THE MILL VS THE HILL: Small town high school football in the rural South

Doug’s in Clyde is a typical manifestation of a stereotypical small-town barbershop in the rural American South.  Its wooden walls…
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Bullock murder case remains unsolved after 55 years

Ronnie Evans tries to remember his cousin as the beautiful and spunky woman pictured on the cover of his new…
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History through story: Cherokee storyteller seeks to preserve historical memory with filming project

Kathi Littlejohn can get lost in stories. Especially Cherokee stories. Their origins are often moored in worlds long past, but…
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Quilters celebrate 10 years of honoring veterans

Carlie Nichols has vivid memories of growing up during the Vietnam War — specifically she remembers how poorly Vietnam veterans were…
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Pay to play: recreation spending a burden for some small towns

Among the various spending categories in many municipal budgets — general government, public safety and the like — one can…
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A life that changed lives: WNC mourns death of WCU Chancellor David Belcher

From the moment Western Carolina University Chancellor David O. Belcher announced he’d been diagnosed with brain cancer — more than…
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Tibetan tour connects women across cultures

Standing on a mountaintop ascending above 10,000 feet — an ancient farming village in the valley below and a Buddhist…
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More Boy Scouts programming open to girls

Darrian Childers is quitting Boy Scouts after joining a local troop about three years ago when his family moved to…
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Teachers take to the streets: WNC teachers demand more money for public education

More than 20 school districts in the state of North Carolina had to shut down as more than 15,000 teachers…
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Growing the greens: Agritourism flourishes in Western North Carolina

For generations, American farmers have plowed the fields, milked the cows and slopped the hogs to the seasonal rhythms of…
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A firm foundation: SCC graduates 100th class of future National Park Service officers

It’s been a full morning on top of a full week, and I’m tired when I file into the fluorescent-lighted…
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#MeToo: Shedding the stigma around sexual assault

Five years ago, Haywood County resident Janelle Smith was working late when a much older male colleague she’d thought of…
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Tribal transparency on shaky ground after media ban

Allegations made by a member of Cherokee Tribal Council against a Smoky Mountain News reporter have resulted in a ban…
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Can Canton’s Colonial come back?

Many Fridays a small group of longtime Canton residents meet up informally at the town’s historical museum on Park Street…
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Loud and clear: Local radio rejuvenated

In almost every living American resides at least one sepia-toned memory embellished with song — that perpetual score to a…
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A beer by any other name: Brewery’s naming choices cause protest in Cherokee

Over the past decade or so, the craft beer explosion has ricocheted throughout Western North Carolina, bouncing through the valleys…
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Officials considering armed volunteers for schools

Columbine, Sandy Hook, Stoneman Douglas — those names ring out like the bullets that once flew through their hallways, stark…
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Finding civility in a polarized society

Globalization has made our big world seem much smaller, but it’s also pushed us farther away from one another.  Instead…
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Student threats taken seriously after Parkland shooting

The latest mass shooting on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has spurred a number…
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Making the Grade: Garrett leaves a legacy of learning

As someone who’s spent 13 years as a school superintendent and four decades as a teacher and administrator fostering the…
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Unseating Mark Meadows

Asheville Republican Congressman Mark Meadows’ extreme partisanship, attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and hypocritical fiscal responsibility make him…
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Duke customers: ‘Pay for your own mistakes’

Western North Carolina residents recently made it clear they do not support Duke Energy Progress’s request for a 15 percent…
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Minor parties seek NC ballot access

Disillusionment with the two-party American political system has been around for a long time, but with a polarizing President in…
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Deep freeze: Frozen waterfalls offer rare winter spectacle

It was cold, but I was prepared. Leggings and Underarmour, sweatpants and sweatshirt, parka and hiking pants, an array of…
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Following in the footfalls: Canton’s new mayor takes the reins

One of Zeb Smathers’ earliest memories is sitting in the cereal aisle of his grandfather’s downtown Canton grocery store, which…
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2017: Year in review

Before we ring in the New Year, The Smoky Mountain News likes to look back and reflect on the last…
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Tourists taste Maggie Valley as season grows ever longer

For all of its bluster and bikers and bling in the summertime, Maggie Valley can be one sleepy little town…
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Macon League of Women Voters disbands: Members reflect on 27 years of work toward a well-informed community

An aging membership, the inability to recruit younger members, a lack of civic engagement and a shift away from nonpartisanship…
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Homeless in Haywood for the holidays

I don’t really want to go into the domestic circumstances that led up to it, but even though I had…
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New book chronicles African American history in WNC

An oral history project documenting African American history in the far western reaches of North Carolina is now a book,…
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A decade in, Balsam Range stands atop WNC music

I’ve lived in Haywood County 1,931 days. It’s also the exact number of days I’ve known Balsam Range. Within the…
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BCBS patients leave Mission after contract lapse

It’s been a month since Mission Health’s contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina expired, leaving thousands of…
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Leading by example: WCU chancellor, wife give $1.23 million for scholarships, reflect on Catamount identity

Through careers as students, teachers and administrators, David and Susan Belcher have marked the milestones of their lives in college…
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Women in Business 2017

Women owning their own businesses is nothing new, and in fact North Carolina is among the nation’s leaders in this…
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Swain parents want more from recreation center

Several parents made it clear during a recent Swain County commissioners meeting they want to have more recreational opportunities for…
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WNC falls into October

Amid the innumerable reasons why we love Western North Carolina, the fall foliage of October might be the one key…
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Tourism, trade could grow with WNC railroad renaissance

Long before the Oct. 3, 1880, arrival of the first scheduled train in Asheville, the American railroad has been romanticized…
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Of gods and governments: Brunch ordinance latest conflict between church, state

The inherent paradox in American government is that a nation founded upon Christian values by Christians provides for the separation…
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Political climate makes future uncertain for aspiring dentist, DACA recipient

At 21, Teresa Luna holds two associate’s degrees, a freshly minted diploma in dental assisting from AB Tech and dreams…
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‘Trickle-up’: The grassroots greening of government

The proposition is simple — establish a transition from fossil fuels to 100 percent clean energy by 2050 or face…
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Living Well: A look at health and fitness in WNC

• Creason reflects on 40 years as Jackson's swim teacher• Bodybuilders take natural approach to health, strength• Moss pushes the…
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A monumental issue

Lost in the ugliness of the recent Charlottesville violence is the fact that the demonstration was originally centered around the…
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WNC welcomes ‘The Great American Solar Eclipse’

On Monday, Aug. 21, Western North Carolina residents and visitors will have the chance to see a rare total solar eclipse.…
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Knowing your neighbors: Vecinos health program is a bridge between migrant workers and the outside community

Whittier has been home to Elda Chafoya DePaz and her three children for less than a year, but it’s not…
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The letter and the spirit: Local governments wrestle with prayer

Public prayer in government has long been a contentious issue, but a recent court ruling has North Carolina municipalities scrambling…
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Fatal Attraction: Herculean rescue effort at Yellowstone Falls highlights dangers of waterfall play

The 911 call, coming from a gorge cut high in the Balsam Mountains, was nearly unintelligible. When the connection ended…
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Community spirits: First craft distillery opens in Maggie Valley

Dave Angel hasn’t wasted any time becoming part of the Maggie Valley community and in return, they’ve welcomed Haywood County’s…
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State tries to curb indigent defense expenses

Court-appointed lawyers are the crux of the U.S justice system because it is their duty to ensure every U.S. citizen…
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Celebrate Independence Day

Many generations of families look forward to the Fourth of July festivities at Lake Junaluska every year, and this year’s…
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Moving the needle: Cashiers organizes to combat workforce development challenges

Spring can be a scramble at the High Hampton Inn and Country Club in Cashiers. Every year, after a long…
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