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Wednesday, 13 January 2016 15:01

Cashiers cell tower approved

A proposal to build a new cell tower outside Cashiers got the OK from Jackson County Commissioners last week, a decision that came after months of public discussion and heated debate.
Barring any unexpected circumstances, Howell Mill Road should be open to vehicle traffic in a couple of weeks. The $11.7 million North Carolina Department of Transportation project began back in May 2015 with road closures beginning in July. The original…
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 17:02

Wilderness for all, all ways, always

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To the Editor: Two happenings in the past 12 months led me to some end-of-the-year musings. The happenings were related,…
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 16:57

And the 2015 award winners are ...

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The idea to start handing out annual spoof awards instead of the traditional year-in-review that most newspapers do was the…
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 16:50

A man addicted to reading and writing

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My name is Joe Ecclesia. On a recent December Saturday, when I interviewed Jeff Minick about his new novel, Dust…
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 16:38

Folkmoot reflects on 2015, celebrates the New Year

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Dear Friends: It’s New Years Eve and I wanted to take a moment to thank you for all that you contribute…
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 16:35

Waka Flocka Flame to play WCU

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Acclaimed rapper Waka Flocka Flame will hit the stage at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14, in the Ramsey Regional Activity…
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 16:34

This must be the place

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Throwing my father’s old Dodge Dakota into park, I stepped out of the truck and felt the crunch of snow…
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 16:31

Keep On Getting Lost — Scott Low

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It is quite the conundrum, ain’t it? In an era where mainstream radio hits are shellacked in “sugar and spice…
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 15:55

New Mountains-to-Sea guide available

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A new trail guide covering the Balsams section of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail is out, meaning that the trail’s route through…
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 15:54

Program to prepare preschoolers for sports leagues

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A sports development league aiming to teach preschoolers the skills they’ll need to succeed in the world of athletics is…
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 15:53

Emissions from new vehicles decreasing, report says

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Vehicles are getting greener, according to a pair of reports recently released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  In model…
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 15:51

Plateau land trust conserves record number of acres

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With more than 400 acres of land conserved through purchase and conservation easements in 2015, the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust is…
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 15:49

CBC double-dipping

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They say great minds think alike, and who am I to argue with “They?” The Franklin Bird Club and Carolina…
Fifteen years ago, a herd of 52 elk set foot in their new home — the Great Smoky Mountains National…
Rob Hawk’s been trying since spring to find a landing place for the grant he’d helped get for a cattle loading facility, but in his search through Jackson County, the Cooperative Extension director came up short.
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 15:32

Franklin approves plans for new subdivision

Plans for a brand new residential subdivision in Franklin will move forward after the town board of aldermen approved a special-use permit for Scenic Ridge Properties.
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 15:31

Franklin cops to begin using body cameras

As allegations of police brutality continue to dominate the news all across the country, many law enforcement agencies have turned to body cameras as a possible solution.
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 15:29

Three candidates run for U.S. Representative

Incumbent Mark Meadows, R-Cashiers, will face a challenger in next year’s election to represent the 11th District of North Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 15:28

Female suspect sought in stabbing incident

Two Haywood County men have been apprehended while one woman is still at large in connection with the stabbing of a 33-year-old Clyde man on Jan. 3.
Pet owners in the western counties will soon have a shorter drive to tackle when their furry charges are in need of emergency medical care. Junaluska Animal Hospital plans to open the first after-hours clinic west of Asheville in Waynesville…
Voters in Western North Carolina have barely taken down the Christmas tree but will soon find themself in the throes of the primary election countdown.
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 15:22

Jackson schools consider artificial turf field

School officials in Jackson County will be crossing their fingers over the next few weeks, hoping to get a low number back from a study looking at the cost of putting artificial turf on the football field of Smoky Mountain…
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 15:20

Macon County Health takes over animal services

As of Nov. 1, 2015, Macon County Public Health took on the additional responsibility of overseeing animal services in Macon County, including animal control services, the animal shelter and rabies control programs.
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 15:17

Swain animal control ordinance takes shape

After conducting research and gathering public input for several months, an ad hoc committee finally has a working draft for what might be Swain County’s first animal control ordinance. 
Members of a tranquil farming community with deep roots in Haywood County fear their way of life will be ruined by a massive indoor shooting range and gun store proposed in their midst.
Haywood County commissioners aren’t likely to intervene in the controversy over a proposed indoor firing range and gun store coming to the Francis Farm community, despite pleas for help from the residents.
The plan to convert the old hospital in Haywood County into low-income apartments isn’t a done deal. It’s contingent on both historic preservation and low-income housing tax credits to make it financially viable.
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 15:08

Abandoned hospital to find new purpose

A new plan is the works to convert the abandoned old hospital in Haywood County into an affordable housing apartment complex.
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 17:02

Weather doesn’t trip up traditions

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When we wake up on Christmas Eve, it is nearly 70 degrees and raining so hard that when our miniature…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 16:57

Haywood just not prepared for growth

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If there was ever a time in recent memory when Haywood County leaders and its citizens need reminding that they…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 16:57

People of Franklin in good hands

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To the Editor: Kudos to Bob Scott, mayor of Franklin, for his decision to take his oath of office on…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 16:48

Plants and animals who choose to hunker down

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The evergreen plants and birds that overwinter here in the Southern Appalachians have made fundamental “choices” in how their lives…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 16:33

Funds for open spaces cut by half

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A federal fund that supports parks and open spaces across the nation has been spared, but was reduced to half…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 16:30

N.C. national forests get new supervisor

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North Carolina has a new U.S. Forest Service forest supervisor in Allen Nicholas, who currently works as forest supervisor for…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 16:29

Smokies plates raise $800K in 2015

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Sales of license plates supporting the Friends of the Smokies were strong in 2015, with sales in North Carolina and…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 16:27

Appalachian Trail use breaks records in 2015

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The number of Appalachian Trail hikers passing through the trail’s “psychological midpoint” in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, hit an all-time…
When the holidays wind down and schools go back in session, kids in some Western North Carolina classrooms will have…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 16:19

E.M. Forster 1907 novel relevant today

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When I was in graduate school at Western Carolina University back in 1970, I encountered a remarkable teacher, Dr. Louise…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 16:06

New direction for ‘Stories of Mountain Folk’

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In 2008, Catch the Spirit of Appalachia (CSA), a Western North Carolina not-for-profit 501c3 organization, began recording “Stories of Mountain…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 16:03

New Year’s Eve at The Imperial

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A New Year’s Eve Masquerade Party will be held from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 31, at The…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 16:02

Open call for vendors

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An open call is currently underway for artists, crafters, environmental groups and food vendors for the 19th annual Greening Up…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 16:01

Balsam Range Winter Concert Series returns to the Colonial

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Renowned bluegrass/gospel group Balsam Range will kick off the sixth annual “Winter Concert Series” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 2,…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 15:59

This must be the place

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I cracked the foamy Sam Adams Boston Lager and relaxed into my seat. Christmas Eve. Red-eye flight. Charlotte to Burlington, Vermont.…
With each impending New Year, we tend to take a look back and reflect on just what made the last…
Doug Cody was quite clear in his request to the Jackson County Commissioners when he showed up at their meeting this month. He likes serving on the Tuckaseigee Water and Sewer Authority board, and with his term set to expire…
The winter tourism industry in Haywood County is reeling from unseasonably warm temperatures that have shuttered Cataloochee Ski Area during what’s usually one of its busiest times of the year.
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 15:25

2015: News in review

Time to put a bow on 2015 and call it wrapped. But not just yet, at least not for all of the hundreds of people, events, happenings and mishaps we reported on and covered this past year. A little time…
Wednesday, 23 December 2015 16:14

Roberts Burns Night a unique event

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To the Editor: Robert Burns, the national poet of Scotland, is the only poet or musician that has a worldwide…
Wednesday, 23 December 2015 16:14

Forest plan does not need more wilderness

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To the Editor: I vehemently oppose designating more wilderness areas within the Pisgah and Nantahala Forests. These lands are already…