Skaters make case for Franklin skatepark

The Franklin Town Council board room was standing room only last week as several local teenagers expressed their desire for a skatepark to be developed somewhere within the town limits. 

Vaccination still slow as Pfizer shot approved for teens

For the fourth straight week, the rate of vaccinations has decreased in the four-county area, with just 0.5 percent of the four-county area’s population receiving a first dose between May 3 and May 10. 

HIGHTS continues to serve youth during pandemic

HIGHTS is an organization serving vulnerable youth in Jackson, Haywood, and Macon counties. Since 2007, the organization has sponsored educational opportunities, recreational activities, job skills training and community service projects for public schools, mental health agencies, church youth groups and many other community organizations.

Lake Junaluska offers discounts for local youth groups

Youth groups in sixth through 12th grade from Haywood and Haywood-adjacent counties are invited to experience a Lake Junaluska Summer Youth Event at a special program-only price for local commuters.

A time for change: Outdoor Mission Camp expands its focus under new name

Neither Jamie and nor Ruffin Shackleford ever attended summer camp as children, but they believe they were built to lead it. 

Jamie first heeded that calling at the tender age of 10, when she invited all the neighborhood 3- and 4-year-olds to attend her three-day-a-week backyard summer camp. All it cost them was a quarter to help pay for snacks. 

WCU works to engage student body

Students at Western Carolina University have helped hundreds of their fellow Catamounts register to vote in the 2020 election, and at the end of the day, they say it doesn’t matter whether they register to vote red or blue — just as long as they show up to cast a ballot. 

Youth voters on the rise

The elusive youth voter. Politicians want to know what they’re thinking, what issues motivate them and what it takes to actually get them to the polls on Election Day.

Attempting to reach the 18-29 age bracket of untapped voters continues to be a high priority for political campaigns yet it’s still the age bracket with the lowest rates of voter turnout historically. However, recent data does show youth voters are on the rise. 

We must be honest about adolescent addiction

By Beth Young • Guest Columnist

“It’s just a phase.” “They are just being teenagers.” “I drank when I was their age and I was fine.” These are things I know that I heard as a kid and that I have heard said to kids today. The flip side of these beliefs is the misconception that adolescents cannot develop substance-use disorders.

Fair time for future farmers

For many people the county fair conjures up images of Ferris wheels, carnival games and cotton candy, but here in Western North Carolina the annual events represent a time of year when the region’s agricultural roots get to take center stage. 

Of course there will be the beloved fair foods, carnival rides and children giggling on the Ferris wheel, but there will also be hundreds of gardeners, farmers, agricultural students and others signing up to show off their prized plants, produce and cattle.

Dreams on the water: Bryson City paddler, age 15, wows international audience

On Friday, June 21, a 15-year-old girl from Bryson City took her place in the water for the first heat of her first run as an adult competitor on the international circuit. The roiling World Cup course in Bratislava, Slovakia, was thousands of miles away from her home in Western North Carolina, and her competitors were veteran paddlers, some with Olympic appearances and even Olympic medals to their name. 

Page 1 of 4
Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
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.