Students in a fiddle lesson outside the Folkmoot Friendship Center.
 

JAM program gives students sense of place

There is a special moment that happens whilst playing music, a moment when concentration takes over as a musician uses…
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This must be the place: Catch a wave and take in the sweetness, think about it, the darkness, the deepness
 

This must be the place: Catch a wave and take in the sweetness, think about it, the darkness, the deepness

It’s 8:53 a.m. Room 159. Super 8 Motel. Christiansburg, Virginia. Upon exiting the room in time for the 9 a.m.…
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New directors at Cherokee museum
 

New directors at Cherokee museum

The Museum of the Cherokee Indian is expanding its leadership with the appointment of two new directors. 
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New Report Sounds Alarm on Affordable Housing — Again
 

New Report Sounds Alarm on Affordable Housing — Again

By Barbara Durr • Asheville Watchdog | This story was originally published by Asheville Watchdog, an independent nonprofit news team serving Asheville…
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Emergency shelter operations conclude in Haywood
 

Emergency shelter operations conclude in Haywood

Haywood County’s emergency shelter operations for Tropical Storm Fred survivors have concluded this week, four months after sheltering first began…
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From left: Maggie Valley aldermen John Hinton, Tammy Wight, Jim Owens and Mayor Mike Eveland.
 

Public hearing slated for RV moratorium in Maggie

Maggie Valley Town Hall was packed Tuesday evening for the regular December Board of Aldermen meeting. This was the first…
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A rose amongst the thorns
 

A rose amongst the thorns

Steve Brooks is a prolific artist, poet and writer who has lived in Asheville for 10 years now, having moved…
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A motorcyclist cruises the Blue Ridge Parkway near Mt. Pisgah. NPS/A. Armstrong photo
 

‘More than a road’: New superintendent discusses her vision for the Blue Ridge Parkway

Growing up in Columbia, South Carolina, Tracy Swartout made some of her favorite childhood memories traveling the 469-mile ridge road…
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Pisgah Center will not reopen after flood damage
 

Pisgah Center will not reopen after flood damage

The Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education in Brevard won’t reopen following extensive damage from Tropical Storm Fred, the N.C. Wildlife…
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New MST director named
 

New MST director named

Brent Laurenz, deputy director for the voting rights nonprofit Common Cause in North Carolina, will be the next leader of…
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Expanded bear hunting proposed for WNC
 

Expanded bear hunting proposed for WNC

UPDATE: Since this piece was originally published, the Wildlife Commission announced cancellation of the planned in-person hearings. The Wildlife Resources…
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Volunteers monitor stream quality for The Environmental Institute. Donated photo
 

Pigeon River Fund awards grants

Nine grants totaling $326,348 will help environmental groups support area waterways in a variety of ways following the announcement of…
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Meadows an embarrassment to his former state, district
 

Meadows an embarrassment to his former state, district

The recent revelations regarding Mark Meadows and his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and the events…
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Creating the holiday meant for me
 

Creating the holiday meant for me

Glennon Doyle is a favorite writer of mine and currently hosts a powerful podcast called “We Can Do Hard Things.”…
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Peace on earth, good will toward men?
 

Peace on earth, good will toward men?

To the Editor: Every faith tradition has special occasions to honor God’s goodness and mankind’s desire for peace on earth. 
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Don’t abandon freedom of religion
 

Don’t abandon freedom of religion

To the Editor:  I see where Michael Flynn, former President Trump’s National Security Advisor, is calling for us to have…
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Can you hear Johnny Cash?
 

Can you hear Johnny Cash?

To the Editor: The late, great Johnny Cash wrote: “Don’t take your guns to town, son.” In the song, Billy…
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Operation Medicine Drop 
 

Operation Medicine Drop 

North Carolina created Operation Medicine Drop to help people safely dispose of medications and prescription drugs. A series of locations…
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Tillman and Jessie Lott have established their new home with the referral of Helping Hands volunteers, the help of Select Homes of Waynesville and assistance from Mountain Projects.
 

Herrons offer home to family that lost everything

By Bill Graham • Special to SMN | For Ed Herron, childhood at Lake Junaluska in the 1960s was idyllic.…
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Cherokee passes casino smoking ban
 

Cherokee passes casino smoking ban

Casinos in Cherokee and Murphy will be permanently smoke-free following a majority vote from Tribal Council Dec. 9, codifying a…
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Ghost Town developer pleads his case
 

Ghost Town developer pleads his case

Ghost Town developer Frankie Wood made his case to members of the Maggie Valley business community during a presentation at…
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Plaques honoring Darrell Woodard displayed inside the fire station. Joel Rogers photo
 

Jackson declares Darrell Woodard Day of Service

Jackson County and the Town of Sylva have officially declared Dec. 10 as Darrell Woodard Day of Service. 
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Law enforcement patrols Washington, D.C. on Inauguration Day. Jeffrey Delannoy/SMN photo
 

Plea agreement delayed in Sylva man’s Jan. 6 case

Lewis Easton Cantwell, a Sylva resident facing charges related to the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol Building, was…
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Cashiers-Glenville recreation plan approved
 

Cashiers-Glenville recreation plan approved

Jackson County commissioners have approved a Cashiers-Glenville Recreation Center Master Plan that will include the construction of a splash pad…
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Nikwasi story told in traveling Smithsonian exhibit
 

Nikwasi story told in traveling Smithsonian exhibit

The history of the Nikwasi Mound in Franklin will soon be part of a Smithsonian Museum traveling exhibit that will…
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Nikwasi Initiative Director Elaine Eisenbaum (left) and Co-Chair Juanita Wilson embrace following Tribal Council’s passage of a resolution supporting the nonprofit’s grant application. EBCI video image
 

Cherokee supports Nikwasi grant effort

Tribal Council voted Dec. 9 to support the Nikwasi Initiative’s  efforts to land $5 million in grant funds for a…
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The Cold Mountain Art Collective in downtown Canton.
 

Finding the will to go on: New Canton gallery reopens after flood

On Aug. 13, Hannah Burnisky’s longtime dream of owning a pottery studio and art gallery came to fruition when the…
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Super 8 Motel, Macon. (photo: Garret K. Woodward)
 

This must be the place: My dreams fading down the railway line, I’m just about a moonlight mile down the road

It’s 9:21 a.m. Monday. Room 130. Super 8 Motel on the outskirts of Valdosta, Georgia. The air in the space…
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Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn, and Rep. Mark Walker at an American Renewal Project event in October. In return for Trump's blessing, Walker will not oppose Cawthorn ally Ted Budd for U.S. Senate.
 

Cawthorn’s Uncivil War

Congressman’s invasion into new district is triggering an intra-party reckoning  By TOM FIEDLER | When Madison Cawthorn revealed his plan to…
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Regional honors given to Haywood community groups
 

Regional honors given to Haywood community groups

The WNC Honors Awards, a program of WNC Communities, is built on a 72-year tradition of recognizing rural community development…
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COVID-19 cases rise following holiday
 

COVID-19 cases rise following holiday

In the week since the last press release, Haywood County Public Health has received notice of 170 new cases of COVID-19, doubling…
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Students in the preschool classroom at Smokey Mountain Elementary School enjoy sharing books with each other.  Jackson County Public Schools will soon add new preschool classrooms at Cullowhee Valley and Scotts Creek School thanks to a grant from Dogwood Health Trust.
 

Grant will allow Jackson to expand Pre-K

When Dr. Dana Ayers became Superintendent of Jackson County Public Schools in June 2021, two of her top priorities were…
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Supreme Court suspends candidate filing, moves 2022 Primary
 

Supreme Court suspends candidate filing, moves 2022 Primary

The North Carolina Supreme Court on Wednesday suspended candidate filing for all offices for the 2022 primary election.
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Burn ban partially lifted as drought conditions persist
 

Burn ban partially lifted as drought conditions persist

The statewide burn ban enacted Nov. 29 was lifted for 67 counties as of noon Wednesday, Dec. 8, due to…
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Built in 1924, Ela Dam sits above an ecologically important stretch of river. Holly Kays photo
 

‘Snuffed Out’: Unannounced dam release covers Oconaluftee in sediment

It was around 1 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 4, when Ken Brown’s phone started lighting up with photo texts depicting…
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NOC’s founders developed their recipe for Sherpa rice based on their travels to Nepal. Donated photo
 

Sherpa rice returns to NOC

River’s End Restaurant at Nantahala Outdoor Center is once more serving its legendary Sherpa rice dish after locals and visitors…
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Atlantic pigtoe mussel. Lilibeth Serrano photo
 

N.C. mussel added to threatened species list

A freshwater mussel known as the Atlantic pigtoe has been added as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act…
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Ben the red wolf prowls his former home at the Wolf Conservation Center in New York. Friends of the WNC Nature Center/Wolf Conservation Center photo
 

Red wolf arrives in Asheville

A 1982 Piper Saratoga airplane flew into the Asheville Regional Airport Nov. 20 to deliver an endangered red wolf and…
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Popcorn and caviar: a look at three books
 

Popcorn and caviar: a look at three books

Popcorn has little nutritional value, but it’s great when you have the munchies (and no, I don’t puff dope or…
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Here it comes; we better be ready
 

Here it comes; we better be ready

“Both the median sales price ($325,000) and the average sales price ($379,003) rose 26.5 percent and 20.3 percent year-over-year respectively…
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GOP leaders espouse radical views on education
 

GOP leaders espouse radical views on education

By Rob Schofield • Guest Columnist | It’s a bedrock principle of American law that average people can vindicate their…
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American democracy is backsliding
 

American democracy is backsliding

To the Editor: By now most Americans (and people around the globe) will have learned that the United States (for…
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Don’t let ‘conservatives’ destroy our ideals
 

Don’t let ‘conservatives’ destroy our ideals

To the Editor: This is in regards to Sen. Thom Tillis email of 3:10 a.m. Saturday morning, Dec 4, “Preventing…
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Students visit Hazel Creek
 

Students visit Hazel Creek

Eighth-grade students from Mountain Discovery Charter School in Bryson City went on a five-day and four-night backpacking up Hazel Creek. 
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Rescue funds to assist local governments
 

Rescue funds to assist local governments

Signed by President Joe Biden on March 17, 2021, the American Rescue Plan will provide $1.88 trillion in federal funds…
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Sylva still undecided on ARP projects
 

Sylva still undecided on ARP projects

Sylva is slated to receive a total of $880,000 in American Rescue Plan funds, but the town has not yet…
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AWAKE is a nonprofit organization advocating for victims of child abuse in Jackson County.
 

Jackson uses ARP money to assist nonprofits

The American Rescue Plan, signed into law March 6, allocated $350 billion for state and local relief in response to…
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Census tract limits Swain’s options for ARP spending
 

Census tract limits Swain’s options for ARP spending

Swain County Board of Commissioners voted to spend its American Rescue Plan allocation on pay for employees since a guideline…
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Bryson City approves one-time bonuses
 

Bryson City approves one-time bonuses

Bryson City Council approved premium pay for 32 employees during a Dec. 6 board of aldermen meeting. 
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