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Wednesday, 06 July 2016 15:37

Falling into the rabbit hole of fiction

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For reasons unfathomable to me, I have spent the last two weeks on a fiction-reading jag. Until I was about…
Wednesday, 06 July 2016 15:07

This must be the place

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I turned around with 25,000 faces looking towards me.
Wednesday, 06 July 2016 15:04

Discovering the world within yourself

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It’s about what you see in mirror, and what you’re willing to acknowledge within the reflection staring right back at…
Wednesday, 06 July 2016 14:49

Tourism increases in Jackson County

Visitation to Jackson County for the 2015-2016 fiscal year was the highest recorded in the four-year history of the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority, with occupancy tax seeing a record 9.6-percent increase for this fiscal year. 
Ever since a controversial bill proposing to slash tuition rates at selected University of North Carolina schools popped up in May, leaders at Western Carolina University have been working to parse its language, ferret out its potential impacts and prod…
As the 2016-17 North Carolina budget came together, a significant part of it — touted by both Democrats and Republicans — was the N.C. Promise Tuition Plan, intended to make education more affordable for college students who often graduate saddled…
Nearly five years ago, Taylor and Preston Gregg stood on top of Chestnut Ridge and recited their wedding vows.
Wednesday, 06 July 2016 14:35

Food Fight: Anthony’s mad at Waynesville

The Mad Anthony’s food truck debate culminated last week in what will go down in the annals of Waynesville lore as “The Battle of Branner Avenue” — the story of a local businessman who did almost everything wrong but was…
Macon County Emergency Management Services hopes to expand an existing health care model to better serve mental health patients in the county — and a grant from the Evergreen Foundation may help the department fund it.
Wednesday, 06 July 2016 14:32

TekTone Sound to expand operations in Macon

With the help of matching grants funds from Macon County, TekTone Sound & Signal Manufacturing Inc. will expand operations at the county industrial park with the purchase of the former SKF facility.
Wednesday, 06 July 2016 14:30

Macon wraps up fiscal year

Macon County commissioners had some last-minute spending decisions to make before heading into the new fiscal year that started July 1. 
A partnership that could quadruple patient volume and expand medical staffing for the uninsured of Jackson County has been the subject of a flurry of meetings and conversations since The Good Samaritan Clinic of Jackson County announced last week that…
The resignation of Lake Junaluska Singers Director Dr. Melodie Galloway comes after one member of the well-known choral group made several written allegations to Junaluska officials after his termination from the group on June 25.
By a 4-1 vote on June 28, the Town of Waynesville finally got around to complying with an Oct. 1, 2015, state requirement that could potentially threaten the very existence of one of its best-known institutions. 
Mickey Luker has been working on a remodel of Caney Fork General Store ever since he purchased the property in 2011, but now the county commissioner candidate is claiming that politically motivated nefariousness caused the county health department to deny…
Visitors to the Lake Junaluska Singers web page over the past day or so were shocked to see that the…
Revolutionary War hero General “Mad” Anthony Wayne once told George Washington, “Issue the order, Sir, and I will storm the gates of Hell.” Supporters of Mad Anthony’s Bottle Shop & Beer Garden on Branner Avenue are no less fired up…
Having a website used to be an added bonus for local governments, but now it has become a necessity and the public and the press have higher expectations for online services and transparency. Governments get graded Online presence a must for…
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:59

Governments get graded

Journalists responsible for news gathering in a rugged and mountainous four-county (Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain), 2,111-square-mile swath of Western North Carolina that happens to contain two sovereign nations, 11 towns, 32 unincorporated communities, 44 townships, 150,000 people, and the…
Years ago, the Town of Maggie Valley used to be known as a place where governance didn’t always take place in full sunshine. 
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:52

Canton plans to beef up town website

The Town of Canton’s website was the subject of discussion during recent budget hearings, as some questioned the need for spending $25,000 (plus $5,000 for marketing) on a new one. 
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:50

Bryson City website needs more attention

Considering Bryson City didn’t even have a website until 2009, it’s no surprise that it lags behind the other municipalities’ web presence.
With the lowest population and the lowest county budget, Swain County also scored the lowest among the four-county website comparison. 
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ website received the lowest score of any of those reviewed by The Smoky Mountain News, coming in with an overall 1.4 out of 5. 
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:43

Sylva’s website scheduled for a makeover

Sylva’s website, last overhauled in 2010, will be getting a facelift this year after the town board voted to spend $3,000 on a redesign of the town’s website and logo.
Kelly Fuqua doesn’t have a problem saying she’s pretty proud of Jackson County’s website. Before she overhauled it in 2011, the site was getting “complaint after complaint,” and she sank a lot of work into fixing the problem. 
The town of Franklin’s website is a great example of a small town going the extra mile to encourage public participation in local government.
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:36

Macon’s web presence has come a long way

Macon County’s government website started 16 years ago with a shoestring budget.
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:35

Waynesville website a reliable resource

As the largest town west of Asheville and the county seat of Haywood County, Waynesville is the economic engine of the region, driving development and investment from Canton to Cherokee. Accordingly, its burden is high — some of the most…
Haywood County’s website tied for the highest ranking in the area despite earning design scores that were sub-par.
Go back in time 25 years, and a town with a website — any website, no matter how terrible the fonts or funky the navigation — would have been seen as glitzy and ahead of its time. But these days,…
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:06

Haywood school board responds to lawsuit

A lawsuit filed by a Waynesville parent and attorney in May regarding the closure of Central Elementary School is beginning to see some action.
Rods, reels, and wader-clad teenagers dotted Big East Fork’s meander to Lake Logan through the warm summer mornings last week,…
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 14:28

Comments sought on A.T. campsite construction

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Fifteen new tent sites could go in along the Appalachian Trail on its route through the Standing Indian Basin in…
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 14:26

Croquet group starts in Waynesville

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A croquet group has formed in Waynesville, meeting 10 a.m. to noon Wednesdays at Vance Street Park.
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 14:25

Insect affecting WNC white pines

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A tiny insect is being blamed for declining health in eastern white pine trees in six North Carolina counties including…
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 14:23

Severe drought comes to WNC

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For the first time since September, severe drought is affecting North Carolina — including portions of Haywood, Jackson, Macon and…
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 14:22

Greenway bridge open in Jackson

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A new bridge allowing access to the Jackson County greenway’s terminus at Locust Creek is now open to pedestrians, marking…
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 14:20

Land conserved on Cold Mountain

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The Cold Mountain Game Lands in Haywood County will likely get larger following a 162-acre purchase by the Southern Appalachian…
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 03:11

Backyard weed merits deadly respect

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“Seeds of this common weed do indeed contain an hallucinogenic component, but, as is so often the case, the same chemical…
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 03:08

Sylva movie’s author is famed British playwright

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Back a few months ago, when Hollywood came to town, I was fascinated and when I heard that for a…
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 02:12

This must be the place

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I could see it in their faces. It was something I felt before, and also had seen in pictures taken…
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 02:09

The world through your fingertips

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It’s about speaking with your hands. For guitarist Joe Taylor, his lifelong passion and career as a musician is one…
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 01:59

Join the new movement or die

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To the Editor: I read with interest the editor’s op piece (Even today, our republic is on shaky ground, www.smokymountainnews.com/opinion/item/17903).…
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 01:58

This country needs Donald Trump

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To the Editor: I was reading Scott McLeod’s piece last week (www.smokymountainnews.com/opinion/item/17903) with interest when suddenly I felt like I…
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 01:56

In praise of passionate, civic-minded teachers

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As they say, the devil is in the details, and in this case the details are simply ridiculous. A bill…
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 01:55

We have to teach boys how real men act

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Because when she dresses like that, she is just asking for it. Because saying “no” is part of the game,…
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 01:46

Shooting suspect wanted in Haywood

Haywood County Sheriff’s deputies are looking for an armed and dangerous suspect involved in a June 26 shooting incident in Canton.
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 01:45

Jackson names interim manager

With a one-month gap between the retirement of Jackson County Manager Chuck Wooten and the arrival of his successor Don Adams, Jackson County Commissioners voted this week to choose an interim manager to bridge the gap. County Attorney Heather Baker…
When teen members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians come of age, they find themselves in sudden possession of a six-figure bank account. But the overnight windfall comes with risk, many tribal leaders believe, and Tribal Council took a…