Two Waynesville sweepstake parlors charged as industry guns for a court fight

A Waynesville sweepstakes operator was charged with a criminal misdemeanor last weekend when she refused to shut down her machines, considered a form of illegal gambling under state law.

State torn on driver’s licenses for children of illegal immigrants

It’s a right of passage for teens, the Holy Grail of high school, an iconic symbol of young adulthood freedom — that tiny piece of plastic called a driver’s license.

Sweepstakes parlor closings leave some winners, some losers

fr sweepstakesCarol Anthony sat at in the back corner of a sweepstakes parlor in Maggie Valley one afternoon last week, getting her last fix of video gaming in before the next day’s ban took away what she claimed was her sole source of fun.

Our state's priorities have gone askew

op frThe swearing in of new Gov. Pat McCrory this past weekend brought to mind a conversation at a recent holiday party. I was sequestered with a few political types and several issues came up that had been covered in The Smoky Mountain News and other media outlets. Several of these discussion points are going to fall into the lap of the new governor and the General Assembly.

So long sweepstakes: Supreme Court upholds state’s authority to regulate gambling

The North Carolina Supreme Court ruled last week that state lawmakers indeed have the power to ban video gambling in its various forms, including the latest reincarnation known as video sweepstakes.

Quality over quantity in Appalachia

art frDowntown Franklin is all sunshine, but it’s the calm before the storm.

Drifting through an array of stores and restaurants lining Main Street, the scene is quiet, but soon, with Thanksgiving falling into the rearview mirror, shoppers determined and curious will overtake the small town, in search of handmade items from regional artists. Strolling the sidewalk, one soon comes upon North Carolina Mountain Made.

Vehicle property tax bill will soon be wrapped in with tag registration

In an effort to extinguish delinquent vehicle taxes, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a law that will combine vehicle property tax and car registration into one bill.

When it goes into effect, drivers can’t get their tags renewed until they’ve also paid their vehicle property taxes.

State candidates wrangle over 1-cent sales tax

fr issuesDemocratic and Republican candidates squaring off in state races this year offer voters a clear choice on a key philosophical issue gripping North Carolina during the past two years: taxes versus budget cuts.

Where state candidates stand: abortion and women’s health

During the past two years, several keystone issues regarding abortion and women’s reproductive health have been debated at the state level.

The Republican-led General Assembly has attempted to cut funding for Planned Parenthood and passed the Women’s Right to Know Act, which dictates new regulations for receiving an abortion.

Reproductive health, abortion battles loom

fr issuesState lawmakers during the past two years have passed several pieces of legislation centered around the abortion issue — including the attempt to cut funding for Planned Parenthood and a new set of protocols, dubbed the Women’s Right to Know Act, that set ground rules for performing abortions.

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