1882 Cowee Tunnel disaster comes into 21st century spotlight
 

1882 Cowee Tunnel disaster comes into 21st century spotlight

Charged with stealing, 15-year-old Charles Eason was sentenced to work on a prison chain gang. It was 1882, and the…
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Haywood soda company aims to change palettes
 

Haywood soda company aims to change palettes

Haywood County just got a little sweeter. Specializing in “handcrafted, locally produced, artisan beverages,” Waynesville Soda Jerks is a new…
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Battle over degrees at WCU could heat up
 

Battle over degrees at WCU could heat up

Western Carolina University is grappling with whether to cut unpopular or obsolete majors, posing a conundrum as it and other…
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Maggie’s Achilles’ Heel: lack of curb appeal
 

Maggie’s Achilles’ Heel: lack of curb appeal

Maggie Valley’s slow and steady decline as a tourist destination comes down to aesthetics, a consultant hired to assess Maggie…
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WNC duo star on reality TV show
 

WNC duo star on reality TV show

Lights, camera … Haywood County?  During the past two years, a local reality show has become a phenomenon that’s being broadcast…
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Landslide protocol: a muddied affair
 

Landslide protocol: a muddied affair

The tragic death of a railroad worker investigating a fresh landslide along a rail line last week highlighted the hidden,…
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More hellos than goodbyes: Topography forces cell phone companies to weigh cost-benefit of erecting new towers
 

More hellos than goodbyes: Topography forces cell phone companies to weigh cost-benefit of erecting new towers

As long as Realtor Sammie Powell leans back in his chair in his home office, he can talk on his…
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Libraries brace for hit: Libraries play offense over state budget cuts
 

Libraries brace for hit: Libraries play offense over state budget cuts

For years, state funding for libraries has been on the decline. But librarians in Western North Carolina are not taking…
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Trial by dirt
 

Trial by dirt

While sunlight, water and good soil may seem a simple enough equation for getting a plant from seed to fruit,…
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Prescription drug scourge claiming dozens of lives in Haywood
 

Prescription drug scourge claiming dozens of lives in Haywood

The numbers are unforgiving. One in three unexpected deaths in Haywood County are likely prescription drug overdoses. This year alone,…
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What makes you stay: Survey evaluates faculty experience at WCU
 

What makes you stay: Survey evaluates faculty experience at WCU

Every three years, Western Carolina University gets a report card. It does not prescribe the university an A, B, C…
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Can the digital age save the Cherokee language? The halls of Facebook, Google and texting
 

Can the digital age save the Cherokee language? The halls of Facebook, Google and texting

Susan Gathers was kicked back in the student union one afternoon, her thumbs poised over her smart phone, simultaneously bantering…
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Muddy waters: WNC feels the blues following unrelenting rainstorms
 

Muddy waters: WNC feels the blues following unrelenting rainstorms

A four-day stretch of heavy rains fell on Western North Carolina, leaving residents wondering if it would ever end. Some…
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Schools weigh cost of increased safety
 

Schools weigh cost of increased safety

Officer Michael Harrison has confiscated everything from buck knives and Airsoft pistols from students at Swain High — but never…
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Changing the rules: Jackson re-writing development standards amid new economic realities
 

Changing the rules: Jackson re-writing development standards amid new economic realities

By Becky Johnson & Andrew Kasper • Staff Writers For two years now, Jackson County’s planning board has systematically combed…
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2012: The year in review
 

2012: The year in review

The Smoky Mountain News takes note this week of some of the newsmakers of 2012 by handing out our annual…
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Home for the holidays: Christmas at Broyhill Children’s Home brings happiness to all
 

Home for the holidays: Christmas at Broyhill Children’s Home brings happiness to all

The most wonderful time of the year — it’s a line is engrained in us all. But nobody embraces and…
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Economic indicators show WNC’s pump is primed but still waiting to flow
 

Economic indicators show WNC’s pump is primed but still waiting to flow

More doom and gloom or a light at the end of the tunnel? For five years, the nation has waited…
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Downtown discord prompts call for renewed collaboration
 

Downtown discord prompts call for renewed collaboration

Both sides in a downtown Franklin dispute have pledged to work together after publicly locking horns in recent weeks. “It…
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Struggle to afford heating costs hits new ­high
 

Struggle to afford heating costs hits new ­high

It looked like any wood yard, piles of tree trunks in various stages of processing: long logs still bearing their…
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Vying for foot traffic: The Holy Grail of downtown commerce
 

Vying for foot traffic: The Holy Grail of downtown commerce

Try scaring up a parking space, hunting down an empty bench or pushing a double-stroller along the crowded sidewalks on…
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WCU lines up against the Crimson Tide, for good or ill
 

WCU lines up against the Crimson Tide, for good or ill

Down by six touchdowns to the University of Alabama at halftime, Western Carolina University head coach Mark Speir never gave…
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Internet exploits: All-day Wi-Fi users a problem for some coffee shops
 

Internet exploits: All-day Wi-Fi users a problem for some coffee shops

Nowadays, coffee and wireless Internet go hand-in-hand; you can’t really have one without the other. It is an expected amenity…
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WCU eyes long-term infrastructure needs
 

WCU eyes long-term infrastructure needs

Plans made in the coming months could set the tone for the following decade or two of construction, renovation and…
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WNC voters step to the plate
 

WNC voters step to the plate

Temperatures dropped on Election Day, with high elevation snowflakes and low-lying raindrops greeting voters around Western North Carolina, making for…
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Money, flyers steal the show in Davis-Snow rematch
 

Money, flyers steal the show in Davis-Snow rematch

John Snow dreads his daily trip to the post office these days. It’s just two blocks from his home outside…
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‘Last of the Main Street merchants’ Hometown department store owner calls it quits at 93
 

‘Last of the Main Street merchants’ Hometown department store owner calls it quits at 93

His name is James C. Jacobs. His friends call him J.C., “but not like Penney,” he insists. For more than…
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Oh, what a tangled web endorsements weave: Candidates head toward election armed with backings of special interest groups
 

Oh, what a tangled web endorsements weave: Candidates head toward election armed with backings of special interest groups

With hundreds of special interest groups and clubs issuing candidate endorsements each election cycle, it can be difficult to keep…
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Fate of early childhood programs could rest with next legislature
 

Fate of early childhood programs could rest with next legislature

Armed with a stack of folded construction paper, Charlotte Rogers ushered a four-year-old child to sit down at a pint-sized…
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Exploding waterfowl population prompts feeding ban at Lake Junaluska
 

Exploding waterfowl population prompts feeding ban at Lake Junaluska

As the first chunk of bread was tossed in the air, a swarm of ducks and geese at Lake Junaluska…
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As campaign season hits full stride, party loyals double down to turn out the vote
 

As campaign season hits full stride, party loyals double down to turn out the vote

Sporting a red Obama hat, a matching “Change Rocks” t-shirt and a “Barack Obama 2012” button, Ron Frendreis approached the…
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Some banks still struggling to pick up the pieces
 

Some banks still struggling to pick up the pieces

The view from Roger Plemens office is hard to beat. Bay windows serve up a bird’s eye view of the…
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Uncovering the past: UT project lets Cherokee students discover their ancestors
 

Uncovering the past: UT project lets Cherokee students discover their ancestors

By Paul Clark • Contributor Long caravans of traffic streamed into Cherokee on U.S. 441 recently, but relatively few passengers…
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How Galloway’s guiding hand set the stage for Waynesville’s success
 

How Galloway’s guiding hand set the stage for Waynesville’s success

To some, it might seem like luck. But Waynesville’s rise as one of the state’s preeminent small towns has been…
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Folkmoot’s financial struggles may re-define festival
 

Folkmoot’s financial struggles may re-define festival

The popular Folkmoot international festival will become a shadow of its current self in 2014 if its financial outlook doesn’t…
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49-year-old murder continues to raise questions, speculation
 

49-year-old murder continues to raise questions, speculation

Seventy-year old Ronnie Evans, a retired engineer with UNC-TV who lives in Franklin, seems an unlikely homicide investigator.
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State pledges to clamp down on improper activity at Haywood DOT
 

State pledges to clamp down on improper activity at Haywood DOT

Waste, favoritism and possible fraud and corruption by state highway workers in Haywood County enriched a local contractor and cost…
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All hands on deck: live gaming approved by state
 

All hands on deck: live gaming approved by state

After nearly a decade of negotiations and broken promises, the state finally approved an agreement that allows table games with…
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With a nose for trouble, K9s are put on trial
 

With a nose for trouble, K9s are put on trial

By Paul Clark • Contributor • Norris Bunch called his dog Maxo to attention. Maxo, alert and ready, waited for…
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Walking on water: Aura of greatness takes root at NOC
 

Walking on water: Aura of greatness takes root at NOC

When Nantahala Outdoor Center burst onto the whitewater scene 40 years ago, it became ground zero for a new world…
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Horace Holden’s ‘hunch’ pays off
 

Horace Holden’s ‘hunch’ pays off

Horace Holden remembers the deal like it was yesterday. He set out from Atlanta with a few blank checks in…
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Launching a legacy: Nantahala Outdoor Center ascends from  a meager outpost to  river prodigy
 

Launching a legacy: Nantahala Outdoor Center ascends from a meager outpost to river prodigy

When Payson and Aurelia Kennedy quit their jobs in Atlanta, cashed out their retirement, packed up their four children and…
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Cherokee gathering casts light on generational trauma
 

Cherokee gathering casts light on generational trauma

When the microphone opened up to the crowd, Laura Stout felt compelled to say her piece. She raised her hand,…
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Appalachian born and bred: Downtown Waynesville, Haywood Tourism both launch locally made campaigns
 

Appalachian born and bred: Downtown Waynesville, Haywood Tourism both launch locally made campaigns

The Jackson County farmers market had three or four vendors who regularly showed up each week to sell their homegrown…
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Emergency workers learn to jump hurdles to gain entrance to gated communities
 

Emergency workers learn to jump hurdles to gain entrance to gated communities

As an aggressive spring thunderstorm brewed over Waynesville this March, causing power outages around town, Erika Stansbury received a frantic…
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Readers get creative and submit their own slogans
 

Readers get creative and submit their own slogans

Thanks to our dear Smoky Mountain News readers, some excellent ideas for slogans poured in through our Facebook site over…
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What’s in a name? Image is everything when it comes to slogans
 

What’s in a name? Image is everything when it comes to slogans

Tee Coker and his company recently learned firsthand something they probably already suspected about creating brands and taglines for towns.…
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Carolinas affiliation catalyst for docs’ departure
 

Carolinas affiliation catalyst for docs’ departure

When the Med-West venture was coined two years ago, the premise was an easy sell. Together the hospitals would be…
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Cherokee voters say ‘no’ to beer, wine and liquor sales
 

Cherokee voters say ‘no’ to beer, wine and liquor sales

The Cherokee Reservation will remain dry, keeping in place the historic ban on alcohol sales, following Thursday’s election on the…
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NOC forges ahead with new ownership team
 

NOC forges ahead with new ownership team

A group of new owners has taken the reins of Nantahala Outdoor Center, a generational milestone for the outfitter that…
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