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Wednesday, 30 November 2016 16:38

When frost comes, we know winter has arrived

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The first frost serves as a given year’s most distinctive dividing line. It’s hard to pinpoint just when winter becomes…
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 16:34

Local bookstores should be celebrated, supported

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In My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers Inc., 2012,…
The Fourth of July, 1976, was just around the corner when George and Elizabeth Ellison embarked on a hike that would change their lives forever. The two were walking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park when their wandering brought…
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 16:21

Ellison releases new title

When George Ellison first started writing nature columns for the Asheville Citizen-Times back in 1986, it was with the assumption that, while he enjoyed such things, reader interest was likely limited and the column would be a short-lived venture. So,…
Just as wildfires were beginning to subside in North Carolina, gusty winds whipped a flare-up in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park into a frenzy that climbed down the mountain to enter the town of Gatlinburg and spur forced evacuations…
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 16:14

Support heard for TDA tax increase

Supporters of a proposed hike in Haywood County’s room occupancy tax were silenced in the state legislature in 2013, but much noise was again made over the issue during the recent election. Now, with new players in place and old…
A Connect N.C. bond application approved by the Town of Waynesville could bring more than $90,000 to the town for the construction of a first-of-its-kind playground designed specifically for children with a wide range of physical and cognitive disabilities.
Wednesday, 30 November 2016 16:11

Macon to pay off Parker Meadows loan

With an unexpected increase in sales tax revenue, Macon County commissioners voted in favor of paying off a $5 million loan early for the Parker Meadows Sports Complex project.
Southwestern Community College is asking Macon County commissioners to pitch in 40 percent of the cost to construct a new training facility for first responders — much more than the 25 percent match the county was anticipating.
Cold temperatures have arrived, but efforts to ensure the future of Jackson Neighbors in Need are heating up. 
Joe Sam Queen counts his campaign wins and losses like innings in a baseball game.
Utility companies are not often known for being in harmony with nature; indeed, Duke Energy’s recent coal ash fiascos come readily to mind when environmental and industrial concerns begin to comingle.
It’s about staying true to yourself. When you converse with country/bluegrass legend Marty Stuart, you’re speaking to the source. From…
Tuesday, 29 November 2016 21:48

Lines in the Sand: Balsam Range looks ahead

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The eternal struggle of bluegrass is being able to balance evolution with tradition. How does one adhere to the pickin’…
“Blue-collar heaven.” When asked just what the Brar Patch is, Trey Smith was quick with that response. Huddled under a…
Monday, 28 November 2016 21:03

Fire, drought and… floods?

Smoky, intense wildfires and a historic drought have been visited upon the region over the past few months, but as much-needed rain moves into the area, could we see yet another biblical plague visited upon us this week?
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 19:15

Creep on

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It’s been about a month since my family and I enjoyed our assault on Whitetop. OK, so in reality, it’s…
Armed with five-gallon buckets and a groundswell of energy, 14 teens from Balsam-based SOAR Camp descended on Eugene Christopher’s Waynesville…
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 19:09

Forest fire updates

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Arboretum collecting firefighting donations  Due to heightened fire danger throughout the region, the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville will not have…
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 19:08

Drought disaster declared in Swain and Jackson

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Swain and Jackson counties have been designated as primary natural disaster areas due to losses from the ongoing drought.
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 19:07

Drought increases disease risk in cattle

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Drought conditions are taking their toll on livestock operations in the area, according to Jackson County Cooperative Extension, causing a…
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 19:03

Parkway conservation projects celebrated in new website

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A new website highlighting land protection projects along the North Carolina section of the Blue Ridge Parkway is up and…
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 19:01

Sustainable forestry an award-winner for EBCI

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The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians was honored for its use of positive-impact forestry on the Qualla Boundary when the…
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 16:28

Glad to live in a republic and not a democracy

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To the Editor: Thank you for publishing The Smoky Mountain News. We enjoy reading it every week. I would like…
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 16:26

A community that is truly stronger together

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Don’t worry. This column isn’t about the election. There’s plenty of that going on elsewhere. With that being said, I…
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 16:22

Historians discover lifeless remains of the truth

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So this, perhaps, is how we in the traditional — and dare I say legitimate — media will meet our…
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 15:53

You might enjoy a visit to Broken Wheel, Iowa

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One of the great joys of reading occurs when we bump into a book by an author we’ve never heard…
It’s a whirlwind. With his group Tiny Universe, saxophonist Karl Denson seamlessly creates this vortex onstage, a sonic hub where…
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 15:34

Local writers, film wins awards

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Two local authors and the Bethel Rural Community Organization’s Historic Preservation Committee were among award winners at the annual meeting…
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 15:13

Haywood moves to solve affordable housing crisis

During his tenure on the Haywood County Commission, retiring Chairman Mark Swanger has certainly shaped what the future of the county will look like for decades to come.
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 15:11

Public restrooms, art coming to Hazelwood

The tiny but blossoming business community along Hazelwood Avenue is about to get a major boost from the town of Waynesville.
Nearly a decade ago, Southern Concrete Materials began toying with the prospect of leaving its 201 Boundary St., location for more favorable digs.
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 15:07

Canton pool project hits another setback

Canton officials may be starting to wonder if plans to replace the town’s aging public pool aren’t cursed.
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 15:06

Canton undergoes visual rebranding

To the naked eye, there appears to be a lot going right in Canton these days.
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 15:05

Franklin Chamber of Commerce finds new home

The Franklin Chamber of Commerce is looking for financial support from the community to purchase new office space.
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 15:03

Swain hospital makes changes to ER

Swain Community Hospital has announced plans to change how it operates its Emergency Department, but administrators say the hospital will continue to provide the same level of 24-hour emergency care to patients.
As the saying goes, change is life’s only constant — so Jackson County is looking for input to guide its approach to the changes that the next 25 years are likely to bring.
Mark Swanger tucked into his leather armchair beside a roaring gas fire, an expansive view of his Fines Creek family farm unfurling beyond the bay windows of his log home. Calm, cool and collected as always, he was ready for…
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 14:54

McCrory picks up 12 votes in Haywood

Haywood County’s election results are finally complete.
Wednesday, 23 November 2016 14:51

Containment rising, fire growth slowing in WNC

Despite gusty winds, dust-dry forests and interminable drought, firefighters made significant headway over the last week toward containing Western North Carolina’s explosive wildfire season, jumping on new starts to keep their acreages low and limiting existing fires to minimal acreage…
Thursday, 17 November 2016 19:41

Mad Anthony’s to close Saturday

Mad Anthony’s Bottle Shop and Beer Garden on Branner Avenue in Waynesville will close this Saturday, Nov. 19.
Wednesday, 16 November 2016 18:24

Come winter, trees reveal their blemishes

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Like an old man’s face, mature hardwood tree trunks are covered with blemishes that signal age: cankers, seams, burls, butt…
It’s a sunny day at Haywood Community College, light sparkling from the campus’s landmark mill pond and shining through the…
Wednesday, 16 November 2016 18:04

Annual soil and water poster contest open

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Jackson County students in third through ninth grade will get a chance to share their messages on the importance of…
Wednesday, 16 November 2016 18:02

WCU nabs green school listing

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For the sixth year running, Western North Carolina has been recognized as one of the most environmentally responsible colleges in…
Wednesday, 16 November 2016 18:01

New region-wide map focuses on recreation

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A new map is available detailing more than 2 million acres of public forests, parks and scenic byways throughout Western…
Wednesday, 16 November 2016 18:01

Fly-fishing museum gets statewide recognition

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The Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians is just over a year old, but it’s already being recognized as…
Wednesday, 16 November 2016 17:57

Conservation easement finalized near Marion

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One of the largest conservation easements to ever be donated by an individual in North Carolina history has been finalized…
Wednesday, 16 November 2016 17:10

This is historical fiction well worth a read

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Nearly 20 years ago, while browsing the shelves of the Haywood Country Public Library, I came across a collection of…
The haunting final moments of the man at the helm of the worse naval disaster in U.S. history will be…