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Some people complain all the time, about everything. They complain about the weather, the price of gasoline, their neglectful friends,…

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

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By Doug Wingeier • Columnist Based on actual events, the movie “The Railway Man” tells the story of how British…

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EDISTO ISLAND, S.C. – My daughter has ordered an elaborate omelet, with spinach and cheese and who knows what else,…

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Most anyone who has worked for a living, volunteered, or held elected office has stood at the edge of the…

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There are movies that I simply cannot turn off once I stumble into them when I am switching channels, which…

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“Absolutely ridiculous.” Those are the words of Rep. Joe Sam Queen, D-Waynesville, to describe the actions of Rep. Michelle Presnell,…

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By Martin A. Dyckman • Guest Columnist Although Kansas is among the reddest of red states, its Republican governor, Sam Brownback,…

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True story. My wife Lori and I were enjoying a delicious, refreshing IPA at the Wedge Brewery on Sunday afternoon,…

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By Kathy Ross • Guest Columnist In the last few weeks, I’ve been stuck between speaking my mind and doing what…

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By Doug Wingeier • Columnist A group calling ourselves “Neighbors for Peace” have been holding a peace vigil in front…

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By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist Occasions such as Memorial Day and the D-Day anniversary remind us of the fallen…

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The kids and I are in this strange new bonding phase of our relationship. For years, they displayed not the…

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The rapid pace of change these days often leaves many of us feeling helpless in its wake. Things change, then…

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For school systems in relatively poor, rural areas where resources are scarce and student achievement is low, there’s no magic…

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I think Jack Debnam was wise to delay action on the rewrite of the Jackson County steep slope rules until…

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Friday afternoon on the deck. The kids are home from school, and the three of us are enjoying another beautiful…

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By Doug Wingeier • Columnist Good news! General Mills has recently announced that — in response to consumer pressure —…

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By Mark Swanger • Guest Columnist Regardless of their magnitude, all disasters — natural or man-made — are local events and…

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Words sometimes change meaning. It may take a few years, but it happens, and it especially happens in politics. A…

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By Doug Wingeier • Columnist For some years now I have been promoting fair trade products as a means of…

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Some teacher a long time ago explained to my class of intro to political science undergrads the difference between a…

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By Doug Wingeier • Columnist Recently my wife and I attended the showing of a documentary film on animal rights.…

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By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist Even authoritarian regimes like Russia’s pretend to respect the right to vote. The contrast with…

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“The less you know, the more you believe.” – Bono Quality journalism is a powerful force. I’ve been fortunate to…

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By Clark Lipkin • Guest Columnist I am the vice chairman of the Jackson County Planning Board. I presided over…

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If someone had told me 30 years ago that someday I’d be sentimental about a Shoney’s restaurant closing down, I…

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By Doug Wingeier • Columnist As I write this, I have just returned from a tiring but exhilarating day participating in the Moral…

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The Smoky Mountain News published an excellent analysis of the controversy centered on the current legislation called the “Opportunity Scholarship…

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By Doug Wingeier • Columnist Debate is picking up these days on help for the unemployed and low-wage workers. Congress is…

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The ramifications of one particularly disturbing directive passed in the last session of the General Assembly is unfolding right now…

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Doug Wingeier • Columnist My oh my! Looks like the long arm of Israeli surveillance has reached out to us…

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In numerous newspapers in late November 2013, it was reported that six U.S. Forest Service (USFS) employees from Western North…

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Each new year brings out the list-makers, pundits and critics who catalogue everything from the year’s best movies, books, and…

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Doug Wingeier • Columnist Some years back I spent the Christmas season in the Land of the Holy One. (It is…

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John Beckman • Columnist The discussions and debates regarding health care on both the local and national levels have been going…

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I was trying to sell myself to my prospective new boss, Scott McLeod. I may not know anyone in the…

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We are now — officially — barreling into the holidays. Thanksgiving is already a fading, drowsy memory of turkey carcasses…

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By Doug Wingeier • Columnist In early October we spent two weeks in our 150-year-old log cabin situated on a corner…

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We had talked about going to Disney World for so long that it had become an abstraction, so distant and…

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I’ve heard all the speeches and read all the legislative fantasies, and I’m still not satisfied with what I’ve heard…

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By Dawn Gilchrist-Young • Guest Columnist If I could create for you an apt metaphor for public education, it would…

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I am writing this in my classroom on a Friday evening in the hours of quiet before the kickoff for…

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By Sarah Kucharski • Columnist The government shutdown went into effect on the first night I arrived in Yosemite National…

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By John Beckman • Guest Columnist There’s a lot to be said for making careful plans in our lives, crafting a…

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By Dawn Gilchrist-Young Of the 120 or so 12th-graders I teach each year, about two-thirds have jobs outside of school.…

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By Doug Wingeier • Guest Columnist Back in March, my wife and I, together with a couple from Brevard, paid a…

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My people are rooted in the South. On both mom’s and dad’s sides of the family, very few have moved…

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