The trap of correlation — how science works
 

The trap of correlation — how science works

Grant Wahl, a well-known sportswriter, collapsed and died while reporting at the World Cup Soccer Tournament in Qatar. He was…
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Relying on friends and signs from the universe
 

Relying on friends and signs from the universe

January is an annoying month for many people. The hoopla and excitement of the holidays has ended. The weather is…
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VA — the best care anywhere!
 

VA — the best care anywhere!

To the Editor: To crib part of a title from Phillip Longman’s book — “Best Care Anywhere: Why VA Health Care…
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Scammers claiming to be with DOT sending emails with payment link
 

Scammers claiming to be with DOT sending emails with payment link

The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles routinely receives complaints from customers who have been targeted by scammers claiming to be…
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Highlands 
Middle School renovations incoming
 

Highlands 
Middle School renovations incoming

Whether it is routine maintenance, renovation, expansion or new construction, Macon County Schools has a long list of needed capital…
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Bill Taylor
 

Taylor pleads guilty, judge commends him on alcohol recovery

Bill Taylor, a former chairman and member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tribal Council, pleaded guilty Monday, Jan.…
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Left to right: Rep. Lindsey Prather, Rep. Caleb Rudrow, and Rep. Eric Ager.
 

Western legislators weigh in on upcoming General Assembly session

North Carolina’s General Assembly convened last Wednesday, beginning a new session with new dynamics that will come into play as…
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Kevin Corbin (left) speaks to Macon County Republicans in 2019 with wife Beth at his side. Cory Vaillancourt photo
 

Corbin, Gillespie tapped for important leadership positions

Western North Carolina voters — and legislators — often complain about the feeling of being ignored by Raleigh, but as…
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This intersection could be eliminated, if and when the South Main Street improvement project ever happens. Google photo
 

Design alteration may come to Waynesville’s South Main Street

An awkward Hazelwood intersection could be scrapped ahead of planned North Carolina Department of Transportation improvements to South Main Street,…
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This tiny home, located in Franklin, sold for $182,500 in 2021 increasing the property value by 73%. Donated photo
 

Property values on the rise in Macon

Macon County is undergoing a tax reappraisal this year, and while the numbers are jarring, they won’t be a surprise…
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The future of a unique parcel owned by the Town of Waynesville remains up in the air, for now. Google Maps photo
 

Affordable housing crisis crops up in Waynesville parcel deal

A Waynesville resident who wants to buy a parcel from the town may or may not get their way after alderman…
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Then-candidate Terry Ramey speaks at a Haywood GOP forum in 2022.
 

Haywood commissioners issue joint statement on Ramey

Republican Commissioner Terry Ramey should pay his taxes and stop threatening the media for reporting on the issue, according to…
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Now Hiring: Tuscola begins search for new football coach
 

Now Hiring: Tuscola begins search for new football coach

In recent months Haywood County has been shaken by the suspension and eventual resignation of physical education teacher and head…
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Jackson County hits brakes on Sylva’s municipal grant request
 

Jackson County hits brakes on Sylva’s municipal grant request

Each year, the Jackson County Commission offers the Municipal Grant Program in which municipalities can apply for grants of up…
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Tennessee native lead Smokies Lands Office
 

Tennessee native lead Smokies Lands Office

Joshua Johnson has been hired as the new lands specialist for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
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A trailbuilding crew pulls back a mat of leaves and roots. Pat Barcas photo
 

Private land, public impact: Workshop series helps woodland landowners better steward their forest

Usually, talk around conservation and forest management focuses on big chunks of public land like the Pisgah-Nantahala National Forest and…
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A surfer’s quest to find Zen on the sea
 

A surfer’s quest to find Zen on the sea

“If there is magic on the planet, it is contained in water.” — Loren Eiseley It’s not often that one finds…
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When success is about making communities better
 

When success is about making communities better

Sometimes an idea hatches first as a kind of mental knot that doesn’t reveal itself but causes me a bit…
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I’ll go for tornados over plane crashes
 

I’ll go for tornados over plane crashes

I’m trying to get a little work done early one morning, sipping on my first cup of coffee, still in…
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Keeping Trump from Trump
 

Keeping Trump from Trump

To the Editor: “Nothing can work damage to me except myself; the harm that I sustain I carry about with me…
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Appointments available for ACA health insurance
 

Appointments available for ACA health insurance

Enrollment for 2023 health insurance through the ACA Marketplace ends Jan. 15. Folks who sign up now can have quality, affordable…
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Searching for a seeker: The fearless life and tragic disappearance of Melissa McDevitt
 

Searching for a seeker: The fearless life and tragic disappearance of Melissa McDevitt

Flitting about her apartment on Vancouver Island, Melissa McDevitt had already packed her bag in preparation for the long journey…
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The Town of Sylva aims to enhance public art through the Municipal Grant Program. Hannah McLeod photo
 

Jackson considers municipal grant applications

Jackson County is considering the latest round of municipal grant applications that arrived on commissioners desks this week. Among applications…
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Rep. Bo Crowe addresses Tribal Council Jan. 10 following his arraignment on three charges the previous day. EBCI photo
 

Wolfetown rep faces assault charges

Wolfetown Rep. Bo Crowe spent the weekend in jail following his arrest Saturday, Jan. 7, for an alleged assault that left…
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Darris Moody
 

Moody takes plea deal in phony writs case

It took more than four months, 62 federal counts and a lengthy period of pretrial detention in Buncombe County, but…
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Downtown Waynesville Commission looks forward to big year, bigger footprint
 

Downtown Waynesville Commission looks forward to big year, bigger footprint

After the implosion of the 36-year-old Downtown Waynesville Association back in 2021, much of the progress made by its successor organization…
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A smoke test revealed where sewer gas is leaking through pipe gaps at Macon Middle School. MCS photo
 

Macon commission asks MCS to prioritize hefty capital outlay requests

Following direction from the Macon County Board of Commissioners, the Macon County Board of Education met last week to prioritize…
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Tribe to conduct census
 

Tribe to conduct census

For the first time in 22 years, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will conduct a census of its tribal…
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Robin Tindall, CEO of HCHF, Brandon Norwood, Director of Health and Wellness for Boys and Girls Club of the Plateau, and Carmen Waite, CEO of Boys and Girls Club of the Plateau.
 

Health Foundation awards grant to Boys and Girls Club of the Plateau

Highlands Cashiers Health Foundation (HCHF) has awarded a grant to Boys and Girls Club of the Plateau to fund a…
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Southern Appalachia. (Garret K. Woodward photo)
 

This must be the place: If you lived here, you’d be home by now

Sitting in The Scotsman in downtown Waynesville on Sunday evening, I found myself sporadically watching the last NFL game of…
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Steep Canyon Rangers. Sandlin Gaither photo
 

Between the heavy and the light: Graham Sharp of Steep Canyon Rangers

With the recent departure of founding member Woody Platt, the Steep Canyon Rangers found themselves at a crossroads — now…
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White dust clings to a windshield in Canton. NCDEQ photo
 

Dust complaints continue in Canton; Evergreen works to identify source

For more than a year, Canton residents have complained about a gritty white dust from the Evergreen Packaging paper mill…
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After the Civil War the Tennessee state legislature passed a law that in order to vote in elections a person had to be a male over the age of 21 and had to provide proof that they had in no way been connected to the Confederacy. These documents issued to Oliver (left) provided that proof. Sue Wasserman photo
 

Word from the Smokies: Old wallet helps archivist breathe new life into Cades Cove history

When a wallet talks, Mike Aday listens. At least, metaphorically speaking. 
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Smokies hires three new management team members
 

Smokies hires three new management team members

Barbara Hatcher, previously a supervisory project manager and engineer for the park, is its new chief of facility management, replacing…
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Spur tunnel repairs begin
 

Spur tunnel repairs begin

Tunnel repairs have begun on the northbound Spur between Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, with ongoing lane closures expected through April…
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Cataloochee Ski Area lights up for nighttime skiing. Cataloochee Ski Area photo
 

Cataloochee offers program for women

A six-week winter sports program aimed at women who learn better with female instructors starts on Wednesday, Jan. 11, at…
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Smokies mountain biking plans to move forward
 

Smokies mountain biking plans to move forward

A Finding of No Significant Impact from the National Park Service clears the way for the Great Smoky Mountains National…
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The project required evicting some unhappy residents from the structure. NHC photo
 

NHC works on Rock Gap Shelter replacement

The Rock Gap Shelter on the Appalachian Trail in Macon County is no more, as the Nantahala Hiking Club works…
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For Adam Bigelow, the first bloom of the trout-lily symbolizes the start of a new year — but in February, not January. Adam Bigelow photo
 

Notes from a Plant Nerd: Nothing New Under the Winter Sun

Every year on the last night of December, in the dead of winter, the cries go out of “Happy New…
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Some bookish thoughts for the new year
 

Some bookish thoughts for the new year

Whatever our political beliefs or affiliations, few of us, I suspect, will look back on 2022 with pangs of nostalgia,…
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I owe Rockwell an apology
 

I owe Rockwell an apology

Working at a newspaper requires thick skin. I’m a columnist and lifestyle writer, so I don’t get nearly as much…
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Let speeders pre-pay for the privilege
 

Let speeders pre-pay for the privilege

I think most of you would agree that there are more people speeding, and speeding faster on the highways with…
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Comment

A sure sign of our moral decay
 

A sure sign of our moral decay

To the Editor: The headlines read — “Texas governor & others bus immigrants to VP house, and drop them in freezing…
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Comment

Don’t be fooled;
 climate change is real
 

Don’t be fooled;
 climate change is real

To the Editor: A recent letter in the Waynesville Mountaineer claimed that climate change is a myth.
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Bringing help: Western North Carolina’s connection to the war in Ukraine
 

Bringing help: Western North Carolina’s connection to the war in Ukraine

Leaning against a wall in the basement of the train station right about midnight, they were cold and tired and…
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Residents of Kherson, liberated from Russian control in mid-November after eight months of occupation, line up for humanitarian aid on Dec. 6. Cory Vaillancourt photo
 

Bringing hope: In Ukraine, American nonprofits stave off humanitarian catastrophe

Since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine millions of people have left the war-torn country, with millions more driven from…
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Comment

Franklin High School.
 

New boards could mean new 
plans for Franklin High School

When Macon County Commissioners authorized LS3P Architectural Design Services to submit plans for the new Franklin High School to local…
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