Trainees get acclimated to the U.S. National Grid system the Search and Rescue  crew uses for navigation. Nancy East photo
 

All hands on deck: New program trains hiking club members to assist SAR missions

When Chad Seger  was reported missing on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, the Haywood County Rescue Squad’s Wilderness Search and Rescue…
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Zeb Powell. Donated photo
 

Haywood boarder takes fourth at X Games

Waynesville native Zeb Powell, 22, narrowly missed a medal at the X Games in Aspen Jan. 21, coming in fourth…
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Standing 5,720 feet high, Devils Courthouse is an important habitat for many imperiled species. NPS photo
 

Become a Devils Courthouse Rover

A new volunteer program aiming to educate visitors to Devils Courthouse on the Blue Ridge Parkway and share information about…
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Time to apply for summer camp jobs
 

Time to apply for summer camp jobs

It’s hiring season for summer camp counselors, with applications now open to work at day camps in Cashiers and Waynesville. 
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A book from after the apocalypse
 

A book from after the apocalypse

Manon Steffan Ros is a Welsh author of more than 40 books, writes in the Welsh language and has only…
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What lesson does censorship teach our children?
 

What lesson does censorship teach our children?

When I learned of the removal of the book “Dear Martin” from an English II class at Tuscola High School,…
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Birthdays, cardinals and roller skating
 

Birthdays, cardinals and roller skating

My older son turned 13 on Jan. 19, and my younger son turned 10 on Jan. 20. They are both…
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Pulling book was a mistake
 

Pulling book was a mistake

To the Editor: I, too, deplore young people’s use of “foul language,” but hearing or reading it would not have…
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Omicron brings fewer deaths, more hospitalizations than previous variants
 

Omicron brings fewer deaths, more hospitalizations than previous variants

After case counts soared to unprecedentedly high levels throughout the month of January, the Omicron wave of COVID-19 appears to…
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Sylva considers creating social districts
 

Sylva considers creating social districts

After a bill allowing cities and counties to create their own social districts passed through the general assembly last September,…
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WCU enrollment dips
 

WCU enrollment dips

Enrollment at Western Carolina University is the lowest it’s been for any spring semester since 2018, according to student census…
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The door to the Colonial Theatre’s annex hangs limply from its hinges following flooding on Aug. 17, 2021. Cory Vaillancourt photo
 

Canton begins to explore rebuilding flood-damaged facilities

In addition to the devastating loss of life and tremendous damage to private property, Tropical Storm Fred caused millions in…
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A Georgia grand jury will convene in May to decide if Donald Trump should be criminally prosecuted for activities related to the 2020 election. Cory Vaillancourt photo
 

In advance of midterms, Republicans fight for the soul of the party

With President Joe Biden’s disapproval ratings through the roof and a recent spate of setbacks in the Senate, Republicans appear…
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The proposed vehicle fee would help fill potholes, like this one photographed on Holtzclaw road in 2018. Cory Vaillancourt photo
 

Canton may try vehicle tax again

Four years after the Town of Canton made an unsuccessful push to impose a vehicle tax to fund much-needed road…
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Cherokee man sentenced in child sex abuse case
 

Cherokee man sentenced in child sex abuse case

Cherokee resident Forrest Cole Stamper, 28, will spend four years in federal prison after pleading guilty in federal court to…
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Persons with information on Carrie Bryson are encouraged to call the Haywood County Sheriff’s office. Facebook photo
 

Missing persons cases aren’t always what they seem

Every so often — about 20 times a year — Western North Carolina’s social media networks flare up with impassioned…
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Author responds to Tuscola pulling ‘Dear Martin’
 

Author responds to Tuscola pulling ‘Dear Martin’

After Haywood County Schools administration pulled “Dear Martin” from a 10th grade English II class , The Smoky Mountain News…
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A gazebo protects the natural spring in Waynesville’s Sulphur Springs Park. Cory Vaillancourt photos.
 

Grant could bring new life to historic Waynesville springhouse

Today, almost nothing remains of Waynesville’s majestic old Victorian-era hotel — except for some faded photographs and sepia-toned memories that…
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Brock Butler.
 

All this everything: Brock Butler of Perpetual Groove

It is said that a cat has nine lives. If so, then singer-songwriter Brock Butler may just be half-feline.
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The summit of Rich Mountain. (photo: Garret K. Woodward)
 

This must be the place: It’s a Monday, it’s so mundane, what exciting things will happen today?

Just east of Hot Springs, I pulled off U.S. 70 and turned into the small, muddy parking lot. Emerging from…
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Black History Month gets underway at WCU
 

Black History Month gets underway at WCU

CULLOWHEE – A series of activities, exhibits and events are planned at Western Carolina University in recognition of February as…
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Cawthorn sues N.C. Board of Elections over attempt to disqualify him
 

Cawthorn sues N.C. Board of Elections over attempt to disqualify him

On Monday, Rep. Madison Cawthorn, who serves in the U.S. House of Representatives for North Carolina’s 11th congressional district, filed…
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Macon Animal Services offers adoption special for dogs
 

Macon Animal Services offers adoption special for dogs

Due to overcrowding, Macon County Animal Services has implemented an Adoption Special. The adoption fee for dogs, 6 months and…
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A North Atlantic right whale and calf. Photo courtesy of NOAA Fisheries.
 

WCU history project is helping inform a whale documentary

When Vicki Szabo, associate professor of history, finished her 2008 book on medieval whaling, she quipped in the acknowledgements she…
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WNC students benefit from strong partnerships
 

WNC students benefit from strong partnerships

The Southwestern Commission is working with partners around the region to help alleviate some of the challenges associated with broadband…
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WCU historian, class watch developing Russia-Ukraine crisis
 

WCU historian, class watch developing Russia-Ukraine crisis

CULLOWHEE – David Dorondo, an associate professor of history at Western Carolina University, is watching the escalating tension between Ukraine…
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Mission Hospital Emergency Department in Asheville // Peter H. Lewis photo
 

COVID-Infected Workers Force Mission to Redeploy Dwindling Staff, Postpone Surgeries

By PETER H. LEWIS, Asheville Watchdog Staggered by COVID-19 infections, both among incoming patients and its own healthcare staff, Mission…
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A close encounter of the pleasant kind
 

A close encounter of the pleasant kind

Sometimes the right book just comes along.
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Wild ducks test positive for avian flu
 

Wild ducks test positive for avian flu

After a wild duck shot in Hyde County Dec. 30 tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza, or HPAI, agencies…
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Mike Carraway/NCWRC photo
 

Balance of bear country: Wildlife Commission takes input on future of WNC bear sanctuaries

Nearly 40 people weighed in on a controversial proposal to allow bear hunting in three mountain sanctuary areas during a…
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Forest Service releases revised management plan
 

Forest Service releases revised management plan

A decade after it first reached out to stakeholders for the project, the U.S. Forest Service has released its revised…
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Macon rep joins ag and natural resource committee
 

Macon rep joins ag and natural resource committee

Rep. Karl Gillespie, who represents Macon, Graham, Cherokee and Clay counties in the N.C. House of Representatives, has joined the…
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Police need more resources to succeed
 

Police need more resources to succeed

Make no mistake, it would be a stretch to say a partnership between Western Carolina University and the town of…
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Truth, not lies, will keep us free
 

Truth, not lies, will keep us free

To the Editor: If we really seek the truth, we go to primary sources — those who originate an idea, policy,…
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Clampitt can’t have it both ways
 

Clampitt can’t have it both ways

To the Editor: Rep. Mike Clampitt, R-Bryson City, in The Smoky Mountain News addressed his membership in the Oath Keepers. 
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No to sanctuary bear hunting
 

No to sanctuary bear hunting

To the Editor: The Bear Education and Resource (B.E.A.R.) Task Force stands in opposition to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission…
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Fight indoctrination with truth, integrity
 

Fight indoctrination with truth, integrity

To the Editor: We are being inundated with the phrase, “Educate Don’t Indoctrinate.” It is now on billboards and in…
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Monitoring activity at the Francis Farm landfill will likely continue well into the 2050s. Haywood County GIS photo
 

End in sight for long-running Haywood landfill debacle

Work to remediate a leaky, gassy mound just northeast of Waynesville that has been nothing but an expensive headache for…
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Haywood reboots economic development arm
 

Haywood reboots economic development arm

Unaffordable housing, a lack of broadband infrastructure, a staggeringly low unemployment rate and a relatively high number of job openings…
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The region’s growth is reflected in the NCDOT’s 2020-2029 STIP project map. NCDOT photo
 

Growing pains: region reckons with development

Western North Carolina is growing, there’s no doubt about it. And as it does, there are bound to be growing…
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During an event at Bridge Park last summer, event organizers experienced technical issues due to poor wifi connection.
 

Broadband a vital factor in Jackson’s growth

Broadband will be an important part of any and all future growth in Jackson County. Now, reliable Wi-Fi is free…
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Kituwah LLC, the business arm for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, has recently purchased several properties in downtown Waynesville — two buildings on Main Street that are currently home to the Jeweler’s Workbench and the Haywood County Arts Council (top) and properties on Boundary Street that contain Southern Concrete Materials. Holly Kays photos
 

Cherokee ramps up housing efforts

In response to a deepening housing crisis  and a growing  casino enterprise in need of workers, the Eastern Band of…
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Development in Swain driven by tourism
 

Development in Swain driven by tourism

Development for Swain County often looks much different than other counties, mostly because Swain has such a limited amount of…
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The former Walmart at Holly Springs Plaza is being demolished to make way for a new Ingle’s. Donated photo
 

Retailers move into Franklin

Despite the pandemic, the town of Franklin has seen an influx of new retailers in the last year. 
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Jackson municipal grants approved
 

Jackson municipal grants approved

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners has approved three municipal grants for the towns of Sylva, Webster and Dillsboro. 
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‘Dear Martin’ pulled from Tuscola class
 

‘Dear Martin’ pulled from Tuscola class

Students at Tuscola High School will no longer be able to read “Dear Martin,” (Crown Publishing Group, 2017) after administration…
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Pisgah Bears unlikely to play on home turf this fall
 

Pisgah Bears unlikely to play on home turf this fall

There’s a 1% chance football will be played at Pisgah Memorial Stadium come fall. That is according to an estimation…
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John R. Miller. (photo: David McClister)
 

Show me somethin’ I can’t sell: A conversation with John R. Miller

Hailing from the rural panhandle of West Virginia, singer-songwriter John R. Miller is one of the most fascinating and captivating…
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Tsali Recreation Area. (photo: Garret K. Woodward)
 

This must be the place: I dreamt that you were Joan-of Arc and I was Don Quixote

Right at the line of Graham and Swain counties, along a stretch of N.C. 28, is the entrance to the…
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