Holly Kays

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Eldon Jamison, longtime member of the Glenville-Cashiers Rescue Squad died in the line of duty on Tuesday, May 5, while attempting to rescue a 24-year-old man who had fallen into the water at the base of Whitewater Falls.

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Originally slated to end May 14, the public comment period for the Nantahala and Pisgah forest plan will now extend through June 29.

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One additional COVID-19 case has been confirmed in Jackson County today.

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Jackson County reported its first coronavirus death on Monday, May 4. 

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Additional COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Jackson County today.

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Two more COVID-19 cases were announced in Jackson County today, bringing the total to 19.

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Two more COVID-19 cases were announced in Jackson County today, bringing the total to 17.

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While people nationwide are lamenting the loss of bars, restaurants, concerts, festivals and countless other aspects of community life amid the COVID-19 crisis, for many in Western North Carolina the deepest blow has been the loss of access to hundreds of thousands of acres of cherished public lands. 

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Like nearly everyone else in the country, Dr. Ben Guiney experienced a rush of dread as news of the novel coronavirus’ spread hit the headlines, but Guiney had more reason than most to worry. 

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A proposed change of plans in the Dillsboro bridge project has drawn divided opinion from the towns of Dillsboro and Sylva. 

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The number of coronavirus cases among Jackson County residents has jumped to 15, up from five April 24. 

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Continued testing by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has resulted in confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Swain and Graham counties, the tribe’s Public Health and Human Services Department announced this weekend. These results mark the first positive cases in either county.

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Spring is in the air these days, but so is uncertainty as the COVID-19 crisis continues and millions of Americans are unemployed, working reduced hours or simply adjusting to life under a quarantine with no clear end in sight. 

It’s a cocktail that even has folks who have always considered themselves to be brown thumbs thinking about starting a vegetable garden. A lot of people have a lot of extra time on their hands these days, and given that every trip to the grocery store now feels like a journey to the last frontier, the idea of being able to walk outside and pick as many tomatoes as you want is certainly attractive. 

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The defendants in a lawsuit filed in response to the death of Jackson County Detention Center inmate Melissa Rice have submitted their response to the complaint against them, denying several key facts contained in the original lawsuit and asking that the case be dismissed completely. 

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The cumulative cost of environmental rehabilitation and sound abatement at the Southwestern Community College shooting range will top $1 million after the Jackson County commissioners voted 4-1 April 7 to spend $383,000 on the final stage of the project. 

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As the COVID-19 crisis roared to life in North Carolina, local governments across the state joined countless other organizations and individuals in clearing previously planned meetings from their calendars. 

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The wildly popular synchronous firefly viewing event in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been canceled this year as efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 continue.

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Tremont Institute is working through quarantine to connect people and nature using its website and social media channels.

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The Blue Ridge Parkway has announced additional closures as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

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For farmers and agriculture businesses across Western North Carolina, spring is the time to plan and plant for the green season ahead, but uncertainty cultivated by the COVID-19 crisis is complicating that process, often in devastating ways. 

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Webster Enterprises has long used the production of medical supplies as a vehicle for its main mission, vocational rehabilitation for people with disabilities and disadvantages. 

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During a special-called session April 9, the Cherokee Tribal Council unanimously passed a resolution designed to help small businesses operating on the Qualla Boundary survive the COVID-19 crisis. 

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Proactive testing by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has revealed community transmission of COVID-19 in Jackson County.

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Camping is no longer allowed on the Pisgah National Forest following an order enacted April 13 as part of ongoing efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.

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A burn ban enacted April 3 on 32 Western North Carolina counties has been lifted following heavy rainfall this weekend.

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Two full-time Jackson County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, the Jackson County Department of Public Health learned today.

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Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos announced April 1 that its COVID-19-induced closure would extend through the end of the month, and that same day Principal Chief Richard Sneed issued his own announcements about changes to compensation for tribal employees in the weeks ahead.

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The COVID-19 pandemic hit us all differently. For some of us, it blew to pieces what was otherwise a normal, pleasantly warm spring. For others, it complicated or postponed less routine endeavors like buying a house, planning a trip or earning a degree.

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Distance learning will continue through the summer at Western Carolina University, and all summer conferences are canceled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Jason Love got interested in microplastics by way of mussels. 

A wildlife biologist by education and training, he’d long been interested in the reasons behind the decline of Southern Appalachian mussel species, and in particular that of the federally endangered Appalachian elktoe. He was interested while working in his previous position as site manager for Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, and he’s interested now in his new position as associate director of the Highlands Biological Station.

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The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians received notice of its first confirmed positive case of COVID-19 on Friday, March 27.

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Jackson County is now requiring anybody entering from another state or country to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, along with all household members.

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All recreation sites in the National Forests in North Carolina — including the Pisgah and Nantahala — are now temporarily shut down.

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The closure of Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resorts will extend an additional two weeks from the initial March 18 through April 1 period, the casino announced March 26. While two weeks from April 1 would put the expected reopening at April 15, a press release announcing the closure extension left the reopening plans vague. 

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The past week has seen multiple public parks and forests announce closures of outdoor areas in response to overcrowding deemed unsafe by land managers in light of coronavirus concerns.

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Principal Chief Richard Sneed has issued a March 25 curfew order on the Qualla Boundary in hopes of preventing spread of COVID-19 on Cherokee lands.

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In the last two weeks, the world has changed. From darkened downtown windows to packed-full parking lots at Ingles and Wal-Mart, the evidence is everywhere, impossible to ignore.

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The public health crisis that is COVID-19 quickly became an economic one as governments nationwide took drastic steps to slow the spread of the virus. Bars, restaurants, hotels, airlines and countless other industries have been hit hard, resulting in widespread layoffs and cut hours. 

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When the spring semester began, Western Carolina University’s residence halls were home to 4,106 students, but those students found themselves required to move out two months early as coronavirus concerns heightened on campus. 

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As of press time there were no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the Qualla Boundary, but the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians isn’t waiting until the disease arrives to take drastic steps preventing its spread. 

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Dupont State Recreation Forest and neighboring Holmes Educational State Forest are closed in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

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An emergency declaration issued in Jackson County today will ban gatherings of 10 or more people and mandate the closure of a long list of business types and lodging facilities, effective Wednesday, March 25.

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Coronavirus concerns have prompted a slew of operational and scheduling changes for outdoors-oriented agencies and organizations across the region. 

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In response to the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, Western Carolina University will postpone all spring commencement ceremonies originally scheduled for May 8 and 9, and will announce by April 3 plans for rescheduling the events.

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Coronavirus is causing changes, cancellations and postponements across the region. Find out what’s happening in your community.

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Coronavirus is causing changes, cancellations and postponements across the region. Find out what’s happening in your county.

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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tuckaseigee Water and Sewer Authority will suspend all disconnections and allow customers who were already disconnected to have their service restored without a fee.

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Operations have shifted on public lands in Western North Carolina due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Kids with a penchant for learning and exploration will have the chance to see where their curiosity takes them during ASTROcamp this summer at Smokey Mountain Elementary School. 

If all goes as planned, Canton will soon have a 448-acre park for hiking, mountain biking and other outdoor recreation activities just a mile from town limits. The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy hopes to close on the property, known as the Chestnut Mountain Tract and currently owned by Canton Motorsports LLC, within the next couple months. 

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