Admin

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

Even before Macon County students resumed classes Aug. 17, administration was already seeing the results of teachers returning to school.

Comment

Haywood County Health and Human Services are reporting six more deaths as confirmed by death certificates received within the past week. The individuals all died at Silver Bluff Village.

Comment

Rachel Clay is a voting rights activist. She works as the Southeast Regional Coordinator for the Campus Vote Project, a nonpartisan organization that works directly with colleges and universities to normalize and institutionalize student voting. Rachel is from Raleigh, she graduated from Appstate with B.A. 's in political science and women’s studies and she currently resides in Asheville, North Carolina. 

Our goal is to offer readers a beautifully curated email each week that will inspire and motivate women to live their best lives. By hearing the challenges and successes of other women, we hope you will find an opportunity to live, love, learn and grow where ever you find yourself in life. Click here to subscribe. 

By Rich Byers • Guest Columnist | Robert Frost said that “fences make good neighbors.” I get that. I am not a sociable person. However, I do know and like almost all my neighbors. And, granted, my entire yard is fenced in. It makes it much easier to have two dogs who are sociable, sort of.

Comment

To the Editor:

One provision of the CARES Act passed by Congress in March, as it is being administered by the Department of Education, could have a devastating effect on Haywood County’s public schools, students, and teachers. 

Comment

To the Editor:

The Haywood County Health and Human Services Agency Board unequivocally supports the immunization program of the Haywood County Health and Human Services Agency and encourages all eligible persons to get vaccinated. Vaccines prevent many illnesses and have saved the lives of millions of infants, children, adolescents, teens and adults. 

Comment

To the Editor:

Forbes magazine caters to the millionaires, billionaires, and Wall Street types whose fortunes depend on accurate information. On February 1, 2017, Forbes published an article called “10 Journalism Brands Where You Find Real Facts Rather Than Alternative Facts.”  

Comment

Courthouse Creek Road, located on the Pisgah Ranger District near Pisgah Forest, is closed to motorized use through Dec. 31.

Comment

A pair of experienced Smokies hikers will soon embark on a 900-mile challenge in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with the goal of raising $60,000 for the park’s Preventative Search and Rescue program. 

Comment

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent Cassius Cash has named Stephanie F. Kyriazis as the park’s new Deputy Chief of Resource Education. 

Comment

A critical piece of the Chestnut Mountain puzzle could soon come under control of the Town of Canton after town officials voted to make an offer on a small tract of land adjacent to it. 

Comment

It's a good idea to have pantry or cupboard staples that are versatile and can help you to get meals on the table more quickly. Canned beans are budget friendly and nutritious. 

Haywood County Public Health received notice of 70 new cases of COVID-19 since the last press release on Aug. 7. As of 5 p.m. Aug. 13, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has recorded 445 cases in Haywood County.

Comment

KNOXVILLE – The union representing information technology workers at the Tennessee Valley Authority applauded the federally owned utility’s decision to reverse the outsourcing of 200 crucial IT jobs to foreign-based firms. TVA had previously announced that three firms based overseas would be hired to do the work of TVA professionals and that some work would be transferred to foreign nationals working at TVA under H-1B visas.

Comment

Three run-down properties in front of the Hazelwood Ingles were recently purchased by a firm called Hazelwood Corners LLC for just under $1 million. They’d been for sale for nearly four years, inviting speculation as to the future of that area.

Comment

Cawthorn rejected from Naval Academy

By Tom Fiedler

AVL Watchdog

The narrative created by Republican congressional-candidate Madison Cawthorn paints a picture of a bright, young man headed to the U.S. Naval Academy until he was severely injured in an auto crash. 

Comment

Western Carolina University Chancellor Kelli R. Brown was sworn into office today, five months later than originally planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Comment

What does "local" mean to you? Often when people talk about buying food and beverages one of the top of mind preferences is to support locally grown/made/produced products. Unlike other terms like "certified organic"; local has no legal definition and so it may mean different things to different people. 

President Donald Trump signed the Great American Outdoors Act into law on Tuesday, Aug. 4, guaranteeing funding for much-needed maintenance in the national parks and for future conservation projects nationwide. 

Comment

Lake Junaluska’s Friends of the Lake 5K will not take place in 2020. 

Comment

By Kelli R. Brown • Guest Columnist | These are uncertain and challenging times. Our communities, our state and our nation are grappling with an unprecedented set of issues that affect each and every one of us. 

As Chancellor of Western Carolina University, your regional public university, I believe that institutions of higher education can help prepare our citizens to live through times like these – how to cope, how to manage and perhaps not just survive, but thrive. 

Comment

To the Editor:

Got Social Security? Got a back-up plan for living without it? Payroll taxes fund Social Security.

Trump, manipulated by right-wing extremist-anarchists trying to destroy Social Security for decades, just issued an “executive action” to “suspend” (kill) the payroll tax.  

I’ve paid into it since my first job in high school. Everyone reading this who has ever worked has, too. 

Want to save your hard-earned retirement? Call your Republican senators and Trump enablers Sen. Richard Burr and Sen. Thom Tillis to tell them you oppose stealing your retirement by Trump’s sneaky destruction of payroll taxes: Burr’s Washington office number is 202.224.3154 or his Winston-Salem office is 800.685.8916. Tillis’ Washington office is 202.224.6342.

Mary Curry

Haywood County

Comment

To the Editor:

Madison Cawthorn, newly 25 and a GOP candidate for the 11th Congressional District, may be a young voter himself, but he certainly won’t be earning the youth vote this November.

As the WNC Regional Organizing Director for NextGen North Carolina, I’m working with a team of organizers to run the largest youth voter registration program in the state. A Gen Z’er myself, I love to see my peers voting, getting involved with politics, and running for office — and yet I couldn’t be more excited to cast my ballot for 62-year-old Moe Davis for Congress.

While Cawthorn has been spending his time on the campaign trail making divisive, racist comments and rebuffing CDC guidelines by hosting maskless gatherings, Davis has shown that he’ll make real progress on the issues that young voters care about. He is committed to expanding affordable healthcare access, protecting our environment with a Green New Deal, and raising the minimum wage to $15 — and he has the plans to back it up. 

Cawthorn’s scant website doesn’t tell us much about what he stands for or what he’ll do about it, other than he’s got a bone to pick with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youngest woman elected to Congress and a leader whom I personally look up to. This November, young voters in NC-11 will make sure he doesn’t join her impressive ranks as the youngest man in the House.

Nicole Skinner

Asheville

Comment

To the Editor:

I can’t begin to understand the actions of the new Postmaster of the United States Postal Service as he seriously undermines the operation of one of the oldest and most revered institutions in the U.S. Government for reasons that, to me, appear to be nothing more than a personal tiff between the President and the owner of Amazon, Jeff Bezos.

I have no dog in their fight, but this administration’s insistence on hurting the USPS with intentional mail delivery delays because of a personal vendetta is hurting me and hurting my neighbors. Please consider calling our US Senate representatives daily and objecting to this disgraceful abuse of power that is crippling communication throughout the country using the example below:

 Dear Sen. Richard Burr (202.224.3154) and Sen. Thom Tillis (202.224.6342).

I will be calling every day until you and your colleagues have publicly fired Louis DeJoy from his post as the postmaster of the United States Postal Service for malfeasance in office. His intentional and malicious delay of the United States mail has already significantly impacted your constituents in Western North Carolina since the U.S. mail is often the only communication choice for people here in this internet-compromised area. As a wealthy senator, you do not suffer the financial consequence of late payments not of your doing, but the people here are monetarily penalized and are suffering for it. Many critical medications are delivered by USPS here and delay hurts those needing the medication and many times actually affects the efficacy of the medication. Please fire this despicable person immediately before he destroys a service that 90 percent of the citizens of this country favor and, until now, depend on for reliable communication. Thank you.

Roy B. Osborn

Cullowhee

Comment

In recognition of the 19th Amendment’s centennial anniversary this month, The Smoky Mountain News highlights the historic events leading up to the amendment’s ratification in August 1920, perhaps WNC’s most influential suffragette and the importance of the women’s vote in today’s political climate.

Comment

Long-time Lake Junaluska supporter the Rev. Dr. Robert “Bob” C. Bowling is the 2020 recipient of the Chief Junaluska Award, an honor bestowed annually during Associates Weekend at Lake Junaluska.

Comment

‘Pro-Trump,’ defends use of symbols tied to white nationalism

By Tom Fiedler

AVL Watchdog

When then 24-year-old Madison Cawthorn easily defeated a Trump-backed rival to capture the GOP nomination in Western North Carolina’s 11th congressional district, he declared that his mission would be to rescue his party from a “generational time bomb.”

Comment

A Waynesville woman must serve in prison a minimum of six months to a maximum of 17 months for stealing a Lake Junaluska security vehicle earlier this summer, District Attorney Ashley Hornsby Welch said.

Comment

The Haywood County Health and Human Services Agency has identified a COVID-19 cluster connected to Haywood Regional Hospital.  Currently, fewer than 20 of more than 800 current employees have tested positive for COVID-19.

Comment

Haywood County Health and Human Services are reporting six additional COVID-19 associated deaths. The individuals died within the last week, at two separate facilities. 

Comment

If you or your child has a milk protein allergy or a dietary restriction;  you can find a number of fluid non-dairy alternatives in the Ingles refrigerated grocery section as well as on the grocery aisles (in shelf stable packaging).

The Haywood County Master Gardener course typically offered from January through April each year will move to August through October for 2021.

Comment

Numerous people in North Carolina have reported receiving unrequested shipments of seeds from foreign sources, and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is warning them not to plant any such seeds. 

Comment

Rachel Newcomb has been hired as a conservation outreach associate for Mainspring Conservation Trust. 

Comment

A culturally significant 40-acre property in Macon County has now been conserved, thanks to Mainspring Conservation Trust. 

Comment

The Blue Ridge Parkway has reopened four previously closed campgrounds in North Carolina and Virginia, but some seasonal facilities remain closed due to COVID-19. 

Comment

To the Editor:

By now, it’s disappointingly clear that Madison Cawthorn, the Republican candidate to represent N.C. District 11 in the U.S. House of Representatives, intends to run a campaign of division and name-calling rather than put forth any fresh ideas for how he would improve the lives of all of his potential constituents here in Western North Carolina regardless of political party. 

Still, while it wasn’t surprising to see him pandering to the furthest right-wing fringes of his base in Cory Vaillancourt’s excellent July 29 story (“Cawthorn: Davis, Democrats are ‘racist’”) by continuing his mindless attempt to denigrate “white liberals,” it was shocking to see just how intolerant and ignorant his views on race really are.

Setting aside the remarkable hubris required for a 24-year-old white man who has never left a county that is 94.5 percent white to speak for Black people about reparations while laughably accusing his opponent — retired Air Force Colonel and successful government racial discrimination prosecutor Moe Davis — of being a racist and claiming Confederate soldiers gave their lives to free slaves, I would be very interested to hear Cawthorn explain why his real estate company is called “SPQR Holdings LLC.” According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “SPQR” was on flags at the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which was merely one example of how the abbreviation has been adopted by white nationalist groups (Google: “SPQR white nationalism”). This seems like a very disturbing coincidence at the very least and one a candidate with such overt hostility to a conversation about racial justice should address immediately.

Ron Wagner

Asheville

Comment

To the Editor: 

Roger Parsons is running for re-election as Swain County commissioner and is a lifelong resident of Swain County. He is known to many in Cherokee and Bryson City as a UPS driver until he retired a few years ago. Roger is married to an enrolled member of the Eastern Band and served on the Swain County Board of Education for 16 years.

Roger regularly attended the Swain County Democratic Party Whittier-Cherokee precinct meetings before the Covid-19 pandemic forced the meetings to cease. As Swain County commissioner, Roger reported on issues and always responded to questions. Among other issues, Roger supported the EBCI on the Catawba Casino issue and voted for renaming a portion of U.S. 441 the Dr. Jeremiah Wolfe Highway. 

Roger supports the North Carolina Democratic Party Code of Conduct. When asked for a statement of his values, Roger stated: 

• I respect and value diversity and I’m committed to equality for all.

• I pledge to be honest and truthful in all aspects of my life and service as a Commissioner, trust is earned.

• I commit myself to be open-minded. May I never be so rigid in my thinking that I can’t learn from new facts and information.

• I will always remember that I work for the people. I’m accessible and will listen.

• I pledge to be a good steward of our resources.

• I believe that compassion, dedication and service to others is a sign of strength.

• I believe that we should leave this world better than we found it.

• I believe that optimism and a positive attitude are important in life.

• I believe in the “Golden Rule” and “Loving your neighbor.”

• I believe in a high standard of ethics for all elected offices. 

Roger’s hopes for the Qualla Boundary are to continue to work in partnership with Swain County on issues concerning all residents of Swain County. Roger’s hopes for Swain County are to remember our history but look to the future and continue to grow and improve our community. As a County Commissioner, Roger will listen to the needs of the people.  I encourage all residents of Swain County to vote for Roger Parsons as County Commissioner. 

Mary A. Herr

Cherokee, NC 

Comment

To the Editor:

It is disappointing to see a young, politically inexperienced but passionate and courageous gentleman like Madison Cawthorn totally fall for Donald Trump’s agenda to dismantle health care for millions of Americans. To illustrate:

There are at least 4,500 people in Haywood County alone who have gained access to health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care), which Trump has vowed to destroy. Trump pledged that on “day one” of his term in office there would be a “beautiful health plan— the greatest ever,” to replace the ACA. No such plan exists. Why does Mr. Cawthorn identify himself with this cruelty. Over 100 million Americans are protected by the ACA from being dropped from medical insurance because they have a “pre-existing condition.” This protection will disappear if Trump and his allies have their way. A for-profit insurance company can decide they just can’t afford to treat your mother’s cancer. Bye bye insurance.

Over 4 million people have lost their employer-based insurance because of COVID-19 job loss. Expanding Medicaid — which would help over 500,000 people in North Carolina alone — and create upwards of 20,000 jobs— has been stubbornly opposed by the Trump crowd. Mr. Cawthorn, please disassociate yourself from this foolish and heartless position and speak out on this!

In an interview with CNBC while attending the World Economic forum in Davos, Switzerland, Trump stated that changes (cuts) in Medicare and Medicaid would be “on the table,” but not until “after the election .” Sneaky! Virtually every single family in Haywood County has someone totally dependent on  these programs for their health care. These two federal benefits along with Social Security itself have been hated targets of Republicans ever since presidents Roosevelt and Johnson got them passed in 1936 and 1966. Mr. Cawthorn?

After 30 years practicing medicine in Haywood County, I must strongly object to the needless suffering the above policies will cause. I urge every citizen to prepare to vote — by absentee ballot, early voting or on November 3. Vote like your life and that of your loved ones depend on it. They do.

Steve Wall

Haywood County

Comment

To the Editor:

“The Constitution is not a suicide pact” is a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln as he defended himself against charges of unconstitutionality when he suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War. Now, with protests gone bad throughout many cities in the country, there arose protests against the violence which got the mainstream press into action. Not to condemn the violence, mind you. It was to lecture us about how important it is to have First Amendment freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, etc. for redress of grievances. I don’t see anyone trying to abridge these freedoms in this context. The Constitution is well able to ensure these freedoms without allowing matters to devolve into chaos. When Confucius was asked what he would do as governor, he said he would rectify the names, to make words correspond to reality. What we need in America today is a rectification of names.

Peaceful protests do not “intensify,” they become riots. When riots have the avowed purpose of overthrowing the government, it is called an insurrection. We must be able to make critical distinctions and to calibrate responses accordingly. It doesn’t help having to swim up the stream of lies and half-truths we are flooded with by our cultural wordsmiths. The media doesn’t like the term “enemy of the people” hung on them but they have worked hard to earn it by their journalistic malpractice of using words that mischaracterize, obscure the truth, or refuse to report the news at all.

Another big thing today is anti-racism, as if it has just been discovered. That’s another misnomer. Today’s anti-racism is just warmed over, repackaged, old-fashioned racism. It is lipstick on a pig. Non-white people can be as racist as any white, and whites who try to divest themselves of racism by hating themselves and denigrating other whites based on their DNA are only demonstrating their racism. Why can’t we look at people as people, people? This was, after all, the hope and promise of the Civil Rights Movement but it has since degenerated into stupidity. The only real Civil Rights leaders we have are those who are seldom recognized or maybe called Uncle Toms for their trouble when they try to point out some inconvenient truths. 

A recent American Cancer Society update on guidelines for cancer screening said that people with a cervix should get screened for cervical cancer. Pardon me while I scream. What happened to women? This is insane! This only scratches the surface of the bastardization of language that occurs all around us. Be aware, don’t get fooled. Rectify the names! Or just call a spade a spade.

David Parker

Sylva

Comment

To the Editor:

Would the governor, his staff, his advisors, and cabinet make different decisions if they were determined to be “non-essential” and trying to survive on government largesse? As long as those that govern are drawing full salary and benefits, they will have an “us” and “them” perspective. Is the term “essential politician” an oxymoron? Just ruminating. 

Paul Stapf 

Waynesville

Comment

Pay for Macon County employees is constantly on the mind of Macon County Manager Derek Roland, and every year putting together the county budget is a balancing act between protecting taxpayer dollars and providing adequate pay for the county’s more than 300 employees.

Comment

In recognition of the 19th Amendment’s centennial anniversary this month, The Smoky Mountain News is doing a series of stories to highlight issues of equal pay and voting rights in the United States. This week, SMN investigated how well local government agencies are doing in regard to equal pay for women. See a full list of this week's coverage after the break.

Comment

Ever since my days in Scouts, I’ve loved hiking, backpacking, and traveling in Western North Carolina. As adults, my wife Elizabeth and I have brought our kids west of Asheville time and again. We’ve been rained on hiking with our dogs in Pisgah, rafted the Nantahala, and learned about native history on the Qualla Boundary, among many other adventures. 

Comment

By Andrew Dundas • Contributing Writer | Bowls in various stages of production scattered the workshop around Mike McKinney, piled onto tables and shelves besides a host of different woodworking equipment. At the center of it all sat the lathe, illuminated by studio lights and backed by a wall of hanging tools. Behind the lathe, Mike prepared his next piece for turning, answering questions about his craft with quiet-but-clear passion.

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.