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A new website uses GIS, aerial imagery and field work data to create a landslide mapping tool that provides critical hazard data for North Carolina communities. 

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Conservation leaders from Asheville and Brevard were among the 16 people and organizations to earn recognition during the N.C. Wildlife Federation’s 57th annual Governor’s Conservation Awards. 

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The Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina celebrated a pair of conservation achievements in recent months that together protect more than 650 acres of land in Rutherford and Caldwell counties. 

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To the Editor:

As a former Public Health Director in his district with over 30 years of public health experience, I’m appalled at Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s recent misleading statements made in an interview by the Right Side Broadcasting Network at CPAC and aired on NBC nightly news Friday, July 9, as part of their COVID story. His lack of understanding regarding public health science is obvious the more he speaks.

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To the Editor:

The letter by Ms. Subic “Stop the checks, get to work” in the July 14 issue of The Smoky Mountain News starkly illustrates the importance of an informed citizenry in a robust democracy. Although rambling — and including apparently self-bemusing racial comments — apparently her intent was to argue that unemployment benefits, particularly the $300 supplement, were a key factor in firms’ current challenges in filling vacant positions.

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To the Editor:

As I read the letter about unemployment insurance in last week’s edition of The Smoky Mountain News (“Stop the checks, get to work”), I recognized a tone that has come to dominate and pollute our civic discourse. The letter had all the elements of our current malaise. It was nasty and brutish. It was selfish and self-centered, devoid of charity. It was ignorant of fact or reason. It fed on bile and grievance, displaying both cruelty and accusation that serve less as observation than confession.

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While there aren’t any state or federal elections being held this year, there are a number of municipal governing board elections that will draw the attention of voters in November – especially across Western North Carolina — and now that the filing period has closed, the fields are set. 

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Rumble Team | Summer is for adventure, for getting outside, exploring and having fun. But, the rainy afternoons come. So to do the days when its time to take a break, time to relax on the couch after a long day full of summer energy. These are some of the best summer movies for those very instances. 

A reunion for families who have continuously operated a farm for 100 years or more is coming up this fall at the N.C. State Fair, and the N.C. Department of Agriculture’s Century Farm Program is looking for farms to join the program. 

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Jennie Stowers has been elected as the new president of the Highlands Biological Foundation Board after Julia Grumbles wrapped up 10 years of leadership in the position. 

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To the Editor:

In response to the article, “Where Are the Workers?” Well, you can thank your President Biden for that.

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Through a one-time program, Southwestern Community College will not charge tuition or fees to students for the 2021-22 academic year.

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Haywood Community College is holding Peak Week July 12 through July 16. 

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As workers apply the last few coats of paint and other finishing touches this summer, Southwestern Community College officials are making sure everything’s ready to open at their new Health Sciences Center to students this fall on the Jackson Campus.

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Due to continually strengthening populations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wants to downlist the smooth coneflower from an endangered species to a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. 

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Hunters harvested a record 3,748 black bears in North Carolina last year, an 8% increase over the previous season. 

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This year’s North Carolina turkey hunting season yielded the second-highest harvest on record, second only to the record-breaking 2020 harvest — but harvest in the mountain region were down compared to the three-year average.

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A third track is now available within Western Carolina University’s Professional Outdoor Industry Certificate. 

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By Casey Quarterman • Guest Columnist | For six years I have been working as a Wilderness Ranger in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. I devote my time, blood, sweat and energy into keeping wild places as wild and natural as possible. 

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Tuckaseegee Fly Shop will expand into Haywood County starting Aug. 1, with plans to open a retail shop and guide service based at 110 Depot Street in Waynesville. 

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Southwestern NC HOME Consortium is one step closer to receiving annual allocation to bring more affordable housing to the region.

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An economic development venture previously referred to as “Project Duck Call” has been revealed to be a new call center for Drake Software LLC.

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District Attorney Ashley Hornsby Welch said a Haywood County man will serve the maximum sentence possible in prison after entering Alford pleas Friday in Macon County Superior Court to a DWI crash that left two dead.

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The filing period for candidates seeking municipal governing board seats in November began at noon on Friday, July 2, with several challengers and incumbents already declaring their candidacies. 

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A recently released report from the Environment North Carolina Research and Policy Center and the N.C. PIRG Education Fund highlights the serious threat that toxic Superfund waste sites pose when the lay in the paths of hurricanes and tropical storms. 

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Two people are dead following a June 22 collision between a motorcycle and a passenger van in the Balsam area of the Blue Ridge Parkway. 

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now conducting five-year status reviews for 37 species, two of which can be found in North Carolina. 

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Celebrate Independence Day along with the grand opening of Equinox Ranch in Cullowhee with a celebration starting at 1 p.m. Sunday, July 4.

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To the Editor:

In our never-ending search for truth, Americans must accept (if nothing else) one predominant lesson from January 6. Identified fittingly by David French in TheDispatch.com, he states simply: “When you tell tens of millions of Americans one political party is trying to steal an election, some Americans will act like a party is stealing an election.”

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To the Editor:

When you start having to pay higher taxes at the gas pump, pay extra for your electric vehicle, or pay for services that used to be free, look no further than our dear United States senators, Richard Burr and Thom Tillis.

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On Flag Day at Lake Junaluska, about 50 of Junaluska Woman’s Club’s 75 members gathered for a luncheon at Lakeside Bistro. 

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With a proposed contract renewal going nowhere fast, a slew of unfulfilled public records requests and the strong likelihood of a property defecting from the Municipal Service District, the Downtown Waynesville Association announced June 28 that longtime Executive Director Buffy Phillips would be placed on medical leave effective immediately. 

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Citing their continuing support of a revenue-neutral budget, Waynesville Aldermen Chuck Dickson and Jon Feichter voted against the adoption of the proposed 2021-22 fiscal year budget during a June 22 board meeting. 

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With help wanted signs popping up everywhere, The Smoky Mountain News investigates reasons for the labor shortage in the region and across the country and will spend the next few weeks examining what’s going on in different industries and demographics.

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A June 5 motorcycle crash on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Laurel Springs left a 65-year-old North Carolina man dead. 

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FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge has named Julie Whalen as its new executive director. 

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Nighttime work has begun on an 8-mile section of Newfound Gap Road in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

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The Mountain View Garden Club of Waynesville held its monthly meeting at the Jonathan Creek Biodome Art Studio of Nina Howard this month and received a big surprise when world-renowned cellist Michael Fitzpatrick treated the group to a concert. 

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By Maureen Miller • Guest Columnist | “Someone has to die in order for you to live.” The startling realization hit me, and my words hung in the air. She nodded. Unlike me, this fact wasn’t new to her, and I feared my comment was offensive.

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To the Editor:

Former President Donald Trump and the more aggressive of his cult members seem intent on destroying our democracy and attacking a civil society. This ranges from the January 6 attempt to stop the certification of a valid election to attacking local individuals instead of issues.

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To the Editor:

I have never done this in my 59 years, but I can’t rest until I voice my displeasure and disappointment in what happened to me in Maggie Valley.

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To the Editor:

This is in reference to the June 9-15 issue of The Smoky Mountain News. I thought this was called the Smoky Mountain News, not the Greenville News. I can see perhaps a mention of Trump in North Carolina but a full-page picture with “The Return Of The Don” was unprofessional and uncalled for. 

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By Melanie Threlkeld McConnell • Guest writer | Two Western Carolina University professors with interests in jail populations and addiction issues collaborated with one regional county government to better understand the recovery needs of its jail inmates with substance use disorder.

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Juneteenth Events in WNC:

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