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GATLINBURG — Coaches and team jerseys were absent from Rocky Top Sports World Friday morning, but the sports-complex-turned-Red-Cross-shelter surged with activity as Dec. 2 began.
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 15:12

Rain quells wildfires across the region

It took mere hours for the Chimney Tops 2 Fire to escape the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and sweep down to engulf parts of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge Monday, Nov. 28. But as wind fueled the roaring fire, rain…
Dec. 7, 1941. It’s a date that conjures numerous images and thoughts. The USS Arizona engulfed in smoke and flames. Fighter pilots zooming across the sky with the “rising sun” emblazoned on the sides of their aircraft. Machine guns blasting upwards,…
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 15:07

Locals react to Japanese attack

On Thursday, Dec. 4, 1941, newspapers in Western North Carolina revealed cities in full holiday swing — ads for Philco tube radios, canned Christmas hams and silk stockings filled their pages, along with announcements for holiday parties and special sales.
Turning onto Qualla Road in Waynesville, the meandering route goes from pavement to gravel to dirt within a half-mile. By the time you realize it has been a little while since you’ve seen a mailbox, a small cabin appears in…
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 15:02

Swain band performs at Pearl Harbor Anniversary

The Swain County High School marching band was noticeably absent from the annual Bryson City Christmas Parade last weekend, but they had a good reason.
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 15:00

Haywood Commission selects new chairman

In addition to welcoming newly-elected Commissioner Brandon Rogers and welcoming back newly re-elected Commissioner Kevin Ensley at its Dec. 5 meeting, the Haywood County Board of Commissioners selected Commissioner Kirk Kirkpatrick to serve as chairman.
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 14:59

Maggie Chamber restructures membership options

Maggie Valley Area Chamber of Commerce is responding to criticism in the community by restructuring its membership options for businesses.
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 14:57

Macon man admits to igniting small wildfires

A Franklin man is facing federal arson charges after admitting to setting fire to two separate areas in Macon County about a month ago.
Making their way around a room studded with tables, informational posters and documents for review, Jackson County residents took advantage of their first opportunity — Tuesday, Nov. 29 — to see where county leaders envisioned steering the county over the next…
Friday, 02 December 2016 13:23

Waynesville water safe despite discoloration

Although the water situation in the area seems to be improving thanks to the recent rains, the town of Waynesville Water Treatment staff discovered another unintended side effect of the low water levels.
Thursday, 01 December 2016 22:00

Untreated sewage discharged into Richland Creek

The Junaluska Sanitary District experienced a discharge of untreated sewage from a blockage in a line located Southeast of Loop Road in Clyde this afternoon.
Thursday, 01 December 2016 15:56

Jackson NAACP researching provisional ballots

With a high number of ballots being rejected from the Nov. 8 election, Jackson County’s NAACP branch is asking for testimony from voters who cast a provisionary ballot.
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 17:19

In a season of feasting, finding food for the soul

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I’ve always embraced change, perhaps to my detriment. I suspect it has something to do with a youth where we…
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 17:11

Still can’t get my bearings in this alternative universe

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It has been a few weeks now since the election, and I feel like someone who just came out of…
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 17:11

Social media is new ‘opiate of the masses’

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To the Editor: I would like to thank you for your excellent opinion piece in the Nov. 22 issue of…
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 17:10

The media have always lied, so what’s new?

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To the Editor: While I agree with many of the concerns you have with fake news (, it didn’t start…
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 16:59

Drought disaster declared in Haywood

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Haywood County has been declared a primary disaster area due to drought, making family farms eligible for federal assistance such…
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 16:57

Waynesville Judo Club wins big

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Each of the Waynesville Judo Club’s six members came home with a medal from their Oct. 29 competition at University…
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 16:52

To the bluffs: Two-year Alum Cave Trail project culminates

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It’s a miraculously warm, blue-skied November day, the iconic Alum Cave Trail stretching smoothly from the trailhead.  The trail invites,…
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 16:51

Hemp could be grown in N.C. by 2017

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North Carolina is working to establish rules for a pilot program allowing industrial hemp production, with the newly formed N.C.…
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 16:51

Dicks Creek Fire could become outdoor classroom for WCU

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When the wildfires burning across Western North Carolina are extinguished, Western Carolina University faculty will likely be eying their footprints…
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 16:49

Donation will restore HCC dahlia garden

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After disease wiped out Haywood Community College’s famed dahlia garden this year, the Carolinas Dahlia Society stepped up with a…
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 16:48

Elk volunteers snag support

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The elk viewing experience in the Cataloochee Valley area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will get a boost…
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 16:38

When frost comes, we know winter has arrived

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The first frost serves as a given year’s most distinctive dividing line. It’s hard to pinpoint just when winter becomes…
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 16:34

Local bookstores should be celebrated, supported

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In My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers Inc., 2012,…
The Fourth of July, 1976, was just around the corner when George and Elizabeth Ellison embarked on a hike that would change their lives forever. The two were walking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park when their wandering brought…
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 16:21

Ellison releases new title

When George Ellison first started writing nature columns for the Asheville Citizen-Times back in 1986, it was with the assumption that, while he enjoyed such things, reader interest was likely limited and the column would be a short-lived venture. So,…
Just as wildfires were beginning to subside in North Carolina, gusty winds whipped a flare-up in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park into a frenzy that climbed down the mountain to enter the town of Gatlinburg and spur forced evacuations…
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 16:14

Support heard for TDA tax increase

Supporters of a proposed hike in Haywood County’s room occupancy tax were silenced in the state legislature in 2013, but much noise was again made over the issue during the recent election. Now, with new players in place and old…
A Connect N.C. bond application approved by the Town of Waynesville could bring more than $90,000 to the town for the construction of a first-of-its-kind playground designed specifically for children with a wide range of physical and cognitive disabilities.
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 16:11

Macon to pay off Parker Meadows loan

With an unexpected increase in sales tax revenue, Macon County commissioners voted in favor of paying off a $5 million loan early for the Parker Meadows Sports Complex project.
Southwestern Community College is asking Macon County commissioners to pitch in 40 percent of the cost to construct a new training facility for first responders — much more than the 25 percent match the county was anticipating.
Cold temperatures have arrived, but efforts to ensure the future of Jackson Neighbors in Need are heating up. 
Joe Sam Queen counts his campaign wins and losses like innings in a baseball game.
Utility companies are not often known for being in harmony with nature; indeed, Duke Energy’s recent coal ash fiascos come readily to mind when environmental and industrial concerns begin to comingle.
It’s about staying true to yourself. When you converse with country/bluegrass legend Marty Stuart, you’re speaking to the source. From…
Tuesday, 29 November 2016 21:48

Lines in the Sand: Balsam Range looks ahead

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The eternal struggle of bluegrass is being able to balance evolution with tradition. How does one adhere to the pickin’…
“Blue-collar heaven.” When asked just what the Brar Patch is, Trey Smith was quick with that response. Huddled under a…
Monday, 28 November 2016 21:03

Fire, drought and… floods?

Smoky, intense wildfires and a historic drought have been visited upon the region over the past few months, but as much-needed rain moves into the area, could we see yet another biblical plague visited upon us this week?
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 19:15

Creep on

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It’s been about a month since my family and I enjoyed our assault on Whitetop. OK, so in reality, it’s…
Armed with five-gallon buckets and a groundswell of energy, 14 teens from Balsam-based SOAR Camp descended on Eugene Christopher’s Waynesville…
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 19:09

Forest fire updates

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Arboretum collecting firefighting donations  Due to heightened fire danger throughout the region, the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville will not have…
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 19:08

Drought disaster declared in Swain and Jackson

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Swain and Jackson counties have been designated as primary natural disaster areas due to losses from the ongoing drought.
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 19:07

Drought increases disease risk in cattle

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Drought conditions are taking their toll on livestock operations in the area, according to Jackson County Cooperative Extension, causing a…
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 19:03

Parkway conservation projects celebrated in new website

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A new website highlighting land protection projects along the North Carolina section of the Blue Ridge Parkway is up and…
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 19:01

Sustainable forestry an award-winner for EBCI

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The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians was honored for its use of positive-impact forestry on the Qualla Boundary when the…
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 16:28

Glad to live in a republic and not a democracy

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To the Editor: Thank you for publishing The Smoky Mountain News. We enjoy reading it every week. I would like…
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 16:26

A community that is truly stronger together

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Don’t worry. This column isn’t about the election. There’s plenty of that going on elsewhere. With that being said, I…
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 16:22

Historians discover lifeless remains of the truth

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So this, perhaps, is how we in the traditional — and dare I say legitimate — media will meet our…