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Wednesday, 11 May 2016 15:40


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I spend six weeks every spring doing bird surveys for the Forest Service across Western North Carolina. My travels take…
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 15:28

Novel mixes Cherokee folklore with real history

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This astonishing “novel” was crafted by three multi-talented western Cherokees who live and create in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. It resembles a…
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 15:12

Roller derby to benefit Relay for Life

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The Smoky Mountain Roller Girls will be hosting their second double header of the season on Saturday, May 14, at…
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 15:08

JAM concert to honor Stuart

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Old-time music fans and friends of the Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) program are invited come together for a concert honoring…
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 15:05

This must be the place

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It is the eternal quest.
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 15:01

Brighten the corner where you are

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It is the word of Southern Appalachia. For over a half a century, writer Fred Chappell has captured the essence…
Kyle Ledford spent years working with at-risk youth and high school dropouts in the Haywood school system. Saving kids was his calling, but it always felt like he was not playing with a full deck. SEE ALSO:• Dropout program in jeopardy• Caught…
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 14:37

Dropout program in jeopardy

Despite wild success rescuing high school dropouts and turning their lives around, the Haywood Community Learning Center is on the brink of closing if a funding quandary isn’t solved soon.
The trials of adulthood came early for Nicole Ferguson.
If there’s one thing Kyle Ledford is good at, it’s pushing boulders uphill.
Sylva residents will likely see their tax rate skyrocket 42 percent this year, but town commissioners say that even the steep increase won’t let them do much beyond simply balance the budget.
With a drop in county value and increase in emergency response costs, Jackson County is looking at a draft budget built on a property tax rate of 37 cents per $100 of value — a 32 percent increase over the…
Franklin’s proposed budget prioritizes a number of long-range infrastructure projects without increasing the tax rate.
Waynesville leaders will face a big decision this budget year: whether to increase property taxes by 10 percent to pay for additional firefighters.
Waynesville town leaders heard something they didn’t necessarily want to hear last week.
Cherokee took another step along the road toward legalizing medicinal marijuana with a vote last week to start drafting legislation that would let the drug be produced and prescribed on the Qualla Boundary.
After years of sitting empty, the old Drexel Furniture factory in Whittier will now enter a new phase of useful life as home to the recently formed Thomas Valley Growers, LLC.
An undercover investigation into illegal gambling resulted in the seizure of more than 300 gaming machines from convenience stores across the state last week.
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 14:07

TVA gives houseboats a 30-year sunset

Opposition from local, state and federal politicians, a petition with 3,500 signatures and more than three hours’ worth of poignant testimony from the public wasn’t enough to sway the Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors from imposing a 30-year sunset…
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 14:06

Surgery successful for WCU chancellor

David Belcher may not have appeared at Western Carolina University’s commencement ceremonies last week, but the university’s chancellor was there in spirit after undergoing brain surgery May 4.
Shining Rock Classical Academy is considering legal action against a modular building company for not being able to honor its lease agreement with the charter school.
Budget cuts are forcing Haywood County Schools to lay off 10 teachers and staff at the end of this school year.
Haywood County school leaders went on record this week patently disputing the allegations in a lawsuit filed last week questioning the motives for closing Central Elementary School.
A bomb threat was called into 911 during the 11 a.m. hour this morning, with a male voice claiming bombs had been planted at the Jackson County, Swain County and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians justice centers, Jackson County Manager…
Haywood County commissioners passed a resolution this week adding their two-cents to the debate over whether floating houseboats on Fontana Lake should stay or go.
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 02:38

Top 100 in Smokies history named

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Throughout its journey from concept to reality to regional treasure, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has drawn the support…
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 02:34

Tour the best of Haywood’s gardens this summer

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The best blooms and greenery in Haywood County will be on display with this year’s Haywood County Garden Tour Saturday,…
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 02:33

New maps ‘unlock’ Tsali’s epic trail system

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Newbies to Tsali Recreation Area in Graham County will have an easier time navigating the 37-mile trail network thanks to…
Joel Harrington has always been a fan of turtles. Of all animals, really — he is a veterinarian — but Harrington has…
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 02:24

32 years and counting for birding expedition

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This past weekend marked the occasion of the 32nd annual Great Smokies Birding Expedition. Fred Alsop, the ornithologist at East…
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 02:21

Crazy little thing called love

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Love. What a loaded word. Let’s skip the love of country, the love of family, the love of nature, the love…
It’s not the 1960s in terms of political activism, but recent episodes at Western Carolina University and across the country…
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 02:13

No negative connotation in resignation

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To the Editor: As a founding member of the Franklin Appalachian Trail Community Council, I offer for readers the following…
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 02:13

Wallet issues and the legislature

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To the Editor: They’re baaaaaaaaack. Yes, your N.C. Legislature is back in session and talking tax cuts. Hold on to…
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 02:10

A music nut makes the Merlefest pilgrimage

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Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I am a complete nut about music. There are people for…
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 02:07

Vaccines important for pets

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By Kristen Hammett • Guest Columnist As a pet owner, there are many things we do to keep our fur babies…
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 01:53

YMCA camp gets ready to open in Swain

A little more than a year ago it was nothing more than an open grassy field surrounded by forest, but by next month it will be an impressive, state-of-the-art YMCA summer camp.
An alliance of business owners opposing Maggie Valley’s proposed town center master plan is growing stronger and becoming more organized as it tries to derail the project. 
Ambulance service in Jackson County could more than double in cost to taxpayers if commissioners decide to fund the full $1.4 million budget requested by Harris Regional Hospital.
The interview process will soon begin in the search to replace Chuck Wooten, who will retire from his position as Jackson County manager on July 1. County commissioners are feeling good about the pool of applicants vying for the post. 
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 01:44

Animal shelter estimate tops $5 million

When a report estimating cost and space needs for a new animal shelter came back with a staggering price tag — the report estimated a cost of $5.4 to $6.6 million — Jackson County commissioners had to catch a breath…
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 01:41

Large tax rate increase likely for Sylva

Sylva’s leaders have known for a year that taxes would have to go up in 2016, but it’s unlikely any of them expected to be discussing a budget featuring a 41.7 percent tax rate increase.
The Haywood Healthcare Foundation managed to generate enough funding to have a major impact on the health needs of Haywood County during 2015 and their goal is to surpass last year’s donations.
The tourism industry doesn’t always agree on much. They argue over the best logos and ad campaigns, whether to fund this festival or that one, and who has the best continental breakfast.
Busy season is coming at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, and management there is working to get all hired up for summer. 
Melanee Lester has been sorting through a 4-inch-high stack of applications on her desk for the last couple of weeks, trying to get Mast General Store fully staffed for the long tourism season ahead.
It happens like clockwork every year. As the calendar creeps toward May, the roads get crowded, lines at the grocery store get longer, and the wait for a table on Friday night mounts. Right on cue, tourist season arrives, seemingly…
It’s a conundrum the best minds in tourism have been trying to crack for decades.
A lawsuit was filed this week against the Haywood County School Board alleges ulterior motives were at play for closing Central Elementary School and that school officials engaged in a concerted, secretive effort to keep the impending closure of the…
Tennessee Valley Authority officials have confirmed that its board of directors will make a decision on May 5 regarding the future of houseboats on all of its 49 lakes and reservoirs.