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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 them to the park’s edge, a remote and beautiful cove with a bubbling stream flowing through it.

SEE ALSO: Ellison releases new title

Friday, 02 December 2016 13:23

Waynesville water safe despite discoloration

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Although the water situation in the area seems to be improving thanks to the recent rains, the town of Waynesville Water Treatment staff discovered another unintended side effect of the low water levels.

Thursday, 01 December 2016 22:00

Untreated sewage discharged into Richland Creek

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The Junaluska Sanitary District experienced a discharge of untreated sewage from a blockage in a line located Southeast of Loop Road in Clyde this afternoon.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016 16:21

Ellison releases new title

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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, when the editor called him in to talk, Ellison was surprised to get not a polite goodbye but promotion to permanent status. The resulting column, “Nature Journal,” is still published today.

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 around the area.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016 16:14

Support heard for TDA tax increase

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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 adversaries entrenched, is there a chance a room tax hike could pass?

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

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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.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016 15:59

SCC asks Macon for 40 percent of bond project cost

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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.

Monday, 28 November 2016 21:03

Fire, drought and… floods?

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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 14:51

Containment rising, fire growth slowing in WNC

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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 growth.