Jessi Stone

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fr idcardsIn an unexpected turn of events, the North Carolina General Assembly passed legislation last Thursday that will allow people to cast a ballot in 2016 even if they don’t have an acceptable form of identification. 

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swainOne deputy is under investigation while another has resigned after allegations surfaced regarding excessive force being used on inmates at the Swain County Jail.

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fr maconlibraryMacon County commissioners weren’t exactly sure what to expect when they saw Thing 1 and Thing 2 sitting in the front row at the proposed budget public hearing.

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fr ghosttownAfter lying dormant for the winter, Ghost Town in the Sky was once again showing signs of life last week with preparation work under way for a July 2 season opener.

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lw coverSussy Huskey has learned that life can take you in many directions — some planned and others unexpected — but the important thing is to keep moving. 

fr schoolshootersIf Alice Bradley hadn’t been warming up her school bus at 5 a.m. last Thursday before heading out on her daily route, an incident involving armed suspects at South Macon Elementary School could have possibly ended in tragedy.

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law enforcementSwain County Commissioners denied a $20,000 pay raise request from Sheriff Curtis Cochran during a recent budget workshop.

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fr tunnelgraffitiSwain County officials are hoping new leadership in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park means the start of a new relationship — one that will include better communication between the park and the county that is a gateway community. 

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swainIn addition to wanting more curriculum classes offered for residents, Swain County commissioners want better representation on the Southwestern Community College Board of Trustees. 

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fr swainsecuritySwain County commissioners know they need to address security concerns at the county administrative building in Bryson City, but they are still torn on whether they need to secure the entire building or just the courtrooms.

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medicalMacon County Sheriff Robbie Holland has found some recent budget relief since Angel Medical Center took over supervising mental health patients that are brought in for evaluation.

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fr idcardsThe days of simply walking into a polling place and casting a ballot are over.

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taxesMacon County property taxes will be going up next year as the value of property values has decreased by almost $2 billion.

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fr fillingstationIf you’re going to do something, do it right. That is Barry and Helene Tetrault’s motto, and that is exactly what they’ve done with their Bryson City business the Filling Station Deli & Sub Shop.

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fr shrinersThe Oasis Shriners will be taking over Maggie Valley next weekend as they hold their Spring Ceremonial at the festival grounds.

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haywoodCommissioner Kirk Kirkpatrick remembers many Haywood County budget hearings in which the public was absent from the process, but that was not the case this year.

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fr schoolSwain County schools are requesting an additional $250,000 from the county commissioners to cover some much-needed building maintenance projects at all four schools.

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fr steepslopeJackson County planning and code enforcement staff will be pouring through two years’ worth of building permits and retroactively inspecting certain projects after learning no one has been enforcing the county’s Mountain and Hillside Development ordinance for more than two years.

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fr hospicehouseThe Hospice House Foundation of WNC is in the midst of a major fundraising campaign to construct and operate a six-bed hospice house in Franklin.

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fr ymcacampIt’s a land with a rich past and a hopeful future. 

As YMCA employees, volunteers and future campers walked the Watia Creek Farms property along the western corner of Swain County last Friday, they could see the future. They could see children playing in nature, learning about the great outdoors and making lifelong friendships at the future home of YMCA’s Camp Watia.

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fr smartpharmAfter years of education and learning the pharmaceutical ropes, Jacob Reiche had just about reached the end of his.

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What the bill says: The method of doling out sales tax to towns and counties would be changed to give more to rural counties and less to towns and cities than under the current formula.

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Hunting on Sundays

What the bill says: The Sunday hunting ban would be lifted on private land. (House bill 640)

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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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