Missing persons cases aren’t always what they seem
Every so often — about 20 times a year — Western North Carolina’s social media networks flare up with impassioned pleas from friends and family members of a missing person, begging for any information that could help bring their loved one home. But the reasons for the disappearances, and the results of the investigations, are often as unique as the missing persons themselves.
Police need more resources to succeed
Make no mistake, it would be a stretch to say a partnership between Western Carolina University and the town of Sylva’s Police Department is the model for the future of policing in small-town America.
Leaps and bounds: Changes coming fast in Frog Level
As one of Waynesville’s three “urban” cores, Frog Level holds an identity as distinct as any other. Of late, that identity has not been all that good.
Maggie Valley residents concerned for safety
Last week’s Maggie Valley Board of Aldermen meeting was riddled with complaints from residents of a development on Jonathan Creek Road about an alleged encampment of people in the neighborhood.
Proceed with caution: Data details deaths in national parks
On May 21, 2000, a beloved Sevier County elementary school teacher named Glenda Ann Bradley took a walk on the Little River Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with her ex-husband Ralph Hill. Both Hill and Bradley, 50, were experienced hikers, so when Hill went off-trail to fish, Bradley did some solo hiking while she waited for him.
Back to the blue: Wounded Haywood deputy returns to work
He’d been on duty since 5 p.m. and it was already shaping up to be a busy night, but as Eric Batchelor sat in his patrol car writing up reports around 2 a.m. on July 28, 2020, he got another call about a disturbance.
Jackson considers more salary for first responders
After multiple work sessions and a public hearing, Jackson County commissioners may designate an additional $444,000 in the 2021-22 budget for law enforcement and emergency response salaries.
Sizing the force: Sylva debates police staffing needs
Sarah Dearmon was the only person who spoke during the May 27 public hearing for a proposed Sylva town budget that calls for an 18 percent increase over the general fund from 2020-21. But her comments directly addressed the main debate board members and town citizens have grappled with during this year’s budget process.
Open up the records of public employees
Last July, The Smoky Mountain News produced a series of stories looking into police reform following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and other incidents of violence by law enforcement officers. One of the takeaways from that reporting was that good law enforcement officers are, perhaps, more critical of bad cops than the general public.
Divisive sign catalyzes Back the Blue rally
Maggie Valley Town Hall Pavilion and the surrounding grassy area were ablaze with the black and blue flags of a Back the Blue Rally on Saturday, May 22, in support of local law enforcement. The event came in response to the message that has been displayed on one Maggie Valley hotel sign for the last several weeks: “ACAB! The Barrel is Rotten.”