Jessi Stone

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When you portray strong and influential women onstage for more than 30 years, chances are some of that strength and influence will rub off on you.

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A group of homeowners calling themselves the “Save Highlands Committee” has filed a legal complaint against the Town of Highlands for its decision to enforce a ban of short-term rentals within the R-1 residential area. 

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There are plenty of ways to celebrate the autumn season around Appalachia in October. Here are some fall festival suggestions for the next couple of weeks. 

When you’re new to town, it seems like everyone invites you to join their group whether it’s a church, civic group, nonprofit, board, or other volunteer position. I’d never really been a joiner before I moved to Waynesville in 2013, but it didn’t take me long to find my people when I saw the Women of Waynesville naked calendar for the first time. I just loved the idea of women of all ages coming together and volunteering to shed their clothes to raise money for a common cause. How empowering!

The Town of Franklin is moving forward with plans to hire a code enforcement officer after adding the new position to this year’s budget. 

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The tone of this year’s Franklin Town Council election is much different than it was four years ago, making for a quieter and more cooperative campaign season for the community. 

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The best gift my mother ever gave me was a love of reading. From the time I can remember, I always had books surrounding me and for that I am forever grateful. 

In honor of National Literacy Month, Rumble asked its readers for book recommendations. Here are the books that have changed the lives of women today. 

Dogwood Health Trust had lofty goals when it was formed in 2019 with the mission to dramatically improve the health and wellbeing of people throughout Western North Carolina. 

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Coming out of the full moon in Pisces, which was intense with emotions, everyone is rejoicing in the first days of the fall season. The temperature is cooler, the leaves are already changing and falling, and all the pumpkin spice products are hitting the shelves. While all this is fine and good, and I don’t mean to burst anyone’s happiness bubble, but Mercury moves back into retrograde Sept. 27 and stays there until Oct. 17.

If you need help moving, getting organized or downsizing, you’ll want to call Tatia Childers with Girl Friday Agency to help you through the process. And now Tatia has opened a consignment shop in Waynesville with all the amazing items she helps sell for her clients. The shop is located at 85 Muse Business Park just behind Balsam Antique Mall along U.S. 74 and offers some amazing items (and several cute kitties to pet while you shop).

Discussions going on right now in the town of Highlands are the same discussions happening across the nation as the short-term rental industry continues to grow, leaving little room for the local workforce and changing the housing landscape of the community. 

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After months of debating the future of Waynesville’s downtown business district, the Waynesville Board of Aldermen voted unanimously during a Sept. 14 meeting to take over management of the special tax district instead of renewing the town’s contract with the Downtown Waynesville Association. 

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Updated at 10 a.m. Sept. 15: The Waynesville Board of Alderman voted unanimously at Tuesday night's meeting for the town to take over management of the Municipal Service District due to the resignation of Downtown Waynesville Association executive board members. 

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Planning events during the COVID-19 Pandemic has been no picnic. Just as businesses and agencies make plans for their next festival or fundraiser, the virus takes another unexpected turn. 

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Already in an affordable housing crisis, Haywood County agencies are now confronted with trying to find emergency housing for families displaced by the devastating floods on Aug. 17. 

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“This is my kind of church.”

That’s how one participant described the lunar women’s circles I started hosting recently.

Folkmoot Executive Director Glenn Fields has announced his plans to return to Louisiana in a memorandum to the Folkmoot Board of Directors this week. In his announcement, Fields related having received an offer for a position with The Acadian Center for the Arts in Lafayette, Louisiana, as the programming director, a position he had sought three years ago.

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A group of Western North Carolina residents has filed a class action lawsuit against Mission Health System and its parent corporation HCA Healthcare, claiming the health care giants are operating a monopoly that violates North Carolina’s antitrust and consumer protection laws. 

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A couple of Haywood County businesses have had to shut their doors temporarily after several employees were exposed to COVID-19.

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A video showing two white men and one Black woman wielding a machete in the middle of Georgia Road in Franklin on Aug. 8 circulated on social media, causing misinformation to spread in the community. 

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People keep talking about summer coming to an end, and I’m not ready for that yet! I know kids are returning to school over the next couple of weeks, but there is still plenty of time to fit in a few more summer adventures. 

Two of Swain County’s largest tourism brands — Nantahala Outdoor Center and Great Smoky Mountains Railroad — are engaged in a lawsuit regarding right-of-way access over the railroad tracks. 

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Like much of the U.S., North Carolina’s efforts to recover from the COVID-19 Pandemic are backsliding as the Delta Variant of the virus has caused cases to trend upward once again. 

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It’s come to my attention that there are still some women out there who’ve never been to a passion party and that must change.

Macon County commissioners recently approved $55,000 worth of emergency funds to KIDS Place Child Advocacy Center to ensure the nonprofit can continue to offer services to children who’ve experienced trauma. 

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Swain County Board of Commissioners plans to pass a resolution showing the county’s support for Medicaid expansion in North Carolina following a presentation from Casey Cooper, CEO of the Cherokee Indian Hospital.

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The Macon County Public Library provides a number of diverse educational opportunities for youth, but a book display promoting Pride Month in June led to several parent complaints at the last board of county commissioners’ meeting. 

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No matter where your house is located, how much sun it gets or how inept you think you are at caring for another living species, there is the right house plant for you.

In what feels like a never-ending quest to feel my best, I’ve been working on honing in on my health and feeding my body the nutrition it needs. 

I’ve been an official member of Women of Waynesville since 2015, but even before that I say I was an honorary member since 2013 when I moved here and met this amazing group of women. 

“Were there any cars in the parking lot when you got here?” Lisa Morris asked. 

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Having just celebrated the Summer Solstice last weekend, there is something so exciting and magical about welcoming the Strawberry Super Moon this week. 

Macon County commissioners are trying to move forward with plans to give the Nantahala community a new library and community center, but disagreements over where the facilities should be located could further stall the process. 

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Trying to speak honestly about the relationship I have with my dad can feel icky. It’s complicated — and I’m sure many of you can relate.

If your dad is like mine, finding a good gift can be difficult, but really what your dad wants is to spend some quality time with you. So here are a few Dad Date ideas for this weekend.

Ashten McKinney is the new kid on the block, but already she’s making friends with her neighbors and offering a welcoming, safe space for her community. 

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JE Dunn Construction was hired by HCA Healthcare to build the new Angel Medical Center in Franklin, but Superintendent Steve Suttles recently told the town council the company wanted to be remembered for improving the town’s future in another way.

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Macon County commissioners approved the 2021-22 fiscal budget, but two Republican commissioners opposed its passage because they disagreed with increasing the tax rate. 

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While everyone with families takes advantage of the summer months off from school by getting out of town for a while, I prefer to spend the summer months right here in Western North Carolina. 

County Manager Derek Roland was tasked with delivering a flat budget for the 2021-22 budget year, but after countless hours of heated discussions, Macon County Commissioners approved increasing property taxes with a narrow majority. 

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Some of us were there to get out of the house. Some of us were there to escape our grief. Some of us were there to strengthen our aging bodies. Some of us were there to get away from our husbands. Some of us were there to let go of stress and control. Some of us were called by a higher power to be there. 

All of us were meant to be there. 

The amount of time Legal Aid lawyers spend on helping clients with housing issues doubled during the pandemic.

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Dogwood Health Trust recently invested in affordable housing initiatives in Haywood and Jackson counties by awarding a $872,671 grant to Mountain Projects.

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Swain County will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. June 10 to give residents an opportunity to comment on the 2021-22 proposed county budget. 

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May 29 is National College Savings Plan Day, and the NC 529 Plan through the College Foundation of North Carolina is celebrating with a new giveaway to promote saving for education and planning for the future.

There is so much I love about Brandi Carlile I don’t even know where to begin, but at the moment I am in love with her memoir released last month, “Broken Horses.”

Helping Hands of Haywood is a new nonprofit that is making a tremendous difference in the community by reaching out to help those most in need. For Mental Health Awareness Month, Director Nicole Kott shares more about the organization's mission and how experiencing homelessness impacts people's mental health.

Plans to construct a new Franklin High School are back on the table as Macon County commissioners weigh the costs — financially and politically. 

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A packed room of Macon County residents pleaded with county commissioners during a May 13 meeting to provide the school system with more funding for arts education. 

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