2023 A Look Back: Grinch Award

The Grinch who Stole Christmas and Pactiv Evergreen have a lot more in common than just a shared color scheme and stealing presents right out from under the Christmas trees of children.

2023 A Look Back: Hometown heroes award

When Pactiv Evergreen announced it would close its 115-year-old paper mill in Canton earlier this year, local leaders had to deal with a host of issues: the plight of the workers and their families, their health care coverage, declining school enrollment, pollution and the future of the site itself.

2023 A Look Back: ‘That’s so Metal’ Award

This one goes to the Pigeon River, due both to the actual metals found in a sampling site along its bank and to the very metal way its fish populations have rebounded after the Canton paper mill shut down in June. 

2023 A Look Back: Micromanager(s) of the Year Award

Sometimes there are awards that call for two winners, like back in the day before the College Football Playoffs system when two schools would sometimes share a national championship. 

2023 A Look Back: Meter Maid Award

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has earned this one for its decision to begin charging for parking, effective March 1 this year. 

2023 A Look Back: Not on my Watch Award

Newly elected Haywood County Sheriff Bill Wilke stepped into some big shoes following the retirement of longtime Sheriff Greg Christopher, but earlier this year Wilke showed Haywood County, along with some of its most vulnerable residents, that he wears some pretty damn big shoes himself. 

2023 A Look Back: Nobody puts baby in a corner award

The classic 1980s dance film Dirty Dancing taught all of us that “nobody puts Baby in a corner.” And if one does, that baby might just erupt from the corner with wild and salacious dance moves. 

2023 A Look Back: You Wanted It, You Got It Award

Congrats to Macon County GOP’s newest slate of officers. A dedicated bunch who fought hard, and allegedly dirty, to secure their seats. 

2023 A Look Back: Keeper of the Flame award

This little award may not mean all that much to him — after all, he’s one of Southern Appalachia’s most revered literary figures and has won a number of far more significant awards for his books and plays, including the Book of the Year Award from the Appalachian Writers Association in 2001, the Brown Hudson Award for Folklore in 2006 and the North Carolina Arts Council Award for Literature in 2012 — but we’re going to give it to him anyway because we’ve all been big fans of his work for a long time. 

2023 A Look Back: Marty McFly Award

This one goes to Cherokee voters, who decided in this year’s election to look back to build their future. 

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