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Eric Messer only has one complaint about the health and wellness initiatives the town of Waynesville has been pushing with its employees. The fitness tracking bracelets passed out by the town weren’t designed with sewer plant workers in mind.
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 15:31

Canton preps for economic success

Piece by piece, Canton is setting the stage for future economic success through a number of new initiatives.
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 15:28

Bryson City to keep Fry Street open

Alderwoman Heidi Woodard’s motion for the town to abandon the right-of-way on Fry Street was met with silence at Monday night’s Bryson City board meeting, but town leaders say that doesn’t mean the issue is dead.
The lead-contaminated shooting range at Southwestern Community College in Webster is in for another round of testing after the state called for further sampling to determine levels of several other potentially toxic substances in the soil.
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 15:25

Bowling alley coming to Cherokee

A family adventure park is not the only project in the works on the Qualla Boundary. In February, Tribal Council approved a resolution from Principal Chief Patrick Lambert to build a $13 million bowling facility adjacent to Harrah’s Cherokee Casino.
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 15:22

Cherokee re-examines adventure park idea

After four years of hibernation, Cherokee’s plan to build a one-of-a-kind family adventure park is back on the table.
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 15:20

Sylva considers loosened alcohol ordinance

Alcohol could start showing up at some downtown Sylva events if town commissioners approve an ordinance slated for public comment on April 7.
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 15:17

Some say Sylva’s sign fees are too high

For some people, spending free time cross-referencing town fee schedules would be as boring as watching paint dry. But for Tyler Watras, a sign painter by trade, watching paint dry isn’t so bad, and delving into the world of sign…
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 15:16

Haywood residents favor land-use planning

Haywood County residents support land-use planning by a large margin, according to the results of a recent telephone survey.
When David Young pulled a food truck onto the lot of Mad Anthony’s Bottle Shop & Beer Garden in downtown Waynesville this winter, he launched the first salvo in a tangled tug-of-war testing the old adage: is it better to…
Town manager hopefuls wanting to run one of Western North Carolina’s largest, most progressive towns will need more than budget know-how and political savvy — they’ll need stage presence, improv skills and nerves of steel to make it past the…
Principal Chief Patrick Lambert bore the look of a man on a mission when he presented Tribal Council with a first look at results of an ongoing forensic audit on Tuesday. The results he held in hand may have been…
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 15:06

New light on Salem Witch Trials

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Back in 1954, when I was a freshman at Western Carolina Teachers College (now WCU), the college’s drama department launched…
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 15:01

Graceful ferns a fiddling

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“Marvel for a moment at the fern fiddlehead. It stands like a watch spring coiled and ready to unwind ……
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 14:56

A day in the life of a mountain bike guidebook author

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By Jim Parham • Contributing writer People have all kinds of preconceived notions of what it’s like to write a trail…
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 14:53

Long live the hard copy trail guide

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Google the name of almost any trailhead in Western North Carolina, and you’re likely to come up with pages of…
The outdoors have been a powerful force in the lives of Jim Parham and MaryEllen Hammond.  The Nantahala River was…
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 14:35

Buggy photography to be illuminated

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Bug-loving photographers will get the inside scoop on photographing insects through a presentation from Kefyn Catley, a biology professor at…
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 14:34

WNC land trusts surpass conservation goal

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In the past five years, the 10 land trusts of Western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Forever coalition have collectively completed…
Tuesday, 05 April 2016 20:19

Haywood art entities come together

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The Haywood County Arts Council (HCAC) recently solidified partnerships with Haywood Arts Regional Theatre (HART) and The Strand at 38…
Tuesday, 05 April 2016 20:17

WCU Road Works for organizations, communities

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Western Carolina University has a new free outreach program called WCU Road Works that will present theatrical, music, film and…
Tuesday, 05 April 2016 20:15

New sculpture at The Bascom

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Artist John Kenneth Melvin will break ground on a new site-specific sculpture at the entrance of The Bascom art center’s…
Tuesday, 05 April 2016 20:14

Beloved locomotive returns to Bryson City

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After long awaited anticipation Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (GSMR) is excited to announce that the historic #1702 Steam Engine will…
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 20:10

This must be the place

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They say clarity is found when it becomes your last option.
Stepping into the blacksmithing studio at the Jackson County Green Energy Park in Dillsboro last Saturday, the continuous sound of…
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 15:38

Early to the woods

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Due to contractual obligations with the Forest Service I have been in the woods a little earlier than usual this…
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 15:33

Spring openings in the Smokies

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Spring is here, and facilities closed for the winter are opening up accordingly in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. …
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 15:28

Commission wants to lift bear baiting restriction

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A proposed rule change allowing hunters to bait black bears with unprocessed food throughout the entire hunting season will be…
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 15:27

Snowmaking crew makes the top cut

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Cataloochee Ski Area is a finalist for the I AM a Snowmaker Award, given annually by SAM Magazine and HKD…
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 15:23

Take your pick of ranger programs

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Spring ranger programs have begun in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, giving visitors a chance to explore the Smokies…
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 15:21

Lace it up

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A slate of challenging long-distance races will be coming to the Smokies this spring, meaning it’s time to get back…
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 15:19

Stocked trout waters to open

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Hatchery-Supported Trout Waters throughout Western North Carolina will open at 7 a.m. Saturday, April 2.
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 15:16

Easter on the trail

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This Easter marked an important milestone for Jerry Parker, an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker who completed the 2,160-mile trail before it…
When Earth Day rolls around this year, students at Western Carolina University will be able to celebrate with a bit…
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 14:54

The arts thrive only if we support them

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“The arts are so incredibly vital to a quality of life, smart business and the health of a community. The…
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 14:49

Questions for the legislature

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By Dave Waldrop • Guest Columnist The North Carolina legislature has abandoned its responsibilities to public education under the guise…
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 14:46

What lessons from the 2016 primary?

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By Chris Cooper • Guest Columnist If I had to use one word to describe the North Carolina primary, it…
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 14:38

On being a columnist for a small-town newspaper

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Three months into this, I’ve decided that being a columnist for The Smoky Mountain News is potentially more challenging than…
After waiting for years to get the money promised to them, the Swain County commissioners made a unanimous decision last week to sue the federal government for $38.2 million. “It’s about our only option left,” said Commissioner Steve Moon.
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 14:24

Community Kitchen moving to new facility

The Community Kitchen in Canton works hard to make sure no one in the community goes hungry, and now the organization needs help from the community it serves to expand its food ministry.
Waynesville leaders are weighing whether to expand the commercial footprint of Russ Avenue, an issue that has pitted neighbors against each other along the recently widened Howell Mill Road.
Macon County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of 22-year-old Hunter Curtis after he was shot and killed by his father on March 26 during a domestic dispute.
The future of the old furniture factory in Whittier has been through more than its share of twists and turns over the past year, but Jackson County now has an offer on the table from a group of farmers who…
While the Waynesville dog park’s temporary closure this week might have canines a little bit antsy, dog owners are rejoicing over the reason — a drainage project expected to spell an end to the post-rain sludge that’s been a reality…
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 14:14

Cullowhee planning committee appointed

Nearly a year after Jackson County passed zoning standards for Cullowhee, the ordinance is set to get ground-tested with the creation of the Cullowhee Planning Advisory Committee. 
Leaking roofs, failing heating systems and broken pipes in Jackson County Schools will get some much-needed attention after commissioners voted unanimously to take the first steps toward borrowing as much as $10 million to fix them.
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 14:10

HCC to take over business incubator space

It will be a bittersweet transition for Smoky Mountain Development Corporation executive director Allan Steinberg. On one hand, he has to watch the nonprofit he’s led for nine years dissolve, but on the other hand, he’s excited about the possibilities…
Rules governing where commercial outdoor shooting ranges can go in Haywood County would provide security and peace of mind for rural residents who fear the intrusion of a gun range in their midst, but shooting advocates fear the proposed regulations…
Old Town Bank shareholders overwhelmingly approved the sale of the start-up bank headquartered in Waynesville last week, ending its nine-year run as a small independent local bank in light of the changing landscape facing financial institutions in the post-recession world.
After being ousted from their jobs when the September elections brought a new Tribal Council and executive administration, the three people who had composed the Tribal Gaming Commission came before council last week hoping to convince councilmembers to give them…