Rep. Mark Meadows announces retirement, 18 seek his seat

Santa Claus was especially good to Western North Carolina Democrats this year, delivering from his sack one big item on their wish list, and stuffing their stocking  with another gift that wasn’t expected, but was met with great appreciation.

WNC Entegra branches to close during merger

A merger between Macon County-based Entegra Bank and First-Citizens Bank is moving forward, but under the condition that Entegra will sell off three of its branches in Western North Carolina.

Viva Arts Studio becomes creative hot spot in Sylva

Standing in a two-bay garage in downtown Sylva last Friday afternoon, Victoria Shufelt was putting the final touches on a pop-up art gallery event.

“For such a small town, I’ve always been blown away by the amount of creative folks here,” Shufelt said. “And this space is a totally blank canvas to come together and create in Sylva.”

Candidate filing continues until Dec. 20

With the first week of election filing in the books, voters are starting to see what their Primary Election ballots will look like when they head to the polls on March 3.

State releases 2020 economic tier rankings

The North Carolina Department of Commerce released the county tier designations for 2020 this week. The designations, which are mandated by state law, play a role in several programs that assist in economic development.

Not so super? Out-of-state money influences small-town elections

Super PACs are starting to make a big-time impact on small-town Western North Carolina politics, and not everyone thinks that’s a super idea.

Luther Jones, a Sylva resident who came up short in his bid for a commission seat last month, said he wants to keep outside money out of local politics, but it may be too late for that. 

Student homelessness high in WNC

For most kids, this is the season of anticipation, a magical time of year marked by stuffed turkeys, Christmas cookies, presents under the tree — and the promise of some long, lazy breaks from classes and homework. 

Western North Carolina’s children are increasingly poor and hungry

For most, childhood is a time of growth, learning and stability nurtured by fertile environmental and economic conditions that ultimately prepare young people to become the leaders of tomorrow. 

In much of North Carolina, the future’s not nearly that bright. 

VRBO changes the way it remits taxes

The explosion of online vacation rental booking options like VRBO and Airbnb has completely changed the tourism industry, and while it’s been beneficial for Western North Carolina communities, it has also presented a challenge for counties trying to collect occupancy and sales taxes from overnight visitors. 

Legislature to ban smokable hemp in N.C.

Hemp has only been legal in North Carolina for a couple of years, but already the plant is presenting an issue in the criminal justice system that the legislature is still trying to iron out. 

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