Chestnut Mountain Nature Park will offer new outdoor recreation opportunities just outside Canton town limits. SAHC photo
 

Chestnut Mountain opens this weekend

The long-awaited Chestnut Mountain Nature Park just outside Canton will open to the public Saturday, April 23, with a family-friendly…
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Frederick Law Olmstead’s vision inspired creation of the N.C. Arboretum. N.C. Arboretum image
 

Frederick Law Olmstead turns 200

Celebrate the 200th birthday of famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, at the…
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Making peace with the past
 

Making peace with the past

I spent my boyhood living in Graham County in a community called Milltown in Robbinsville. In those days, there was…
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The String Cheese Incident
 

Into the blue: Bill Nershi of The String Cheese Incident

With its latest album, the EP “Into the Blue,” Colorado-based jam-band icons The String Cheese Incident have offered up a…
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Rural South Carolina. (photo: Garret K. Woodward)
 

This must be the place: I know the journey’s long and I’m sure you’ll find your way

It was a couple miles beyond the Georgia/South Carolina border heading north on Interstate 95 when the highway sign blinked…
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Paying to play may be the new reality
 

Paying to play may be the new reality

The proposed parking fee for visitors to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has users — especially locals in the…
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I’ll always remember Aunt Lillie’s eyes
 

I’ll always remember Aunt Lillie’s eyes

My Aunt Lillie fed raccoons at her house as long as I can remember, generations of them. When I was…
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The woke family is bad for U.S.
 

The woke family is bad for U.S.

To the Editor: The nuclear family in America has been the backbone of its strength. This sacred unit has been…
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Let’s hope America can think again
 

Let’s hope America can think again

To the Editor: Every once in a while an every-day experience provides the perfect example of a major issue and…
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HCAE policy excludes parents
 

HCAE policy excludes parents

To the Editor: Although I have no school-aged children, I read with interest the article about the Haywood County Association…
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Macon Middle principal suspended
 

Macon Middle principal suspended

Students at Macon County Middle School returned this week from spring break with a new principal at the helm —…
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Tribal LLC pursuing bid for two new casinos
 

Tribal LLC pursuing bid for two new casinos

In a special-called meeting Wednesday, April 13, Tribal Council approved a plan from EBCI Holdings, Inc. , to bid on…
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The Center for Domestic Peace has offices located at 26 Ridgeway Street in Sylva. Contact its 24-hour safeline at 828.586.1237. Holly Kays photo
 

Center for Domestic Peace expands services

Each April, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners declares Sexual Assault Awareness month. This year was no different, and Executive…
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UNC System sees surge in employee turnover
 

UNC System sees surge in employee turnover

Since July 2021, institutions across the University of North Carolina system have been experiencing massive increases in employee turnover —…
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Swain commissioner candidates weigh in on affordable housing
 

Swain commissioner candidates weigh in on affordable housing

Swain County’s Board of Commissioners will have two new members this year, at least one of whom will emerge from…
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Clockwise, from top left: Chuck Edwards, Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Michele Woodhouse, Katie Dean
 

Democrats, Republicans target vulnerable Cawthorn in NC-11

Western North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District has garnered national attention for electing one controversial Trump-affiliated Republican congressman followed by another…
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Clockwise, from top left: Kim Moore, Frederick Buskey, Lisa Buchanan, Wesley McKnight, Abigail Clayton, Courtney Umphlett, Lynn Dillard, Joy Rose
 

Race for Jackson County School Board

Ten candidates are running for three open seats on the Jackson County Board of Education this spring. Only one incumbent…
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Clockwise, from top left: James Nash, Kirk Kirkpatrick, Jennifer Best, Tommy Long, Jeff Haynes, Terry Ramey, Erich Overhultz
 

Haywood commission candidates face significant challenges

Haywood County’s growing, and with that growth comes change – change not everyone is happy to see. Traditional hot-button issues…
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Rep. Madison Cawthorn speaks to a gathering in Sylva in 2020.
 

Complaint filed against Cawthorn by fired staffer

Saying in a leaked recording that “we all want the ultimate goal of him never serving again,” Lisa Wiggins, a…
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Motion Makers sells all three stores
 

Motion Makers sells all three stores

After 36 years in business, Motion Makers Bicycle Shop owner Kent Cranford has sold all three stores to Specialized Bicycles,…
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The eastern hellbender is a distinct species from the mudpuppy, but both are species of special concern. T.R. Russ photo
 

Report hellbender, mudpuppy sightings

With fishing season underway for Hatchery Supported Trout Waters, wildlife biologists at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission are asking the…
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Ramsey Cascades Trail to get a makeover
 

Ramsey Cascades Trail to get a makeover

A two-year trail rehabilitation project will soon start on Ramsey Cascades Trail, one of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s…
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N.C. Outdoor Recreation Industry Office Director Amy Allison addresses conference attendees. Steven Reinhold photo
 

Outdoor Economy Conference draws hundreds to Cherokee

More than 600 people from across the region, nation and Canada representing every facet of the outdoor industry converged on…
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Poultry events suspended due to bird flu
 

Poultry events suspended due to bird flu

All poultry shows and public poultry sales are suspended in North Carolina due to the threat of highly pathogenic avian…
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Thinking bigger: After 45 years, 
MST vision keeps growing
 

Thinking bigger: After 45 years, 
MST vision keeps growing

Jutting off from the left side of a typically busy Blue Ridge Parkway pull-off overlooking Mills River, an unassuming dirt…
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Good book, bad ending: ‘A Stolen Focus’
 

Good book, bad ending: ‘A Stolen Focus’

Sucker-punched. That’s how I felt when I finished reading Johann Hari’s “Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention — and How…
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Maggie Valley taxpayers deserve better
 

Maggie Valley taxpayers deserve better

It may sound like some kind of bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo, but trust me it’s not: the processes by which elected boards…
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Walking side by side with Freud and Jung
 

Walking side by side with Freud and Jung

One of my bachelor’s degrees is in psychology. I wanted to be a therapist or psychologist to help others. I’ve…
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Why should we care about Ukraine?
 

Why should we care about Ukraine?

To the Editor: Cory Vaillancourt’s March 30 roundup of what WCU professors have to say about the war in the…
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Smokies proposes park-wide parking fee
 

Smokies proposes park-wide parking fee

A visit to the nation’s most popular national park could cease being free if a groundbreaking proposal  put forth by…
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Speed a Little, Lose a Lot Campaign
 

Speed a Little, Lose a Lot Campaign

Famed NASCAR driver Bobby Labonte has a message for all North Carolinians: speeding belongs on the racetrack - not the…
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Scott Knibbs was killed in his home early on the morning of April 30, 2018. Facebook photo
 

Shooting case will test limits of qualified immunity 


In 2020, a trial court accepted the qualified immunity defense of Macon County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Anthony Momphard for the…
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Ralph Hise and Deanna Ballard.
 

High stakes, high expectations in Senate race

Redistricting brought small changes to many of Western North Carolina’s legislative districts, but nowhere are those minor changes more major…
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Haywood County nonprofits awarded $66,468 in grants
 

Haywood County nonprofits awarded $66,468 in grants

The Fund for Haywood County with the J. Aaron and Adora H. Prevost Endowment Fund and the Mib and Phil…
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HCS budgets for declining student population
 

HCS budgets for declining student population

During the COVID-19 pandemic, North Carolina schools did not incur budget cuts due to lower student populations across the board.…
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HCAE proposes policy changes to review of parental complaints
 

HCAE proposes policy changes to review of parental complaints

Haywood County Association of Educators has put forth suggested amendments to the school board policy regarding parental inspection of and…
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Waynesville aldermen ponder projects
 

Waynesville aldermen ponder projects

It’s a critical time in the Town of Waynesville. Legacy problems like aging sewer and water infrastructure and a malfunctioning…
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David Crane holds up a copy of his book, ‘Every Living Thing: Facing Down Terrorists, Warlords, and Thugs in West Africa—A Story of Justice.’ Kyle Perrotti photo
 

‘Righteous fury’: A Maggie Valley man is on a quest to hold Putin accountable, and it’s not his first rodeo

At the end of every dictator’s reign, every time a warlord has been held to account, its due to the…
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Downtown Sylva.
 

Downtown Sylva to test social district

The Sylva Social District test period is one step closer to launch following input from a community task force.
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The new Health Sciences Center on the campus of Southwestern Community College is open for learning. SCC photo
 

SCC Health Science Center open for learning

Though students have been enjoying the amenities of the new Health Sciences Center at Southwestern Community College since the start…
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Local family donates $1.5 million to Haywood County Schools Foundation
 

Local family donates $1.5 million to Haywood County Schools Foundation

Students at Pisgah High School will have greater opportunities for higher education funding, after a new $1.5 million scholarship was…
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Board of Governors Chairman Randall C. Ramsey (right) speaks during a press conference with Western Carolina University Chancellor Kelli R. Brown and UNC System President Peter Hans. Holly Kays photo
 

UNC System extends waiver for SAT, ACT requirement

Through at least fall 2024, applicants to University of North Carolina System schools won’t have to sit for SAT or…
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Tribe eyes property in D.C.
 

Tribe eyes property in D.C.

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians tribal leaders frequently travel to Washington, D.C., to make their case to lawmakers on a…
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Seen here in the small church at Ghost Town in 2021, Alaska Presley held out hope that she would live to see the park rejuvenated again. Cory Vaillancourt photo
 

Alaska Presley, business titan and longtime Ghost Town owner, dead at 98

Small in stature but towering in her decades-long influence on Haywood County, Alaska Presley passed away on April 7 at…
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Sierra Ferrell.
 

At the End of the Rainbow: A conversation with Sierra Ferrell

Musician extraordinaire. Freelance sniper. Dancer.
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A dirt road outside Reliance, South Dakota. (photo: Garret K. Woodward)
 

This must be the place: ‘Don’t deny that a rambler must always be free’

Hopping out of the 15-foot U-Haul truck last week, I reached for the gas pump and began fueling up the…
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Board members, from left, John Hinton, Tammy Wight, Jim Ownes and Mayor Mike Eveland
 

Maggie aldermen vote to remove zoning board member

During the regularly scheduled Maggie Valley Board of Aldermen meeting on Tuesday, April 6, Alderman John Hinton made a motion…
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Smokies proposes parkwide parking fee
 

Smokies proposes parkwide parking fee

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park today announced a groundbreaking proposal to charge a daily fee for parking and significantly…
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