Volunteers from the Elkmont Roving Corps — a group of dedicated volunteers who help protect and interpret the Elkmont Historic District of Great Smoky Mountains National Park — adopted one of the Daisy Town cabins and chose a theme for the inaugural Daisy Town Day on November 4, 2022. These ladies dressed in 1920s attire and hosted a tea party. Paul Driessche, Great Smoky Mountains Association photo
 

Word from the Smokies: Inaugural event shows that Elkmont is not a ghost town

If you’ve been to the Elkmont Historic District of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you’ve probably come across a gathering…
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Originally a barn, the Overmountain Shelter has been in use since 1986 but was decommissioned in 2019 due to structural instability. USFS photo
 

Proposal for Overmountain Shelter replacement

A proposal for the future of the Overmountain Shelter on the Appalachian Trail, closed since 2019, will be discussed during a…
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Franklin Appalachian Trail Community Council members held their January meeting at Highlands Aerial Park, a supporter of the organization. Eric Haggart photo
 

Franklin group recognizes new A.T. supporter

Highlands Aerial Park in Scaly Mountain is a new A.T. Supporter with the Franklin Appalachian Trail Community Council. 
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Taking a stand when it’s good and bad all at once
 

Taking a stand when it’s good and bad all at once

(Editor’s note: All the characters in this column are fictitious) Guy walks into his local taproom and is gratified to see…
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Frody stares down the reaper, again!
 

Frody stares down the reaper, again!

“What’s wrong with your dog?” If I were an 8-year-old boy on a beach vacation with my family and saw…
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Local writer hosts workshop for new writers at Cashiers Library
 

Local writer hosts workshop for new writers at Cashiers Library

Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library is proud to present a new workshop series for aspiring writers. Beginning Feb. 2, the Winter…
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As Sylva attempts to move forward with grant application, some question value of public art
 

As Sylva attempts to move forward with grant application, some question value of public art

The choice by Jackson County Commissioners not to move forward with a municipal grant application from the Town of Sylva…
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Haywood’s capital projects prompt report from financial advisor
 

Haywood’s capital projects prompt report from financial advisor

With long-term debt rolling off the books and a number of high-dollar, high-profile projects on the horizon, Haywood County commissioners…
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The consequences of deadly flooding in Haywood County in 2021 are still being felt. File photo
 

Emergency watershed protection coming to East Fork

Asheville-based McGill Associates will begin work to provide emergency watershed protection in areas affected by Tropical Storm Fred after Haywood…
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WCU can now enroll more out-of-state students
 

WCU can now enroll more out-of-state students

Western Carolina University can now draw up to one-quarter of its first-year undergraduates from out of state, following a Jan.…
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Qualla Enterprise, which is owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, aims to start selling medical marijuana on the Qualla Boundary this year. File photo
 

Tribal Council focuses on cannabis enterprise

As the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians prepares to launch its medical marijuana program, cannabis was the main topic of…
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Linda Sossamon File photo
 

Sylva Mayor Lynda Sossamon resigns

After more than 16 years of service to the Town of Sylva, Mayor Lynda Sossamon has notified town staff of…
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Plans for the Bridge Park project show a paved parking area and bio retention ponds. Equinox photo
 

Town seeks JCTDA funding for Bridge Park project

Without additional funding from the Rural Transformation Grant offered by the North Carolina Department of Commerce, the Town of Sylva…
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Webster Park is slated for a number of upgrades, including the construction of a new pavilion. Jackson County Parks and Recreation photo
 

Webster Park project approved

Webster Park is slated for a host of upgrades and new construction, including a pavilion, after Jackson County Commissioners approved…
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Kay Miller addresses the Haywood County Board of Commissioners on Jan. 17. Haywood County photo
 

More misinformation at Haywood commission meeting

It may be a new year with a new county commission, but anti-vaccination conspiracy theorists are still offering the same…
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David Porter and Brooke Smith said they are thrilled with how Mountain Projects’ resale store has done in its first two months. Kyle Perrotti photo
 

Mountain Projects Waynesville resale store sees early success

In the two months since the Mountain Projects resale store opened in Waynesville, it’s already seen serious success in both…
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The Zito office in Jonathan Creek has remained unstaffed for months. Kyle Perrotti photo
 

Complaints mount against internet provider Zito Media

The front door of the office for Zito Media in Haywood County has a piece of paper taped to the…
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Ramey makes false statements regarding delinquent tax issues
 

Ramey makes false statements regarding delinquent tax issues

Republican Haywood County Commissioner Terry Ramey attempted to quell the uproar over his decade-old delinquent tax bills last week, but…
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Support Pathways at fifth annual Empty Bowls fundraiser
 

Support Pathways at fifth annual Empty Bowls fundraiser

Haywood Pathways Center will hold its fifth annual Empty Bowls fundraiser on Thursday, March 23 at Long’s Chapel United Methodist…
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SCC recently held a pinning ceremony to honor Human Services Technology graduates. They are, from left: Sarah Hisey of Sylva, Ashley Cook of Sylva, Harley Mestas of Franklin and Brent Shipton of Sylva.
 

Pinning ceremony honors Human Services grads

To help address the mental health crisis facing the nation and this region, four Southwestern Community College students recently completed…
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Lambert Wilson
 

911 call from Lambert Wilson’s death released

Swain County Emergency Management today released audio from a 911 call that sheds light on the circumstances leading up to…
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A stunning view stretches out in the Craggy Forest Scenic Area. Steven McBride photo
 

Forest Service completes objection reviews for Pisgah-Nantahala forest plan

The U.S. Forest Service has completed its review of 891 objections to the Pisgah-Nantahala forest management plan it released a…
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New board members wanted for Friends of DuPont Forest
 

New board members wanted for Friends of DuPont Forest

Friends of DuPont Forest is looking for new board members to start a term beginning in April. 
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Katie Peek works through the data in her office at WCU. WCU photo
 

From the mountains to the sea: WCU alum, scientist helps preserve coastal parks through NPS grant

Growing up in Franklin, Katie Peek never dreamed she would one day be living in the mountains and working as…
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The winter leaf of the crane-fly orchid is purple underneath and green or purple on top, with blisters or bumps all over it. Adam Bigelow photo
 

Notes from a Plant Nerd: The winter forest

I love walking in the woods in the wintertime. Sure, there aren’t any wildflowers blooming, but there are no mosquitos…
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Straight up or subtle satire? You decide
 

Straight up or subtle satire? You decide

Writers of fiction find themselves under several obligations. First and perhaps foremost, they must entertain their readers, enticing them to…
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The trap of correlation — how science works
 

The trap of correlation — how science works

Grant Wahl, a well-known sportswriter, collapsed and died while reporting at the World Cup Soccer Tournament in Qatar. He was…
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Relying on friends and signs from the universe
 

Relying on friends and signs from the universe

January is an annoying month for many people. The hoopla and excitement of the holidays has ended. The weather is…
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VA — the best care anywhere!
 

VA — the best care anywhere!

To the Editor: To crib part of a title from Phillip Longman’s book — “Best Care Anywhere: Why VA Health Care…
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Marked absent: From kindergarten through college, men struggle in school
 

Marked absent: From kindergarten through college, men struggle in school

Even as an elementary school kid, Chris Cable hated school. It felt pointless, and so boring that he struggled to…
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Scammers claiming to be with DOT sending emails with payment link
 

Scammers claiming to be with DOT sending emails with payment link

The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles routinely receives complaints from customers who have been targeted by scammers claiming to be…
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Highlands 
Middle School renovations incoming
 

Highlands 
Middle School renovations incoming

Whether it is routine maintenance, renovation, expansion or new construction, Macon County Schools has a long list of needed capital…
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Bill Taylor
 

Taylor pleads guilty, judge commends him on alcohol recovery

Bill Taylor, a former chairman and member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tribal Council, pleaded guilty Monday, Jan.…
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Left to right: Rep. Lindsey Prather, Rep. Caleb Rudrow, and Rep. Eric Ager.
 

Western legislators weigh in on upcoming General Assembly session

North Carolina’s General Assembly convened last Wednesday, beginning a new session with new dynamics that will come into play as…
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Kevin Corbin (left) speaks to Macon County Republicans in 2019 with wife Beth at his side. Cory Vaillancourt photo
 

Corbin, Gillespie tapped for important leadership positions

Western North Carolina voters — and legislators — often complain about the feeling of being ignored by Raleigh, but as…
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This intersection could be eliminated, if and when the South Main Street improvement project ever happens. Google photo
 

Design alteration may come to Waynesville’s South Main Street

An awkward Hazelwood intersection could be scrapped ahead of planned North Carolina Department of Transportation improvements to South Main Street,…
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This tiny home, located in Franklin, sold for $182,500 in 2021 increasing the property value by 73%. Donated photo
 

Property values on the rise in Macon

Macon County is undergoing a tax reappraisal this year, and while the numbers are jarring, they won’t be a surprise…
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The future of a unique parcel owned by the Town of Waynesville remains up in the air, for now. Google Maps photo
 

Affordable housing crisis crops up in Waynesville parcel deal

A Waynesville resident who wants to buy a parcel from the town may or may not get their way after alderman…
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A Cherokee artist, Luzene Hill aims to bring awareness and appreciation to many aspects of the indigenous culture. (Donated photo)
 

Finding a sense of balance: Cherokee artist unveils latest pieces

Balance, rhythm, and equilibrium are all words that mean so much, yet we as a society struggle to grasp the…
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This must be the place: ‘Goin’ places that I’ve never been, seein’ things that I may never see again’
 

This must be the place: ‘Goin’ places that I’ve never been, seein’ things that I may never see again’

There’s an old backpack in my apartment. I’ve had it since college. And since those academic days back in Connecticut…
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Then-candidate Terry Ramey speaks at a Haywood GOP forum in 2022.
 

Haywood commissioners issue joint statement on Ramey

Republican Commissioner Terry Ramey should pay his taxes and stop threatening the media for reporting on the issue, according to…
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Now Hiring: Tuscola begins search for new football coach
 

Now Hiring: Tuscola begins search for new football coach

In recent months Haywood County has been shaken by the suspension and eventual resignation of physical education teacher and head…
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Jackson County hits brakes on Sylva’s municipal grant request
 

Jackson County hits brakes on Sylva’s municipal grant request

Each year, the Jackson County Commission offers the Municipal Grant Program in which municipalities can apply for grants of up…
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Tennessee native lead Smokies Lands Office
 

Tennessee native lead Smokies Lands Office

Joshua Johnson has been hired as the new lands specialist for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
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A trailbuilding crew pulls back a mat of leaves and roots. Pat Barcas photo
 

Private land, public impact: Workshop series helps woodland landowners better steward their forest

Usually, talk around conservation and forest management focuses on big chunks of public land like the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest and…
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A surfer’s quest to find Zen on the sea
 

A surfer’s quest to find Zen on the sea

“If there is magic on the planet, it is contained in water.” — Loren Eiseley It’s not often that one finds…
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When success is about making communities better
 

When success is about making communities better

Sometimes an idea hatches first as a kind of mental knot that doesn’t reveal itself but causes me a bit…
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I’ll go for tornados over plane crashes
 

I’ll go for tornados over plane crashes

I’m trying to get a little work done early one morning, sipping on my first cup of coffee, still in…
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