This must be the place: Ode to ‘Lucinda,’ ode to busted front bumpers

Sitting in the waiting room of my hometown mechanic last week, I knew it wasn’t good when he called for me to come into the repair bay. The rusty, musty Toyota Tacoma pickup was up on the rack. And the look on the mechanic’s face wasn’t one of optimism. 

Searching for safe passage: Group works for safer wildlife crossings on I-40

Growing up in eastern Kentucky, Frances Figart loved any chance to glimpse the diverse wildlife species roaming those Appalachian foothills — except when the sightings occurred after the creatures had become roadkill, something that occurred all too frequently. She felt their deaths keenly. 

All signs point to Canton’s continuing renewal

Another aesthetic improvement to Canton’s emerging downtown business district — rundown and dilapidated for years, until recently — will soon welcome residents and visitors alike with a sense of style befitting the mountain mill town’s historic character. 

Wheels Through Time founder dies of cancer

Dale Walksler, the founder and curator of the Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, passed away peacefully, with his wife by his side, at home on Feb. 3, after a courageous four-year battle with cancer.

This must be the place: You would do anything, you’d give up everything for god knows why

Christmas Eve. Downtown Waynesville. Sitting alone in my one-bedroom apartment, I was bummed that I couldn’t be back home in the North Country for the holidays with my family and friends. Putting on the baseboard heater, I proceeded to make my way to the fridge for a beer.

Jerry Wolfe Highway nears approval

UPDATE: The N.C. Board of Transportation unanimously approved the renaming during its Dec. 2 meeting. 

The 4.2-mile stretch of U.S. 441 between U.S. 19 and the Smoky Mountain Expressway in Whittier will soon be known as the Beloved Man Dr. Jerry Wolfe Highway if the N.C. Board of Transportation approves the naming request at its Dec. 2 meeting. 

Sylva grapples with slope failure fix

A 150-foot section of Allen Street in Sylva has been closed since April as the town board decides what to do about an ever-worsening slope failure that is now threatening the road in two separate places. 

National parks visitation explodes in WNC

For Western North Carolinians who see the outdoors as a safe haven when life gets hard, perhaps the most distressing part of the pandemic’s early days was the domino-like succession of closures in the region’s parks, forests and other open spaces. 

Two-year delay expected for N.C. 107 project

After years of planning, public meetings and emotionally charged back-and-forth, right-of-way acquisition for the N.C. 107 project in Sylva was set to begin in February, with construction starting in early 2023. 

But that was before COVID-19 hit. 

Protests were peaceful, but traffic caused problems

It was a long day, but July 11 was a success from the perspective of law enforcement, said Police Chief Chris Hatton. 

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