Each spring, they spread north from Mexico over two to three generations before reaching their northernmost habitat, and when fall comes they migrate up to 3,000 miles south. Tate will discuss what is required to become a certified monarch waystation, an opportunity that allows everyone from schools to parks to backyard gardeners boost populations of these struggling creatures. Free, and part of the Tuscola Garden Club’s monthly meeting. 828.246.0437.

Poultry 101

Is a Will Enough? March 15 & April 19 11:30 AM

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February 15-21, 2017

Get ready for summer camp Open house dates for the Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department’s upcoming summer camp season are planned for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 15, 20 and 28 at the Waynesville Recreation Center, with attendance at one session mandatory for parents whose kids want to attend camp. Summer camp sessions are open to rising first through seventh-graders, with registration opening March 2. There is also an outdoor leadership session for rising eighth through tenth-graders. Camp options are: n June 26-July 7. Earth Element: Conservation, exploration and stewardship of wildlife and land. n July 10-21. Air Element: Harnessing and using wind, experiments and crafts, tubing

and Midnight Hole. n July 24-Aug. 4. Fire Element: Safety and respect, how to start a fire, using and controlling fire, solar power. n Aug. 7-18. Water element: conservation, exploration, water Olympics and rafting. n June 19-23. Intensives week with choice of focus on mastery of whitewater kayaking, fly fishing, forestry and wildlife conservation, rock climbing, disc golf, water stewardship or the arts in nature. Open to grades five through seven. n June 26-30. Outdoor leadership week. Open to grades eight through ten. Prices vary, with discounts for multiple children. Space is limited. Tim Petrea, 456.2030 or

Explore Chattanooga Base Camp Adventure is gearing up for a four-day trip to Chattanooga, Tennessee, to leave Sunday, March 5, and return Wednesday, March 8, after a full itinerary of hikes and exploration. The group will hike around Lookout Mountain, explore downtown Chattanooga and visit the Tennessee Aquarium, Nancy Ward Home and Point Park Civil War site. $50, plus meals. Ages 16 and below must be accompanied by an adult. Sign up with Tim Petrea, 828.456.2030 or

Smoky Mountain News

Plan for adventure in 2017


A club focused on outdoor adventure will hold a planning meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21, at the Waynesville Recreation Center. The Base Camp Adventure Club will go on hikes, paddle trips, fly fishing expeditions and other adventures throughout 2017. Organized by the Waynesville Parks and Recreation Department, the club welcomes all ages. Tim Petrea, 828.456.2030 or

Glacier Breaker welcomes beginning paddlers A family-friendly slalom and downriver race will shake the ice off of winter on Feb. 25-26 at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. Designed to help first-time racers get comfortable with competing on the water, Nantahala Racing Club’s Glacier Breaker

will kick off with the downriver sprint at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, followed by the slalom at noon and the downriver classic at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 28. Racing boats and plastic boats are both allowed. $30. On-site registration is available from 9-10 a.m. at River’s End Restaurant both days. NOC is located in Swain County about 14 miles from Bryson City along U.S. 74. 828.785.4854.

WNC Calendar COMMUNITY EVENTS & ANNOUNCEMENTS • Applications are being accepted for the Haywood County Farm Bureau Scholarship. Students must be graduating seniors, currently enrolled in a Haywood County school or enrolled in a two- or four-year school and a resident of Haywood County. 2.5 GPA or better. 452.1425 or • The Jackson County Department of Public Health is seeking input from residents who have used its services or who have thoughts on the health needs of Jackson County. • Volunteers will be available to assist area residents of all ages with federal and state income tax preparation and filing through April 14. Hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. every Friday and Monday at the Jackson County Senior Center in Sylva and from 3-6:45 p.m. on Tuesdays or by appointment at the Jackson County Public Library in Sylva. For appointments: 586.2016. For tax preparation assistance in other counties, visit: • Auditions are at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Sunday and Monday, Feb. 19-20, for HART Theatre’s 2017 season. • The Jackson County School Health Advisory Council is co-sponsoring the seventh-annual Healthy Snack Master Competition. Students are encouraged to create an original recipe and turn it into to their school’s cafeteria manager by Thursday, Feb. 23. Info: 586.2311, ext. 1936. • “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” – a program celebrating Black History Month – is scheduled for 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, in the Community Room of the Jackson County Public Library. Music and shared memories. Info:, or 586.2016. • “Timeline: A Brief History of African-American Music” will be offered from 5:15-7:15 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin. Featuring DJ Justin Moe. 524.3600. • Registration is underway for a regional conference entitled “Growing Partnerships with Outdoor Tourism and Local Communities” that will be offered by Western Carolina University from 9:15 a.m.-4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort. Ways to grow demand for outdoor tourism that contributes to the region’s economy will be discussed. Registration: $139. A TDA pre-conference workshop on the fundamentals of operating a tourism development authority will be offered from 1-5:30 p.m. the day before (Feb. 27). That workshop costs $29 with conference registration. Register:, 227.7397 or 800.928.4968. • Progressive Nation WNC meetup is held from 5:30-8 p.m. each Monday at the Old Armory at 44 Boundary Street in Waynesville. For like-minded progressive and Democratic activists wanting to share ideas and action steps. Questions: • The 2017 grant application season has launched and guidelines and applications for the North Carolina Arts Council’s seven grant programs for organizations are now available. The deadline for receiving 2017-18 grant applications is Wednesday, March 1 and applications must be completed electronically through the North Carolina Arts Council’s online portal. For more information, visit • Mike Wolf, Frank Fritz and their team are excited to return to North Carolina. They plan to film episodes of the hit series AMERICAN PICKERS throughout the region this fall. If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the

Smoky Mountain News



All phone numbers area code 828 unless otherwise noted. pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send us your name, phone number, location and description of the collection with photos to: or call 855.old.rust.

BUSINESS & EDUCATION • The documentary: “Starving the Beast: The Battle to Disrupt and Reform America’s Public Universities” will screen at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16, in the A.K. Hinds University Center Theater at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee. A panel discussion led by Gene Nichol (Boyd Tinsley Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and Ralph Wilson (activist and co-founder of the UnKoch My Campus organization) will follow. or 227.3927. • Registration is underway for a Wilderness First aid class that will be offered from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Feb. 18-19 at the Cullowhee Recreation Center. $195. Class introduces you to techniques to care for the ill or injured in the backcountry. • A program entitled “How to Find Your Customers” will be presented by Southwestern Community College’s Small Business Center from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 20, at the Jackson Campus. Part of a business startup series, which will meet each Monday through March 27. Registration required: Info: 339.4211 or • Western Carolina University will host a Global Spotlight Series event on the illicit global drug trade from 4-5:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 20, in Room 101 of Forsyth Building in Cullowhee. Presentations include “The Economics of Drug Prohibition” by Angela Dills; “Drug Abuse and the Public Health Response” by Kimberlee Hall; and “The Limitations of Law Enforcement by Al Kopak. Info: 227.3860 or • A Hunter Education course will be offered from 6-9:30 p.m. on Feb. 20-21 at Haywood Community College, Building 3300, Room 3322, in Clyde. No minimum age requirement. Must attend two consecutive evenings to receive certification. Preregistration required: • “How to Write a Business Plan” is the topic of a seminar offered by Haywood Community College’s Small Business Center from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at the Small Business Center, Room 5108. Register or get more info: 627.4512 or • A course in conversational Japanese will be offered starting Wednesday, Feb. 22, at Western Carolina University’s Cordelia Camp Building in Cullowhee. Classes meet from 6-7 p.m. on five consecutive Wednesdays in Room 143. $79. Register: Info: • A class on computer file organization will be offered at 5:55 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at the Jackson County Public Library. Sign up: 586.2016. • “Basics of Bookkeeping” is the topic of a seminar offered by Haywood Community College’s Small Business Center from 6-9 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, at the Small Business Center, Room 5108. Register or get more info: 627.4512 or • Konnichiwa! A five-week, non-credit conversational Japanese course will be offered from 6-7 p.m. on Wednesdays from Feb. 22-March 29 at Western Carolina University’s Cordelia Camp Building in Cullowhee. Info and online registration:

• The U.S. Forest Service is hosting Industry Days on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 23-24, to provide information and assistance to contractors who may be interested in bidding on project work on North Carolina’s national forests. The first is from noon-4:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Nantahala Ranger District Office in Franklin; the second is from noon-4:30 p.m. on Friday at the Southern Research Station Headquarters. Info: 257.4205, or • A program entitled “How to Write a Business Plan” will be presented by Southwestern Community College’s Small Business Center from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27, at the Jackson Campus. Part of a business startup series, which will meet each Monday through March 27. Registration required: Info: 339.4211 or • A regional conference on “Growing Partnerships with Outdoor Tourism and Local Communities” is from 9:15 a.m.-4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee. Hosted by Western Carolina University. Registration: $139. Pre-conference workshop from 1-5:30 p.m. on Feb. 27 on fundamentals of operating a tourism development authority; costs $29. or 227.7397. • “Choosing Your Legal Structure” is the topic of a seminar offered by Haywood Community College’s Small Business Center from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at the Small Business Center, Room 5108. Register or get more info: 627.4512 or

FUNDRAISERS AND BENEFITS • A charitable pint night is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Feb. 16 at Blue Ghost Brewery in Fletcher to benefit Friends of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. A program entitled “Salamanders and Storms: Climate Change in the Smokies” will be presented, and a specialty batch Centennial White IPA is on tap to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. • Fundraising events for Becca Swanger’s campaign to be crowned queen at the annual Mardi Gras Ball include: “Pale to the Queen” from 6-9 p.m. on Feb. 18 at Frog Level Brewing (food, music and a 50-50 raffle); Tipping Point will donate 10 percent of food and drink sales between 6-9 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22; and Waynesville Inn will donate 10 percent of dinner proceeds from 4-9 p.m. on Feb. 23 at the Tap Room (reservations required: 456.3551 or • The Wildlife Club at Haywood Community College will host its 11th annual Wild Game Dinner at 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24, at the Haywood County Fairgrounds. Fundraiser for students. Bring your favorite wild game dish, vegetables and/or dessert. $10 admission ($5 if you bring a dish). Children under 12 eat free. 627.4560 or • Save the date: Mardi Gras Ball benefit for the Haywood County Schools Foundation is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, at Laurel Ridge Country Blub. Sponsored by Entegra Bank. • Tickets available now for the First United Methodist Church of Waynesville’s Annual Pancake Day, which is from 6:30-7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 28. Tickets available at the church office, on Sunday mornings or from church members. Also at the door. 456.9475.

VOLUNTEERS & VENDORS • Haywood Regional Medical Center is currently seeking volunteers of all ages for ongoing support at the hospital, outpatient care center and the Homestead. For info and to apply: 452.8301, stop by the information desk in

Visit and click on Calendar for: ■ Complete listings of local music scene ■ Regional festivals ■ Art gallery events and openings ■ Complete listings of recreational offerings at regional health and fitness centers ■ Civic and social club gatherings the lobby or Anyone interested in becoming a hospice volunteer can call 452.5039. • Greening up the Mountains Festival is seeking artists, mountain crafters, environmental and food vendors to apply for a booth in its 20th festival, which is from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on April 22. Applications available at, or call 631.4587. • Town of Dillsboro will be hosting three arts and craft shows open to vendors from the surrounding region. Over 40 artisans for each of these festivals are needed, artisans who will be displaying and demonstrating their hand made arts and crafts from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Family entertainment and festival food will be available during each show. First show is Saturday, June 17 — The 3rd annual “Front Street Arts & Crafts Show.” Application due April 1. Vendors may apply for these shows by downloading an application from the town’s website, For more information, call Connie Hogan at 586.3511 or email

HEALTH MATTERS • An acupuncture clinic for Haywood County veterans is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15, in the Waynesville Wellness Classroom. First come, first served. 539.0440, • “Know Your Numbers – Heart Month Screening” is being offered through March 2 by Haywood Regional Medical Center. Screenings are held from 9-11 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16 at the Health Department in Clyde; from 9-11 a.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, Feb. 21 and 23, at Haywood Health Center in Clyde; and from 1-3 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday, Feb. 28 and March 2, at Mast General Store in Waynesville. • A Talk with a Doc program on “Reducing Risk of Cardiac Disease” will be presented at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at the Haywood Regional Medical Center Café in Clyde. Featuring Steven Gore, MD FACC, Cardiologist. 800.424.DOCS (3627). • A hands-only CPR course is scheduled for 10 a.m.12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Haywood Regional Health & Fitnsess Center in Clyde. Hands-only CPR is the use of chest compressions in an attempt to resuscitate a victim of cardiac arrest. $15 fee for members; $25 for nonmembers. Register by Feb. 22: 452.8080 or at the front desk. Info: 452.8098. • NEDAwareness Week is Sunday through Saturday, Feb. 26-March 4, to shine the spotlight on eating disorders in Western North Carolina.; • Preparation for Childbirth classes will be taught by a certified childbirth educator from 7-9 p.m. on Thursdays March 30-April 20, June 1-June 22, Aug. 3, Aug. 24 and Oct. 12-Nov. 2 at Haywood Regional Medical Center. 452.8440 or •”Breastfeeding A-Z” will be offered for expectant mothers from 7-9 p.m. on Thursdays April. 27, Aug. 31 and Nov. 9 at Haywood Regional Medical Center. Taught

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by Board-Certified Lactation Consultants. or 452.8440. • “Your Amazing Newborn” classes will be offered for new parents from 7-9 p.m. on Thursdays, Feb. 16, May 4, Sept. 7 and Nov. 16 at Haywood Regional Medical Center. or 452.8440. • A tired leg/varicose vein educational program is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16, at the Vein Center at Haywood Regional Medical Center in Clyde. Led by Dr. Al Mina, MD, FACS, and Dr. Joshua Rudd, DO. RSVP required: 452.VEIN (8346). • A lunch and learn will be presented by Harris Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine on Friday, Feb. 17, in the Harris Regional Hospital boardroom in Sylva. Register: 631.8894. Dr. Anthony McPherron, an orthopaedic surgeon, will present the session. • “Rekindling Your Nightingale Flame: A Healing Retreat for Nurses” will take place from Friday through Sunday, Feb. 17-19 at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. Hosted by Padma Dyvine, Trish Rux and Lillian Woods. Register: Info: 734.0882 or • Prenatal Breastfeeding Class is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 21 at the Haywood County Health and Human Services Agency. Taught by Kasey ValentineSteffen, IBCLC, and Brandi Nations, BS, AlC, CLC. Open to pregnant mothers-to-be and support persons. Registration required: 356.2207 or 452.2211. • A Chronic Pain Management class is offered from 9:30-11 a.m. on Tuesdays through Feb. 21 at the Canton Senior Center. 356.2838 or 648.8173. • Heart health will be the topic of the Ladies Night Out programs, which are at 4 and 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 28, at the Angel Medical Center cafeteria in Franklin.

• Mothers Connection, an ongoing social gathering for mothers and their babies, meets from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Thursdays excluding holidays at Haywood Regional Medical Center. 452.8440 or • Assistance with Marketplace Open Enrollment is available through Mountain Projects. Enrollment through the Affordable Care Act is currently open and lasts until Jan. 31. 452.1447 or 800.627.1548. • A support group meeting for those with Parkinsons Disease and their caregivers will be held at 2 p.m. on the last day Wednesday of the month at the Waynesville Senior Resource Center. • A support group for anyone with Multiple Sclerosis, family and friends meets twice each month: at 2 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month in the Heritage Room at the Jackson County Senior Center in Sylva and at 5:30 p.m. on the second Thursday at the Jackson County Public Library in Sylva. Sponsored by Greater Carolinas Chapter of National MS Society. Info: 293.2503. Offered in cooperation with the Southwestern Commission Agency on Aging. • A monthly grief support group sponsored by The Meditation Center meets at 7 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month at The Meditation Center at 894 East Main Street in Sylva. Info: or 356.1105. • Inner Guidance from an Open Heart will meet from 6-8 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month at The Meditation Center at 894 East Main Street in Sylva. Info: or 356.1105. • Dogwood Insight Center presents health talks at 6:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month. • Free childbirth and breastfeeding classes are available at Harris Regional Hospital in Sylva. Classes are

offered bimonthly on an ongoing basis. Register or get more info: 586.7907. • Angel Medical Center’s diabetes support group meets at 4 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month in the AMC dining room. 369.4166. • A free weekly grief support group is open to the public from 12:30-2 p.m. on Thursdays at SECU Hospice House in Franklin. Hosted by Four Seasons Compassion for Life Bereavement Team. 692.6178 or • A monthly grief processing support group will meet from 4-5:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month at the Homestead Hospice and Palliative Care in Clyde. 452.5039. • A Men’s Night Out will take place at 6:30 p.m. on the third floor of the hospital. on the first Wednesday of each month at The Meditation Center at 894 E. Main St. in Sylva. or 356.1105.

RECREATION AND FITNESS • A “Walk-n-talk” program featuring Edward Jones financial advisor Rob Gevjan is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at the Canton Armory. Presented by the Recreation Department of Canton. Confirm: • The High Mountain Squares will host their “Mardi Gras Dance” from 6:15-8:45 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17, at Memorial United Methodist Church in Franklin. Dr. Jim Duncan of Otto will be the caller. Western-style square dancing, mainstream plus levels. 342.1560, 332.0001 or • An NC Safe Plates class will be offered on Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 28-March 1, at the Macon County Agricultural Services Center in Franklin. Registration deadline is Feb. 17. For info or to enroll: 349.2046 or

• Beginning Yoga will be offered from 6-7 p.m. on Wednesdays through March 1 at the Historic Colonial Theatre in Canton. $10 per session. Led by Jason Moore. • Registration is underway for a PDGA-sanctioned disc golf tournament, which will be held on Sunday, March 12, at the Waynesville Disc Golf Course at Vance Street Park in Waynesville. Register for the “Blind Hog Day Light Savings Throw Down” at g_Day_Light_Savings_Throw_Down_2017. Info: 456.2030 or • ZUMBA! Classes, are offered from 6-7 p.m. on Tuesdays, at the Canton Armory. $5 per class. 648.2363 or • “Winter Warm-Ups” will be offered from 10-11:15 a.m. on Mondays through Feb. 29 at Sylva First Baptist Church. Movement exercises designed to increase flexibility, build strength and encourage more activity during winter months. 369.6909. • Friday night skiing and snowboarding is being offered through the Jackson County Parks & Recreation Department at Cataloochee Ski Resort. Hours are 5-9 p.m. on March 3. $25 lift only; $35 for lift and rental; $45 for lift, rental and lesson. • Tai chi is offered from 10:45-11:45 a.m. every Tuesday and Thursday at Haywood Regional Health and Fitness Center. It’s also offered from 1-2 p.m. on Thursdays. Taught by Bill Muerdter. For info about the classes or HRHFC memberships and offerings, call 452.8080 or visit • Ultimate Frisbee games are held from 5:30-8 p.m. on Mondays at the Cullowhee Recreation Park. Organized by Jackson County Parks & Recreation. Pick-up style. 293.2053 or • The Wednesday Croquet Group meets from 10 a.m.noon at the Vance Street Park across from the shelter.

Smoky Mountain News

February 15-21, 2017

• Big Brother/Big Sister, a one-evening preparation class for children who are about to greet a new baby

into their family, is offered for children ages 3-10 at Haywood Regional Medical Center. 452.8440 or

a website to take you to places where there are no websites.

Log on. Plan a getaway. Let yourself unplug.


For senior players ages 55 or older. 456.2030 or

• Cardio Lunch class will meet from noon-1 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Waynesville Recreation Center. For ages 16 and above. Cost is regular admission fee to the rec center or free for members. 456.2030 or

POLITICAL • Swain County Democratic Party will meet at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at party headquarters at 122 Everett Street Diner in Bryson City. • Jackson County Democratic Party precincts will hold their annual meetings on Feb. 23 and 25. All precincts except Cashiers, Glenville and Canada will be at noon on Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Jackson County Family Resource Center in Webster. Cashiers and Glenville meet at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, at the Cashiers Recreation Center. Details on Canada’s meeting have not been set. • Indivisible Swain County meets at 6 p.m. on Feb. 23 at the Seniors Center, 125 Brendle Street in Bryson City. Bipartisan group committed to applying peaceful, persistent pressure on government officials for the common good. 488.1118. • N.C. Rep. Mike Clampitt of Bryson City will have a constituent meeting at 4 p.m. on Feb. 24 at the Historic Haywood County Courthouse in Waynesville. Opportunity to ask questions about what Clampitt’s office is working on, the General Assembly and share any concerns.

• Mah Jongg is played at 1 p.m. on Wednesdays at Haywood County Senior Resource Center in Waynesville. 356.2813.


• Eat Smart, Move More North Carolina – an effort to help area residents commit to a healthier lifestyle, will meet from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays at the Haywood County Senior Resource Center in Waynesville. • Haywood County Senior Resource Center is looking into starting a weekly Euchre Card Group. If interested, contact Michelle Claytor at or 356.2800.

• The 10th annual Father-Daughter Dance is set for 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, in the Christian Life Center at First United Methodist Church in Sylva. Open to daughters of all ages. Music, desserts and punch as well as a keepsake photo. Advance registration: $30 per couple plus $5 for each additional daughter. At the door: $35 per couple plus $5 for each additional daughter. or pick up the registration form at the church office. 586.1640. • “Mommy/Daddy and Me” open gym is available for parents and kids to play or do arts and crafts from 10-11 a.m. on Fridays, through Feb. 24, at the Cullowhee Recreation Center. For ages 3-5 with parents present; no preregistration required. $1 per child per day.

• Senior croquet for ages 55 and older is offered from 9-11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Vance Street Park in front of Waynesville Recreation Center. Free. For info, contact Donald Hummel at 456.2030 or • A Hand & Foot card game is held at 1 p.m. on Mondays at Haywood County Senior Resource Center in Waynesville. 356.2800. • Senior Sale Day is on the third Friday of every month at the Friends of the Library Used Bookstore. Patrons 60 and older get 20 percent off all purchases. Proceeds benefit the Sylva Library. • Pinochle game is played at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays at Haywood County Senior Resource Center in Waynesville. 356.2813.



DEFERRED INTEREST IF PAID IN FULL WITHIN 6 MONTHS* $299 Minimum purchase required. Interest will be charged to your account from the purchase date if the purchase balance is not paid in full within 6 months or if you make a late payment.

FOOD & DRINK • The Franklin Uptown Gallery’s winter reception is from 4-6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17, at 30 E. Main Street. Fine art and appetizers. 349.4607.

*MINIMUM MONTHLY PAYMENTS REQUIRED. Applicable to purchases made January 1 through December 31, 2017. APR 22.8%. Minimum Finance Charge: $1.00. CFNA reserves the right to change APR, fees and other terms unilaterally.

• Chef Ricardo Hernandez, former owner/head chef of Lomo Grill, operates the Mountain Cooking Club that will present a class celebrating local and seasonal ingredients from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, at Folkmoot Friendship Center at 112 Virginia Ave. in Waynesville. $65 class fee, plus $1 for club membership dues. 627.6751 or

• There will be a “Chocolate & Bier Pairing” from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at Heinzelmännchen Brewery in Sylva. • The Balsam Mountain Inn will host a “Valentine’s Package” through Feb. 28. Add a candlelit dinner for two, fresh flowers, champagne, souvenir flutes and freshly baked cookies for an additional $125 to the room rate. To reserve, 800.224.9498.

ON STAGE & IN CONCERT • The Canton Armory will host “Winter Pickin’ in the Armory” at 7 p.m. every first and third Friday of the month. The event includes mountain music, vintage country, clogging and dancing. Doors open at 6 p.m. Free. • “King Lear” will be presented by Western Carolina University’s School of Stage and Screen from Wednesday through Sunday, Feb. 15-19, in Hoey Auditorium in Cullowhee. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday.

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• The sixth annual Chocolate Cook-Off will be held at 1 p.m. on Feb. 18 at the Albert Carlton Cashiers Library. Entry forms at the library or the Sapphire Valley Community Center. Email it to:, turn in at the library front desk or mail to Bonnie Zacher, 497 Tower Road, Sapphire, NC 28774. Info: 743.0489 or 743.5940.








Puzzles can be found on page 54. These are only the answers.

Smoky Mountain News

• A Silver Sneakers Cardio Fit class will meet from 10-11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Waynesville Recreation Center. For ages 60 and above. Cost is regular admission fee to the rec center or free for members. 456.2030 or • Book Club is held at 2 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month at the Haywood County Senior Resource Center in Waynesville. 356.2800


February 15-21, 2017

• The Mexican Train Dominoes Group seeks new players to join games at 1:30 p.m. each Tuesday at the Senior Resource Center in Waynesville. 926.6567.


• Open House dates for the Waynesville Parks & Recreation Department’s upcoming summer camp season will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 15, 20 and 28 at the Waynesville Recreation Center. Attendance at one session mandatory for parents whose kids want to attend camp. Info on the camps: 456.2030 or

SENIOR ACTIVITIES • Chair/Mat Yoga is offered from 2-3 p.m. on Thursdays through Feb. 23 at the Canton Senior Center. 356.2838 or 648.8173.


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• Pickleball is from 1-3 p.m. on Tuesdays through Thursdays at First Methodist Church in Sylva. $1 each time you play; equipment provided. 293.3053.

• Hearts is played at 12 p.m. on Wednesdays at Haywood County Senior Resource Center in Waynesville. 356.2813.


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Each performance will be followed by a discussion session. $11 for WCU faculty and staff and seniors; $16 for other adults; $10 for students on the show day and $7 in advance. or 227.2479. • There will be improvisation comedy at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 15 in the Niggli Theatre at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee. • A multimedia presentation on “Jack Tales” and storytelling will be offered by Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Center from 5-6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16, in the center gallery in Cullowhee. Oral history and storytelling presentation. 227.7129. • Acclaimed chamberfolk act Harpeth Rising will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, at The Strand at 38 Main in Waynesville. Tickets are $15. To purchase tickets, go to • The Highlands Performing Arts Center will screen the National Theatre of London’s production of Saint Joan by Bernard Shaw at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, in Highlands. 526.9047. • Brie Capone (singer/songwriter) will perform at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, at HART’s Fangmeyer Theater in Waynesville. Dinner is served starting at 5:30 p.m. at Harmon’s Den. • Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort will host “Purple Reign: The Prince Tribute Show” at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18. For tickets, click on • “Schoolhouse Rock Live! JR.” will be presented at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on consecutive Saturdays, Feb. 18 and 25, at HART in Waynesville. $10 for adults; $5 for kids. Reservations: 456.6322 or

February 15-21, 2017

• A multimedia performance of “Taj Express: The Bollywood Musical Revue” – a fusion of film, dance and music – will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22, in the Bardo Arts Center at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee. $20 for nonstudents; free for students. Preregistration required: (for students) and (for non-students). • Rhonda Vincent and the Rage (bluegrass) will perform as part of the Galaxy of Stars Series on Friday, Feb. 24, in the Bardo Arts Center at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee. Tickets available at or 227.2479.

CLASSES AND PROGRAMS • An Alcohol Ink Workshop will be offered from 10 a.m.-noon on Thursday, Feb. 16, at the Jackson County Extension Office in Sylva. Create colorful backgrounds for stamping, card-making and painting. $10. All supplies provided. Register: 586.4009.

Smoky Mountain News

• High Country Quilt Guild will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 16, at First Methodist Church in Waynesville. Share tips and tricks. • A class on the Pixlr Photo Editing Tool is being offered at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at the Macon County Public Library Computer Lab in Franklin. Learn to resize, crop apply special effects and more. Taught by Jim Geary. Sign up: 524.3600 or visit the reference desk. • A cobweb broom-making workshop is scheduled for 2-4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 23, at Western Carolina University’s museum of Appalachian Culture in Cullowhee. Demonstration by Mickey Sizemore. 227.7129.e

ART SHOWINGS AND GALLERIES • “Soft Diplomacy: Quilting Cultural Diplomacy in Liberia” is on exhibit through May 5 at the Western Carolina University Fine Art Museum at Bardo Arts Center in Cullowhee. 227.3591.

• The Western North Carolina “Artists Count” project is 50 hosting a series of exhibitions to highlight the rich visu-

Visit and click on Calendar for: ■ Complete listings of local music scene ■ Regional festivals ■ Art gallery events and openings ■ Complete listings of recreational offerings at regional health and fitness centers ■ Civic and social club gatherings

• 2017 Academy Award Nominee, “Manchester by the Sea” will be shown on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Mad Batter Food & Film in Sylva. Free. • “Allied” will be shown on Thursday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. at Mad Batter Food & Film in Sylva. Free. • “Doctor Strange” will be shown on Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 4 at 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. at Mad Batter Food & Film in Sylva. Free.

al contributions made by area artists. The first such exhibit, “Smoky Mountains Sampler” is now open at the Welcome Center north of Asheville on Interstate 26. • Painter Shawna Solita has an art exhibition ongoing throughout February at Donno’s Higher Ground Tattoo in Bryson City. Watercolor, ink and acrylics. 488.8282. • Abstract art will be exhibited through Feb. 25 at the Haywood County Arts Council Gallery & Gifts at 86 N. Main Street in Waynesville. Featuring local artists. 452.0593, or


• “The Magic Starts Here” exhibit will run through Feb. 25 at The Bascom in Highlands. Featuring numerous students from the Master of Fine Arts program at Western Carolina University.

• Sky Trek public observing events will be offered from 6-8 p.m. on Feb. 17 and 18 at Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute in Rosman. Observations of Venus, Neptune, Uranus, the Orion Nebula, Mars and colored stars M31 and M33 will be featured. Cost is $15 per person; 10-and-under are free. Register and pay at or by calling 862.5554. Info:

• An “Abstract Expressions” exhibit will run through Feb. 25 in the Gallery & Gifts showroom at the Haywood County Arts Council in Waynesville. The exhibit will feature several local artists. Free and open to the public.

• A Hiker Happy Hour featuring Sharon Van Horn of the ATC Southern Regional Office and NHC from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at Lazy Hiker Brewing Company in Franklin. Seeking volunteers for club activities. RSVP: 369.1983.

• A three-month ceramics exhibit at the Western Carolina University Fine Art Museum is currently in Cullowhee. or 227.3591.

• Balsam Mountain Trust will present a program entitled “Outrageous Opossums” from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, in Sylva. $5 per person. Reservations required by Feb. 16. RSVP: 631.1061 or

• The exhibit “Emissaries of Peace: 1762 Cherokee & British Delegations” features Cherokee clothing, feather capes, beads, and other artifacts. It is currently on display at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and is also available for travel. or • Artist Melba Cooper will be exhibiting her stunning series of paintings, “POLLINATION,” at Cullowhee Mountain Arts’ (CMA) Studio in downtown Sylva. or 342.6913. • The “Women Painters of the Southeast” exhibition will run through May 5 in the Fine Arts Museum at Western Carolina University. • A showcase on the life and times of Horace Kephart will be on display through March 31 in the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University. The Mountain Heritage Center’s Kephart Collection is composed of 127 objects, including Kephart’s tent, sleeping bag, backpack and the writing desk. The exhibit will display many of these objects in a campsite setting. 227.7129. • An exhibition entitled “This is a Photograph: Exploring Contemporary Applications of Photographic Chemistry” is on display at Penland School of Crafts near Spruce Pine. 765.6211 or • New artist and medium will be featured every month at the Haywood County Senior Resource Center in Waynesville. 356.2800. • As part of the Arts Council’s Integrated Arts initiative, a sampling of works by renowned Macon County sculptor Nelson Nichols ( will be displayed at this event. Admission is by donation; $7 is suggested. or 524.ARTS (2787).

FILM & SCREEN • 2017 Academy Award Nominee, “Arrival” will be shown on Thursday, Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m. at Mad Batter Food & Film in Sylva. Free.

• The 20th-annual Great Backyard Bird Count is Feb. 17-20. Spend at least 15 minutes on one or more days counting birds. Info: • The Highlands Plateau Greenway will conduct a work day from 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday, Feb. 18. If interested: or 526.2385. Meet at the large upper parking lot in the Recreation Park. • “Cherokee Bird Legends and Myths” will be presented by Barbara R. Duncan, Ph.D., at the Franklin Bird Club meeting at 7 p.m. on Feb. 20 at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin. 524.5234. • A Base Camp Adventure Club Meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at the Waynesville Recreation Center. Planning hikes, paddle trips, fly fishing and other adventure trips for this year. 456.2030 or • A Citizen Science Workshop focused on the weather is scheduled for noon-1 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24, at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin. Become a contributer to the NASA Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE). • A program on Camping Stoves and Water Treatment will be offered from 1-4 p.m. on Feb. 25 at the Cullowhee Recreation Center. Learn about the pros and cons of different fuel types, styles and applications for cooking.

FARM AND GARDEN • The N.C. Cooperative Extension in Macon County is accepting applications for participation in its 2017 Master Gardener program. Tentative start date is Feb. 17. Application or info: 349.2046 or • Tuscola Garden Club meets at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21, at the Bethea Welcome Center at Lake Junaluska. Master gardener Marcia Tate will speak about what’s required to become a certified way-station for migrating monarch butterflies. 246.0437.

• The second annual workshop on nonnative invasive plants for landscape and nursery professionals is set for 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. on Feb. 23 at the Highlands Community Building. $50 per anyone seeking Continuing Education Units; free for others. • A program on starting plants from seed will be offered from 1-2 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24, in the Waynesville Library Auditorium. Registration required: 356.2507 or • A program on “Keeping Backyard Poultry” is set for 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, at Macon County Extension Office. Topics include breed selection, hatching, brooding and more. Register: 349.2046. • ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) kicks of its year with its 14th annual Business of Farming Conference in partnership with NC Cooperative Extension and Mountain Bizworks. The conference is Saturday, Feb. 25, at AB Tech in Asheville. Register: or 236.1282.

COMPETITIVE EDGE • The 11th annual Great Sapphire Outhouse Race starts at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, on the ski slopes behind the Sapphire Valley Community Center. Volunteers needed. 743.2251. • Registration is underway for the Mountaineer 2-Miler, which is at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 19, starting at Waynesville Middle School. All profits go toward supplies, materials and technology at the school. Sponsorship info: Register: • Registration is underway for the Assault on Black Rock, a seven-mile trail race scheduled for 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 18, in Jackson County. $25 pre-registration; $30 on race day. ($2.49 fee for registering online). Info: 506.2802 or • Registration is underway for the Valley of the Lilies Half Marathon and 5K, which is scheduled for Saturday, April 1, at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee. $40 for half marathon and $20 for 5K through Sunday, March 5. After March 5, online fees increase to $60 and $25 respectively. Race-day registration is $80 and $30, respectively. Register: • Registration is underway for the Friends of the Lake 5K Road Race & Walk, which is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 15, at Lake Junaluska. Supports recreation opportunities of Lake Junaluska. Register:, 454.6680 or

HIKING CLUBS • The Nantahala Hiking Club will take an easy-to-moderate four-mile hike, with an elevation change of 400 feet, on Saturday, Feb. 18, from Warwoman Dell to Martin’s Creek Falls on the Georgia Bartram Trail. Reservations: 524.5298. Visitors welcome. • The Nantahala Hiking Club will have a Saturday Trail Maintenance Work Hike from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25. Register/info: 369.1983. • Carolina Mountain Club will have a five-mile hike with a 700-foot ascent on Feb. 26 at Turkey Pen and Pea Gap Ramble. For info and reservations, contact leader Dick Zimmerer at 989.0480 or • Hike of the Week is at 10 a.m. every Friday at varying locations along the parkway. Led by National Park Service rangers. or 298.5330, ext. 304. • Friends of the Smokies hikes are offered on the second Tuesday of each month. • Nantahala Hiking Club based in Macon County holds weekly Saturday hikes in the Nantahala National Forest and beyond.

PRIME REAL ESTATE Advertise in The Smoky Mountain News


MarketPlace information: The Smoky Mountain News Marketplace has a distribution of 16,000 every week to over 500 locations across in Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Swain counties along with the Qualla Boundary and west Buncombe County. For a link to our MarketPlace Web site, which also contains a link to all of our MarketPlace display advertisers’ Web sites, visit


■ Free — Lost or found pet ads. ■ $5 — Residential yard sale ads, ■ $5 — Non-business items that sell for less than $150. ■ $15 — Classified ads that are 50 words or less; each additional line is $2. If your ad is 10 words or less, it will be displayed with a larger type. ■ $3 — Border around ad and $5 — Picture with ad or colored background. ■ $50 — Non-business items, 25 words or less. 3 month or till sold. ■ $300 — Statewide classifieds run in 117 participating newspapers with 1.6 million circulation. Up to 25 words. ■ All classified ads must be pre-paid.

Classified Advertising: Scott Collier, phone 828.452.4251; fax 828.452.3585

Great Smokies Storage 10’x20’








NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH Property Auction Friday 3/3/2017 at 1:00pm. Live and Online via Proxibid! 50+ parcels w/ ocean front/view and interior sites! See for catalog or call 919.639.2231 WATERFRONT LAND-AUCTION, 26.2+/- Acres Spectacular Waterfront on Clubfoot Creek, Craven County, NC - just 15 minutes from Beaufort - OnLine Bidding February 15 thru28 252.729.1162 NCAL#7889 BANKRUPTCY AUCTION Online With Bid Center, of Commercial & Residential Properties in Reidsville, NC, Begins Closing 2/23/17 at 2pm, Bankruptcy Liquidation by James C. Lanik, Bankruptcy Trustee & Others, Case No. 15-11192,, 800.997.2248, NCAL3936 ONLINE ONLY AUCTION, North & South Carolina Real Estate Auction, Brunswick, Cabarrus, Montgomery & Randolph Co., NC, Marlboro Co., SC, Begins Closing 2/15/17 at 2pm,, 800.997.2248, NCAL3936 SCAL1684

AUCTION TAX & BANK REPO AUCTION Saturday, February 18 @10am 201 S. Central Ave. Locust, NC 18 Late Model Ambulances, 2014 Honda Accord 700 miles, Cars, Pickups, Machine Shop Tools, Sunrise Iron Worker, Cosen Saw, 1999 Harley Ultra Electro Glide, 2006 Service Truck, more Machines & Tools. 704.791.8825 ncaf5479


HAYWOOD BUILDERS Garage Doors, New Installations Service & Repairs, 828.456.6051 100 Charles St. Waynesville Employee Owned.

CONSTRUCTION/ REMODELING FOR SALE: HEATILATOR I-60 Wood Burning Fireplace, for Built In Applications, Large Firebox Opening, with 30ft. Chimney. New in Original Packaging, $600 For More Info Call 828.696.5039. ACORN STAIRLIFTS. The Affordable Solution to your stairs! **Limited time -$250 Off Your Stairlift Purchase!** Buy Direct & SAVE. Please call 1.800.291.2712 for FREE DVD and brochure.




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ALL THINGS BASEMENTY! Basement Systems Inc. Call us for all of your basement needs! Waterproofing, Finishing, Structural Repairs, Humidity and Mold Control. FREE ESTIMATES! Call 1.800.698.9217 BATHTUB REFINISHING Renew or change the color of your bathtub, tile or sink. Fiberglass repair specialists! 5 year warranty. Locally owned since 1989. 888.988.4430. SAFE STEP WALK-IN TUB: Alert for Seniors. Bathroom falls can be fatal. Approved by Arthritis Foundation. Therapeutic Jets. Less Than 4 Inch Step-In. Wide Door. Anti-Slip Floors. American Made. Installation Included. Call Now 800.701.9850 to receive $750 Off. DAVE’S CUSTOM HOMES OF WNC, Free Estimates & Competitive rates. References avail. upon request. Specializing in: Log Homes, remodeling, decks, new construction, repairs & additions. Owner/Builder: Dave Donaldson. Licensed/Insured. 828.631.0747 or 828.508.0316

MOTORCYCLES CRAZY BOB’S BIKER STUFF Jackets, Chaps, Vests, Helmets, Rain Gear, Saddlebags, Sissy Bar Bags, Tool Bags, Stickers, Patches. We also got you covered with 50 Sizes of Tarps: Heavy Duty Silver, Brown & Green, Blue & Silver, Blue & Camo. 1880 Dellwood Rd., Waynesville 828.926.1177


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WNC MarketPlace



A-1 DONATE YOUR CAR For Breast Cancer! Help United Breast Foundation Education, Prevention, & Support Programs. Fast Free Pickup - 24 Hr Response - Tax Deduction 855.306.7348 SAPA CARS/TRUCKS WANTED!!! Top Dollar! Free Towing From Home, Office or body Shop. All Makes/Models 2000-2016. Same Day Pick-Up Available! Call Now: 1.800.761.9396 SAPA

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February 15-21, 2017




PEER SUPPORT SPECIALISTS Meridian is hiring Peer Support Specialists in the following programs: Assertive Community Treatment Team (ACTT) in Jackson County, ACTT in Cherokee County, and PACE (all peer team) in Haywood County. Being a Peer Support Specialist provides an opportunity for individuals to transform their own personal lived experience with mental health and/or addiction challenges into a tool for inspiring hope for recovery in others. Applicants must demonstrate maturity in their own recovery process, have a HS Diploma or GED, valid driver’s license, reliable transportation and have moderate computer skills. If you are seeking some basic information about the role of Peer Support Specialists within the public behavioral health system, please go to NC Peer Support Specialist Certification Site: You do not have to be a certified peer support specialist prior to employment. To apply, visit the employment section of our website to complete an application and submit your resume:

RECEPTIONIST FOR LAW OFFICE In Waynesville. Full Time. Limited Benefits. Experience Preferred. Primary Duties include answering phones, receiving payments, client confidentiality, filing, general legal assistant work and support for paralegals and attorneys. No Calls or Walk-ins. No Telecommuting. Send resume AND cover letter to: DRIVE WITH UBER. You’ll need a Smartphone. It’s fun and easy. For more information, call: 1.800.861.0329 DRIVER TRAINEES NEEDED! Learn to drive for Stevens Transport! No Experience Needed! New drivers can earn $900+ per week! Paid CDL Training! Stevens covers all costs! 1.888.748.4137 FTCC Fayetteville Technical Community College is now accepting applications for the following positions: Computer Programming & Development/Database Instructor, Certified Nursing Assistant Instructor For detailed information and to apply, please visit our employment portal at: Human Resources Office Phone: 910.678.7342 Internet: An Equal Opportunity Employer LOCAL DRIVERS WANTED! Be your own boss. Flexible hours. Unlimited earning potential. Must be 21 with valid U.S. drivers license, insurance & reliable vehicle. Call 855.750.9313

NICOL ARMS APARTMENTS NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS Offering 1 & 2 Bedroom Apartments, Starting at $400 Section 8 Accepted - Handicapped Accessible Units When Available


Monday & Wednesday 8:00am - 4:00pm 168 E. Nicol Arms Road Sylva, NC 28779

Phone# 1.828.273.3639 TDD# 1.800.735.2962


AIRLINE MECHANIC TRAINING Get FAA Technician Certification. Approved For Military Benefits. Financial Aid If Qualified. Job Placement Assistance. Call Aviation Institute Of Maintenance 1.866.724.5403 SAPA MEDICAL BILLING TRAINEES NEED! Train at Home for a new career now at CTI! No Experience Needed! Online Training can get you job ready! 1.888.512.7122 HS Diploma/GED & Computer needed. FTCC Fayetteville Technical Community College is now accepting applications for the following positions: Audio Visual Technician, Dean of Corporate and Industry Training, Critical care Paramedic & RN Instructor, Certified Nursing Assistant Instructor, Automotive Systems Technology Instructor, Program Coordinator-Collision Repair & Refinishing For detailed information and to apply, please visit our employment portal at: Human Resources Office Phone: 910.678.7342 Internet: An Equal Opportunity Employer

HOMES FOR SALE BRUCE MCGOVERN A Full Service Realtor, Locally Owned and Operated McGovern Property Management 828.283.2112.

OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY FEB 19TH From 1p.m. - 3p.m., at 15 Boxwood Terrace, Canton, NC. Beautiful Home, Ready to move in with 2,300 sq. ft., 4/BR 2/BA. Newly renovated with Master Suite, Laundry & Walk-in Closet. Adequate Storage & Lots of Character. Walking Distance Library and Main Street. $274,000 Call Alesia for more information 828.400.9943 SAVE YOUR HOME! Are you behind paying your Mortgage? Denied a Loan Modification? Is the bank threatening foreclosure? Call Homeowner’s Relief Line now for Help. 1.844.359.4330. SAPA LOOKING FOR A MINI FARM? This rustic house and land is located in the Henson Cove Area of Canton, NC. Includes a Barn, 2 Acres, 2 Streams, a Pond and a Forest of Bamboo. Asking $195K. For more info or to preview house and property, call Alesia at 828.400.9943 PROTECT YOUR HOME With fully customizable security and 24/7 monitoring right from your smartphone. Receive up to $1500 in equipment, free (restrictions apply). Call 1.800.941.7987

MOBILE HOMES FOR SALE USED MOBILE HOMES Without land. All Sizes. $20K Cash or Less. Call 336.790.0162

CAVALIER ARMS APARTMENTS NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS Offering 1, 2 & 3 Bedroom Apartments, Starting at $400 Section 8 Accepted - Rental Assistance When Available Handicapped Accessible Units When Available

OFFICE HOURS: Wednesday 12:30pm - 4:00pm & Friday. 8:00am- 4:00pm 50 Duckett Cove Road, Waynesville

Phone # 1-828-456-6776 TDD # 1-800-725-2962 Equal Housing Opportunity

This is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer

ROB ROLAND 828-400-1923


Find the home you are looking for at 52


Residential · Land · Commercial

Committed to Exceeding Expectations

Marilynn Obrig

Residential Broker Associate

(828) 550-2810

Sylva Mulch, Sand & Stone River Sand • Top Soil • Decorative Stone • Boulders Stepping, Field & River Stone • Brick Chips • 4 Composts Pine Bark • Pinebark Nuggets • Cypress • Double Ground Red Oak Mulch & Colored Mulches • Cow & Chicken Manure Certified Kid-Safe Playground Material & MORE

828-399-1941 828-586-0491


Jim Sellers St, Sylva Across 107 from Domino's


OUR HUNTERS WILL PAY TOP $$$ To hunt your land. Call for a free Base Camp Leasing info packet and quote. 866.309.1507.




—————————————— 7 BEAVERDAM ROAD - SUITE 207





LAWN & GARDEN HEMLOCK HEALERS, INC. Dedicated to Saving Our Hemlocks. Owner/Operator Frank Varvoutis, NC Pesticide Applicator’s License #22864. 48 Spruce St. Maggie Valley, NC 828.734.7819 828.926.7883, Email: BORING/CARPENTER BEE TRAPS No Chemicals, Poisons or Anything to Harm the Environment. Handmade in Haywood County. 1 for $20, 2 or More for $15 each. 828.593.8321 SAWMILLS From only $4397.00- Make & Save Money with your own bandmill- Cut lumber any dimension. In stock ready to ship! FREE Info/DVD: 1.800.578.1363 Ext.300N





Beverly Hanks & Associates • • • • • • • • • Ann Eavenson - Randy Flanigan - Michelle McElroy - Marilynn Obrig - Brooke Parrott - Catherine Proben - Ellen Sither - Mike Stamey - Pamela Williams -

Emerson Group • George Escaravage -

ERA Sunburst Realty - • Amy Spivey - • Rick Boarder -


Haywood Properties - • Steve Cox -

Keller Williams Realty

Visit • Julie Lapkoff - • Yvonne Kolomechuk - • The Morris Team -

to see what others are saying!


Haywood County Real Estate Agents


Lakeshore Realty • Phyllis Robinson -

Mountain Home Properties • Sammie Powell -

COMM. PROP. FOR RENT PROFESSIONAL MEETING SPACE Located in Waynesville, Holds up to 90 People. Suitable for Seminars, Family Gatherings, Worship, Ect. Kitchen Area, Wifi/ Screen. For More Information and Rates for ROOM 1902 Call 828.454.7445 or 828.551.8960

McGovern Real Estate & Property Management

Prevent Unwanted Litters! The Heat Is On! Spay/Neuter For Haywood Pets As Low As $10. Operation Pit is in Effect! Free Spay/Neuter, Microchip & Vaccines For Haywood Pitbull Types & Mixes!

• Bruce McGovern -

Realty World Heritage Realty

CLIMATE CONTROLLED STORAGE FOR YOU 1 Month Free with 12 Month Rental. Maggie Valley, Hwy. 19, 1106 Soco Rd. For more information call Torry

828.734.6500, 828.734.6700 12X28 STORAGE UNIT FOR RENT In Tuckaseegee, Half Mile Down Hwy. 281. $130/mo. For More Info Call 828.450.0534.

Tuesday-Friday, 12 Noon - 6 pm 182 Richland Street, Waynesville

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26 N. Main St. • Waynesville, NC • 828-564-9393

find us at:

RE/MAX — Mountain Realty • • • • • • • | Brian K. Noland - Holly Fletcher - Judy Meyers - Mieko Thomson - The Real Team - Ron Breese - Dan Womack - • Carolyn Lauter • Martha Sawyer



February 15-21, 2017

All real estate advertising in this newspaper is subject to the Fair Housing Act which makes it illegal to advertise “any preference, limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin, or an intention, to make any such preference, limitation or discrimination” Familial status includes children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians, pregnant women and people securing custody of children under 18 This newspaper will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of the law. All dwellings advertised on equal opportunity basis.

GREAT SMOKIES STORAGE Conveniently located off 19/23 by Thad Woods Auction. Available for lease now: 10’x10’ units for $55, 20’x20’ units for $160. Get one month FREE with 12 month contract. Call 828.507.8828 or 828.506.4112 for more info.

—————————————— WNC MarketPlace

LEASE TO OWN 1/2 Acre Lots with Mobile Homes & Empty 1/2 Acre + Lots! Located Next to Cherokee Indian Reservation, 2.5 Miles from Harrah’s Cherokee Casino. For More Information Please Call 828.506.0578


Rob Roland Realty • Rob Roland -


February 15-21, 2017

WNC MarketPlace




CROSSWORD 73 “— changed man!” 74 Many a yogi 76 Abrupt 78 Cellphone game, often 81 What an angler may bring up for discussion? 86 Mac maker 88 Hollywood’s Dahl 89 Precise 90 86-Across music player 91 Thing to sow 92 TV shopping channel that sells chairs? 96 Sluggish sort 98 Penpoint 99 Give cheek 100 Woe for someone who’s been walking all day long? 108 Hardly hard 110 Sicilian port next to Mount Etna 111 Inscriptions on a penny? 116 Like deductive reasoning 117 Minute Maid Park’s team 118 Knight who had Pips 119 Request a new supply of 120 Wind sound 121 Consumes completely

ACROSS 1 “The Georgia Peach” of baseball 7 Black Sea seaport 13 Indy 500 tire changers 20 Neat and trim 21 Raleigh’s neighbor city 22 Lift forcibly 23 Egyptian river’s condition? 25 “Howards End” novelist 26 — la Douce (1963 title role) 27 How complex a story is? 29 Knighted Guinness 32 Prefix similar to equi34 Maya Angelou’s “And Still —” 35 When designer Calvin was most popular? 41 Band worn by Miss USA 45 Chalet shape, often 46 Piece’s pace 47 Robust 49 Cherry part 50 What a bowler analyzes for a second roll? 54 Medit. nation 55 Steed steerers 57 Safari noises DOWN 58 Hopper, e.g. 1 Six-pt. plays 59 Some Greek letters 2 Sun — -sen 60 Decide on 3 Tax pro 63 Met queen 4 Eye care worker 64 Bureau overseeing a 5 Ballpark brew boundary barrier? 6 Trite saying 70 Inferior — cava 7 Quirky 71 Virgil hero 8 Face-off 72 Apollo’s gp.

9 Ocean eagle 10 Hood’s knife 11 Store draw 12 2001 Audrey Tautou film 13 Black-and-white seabird 14 86-Across music players 15 Six halved 16 “— la vie!” 17 — -tat-tat 18 Risk-taking Knievel 19 Lived 24 Burkina — 28 “... — quit!” 29 Take — (turn down the offer) 30 One not right-handed 31 Misprint, e.g. 33 Habitually 36 Capo’s code of silence 37 Amounts added to bank accts. 38 First-aid pro 39 Non-U.S. speed-limit abbr. 40 — Alamos 41 Drain away 42 Language of Yemen 43 Endeavor 44 Serengeti laugher 47 That lady 48 Curvy letter 50 Remote 51 Carl who composed “O Fortuna” 52 See 104-Down 53 Be too fearful to 56 Anvil’s organ 59 Clean air gp. 60 Unified 61 Educ. group 62 How- — (DIY books)

63 Genetic ID 64 Bashful 65 Activate 66 The Beatles’ “Love — ” 67 Ample, informally 68 Remote 69 Will topic 70 Entry permits 74 Cackler 75 H2O at 31 degrees F 76 Santa’s bag 77 Discover 78 Sleep clinic concern 79 Entreaties 80 Raid targets 82 TV’s Pa Clampett 83 Dawn drops 84 Outer: Prefix 85 Gin joint 87 Tabby 90 Company pin-on 92 “Hey, that’s cheating!” 93 LAX guess 94 Felons run afoul of it 95 Feudal domain 96 Assembly of ecclesiastics 97 Nantes’ river 100 Dollar Rent — 101 Be wide open 102 Other, in Spanish 103 Hair removal brand 104 With 52-Down, flakes sprinkled into an aquarium 105 Opposite of 84-Down 106 Architect Saarinen 107 General — chicken 109 TV’s Ward 112 —Kosh B’Gosh 113 Mag staff 114 Manhattan sch. 115 Cooking qty.

answers on page 49

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PERSONAL A CHILDLESS COUPLE SEEKS To adopt an infant. We are financially secure, married and will be hands-on parents. Your expenses Paid. Todd & Sharon. Call 1.844.699.5299 or email YOUR AD COULD REACH 1.6 MILLION HOMES ACROSS NC! Your classified ad could be reaching over 1.6 Million Homes across North Carolina! Place your ad with The Smoky Mountain News on the NC Statewide Classified Ad Network- 118 NC newspapers for a low cost of $330 for 25-word ad to appear in each paper! Additional words are $10 each. The whole state at your fingertips! It's a smart advertising buy! Call Scott Collier at 828.452.4251 or for more information visit the N.C. Press Association's website at

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WEEKLY SUDOKU Place a number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each small 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine. Answers on Page 49

The naturalist’s corner BY DON H ENDERSHOT

Is spring springing earlier? ack in January I surveyed the Tellico Fire with MountainTrue biologist Josh Kelly. We were there to check out the intensity and severity of the fire. The date was January 19 and we found a few Hepatica acutiloba (sharp-lobed hepatica) in flower. Kelly said that was the earliest he had ever seen it in flower. Today, taxiing kids to and from school, I noticed a large maple in full flower around Exit 98 on U.S. 23/74. And then, paying a bit more attention I saw redbuds in flower on my road. I know red maple and redbud are some of the earliest flowering plants to burst in the spring and I can’t say for sure if February 13 would be considered early — seems so to me. But, I’ve never seen hepatica in January and I trust Kelly’s assertion that January 19 is an early date for hepatica. The early flowers reminded me of a Facebook post I recently saw from Quentin Ellison, editor of The Sylva Herald, regarding an ongoing phenology study in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP). And now as I send this to my editor, I find


out that The Smoky Mountain News’ Holly Kays is also writing more in-depth about the study in this week’s Outdoors section of the paper. Phenology can be described as the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate and flora and fauna. Some phenological events include the flowering of plants, leafing out of trees, migration and hibernation. The program in the GSMNP is headed up by the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. According to Tremont’s website, they have been studying some aspects of phenology for more than 30 years, like when the first bloodroot is found flowering or when the first black-throated green warbler arrives in the spring. But in 2010, due to concerns regarding climate change, Tremont decided to take a closer look at phenology in the park. It partnered with the National Phenology Network and established eight plots to visit regularly during transitional (spring and fall) seasons. The Park expanded on this effort and established 30 more plots at different elevations, with different aspects (the direction the topography is facing i.e. south facing slopes vs. north facing slopes, etc.) and in different

forest types. The Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center at Purchase Knob has been one of the entities working on the phenology study in the Park. Susan Sachs, education coordinator for the Learning Center, told Earth Island Journal last July, “We want people to understand that we are experiencing climate change now, not some time in the future.” Hepatica acutiloba She noted found flowering along that the Park Wesser Creek Trail on has been experiencing Jan. 19. Don Hendershot photo more and more intense temperature swings in the spring. Warm temperatures in early spring can influence trees to leaf out and bud earlier – then a cold snap in late spring kills the buds, creating a scarcity of mast in the fall. Like all good science projects, this phenology study begins by creating more questions than it answers. In other words, will

warm early springs entice caterpillars and other insects to emerge earlier, and if so, will neotropical migrants need to arrive earlier to take advantage of this food source that is critical for nesting success? It will take years of data to reveal any concrete answers, which is one reason the Park Service is promoting several citizen science opportunities. The good thing about phenology studies is they are well suited for citizen science — the clues researchers are monitoring like leaf-out, budding time and arrival of migrants are pretty easy to observe and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has noted that phenology is perhaps, “…the simplest process in which to track changes in the ecology of species in response to climate change.” Spring 2017 is already gearing up and the GSMNP is seeking volunteers to assist with these phenology studies. There will be training sessions at the Sugarlands Visitor Center on February 25 and at Oconaluftee Visitor Center on March 11. To volunteer and/or learn more contact Natalie Rothenberg at or by phone at 828.497.1945. Don Hendershot is a writer and naturalist. He can be reached at

February 15-21, 2017 Smoky Mountain News 55









February 15-21, 2017





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A weekly newspaper covering Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties in the Smoky Mountains of Western North Carolina.

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