Jessi Stone

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animal controlSwain County commissioners are moving forward with their plan to address the lack of animal control by putting together an ad hoc committee to explore possible solutions.

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law enforcementSwain County Commissioners are moving forward with a false alarm ordinance with the understanding that the sheriff’s office will enforce it with “common sense” in mind. 

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Plans for a 60-unit apartment complex in Franklin are moving forward after Workforce Homestead received approval for a special permit from the Franklin Board of Aldermen.

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Now that town aldermen have a preliminary budget in front of them, the Franklin leaders are ready to begin an arduous process.

Mayor Bob Scott read a prepared statement to the public during a Monday night town meeting. He said the board was about to embark on the most unpopular part of town government — deciding what will get funded for the 2015-16 fiscal year. The town’s proposed budget is about $3.8 million — a slight increase from the 2014-15 budget of $3.7 million.

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schoolsAs the Macon County budget process gets under way, education spending will be one of the meatier items up for discussion.

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fr sheltonhouseFor 10 years, museum curator Jackie Stephens has prepped The Shelton House for Civil War commemorations.

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fr cemeteryWith the help of Civil War enthusiasts in Haywood County, The Shelton House Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts has put together a full weekend of events to commemorate the last shot fired in the Civil War east of the Mississippi. Many of the same events are also planned for the weekend of June 12-13.

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fr brysonmerchantsThere is power in numbers, and businesses in Bryson City are ready to join forces to have their voices heard. 

With guidance from the Swain County Chamber of Commerce, merchants are working to form a Bryson City Downtown Merchants Association. 

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fr fryestreetThe Great Smoky Mountain Railroad introduces new people to all that Bryson City has to offer throughout the year, yet many locals are still not on board with the changes the train has brought with it.

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Voters could see more Ds and Rs on their election ballot in 2016 if Republicans push through legislation to make local school board and statewide judicial races partisan.

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fr exchangeWhen Donna Bell invited the first exchange student into her home seven years ago, she had no idea the lasting impact it would have on her family as well as the lives of the students.

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fr waltonwoodsAs the old saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child.

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coverThe furniture manufacturer remembered as Carolina Wood Turning Company has been closed for more than 30 years, yet the smell of freshly cut wood and the sound of the steam whistle are still fresh in the minds of those who earned a living there. 

The Bryson City business had many names throughout the years and made a number of different products, but its lifeblood was making furniture from Western North Carolina lumber. The company made wood pump tubing, tanners’ liquor logs and miscellaneous wood trimmings and solid bored colonial porch columns that can still be seen on older homes in Swain County.

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fr tucktrashBarbara Robinson of Bryson City drives by the Tuckasegee River on a daily basis, but lately the peaceful view of the river has been interrupted by overflowing trash piling up on the riverbank.

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fr maggieTelling people what to do with their property is not an easy job, even when a town’s local economy may depend on it.

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fr cantonDowntown Canton has seen better days. 

A once vibrant and bustling Main Street is now struggling to hang on to its few surviving businesses. Some of its historic buildings are now vacant and falling into disrepair.

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fr maconplanningWith the six-month process of getting a nuisance noise ordinance passed behind them, members of the Macon County Planning Board now have some new assignments.

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coverAs a tourism expert in the Southeast, Dr. Steve Morse has been asked to judge competitions at festivals all over the region.

His hectic schedule doesn’t allow him to participate in all of them, but he recalls one event he couldn’t turn down — judging entries at the National Banana Pudding Festival in Hickman County, Tennessee.

SEE ALSO:
Tourism conference to focus on festival success
2015 Festival lineup

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More than 400 Macon County employees and their families will see a reduction in health care coverage and an increase in their contributions beginning July 1 after commissioners agreed to change the county’s health insurance plan and provider.

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fr maconnoiseMacon County commissioners realize they can’t make everyone happy, but they hope some residents can now get some sleep with a nuisance noise ordinance in place.

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fr waynesvillebizDowntown Waynesville has had a flurry of changes lately. As previous tenants move out, new ones move in and improvements are made to the buildings lining Main Street.

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All tobacco products will soon be banned from being used on county-owned property in Haywood County.

Commissioners approved an amendment to the county tobacco-use policy prohibiting tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes, from being used outside county buildings and in county vehicles. The only exception is at the Haywood County Fairgrounds.

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No personal voter identification information was found missing following a break-in at the Swain County Board of Elections Office in Bryson City.

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fr SCCSouthwestern Community College is celebrating its 50th year by inviting the public to see all the programs being offered to students.

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fr SCCexpandsDr. Don Tomas likes to be ahead of the curve.

As Southwestern Community College celebrates 50 years, Tomas, who has been SCC’s presidents for three years, continues to look ahead and plan for the future.

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When the Swain County Board of Elections didn’t get the response it wanted from the county commissioners, it decided to ask the state for an answer to a retirement benefits dispute that has been going on for about 10 years.

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Tina Tuten was in tears when she left the Canton Board of Alderman meeting last week, but luckily for her they were tears of joy.

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fr maconschoolsThird-grade teacher Carolyn Cope deals with many stresses day in and day out —making sure her students are happy and healthy, teaching them a new curriculum and making sure she’s prepared them well enough to pass their extensive reading tests.

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Former Swain County Clerk of Court employee Rita Robinson Walls has been charged with embezzling $33,283 from the state in 2014.

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Macon County commissioners appear to be amenable to the planning board’s proposed plan to deal with nuisance noise, but the public will have one more chance to voice its opinions before the board takes a final vote. 

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Macon County is taking the final steps to expand its landfill life expectancy by 60 years, likely the last expansion before the county will have to figure out a new plan for disposing waste. 

Commissioners recently approved purchasing two tracts of land that will enable the county to expand the current MSW Landfill on Pannell Lane in Franklin. For a total of about $1.5 million, the county plans to purchase 14.5 acres from Donald Burling at 256 Pannell Lane and 8.3 acres from Charles and Wendy Dalton at 198 Pannell Lane.

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fr foodtruckDowntown Canton could have more food options if the town board approves allowing food trucks to set up shop. 

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fr swainelections“We’re not on trial here,” said Swain Commission Chairman Paul Carson. 

But the commissioners’ meeting room did feel more like a courtroom once Board of Elections Chairman John Herrin took a seat in front of the board last week and laid out all of the paperwork to prove his case.

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fr tobaccobanHaywood County commissioners aren’t convinced a designated smoking area is needed after receiving little feedback on proposed changes to the county’s tobacco use policy.

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Without much warning, the Franklin Main Street Program board of directors decided last week to suspend the program.

The board voted to place the program in “inactive status” for the time being until it could regroup and reorganize. The decision comes after several years of criticism regarding the program’s priorities and effectiveness.

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fr maggieMaggie Valley is attempting — for the third time — to put together a plan to improve the town’s image, aesthetics and economy.

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A proposed ordinance could cost Swain County residents money if they don’t make sure their alarm systems are working properly.

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fr franklinThe proposed development of a 60-unit apartment complex in Franklin may be another sign that the economy is recovering, slowly but surely. 

The new apartment complex could also be good news for those looking for affordable and high-quality housing.

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fr smoking“Where will the smokers go?” has been the question on many people’s mind since the town of Waynesville and Haywood County commissioners both announced proposed smoking bans.

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fr evergreenclinicEvergreen Family Medical Center in Canton is no longer making new appointments for patients as it prepares to shutter its doors March 31.

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For the second year in a row, Rep. Michele Presnell, R-Burnsville, has introduced a bill to de-annex property from Maggie Valley without consulting town officials.

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To accommodate potential future growth, the Franklin Board of Aldermen passed a resolution asking the North Carolina General Assembly to relax certain requirements for voluntary annexations into its town limits.

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Larry Hollifield, owner of American Computer Repair in Franklin, has been tasked with forming a committee and coming up with a plan to allow for street banners in downtown.

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fr animalshelterA dispute between Haywood County neighbors could result in one couple shutting down a nonprofit operation that is near and dear to their hearts — or another couple selling a home where they’ve farmed for 40 years.

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Ami Shinitzky, developer of Mystic River, understands why all eyes are on him as he works to develop lots for luxurious homes along the banks of the Nantahala River. 

As someone who bought the property to enjoy the natural beauty of the Nantahala Gorge, he said, he has just as much vested interest in protecting the river.

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fr mysticUpdated 1/22/20: The lawsuits between Mystic Lands landowners and developer Ami Shinitzky have since been resolved. Progess had been made on amenties and lots are still for sale. 

 

When they bought up prime lots in the Mystic Lands development in Swain County, property owners envisioned living in a peaceful setting as close to nature as they could get.

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fr franklinEngineers for the town of Franklin are recommending the town spend $15.1 million over the next 10 years to make water and sewer infrastructure improvements.

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Canton has decided not to spend upwards of $60,000 to bring in a nationally known headlining music act for Labor Day, but town aldermen feel like they’ve reached an agreement that will make everyone happy.

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fr hydropowerThe town of Highlands may not be interested in investing millions to rebuild a hydropower plant along the Cullasaja River, but a private corporation out of Atlanta does want to make it happen.

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Folkmoot USA has finalized its capital improvements and business plan for the Folkmoot Friendship Center in Hazelwood. 

Since taking over ownership of the building from the county last year, Folkmoot has been working on plans to renovate the building to accommodate year-round programming for the organization.

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