Holly Kays

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Plans for a $14 million bridge project in Dillsboro have changed, with the project now expected to take nine months instead of three years and to cost $3 million less than originally proposed. 

Comment

The 448-acre woodland property sitting right off U.S. 23/19 and Interstate 40 near Canton was almost a speedway. Then, it was almost an indoor ski resort. It was almost a lot of things over the years, but now it will be a public park and conservation area. 

Comment

The U.S. Forest Service has signed the final decision notice for the Buck Project, which will encompass more than 32 square miles on the Nantahala National Forest’s Tusquitee Ranger District in eastern Clay County.

The project will use commercial timber sales toward the goal of providing young forest habitat and producing more oak and hickory trees over time. It will also use prescribed burning to promote the unique Serpentine Barrens and aim to improve water resource conditions through stream improvement projects. 

Comment

Now 31, Steve Yocum was just 22 years old when he moved from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to the mountains of Western North Carolina. 

He was tired of city life, of doing nothing but going to bars all weekend, every weekend. He wanted to get away, and when the company he’d been working for since high school gave him the chance to move south, he jumped on it. That leap led him to photography. 

Comment

After a unanimous vote from the Jackson County Commissioners, an architecture contract with McMillan Pazden Smith Architecture for a planned Animal Rescue Center building in Dillsboro has been approved. 

Comment

A proposal to include a referendum question on the November ballot asking voters to approve funding for an indoor pool in Jackson County will be the topic of a public hearing slated for 5:55 p.m. Tuesday, July 7, at the Jackson County Justice Center. 

Comment

Some campgrounds, visitor centers and previously closed roads in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are reopening.

Comment

Cades Cove Loop Road will now be vehicle-free on Wednesdays through Sept. 30 as part of a pilot study to improve visitor experience in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Comment

The year that Joe Lee turned 21, the Brown vs. Board of Education decision turned 13, the Civil Rights Act turned 3 and last published edition of The Negro Motorist Green Book turned 1. 

It also happened to be the year that the U.S. Department of the Interior mandated that the national parks get on board with integration and begin hiring African-American rangers. Lee, a rising senior at Talladega College with a strong interest in biology and botany, applied for a naturalist position in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

Comment

When the Sylva town board met for its annual budget brainstorming session in January, members had no problem dreaming big about the upcoming fiscal year. A Main Street director, multi-use trails on the Blackrock Creek property, a public bathroom downtown and an all-terrain vehicle for police use all found their place on the wish list. 

Comment

At $66.5 million, Jackson County’s proposed budget for 2020-21 includes a 1.34 percent decrease from the 2019-20 amended budget and a recommendation to re-evaluate various sections of the document come January. The tax rate, however, will remain level at 38 cents per $100 of property value. 

Comment

For the first time since closing March 18, Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos in Murphy and Cherokee are now open to the general public. 

Comment

Southwestern Community College is now open to foot traffic, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The college will remain open as a virtual college from 8 a.m. to noon on Fridays.

Comment

Two new coronavirus cases were confirmed in Jackson County residents today, upping the number to 33, with 1,319 tests completed to date.

Comment

Jackson County saw a 14.8 percent increase in COVID-19 cases among county residents today, with the count rising from 27 to 31.

Comment

Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos will open to the public for the first time since March 18 at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 28.

Comment

Visiting Clingmans Dome is like being in the clouds, Second Lady Karen Pence said when she visited the site Tuesday, May 19 — and she certainly wasn’t wrong. On a clear day, the views from the top of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s highest point extend for 100 miles, and while the aforementioned clouds and accompanying rain slashed that range by roughly 99 percent, Pence said that was more than enough to appreciate the place’s beauty. 

Comment

The arrival of COVID-19 in the United States caused a storm of cancelations, closures, warnings and fears, but there’s one in particular that hit home for Smoky Mountain High School senior Ryan Holler. 

Comment

As February melted into March, Raylen Bark was so busy she had little time to think about the fact that her senior year at Cherokee High School was coming to an end, and her long-anticipated freshman year at Dartmouth College drawing ever closer. 

Comment

For years, Stephanie Morton had focused her daily energy on homeschooling her four kids, but as the children grew into teenagers and young adults, Morton started thinking about her own education. Two years ago, she enrolled in the nursing program at Southwestern Community College. 

Comment

Locally Grown on the Green farmers market offers local produce 3 to 6 p.m. each Wednesday during the growing season at The Village Green Commons on Frank Allen Road next to the post office.

Comment

Appalachian Trail trailheads and access points on U.S. Forest Service lands in the Southeast will reopen on Friday, May 22.

Comment

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has filed a federal lawsuit over a recent decision from the U.S. Department of the Interior that would pave the way for the Catawba Indian Nation to build a casino in Cleveland County near Charlotte.   

Comment

Jackson County saw a modest increase in COVID-19 cases this week, with the disease confirmed in 25 residents as of Monday, May 18, compared to 22 residents on Tuesday, May 12. An additional two part-time residents and 22 non-residents who saw Jackson County health providers have been diagnosed — the part-time figure has held steady for some weeks, while the non-resident category increased by two over the past week. 

Comment

Since its arrival to the United States in the early 1930s, the fire ant has been making a slow but steady march northward from the site of its initial arrival in Mobile, Alabama, but scientists had always assumed that cold winters would at some point put a stop to the tropical invasive species’ spread. 

Comment

Second Lady Karen Pence visited the Great Smoky Mountains National Park today to celebrate implementation of the park’s next reopening phase and to highlight the important mental health benefits of time outdoors.

Comment

The Pisgah National Forest has begun to reopen many trails and roads and partially lift restrictions for dispersed camping.

Comment

An additional case of COVID-19 has been announced for Jackson County, putting the total number of residents diagnosed with the disease at 24. In addition, two part-time residents have been confirmed to have the disease, and Jackson County health providers have diagnosed 20 non-residents as well.

Comment

A faculty member in Western Carolina University’s Department of Communication is seeking volunteers to participate in a research study exploring how people obtain and assess information about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Comment

Drive-thru testing for COVID-19 will be available at the Walmart parking lot in Sylva beginning Friday, May 15.

Comment

Visitors from 26 different states and Washington, D.C., traveled to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park last weekend after it opened for the first time since coronavirus concerns prompted a complete closure March 24. 

Comment

Jackson County has lifted some local regulations aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 with a Superseding Declaration of a Local State of Emergency that went into effect at 5 p.m. Friday, May 8, the same time that an executive order from Gov. Roy Cooper put North Carolina into Phase 1 of reopening. 

Comment

Forestwide fire restrictions have been lifted in the Nantahala and Pisgah national forests, with campfires now allowed as of Wednesday, May 13.

Comment

Jackson County has allocated $324,000 for a new program that will provide short-term, low-interest loans to small businesses that have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. 

Comment

The Blue Ridge Parkway has reopened its southernmost 14 miles and plans to reopen additional gates this weekend once seasonal mowing and road preparations are complete. 

Comment

Almost 60 days after closing their doors to help slow the spread of COVID-19, Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos will begin a gradual reopening of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River on Monday, May 18.

Comment

Trails at the 434-acre N.C. Arboretum in Asheville will reopen on Saturday, May 9, as the campus begins Phase 1 resumed operations.

Comment

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park opened most trails and roads when it entered its first phase of reopening last weekend, but some areas and facilities remain closed. 

Comment

Two people are dead following an emergency situation at Whitewater Falls in Jackson County this week — a 24-year-old man who fell into the water at the base of the falls and a 71-year-old rescue crew member who was helping to search for him.

Comment

For the second day in a row, there has been no increase in the tally of COVID-19 cases in Jackson County.

Comment

City Lights Café has been a fixture in Sylva since first opening its doors in 2011. Those doors are now closed as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, but behind them owner Bernadette Peters is working to find new ways to sustain her business even as dine-in eateries like hers are ordered closed. 

Comment

As Harrah’s Cherokee Casino marks its seventh week of closure due to the Coronavirus Pandemic, leadership for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is planning for the tribe’s financial future in the face of evaporated casino revenues. 

Comment

Jackson County will update its Declaration of a State of Emergency this week to lift the ban currently in place on lodging rentals of less than 30 days, commissioners decided during their meeting this evening. However, the order will contain strong guidance regarding social distancing, mask wearing and sanitation and hygiene practices.

Comment

Eldon Jamison, longtime member of the Glenville-Cashiers Rescue Squad died in the line of duty on Tuesday, May 5, while attempting to rescue a 24-year-old man who had fallen into the water at the base of Whitewater Falls.

Comment

Originally slated to end May 14, the public comment period for the Nantahala and Pisgah forest plan will now extend through June 29.

Comment

One additional COVID-19 case has been confirmed in Jackson County today.

Comment

Jackson County reported its first coronavirus death on Monday, May 4. 

Comment

Additional COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Jackson County today.

Comment

Two more COVID-19 cases were announced in Jackson County today, bringing the total to 19.

Comment

Two more COVID-19 cases were announced in Jackson County today, bringing the total to 17.

Comment

Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

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.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.