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Everyone's mother
 

Everyone's mother

Mother Jones by Elliott J. Gorn. Hill and Wang, 2002. 408 pages. When Mother Jones celebrated her (allegedly) 100th birthday…
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Dogwoods in the mountains
 

Dogwoods in the mountains

In the Smokies region, there are three species of dogwood. Everyone is familiar with flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), which is…
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Nuisance debate both crass and credible
 

Nuisance debate both crass and credible

Every now and then a government proposal takes on such a vigorous life of its own that its intent gets…
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New library complex will honor courthouse heritage
 

New library complex will honor courthouse heritage

In Massachusetts, a vacant textile mill is now an art museum. An old city hall became a restaurant. In California,…
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Cherokee parents protest losses in children’s trust fund
 

Cherokee parents protest losses in children’s trust fund

A throng of about 150 angry members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians turned out to the Birdtown Community…
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Noisy and determined opponents get their way with nuisance ordinance
 

Noisy and determined opponents get their way with nuisance ordinance

Take note — members of the public with an agenda to push could learn a thing or two from the…
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Lake Junaluska Duathlon: Athletes give rave reviews to new race
 

Lake Junaluska Duathlon: Athletes give rave reviews to new race

Between blue skies and blue water, the inaugural Lake Junaluska Duathlon won over dozens of runners and bikers this weekend.…
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Multi-family unit OK’d by judge, but court rules against proposed expansion
 

Multi-family unit OK’d by judge, but court rules against proposed expansion

The neighborhood covenants of a Maggie Valley homeowners association were put to the test in court recently. A developer sued…
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Affordable senior condos spark opposition among downtown Waynesville neighbors
 

Affordable senior condos spark opposition among downtown Waynesville neighbors

Residents of a downtown Waynesville neighborhood are up in arms about a proposed three-story, 64-unit condo development that would provide…
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Ghost Town partners establish own credit line
 

Ghost Town partners establish own credit line

Owners of Ghost Town in the Sky hope to funnel up to $500,000 into the amusement park in order to…
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Macon airport lands more money for artifact surveys
 

Macon airport lands more money for artifact surveys

Opposition to the airport runway extension in Macon County continues to mount, with a standing-room-only crowd attending last week’s Airport…
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Vacated library could become new home for Sylva police
 

Vacated library could become new home for Sylva police

The Sylva Police Department may find a new home in the Jackson County Public Library on Main Street once the…
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From South America to the Appalachians
 

From South America to the Appalachians

Alpacas herald from South America, but are increasingly being found on farms in the Southern Appalachians. Alpacas are in the…
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New Swain jail continues to rack up costs
 

New Swain jail continues to rack up costs

Weeks following an escape at the brand-new Swain County jail, county commissioners agreed to an emergency appropriation of $139,000 at…
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Weavers bring finest of craft to WNC
 

Weavers bring finest of craft to WNC

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer This April, nearly 100 professional weavers and spinners will converge at Lake Junaluska in…
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Jackson ordered to relinquish permits that pave way for dam removal
 

Jackson ordered to relinquish permits that pave way for dam removal

Despite losing yet another court battle over the Dillsboro dam, the majority of Jackson County commissioners have vowed to continue…
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Jackson Paper adding 61 jobs in Sylva
 

Jackson Paper adding 61 jobs in Sylva

Stonewall Packaging LLC, a joint venture of Jackson Paper Manufacturing Co., announced today that it will invest more than $17…
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Anne Rice’s spiritual journey
 

Anne Rice’s spiritual journey

Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession by Anne Rice. Alfred A. Knopf, 2008. 256 pages. The books are piling…
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Park starts lengthy reorganization process
 

Park starts lengthy reorganization process

Despite the daunting hurdles faced by Ghost Town in the Sky to get the Maggie Valley amusement park open by…
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State wants assurances before approving loan for Sylva fire department
 

State wants assurances before approving loan for Sylva fire department

The town of Sylva continues to be plagued by a financial mistake made last year in which $2 million in…
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Get ready for life in the fast lane
 

Get ready for life in the fast lane

It seems impossible that my niece is going to have a baby. She is 20 years old, which is about…
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Local couple recognized for land stewardship
 

Local couple recognized for land stewardship

John and Jane Young of Haywood County have been recognized by the North Carolina Forest Stewardship Program for their commitment…
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The Naturalist's Corner
 

The Naturalist's Corner

Watershed dreaming Last Saturday (April 4) was another sojourn into the town of Waynesville’s 8,500-acre plus watershed. The town initiated…
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Alpacas: Furry, friendly and in 23 colors
 

Alpacas: Furry, friendly and in 23 colors

The group that Joe Moore hangs out with most days is an eclectic one, with names like Jack Straw, Reuben,…
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Ghost Town’s struggles challenge community
 

Ghost Town’s struggles challenge community

As Ghost Town continues to struggle, many are finally coming to grips with the reality that the Old West theme…
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All airport documents requested in lead up to runway lawsuit
 

All airport documents requested in lead up to runway lawsuit

An environmental group out of Asheville plans to sue the Macon County Airport Authority and other parties involved in the…
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Old stone walls redux
 

Old stone walls redux

(Author’s Note: While running random Internet searches, I occasionally am confronted from out of the blue, as it were, with…
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Fired jail employee says he warned of relationship between murder suspect and jailer
 

Fired jail employee says he warned of relationship between murder suspect and jailer

The Swain County sheriff and jail administrators were warned that a jailer who freed a double murder suspect March 21…
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Haywood proposes incentives for green business
 

Haywood proposes incentives for green business

Economic development officials have adopted a policy that will give business incentives to clean, renewable energy projects that locate in…
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Canton has new town manager: Lengthy search ends back where it started — with interim manager Matthews
 

Canton has new town manager: Lengthy search ends back where it started — with interim manager Matthews

After a search that has dragged on for more than a year, the Canton Board of Alderman has finally selected…
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New Sylva manager’s salary below state average of similar-sized towns
 

New Sylva manager’s salary below state average of similar-sized towns

Though some are complaining that the salary for the recently hired Sylva town manager is high for her level of…
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A gem of a novel
 

A gem of a novel

The Missing by Tim Gautreaux. Knopf Double Publishing Group, 2009. 384 pages. This is a novel that seems to vibrate…
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Ghost Town faces huge challenges as it tries to restructure debt, open park
 

Ghost Town faces huge challenges as it tries to restructure debt, open park

The business partners behind Ghost Town in the Sky are facing significant logistical and financial challenges as they pursue their…
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Shuler proving his independence
 

Shuler proving his independence

Openly conservative Democratic Rep. Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville, is blazing his own path in Congress. That characteristic is easy to admire,…
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Debts mount at theme park
 

Debts mount at theme park

Ghost Town in the Sky amusement park in Maggie Valley has left a wake of unpaid bills with local companies…
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The Naturalist's Corner
 

The Naturalist's Corner

Caving moratorium sought Three weeks ago (Naturalist’s Corner 3/11) I wrote about a mysterious malady dubbed White Nose Syndrome (WNS)…
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Ghost Town responds
 

Ghost Town responds

The following comment was provided by Steve Shiver, Ghost Town CEO and president, in response to questions about the challenges…
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New face on Waynesville board: Funeral home director fills Kenneth Moore’s seat
 

New face on Waynesville board: Funeral home director fills Kenneth Moore’s seat

One would be be hard-pressed to find someone uttering anything but praise for new Waynesville Alderman Wells Greeley. The 6-foot,…
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Tight budget forces libraries to trim hours
 

Tight budget forces libraries to trim hours

In the latest tangible consequence of countywide budget cuts, the Haywood County Library system is scaling back hours at each…
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Finding a home for fresh water mussels
 

Finding a home for fresh water mussels

Barrels of mussels being bred at the state’s fish hatcheries are awaiting release into the region’s rivers, helping to restore…
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Do not plant Bradford Pear
 

Do not plant Bradford Pear

By Jim Janke We moved here from Chicago, where there are only two seasons: winter and road-under-construction.* By comparison, the…
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Pondering the future of newspapers
 

Pondering the future of newspapers

Much as I dislike posing the question, here it is: can you imagine a future without newspapers? Would it be…
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Mountain beauty is an asset we all own
 

Mountain beauty is an asset we all own

To the Editor: We appreciate The Smoky Mountain News coverage on the steep slope issues in Macon County and would…
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Homecoming on the Pigeon River
 

Homecoming on the Pigeon River

After decades of paper mill pollution, the Pigeon River is coming back to life — literally. Aquatic biologists embarked on…
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Teaching photography at the old Whittier school
 

Teaching photography at the old Whittier school

By Josh Mitchell • Staff Writer J.R. vanLienden grew up in a frame shop and used to promise himself he…
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Haywood tourism board debates ‘Smokies’ slogan
 

Haywood tourism board debates ‘Smokies’ slogan

Haywood County is having a bit of an identity crisis. The Tourism Development Authority touts the county as a place…
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Bluebirds continue to fascinate
 

Bluebirds continue to fascinate

My oh my what a wonderful day Plenty of sunshine in my way Zip-a-dee-doo-dah Zip-a-dee-eh Mr Bluebird’s on my shoulder…
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Guns in parks? Court says not so fast
 

Guns in parks? Court says not so fast

The ban on guns in national parks will continue to remain in place for the time being, despite a move…
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Job hunt gets harder under double digit unemployment
 

Job hunt gets harder under double digit unemployment

Sitting in the Job Link site in Sylva looking for jobs on a computer database, Kathleen Codon of Cullowhee hit…
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Swain residents lock and load in wake of escaped murder suspect
 

Swain residents lock and load in wake of escaped murder suspect

Swain County residents are locking their doors and loading their guns after a suspect in a double homicide escaped from…
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