Palmer pleads guilty to murder
 

Palmer pleads guilty to murder

Thomas “Tommy” Glenn Palmer, 38, recently admitted in a Jackson County courtroom he shot and killed his stepfather, Tim Norris,…
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An artist's rendering shows plans for The Book.
 

Sports betting opens March 18 at Harrah's

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ new sports betting venue is set to open following a ribbon-cutting ceremony tomorrow at…
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N.C. birds suffering from bacterial infection
 

N.C. birds suffering from bacterial infection

A concerning number of goldfinch and pine siskin birds have been reported dead across the state over the past few…
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While the products may be packaged in different ways, this brand was found to contain the invasive mussels. Donated photo
 

Invasive mussels found in aquarium products

Invasive zebra mussels have been found in commercially available aquatic moss balls in North Carolina, and consumers who have purchased…
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Shealy’s saxifrage is a white, delicate flower with yellow and red accents on the petals. Donated photo
 

New flower found in South Carolina

A new flower species has been found in a South Carolina county bordering the Western North Carolina mountains, according to…
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Don Carringer poses with the winter squash harvest he brought in at Carringer Farms in Macon County. ASAP photo
 

‘Twice the work’: Farmers report higher-than-expected 2020 sales, but also higher costs

When spring sprung in 2020, so did the Coronavirus Pandemic, forcing farmers to make life-altering decisions in the face of…
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Spilling words like a house afire
 

Spilling words like a house afire

News flash: Buncombe County author Wayne Caldwell is also a poet! Evidenced by his just-released collection Woodsmoke (Blair Publications, Durham)…
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Left: The High Test Deli & Sweet Shop in Bryson City. Right: Balsam Falls Brewing Company in Sylva.
 

Tale of two signs: Local restaurants, breweries hold steady a year into shutdown

Wander along Everett Street in downtown Bryson City these days and you’ll be hard-pressed to find two things: a parking…
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The beloved Gretsch Electromatic.
 

It’s like I’m falling out of bed from a long and vivid dream

It was probably one of the most uneasy beers I’d ever drank. Sitting on the back porch of Frog Level…
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A glimmer, and it sure feels nice
 

A glimmer, and it sure feels nice

A year later. We’re still mourning the deaths and illnesses, the disruption of life as we knew it, the months…
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Cory Vaillancourt photo
 

A modest proposal for reviving Ghost Town in the Sky

By Case Brown • Guest Columnist | The on-and-off again investment deals for the embattled Ghost Town amusement park are…
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Another view on childhood poverty
 

Another view on childhood poverty

To the Editor: In last week’s edition of The Smoky Mountain News the editor gave us his thoughts of the…
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Let’s do away with Electoral College
 

Let’s do away with Electoral College

To the Editor: In the recent election Joe Biden received a majority of 7.1 million popular votes and 74 Electoral…
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One year later: COVID-19 killed 189 in the four-county area
 

One year later: COVID-19 killed 189 in the four-county area

When life as we knew it slammed to a sudden stop in mid-March of 2020, the novel coronavirus from Wuhan…
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Living Through A Pandemic — Year One
 

Living Through A Pandemic — Year One

Think back to 2019. Back when things were normal. Back when masks were only for Halloween, or for bank robbers.…
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Zach Sorrells repairs the gutters at Sylva Town Hall. Donated photo
 

When the job can’t stop: Trash collection picked up during the pandemic

When meetings moved to Zoom and schools shut down last March, Zach Sorrells kept on reporting to work. As a…
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Malcolm Skinner, a nursing student at Western Carolina University, is getting hands-on experience in his chosen profession by working at the school’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic. Holly Kays photo
 

‘My place in life’: Nursing student finds peace in COVID-19 response

For Malcom Skinner, the pandemic was not a pause, but rather a call to action.  “I’ve been trained up to…
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Virginia Wall of Waynesville walks her two dogs around the greenway. Donated photo
 

Using humor, finding purpose during a pandemic

Many people in the high-risk category for COVID-19 began isolating themselves at home last March to wait out the pandemic,…
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Over the past year, watching sunsets from the window of their New Jersey house was often the best part of the day for Lynn Jones and her husband, especially during the winter. Donated photo
 

Embracing solitude: Retiree finds peace in yearlong quarantine

In the pre-pandemic world, life was a constant swirl of activity for Lynn Jones and her husband. 
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Katlin Roberts masks up for teaching. Donated photo
 

School through a screen: Cherokee immersion teacher navigates pandemic

Katlin Roberts was making coronavirus contingency plans before most people in the United States had even really heard of COVID-19.…
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Macon County EMT Wendy Barker (left) and her wife Courtney, who is a state trooper, both contracted COVID-19 in January. Two months later, Barker is still working toward a slow recovery after unexpected symptoms. Donated photo
 

Unusual COVID case wreaks havoc on Macon EMT

It’s not easy to slow Wendy Barker down. She’s been an EMT for 15 years. She’s used to working 24…
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Silver Bluff administrator looks back on 2020
 

Silver Bluff administrator looks back on 2020

Lisa Leatherwood, Administrator at Silver Bluff Village, has had a unique perspective of the mayhem that is the COVID-19 pandemic…
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Affordable housing coming to Howell Mill Road
 

Affordable housing coming to Howell Mill Road

After the results of a Town of Waynesville Planning Board meeting on March 16, Haywood County will now move into…
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Maggie Valley considers waterfall park proposal
 

Maggie Valley considers waterfall park proposal

Maggie Valley will soon decide whether or not to develop a waterfall park on a property it has had in…
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Rep. Madison Cawthorn speaks on HR1446 on March 11. CSPAN screenshot
 

Gun control bills prove divisive

A pair of gun control bills passed the U.S. House of Representatives last week and are now heading for the Senate.…
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Haywood vaccine clinic moves to Lambeth Inn
 

Haywood vaccine clinic moves to Lambeth Inn

Key Updates:  Haywood County’s Mass Vaccination clinic will move this week to a new temporary location at the Lambuth Inn at…
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President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) on March 11.
 

Biden’s American Rescue Plan means millions for NC local governments

While most Americans are looking forward to receiving the $1,400 payments included in President Joe Biden’s $1.88 trillion American Rescue…
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While the products may be packaged in different ways, this brand was found to contain the invasive mussels. Donated photo
 

Invasive mussels found in aquarium products

Invasive zebra mussels have been found in commercially available aquatic moss balls in North Carolina, and consumers who have purchased…
Read More

Comment

WCU to resume nearly normal operations this fall
 

WCU to resume nearly normal operations this fall

Western Carolina University is planning for a fall semester that will be “close to normal,” given current COVID-19 trends and…
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Jackson names new school superintendent
 

Jackson names new school superintendent

Jackson County Schools Board of Education has selected Dr. Dana Ayers as its new superintendent. 
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Ground breaks on HCC Health Sciences Building
 

Ground breaks on HCC Health Sciences Building

Haywood Community College recently held a Groundbreaking Ceremony on campus for the Health Sciences Education Building. During the ceremony, those…
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HCA/Mission monitor to hold webinar
 

HCA/Mission monitor to hold webinar

Gibbins Advisors is scheduling an informational online meeting open to all communities in Western North Carolina served by Mission Health.…
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A mother bear and her cubs make a dangerous journey across Interstate 40. Susan Detwiler photo
 

Searching for safe passage: Group works for safer wildlife crossings on I-40

Growing up in eastern Kentucky, Frances Figart loved any chance to glimpse the diverse wildlife species roaming those Appalachian foothills…
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Ozone season begins
 

Ozone season begins

The 2021 ozone season began March 1, signaling the resumption of daily air quality forecasts across North Carolina. 
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New operator chosen for livestock market
 

New operator chosen for livestock market

After 10 years running the WNC Regional Livestock Market, John Queen is retiring from the job, and the WNC Communities…
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Firefighters conduct a prescribed burn on the area in 2009. NPS photo
 

Prescribed burns planned

A 175-acre prescribed burn is planned for this week along the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Wears Valley to…
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Black Folks Camp Too Founder Earl B. Hunter Jr. joins Crowders Mountain State Park Superintendent Glen George, along with a BFCT adventuring crew. Donated photo
 

Partnership will promote Black participation in outdoor rec

A partnership between the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and Brevard-based Black Folks Camp Too is expected to…
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Connect to the spirit of the Smokies
 

Connect to the spirit of the Smokies

The “Spirit of the Smokies” certificate program is starting up again, offered by the University of Tennessee’s Smoky Mountain Field…
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Blindsided by Rachel Hollis
 

Blindsided by Rachel Hollis

My sister, her husband, and a friend recently visited me for several days. Though I don’t own a television, there’s…
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Josh Remillard
 

Another Democrat begins campaign for Madison Cawthorn’s seat

Army veteran and 2020 state House candidate Josh Remillard, of Mills River, has officially entered the race for North Carolina’s…
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A long overdue plan to cut childhood poverty
 

A long overdue plan to cut childhood poverty

The Covid relief bill now working its way through Congress will mark a transformation in the way this country treats…
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Getting my hands dirty and loving it
 

Getting my hands dirty and loving it

I moved from Maggie Valley to Waynesville last fall. My house in Maggie was on the side of Soco Road…
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Let’s honor a different history
 

Let’s honor a different history

To the Editor: I am so sick of hearing this argument that we’re “changing” or “erasing” history by changing statues…
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Trump is a threat
 

Trump is a threat

To the Editor: The other day a friend of mine made this remark: “I never want to hear Trump supporters…
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Cawthorn should have stayed to vote
 

Cawthorn should have stayed to vote

To the Editor: I’m writing to express my outrage regarding Madison Cawthorn’s bogus attempt to defend his proxy vote when…
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Voting rights bill deserves support
 

Voting rights bill deserves support

To the Editor: Voting records show that North Carolina and Haywood County had the largest voter turnout ever in the…
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HERE in Jackson plans considers homeless shelter project
 

HERE in Jackson plans considers homeless shelter project

For more than a decade, groups serving Jackson County’s homeless population have done so on a shoestring and a thin…
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WCU women create local branch of University Women
 

WCU women create local branch of University Women

The American Association of University Women was founded by a group of female college graduates in 1881 to advocate for…
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Vaccine availability increases
 

Vaccine availability increases

Macon County became the first county in The Smoky Mountain News’ four-county coverage area to break the 20 percent mark…
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The Town of Waynesville Board of Aldermen met last week for budget talks. Donated photo
 

Tough decisions in store for Waynesville budget

As the town of Waynesville digs into the budget process for the 2021-22 fiscal year, aldermen are again considering ways…
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