Jessi Stone

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As outdoor recreation tourism continues to climb upward in Macon County, community stakeholders are trying to do a better job of tracking their visitor feedback and providing better services. 

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It’s been almost a year since Cornerstone Assisted Living in Bryson City was closed down and more than 30 senior citizens had to be relocated to assisted living facilities outside of Swain County.

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Swain County commissioners are considering possible locations for a law enforcement gun range after Sheriff Curtis Cochran explained the inconvenience of having to rely on the availability of ranges in other counties.

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It’s a great time to be a Libertarian, according to Brian Irving, the party’s North Carolina chairman.

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While the Tennessee Valley Authority seems unwilling to reconsider its decision to sunset all lake houseboats within 30 years, houseboat owners on TVA’s reservoirs aren’t giving up yet.

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With the purchase of 8 acres in Bryson City, Swain County will now have an outdoor event area to host county fairs, kids carnivals and more. 

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The clock is ticking to get a new library constructed in Swain County before the land donation reverts back to the owner, but the fundraising committee says it can’t move forward without some kind of commitment from county commissioners.

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Shining Rock Classical Academy leaders were hoping students would start classes this year at a new campus on Dellwood Road, but a delay in getting the modular classrooms installed forced them to change the plan. 

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It’s been about five months since Swain County filed a lawsuit against the federal government for $38.2 million, and commissioners are still waiting for a response. 

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About five years ago, Suzanne Cianciulli and her son were living in a rundown mobile home rental while she tried to make ends meet working a retail job.

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Passersby probably don’t give a second thought to seeing news houses being built on the hillside when traveling up Jonathan Creek Road, but the development has quite a story to tell.

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Mountain Projects’ self-build housing program is all about helping those who are willing to help themselves.

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Macon County Public Library in Franklin will be cutting its hours of operations to combat a budget deficit.

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After exceeding expectations for more than three years without a merit raise, Macon County commissioners approved an $18,000 salary increase for County Manager Derek Roland. 

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In the last year, Macon County teacher John deVille has asked county commissioners several times to pass a resolution asking the North Carolina General Assembly to restore public education funding to 2008 levels.

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Following a May 5 decision by the Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors to ban all houseboats on Fontana Lake after 30 years, TVA promised to spend the next six months talking to stakeholders in an effort to mitigate the negative economic impact.

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As a yoga instructor and a massage therapist, Candra Smith knows that staying healthy requires a sound mind and body, which is why her business — Maggie Valley Wellness Center — provides services for both. 

Franklin Health & Fitness has invested a lot in its community, and in return, the community has been able to invest in its health. 

The Nantahala Racing Club is all about ensuring future generations have a love and appreciation for whitewater recreation, and a new grant will allow the nonprofit to fulfill that mission for youth living on the Qualla Boundary.

After operating in Waynesville for the past four years, BearWaters Brewing will be making a big move to downtown Canton.

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The town of Maggie Valley has been working on cleaning up the U.S. 19 corridor for more than a year, but it needs to beef up its enforcement ordinance to make further progress. 

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The Macon Aero Modelers Club members are looking forward to showing off their flying skills to the public this weekend during their annual National Model Aviation Day.

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Many rumors were put to rest Monday night as Ingles Market representatives laid out the plan for its newest grocery store in Franklin.

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Even though Londa Bohl had the summer off from teaching in Swain County, she spent most of her vacation learning the ins and outs of telecommunication laws in North Carolina.

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Following the Little Tennessee River miles away from modern civilization in Franklin — past the pavement and subdivisions and through the grassy pastures that line the Cowee Valley — a large piece of Cherokee history remains.

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While most people come to Macon County in the summer for a relaxing mountain vacation, Kathryn Sampeck makes the trip down south with a more important mission in mind.

SEE ALSO: Mounds hold key to understanding Cherokee history

With a wide-rimmed straw hat to shield her face from the beaming sun and a pair of worn-in brown leather boots she’s owned for at least 20 years, Sampeck returned again this summer to walk among sacred Cherokee land along the Little Tennessee River banks.

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Beginning Sept. 1, Swain County residents will notice some big changes when they go to drop off their trash and recycling at the convenience center. 

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Southwestern Community College is receiving $7.17 million from the Connect N.C. bond to make major infrastructure improvements to its three campuses, but none of that money will be going to SCC’s small Swain County campus.

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It’s been more than a year since the Swain County commissioners charged a newly formed ad hoc committee with tackling a longstanding controversial issue — the county’s lack of animal control.

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Members of the Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors recently requested a meeting with Swain and Graham County officials to discuss the TVA’s recent decision to remove all 1,800 houseboats from its 49 lakes within the next 30 years.

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Dillon Ingle will only be the third music director in Folkmoot’s 33-year history.

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fr bikingFranklin is one step closer to outlining a plan to provide better connectivity throughout the town for pedestrians and bicyclists.

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swainSwain County residents will get to decide whether the county can levy an additional quarter-cent sales tax when they vote during the Nov. 8 general election.

coverIf a rising tide lifts all boats, it only makes sense for organizations with common goals to work together, but cooperation hasn’t always come so easy for the Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority.  

SEE ALSO:
• Three seats open on Maggie Chamber board
• The value of a Maggie chamber membership

Though both entities work toward the ultimate goal of promoting local tourism, arguments have surfaced throughout the years over funding and duplicating services. 

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fr chamber officeAs three members of the Maggie Valley Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors rotate off the board next month, the business community has another opportunity to vote in new leadership.

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fr chamber membershipBusinesses in the valley have varying views on whether being a member of the Maggie Valley Area Chamber of Commerce is worth the annual dues, but Chamber Chairman Joe Moody said it’s a great value for the many benefits provided to the chamber’s 180 members.

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maconKimberly Michelle Bishop, the former director of Macon County’s Board of Elections, was recently sentenced to six months in prison for embezzling public funds.

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fr venueNearly five years ago, Taylor and Preston Gregg stood on top of Chestnut Ridge and recited their wedding vows.

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maconMacon County Emergency Management Services hopes to expand an existing health care model to better serve mental health patients in the county — and a grant from the Evergreen Foundation may help the department fund it.

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maconWith the help of matching grants funds from Macon County, TekTone Sound & Signal Manufacturing Inc. will expand operations at the county industrial park with the purchase of the former SKF facility.

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maconMacon County commissioners had some last-minute spending decisions to make before heading into the new fiscal year that started July 1. 

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fr webbrysonConsidering Bryson City didn’t even have a website until 2009, it’s no surprise that it lags behind the other municipalities’ web presence.

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fr swainwebWith the lowest population and the lowest county budget, Swain County also scored the lowest among the four-county website comparison. 

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fr webfranklinThe town of Franklin’s website is a great example of a small town going the extra mile to encourage public participation in local government.

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fr webmaconMacon County’s government website started 16 years ago with a shoestring budget.

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out frThe wilderness is where one can find peace and clarity while also finding inner strength and determination. 

That is the basis for Radical Inclusion, a new nonprofit formed by Waynesville couple Nicole Taylor and Jess Dunlap to provide an affordable summer camp experience for youth while teaching them survival skills.

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fr houseboatsHouseboat owners on Fontana Lake aren’t quite ready to give up their investments without a fight even after the Tennessee Valley Authority made the decision last month to ban all floating houses in 30 years.

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fr eclipseNick Breedlove has been brushing up on his astronomy lately — studying maps and learning the science behind the total solar eclipse that is set to occur on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017.

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fr whitmireThe Franklin Board of Aldermen has yet to agree on what it should do with a 13-acre tract it owns just off East Main Street, but two proposals from the public are leaning toward utilizing the green space for public recreational purposes.

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maconAfter further negotiations, Macon County Schools and the county commissioners will both have some skin in the game when it comes to making sure the schools have enough funding for the upcoming school year.

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