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Wednesday, 10 June 2015 15:44

Animal shelter needs proper planning

To the Editor: There has been recent news coverage and public discussion about the plans for the new Haywood County animal shelter, the need for a new shelter, and the impact of a new shelter on the county budget. We…
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 15:43

Our elected leaders are out of control

To the Editor: It has appeared for a long time that the American people have turned into a flock of sheep being led where ever our leaders wish to take us. The headline on page 16 of this The Smoky…
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 15:30

Making the case for my future career

By the time I was in the fifth grade, I knew I wanted to grow up to be a lawyer. While other kids my age grew up with dreams of becoming race car drivers or ballet dancers or senators (surely…
Healthy living is more than simple daily habits – it’s a lifestyle. Learn more about people who have made drastic lifestyle changes and information from local specialists. READ THEIR STORIES
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 14:33

Lost hikers home safe

A mother and son are back to safety after spending a night lost in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Christy Barns, 40, and her son Casey, 16, were visiting the park from Wisconsin and hiking the Forney Creek Trail.…
A wonderful writer. A fearless explorer. A fascinating person. An endless optimist.
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 14:23

Bus driver scares shooters away from school

If Alice Bradley hadn’t been warming up her school bus at 5 a.m. last Thursday before heading out on her daily route, an incident involving armed suspects at South Macon Elementary School could have possibly ended in tragedy.
As results poured in from the Primary Election for an open chief’s seat, Patrick Lambert’s campaign came out a clear winner, taking 1,751 of 2,964 votes in the unofficial tally — 59.1 percent in a spread of five candidates.
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 14:17

Swain sheriff requests $20,000 pay raise

Swain County Commissioners denied a $20,000 pay raise request from Sheriff Curtis Cochran during a recent budget workshop.
A father-and-son backpacking expedition in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park took a terrifying turn when the teenage boy was pulled from his hammock late Saturday night by a black bear.
Rangers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park shot a bear Tuesday that they believe is the same one that attacked a teenager sleeping in a hammock.
By Katie Reeder • SMN Intern  A bear attack that happened Saturday night in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has left many people in the area puzzled over the events of the attack. Many said they have never heard of…
The tactics of state and federal wildlife officers in a multi-year undercover sting targeting bear hunters continue to come under fire.
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 14:04

Term of WCU trustee comes to a close

By Katie Reeder • SMN Intern Teresa Williams’ eight years on Western Carolina University’s Board of Trustees has come to a close, and at her final meeting, board members thanked her for her contributions to the university.
A plan to turn the old Drexel furniture factory in Whittier into a Mecca of resources for small-time farmers and agricultural producers in Western North Carolina is likely dead in its tracks after a building assessment found it would take…
Four years after a state landslide mapping project for Jackson County was axed midstream, the commissioners are moving toward a vote to fund the work out of county coffers.
Swain County officials are hoping new leadership in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park means the start of a new relationship — one that will include better communication between the park and the county that is a gateway community. 
Certain questions inevitably pop up during plant identification outings. One has to do with whether or not eastern hemlock trees are poisonous.
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 16:33

Volunteers sought to maintain trails

Volunteers willing to work hard in the backcountry are sought to form this year’s Smokies Wilderness Elite Appalachian Trail Crew, a mobile group of trail maintainers that works sections of the Smokies more than 5 miles from the nearest road.
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 16:29

Research gives hope for bat survival

The release of 150 bats in Hannibal, Missouri, May 18 marked a milestone for the fight against white-nose syndrome, a disease that’s been decimating bat populations all along the east coast.  The bats were the first to be successfully treated…
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 16:27

Fly fishing museum headed for grand opening

The Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians will hold its grand opening Saturday, June 6, in Cherokee, marking a milestone in more than a year of planning, renovations and exhibit construction. 
Purchases at Waynesville’s Mast General Store Saturday, June 6, will help out with land conservation.  For that day, the store will donate a percentage of its sales to the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy to support local land and water conservation…
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 16:26

New rec area open on Lake Glenville

The Pines Recreation Area on Lake Glenville is now open, featuring a new swimming beach, fishing pier, picnic area, signage, parking enhancmeents, vault toilets and a life jacket loaner board.
In a woodsy neighborhood up a winding mountain road from Franklin, late May is pretty quiet — at least from a human perspective. Many of the second-home owners who live there haven’t yet moved in for the summer, and with…
I have always been a Russell Banks fan, and when I look back over the last 40 years, he has always been there with memorable portraits of flawed but unforgettable people — all products (or victims) of American culture. I…
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 16:10

Ray Stevens to play Franklin

Legendary comedian and singer-songwriter Ray Stevens will be hitting the stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 12, at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin. A regular on the Andy Williams Show, Stevens became a popular entertainer…
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 16:08

New interactive Cherokee history program

“Cherokee Friends,” Ani-Tsalagi Digali, is an exciting new program that will expand on visitors’ experiences within the community of Cherokee.
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 16:04

Summer, fall art classes at The Bascom

A wide array of adult art classes and workshops are now open to those interested at The Bascom in Highlands.
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 15:59

Exhibit honors Cherokee artisan legend

“Solitude & Mystery,” an exhibit showcasing for the work of John Julius Wilnoty will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 13, at the Qualla Arts & Crafts gallery in Cherokee.
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 15:55

Celebrate Appalachian culture, history

The 5th annual Appalachian Lifestyle Celebration will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 13, in downtown Waynesville. During the event, there will be local authors, artisan demonstrations and crafter booths including basket making, blacksmithing, quilting, weaving,…
Catch the Spirit of Appalachia will be hosting a day of Western North Carolina culture from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 14, at the Folkmoot USA Fellowship Hall in Waynesville.
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 15:50

American Gonzos bring rock, funk to WCU

American Gonzos will perform as part of the Summer Concert Series at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 11, in the Central Plaza at Western Carolina University.
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 15:48

This must be the place

Part Two: The Wedding As I adjusted my tie in the hotel mirror, I noticed more grey hairs in my beard.
In art, as in life, what matters most is following your heart, never compromising your beliefs and holding steady to a strong sense of integrity.
To the Editor: First, and foremost, I want to thank you for the article in The Smoky Mountain News, your May 27 edition on page 10, regarding the new bistro opening in Dillsboro. Please allow me to make a few…
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 15:35

Playing the blame game in Jackson County

To the Editor: Have you noticed when officeholders (elected or unelected) are attempting to wiggle out from responsibility for some scandal they always say “to the best of my recollection …?” Despite the statement that “I do not believe anyone…
What’s your dream job? Recent college graduates are perhaps honing in on the difficult task of searching for a satisfying career, but I’m standing at my desk today thinking “what next?” I’m 55, and for the last 16 years I’ve…
Members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will have free opportunities to attend UNC Asheville as part of an instructional credit agreement that was signed by the university and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The agreement, signed in…
Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, executive director of the Cherokee Preservation Foundation, submitted her resignation to the board and staff effective July 6.  An enrolled member of the EBCI, Clapsaddle will return to the classroom as a teacher at Swain County High…
A group of Cherokee people angry over Tribal Council’s decision last fall to give itself a 15 percent pay raise and back pay is planning to file a lawsuit against its members this month.
Following discovery that a March suicide in the Jackson County Detention Center had occurred during an 85-minute gap in jailers’ rounds — the state minimum requirement is 30 minutes — the N.C. Department of Health and Human Resources took a…
In addition to wanting more curriculum classes offered for residents, Swain County commissioners want better representation on the Southwestern Community College Board of Trustees. 
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 15:12

Swain to beef up courtroom security

Swain County commissioners know they need to address security concerns at the county administrative building in Bryson City, but they are still torn on whether they need to secure the entire building or just the courtrooms.
Waynesville town leaders plan to broker a sit-down between Frog Level merchants and the Open Door soup kitchen in coming weeks to discuss an on-going conflict over a loose-knit band of homeless people who spend their days loitering and drinking…
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 15:07

WCU students charged in off-campus fight

A pair of Western Carolina University fraternity brothers are facing assault charges after student Zach Denson left an off-campus party this spring with a broken nose, concussion and spinal injury.
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 15:06

Four arrested for illegal fishing

Four men from Buncombe and Henderson counties are facing a slew of Class 3 misdemeanor charges after officers with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission caught them fishing Lake Waterville using gill nets.
Macon County Sheriff Robbie Holland has found some recent budget relief since Angel Medical Center took over supervising mental health patients that are brought in for evaluation.
Improving communication between the Main Street Association and downtown merchants was the goal of a survey sent out to merchants and property owners this winter, and the recently compiled results of that survey showed that communication itself is one of…
By Katie Reeder • SMN Intern  A great restaurant at a great location in a great town — it’s all part of The Imperial’s appeal, according to the restaurant’s assistant manager Monte Bumberknick.
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 14:50

WCU students react to NC voting law changes

By Katie Reeder • SMN Intern  Some opponents of North Carolina’s new voting law claim it negatively impacts college students because of provisions that cut the early voting period and do not allow students to use their campus photo identification cards…