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Are your ears playing tricks on you? As you turn the radio dial to a country music station these days,…
Wednesday, 01 July 2015 01:18

Declare independence from meat industry

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To the Editor: Nearly 240 years ago, our founding fathers declared our national independence from Great Britain. This Fourth of…
Wednesday, 01 July 2015 01:18

Waynesville entryways are too junky

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To the Editor: This piece could be titled, “How to beat a dead horse in 350 words or less.” First…
Wednesday, 01 July 2015 01:16

DOT could stand for the Department of Trash

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“Cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens. They are the most vigorous, the most independent, the most virtuous…
Wednesday, 01 July 2015 01:13

A story all about good people doing good things

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I should get over being astounded by the way the world works. And I’m talking about the good stuff, not…
Swain County Board of Commissioners approved a $14 million budget last week with little discussion or debate. 
Jackson County’s tourism association has had a lot of things to figure out since its formation in 2012. Not least of those is how to divvy up the grant fund it keeps to help the county’s festivals and events promote…
There was something markedly absent from the nearly $300,000 in tourism grants awarded by the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority this year: contention.
Ask around downtown Sylva, and it’s not hard to find someone with an opinion about traffic. Main Street should be two-way. It should remain one-way. There’s not enough parking. The new parking area on Mill Street is a godsend. The…
Wednesday, 01 July 2015 00:52

Election talk starts in Sylva

When election candidate sign-ups begin next week, at least one town board member plans on putting her hat in the ring for the mayor’s seat.
Two longtime Bryson City aldermen plan to run for another term in office, and so far only one possible name has surfaced to run for one of the two seats open in the November election.
It was clear from the 2013 election results in Franklin that voters wanted change. The 2015 Franklin election will determine whether voters want to continue in the direction the mayor and board of aldermen have been taking the town.
Wednesday, 01 July 2015 00:45

Sylva wheel lock ordinance OK, state says

Sylva police can now start enforcing a town ordinance aimed at paring down the number of unpaid parking tickets, thanks to a law recently adopted in Raleigh. 
By Katie Reeder • SMN Intern  Young drivers in North Carolina may no longer be required to take driver education to get their learner’s permit if a Senate subcommittee’s modifications to House Bill 97 are passed by the General Assembly.
In Cherokee, alcohol could soon be available in more places than just Harrah’s Cherokee Casino following Gov. Pat McCrory’s signature on a 12-page alcohol omnibus bill. 
It was an intense few days for Virginia Beach, Virginia, resident Seth. Eight miles of hiking, 4.5 of those bushwhacking, all with an overnight pack on his back. A couple of hours of rock climbing. Three more miles of hiking.…
Wednesday, 01 July 2015 00:36

Jail suicide investigation on D.A.’s desk

An investigative report looking into the March suicide of Steve Ross, who at the time was incarcerated at the Jackson County Detention Center, is now in the hands of District Attorney Ashley Welch.
There’s a unifying theme among candidates in the Waynesville town board election: “maybe-ism.”
Many years ago, in a time and a place that seems so far away to me now, I courted a…
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 16:55

Symbols matter, and so does removing them

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Complicated. Ignorant. Entrenched. It’s easy to come up with words to describe the state of race relations in this country…
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 16:17

Color on high

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I occasionally see The Smoky Mountain News’ Garret K. Woodward’s Facebook posts about hitting the trails around WNC for a…
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 16:12

Get the scoop on native plants

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Registration is now open for the 2015 Cullowhee Native Plant Conference at Western Carolina University, a four-day event featuring more…
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 16:10

Canton riverbank gets a makeover

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A much-used riverbank in the Canton Recreation Park is now a lot more stable, thanks to a protection project recently…
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 16:09

Become a Junior Ranger

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A lineup of summer programs in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will give young park-lovers the chance to earn…
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 16:08

Queen honored for environmental advocacy

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The N.C. League of Conservation Voters named Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville, as its 2015 Representative of the Year in…
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 16:06

Cause of hiker’s death still unknown

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The National Park Service is still waiting on the results of an autopsy looking into the cause of hiker Jenny…
Asked what a typical day for the head guy at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park looks like, new Smokies…
Haworth, West Riding of Yorkshire, England.  It’s 4:30 in the morning, Sunday June 18, and I stood a few moments…
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 15:26

Dulcimer U returns to WCU

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Registration is ongoing for Western Carolina University’s 16th annual Dulcimer U Summer Week, a gathering that brings mountain dulcimer virtuosos…
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 15:26

Medieval, Renaissance recital at WCU

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The faculty of the Mountain Collegium Music Workshop will perform a recital of medieval, renaissance, baroque and contemporary music on…
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 15:25

Cherokee Pow Wow turns 40

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The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ 40th annual Pow Wow will be held July 3-5 at the Acquoni Expo Center.
Wednesday, 01 July 2015 15:21

Fourth of July in Southern Appalachia

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Nothing says summer more than the 4th of July, and in Western North Carolina, we celebrate Independence Day with gusto.…
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 15:20

Eaglenest to host grand reopening

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A state-of-the-art entertainment facility, Eaglenest will have its grand reopening at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 27, in Maggie Valley.
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 15:18

Alabama brings hit country to Harrah’s

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Country superstars Alabama will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 2, at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort.
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 15:11

Nantahala Brewing pours ‘Week of Rock’

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The “Week of Rock” celebration will run at 8 p.m. June 26-July 4 at Nantahala Brewing Company in Bryson City.
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 15:08

This must be the place

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I fixed my hair in the rearview mirror and exited the truck. Heading up the steps, I was already five…
Heading down N.C. 28, between Bryson City and Robbinsville, is a flat stretch of highway, unusual to the continuous curves…
Join officials from the United States Mint and the National Park Service for the launch of the quarter honoring Blue Ridge Parkway at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 25, at Pack Square Park in Asheville. Invited guests include Lt. Gov. Dan…
It’s 6:30 in the morning when 24 hours of travel ends with the plane’s landing in Bolivia, but even through the grogginess it’s not hard to see that we’ve arrived somewhere far, far away from Miami. Snow-crested mountains rise over…
2003 Carrie Blackburn Brown, who eventually founded Kory Wawanaca Children’s Home, graduated from Appalachian State University with degrees in dance and Spanish and a general desire to spend a few months abroad volunteering.
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 14:36

The joy of cooking

That last full day in Tacachia, I didn’t have energy for much besides sinking into my wooden chair while waiting for the onslaught of elementary-aged kids to join us for pre-dinner playtime.
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 14:26

Roller derby a big hit in the mountains

By Katie Reeder • SMN Intern No hitting, punching, elbowing or tripping people — and definitely no biting or yelling at the referees. Fourteen-year-old Autumn Pine, or “Fall Out Girl” as she’s known on the track, will quickly tell you there…
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 14:23

Rep. Meadows ousted from chairmanship

U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-Cashiers, recently paid the political price for not toeing his party line.
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 14:21

Cashiers cell tower application pulled

A week after a contentious planning board meeting discussing the merits of a proposed new cell tower in Cashiers, the company has informed Jackson County that it will be pulling its application.
Questions about how well the Jackson County Permitting and Code Enforcement Department has been executing its responsibilities prompted commissioners to unanimously approve a fixed $15,350 audit contract last week with the national firm Benchmark Planning.
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 14:17

Schools feeding more students for free

Free lunch is becoming a more common phenomenon around Western North Carolina as school systems start adopting a new federal program aiming to increase kids’ access to food in high-poverty areas.
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 14:15

Maggie Valley welcomes new restaurant

By Katie Reeder • SMN Intern  When his restaurant doors are open, Chris Chagnon keeps busy, playing the role of owner, chef and greeter.
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 14:10

Candidates call for a Canton comeback

After two years of getting a feel for Canton politics, two Canton aldermen hope to continue their work for another four years.
The political dynamics in Maggie Valley have definitely changed in the last two years.
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 14:05

Legislature weakens voter ID requirement

In an unexpected turn of events, the North Carolina General Assembly passed legislation last Thursday that will allow people to cast a ballot in 2016 even if they don’t have an acceptable form of identification.