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Wednesday, 18 January 2017 15:42

Macon urges proper disposal of used needles

Sanitation workers in Macon County are worried about dangerous items that could be lurking in the household trash bags being hauled to the landfill.
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 15:41

Increased density coming to Howell Mill Road?

An oft-repeated concern expressed during meetings of the Haywood County Affordable Housing Task Force is the scarcity of buildable land available in mountainous Haywood County, but a proposed rezoning for three parcels on Howell Mill Road may demonstrate a viable…
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 15:40

Bryson City removes trees on Everett Street

Many Bryson City business owners were caught off guard last week when they noticed massive holes all along Everett Street where large shade trees used to be planted. 
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 15:38

Street trees replaced in Sylva

The streets of downtown Sylva are newly treeless after town crews excavated the red maples earlier this month, but the condition won’t last for long. A new set of trees — 15 Japanese zelkovas — has been ordered and will…
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 15:34

Town to pursue Calvary Street purchase

The town of Waynesville will move forward with plans to purchase three vacant, blighted lots straddling Calvary Street, despite interest from another private party.
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 15:32

Russ fuss prompts resolution

After holding two public hearings that drew large crowds of opposition, Waynesville Mayor Gavin Brown and the board of aldermen took an official stance on the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s unpopular proposal for Russ Avenue improvements.
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 15:29

Painting helps Swain County artist heal

Barbara Robinson can find artistic inspiration wherever she may be.  Sometimes it’s looking out over Frye Mountain from her art studio window at home, while at other times perhaps a particular barn she spots while driving through Swain County will…
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 15:26

Illegal dumping plagues Swain

Swain County recently spent more than $350,000 in order to better secure its trash site and cut down on sanitation department costs, but recent illegal dumping continues to be a costly and time-consuming problem.
The Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise’s newest member will be anything but new to the business of casino management when she takes her seat on the board.
According to a recent ranking from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority is one of the nation’s worst-performing hospitals when it comes to rates of patients who acquire infections while staying in the hospital.
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 15:20

Board member removed from TWSA mid-term

Joe Ward’s term on the Tuckasegee Water and Sewer Authority board came to an abrupt end last week when newly elected commissioner Mickey Luker made a motion to remove him during the Jackson County Commissioners’ Jan. 9 meeting. The move…
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 15:17

SMN reporter to cover Presidential Inauguration

Starting this week, The Smoky Mountain News will begin issuing a steady stream of coverage from the nation’s capital as the world awaits the swearing in of the United States’ 45th President, Republican Donald J. Trump.
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 15:16

Still time to sign up for ACA insurance policy

The planned repeal of the Affordable Healthcare Act doesn’t seem to be impacting the numbers of people in Western North Carolina signing up for coverage.
A crowd of more than 150 people took to the streets of downtown Sylva Sunday joining protestors in cities across America for a national day of action to save the Affordable Care Act.
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 15:10

Haywood struggling to retain teachers

For months now, a committee created by the Haywood County Board of Education has been looking for ways to entice teachers to remain in the system, with little success.
The building that once housed Central Elementary School may soon find new life in the private sector, if and when Haywood County Commissioners take a pass on it.
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 17:27

Nothing like old-time boardinghouses

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Editor’s note: This column first appeared in The Smoky Mountain News in January 2011. Are there boardinghouses still operating here…
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 17:21

Looking for more ideology, less politics

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As the holidays drew to a close, I began preparing for the reporting we will do on the upcoming session…
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 17:12

Waiting in a winter wonderland

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My wife was stranded in Mississippi. She was supposed to get home late on Friday night, but then the big…
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 17:10

Trump just too ignorant for the job

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To the Editor: Is it just me? Or are any of your readers just a wee bit concerned about (this…
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 17:10

Rep. Meadows should have recused himself

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To the Editor: The Oxford Dictionary of the English Language defines ethics as: “moral principles or code.” The Office of…
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 17:09

Not TDA’s job to hire downtown director

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To the Editor: Given the recent suggestion in The Sylva Herald that the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority possibly fund…
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 16:57

Harrah’s recognized for environmental policies

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Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort earned recognition for reducing its environmental impact when Green Key Global bestowed it a 4-Key rating…
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 16:55

Drought severity lessens in WNC

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Wet weather over the past week has put a dent in the severity of drought in Western North Carolina. 
A public hearing seeking input on this year’s round of proposals from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will be held…
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 16:50

Hikers rescued after three days in the woods

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A day hike in the Shining Rock Wilderness Area of the Pisgah National Forest turned into a days-long ordeal culminating…
Just north of Cullowhee, at the curvy, gravel terminus of Cane Creek Road, sits the building containing the world’s largest…
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 16:29

Books from different ends of the spectrum

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Opposites attract, so the old saying runs. We’ve all known friends, husbands and wives, and lovers who match this adage,…
I decided to not wear the hardhat. Standing underneath the magnificent 215-foot high ancient rock arch at the Natural Bridge…
They are the bridge. In the bluegrass world these days, it seems there are two camps of thought and performance…
With the last Macon County Airport runway extension project barely in the rearview, the North Carolina Department of Transportation has approved another $4.5 million airport project to make the runway even longer.  The last expansion project in 2011 extended the…
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 15:28

Dilapidated structures plaguing Franklin

Overgrown brush, rotting floors, collapsing roofs, vermin and asbestos. Dealing with deteriorating structures isn’t a new issue for the town of Franklin, but the slow legal process has the town board wondering if there is a more efficient way to…
Downtown Franklin will be undergoing plenty of changes in 2017 and for the next few years as the town works to improve sidewalks and traffic patterns and the state begins new road projects.
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 15:24

Honor MLK with day of service

Citizens recognizing Martin Luther King Jr. Day since it was established in 1986, are encouraged to volunteer on the third Monday every January to honor King’s vision of service.
Haywood Habitat for Humanity is seeking qualified homeowners for homes located in Haywood County.
Haywood County Special Olympics officials are forming a Local Program Committee so that the program can reach more potential athletes and volunteers.
Western Carolina University’s Ben Steere, assistant professor of anthropology and co-director of Cherokee Studies Programs, is recipient of the Principal Chief Leon D. Jones Award for Archaeological Excellence, presented by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. 
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 15:18

Focus groups needed to discuss Swain ER changes

Swain Community Hospital is looking for small groups of residents to be part of ongoing focus groups to discuss changes occurring in the hospital emergency department.
It isn’t often that citizens avail themselves of the public comment session offered by local governments.
Although work on the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s proposed improvements to Russ Avenue won’t begin until 2022, Waynesville residents have already been persistent and vociferous in their opposition to the Walnut Street segment of the project.
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 15:12

Canton dives in to pool project

Town of Canton officials faced a “sink or swim” moment Jan. 3 when, in a special public hearing, they had to decide whether or not to move forward with plans to seek commercial financing for the town’s beleaguered pool project.
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 15:10

Neglected Canton dogs still need homes

In a case that stunned Western North Carolina residents last November, 137 dogs were found being kept in varying states of neglect on a property outside the town of Canton. 
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 15:08

Sequoyah Fund embezzler sentenced

Embezzling nearly $1 million from The Sequoyah Fund in Cherokee will land the organization’s former executive director in federal prison for more than two years, U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger decided at a Dec. 15 sentencing hearing.
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 15:07

Jackson commissioner drops lawsuit

Recently elected Jackson County Commissioner Mickey Luker has dropped a lawsuit he filed in June contesting a permit denial handed down from the Jackson County Department of Public Health.
Mill Street in Sylva will go from two lanes to one when a 2016 decision from the Sylva Board of Commissioners goes into effect. However, the timeline will depend on the town’s ability to fund the plan in the upcoming…
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 15:02

Downtown vacancies prompt concern

An unusual number of “for rent” signs have been cropping up in downtown Sylva lately, and the vacancies have town leaders and business owners wondering what this forebodes in the year ahead.
Two hikers lost in the Shining Rock Wilderness area in Haywood County were rescued Saturday evening thanks to the efforts of helicopter crews and nearly 100 ground based rescuers from over two dozen local, state, and federal agencies.
Swain Community Hospital is looking for small groups of residents to be part of ongoing focus groups to discuss changes occurring in the hospital emergency department.
Wednesday, 04 January 2017 16:42

It’s 2017, let’s talk about something else

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Now that it’s 2017, I can’t bear the thought of continuing to fixate on politics and its atmosphere of pomposity…
Wednesday, 04 January 2017 16:35

A heavy but hopeful heart for the new year

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Throughout my entire life, I’ve awoken on New Year’s Day energized to be more, do more, see more. This year…