WNC residents win titles in Mountain State Fair
 

WNC residents win titles in Mountain State Fair

The N.C. Mountain State Fair wrapped up another year with a total attendance count of 159,575, a strong showing assisted…
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‘In perpetuity’: NPS director celebrates National Public Lands Day in the Smokies 

 

‘In perpetuity’: NPS director celebrates National Public Lands Day in the Smokies 


National Public Lands Day dawned crisp and cool Saturday, Sept. 24, a celebration of everything most beloved about fall in…
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Flyers for all manner of student activities cover a bulletin board at the A.K. Hinds University Center. Holly Kays photo
 

WCU student worker fired following union creation

Aiás Magitas, a 20-year-old forensic anthropology student from Charlotte, had been working the guest services desk at Western Carolina University’s…
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Greg West (left) and Sebastian Cothran.
 

Performance vs. Promise: West, Cothran seek Haywood tax collector position

This is probably the only election story you’ll read about a county tax collector’s race in North Carolina, because Haywood…
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Maggie Valley in the distance. A Shot Above photo
 

Public asked to help shape Maggie land use plan

The Town of Maggie Valley is encouraging residents to participate in developing its upcoming land-use plan. 
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Five vie for three seats on Haywood Commission
 

Five vie for three seats on Haywood Commission

Three incumbents, along with two challengers, are all running for the Haywood County Board of Commissioners this year, and there…
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Tribe explores pathway to tax-free casino distributions
 

Tribe explores pathway to tax-free casino distributions

Starting in March, members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians may have the chance to sign up for a…
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Purr Pods was made up of three large, steel house cats with LED lights glowing from the eyes and hearts of felines. Paige Tashner photo
 

A new sculpture for downtown Sylva

As part of its public art initiative, Sylva will host a large, interactive cat sculpture in Bridge Park this fall…
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Elton John and the value of forever friends 
 

Elton John and the value of forever friends 

Many moons ago, when I attended a seventh-grade sleepover, I met a new girl in town. Her name was Lana.…
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Support elected leaders who support teachers
 

Support elected leaders who support teachers

To the Editor: Why are teachers leaving?
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Reaction to accident is disheartening
 

Reaction to accident is disheartening

To the Editor: It makes me sick to think people would applaud Helping Hands not getting funding from Waynesville after…
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Swain ‘Rally’ was a huge success
 

Swain ‘Rally’ was a huge success

To the Editor: The Swain County “Rally for Health, Hope and Recovery” was a huge success. The event included about…
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Loose canines are a cyclist’s nightmare
 

Loose canines are a cyclist’s nightmare

To the Editor: I became a cyclist in June 2020, and it has changed my life for the better. I…
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Building Outdoor Communities Program launches
 

Building Outdoor Communities Program launches

The WNC: MADE X MTNS Partnership officially launched the Building Outdoor Communities Program (BOC) last week, welcoming over 100 attendees for an…
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Dr. Don Tomas is starting his 11th year as Southwestern Community College’s President. He’s shown here in front of the Don Tomas Health Sciences Center.
 

SCC names building in honor of school president

During a recent meeting, Southwestern Community College’s Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to name the new Health Sciences Center in…
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Sylva has updated its policy that allows for take-home police vehicles.
 

Sylva extends take-home vehicle policy for police

In the face of a housing shortage and increased competition for employees, the Town of Sylva has updated its policy…
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Swain County women’s track and field team wins 1A State Championship. Marsha Hicks photo
 

Swain runner advocates for sports equality

Amaya Hicks, Swain County High School senior and captain of the women’s cross country, basketball, indoor and outdoor track teams,…
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Mission Hospital and HCA are accused of gross negligence and reckless misconduct.
 

Canton woman’s lawsuit will test COVID immunity law for health care providers

A Canton woman has filed a lawsuit against the Hospital Corporation of America in which she claims “egregious acts of…
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Voter registration challenges were filed against eight people in Lake Santeetlah earlier this year.
 

Public notice requirements for voter challenge hearing may not have been met

A meeting scheduled for 10 a.m. on Sept 28 by the Graham County Board of Elections to hear voter registration challenges against…
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Smathers sues HCA for 'egregious' medical negligence during son's birth
 

Smathers sues HCA for 'egregious' medical negligence during son's birth

A Canton woman has filed a lawsuit against Hospital Corporation of America in which she claims “egregious acts of medical…
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Federal guidance to strengthen tribal land management role
 

Federal guidance to strengthen tribal land management role

Last week, the U.S. Department of the Interior released new guidance aiming to strengthen the role of tribal governments in…
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An iNaturalist user snaps a butterfly observation. Lucas Pfeiffer photo
 

Smokies species project marks milestone

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is celebrating a milestone in its Smokies Most Wanted citizen science project, with 100,000…
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An aster flower displays the species’ classic gold-and-purple color combination. Adam Bigelow photo
 

Notes from a plant nerd: Ad astera! To the stars! (Asters Part 2)

Very soon, my guided wildflower walks will mostly consist of me walking along a trail and saying, “That’s an aster,…
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Annus horribilis: A review of Taylor Downing’s ‘1942’
 

Annus horribilis: A review of Taylor Downing’s ‘1942’

Annus horribilis is Latin for a horrible year, a time of disaster, and aptly applies to the first months of…
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The Cold Mountain Art Collective in Canton.
 

Opening the doors of creativity: Haywood Arts Studio Tour to be held Sept. 24-25

The Haywood County Arts Council’s annual Haywood County Studio Tour will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday,…
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The Hayford Road in Rouses Point. (Garret K. Woodward photo)
 

This must be the place: Could have been the Willie Nelson, could have been the wine

Waking up in the hotel room at the Chateau Laurier in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, last Saturday morning, I rubbed my…
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Haywood School Board misses an opportunity
 

Haywood School Board misses an opportunity

When the Haywood County School Board announced that it had chosen Trevor Putnam as the system’s new superintendent, I can’t…
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A cautionary tale of Covid’s resilience
 

A cautionary tale of Covid’s resilience

Last week I was among five friends on an outdoor excursion. It was a lovely early fall day, the river…
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We need to stop the overspending
 

We need to stop the overspending

To the Editor: The article regarding the backlash over Biden’s forgiveness of student loans was another, “Well, Susie did it!”…
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Haywood seeks event center board members
 

Haywood seeks event center board members

The Haywood County Board of Commissioners is accepting applications to fill two upcoming vacancies on the Smoky Mountain Event Center…
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NCWorks hosts Manufacturing Day event
 

NCWorks hosts Manufacturing Day event

National Manufacturing Day is Oct. 7, and to celebrate NCWorks will be hosting its second annual Manufacturing Day event. The…
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Legal Aid to host clinics for those affected by Tropical Storm Fred
 

Legal Aid to host clinics for those affected by Tropical Storm Fred

Legal Aid of North Carolina is helping those recovering from the catastrophic flooding that occurred in August 2021 through free…
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Big changes coming in WNC law enforcement leadership
 

Big changes coming in WNC law enforcement leadership

Earlier this year candidates for sheriff began campaigning across the region, hoping to earn the trust of voters who, in…
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Larry Bryson (left) and Bill Wilke.
 

Bryson, Wilke square off in highly anticipated Haywood sheriff race

After nearly 10 years in office, Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher announced his retirement in Mach 2021, giving prospective candidates more…
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Rick Buchanan (left) and Doug Farmer.
 

Jackson sheriff race down to Buchanan, Farmer

With the impending retirement of Jackson County Sheriff Chip Hall, two candidates will compete for the seat this fall in…
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Curtis Cochran
 

Cochran seeks fifth term as Swain Sheriff

To be a sheriff in North Carolina is to be the most powerful elected official in a county.
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Bellows receives recognition (from left) from Rep. Mark Pless, Bellows, Sen. Kevin Corbin and Rep. Mike Clampitt. Kyle Perrotti photo
 

Maggie Valley officer recognized for life-saving courage

An officer who risked her own safety to save the lives of others was hailed as a hero last week…
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Clockwise from top left: Boyce Deitz, Todd Bryson, John Smith and Gayle Woody.
 

Race for Jackson County Commission: 
Incumbent Democrats vs. Republican newcomers

The Jackson County Commission has three seats on the ballot this fall. In addition to commission chairman, districts one and…
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Brian McMahan (left) and Mark Letson.
 

McMahan and Letson compete for commission chair 


This election season, there are three seats up for grabs on the Jackson County Commission, all held by Democrats, all…
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Audience chastised for applauding nonprofit leader’s mishap
 

Audience chastised for applauding nonprofit leader’s mishap

Members of Waynesville’s Board of Aldermen responded harshly to applause from the audience after payments to a nonprofit contractor were…
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Bethel Middle School STEM teacher Sally Hundley was named the 2023 Teacher of the Year.
 

Haywood County Schools names teacher of the year

Bethel Middle School teacher Sally Hundley was named Haywood County Schools’ 2023 Teacher of the Year.
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The fiscal year that ended July 30 saw unprecedented numbers of employees leaving for other jobs. WCU graphic
 

Legislative raises hit WCU paychecks

Faculty and staff at Western Carolina University have been seeing higher paychecks since July following the N.C. General Assembly’s passage…
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Tribal Council is likely to meet Thursday, Sept. 29, to finalize election law changes. File photo
 

Tribal Council debates election law changes

Term limits could be on the chopping block in Cherokee’s updated election ordinance due to legal advice arguing that the…
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FUR will host its seventh annual Barnyard BBQ Blast Fundraiser on Oct. 9. Donated photo
 

FUR hosts seventh annual Barnyard BBQ Blast

FUR’s seventh annual Barnyard BBQ Blast fundraiser will be held on Sunday, Oct. 9, from 1 to 4 p.m. With…
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Waynesville Police to launch new app
 

Waynesville Police to launch new app

As the world becomes more and more accessible in the palm of our hands, local governments must adapt to ensure…
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Ambitious proposal could be game-changer for affordable housing in Haywood
 

Ambitious proposal could be game-changer for affordable housing in Haywood

Haywood County was recently awarded another substantial grant to help address the affordable housing crisis, but the way the county…
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Handheld wands offer more flexibility and lower cost than large, walk-through detectors. File photo
 

Threats force Waynesville to consider meeting security measures

The Town of Waynesville may soon start subjecting public meeting attendees to metal detectors in some form or fashion, Town…
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County funding will allow AWAKE Children’s Advocacy Center to finish vital repairs to its current building. AWAKE photo
 

With county funding, AWAKE will complete building repairs

The Jackson County Commission allocated just over $60,000 of American Rescue Plan funds to AWAKE Children’s Advocacy Center for the…
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Cades Cove hosts Medal of Honor recipients
 

Cades Cove hosts Medal of Honor recipients

Nearly half of the 65 living Medal of Honor recipients and their families traveled to Knoxville last week for the…
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