Motorcyclist dies after Smokies crash
 

Motorcyclist dies after Smokies crash

A Guatemalan man died following a motorcycle crash in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on Sunday, April 18. 
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Hike with Haywood
 

Hike with Haywood

A series of hikes exploring Haywood County’s many trails is in full swing, with the next one offered Monday, May…
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Hayford Road. (photo: Garret K. Woodward)
 

This must be the place: Don’t look too far, right where you are, that’s where I am

Coming to a stop at the end of the off-ramp of Exit 40 along Interstate 87 last Saturday evening, I…
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I’ll take growth over stagnation any day
 

I’ll take growth over stagnation any day

While not a surprise to anyone in Western North Carolina walking around with their eyes open, new Census data released…
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Be intentional in protecting earth
 

Be intentional in protecting earth

To the Editor: Many of us in Jackson County volunteered to pick up litter recently as part of Jackson County’s…
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Lemon’s book is well worth a read
 

Lemon’s book is well worth a read

To the Editor: Whether or not you are a fan of TV anchor and journalist Don Lemon, his latest book…
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Gun rights are absolute
 

Gun rights are absolute

To the Editor: A quote that will live in infamy! On April 8, 2021, Comrade Joe Biden laid bare the…
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A report issued by the DRIVE task force says N.C.’s educators don’t sufficiently reflect classroom diversity. File photo
 

WNC behind state average in educator diversity

North Carolina has about 1.5 million public school students, and according to a report from the Department of Public Instruction,…
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In an undated photograph developed from film brought to George Dexter Sherrill’s Waynesville studio for developing in the early 1900s, an African American man leans on a school bus. Hunter Library, Western Carolina University photo
 

Integration and the disappearance of Black teachers

For Lin Forney, the end of fourth grade was the end of an era.  The year was 1963, and the…
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Committed to movement: WCU professors push for diversity in education
 

Committed to movement: WCU professors push for diversity in education

Professors at Western Carolina University are tired of just talking about the importance of diversity within the teaching industry and…
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North Carolina ‘driving’ toward more diverse corps of educators
 

North Carolina ‘driving’ toward more diverse corps of educators

North Carolina’s population is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse every day, but according to a report issued by Gov.…
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ALE conducts statewide enforcement operation
 

ALE conducts statewide enforcement operation

In recognition of Alcohol Awareness Month, ALE special agents concluded a statewide enforcement operation on Friday resulting in over 200…
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Fire trucks parked in the Cullowhee Volunteer Fire Department’s new station await the call. Donated photo
 

Jackson commissioners weigh fire funding

Jackson County leaders are considering adding a penny to the county’s tax rate to fund the Cullowhee Volunteer Fire Department’s…
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Developers are teeing up major improvements at the 95-year-old Waynesville Inn. Google Earth photo
 

Waynesville Inn sold, will see extensive rehab

An iconic Waynesville landmark sold for nearly $9 million last week, but the new owner’s plans to renovate the 165-acre…
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Growing pains at Haywood Community College
 

Growing pains at Haywood Community College

In preparing for Haywood Community College’s first post-pandemic budget, President Dr. Shelley White presented a stable operating budget but asked…
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Dr. Diana Messer
 

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Dr. Diana Messer, a forensic anthropology professor at Western Carolina University, is working on groundbreaking research that could drastically improve…
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Firefly lottery opens Friday
 

Firefly lottery opens Friday

The annual synchronous firefly viewing event will return to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park this year, but with a…
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Vaccine appointments readily available in WNC
 

Vaccine appointments readily available in WNC

Vaccination rates slowed substantially across the four-county area over the past week, and the pace will likely continue to slacken…
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Canton budget goes all-in on recreation, infrastructure
 

Canton budget goes all-in on recreation, infrastructure

The Town of Canton’s property tax rate hasn’t changed in almost two decades. This year, it looks to be headed…
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Sen. Kevin Corbin
 

Bill addresses judicial efficiency in western counties

A House bill proposed by Western North Carolina reps. Mike Clampitt, R-Bryson City, and Mark Pless, R-Haywood, includes significant changes…
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WCU will offer full college experience this fall
 

WCU will offer full college experience this fall

Western Carolina University is gearing up for a traditional college experience this fall with plans to resume all typical academic,…
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Woman dismissed for overturning gravestones
 

Woman dismissed for overturning gravestones

Following the results of a mental evaluation, a judge on Monday ordered the release of an Oregon woman accused in…
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Murphy man pleads guilty to drug trafficking
 

Murphy man pleads guilty to drug trafficking

A Murphy man who triggered an investigation into his own drug-dealing activities admitted in Graham County Superior Court to trafficking…
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COVID-19 cluster found at Haywood jail
 

COVID-19 cluster found at Haywood jail

Haywood County Health and Human Services Agency has identified a COVID-19 cluster at the Haywood County Detention Center. Over the…
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My own 1971 history project
 

My own 1971 history project

My boyfriend and I recently bought a vintage house. It was built in 1971. When the realtor gave us a…
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The benefits of Community Response Teams
 

The benefits of Community Response Teams

By Hannah Minick • Guest Columnist | To say that we are currently living in unprecedented times is an understatement,…
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Doing your part on Earth Day 2021
 

Doing your part on Earth Day 2021

To the Editor: Since last Earth Day the Atlantic hurricane season saw a record number of storms and the rapid…
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Why I volunteer
 

Why I volunteer

To the Editor: Why do we do it? Why do stand out in the rain, wind, snow, and hot sun…
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Past time to hike minimum wage
 

Past time to hike minimum wage

To the Editor: While lawmakers at the federal level stall on a $15 per hour minimum wage, let’s remember that…
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Unhappy reading vs. happy reading
 

Unhappy reading vs. happy reading

Books, books, books, and more books. After a long hiatus, in the last month books have again become my daily…
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U.S. 23 crosses the Pigeon River just upstream from the discharge site at Evergreen Packaging in Canton. Evergreen Packaging photo
 

Weighing the Pigeon’s future: Public hearing spurs robust turnout for and against paper mill permit

State of residence was the most visible dividing line in an April 14 hearing on the proposed terms for a…
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Evy Leibfarth took first place in the canoe and kayak slalom events during last week’s Olympic Team Trials in Charlotte. Jean Folger photo
 

Bryson City teen joins Olympic team with history-making performance

Western North Carolina teenager Evy Leibfarth will represent the United States in the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo this year…
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As long as water runs downhill: The story of Popcorn Sutton
 

As long as water runs downhill: The story of Popcorn Sutton

People have been making moonshine almost since the day water started running downhill, and it seems like people have been…
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Waynesville residents shocked by big electric bills
 

Waynesville residents shocked by big electric bills

Complaints from Town of Waynesville power customers about higher-than-expected electric bills prompted town officials to look into the matter, which…
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Future of Downtown Waynesville Association to be debated
 

Future of Downtown Waynesville Association to be debated

It’s been almost five years since the Downtown Waynesville Association landed a multi-year contract to manage the town’s municipal service…
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Virus trends down as vaccination continues
 

Virus trends down as vaccination continues

Despite a continued pause on distribution of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and flagging demand for appointments, the past…
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Summer Woodward
 

Franklin manager to leave her post

Franklin Town Manager Summer Woodard recently submitted her resignation letter after accepting a position as the town manager of Reidsville. 
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Maggie property owners oppose waterfall project
 

Maggie property owners oppose waterfall project

Maggie Valley Country Club Estates Property Owners Association has communicated intense opposition to the proposed Waterfall Park on 8 acres…
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Balsam Range is Darren Nicholson, (from left) Tim Surrett, Marc Pruett, Caleb Smith and Buddy Melton. (photo: David Simchock)
 

Rivers, rains and runaway trains: Tim Surrett of Balsam Range

In its 14 years together, Haywood County’s own Balsam Range has risen into the upper echelon as one of the…
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Brian Power, aka: ‘Mr. P.’ (photo: Garret K. Woodward)
 

This must be the place: Ode to Mr. P, ode to never sacrificing the gift

It is with an extremely heavy heart that I share the news of the passing last Friday morning of Brian…
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Leigh Forrester.
 

Haywood Arts director retires

Leigh Forrester, who served as executive director of the Haywood County Arts Council (HCAC) for four years has announced her…
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This rendering shows the temporary casino facility the Catawba Indian Nation expects to open in Kings Mountain this summer.
 

Court rules in favor of Catawba casino

In a 55-page opinion filed Friday, April 16, U.S. District Court Judge James A. Boasberg gave a green light in…
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State Superintendent Catherine Truitt tours Smokey Mountain Elementary School during her visit to Jackson County on April 16.
 

State Superintendent visits WNC schools

North Carolina State Superintendent of Public Schools, Catherine Truitt, ended a tour of Western North Carolina Schools today, April 16,…
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Tracy Swartout. NPS photo
 

Parkway gets new superintendent

Tracy Swartout will take over as superintendent for the Blue Ridge Parkway on May 23 following the departure of former…
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Candidates announced for tribal elections
 

Candidates announced for tribal elections

With less than two months to go before the Primary Election Thursday, June 4, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians…
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Commissioners discuss changes to Sylva statue
 

Commissioners discuss changes to Sylva statue

Eight months after voting to revamp the pedestal of the county’s controversial Civil War monument, Jackson County commissioners got their…
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Pisgah Legal Offers Free Tax Services
 

Pisgah Legal Offers Free Tax Services

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced that the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the…
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Steele pleads guilty to drug charges
 

Steele pleads guilty to drug charges

District Attorney Ashley Hornsby Welch said a Franklin man will spend 70 to 96 months in prison for his role…
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Participants pose for a quick photo by the Franklin-based Special Liberty Project’s outdoor fireplace with co-founder Jessica Merritt (sitting) during SLP’s first monthly Vitality Retreat for Gold Star Widows.
 

Organization Builds on its Veteran Programs

FRANKLIN – For the first time in its five-year history, the national veteran and Gold Star organization Special Liberty Project, which…
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