Supermarket flowers

My mom loved fresh flowers. It was a fun routine for my dad, sister and I to pick up a…
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We have to decide: turn left or right?

We got to the stop sign at the bottom of our mountain in our fully loaded truck — bikes, camping…
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GOP turmoil continues, but facts do matter

I’ve known Ted Carr many years, and he is not a liar. That charge has been leveled against him by…
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Meadows once again fighting the wrong fight

The chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus says there could be a government shutdown if money isn’t included in…
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Politics may fail us, but our ideals endure

As I sit to write a day before Independence Day, it seems I keep hearing voices questioning whether the shared…
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Long may they sing

It’s a Saturday night in Sparta, and the three sisters — all of them widows — are heading off to…
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Raising a glass to Canton’s future

The opening of the new BearWaters Brewing in Canton is a great shot in the arm for one of most…
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Dad was old school, but he accepted change

My dad’s been dead about 15 years now, and there’s still no fuzzy, larger-than-life, exaggerated memories that pop into my…
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GOP’s corrupt elections agenda meets its demise

North Carolina’s efforts to change the elections process to help keep its GOP majorities in office have been declared illegal…
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In redrawing districts, a chance to end gerrymandering

By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist The people of North Carolina won a nationally significant victory in the Supreme Court last…
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If it’s all about money, we’re in big trouble

Who runs the U.S.? We’ve always known that money and politics go hand in hand, but these days that seems…
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Burr may be second N.C. senator to make history

Martin A. Dyckman • Guest Columnist A hero is, almost by definition, someone who didn’t set out to be one.…
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Tastes great, can’t take the smell

When I read about Wicked Weed Brewing getting bought by AB InBev (formerly Budweiser) — one of the world’s largest…
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‘Born in Franklin’ may never be heard again

At some point in the future, here’s something you might never hear again: “I was born in Franklin.” Look no…
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Thankful to have been a teacher

At 37, I’m still sorting out what I want to be when I grow up.  When I was 8, I…
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Boiling days down to simple routines

“The ONLY thing is, we don’t have to go all the way to Adam’s Creek,” my wife Lori said. We…
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Partisanship over statesmanship, Raleigh knows best

Sorry Haywood County citizens and others in the western part of the state, the most grassroots and local ballots you…
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Meadows makes his mark in the swamp

Where’s Mark? As in Rep. Mark Meadows, our Republican congressman who reportedly represents the rural and economically challenged residents of…
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The perfect game come round again

I found them in the corner of the basement, hidden like Easter Eggs underneath a blue tarp which was itself…
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Perhaps school board has learned a lesson

Since it is, after all, the Haywood County School Board, I can only hope they’ve learned a lesson. Last week…
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Let’s keep a little separation between God and politics

He’s a respected member of the community, a physician, and we ran into each other unexpectedly.  “I really have to…
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Tax collector likely too easy on too many

We reported last week that Haywood County Tax Collector Mike Matthews may have been showing favoritism to some local Republican…
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The next war must not happen

By Stephen Wall • Guest Columnist On August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb exploded 1,500 feet over Hiroshima. Only 1.5 percent…
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New commissioner stumbles out of the gate

Brandon Rogers almost certainly disappointed — and surprised — many of his supporters during Monday’s Haywood County Commissioners meeting. Apparently…
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Newspapers with real reporters and editors matter

By Frank Queen • Guest Columnist I was surrounded by newspapers growing up. Dad worked for the government in the…
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Our allegiance is to the ideals, not to a president

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then…
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Parenting nostalgia during a big birthday week

It’s birthday week for the Barbee boys. Our two boys are exactly three years and one day apart, one born…
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Looking for more ideology, less politics

As the holidays drew to a close, I began preparing for the reporting we will do on the upcoming session…
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It’s 2017, let’s talk about something else

Now that it’s 2017, I can’t bear the thought of continuing to fixate on politics and its atmosphere of pomposity…
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The fight over what it means to be an American

I turned 18 three weeks too late to vote for Ronald Wilson Reagan for president of the United States, but…
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Traditions help us deal with change, loss

Since my mom’s passing in August, many people have given me books and resources to help with the grief. They’ve…
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I love newspaper readers, but please read carefully

Some things never change, and the reality of collateral damage from news stories is one of them. Plus the fact…
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Life in Gitmo was idyllic, but the danger was real

Fidel Castro’s death should remind us that we are oftentimes more powerless and rudderless than our country’s leaders like to…
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In a season of feasting, finding food for the soul

I’ve always embraced change, perhaps to my detriment. I suspect it has something to do with a youth where we…
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Historians discover lifeless remains of the truth

So this, perhaps, is how we in the traditional — and dare I say legitimate — media will meet our…
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Once again, Electoral College plays controversial role

We are a democratic republic, not a pure democracy. I was reminded of that in a most unusual way at…
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Choose physical therapy over painkillers

By Shannon Icenhour • Guest Columnist Fall is almost over, but October was not just for trick-or-treating; it also represented…
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When the dust settles, we’ll keep moving forward

I feel strongly about politics. I hope — with all the hope I can muster — that Donald Trump loses…
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Calling a place home is not to be taken for granted

My 18-year-old son, Liam, departed the mountains for Charlotte two weeks ago when his fall break had ended.  He’s our…
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Relishing common ground amid the political divide

I am at the salad bar, evaluating the freshness of the broccoli and spinach, deciding whether I want croutons or…
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Sorting out my aversion to Donald Trump

Cruel. That was it, that’s the word that defines why I think Donald Trump is unfit to be president. Obviously,…
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WCU’s handling of Koch gift a model for others

Western Carolina University’s faculty has wrestled through months of both tedium and spirited debate in devising how best to manage…
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Pound your chest and punch your neighbor

There were two primetime spectacles Monday evening. One was the first presidential debate between candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.…
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N.C. leaders remain – indignantly – on wrong side of HB2

When it comes to HB2, our state’s Republican leadership will eventually prove to be on the wrong side of history.…
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True patriotism comes in many colors

We drove through the small town of Clyde on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 11, right in the midst of the commemoration…
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A hint of autumn, a sense of pride

When we got out of the car on Sunday at the parking area in Jackson County at the end of…
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We must deal with affordable housing problems

If you don’t think there is an affordable housing problem in the mountain region, you’re just not paying attention. In…
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Supporting transparency is never a bad move

Let’s be completely honest: the Haywood County School Board’s long-time practice of recording its work sessions makes it one of…
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HB2 and Voter ID controversies boost Cooper’s campaign

North Carolinians can debate whether a few of the controversial laws enacted by the Republican-led North Carolina General Assembly and…
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Bashing teachers does nothing to help public education

When the back-to-back national political conventions finally ended, it was like a benevolent deity had provided a merciful pardon, finally…
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