When town hall is empty: Boards debate merits of in-person, remote meetings

After a mass migration from boardrooms to cyberspace last spring, one by one Western North Carolina’s public bodies have transitioned back to in-person meetings — with the exception of Sylva’s town board. 

What Covid taught us about infrastructure

By Peter Nieckarz • Guest Columnist | We seem to be collectively breathing a sigh of relief as the COVID-19 vaccine continues to roll out and we move towards a post pandemic state of “normalcy.” While we are grateful to be taking our masks off and gathering with friends and loved ones, it is likely that we will not return to the normalcy we knew before the pandemic.  

The new trustbusters: Proposed legislation would rein in Big Tech

Over the last two weeks, the most significant set of antitrust laws since the early 1900s were proposed in Congress, but these aren’t your granddaddy’s antitrust laws — instead of targeting expansive Industrial Age monopolies like railroads and oil companies, these five separate bills all take aim at the largest online platforms of the Information Age. 

Helpful, innocent, sweet, informative: four reads

As I write this book review, the presidential election is one day away. Like many of my readers, I have followed the online news regarding this race — the polls, the rallies, the daily barrage of commentaries on who deserves our votes. In the next few days, these weighty and acrimonious conflicts will, I hope, be resolved. 

Haywood schools close due to ransomware attack

By Boyd Allsbrook • Contributing writer | Internet technology has become the backbone of schools in the time of COVID-19. E-learning has allowed students to carry on their studies while safely at home on a historic scale. However, this reliance on technology has its pitfalls; school systems are now more vulnerable than ever to cyber attacks. 

Jackson purchases School Pass app

At a special called Jackson County School Board meeting on Aug. 11, the board approved the purchase — upon final legal review — of the School Pass app for $29,000 in order to keep schools safe and streamline the pick-up, drop-off process. 

Jackson schools purchase School Pass app

At a special called Jackson County School Board meeting on Aug. 11, the board approved the purchase — upon final legal review — of the School Pass app for $29,000 in order to keep schools safe and streamline the pick-up, drop-off process. 

Online technology helps students through pandemic

All North Carolina public schools will be shut down through May 15 after Gov. Roy Cooper signed another executive order Monday.

Local musicians turn to live streaming for performances

It’s the hottest show in town, but nobody is allowed in. 

Tucked in the depths of The Gem downstairs taproom at Boojum Brewing in Waynesville, J. Rex & The Gem Rats took the stage for a bluegrass jam last Wednesday evening. 

Helping kids keep out some of the noise

I’m a child of the 1980s. 

With side ponytails on full hairsprayed display, my big sister and I kept busy making mixed tapes, riding banana seat bicycles and collecting plastic charms for our charm necklaces. We stayed up late watching “Dirty Dancing” and “Indiana Jones,” swooning over Patrick Swayze and Harrison Ford. We heated our food in BPA-laden plastic, drank from hoses and ran around our neighborhood for hours before returning home happy and spent and ready to hurriedly eat dinner so we could be in front of the TV by 8 p.m. to watch “Who’s the Boss” or “Growing Pains.” 

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