Hiking trails of the North Carolina Smokies

With a quiet step you stand a great chance of seeing some of the multitude of wildlife Western North Carolina has to offer. 

The Joy of Discovery: Foreign students, host families relish cultural exchange

It’s easy to imagine the ways in which a foreign exchange student’s world is broadened by an experience studying abroad, but for many of the families that host foreign students, the world grows just as much. 

WNC towns debate future of room occupancy tax

If passed, legislation introduced by Western North Carolina Republican representatives would allow municipalities within Haywood County to levy their own occupancy tax to be spent on tourism marketing. While Bryson City was originally a part of the bill, the town has now been removed.

Maggie Valley occupancy tax on the horizon

Maggie Valley may have the opportunity to create its own Tourism Development Authority for the purpose of promoting tourism in the town if House Bill 412 becomes law. Both the Mayor and the Board of Aldermen have expressed support for the idea. 

New vaccinations continue to slow

Vaccinations continue to slow down in the four-county area and in the state as a whole, but case counts are dropping too, with the 981 new cases reported statewide May 4 — marking just the fourth time since October that figure has fallen below 1,000.

WNC behind state average in educator diversity

North Carolina has about 1.5 million public school students, and according to a report from the Department of Public Instruction, 52.3 percent are minority students, while only 20.5 percent of teachers are minorities. 

Integration and the disappearance of Black teachers

For Lin Forney, the end of fourth grade was the end of an era. 

The year was 1963, and the world was changing. Nine years earlier, the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision struck down the “separate-but-equal” precedent that allowed racial segregation in schools, and the Civil Rights movement was spurring change — or at least talk of it — in communities across the South. Now, that change was coming home to Haywood County. The schools were desegregating. 

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Dr. Diana Messer, a forensic anthropology professor at Western Carolina University, is working on groundbreaking research that could drastically improve the methods used to estimate the timeframe of a child’s injury, which is essential evidence needed to identify and prosecute child abuse cases.

Vaccine appointments readily available in WNC

Vaccination rates slowed substantially across the four-county area over the past week, and the pace will likely continue to slacken as health departments across the area report a dearth of demand.

Bill addresses judicial efficiency in western counties

A House bill proposed by Western North Carolina reps. Mike Clampitt, R-Bryson City, and Mark Pless, R-Haywood, includes significant changes to a judicial district that is larger than the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined.

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