Western Carolina University associate professor Katerina Spasovska will soon head to Kosovo to teach and conduct research. WCU photo
 

WCU prof awarded prestigious Fullbright fellowship

A Western Carolina University professor has been awarded one of the most respected fellowships in the world, which she hopes will…
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Donor Susie Ray (center) and daughter Kelly Schwenk and granddaughter Olivia Reed visit the newly named Robert G. and Susie R. Ray Men’s Basketball Players Lounge. Donated photo
 

WCU basketball facilities enjoy new improvements

A long-range list of upgrades to Western Carolina University athletics facilities tipped off this fall with a project in support of…
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The new pay schedule is intended to help recruit and retain non-certified positions like bus drivers. File photo
 

Jackson schools institutes salary decompression

In order to fairly compensate non-certified employees with several years of service to the school system, Jackson County Public Schools…
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After 115 years in operation, the paper mill in Canton shut down this year.  Jeffrey Delannoy photo
 

Canton mill receives new water quality violation

Evergreen Packaging is no longer making paper in Canton, but it’s still receiving environmental violations. A new notice issued Thursday,…
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Qualla Enterprises headquarters.  Holly Kays photo
 

Tribal Council approves short-term funding for Qualla Enterprises: Long-term plan still in process

Tribal Council has again delayed approving long-term funding for its cannabis enterprise but voted overwhelmingly Thursday, Nov. 2, to loan…
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Downtown Sylva. Allen Newland photo
 

Sylva moves forward on public restrooms

To save money after bids for the downtown public restroom project came in over budget, Sylva will move forward without…
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Bryan Tadlock. File photo
 

Man convicted of brutal domestic abuse

A Haywood County jury found a former jailer-turned-security guard guilty of strangling, raping and assaulting his then-wife. 
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Bartender charged after underage driver crashes
 

Bartender charged after underage driver crashes

A bartender has been criminally charged following a single-vehicle collision in Macon County. 
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Competitors in the 2022 Lake Logan Half Ironman wait for the race to start. Glory Hound Events photo
 

Lake Logan triathlons say goodbye

After 17 years, one of the most beloved triathlons in the southeast has crossed the finish line.
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Campers woke up Nov. 12 to find their RV  severely damaged by a bear. N.C. State Parks photo
 

Gorges campground closed after bear encounter

The campground at Gorges State Park in Transylvania County is closed through Nov. 16 after a bear attacked an RV…
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Staff conduct a prescribed burn in the Cades Cove area. NPS photo
 

Burns planned in Cades Cove

Prescribed burns on about 1,200 acres of fields in Cades Cove are taking place this fall. 
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New drought maps are released every Thursday at ncdrought.org. N.C. Drought Management Advisory Council map
 

Burn ban issued amid ongoing drought

A burn ban has been issued for 14 Western North Carolina counties in the face of expanding drought following the…
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The tiny — but important — town of Clyde is situated near the center of Haywood County.
 

Russell, Jesse prevail in Clyde

Incumbent Alderman Dann Jesse will return to the Town of Clyde Board of Aldermen, along with a new face, Amy…
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Weller joins Highlands Board of Commissioners
 

Weller joins Highlands Board of Commissioners

With unofficial results in, Highlands has elected one newcomer, Jeff Weller, to its Board of Commissioners.
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It's back to business for the Waynesville governing board.
 

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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Voters rewarded incumbents in Canton.
 

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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New mayor, council members for Sylva
 

New mayor, council members for Sylva

Unofficial votes are in, and Sylva voters have selected not only a new mayor, but two new council members as…
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In Maggie Valley, the incumbent candidates won, and there will be one newcomer.
 

Maggie Valley incumbents win; one newcomer joins board

Maggie Valley will retain two of its incumbents, including its mayor, for the next two years.
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Smoke fills the valleys surrounding the Collett Ridge Fire. USFS photo
 

Wildfires burn across region

The Collett Ridge Fire south of Andrews swelled over the weekend, growing from 110 acres Nov. 3 to 2,919 acres…
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New drought maps are released every Thursday at ncdrought.org. N.C. Drought Management Advisory Council map
 

Burn ban issued amid ongoing drought

A burn ban has been issued for 14 Western North Carolina counties in the face of expanding drought following the…
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Jason Harley Kloepfer’s case is being handed by the U.S. District Court in Asheville. . Carol Highsmith/Library of Congress photo
 

Police shooting case could test limits of sovereign immunity

As police shooting victim Jason Harley Kloepfer’s sprawling federal lawsuit  makes its way through court, where he’s seeking millions of…
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The FHAMC/WHT Leadership Team and Town of Franklin representatives, held a groundbreaking event on Oct. 27 to officially mark the beginning of installation work at the sculpture site located near the bridges on Franklin’s East Main Street. Donated photo
 

Women’s History Trail takes steps to complete sculpture project

The Folk Heritage Association of Macon County (FHAMC) held a groundbreaking ceremony on Oct. 27 after completing a five-year grassroots…
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WCU currently enrolls 11,628 students.  Allen Newland/A Shot Above photo
 

New ‘innovation hub’ headquartered at WCU

Western Carolina University has been chosen as one of four universities leading an effort to bolster research innovation in North…
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The Historic Jackson County Courthouse. File photo
 

Jackson will grant Summit loan request

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners decided it intends to grant the loan request from Summit Charter School in the…
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Don Adams. File photo
 

Jackson County manager steps down

After more than seven years as county manager, Don Adams will leave the post by the end of the year. 
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Chestnut Mountain’s trail hub offers a variety of options. Holly Kays photo
 

To the top: Trail network matures at Canton's Chestnut Mountain

In a sunny clearing 350 feet above U.S. 23, the choose-your-own-adventure portion of Canton’s Chestnut Mountain Nature Park  begins. 
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Visitors crowd the viewing area at Laurel Falls. NPS photo
 

Laurel Falls closure planned for construction of trail, improvements

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is moving ahead with significant changes to the Laurel Falls Trail intended to improve…
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Franklin brownfield cleanup gets grant funding
 

Franklin brownfield cleanup gets grant funding

Mainspring Conservation Trust has received $175,000 to clean up and restore a brownfield site near Nikwasi Mound in Franklin. The…
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Prescribed burns planned in Cherokee National Forest
 

Prescribed burns planned in Cherokee National Forest

Residents in the furthest west counties may see smoke over the coming months as the Cherokee National Forest carries out…
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Members of Waynesville’s Town Council discuss issues during a recent retreat.
 

Sewage plant claims heat up Waynesville election

Despite largely refusing to show up for forums or interviews, a slate of far-right candidates has tried multiple times to…
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Craggy Gardens
 

Parkway section closed after visitors feed young bear

Eight miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway near Craggy Gardens is closed after multiple visitors were reported feeding and attempting…
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Sherry Morgan distributes campaign literature at the Waynesville Post office on the afternoon of Oct. 27
 

Team Waynesville supporter appears to violate federal law

With early voting underway and municipal election races heating up, a supporter of the far-right nativist faction running for various…
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Tendrils of smoke rise through trees on Collett Ridge. USFS photo
 

Wildfire burns near Andrews

A fire ignited by lightning Oct. 23 near Andrews has grown to 90 acres with 0% containment due to rugged…
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Woman arrested after allegedly abducting her children in Haywood
 

Woman arrested after allegedly abducting her children in Haywood

A former Haywood Country resident who now lives in Virginia was arrested after she allegedly kidnapped three of her children…
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Severe drought arrives in the mountains
 

Severe drought arrives in the mountains

Much of the western region is now in drought, with severe drought entering the state for the first time since…
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Haywood County saw a massive drop in crime of over 38% between 2021 and 2022.  File photo
 

Trusting the numbers: Stats show drop in WNC crime, but can the figures be trusted?

There’s an old mantra in law enforcement: don’t take credit for the good times unless you’re willing to take equal…
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Canton will soon hold its first municipal election ever without the iconic paper mill in operation. Max Cooper photo
 

For Canton, challenges are opportunities

Despite all the important elections taking place in Western North Carolina this fall, there’s probably no other town with more…
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Julia Hall Coffey, widow of recently identified MIA Capt. Fred Hall, locates his name on the Vietnam Veterans memorial for the very first time.  Cory Vaillancourt photo
 

Honor flight brings hope, healing to veterans

For nearly two decades, a unique nonprofit with roots in Western North Carolina has helped to recognize veterans for their…
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Journeys School for the Gifted and Talented, located on Skyland Drive,  is set to open in the Fall of 2025. Journeys photo
 

Private school to open in Sylva

A new independent private school is set to open in Sylva by fall of 2025, with a focus on serving gifted…
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Huge grant for affordable housing coming to Haywood
 

Huge grant for affordable housing coming to Haywood

Haywood County Commissioners got some great news Oct. 16 that will help the community ameliorate the effects of a red-hot…
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Whittier man charged with attempted kidnapping
 

Whittier man charged with attempted kidnapping

A Whittier man could spend the rest of his life in prison after he allegedly threatened a woman at gunpoint in…
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Tribal Council approves first Constitution Convention delegates
 

Tribal Council approves first Constitution Convention delegates

Tribal Council has unanimously approved a resolution naming the first designated delegates to a planned Constitution Convention and expanding the…
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Members of the three rotary clubs in Haywood County partnered with Ingles and Haywood Schools Foundation to collect nonperishable goods for food-insecure children. Donated photo
 

Rotary clubs collect food for children in need

Haywood County’s three Rotary Clubs collected non-perishable food on Sept. 30 at the Canton and Waynesville Ingles locations.
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Seven childcare centers to close in WNC
 

Seven childcare centers to close in WNC

A slew of childcare centers in the region will be closing by the end of the month, leaving the families of…
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Jackson County teams up to curb drunk driving
 

Jackson County teams up to curb drunk driving

The Governor’s Highway Safety Program identified the seven western counties as a pilot region to test new strategies to curb…
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Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation awards grants
 

Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation awards grants

The Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation has awarded 14 grants totaling over $1.4 million in the 2023 grant cycle.
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Vaya partners with DSS to provide overview of child welfare system
 

Vaya partners with DSS to provide overview of child welfare system

Vaya Health unveiled the latest addition to its “Pathways to Permanency” program.
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Canton Mayor Zeb Smathers leads  University of North Carolina Chapel Hill faculty and administrators on a tour of Canton Oct. 19.  Holly Kays photo
 

Research to test for contamination near Canton mill property

A research project aiming to understand contamination levels outside the fence line of the now-shuttered Canton paper mill is likely to…
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The Foothills Parkway is one of the most-used areas of the park. Joye Ardyn Durham photo
 

Smokies proposes new Foothills Parkway section

Through Nov. 18, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is accepting comments on a proposal to add 9 new miles…
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Mount Pisgah  viewing platform.  Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation photo
 

Mount Pisgah platform under construction

Crews are now working to reconstruct the viewing platform atop Mount Pisgah in the Pisgah National Forest, a project that…
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