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Wednesday, 29 March 2017 15:25

Nature Center to ramp up education efforts

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The WNC Nature Center will launch a regional education outreach program thanks to a $52,000 grant Friends of the WNC…
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 15:22

The Naturalist's Corner: It really is spring

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I was reconnoitering the Buck Creek Serpentine Barrens on Monday March 27, with Brent Martin, Southern Appalachian regional director at…
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 15:00

David Joy’s new book is a dark gem

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Just after I bought The Weight of the World, I ran into an old friend of mine who is extremely…
It’s needed now more than ever before. The place of the singer-songwriter in a modern world is a tricky spot.…
You don’t know me. In recent weeks, I’ve found myself saying that exact statement above to folks I love and…
Smaller cities and counties with smaller tax bases can’t always afford the capital expenses of their wealthier neighbors — it’s a simple fact of life for rural Appalachian governments that often have to do without the luxuries afforded to the…
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 14:15

Haywood cop cam use low, may grow

A variety of law enforcement agencies serve the 60,000 residents speckled about the 555 square miles of Haywood County, and although they all practice varying degrees of camera system usage, they all seem to share similar concerns about costs and…
On Aug. 9, 2014, an encounter between Officer Darren Wilson and 18-year-old Michael Brown on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, left Brown dead and the entire nation in the midst of a riotous public debate over whether the shooting was…
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 14:11

The tools of truth

As the digital revolution proceeds unabated and technology exponentially shrinks in size and cost, law enforcement agencies have more tools in and on their trunks than ever before. 
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 14:07

Police cameras in WNC

The increasing use of body-worn and dash-mounted police cameras in Western North Carolina has sparked privacy concerns from citizens and cost concerns from local governments struggling to equip officers with the devices. • The tools of truth• Jackson law enforcement navigates new…
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 14:02

Memorial service planned for Rev. Jimmy Carr

Lake Junaluska will hold a memorial service for Rev. Dr. Jimmy Carr at 3 p.m. Thursday, March 30, in Stuart Auditorium.
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 13:57

Dillsboro river park vote planned in Jackson

With an April 3 vote on a proposed river park in Dillsboro just days away, all five members of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners are leaning toward approving the project after listening to an hour of public comment March…
The Jackson County Commissioners got some food for thought during a meeting last week exploring the possibility of consolidating some of the county’s health and human resources services into a single department.
The widow of former Vice Chief Bill Ledford is refusing to move after Tribal Council’s January vote to strike the portion of his will that left her the house, and now a May 1 date in the Cherokee Tribal Court…
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 13:49

Classroom size uncertainty to impact budgets

School systems in Western North Carolina were hoping a proposed piece of legislation regarding class size requirements would make it through the General Assembly this session to take some pressure off their 2017-18 budgets, but now it seems unlikely the…
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 13:47

Meadows in the middle of repeal and replace

Republicans under President Barack Obama voted more than 40 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act with no luck. Now, with the White House, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate all firmly in Republican control — and…
Many rural Americans who voted for Donald Trump last November did so based on his promise to cut the federal deficit and rein in spending. When he announced his preliminary budget proposal March 16, however, Democrats and Republicans alike were…
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 13:36

Empowering women to run for office

Women have a lot of internal dialogue when considering a run for public office — I don’t have time. I have a full-time job and a family to take care of at home. I don’t know enough about the issues.…
The sudden but amicable resignation of Canton Town Manager Seth Hendler-Voss came as a surprise to many, but as the shock wears off, at least one town official is hoping to maintain momentum and replace him in a timely manner. 
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 16:49

The perfect game come round again

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I found them in the corner of the basement, hidden like Easter Eggs underneath a blue tarp which was itself…
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 16:48

What would we really get with a wall?

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By Paul Strop • Guest Columnist Last summer when we returned to this country, the presidential election was in full cry,…
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 16:46

Unity instead of division; keep politics friendly

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By Joseph Trisha • Guest Columnist So who else is tired of negative politics and the constant negative President Donald Trump…
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 16:44

Writer is right: you can’t fix stupid

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To the Editor: After reading the letter “You can’t fix stupid” in the March 15 edition of The Smoky Mountain…
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 16:42

Special places define us

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One never tires of discovering special places here in the southern mountains. Through the years, such places readily become old…
When Ed Sutton first came to Cherokee in November to break ground on a new trail system, his directive was…
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 16:15

Parkway visitation tops 15 million for 2016

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The Blue Ridge Parkway welcomed 15.18 million visitors in 2016, a slight increase from the 15.05 million who visited in…
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 16:14

Smokies association honored for interpretive work

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The Great Smoky Mountains Association took home top honors from the Public Lands Alliance’s annual awards this year.
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 16:02

Pour me a glass of great words, and let’s party

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Having given up listening to the dreadful music and talk shows available in my car radio, last week I popped…
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 15:56

New Jackson Arts president

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Gayle Woody has been named the new president of the Jackson County Arts Council. 
She is still a fox. Midnight. Last Tuesday morning. Wide-awake and in front of a large HD television at my…
By all accounts, the craft beer business continues to boom in Western North Carolina. And that’s not just in Asheville with its dozens of breweries and brewpubs. Head west on Interstate 40 and merge onto the Great Smoky Mountains Expressway.…
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 15:18

WCU’s physical therapy clinic expands

Western Carolina University’s student-run Mountain Area Pro Bono Physical Therapy Clinic has set a goal to expand the availability of its services in 2018.
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 15:07

The tales the tombstones tell

High atop a knobby bald in central Haywood County sits lonely Dix Hill Cemetery, just yards from Jones Temple AME Zion Church in the heart of Waynesville’s historically African-American Pigeon Street community.
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 15:05

Digitizing the deceased

From frost-churned fields on steep hills above shadow-soaked coves spring mossy fieldstones, hopelessly eroded and only becoming more so, season by season.
Arriving in Waynesville shortly before last year’s Folkmoot Friendship Festival, I like many who’d come before me had no idea what it was.
The fundraising deadline is drawing nearer for an effort to conserve 15.9 acres adjacent to Panthertown Valley, and the Jackson County Commissioners have indicated a willingness to chip in toward the more than $80,000 still needed. 
Three seats will be up for grabs in Cherokee’s 2017 Tribal Council elections, with incumbent councilmembers from Big Cove, Snowbird and Yellowhill not signing up to run for re-election as of the March 15 filing deadline.
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 14:55

ADA compliant park coming to Waynesville

The Town of Waynesville will soon build a very special playground, thanks to a successful Connect N.C. bond application made last fall.
Much can be learned through the process of training for a 5K race — physical strength, mental health, focus, determination, self-confidence and perseverance.
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 14:51

Empowering a new generation of strong women

Girls at Junaluska Elementary School seem to have a renewed sense of pride in themselves and their peers after sharing a memorable experience during a recent Girls Empowerment Night.
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 14:48

Dillsboro river park proposal draws a crowd

A proposed river park development in Dillsboro drew a crowd of roughly 75 people to a public hearing March 20, with 20 people delivering comment on the issue and prompting the Jackson County Commissioners to postpone a final decision until…
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 14:46

Monteith remembered as man of the people

When speaking to the many people in Swain County and beyond who knew David Monteith either personally or professionally, they all used the same word to describe him — integrity.
Harris Regional Hospital Emergency Medical Services is asking the Jackson County Commissioners to make changes to its service that would cost about $200,000 to implement.
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 18:12

The Naturalist's Corner: Today’s pterodactyl

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A low guttural croak comes out of the fog hanging over the French Broad River. I turn and look towards…
Every August since 2010, the Blue Ridge Breakaway has pulled in tens of thousands of dollars for Haywood County businesses,…
Which female pioneers have paved the way for you to be where you are today? “Sojourner Truth,” Janice Inabinett answered without hesitation. “She’s my shero.”
Shirley Oswalt (pictured above, left, with sister Geraldine Thompson) was named a Beloved Woman of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians on Tuesday, Feb. 2, the highest honor that can be given to a Cherokee woman and one that’s held…
Shirley Jackson Oswalt can still remember the first words she said in English.  Her older siblings had prepped her before she headed off to her first day of first grade at the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Snowbird Day School in…
Wednesday, 15 March 2017 16:41

Businesswoman offers leadership advice

For all the women out there wondering if they can have it all in life — the career, family and flexibility — Katy Travitz is proof that it is possible.
Sometimes it can feel like one step forward, two steps back for women in the workforce, but this year’s theme for National Women’s History Month — Honoring Trailblazing Women in Labor and Business — provides an opportunity to showcase female…