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Wednesday, 02 December 2015 16:01

Investing in what’s best about WNC

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While I was living in Elizabethtown in southeastern North Carolina in 1988, Walmart opened a brand-new store. Most everyone was…
Wednesday, 02 December 2015 15:49

LEARN program established at WCU

Western Carolina University, in collaboration with the University of Central Florida and Florida Atlantic University, received $1.8 million from the National Science Foundation to support first-generation college students majoring in science, technology, engineering and math programs, better known as STEM. …
Wednesday, 02 December 2015 15:49

Fulghum named Innovator of the Year

Cheryl Fulghum, Haywood Community College’s distance learning coordinator, was recently named Innovator of the Year, Western Region by the NC Community College Association of Distance Learning.     NC3ADL is an educational, nonprofit organization that supports and promotes distance learning…
Wednesday, 02 December 2015 15:47

Jackson leaders plan for growing court needs

The start of business Thursday, Dec. 10, will mean the coming-to-order of five different court sessions in Jackson County, a giant figure for a county with only two actual courtrooms at its disposal. To meet demand, courts will be squirreled…
Wednesday, 02 December 2015 15:46

Jackson rec board pushes for indoor pool

It’s been more than two years since Jackson County finished a recreation master plan declaring an indoor pool a top priority, and leaders of the county’s Parks and Recreation Department and Recreation and Parks Advisory Board are itching to see…
Wednesday, 02 December 2015 15:39

Company looks to revive Cashiers development

In the nearly eight years the Cashiers-area Chinquapin development has been around, just 30 of the planned 200 lots have been sold, and only six homes have been constructed. But now the property is under new management, and its owners…
School systems across the mountains are signing on to a lawsuit against the state to recoup hundreds of thousands of dollars that they say were improperly diverted from public school coffers.
Wednesday, 02 December 2015 15:35

Cell tower companies eye Jackson

An application to build a new cell tower in Cashiers is back on the table, after the company, Crown Castle, yanked its original request in June.
Old Town Bank, a local start-up bank based Waynesville, is selling to Macon Bank, a regional bank headquartered in Franklin, for $13.5 million.
Wednesday, 02 December 2015 15:30

Broyhill upbringing brought peace to Brunck

Roberta Brunk could have easily become a victim of circumstance. Growing up in an abusive home and being moved around to different foster homes and schools could have permanently shaped her life and set her up for disaster, but she…
Wednesday, 02 December 2015 15:28

Broyhill provides family setting for foster kids

Linda Morgan, executive director at Broyhill Children’s Home in Clyde, said she’s seen the pendulum swing many times during her 42 years working in the system. Some years the cottages at Broyhill are sparsely occupied, but the children’s home has…
As Caroline Kernahan talked about why she wanted to be a foster parent, her 4-year-old daughter Claire climbed into her lap and asked when her new brother or sister would be coming to stay with them.
Wednesday, 02 December 2015 15:23

Foster home shortage a challenge for WNC counties

Donna Lupton, director of social work in Haywood County, admits that fostering a child or teen isn’t for everyone.
In a perfect world, every child would have a loving family and a safe home to return to at the end of the day, but it’s not a perfect world. The reality is that thousands of children are removed from…
Wednesday, 02 December 2015 15:01

Sign ups are underway for commissioner seats

As candidate sign-ups get underway, Swain County commissioner incumbents plan to seek another term.
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 17:20

Parkway Foundation recognized for tourism contributions

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The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation was recently awarded the Tourism Excellence Award from by the N.C. Travel Industry Association.  “We’re…
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 17:19

Get outside for the holidays

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The Blue Ridge Parkway is supporting fresh air over shopping malls to launch the Christmas season, offering two excuses to…
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 17:16

Grant protects Haywood farm with easement

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The Glance Cove Farm in the Crabtree area of Haywood County will keep its agricultural character for a long, long…
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 17:15

Projects to close Parkway sections

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A pair of tunnel closures on the Blue Ridge Parkway will impact travel and trail access beginning Dec. 1 and…
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 17:14

Watch Santa practice his chimney technique

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Santa Claus will start training for the big day with rappels down Chimney Rock 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday,…
It’s a feeling that Chris Bates can’t shake. “Being outside, in the winter, on the mountain — there’s nothing like it,”…
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 17:07

Half a hunert

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There’s nothing I like better than mixing pleasure with pleasure.  Last weekend, I got to spend three wonderful nights in…
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 16:57

Irving still churning out sublime writing

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Avenue of Mysteries is John Irving’s fourteenth novel and it marks another amazing tale from an author who has been…
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 16:43

Cullowhee Mountain ARTS gala

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A benefit for Cullowhee Mountain ARTS, the “Gala Imagine” will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, in the…
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 16:41

Dailey & Vincent to bring holiday cheer to Franklin

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Award-winning bluegrass band Dailey & Vincent will kick off the holiday show season with their Christmas Show at 7:30 p.m.…
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 16:39

This must be the place

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What happened, America? Since when are we such a disheartened country? Sure, you might not want the Syrian refugees here. And…
Tuesday, 22 December 2015 16:32

Christmas in Appalachia

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As the temperatures drop in Western North Carolina, the fun only heats up. The holiday season here is filled with…
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 16:25

Is the free market free for everyone?

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To the Editor: “I am a conservative Republican, a firm believer in free market capitalism. A free market system allows…
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 16:24

Does Lake Junaluska need Waynesville?

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To the Editor: Here we go again. Another article (Nov. 18 Smoky Mountain News or at regarding the annexation…
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 16:24

Now is the time to finish Green Energy Park

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To the Editor: Currently, Jackson County’s Green Energy Park is not self-sustaining. Neither are parks and public schools. Perhaps if…
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 16:13

A banquet table of issues, one bite at a time

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So much going on locally and around the world that it’s just a tough week to bear down on a…
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 15:54

Planning director search hits a roadblock

Jackson County had been without a planning director for half a year when commissioners sent out a job offer this month. But the offer came back rejected, and the position will have to stay vacant for a little while longer.
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 15:52

Brasstown Possum Drop gets bad news in court

Brasstown might be facing another possumless Possum Drop this year after a Wake County judge shot down the state’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA.
With the school year nearing its midpoint, sixth-graders at New Kituwah Academy in Cherokee are starting to ask an increasingly urgent question: Will I have to change schools next year?
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 15:48

Applicants wanted for Maggie board vacancy

Despite the recent election, the Maggie Valley Board of Aldermen still has an empty seat to fill.
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 15:46

Hawthorn Heights opens new Bryson City shelter

While the former Hawthorn Heights teen shelter presented a number of challenges, the only challenge for teens moving into the new shelter will be calling dibs on their favorite room.
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 15:41

SBI investigates former SCC employees

A State Bureau of Investigations probe is looking into possible wrongdoing on the part of a pair of former Southwestern Community College employees.
After measuring lead levels of more than 200 times the state limit for safety near its shooting range, Southwestern Community College is getting ready for some potentially pricy cleanup.
If the selection panel’s pick gets the backing of the full board, Jackson County’s likely to have a new tourism director in place by the time 2016 rolls around.
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 15:33

Macon commissioner to seek state office

Macon County Commission Chairman Kevin Corbin announced his plans Monday night to run next year for the North Carolina House of Representatives.
Franklin will soon be joining other communities around the world who are incorporating a love for reading with a love of the outdoors.
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 15:28

Meet John Burgin, the wizard of Hazelwood

From the outside, John Burgin looks like a lucky guy, a guy in the right place at the right time to cash in on the revitalization sweeping Hazelwood.
Hazelwood will soon be home to a sculpture of a Plott hound, the fabled bear-hunting breed steeped in local lore and history.
Waynesville is stepping up to the plate to solve a parking bottleneck in Hazelwood Village, with plans to double the size of the public parking lot and spiff up its curb appeal.
It was barely 11 a.m. and Hazelwood was hopping. The scent of freshly roasted coffee beans spilled out of Smoky Mountain Coffee Roasters. Two doors down, a pair of workmen on ladders balanced a sign for a new artist studio. Across…
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 14:48

Support small businesses Saturday

What would Western North Carolina’s small towns be like without a strong base of small businesses?
In 1900 about 35 percent of the deciduous forest in the Southern Appalachians was comprised of American chestnut (Castanea dentata).
Wednesday, 18 November 2015 17:26

Thanksgiving events planned at Fontana

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A week of fall fun will celebrate Thanksgiving at Fontana Village, with a schedule of events including hiking, hunting and…
Wednesday, 18 November 2015 17:25

Franklin wants help with bike and pedestrian planning

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A survey to find out what can be done to make walking and biking in Franklin easier and safer is…
Wednesday, 18 November 2015 17:25

Trout Unlimited donation will help Smokies trout

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Fish habitat and the brook trout populations in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park got a $19,000 boost thanks to…