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One deputy is under investigation while another has resigned after allegations surfaced regarding excessive force being used on inmates at the Swain County Jail.
Macon County commissioners weren’t exactly sure what to expect when they saw Thing 1 and Thing 2 sitting in the front row at the proposed budget public hearing.
By Katie Reeder • SMN Intern  The North Carolina State Board of Elections held a public hearing last Thursday to allow people to comment on the proposed rules for North Carolina’s new voter identification laws. The hearing was the seventh of…
The merger of Lake Junaluska with the town of Waynesville cleared a critical milestone in the N.C. General Assembly last week and finally seemed headed for passage, but was sidelined again at the 11th hour.
Rangers in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park hope a bear they caught and killed last week is the same one that attacked a teenager who was sleeping in a hammock.
Recently recovered from rotator cuff surgery, Haywood County Sheriff Greg Christopher hasn’t popped a single prescription pain pill since the operation. Instead, he’s been using a combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen, over-the-counter meds that don’t pose the same risks of…
The clock is ticking for Ghost Town in the Sky entertainment park in Maggie Valley to get its humble trio of kiddie rides inspected and permitted before its target opening day of July 2.
Wednesday, 17 June 2015 13:46

Ghost Town aims for July 2 opening

After lying dormant for the winter, Ghost Town in the Sky was once again showing signs of life last week with preparation work under way for a July 2 season opener.
Breathing easy in the Smokies is a better bet than it’s been in decades. Ozone pollution is down 36 percent, and particle pollution has been cut in half. The mountain view on the haziest days now extends nearly four times…
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 17:46

Summer camp time at Highlands Nature Center

Summer is here at the Highlands Nature Center, with a variety of summer day camps and half-day camps. Look through the offerings to find one that will fit your family: • Amazing Animals, aimed at children 7 to 10, will…
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 17:45

Saving the world one seed at a time

James Veteto has a theory that seeds are a link to the past, connecting one generation to the other, not merely little packets of DNA but also shared human heritage.
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 17:44

A.T. plates pass $1 million milestone

It’s official: North Carolina Appalachian Trail license plates sales have crossed the $1 million mark.
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 17:43

Parkway gets its own quarter design

The Blue Ridge Parkway will take its place on U.S. currency with a special quarter design this summer, as part of the the U.S. Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters Program, a series honoring one site or park in each state.
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 17:40

Parkway programs start up for summer

A ranger-guided hike along the Blue Ridge Parkway this Friday will mark the beginning of summer for the high-elevation road as its ranger-led programs for the public gear up for the season.
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 17:39

Albinism in plants

The other day, while chasing birdies for the Forest Service, I encountered a pretty wildflower along an abandoned logging road. The plant was small purple-fringed orchid, Platanthera psycodes. It was unusual in that the flowers were white rather than the…
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 16:29

The literary signposts will point the way

In the opening pages of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, we meet Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who treasures his snug home and the routine of his days. All is well with Bilbo until the wizard Gandalf arrives and nominates him as…
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 16:10

Art, craft festival in Dillsboro

The Front Street Arts & Crafts Show will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 20, in downtown Dillsboro.
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 16:04

Franklin celebrates Scottish heritage

The Taste of Scotland & Celtic Festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 20, in downtown Franklin.
Wednesday, 10 June 2015 15:59

All that jazz

Jazz performance planned in Waynesville Jazz pianist Marquita Someliana will perform at 3 p.m. Saturday, June 20, at the Haywood County Public Library in Waynesville. Someliana is a singer-songwriter who enjoys performing jazz, Americana and other genres.  Free. 
Acclaimed bluegrass act Darin & Brooke Aldridge will perform at 7 p.m. Friday, June 19, at The Strand at 38 Main in Waynesville.
He stood out like a sore thumb. Standing on the red carpet at the International Bluegrass Music Association awards in Raleigh last fall, I found myself in the midst of the biggest names in the genre. To the right were…
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.