Garret K. Woodward

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fr bannedbooksDawn Gilchrist-Young doesn’t just read and teach books, she defends them.

As chair of the English department for Swain County High School, Gilchrist-Young is joining “Banned Books Weeks”, which is a nationwide celebration this week in honor of one of our greatest freedoms. 

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coverIt’s noon on a Wednesday and Scott Peterson already has beer on the mind.

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art frWhat could’ve been a lifelong haunting moment for most turned out to be an epiphany for Josh Merrell.

“I farted in front of my fourth-grade class. The teacher asked who did it and instead of sheepishly hiding at my desk, I raised my hand,” he said. “The room erupted with laughter; I even made a few friends. That’s when I got a taste for comedy, although I took the fart bit out of my routine just recently.”

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fr slacklineWith a steady flow of noisy cars and chatty pedestrians zooming through the Western Carolina University campus, Kyle Coleman straddles a tiny rope, ignoring the commotion and focusing on the task at hand.

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art frFor a man who has just won the North Carolina Literature Award, writer Gary Carden is quite somber.

At his home in Sylva last week, he rocked in a chair on the front porch, his trusty dog Jack lying nearby. He was recently informed of the award, but it seems bittersweet. His latest creation — and a catalyst for the achievement — is the play “Outlander,” a historical drama about famed writer Horace Kephart who chronicled the lives of hardscrabble Appalachian settlers in the early 1900s.

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fr fairchildRaymond Fairchild is a man of few words.

But, it only takes those few words to truly grasp a man that ultimately lives up to myth and legend.

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art frBringing together Cherokee artisans and tourists from every corner of the globe, the Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual celebrated a decade last Saturday of presenting their Labor Day weekend Open Air Indian Art Market. 

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fr theftThe Oconaluftee Indian Village in Cherokee was broken into recently. Sacred and traditional items used by re-enactors who portray early Native American life at the living history site were stolen.

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art frMountain music, dancing and tradition will be on display once again on the shores of beautiful Lake Junaluska as the Smoky Mountain Folk Festival, now in its 42nd year, celebrates the culture and heritage of Western North Carolina.

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fr beardsThough Aaron Stone has always had a love of mayonnaise, lately the condiment has become a real nuisance in his life.

“It just gets all stuck in my beard,” he said. “That and soups, it’s just becomes a real mess.”

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fr firefightersWith torrential rain and a fierce wind blowing through the Haywood County Fairgrounds last Thursday evening, the harsh weather conditions didn’t deter several local fire departments from their mission of the day — to claim victory during the “Battle of the Bucket” at the Haywood County Annual Firefighter Competition.

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art tranthamsWhen Doug Trantham was a kid, he wanted to impress his father.

“I was 10-years-old when my dad made a banjo,” he said. “That was around the house and I got interested in playing it. Banjo is my heart instrument. I learned to play clawhammer style and loved it.”

Picking up the instrument, Trantham had an urge to show his dad what he was made of.

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coverThe strings of tradition and progress echoed from the back alley.

Upon further inspection (and a lone door cracked open), the harmonic tone was radiating from the mandolin of Darren Nicholson.

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