Family time before deployment a mix of emotions
 

Family time before deployment a mix of emotions

I do not much like having my photograph taken, but there is one picture of me I have always liked.…
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Judge refuses to dismiss Mathis slander case against Council on Aging board chair
 

Judge refuses to dismiss Mathis slander case against Council on Aging board chair

Three years later, Denise Mathis, former director of the Haywood County Council on Aging, is still fighting to restore her…
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Sheriff, Swain point fingers over budget shortfall
 

Sheriff, Swain point fingers over budget shortfall

The on-going tension between Swain County commissioners and the sheriff has surfaced yet again, this time over the root cause…
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The Naturalist's Corner
 

The Naturalist's Corner

Surprises under fog I decided to take advantage of a few free hours last Friday morning to get a firsthand…
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WCU shoreline studies send out call to action
 

WCU shoreline studies send out call to action

Western Carolina University professor Rob Young has co-authored a book titled The Rising Sea, which bears an “urgent message” for…
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Indigo mushrooms elicit eureka moment
 

Indigo mushrooms elicit eureka moment

When John Springstead went hiking through the forest behind his house outside Bryson City last week, he stumbled across a…
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Permit lapses for proposed Jackson County golf course
 

Permit lapses for proposed Jackson County golf course

Plans for a 300-acre golf course on Cullowhee Mountain in Jackson County have been temporarily sidelined after developers failed to…
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Entering the mind of a terrorist
 

Entering the mind of a terrorist

First up for review this week is Piers Paul Read’s The Death of a Pope (Ignatius Press, ISBN 978-1-58617-295-4), the…
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Sign snatching a futile effort to enforce ordinance without teeth
 

Sign snatching a futile effort to enforce ordinance without teeth

Illegal temporary signs are so commonplace in Waynesville that Byron Hickox — the town’s land use manager — does a…
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A gifted writer, a great naturalist
 

A gifted writer, a great naturalist

Those of you who enjoy reading books about the Smokies should make an effort to locate a copy of Hidden…
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Watershed assessment still underway
 

Watershed assessment still underway

The team of experts conducting an ecological assessment of Waynesville’s 8,600-acre watershed has collected so much data that they have…
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Dam fight between Duke, Jackson goes to federal court
 

Dam fight between Duke, Jackson goes to federal court

Jackson County’s lawsuit against Duke Energy to seize the Dillsboro Dam and surrounding river shore through eminent domain has been…
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HCC crafts students awarded fine arts scholarships
 

HCC crafts students awarded fine arts scholarships

Four Haywood Community College Professional Crafts students, representing each field of study, were recently awarded Gateway to the Arts Scholarships.…
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Macon wades gingerly toward transportation plan
 

Macon wades gingerly toward transportation plan

As the main coordinator of a comprehensive transportation plan for Macon County, Ryan Sherby faces a long road ahead of…
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Scholarship to fund WCU students at Highlands Biological Station
 

Scholarship to fund WCU students at Highlands Biological Station

A scholarship fund to encourage biological research among students at Western Carolina University has been created as a tribute to…
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A seven-year vigil for peace
 

A seven-year vigil for peace

A quiet gathering of people stood outside Haywood County’s courthouse on a recent Wednesday afternoon holding colorful signs and flags…
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Quantifying solitude: Building a lockbox around the Chattooga River
 

Quantifying solitude: Building a lockbox around the Chattooga River

The forest service has pledged to ensure a solitary wilderness experience on the upper Chattooga River, even if it means…
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Preserving craft and livelihood: Successful Quilt Trails of WNC coming soon to Haywood, Macon
 

Preserving craft and livelihood: Successful Quilt Trails of WNC coming soon to Haywood, Macon

By Julia Merchant • Contributing Writer Take a drive through the countryside of Western North Carolina, and you’ll likely notice…
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The Naturalist's Corner
 

The Naturalist's Corner

Taking a swim through the air On long narrow graceful wings, the common nighthawk seems lighter than air as it…
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Emotional healthcare debate brings out both sides in Sylva
 

Emotional healthcare debate brings out both sides in Sylva

The battle over healthcare reform hit home in Sylva last week. A crowd of more than 50 people gathered on…
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Business expert to offer tips in three WNC downtowns
 

Business expert to offer tips in three WNC downtowns

With an economy still recovering from a recession, local businesses are reaching for ways to keep customers coming. Downtown associations…
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Lake J seeks state help for dam, sediment
 

Lake J seeks state help for dam, sediment

Lake Junaluska Assembly is asking Haywood County commissioners to help it land state grants for maintenance on the lake and…
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WCU to pass on electric rate hike
 

WCU to pass on electric rate hike

Those who buy their power from Western Carolina University have historically enjoyed cheaper electric bills than their neighbors, but that…
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Haywood gets rolling on methane project
 

Haywood gets rolling on methane project

Haywood County commissioners have taken the first step in constructing a more than $1 million methane collection system at two…
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Follow the yellow brick road
 

Follow the yellow brick road

• The Craft Heritage Trails of Western North Carolina are collected in a travel-size book that leads visitors on eight…
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Grouse habitat dedicated to outdoor lover
 

Grouse habitat dedicated to outdoor lover

A project to create prime ruffed grouse habitat in the Cold Mountain Game Lands has been dedicated as the Jerry…
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The dark side of the Romantics
 

The dark side of the Romantics

The Monsters: Mary Shelley and the Curse of Frankenstein by Dorothy and Thomas Hobbler. Little, Brown and Company. 374 pages.…
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Borrowing bikes a big hit at university
 

Borrowing bikes a big hit at university

Ever since the launch of the Yellow Bike Project in late August, a new bike culture has quickly sprung up…
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Macon group takes aim at day care shortage
 

Macon group takes aim at day care shortage

By Julie Ball • Correspondent Working parents in Macon County have few choices when it comes to child care for…
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Player death prompts sickle cell testing for Western Carolina student athletes
 

Player death prompts sickle cell testing for Western Carolina student athletes

Western Carolina University has enacted mandatory testing for the sickle cell trait among all student athletes following the death of…
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NC’s tourist trails
 

NC’s tourist trails

An Internet search for tourism trails spawns a list of results including biking in Texas, rail travel in England, a…
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Casada releases premier fly-fishing book of the Smokies
 

Casada releases premier fly-fishing book of the Smokies

Award-winning outdoor writer Jim Casada has just published what he describes as “my book of a lifetime.” Fly Fishing in…
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If not now, then health care reform may never pass
 

If not now, then health care reform may never pass

This country must pass health care reform that accomplishes two major objectives: providing coverage for everyone and controlling skyrocketing costs.…
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Zahner’s special affection for Highlands
 

Zahner’s special affection for Highlands

Biologist and ecologist Robert Zahner (1923-2007) was born in Summerville, S.C., and grew up in Atlanta. But his adopted “spiritual…
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State workers group chastises Shuler for health care opposition
 

State workers group chastises Shuler for health care opposition

Health insurance reform has garnered a seemingly incongruous ally: the already well-insured workers of the State Employees Association of North…
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Vivid descriptions fail to save flawed book
 

Vivid descriptions fail to save flawed book

South of Broad by Pat Conroy. Nan A. Talese, 2009. 528 pages. In his latest novel, South of Broad (ISBN…
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Free clinics feel recession’s pinch
 

Free clinics feel recession’s pinch

Amy Street thought she could finally afford health insurance this year. But that was before Street’s employer slashed 25 hours…
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Florida’s loss likely means our gain – and challenge
 

Florida’s loss likely means our gain – and challenge

It’s always a little embarrassing to look on another’s misfortune and discover that you may be the beneficiary of their…
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Spinning tales, weaving dreams: Storyteller hopes to preserve craft and WNC history under one roof
 

Spinning tales, weaving dreams: Storyteller hopes to preserve craft and WNC history under one roof

By Julia Merchant • Contributing writer As a professional storyteller, Tim Hall is no stranger to spinning yarns — but…
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Graham jerks the rug out from Swain County in Deal’s Gap
 

Graham jerks the rug out from Swain County in Deal’s Gap

Graham County has thrown a curve ball in an ongoing debate with Swain County over ambulance service in Deal’s Gap,…
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Niche tourism strategy debuts ‘micro’ Web sites
 

Niche tourism strategy debuts ‘micro’ Web sites

Haywood County Tourism Development Authority is employing an ambitious new marketing strategy to lure tourists, and their dollars, to the…
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Methane collection system at landfill in the works
 

Methane collection system at landfill in the works

Haywood County officials are racing against the clock to get a methane collection system built at two landfills before the…
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Paddlers get restricted access to Chattooga
 

Paddlers get restricted access to Chattooga

A long-standing ban on paddling on the Upper Chattooga River will be lifted this winter, but not without a host…
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Panthertown trail plan designates use
 

Panthertown trail plan designates use

A new trail management plan designed to rein in heavy use by competing forms of recreation in Panthertown Valley will…
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Acclaimed fiber artist to exhibit, teach at The Bascom
 

Acclaimed fiber artist to exhibit, teach at The Bascom

An exhibition by critically acclaimed fiber artist Cat Chow opens with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept.…
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Pooches pose problem in Sylva
 

Pooches pose problem in Sylva

A debate has erupted in Sylva over whether dogs should be allowed in the town’s new Bridge Park, a small…
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A natural passion for history
 

A natural passion for history

Naturalist, photographer and writer Edwin Way Teale (1899-1980) was born in Joliet, Ill. American nature writing in descriptive prose inevitably…
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Cell company dashes hopes new tower will mimic pine tree
 

Cell company dashes hopes new tower will mimic pine tree

A new cell phone tower has been proposed on the south-facing side of Utah Mountain above Lake Junaluska. It would…
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Woman claims officers denied her medication during DWI incident
 

Woman claims officers denied her medication during DWI incident

An epileptic woman in Macon County is alleging that she did not receive proper medical attention after being arrested for…
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Hiker airlifted from remote region of Smokies
 

Hiker airlifted from remote region of Smokies

A five-day search for a lost hiker in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park had a happy ending last week.…
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