SMN staff

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All seven lake sites on the Hiwassee, Nottely and Chatuge rivers, as well as Fires Creek, have passed MountainTrue’s weekly E. coli testing with flying colors so far this summer. 

The N.C. Wildlife Federation has announced the winners of its 58th annual Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards, and Western North Carolina residents will take home two of them. 

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The first North Carolinian to ever be elected as leader of the National Wildlife Federation’s Board of Directors hails from Asheville. 

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The U.S. Forest Service, Blue Ridge Bartram Trail Conservancy and Southeast Conservation Corps are expanding their partnership to offer a natural resources career development program this fall for ages 18-30, or up to 35 for veterans. 

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Sylva resident Cole Burch is among the 15 new wildlife law enforcement officers sworn in during the 58th Basic School graduation ceremony July 20. 

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The N.C. Forest Service is now accepting tree seedling orders for its annual sale. 

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To the Editor: 

The only thing I learned from a letter in a recent edition is that the letter writer doesn’t have a clue as to what socialism actually is. 

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To the Editor: 

I read with interest Mr. Crider’s “Another view on Abortion”  opinion piece in the Aug. 3 edition of the Smoky Mountain News. Mr. Crider makes several correct points about who is anti-abortion and who is pro- abortion rights, and I appreciate that he admits that he has been hypocritical in his pro-life beliefs. He is not alone.

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The Town of Franklin partnered with Duke Energy to install a level 3 fast-charging station in the town hall parking lot. Town Planner/IT Director Justin Setser worked closely with Duke to have the installation done without cost to taxpayers. 

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A recent federal grant award for the Preventing School Violence initiative was awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice to the Thirtieth Judicial District Domestic Violence Sexual Assault Alliance in partnership with Haywood County Schools and the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office. 

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N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler announced that farmers in 11 additional counties are eligible for the Western N.C. Agricultural Crop Loss Program for damages and losses due to flooding and excessive rain from Tropical Storm Fred and an April 2021 freeze and frost. The deadline to apply is Aug. 31. A total of $10 million is available.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) has issued a land use permit allowing the Museum of the Cherokee Indian  to operate an offsite facility housing Museum collections, archives, and Tribal artifacts. The permit follows a February resolution that designated a piece of land in Swain County, near Bryson City, for the future building.

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Long-time Lake Junaluska supporters Steve Berwager and husband-and-wife Bernie and Snookie Brown are the 2022 recipients of the Junaluska Leadership Award, an honor bestowed annually during Associates Celebration Weekend at Lake Junaluska. 

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The annual Franklin Area Folk Festival, “A Celebration of Appalachian Heritage,” will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, at Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center.

The Bardo Arts Center (BAC) at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee is excited to welcome patrons into its spaces for a dynamic series of events and exhibitions this fall. 

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A stage production of “The Book of Will” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 12-13, 19-20, 25-27 and at 2 p.m. Aug. 14, 21 and 28 at the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre in Waynesville.

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Dr. Bill Nolte announced his retirement earlier today in meetings with principals and Central Office staff. His retirement is effective Nov. 1, 2022. The Board of Education will immediately begin the process of hiring a new Superintendent.

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In many ways, high school graduates are mature young adults ready to live on their own and begin an exciting college career, but are they prepared to manage their own finances?

Hazelwood Family Medicine and the Salon & Skin Spa of Hazelwood Village is now offering two state-of-the-art treatments, Emsella and EMSCULPT NEO. 

Declining ginseng populations have prompted the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee to halt harvesting permits for the prized plant, following in the footsteps of the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest, which halted harvest in 2021. 

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Peter Holderness Ledford has been appointed as North Carolina’s new clean energy director, Gov. Roy Cooper announced July 27.

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Julie Mayfield is stepping down as co-director of MountainTrue after serving alongside co-director Bob Wagner since 2013. Prior to that, she had worked as executive director of the organization then known as the Western North Carolina Alliance since 2008. 

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reopening the public comment period and extending the decision deadline on its proposal to de-list the ivory-billed woodpecker after disagreement among experts as to whether the species, long thought to be extinct, may still persist. 

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The high-water warning system at the Ocoee Whitewater Center in Tennessee is working once more after incurring damage in the April 26 fire that destroyed the building. 

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Last weekend, one man died and another was seriously injured following incidents at waterfalls in the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest, leading the U.S. Forest Service to issue a strong warning for those planning to venture out to one of Western North Carolina’s signature cascades. 

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An instrumental program for educating future K-12 teachers while more accurately reflecting real world demographics began its second year at Western Carolina University.

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The Maggie Valley Club & Resort, a semi-private club and resort located in the mountains of Western North Carolina, is pleased to welcome Craig Sparks as director of golf. Sparks will oversee all golf operations and golf sales for the scenic resort property.

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The Giles division of Premier Magnesia announced that it is now almost done with construction on its new expansion in the Hazelwood area.

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The Franklin Chamber of Commerce recently welcomed Brain Freeze Fun Frozen Custard.

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On Friday, Aug. 19, the Great Smoky Mountains Hot Air Balloon Festival will kick off its fifth year with unique experiences for its VIPs. The next day, Aug. 20, is the main event and will feature a variety of family-friendly activities. 

Trout are available for adoption for $10 apiece ahead of Haywood Waterways’ Sept. 10 trout race. 

The  WNC: MADE X MTNS Partnership  is launching a new outdoor-driven community economic development initiative, Building Outdoor Communities, spanning 25 Western North Carolina counties and the Qualla Boundary.

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The Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project announced 19 farms participating in the 2022 Farm Tour, held from noon to 5 p.m. Sept. 17–18. These farms showcase the diversity of agriculture in the region, from vegetables to livestock, orchards to creameries, and are all located within an hour of Asheville.

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Folkmoot, North Carolina’s Official International Folk Festival, returns to hosting programs and events beginning with its “Summerfest” scheduled from Thursday, July 28, to Sunday, July 31. 

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To the Editor:

Three hundred Spartans. The battle of Thermopylae, fought between the Greeks and the Persians in 480 B.C., has gone down in history as one of the most significant last stands of all time. 

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The Franklin Chamber of Commerce recently held a ribbon cutting celebration to welcome H & H Softwash to the Franklin business community.  

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A former Western Carolina University vice chancellor for advancement and external affairs who enjoyed successful careers as a community journalist and as an administrator in the University of North Carolina system is the inaugural recipient of a lifetime achievement award presented by the North Carolina Retired Governmental Employees’ Association.

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have closed the Greenbrier area to all use due to additional road damage caused by an estimated three inches of rain occurring during the early morning hours on Thursday, July 21. Roads were further damaged by floodwaters that rose above riverbanks and also from overland waterflow from above the roadways.  

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To the Editor:

During the past several weeks, a seemingly coordinated series of increasingly vitriolic letters to the editor have appeared in The Smoky Mountain News. One specific letter, titled “Religion doesn’t belong in schools” by Ms. Cory was shocking to me, as well as to many other readers of The Smoky Mountain News. Though many of the points seemed gratuitously inflammatory, the anti-Christian remarks specifically stood out to me. 

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To the Editor: 

Over the past few weeks, a series of letters has appeared in local papers which seems to be part of a continued campaign both locally and nationally to drive Americans apart. One writer stated, “Those who do not look or believe the same have all too often seen the predictably toxic and venomous response from the evangelical right.” That is a highly partisan and frankly slanderous statement with no basis in reality. 

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials have closed the Greenbrier area to all use due to additional road damage caused by an estimated three inches of rain occurring during the early morning hours on Thursday, July 21. Roads were further damaged by floodwaters that rose above riverbanks and also from overland waterflow from above the roadways.  

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In June, Southwestern Community College’s Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program teamed up with Full Spectrum Farms to allow SCC students to work with the children during the farm’s kid’s camp. This doubles as a learning experience and also a day full of fun for both the students and kids.

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To the Editor:

On Tuesday, July 26, there will be a runoff election for school board in Jackson County. Early voting has already begun. 

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A makeshift clinic of folding chairs and tables, separated in clusters by curtains and canvas tents, has been set up inside a steel girder building in Clarkston, Georgia.

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