Sun09252016

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Outdoors

Much of America spent Aug. 5-21 with eyes glued to a television, cheering on athletes from all corners of the country as they represented the red, white and blue in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. 

SEE ALSO: A conversation with Michal

For the community of paddlers whose nucleus is the Nantahala Outdoor Center, one Olympic dream demanded especially rapt attention — that of 23-year-old kayaker Michal Smolen, a whitewater slalom favorite who cut his teeth on the waters of the Nantahala River. William Irving, president of NOC, well remembers his first experiences watching Michal paddle. At the time, Irving was the high performance director for USA Canoe/Kayak and Smolen’s father Rafal was the newly hired national team coach.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 15:49

Dreaming of Toyko: A conversation with Michal

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Since the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Michal Smolen has been hopping continents to finish out the post-Rio racing season, but The Smoky Mountain News caught up with him for an email conversation about paddling, Olympic dreams and the value of American citizenship. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 15:31

Red wolf reintroduction to cease in southeast N.C.

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Red wolves will be removed from the majority of the five-county area of eastern North Carolina where they now exist in the wild, following a Sept. 12 decision from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 15:29

Get the scoop on Arboretum happenings

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The latest on upcoming N.C. Arboretum projects and pro tips on gardening will be offered up at the N.C. Arboretum Society’s annual membership meeting, 6-8:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 15:26

Sales strong for Smokies plates

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Sales of North Carolina Friends of the Smokies license plates brought in $118,240 to support the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the second quarter of 2016.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016 15:58

Grant supports Cherokee-infused environmental education

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Classroom lessons focusing on Cherokee culture and ecology of the Great Smoky Mountains will expand to schools in seven Western North Carolina counties thanks to a $102,500 grant that the Cherokee Preservation Foundation awarded to Friends of the Smokies.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016 15:57

Bike trials return to NOC

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An all-ages bike trial event will challenge riders with a variety of natural and man-made obstacles on Saturday, Sept. 24, at Nantahala Outdoor Center near Bryson City.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016 15:54

Gear deals, paddling and mountain bike muscle coming to NOC

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Bargain-priced gear, free shuttles to whitewater releases and a variety of family-friendly outdoor games will characterize Nantahala Outdoor Center’s Guest Appreciation Festival Sept. 23-25.