Severe drought hits southeastern N.C.
 

Severe drought hits southeastern N.C.

Of North Carolina’s 100 counties, 84 are currently abnormally dry or experiencing drought — but the far western region is…
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Macon raises tax rate to address capital needs
 

Macon raises tax rate to address capital needs

County Manager Derek Roland was tasked with delivering a flat budget for the 2021-22 budget year, but after countless hours…
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Jackson considers more salary for first responders
 

Jackson considers more salary for first responders

After multiple work sessions and a public hearing, Jackson County commissioners may designate an additional $444,000 in the 2021-22 budget…
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Cherokee voters choose Primary Election winners
 

Cherokee voters choose Primary Election winners

Tribal Council incumbents fared well in Thursday’s Primary Election, with all six representatives who faced primary contests sailing easily toward…
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Bear activity reported in Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock
 

Bear activity reported in Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock

Visitors to the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness on the Nantahala National Forest should take extra precautions after recent reports of bear…
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The Return of the Don
 

The Return of the Don

Former President Donald Trump made one of his first major public appearances since losing the 2020 election, returning to the…
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A few lessons in virtue from a veteran
 

A few lessons in virtue from a veteran

On the shelves around the room where I write and work a visitor would find all sorts of books, including…
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Dominique (from left) and Brian Barwatt present a donation from the Assault on Blackrock trail race to SCC President Dr. Don Tomas and SCC Foundation Director Brett Woods. Donated photo
 

Trail race proceeds help SCC students

The 2021 Assault on Blackrock trail race raised $4,100 for the Southwestern Community College Student Emergency Fund. 
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Graham Sharp
 

Truer picture of me: Graham Sharp of Steep Canyon Rangers

It’s late morning at Citizen Vinyl in downtown Asheville. Formerly the Citizen-Times Building, the historic structure is now home to…
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This must be the place: Ode to 22 years, ode 
to being together again
 

This must be the place: Ode to 22 years, ode 
to being together again

It was exactly a week ago when it was decided as a newsroom to cleanup up our offices for The…
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Park visitors cited for feeding bear peanut butter
 

Park visitors cited for feeding bear peanut butter

Visitors who fed a bear peanut butter in Cades Cove received a citation from Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers…
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A man naps outside a building in Waynesville's Frog Level district in late 2019.
 

Waynesville funds emergency overnight stays for unsheltered individuals

Just days after a local nonprofit asked the Town of Waynesville to help fund emergency overnight stays for the unsheltered,…
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Cherokee voters choose Primary Election candidates
 

Cherokee voters choose Primary Election candidates

Tribal Council incumbents fared well in Thursday’s Primary Election, with all six representatives who faced primary contests sailing easily toward…
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Cris Weatherford. Donated photo
 

Jackson County names new DSS director

After five years heading the agency, Jennifer Abshire will retire as director of the Jackson County Department of Social Services…
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National grant will fund outdoor field trips in the Smokies
 

National grant will fund outdoor field trips in the Smokies

A National Park Foundation grant will fund outdoor field trips for kids in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 
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The trail begins at the Road to Nowhere near Bryson City. Holly Kays photo
 

Opening the back(country) door: Beginner backpacking trip highlights OMC’s new mission

The morning fog is barely lifting at 8 a.m. when a group of five women meet outside Kathy Odvody’s home…
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Volunteers pose with the litter-catching Trash Trout. Asheville GreenWorks photo
 

Pigeon River Fund fuels WNC water quality work

The most recent round of Pigeon River Fund Grant Awards distributed through the Community Foundation for Western North Carolina will…
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The Lake Junaluska pool is now open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Lake Junaluska photo
 

Summer is here at Lake Junaluska

The pool at Lake Junaluska is now open for the season, and 2021 passes offering pool admission and special discounts…
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Smokies superintendent wins leadership award
 

Smokies superintendent wins leadership award

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent Cassius Cash was named the winner of the 2021 Agency Leadership Award from the…
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A competitor takes aim during a previous Smokies Cup event. David Huff photo
 

Shoot clays for the Smokies

Friends of the Smokies will host the third annual Smokies Cup Tournament at the Biltmore Sporting Clays Club Sept. 16-17…
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Twenty-two years later, some things haven’t changed
 

Twenty-two years later, some things haven’t changed

Early morning, June 2, 1999. I remember exactly where I was at and what I was doing. More on that…
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Seeing the light amid the darkness
 

Seeing the light amid the darkness

There was once a young girl in Southern India who lived in a house with no electricity. A coiled water…
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Some need to expand their news sources
 

Some need to expand their news sources

To the Editor: As an occasional writer of letters to the editor I sometimes receive feedback, mostly positive but sometimes…
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Martin Sexton.
 

In the journey: A conversation with Martin Sexton

Leaving his hometown of Syracuse, New York, in 1988, singer-songwriter Martin Sexton hit the road — in search of not…
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Grandpa’s cooler on Lake Logan. (photo: Garret K. Woodward)
 

This must be the place: I feel summer creepin’ in and I’m tired of this town again

He walked into the bar, grabbed a seat next to me, and proceeded to order four shots of Jameson Irish…
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The poetry of living off the grid
 

The poetry of living off the grid

If the word “value” is to mean anything, it should at least apply to two or more things. First it…
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Eviction moratorium expiration looms
 

Eviction moratorium expiration looms

The Coronavirus Pandemic appears to be winding down and with it, protections designed to ameliorate the ensuing economic devastation that…
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Michele Rogers (left) and Austin Lee.
 

Eviction moratorium strains local landlords

When the Coronavirus Pandemic broke out in the United States in March 2020, Congress passed that CARES Act. Part of…
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Housing cases double for Legal Aid
 

Housing cases double for Legal Aid

The amount of time Legal Aid lawyers spend on helping clients with housing issues doubled during the pandemic.
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Mountain Projects receives affordable housing grant
 

Mountain Projects receives affordable housing grant

Dogwood Health Trust recently invested in affordable housing initiatives in Haywood and Jackson counties by awarding a $872,671 grant to…
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Home sales double over 2020
 

Home sales double over 2020

With vaccinations underway and COVID-19 restrictions easing, April home sales rose 48.8 percent year-over-year with 1,138 homes sold across the…
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Property tax rates will go down, but property tax bills will go up
 

Property tax rates will go down, but property tax bills will go up

Yes, your property tax rate is going down, but no, your property tax bill probably bill isn’t. Wait, what? 
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Sizing the force: Sylva debates police staffing needs
 

Sizing the force: Sylva debates police staffing needs

Sarah Dearmon was the only person who spoke during the May 27 public hearing for a proposed Sylva town budget…
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Tiffany Henry. Donated photo
 

Jackson names new economic development director

Tiffany Henry will be Jackson County’s next director of economic development following a unanimous vote from county commissioners May 18.…
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The Book opened as a sports betting venue this March, with locations in both Murphy and Cherokee. Harrah’s Cherokee photo
 

June per capita payments exceed pre-pandemic levels

Despite a raging pandemic, Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos’ revenues for October 2020 through March 2021 delivered a larger per capita payment…
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Group asks for funds to fight homelessness
 

Group asks for funds to fight homelessness

A local nonprofit group has its eyes set on funding that will be distributed to the Town of Waynesville as…
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Swain sets public hearing for proposed budget
 

Swain sets public hearing for proposed budget

Swain County will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. June 10 to give residents an opportunity to comment on…
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Staffing a hurdle for Haywood summer school
 

Staffing a hurdle for Haywood summer school

Students in Haywood County will not be provided normal bus transportation for the robust summer school program intended to address…
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Cullowhee Valley School chooses new mascot
 

Cullowhee Valley School chooses new mascot

Henceforth, Cullowhee Valley School in Jackson County will be represented as the Cullowhee Valley Wolves. 
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Canton preschool closed due to COVID-19
 

Canton preschool closed due to COVID-19

The Haywood County Health and Human Services Agency has identified a symptomatic COVID-19 case at Silverbluff Early Education & Preschool…
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Open up the records of public employees
 

Open up the records of public employees

Last July, The Smoky Mountain News produced a series of stories looking into police reform following the killing of George…
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How about the Second Amendment?
 

How about the Second Amendment?

To the Editor: In a recent letter to The Smoky Mountain News a retired military man stated, “Among all the…
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The real steal may come in 2024
 

The real steal may come in 2024

To the Editor: Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) was removed from her leadership position in the Republican Party for only one…
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The Bluffs reopens on the Parkway
 

The Bluffs reopens on the Parkway

The Bluffs Restaurant at Doughton Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway will reopen under new management on Thursday, May 27. 
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This still-healthy American chestnut tree growing wild in Western North Carolina bursts with nut-filled burs. TACF photo
 

Restoring a giant: EBCI partners to resurrect the chestnut tree

Rex Mann’s father was the kind of storyteller whose voice would make everyone in the room stop what they were…
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Alan Sumeriski. NPS photo
 

Smokies names new deputy superintendent

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s long-time Facility Management Division chief has been named as the park’s new deputy superintendent. 
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NOC celebrates its 50th season
 

NOC celebrates its 50th season

Nantahala Outdoor Center is open for its 50th season, with new venues, courses and events in 2021. 
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Western Regional Director Callie Moore collects a water sample. MountainTrue photo
 

Guide rates swim spot safety

MountainTrue has launched a new service that offers up-to-date water quality results for more than 65 popular recreation areas in…
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Reflections on spirituality, creativity and art
 

Reflections on spirituality, creativity and art

Sometimes a book can overwhelm us with its energy and its wisdom. Like most readers, I love when a writer,…
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