Christmas in Appalachia

As the temperatures drop in Western North Carolina, the fun only heats up. The holiday season here is filled with events and activities aimed to celebrate the best way we know how — with friends, family and visitors alike.

Republicans dominate Western North Carolina races

The highly anticipated red wave hit Western North Carolina hard on Nov. 8, with Republicans retaining several crucial legislative seats and knocking off some longtime Democratic incumbents on the local level.

Western counties may combine opioid settlement funds for regional treatment center

No matter how it all shakes out in the end, Nov. 3, 2022 will be looked upon as a historic day in Western North Carolina as regional leaders took the first few tenuous steps towards creating an enduring partnership to combat the opioid epidemic.

Election deniers are targeting North Carolina elections

With dozens of debunked allegations surrounding a “rigged” 2020 election still fresh on the minds of right-wing conspiracy theorists, Western North Carolina’s election administrators are welcoming unprecedented levels of scrutiny in advance of the 2022 General Election.

Recipe for adventure: WNC communities embark on outdoor 
economy initiative

More than 130 people from 25 Western North Carolina counties met in Boone last month to talk about how best to build the region’s outdoor economy — and over the next two years, that conversation will continue. Building Outdoor Communities, a program from Made By Mountains, aims to help individual communities foster collaboration and expertise to meet their outdoor economy goals.  

Mystique of the monarch: Butterfly’s migratory life inspires wonder, scientific inquiry

It was a chilly February morning in 2020 when Clemson, South Carolina, resident Heyward Douglass laid eyes on the legendary monarch butterfly wintering grounds, first discovered only 45 years before. Oyamel fir trees covered the south-facing slopes of the Neovolcanic Mountains west of Mexico City, and millions of monarch butterflies covered the fir trees, 8,000 to 10,000 feet above sea level.

WNC residents pave a ‘trail of truth’ to Washington for drug deaths

As a stark reminder of the toll that substance abuse has taken on families across the country and across Western North Carolina, a small group of Macon County residents will travel to Washington, D.C., later this month to help erect a temporary cemetery made up of hundreds upon hundreds of hand-painted tombstones.

WNC schools still recovering from Covid-era learning

New state testing results reveal that schools in Western North Carolina are in the process of a mixed recovery from COVID-era learning disruptions, something state officials say may take years.

More money for affordable housing flows into the region

A $542,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, matched by more than $200,000 from the Dogwood Health Trust, will help fund six regional projects intended to alleviate some of the pressure in the affordable housing market.

Police reform inches forward in WNC

The conversation around police reform has cooled down slightly over the last year, but that doesn’t mean law enforcement agencies around the state aren’t quietly implementing new policies — policies that came on the heels of the movement that gained steam after George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin on May 25, 2020.

Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.