WCU will require students to take COVID-19 test
 

WCU will require students to take COVID-19 test

Western Carolina University students living in residence halls will be asked to submit documentation of a negative COVID-19 test result…
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Local government-run broadband a bad idea
 

Local government-run broadband a bad idea

By Patrick Gleason • Guest Columnist | In times like these, with public resources scarce and taxpayer dollars facing tremendous…
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Standardized testing in a non-standard time
 

Standardized testing in a non-standard time

To the Editor: As a public middle school teacher in the great state of North Carolina, I could expound for…
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Trump just keeps money rolling in
 

Trump just keeps money rolling in

To the Editor: All the hype about President Donald Trump claiming voter fraud and the Rudy Giuliani’s traveling legal circus…
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Presidential pardons not handed out lightly
 

Presidential pardons not handed out lightly

To the Editor: It seems that Ali Baba Don intends to pardon his 40 thieves. 
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Please adhere to safety protocols
 

Please adhere to safety protocols

To the Editor: Doctors across America are literally begging people to mask, maintain safe distances, avoid large and small gatherings,…
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Bees buzz around a feeder at Fred Rovecamp’s home in Balsam. Holly Kays photo
 

For the love of bees: Bee feeding is a pastime with a purpose

For Ash Rovecamp, keeping honeybees has never been about honey. “I don’t really consider myself a beekeeper,” he said. “I’m…
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The Little Tennessee River winds through a property in southern Macon County that is part of the conservation grants awarded to Mainspring Conservation Trust. Eric Haggert photo
 

Conservation projects receive $1.25 million

A total of $1.25 million for six projects in far Western North Carolina received funding in this year’s round of…
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Honoring the old ways
 

Honoring the old ways

“I make a prayer for words. Let me say my heart.” — M. Scott Momaday As the winner of almost all…
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‘Darkest before the dawn’: Sylva doctor contracts COVID amid rising cases, hospitalizations
 

‘Darkest before the dawn’: Sylva doctor contracts COVID amid rising cases, hospitalizations

It was the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and Sylva resident Ben Guiney was spending the morning decorating the Christmas tree with…
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COVID-19 vaccine begins to roll out
 

COVID-19 vaccine begins to roll out

The first COVID-19 vaccines have already been administered overseas as FDA approval is still underway in the U.S. 
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COVID-19, a difficult problem for nursing homes
 

COVID-19, a difficult problem for nursing homes

As the holiday season progresses, Western North Carolina has seen a sharp uptick in COVID-19 cases. This rising spread has…
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People urged to comply with contact tracing efforts
 

People urged to comply with contact tracing efforts

County health officials are urging residents to comply with COVID-19 contact tracing efforts if contacted by the health department. 
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Walter S. Jackson.
 

Forest Hills supports Jackson County namesake change

While the issue has not yet come before county commissioners, the Village of Forest Hills has passed a resolution supporting…
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Tribal Council removes casino board chairman
 

Tribal Council removes casino board chairman

In a closely divided vote following an at-times tense discussion Thursday, Dec. 3, the Cherokee Tribal Council removed Tribal Casino…
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NPS investigates sexual assault case
 

NPS investigates sexual assault case

The National Park Service Investigative Services Branch continues to seek information related to sexual assaults that may have occurred within…
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New members join Macon County School Board
 

New members join Macon County School Board

Macon County School Board has two new members following the 2020 election and a special appointment to fill a recent…
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Haywood Schools central office relocates
 

Haywood Schools central office relocates

Haywood County Schools Central Office began the process of relocating to Central Elementary last week. 
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Mike Cooley.
 

Compelled, but not defeated: A conversation with Mike Cooley

For the better part of the last 25 years, the Drive-By Truckers has remained a melodic beacon of truth and…
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This must be the place: Turn your head to the cries of loneliness in the night
 

This must be the place: Turn your head to the cries of loneliness in the night

Stepping out of my truck, it was a cold wind rolling off the nearby mountains late Monday afternoon. A stiff…
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NCDHHS Secretary Dr. Mandi Cohen presents the state's increasing COVID-19 numbers during a Dec. 8 press conference.
 

Gov. Cooper presents grim coronavirus numbers, new restrictions

Calling the stakes dire and the situation “a matter of life and death,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced a…
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Conspiracy theorists continue to spread misinformation in Haywood
 

Conspiracy theorists continue to spread misinformation in Haywood

Weeks after controversy erupted due to a mischaracterization of a routine local government housekeeping measure in Waynesville, conspiracy theorists continue…
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Haywood Regional Medical Center Suspends Visitation
 

Haywood Regional Medical Center Suspends Visitation

Haywood County is currently experiencing a rapid increase in positive cases of COVID-19, indicating unchecked community spread. Thus, with the…
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Contact tracing crucial as COVID case spike
 

Contact tracing crucial as COVID case spike

Between Dec. 1 and Dec. 3, Haywood County Public Health received notice of 79 new cases of COVID-19. As of…
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Screens will be key at The Book, the new sports betting lounges planned for casinos in Cherokee and Murphy. JCJ Architecture rendering
 

Governor, tribe approve sports betting agreement

After a yearlong delay, the effort to bring sports betting to Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos is finally moving forward following Gov.…
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Trio of Paving Contracts Awarded in WNC counties
 

Trio of Paving Contracts Awarded in WNC counties

N.C. Department of Transportation officials recently awarded three separate contracts totaling more than $6.7 million to resurface more than 26.2…
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Hernandez pleads guilty in motorcycle death
 

Hernandez pleads guilty in motorcycle death

Jorge Hernandez, arrested last year after crashing into a motorcyclist on N.C. 107 near Glenville, killing him, pleaded guilty Tuesday…
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Outgoing commissioners Ron Mau (right) and Mickey Luker receive plaques commemorating their service. Chairman Brian McMahan (left) holds the plaque for Luker, who attended the meeting virtually. Jackson County photo
 

Jackson says goodbye to Mau and Luker

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners said goodbye to outgoing Commissioners Ron Mau and Mickey Luker on Tuesday, Dec. 1,…
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Two COVID-19 deaths reported in Haywood nursing home
 

Two COVID-19 deaths reported in Haywood nursing home

Two people have died related to a COVID-19 outbreak at Maggie Valley Nursing Home and Rehabilitation, bringing Haywood County’s total…
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I like calling North Carolina home
 

I like calling North Carolina home

When the Lyft driver asked where we were from, our answer was, “outside Asheville, in the mountains.” His reply: “Wow,…
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Thank you, pandemic, for slowing me down
 

Thank you, pandemic, for slowing me down

The pandemic forced me to slow down. I’ve always been a busy body, planning trips or parties, purchasing tickets for…
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We are Americans first
 

We are Americans first

Diann Catlin • Guest Columnist | Every American should want and demand evidence as to the integrity of the recent…
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Too many books, too little time: books unread but recognized
 

Too many books, too little time: books unread but recognized

For five years or so, Nick Hornby’s Ten Years In The Tub: A Decade Soaking in Great Books has occupied…
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Smokies species inventory hits 21,000
 

Smokies species inventory hits 21,000

The All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory has hit a new milestone in its quest to document the incredible biodiversity of the…
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Mask up at the gym
 

Mask up at the gym

Masks must be worn inside gyms and other fitness facilities following Gov. Roy Cooper’s latest executive order. 
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Female farmers survive a challenging year
 

Female farmers survive a challenging year

By Laura Lauffer • Contributing writer | During the holiday season, we often recognize and appreciate the farmers in our community for…
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Crews respond to the Chimney Tops overlook. NPS photo
 

Man dies following fall from Smokies overlook

An Alabama man is dead following a fall from an overlook in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 
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The winner of the largest fish contest in the 2019 Kids Fish Day at Max Patch Pond shows off his catch. Donated photo
 

Southern forests recognized for fishing events

The U.S. Forest Service’s Southern Region received the 2019 National Rise to the Future — Fish Your National Forest Award…
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A young explorer works on her Duck Badge. N.C. Arobetum photo
 

Become a junior bird expert

Ornithology Season is underway for the N.C. Arboretum’s ecoEXPLORE program, which encourages kids to connect with the outdoors and engage…
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COVID-19 spikes force WCU to cancel in-person commencements
 

COVID-19 spikes force WCU to cancel in-person commencements

In response to concerns about the surge of COVID-19 cases across North Carolina and the U.S. and in consultation with…
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A main entrée at Rivers & Rails Tavern: steak medallions with chimichurri sauce, roasted garlic mashed potatoes and garlic lemon wilted spinach.
 

Coast to Coast and Carolina, too: The Rivers & Rails Tavern opens in Dillsboro

Sitting at a table in the dining room of The Rivers & Rails Tavern in Dillsboro, Craig Szymanski looked out…
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Asbury Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains. (photo: Garret K. Woodward)
 

This must be the place: Olden times and ancient rhymes, of love and dreams to share

Though the baseboard heat was on in the living room, my downtown Waynesville apartment was quite chilly come Tuesday morning.…
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State releases new economic ranking for counties
 

State releases new economic ranking for counties

The North Carolina Department of Commerce released the county tier designations for 2021, showing that Haywood moved to a more…
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Coronavirus creeps into WNC nursing homes
 

Coronavirus creeps into WNC nursing homes

COVID-19 is surging in Western North Carolina counties, and eight nursing homes in Haywood, Jackson and Macon counties are currently…
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Jerry Wolfe was named Beloved Man of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in 2013, making him the first man to receive the honor in more than 200 years.
 

Jerry Wolfe Highway nears approval

UPDATE: The N.C. Board of Transportation unanimously approved the renaming during its Dec. 2 meeting.  The 4.2-mile stretch of U.S.…
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Shining Rock Classical Academy. A Shot Above photo
 

Shining Rock ends partnership with TeamCFA

Shining Rock Classical Academy’s Board of Directors recently voted to terminate its long-time partnership with TeamCFA, a national network of…
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F*ckface and Other Stories by Leah Hampton: the real stories of modern Appalachia
 

F*ckface and Other Stories by Leah Hampton: the real stories of modern Appalachia

The name of Leah Hampton’s new book will likely grab your attention. If it does, let it pull you in.…
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Few differences apparent in Haywood commission candidates
 

Few differences apparent in Haywood commission candidates

Round two of the Haywood County Republican Party’s candidate screening process is now complete, and after fielding more than two…
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The aquatic center would include a competition pool (pictured) as well as a leisure pool complete with splash pad, therapy pool and nets for both basketball and volleyball. ClarkNexsen rendering
 

Timeline announced for indoor pool project

After Jackson County voters narrowly approved a Nov. 4 referendum to bring an indoor pool to Cullowhee, the lanes are…
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The initial slope failure on Allen Street resulted in closure of a portion of the road, seen facing north on April 30. Kessel Engineering Group photos
 

Sylva grapples with slope failure fix

A 150-foot section of Allen Street in Sylva has been closed since April as the town board decides what to…
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