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Wednesday, 22 March 2017 16:42

Special places define us

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One never tires of discovering special places here in the southern mountains. Through the years, such places readily become old…
When Ed Sutton first came to Cherokee in November to break ground on a new trail system, his directive was…
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 16:15

Parkway visitation tops 15 million for 2016

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The Blue Ridge Parkway welcomed 15.18 million visitors in 2016, a slight increase from the 15.05 million who visited in…
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 16:14

Smokies association honored for interpretive work

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The Great Smoky Mountains Association took home top honors from the Public Lands Alliance’s annual awards this year.
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 16:02

Pour me a glass of great words, and let’s party

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Having given up listening to the dreadful music and talk shows available in my car radio, last week I popped…
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 15:56

New Jackson Arts president

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Gayle Woody has been named the new president of the Jackson County Arts Council. 
She is still a fox. Midnight. Last Tuesday morning. Wide-awake and in front of a large HD television at my…
By all accounts, the craft beer business continues to boom in Western North Carolina. And that’s not just in Asheville with its dozens of breweries and brewpubs. Head west on Interstate 40 and merge onto the Great Smoky Mountains Expressway.…
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 15:18

WCU’s physical therapy clinic expands

Western Carolina University’s student-run Mountain Area Pro Bono Physical Therapy Clinic has set a goal to expand the availability of its services in 2018.
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 15:07

The tales the tombstones tell

High atop a knobby bald in central Haywood County sits lonely Dix Hill Cemetery, just yards from Jones Temple AME Zion Church in the heart of Waynesville’s historically African-American Pigeon Street community.
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 15:05

Digitizing the deceased

From frost-churned fields on steep hills above shadow-soaked coves spring mossy fieldstones, hopelessly eroded and only becoming more so, season by season.
Arriving in Waynesville shortly before last year’s Folkmoot Friendship Festival, I like many who’d come before me had no idea what it was.
The fundraising deadline is drawing nearer for an effort to conserve 15.9 acres adjacent to Panthertown Valley, and the Jackson County Commissioners have indicated a willingness to chip in toward the more than $80,000 still needed. 
Three seats will be up for grabs in Cherokee’s 2017 Tribal Council elections, with incumbent councilmembers from Big Cove, Snowbird and Yellowhill not signing up to run for re-election as of the March 15 filing deadline.
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 14:55

ADA compliant park coming to Waynesville

The Town of Waynesville will soon build a very special playground, thanks to a successful Connect N.C. bond application made last fall.
Much can be learned through the process of training for a 5K race — physical strength, mental health, focus, determination, self-confidence and perseverance.
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 14:51

Empowering a new generation of strong women

Girls at Junaluska Elementary School seem to have a renewed sense of pride in themselves and their peers after sharing a memorable experience during a recent Girls Empowerment Night.
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 14:48

Dillsboro river park proposal draws a crowd

A proposed river park development in Dillsboro drew a crowd of roughly 75 people to a public hearing March 20, with 20 people delivering comment on the issue and prompting the Jackson County Commissioners to postpone a final decision until…
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 14:46

Monteith remembered as man of the people

When speaking to the many people in Swain County and beyond who knew David Monteith either personally or professionally, they all used the same word to describe him — integrity.
Harris Regional Hospital Emergency Medical Services is asking the Jackson County Commissioners to make changes to its service that would cost about $200,000 to implement.
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 18:12

The Naturalist's Corner: Today’s pterodactyl

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A low guttural croak comes out of the fog hanging over the French Broad River. I turn and look towards…
Every August since 2010, the Blue Ridge Breakaway has pulled in tens of thousands of dollars for Haywood County businesses,…
Which female pioneers have paved the way for you to be where you are today? “Sojourner Truth,” Janice Inabinett answered without hesitation. “She’s my shero.”
Shirley Oswalt (pictured above, left, with sister Geraldine Thompson) was named a Beloved Woman of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians on Tuesday, Feb. 2, the highest honor that can be given to a Cherokee woman and one that’s held…
Shirley Jackson Oswalt can still remember the first words she said in English.  Her older siblings had prepped her before she headed off to her first day of first grade at the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Snowbird Day School in…
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 16:41

Businesswoman offers leadership advice

For all the women out there wondering if they can have it all in life — the career, family and flexibility — Katy Travitz is proof that it is possible.
Sometimes it can feel like one step forward, two steps back for women in the workforce, but this year’s theme for National Women’s History Month — Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business — provides an opportunity to showcase female…
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 16:34

Honoring Women’s History Month

The Smoky Mountain News will be publishing a series of articles to showcase a number of women in Western North Carolina who are currently making history.  • Women’s contributions to workforce celebrated• Businesswoman offers leadership advice• Beloved Woman reflects on life full of…
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 16:30

Russ Avenue: growing pains in Waynesville

While most people agree that the $18 million Russ Avenue widening project in Waynesville is much-needed and long overdue, the long and winding road to groundbreaking has thus far been a rough one, even though construction won’t get a green…
With safety concerns at the forefront, a project to significantly alter U.S. 441 through Franklin has been ranked as the top priority by Macon County officials and the North Carolina Department of Transportation. 
The term alderman is defined as a member of a city legislative body, but it literally translates as “old man” in old English.
Tensions between Haywood County and a state legislator are on the rise as commissioners called her out at a recent meeting for yet again obstructing a request for legislation that has overwhelming local bipartisan support. 
The strange saga of Haywood County Tax Collector Mike Matthews isn’t over, but for the moment the spotlight is back on the Haywood County Board of County Commissioners.
Republican lawmakers in Raleigh have introduced several bills to make more local elections a partisan affair, and local leaders aren’t happy about it.
A bill set to make school board elections partisan in Haywood County took current school board members — including the chairman — completely by surprise and has so far earned poor marks from a majority of the board.
Rep. Mike Clampitt, R-Bryson City, has introduced House Bill 260 in an effort to help Swain County recoup millions of dollars the federal government owes to the county for never rebuilding North Shore Road from Bryson City to Tennessee.
Jackson County is hoping that grants will offset the $847,000 cost of extending water and sewer connections to a piece of land being eyed for a new outdoor adventure park in Dillsboro, and last week commissioners gave the county the…
After scrambling to cut $2.4 million from last year’s budget, the Haywood County School Board has weathered the storm and presented a proposed 2017-18 budget that is significantly sunnier than in years past, but still sees storm clouds looming on…
A petition drive is underway in Cherokee aiming to place term limits on Tribal Council members and give tribal members the right to recall elected officials.
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 16:00

Books always make a thoughtful gift

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You’re stuck.  It’s your boss’ birthday, your nephew’s graduation from high school, your cousin’s promotion at work, and you need…
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 15:55

Monteith leaves a lasting legacy in Swain

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It was July or August of 1999, best I remember, and the Swain County Commissioners at that time were meeting…
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 15:47

From beauty pageants to soccer fields

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It’s not my proudest accolade, but I spent a significant portion of my childhood in a pageant dress.  The doctors…
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 15:46

Enjoy the articles by Chris Cox

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To the Editor: I sure enjoy the opinion columns by Chris Cox in The Smoky Mountain News. I enjoy reading…
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 15:45

You just can’t fix stupid

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To the Editor: First off, no anonymous person here. My name is Sandy Sanders. I read Chris Cox column a…
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 15:45

We all need to speak up

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To the Editor: Does opening your email or Facebook feed or nightly news programs make your blood pressure go up?…
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 15:41

Departing Trump’s alternate universe

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To the Editor: As a journalist and former member of the working press, I continue to be appalled and frankly…
He’s the common denominator. When you look back at the career of iconic bluegrass mandolinist David Grisman, you’re diving deep…
Once they announce your name, you stand up and move towards the bright lights. Meandering around a sardine can ballroom…
Correction: In the March 1 issue, The Smoky Mountain News incorrectly reported that Jackson Neighbors in Need requested funding from the Jackson County Commissioners. The Southwestern Child Development Commission is the entity that requested the funding, as management of Jackson’s…
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 21:41

New apartment complex received in Sylva

A 48-unit apartment complex could be built along Savannah Road in Sylva if town commissioners give the green light at their meeting Thursday, March 9.