Supreme Court candidates navigate partisan campaigning and judicial integrity
 

Supreme Court candidates navigate partisan campaigning and judicial integrity

They may be the most consequential races in North Carolina this year, yet most people don’t even know who’s running.
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Al Platt (left) and Mike Clampitt
 

Clampitt, Platt look to gain new ground in 119th District

In North Carolina politics, some things change, while others stay the same. 
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Haywood County Animal Services offers ‘Free ride home’ for lost pets
 

Haywood County Animal Services offers ‘Free ride home’ for lost pets

Haywood County Animal Services is offering a free ride home for lost pets they find wandering the county if there…
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BPR announces ‘Big Switch’
 

BPR announces ‘Big Switch’

Blue Ridge Public Radio announced an upgrade to its services that will expand its capacity to provide 24/7 news and…
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Council Rep. Taylor faces domestic violence charges
 

Council Rep. Taylor faces domestic violence charges

Dennis Edward “Bill” Taylor, a fourth-term Wolfetown representative on the Cherokee Tribal Council, is facing a trio of criminal charges…
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Sarge’s honors community with ‘Furrst Responder Hero Calendar’
 

Sarge’s honors community with ‘Furrst Responder Hero Calendar’

Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation is introducing a new way to help furry friends in its care by creating the first…
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Painttown Rep. Tommye Saunooke was serving her 12th consecutive term on the Cherokee Tribal Council when she passed away Sunday, Oct. 9. EBCI photo
 

Council Rep. Saunooke dies in office

Painttown Rep. Tommye Saunooke, 82, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 9, in the midst of her 12th consecutive term on…
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SCC’s Boots, Blue Jeans & Bling annual gala sets records
 

SCC’s Boots, Blue Jeans & Bling annual gala sets records

For the last two years, Southwestern Community College’s Boots, Blue Jeans and Bling gala had to be canceled due to…
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Sydney and Dan McGuire have taken the helm at Smoky Mountain Aquatic Club and are excited to get to work. SMAC photo
 

SMAC brings in two new coaches

Smoky Mountain Aquatic Club has not one, but two new coaches at the helm that know a thing or two…
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The efficacy of syringe service programs (SSPs) has come under scrutiny, despite 30 years of published research.
 

Bombshell report claims NC law enforcement interference with syringe service programs, including in Haywood

A General Assembly-backed initiative to prevent opioid overdoses, provide linkages to care and stem the spread of communicable diseases through the…
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A dump truck spreads dirt — not misinformation — on the Jonathan Creek parcel in January, 2018.
 

More misinformation: Miller’s 'missing' millions

After a marathon misinformation session at an August Haywood County Commissioners meeting during which commissioners fought back against comments from the public…
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Rep. Lauren Boebert appears to be in a tight reelection battle this year.
 

Defamation suit filed in North Carolina against Colorado congresswoman Lauren Boebert

American Muckrakers, the North Carolina political action committee that has hounded Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-Henderson) throughout his tenure, filed suit in North Carolina today…
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Feral swine live in family groups called “sounders.” USDA photo
 

Purging the pigs: Pilot program aims 
to knock back feral swine populations

When Europeans first began exploring North America, they knew precious little about the land toward which they traveled — or…
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Grants awards fuel WNC conservation projects
 

Grants awards fuel WNC conservation projects

Conservation projects in Western North Carolina will receive $6.6 million of the $70.3 million in N.C. Land and Water Fund…
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Like other gentian species, the fringed gentian, Gentianopsis crinite, has blue-to-purple flowers that grow in tubular form. Adam Bigelow photo
 

Notes from a plant nerd: Gentians, pronounced like ‘gen-shun’

It used to be, when I was first getting into wildflowers, that I would see the gentians begin to bloom,…
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Red wolf. USFWS photo
 

Draft red wolf plan released

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a draft version of a plan to guide recovery of the critically…
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Hope and laughter from a patron saint
 

Hope and laughter from a patron saint

Dear Christine Simon, Normally I write a book review in this space, and I intend to do so here in…
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Finding real news is just not that hard
 

Finding real news is just not that hard

National Public Lands Day dawned crisp and cool Saturday, Sept. 24, a celebration of everything most beloved about fall in…
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Moral decay in U.S. is abominable
 

Moral decay in U.S. is abominable

To the Editor: Most Americans who care about their country and who vote faithfully want desperately to believe that the…
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Ted Budd is a troubling candidate
 

Ted Budd is a troubling candidate

To the Editor: I am an independent voter. I belong to no political party, but rather base my choices on…
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Ghost Town’s obituary is written
 

Ghost Town’s obituary is written

To the Editor: Frankie Wood conned Alaska Presley into believing he could bring Ghost Town back and was able to…
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Local school boards becoming more politicized
 

Local school boards becoming more politicized

Public schools have grappled with constant change over the last several years due to the impacts of COVID-19.
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Clockwise from top, left: Lisa Loftis, Jamie Fisher, Travis Hyatt, R.L. Taylor
 

Four candidates left in race for Swain County School Board

Unique among the Smoky Mountain News’ four county coverage area, the Swain County School Board is a partisan-elected board. This…
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From left: Marla Morris, Mike Graham, Brooke Haynes.
 

Three newcomers, three incumbents on the ballot for Haywood Schools

On the heels of new academic data showing Haywood County Schools ranking seventh among the state’s 115 districts, school board…
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Clockwise from top, left: Billy Handley, Stephanie Hyder Laseter, Danny Reitmeier, Diedre Breeden, Carol Arnold.
 

Macon to vote on new school board members, funding option for new high school

This year, Macon County Schools began the process of building a new high school. The Franklin High School that exists…
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Waynesville’s Susanna Shetley took home the NYC Big Book Award for Childrens Environment as a distinguished favorite for her book, “The Jolt Felt Around the World.” Donated photo
 

Shetley wins national book award

The NYC Big Book Award recognized “The Jolt Felt Around the World” in the category of Childrens Environment as a…
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State, local, and environmental officials participated in a groundbreaking ceremony for Corridor K on Monday. NCDOT photo
 

Officials break ground on Corridor K project

State and local officials celebrated a groundbreaking ceremony Monday for Corridor K, a project that will improve mobility in Western North…
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Tribal and casino leaders (from left, Tribal Casino Gaming Commission Chair Tommy Lambert, Principal Chief Richard Sneed, Tribal Council Chairman Richard French, Vice Chief Alan "B" Ensley, Valley River Casino General Manager Lumpy Lambert and Harrah’s Cherokee General Manager Brooks Robinson) break ground on the $275 million expansion project. Holly Kays photo
 

Tribe begins $275 million expansion at Murphy casino

One day after the seven-year anniversary of the Valley River Casino’s grand opening just outside of Murphy, tribal officials and casino…
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Town of Lake Santeetlah Council Member Tina Emerson defends herself against charges of fraudulent voter registration in Robbinsville on Sept. 28. Cory Vaillancourt photo
 

Graham Board of Elections dismisses one registration challenge, but the fight’s not over

Voters in Graham County can now establish legal residency simply by declaring their “intent” to reside in a particular place,…
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More than 100 people took to the streets of Waynesville on Saturday, Oct. 1. Cory Vaillancourt photo
 

As NC Republicans eye supermajority for abortion 
restrictions, Edwards calls pro-choice voters ‘evil’

The debate over abortion rights now moves to the General Assembly — and therefore, the ballot box — but both…
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A longtime beloved stage act, Blues Traveler will hit Asheville on Oct. 11. (Donated photo)
 

Still got this dream that you just can’t shake: Chan Kinchla of Blues Traveler

Since 1987, New Jersey-based Blues Traveler has remained one of the hardest working and most resilient rock acts in the…
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The ‘Cosmic Cowboy’ Peter Rowan. (Garret K. Woodward photo)
 

This must be the place: Beg, steal or borrow two nickels or a dime to call me on the phone

Room 424. Marriott City Center. Raleigh. Thursday. Awakened by the sounds of a banjo and laughter in the hallway, the…
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C.E. Weatherby Stadium will host the County Clash between Tuscola and Pisgah football, despite rampant speculation that the game would be played at the Bethel Middle School field.
 

Stadium snafu: After a rumored County Clash venue change, Tuscola to host rivalry game

Heated speculation lit up social media the night of Oct. 3. The rumor: The 2022 County Clash wouldn’t take place…
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Haywood will lease parking spots for forthcoming Waynesville hotel
 

Haywood will lease parking spots for forthcoming Waynesville hotel

A Raleigh-based hospitality corporation that wants to build a new hotel at the corner of Depot and Montgomery streets in…
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Syringe service programs have been a controversial topic in Haywood County for the past few years
 

Haywood needle exchange resolution would have statewide impact

After first discussing the matter almost a month ago, Haywood County commissioners are now calling upon the General Assembly to…
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A survey site is set up along a U.S. Forest Service road. USDA photo
 

Visitor survey starting in the Pisgah-Nantahala

Every five years, the National Forests in North Carolina surveys its visitors to glean a wide range of information, and…
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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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Buddhism and the San Francisco Beats
 

Buddhism and the San Francisco Beats

“Crowded By Beauty” (University of California Press, 2015) is the poetic title of the most recent biography of Philip Whalen.…
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Located just outside Highlands, the Skyline Lodge is a beautiful art deco hotel that was renovated and reopened in 2021 by Indigo Road Hospitality. The Sprouthouse Agency photo
 

Hidden amongst the tree line: Highland’s Skyline Lodge combines natural, culinary beauty

Pulling up to the Skyline Lodge, a peaceful silence washes over you while emerging from your vehicle. Walking toward the…
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Jamestown Connector in Ohio. Garret K. Woodward photo
 

This must be the place: Instead of insight, maybe all a man gets is strength to wander for a while

What’s that feeling you get pulling back up in front of your humble abode after weeks away, wandering and pondering?
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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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