A camper tests out the tetrahedral kite he’d tinkered with throughout the two-week camp. Holly Kays photo
 

Launchpad to space: Camp builds enthusiasm for middle grades

At 10 a.m. Friday, June 25, the parking lot above the Jackson County Early College was nothing but a mundane…
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Let them be your crystal ball
 

Let them be your crystal ball

Years ago during a teeth cleaning, an older dental hygienist offered some advice. She told me to let other people…
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Summer nights: baseball, dogs and workout prep
 

Summer nights: baseball, dogs and workout prep

There are three dogs in this bed: a very old miniature dachshund curled up on one corner, a very young…
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The truth really does matter
 

The truth really does matter

To the Editor: In our never-ending search for truth, Americans must accept (if nothing else) one predominant lesson from January…
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Why won’t GOP tax the wealthy?
 

Why won’t GOP tax the wealthy?

To the Editor: When you start having to pay higher taxes at the gas pump, pay extra for your electric…
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Lake Junaluska Women meet
 

Lake Junaluska Women meet

On Flag Day at Lake Junaluska, about 50 of Junaluska Woman’s Club’s 75 members gathered for a luncheon at Lakeside…
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Downtown Waynesville director on leave, property likely to be removed from MSD
 

Downtown Waynesville director on leave, property likely to be removed from MSD

With a proposed contract renewal going nowhere fast, a slew of unfulfilled public records requests and the strong likelihood of…
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Waynesville budget passed over opposition
 

Waynesville budget passed over opposition

Citing their continuing support of a revenue-neutral budget, Waynesville Aldermen Chuck Dickson and Jon Feichter voted against the adoption of…
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Labor shortage challenges employers
 

Labor shortage challenges employers

With help wanted signs popping up everywhere, The Smoky Mountain News investigates reasons for the labor shortage in the region…
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A clever sign in Frog Level announces job openings at Giles Chemical. Cory Vaillancourt photo
 

Post-COVID employment rebounds, but where are the workers?

You’ve seen the signs, on marquees and placards, up and down streets in towns across Western North Carolina — Now…
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Sonoco Plastics in Waynesville is currently hiring for a limited number of positions. Cory Vaillancourt photo
 

Compensation, compassion go a long way at Sonoco Plastics

Some employers are having trouble attracting or retaining qualified employees, but those businesses could likely learn a thing or two…
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Old Edwards Inn hospitality employee. Old Edwards Inn photo
 

Help wanted in the service industry

The signs are everywhere. Now hiring, help wanted, excuse the wait times we’re short staffed and doing the best we…
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Labor shortage hits WNC
 

Labor shortage hits WNC

“Were there any cars in the parking lot when you got here?” Lisa Morris asked. 
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Rusty joints and crumbling concrete are visible on this bridge over Richland Creek in central Haywood County. Cory Vaillancourt photo
 

Highway project threatens havoc in Haywood

As Haywood County looks to put the Coronavirus Pandemic squarely in its rear-view mirror, a North Carolina Department of Transportation…
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COVID cases, deaths hit new lows
 

COVID cases, deaths hit new lows

Since Gov. Roy Cooper lifted the mask mandate on May 14, indoor gatherings have returned and face coverings have nearly…
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Overlooking Sylva, the Pinnacle offers one of the most dramatic views around. Holly Kays photo
 

Sylva board approves agreement with Pinnacle Park Foundation

The Sylva Board of Commissioners unanimously approved an agreement with the Pinnacle Park Foundation during its June 24 meeting aimed…
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Trustees and university faculty applaud former Principal Chief Joyce Dugan (seated) during her last board meeting. Holly Kays photo
 

Leadership changes on WCU board

On Friday, June 4, three longtime trustees said goodbye to seats they’d held on the Western Carolina University Board of…
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School Board publicly opposes mask mandate
 

School Board publicly opposes mask mandate

At a special called board meeting last week, Haywood County Schools Board of Education considered defying the current mask mandate…
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Cracks and earth movement on and around Allen Street have caused a 150-foot portion of the road to remain closed for more than a year. Donated photo
 

Sylva asks DOT to help with Allen Street

Facing an estimated price tag of $1.5 million to fix persistent landslide issues on Allen Street, the Town of Sylva…
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C-88 at Buck Pond. (photo: Garret K. Woodward)
 

This must be the place: I awoke and faintly bouncing round the room, the echo of whomever spoke

The air was cool and the sleeping bag warm when I heard the early morning loon from across Buck Pond. 
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Haywood man wins $100,000 lottery
 

Haywood man wins $100,000 lottery

Gary Lewis of Clyde didn’t get the scratch-off ticket he wanted when he stopped at a convenience store to play…
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Haywood courts back in full swing
 

Haywood courts back in full swing

Haywood County courts are back in full swing following safety-related case delays during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Protestors walk below the hill where the statue perches during a July 2020 march opposing the monument. Holly Kays photo
 

Sylva resolution opposes county’s ‘Sylva Sam’ plans

Just shy of a year after it passed a resolution demanding the relocation of Sylva’s Confederate statue, the Sylva Town…
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Warren Bielenberg photo
 

Tent ban extended at Mount Pisgah

A temporary ban on tents and soft-sided campers at Mount Pisgah Campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway has been extended…
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Parkway motorcycle crash results in fatality
 

Parkway motorcycle crash results in fatality

A June 5 motorcycle crash on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Laurel Springs left a 65-year-old North Carolina man dead. 
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FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge picks new director
 

FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge picks new director

FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge has named Julie Whalen as its new executive director. 
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A four-legged hiker takes in the early March view from the Pinnacle. Holly Kays photo
 

Sylva discusses Pinnacle’s future

In February, Sylva’s town board gave its enthusiastic support to a plan that would bring 35 miles of multi-use trail…
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Crews pave Newfound Gap Road at the Morton Tunnel. NPS photo
 

Smokies paving project moves to nighttime work

Nighttime work has begun on an 8-mile section of Newfound Gap Road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 
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Cellist Michael Fitzpatrick plays for the Mountain View Garden Club. Donated photo
 

Garden club gets musical treat

The Mountain View Garden Club of Waynesville held its monthly meeting at the Jonathan Creek Biodome Art Studio of Nina…
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Surprised by Stewart’s ‘Very Good Things’
 

Surprised by Stewart’s ‘Very Good Things’

Most of us like comeback stories.
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Waynesville attorney didn’t deserve firing
 

Waynesville attorney didn’t deserve firing

The Waynesville town attorney serves at the pleasure of the board. Elected officials can fire or terminate him for any…
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A warrior faces second double lung transplant
 

A warrior faces second double lung transplant

By Maureen Miller • Guest Columnist | “Someone has to die in order for you to live.” The startling realization…
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We should fear for future elections
 

We should fear for future elections

To the Editor: Former President Donald Trump and the more aggressive of his cult members seem intent on destroying our…
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Marquees made me leave Maggie Valley
 

Marquees made me leave Maggie Valley

To the Editor: I have never done this in my 59 years, but I can’t rest until I voice my…
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Trump article was just too much
 

Trump article was just too much

To the Editor: This is in reference to the June 9-15 issue of The Smoky Mountain News. I thought this…
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Farm to School program teaches nutrition, connection to food
 

Farm to School program teaches nutrition, connection to food

Excitement could be heard in the unconstrained murmuring of elementary school students at Blue Ridge School Monday morning as they…
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Even after students moved in last August, bare earth still abounded at Zimmer’s development The Husk at Western Carolina University. Holly Kays photo
 

Contractors still unpaid in Zimmer development

The first students moved into The Husk at Western Carolina University last August, but nearly a year later the companies…
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Cheri Beasley visits with Lyndsey Marlar and Katie Spears, owners of Nest Organics in Asheville. Hannah McLeod photo
 

Beasley makes campaign stop in Asheville

Cheri Beasley, former North Carolina Supreme Court Justice, announced her campaign for United States Senate in April. On Friday, Beasley…
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Mike Fitzgerald accepts a plaque recognizing his years of service form Town Clerk Debbie Coffey during his last meeting June 14. Donated photo
 

‘Mayor Mike’ steps down: Business as usual to continue at Fitzgerald Shoe Shop

After 16 years and one week on the job, Mike Fitzgerald is officially retired from Dillsboro’s town board— but not…
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The new trustbusters: Proposed legislation would rein in Big Tech
 

The new trustbusters: Proposed legislation would rein in Big Tech

Over the last two weeks, the most significant set of antitrust laws since the early 1900s were proposed in Congress,…
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Milestone moment for broadband in Haywood
 

Milestone moment for broadband in Haywood

A public-private partnership between Haywood County and local internet service provider Skyrunner will soon result in broadband service for more…
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Al Kopak and Alexa Singer. WCU photo
 

Data calls for empathetic approach to treating addiction

By Melanie Threlkeld McConnell • Guest writer | Two Western Carolina University professors with interests in jail populations and addiction…
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First tenant announced for EBCI’s Sevier development
 

First tenant announced for EBCI’s Sevier development

The 200-acre piece of land that the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is developing along Interstate 40 in Sevier County…
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Macon purchases property for Nantahala library
 

Macon purchases property for Nantahala library

Macon County commissioners are trying to move forward with plans to give the Nantahala community a new library and community…
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Pure Prairie League (Michael Reilly, far left).
 

The attitude of gratitude: Michael Reilly of Pure Prairie League

In the annals of country-rock history, a handful of acts were able to ride the line of mainstream radio success,…
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The Bristol swimming hole. (photo: Garret K. Woodward)
 

This must be the place: White lace and feathers, they made up his bed, a gold covered mattress, on which he was laid

It was about 15 minutes into meeting Sailor Steve and Texas Jeff when I knew I’d met some of the…
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Waynesville comes up short in property tax rate cut
 

Waynesville comes up short in property tax rate cut

During a rare special-called meeting on the morning of June 16, aldermen shaved another 1.5 cents off the proposed ad…
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Bear euthanized following unprovoked attack
 

Bear euthanized following unprovoked attack

A bear has been euthanized and a backcountry site closed in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park after a 16-year-old…
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Bear encounters tend to happen more often in the late spring and early summer, before more nutritious food sources like nuts and berries are widely available. Donated photo
 

Bear activity prompts continued camping restrictions

A temporary ban on tents and soft-sided campers at Mount Pisgah Campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway has been extended…
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