9-12 group is voice for those dissatisfied with government
 

9-12 group is voice for those dissatisfied with government

Haywood County commissioners have seen their share of hot-button issues this year. First came the proposed nuisance ordinance, with angry…
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Macon group finishes study of living history farm
 

Macon group finishes study of living history farm

A Macon County group is one step closer to its dream of establishing a Living History Farm, a working replica…
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Lawsuit filed to seize Dillsboro dam
 

Lawsuit filed to seize Dillsboro dam

Jackson County has formally filed a lawsuit against Duke Energy to seize the Dillsboro Dam and surrounding river shore, using…
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Conservation fund donates land to HCC
 

Conservation fund donates land to HCC

Haywood Community College recently acquired a 328-acre tract of land located at Balsam Gap through a generous gift from The…
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Duke lobbies for rate hike amidst protest
 

Duke lobbies for rate hike amidst protest

Swain County commissioners expressed their disapproval of an 18 percent hike in electric bills being sought by Duke Energy to…
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The Naturalist's Corner
 

The Naturalist's Corner

They’re back Actually they’ve been back for a while and now their bags are packed and they’re ready to go.…
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Waynesville looks at ways to cut energy use
 

Waynesville looks at ways to cut energy use

Energy efficiency dominated the agenda at Waynesville’s last town meeting, with the passage of a strategic energy management plan and…
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Goodman’s second ‘classics’ story
 

Goodman’s second ‘classics’ story

The Night Villa by Carol Goodman. Ballantine Books, 2008. 413 pages. Over the last decade, Carol Goodman has rightly earned…
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The road to a cash settlement
 

The road to a cash settlement

1920s Forney Creek Township wants a road leading from Bryson City to Deals Gap on the Tennessee state line. It…
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New boating ramp opens on Cheoah Lake
 

New boating ramp opens on Cheoah Lake

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has opened a boating access Area and Public Fishing Area on the bank of the…
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McLean and Mathis part of Richland project
 

McLean and Mathis part of Richland project

The Richland Hills low-income senior housing development was touted publicly as being under the auspice of the Asheville-based nonprofit Mountain…
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Students recreate modern Lewis and Clark expedition
 

Students recreate modern Lewis and Clark expedition

Western North Carolina high school students bicycled 300 miles to the nation’s capital on one trip and canoed along the…
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The Naturalist's Corner
 

The Naturalist's Corner

Bats make good just in time to salvage outing “Oh lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood.” That refrain from…
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Prison to remain open, but future not rosy
 

Prison to remain open, but future not rosy

By Julia Merchant • Correspondent The minimum-security Hazelwood Prison in Waynesville is the only correctional facility of its kind to…
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If not wind, then what?
 

If not wind, then what?

To the Editor: Well, I am at a disadvantage in this discussion on wind energy development in North Carolina. My…
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Pointing kids toward a love of the park
 

Pointing kids toward a love of the park

Eric Sink, a teacher at Summit Charter School in Cashiers, N.C., looks forward to loading his fifth-graders up on a…
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More than a number With teacher layoffs, impact of school budget cuts hits home
 

More than a number With teacher layoffs, impact of school budget cuts hits home

It’s not an uncommon scene: people rattling a tin can outside Wal-Mart to raise money, whether it’s a cheerleading squad…
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Oxford American: The best magazine ever
 

Oxford American: The best magazine ever

There aren’t many things that cause my weary heart to quicken. The local bookstore, Netflix, rain crows and, yes, the…
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Methane-powered foundry opens at JCGEP
 

Methane-powered foundry opens at JCGEP

The Jackson County Green Energy Park recently opened the first landfill methane-fueled art foundry in the world. “Because of the…
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Lake island dwellers lobby for fire protection
 

Lake island dwellers lobby for fire protection

Homeowners on Buck Knob Island in the middle of Lake Glenville say they are owed fire protection by local volunteer…
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Megow-Dowling announces resignation
 

Megow-Dowling announces resignation

Jackson County’s economic development director Dorothea Megow-Dowling had been on the job for less than a year when she announced…
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Cherokee school bridges tradition and the future
 

Cherokee school bridges tradition and the future

While some students dread returning to the classroom this time of year, children in Cherokee have been asking for weeks…
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When the Park becomes a classroom: From real life science to a trip back in time, the Smokies provides fertile ground for learning
 

When the Park becomes a classroom: From real life science to a trip back in time, the Smokies provides fertile ground for learning

While most national parks serve as conduits for science, the Smokies is a window on history as well. Churches, schools,…
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Land swap integral to Cherokee school
 

Land swap integral to Cherokee school

The Cherokee faced a long, uphill battle spanning decades to secure the idyllic tract of land now housing a brand…
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A dollar here, a paintbrush there: Community rallies to save teachers, support schools
 

A dollar here, a paintbrush there: Community rallies to save teachers, support schools

They came. They saw. And this past Saturday, they — nearly 1,000 volunteers from almost 50 churches — painted, scraped,…
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Touch-me-nots and poison ivy
 

Touch-me-nots and poison ivy

Jewelweed, or “touch-me-not,” is one of the most appealing wildflowers commonly encountered throughout Western North Carolina. Many recognize the plant…
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Mountain granny comes to life in book by former WCU student
 

Mountain granny comes to life in book by former WCU student

Former WCU student Matthew Link Baker will read from his new book, My Mountain Granny: The Story of Evelyn Howell…
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Junior bids farewell to forest service
 

Junior bids farewell to forest service

Harry “Junior” Ward, Jr. recently retired from the North Carolina Forest Service as the Haywood County Ranger. Ward was a…
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Homeschooled students on the rise
 

Homeschooled students on the rise

More parents in Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties opted to teach their children at home this year, concurring with…
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An eye for mountains: An Ansel Adams of the Smokies, George Masa was one of the greatest photographers of his era. So why have so many people never heard of him?
 

An eye for mountains: An Ansel Adams of the Smokies, George Masa was one of the greatest photographers of his era. So why have so many people never heard of him?

By Michael Beadle There’s a view on the way up to Clingmans Dome, an overlook where a maze of finger-like…
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Departing director recommends dissolving Jackson EDC board
 

Departing director recommends dissolving Jackson EDC board

Jackson County’s Economic Development Commission has again been thrust into turmoil, a near constant state of affairs for the entity…
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Funding cut for after school program is a mistake
 

Funding cut for after school program is a mistake

“I can see test scores going down and higher dropout rates in high school,” he said. “These kids are struggling.…
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Slow cookers converge for Franklin BBQ festival
 

Slow cookers converge for Franklin BBQ festival

The Mountain High BBQ & Music Festival will be held at the Macon County fairgrounds Aug. 7-8. Gates open at…
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New economic development coordinator learns the ropes
 

New economic development coordinator learns the ropes

Trevor Dalton, Macon County’s first paid economic development coordinator, is back on his home turf. Dalton, 24, grew up in…
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Jackson County’s mosaic is still being painted
 

Jackson County’s mosaic is still being painted

Although I sometimes wish that the maps of my Jackson County had a more beguiling shape — perhaps a bear…
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County ensnared in lawsuit over historic courthouse renovations
 

County ensnared in lawsuit over historic courthouse renovations

Haywood County is being sued for $2 million by the contractor in charge of renovations to the newly restored historic…
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Scenic beauty, yes, but what about things to do?
 

Scenic beauty, yes, but what about things to do?

By Andre A. Rodriguez • Special to the Smoky Mountain News A new travel study revealed potential visitors lack awareness…
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Jackson County offers incentives to land new manufacturing jobs
 

Jackson County offers incentives to land new manufacturing jobs

Jackson County leaders are considering an economic development incentive that will provide property tax credits to Stonewall Packaging in exchange…
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Particular parables and perverse ponderings
 

Particular parables and perverse ponderings

Willful Creatures Stories by Aimee Bender. Doubleday & Company. 208 pages. Recently, Garrison Keilor mentioned a new writer, Aimee Bender…
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Facing unpleasant changes in aftermath of hemlock die off
 

Facing unpleasant changes in aftermath of hemlock die off

As if the death of hemlock trees across the Southern Appalachians wasn’t bad enough already, forest researchers believe the loss…
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Cherokee leaders to PETA: back off our bear zoos
 

Cherokee leaders to PETA: back off our bear zoos

Despite public pressure from animal rights activists, including a visit from legendary game show host Bob Barker, Cherokee leaders do…
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North Toe River freed of crumbling dam
 

North Toe River freed of crumbling dam

A decrepit dam is being torn down along the North Toe River near Spruce Pine this week, clearing the way…
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The pains of summer vacation
 

The pains of summer vacation

There, swirling miserably in the bottom of my morning coffee mug, are the dregs of summer. I had such plans…
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Indie film brings big economic boost: From stunt pilots to bar scenes, movie producer weaves local people and places into script
 

Indie film brings big economic boost: From stunt pilots to bar scenes, movie producer weaves local people and places into script

Western North Carolina has seen its share of Hollywood productions. But unlike many of the other movies filmed here, “Road…
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Workers will come if we create jobs, great lifestyle
 

Workers will come if we create jobs, great lifestyle

When Macon County economic development officials met last week and decided the aging workforce was among the county’s most pressing…
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Qualla’s art goes worldwide
 

Qualla’s art goes worldwide

Known for its legendary craftsmanship, Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc. just launched its new website, www.quallaartsandcrafts.org. For the first…
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Outfitters brace for early end to season
 

Outfitters brace for early end to season

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer Whitewater releases from the Nantahala Lake dam will be suspended in October, forcing rafting…
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Letting nature point the way
 

Letting nature point the way

Horace Kephart is best known for Our Southern Highlanders (first published in 1913, with an expanded edition in 1922) and…
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Junaluska Assembly’s long-time musical maestro calls it a career with Aug. 8 performance
 

Junaluska Assembly’s long-time musical maestro calls it a career with Aug. 8 performance

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer The year was 1954. An up-and-coming singer named Elvis Presley was beginning his musical…
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The Naturalist's Corner
 

The Naturalist's Corner

You say to-mah-to, I say to-ma-to At least Avram and I are talking. Want to join us? If we could…
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