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Dealing with the aftermath of two major storms while preparing for what could be another record-breaking visitor season, trail crews…
Wednesday, 17 May 2017 16:02

New book revives Hazel Creek history

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A new book has hit the shelves exploring the history of the Hazel Creek community, which is now one of…
Wednesday, 17 May 2017 16:00

Poll shows support for conservation funding

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A poll commissioned by the conservation coalition Land for Tomorrow showed wide support for land and water conservation, with mountain…
Wednesday, 17 May 2017 15:59

Cherokee unveils trail system

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A new 10.5-mile mixed-use trail system is complete in Cherokee, with trails open to the public following a ribbon-cutting ceremony…
Wednesday, 17 May 2017 15:52

The honest little bird

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On one level, the natural history of a region consists of its terrain, habitats, plants, animals and how they interrelate.…
The key element of bluegrass music is the “unspoken” — in practice, in performance and in personality.  Whether you’re 8…
It came as a shock that has had a ripple effect within music circles around Western North Carolina and beyond.
Wednesday, 17 May 2017 15:27

Mountain Heritage Day named one of Southeast’s best

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Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Day has been named as one of the top 20 festivals in the Southeast by…
Wednesday, 17 May 2017 15:13

A memoir written in songs and poems

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In his Preface to Love Songs For A Country Lane, country music icon Chris Gantry writes: “Grant King was a…
If Canton’s legendary Labor Day festival – the oldest in the south – is to survive, it’s going to have to become self-sufficient.
Each year, counties and municipalities must pass their upcoming year’s budget by July 1.
A recovering economy and low unemployment along with a 30 percent increase in tourist spending since 2011 has kept Haywood County in decent financial shape, but a few large expenses — married with the everyday needs of a 60,000-resident county…
Thanks to Kiwanis International and Landscape Structures Inc., one lucky community will walk away with $25,000 in free playground equipment this summer.
Wednesday, 17 May 2017 14:46

Emissions testing scrapped in Haywood

Offering “credit where credit is due,” Rep. Michele Presnell, R-Burnsville, congratulated Gov. Roy Cooper for recently signing a bill that will do away with vehicle emissions testing in Haywood County. 
The strange saga of a shuttered school still casts a shadow over Haywood County, but it may turn out that opponents of the school’s closing were exactly right. 
A complaint filed in Haywood County Superior Court late last month alleges that several defendants committed battery and inflicted emotional distress on two children in 2015.
Karen Williams only had a handful of students in her beginner class when she first took the band director position for Swain County Schools 14 years ago, but today she has an average of 50 beginner students a year and…
While many local school districts are struggling to make ends meet these days, Swain County Schools is facing a much steeper battle to qualify for state and federal funds the district feels its students deserve.  “We’re struggling as most boards…
Wednesday, 17 May 2017 14:34

Lawmakers reach classroom size compromise

Local school districts will have one more year before they have to abide by much stricter classroom size requirements thanks to a legislative compromise, but even the compromised deal for the 2017-18 school year will force some schools to hire…
Wednesday, 17 May 2017 14:33

South Painter Road development approved

A Georgia developer hoping to build a 388-bed student housing complex in Cullowhee has cleared two of three major hurdles to starting construction.
Cherokee’s only bail bondsman is facing federal charges for allegedly having sex with female clients in lieu of loan repayment, and for allegedly sexually abusing a teenager younger than 16.
Wednesday, 17 May 2017 14:16

Mapping conflicts of interest

On Monday, May 22, the Cherokee Tribal Council will preside over a hearing to consider impeachment charges against Principal Chief Patrick Lambert. Afterward, Council will vote on whether to remove him from office.
With nearly two years of prep work already under their belts, developers have cleared the first major hurdle for bringing a $20 million, 56,000-square-foot retail project that will include a Publix to Waynesville.
Wednesday, 17 May 2017 14:04

Franklin asks for face time with Mission

It’s been more than two weeks since Mission Health announced Angel Medical Center would stop delivering babies as of July 14, but the Franklin community still has many unanswered questions and concerns. 
Friday, 12 May 2017 12:55

Haywood County school bus rear-ended

On Friday, May 12, at approximately 6:50 a.m., Haywood County Schools bus 52 was making a passenger stop in the Dellwood area of Waynesville when it was hit in the rear by a pickup truck. There was no physical damage…
Thanks to Kiwanis International and Landscape Structures Inc., one lucky community will walk away with $25,000 in free playground equipment this summer. With your help, that community could be Waynesville.
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 16:18

Trump right about Andrew Jackson

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To the Editor: In his incessant, sophomoric screeds to diminish Trump, Chris Cox fails once again. He attempts to ridicule…
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 16:17

Sylva festival is a bad idea

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To the Editor: Thomas Jefferson once stated “I am for a government rigorously frugal and simple.” Yet, these wise words…
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 16:17

Perhaps we need ‘climate ambassadors’

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To the Editor: The series of articles you have recently been publishing on “Folkmoot’s Cultural Conversations” have been most enlightening…
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 16:15

Corporations are not people

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To the Editor: A recent letter writer opined that corporations function as groups of people. One single sentence in that…
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 16:11

Tastes great, can’t take the smell

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When I read about Wicked Weed Brewing getting bought by AB InBev (formerly Budweiser) — one of the world’s largest…
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 16:10

The first Mother’s Day without her

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I’ve tried hard to keep grief out of my columns lately. There’s only so much melancholy and broken-heartedness readers can…
When it comes to carnivorous plants, Darwin Thomas knows what he’s talking about. It doesn’t take much to get him…
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 15:52

Learning at Graveyard Fields gets a boost

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New educational panels are now on display at Graveyard Fields, a popular hiking area along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 15:51

A.T. hikers get a warm welcome

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Thru-hiker season is just about over in Western North Carolina, with most folks who are attempting the 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail…
This past weekend, May 6-7, was the 34th annual installment of the Great Smoky Mountains Birding Expedition (GSMBE.) The expedition…
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 15:35

A fresh look into an enduring classic

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After finishing the last pages of Libertarians On The Prairie: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose Wilder Lane, and the Making of…
I didn’t know what to say. Standing in the doorway of the music venue, he said it so casually. 
It’s brutal honesty. Within the wide-spectrum of creative mediums, standup comedy may just be the most vulnerable and jarring of…
Susan Boyette and her mother Martha Drew drove down from Tennessee early Friday morning to Rose Creek Mine outside of Franklin in search of rare treasures.  They spent hours digging through 12 buckets of native dirt and sifting through unknown…
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 14:43

Franklin museum a real ‘gem’

At first glance, the Franklin Gem and Mineral Museum may seem like a hokey tourist attraction, but visitors willing to give it a closer look will discover the largest inventory of gems in the Southeast.
When Macon County residents joined together in 1971 to raise money to buy Angel Hospital and make it a community hospital, the effort was dubbed Operation Heartbeat.
The Affordable Health Care Act got a bit closer to repeal last week as the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that could drastically affect millions across the country and across Western North Carolina.
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 14:07

Public hearing slated for new Publix site

Although speculation has been rife over the past year, plans for a Publix grocery store in Waynesville have finally been revealed in advance of an upcoming zoning hearing.
A recent debacle between the town of Bryson City and the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad has been a wake-up call for the local business community.
Wednesday, 10 May 2017 14:01

Town board welcomes more community input

Bryson City aldermen are quite aware of the rift created in the community over the Fry Street closure issue, but say they welcome residents and businesses alike to participate in the local government process.
As summer approaches, Waynesville’s green spaces are getting greener, but they’re also getting greater — in size. 
From softball fields to health buildings to animal shelters, funding requests have been arriving hot and heavy to the Jackson County Commissioners’ desks as budget season heats up. As the deadline for the 2017-18 budget draws nearer, the pressure to…
Two years have passed since developers first got approval to build a student housing complex along South Painter Road in Cullowhee, though not a shovel of earth was ever turned. But the stalled project could move forward this summer if…
The Jackson County Commissioners have unanimously approved an easement through county land that will allow plans for a 72-bedroom development adjacent to Cullowhee’s Speedwell Acres Road to move forward.