Self-help without the sugar
 

Self-help without the sugar

Seven Pleasures: Essays on Ordinary Happiness by William Spiegelman. Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2009. In Seven Pleasures: Essays on Ordinary…
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New vote totals mean no runoff for Queen’s Republican challenger
 

New vote totals mean no runoff for Queen’s Republican challenger

An election night glitch in McDowell County led to some votes being counted two or even three times instead of…
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Farmers markets welcome the growing season
 

Farmers markets welcome the growing season

While the summer bounty of tomatoes, corn and green beans are still a couple of months away, there is still…
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Top two in Swain sheriff primary headed for a rematch
 

Top two in Swain sheriff primary headed for a rematch

Candidate Mitchell Jenkins decided last week to revive arguably the most heated race in Swain County for one more round.…
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The Naturalist's Corner
 

The Naturalist's Corner

Perks of Adult ADD The other morning I was in the wilds of the Cheoah Ranger District below the Cherohala…
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Sylva cardboard box venture collapses
 

Sylva cardboard box venture collapses

Stonewall Packaging, a cardboard plant in Sylva, laid off 43 workers last week and shut down operations after coming on…
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Do you know where you live?
 

Do you know where you live?

One of the handouts I use during natural history workshops is headed “Southern Blue Ridge Province: Geographic Location and Influences.”…
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Bear gets put down after close encounter with Smokies visitor
 

Bear gets put down after close encounter with Smokies visitor

A visitor in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park got nipped on the foot by a bear after getting too…
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Cherokee enrollment quandary leads to talk of DNA testing
 

Cherokee enrollment quandary leads to talk of DNA testing

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is talking about moving to DNA testing as a way of verifying the blood…
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Haywood commissioners take heat for planned overhaul of trash and recycling
 

Haywood commissioners take heat for planned overhaul of trash and recycling

Haywood County commissioners are fighting opposition on all fronts after a county task force recently recommended major changes to trash…
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Proposed road calls for bridge over N.C. 107 in Jackson
 

Proposed road calls for bridge over N.C. 107 in Jackson

A new road that would traverse the campus of Southwestern Community College and provide a new link between two of…
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The EBCI enrollment audit at a glance
 

The EBCI enrollment audit at a glance

What is the enrollment audit? A review of the nearly 14,000 people on the tribe’s roll to determine whether they…
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New owners take long view on Balsam Mountain Preserve
 

New owners take long view on Balsam Mountain Preserve

As one development after another began to bite the dust two years ago, lenders who had bankrolled the mountain building…
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Cataloochee Ranch plants seed for mighty tree to thrive once more
 

Cataloochee Ranch plants seed for mighty tree to thrive once more

A collaborative effort between The American Chestnut Foundation and the Coker family has put Cataloochee Ranch in Maggie Valley on…
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Grant propels Waynesville skate park, but the price tag is still daunting
 

Grant propels Waynesville skate park, but the price tag is still daunting

Ten-year-old Waynesville resident Zeb Powell has exclusive, 24-7 access to a skate park in town — it’s in his driveway.…
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Jackson County rides out budget storm unscathed
 

Jackson County rides out budget storm unscathed

Jackson County Manager Ken Westmoreland said he would deliver a balanced budget with no cuts to services or staff and…
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Plans in hand, but money isn’t for Haywood park
 

Plans in hand, but money isn’t for Haywood park

$6,342,044. That’s approximately how much money needs to be raised before Haywood County residents can expect to see a recreation…
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America’s Favorite Journey
 

America’s Favorite Journey

The Blue Ridge Parkway unravels gracefully across the landscape, at times suspended from high cliffs and etched into rocky crags,…
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The tannery and the Green Fly
 

The tannery and the Green Fly

During my first year at Western Carolina Teachers College (now Western Carolina University) in 1953, I managed to offend my…
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Graham to vacate spot on Sylva board, but not until casting vote for next year’s budget
 

Graham to vacate spot on Sylva board, but not until casting vote for next year’s budget

Sylva Commissioner Sarah Graham will step down from the town board at the end of June because her family has…
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Friends of Jackson library finish fundraising miracle with help from federal stimulus money
 

Friends of Jackson library finish fundraising miracle with help from federal stimulus money

The Friends of the Jackson County Main Library have completed their remarkable effort to raise $1.6 million to outfit the…
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Downtown Waynesville entertainment venture wins state grant
 

Downtown Waynesville entertainment venture wins state grant

A downtown Waynesville project that would put a live entertainment venue, a microbrewery and a pizza restaurant together in the…
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Stand up paddling takes off
 

Stand up paddling takes off

Okay, so we didn’t cross the Kauai Channel, but last Friday Mark Singleton, executive director of Sylva-based American Whitewater, took…
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Artists join forces through co-op to gain visibility
 

Artists join forces through co-op to gain visibility

Steve Lampl paints with acrylics and loves to golf. But last year when he had shoulder surgery, he had to…
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Patchwork Folk & Fabric Festival celebrates Appalachian crafts
 

Patchwork Folk & Fabric Festival celebrates Appalachian crafts

The traditions of spinning, weaving, quilting, caning, blacksmithing, sewing, hand stitchery, and other folk arts have survived in the Appalachian…
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The tribe’s audit is bound to cause bitterness
 

The tribe’s audit is bound to cause bitterness

How do you kick out a member of a Native American tribe? The Eastern Band of Cherokee is about to…
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Engineers still honing plan to stabilize remnants of Maggie landslide
 

Engineers still honing plan to stabilize remnants of Maggie landslide

Once repair work is complete, a precarious Maggie Valley mountainside destabilized by a major mudslide will be returned to its…
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Angel Medical, Mission consider partnership
 

Angel Medical, Mission consider partnership

Angel Medical Center in Franklin may soon come under the wing of Mission Hospital in Asheville. Smaller, rural hospitals are…
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Weekend fish kill on Jonathan Creek a mystery
 

Weekend fish kill on Jonathan Creek a mystery

The cause of a fish kill on an isolated stretch of Jonathan Creek in Maggie Valley last Saturday is eluding…
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The Naturalist's Corner
 

The Naturalist's Corner

Bird Lag Last weekend (5/21-5/23) was a blur of birds, bears and blooms — a combination of work, friends, fellowship…
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Reading Nina Simone’s tragic life
 

Reading Nina Simone’s tragic life

Princess Noire: The Tumultuous Reign of Nina Simone, by Nadine Cohodas. Pantheon Books, 2010. 449 pages. The first time I…
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Sylva parking shortage in the eye of the beholder
 

Sylva parking shortage in the eye of the beholder

A parking study of downtown Sylva conducted by a Western Carolina University graduate student has gotten local merchants talking and…
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A place called home
 

A place called home

One doesn’t tire of certain places. Even though they inevitably change through the years, they become more than friends. The…
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County cuts to recreation saddle towns with added costs
 

County cuts to recreation saddle towns with added costs

In the eyes of Canton’s town leaders, the status quo in recreation funding just isn’t cutting it. For years, the…
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A coyote in the yard
 

A coyote in the yard

Monday morning … 9:15 or so … suddenly the coyote was there … as if from out of nowhere ……
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Screening to feature extreme outdoor footage
 

Screening to feature extreme outdoor footage

Catch the steepest and deepest in high-adrenaline outdoor sport films when Radical Reels Tour comes to Asheville on Monday, Sept.…
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Plant conference brings out all things botanical
 

Plant conference brings out all things botanical

Landscape design, botany, horticulture and gardening will be the highlight of “Landscaping and Gardening With Native Plants” conference held in…
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5K set among the fairways of Highlands course
 

5K set among the fairways of Highlands course

A 5K race will traverse the front nine holes of the Old Edwards Club in Highlands on Saturday, Sept. 11,…
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Rules for guns and game on the Blue Ridge Parkway
 

Rules for guns and game on the Blue Ridge Parkway

With guns now allowed in national parks, red tape faced by hunters crossing the Blue Ridge Parkway en route to…
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HCC Low-Impact Development fast track
 

HCC Low-Impact Development fast track

A Low Impact Development FastTrack Certification will be held at Haywood Community College on Wednesday, Sept. 15 through Friday, Sept.…
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Program aims to get local produce into Jackson cafeterias
 

Program aims to get local produce into Jackson cafeterias

A workshop on bringing local farm produce into the schools will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday,…
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Fox sightings up
 

Fox sightings up

Fox sightings in town are on the rise, including residential suburban neighborhoods and they have even been reported on busy…
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WNC birders jolted from summer doldrums
 

WNC birders jolted from summer doldrums

Birders are a restless, impatient lot. From the end of June till the end of August they walk around in…
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Cataloochee Elk deemed a success
 

Cataloochee Elk deemed a success

Fans of the elk herd in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park would be surprised to learn that until now,…
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WCU Authors Hal Herzog and Anna Fariello at City Lights
 

WCU Authors Hal Herzog and Anna Fariello at City Lights

Western Carolina University psychology professor Hal Herzog will celebrate his new book, Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We…
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Decoration Day authors offer presentation
 

Decoration Day authors offer presentation

Alan Jabbour and Karen Singer Jabbour, authors of Decoration Day in the Mountains: Traditions of Cemetery Decoration in the Southern…
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Choice of victims makes this a disturbing read
 

Choice of victims makes this a disturbing read

Stephen Hunter’s I, Sniper (ISBN 978-1-4165-6515-4, $26) brings to readers once again that intrepid sniper, now old and aching from…
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Kick Off Labor Day weekend with the Porch Music Club
 

Kick Off Labor Day weekend with the Porch Music Club

Start your Labor Day weekend with free live music at the Concerts on the Creek series in downtown Sylva. The…
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FPAC anniversary gala features music, drama
 

FPAC anniversary gala features music, drama

Western Carolina University will mark five years of art and entertainment at the Fine and Performing Arts Center with a…
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Grammy-winning artist Brett James to perform benefit concert in Haywood
 

Grammy-winning artist Brett James to perform benefit concert in Haywood

Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and producer Brett James, along with Ginny McAfee, will perform on Saturday, Sept. 18, at the Haywood…
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