SMN staff

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Swim lessons are back at the Waynesville Recreation Center, with a beginner class for ages 3-8 to be offered once per month. 

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To the Editor: 

Given the current events many may have missed both the State of the Union and the Republican rebuttal. The combination was a contrast of content and a case study in irony. As is always the case, the rebuttal has less time, but is still an opportunity to present general policy issues. 

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A March 17 press release from Maggie Valley Police Chief Russ Gilliland says that no criminal charges will be filed in relation to the unattended death of Kitty Currin at Our Place Inn.

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A new Special Enrollment Period on the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace has opened for consumers who have projected income of at least 100% of the federal poverty level but are at or below the 150% of the federal poverty level. This SEP allows qualifying people to enroll in plans in any month during the year without having to experience a “qualifying life event” like other SEPs. Enroll now and coverage should start April 1.

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To the Editor:

I appreciate George Hahn’s perspective on old-growth forests and agree with many of his sentiments. A mix of age and structural diversity is important for forests.

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Help preserve the multitude of species in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park by participating in the Smokies Most Wanted program, an initiative that encourages park visitors to record sightings of animals, plants and other organisms from their smartphones, using the iNaturalist app. 

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When Clingmans Dome Road reopens for the season on April 1, it will do so with the caveat of single-lane closures, to be in effect intermittently through Sept. 2. 

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One of the Pisgah National Forest’s most popular tourist destinations, Sliding Rock Recreation Area, will reopen on April 30 for the first time since Tropical Storm Fred ripped through Aug. 17, 2021.

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The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is looking for volunteers to help park rangers provide minor roadside assistance to visitors. 

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To the Editor:

The revised forest management plan for the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests have been under scrutiny lately. One of the main critics of the plan is Will Harlan of the Center for Biological Diversity.

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To the Editor: 

It’s almost humorous to read about what a child should glean from Pre-K and kindergarten. I said “almost humorous” because to me even the theory of Pre-K and kindergarten is categorically terrifying. I know this letter will quickly take on a Jurassic tone but, in my view, to believe children need Pre-K to learn socialization skills is beyond absurd. 

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To the Editor: 

I will be so happy for this uneducated, law-breaking manchild — Rep.  Madison Cawthorn — to be voted out of office soon and let him slither back under the rock he came from.

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To the Editor: 

March 11, 2022 was the one-year anniversary of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) that was signed into law by President Biden. At a time when the news cycle moves so fast, we should stop and reflect on this law and how it has helped ordinary Americans, including those right here in Jackson County. 

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On March 15, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper made several stops in Western North Carolina, including one in Waynesville, where he checked in with local leaders on the progress of recovery from Tropical Storm Fred. 

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Individuals are always looking for ways to save money and create a stronger financial portfolio. One way to do this is to refinance your auto loan. Listed below are four top reasons refinancing your vehicle may be a beneficial decision to make. 

The 2022 ozone season began March 1, meaning that through Oct. 31 daily air quality forecasts will be available from the N.C. Division of Air Quality. 

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Thru-hiking season for the ever-famous Appalachian Trail is now kicking off, but the Benton MacKaye Trail Association, Alabama Pinhoti Association and Georgia Pinhoti Trail Association are joining forces to offer a new long-distance hike — the 1,000 Mile Challenge. 

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Due to overwhelming interest during the priority sign-up period for Highlands Biological Foundation members, only one session of the nonprofit’s extensive summer camp schedule still has space available. 

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It’s barely March, but an abnormally warm winter means several spring flowers are already blooming. 

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With the 2022 season around the corner, the Cradle of Forestry in America is looking for help to make it all happen. 

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To the Editor: 

Vladimir Putin has been conducting a hacking and disinformation war against the U.S. for years (China, Iran, and North Korea have, too, but less effectively). In Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018, then-President Donald Trump stood beside Putin at a live press conference.

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The Haywood County Arts Council in Waynesville has announced that painter Laura Parker is the “Artist of the Month” for March. 

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Funding from the Great American Outdoors Act has allowed the U.S. Forest Service to wrap up a decade of deferred maintenance on two of North Carolina’s most heavily trafficked hiking trails. 

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Visitors armed only with a free app and love of nature have documented more than 4,000 species in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park since 2011, according to the nonprofit Discovering Life in America, including 77 not previously documented in the park by anyone else. 

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Cable Cove Campground in the Nantahala National Forest near Robbinsville will not reopen this year due to extensive deferred maintenance needs and low occupancy rates, the U.S. Forest Service announced. However, the Cable Cove Boat Launch will remain open year-round. 

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Funding from the Great American Outdoors Act will cover the $31 million cost to repave the 17-mile Foothills Parkway West in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, prompting a series of full-lane closures starting March 14. A separate project on Foothills Parkway East will cause single-lane closures starting March 7.

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New leadership is now in place at two of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s official nonprofit partners. 

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To the Editor:

The February 10 Sylva Town Board meeting invited public comment regarding a new zoning drdinance and a proposed social district in downtown. The first casualty of the meeting was the lack of space and thus, access.

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To the Editor:

It’s appalling that you only include a singular view by Michael Boatwright about the current reality involving race and police brutality.

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To the Editor:

In Western churches, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, six and a half weeks before Easter, and provides for a 40-day fast in imitation of Jesus Christ’s fasting in the wilderness before he began his public ministry. Many Christians abstain from animal foods during Lent.

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To the Editor:

On Thursday night, February 10, the Sylva Board of Commissioners, on a split vote of three to two, established a social district for the majority of downtown Sylva.

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The N.C. Department of Revenue today began mailing one-time Business Recovery Grant payments to approved North Carolina businesses that applied to the program prior to the Jan. 31 deadline. Businesses approved for a grant of $50,000 or less can expect to receive payment in the coming days.

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One man died and another was critically injured during a shooting that occurred at 11:22 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, in Cherokee. 

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Jackson County Commissioners began the process of hammering out a budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year during a work session held Tuesday, Feb. 22. A large portion of the meeting was dedicated to the needs of educational stakeholders in the county.

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After a week of research and interviews with over 100 stakeholders in Cashiers, the Urban Land Institute Advisory Services Panel offered its recommendations for growth and future development in the village. 

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The Jackson County Tourism Development Authority (JCTDA) has hired Jon Moore as its new social media and digital content specialist.

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When Christmas 2022 rolls around, a tree from North Carolina’s national forests will adorn the U.S. Capitol building. 

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Environmental science students at Western Carolina University took a look at the logistics of getting off-campus apartment complexes to offer recycling collections as part of a capstone class project. 

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A new half-mile trail created to serve people with physical disabilities is now open at Mainspring Conservation Trust’s 16-acre Queen Branch property along N.C. 28 in Macon County. 

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The Great Smoky Mountains National Park recently filled two key leadership positions — Randy Scoggins has been hired as the new chief ranger overseeing the Visitor and Resource Protection Division, and Stephanie Kyriazis will serve as the new chief of resource education. 

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To the Editor:

As parents and as a teacher and health care professional, we are troubled by the Haywood School Board’s decision to remove masking, the manner in which the discussion was handled, and the unannounced removal of the online covid dashboard.

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One need look only to the hundreds of churches in Western North Carolina to see that the people of Southern Appalachia are especially devout in their religious practices. But those houses of worship don’t necessarily paint the whole picture.

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The Pisgah-Nantahala forest plan process is nearing its end, but a local filmmaker’s effort to produce a documentary exploring the issue is just beginning. 

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Outdoor Gear Builders has hired Brad Taylor as its first-ever full-time executive director, marking a milestone for an organization that is itself the first outdoor industry association of its kind. 

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The U.S. Forest Service is planning prescribed burns for seven areas of the Pisgah National Forest this spring. 

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Area land trusts are celebrating several recent accomplishments in the quest to conserve and protect ecologically significant land. 

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Farmers who suffered losses due to Tropical Storm Fred can now apply for help through the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Agricultural Crop Loss Program through the April 15 application deadline.

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