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By Doug Wingeier • Guest Columnist With all the current media attention being focused on Syria, budget deadlines, Obamacare, and the…

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From the very first few days I lived in the mountains — as an 18-year-old freshman at Appalachian State University…

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By Doug Wingeier • Guest Columnist It doesn’t seem to matter which political party a president belongs to: if he…

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I’ve always loved school. Consequently, I detest what the General Assembly is doing to education. As a kid, I knew…

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The photo ID requirements included in the new voting law passed by the General Assembly and recently signed by Gov.…

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It’s difficult for me to believe that the new leadership in Raleigh would purposely sacrifice development in the state’s rural…

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The General Assembly’s renewal of the specialty license plates for North Carolina drivers surprised many only because it seemed such…

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Ever know you are in a good place at the right time? Every now and then that sentiment — about…

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By Martin Dyckman Blackbeard, North Carolina's most famous pirate, was a fitting precursor to the modern brigands at Raleigh. As…

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“Thank you sir, may I have another.” The line by Kevin Bacon from the now-classic film “Animal House” kept popping…

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I’m not sure it represents a new philosophy or perhaps is just an acknowledgement of reality, but the decision by…

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By Doug Wingeier • Guest Columnist In a previous letter, I described how devastating to human beings our current immigration system…

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The Lake Junaluska Assembly is marking its 100th anniversary this year, and a plethora of activities will take place at…

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There’s just not much exciting about turning 14, but that’s what The Smoky Mountain News turned a couple of weeks…

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By Doug Woodward • Guest Columnist What entity in our community serves the needs of every one of our citizens, whether…

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It was a great day for a picnic … or a baseball game. The sun hung there above the horizon…

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Alice Aumen, one of the owners of Cataloochee Ranch and a longtime tourism booster in Haywood County and Western North…

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Haywood County commissioners drew a line in the sand. The Haywood County School Board decided not to cross it. In…

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When I sat down to write a piece for this week’s paper my topic was already chosen. I was going…

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The “fractured public square” refers to the loss of the place where a community discusses ideas, politics and values. The…

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The defeat of gun control legislation in the Senate wasn’t as much surprising as it was disappointing. This is one…

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I cannot credit film critic Roger Ebert, who died just a couple of weeks ago after a lengthy battle with…

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The room tax hike being sought by Haywood leaders needs to pass and deserves the support of the legislative delegation…

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What’s deadlier than a crazed maniac in a kindergarten class with a loaded assault weapon? In the most horrifying massacre…

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Cigar smoke swirled around my face as the eardrum splitting street preacher invaded the festive mood of the thousands meandering…

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When the city of Asheville decided that this year’s Bele Chere street festival would be the last it funded, little…

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By Stephanie Wampler • Columnist Our Saturday morning cave adventure started out innocently enough. We would need flashlights. Check. I had…

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“The pen is mightier than the sword.” For years I had ascribed those words to Thomas Paine, the fiery British-American…

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By Ken Stahl • Guest Columnist There appears to be controversy concerning the proposed 2 percent occupancy tax increase. This…

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By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist The United States spends twice as much on health care as most other modern…

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By John Beckman • Columnist Thirty-five years ago, I moved into my first dorm room and this small-town lad had…

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By Stephanie Wampler • Guest Columnist Well, it seems that John Kerry is our new secretary of state, ready to…

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Republican Gov. Pat McCrory is trying to temper disparaging remarks he made early last week about the value of a…

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By Brent Martin • Guest Columnist When the 1911 Weeks Act was passed, allowing the federal government to purchase land…

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By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist A 1996 New Yorker cartoon — poking fun at Steve Forbes’s presidential campaign plank…

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The teenage cashier at the grocery store is conversing with a customer. “That’s right,” she says. “The only thing that…

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The swearing in of new Gov. Pat McCrory this past weekend brought to mind a conversation at a recent holiday…

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It all started with a simple book fair at the middle school. My daughter, inspired perhaps by viewing the trailer…

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By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist Had Al-Qaeda carried out the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Congress would be…

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By Bob Scott • Guest Columnist After the killing of 26 children and adults by a young man using a…

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The recently announced plans for a Blueways Trail focusing on the recreational uses of Western North Carolina’s waterways is one…

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It may seem a relatively unimportant issue, but in truth it is very symbolic because it recognizes a reality that…

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We had been dreading it all week, and now, as we stood there on a brisk Friday morning waiting on…

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We have many vibrant, attractive commercial districts in the mountains, some very small and some large and sprawling. I’m talking…

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My father is retired Navy, and I lived on military bases until I was 10. My stepfather is retired Army…

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I’m a late-blooming entrepreneur from a lower middle-class upbringing. My parents came from farming and mill-town childhoods, and they bought…

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Ken Jacobine • Guest Columnist As students of the Austrian School of Economics understand, financial bubbles are caused by central bank…

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In the Sept. 19 edition of The Smoky Mountain News, there were some disturbing quotes from some of the local…

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On any given Saturday morning for the past 20 years, I would roll out of bed, crank up the coffee…

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