On Friday, Vecinos finalized the purchase of a 15,000-square-foot building near downtown Franklin
 

Vecinos spearheads services hub for uninsured and low-income WNC residents

Vecinos, a free and charitable clinic providing bilingual primary and behavioral health care in Western North Carolina, is leading a…
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Reproductive rights advocates demonstrated in Waynesville on May 14, in the wake of a leaked draft opinion suggesting that Roe v. Wade would soon be overturned. That happened on June 24.
 

As expected, Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

Almost 50 years after the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion ruling was handed down by the United States Supreme Court,…
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Haywood County confirms first case of monkeypox
 

Haywood County confirms first case of monkeypox

The Haywood County Health and Human Services Agency (HCHHSA) is reporting the first case of monkeypox virus infection in a…
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Robert Ryan (left) and Nicholas Selby.
 

Two held without bond in alleged mass shooting threat

Two men are being held without bond in the Jackson County Detention Center after allegedly threatening a mass shooting in…
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George Masa sets up his camera during a 1931 trip to what is now the Shining Rock Wilderness. GSMA photo
 

Wild Vision: George Masa book pairs famed images with modern experiences

The 1900s were just a few years along when a young man named Masahara Iizuka stepped on American soil for…
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U.S. House passes ‘historic’ wildlife bill
 

U.S. House passes ‘historic’ wildlife bill

Lauded as a “historic game-changer” for wildlife conservation in the United States, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act last week passed…
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Waynesville Waterpark reopens
 

Waynesville Waterpark reopens

The Waynesville Recreation Center Waterpark will reopen for the summer Friday, June 24. 
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The project is the result of prolonged collaboration from a variety of groups and organizations. Hansi Johnson/Outdoors for All Old For photo
 

Ribbon-cutting planned for Old Fort trails

The first phase of the Old Fort Trails Project in the Pisgah National Forest will open on Sunday, June 26. 
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Environmental health students take readings from a nearby creek. WCU photo
 

Environmental program aims for community engagement

Western Carolina University has named its Environmental Health Program in the College of Health and Human Sciences as its first…
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The historic Ravenel property includes the original home built in 1913 and spectacular mountain views. Donated photo
 

Biological Foundation holds fundraising soiree

Festivities for the Highlands Biological Foundation’s annual summer soiree will commence at 6 p.m. Monday, July 18, on the historic…
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Family members stand outside the Jim Kirkland home. Donated photo
 

Smokies seeks info on old homesites

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is looking for help in identifying and documenting former homesites in the park. 
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I don’t get it: A Review of ‘The Ballad of Laurel Springs’
 

I don’t get it: A Review of ‘The Ballad of Laurel Springs’

Sometimes a book I’ve read, particularly a novel, will leave me mystified, which is not always a good thing.
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(From left) The Brothers Gillespie are Chance Kuehn, Clay Gillespie, Davis Gillespie, Aaron Gillespie and Zack Edwards.
 

American pastoral: Brothers Gillespie release new album, plot summer tour

Within its upcoming sophomore album, “American Pastoral,” rising Haywood County-based Americana/rock act The Brothers Gillespie has cultivated a vast, vibrant…
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Bill’s Barber Shop in Johnson City. (photo: Garret K. Woodward)
 

This must be the place: There’s no simple explanation, for anything important any of us do

With the Mason-Dixon Line in the rearview mirror, I pushed the accelerator down and proceeded to make my way up…
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Election integrity is fundamental to our freedoms
 

Election integrity is fundamental to our freedoms

As I was re-reading last week’s issue of The Smoky Mountain News and about the Juneteenth celebrations in the mountains,…
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New and shiny isn’t always better
 

New and shiny isn’t always better

In my adult life I’ve noticed an emotional pattern when it comes to appliances. When I have an antiquated appliance, it…
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Thanks to all for keeping Jackson clean
 

Thanks to all for keeping Jackson clean

To the Editor: We are so blessed in Jackson County to have many dedicated individuals and community groups who have…
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Congress should fulfill the Second Amendment
 

Congress should fulfill the Second Amendment

To the Editor: In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and yet another mass shooting in America I am…
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Girders supporting this bridge over Richland Creek, photographed in June, 2021, show significant rust and peeling paint. Cory Vaillancourt photo
 

State puts the brakes on US-19 flyover project

A much-needed, much-lamented bridge replacement project planned for U.S. 74 in Haywood County will be postponed, per a June 10…
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Parking in downtown Highlands is getting tougher to come by as more people make their way to the mountains. Kyle Perrotti photo
 

Overbooked: How Highlands is attempting to regulate its short-term rental industry

Short term rentals have existed in resort towns for decades, but as Airbnb and similar services have made them more…
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Principal Chief Richard Sneed welcomes Carla Neadeau as interim police chief. EBCI photo
 

Neadeau named as interim Cherokee police chief

When Chief of Police Josh Taylor’s resignation becomes effective June 27, the Cherokee Indian Police Department’s Captain of Corrections Carla…
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Designer chosen for WCU Moore Hall renovation
 

Designer chosen for WCU Moore Hall renovation

In a unanimous vote Friday, June 10, the Western Carolina University Board of Trustees selected Charlotte-based Jenkins Peer Architects to…
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Tourism dollars create opportunity for Jackson
 

Tourism dollars create opportunity for Jackson

This summer, the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority is in the process of accepting applications for its first round of…
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Increasingly, residents are demanding greenways as recreational options. File photo
 

Haywood TDA to award special project grants

The biggest knock against North Carolina’s city- and county-based Tourism Development Authority system is that while it does collect and…
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Buncombe TDA bill would bolster community spending
 

Buncombe TDA bill would bolster community spending

A  bipartisan Senate bill that would address persistent outcry from Asheville residents over the negative impacts of tourism could reflect…
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Clampitt bill would establish TDA for Bryson City
 

Clampitt bill would establish TDA for Bryson City

A long-simmering feud between city and county governments over TDA revenue will finally be settled, if a bill entered by Rep.…
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N.C. 107 section dedicated to Conrad Burrell
 

N.C. 107 section dedicated to Conrad Burrell

The stories flowed easily from friends, pastors and family members of the late Conrad Burrell on Tuesday afternoon at Southwestern…
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‘Climb Out of the Darkness’
 

‘Climb Out of the Darkness’

Brit Klepac gave birth two-and-a-half years ago. Throughout her pregnancy, she was mentally and physically healthy, but almost immediately after bringing…
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WCU navigates pandemic fallout as enrollment shows signs of recovery
 

WCU navigates pandemic fallout as enrollment shows signs of recovery

While nothing is certain until census day in September, transfer and full-time freshman enrollment for the upcoming fall semester at…
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N.C. House opposes Smokies parking fee
 

N.C. House opposes Smokies parking fee

The N.C. House of Representatives last week condemned the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s controversial proposal to enact a parking…
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Chris Shields' residence in the Otto area.
 

MCSO affidavits offer strange and heinous details of alleged kidnapping, homicide

A man currently in jail on charges of kidnapping and assault may soon be charged with murder if search warrants…
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Tenzing Gyalzen Sherpa, Kami Temba Sherpa, and Nima Kancha Sherpa stand at the summit of Everest during a May expedition. Arbindra Khadka/National Geographic photo
 

Measuring the top of the world: Tuscola alum leads Everest expedition

Baker Perry’s family arrived in Haywood County almost by accident. They’d been living in Bolivia, where his parents operated a…
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N.C. announces strategy for PFAS chemicals
 

N.C. announces strategy for PFAS chemicals

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality has announced an action strategy for PFAS, a class of widely used, long-lasting chemicals…
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Laurel Falls is so crowded as to be impassible on a busy summer day in 2021. NPS photo
 

Roadside parking banned at Laurel Falls

With more than 100 cars typically parked outside the parking lot at Laurel Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains National…
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Splash into reading at Bryson City library
 

Splash into reading at Bryson City library

It’s “Oceans of Possibilities” this summer at the Marianna Black Library in Bryson City, with a marine-themed summer reading program…
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While hiking Cucumber Gap Loop in the Smokies, Sue Wasserman stands under an enormous massive root ball. Donated photo.
 

Writer takes residence in the Smokies

Bakersville, North Carolina, resident Sue Wasserman is taking her place as this year’s Steve Kemp Writer in Residence at the…
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Fishy field guide hits bookstores
 

Fishy field guide hits bookstores

A new field guide dedicated to the aquatic residents of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is now on bookshelves. 
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Fire Mountain has become a popular destination since opening in 2017. Swain TDA photo
 

Fire Mountain closed for OneWheel event

Fire Mountain Trails in Cherokee will be closed Friday, June 17, and Saturday, June 18, for the second annual WheelScorcher…
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Rep. Pless bullies his way over local leaders
 

Rep. Pless bullies his way over local leaders

“Arrogant.” “Out of control.” “Power hungry.” I’ve heard all these words — and worse — used to describe Rep. Mark…
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So what’s the big 
deal about plastics?
 

So what’s the big 
deal about plastics?

The towns of Waynesville and Canton have recently joined hundreds of other communities in declaring a need to dramatically reduce…
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Comment

Burr, Tillis should support gun control
 

Burr, Tillis should support gun control

To the Editor: This is an open letter to Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis.
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We need to enact stricter gun laws
 

We need to enact stricter gun laws

To the Editor: I am a recent resident of the lovely state of North Carolina and am truly honored and…
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Highlands Biological Foundation opens North Campus
 

Highlands Biological Foundation opens North Campus

After years of planning, fundraising, and construction, the Highlands Biological Foundation (HBF) officially dedicated the North Campus of the Highlands…
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Junaluska announces Summer Worship Series and events
 

Junaluska announces Summer Worship Series and events

Lake Junaluska will host outdoor, lakeside Sunday worship services led by inspirational visiting preachers from June 26 through Aug. 14…
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Slanted Window Tasting Station cuts the ribbon
 

Slanted Window Tasting Station cuts the ribbon

The Franklin Chamber of Commerce was proud to welcome the Slanted Window Tasting Station to the community and the chamber…
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Bear injures campers at Elkmont
 

Bear injures campers at Elkmont

A bear has been euthanized after it broke into a tent occupied by a family of five and their dog,…
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Cherokee Police Chief Josh Taylor.
 

Cherokee police chief resigns

After just shy of a year on the job, Cherokee Police Chief Josh Taylor announced June 13 that he would…
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Dr. Tiffany Jackson performs with the Catamount Singers. Donated photo
 

Songs of Freedom: Local churches 
celebrate Juneteenth through gospel music

On June 19, 1865, slaves in Galveston, Texas were told of their freedom — two months after Robert E. Lee…
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Area Agency on Aging staff hold up this year’s banner for Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Donated photo
 

Walk in their shoes: Event raises awareness for elder abuse

For the tenth year in a row, people will gather in towns across Western North Carolina on the evening of…
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