Dishwasher extraordinaire
 

Dishwasher extraordinaire

Jeremiah Chatham is the kind of person who looks far too gregarious to be wearing a suit. He has an…
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Finding a custom fit, 2,000 times over
 

Finding a custom fit, 2,000 times over

Deep in the labyrinthine basement at Harrah’s, in an ordinary hallway sits an extraordinary room. There’s a service counter and…
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Gardener sees casino as a canvas
 

Gardener sees casino as a canvas

Twelve thousand. That’s how many annuals Zeke Cooper and his crew have installed in the last month in and around…
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Luring gamers to play longer, play harder
 

Luring gamers to play longer, play harder

Go to Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel and Casino on any given day, and there’s a good chance you’ll encounter a promotion…
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High stakes casino expansion tests the theory: If we build it, will they come?
 

High stakes casino expansion tests the theory: If we build it, will they come?

When a new federal law in the 1990s opened the door for Indian tribes to build casinos, it set the…
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Extortion or fair share? State wants cut of casino revenue in exchange for live dealers
 

Extortion or fair share? State wants cut of casino revenue in exchange for live dealers

To hear many Cherokee leaders on the eve of last week’s tribal elections, the tribe is incredibly close to striking…
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No limits
 

No limits

A chandelier over a high-limit gaming table at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino costs $150,000, more than the median selling price of…
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Hello Bellagio, meet Cherokee
 

Hello Bellagio, meet Cherokee

The Mirage has a volcano. There’s the Fountains of Bellagio, and the pyramid-shaped Luxor. Cherokee will have the Rotunda, the…
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Men at work: Behind the veil of Harrah’s $633 million expansion
 

Men at work: Behind the veil of Harrah’s $633 million expansion

As Harrah’s Cherokee Casino closes on the final year of a massive $633 million expansion, the hum of construction that’s…
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Former Swain DSS director appeals firing but loses
 

Former Swain DSS director appeals firing but loses

The former head of Swain County’s Department of Social Services won’t be getting her job back, members of the county’s…
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Democrats: GOP blatantly gerrymandered WNC’s seat in Congress
 

Democrats: GOP blatantly gerrymandered WNC’s seat in Congress

New Congressional districts crafted by state GOP leaders that appear to position the party for political domination in North Carolina…
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Shuler left with Republican-leaning district after new maps slice liberal Asheville out of WNC
 

Shuler left with Republican-leaning district after new maps slice liberal Asheville out of WNC

Democrats are crying foul over new Congressional district lines that with seemingly surgical precision slice the City of Asheville, a…
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Swain DSS director fired, lodges appeal
 

Swain DSS director fired, lodges appeal

Tammy Cagle, once the leader of the Swain County Department of Social Services, has been given the ax by the…
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Building districts by the numbers
 

Building districts by the numbers

This year, the math of moving districts will give virtually every western block a shift. Sen. Jim Davis’s, R-Franklin, Senate…
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Redistricting to grow mountain districts
 

Redistricting to grow mountain districts

In legislatures around the nation, it’s that time of decade again — time to break out the old redistricting maps…
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Social safety net failed Cherokee baby
 

Social safety net failed Cherokee baby

Additional evidence has surfaced indicating Swain County social workers failed to act on reports of alleged abuse and neglect of…
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Swain commissioner got DSS aid while niece was agency’s director
 

Swain commissioner got DSS aid while niece was agency’s director

A county commissioner got financial aid from the Swain County Department of Services last year while his niece was serving…
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Interim director takes charge of Swain DSS amidst ongoing investigation
 

Interim director takes charge of Swain DSS amidst ongoing investigation

An interim director is now at the helm of the Swain County Department of Social Services, bringing to the table…
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New board and new director take reins  at Swain DSS amidst SBI probe
 

New board and new director take reins at Swain DSS amidst SBI probe

The director of Swain County Department of Social Services has been put on leave with pay following a nearly clean…
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Tribe asks Swain DSS to send different social workers
 

Tribe asks Swain DSS to send different social workers

Swain County social workers and supervisors named in a State Bureau of Investigation probe are no longer welcome to work…
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Cherokee trust shaken in Swain DSS
 

Cherokee trust shaken in Swain DSS

Tribal members and leaders alike vented their discontent with Swain County’s handling of child welfare for Cherokee children at this…
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Crowd berates Swain commissioners, supports DSS board
 

Crowd berates Swain commissioners, supports DSS board

A large crowd turned out at the Swain County commissioners meeting this week to voice support for the beleaguered Department…
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Swain commissioners want DSS workers suspended
 

Swain commissioners want DSS workers suspended

The state could step in to run the Swain County Department of Social Services if the top leaders are among…
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Urban areas to steal more seats in Raleigh, leaving the mountains with less
 

Urban areas to steal more seats in Raleigh, leaving the mountains with less

Urban areas grew at a torrid pace over the past decade — so get ready, legislators in the mountains and…
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Tribe, county DSS agencies have complex relationship
 

Tribe, county DSS agencies have complex relationship

By Quintin Ellison and Colby Dunn • Staff writers The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is forced to rely on…
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The tragic life of Aubrey Littlejohn: Family members feared for child’s safety
 

The tragic life of Aubrey Littlejohn: Family members feared for child’s safety

Relatives say they warned social workers repeatedly over the course of several months that Aubrey Littlejohn was being neglected and…
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Child’s death hits Cherokee hard
 

Child’s death hits Cherokee hard

The mood is grim. Few people in this tight community want to talk to an outsider about the death of…
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Suspicious death of 15-month-old prompts SBI to seize Swain DSS computers
 

Suspicious death of 15-month-old prompts SBI to seize Swain DSS computers

The State Bureau of Investigation raided Swain County Department of Social Services Tuesday, hauling off computers and records in an…
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Poll shows Shuler curries support from right as well as left
 

Poll shows Shuler curries support from right as well as left

While national pundits predict Republican challengers will steal seats from Democrats in Washington come November, Congressman Heath Shuler likely has…
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TEA Party catches on, but impact on election still hard to gauge
 

TEA Party catches on, but impact on election still hard to gauge

By Christopher A. Cooper and H. Gibbs Knotts Beginning in 2009 with a series of protests focusing on what participants…
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Conservative Democrats, endangered species and Rep. Heath Shuler
 

Conservative Democrats, endangered species and Rep. Heath Shuler

By Christopher A. Cooper and H. Gibbs Knotts A creature once roamed the American South that many now presume to…
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Majority supports alcohol sales, and its many benefits
 

Majority supports alcohol sales, and its many benefits

By Michael Morris • Guest ColumnistThe sale of alcohol has become a hot topic in Western North Carolina. In 2010,…
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