SMN staff

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In a five-year agreement to improve watersheds on national forests and grasslands, the U.S. Forest Service will give Trout Unlimited up to $40 million for projects including cleanup of abandoned mines, removing barriers to improve fish passage and stream habitat improvements. 

The No Man’s Land Film Festival, the premier all-woman adventure film festival, will screen at New Belgium Brewing’s Liquid Center in Asheville at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, and it will also stream online. 

Environmental groups in Haywood, Buncombe and Madison Counties were recently awarded grants totaling $197,500 from the Pigeon River Fund of The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.

Drought conditions have improved across much of the state following rains from Tropical Depression Nicole, but the westernmost counties remain quite dry. 

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Work has started on a $1.3 million effort to repair bridges at 19 locations in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with construction to continue through August 2023. 

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A project to improve a tributary to Shelton Branch that runs through East Street Park in Waynesville is now complete. Through the project, the stream was relocated and raised up in order to address erosion and protect town utility infrastructure. Meanwhile, the stream corridor through the park was improved for public enjoyment.

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Old Saint Nick will visit Chimney Rock State Park in Rutherford County Saturdays, Dec. 3 and 10, for the 25th year running practicing his chimney-climbing game on the iconic rock as Christmas festivities abound. 

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To the Editor:

By the time you read this letter, we will have outcomes of the 2022 mid-term elections.

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To the Editor:

Long-time Haywood County resident Kitty Phillips passed on Election Day this month.

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To the Editor:

Driving through Sylva today I noticed the steps of the old courthouse beautifully decorated with rows of American flags. It was breathtaking. This display was in observance of Veterans Day, and I was filled full with pride and gratitude.

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A dispute about a pig that escalated into attempted murder ended last week with a Tuckasegee man ordered to serve at least two decades in prison, District Attorney Ashley Hornsby Welch said.

Jackson County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a former Cashiers resident this week for first-degree murder, Sheriff Chip Hall said. 

A fundraiser for REACH of Haywood, the inaugural “Jingle Jam” will feature a full day of live music and fellowship at the brand new event space at Frog Level Brewing in Waynesville.

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Beloved regional blues/folk singer-songwriter Heidi Holton will perform at 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27, at Mountain Layers Brewing in Bryson City.

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The annual Balsam Range “Art of Music” festival will take place Dec. 2-3 in the Stuart Auditorium at the Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center.

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Hosted by the Curatory Gallery, the second annual ThirstyCanvas Art Auction will be held on Saturday, Nov. 26, at The Gem Taproom (below Boojum Brewing) in downtown Waynesville.

George Vanderbilt first opened Biltmore, his magnificent private estate, to family and friends on Christmas Eve 1895. Today, his descendants continue welcoming guests with that same spirit of gracious hospitality.

Cataloochee Ski Area opened for the season Monday, Nov. 14, after starting snowmaking with the onset of cold weather the previous day. 

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A new agreement between the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the U.S. Forest Service will allow the two entities to collaborate on management of the tribe’s 54,000 acres of forestland. 

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The latest drought map released Nov. 10 shows strengthening drought in the mountain region, but significant rain from Tropical Depression Nicole that fell after the Nov. 8 data cutoff may result in an improved situation when the new map comes out Nov. 17. 

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An environmental assessment investigating potential impacts of water and wastewater system repairs at Balsam Mountain Campground and Heintooga Picnic Area in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park came back with a finding of no significant impact, meaning the park can proceed with the project. 

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A $250,000 grant from the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Connected Communities Pilot Program will support development of a second campus for the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. 

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To the Editor:

Let me start by saying that on November 8 I worked the polls, and the views I am expressing are strictly my own and should in no way reflect the opinions or policies of the Haywood County Board of Elections and its staff.

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To the Editor:

Could someone please explain to me why an experienced, qualified tax collector who has successfully run the office for Haywood County was voted out in favor of a college student with no experience and no qualifications that I am aware of?

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To the Editor:

I would like to express my gratitude to the Macon County community for their support and encouragement throughout my campaign for county commissioner.

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The Haywood 4 Good community wellness program is pleased to announce a new feature: continuous enrollment. Participants may register for the current session any time before the end of December.

Haywood Regional Medical Center announced that Chris Brown has been named chief executive officer (CEO), effective Nov. 28, 2022. 

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On Sept. 14, 2022, Vecinos, a free clinic for uninsured, low-income adults in Western North Carolina, received a $1 million grant from the USDA Emergency Rural Health Care Grant to assist in renovating the upcoming Community Health Hub in Franklin.

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Americana/bluegrass star Darren Nicholson will be joined by Tim McWilliams, William Ritter and Audie Blaylock, with the group performing at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, at the Folkmoot Friendship Center in Waynesville.

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The annual Franklin Christmas Parade will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27, in downtown.

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Western Carolina University will host its annual “Bachelor of Fine Art Portfolio Exhibition” through Dec. 9 at the Fine Art Museum in Cullowhee.

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The Haywood County Arts Council’s (HCAC) “Small Works” exhibit will run through Dec. 31 at the HCAC Gallery & Gifts showroom in downtown Waynesville. 

Through Jan. 8, a traveling exhibition of the National Geographic Photo Ark will be on display in the Baker Exhibit Hall at the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville. 

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Despite significant rainfall in the mountains last week, drought continues to expand in the western region and across North Carolina. 

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A wildfire that started near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s western edge following a motorcycle crash Sunday, Nov. 6, had been 90% contained at 40 acres as of Monday evening, Nov. 7.

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To the Editor:

Whether we like it or not, tourism sustains a quality of life for all WNC residents. This tourism naturally comes from living in area with a bounty of visual beauty that people come to see and experience.

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Over four days, Haywood County Sheriff’s Office Deputies and agency partners led a large-scale operation that resulted in the seizure of 63 grams of methamphetamine, 112 grams of Fentanyl, 2.4 grams of cocaine, 6.8 grams of opioids and the arrests of 37 people.

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Recently, Vecinos, serving a large Hispanic/Latino community in the six western counties of North Carolina, was granted $25,000 by The Hispanic Federation. The grant will be used to assist low-income, uninsured Hispanic people in Western North Carolina who have been impacted by COVID-19. 

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Steve Couch, a 1985 graduate of WCU with a degree in industrial technology, is having a major impact on the lives of current students and student-athletes.

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This week wraps up Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Started by the National Cyber Security Division within the Department of Homeland Security and the nonprofit National Cyber Security Alliance, the goal is to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity.

To the Editor: The Supreme Court recently shot down American women’s right to choose. Now conservative politicians are trying to convince voters that the economy trumps abortion. But, that is simply not so. Think about it! If a woman decides to abort, how will she pay? That is an economic question. If she decides to birth the child, how will she pay for that? An economic question.

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To the Editor: Well folks the Republican leadership has been mum this past summer in revealing what they intended to do if they gained the majority in Congress in November. More recently, they have revealed their plans in the vague terms of impeach, investigate and obstruct the Biden administration at every turn.

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To the Editor: When letter-writers lambaste a political party or official by repeating terrible accusations, they spread lies that can get criminals elected and people maimed or killed. Just last night, U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s husband was injured by a man who broke into their home asking “Where’s Nancy?” 

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To the Editor: Ted Budd is one of the wealthiest U.S. politicians. He and his family have received millions of dollars from the government. However he sees this as OK. But God forbid if the middle and lower class receive any government money or savings.

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Six science centers in the western region received grant money as part of the $6.3 million recently awarded through the N.C. Science Museums Grant Program. 

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A trio of recently completed trail projects in the Nantahala National Forest in Graham County offers people of all ages new opportunities for hiking, biking and horseback riding. 

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Drought continues to tighten its grip in Western North Carolina, according to the latest update from the N.C. Drought Advisory Council analyzing data through Oct. 25.

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