SMN staff

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The 11th annual Plunge Benefit-t-t-ting Kids in the Creek and Environmental Education will take place 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Champion Credit Union Aquatics Center in Canton. 

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To the Editor: I’ve thought of writing for some time but outdoor sports were more important to me. As a long-time attorney, one would think that writing is one pastime that I could ignore. But, the U.S. Congress never lets us forget how lame and inept that they are. 

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The year 2022 was no 2020. But hey, that’s a good thing. In some ways the year seems less exciting than the pandemic years that preceded it, but when you take a step back and look at all that happened, it’s striking how consequential this trip around the sun may have been.

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With holiday parties, gift buying and cookie making in full swing, it may be hard to think about your finances for the New Year, but now is the time to begin nurturing your financial health for 2023. 

North Carolina growers should expect routine nematode samples to take 15 weeks or longer to turn around this year, a delay caused by increased demand for testing and staffing shortages. 

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For the first time in two months, drought is gone from the mountains after an exceptionally rainy week soaked soils across the region. 

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Efforts to renovate the Waynesville dog park are taking longer than expected due to complications from the weather and issues with mulch quality. 

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Haywood Waterways Association recently recognized three water champions for their work to protect and improve Haywood County’s rivers, streams and reservoirs in 2022. 

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The last private property that Lands Creek crosses before entering the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Tuckasegee River is now conserved, thanks to Swain County residents George and Elizabeth Ellison.

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Graduates of Southwestern Community College who want to take the next step in their education by earning a bachelor’s degree now have a direct pathway to do so at Mars Hill University.

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Applications are now open for  Mountain BizWorks’ 12th ScaleUp cohort. Designed for established local businesses with strong growth potential, interested companies should apply for ScaleUp by Feb. 12, 2023. 

Two more deer have tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease, an always-fatal illness affecting cervids like deer and elk. 

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The Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont received more than $72,000 in donations during Giving Tuesday, Nov. 29, surpassing the organization’s previous Giving Tuesday record by nearly $20,000. 

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An earthquake just south of Hendersonville gave residents a shake at 10:23 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 7.

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Through March, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will work to install boulders, split-rail fences and wooden posts to prevent roadside parking in busy areas. This will result in a series of single-lane weekday road closures. 

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A new air tour management plan is now in place for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and though it includes an annual cap on air tours, that cap won’t cause much change from the status quo. 

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Brent Martin has been named the winner of the 2022 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award for his book “George Masa’s Wild Vision: A Japanese Immigrant Imagines Western North Carolina.”

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A project to rehabilitate the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Headquarters near Gatlinburg will open for bid submission on Thursday, Dec. 15. 

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The Cashiers Area Chamber of Commerce recently awarded its 2022 Spirit of Our Community Awards recognizing well-deserving individuals who dedicate their lives and talents to positively influence the Cashiers, Glenville, Lake Toxaway and Sapphire communities.

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Anyone needing a quality, affordable health insurance plan, now is the time to enroll for 2023. Open Enrollment is underway and ends Janu. 15, 2023. Anyone needing coverage starting Jan. 1 must enroll by Dec. 15.

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Western Carolina University’s Homecoming 2022 celebration featured the recognition of three alumni for professional accomplishments in college football coaching, sports performance nutrition and academic excellence, and the contributions of a husband-and-wife team with an extensive record of public service and the man who oversaw WCU’s alumni activities for nearly 20 years.

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A horse in Henderson County has been tested for suspected equine infectious anemia shortly after a horse in Surry County was found positive for the disease. 

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The National Park Service has found that allowing an underground natural gas pipeline within the Blue Ridge Parkway will have no significant impact on Park Service resources. 

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Progress continues on the Hurricane Ridge Fire, which in a final update from the U.S. Forest Service Friday, Dec. 2, was 796 acres with 55% containment.

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Friday Night Ski & Snowboard is back through Jackson County Parks and Recreation, with group rates available on Fridays to ride Cataloochee Ski Area. 

Mountain Projects and Waynesville Rotary Club paired for many years to coordinate a popular Christmas holiday blanket drive.

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The Western North Carolina Historical has selected author Brent Martin’s “George Masa’s Wild Vision: A Japanese Immigrant Imagines Western North Carolina” for the 2022 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award.

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Students from Western Carolina University’s Kimmel School of Construction recently had the opportunity to participate in real-world construction scenarios at the Associated Schools of Construction Region II competition in Atlanta.

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With Thanksgiving in the rearview mirror, the holidays are in full swing.

The North Carolina Parks and Recreation Authority, which oversees the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, recently approved $17.4 million to fund nine capital improvement projects and six land acquisitions for North Carolina state parks.

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Winners of EcoForesters’ Annual Awards were announced this month, celebrating achievement in ecological forestry and highlighting important issues that the region’s forest face — and the people making a difference. 

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The Joyce Kilmer National Recreation Trail in Graham County is reopen after more than two years of closure. 

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To the Editor: Here I am, a constitutional conservative who for 40-plus years has voted, held office, and worked as a Republican volunteer, sitting at my computer feeling thrilled to death over the Republican red wave that wasn’t.

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To the Editor: Rob Schofield in last week’s Smoky Mountain News decried the current Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) as “political” because it has taken the words in the Constitution literally and seriously. Seriously?

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To the Editor: A college football coach will tell you there are three basic units that comprise a football team: offense, defense and special teams.

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Western Carolina University’s human remains detection cadaver dog training program was recently awarded the 2022 University Professional and Continuing Education Association award for special populations at the UPCEA South Conference in Atlanta.

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Students from Western Carolina University were given the opportunity to network with students from other Southern Conference schools and expand their knowledge of other academic areas at the SoCon Undergraduate Research Forum held in October.

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In a five-year agreement to improve watersheds on national forests and grasslands, the U.S. Forest Service will give Trout Unlimited up to $40 million for projects including cleanup of abandoned mines, removing barriers to improve fish passage and stream habitat improvements. 

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Environmental groups in Haywood, Buncombe and Madison Counties were recently awarded grants totaling $197,500 from the Pigeon River Fund of The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.

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Drought conditions have improved across much of the state following rains from Tropical Depression Nicole, but the westernmost counties remain quite dry. 

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Work has started on a $1.3 million effort to repair bridges at 19 locations in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with construction to continue through August 2023. 

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A project to improve a tributary to Shelton Branch that runs through East Street Park in Waynesville is now complete. Through the project, the stream was relocated and raised up in order to address erosion and protect town utility infrastructure. Meanwhile, the stream corridor through the park was improved for public enjoyment.

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To the Editor:

By the time you read this letter, we will have outcomes of the 2022 mid-term elections.

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To the Editor:

Long-time Haywood County resident Kitty Phillips passed on Election Day this month.

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To the Editor:

Driving through Sylva today I noticed the steps of the old courthouse beautifully decorated with rows of American flags. It was breathtaking. This display was in observance of Veterans Day, and I was filled full with pride and gratitude.

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A dispute about a pig that escalated into attempted murder ended last week with a Tuckasegee man ordered to serve at least two decades in prison, District Attorney Ashley Hornsby Welch said.

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Jackson County Sheriff’s deputies arrested a former Cashiers resident this week for first-degree murder, Sheriff Chip Hall said. 

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