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But, I’m not sad either. Even with that Charlie Brown quote in the headline to emphasize my thoughts on the…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 18:03

A new, excitable girl in our quiet cove

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Essays and columns are difficult to categorize. Dividing them into the formal and informal is about all anyone can agree…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 17:42

Environmental camps and competitions benefit from funding

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Summer camps and Envirothon programs in Haywood, Buncombe and Madison counties will benefit from a $25,000 grant awarded to the…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 17:41

Duke Energy donates toward firefighting

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The Duke Energy Foundation gave a hand toward supporting firefighters battling wildfires this fall with a $100,000 donation.
Dowdy Bradley is 68 years old, and for nearly all of those years he’s been involved in some kind of…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 17:21

Drought diminishes due to rain

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Last week’s rains caused a downgrading of drought designations across the board in Western North Carolina.
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 17:07

A mystery tale with a canine hero

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This is a delightful book and I am confident that it will be judged one of the best books of…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 17:03

Christmas classic comes to life

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A frigid mountain wind howled through Bryson City last Friday evening as a handful of folks hurried into the Smoky…
It’s the heartbeat of a town. Coming into its 37th year, the Smoky Mountain Community Theatre has become a beacon…
“You don’t know me but I’m your brother/I was raised here in this living hell/You don’t know my kind in…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 16:54

Haywood, Jackson Arts grant recipients

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The Haywood County Arts Council (HCAC) and Jackson County Arts Council (JCAC), co-administrating organizations of this year’s program, are pleased…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 16:53

HCAC receives gifts

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In 2016, the Haywood County Arts Council’s (HCAC) Gallery Committee set out to improve its Gallery & Gifts retail space…
To the Editor: There was a story with the headline “Haywood County wipes the dust off the bottle” in the December…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 16:25

Please, just check the facts

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To the Editor: In the recent edition of The Smoky Mountain News, Carl Iobst’s letter seems to indicate that traditional…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 16:24

A public servant retires

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To the Editor: To my friends in Western North Carolina, I will be retiring on December 31.
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 16:22

Novel idea is surely just too far-fetched

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I am writing a fictional spy novel. Here is the draft outline of it.
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 16:14

I love newspaper readers, but please read carefully

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Some things never change, and the reality of collateral damage from news stories is one of them. Plus the fact…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 16:12

A thank you to local media

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By Greg Christopher • Guest Columnist This time of year, as many people are counting their blessings, they also realize…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 16:11

All one can do is keep fighting the good fight

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I don’t know about you, but I need a quiet place about now. I need to turn off the news…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 15:33

Full-time work, part-time pay

Harry S. Truman’s Secretary of State Dean Acheson said upon his return to private life, “I will undoubtedly have to seek what is happily known as gainful employment, which I am glad to say does not describe holding public office.”…
At just 22 years of age, Kevin Ensley became one of the youngest licensed land surveyors in the entire state after earning an associate’s degree in civil engineering from Asheville-Buncombe Technical College.
When Mark Jones first ran for a seat on the Jackson County Board of Commissioners in 2006, he was the general manager of High Hampton Inn and Country Club in Cashiers, a demanding and well-paid position. But when he won…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 15:28

Macon commissioners not there for money

Macon County Commissioner Ronnie Beale was pouring concrete on a job site when he was contacted about this story.
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 15:27

Swain commissioners give little thought to salary

“You know, I really can’t tell you what we get paid,” Swain County Commissioner David Monteith said when asked about his commissioner salary. “I’ve never done it for that purpose. To me, serving the people in the community is the…
Members of the Cherokee Tribal Council are hands-down the highest-paid local representatives in Western North Carolina, with other commissioner stipends paling in comparison to the $80,000-plus per year councilmembers receive as salary. 
A state program that’s set to lower Western Carolina University’s tuition to $500 per semester could have unintended consequences when it comes to the university’s summer programming. 
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 15:22

Laura Bush and friends visit Lake Junaluska

As fall visitors flocked to Western North Carolina in mid-October, Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center welcomed a distinguished visitor — former First Lady Laura Bush and a group of her childhood friends.
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 15:21

Swain County to implement emergency alert system

When the wildfires were threatening structures in Swain County a couple of weeks ago, first responders had to knock on more than 200 doors to alert residents that they needed to evacuate. 
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 15:19

Highlands hires Josh Ward as town manager

Last September, the town of Bryson City hired Highlands’ town planner Josh Ward to serve as it’s new town manager, but as of Jan. 3, Ward is returning to Highlands to replace retiring Town Manager Bob Frye.
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 15:17

Pickin’ Chicken

There are few things more American than fast food.  In the United States, fast food restaurants serve more than 50 million customers each day; on average, we each spend more than $100 a month on the salty, fatty fare and…
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 15:16

First indoor gun range to open in Haywood

When local businessman Jule Morrow proposed a gun shop and indoor firing range in the pastoral Francis Farm community last winter, not everyone was excited about it.
No one can accuse Canton town officials of not crossing their t’s and dotting their i’s.
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 15:13

Canton rewards brewery owner

Even before BearWaters Brewing announced its intentions to leave Waynesville for nearby Canton, the town has touted itself as Haywood County’s most desirable place in which to locate a business. 
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 15:12

Sanitary District policy upsets landlords

Several Haywood County landlords are questioning the legality of a new policy adopted by the Junaluska Sanitary District that will require them to co-sign on their tenants’ water service agreement.
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 15:10

Election do-over slated for 2017

Unless the U.S. Supreme Court steps in, some or all of North Carolina’s state senators and representatives will face re-election a year early, not even a year into their new terms. 
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 15:09

Two arrested for arson in Qualla wildfires

Two Cherokee men have been arrested in connection with wildfires set on the Qualla Boundary this fall. 
Wednesday, 14 December 2016 15:07

Two charged with starting Tennessee fires

Two juveniles have been arrested in Tennessee for allegedly starting the Chimney Tops 2 Fire, which ballooned to encompass more than 17,000 acres and led to the deaths of 14 people after hurricane-strength winds swept it through Gatlinburg and parts…
Approval of a 38-home subdivision in Cullowhee has served as a catalyst for the Jackson County Planning Board to revisit the county’s steep slope ordinance, a controversial piece of legislation that passed in 2015 after nearly three years of heartfelt…
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 17:08

We must remain vigilant on environment

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To the Editor: As President Obama’s impressive term winds down and the focus shifts to speculation about an uncertain, perhaps…
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 17:08

Media clueless to how it has killed itself

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To the Editor: The traditional news media (newspapers) have killed themselves through poor writing, a lack of balanced reporting, advocacy…
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 17:07

A small-town weekend packed with big meaning

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After three months of internal darkness and coping with grief, this past weekend offered some soothing reprieve. Over the years,…
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 17:04

Life in Gitmo was idyllic, but the danger was real

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Fidel Castro’s death should remind us that we are oftentimes more powerless and rudderless than our country’s leaders like to…
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 16:42

Granddaddy of ‘em all

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This year will mark the 117th annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count (CBC.) The CBC is the longest-lived and largest citizen-science…
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 16:39

State burn ban lifted

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Steady rains over the past week have caused the N.C. Forest Service to lift burning bans for 32 counties, including…
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 16:36

Bird the holidays away

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As December unfolds, birders across the globe will embark on a quest to tally as many birds and species as…
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 16:35

New species named for Fontana

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A new-to-science lichen species discovered in March 2016 has been named after Fontana Dam due to its discovery in the…
Over the course of thousands of years lived in the Southern Appalachian mountains, the Cherokee people had pretty well developed…
Wednesday, 07 December 2016 16:25

It’s OK sometimes to just take a dip

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Of course, we’re intended to read from cover to cover many books — novels, histories, biographies, and more. It would…
Novels written by a Western Carolina University professor and by his former student are among the 147 titles in the…
“I’m glad you’re here right now.” Standing in line at the Old Europe coffee shop in downtown Asheville, I said…