Mountain Synagogue: Jewish community growing in WNC
There aren’t many synagogues in Western North Carolina, just one west of Asheville. Mountain Synagogue in Franklin is a community of Jews practicing their faith in the All Saints Episcopal Church of Franklin. And as with most Jewish communities around the world, safety is top priority.
The Creative Thought Center: For many, the final step on a spiritual journey
On Sunday morning, silence falls in the Creative Thought Center, save the voice of Kim May as she leads her congregation through a meditation. This week she’s brought in a pad of sticky notes for each member containing 16 different affirmations. Members are directed to flip to one at random and ruminate on the affirmation during meditation.
‘One brotherhood’: Asheville mosque offers rare prayer center for mountain Muslims
In the Muslim faith, corporate prayer is a pillar of the practice — and in Western North Carolina, there’s only one place to observe that rite.
East meets west at the Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church
In a small room tucked away in the corner of a nondescript strip mall in the heart of Waynesville, spindly wisps of smoke waft from an incense burner adorned with bells and suspended by chains from the hand of a deacon slinging it rhythmically, back and forth.
WNC schools repeal mask mandates
School systems in all four counties of The Smoky Mountain News’ coverage area are no longer requiring masks in schools. The slew of decisions came on the heels of updated COVID-19 guidance and new direction from North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper.
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 pleas from friends and family members of a missing person, begging for any information that could help bring their loved one home. But the reasons for the disappearances, and the results of the investigations, are often as unique as the missing persons themselves.
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 pains.
A shift for sanctuaries: Wildlife Commission considers opening new areas to bear hunting
With already record-high bear populations continuing robust growth in Western North Carolina, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is proposing a controversial measure to control them: allowing bear hunting in three bear sanctuaries where it’s currently off-limits.
Five ways public lands won big in 2021
For Western North Carolina’s outdoor enthusiasts, a toast to 2021 means a toast to the impressive slate of conservation successes that took place on the region’s public lands this year.
WNC African American conference to focus on reparations
The eighth annual African Americans in Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachia Conference will be held virtually from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6. The focus of this year’s event is “Reparations, Revelations and Racial Justice: The Path Forward.”