Close-up of a crumbling facility
 

Close-up of a crumbling facility

Fire code violations, compromised client confidentiality, leaking roofs, freezing pipes, lack of energy efficiency, severely limited space, windows that won’t…
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Kimmel bankruptcy threatens construction management donation to WCU
 

Kimmel bankruptcy threatens construction management donation to WCU

The bankruptcy of one of Western Carolina University’s largest supporters will hurt the school’s fast growing construction management program. In…
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Elk delisting draws ire of protectors
 

Elk delisting draws ire of protectors

“Elk don’t know how many feet a horse has.” That’s the advice Bear Claw Chris Lapp gave Jeremiah Johnson as…
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If you reform a reform, is it still reform?
 

If you reform a reform, is it still reform?

Michael Watson, assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, contends the state’s overhaul of its behavioral health…
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National Guard soldiers deserve better
 

National Guard soldiers deserve better

The Smoky Mountain News cover story last week about the troubles faced by returning National Guard soldiers after deployments in…
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Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver record DVD live in Franklin
 

Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver record DVD live in Franklin

Audience members knew from the start that this concert would be different. Instead of beginning the Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver…
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A tale of both despair and hope
 

A tale of both despair and hope

Tears in the Darkness: The Story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath by Elizabeth and Michael Norman. Farrar,…
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Smokies not pleased with Wildlife Commission stance on elk
 

Smokies not pleased with Wildlife Commission stance on elk

The North Carolina Wildlife Commission is at odds with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park over the status of the…
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New club nurtures growing interest in bees
 

New club nurtures growing interest in bees

A beekeepers association has formed in Haywood County. The club meets at 7 p.m. the first Tuesday of the month…
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The Naturalist's Corner
 

The Naturalist's Corner

And then there were none Atlee Yoder’s purple martin houses are in storage, out of the raw Ohio weather, awaiting…
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A look at John Preston Arthur
 

A look at John Preston Arthur

One of my favorite accounts of this region’s varied history is provided by John Preston Arthur, who published his 659-page…
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Jackson loses critical court case over Dillsboro dam
 

Jackson loses critical court case over Dillsboro dam

Duke Energy could start tearing down the Dillsboro Dam any day after Jackson County lost a final and critical legal…
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Congregation backs leaders’ stand on prayer
 

Congregation backs leaders’ stand on prayer

Responding to a Smoky Mountain News article covering the debate over prayer at public meetings, a group of Macon County…
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Lawyer’s actions aroused suspicion among clients, law enforcement community
 

Lawyer’s actions aroused suspicion among clients, law enforcement community

An attorney that forged judges’ signatures was caught thanks to the sharp eyes of a law enforcement officer, a fellow…
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Soldiers face a second battle at home
 

Soldiers face a second battle at home

Citizen soldiers. The National Guard’s moniker evokes the best of American values and hearkens back to a Greek ideal. The…
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Commissioners commit to former Wal-Mart site
 

Commissioners commit to former Wal-Mart site

After a marathon five hours of discussion on Wednesday (Jan. 13), Haywood County commissioners voted unanimously to buy the abandoned…
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Antenna users left in the lurch
 

Antenna users left in the lurch

Television viewers in Jackson and Macon counties who get their reception the old-fashioned way — with an antenna — have…
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Three new developments move forward in Waynesville
 

Three new developments move forward in Waynesville

At a time when Waynesville’s appearance standards are under scrutiny for being too strict, three proposed developments cruised past the…
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License plates take off during Smokies 75th anniversary
 

License plates take off during Smokies 75th anniversary

Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park received a record $385,000 from drivers sporting the special “black bear” license plate…
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Video gambling industry undeterred by steep fees for “sweepstakes” machines
 

Video gambling industry undeterred by steep fees for “sweepstakes” machines

The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently upheld a state law that bans video gambling everywhere but the casino in…
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DOD-funded programs support local counseling initiatives
 

DOD-funded programs support local counseling initiatives

For the first time in history, the government, the military and private healthcare providers are working together to deliver the…
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Haywood County poised to buy abandoned Wal-Mart
 

Haywood County poised to buy abandoned Wal-Mart

Haywood County Commissioners are expected to vote this week to buy the abandoned Wal-Mart shopping center near Lake Junaluska and…
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Golf club to restore Upper Cullasaja
 

Golf club to restore Upper Cullasaja

The Upper Cullasaja Watershed Association and the Cullasaja Club are pursuing state funding to restore the headwaters of the Cullasaja…
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Training effort bolsters enforcement of elder abuse
 

Training effort bolsters enforcement of elder abuse

Elder abuse takes many forms and, thanks to a national grant program, law enforcement officers in Western North Carolina now…
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Haywood Regional projects positive financial picture
 

Haywood Regional projects positive financial picture

Haywood Regional Medical Center was in better financial shape than expected as it embarked on an affiliation with neighboring hospitals…
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Plastic bottle ban tough to police, but getting results
 

Plastic bottle ban tough to police, but getting results

It may be illegal to throw away plastic bottles in North Carolina these days, but don’t expect a landfill patrol…
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Canton Mill pursues new pollution permit
 

Canton Mill pursues new pollution permit

Evergreen Packaging, a large paper mill in Canton, is seeking a new water pollution permit for the Pigeon River. The…
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Attorney admits forging judges’ signatures to help clients
 

Attorney admits forging judges’ signatures to help clients

A 31-year-old attorney in Jackson County pleaded guilty this week to forging judges’ signatures and creating phony court documents. John…
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Comment

Finding a WNC solution for ‘aging in place’
 

Finding a WNC solution for ‘aging in place’

With so many unknowns ahead, it’s comforting there are proven solutions to one big challenge — the aging of the…
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Striking a balance between religion and religous freedom
 

Striking a balance between religion and religous freedom

Religion and its place in local government have once again arisen as issues in North Carolina. This means that many…
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Ice carvers set to compete at Haywood County’s innaugural Fire & Ice festival
 

Ice carvers set to compete at Haywood County’s innaugural Fire & Ice festival

Fellow ice carvers Jeff Pennypacker and Cary Shackelford are ever ready to etch out any sculpture that will satisfy their…
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Suspenseful guest drives novel
 

Suspenseful guest drives novel

For some 30 years now, Bernard Cornwell has been one of the most prolific writers in the western hemisphere. With…
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A snowflake by any other name
 

A snowflake by any other name

It was one of those rare winter mornings when Haywood County Schools were on a two-hour delay. Izzy, my second-grader,…
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Comment

Masters of the night sky
 

Masters of the night sky

The New Year has arrived and the great horned owls have commenced their annual “singing” along the dark ridges. These…
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Latest prayer case rekindles controversy
 

Latest prayer case rekindles controversy

A federal magistrate’s recommendation that limits prayer before government meetings in Forsyth County has touched off a fiery debate across…
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Christians cling to one of last vestiges of prayer in public life
 

Christians cling to one of last vestiges of prayer in public life

They haven’t gone quietly, and they haven’t gone quickly, but Christians are losing the battle over prayer in public life.…
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More than population stats hinge on accurate census
 

More than population stats hinge on accurate census

The census has been part of government since Roman times and it has the baggage to prove it. As the…
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Undaunted, elected leaders vow to keep praying as they please
 

Undaunted, elected leaders vow to keep praying as they please

Threat of a federal lawsuit won’t be enough to stop some county commissioners in Western North Carolina from praying in…
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Comment

Database breach raises concerns over Web security
 

Database breach raises concerns over Web security

In August a computer hacker broke into a North Carolina Community College System server and potentially gained access to the…
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Jackson airport to get repairs, new level of attention
 

Jackson airport to get repairs, new level of attention

The Jackson County commissioners have breathed new life into the county’s airport authority by taking it over. After appointing themselves…
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Foreclosure barrels down on Balsam Mountain Preserve
 

Foreclosure barrels down on Balsam Mountain Preserve

Foreclosure against Balsam Mountain Preserve could happen by month’s end barring a last-ditch financing deal by developers in the next…
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Macon residents still waiting on McCoy Bridge plan
 

Macon residents still waiting on McCoy Bridge plan

A year ago, state officials promised a group of Macon County residents that they would get a cost estimate for…
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What to take from 2009? How about some positive signs for the year ahead
 

What to take from 2009? How about some positive signs for the year ahead

What to say about 2009? How about this: it ended on a high note for the overall economy, and that…
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My year-end list obsessions won’t go away
 

My year-end list obsessions won’t go away

I have an irresistible urge to make a list. Apparently, it is what people must do at year’s end, especially…
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Comment

Bluegrass legend to record live DVD at Franklin concert
 

Bluegrass legend to record live DVD at Franklin concert

Area music fans will have a unique opportunity to help make history as a bluegrass/gospel music legend celebrates the 30th…
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New generation takes over at City Lights Books
 

New generation takes over at City Lights Books

What is a bookstore? The question was unimaginable when Joyce Moore bought City Lights Books in Sylva from Gary Carden…
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Characters mirror SMN readers
 

Characters mirror SMN readers

Rain Gods by James Lee Burke. Simon and Schuster, 2009. 448 pages. Readers of this column know that some authors…
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Bankrupt development conserved for future state park
 

Bankrupt development conserved for future state park

A failed megadevelopment in the Lake Lure area around Chimney Rock has been conserved at a fire sale price, but…
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The Naturalist's Corner
 

The Naturalist's Corner

Birrrrrding the big chill The annual Balsam Christmas Bird Count was scheduled for last Saturday (Jan. 2). However, scary weather…
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Elk could be booted from state species of special concern list
 

Elk could be booted from state species of special concern list

Elk could lose their status as a species of special concern under a new rule change proposed by the N.C.…
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