Commission Chair Paul Higdon speaks during the Nov. 14 meeting. Bob Scott photo
 

Macon signs resolution to restructure commission elections

Macon County Commissioners are divided over a resolution in support of revising the system to elect county commissioners in order…
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Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort has offered a sports betting lounge since March 2021. Harrah’s photo
 

Per cap numbers indicate faltering casino revenues

The most recent per capita distribution numbers indicate flagging revenues at the two casinos operating on Eastern Band of Cherokee…
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Candidate filing begins for 2024 elections
 

Candidate filing begins for 2024 elections

National, state and local offices will be on the ballot across North Carolina for a high-stakes 2024 election, and it…
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Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation names new executive director
 

Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation names new executive director

 The Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation announced that Charlotte Muir has been appointed as its new executive director. The announcement comes…
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The most easily spotted sign of the hemlock wooly adelgid is the white egg sacs the aphid-like insects lay at the base of hemlock needles on the underside of the branches. Holly Kays photo
 

Hope for the hemlocks: Hike explores past, present and future of WNC hemlocks

Under the gray, misty November sky covering Panthertown Valley near Cashiers, we swish through shin-deep leaves in search of hemlock…
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The Meadows Loop Trail includes two bridges and two boardwalks. USFS photo
 

Accessible trail opens in Old Fort

A new hiking trail is now open in Old Fort, offering an opportunity for people with disabilities to get outside. 
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Runners race through the  finish line Sunday, Nov. 12.  Friends of the Smokies photo
 

Race raises $110K to support the Smokies

Held Sunday, Nov. 12, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Cades Cove Loop Lope raised more than $110,000…
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Winter Gary. Highlands Biological Foundation photo
 

Highlands Biological Foundation appoints interim director

Winter Gary has been appointed interim executive director of the Highlands Biological Foundation as the organization works through a leadership…
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See ‘Winter Lights’
 

See ‘Winter Lights’

Check out Winter Lights at the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville with a group leaving from the Waynesville Recreation Department at…
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Data bodes well for N.C. outdoor rec economy
 

Data bodes well for N.C. outdoor rec economy

Newly released economic data measuring the outdoor recreation industry’s impact on the U.S. economy shows that, despite ongoing economic challenges,…
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Spend Friday nights on the slopes
 

Spend Friday nights on the slopes

Registration opens Dec. 1 for a program offering discounted rates to ski and snowboard Cataloochee Ski Area on Friday nights…
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Reimagine Bartram’s travels
 

Reimagine Bartram’s travels

A visual exploration of the Blue Ridge Bartram Trail will be on display through Jan. 6, 2024, at The Bascom…
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New trail under construction at Old Fort
 

New trail under construction at Old Fort

Work has started on a new 3-mile trail near Old Fort. 
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Bike Chestnut Mountain
 

Bike Chestnut Mountain

Ride the trails with an experienced mountain bike instructor at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at Chestnut Mountain Nature Park…
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Rash takes care of business in ‘The Caretaker’
 

Rash takes care of business in ‘The Caretaker’

Ron Rash’s new novel “The Caretaker” (Doubleday, 2023, 252 pgs.) is much different than his previous novels.
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The group poses for a picture following the Rock Your Mocs Walk Nov. 15 at Western Carolina University. Holly Kays photo
 

Living culture: WCU undertakes project showcasing Cherokee heritage on campus

At mid-morning on Wednesday, Nov. 15, the fountain at the heart of Western Carolina University’s campus is a thoroughfare.
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The Black Bear Fire burns below an aircraft dispatched to fight the fire.  U.S. Forest Service photo
 

Wildfires burn as rain reaches WNC

A steady rain arrived in Western North Carolina Tuesday, Nov. 21, marking the first precipitation of that magnitude the region has…
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The Macon County Public Library is part of the Fontana Regional Library system. File photo
 

Buck the system: Macon recommends changes to Fontana Regional Library agreement

With the 10-year Fontana Regional Library agreement up for review, commissions in all three counties are considering changes to the…
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The East Fork of the Pigeon River on the afternoon of Aug. 17, a few hours before the river roared over its banks to cause deadly and destructive flooding. Scott McLeod photo
 

Watershed restoration underway after 2021 flooding

More than two years after flooding along the Pigeon River and its tributaries killed half a dozen people and destroyed…
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Haywood County and Waynesville look to stay ahead of cryptocurrency mining
 

Haywood County and Waynesville look to stay ahead of cryptocurrency mining

It’s novel, it’s trendy and it’s a great way to become fabulously wealthy — or lose everything you have —…
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Haywood County Sheriff Bill Wilke was sworn in last December. File photo
 

The state of the sheriff’s office: Haywood’s top cop drops data, details from his first year

It’s been just under a year since Bill Wilke became Haywood County’s sheriff, after longtime popular incumbent, Greg Christopher, decided…
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Lake Santeetlah back to business after election wins
 

Lake Santeetlah back to business after election wins

New town leadership is looking forward to getting things moving again in the tiny Graham County municipality of Lake Santeetlah,…
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County Manager Derek Roland was at the podium when Commissioner John Shearl called for his resignation.
 

Mayhem in Macon

In a public meeting that lasted more than five hours, Macon County Commissioners approved premium pay for county employees, 3-2.…
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Commissioner John Shearl voiced support for a partisan-elected school board.
 

Macon tables partisan school board discussion

After contentious debate over the decision to make the Macon County Board of Education partisan-elected, county commissioners tabled the issue…
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Estridge in, Guiney out for Sylva Town Council
 

Estridge in, Guiney out for Sylva Town Council

After canvassing, the vote count is official, with Brad Waldrop, Mark Jones and Blitz Estridge winning seats on the Sylva…
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The male eastern wild turkey has dark plumage with striking  bronze, copper and green iridescent colors. Warren Lynn photo
 

Word from the Smokies: What we can learn from wild turkeys

If you plan to travel around Western North Carolina or East Tennessee to visit friends or family and eat turkey…
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Crews work on a bridge on Lakeview Drive. NPS photo
 

Lakeview Drive reopens

Lakeview Drive in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Bryson City is now open, but rehabilitation work on the…
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Santa Claus rappels down Chimney Rock. Donated photo
 

Santa to visit Chimney Rock

Old Saint Nick will visit Chimney Rock State Park in Rutherford County Saturdays, Dec. 2 and 9, for the 26th…
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“The Mirnavator” is a film that played at a previous No Man’s Land Film Festival. Donated photo
 

No Man’s Land Film Festival returns to WNC

The No Man’s Land Film Festival, the premier all-woman adventure film festival, will screen at New Belgium Brewing’s Liquid Center…
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An N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission official releases trout into a river. NCWRC photo
 

Tons of trout coming to WNC

More than 67,000 pounds of trout will be stocked in the mountain and piedmont regions of North Carolina between Nov.…
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Air quality report reveals good news for N.C.
 

Air quality report reveals good news for N.C.

North Carolinians continue to breathe the cleanest air in decades as emissions of harmful air pollutants like nitrogen oxides and…
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Dine with Haywood Waterways
 

Dine with Haywood Waterways

Celebrate the Pigeon River Watershed during Haywood Waterways Association’s annual membership meeting and holiday dinner 6-8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6,…
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Forest Service advisory group seeks new members
 

Forest Service advisory group seeks new members

The committee responsible for advising on U.S. Forest Service recreation fees is looking for new members. 
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Workforce grants available for ag employers
 

Workforce grants available for ag employers

Through Nov. 28 agricultural employers can apply for grants through a pilot program designed to improve the resilience of the…
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NOC welcomes Santa
 

NOC welcomes Santa

Meet Santa at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in Swain County at one of three events coming up next month. 
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Tree discounts available for military members, veterans
 

Tree discounts available for military members, veterans

During the month of November, military members and veterans can receive a discount on tree seedling orders from the N.C.…
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Nantahala Hiking Club to celebrate year of stewardship
 

Nantahala Hiking Club to celebrate year of stewardship

The Nantahala Hiking Club will recognize outstanding volunteers during its annual awards banquet 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at First…
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Practice your shot
 

Practice your shot

A turkey shoot will be held 9 a.m. Saturdays at the American Legion in Waynesville, continuing weekly through mid-April 2024. 
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Cherokee Justice Center
 

Arrest made in Big Cove cold case murder

Nearly a decade after 26-year-old Marie Walkingstick Pheasant’s body was found in a burned-out vehicle in Cherokee’s Big Cove community,…
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Smoke rises from the Collett Ridge Fire near Andrews. USFS photo
 

Wildfires burn across the region as drought continues

For the first time since 2016, Western North Carolina is in the midst of a severe drought coupled with an…
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LGBTQ+ candidates earn historic victories nationally, locally
 

LGBTQ+ candidates earn historic victories nationally, locally

Tuesday, Nov. 7 was an important night for out LGBTQ+ candidates across the country, the state and Haywood County, with…
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The paper mill at the heart of Canton stopped producing paper in May. A Shot Above photo
 

Pactiv Evergreen blamed for milk carton shortages in schools

There’s no use crying over spilt milk, but a shocking report suggests that Pactiv Evergreen failed in its analysis of…
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WNC swears in a new judge
 

WNC swears in a new judge

After several months of filling gaps in court calendars with visiting judges, Western North Carolina will finally fill its District…
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Turnout in this year's election was significantly higher than last time. File photo
 

Incumbents roll, 'Team Waynesville' falls flat

They ran a noisy campaign, filled with distortions, misinformation and outright fabrication, but in the end, that’s all it was…
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Sylva elects new mayor, council members
 

Sylva elects new mayor, council members

The Sylva Town Council could have three new members, including a new mayor after vote totals become official later this…
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Maggie Valley winners pledge to work together
 

Maggie Valley winners pledge to work together

Maggie Valley will retain two of its incumbents, including its mayor, for the next four years. 
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Haywood sees high turnout, no voter ID issues
 

Haywood sees high turnout, no voter ID issues

Fears that North Carolina’s new voter ID implementation would disenfranchise legitimate voters have proven unfounded — at least in Haywood…
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Canton reveals plan for waste water treatment plant
 

Canton reveals plan for waste water treatment plant

While there are still plenty of unknowns regarding Canton’s new waste water treatment plant, including where it will go and…
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Longtime Canton board members reelected
 

Longtime Canton board members reelected

The Town of Canton’s governing board has been through a lot in the last four years — with the 2021…
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Improvements to Bridge Park include a paved parking area. Donated photo
 

Bridge Park set for upgrades

After delays due to funding and insufficient bids, Sylva is set to begin work on the Bridge Park Green Infrastructure…
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