SMN staff

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Earlier this month, Mountain Credit Union partnered with MANNA Food Bank to provide meals that will help end food insecurity in the 16 counties of Western North Carolina.

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The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality has awarded funds for 59 new Level 2 electric vehicle charging points across 23 sites in North Carolina, with several headed to Western North Carolina. Grant recipients include:

The N.C. Wildlife Federation’s fourth annual Wildlife Photography Contest is open for submissions through July 31. 

Whether you’re a hiker, an angler or a survivalist, there’s a way to get outside with Haywood County Recreation and Parks next week. 

The annual Zahner Conservation Lectures will return to the Highlands Nature Center in July, with a series of nine free lectures planned for 6 p.m. Thursdays from July 7 to Sept. 1. 

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Outdoor Gear Builders, an outdoor industry association in Western North Carolina with more than 75 members, has hired Matt Godfrey as its next executive director. 

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Backpack the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with REI during one of three guided outings planned this summer. The trips, open to ages 14 and up, will be offered July 15-16, Aug. 10-11 and Aug. 27-28.

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ArborEvenings is back at the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville, offering opportunity to spend Thursday and Friday evenings strolling the gardens through Sept. 30. 

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Brent Martin will present his new book about George Masa, the self-taught photographer whose work immortalized the Smokies of the early 1900s, during three upcoming readings in Western North Carolina. 

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The Natti Love Joys will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 2, at Lazy Hiker Brewing in Franklin.

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Home to the world’s premier collection of rare American motorcycles and historically significant automobiles, Dale’s Wheels Through Time museum will be celebrating its 20th anniversary June 30-July 4 in Maggie Valley.

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To the Editor:

As a mother, aunt, pediatrician and neighbor to beloved children, I have long been deeply troubled by the exorbitant levels of gun violence in our country, and my heart was sickened again last month by the massacre of children and teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. 

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Eireann Marcus, a rising sophomore at Tuscola High School, was one out of only 32 students selected to attend Engineering VOLunteers for Tenth Graders (eVOL10) pre-college summer program held at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville June 19-24.  

Becky Buller Band and Mountain Heart will be the headline musical acts for this year’s Mountain Heritage Day, the popular outdoor festival at Western Carolina University to be held this year on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The nomination period is now open for the annual Mountain Heritage Awards, which recognize contributions to Southern Appalachian history, culture and folklore.

The Haywood County Health and Human Services Agency (HCHHSA) is reporting the first case of monkeypox virus infection in a Haywood County resident, confirmed by testing at the State Public Health Laboratory. 

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The Waynesville Recreation Center Waterpark will reopen for the summer Friday, June 24. 

The first phase of the Old Fort Trails Project in the Pisgah National Forest will open on Sunday, June 26. 

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Western Carolina University has named its Environmental Health Program in the College of Health and Human Sciences as its first Community Engaged Program. 

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Festivities for the Highlands Biological Foundation’s annual summer soiree will commence at 6 p.m. Monday, July 18, on the historic Ravenel property. 

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The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is looking for help in identifying and documenting former homesites in the park. 

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The “An Appalachian Evening” series will continue at the Stecoah Valley Center in Robbinsville. 

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 The “Unto These Hills” stage production will be held at 8 p.m. nightly throughout the summer at the Cherokee Mountainside Theatre.

The Haywood County Arts Council (HCAC) in Waynesville is now accepting applications for grants funded by the Grassroots Arts Program and has over $27,000 in funds to award.

To the Editor:

We are so blessed in Jackson County to have many dedicated individuals and community groups who have taken responsibility to “Keep Jackson County Clean and Green.”

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To the Editor:

In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and yet another mass shooting in America I am trying to make sense of the Second Amendment. It states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.” It is difficult to disagree with those words if we study them and determine what they mean. 

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The stories flowed easily from friends, pastors and family members of the late Conrad Burrell on Tuesday afternoon at Southwestern Community College.

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Although everyone looks forward to summertime, it can be an expensive time of year. The summer months not only involve the cost of vacations but also camps for kids and other expenditures.

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality has announced an action strategy for PFAS, a class of widely used, long-lasting chemicals whose components break down very slowly over time. Because there are thousands of PFAS chemicals with myriad uses, studying potential health and environmental risks is difficult. 

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With more than 100 cars typically parked outside the parking lot at Laurel Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park — mostly along the roadside — park staff are taking measures to eliminate these practices through Sunday, Oct. 30.

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It’s “Oceans of Possibilities” this summer at the Marianna Black Library in Bryson City, with a marine-themed summer reading program offering activities throughout the season. 

Bakersville, North Carolina, resident Sue Wasserman is taking her place as this year’s Steve Kemp Writer in Residence at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park following a two-year pandemic delay. 

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A new field guide dedicated to the aquatic residents of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is now on bookshelves. 

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Fire Mountain Trails in Cherokee will be closed Friday, June 17, and Saturday, June 18, for the second annual WheelScorcher OneWheel Event. 

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To the Editor:

This is an open letter to Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis.

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To the Editor:

I am a recent resident of the lovely state of North Carolina and am truly honored and grateful to live here. Yet I am also a citizen of America, and as such I need to believe that our elected officials — including senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis — are working for the people they represent and are cognizant of the wishes of the majority of Americans.

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After years of planning, fundraising, and construction, the Highlands Biological Foundation (HBF) officially dedicated the North Campus of the Highlands Biological Station on Sunday, June 5, during a huge community celebration. 

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Lake Junaluska will host outdoor, lakeside Sunday worship services led by inspirational visiting preachers from June 26 through Aug. 14 as part of the Summer Worship Series.

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The Franklin Chamber of Commerce was proud to welcome the Slanted Window Tasting Station to the community and the chamber family with a recent ribbon cutting celebration.  The Slanted Window Tasting Station is located at 587 Harrison Ave.

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A bear has been euthanized after it broke into a tent occupied by a family of five and their dog, injuring a 3-year-old girl and her mother. 

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A series of three workshops looking at energy efficiency and cost reduction techniques for homes and businesses will kick off 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 11, in the gym of First United Methodist Church Waynesville. 

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Johnson City residents Steve Wheeler and John Redmond spent the weekend biking from Johnson City to Lake Junaluska in hopes of raising $5,000 to help war victims and refugees in Ukraine. 

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With 423 units covering more than 85 million acres, there’s much more to the National Park Service than the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Blue Ridge Parkway. Here’s a roundup of some recent news from the agency. 

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Bobs Creek State Natural Area is officially open following a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday, June 2, attended by Gov. Roy Cooper and N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary Reid Wilson. 

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To the Editor: 

A reporter for Al Jazeera (Shireen Abu Akleh) was killed by Israeli military personnel as she covered an Israeli raid on Jenin, a West Bank Palestinian refugee camp. Then Israeli police brutally attacked the pallbearers carrying Abu Akleh’s casket. Israel says it will investigate what happened, but history teaches us Israel has little interest in accountability. 

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To the Editor: 

The Republican Party is not the party of life. 

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FUR’s fifth-annual Wet Your Whiskers fundraiser will be held Saturday, June 25, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the Wells Event Center at 33 Events Center Way, just off N. Main Street in Waynesville.

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