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By Becky Johnson & Andrew Kasper • Staff Writers For two years now, Jackson County’s planning board has systematically combed over and rewritten some of its development rules once hailed as the most protective — yet restrictive — in the…
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs will establish a local field office in Haywood County where veterans who are new to the system can register and qualify for medical benefits in a more expedited fashion.
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 00:00

Help-wanted: new top lawman for Haywood County

Those vying to be the next sheriff of Haywood County have until 2 p.m. Jan. 17 to get their applications turned in. Haywood Sheriff Bobby Suttles is stepping down with two years left to go on his term. Because Suttles…
Western Carolina University has agreed to a $600,000 out-of-court settlment in a civil suit brought by the family of Ja’Quayvin Smalls, a junior defensive back from Mount Pleasant, S.C. who died during an off-season football practice in July 2009.
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 00:00

Canton to bid farewell to long-time town anchor

Canton Town Manager Al Matthews has announced his impending retirement, and while his last day won’t be for months yet, he’s already plotting ways to spend his new-found free time after a long career in town government.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is hitting domestic violence abusers in their pocketbooks. People convicted of domestic violence-related charges must now pay a $1,000 fine, in addition to other penalties handed down by tribal court. Tribal council approved of…
Carol Anthony sat at in the back corner of a sweepstakes parlor in Maggie Valley one afternoon last week, getting her last fix of video gaming in before the next day’s ban took away what she claimed was her sole…
Singer/songwriter Ben Wilson will be featured at the Friday Night Live music series from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday,…
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 00:00

Christian comedian/songwriter hits Franklin

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Renowned performer Tim Hawkins will be taking the stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at the Smoky Mountain Center…
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 00:00

‘80s rock takes the stage in Cherokee with STYX

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Legendary rock group STYX will be performing at 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at Harrah’s Cherokee Event Center. Tommy Shaw,…
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 00:00

WNC group releases electropop album

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Electropop trio Stereospread, based in Waynesville, is releasing their highly-anticipated first album, The Heart & the Thief, this month.
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 00:00

Artist showcase

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An opening reception for “Ball Mason Jar Art” by Brent Martin will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11,…
Haywood County Rev. Lamont Foster still remembers the day he learned what it meant to be black. It was the…
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 04:11

Indian words add color to our language

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Tuckaseigee, Oconaluftee, Heintooga, Wayah, Cullasaja, Hiwassee, Coweeta, Stecoah, Steestachee, Skeenah, Nantahala, Aquone, Katuwah, and on and on. Our place names…
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 04:10

Local food on the rise

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Last year was a promising year for local food production and farm education in WNC, according to the Appalachian Sustainable…
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 04:03

Contest captures state’s natural beauty

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The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has announced the winners of the eighth annual Wildlife in North Carolina magazine outdoor photo…
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 04:01

Friends, feathers and fellowship

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Friday, Dec. 28, was the date of the eleventh annual Balsam Christmas Bird Count (CBC) — 11 dates but 10…
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 03:59

Forests and water could be doomed in 2060

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A comprehensive U.S. Forest Service report released last month examines how expanding populations, increased urbanization, and changing land-use patterns could…
Nestled deep in the mountains between Sylva and Cashiers, the scenic U.S. Forest Service Balsam Lodge is celebrating its 30th…
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 03:45

Novel explores the woes of rich white trash

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Let me take a deep breath and see if I can get this out in one long ugly sentence:  A…
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 03:44

Firearms are not the problem

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To the Editor: We are writing in response to the gun control controversy. I agree that the recent acts of…
Wednesday, 02 January 2013 03:41

Doesn’t that just melt your face off?

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It all started with a simple book fair at the middle school. My daughter, inspired perhaps by viewing the trailer…
Tuesday, 01 January 2013 00:00

2012: The year in review

The Smoky Mountain News takes note this week of some of the newsmakers of 2012 by handing out our annual awards. Back issues of the newspaper never fail to reveal a variety of humdingers: the funny, the astonishing, the interesting,…
Lake Junaluska and the town of Waynesville are pressing ahead with the possibility of a merger. The two entities have put the wheels in motion to introduce a special bill in the N.C. General Assembly in March that would bring…
Tuesday, 01 January 2013 00:00

Soccer league seeking a leg up in Swain

Swain County suffers from a serious lack of soccer fields, a plight soccer enthusiasts there hope to do something about.
The National Guard 210th and 211th Military Police Companies from Western North Carolina were recently placed “on alert.”
Give a U.S. congressman a cookie, and he can eat it. But offer him some free pancakes, and he’ll have to pass. “I can eat a pig in a blanket, but God forbid if it’s a hot dog. If it’s…
A line-up of art classes will begin in January, offered through the Inspired Art Ministry at the First Baptist Church…
Chris Robinson is a freak‚ a damn musical freak. Finally wrangling everything into the studio with his freewheelin’ solo project‚…
Tuesday, 01 January 2013 00:00

Balsam Range series welcomes member of Zac Brown Band

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Nationally acclaimed Western North Carolina bluegrass group Balsam Range will continue their winter concert series at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan.…
Tuesday, 01 January 2013 00:00

Learn to draw comic illustrations from a master

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Cartoonist and illustrator James Lyle will do a presentation and demonstration on comic books and graphic novels for the Art…
Tuesday, 01 January 2013 00:00

If you build it, they will come (and play)

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Pulling into a row of unimposing metal garage-sized storage units on Frazier Street in Waynesville, the sound of buzzing is…
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 15:01

The spirituality of mountain graveyards

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“I am developing a taste for walking in cemeteries.” – Jules Renard, “Journals” (December 1909) Like Jules Renard, a turn-of-the-century…
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 14:58

Classes and workshops

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Wildlife program seeks help with classes Wild South’s Wildlife Outreach Initiative, along with Mountain Wildlife Days, are in the process…
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 14:54

Ready, set, ski! Races begin at Catalaoochee

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Cataloochee Ski Area is opening its winter race series beginning 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, for middle school competitors, followed…
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 14:51

News from the conservation front

Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust conserves five parcels in 2012 With the help of community members and donors, the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust will have conserved five new properties by the end of 2012. The properties include two in Highlands, one that holds…
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 14:50

New hiker shelter finished on the AT

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Hikers of the Appalachian Trail now have a new shelter where they can rest their bones. The U.S. Forest Service…
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 14:46

When it’s good to be threatened

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I wrote about wood storks, Mycteria americana, back in August of this year after a trip to Isle of Palms…
You’ve been training for months. You’ve skipped the kids’ piano recitals and parent teacher conferences; you’ve bailed on dinner with…
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 14:42

Author to discuss AT journey

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Writer Amy Allen will discuss her journey along the Appalachian Trail as she presents her book, Summoning the Mountains: Pilgrimage…
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 14:40

Racism and adultery drive Spencer’s novel

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Daniel Emerson is afraid of black people. After a chance encounter with a group of violent African American teenagers left…
Federal authorities have dropped deportation proceedings against 10 Latino men, all suspected illegal immigrants, who were arrested at a Jackson County license checkpoint in May.
Swain County’s oversized jail will lose about one-third of its current inmate population and a sizeable revenue stream when the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians opens a new justice center, complete with its own jail.
Margie Bradley has called a ramshackle shack in the hills of Cullowhee “home” for almost 60 years. The ceilings sag, the floor is made of plywood and the wind enters through the numerous cracks scattered about the windows and walls.
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 14:09

We have a cultural problem, not a gun problem

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By Tom Rogers • Guest columnist The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School is beyond comprehension. Such an event should…
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 14:02

Strong gun laws require strong politicians

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By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist Had Al-Qaeda carried out the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Congress would be…
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 14:01

We need a dialogue on guns and laws

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To the Editor: I challenge The Smoky Mountain News to assist in opening a respectful, thoughtful, meaningful conversation in our…
For liquor stores in Western North Carolina, the combination of Christmas and the New Year makes for the busiest time of the year. But with 1,800 different types of products to choose from — from the old standbys like Jim…
Tourism numbers are looking good for Haywood County so far this year, and tourism leaders are keeping their fingers crossed that a cold winter will drive visitors to Cataloochee’s slopes.
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 00:00

Haywood sheriff to step down early

Haywood County Sheriff Bobby Suttles announced last week he will retire in February, stepping down early despite another two years to go until his term is technically up.