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This week, Swain County will host its 28th annual Heritage Day Festival. 

The Festival began as Bryson City’s Memorial Day weekend event 30 years ago. 

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An estimated 38 million motorists are expected to travel by roadways this Memorial Day weekend and the State Highway Patrol is working to ensure residents and visitors to our state reach their destinations safely. 

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Come out Cartoogechaye School in Macon County for a rabies vaccination clinic. 

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The annual Cold Mountain Music Festival will be held on Saturday, June 1, at the Lake Logan Retreat Center in Canton. 

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The Town of Sylva, Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department and Jackson County Chamber of Commerce are proud to present the 15th season of the annual “Concerts on the Creek” music series.

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The Women of Waynesville (WOW) will host a “Queens of Country” themed karaoke party at 8 p.m. Friday, May 24, at The Gem at Boojum Brewing Company in Waynesville. 

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Jackson County Americana/folk duo Bird in Hand will perform at 6 p.m. Friday, May 24, at Mountain Layers Brewing Company in Bryson City. 

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Americana/folk singer-songwriter Woolybooger will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 25, at Currahee Brewing in Franklin. 

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Local hands are nurturing the Barbara McRae Cherokee Heritage Apple Trail in Franklin. 

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Commissioners at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) have adopted new rules for the 2024-25 seasons effective Aug 1. The new rules, adopted during the Commission’s February business meeting and were approved by the Rules Review Commission in April. 

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Cherokee is hosting a fishing tournament this weekend that offers competitors the chance to vie for $10,000 in tagged fish. 

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A portion of the Waynesville Greenway is closed to the public starting from the end of Industrial Park Drive on the Asheville Highway side, extending all the way to the end at Lake Junaluska. 

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Due to forecasted inclement weather conditions, the WayneTown ThrowDown Skate Park Competition was postponed. The makeup day is set for Saturday, June 8, at the Waynesville Skate Park.  

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Come out to Macon County May 25 for the Springtime Garden Light and Sounds show. 

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Kids ages 5-13 can become citizen scientists. 

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Come out to the Ralph J. Andrews Campground on Lake Glenville for a family camping event. 

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Popular Asheville-based Americana/folk act Zoe & Cloyd will hit the stage at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at the Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center in Franklin. 

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Poets Jane Hicks and Thomas Alan Holmes will present their latest book of poems, “The Safety of Small Things” and “In the Backhoe’s Shadow,” at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva. 

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Americana/indie singer-songwriter Mean Mary will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, May 17, at the Classic Wineseller in Waynesville. 

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When Andrue Smith walks across the stage this spring after earning his bachelor’s degree in middle grades education and history, he will have charted a path for men of color wanting to become teachers. 

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Women of Waynesville will host a “Queens of Country” themed karaoke party starting at 8 p.m. Friday, May 24, at The Gem at Boojum Brewing Co. in downtown Waynesville. 

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The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Western District of North Carolina announced the completion of the Money Mule Initiative, an annual campaign to identify, disrupt and criminally prosecute networks of individuals who transmit funds from fraud victims to international fraudsters. 

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Legendary Western North Carolina storyteller Gary Carden is at it again, this time, with a new memoir due out from UNC press later this year. 

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Shannon Swimmer received a master’s degree in human resource management from Western Carolina University in 2007. After several years working in tribal law, Swimmer has returned to WCU in a new capacity, as director of  the Cherokee Center.

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The Smoky Mountain Host held its annual meeting on May 1 at Harrah’s Conference Ballroom, bringing together businesses from across the seven counties of the region and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI).

For 36 years, the Smoky Mountain Host has been a champion for tourism in the North Carolina Smokies. This year’s meeting celebrated the continued collaboration between businesses of all sizes, from family-owned inns to major attractions, in promoting the region’s outdoor recreation, authentic experiences and unique offerings.

The event also recognized the tireless dedication of Monica Brown, operator of Bryson City’s Fryemont Inn and the longest-serving member and Chairwoman of the Smoky Mountain Host Board of Directors. In recognition of her decades of service, the Host presented Ms. Brown with a plaque in her honor.

The meeting also offered exciting news for businesses in the region. Del Holston, curator from Audubon Marketing, unveiled the new regional website, VisitSmokies.org. This extensive website serves as a powerful tool for businesses to reach a wider audience.

David Huskins, Director for Operations, also presented the newly released 8-year regional tourism economy pocket factbook. This data showcased the significant impact tourism has on the region and highlighted the opportunity for collaboration to raise the tide for all businesses.

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Donovan, a spirited third-grade student from Junaluska Elementary School, is the winner of the mascot naming contest for the upcoming Haywood County Bike Park. 

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Bonnie Refinski-Knight, an N.C. State Extension Master Gardner volunteer, will host a presentation on composting. The class will include an example of a compost bin. 

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The Haywood County Solid Waste Department will be holding a spring household hazardous waste collection event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 18. 

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Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC) is celebrating 50 years of conserving clean water, plant and wildlife habitat, farmland and scenic beauty in the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee.

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Come out to the Macon County Master Gardener Association’s plant sale. 

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Officials with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission have announced the approved season dates, bag limits and applicable regulations for the 2024-25 waterfowl, webless migratory game bird (including doves) and extended falconry seasons.

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The N.C. Source Water Collaborative — a statewide drinking water protection group — has announced the winners of the Source Water Protection Awards during the Water Resources Research Institute’s annual conference, held last month, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians took home one of the prizes. 

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There will be a special concert in memory of late Haywood County banjo great Steve Sutton kicking off at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 19, on the big outdoor stage at Silverados in Black Mountain. 

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The 21st annual Whole Bloomin’ Thing Festival will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 11, in the Historic Frog Level District of Waynesville. 

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The 22nd annual Strawberry Jam festival will be held May 18-19 at Darnell Farms in Bryson City. 

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Leonidas Lagrimas will present “Musical Storytellers: A Piano Recital” at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 12, at the First Presbyterian Church in Franklin.

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The Haywood Arts Regional Theatre will open its 40th season with the enchanting Tony Award-winning musical “The Secret Garden,” which will be held at 7:30 p.m. May 24-25, 30-31 and June 1 and 2 p.m. May 26 and June 2 on the Steve Lloyd Stage in Waynesville. 

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Singer-songwriter Andrew Wakefield will perform at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at Innovation Brewing in Sylva.

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The “May Gemboree” will be held May 17-19 at the Robert C. Carpenter Community Building in Franklin. 

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Author Anne Jobe will be hosting a special reading at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin. 

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The Western Carolina University School of Nursing in Cullowhee is the recipient of a $2 million contribution from the Bedford Falls Foundation-DAF (“Bedford Falls”) that will provide scholarship support to undergraduate nursing students and enable the hiring of additional faculty to guide them in their clinical experiences. 

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Haywood Community College Construction Technology students recently helped the Waynesville Housing Authority add much-needed storage behind several homes in the Ninevah housing community. 

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Martin Medina, 32, an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison and three years of supervised release for a firearms offense, assaulting federal officers and assault with intent to commit murder. 

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The U.S. Attorney for Western North Carolina’s office announced that a Canton man, Michael Worley, 51, has been sentenced to over three decades in prison for traveling to Fort Mill, South Carolina, to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor while being a registered sex offender. 

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Efforts are continuing to bring high-speed internet access to communities across North Carolina. 

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Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler is encouraging equine owners to have their animals vaccinated against Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis and West Nile Virus. 

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The Carolina Mountain Club Remote Overnight Crew (ROC) convened near the Walnut Mountain shelter on the Appalachian Trail for a trail enhancement event. The outing drew 19 volunteers, who enjoyed splendid weather while working on various trail improvements.

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Haywood Waterways Association and the Haywood County Environmental Health Department are hosting a workshop about septic systems. 

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The U.S. Forest Service is proposing to change fees at several recreation areas on the Nantahala and Uwharrie National Forests and the public is invited to provide input to proposed fee changes for 60 days beginning on May 3 through July 2, 2024. 

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Come clean up the Pigeon River in Haywood County.

On Saturday, May 18, volunteers will gather at Pigeon River Outfitters in Canton from 9-10 a.m. The cleanup is expected to finish by noon. 

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