Share your pandemic stories with SMN

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the past year’s likely been topsy-turvy in all kinds of unexpected ways. With…
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Weather prompts changes for Lake Junaluska cleanup

Due to the forecast for windy, cold weather, the Annual Lake Cleanup at Lake Junaluska, originally scheduled to take place…
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Macon man gets 19-year sentence for drug trafficking

Daniel “Danny” Steven Lucas will spend a minimum of almost 19 years in prison for operating a substantial opiate and…
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Vaccine shipment delays push back WCU clinic start date

Western Carolina University is one of four University of North Carolina System campuses that has opened or will soon open…
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Gladys Knight, William McDowell vaccinated in Haywood

Gladys Knight, “Empress of Soul,” and her husband William McDowell recently received their COVID-19 vaccinations in Haywood County. The couple,…
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Leading the way: Love for nature spurred HCC’s Black forestry grads to barrier-breaking lives

Ron Davis Sr. was just 17 years old when he arrived in the tiny town of Clyde, completely alone.  It…
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Vaccination coverage improves in WNC

Vaccination coverage is picking up in Western North Carolina, with the percentage of the population receiving at least one dose…
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Local Methodist churches form Justice and Reconciliation Team

The Smoky Mountain District of the First United Methodist Church has created a Justice and Reconciliation Team to take on…
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Top to bottom, prognosis for NC economic recovery is good

North Carolina’s fiscal and economic health, along with years of budgetary discipline and a commitment to economic freedom, bode well…
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Bit by bit, major investments bring broadband to the mountains

After years of pecking away at Western North Carolina’s broadband problem at the state level, a large-scale federal investment in…
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Nikwasi Initiative changes plans for Franklin property

Nikwasi Initiative, the nonprofit that took over ownership of the Nikwasi Mound in Franklin two years ago, recently announced some…
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Hottest ticket in town: Capacity limits for rivalry game ‘make no sense’

It’s a rivalry that runs as deep as the waters of Lake Logan and as wide as the Pigeon River…
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Jail expansion opponents ask county to reprioritize

As promised, members of Down Home North Carolina presented to Haywood County commissioners a budget alternative that prioritizes treatment and…
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All signs point to Canton’s continuing renewal

Another aesthetic improvement to Canton’s emerging downtown business district — rundown and dilapidated for years, until recently — will soon…
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Impaired driver takes Alford plea

A woman who wrecked while driving impaired, killing a close friend after the two left work from the now-shuttered No…
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‘Enroll Anytime’ now available at SCC

Uncertainty about university schedules, childcare and other variables prevented some prospective students from enrolling in college classes this spring.
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Macon Leaders Encourage Vaccine Registration

The supply of COVID-19 vaccine from N.C. DHHS to Macon County remains limited at this time and a waitlist was…
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Traffic stop leads to drug arrests in Haywood

On Tuesday, Feb. 9,  Haywood County Sheriff’s Office deputies stopped a vehicle on North Canton Road around 4 p.m. A search…
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Haywood reports two more COVID-19 deaths

Haywood County Health and Human Services has received notice of three more COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total number now to…
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Child pornography arrests made in Macon

Two investigations and subsequent arrests in cases that were first initiated in Fall 2020 has Macon County Sheriff’s Office detectives…
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WCU prepares to open COVID vaccine clinic

With freezers now on campus, staff in place, and volunteers on the way, Western Carolina University is in the final…
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HRMC recognized for maternity care

Haywood Regional Medical Center has been recognized by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina with a Blue Distinction…
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Wheels Through Time founder dies of cancer

Dale Walksler, the founder and curator of the Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, passed away peacefully, with his…
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Macon budget remains agile through pandemic

Despite dire predictions of how local governments would be financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Macon County has fared well…
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Masking rules take effect on public lands

On Jan. 20, President Joe Biden issued an executive order requiring coronavirus prevention protocols — including mask-wearing — on all…
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Disc golf course proposed in Franklin

The Whitmire property on East Main Street in Franklin could soon become a public disc golf course.
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‘Something’s got to give’: Sylva police chief argues for more officers

Every year, Sylva’s department heads have a chance to tell town commissioners what they need — and what they want…
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Macon steps up COVID response

When Macon County Commissioners met on Jan. 12, health department staff was having a difficult time meeting the demands of…
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Jackson gets influx of vaccine doses

Jackson County is still lagging behind surrounding counties when it comes to the percentage of its population that’s received a…
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WNC schools already adhering to state recommendation

Last week, North Carolina officials recommended that all schools return to in-person learning as soon as possible. 
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Cost-saving measure could lead to less government transparency

A bill in the North Carolina General Assembly that would allow local governments to stop publishing mandated legal notices in…
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Jail expansion project enters critical phase

Opponents of Haywood County’s proposed $16 million jail expansion project are ramping up pressure on county commissioners to consider alternative…
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Council overrides veto claiming Charter violation

Following an 80-minute closed session discussion, Tribal Council voted 9-3 last week to override Principal Chief Richard Sneed’s veto of…
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Tribe to explore indoor sports facility

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is moving toward construction of an indoor baseball and softball facility following a Feb.…
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NASA extends SCC partnership for 5 years

Two years before a total solar eclipse left area residents breathless in 2017, Southwestern Community College started working with the…
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What to know about second dose appointments

COVID-19 Second Dose clinics are coming up in Haywood County, here is what you need to know.
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Three more COVID deaths reported in Macon

Macon County Public Health reported that three Macon County residents diagnosed with COVID-19 have passed away. To protect the family…
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Reparations, Six Months Later: So Far, Empty Promises

By Barbara Durr and Peter H. Lewis • Asheville Watchdog | Six months ago, as part of a reckoning on…
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Haywood reports five more COVID-19 deaths

Since mid-January Haywood County Health and Human Services has received notice of five more COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total number now…
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WCU center examines economic recovery after pandemic

The Center for the Study of Free Enterprise at Western Carolina University has issued an assessment of economic recovery, sustainability and growth in North…
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Raising canes: River cane project protects environment, Cherokee culture

The sky shone an unbroken blue and afternoon sunshine cast sparkles on the lazy Pigeon River as a group of…
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Sarge’s dedicates memorial plaque

Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation dedicated a memorial plaque to honor Gary Smith Dec. 17, at Sarge’s Adoption Center. 
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Haywood vaccinations surge, other counties lag

The number of Haywood County residents receiving a first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine jumped by 45 percent between…
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Cashiers crossroads developer offers last-minute plan reduction

After nearly eight hours of discussion and testimony on Monday, Jan. 25, the first day of the quasi-judicial hearing that…
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Bi-partisan opposition builds against Cawthorn

He hasn’t even been in office for a month, but Western North Carolina’s Republican Rep. Madison Cawthorn is already starting…
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Equal Rights Amendment introduced in General Assembly

More than 40 years after it first took up the matter, the North Carolina General Assembly may consider finally ratifying…
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Pro-bono legal service requests spike during COVID

As people continue to struggle through the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for pro-bono legal services has spiked, putting more demand…
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Enrollment for ACA coverage open Feb. 15 through May 15

People have a new opportunity to enroll in health insurance for 2021 on HealthCare.gov, but only for a limited time.
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Franklin man pleads guilty to trafficking

A Franklin man who pleaded guilty last week to trafficking in methamphetamine has been sentenced to serve 70 to 93…
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Dog park coming to Cashiers

Cashiers will get a dog park following the Jackson County Commissioners’ unanimous vote Jan. 26 to approve a contract with…
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