Bryson City buckles down to fix decrepit sewer system

As crumbling infrastructure in small towns across the country becomes a more urgent issue, Bryson City has been saddled with improving an aging sewer system so old and dysfunctional that North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality has halted any large-scale developments in town that would need new sewer connections.

A labor of love: After 20 years, Petty walks away from MDCS

Mountain Discovery Charter School in Swain County is celebrating its 20th year serving students in Western North Carolina. The school has largely been a labor of love, a massive effort of parents and staff to provide the most well-rounded education possible to students throughout their elementary and middle school years. 

Development in Swain driven by tourism

Development for Swain County often looks much different than other counties, mostly because Swain has such a limited amount of land available for development. 

Incarcerated at Christmas: Swain inmates thankful for family visitations

Swain County Detention Center became a place of reunions and redemption during the last few weeks as inmates had their first chance in over two years to see their family members face to face. 

Swain County Schools faces recruitment, retention obstacles

In the midst of the third school year affected by COVID-19, school systems are keenly aware of the stress the pandemic causes for staff. Teachers and support staff alike have left their positions in record numbers as the occupation changes at breakneck pace, and Swain County Schools is doing what it can to identify obstacles to recruiting and retaining teachers. 

Census tract limits Swain’s options for ARP spending

Swain County Board of Commissioners voted to spend its American Rescue Plan allocation on pay for employees since a guideline regarding “qualified census tracts” limits the county’s ability to put the money toward infrastructure projects. 

Duke LifePoint hospitals implement vaccine mandate

Harris Regional Hospital, Swain Community Hospital and Haywood Regional Medical Center, all owned by Duke LifePoint, will require the COVID-19 vaccine for all employees. 

State budget includes $850K for Swain

The North Carolina General Assembly passed an official budget last week that includes $850,000 for critical infrastructure projects in Swain County. 

Swain will mandate masks in schools

Swain County Schools will start the year with a mask mandate, reversing a previous decision to make masks optional for the 2021-22 school year. 

Swain to support Medicaid expansion

Swain County Board of Commissioners plans to pass a resolution showing the county’s support for Medicaid expansion in North Carolina following a presentation from Casey Cooper, CEO of the Cherokee Indian Hospital.

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