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Wednesday, 21 December 2016 12:20

Meeting a need

It’s bittersweet. “I really would hope that this program would expire,” said Tom Knapko. “But, that hasn’t been the case with increasing need for these baskets.”
Wednesday, 21 December 2016 12:17

WOW helps pay off Christmas layaway purchases

What sometimes gets lost amidst the blizzard of radio, television and internet advertising so ubiquitous this time of year is that Christmas is not solely a season of getting, but also a season of giving.
Wednesday, 21 December 2016 12:14

Bryson City bar donates to family resource center

The local dive bar in a small town usually gets a bad rap, but Mickey’s Pub in Bryson City tries to redeem itself every Christmas by giving back to the community.
Wednesday, 21 December 2016 12:11

Community helps fulfill a boy’s birthday wish

Ashton Zari turns 7 on Christmas Eve, and even though he is in Columbus, Ohio, seeking medical treatment, his only birthday wish is for his community members back home in Macon County to make a donation to a great cause.
Wednesday, 21 December 2016 12:09

Crabtree General brings Christmas to Franklin

Crabtree General Store & Coffee Vault in Franklin has recently transformed into a Christmas headquarters.
Something about the holidays always brings out the best — and worst — in people and Santa Claus is the unquestioned arbiter thereof.
Wednesday, 21 December 2016 12:00

Suspects sought in Max Patch break-in

Detectives with the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office are looking for two men they believe to be involved with a breaking and entering that occurred in rural Haywood County.
Wednesday, 21 December 2016 11:57

Two arrested in Waynesville break in

Haywood County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to an alarm call around 8 p.m. Dec. 10 in the Eagles Nest community.
Wednesday, 21 December 2016 11:55

New law stops TVA’s ban of Fontana houseboats

More than 350 families received an early Christmas present last week when President Obama signed a bill into law that will allow them to keep their floating homes on Fontana Lake.
Wednesday, 21 December 2016 11:50

Waynesville police win SWAT competition

Waynesville Police Department’s Special Response Team recently returned home from the SWAT Round-Up International competition in Orlando with multiple awards.
Simply removing contaminated dirt from the Southwestern Community College shooting range won’t be enough to close out a lead removal project that’s been in the works since April 2014, the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality announced this month. 
It’s been a bizarre year in North Carolina’s state legislature, and that hasn’t led to the state looking good in national media headlines.  But after four special sessions (and counting), the legislature appears to be finally winding up while addressing…
Wednesday, 21 December 2016 11:41

Jackson schools hope to land 0 percent loan

Jackson County is hoping to save $2.3 million on the cost of completing critical repairs in Jackson County Public Schools through a loan program that would lend the $9 million needed at 0 percent interest.
Franklin Chamber of Commerce staff and members are excited about taking a vacant building and turning it into their new home.  Currently cramped in the same 2,400-square-foot building on Palmer Street the chamber has occupied since 1969, the staff is…
Wednesday, 21 December 2016 11:35

Controversial sanitary district policy suspended

An unpopular policy put forth by the Junaluska Sanitary District requiring landlords to co-sign for their new tenants’ water service has been suspended after tensions between property owners and elected officials reached a boiling point.
Although many property owners and residents have lauded what they call a “much needed” widening project on Waynesville’s most heavily travelled artery, they’ve universally decried the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s plans for Russ Avenue as detrimental to one of…
Wednesday, 21 December 2016 11:30

Firefighter pleas guilty to arson in Cherokee

A Cherokee firefighter has pled guilty to federal charges for intentionally starting seven wildfires on the Qualla Boundary between 2010 and 2014, which cost the Bureau of Indian Affairs a total of $106,700 to extinguish.
Wednesday, 21 December 2016 11:27

Park works to assess post-fire situation

The smoke has cleared from the Chimney Tops 2 Fire, which escaped the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Nov. 28 to cover more than 17,000 acres and result in 14 deaths, but park officials are just beginning the daunting task…
It’s about time. It’s about time someone kicked us all in the ass when it comes to the power and…
But, I’m not sad either. Even with that Charlie Brown quote in the headline to emphasize my thoughts on the…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 18:03

A new, excitable girl in our quiet cove

Written by
Essays and columns are difficult to categorize. Dividing them into the formal and informal is about all anyone can agree…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 17:42

Environmental camps and competitions benefit from funding

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Summer camps and Envirothon programs in Haywood, Buncombe and Madison counties will benefit from a $25,000 grant awarded to the…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 17:41

Duke Energy donates toward firefighting

Written by
The Duke Energy Foundation gave a hand toward supporting firefighters battling wildfires this fall with a $100,000 donation.
Dowdy Bradley is 68 years old, and for nearly all of those years he’s been involved in some kind of…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 17:21

Drought diminishes due to rain

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Last week’s rains caused a downgrading of drought designations across the board in Western North Carolina.
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 17:07

A mystery tale with a canine hero

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This is a delightful book and I am confident that it will be judged one of the best books of…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 17:03

Christmas classic comes to life

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A frigid mountain wind howled through Bryson City last Friday evening as a handful of folks hurried into the Smoky…
It’s the heartbeat of a town. Coming into its 37th year, the Smoky Mountain Community Theatre has become a beacon…
“You don’t know me but I’m your brother/I was raised here in this living hell/You don’t know my kind in…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 16:54

Haywood, Jackson Arts grant recipients

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The Haywood County Arts Council (HCAC) and Jackson County Arts Council (JCAC), co-administrating organizations of this year’s program, are pleased…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 16:53

HCAC receives gifts

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In 2016, the Haywood County Arts Council’s (HCAC) Gallery Committee set out to improve its Gallery & Gifts retail space…
To the Editor: There was a story with the headline “Haywood County wipes the dust off the bottle” in the December…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 16:25

Please, just check the facts

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To the Editor: In the recent edition of The Smoky Mountain News, Carl Iobst’s letter seems to indicate that traditional…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 16:24

A public servant retires

Written by
To the Editor: To my friends in Western North Carolina, I will be retiring on December 31.
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 16:22

Novel idea is surely just too far-fetched

Written by
I am writing a fictional spy novel. Here is the draft outline of it.
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 16:14

I love newspaper readers, but please read carefully

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Some things never change, and the reality of collateral damage from news stories is one of them. Plus the fact…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 16:12

A thank you to local media

Written by
By Greg Christopher • Guest Columnist This time of year, as many people are counting their blessings, they also realize…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 16:11

All one can do is keep fighting the good fight

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I don’t know about you, but I need a quiet place about now. I need to turn off the news…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 15:33

Full-time work, part-time pay

Harry S. Truman’s Secretary of State Dean Acheson said upon his return to private life, “I will undoubtedly have to seek what is happily known as gainful employment, which I am glad to say does not describe holding public office.”…
At just 22 years of age, Kevin Ensley became one of the youngest licensed land surveyors in the entire state after earning an associate’s degree in civil engineering from Asheville-Buncombe Technical College.
When Mark Jones first ran for a seat on the Jackson County Board of Commissioners in 2006, he was the general manager of High Hampton Inn and Country Club in Cashiers, a demanding and well-paid position. But when he won…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 15:28

Macon commissioners not there for money

Macon County Commissioner Ronnie Beale was pouring concrete on a job site when he was contacted about this story.
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 15:27

Swain commissioners give little thought to salary

“You know, I really can’t tell you what we get paid,” Swain County Commissioner David Monteith said when asked about his commissioner salary. “I’ve never done it for that purpose. To me, serving the people in the community is the…
Members of the Cherokee Tribal Council are hands-down the highest-paid local representatives in Western North Carolina, with other commissioner stipends paling in comparison to the $80,000-plus per year councilmembers receive as salary. 
A state program that’s set to lower Western Carolina University’s tuition to $500 per semester could have unintended consequences when it comes to the university’s summer programming. 
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 15:22

Laura Bush and friends visit Lake Junaluska

As fall visitors flocked to Western North Carolina in mid-October, Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center welcomed a distinguished visitor — former First Lady Laura Bush and a group of her childhood friends.
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 15:21

Swain County to implement emergency alert system

When the wildfires were threatening structures in Swain County a couple of weeks ago, first responders had to knock on more than 200 doors to alert residents that they needed to evacuate. 
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 15:19

Highlands hires Josh Ward as town manager

Last September, the town of Bryson City hired Highlands’ town planner Josh Ward to serve as it’s new town manager, but as of Jan. 3, Ward is returning to Highlands to replace retiring Town Manager Bob Frye.
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 15:17

Pickin’ Chicken

There are few things more American than fast food.  In the United States, fast food restaurants serve more than 50 million customers each day; on average, we each spend more than $100 a month on the salty, fatty fare and…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 15:16

First indoor gun range to open in Haywood

When local businessman Jule Morrow proposed a gun shop and indoor firing range in the pastoral Francis Farm community last winter, not everyone was excited about it.