A slide from Waynesville Alderman Jon Feichter’s affordable housing presentation details the rise in housing costs over the last few years. Donated photo
 

Feichter pushes for affordable housing in Waynesville

Waynesville Alderman Jon Feichter says that he’s proud of the concrete steps previous town boards took to address the affordable…
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Contrary to initial predictions, sales and property tax revenues for 2020 increased compared to previous years. Jackson County graph
 

Jackson forecasts revenue increase

Despite the dire predictions of spring 2020, Jackson County’s budget prognosis for the 2021-2022 fiscal year is looking downright positive,…
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Maggie Valley begins budget talks
 

Maggie Valley begins budget talks

Maggie Valley town officials are cautiously optimistic about the coming budget year after preliminary reports show the pandemic did not…
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Macon moves forward with middle school renovations
 

Macon moves forward with middle school renovations

At the 11th hour, Macon County Commissioners called a special meeting to discuss whether to move forward with an $8…
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Patience, passion and pork: Big Nick’s Barbecue carries on family tradition
 

Patience, passion and pork: Big Nick’s Barbecue carries on family tradition

Coming off Exit 85 on the Great Smoky Mountains Expressway, a funny thing happens to drivers when they’re about halfway…
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Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, 2006.
 

This must be the place: You are the rock on the riverbed, growing smoother every year

Sunday morning. Sunshine and blue skies piercing through my dusty bedroom window. I’ve been up an hour or so. And…
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Reggae, soul rolls into WNC
 

Reggae, soul rolls into WNC

The Natti Love Joys will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 20, at Lazy Hiker Brewing in Franklin.
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Franklin art classes
 

Franklin art classes

There will be a wide array of new and ongoing art classes offered in the coming weeks and months at…
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Under Attack, Cawthorn Moves (Farther) Right
 

Under Attack, Cawthorn Moves (Farther) Right

By Peter H. Lewis, Asheville Watchdog | Since Madison Cawthorn took office two months ago, vowing to represent everyone in his…
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Repaving Coming to Three Western Highways
 

Repaving Coming to Three Western Highways

SYLVA – N.C. Department of Transportation officials recently awarded three contracts to resurface highways in Cherokee, Jackson and Henderson counties.
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(L-R) Donna Orford; Christine Leonhardt; Debbie Maund; Pauline Luther; Barbara Macfarlane; Jennie Terry; Margaret Lewis; Karen Stoltz; Ashley Hornsby Welch, district attorney; Lindy Blanton.
 

DA Welch presented with patches of comfort

Quilters at Sassy Stitches in Franklin recently presented patches of comfort to District Attorney Ashley Welch, who is undergoing treatment…
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Jackson opens online vaccine registration
 

Jackson opens online vaccine registration

A new online portal now allows people to schedule themselves for COVID-19 vaccine appointments through the Jackson County Department of…
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Even during January this year, visitors crowd the space at Laurel Falls. NPS photo
 

WNC claims two of 2020’s three most visited National Park units

Despite the pandemic — or perhaps because of it — Western North Carolina was home to two of the nation’s…
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Harrah's Donates to Swain County Fund
 

Harrah's Donates to Swain County Fund

The Swain County United Gift Fund is pleased to announce a donation of $2,000 from Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort. This…
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Barbara McRae leaves lasting legacy in Macon County
 

Barbara McRae leaves lasting legacy in Macon County

Vice Mayor of Franklin Barbara McRae passed away Tuesday night after a long and valiant battle against cancer.
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New trail coming to Old Fort
 

New trail coming to Old Fort

The U.S. Forest Service wants public input on a proposal to build 42 miles of new trails near Old Fort…
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Pandemic changes trail season plans
 

Pandemic changes trail season plans

With the pandemic still very much in effect as thru-hiker season comes around once more, trail season in Franklin will…
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Full closure planned for Cades Cove Loop Road
 

Full closure planned for Cades Cove Loop Road

Cades Cove Loop Road will be fully closed for three weeks in September to allow crews to resurface the popular…
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A flat area at the end of Blackrock Road offers a sweeping view and could be used as a helipad in case of emergency. Donated photo
 

Riding high in Jackson: Proposed 35-mile trail system would be East Coast’s highest for bikes

A group of Western North Carolina mountain biking enthusiasts has unveiled plans to bring the highest-elevation mountain bike trail on…
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Cracks and bumps in the road show the need for repaving. NPS photo
 

Paving begins on park road

A paving project expected to last through the end of November is now underway on the Great Smoky Mountains National…
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Cash addresses hike participants on the trail. NPS photo
 

Video shows impact of Smokies Hikes for Healing

A new video highlighting the Smokies Hikes for Healing program, a hiking series that Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent…
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Silence, devils, pollyanna and peace of mind
 

Silence, devils, pollyanna and peace of mind

“What happens to people who live inside their phones?” In his short novel The Silence (Simon & Schuster, Inc. 2020,…
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How many visitors are too many?
 

How many visitors are too many?

The Smokies region is an outdoor mecca that attracts millions of people each year. For better or worse, that onslaught…
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Charles Starnes.
 

The ‘Sap is Risin’ and a life well lived

By Randy Siske • Contributing writer | Our “Breakfast Club” started eating together in 2006 just because we went to…
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Election fraud evidence is slim to none
 

Election fraud evidence is slim to none

To the Editor: I am alarmed by the variety and sheer numbers of claims of election fraud we still see,…
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Letter writer has her facts wrong
 

Letter writer has her facts wrong

To the Editor: This is in response to the recent letter by Carol Adams of Glenville: “Trump was 1,000 Percent…
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Getting vaccinated also helps others
 

Getting vaccinated also helps others

To the Editor: On behalf of the Haywood County Senior Democrats, I would like to express our profound gratitude to…
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Jasmine Beach-Ferrara
 

Buncombe Commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara wants Madison Cawthorn’s seat

Some people will say a gay woman who’s a Christian minister just can’t get elected in the South.
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COVID cases plunge as vaccine availability increases
 

COVID cases plunge as vaccine availability increases

Coronavirus cases, deaths and hospitalizations are falling sharply around the region as vaccine coverage improves, providing a longed-for surge of…
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Pandemic exposes fragile childcare system
 

Pandemic exposes fragile childcare system

On average, it costs parents $9,480 a year for infant childcare in North Carolina, which is $2,126 more than they’ll…
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Jackson County’s natural resources, including the angler-friendly Tuckasegee River, are key to its economic development plans. Jackson County TDA photo
 

Jackson approves economic development strategy

A plan that will guide the county’s economic development strategy for the next five years received unanimous support Feb. 16…
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AT&T boosts network speeds for Cherokee
 

AT&T boosts network speeds for Cherokee

AT&T customers and FirstNet subscribers in Cherokee got a big boost in wireless connectivity. AT&T added a new cell tower…
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SMN brings home 26 N.C. Press Awards
 

SMN brings home 26 N.C. Press Awards

The Smoky Mountain News team won 26 editorial awards in the 2020 North Carolina Press Association News and Editorial Contest. 
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Jackson man to serve 18 months for EBCI embezzlement
 

Jackson man to serve 18 months for EBCI embezzlement

A Jackson County man who pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $95,000 from an enterprise of the Eastern Band of…
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Cawthorn defends proxy vote from CPAC
 

Cawthorn defends proxy vote from CPAC

As if last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) wasn’t controversial enough — the stage resembled a rune with Nazi…
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Health care foundation won’t remove anti-vax, anti-mask trustee
 

Health care foundation won’t remove anti-vax, anti-mask trustee

Despite calls to do so, a nonprofit health care foundation charged with managing more than $13 million of Haywood County…
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Major increase in property values coming for Haywood
 

Major increase in property values coming for Haywood

Although the results of Haywood County’s comprehensive revaluation process haven’t yet been mailed out, county administrators and elected officials want…
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Although weathered, Ghost Town’s main street still retains much of its character. Cory Vaillancourt photo
 

Hillbilly Jammers get high on the mountain

Attendees of this year’s Hillbilly Winter Jam kicked off the annual fest with a special treat — a private visit…
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Ghost Town remains one of the most unique parcels of land in the country. Cory Vaillancourt photo
 

Plans for Ghost Town property begin to emerge

There is perhaps no parcel of land in Haywood County that generates as much interest as the one that’s home…
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Travers Brothership. (photo: David Simchock)
 

Been a long time since I rock and rolled: Facing uncertainty amid the shutdown, WNC bands aim even higher

In the depths of The One Stop in downtown Asheville on Saturday, members of the Travers Brothership and Abby Bryant…
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“Big Jack” roaming the farmhouse. (photo: Garret K. Woodward)
 

This must be the place: Ode to ‘Big Jack,’ ode to $100 felines

Rest easy, “Big Jack” (aka: “Jack Kerouac”). Goodbye to my beloved cat, who passed away this week back in my…
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Five more COVID deaths recorded in Haywood
 

Five more COVID deaths recorded in Haywood

Haywood County Health and Human Services has received notice of five more COVID-19 deaths, bringing the total number now to…
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Rep. Cawthorn meet with Tribal Council.
 

Rep. Cawthorn Tours Western Counties

NC-11 Congressional Rep. Madison Cawthorn spent last week engaging with his constituents in the western reaches of the district.
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Haywood EMS partners with HVO on COVID pod production
 

Haywood EMS partners with HVO on COVID pod production

Expanding on an existing partnership, Haywood County Emergency Services has contracted Haywood Vocational Opportunities, Inc. to manufacture COVID pod covers…
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Highlights from Smokies' Hikes for Healing Program
 

Highlights from Smokies' Hikes for Healing Program

Great Smoky Mountains National Park announced the release of a video highlighting the Smokies Hikes for Healing program. In response to social…
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Priscilla Ndiaye Robinson
 

Black Home Ownership and the Promise of Reparations

By Barbara Durr, Asheville Watchdog — Priscilla Ndiaye Robinson looked across the empty fields where her Southside neighborhood once thrived. “It’s…
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Gov. Roy Cooper delivers remarks during a Feb. 24 press conference.
 

NC Gov. Cooper eases some coronavirus restrictions

As vaccination of North Carolinians continues and positive coronavirus case reports decline, today Gov. Roy Cooper announced changes to a…
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The annual Pisgah-Tuscola rivalry game will take place on Friday, Feb. 26.
 

Haywood scores touchdown on stadium capacity limits

It’s not something that happens all that often, but a late fourth-quarter drive by Western North Carolina’s state and local…
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HCC grad wins military honors
 

HCC grad wins military honors

A 1995 Haywood Community College graduate has received seven awards for his distinguished assistance to the U.S. military in Afghanistan. 
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A biker takes a jump at a bike park similar to the one Alvo envisions for Canton. Seth Alvo photo
 

‘A trail for everybody’: YouTuber raises funds for Canton bike park

The first trails at Canton’s Chestnut Mountain Park will be ready to ride before the leaves drop this fall thanks…
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