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The economies of Haywood and Buncombe counties are and have been intricately linked for some time now, but a forthcoming agreement between them will soon formalize an economic development partnership designed to move both counties forward in a more efficient, more effective manner.

“A lie can run around the world before the truth has its boots on.”

That’s one of the few quotes or sayings I can summon up at will. At some point it was etched into my memory. An internet search credits it to Terry Pratchett, a recently deceased but very popular British author of fantasy novels whom I have never read.

It’s a sunny, abnormally warm October afternoon, and Tom Anspach is ready to meet it with a canoe on the Pigeon River.

But Anspach, accompanied by 19-year-old Josh Arford, isn’t there to paddle for miles or fish for trout. He’s there to fish for trash.

Just outside of a small Western North Carolina community known as “Papertown USA” sits a dilapidated 84-year old brick schoolhouse surrounded by an even smaller, mostly African-American community known as “Gibsontown.”

“It was a very boxed-in world,” said Billy McDowell, who grew up in the neighborhood. “That world was all you knew. The internet wasn’t here, and so the only thing we had was the six and 11 o’clock news, which we never watched.”

Earlier this year, a series of stories in The Smoky Mountain News focusing on Haywood County’s economy explored its various economic sectors, the businesses that comprise them, the organizations that aid them and the ultimate financial impact of them.

The Shining Rock Classical Academy Board of Directors accepted the resignation of School Director Ben Butler during a Sunday night emergency board meeting. His resignation is effective immediately.

When Shining Rock Classical Academy opened in 2015, the public charter school was hailed as a victory for local proponents of school choice and promised to provide an academically rigorous, comprehensive college preparatory curriculum.

Haywood County native Joel R. Mashburn has been selected to serve as interim county manager following the recent and unexpected departure of former County Manager Ira Dove on Oct. 3.

Its no surprise that The Smoky Mountain News’ annual Women in Business issue highlights women who are in business, but this year, we decided to focus on something a bit more meta: the daughter of a woman in business who is a woman in the business of getting women into business.

It’s a sunny Friday morning on the Pigeon River when the bucket brigade assembles, five-gallon containers in hand. The stock truck has just arrived, making its way up windy U.S. 276 and down the equally squirrely N.C. 215, tanks loaded with fish and water.

A pair of fish culturists from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission stands atop the truck as a line of bucket-bearers forms leading up to it, and the work begins. Each bucket received a splash of water and a dollop of flipping, fighting trout — rainbow, brown and brook all mixed together in one writhing mass.

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