SMN staff

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The saying “the more the merrier” certainly applies during the holiday season. But during a season of big gifts, extra food and travel, “more” can exact a heavy toll on the environment. 

A phenomenon called “cabin fever” tends to set in around late autumn or in midwinter. Long hours of darkness coupled with cold, inclement weather often is a recipe for increased time spent indoors. For people who live alone, the effects of cabin fever might be more pronounced.

The holiday season is steeped in tradition. Few traditions may elicit more collective belly laughs than holiday movie night, a tradition in millions of households across the globe. Families can consider these classic holiday films as they plan family movie night this holiday season.

The holidays are a time to spend with friends and family. Celebrating and entertaining are large components of what makes Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, and New Year’s festivities so enjoyable. Holiday hosts with pets must consider companion animals when planning the festivities.

A grant from Dogwood Health Trust will fund the first 6 of 42 planned miles of new, accessible trails in the Pisgah National Forest near Old Fort, with a pair of community input sessions coming up in December.

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A Sevierville woman is dead following a single-vehicle crash on the southbound Spur between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg Wednesday, Nov. 17. 

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Wildlife biologists at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission are praising Asheville residents for helping them locate a distressed female bear cub wandering North Asheville with a clear container stuck on her head. 

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Cleanup efforts at informal campsites along Fontana Lake removed 3,500 pounds of trash this year, thanks to more than 30 volunteers and grant support from the Tennessee Valley Authority. 

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Lakes in the Hiwassee River Watershed tested extremely low for E. coli and other pathogens this summer, according to data from MountainTrue, though heavy rains, leaky septic systems and animal agriculture caused bacterial pollution in other parts of the watershed. 

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Letter to the Editor: I enjoyed reading Dr. Norman Hoffman’s opinion piece in the Friday, November 12, issue. I appreciate his concerns about the teaching of history in our public schools, his experiences as a public school student, and his reference to Critical Race Theory (CRT). I am prompted to comment on three things he wrote about.

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By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist | Some people may still wonder how the Germany of a century ago could have spawned Adolf Hitler, World War II and the Holocaust. It was, after all, one of the best-educated and highly cultured nations in Europe, if not the world.

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To the Editor:

Communism, socialism and Democrats are all the same, always bad, all the time. Democratic-leaning relatives, friends, and associates who you have known for years are now considered pedophiles or worse, socialist. The Republican propaganda machine is in warp drive. I lived through the “Red Scare of the 1950s and, like today, unfounded fears and pure lies are at the heart of this assault on the truth. 

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To the Editor:

At long last after years of inaction, there will be greatly needed improvements to the infrastructure of the United States.  

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To the Editor:

I recently received an email from Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-Hendersonville. If only there was a Pinocchio award, so I could see our congressman’s nose growing longer and longer.

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Digital signs posted several counties away are warning of delays on Interstate 40 in the Pigeon River Gorge.

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A new book is available on the StoryWalk in the Village Green in Cashiers. 

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A pair of volunteer organizations within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park earned regional recognition for their service in 2020. 

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent Cassius Cash was one of five leaders nationwide recognized with the Walter T. Cox Award for conservation excellence this fall.

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To the Editor:

I find myself perplexed over the “housing crisis” in Waynesville. It seems all our town does is help big developers push more and more into rural neighborhoods. The public is being deceived into believing there is need for more, even when housing magazines/websites show numerous vacant homes. When will enough finally be enough? 

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To the Editor:

Folks, it is gerrymandered maps time again.

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The days are getting shorter, and so are the hours at the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville. 

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North Carolinians ages 50 and older can now purchase lifetime hunting and fishing licenses for half price, following implementation of recent legislation. 

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The National Park Service is asking anybody who took pictures or videos on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina on Saturday, Oct. 9, to share those files as the agency works to solve a homicide.

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The National Park Service and the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association recently finalized a new five-year agreement that aims to facilitate regular, robust and meaningful dialogue between the NPS and Native American tribes. 

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Winter has started on the Blue Ridge Parkway, with some seasonal closures in effect and the first round of snow-related road closures taking place last week. 

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Dillsboro resident Phil Woody took home 10 medals in this year’s North Carolina Senior Games. 

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David Holt is one of nine North Carolinians who will receive the state’s highest civilian honor, the North Carolina Award, on Thursday, Nov. 18, at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. 

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To the Editor: 

As each new report comes to light about Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s concealed weaponry, we should be asking how we can help this young man manage his fears before he makes good on his threats. 

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To the Editor: 

I’ve been giving much thought recently to what the framers had in mind when contemplating the creation of their new country. It wasn’t as if they were in totally unexplored territory. Civilizations had come and gone; some had succeeded, others failed. Did the framers really not have even an inkling of a premonition that a future leader would try to overthrow his own government, or what to do if one did try? 

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The vacancy on Waynesville’s Russ Avenue left by big-box retailer Kmart in late 2019 is about to be filled with almost 18,000 square feet of tools and equipment by Calabasas, California-based Harbor Freight Tools. 

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Haywood County Public Schools has implemented a new COVID-19 quarantine policy change. In certain cases, students will be required to complete a 10-day quarantine, instead of the previous 14-day quarantine period (from most recent exposure) for students and staff who are considered close contacts. 

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These days my journaling has no rhyme or reason, but it doesn’t really matter because everytime I sit down in the quiet, open my journal and write, I feel better. The fact that my strategy and topics are all over the place is irrelevant. 

• The Jackson County Veterans Day Parade will be held on Thursday, Nov. 11, on Main Street in Sylva. Line up will begin at 2 p.m. at Mark Watson Park and the parade will begin at 3 p.m. 828.631.2231.

Twelve counties in Western North Carolina have received disaster declarations from U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack due to flooding from Tropical Storm Fred. 

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The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is increasing its monitoring efforts for chronic wasting disease this deer season after a deer harvested this summer just 30 miles over the border in Virginia tested positive for the deadly disease. 

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A new wheelchair-accessible trail in the Cades Cove area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers a half-mile pathway at the John Oliver Cabin with a unique pastoral view.

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New interactive exhibits are now up at Waterrock Knob Visitor Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway, highlighting elements of the high-elevation ecosystem ranging from bears to bugs. 

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Nashville country/indie act Karly Driftwood will hit the stage at 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, at The Water’n Hole Bar & Grill in Waynesville. 

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There will be a special stage production of “The Little Mermaid Jr.” by Kids at HART at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13 and 20, and at 2 p.m. Nov. 14 and 21 at the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre in Waynesville. 

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To the Editor:

My name is Carrie McBane and I was a candidate for Town of Sylva Council 2021 in the election held just this week. I just read the letter to the editor from former candidate Luther Jones and have a couple of things I’d like to address that are of utter import to the validity of his claims and for the sake of the readership.  

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To the Editor:

A recent letter purports to represent conservatives but contains mostly platitudes and hardly anything substantive. The writer’s mention of “questionable votes” of the 2020 election is amusing.

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Dogwood Health Trust recently awarded more than $1 million over three years to the Center for Native Health to further strengthen and expand The Medical Careers and Technology Pipeline (MedCaT) for Indigenous and rural Appalachian students. 

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By Peter H. Lewis • Asheville Watchdog | Nashville-based HCA Healthcare, which operates Asheville’s Mission Hospital and five other hospitals in Western North Carolina, reported Friday that it made $2.27 billion in profits in the three-month period that ended Sept. 30, triple the amount in the same period last year. 

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North Carolina Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr are among the 28 cosponsors on a bill that the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is calling “the most significant wildlife conservation bill in nearly half a century.”

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Highlands recently became the first recognized BearWise Town in the U.S., with the honor officially bestowed on Oct. 5. 

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Following the curtain call for the opening night performance of the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre’s current production of “Harvey,” the show’s director Wanda Taylor got a major surprise. 

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To the Editor:

I was once a candidate for the Sylva Town Council but withdrew when I realized that I did not have the time, because of personal matters, to do the position justice if elected. That does not mean that I have lost my interest in what is happening in the town of Sylva. For that reason, I attended the forum of the candidates for Sylva Town Commissioner that was held at the Old Courthouse. 

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During an Oct. 25 meeting, Macon County Board of Education unanimously approved to allow students and staff to have the option of wearing a face covering. 

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