Tribal council takes the wrong stand on openness
 

Tribal council takes the wrong stand on openness

The Tribal Council kicked us out again. Holly Kays, a reporter for The Smoky Mountain News, was told on July…
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The Confederate flag flap: Rapid policy change? yes; rapid shift in public opinion? no
 

The Confederate flag flap: Rapid policy change? yes; rapid shift in public opinion? no

By Gibbs Knotts & Chris Cooper A longstanding social science finding holds that collective public opinion is fairly sticky on…
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Folkmoot is about more than dancing, watching
 

Folkmoot is about more than dancing, watching

By Hannah McLeod • Guest Columnist We all have those memories that lurk in the back of our brain, the hazy,…
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State should leave well enough alone at the local level
 

State should leave well enough alone at the local level

The North Carolina Senate has become emboldened in its partisanship over the last couple of years, and there appears to…
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A story all about good people doing good things
 

A story all about good people doing good things

I should get over being astounded by the way the world works. And I’m talking about the good stuff, not…
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Symbols matter, and so does removing them
 

Symbols matter, and so does removing them

Complicated. Ignorant. Entrenched. It’s easy to come up with words to describe the state of race relations in this country…
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One split-second separates heroism from its alternative
 

One split-second separates heroism from its alternative

I remember someone once telling me that all the seemingly trivial, decidedly unimportant choices you make every day prepare you…
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Making the case for my future career
 

Making the case for my future career

By the time I was in the fifth grade, I knew I wanted to grow up to be a lawyer.…
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Reflections on ‘Sweet 16’ and the future
 

Reflections on ‘Sweet 16’ and the future

What’s your dream job? Recent college graduates are perhaps honing in on the difficult task of searching for a satisfying…
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Finding a balance in Frog Level won’t be easy
 

Finding a balance in Frog Level won’t be easy

I don’t know if it reaches the magnitude of a moral dilemma, but I feel for the Frog Level merchants…
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Out of the headlines, but not out of the woods
 

Out of the headlines, but not out of the woods

The rioting in Baltimore has settled down and we haven’t heard much out of Ferguson, Missouri, recently. The uproar and…
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In WNC, economic development is a different game
 

In WNC, economic development is a different game

He was tall, maybe 6 feet 8 inches or taller, and was standing at an intersection studying a map. My…
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The longer it lasts, the more meaningful it becomes
 

The longer it lasts, the more meaningful it becomes

Dozing in and out of sleep on the flight home from Leon, Nicaragua, I was thinking about circles. More to…
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The kids cope with Lucy the tomcat’s gender crisis
 

The kids cope with Lucy the tomcat’s gender crisis

Sixth grade was not so kind to my daughter. She did better than she expected on the social part —…
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Foy ranks among Waynesville’s most respected leaders
 

Foy ranks among Waynesville’s most respected leaders

“You bet I’m happy. I feel this was only right. My goal is to improve Waynesville and set it apart…
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Pseudo police force would lead to bigger problems
 

Pseudo police force would lead to bigger problems

Nothing would reflect better on this country than to have a rational, reasoned debate on gun violence and what steps…
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Living in fear is no way to live at all
 

Living in fear is no way to live at all

“Many of us are not living our dreams because we are living in fear.” Not sure where I came across…
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A son grows up, a father faces the future
 

A son grows up, a father faces the future

My cousin has always been an inspiration. Wilton Collins Jones Jr. — he’s always been called “Corky” — is one…
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New leaders of Haywood GOP must prove their mettle
 

New leaders of Haywood GOP must prove their mettle

Turning and turning in the widening gyreThe falcon cannot hear the falconer;Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;Mere anarchy is…
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It just couldn’t get any better for young Hornets fan
 

It just couldn’t get any better for young Hornets fan

Over the past few months, my 10-year-old son, Jack, has developed an insatiable appetite for all things basketball. We spend…
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All information is not created equally
 

All information is not created equally

Google is a wonderful thing, but it sometimes makes things harder for journalists. That’s why a new emphasis on transparency…
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The delicious taste of the wait is disappearing
 

The delicious taste of the wait is disappearing

It must have been 20 years or more since I heard a futurist telling a skeptical crowd the extent to…
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Time for universal, free pre-K is long overdue
 

Time for universal, free pre-K is long overdue

“… the long-term benefits of a high-quality pre-K program can be substantial. These include higher high school graduation rates, lower…
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For some, facts just don’t matter
 

For some, facts just don’t matter

“It is an Internet Age paradox: We have more information than ever before and yet, seem to know less. Indeed,…
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Too much of a good thing can be dangerous
 

Too much of a good thing can be dangerous

I wish those planning to open a new charter school in Haywood County the best. Their intentions are completely honorable.…
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Pardon the explanation, but I can’t help myself
 

Pardon the explanation, but I can’t help myself

I am living the days I have dreamed of all my life. “One day,” I said, somewhere ages and ages…
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Surely there is a solution for noise dispute
 

Surely there is a solution for noise dispute

Here’s hoping No Name Sports Pub and the town of Sylva can work out their differences on noise so that…
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School boards need to fight the good fight
 

School boards need to fight the good fight

The Haywood County School Board narrowly voted (5 to 4, with Chairman Chuck Francis breaking a tie) to contribute money…
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Going ‘all in’ on free speech takes backbone
 

Going ‘all in’ on free speech takes backbone

I watched world leaders with arms linked lead a march of about 1.5 million people in Paris to commemorate the…
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Time to break the holiday laws of inertia
 

Time to break the holiday laws of inertia

Two miserable characters — the larger one in a terry cloth bathrobe and fleece pajama bottoms, the smaller one in…
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The only lesson may be that there is no lesson
 

The only lesson may be that there is no lesson

One of my wife’s childhood friends lives near Wilmington. Her daughter, a senior at Appalachian State, died last week in…
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Board games – most of the time – are a fun holiday tradition
 

Board games – most of the time – are a fun holiday tradition

We’re all at home, on vacation at last. Ella Fitzgerald is wishing us a swinging Christmas, as she does every…
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This is no time to devalue our wild heritage
 

This is no time to devalue our wild heritage

By Bill McLarney • Guest Columnist We humans are highly skilled and devilishly clever. We can create ball fields, schools,…
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Hard to believe that it has been 14 years
 

Hard to believe that it has been 14 years

I am in my office between classes, eating egg drop soup out of a little plastic container with a white…
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The meaningful moments that make memories
 

The meaningful moments that make memories

Moments, mostly the ones unplanned, are the stuff of important and lasting life memories.  We had a great Thanksgiving day…
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Sorry, I don’t buy meat out of the back of a truck
 

Sorry, I don’t buy meat out of the back of a truck

I cannot take a nap, at least not on purpose. Whenever I try, I twist and turn as if my…
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Obama poised to give the GOP the finger
 

Obama poised to give the GOP the finger

Just as President Obama seems poised to sign an executive order preventing the deportation of up to 5 million illegal…
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Trade you an itchy shirt for a little shiver
 

Trade you an itchy shirt for a little shiver

We called it “in-between weather,” too warm for a coat, too chilly for short sleeves. Back then, just about every…
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Give Cullowhee a chance to fulfill potential
 

Give Cullowhee a chance to fulfill potential

Cullowhee rising. Sounds like a fitting name for some aspiring college band, but it best describes what’s happening at Western…
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‘Remember, the flying itself is the thing’
 

‘Remember, the flying itself is the thing’

It is a fine day for a cookout, this Father’s Day. It is hot enough that most of the younger…
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No, school board race is not about our children’s ‘souls’
 

No, school board race is not about our children’s ‘souls’

Getting an education is about reducing ignorance. Whether it’s in a rural second-grade classroom or at one of this nation’s…
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I’ve had enough of Donnie Earl Dipstick at 5 a.m.!
 

I’ve had enough of Donnie Earl Dipstick at 5 a.m.!

Though I will wear one sometimes as a “fashion statement,” on most days I do not wear a watch. I…
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Celebrate community, support local (newspapers)
 

Celebrate community, support local (newspapers)

When National Newspaper Week (Oct. 5-11) was started 74 years ago, there wasn’t much competition for newspapers. If you didn’t…
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Burning the couch and chair, now that’s practical
 

Burning the couch and chair, now that’s practical

Tammy is out in the yard burning the couch. There is no telling where this will end. All by herself,…
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Webster wants to keep post office open
 

Webster wants to keep post office open

To the Editor: The letter from Mark Jamison of Webster that’s published in your most recent edition (“What does Webster…
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There’s cool ... and then there’s Glenda cool
 

There’s cool ... and then there’s Glenda cool

Her name was Glenda. She was a senior and one of the more popular girls in school, a volleyball star…
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Beer town bragging rights go west of Asheville
 

Beer town bragging rights go west of Asheville

I heard about this story from the Facebook crowd, so I imagine some of you have already read it. There…
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The chronic complainers will never change
 

The chronic complainers will never change

Some people complain all the time, about everything. They complain about the weather, the price of gasoline, their neglectful friends,…
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When should government help private industry?
 

When should government help private industry?

“Government’s job is NOT to fund private industry!” “Shouldn’t the mill pay to keep themselves up to par as far…
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Kindness can make difference between ‘waving’ and ‘drowning’
 

Kindness can make difference between ‘waving’ and ‘drowning’

The reason that the death of Robin Williams seemed so particularly shocking, so cruel, even so personal, very nearly like…
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