Archived News

Spoof Awards 2021: The Grinch Award

Mr. Grinch—not such a mean one, after all. Donated photo Mr. Grinch—not such a mean one, after all. Donated photo

The Grinch Award goes to Swain County Sheriff Curtis Cochran, but not for the reasons you may think. We know the Grinch — and law enforcement — gets a bad rep, but we forget that the Grinch wasn’t all bad, and in the end, he came through for Whoville to make Christmas a magical time for all. 

Just like the Grinch, Cochran realized the true meaning of Christmas is more than gifts, it is about love, forgiveness and togetherness. To spread the holiday joy, Sheriff Cochran arranged for inmates to reunite face to face with their loved ones during the month of December. He also led a fundraising campaign to ensure those inmates could provide Christmas gifts for their children. 

“They say that the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes that day! And then the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches, plus two.”

So thank you, Sheriff, for showing the true size of your heart this year. It’s been a tough couple of years. We have every right to feel a bit grinchy right now, but we can also choose to spread love instead of hate. 

Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.