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Wednesday, 04 May 2016 02:10

A music nut makes the Merlefest pilgrimage

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Anyone who knows me well will tell you that I am a complete nut about music. There are people for…
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 02:07

Vaccines important for pets

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By Kristen Hammett • Guest Columnist As a pet owner, there are many things we do to keep our fur babies…
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 01:53

YMCA camp gets ready to open in Swain

A little more than a year ago it was nothing more than an open grassy field surrounded by forest, but by next month it will be an impressive, state-of-the-art YMCA summer camp.
An alliance of business owners opposing Maggie Valley’s proposed town center master plan is growing stronger and becoming more organized as it tries to derail the project. 
Ambulance service in Jackson County could more than double in cost to taxpayers if commissioners decide to fund the full $1.4 million budget requested by Harris Regional Hospital.
The interview process will soon begin in the search to replace Chuck Wooten, who will retire from his position as Jackson County manager on July 1. County commissioners are feeling good about the pool of applicants vying for the post. 
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 01:44

Animal shelter estimate tops $5 million

When a report estimating cost and space needs for a new animal shelter came back with a staggering price tag — the report estimated a cost of $5.4 to $6.6 million — Jackson County commissioners had to catch a breath…
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 01:41

Large tax rate increase likely for Sylva

Sylva’s leaders have known for a year that taxes would have to go up in 2016, but it’s unlikely any of them expected to be discussing a budget featuring a 41.7 percent tax rate increase.
The Haywood Healthcare Foundation managed to generate enough funding to have a major impact on the health needs of Haywood County during 2015 and their goal is to surpass last year’s donations.
The tourism industry doesn’t always agree on much. They argue over the best logos and ad campaigns, whether to fund this festival or that one, and who has the best continental breakfast.
Busy season is coming at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, and management there is working to get all hired up for summer. 
Melanee Lester has been sorting through a 4-inch-high stack of applications on her desk for the last couple of weeks, trying to get Mast General Store fully staffed for the long tourism season ahead.
It happens like clockwork every year. As the calendar creeps toward May, the roads get crowded, lines at the grocery store get longer, and the wait for a table on Friday night mounts. Right on cue, tourist season arrives, seemingly…
It’s a conundrum the best minds in tourism have been trying to crack for decades.
A lawsuit was filed this week against the Haywood County School Board alleges ulterior motives were at play for closing Central Elementary School and that school officials engaged in a concerted, secretive effort to keep the impending closure of the…
Tennessee Valley Authority officials have confirmed that its board of directors will make a decision on May 5 regarding the future of houseboats on all of its 49 lakes and reservoirs.
With the quiet evening sun fading behind the Great Smoky Mountains last Thursday evening, a single building glowed bright at…
Tuesday, 03 May 2016 20:39

This must be the place

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America has never been great. Let’s just get that out of the way. Sure, we’ve had plenty of high points,…
Heading up the stairs at the historic Imperial Hotel, there’s an electricity in the air, a vibe that’s familiar, yet…
Tuesday, 03 May 2016 20:35

Greening Up Youth Talent winners

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The 19th annual Mountain Youth Talent Contest was held at the Greening Up the Mountains Festival in Sylva on Saturday,…
Tuesday, 03 May 2016 20:29

Art exhibit at Canton Library

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The Canton Library Visual Arts Exhibit is currently featuring work by Denise McCullough, a 94-year-old acrylic artist.
Jackson County is on its way to becoming the trout capital of North Carolina after county leaders unveiled a plan…
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 16:34

Whitewater club gets a boost from grants

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The Nantahala Racing Club has landed nearly $45,000 in grants for the 2016 season, encouraging the Swain County nonprofit in…
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 16:33

Bear baiting rules loosened

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Bear hunters can now use unprocessed food as bait for a larger part of the hunting season, according to temporary…
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 16:29

Firefly lottery opens

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A lottery to see the synchronous fireflies light up the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will open at noon Friday,…
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 16:28

Fire danger high

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Fire danger is high in North Carolina, with low humidity and lack of rain over the past few weeks resulting…
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 16:26

Elkmont building in Smokies burns

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Nature knocked an item off the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s to-do list when a fire sparked a structure in…
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 16:25

Ozone season is here

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It’s ozone season in North Carolina again, that time of year when warm weather and pollution can combine to result…
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 16:16

Watershed moments

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Elizabeth Vickery, a senior at Western Carolina University, peers into a dip net along with Cullowhee Valley Elementary School student…
A Swain County fishing guide has left his rod behind to embark on an Appalachian Trail thru-hike, aiming to raise…
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 16:12

Waynesville men come out on top in Alaska motor adventure

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A pair of Waynesville men are home after a third-place finish in the harrowing Alcan 5000 motor vehicle race across…
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 16:10

Smoky birds

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I just finished four wonderful days of birding in the Smokies, helping out with the 66th Annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage.…
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 15:44

An epic tale of revenge on the frontier

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As you probably know, The Revenant, this astonishing survival tale was recently made into a movie with Leonardo DiCaprio in…
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 15:40

Carden mixes up the facts in book review

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To the Editor: Gary Carden, in his book review in the April 6 issue (www.smokymountainnews.com/news/item/17428), claims that the McCarthy hearings…
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 15:38

Little choice for Lake J. except merger

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To the Editor: To this day, I have no doubt that the Lake Junluska and the City of  Waynesville annexation issue will eventually…
There was a time when running was my saving grace. If I didn’t run at least four times a week,…
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 15:23

Rep. Queen critical of GOP’s leadership, methods

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“I feel like a one-legged man at an ass kicking. They don’t care for me because I call them out.…
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 15:10

Connecting Pets and People

In recognition of National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day on April 30, The Smoky Mountain News is highlighting the organizations and volunteers in the region that help connect pets and people every day. Western North Carolina has a variety of…
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 14:08

Maggie Valley to rethink town center design

Maggie Valley leaders agreed to go back to the drawing board after several business owners expressed opposition to a portion of the proposed town center master plan.
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 14:07

Bear zoo case will go to appeal

After a federal judge ruled that the Cherokee Bear Zoo isn’t breaking the law with its treatment of the grizzly bears in its care, the two Cherokee women who had sued the bear zoo in the first place are appealing…
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 14:05

Cherokee banishes 15 for drug offenses

Cherokee’s Tribal Council was all business this month as members plowed through a list of 15 names proposed for banishment. There wasn’t much discussion, but there was uniformity of intent as councilmembers raised their hands, 15 times in a row,…
Swain County commissioners unanimously passed a resolution last week opposing the Tennessee Valley Authority’s proposal to remove all boathouses from its reservoirs within 20 years. 
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 14:03

Development being considered in Forest Hills

The sleepy village of Forest Hills could look a good bit different over the coming years if a handful of development concepts under discussion come to fruition.
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 14:01

New CEO in the cards for Haywood Regional

The CEO of Haywood Regional Medical Center stepped down suddenly last week, effective immediately.
A foot chase by a Waynesville Police officer through downtown Hazelwood just before dawn last week ended with police nabbing suspects wanted for botched break-ins at two local pharmacies and under investigation for a string of larcenies in other towns,…
Budget cuts impacting assistant coaches at the middle and high school level will likely be restored in Haywood County Schools following public outcry from the youth athletics community.
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 13:57

WCU chancellor diagnosed with brain tumor

Western Carolina University’s well-liked leader Chancellor David Belcher has been diagnosed with a small brain tumor, he announced last week.
Sidewalk chalk was all anyone was talking about as campus woke up Thursday morning (April 21) at Western Carolina University. The chalk was everywhere, its biggest explosion around the fountain behind the A.K. Hinds University Center, colorful dust spelling out…
Tuesday, 26 April 2016 20:49

This must be the place

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It snuck up on me.
Tribute shows are an enigma of the musical world: two parts nostalgia, one part entertainment and a pinch of talent…