WCU Trustees approve tuition, fee increases

“Extraordinary” inflation and the need to match state salary increases will prompt increases to the cost of attendance at Western Carolina University next year, according to the 2023-2024 schedule of tuition and fees the Board of Trustees adopted at their Dec. 2 meeting. 

Booming Times, Busted Budgets: Growing visitation strains resources in and around the GSMNP

Christine Cole Proctor was home alone with her big sister at the family cabin on Forney Creek when she heard an unfamiliar rumble climbing the isolated mountain road. It was a car — the first they’d ever seen scale the rugged route. 

Smokies adopts parking fee

Starting March 1, visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will no longer be completely free — a first for park history.

Counting cars: Smokies updates decades-old visitation estimator

Anybody who’s been to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the last few years has seen it — overflowing parking lots, mobbed trails and narrow mountain roads lined with cars. They’re visual symptoms of a national park bursting at the seams with unprecedented levels of visitation,  hitting a highwater mark in 2021 at 14.1 million visits.

N.C. House opposes Smokies parking fee

The N.C. House of Representatives last week condemned the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s controversial proposal to enact a parking fee with passage of a resolution  that calls on Congress to block the plan.

‘Lunchflation’ plagues WNC schools

After three abnormal school years due to the Coronavirus Pandemic that included free breakfast and lunch for all public-school students, schools across North Carolina are returning to the paid model of nutrition services. Now, a confluence of factors has necessitated a sharp increase in school meal costs.

Maggie Budget proposes additional staff

If the Maggie Valley Board of Aldermen accepts the proposed FY 2022-23 budget, taxes will remain at $0.40 for the upcoming year without change. With this rate, the town will continue to have the lowest property tax rate of any municipality in Haywood County.

The story of one family among thousands

In response to the news of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) proposing fees for parking, now is an opportunity to flip the script. While other groups are finally being recognized after too long being ignored, marginalized and even intimidated, the GSMNP has an opportunity to bring to light those who lost their livelihoods, homes and communities to make way for the Park.

Taxes, fees may 
go up in new Waynesville budget

Declining revenues and a growing list of capital improvements are both putting the squeeze on Waynesville’s finances, but a proposed 2-cent increase in property taxes might not be enough to address them all. 

Swain commissioners oppose Smokies parking fee

A parking fee  proposed for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has earned support from organizations ranging from the National Parks Conservation Association to the North Shore Cemetery Association — but also opposition from a growing list of governments and elected officials.

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