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Voters in Western North Carolina have barely taken down the Christmas tree but will soon find themself in the throes of the primary election countdown.
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 15:22

Jackson schools consider artificial turf field

School officials in Jackson County will be crossing their fingers over the next few weeks, hoping to get a low number back from a study looking at the cost of putting artificial turf on the football field of Smoky Mountain…
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 15:20

Macon County Health takes over animal services

As of Nov. 1, 2015, Macon County Public Health took on the additional responsibility of overseeing animal services in Macon County, including animal control services, the animal shelter and rabies control programs.
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 15:17

Swain animal control ordinance takes shape

After conducting research and gathering public input for several months, an ad hoc committee finally has a working draft for what might be Swain County’s first animal control ordinance. 
Members of a tranquil farming community with deep roots in Haywood County fear their way of life will be ruined by a massive indoor shooting range and gun store proposed in their midst.
Haywood County commissioners aren’t likely to intervene in the controversy over a proposed indoor firing range and gun store coming to the Francis Farm community, despite pleas for help from the residents.
The plan to convert the old hospital in Haywood County into low-income apartments isn’t a done deal. It’s contingent on both historic preservation and low-income housing tax credits to make it financially viable.
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 15:08

Abandoned hospital to find new purpose

A new plan is the works to convert the abandoned old hospital in Haywood County into an affordable housing apartment complex.
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 17:02

Weather doesn’t trip up traditions

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When we wake up on Christmas Eve, it is nearly 70 degrees and raining so hard that when our miniature…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 16:57

Haywood just not prepared for growth

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If there was ever a time in recent memory when Haywood County leaders and its citizens need reminding that they…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 16:57

People of Franklin in good hands

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To the Editor: Kudos to Bob Scott, mayor of Franklin, for his decision to take his oath of office on…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 16:48

Plants and animals who choose to hunker down

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The evergreen plants and birds that overwinter here in the Southern Appalachians have made fundamental “choices” in how their lives…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 16:33

Funds for open spaces cut by half

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A federal fund that supports parks and open spaces across the nation has been spared, but was reduced to half…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 16:30

N.C. national forests get new supervisor

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North Carolina has a new U.S. Forest Service forest supervisor in Allen Nicholas, who currently works as forest supervisor for…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 16:29

Smokies plates raise $800K in 2015

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Sales of license plates supporting the Friends of the Smokies were strong in 2015, with sales in North Carolina and…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 16:27

Appalachian Trail use breaks records in 2015

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The number of Appalachian Trail hikers passing through the trail’s “psychological midpoint” in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, hit an all-time…
When the holidays wind down and schools go back in session, kids in some Western North Carolina classrooms will have…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 16:19

E.M. Forster 1907 novel relevant today

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When I was in graduate school at Western Carolina University back in 1970, I encountered a remarkable teacher, Dr. Louise…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 16:06

New direction for ‘Stories of Mountain Folk’

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In 2008, Catch the Spirit of Appalachia (CSA), a Western North Carolina not-for-profit 501c3 organization, began recording “Stories of Mountain…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 16:03

New Year’s Eve at The Imperial

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A New Year’s Eve Masquerade Party will be held from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 31, at The…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 16:02

Open call for vendors

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An open call is currently underway for artists, crafters, environmental groups and food vendors for the 19th annual Greening Up…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 16:01

Balsam Range Winter Concert Series returns to the Colonial

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Renowned bluegrass/gospel group Balsam Range will kick off the sixth annual “Winter Concert Series” at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 2,…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 15:59

This must be the place

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I cracked the foamy Sam Adams Boston Lager and relaxed into my seat. Christmas Eve. Red-eye flight. Charlotte to Burlington, Vermont.…
With each impending New Year, we tend to take a look back and reflect on just what made the last…
Doug Cody was quite clear in his request to the Jackson County Commissioners when he showed up at their meeting this month. He likes serving on the Tuckaseigee Water and Sewer Authority board, and with his term set to expire…
The winter tourism industry in Haywood County is reeling from unseasonably warm temperatures that have shuttered Cataloochee Ski Area during what’s usually one of its busiest times of the year.
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 15:25

2015: News in review

Time to put a bow on 2015 and call it wrapped. But not just yet, at least not for all of the hundreds of people, events, happenings and mishaps we reported on and covered this past year. A little time…
Wednesday, 23 December 2015 16:14

Roberts Burns Night a unique event

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To the Editor: Robert Burns, the national poet of Scotland, is the only poet or musician that has a worldwide…
Wednesday, 23 December 2015 16:14

Forest plan does not need more wilderness

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To the Editor: I vehemently oppose designating more wilderness areas within the Pisgah and Nantahala Forests. These lands are already…
Wednesday, 23 December 2015 16:13

Put aside Fry Street prejudices

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To the Editor: I have been a proud employee of the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (GSMR) for nine years and an active…
Wednesday, 23 December 2015 16:08

I swear, it’s really much ado about nothing

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Sometimes in the world of journalism, the story becomes more about the reaction than the original news event. By my…
Wednesday, 23 December 2015 15:55

Possum Drop on for New Year’s

After taking a hit in court earlier this month, the folks behind the annual Clay’s Corner Possum Drop got some good news that makes the prognosis for Brasstown’s 21st annual New Year’s Eve celebration look pretty positive. 
Wednesday, 23 December 2015 15:52

Canton proposes $2 million pool project

Canton’s outdoor pool has given the community a place to gather, play, exercise and relax for more than 70 years.
As the elk herd in Western North Carolina continues to grow, an elk-hunting season could become a possibility under a proposal being considered by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
Wednesday, 23 December 2015 15:45

Jackson hires planning director

After plugging along for seven months without one, Jackson County will welcome a new planning director when 2016 begins.
A plan to double the capacity of a planned development near Cashiers got the go-ahead from Jackson County commissioners when they voted unanimously last week to approve amendments to the agreement with Chinquapin, LLC.
Haywood County commissioners expressed concern this week over what they claim is poor work attendance of the county tax collector, Mike Matthews.
Wednesday, 23 December 2015 15:34

Swearing to God still carries political weight

Public officials aren’t required to place their hand on a Bible to be sworn into office, but a majority of them still do.
In the last couple of weeks, Franklin Mayor Bob Scott has been called un-American, arrogant and an asshole, but he’s taking it in stride knowing he made a decision based on his conscience and not on fear.
Janie Higgins was crushed to learn a week before Christmas that the rolling pastures and fields her family has tilled and grazed for generations will soon be marred by the arrival of a large indoor shooting range and gun store…
Wednesday, 23 December 2015 15:26

Things that go peent! in the dark

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I think Lewis Carroll could have just as easily warned of the Timberdoodle as the Jubjub bird in the “Jabberwocky,”…
Lynda Doucett and her staff at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park were pretty excited to move into the new…
Wednesday, 23 December 2015 15:12

WNC health planning gets recognition

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A project aiming to help Western North Carolina communities consider health needs when doing long-term planning revealed that issues such…
Wednesday, 23 December 2015 15:11

Wildlife officer connects kids and vets to the outdoors

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A Macon County man was presented the 2015 Governor’s Award for Excellence, the highest honor a state employee can receive,…
Wednesday, 23 December 2015 15:10

New acreage added to Pisgah National Forest

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The Pisgah National Forest will see the addition of 178 acres in the Mills River area of Henderson County thanks…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 15:09

Farmland conservation preserves views, lifeways in Madison

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A new conservation agreement on a 318-acre farm in Madison County through the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy will help the…
Wednesday, 23 December 2015 14:53

Courage, greed and political intrigue in Peru

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When we think of Peru, we think of captivating pictures of Machu Picchu. We’ve all seen them. Some of us…
Standing in the lobby of North Canton Elementary School last Friday morning, one could hear and witness the frenzied nature…
Tuesday, 22 December 2015 18:28

The man behind the white beard

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So, just who is the “Smokey Mountain Santa”? After an appearance last week at North Canton Elementary School, Santa and Mrs.…
Tuesday, 22 December 2015 18:27

The gift of reading

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Atop all the festivities surrounding the holidays, the students of North Canton Elementary School each received one more gift “under…