Species conservation plans open for comment
 

Species conservation plans open for comment

Public comment is open through May 5 for draft species conservation plans concerning the Atlantic pigtoe mussel and Henslow’s sparrow. 
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Volunteers give out reusable bags at Food Lion in Clyde on Friday, April 22. Pictured (from left) are Joan Doyle, Bill Hollowell, Penny Tracy and Pat Robbins. Donated photo
 

BYOBag Haywood highlights single-use plastic problem

Fifty volunteers distributed more than 1,400 reusable bags in Haywood County on Earth Day and the following Saturday, April 22-23,…
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After anesthetizing the bear, staff were able to remove the lid. NWRC photo
 

Mother bear rescued from lid

A mother bear stuck in a lid is now fully recovered following two days and nights of work from N.C.…
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The Ocoee Whitewater Center was deemed a complete loss following a fire April 26. USFS photo
 

Fire destroys Ocoee Whitewater Center

The Ocoee Whitewater Center in Polk County, Tennessee, built for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, is permanently closed following an…
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Pisgah wildfire nearing full containment
 

Pisgah wildfire nearing full containment

A forest fire that broke out April 27 on the Pisgah National Forest near the Pisgah Inn has been contained,…
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Onstage at SweetWater 420 in downtown Atlanta. (photo: Garret K. Woodward)
 

This must be the place: Can I sing for my supper and play for my rent?

Standing on the massive main stage at the SweetWater 420 music festival in downtown Atlanta last Saturday afternoon, I hoisted…
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The story of one family among thousands
 

The story of one family among thousands

In response to the news of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) proposing fees for parking, now is an…
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Democracy in danger
 

Democracy in danger

You don’t need an invading army to destroy a democracy, as Russia is attempting to do to Ukraine.
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Elections must remain open and honest
 

Elections must remain open and honest

To the Editor: Martin Luther King Jr. always believed “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends…
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No one is above the law
 

No one is above the law

To the Editor: The late great singer Kenny Rogers recorded many songs written by other artists. Yet, he wrote one…
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The Oconee Nuclear Station produces enough energy to power 1.9 million homes. Duke Energy photo
 

Legislators, governor usher in new age of clean energy

As more states have pledged their commitment to reducing carbon emissions over the last decade, North Carolina has begun to…
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Waynesville hopes to spark residential solar generation
 

Waynesville hopes to spark residential solar generation

Unlike most North Carolina municipalities, the Town of Waynesville operates its own electric service, giving it greater local control over…
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Mold halts 
construction 
at Cherokee schools
 

Mold halts 
construction 
at Cherokee schools

Cherokee Central School was in the home stretch of a $22 million construction and renovation project on the 13-year-old campus…
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Bear sanctuary hunting rule now up to legislators
 

Bear sanctuary hunting rule now up to legislators

Following an April 21 vote from the N.C. Rules Review Commission, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission might not be allowed…
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Taxes, fees may 
go up in new Waynesville budget
 

Taxes, fees may 
go up in new Waynesville budget

Declining revenues and a growing list of capital improvements are both putting the squeeze on Waynesville’s finances, but a proposed…
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Construction is expected to begin soon on 59 units in Waynesville. Town of Waynesville photo
 

Waynesville approves 
housing development

A 59-unit townhome development on 7.7 acres just off East Street in Waynesville has been approved over opposition from neighbors, several…
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Justin Stamey and Shawna Thun Lamb.
 

The race is on for Macon clerk of court

The clerk of court is a humble albeit crucial office, an elected position filled by someone willing to ensure the…
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Haywood’s animal services department will trade six part-time employees for three full-time employees. File photo
 

Haywood budget shows staffing needs, rising costs

As the completion of Haywood County’s 2022-23 budget draws near, it’s becoming apparent that inflation, the tight labor market and…
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The Town of Waynesville’s budget process is nearly complete. Cory Vaillancourt photo
 

Waynesville takes a look at board meeting procedures

Governing a small municipality is work enough, but add in unprecedented amounts of federal recovery funds that need to be…
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Jackson faces safety funding requests
 

Jackson faces safety funding requests

The Jackson County Commission is faced with several requests to fund safety operations throughout the county, totaling over $1.5 million.…
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Allen street repairs will likely begin this summer
 

Allen street repairs will likely begin this summer

Funding for Allen Street repairs in Sylva has seen several boosts over the last several months. These funding opportunities have…
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Clockwise from top, left? Don Willis, Gary Shields, Richard Lightner, Gregg Jones, Danny Reitmeier.
 

Macon commissioner candidates discuss education, broadband

Several problems and opportunities await Macon County’s next board of commissioners.
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Bear sanctuary hunting rule now up to legislators
 

Bear sanctuary hunting rule now up to legislators

A new rule allowing bear hunting in three Western North Carolina sanctuary areas currently off-limits to the practice might not…
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Historian, local author to talk history of ginseng in Sylva
 

Historian, local author to talk history of ginseng in Sylva

Join City Lights Bookstore for a conversation between authors, Luke Manget and Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle, at 3 p.m. this Saturday,…
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Major improvements coming to Catawba Falls
 

Major improvements coming to Catawba Falls

The popular Catawba Falls Trail on the Grandfather Ranger District of the Pisgah National Forest will close Monday, May 2,…
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Bikers enter Berm Park in Chestnut Mountain Nature Park shortly after the ribbon-cutting April 22. Holly Kays photo
 

Launching a legacy: Canton’s Chestnut Mountain Park officially open

As Earth Day bloomed under one of spring’s sunniest skies yet, more than 150 people gathered on a concrete bridge…
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The Laurel Fork Bridge slated for replacement was built in 1939. NPS photo
 

Parkway prepares for major maintenance projects

The Great American Outdoors Act will give the Blue Ridge Parkway $127 million for projects to address its deferred maintenance…
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Summer’s coming, and it’s time for some fun!
 

Summer’s coming, and it’s time for some fun!

“Summertime, and the livin’ is easy….” So begins one of the George Gershwin’s greatest songs, an aria in “Porgy and Bess”…
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Can’t believe what’s happening to my hometown
 

Can’t believe what’s happening to my hometown

Change is difficult for most people. Watching my humble hometown turn into an unrecognizable place is a hard pill to…
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Family relationships are the ties that bind
 

Family relationships are the ties that bind

All of my childhood memories include my older sister, Savannah. She and I did some pretty weird and funny things…
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Nothing more than political hyperbole
 

Nothing more than political hyperbole

To the Editor: Pam McAloon's letter “The woke family is bad for U.S.” in last week’s paper is a clear…
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Letter writer wrong about Ukraine, Russia
 

Letter writer wrong about Ukraine, Russia

To the Editor: The recent letter from a Sylva reader critical of support for Ukraine could have been written by…
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Sheriffs in Western North Carolina face challenges, change
 

Sheriffs in Western North Carolina face challenges, change

The job of the county sheriff is important even though the county sheriff’s job is widely misunderstood.  
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UNC System President Peter Hans (from left), WCU Chancellor Kelli R. Brown and    Board of Governors Chairman Randall Ramsey take press questions following the April 7 meeting. Holly Kays photo
 

UNC adopts new funding model

The decades-old model used to determine state funding requests for University of North Carolina System schools is set to change…
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Clockwise from top, left: Larry Bryson, John Hemingway, Bill Wilke, Tony Cope.
 

Christopher’s shadow looms large over Haywood sheriff’s race

As Greg Christopher enters his 43rd and likely final year in law enforcement, he goes out with his reputation intact…
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Clockwise from top, left: Rick Buchanan, Jimmy Ashe, Doug Farmer, Andy Anderson, Robin Gunnels.
 

Five compete in Jackson Sheriff primaries

Residents of Jackson County are tasked with selecting a new sheriff during the midterm elections this year. But first, voters…
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Clockwise from top left: Brent Holbrooks, Dereck Jones, Bob Cook, Clay Bryson.
 

Five Republicans vie to become Macon’s next sheriff 


Among the sheriffs retiring in Western North Carolina who will leave big shoes to fill is Macon County’s Robert Holland,…
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Social media rumors fuel false child trafficking concerns
 

Social media rumors fuel false child trafficking concerns

As increasing child abuse rates continue to plague many homes in Haywood County, a recent red herring took hold on…
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Clockwise from top, left: Rick Wood, Todd Bryson, Mark Lesson, Rainy Summer Brake, John Smith, Jarrett Crowe, Edward Thurston, David Brooks.
 

The race for Jackson Commission begins

Three of five seats on the Jackson County Commission are up for grabs this year — district one, district two…
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Swain commissioners oppose Smokies parking fee
 

Swain commissioners oppose Smokies parking fee

A parking fee  proposed for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has earned support from organizations ranging from the National…
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Plateau Pickup sees record volunteer turnout
 

Plateau Pickup sees record volunteer turnout

Breaking previous records, approximately 130 volunteers helped spruce up Highlands and surrounding highways this past Saturday, April 23, as part…
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Lukas Nelson.
 

A few stars apart: Lukas Nelson to headline Bear Shadow festival

At age 33, singer-songwriter Lukas Nelson is already building a sturdy, bountiful existence as a beloved troubadour, one whose onstage…
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The String Cheese Incident, Asheville. (photo: Garret K. Woodward)
 

This must be the place: Every piece to the puzzle snaps tight in the groove

It was somewhere towards the end of Set One of Night Two of The String Cheese Incident’s gig at the…
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Evan Hatch.
 

New Folkmoot executive director

Folkmoot USA, home to North Carolina’s Official International Folk Festival, welcomes Evan Hatch as the new executive director to lead…
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Sylva starts social district test period
 

Sylva starts social district test period

The Sylva social district opened for business, just in time for last weekend’s Greening Up the Mountains festival.
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At a crossroads: Parking fee would signal a new era in Smokies history
 

At a crossroads: Parking fee would signal a new era in Smokies history

Since its official opening in 1934, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been free  to enter, to park, to…
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New state natural area now totals 6,000 acres
 

New state natural area now totals 6,000 acres

The Bobs Creek State Natural Area in McDowell County now totals more than 6,000 acres following completion of the third…
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Rules aim to prevent deer disease spread
 

Rules aim to prevent deer disease spread

The executive director of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has invoked emergency powers to prevent spread of Chronic Wasting Disease…
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Once complete, the project will result in a new bridge connecting additional land to the park. Donated photo
 

Waynesville greenway section closed

A section of the Waynesville greenway next to Richland Creek at Vance Street Park is now closed for a construction…
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