Cherokee fair canceled over virus concerns
 

Cherokee fair canceled over virus concerns

For the second year running, the much-awaited Cherokee Indian Fair is canceled due to COVID-19.
Read More

Comment

Masks required in Jackson County buildings
 

Masks required in Jackson County buildings

After a three-month lapse, Jackson County has re-instituted its masking requirement for county facilities. The mandate applies when entering “interior…
Read More

Comment

Homes needed for displaced flood victims
 

Homes needed for displaced flood victims

Mountain Projects is meeting with flood victims who are currently in temporary housing, matching them with available resources to put…
Read More

Comment

An iconic species of the Smokies, bears rarely hurt humans but on rare occasions may view them as prey. NPS photo
 

Second fatal bear attack in Smokies history confirmed

A man found dead in the Hazel Creek area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park last September likely died…
Read More

Comment

NPS institutes mask mandate
 

NPS institutes mask mandate

A national mask mandate is now in place across the National Park Service. 
Read More

Comment

Outgoing Chairman David W. Hoyle Jr (left) stands with (from left) new Chairman Monty R. Crump, new Vice Chairman Thomas L. Fonville and Wildlife Resources Commission Executive Director Cameron Ingram. NCWRC photo
 

Wildlife Commission elects new leadership

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has elected Richmond County resident Monty R. Crump as its new chairman, replacing Dallas resident…
Read More

Comment

Skinny Dip Falls is nearly unrecognizable after Tropical Storm Fred.
 

Fred's impact on public lands

In addition to claiming lives, homes and livelihoods, Tropical Storm Fred has had a significant impact on many beloved sites…
Read More

Comment

The most recent restaurant addition to downtown Sylva, Jame is a Mediterranean-themed establishment on Main Street. (photo: Courtesy of Jame)
 

Complementing the community: New restaurant brings Mediterranean flare to Sylva

Since they set up shop in Sylva just about three and a half years ago, Don and Cecelia Panicko have…
Read More

Comment

A green pepper along the Pigeon River in Bethel. (photo: Garret K. Woodward)
 

This must be the place: Ode to the green peppers, ode to the people of Haywood

The green peppers. All of those damn green peppers. Throughout the coverage of this devastating flood from Tropical Storm Fred…
Read More

Comment

Erica Waldrop. (photo: Quintin Ellison)
 

Ready for ‘YerkFest’?

Celebrating the life of the late Erica Waldrop, the inaugural “YerkFest” will be held from 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday,…
Read More

Comment

U.S. Geological Survey data shows how high the river crested at an observation station located about 1.1 miles past Jukebox Junction on the East Fork Pigeon River.
 

The flood timeline

Friday, Aug. 13. Rivers are at normal levels, with a gauge about a mile upstream from Jukebox Junction on the East Fork…
Read More

Comment

A light in our darkness: Michael O’Brien’s The Lighthouse
 

A light in our darkness: Michael O’Brien’s The Lighthouse

So it’s a late Thursday afternoon, and I’m sitting on the front porch finishing up a novel when my eyes…
Read More

Comment

Devastation all around, but there is a light
 

Devastation all around, but there is a light

The time stamp on the photo from my iPhone reads 7:29 a.m. It was Wednesday, Aug. 18, a mountain morning…
Read More

Comment

It’s an important time to remain vigilant
 

It’s an important time to remain vigilant

By Mark Jaben • Guest Columnist | Two big things are happening in Haywood County this week. First, a tremendous…
Read More

Comment

The social impact of personal decisions
 

The social impact of personal decisions

To the Editor: Since the beginning of the pandemic I’ve heard many rationalizations to justify the decision not to get…
Read More

Comment

We should restrict lies, misinformation
 

We should restrict lies, misinformation

To the Editor: Americans have created for themselves quite a quandary trying to interpret both the literal and the intended…
Read More

Comment

Who has fallen prey to politics?
 

Who has fallen prey to politics?

To the Editor: While I welcome the mandatory masking decision the Haywood County School Board made during its Aug. 21…
Read More

Comment

Harrah’s donates $20,000 in flood relief
 

Harrah’s donates $20,000 in flood relief

To help relieve the burden of those affected by the catastrophic flooding that occurred in Haywood County, Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos…
Read More

Comment

Political signs cover a corner near the Birdtown Complex in Cherokee. Holly Kays photo
 

Cherokee voters to choose representatives, alcohol regs

Election Day is coming to Cherokee on Thursday, Sept. 2, with voters set to choose Tribal Council and School Board…
Read More

Comment

Water tears through the raceways at a Sunburst Trout Farms facility in Cruso.
 

Beyond major: Cruso depth dwarfs 2004 figures

Though Tropical Storm Fred bears the brunt of the blame for last week’s flood, a cold front moving ahead of…
Read More

Comment

Due to food safety laws, even crops like these tomatoes in Cruso, which look to be relatively intact after the floodwaters receded, will have to be destroyed. This is due to possible contamination in the soil and water. Aug. 19. Holly Kays photo
 

Flood of peppers: Fred strips fields prime for harvest

Rain was coming down hard as Gary Griffith surveyed his fields in Bethel, around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 17.…
Read More

Comment

Floodwaters from the raging Pigeon Rived decimated portions of Haywood County on Aug. 17. Scott McLeod photo
 

As deadly floodwaters recede, Haywood grapples with enormous loss

Huddled together in the dark atop a bunk bed in a barricaded bedroom with two dogs, four cats and her…
Read More

Comment

The heaviest rainfall was concentrated along the Haywood-Transylvania and Jackson-Transylvania county lines.
 

Jackson narrowly avoided catastrophic floods

While the Cruso area undisputedly received the worst of the flooding in Western North Carolina, it did not receive the…
Read More

Comment

Haywood School Board reverses course, mandates masks
 

Haywood School Board reverses course, mandates masks

At an emergency meeting Saturday, the Haywood County School Board voted 5-2 to mandate masks and enact a plan that will…
Read More

Comment

Commission Chairman Kevin Ensley (center) has tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated.
 

Haywood commissioner tests positive for COVID-19

Haywood County Board of Commissioners Chair Kevin Ensley tested positive for COVID-19 on Aug. 19. Ensley is experiencing mild cold-like symptoms…
Read More

Comment

The demolished bridge on Max Thompson Road in Bethel. (photo: Garret K. Woodward)
 

‘We’re just lucky to be alive’: Flood survivor recounts day of destruction

It’s late Friday morning. With cloudy skies above and a cool breeze swirling around her, Aubrey Ford gazes out onto…
Read More

Comment

NC Department of Insurance photo
 

Flood victim assistance

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey has set up a Victims’ Assistance Center in Haywood County to answer questions of…
Read More

Comment

Haywood Schools officials confer on the field at Pisgah Memorial Stadium. Cory Vaillancourt photo
 

Haywood County Schools assess flood damage

Tropical Storm Fred ravaged portions of Haywood County last week, including several school properties. The school board called an emergency…
Read More

Comment

Folkmoot director to return to Louisiana
 

Folkmoot director to return to Louisiana

Folkmoot Executive Director Glenn Fields has announced his plans to return to Louisiana in a memorandum to the Folkmoot Board…
Read More

Comment

How to help flood victims
 

How to help flood victims

As the floodwaters from Tropical Storm Fred recede, the full extent of the damage is becoming clear. Residents of Haywood…
Read More

Comment

Sen. Thom Tillis (left) looks over damage at BearWaters Brewing with Canton Town manager Nick Scheuer (center) and Mayor Zeb Smathers (right).
 

State and federal officials respond to Haywood flooding

As Haywood County continues to assess damage from the Pigeon River flooding associated with excess rainfall from Tropical Storm Fred…
Read More

Comment

Ceasars Southern Indiana Casino is home to 1,200 slot machines, as well as sports betting, poker and table games. Laurencio Ronquillo photo
 

Indiana approves EBCI casino purchase

The Indiana Gaming Commission has approved a deal that would put an Indiana casino in the ownership of a company…
Read More

Comment

Warren Bielenberg photo
 

Bear caused 2020 Smokies death, autopsy shows

A man found dead in the Hazel Creek area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park last September likely died…
Read More

Comment

Making sense of the unimaginable: Floodwaters ravage the tightly-knit mountain community of Cruso
 

Making sense of the unimaginable: Floodwaters ravage the tightly-knit mountain community of Cruso

It’s about a mile past Jukebox Junction, down along U.S. 276 heading towards the small mountain community of Cruso, when…
Read More

Comment

Damage to vehicles and dwellings is widespread near the Cruso Community Center this morning following the massive floodwaters last night.
 

Many still missing in Haywood after last night’s floods

More than 30 people remain unaccounted for and search and rescue operations continue at this hour after heavy rainfall from…
Read More

Comment

There is no middle ground with Covid
 

There is no middle ground with Covid

With the Delta variant raging across the state and school systems in every direction hurriedly moving to mask mandates for…
Read More

Comment

A new generation’s Saigon moment
 

A new generation’s Saigon moment

By William Hite • Guest Columnist “You have all the watches, but we have all the time.” — Taliban adage  It’s…
Read More

Comment

Letter made curious, inaccurate claims
 

Letter made curious, inaccurate claims

To the Editor: When I first read Jim Gaston's letter to The Smoky Mountain News claiming to champion independent thinking…
Read More

Comment

Parkway motorcycle crash causes fatality
 

Parkway motorcycle crash causes fatality

A 74-year-old Georgia man is dead following an Aug. 8 accident on the Blue Ridge Parkway north of Old Fort. 
Read More

Comment

Closures at Waynesville pool
 

Closures at Waynesville pool

Lack of staffing has prompted the Waynesville Recreation Center to close its water park and constrain hours for the lap…
Read More

Comment

In a 2018 photo, Jordan Smith of Mainspring Conservation Trust looks out from a 5,462-foot view atop the Blackrock property. Holly Kays photo
 

Planning for adventure: Sylva, Cherokee to partner on trails plan

The highest-elevation mountain bike trail on the East Coast is on the path from concept to reality after the Cherokee…
Read More

Comment

‘Year of the Trail’ planned for 2023
 

‘Year of the Trail’ planned for 2023

The N.C. General Assembly has declared 2023 to be “Year of the Trail” in North Carolina, marking it as a…
Read More

Comment

Volunteers work to clean up a trashed campsite. Donated photo
 

Effort begins to clean up Fontana campsites

On Tuesday, Aug. 10, 14 volunteers converged on Fontana Lake to clean up dispersed campsites that had been trashed by…
Read More

Comment

Doubling up: a review of Basil’s War and Bourdain’s World Travel
 

Doubling up: a review of Basil’s War and Bourdain’s World Travel

I’ve long been a fan of Stephen Hunter’s novels, particularly his series about Bob Lee Swagger. Swagger is a sniper,…
Read More

Comment

Qualla Arts and Crafts turns 75
 

Qualla Arts and Crafts turns 75

The Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual will be celebrating its 75th anniversary with an Open Air market, exhibition, and a…
Read More

Comment

This must be the place: I don’t want to look at the past and be sad, there were plenty of good times and more to be had
 

This must be the place: I don’t want to look at the past and be sad, there were plenty of good times and more to be had

Like clockwork, the garbage truck shook me awake at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday. Picking up the dumpster from the pizza joint…
Read More

Comment

Lee Knight.
 

Knight celebrates ‘75+1’

A special 76th birthday performance by beloved folklorist, storyteller and musician Lee Knight will take place at 5 p.m. Wednesday,…
Read More

Comment

Shining Rock begins school year in new, permanent home
 

Shining Rock begins school year in new, permanent home

The quiet calm of a bright summer morning dissipates like dew off the freshly manicured lawn upon entering Shining Rock…
Read More

Comment

As COVID cases rise, schools reverse mask decisions
 

As COVID cases rise, schools reverse mask decisions

As COVID-19 cases rise, in large part due to the spread of the new Delta variant, school boards across the…
Read More

Comment

Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.