Cawthorn’s internal poll measures job performance, approval

After almost five months in office, Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-Hendersonville, has his first look into the major political questions that…
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The Joy of Discovery: Foreign students, host families relish cultural exchange

It’s easy to imagine the ways in which a foreign exchange student’s world is broadened by an experience studying abroad,…
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Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

Last summer, the tiny Haywood County tourist town of Maggie Valley was rocked by not one but two  peaceful “Black…
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WNC towns debate future of room occupancy tax

If passed, legislation introduced by Western North Carolina Republican representatives would allow municipalities within Haywood County to levy their own…
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Biden’s American Rescue Plan means millions for NC local governments

While most Americans are looking forward to receiving the $1,400 payments included in President Joe Biden’s $1.88 trillion American Rescue…
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First United Methodist talks about racism

For many, the issues of race, injustice and reconciliation of our violent history seem insurmountable. How do we solve problems…
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Words matter: Rhetoric became rage in D.C. insurrection

Last week, as elected members of the House of Representatives and the Senate gathered in their respective chambers to certify…
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Sylva grapples with slope failure fix

A 150-foot section of Allen Street in Sylva has been closed since April as the town board decides what to…
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Newspaper story fuels tumultuous Waynesville town meeting

A routine housekeeping measure intended to clarify who, exactly, can declare a State of Emergency on behalf of the Town…
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Drive-in music series rolls into Maggie Valley

A few months ago, Russ Keith was cruising down U.S. 19 through the heart of Maggie Valley. Soon, he noticed…
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Governments work toward equal pay

In recognition of the 19th Amendment’s centennial anniversary this month, The Smoky Mountain News is doing a series of stories to…
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Backing the badge

The death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers less than two months ago has added new…
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Take it down? Crowds turn out in Sylva to oppose, support Confederate statue

July 11 dawned hot and sunny over the 131-year-old town of Sylva, sweltering rays pouring heat in equal fashion over…
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Waynesville protest march concludes peacefully

A group of almost 100 demonstrators hoping to draw attention to racial injustice marched through Waynesville on the night of…
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Seamers make masks during pandemic

When Mandy Wildman opened up her own bridal shop on Hazelwood Avenue in February, she had no idea her new…
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Coronavirus causes complications for REACH

The Coronavirus Pandemic has caused normal daily lives to grind to a halt. All non-essential industry workers must remain at…
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Haywood commissioners get earful on 2A sanctuary status

The opening act of what promises to be a protracted melodrama played out in the Historic Haywood County Courthouse last…
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Donations needed for Cops for Kids

Martin M. Sohovich, financial advisor with Ameriprise Financial, will once again be helping children in Haywood County at Christmas time. 
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Tourism spending up in WNC counties

As the summer season comes to a close, western counties continue to see a steady increase in visitor spending and room…
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Waynesville chief calls it a career

As a 28-year veteran of the Waynesville Police Department, Captain Brian Beck — soon to be interim chief of police…
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Twenty years later, another edition done

In the beginning, one doesn’t even think about the long run. When you’re fighting every day to survive, there’s no…
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Cold Mountain Music Festival returns to Lake Logan

The third annual Cold Mountain Music Festival will take place May 31 and June 1 at the Lake Logan Conference…
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On the upswing: Golf industry changes with the times

Golf is more than a game in Western North Carolina — the wellbeing of the popular past time can be…
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Can’t keep a good man down: Banjo legend Raymond Fairchild on turning 80, a life in music

Though his fingers seemingly wrap around a walking cane more than his trusty banjo these days, Raymond Fairchild remains one…
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Growing up grinding: Waynesville skate park takes on new importance

When the Town of Waynesville’s skate park opened in 2013, it was a welcome addition to the suite of recreational…
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Telling Appalachia’s untold stories: Artistic effort aims to celebrate the female side of history

Just as millennia of rain and wind and heat and cold have carved the physical shape of the mountains for…
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Maggie at 45: looking forward, looking back

Steadfast she stands in a yellow bonnet, wearing the mountain range behind her like a shawl draped upon her blouse…
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The HART of a community: Beloved Waynesville theatre celebrates 35 years

Leaning back in his chair, in an office tucked in the depths of a large studio building, a slight grin…
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Complex child welfare cases costing counties

Substance abuse has had a number of unintended consequences on society from mental illness, unemployment, overcrowded jails, a backlogged court…
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The right path: Beloved Woman Ella Bird reflects on life marked by family, tradition

For the past 79 years, Ella Wachacha Bird has lived a life defined by seasons and relationships rather than months…
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Public records requests shed light on closed sessions

In its role as government watchdog, The Smoky Mountain News submitted public record requests to county and municipal governments in…
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African-American history at Sunburst oft overlooked

In a county as old as Haywood, there exist all manner of half-remembered places and faces long gone from the…
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Waynesville woman, child reported missing

UPDATE: The missing woman and child have been located and are safe. Detectives with the Haywood County Sheriff’s office are…
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Grandfather Mountain sets new wind speed record

LINVILLE, N.C. — On Grandfather Mountain, breaking records is a breeze. Around 4 a.m. on Feb. 13, the nonprofit nature park’s…
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‘She just slipped through our fingers’

At 13, Tuscola High School freshman Elira Bego-Cardoso was like almost any other American teenage girl — she liked popular…
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‘Effort like they’ve never had to give’: Farmers get older and fewer, but hope remains for ag’s future

Zac Guy grew up on the back of a tractor.  His father worked in sales and his mother was a…
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Women’s March embarks on third year; Organizers strive for inclusivity for all women

This year marked the third annual Women’s March on Asheville — part of a national movement to rally for equal rights…
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When, not if: The case for and against cannabis in NC

With the recent actions of Michigan and Vermont, 72 million people in 10 U.S. states — 23 percent of the…
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Waynesville steps up to address affordable housing crisis

Like the region’s opioid crisis, if Western North Carolina’s affordable housing crisis could have been solved by meetings, panel discussions…
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Community steps up to care for parks during shutdown

The National Park Service is closed.  Sort of.  When the clock struck midnight on Dec. 22, 2018, the latest continuing…
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Working 9 to 5 (plus nights and weekends)

Unemployment rates are about as low as they’re going to get in Western North Carolina and there are jobs to…
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2018: A look back

Before we ring in the New Year, The Smoky Mountain News likes to look back and reflect on the last…
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Stalemate leaves homeless caught in the middle

Not far from the historic homes nestled along Waynesville’s Church Street sits a small plot of land that’s home to…
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Bethel Rural Community Organization works to preserve the past

After nearly 245 years, Haywood County’s Bethel community remains just a small part of a relatively small county, but the…
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Drake takes Macon airport under its wing

Drake Enterprises is spreading its wings further into the community as it takes over management of the Macon County Airport. …
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Inventory of life: Twenty-year effort to count Smokies species adds 1,000 to science

By late November, the trees at 5,000 feet are mostly bare, once-green leaves covering the forest floor like a brown…
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The cost of compassion: Influx of juvenile cases could cause cash crunch

A juvenile justice system already stressed to the limit is about to be stretched even further, thanks to a change…
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Never give up: Franklin native survived years of torture in Vietnam POW camp

Just west of the town of Franklin, along a winding back road heading into the mountains surrounding Wayah Bald, sits…
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New generation needed to preserve North Shore cemeteries

It’s a crisp fall day in Swain County. As the sun finally peaks over the trees around lunch time, the…
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‘The band that changes people’s lives’: WCU marching band a motivator for enrollment

The calendar had declared the start of fall two weeks prior, but that didn’t stop the sun from shining hot…
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