SMN staff

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Proposed safety improvements to the Gatlinburg Spur are open for public comment through Sunday, Sept. 26. 

The Western Carolina chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association will host a Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday, Oct. 9, at Pack Square Park in Asheville, with options also planned for virtual participation. 

The 14th annual Power of Pink 5K Run/Walk/Dog Walk will raise money for early breast cancer detection on Saturday, Sept. 25, at Frog Level in Waynesville. 

From noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 18-19, 22 local farms will open their gates to the public as part of the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project ’s annual farm tour. 

A mysterious outbreak that has been affecting songbirds since May 2020 appears to be subsiding, and thanks to diligent reporting from North Carolina residents it seems to not be much affecting birds in the state, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission announced last week. 

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National Public Lands Day, the nation’s largest single-day volunteer event for public lands, is coming up on Saturday, Sept. 25, and there are several local opportunities to get involved. 

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Try out the latest outdoor gear innovations while enjoying live music, food, beer and Camp Rockmont’s myriad outdoor offerings during the Get in Gear Fest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25, in Black Mountain. 

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By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist | Two heart-rending articles occupied the front page of the Florida newspaper that I was reading online two Sundays ago. 

One told the stories of people who had survived the 9/11 attacks 20 years ago. The other followed a nurse through a 12-hour shift in a hospital’s intensive care ward for COVID-19 patients. Three had died the day before. More will this day. Most of her patients, including a 36-year-old mother of two, are not expected to live. An older woman codes seven times before her suffering ends. The one patient who is recovering is the only one in the ward who was vaccinated.

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To the Editor:

Cops threatening to quit over vaccine mandates is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reform police departments. Let them go.

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To the Editor:

After reading guest columnist Patrick Gleason’s column in the September 7 issue of The Smoky Mountain News, I felt so relieved. CLIMATE CHANGE IS NOT REAL! THE SKY IS NOT FALLING! Wow, now I don’t have to worry about that anymore! 

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To the Editor:

The SMN does not have any comics, but some of the letters to the editor are a good substitute. The recent guest columnist (http://smokymountainnews.com/opinion/item/32092) is a great example. I suppose that Mr. Gleason also believes that the earth is flat.

Clark Pearson

Sylva

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To the Editor:

Our forefathers proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence that we have certain inalienable rights, those being the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

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To the Editor:

In his editorial, Patrick Gleason claimed that Dr. Curry’s editorial on climate change was not based on reality and that climate change was not that serious. In reality, it is Gleason who is divorced from reality.

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To the Editor:

“Dissent is the highest form of patriotism” was a popular statement in George Bush’s presidency during protests against the Iraq war. Hillary and other Democrats were fond of it and the press gladly quoted them. 

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Residents of Buncombe, Haywood, and Transylvania counties who were affected by the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred from Aug. 16 – 18 may apply for FEMA disaster assistance.

Many smaller, private bridges were damaged in Tropical Storm Fred, and homeowners are understandably anxious to get them replaced. 

A federal jury in Asheville convicted Shane McKinley Swimmer, 21, of Cherokee, of second degree murder last week, announced William T. Stetzer, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. 

The Western Carolina University (WCU) Fine Art Museum in Cullowhee is currently presenting two exhibitions at the Bardo Arts Center, which are as follows: 

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Acclaimed singer-songwriter Chris Staples will hit the stage at 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 26, at Orchard Coffee in Waynesville. 

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Presented by Balsam Range, United Way of Haywood County, Town of Canton, Clyde Lions Club, Canton Lions Club and The Smoky Mountain News, “Grit & Grace: A Flood Relief Benefit for Haywood County” will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, at Sorrells Street Park in downtown Canton. 

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The Mountains-to-Sea Trail turns 44 this month, and Friends of the MST offers four ways to join the celebration. 

Volunteers will have a chance to give back to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park during several workdays planned throughout the month of September. 

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By Scott Hinkle • Guest Columnist | Twenty years ago on September 14, I was one of only two passengers on a U.S. Airways flight from North Carolina to LaGuardia Airport in New York City to volunteer for the American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Team, assisting families with processing the deaths of their loved ones. As part of the initial team to develop a rapid death certificate response, we met in Brooklyn and planned our program for completing the official certificates of death for grieving families. 

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By Steve Wall • Guest Columnist | The place — Canton; the time — 7 a.m.; the date — September 9, 2004. 

Mayor Pat Smathers and I walked down Park Street in disbelief. Colonial Theater, Canton Medical Office, police and city offices had all flooded with up to seven feet of water from the Pigeon River. Hurricanes Ivan and Frances hit within a week and left a grim mark on Haywood County. That was 2004.

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Western Carolina University officials are waiving admission application fees for both undergraduate and graduate programs for students wanting to enter the university during spring 2022, summer 2022 and fall 2022 academic semesters.

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A man who sped in a stolen vehicle through Franklin last year in a botched attempt to evade law enforcement will spend 51 to 74 months in the N.C. Division of Adult Correction, District Attorney Ashley Hornsby Welch said.

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Led by Clemson Professor Todd May, a discussion on existentialism will continue from 6 to 7 p.m. Sept. 14, 21 and 28 at the Jackson County Public Library in Sylva. 

When Mountain Heritage Day returns on Saturday, Sept. 25, to the campus of Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, so will the presentation of the annual Mountain Heritage Awards.

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How do you have safe communication during relational conversations where defenses and triggers happen because of past hurts? How do you effectively communicate core issues instead of their symptoms?

Two men died while visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park last weekend, one due to drowning and another resulting from a motorcycle accident. 

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A Haywood Community College student earned the 2021 U.S. Rookie Champion title at the recent STIHL Timbersports U.S. Championships in Little Rock, Arkansas. 

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As floodwaters recede and cleanup continues, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services urges farmers and homeowners to evaluate pesticides and other chemical storage areas. Disposal assistance is available.

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Wildlife through the lenses of local photographers will be on display at the Macon County Public Library through the month of September. 

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By Milton Ready • Guest Columnist | Psst! Have you heard that remnants of Tropical Storm Fred passed over Western North Carolina last week causing extensive power outages, flash floods, several deaths, and, yes, even tornadoes. And no, it’s not just about global warming. Now which area do you think suffers more flooding, the Outer Banks, eastern North Carolina, or the mountainous area of the French Broad River Basin? 

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By Patrick Gleason • Guest Columnist | The alarmist rhetoric and proclamations found in Mary Jane Curry’s recent column published in The Mountaineer, “A Life Or Death Matter,” (Aug. 15) are certainly worrisome. The good news is that they are completely detached from reality.

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To the Editor:

Pay close attention to the following names: Darin Hoover, Rosario Pichardo, Nicole Gee, Hunter Lopez, Daegan Page, Humberto Sanchez, David Espinoza, Jared Schmitz, Rylee McCollum, Dylan Merola, Kareem Nikoui, Maxton Soviak and Ryan Knauss.

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To the Editor:

The opinion pages of the August 18 edition of your excellent paper should be required reading. 

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To the Editor:

In the Aug. 11 edition, a letter from a Franklin man was posted in both print and electronic editions of The Smoky Mountain News. In addition to false information, the writer wants to absolve the unvaccinated from any accountability about the current pandemic.

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To the Editor:

For many years I served as a Child Medical Examiner for Haywood County. I was also a founding member of KARE’s Child Abuse Task Force.

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Haywood Community College Board of Trustees chairman George Marshall recently completed eight years of service on the board. Originally appointed by the Haywood County Board of Commissioners to a four-year term in July 2013, he was then reappointed by the commissioners to serve an additional four years in July 2017. 

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A public meeting regarding improvements to U.S. 23/74 is scheduled for 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 2, at the Harrell Center Auditorium at the Lake Junaluska Conference Center, 710 Lakeshore Drive. 

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In the wake of the torrential rain and flooding in Haywood County, centered in Cruso community, District Attorney Ashley Hornsby Welch has repeatedly issued stern warnings to looters and would-be looters.

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The Board of Directors of Canopy Realtor Association and Canopy MLS, unanimously voted Aug. 26 to donate $200,000 each, for a total of $400,000 in funds to support Haywood County flood relief efforts.

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Macon County Public Health received notification Aug. 30 that a Macon County resident between the ages of 65-74 who was diagnosed with COVID-19 passed away. This death brings Macon County to 44 deaths related to COVID-19.

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A national mask mandate is now in place across the National Park Service. 

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From Sept. 7 through Oct. 3, the Laurel Falls Trail parking lot in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will be available by reservation only. 

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has elected Richmond County resident Monty R. Crump as its new chairman, replacing Dallas resident David W. Hoyle. 

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Celebrating the life of the late Erica Waldrop, the inaugural “YerkFest” will be held from 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28, at the Innovation Station and Front Street Takeout in Dillsboro. 

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From legendary theatrical team Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, a production of the legendary musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” will hit the stage through Sept. 19 at the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre in Waynesville.

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