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Many years ago, in a time and a place that seems so far away to me now, I courted a young lady and fancied I was in love. We were really just kids playing at being grown-ups, but we believed…
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 16:55

Symbols matter, and so does removing them

Complicated. Ignorant. Entrenched. It’s easy to come up with words to describe the state of race relations in this country and especially in the South, but some come to mind more easily than others after what happened in Charleston last…
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 16:17

Color on high

I occasionally see The Smoky Mountain News’ Garret K. Woodward’s Facebook posts about hitting the trails around WNC for a mind-clearing run and my knees twinge with the memories of similar sorties and the sad recognition that without surgery those…
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 16:12

Get the scoop on native plants

Registration is now open for the 2015 Cullowhee Native Plant Conference at Western Carolina University, a four-day event featuring more than a dozen plant walks and workshops and a demonstration of how drones can aid in environmental conservation mapping.
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 16:10

Canton riverbank gets a makeover

A much-used riverbank in the Canton Recreation Park is now a lot more stable, thanks to a protection project recently completed by Haywood Waterways Association and the town of Canton. 
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 16:09

Become a Junior Ranger

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

Queen honored for environmental advocacy

The N.C. League of Conservation Voters named Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville, as its 2015 Representative of the Year in the organization’s annual Green Tie Awards.
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 16:06

Cause of hiker’s death still unknown

The National Park Service is still waiting on the results of an autopsy looking into the cause of hiker Jenny Bennett’s death in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park earlier this month, but investigators have ruled out a bear attack…
Asked what a typical day for the head guy at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park looks like, new Smokies superintendent Cassius Cash laughs.   “Wow, let’s look at the calendar,” he says.  Since starting the job in February, he’s…
Haworth, West Riding of Yorkshire, England.  It’s 4:30 in the morning, Sunday June 18, and I stood a few moments ago on the cobbled street outside the Old White Line Inn. I slept poorly; the gentleman in Room 12 across…
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 15:26

Dulcimer U returns to WCU

Registration is ongoing for Western Carolina University’s 16th annual Dulcimer U Summer Week, a gathering that brings mountain dulcimer virtuosos and students to the campus in Cullowhee for six days of classes and concerts. The year’s conference, set for July…
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 15:26

Medieval, Renaissance recital at WCU

The faculty of the Mountain Collegium Music Workshop will perform a recital of medieval, renaissance, baroque and contemporary music on early and folk instruments at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 2, at the Cullowhee Baptist Church adjacent to the campus of…
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 15:25

Cherokee Pow Wow turns 40

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

Nothing says summer more than the 4th of July, and in Western North Carolina, we celebrate Independence Day with gusto. Between majestic fireworks, sizzling hot dogs and hamburgers, cotton candy, games, live music and craft demonstrations, there’s a little of…
Wednesday, 24 June 2015 15:20

Eaglenest to host grand reopening

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

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’

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

I fixed my hair in the rearview mirror and exited the truck. Heading up the steps, I was already five minutes late when I reached for the doorknob. Leaving the heat of a sizzling Thursday afternoon last week in downtown…
Heading down N.C. 28, between Bryson City and Robbinsville, is a flat stretch of highway, unusual to the continuous curves on this mountainous route. It indicates a valley, and just past a quaint diner, is a side road to your…
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. 
A bear euthanized following an attack against a backpacker in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was not the right bear, park rangers learned late last week.
A new charter school slated to open in Haywood in August has been scrambling the past few weeks to find somewhere to put kids and teachers after its initial facility plan fell through.
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 15:43

Trumpet vine is tenacious and beautiful

It’s mid-June again … the time of the year when certain plants can be relied upon to do their thing in our yard and on the decks that enclose the house on three sides. Yuccas, oak-leaf hydrangeas, spiderworts, coral vines,…
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 15:28

Unveiling Horace Kephart

A pair of programs about Horace Kephart, an adopted son of the Smokies who captured the culture of mountaineers in the early 1900s in writing and championed the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, will explore the life…
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 15:28

Swain gets second farmers market day

The Swain County Farmers Market is branching out, this week launching a second market day 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Sept. 16.  The market, located at the barn on Island Street in downtown Bryson City, sells produce, nursery plants,…
Seven Cherokee cyclists from North Carolina are in the midst of a 950-mile bike ride to Tahlequah, Oklahoma, an annual ride commemorating the forced removal of the Cherokee people along the Trail of Tears in 1839.  “The ‘Remember the Removal’…
A program featuring scaly reptiles as the stars will return to the Jackson County Public Library at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Thursday, June 25.
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 15:25

Bird-banders wanted

Volunteers are needed for a summer monitoring project involving up-close contact with birds.
The Women’s Work Festival in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will give a glimpse into the historical roles rural women held in their families and communities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 20.
There was no doubt about how the Smoky Mountains got their name as day dawned on the Friends of the Smokies’ planned hike to Hemphill Bald. Sky seemed to meet earth as the carpool headed up the mountain from Maggie…
It is mid-June in England, and the skies are a brilliant blue. Sunshine spills on the street and the clipped green lawns of homes and parks. A breeze stirs the leaves of the trees, and when you are in the…
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 14:49

‘Dancing With The Stars’ at Harrah’s

The live stage production of “Dancing With The Stars: Live!” will hit the stage at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 27, at Harrah’s Cherokee. Following a sold-out winter tour and the 10th Anniversary Season of ABC’s hit show “Dancing with the…
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 14:49

Green Energy Park summer art camp

There will be a summer art camp held June 22-26 at the Jackson County Green Energy Park in Dillsboro. Ages 4-6 will be 10 a.m. to noon, with ages 7-10 at 1 to 3 p.m. Campers will explore various creative…
“An Appalachian Evening,” a summer bluegrass/Americana weekly concert series, will return to the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center in Robbinsville. The 2015 series will include The Snyder Family Band July 19, The Walking Roots Band July 25, Balsam Range Aug.…
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 14:46

HART presents Hitchcock classic

The stage production of the classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller “The 39 Steps” will held at 3 p.m. Aug. 1 at the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre in Waynesville.
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 14:44

Bryson City craft beer, barbecue

A “BBQ & Brews Dinner Train” will be departing at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 27, at the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad depot in Bryson City.
Wednesday, 02 September 2015 14:43

Balsam Range, Porch 40 to play Canton Labor Day

The 109th Canton Labor Day Festival will be held Sept 5-7 at Sorrells Street Park in downtown.
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 14:41

Fiddler brings Americana to Marianna

Americana fiddler Alma Russ will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 25, at the Marianna Black Library in Bryson City.