Blessed be the tin-eared hymn singer
 

Blessed be the tin-eared hymn singer

By David Curtis “Hark! the herald angels sing, Glory to the new born King.”
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Mountain protections gained wide support in 2007
 

Mountain protections gained wide support in 2007

For those of us who have been beating the drum about the need for mountain communities to get serious about…
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Disappearing fringes threaten national forests
 

Disappearing fringes threaten national forests

By Brent Martin We see it everywhere we look in Western North Carolina — land advertised and marketed for its…
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Ten yers after Harrah’s, Cherokee is a better place
 

Ten yers after Harrah’s, Cherokee is a better place

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino quietly marked its 10th anniversary in November, but it’s impossible to ignore exactly what it has meant…
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Foy’s influence will endure
 

Foy’s influence will endure

The praise for outgoing Waynesville Mayor Henry Foy has been plentiful. Both of the other newspapers in Haywood County have…
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You cats dressed in blue, this is for you
 

You cats dressed in blue, this is for you

(Editor’s note: Smoky Mountain News columnist Chris Cox delivered this address to the graduating class at Southwestern Community College this…
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The maples face an emotional buzz saw
 

The maples face an emotional buzz saw

By David Curtis Trees are making the news again in Haywood County as two commissioners are debating the sugar maples…
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Canton gains ground as mill’s dominance recedes
 

Canton gains ground as mill’s dominance recedes

Things are changing in Canton. That in itself is somewhat newsworthy.
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Rankings show quality health care is available in Haywood County
 

Rankings show quality health care is available in Haywood County

By David Rice • Guest Columnist The results of a survey of nearly 5,000 hospitals nationwide indicate Haywood Regional Medical…
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Christmas past is what we’re aiming for
 

Christmas past is what we’re aiming for

As you know, the Christmas season these days begins about 20 minutes after the last of the trick or treaters…
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Community colleges should admit children of all immigrants
 

Community colleges should admit children of all immigrants

Too often debates about immigration veer way off course, inhabiting some netherland of hysteria that is so far from reality…
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Haywood County Arts Council marks 30 successful years
 

Haywood County Arts Council marks 30 successful years

As the Haywood County Arts Council celebrates 30 years of work, it’s a good time to reflect on how effective…
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Making a list, forgetting to check it
 

Making a list, forgetting to check it

By David Curtis Wool socks, silk long johns, cotton turtleneck, boots, down vest, wool jacket, Gortex insulated camo gloves. Deer…
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Jonathan Creek project is just not a good fit
 

Jonathan Creek project is just not a good fit

Rumors have been circulating for years about the proposed mega-development in the Jonathan Creek area, the one with a thousand…
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Today’s youth are missing in action
 

Today’s youth are missing in action

I was 22 years old in 1967. Although it’s become fashionable to downgrade the sweeping changes brought about by my…
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Even Grinch knows Christmas isn’t in the store
 

Even Grinch knows Christmas isn’t in the store

“And they’re hanging their stockings!” he snarled with a sneer. “Tomorrow is Christmas! It’s practically here!” Then he growled, with…
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How the cookie crumbles
 

How the cookie crumbles

I look at you. You look at me. We’re dancing sort of, but I’m not much of a dancer and…
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Charlotte voters make tough, smart choice
 

Charlotte voters make tough, smart choice

These days Americans aren’t known for making tough choices. To the contrary, our national reputation is one of being soft.…
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Dark and empty night skies — a thing of the past
 

Dark and empty night skies — a thing of the past

By Brent Martin For those who have read Charles Frazier’s excellent Western North Carolina tale, Thirteen Moons, you will most…
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Filling up a room with more than a table
 

Filling up a room with more than a table

By Sarah Kucharski Sunlight streams in our house’s south facing windows. The rays bring out the color in the Kiatt…
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Election shows counties they have work to do before new funding OK’d
 

Election shows counties they have work to do before new funding OK’d

Last Tuesday’s vote was as illuminating as any recent elections, and it should send a few good signals to those…
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Gauging a country’s greatness
 

Gauging a country’s greatness

By David Curtis Making the rounds in teacher’s email inboxes is a story about an educator from Arkansas who taught…
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Some memories just spell T-R-A-U-M-A
 

Some memories just spell T-R-A-U-M-A

I am pretty sure I am going to get lashed for saying this, especially as an English teacher, but I…
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Macon makes mistakes in quest to pass school bonds
 

Macon makes mistakes in quest to pass school bonds

Macon County Schools superintendent Dan Brigman, school board attorney John Henning Jr. and the school board as a whole did…
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Burmese need our voices our courage
 

Burmese need our voices our courage

By Michael Beadle The tired diatribes of partisan politics may continue to capture the headlines in the coming campaign months,…
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Macon citizens deserve better from DOT on Siler Road project
 

Macon citizens deserve better from DOT on Siler Road project

A major road is in the planning stages, and neighbors and others in the community feel like it’s more of…
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The nice ones are all red and shiny
 

The nice ones are all red and shiny

By David Curtis If you are driving west along U.S. 23/74 and nearing exit 102, the Waynesville exit, you will…
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Some people really can work miracles
 

Some people really can work miracles

By Stephanie Wampler I walked across the floor, the crowds cheering, the woman smiling as she handed me an award.…
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Days like these can go on forever
 

Days like these can go on forever

I miss all those Sundays at my grandma’s house, so many Sundays, so many years. Once upon a time, it…
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Free press and tribal politics
 

Free press and tribal politics

The decision by Michell Hicks, chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, to do away with a column in The…
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A health care fix is needed
 

A health care fix is needed

Our story last week about a fund that helps women pay for breast cancer testing and treatment pointed out cracks…
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The right too often hides behind the children
 

The right too often hides behind the children

On a political talk show recently, a well-known Republican political consultant spent a lot of time attacking public schools in…
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Sharing the moments as time marches on
 

Sharing the moments as time marches on

By David Curtis Does time go by faster the older you get, or do we just have a better way…
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Breaking the made in China addiction
 

Breaking the made in China addiction

By Angela Faye Martin My husband is unwittingly celebrating my month-long, albeit relative, independence from Chinese goods. He sits across…
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Where do postage stamps come from?
 

Where do postage stamps come from?

By Sami Felmet • Columnist My muse seems to be marred in divorce and family issues lately. I think it…
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In local elections, support those who embrace planning
 

In local elections, support those who embrace planning

How’s this for a political endorsement: cast your votes in the upcoming municipal elections for those candidates who support land-use…
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Drive-thru decision-making is maddening
 

Drive-thru decision-making is maddening

Let me say this first. This is not really a column about restaurants. The last time I wrote a column…
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In the heat of summer, it’s every tomato for itself
 

In the heat of summer, it’s every tomato for itself

By Stephanie Wampler With a long flash of silver, the golf club revolved in a wide, smooth arc. The glinting…
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It’s all over but the texting
 

It’s all over but the texting

By David Curtis The 21st Century arrived at the Curtis residence this past Friday. We have evolved from caveman, cavewoman…
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DOT needs to hit the brakes on Southern Loop
 

DOT needs to hit the brakes on Southern Loop

There’s one fundamental reason the Southern Loop needs more discussion before it is considered a done deal — the simple…
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In the wake of death, new life
 

In the wake of death, new life

By Marsha Crites • Guest Columnist Much has been written in this paper and others about what is causing our…
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Ending the curse of Babel may be our only, best chance
 

Ending the curse of Babel may be our only, best chance

By Arthur Hancock Anyone who is among the living has hope — even a live dog is better off than…
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The menagerie grows by one well-trained possum
 

The menagerie grows by one well-trained possum

By David Curtis I would like to think Haywood County is still considered a rural county. At least to me,…
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Preservation is good for the economy; time for all to get on board
 

Preservation is good for the economy; time for all to get on board

Haywood County commissioners have taken a first step forward — albeit a small one — to protect farmland in the…
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What I don’t know about parenting
 

What I don’t know about parenting

The central paradox of parenting is that by the time you have it figured out, it’s over. Now that I…
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Time to fix NCLB to better reflect the real world
 

Time to fix NCLB to better reflect the real world

Congress is likely to re-authorize the No Child Left Behind Act sometime this fall. If that is indeed the case,…
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Dillsboro Dam important part of Jackson’s heritage, economy
 

Dillsboro Dam important part of Jackson’s heritage, economy

By Susan Leveille Editor’s note: This letter, which contains some updates, was sent by Susan Leveille to the Maggie Salas,…
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School gets scant attention out in the jungle
 

School gets scant attention out in the jungle

By David Curtis As a teacher in the public school system I have often heard teachers express their frustrations by…
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For gays, desperation too often a way of life
 

For gays, desperation too often a way of life

A few years ago, I received a letter from a reader that I have never forgotten. Upset over the suicide…
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Is oil like a mineral, vegetable or animal?
 

Is oil like a mineral, vegetable or animal?

By S. Michael Hewitt • Guest Columnist Remember the game of 20 Questions? One person thinks of a thing. A…
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