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When it comes to HB2, our state’s Republican leadership will eventually prove to be on the wrong side of history.…
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 16:31

True patriotism comes in many colors

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We drove through the small town of Clyde on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 11, right in the midst of the commemoration…
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 16:41

A hint of autumn, a sense of pride

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When we got out of the car on Sunday at the parking area in Jackson County at the end of…
Wednesday, 31 August 2016 15:10

We must deal with affordable housing problems

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If you don’t think there is an affordable housing problem in the mountain region, you’re just not paying attention. In…
Wednesday, 24 August 2016 15:11

Supporting transparency is never a bad move

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Let’s be completely honest: the Haywood County School Board’s long-time practice of recording its work sessions makes it one of…
North Carolinians can debate whether a few of the controversial laws enacted by the Republican-led North Carolina General Assembly and…
When the back-to-back national political conventions finally ended, it was like a benevolent deity had provided a merciful pardon, finally…
When Christopher Holt contacted me in March about a trip he was about to embark on to Cuba, I was…
Wednesday, 27 July 2016 18:00

School closing lawsuit should move forward

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I hope the lawsuit by Mark Melrose against the Haywood County School System has its day in court, and was…
Wednesday, 20 July 2016 15:53

So this is who we are, and I didn’t see it

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Amidst a raucous crowd of nearly 600 runners — and probably just as many spectators — a couple of Saturday…
Wednesday, 13 July 2016 15:51

New tuition plan holds great promise for NC

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Tuition just got significantly cheaper at Western Carolina University, and as long as the legislature keeps its promises to fill…
By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist Most of Europe’s aristocracy didn’t think the infant United States would last a decade, and…
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 01:56

In praise of passionate, civic-minded teachers

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As they say, the devil is in the details, and in this case the details are simply ridiculous. A bill…
Wednesday, 22 June 2016 15:40

Even today, our republic is on shaky ground

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 “What really shaped me was doing all of those community programs and talks, where you could really make a connection…
Wednesday, 15 June 2016 16:07

Trying to make sense of Orlando

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I don’t know what to tell my children, so I don’t tell them anything. Not yet anyway. It is the…
Wednesday, 08 June 2016 16:43

If this were the wild, he would already be gone

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When next week’s edition of The Smoky Mountain News hits the streets Wednesday, June 15, my youngest will be a…
Over this past Memorial Day weekend I found myself reading essays and columns about freedom, about military men and women…
Wednesday, 25 May 2016 15:47

Trying times for school leaders in Haywood

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Haywood County Schools has been a part of my life for 24 years now — as a journalist, the husband…
The last couple of years have brought a sea change in attitudes about marijuana. I’m convinced pot will be legal…
I’ve been observing something for years — though recently it has snowballed  — and it has always struck me as…
It’s not the 1960s in terms of political activism, but recent episodes at Western Carolina University and across the country…
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 15:23

Rep. Queen critical of GOP’s leadership, methods

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“I feel like a one-legged man at an ass kicking. They don’t care for me because I call them out.…
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 16:23

New charters stir emotions, but time is a healer

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When we reported that Mountain Discovery Charter School and Swain County commissioners were working together to hopefully build a gymnasium,…
Wednesday, 13 April 2016 15:18

Help build a community that fights child abuse

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By Julie Schroer • Guest Columnist As April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, I want you to hang in…
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 15:50

Community involvement is the key

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To the Editor: I won’t be voting for Michele Presnell, but it seems silly for this newspaper and local elected…
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 14:54

The arts thrive only if we support them

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“The arts are so incredibly vital to a quality of life, smart business and the health of a community. The…
Wednesday, 23 March 2016 15:10

Let’s get the ‘dump Presnell’ train rolling

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Let the campaign to unseat Rep. Michele Presnell begin. During her two terms in office Presnell has been an obstructionist…
Wednesday, 16 March 2016 14:46

Maggie Valley should make town center happen

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When small towns think and act big, amazing things can happen. Anyone who has traveled has come across communities that…
Wednesday, 09 March 2016 15:41

Trump is leading somewhere I just won’t go

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With the North Carolina primary election just days away on March 15, Donald Trump continues his march toward the Republican…
Sometimes I forget why I love it so much. The truth is that newspaper work is partly satisfying, partly frustrating.…
Wednesday, 24 February 2016 17:14

Apple or Uncle Sam? I don’t like my choices

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Who you going to trust, Apple or Uncle Sam? By deciding not to obey a court order to unlock the…
Wednesday, 17 February 2016 16:31

No reason to believe N.C. will fix redistricting mess

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Maybe North Carolina will be a shining star of a state working to resolve petty partisanship, and maybe it won’t. …
Wednesday, 10 February 2016 16:14

Bottom line: State needs to do more for public schools

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It’s a fundamental question and voters will be the ultimate arbiters: is North Carolina spending adequately on education? The short…
Wednesday, 03 February 2016 16:46

Let’s ease off the throttle on Central closing

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By John Sanderson • Guest Columnist I have hesitated to make a comment about this issue, because I know personally…
Wednesday, 20 January 2016 16:57

Voters will ultimately decide if firing was a mistake

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Former county commissioner, mayor and longtime Haywood County political player/observer Mary Ann Enloe was dead on in her column last…
Wednesday, 13 January 2016 17:08

It’s a great plan, just work on the free throws

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I was in my early twenties before I knew what I wanted to do with my life. My son, Jack,…
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 16:57

And the 2015 award winners are ...

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The idea to start handing out annual spoof awards instead of the traditional year-in-review that most newspapers do was the…
Wednesday, 30 December 2015 16:57

Haywood just not prepared for growth

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If there was ever a time in recent memory when Haywood County leaders and its citizens need reminding that they…
Wednesday, 23 December 2015 16:08

I swear, it’s really much ado about nothing

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Sometimes in the world of journalism, the story becomes more about the reaction than the original news event. By my…
Wednesday, 16 December 2015 16:13

It’s really OK to just let kids be kids

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“OK, everybody, huddle up, huddle up!” But nobody really seems to want to huddle up. Our point guard is standing…
I’m not running for office and never will, but as a citizen of Haywood County and Western North Carolina and…
Wednesday, 02 December 2015 16:01

Investing in what’s best about WNC

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While I was living in Elizabethtown in southeastern North Carolina in 1988, Walmart opened a brand-new store. Most everyone was…
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 16:13

A banquet table of issues, one bite at a time

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So much going on locally and around the world that it’s just a tough week to bear down on a…
Wednesday, 18 November 2015 16:09

If it’s good vs. evil, only one outcome is tenable

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When terrorism strikes like it did this weekend in Paris, the first reaction to the horror is shock from the…
Wednesday, 11 November 2015 15:50

In the end, Haywood leaders make the right call

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Hindsight is indeed 20-20, and this time Haywood County commissioners very likely saw things exactly as they should have. The…
Wednesday, 04 November 2015 16:05

Pisgah High Millennials ready to voice their opinions

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Somewhere at this very moment, a political science major is writing a dissertation on why young people these days are…
Jackson County commissioners are going to pass a smart steep slope ordinance that will help as this region shakes off…
Wednesday, 21 October 2015 15:16

Waynesville needs Mayor Gavin Brown back in office

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I sincerely hope Waynesville citizens support Mayor Gavin Brown for reelection. Municipal elections carry more import than most people realize.…
Wednesday, 14 October 2015 16:01

In search of the uplifting and the ephemeral

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“At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless; Neither from nor towards; at the still point,…
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