Jessi Stone

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Franklin Town Manager Summer Woodard recently submitted her resignation letter after accepting a position as the town manager of Reidsville. 


Habitat for Humanity of Haywood County plays a major part in helping people toward financial freedom, and many of these people are women — single moms, with kids, taking care of their parents, trying to get back on their feet. It’s a beautiful transition to watch unfold because when women are able to find a secure and affordable home, more possibilities unfold in their lives. 

Habitat for Humanity’s Executive Director Jamye Sheppard has a true passion for helping others help themselves and recently took the time to talk to Rumble about a new exciting fundraising opportunity for women in the community. The Ladies Level Up campaign to raise $60,000 to build a Habitat home in Waynesville is a testament to how women from all walks of life can come together to make a big difference in the lives of other women. So far, the campaign has raised $30,000 and is well on its way to reaching the $60,000 goal.

The public had a lot of questions during an April 7 virtual meeting regarding Mission Health’s services and operations since being bought by for-profit HCA Healthcare in 2019. Unfortunately, Gibbins Advisors — the independent monitor hired to ensure HCA fulfills its contractual obligations — couldn’t provide them with many answers.


 Tenisea Higgins, the president of the Haywood County Chapter of Autism Society of North Carolina, took the time to talk to rumble about her personal story with raising a daughter on the Autism spectrum and how she helped start the local chapter to support other families. Be sure to support the organization on April 27 during the Shop & Dine event. Read more about it below.

April 11 is National Pet Day, and I will take any opportunity to share my adorable dogs with the world.

Barbara McRae loved history — learning about it, sharing it with others and making it herself. 

The long-time community organizer lost a long battle with cancer on March 2, but the projects she set in motion in Macon County will live on for generations to come, including the Macon County Women’s History Trail and the Nikwasi Initiative, both of which were created to preserve parts of Appalachian history that have gone untold for generations. 


When my mom told me she wanted to rent a beach house somewhere for a week just for her, me and my younger sibling Leilah, I was pretty excited about the opportunity for a relaxing getaway with my favorite gingers. 

Dietician and nutritionist Jennie Boothroyd of Canton recently took time to answer some burning questions women have about nutrition and dieting. 

With warmer weather and some COVID-19 restrictions lifting in North Carolina, there are plenty of opportunities to get outside this spring in your own backyard to enjoy the fresh mountain air, fresh flowers and local food. Here are some top picks to keep you busy through the season.

In 2019, registered nurses were listed as the third most in-demand job in the U.S., and even though enrollment in nursing programs is also on the rise, it’s not keeping pace with the market demand.


My friend wants to start the keto diet to lose weight. I asked her, “Why would you want to try such a restrictive diet when you’re just getting started?” Her answer was like nails on a chalkboard to my ears, but it also broke my heart because I know it’s what so many women say to themselves: 

Well, I finally found a plant I literally can’t kill. 

Many people in the high-risk category for COVID-19 began isolating themselves at home last March to wait out the pandemic, but not Virginia Wall. 


It’s not easy to slow Wendy Barker down. She’s been an EMT for 15 years. She’s used to working 24 hour shifts under some of the most stressful and strenuous conditions, so she wasn’t ready for COVID-19 to put her out of commission for more than six weeks. 


Anyone that knows me well knows I have a weird obsession about all things Irish. Like many others with Scot-Irish heritage in this region, I’ve always felt a pull to the celtic traditions, music and history. 

Kids will be able to return to YMCA’s Camp Watia in Swain County this summer after taking a year off during the height of the pandemic in 2020. 

At the 11th hour, Macon County Commissioners called a special meeting to discuss whether to move forward with an $8 million renovation project at Macon Middle School or to take a step back and reevaluate the county’s school infrastructure needs. 


On average, it costs parents $9,480 a year for infant childcare in North Carolina, which is $2,126 more than they’ll pay for in-state tuition to a four-year N.C. university. 


In a somewhat dismissive tone, you’ve probably heard someone use the word “woo” in describing beliefs or practices that aren’t necessarily accepted or supported in the mainstream realms of religion or science.

I've known Lori Randall since 2004 when we met at Gainesville College in Georgia and worked on the student newspaper together. She's just as bubbly and hilarious as she is insightful and intelligent. I was so proud when she mailed me her first published book in 2012 — Online Reputation Management for Dummies. With her extensive knowledge about online marketing, I was surprised to find her interest has shifted to astrology in recent years so I was curious to catch up with her and ask her some pressing questions about the ancient art that is often scoffed at in today's society. 

As we highlight some resources for small businesses at Haywood Community College this week, we also wanted to highlight a local small business success story that began with help from the Small Business Center at HCC. Waynesville Soda Jerks are a shining example of taking a passion and turning it into a sustainable and growing business. Co-owner Megan Brown took time to share her story with Rumble.

How many pauses do you take throughout your day? Do you pause before deciding what to eat for breakfast? Do you pause to plan out your day before you get to the office or start your shift? Do you pause before you respond to a rude email from a client? Do you take a pause after work to deeply exhale the day's stress before you go home to your family?

Nikwasi Initiative, the nonprofit that took over ownership of the Nikwasi Mound in Franklin two years ago, recently announced some new projects planned for the adjacent properties. 


Having a long and happy relationship is about so much more than planning a romantic night out for Valentine’s Day.

Despite dire predictions of how local governments would be financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Macon County has fared well so far. Still, County Manager Derek Roland recently ensured commissioners that he’d continue to manage the budget conservatively moving into the 2021-22 fiscal year. 


The Whitmire property on East Main Street in Franklin could soon become a public disc golf course.


When Macon County Commissioners met on Jan. 12, health department staff was having a difficult time meeting the demands of the COVID-19 Pandemic, but the county departments have since come together in a joint effort to streamline their processes for vaccinations and testing. 



I’m not really into football. I’m more into the food and the company on Superbowl Sunday. 

As people continue to struggle through the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for pro-bono legal services has spiked, putting more demand on nonprofit legal organizations like Pisgah Legal Services and Legal Aid.


Just last week, Swain and Macon county health officials lamented over a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines making it to them from Raleigh, and this week they have a better understanding of why. 


It’s always hard to predict what kind of flu season the U.S. should expect and how severe cases could be. Add in the fact the U.S. is still experiencing record numbers of new COVID-19 cases on a daily basis and it makes predicting the future more difficult. 


Swain County Tourism Development Authority plans to take another step toward separating itself from the Chamber of Commerce after the board of directors decided to invest money into a new website. 


Fay Grant and her best friend Michelle Fergason co-founded a fair trade tote bag company in 2013 with the intent on making the difference they both dreamed of — giving hope and providing healing to the millions of people worldwide who are victims of human trafficking, a modern-day form of slavery. Rumble checked in with the founders to see how their company and their cause faired during the pandemic and what people should know about trafficking.

Rural counties in Western North Carolina are feeling the frustrations with the national COVID-19 roll out plan. 


Haywood County has implemented the following proactive measures for its government buildings, effective 9 a.m., Friday, Jan. 15, to limit further transmission of COVID-19.


I hiked 50 trails in 2020, a majority of them in Western North Carolina. It’s not an easy feat, and many of those hikes were done during the winter months when road and trail conditions are wet, cold and icy.

Amber Patterson, owner of Allied Mortgage Group here in Waynesville, shares her best advice for women who are striving toward financial freedom.


Am I the only one who is obsessed with the show “Married at First Sight?” I’m so intrigued by this social experiment. 

After a four-month investigation into the sudden death of a 25-year-old Cherokee man inside the Swain County Detention Center, the state examiner’s office has released an autopsy and investigation report for Joseph William Lomas.


Solitude is extremely underrated. It’s something I don’t get enough of but for whatever this year has had me craving more of it.  

It’s that time of year! We’ve gorged ourselves on turkey, ham, stuffing, casseroles, cakes, pies, cookies, and eggnog — now we’re ready to commit or recommit ourselves to our health with a new diet and exercise routine. It’s easy to start out strong Jan. 1, but many of us aren’t choosing a diet plan that is sustainable and we lose motivation to continue by mid-February. Rumble reached out the Ingles Dietitian Leah McGrath to give us some tips for healthy eating habits that can last all year long. 

As Amanda McLeod celebrated her sweet 16 birthday last week, she wasn’t thinking about herself or the rare auto-immune disease she lives with every day — she was thinking of all the other children in need this holiday season. 


After living in different states for the last 10 years, I’m finally within a short driving distance of my little sister. Her recent exodus out of New York City and into Asheville is literally the best Christmas gift I could ever ask for and I’m grateful.

Food insecurity in Western North Carolina has nearly tripled during the COVID-19 pandemic as people struggle to put food on the table. 


Nationwide and virtual, in collaboration with the Culinary Breeding Network, The Heirloom Collard Project is excited to announce Collard Week.

Hylah Birenbaum of Waynesville shares how she and her two sons celebrate Hanukkah traditions that have been passed down in her family.

The first COVID-19 vaccines have already been administered overseas as FDA approval is still underway in the U.S. 


County health officials are urging residents to comply with COVID-19 contact tracing efforts if contacted by the health department. 


I had a doctor tell me at 24 years old I was obese. After only spending a few minutes talking to me (condescendingly) and pointing out the stretch marks on my stomach during the exam, he prescribed me medication for high blood pressure and told me I needed to eat like I was already diabetic because that's where I was heading. 

Shining Rock Classical Academy’s Board of Directors recently voted to terminate its long-time partnership with TeamCFA, a national network of charter schools that provided SRCA with the initial funding it needed to get the school up and running. 


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