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The Occupy Wall Street movement is leaderless, somewhat vague and lacking vision. Still, people are joining in growing numbers around…

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The news media in this country is abuzz with talk about North Carolina. Unfortunately, it’s not flattering. What they’re saying…

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When will we say, “It is enough”? On Sept. 19, a 14-year-old boy named Jamey Rodemeyer from Buffalo, N.Y., committed…

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The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has a resilient, independent spirit. When the U.S. government forced the majority of the…

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Once you hit the Haywood County line after heading west on Interstate 40 out of Asheville, Western Carolina University is…

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I don’t listen to local radio so much anymore, but the story in last week’s edition about the demise of…

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Been to the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino? Even if you don’t gamble, I’d encourage a walk through. My bet is you’d…

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I’ve loved rock and roll music all of my life. When I was a teenager, I listened to Fleetwood Mac…

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I recently wrote in the Swain County newspaper about a singularly misguided proposal by Great Smoky Mountains National Park leadership…

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Many people who lead exceptional lives never break an arm trying to pat themselves on their own back. They just…

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“It’s like floating on a cloud,” that’s what the man in the booth said about his nifty adjustable hammocks. We…

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From the hotel window in Durban, South Africa, I can see the Indian Ocean. Freighters line the horizon like parapets…

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EDISTO, S.C. — If you’re going to roast in a record-breaking heat wave anyway, you might as well do it…

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I’ve been volunteering with the Folkmoot USA International Dance Festival for about 15 years. It’s one of the most culturally…

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Redistricting is always political, and voters on both sides have to accept that. The party with a majority will get…

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Today, in Macon County and throughout America, debate is under way regarding two basic principles:  (1) the size, shape and…

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You’ve probably seen the ads. Some famous face sports a white “milk mustache” and encourages you to drink more milk.…

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“Sowing in the sunshine, sowing in the shadows, we shall come rejoicing bringing in the sheets.” — (slight adaptation from…

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Groucho Marx once said, “I wouldn’t want to be a member of any club that would have someone like me…

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A week before this week’s dedication of the new Jackson County Library complex, this newspaper’s 12th birthday passed almost unnoticed…

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What do Barack Obama and my son have in common? They both visited Ireland in May. Obama, though, was proud…

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A planned new access road that will provide an exit and entrance into Southwestern Community College in Webster should not…

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North Carolina is facing a budget crisis. I get that. What I don’t get is the proposed slashing of so…

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For both teachers in the classroom and local administrators, this is shaping up to be the most challenging budget year…

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We’ve written before about how important the downtown business districts in our mountain towns are to their communities, but it…

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The crane games are beautiful beasts, shiny and brightly lit, with a glass belly full of forlorn and lonely stuffed…

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Governments at all levels and all across the nation are broke. At every county courthouse and state house, money taken…

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By Mark Jamison • Guest Columnist A fellow once asked me, about a car I was selling, “What’s the least…

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One of the advantages of getting older is that you learn a few things if you pay attention. For example,…

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By Linda Seested-Stanford • Guest columnist In last week’s Smoky Mountain News, coverage of the reorganization of Western Carolina University’s…

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The Jan. 10 death of 15-month-old Aubrey Kina Marie Littlejohn was an unspeakable tragedy, one compounded by the questions surrounding…

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In this country, the people own the government. It’s ours. End of debate. That’s something we can all be thankful…

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Growing up, I knew America was the country of grand ideas carried out from the moral high ground. We could…

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It was not my best day. I had just got home with the kids, who seemed a little grumpy because…

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Politics and state budgets aren’t usually that interesting, but this year that’s not the case. Ideologies are clashing as lawmakers…

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After high school, I moved downstate to attend music school. I lived for a number of years in Greensboro and…

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By George Ivey • Guest Columnist Many years ago on Capitol Hill, a politician said to me, “George, as you…

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This is a very odd business, the telling of the news. It’s even more odd as part of an independent…

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My epiphany occurred on a bitter cold Sunday afternoon, the snow having momentarily given way to a stray and fleeting…

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By Scott Muirhead • Guest ColumnistFrog Level is what remains of the golden age of the railroads, the age when…

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Just as I was sitting down to write my column on the controversy surrounding a new edition of Mark Twain’s…

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“… but a belief in hard work and treating others fairly was ingrained from a very early age in my…

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By Mark Jamison • Guest Columnist During the recent election for county commissioner in Jackson County, both sides made reference…

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Few things are as maddening to me as when politics gets in the way of doing the right thing. That’s…

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A bit of a stumble out of the gate can be forgiven among newcomers in any endeavor, but that stumble…

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When I was in the fourth grade, some dirtbag stole my hat. But it wasn’t any old dirtbag, and it…

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I don’t particularly remember U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville, from our days growing up in Swain County. He is younger…

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You can be excused for perhaps having overlooked the recent fireworks, but a minor war has erupted over one of…

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There is an interesting disconnect in how some people perceive my job and how I perceive my job. This was…

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