SMN staff

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A backyard chicken flock in Wake County has tested positive for High Path Avian Influenza, marking the disease’s return to North Carolina two months after the state achieved HPAI-free status. 

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says that the southern population of the bog turtle, which lives in Southern Appalachian bogs, might warrant listing under the Endangered Species Act. The finding, based on evidence presented in a petition the Center for Biological Diversity submitted kicks off a more in-depth review of the turtle’s status. 

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During a special ceremony Friday, Oct. 21, Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent Cassius Cash received a major award from the National Parks Conservation Association. 

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A reception for the “We Will Not be Silenced: Standing for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women” exhibit will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, at the Western Carolina University Fine Art Museum in Cullowhee. 

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To the Editor.

I wholeheartedly agree with Editor Scott McLeod’s article in the October issue regarding removing politics from school boards and education in general.  

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To the Editor:

Al Platt will be a terrific N.C. 119 District representative. 

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Timothy Connor, of Waynesville, pleaded guilty to the sexual assault of a child adding 26-41 consecutive months to his existing 19-year sentence for his previous sexual assaults and kidnapping convictions.

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A 40-year-old Jackson County man will spend the remainder of his life behind bars for the repeated sexual assault of two young girls, District Attorney Ashley Hornsby Welch said today.

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Legal Aid of North Carolina has fully launched its new website at the existing legalaidnc.org address. Designed and developed by Charlotte-based Kelso Communications and Priceless Misc, the website features the new Legal Aid NC brand debuted earlier this year to celebrate and honor the organization’s 20th anniversary.

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For many students at Statesville High School, stepping onto the campus of Western Carolina University was their first college experience. 

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It’s never too early to teach children the value of a dollar. In fact, even the youngest of kids can sort change and begin to understand that coins and dollars have a value assigned to them. As they get older, their knowledge of finances and savings will organically mature, but there are things you as parents and caregivers to can do to ensure they are set up for financial success in the future.

A new, need-based scholarship is available for people with limited resources to launch a career in whitewater at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. 

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After a nine-year closure, Look Rock Campground in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is open. 

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Dry conditions in North Carolina expanded to include nine western counties following publication of the most recent drought map Thursday, Oct. 13. 

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To the Editor:

The MAGA Republican agenda has nothing to do with making America great. It has everything to do with making America an autocracy dedicated to the rich, powerful and vengeful. Republicans claim that Democrats are radical socialists (whatever that means), but the only political radicals are those in the current Republican leadership.

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To the Editor:

The sheriff is our highest elected official in Jackson County and has the duty to “keep the peace and enforce laws.” Jackson County citizens deserve the opportunity to meet with both candidates to ask questions, so they can make an informed decision.  

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To the Editor:

The office of secretary of state (not usually considered a high-profile post) this year may well represent the most critical vote cast in all 50 states in November. Secretaries of state perform the tedious role of election administration: training poll workers, managing each states voter registration database, authenticating the accuracy of voting machines and, perhaps most important, certifying election results.

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To the Editor:

I believe voting straight ticket, R or D, is this country’s downfall. Too many voters refuse to research the candidates’ background, experience, education and their position on issues. Why? Because too many are lazy. 

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Town Manager Amie Owens announced that Devin Holland will be appointed as Franklin’s next Chief of Police effective Dec. 1.

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Folkmoot USA hosts the inaugural Field Summit in the Queen Auditorium, 112 Virginia Ave. Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., to provide education and resources to students across Western North Carolina.

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Although the footlights have fallen dark on an influential Western Carolina University theatre professor and director, a final curtain call for Stephen Michael Ayers is in the works behind the scenes through the establishment of an endowed scholarship in his memory. 

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The community is invited to a Gatsby-style event, with a cause — supporting humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine. The fundraising event, from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31, at Maggie Valley Club, will support the work of Bomb Techs Without Borders (BTWOB) and the organization’s goal of protecting Ukrainians from the thousands of unexploded munitions. 

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In the six months after the National Forests in North Carolina announced that the 2022 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree would come from North Carolina, more than 7,500 ornaments were donated to adorn “The People’s Tree” in Washington, D.C., this Christmas. 

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A recently released report from Wildlands Network identifies 20 priority sites for wildlife crossings in North Carolina — including four busy thoroughfares west of Asheville. 

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Heavy rains from Hurricane Ian eradicated dry conditions that spread through the eastern half of North Carolina throughout September, but the hurricane’s lighter-than-anticipated impact in the western region led to action on the state’s Oct. 4 drought report. 

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Two Buncombe County men have been added to the N.C. Mountain State Fair Livestock Hall of Fame in recognition of their longtime support to the fair and livestock industry in Western North Carolina. 

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To the Editor:

The print ad published by the Haywood GOP in the 2022 Haywood County Fair Guide was full of disinformation and “dog whistle” claims designed to evoke anger.

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To the Editor:

Men, especially young men, need to speak out and vote for a woman’s right to a safe, legal abortion. 

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Haywood County Animal Services is offering a free ride home for lost pets they find wandering the county if there is proper identification on the animal. 

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Blue Ridge Public Radio announced an upgrade to its services that will expand its capacity to provide 24/7 news and cultural and public affairs programming to an additional 250,000 people in Western North Carolina.

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Dennis Edward “Bill” Taylor, a fourth-term Wolfetown representative on the Cherokee Tribal Council, is facing a trio of criminal charges following an Oct. 6 incident in which he allegedly rammed his truck into his wife’s vehicle as she attempted to flee.

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Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation is introducing a new way to help furry friends in its care by creating the first annual “2023 Furrst Responder Hero Calendar.” The new wall calendar will showcase 13 of Haywood’s First Responder Heroes, posing with their favorite adoptable Sarge’s cat or dog.

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For the last two years, Southwestern Community College’s Boots, Blue Jeans and Bling gala had to be canceled due to the pandemic. This year, however, the gala was able to come back – and this time bigger than ever before.

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Conservation projects in Western North Carolina will receive $6.6 million of the $70.3 million in N.C. Land and Water Fund grant awards announced this fall. 

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a draft version of a plan to guide recovery of the critically endangered red wolf, with a virtual public meeting to offer an update on the Red Wolf Recovery Program 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5. 

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To the Editor:

Most Americans who care about their country and who vote faithfully want desperately to believe that the candidates for whom they cast their vote will not only win but are honest and principled and will represent the time-honored values most of us were brought up to believe in. Have I been sorely misinformed about that, or am I just hopelessly naive?

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To the Editor:

I am an independent voter. I belong to no political party, but rather base my choices on the issues and the candidates themselves. For that reason, I have voted for candidates of both the major political parties in the past. The first vote that I was able to cast was for Richard Nixon for president. I was young, ignorant and foolish. I had not realized how dishonest he was when casting my vote. Since then, I have striven to do more and better research into the candidates for whom I vote.

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To the Editor:

Frankie Wood conned Alaska Presley into believing he could bring Ghost Town back and was able to get her financial backing. He also conned the Maggie Valley aldermen into re-zoning several properties so he could develop RV parks and small cottages to house over 200 Ghost Town workers. To date, no development has happened?

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The NYC Big Book Award recognized “The Jolt Felt Around the World” in the category of Childrens Environment as a distinguished favorite. 

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State and local officials celebrated a groundbreaking ceremony Monday for Corridor K, a project that will improve mobility in Western North Carolina and create a unique land bridge over a highway so hikers and wildlife can safely travel the area.

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The debate over abortion rights now moves to the General Assembly — and therefore, the ballot box — but both sides have stepped up the name-calling and dehumanization, foreshadowing a bitter fight that’s becoming less about the actual issue and more about political demagoguery.

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Every five years, the National Forests in North Carolina surveys its visitors to glean a wide range of information, and the process will begin in the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests Saturday, Oct. 1. 

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The N.C. Mountain State Fair wrapped up another year with a total attendance count of 159,575, a strong showing assisted by near-perfect weather that came in 26.6% above 2021 numbers. 

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To the Editor:

Why are teachers leaving?

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To the Editor:

It makes me sick to think people would applaud Helping Hands not getting funding from Waynesville after such horrible circumstances occurred. 

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To the Editor:

The Swain County “Rally for Health, Hope and Recovery” was a huge success. The event included about 30 providers of care who shared information concerning a wide variety of available help that is not readily accessible for most people. In addition, free items such as baby diapers and a hotdog lunch were provided. 

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