Alex Jump (left) and Emmie Cornell are Mainspring Conservation Trust’s newest employees.
 

Mainspring adds staff

Mainspring Conservation Trust has hired two new positions, expanding the regional nonprofit’s staff to 12 people. 
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A pair of cyclists cruise WNC trails riding bikes outfitted with parts made by Asheville-based company Industry Nine.
 

Regional outdoors brand celebrates debut

Learn more about Made X Mtns, a new regional brand for Western North Carolina, at 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 15,…
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N.C. poised to set litter collection record
 

N.C. poised to set litter collection record

The N.C. Department of Transportation’s crews, contractors and volunteers have collected more than 6 million pounds of litter from roadsides,…
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Forestry student awarded for academic excellence
 

Forestry student awarded for academic excellence

Brandon Light, a student in Haywood Community College’s Forest Management Technology Program, has been named the college’s Academic Excellence Award…
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Partial solar eclipse coming
 

Partial solar eclipse coming

A partial solar eclipse will be visible across the northern hemisphere on Thursday, June 10, hitting Western North Carolina around…
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Dominique (from left) and Brian Barwatt present a donation from the Assault on Blackrock trail race to SCC President Dr. Don Tomas and SCC Foundation Director Brett Woods. Donated photo
 

Trail race proceeds help SCC students

The 2021 Assault on Blackrock trail race raised $4,100 for the Southwestern Community College Student Emergency Fund. 
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This must be the place: Ode to 22 years, ode 
to being together again
 

This must be the place: Ode to 22 years, ode 
to being together again

It was exactly a week ago when it was decided as a newsroom to cleanup up our offices for The…
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A man naps outside a building in Waynesville's Frog Level district in late 2019.
 

Waynesville funds emergency overnight stays for unsheltered individuals

Just days after a local nonprofit asked the Town of Waynesville to help fund emergency overnight stays for the unsheltered,…
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Cherokee voters choose Primary Election candidates
 

Cherokee voters choose Primary Election candidates

Tribal Council incumbents fared well in Thursday’s Primary Election, with all six representatives who faced primary contests sailing easily toward…
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Cris Weatherford. Donated photo
 

Jackson County names new DSS director

After five years heading the agency, Jennifer Abshire will retire as director of the Jackson County Department of Social Services…
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National grant will fund outdoor field trips in the Smokies
 

National grant will fund outdoor field trips in the Smokies

A National Park Foundation grant will fund outdoor field trips for kids in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 
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The trail begins at the Road to Nowhere near Bryson City. Holly Kays photo
 

Opening the back(country) door: Beginner backpacking trip highlights OMC’s new mission

The morning fog is barely lifting at 8 a.m. when a group of five women meet outside Kathy Odvody’s home…
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Volunteers pose with the litter-catching Trash Trout. Asheville GreenWorks photo
 

Pigeon River Fund fuels WNC water quality work

The most recent round of Pigeon River Fund Grant Awards distributed through the Community Foundation for Western North Carolina will…
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Smokies superintendent wins leadership award
 

Smokies superintendent wins leadership award

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent Cassius Cash was named the winner of the 2021 Agency Leadership Award from the…
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Martin Sexton.
 

In the journey: A conversation with Martin Sexton

Leaving his hometown of Syracuse, New York, in 1988, singer-songwriter Martin Sexton hit the road — in search of not…
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Grandpa’s cooler on Lake Logan. (photo: Garret K. Woodward)
 

This must be the place: I feel summer creepin’ in and I’m tired of this town again

He walked into the bar, grabbed a seat next to me, and proceeded to order four shots of Jameson Irish…
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The poetry of living off the grid
 

The poetry of living off the grid

If the word “value” is to mean anything, it should at least apply to two or more things. First it…
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Eviction moratorium expiration looms
 

Eviction moratorium expiration looms

The Coronavirus Pandemic appears to be winding down and with it, protections designed to ameliorate the ensuing economic devastation that…
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Michele Rogers (left) and Austin Lee.
 

Eviction moratorium strains local landlords

When the Coronavirus Pandemic broke out in the United States in March 2020, Congress passed that CARES Act. Part of…
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Housing cases double for Legal Aid
 

Housing cases double for Legal Aid

The amount of time Legal Aid lawyers spend on helping clients with housing issues doubled during the pandemic.
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Mountain Projects receives affordable housing grant
 

Mountain Projects receives affordable housing grant

Dogwood Health Trust recently invested in affordable housing initiatives in Haywood and Jackson counties by awarding a $872,671 grant to…
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Home sales double over 2020
 

Home sales double over 2020

With vaccinations underway and COVID-19 restrictions easing, April home sales rose 48.8 percent year-over-year with 1,138 homes sold across the…
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Property tax rates will go down, but property tax bills will go up
 

Property tax rates will go down, but property tax bills will go up

Yes, your property tax rate is going down, but no, your property tax bill probably bill isn’t. Wait, what? 
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Sizing the force: Sylva debates police staffing needs
 

Sizing the force: Sylva debates police staffing needs

Sarah Dearmon was the only person who spoke during the May 27 public hearing for a proposed Sylva town budget…
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Tiffany Henry. Donated photo
 

Jackson names new economic development director

Tiffany Henry will be Jackson County’s next director of economic development following a unanimous vote from county commissioners May 18.…
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The Book opened as a sports betting venue this March, with locations in both Murphy and Cherokee. Harrah’s Cherokee photo
 

June per capita payments exceed pre-pandemic levels

Despite a raging pandemic, Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos’ revenues for October 2020 through March 2021 delivered a larger per capita payment…
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Group asks for funds to fight homelessness
 

Group asks for funds to fight homelessness

A local nonprofit group has its eyes set on funding that will be distributed to the Town of Waynesville as…
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Swain sets public hearing for proposed budget
 

Swain sets public hearing for proposed budget

Swain County will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. June 10 to give residents an opportunity to comment on…
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Staffing a hurdle for Haywood summer school
 

Staffing a hurdle for Haywood summer school

Students in Haywood County will not be provided normal bus transportation for the robust summer school program intended to address…
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Cullowhee Valley School chooses new mascot
 

Cullowhee Valley School chooses new mascot

Henceforth, Cullowhee Valley School in Jackson County will be represented as the Cullowhee Valley Wolves. 
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Canton preschool closed due to COVID-19
 

Canton preschool closed due to COVID-19

The Haywood County Health and Human Services Agency has identified a symptomatic COVID-19 case at Silverbluff Early Education & Preschool…
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Open up the records of public employees
 

Open up the records of public employees

Last July, The Smoky Mountain News produced a series of stories looking into police reform following the killing of George…
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How about the Second Amendment?
 

How about the Second Amendment?

To the Editor: In a recent letter to The Smoky Mountain News a retired military man stated, “Among all the…
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The real steal may come in 2024
 

The real steal may come in 2024

To the Editor: Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) was removed from her leadership position in the Republican Party for only one…
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The Bluffs reopens on the Parkway
 

The Bluffs reopens on the Parkway

The Bluffs Restaurant at Doughton Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway will reopen under new management on Thursday, May 27. 
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This still-healthy American chestnut tree growing wild in Western North Carolina bursts with nut-filled burs. TACF photo
 

Restoring a giant: EBCI partners to resurrect the chestnut tree

Rex Mann’s father was the kind of storyteller whose voice would make everyone in the room stop what they were…
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Alan Sumeriski. NPS photo
 

Smokies names new deputy superintendent

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s long-time Facility Management Division chief has been named as the park’s new deputy superintendent. 
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NOC celebrates its 50th season
 

NOC celebrates its 50th season

Nantahala Outdoor Center is open for its 50th season, with new venues, courses and events in 2021. 
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Western Regional Director Callie Moore collects a water sample. MountainTrue photo
 

Guide rates swim spot safety

MountainTrue has launched a new service that offers up-to-date water quality results for more than 65 popular recreation areas in…
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Reflections on spirituality, creativity and art
 

Reflections on spirituality, creativity and art

Sometimes a book can overwhelm us with its energy and its wisdom. Like most readers, I love when a writer,…
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Edwin McCain.
 

And I could not ask for more: A conversation with Edwin McCain

When the entire music industry shutdown last year, acclaimed singer-songwriter Edwin McCain wasn’t necessarily concerned with not being able to…
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The Power & Sound Revival. (photo: Garret K. Woodward)
 

This must be the place: Racin’ with the wind, and the feelin’ that I’m under

My eyes shot open when the air-conditioning unit kicked on. It took me a couple of moments to realize where…
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Nick Breedlove photo
 

Open call for vendors

Artisans, crafters and food vendors are invited to submit their application for the Greening Up the Mountains festival, which will…
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Swain Middle gets ‘GO’ Grant
 

Swain Middle gets ‘GO’ Grant

The North Carolina Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council announced that Swain County Middle School was awarded a NC Schools Go Outside…
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HCC offers free tuition for Haywood grads
 

HCC offers free tuition for Haywood grads

Haywood Community College Foundation’s Tuition Free Guarantee Scholarship is sometimes the deciding factor for Haywood County seniors when deciding where…
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The 2020 Apple Harvest Festival in downtown Waynesville was one of the few regional events to take place last year. Haywood Chamber of Commerce photo
 

Coming together again: what's next for community events?

Though Oct. 17 was just seven months ago chronologically, it feels like seven years emotionally with all of the social,…
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Folkmoot returns: After a year off, a revamped festival
 

Folkmoot returns: After a year off, a revamped festival

Folkmoot USA will return with its annual festival for summer 2021. 
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Inaugural Juneteenth celebration planned
 

Inaugural Juneteenth celebration planned

On June 19, the Smoky Mountain District of the United Methodist Church will host a Juneteenth Freedom Celebration at Lake…
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Ghost Town’s iconic gunfighters reunited for one last performance before renovations on the park begin. Jeffrey Delannoy photo
 

Ghost Town: a new start for an old favorite

A weekend-long reunion event brought dozens of former Ghost Town in the Sky performers together to share some old memories,…
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