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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.
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 20:10

Perhaps school board has learned a lesson

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Since it is, after all, the Haywood County School Board, I can only hope they’ve learned a lesson. Last week…
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 20:09

Trump’s rise has some similarities to Hitler

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To the Editor: Among the many sources available to explain current events in Washington is an excellent recent book that…
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 20:02

Trump tweets himself back into the muck

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As near as I can tell, the readers of this newspaper are pretty evenly divided on whether I should continue…
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 19:45

River park would boost visitation, tax revenues

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Kelly Custer has been a lifelong lover of the outdoors, from playing sports as a kid to mountaineering adventures in…
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 19:36

N.C. Arboretum upgrades facilities, increases parking fee

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The N.C. Arboretum in Asheville recently completed several upgrades to its facilities, including conversion to LED lights in all indoor…
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 19:33

Blue Ridge Breakaway off for 2017

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The Blue Ridge Breakaway, which would have celebrated its eighth year in August, has been canceled for this year with…
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 19:29

Polar plunge raises $30,000 education

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The 2017 Polar Plunge Benefit-t-t-ting Kids in the Creek and Environmental Education surpassed its goal to raise $30,600 this year,…
I have files in my computer containing articles I’ve forgotten that I wrote until, by chance, I run across them…
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 19:11

Through the fingertips, echoes the history

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“You know, history becomes personal,” Reggie Harris said to a silent auditorium last Sunday afternoon. “These are our stories, and…
It came out of the blue. Sunday morning. My smart phone dinged next to my bed. I groaned, rolled over…
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 18:53

Portrait of WCU’s Belcher unveiled

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A future addition to Western Carolina University’s gallery of presidential portraits was recently unveiled for the first time as the…
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 18:43

Burke’s writing shines in The Jealous Kind

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In The Jealous Kind (Simon and Schuster, 2016, 400 pages, $27.99), novelist James Lee Burke drops his readers into Houston,…
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…
Waynesville, Sylva and Franklin’s main commercial thoroughfares are getting a makeover in the coming years that could reshape the fabric of these communities for decades to come. The North Carolina Department of Transportation has plans to change the five-lane drags…
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 18:25

Over and out: a Southern Loop retrospective

With a redesign of N.C. 107 officially in the works, the controversial Southern Loop appears to be toast.
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 15:20

A windshield tour of the new 107

Years in the making, design options for a new N.C. 107 in Sylva were recently unveiled by the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
Waynesville, Sylva and Franklin’s main commercial thoroughfares are getting a makeover, reshaping the fabric of these communities for decades to come.
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 15:14

DOT spares part of Walnut Street, for now

A message sent by opponents of the Russ Avenue widening project’s Walnut Street segment appears to have been received loud and clear by state transportation officials.
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 15:13

Canton businesses rebound from crash

A lot is going right in Canton these days, but a driver going left — right into a downtown building — hasn’t dampened downtown’s bustling mood.
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 15:11

Economic diversification continues in Canton

Canton is the archetype of a small southern mill village: the river running through it helps churn the gears of industry while shaded streets host quaint homes where generations of Cantonians have embraced the red, white and blue-collar culture typical…
A collaborative program designed to help students overcome the familial, financial and social obstructions of attending college lacks room to grow and is chronically underfunded, which may hamper efforts to serve more of the county’s most promising students.
Wednesday, 08 March 2017 15:06

Cherokee impeachment efforts will continue

Some tribal members are saying their rights were violated after three pieces of legislation that would curtail impeachment proceedings against Principal Chief Patrick Lambert were denied last week in successive votes during which no discussion was allowed.
A new park in Waynesville’s Pigeon Street community can finally move forward thanks to an agreement reached between Haywood County and the town of Waynesville.
Tuesday, 07 March 2017 17:08

Possible shots fired near Haywood school

At approximately 11:40 a.m., Haywood County Schools Superintendent Anne Garrett received a call from the Haywood Community Learning Center in Waynesville. Learning Center staff reported hearing noises that sounded like gunfire in the distance. The Learning Center went into lockdown,…