Fur clumps, scratches and other musings  on store cat Kea
 

Fur clumps, scratches and other musings on store cat Kea

By Chris Cooper Kea was a filthy, grease-covered little miscreant when she was found by In Your Ear Music Emporium…
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A cold winter’s hike reminds me of the value of wild places
 

A cold winter’s hike reminds me of the value of wild places

Back in early January, I found myself waking early to pack for a day-long excursion into the backwoods of Chunky…
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Short Circuit Traveling Film Festival lands in Haywood
 

Short Circuit Traveling Film Festival lands in Haywood

There’ll be a movie for every taste at the third annual Short Circuit Traveling Film Festival this year. The festival’s…
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Fitzgerald comes to life in Asheville
 

Fitzgerald comes to life in Asheville

The Fitzgerald Ruse by Mark De Castrique. Poisoned Pen Press, 2009. 250 pages. Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and magazines like…
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The Naturalist's Corner
 

The Naturalist's Corner

On the road to recovery Friends of the Western North Carolina Nature Center unveils its New Winter Speaker Series on…
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Simple signs of the evergreen
 

Simple signs of the evergreen

You can almost smell the word “evergreen.” The word is at once one of the most aptly descriptive and highly…
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Ski, Worship and Grow with your friends and MYP at Lake Junaluska
 

Ski, Worship and Grow with your friends and MYP at Lake Junaluska

Get ready to hit the slopes and participate in meaningful worship at Lake Junaluska’s Ministries with Young People (MYP) annual…
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Small-time theft by travel agent a big-time violation of trust
 

Small-time theft by travel agent a big-time violation of trust

William Maney, owner of Fantasy Travel in Sylva, allegedly defrauded an elderly woman from Franklin out of $7,000 last year…
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Macon comprehensive plan stutters as work begins
 

Macon comprehensive plan stutters as work begins

Comprehensive planning is supposed to be, well, comprehensive. But as Macon County leaders are finding out, it’s not that easy…
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Life on the rock
 

Life on the rock

Workers on the rockslide slope are laboring around the clock. There’s a day crew and a night crew, ranging from…
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Family farm builds Brasstown Beef brand
 

Family farm builds Brasstown Beef brand

It’s a slogan even the slickest New York ad firm couldn’t top if it tried: “Real Beef. Raised Right. Around…
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Waynesville producer wins national award
 

Waynesville producer wins national award

Producer, editor and videographer John Kenyon of Waynesville has been selected to receive the Award of Excellence in the slide…
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Public art to celebrate Great Smoky Mountains National Park
 

Public art to celebrate Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Waynesville Public Art Commission recently issued a Call for Artists for its fourth public art project. The proposed art…
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A new rockslide on I-40 over the weekend may take up to three weeks to clear
 

A new rockslide on I-40 over the weekend may take up to three weeks to clear

Another rockslide struck along the already closed section of Interstate 40 over the weekend. The new slide is nothing like…
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Historic Cherokee letterpress carries exciting potential for new art
 

Historic Cherokee letterpress carries exciting potential for new art

The newest addition to Southwestern Community College’s Oconaluftee Institute of Cultural Arts holds a piece of Cherokee history. OICA will…
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Jackson finally folds in long feud with Duke
 

Jackson finally folds in long feud with Duke

The seven-year battle between Jackson County commissioners and Duke Energy has come to a close. After losing a critical court…
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Chinese teacher adapts and thrives in Swain County
 

Chinese teacher adapts and thrives in Swain County

After making the journey to Western North Carolina from China, Niu Jun discovered Bryson City was nothing like she imagined.…
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Harrah’s Cherokee Casino building for big future
 

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino building for big future

With the rest of the region’s construction economy at a standstill, Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel and Casino is in the midst…
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How to fix a mountainside
 

How to fix a mountainside

In the first days following the rockslide on Interstate 40 last October, Jody Kuhne had the unenviable job of rappelling…
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Balsam Mountain Preserve foreclosure now official
 

Balsam Mountain Preserve foreclosure now official

Balsam Mountain Preserve, a mega-development in Jackson County, was sold to the highest bidder on the courthouse steps Monday (Jan.…
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Struggling cattle farmers await new auction house
 

Struggling cattle farmers await new auction house

If all goes according to plan, a new regional livestock market will open in Canton by late May to more…
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All about tea
 

All about tea

Editor’s Note: Since January is National Tea Month, The Smoky Mountain News talked to some of the tea connoisseurs in…
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Not for the faint of heart
 

Not for the faint of heart

The highly technical and extremely dangerous work to stabilize the rockslide is being carried out by Janod, a Canadian company.…
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It’s a bum deal ... I resent the hell out of it
 

It’s a bum deal ... I resent the hell out of it

By Joe Cowan • Guest Columnist Editor’s note: Jackson County Commissioner Joe Cowan made the following comments following a vote…
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A different take on a legend
 

A different take on a legend

The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell. Saint Martin’s Press, 1997. I was probably 10 years old when I discovered King…
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Virtual fieldtrip brings park into classrooms
 

Virtual fieldtrip brings park into classrooms

Three Cherokee Middle School students starred in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park live field broadcast via the web to…
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The Naturalist's Corner
 

The Naturalist's Corner

And the dam - came tumblin’ tumblin’ The Dillsboro Dam story is as twisted and convoluted as the Tuck itself.…
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Davis was a poetic nature writer
 

Davis was a poetic nature writer

The professional career of biologist Millard C. (“Bill”) Davis — who was born in 1930 in Utica, N.Y., and now…
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Rule change will consolidate mental health in WNC
 

Rule change will consolidate mental health in WNC

The state agency in charge of implementing new mental health rules this year says those changes will save money and…
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Canton leaders hope to unlock potential for commercial development around interstate
 

Canton leaders hope to unlock potential for commercial development around interstate

Canton aldermen are embarking on an ambitious quest to identify long-term goals and strategies that will shape the town in…
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Canton joins trend of imposing steep fees on video sweepstakes outlets
 

Canton joins trend of imposing steep fees on video sweepstakes outlets

The Town of Canton has begun clamping down on video sweepstakes machines with a new ordinance last week, but some…
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Wal-Mart no more
 

Wal-Mart no more

Haywood County commissioners are joining a burgeoning nationwide movement that is making use of abandoned Wal-Marts and foresaken strip malls…
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Duke prevails over Jackson
 

Duke prevails over Jackson

The seven-year battle between Jackson County commissioners and Duke Energy has come to a close. After losing a critical court…
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Swain plods toward fund balance recovery
 

Swain plods toward fund balance recovery

Despite cutting corners across the board, Swain County still isn’t sure it has achieved a healthy level of savings. Nevertheless,…
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Haywood to buy old Wal-Mart to replace aging DSS, Health Department buildings
 

Haywood to buy old Wal-Mart to replace aging DSS, Health Department buildings

Year after year, Haywood County commissioners recognized the social service and health department buildings were falling apart. Yet they passed…
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I, Church Mouse: The Day and Life of a Church Mouse
 

I, Church Mouse: The Day and Life of a Church Mouse

NOTE: Gracie Mayer won the Building Small Essay Contest held in conjunction with the N.C. Arboretum's Building Small exhibit and…
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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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