Support small business

As small businesses across Western North Carolina work toward reopening while meeting new guidelines during the COVID-19 Pandemic, residents are encouraged to support them as a way to strengthen the local economy. 

Demonstrations come to small-town Western NC

Waynesville. Sylva. Murphy. Canton. Bryson City. Franklin. Demonstrations associated with the death of George Floyd aren’t solely a big-city phenomenon, nor are they all destructive. Since June 1, more than a thousand Western North Carolina residents have taken part in a series of actions in small, rural mountain towns without any of the violence and vandalism associated with protests in larger cities. 

Cases continue to rise in western counties

Rural counties have so far been sheltered from the high numbers of positive COVID-19 cases, but as testing ramps up, the number of positive cases continue to rise. 

COVID-19 delays 2020 U.S. Census progress

Filling out the 2020 U.S. Census form is easier than ever, yet response levels are still significantly lagging in many Western North Carolina counties. 

Less pomp, more circumstance: Western North Carolina’s future leaders graduate amidst pandemic

The Class of 2020 will forever be remembered as the “asterisk” class. Whether it be high school, community college or university, the instructional disruption that came about in North Carolina in mid-March as the result of the COVID-19 outbreak will be as much a part of their permanent records as their marks in reading, writing and ‘rithmetic. 

Honking for Jesus: Churches adapt, ponder reopening after lawsuit

On May 17, a typical sunny spring Sunday in this community of churches, congregants gathered for religious services all across Haywood County much as they’d done hundreds or thousands of times before. 

Choirs warmed up. Pianos tinkled in the background. Pastors shuffled papers and pamphlets at podiums, testing the microphones and speakers and projectors. Worshipers parked themselves in place and prepared for the sermon.

European boar proliferated in WNC

Numerous non-native plants have been introduced into the southern mountains during the last century or so. Many are now classified by wildlife biologists as “exotic pests.” Few would argue that kudzu does not fall into this category. And without doubt, the most notable alien mammal ever introduced into this immediate region was the European wild boar.

Dealing with addiction during pandemic

Addiction is a disease of isolation. This is a common truth in the culture of recovery. So it is understandable that social distancing and isolation runs counter to most efforts of participating in a recovery community. 

Grow your groceries: Use quarantine time to start gardening

Spring is in the air these days, but so is uncertainty as the COVID-19 crisis continues and millions of Americans are unemployed, working reduced hours or simply adjusting to life under a quarantine with no clear end in sight. 

It’s a cocktail that even has folks who have always considered themselves to be brown thumbs thinking about starting a vegetable garden. A lot of people have a lot of extra time on their hands these days, and given that every trip to the grocery store now feels like a journey to the last frontier, the idea of being able to walk outside and pick as many tomatoes as you want is certainly attractive. 

WNCW and BPR make the connection during isolation

Walking down the empty hallways of the WNCW studios on the campus of Isothermal Community College in Spindale, Martin Anderson passes by silent offices on his way to broadcast in front of a microphone for all of Western North Carolina to hear. 

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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.

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