Forging a wise immigration bill
 

Forging a wise immigration bill

Amnesty? In the immigration controversy that is dividing Congress and the nation, this has become the most misused term in…
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Changing budget laws would save taxpayer money
 

Changing budget laws would save taxpayer money

The words still ring in my ears, coming as they did from a teacher who had spent years playing by…
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Lottery funding formula needs to be changed now
 

Lottery funding formula needs to be changed now

It’s past time to keep rehashing the same old arguments about whether having a state lottery is a good idea.…
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Slaves to titillating news and ....
 

Slaves to titillating news and ....

You have already read or heard about the three guys who were arrested for “operating” — yeah, I guess the…
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A public grace worth emulating
 

A public grace worth emulating

By Stephanie Wampler I didn’t know her. I never met her. I haven’t even read that much about her. I…
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Media consolidation just ain’t good
 

Media consolidation just ain’t good

It happened months back, but the request was typical of what we hear everyday in this business: will you do…
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There are many good reasons to get slope ordinances on the books
 

There are many good reasons to get slope ordinances on the books

There’s no more pressing issue in this region than enacting ordinances to control steep slope development. If we snooze on…
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Savoring the coming political season
 

Savoring the coming political season

When the political season cranks up, as it’s about to, this business gets a lot more fun. I’m one of…
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So many reasons to oppose forest sale
 

So many reasons to oppose forest sale

“This is an administration that believes in natural resource exploitation, and hang any future cost to the public owners. This…
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Radical Islam is infiltrating U.S.
 

Radical Islam is infiltrating U.S.

By Marshall Frank “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.” — Ariel…
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We admired Andy but related to Barney
 

We admired Andy but related to Barney

We lost Barney Fife last week. When the news came that Don Knotts had died of pulmonary and respiratory failure…
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Power carries a yoke of responsibility
 

Power carries a yoke of responsibility

By Michael Beadle • Columnist The recent worldwide protests against cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Mohammed have given humanity a…
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No loaves, just fish ... sticks
 

No loaves, just fish ... sticks

I pride myself on being a good cook. After 10 years of effort, I have finally mastered homemade cinnamon rolls.…
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Banning tobacco in schools shouldn’t be so difficult
 

Banning tobacco in schools shouldn’t be so difficult

There’s really not much to say except this: why has it taken so long? The Haywood County School Board apparently…
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With Mike gone, train’s call is truly lonesome
 

With Mike gone, train’s call is truly lonesome

Mike and I were not exactly a match made in heaven. In fact, I didn’t think we were much of…
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A thank you for helping hands
 

A thank you for helping hands

Editor’s note: Barbara McCarty worked on a flood task force that allocated more than $800,000 in private donations to victims…
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Open government always a good thing
 

Open government always a good thing

It’s easy for elected leaders to say they support open government. Proving that support is something altogether different and more…
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TDA board on track, confident in director
 

TDA board on track, confident in director

By Dori Pope • Guest columnist I recently had the honor and exciting challenge of being voted the Chair of…
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Time for change at Cherokee’s ‘Unto These Hills’
 

Time for change at Cherokee’s ‘Unto These Hills’

“It’s going to be a bit of a change, but change is not always bad. This is just one little…
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Small towns make for different news
 

Small towns make for different news

I remember the specific moment in my journalism career when I sealed my future as a small-town newspaperman. I was…
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A primer on the right way to use a gun
 

A primer on the right way to use a gun

By Sarah Kucharski On a chilly, rain soaked Sunday morning the last weekend of January I stood under a peaked,…
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Religion and public schools a volatile mix
 

Religion and public schools a volatile mix

When a high school biology teacher in Macon County asked students to compare evolution and creation from a scientific perspective,…
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Customers say restaurant grades matter
 

Customers say restaurant grades matter

Editor’s note: Last week The Smoky Mountain News cover story was about cleanliness at restaurants and what health department inspectors…
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Looking in on the iPod cocoon
 

Looking in on the iPod cocoon

It is now official. I am not young anymore. I guess I should have paid more attention to the signs,…
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The difference between precaution and fear
 

The difference between precaution and fear

By Lee Shelton I found Scott McLeod’s column, “Living in Fear....” , in theJan. 18 issue of the Smoky Mountain…
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The vicarious lives of parents
 

The vicarious lives of parents

I wasn’t very good at sports when I was a kid. I wanted to be good — the star of…
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Celebrating culture and the need for a library
 

Celebrating culture and the need for a library

There are many worthwhile upshots from The Sounds of Jackson County recording project, but two stand out among them: one,…
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There were valid reasons for Horton’s departure
 

There were valid reasons for Horton’s departure

(Editor’s note: Haywood County Manager Jack Horton tendered his resignation to the board of commissioners on Jan. 3. The three…
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Storytime just didn’t work out for me
 

Storytime just didn’t work out for me

By Stephanie Wampler One day last year, I had high hopes for a glorious time at the library. I envisioned…
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Time apparently not right for casino alcohol sales
 

Time apparently not right for casino alcohol sales

The proposal to hold a referendum on whether alcohol could be sold at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino was withdrawn before it…
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Living in fear of ... everything
 

Living in fear of ... everything

It started over a discussion about the merits of that sanitizing gel that is now so often found in restrooms,…
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A long history culminates in one tumultuous day
 

A long history culminates in one tumultuous day

When Haywood County Manager Jack Horton was asked to resign or be fired last week, it was, potentially, a watershed…
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The goose won’t keep laying golden eggs without proper care
 

The goose won’t keep laying golden eggs without proper care

By Lee Shelton The town limits of Maggie Valley encompass only 1.8 square miles, and there is only one commercial…
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Empowered by Dr. Phil to entertain Jack
 

Empowered by Dr. Phil to entertain Jack

I’ve become hooked on Dr. Phil. Don’t ask me how it happened because I don’t know. He caught me unawares,…
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Words of warning, words of wisdom
 

Words of warning, words of wisdom

At a time when weather and the environment is making all the news headlines and is rendering hundreds of thousands,…
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Methane gas project at old landfill is all good
 

Methane gas project at old landfill is all good

It’s not always about the money, at least not at first. That’s a point to keep in mind as the…
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Newspapers in need of iPod moment
 

Newspapers in need of iPod moment

We in the newspaper business are supposed to be having the bejesus scared out of us because of the power…
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Nurture your spirit, and the details will take care of themselves
 

Nurture your spirit, and the details will take care of themselves

By Jason Kimenker • Guest Columnist Winter has arrived, and the holiday season is in full swing. Wonderful and warm…
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Not so long ago, we treated liars differently
 

Not so long ago, we treated liars differently

By Kirk Adcock • Guest Columnist I would first like to thank Gen. Geoffrey Higgenbotham (“Playing politics at the expense…
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Count on me to lead the Grinch Fan Club
 

Count on me to lead the Grinch Fan Club

About this time each year, when the days and tempers get short and the traffic lines get long — when…
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Watershed decision was right on target
 

Watershed decision was right on target

Bryson City leaders avoided the temptation to sell off their watershed land for development, instead opting to follow through with…
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Hemp and the rule of law
 

Hemp and the rule of law

It looks like the old adage “necessity is the mother of invention” may bear fruit (or gas) when it is…
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Jackson, others need to learn to plan
 

Jackson, others need to learn to plan

By John Edwards • Guest Columnist Positive planning by developers, government officials and local citizens could be of great benefit…
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Remember the privilege of giving
 

Remember the privilege of giving

By Bill Nolte • Guest Columnist Last week I was providing my ongoing parental taxi service. I can’t remember if we…
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The downside of motorcycle tourism
 

The downside of motorcycle tourism

By Lee Shelton • Guest Columnist There has been much discussion about attracting more motorcyclists and motorcycle rallies to the…
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Things change, and sometimes not for the best
 

Things change, and sometimes not for the best

I’m not sure where home is, but my children know. They’re first-generation mountaineers, which means, should they stay, they’ve got…
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Playing politics at the expense of our soldiers
 

Playing politics at the expense of our soldiers

By Major Gen. Geoffrey B. Higginbotham In 1998, while serving as a Marine Corps Bases Commander in Japan, I had…
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Pressure mounts to get out of Iraq
 

Pressure mounts to get out of Iraq

Many of us who call these mountains home rely on the isolation, the distance from the cold realities of modern…
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Schools must help with obesity woes
 

Schools must help with obesity woes

It should come as no shock to learn that children in Western North Carolina, as in the rest of this…
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Paying the price – a parents’ weekend at WCU
 

Paying the price – a parents’ weekend at WCU

By Nancy Geiger • Guest Columnist I went to my first college parent’s weekend this month. I’d been to plenty…
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