Jessi Stone

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art frNadia Dean has dedicated the last 10 years of her life to telling a story. It’s a historical account of the complex dynamics of the Cherokee War of 1776, but it’s also a story about relationships, humanity and the decisions that shaped this country. For Dean, who grew up in Haywood County and now lives in Cherokee, it was an untold story that needed telling.

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fr brysonDemocrat Rick Bryson will move on to run against U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows in the general election after narrowly winning the June 7 congressional primary.

coverThe Jackson County Branch of the NAACP will host more than a dozen like-minded Western North Carolina organizations in Sylva on June 13 for an event called “Mountain Moral Monday.” 

SEE ALSO:
• NAACP gains ground in WNC communities
• Local leader represents NAACP’s changing face

The event will include a keynote address from Rev. Dr. William Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP, as well as speeches from local people who have been negatively impacted by the policies being passed in Raleigh for the last several years.

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fr barberbrooksKatherine Bartel has a long list of reasons why a NAACP branch started in Haywood County a couple of years ago — and the motives go far beyond protecting only the rights of people of color.

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swainAs Swain County continues to struggle with a decrease in funding from several revenue sources, commissioners hope to pass a $17.3 million budget for 2016-17 without increasing the tax rate.

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maconMacon County commissioners have agreed to provide $30,000 toward an economic development project that promises to create 35 new jobs at an existing local business.

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fr maconschoolsMacon County Schools Superintendent Chris Baldwin came before the county commissioners last week to plead his case for additional funding in the 2016-17 budget.

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fr ghosttownAfter attempting to revamp the mountaintop amusement park for several years, Alaska Presley has decided to sell Ghost Town in the Sky in Maggie Valley.

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haywoodMaggie Valley residents and businesses won’t have to worry about paying a higher property tax rate for the next year, but they may see an increase in the fees they pay for certain services.

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fr shiningrockWhile Shining Rock Classical Academy students are already out of class enjoying their summer vacation, school leaders are busy assessing the charter’s first year and already planning for students’ return in August.

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haywoodFinding a solution to the lack of high-speed internet in rural Western North Carolina has been on the minds of economic development officials for some time now.

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fr skyrunnerIt’s hard to believe there are still developed neighborhoods in Haywood County that can’t get internet access or even landline telephone service, but it is a major problem in certain areas.

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coverMelanie Williams was fed up. She could no longer run her web design business from her Crabtree home with the slow DSL internet speed from a cable provider. 

SEE ALSO:
• Skyrunner helps rural neighborhoods get connected
• Broadband master plan in the works for Haywood

“I was working on an e-commerce website for a client and I needed to add 100 products with corresponding images but it was taking about an hour for each photo to upload,” she said. “It was becoming a huge expense because I’d have to go into town to be able to work, and I couldn’t haul all my equipment around with me.”

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WCUHow would you like to pay a mere $500 a semester to attend Western Carolina University?

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fr gorbyFor someone who has spent most of her life in Ohio, moving to the mountains of Western North Carolina has been a dream come true for Karen Gorby.

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fr demrunoffTwo Democratic candidates will face off in the June 7 election for a chance to unseat U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-Cashiers, in the general election and represent Western North Carolina in Washington, D.C.

fr learningcenter1Despite wild success rescuing high school dropouts and turning their lives around, the Haywood Community Learning Center is on the brink of closing if a funding quandary isn’t solved soon.

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franklinFranklin’s proposed budget prioritizes a number of long-range infrastructure projects without increasing the tax rate.

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jacksonAfter years of sitting empty, the old Drexel Furniture factory in Whittier will now enter a new phase of useful life as home to the recently formed Thomas Valley Growers, LLC.

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fr gamingraidAn undercover investigation into illegal gambling resulted in the seizure of more than 300 gaming machines from convenience stores across the state last week.

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fr TVAOpposition from local, state and federal politicians, a petition with 3,500 signatures and more than three hours’ worth of poignant testimony from the public wasn’t enough to sway the Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors from imposing a 30-year sunset on all houseboats moored on TVA lakes.

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fr SRCAShining Rock Classical Academy is considering legal action against a modular building company for not being able to honor its lease agreement with the charter school.

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fr watiaA little more than a year ago it was nothing more than an open grassy field surrounded by forest, but by next month it will be an impressive, state-of-the-art YMCA summer camp.

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fr maggieAn alliance of business owners opposing Maggie Valley’s proposed town center master plan is growing stronger and becoming more organized as it tries to derail the project. 

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fr hospitality1Melanee Lester has been sorting through a 4-inch-high stack of applications on her desk for the last couple of weeks, trying to get Mast General Store fully staffed for the long tourism season ahead.

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fr houseboats2Tennessee Valley Authority officials have confirmed that its board of directors will make a decision on May 5 regarding the future of houseboats on all of its 49 lakes and reservoirs.

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pets maconAppalachian Animal Rescue was bustling with activity Monday morning. Staff members were getting the shelter back in order following an adoption event and several families searched for a furry companion to take home. 

pets swainBeth Cline has rescued animals since she was a young child. Her father would scold her every time she brought home another box of kittens, but she just couldn’t leave them sitting on the side of the road and would always find them a good home.

pets jellybeanJellybean is a 31-year-old blind miniature horse. Not being able to see her surroundings may seem like an insurmountable obstacle, but Star Ranch in Haywood County has made it possible for Jellybean to have a second chance to find a family.

fr maggieMaggie Valley leaders agreed to go back to the drawing board after several business owners expressed opposition to a portion of the proposed town center master plan.

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fr houseboatsSwain County commissioners unanimously passed a resolution last week opposing the Tennessee Valley Authority’s proposal to remove all boathouses from its reservoirs within 20 years. 

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haywoodHaywood County is continuing with efforts to update and improve its emergency management ordinance — a local regulation that came under fire last year by a group of residents who thought the language violated their constitutional rights.

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haywoodNew rules are now in place to govern commercial outdoor gun ranges in Haywood County.

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fr houseboatsScott Collins’ family has owned a houseboat on Fontana Lake since 1965 — that’s five generations that have made lasting family memories while enjoying a little rest and relaxation in the Great Smoky Mountains.

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fr houseboats2The Tennessee Valley Authority has proposed doing away with more than 1,800 houseboats that occupy various lakes under its jurisdiction.

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fr maggiecenterThere was a palpable sense of excitement in the air when Maggie Valley first unveiled its town center master plan. But with a couple of weeks to mull it over, some business owners are concerned the plan may have unintended and adverse consequences.

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coverA small group of parents had been working quietly for about three years to get the first charter school established in Haywood County, and they were beginning to think they would make it through the process without experiencing the backlash everyone told them was sure to come.  

“Everyone warned us it’s going to be hard, but we thought everything was going great until August,” said Anna Eason, a Shining Rock Classical Academy board member. “We bragged about our community being so wonderful and accepting, but then it came out with vengeance.”

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maconKevin Rohrer, a captain with Morrisville Fire and Rescue Department, has been hired as Franklin’s fulltime fire chief to replace former interim chief Warren Cabe.

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haywoodIt’s been a year since the Haywood County commissioners agreed to make changes to the county’s emergency management ordinance to tone down some overbearing language that didn’t sit well with an adamant group of civil liberty watchdogs.

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north carolinaLocal election officials say the March 15 primary election ran fairly smoothly despite having to implement the new voter ID law for the first time.

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fr whitmireThe town of Franklin has been sitting on about 13 acres of pristine greenway space for about 12 years with no concrete plans for how to utilize it.

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haywoodHaywood County voters will be asked to weigh in during the general election on whether businesses outside town limits should be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages.

haywoodPiece by piece, Canton is setting the stage for future economic success through a number of new initiatives.

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fr frystreetAlderwoman Heidi Woodard’s motion for the town to abandon the right-of-way on Fry Street was met with silence at Monday night’s Bryson City board meeting, but town leaders say that doesn’t mean the issue is dead.

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coverAfter waiting for years to get the money promised to them, the Swain County commissioners made a unanimous decision last week to sue the federal government for $38.2 million.

“It’s about our only option left,” said Commissioner Steve Moon.

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fr communitykitchenThe Community Kitchen in Canton works hard to make sure no one in the community goes hungry, and now the organization needs help from the community it serves to expand its food ministry.

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fr curtisMacon County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of 22-year-old Hunter Curtis after he was shot and killed by his father on March 26 during a domestic dispute.

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fr incubatorIt will be a bittersweet transition for Smoky Mountain Development Corporation executive director Allan Steinberg. On one hand, he has to watch the nonprofit he’s led for nine years dissolve, but on the other hand, he’s excited about the possibilities ahead as Haywood Community College takes over the organization’s facility.

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election timeNorth Carolina will hold a separate election on June 7 for the congressional primary, which means it’s not too late for new candidates to throw their hat into the ring.

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election timeA majority of North Carolina voters approved a significant investment in the state’s future economy during the primary election by voting in favor of the Connect NC bond referendum.

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