Even though Londa Bohl had the summer off from teaching in Swain County, she spent most of her vacation learning the ins and outs of telecommunication laws in North Carolina.
Following the Little Tennessee River miles away from modern civilization in Franklin — past the pavement and subdivisions and through the grassy pastures that line the Cowee Valley — a large piece of Cherokee history remains.
While most people come to Macon County in the summer for a relaxing mountain vacation, Kathryn Sampeck makes the trip down south with a more important mission in mind.
SEE ALSO: Mounds hold key to understanding Cherokee history
With a wide-rimmed straw hat to shield her face from the beaming sun and a pair of worn-in brown leather boots she’s owned for at least 20 years, Sampeck returned again this summer to walk among sacred Cherokee land along the Little Tennessee River banks.
Beginning Sept. 1, Swain County residents will notice some big changes when they go to drop off their trash and recycling at the convenience center.
Southwestern Community College is receiving $7.17 million from the Connect N.C. bond to make major infrastructure improvements to its three campuses, but none of that money will be going to SCC’s small Swain County campus.
It’s been more than a year since the Swain County commissioners charged a newly formed ad hoc committee with tackling a longstanding controversial issue — the county’s lack of animal control.
Members of the Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors recently requested a meeting with Swain and Graham County officials to discuss the TVA’s recent decision to remove all 1,800 houseboats from its 49 lakes within the next 30 years.
Dillon Ingle will only be the third music director in Folkmoot’s 33-year history.
Franklin is one step closer to outlining a plan to provide better connectivity throughout the town for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Swain County residents will get to decide whether the county can levy an additional quarter-cent sales tax when they vote during the Nov. 8 general election.
If a rising tide lifts all boats, it only makes sense for organizations with common goals to work together, but cooperation hasn’t always come so easy for the Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority.
• Three seats open on Maggie Chamber board
• The value of a Maggie chamber membership
Though both entities work toward the ultimate goal of promoting local tourism, arguments have surfaced throughout the years over funding and duplicating services.
As three members of the Maggie Valley Area Chamber of Commerce board of directors rotate off the board next month, the business community has another opportunity to vote in new leadership.
Businesses in the valley have varying views on whether being a member of the Maggie Valley Area Chamber of Commerce is worth the annual dues, but Chamber Chairman Joe Moody said it’s a great value for the many benefits provided to the chamber’s 180 members.
Kimberly Michelle Bishop, the former director of Macon County’s Board of Elections, was recently sentenced to six months in prison for embezzling public funds.
Nearly five years ago, Taylor and Preston Gregg stood on top of Chestnut Ridge and recited their wedding vows.
Macon County Emergency Management Services hopes to expand an existing health care model to better serve mental health patients in the county — and a grant from the Evergreen Foundation may help the department fund it.
With the help of matching grants funds from Macon County, TekTone Sound & Signal Manufacturing Inc. will expand operations at the county industrial park with the purchase of the former SKF facility.
Macon County commissioners had some last-minute spending decisions to make before heading into the new fiscal year that started July 1.
Considering Bryson City didn’t even have a website until 2009, it’s no surprise that it lags behind the other municipalities’ web presence.
With the lowest population and the lowest county budget, Swain County also scored the lowest among the four-county website comparison.
The town of Franklin’s website is a great example of a small town going the extra mile to encourage public participation in local government.
Macon County’s government website started 16 years ago with a shoestring budget.
The wilderness is where one can find peace and clarity while also finding inner strength and determination.
That is the basis for Radical Inclusion, a new nonprofit formed by Waynesville couple Nicole Taylor and Jess Dunlap to provide an affordable summer camp experience for youth while teaching them survival skills.
Houseboat owners on Fontana Lake aren’t quite ready to give up their investments without a fight even after the Tennessee Valley Authority made the decision last month to ban all floating houses in 30 years.
Nick Breedlove has been brushing up on his astronomy lately — studying maps and learning the science behind the total solar eclipse that is set to occur on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017.
The Franklin Board of Aldermen has yet to agree on what it should do with a 13-acre tract it owns just off East Main Street, but two proposals from the public are leaning toward utilizing the green space for public recreational purposes.
After further negotiations, Macon County Schools and the county commissioners will both have some skin in the game when it comes to making sure the schools have enough funding for the upcoming school year.
Nadia 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.
Democrat 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.
The 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.”
• 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.
Katherine 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.
As 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.
Macon 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.
Macon County Schools Superintendent Chris Baldwin came before the county commissioners last week to plead his case for additional funding in the 2016-17 budget.
After attempting to revamp the mountaintop amusement park for several years, Alaska Presley has decided to sell Ghost Town in the Sky in Maggie Valley.
Maggie 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.
While 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.
Finding 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.
It’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.
Melanie 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.
• 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.”
How would you like to pay a mere $500 a semester to attend Western Carolina University?
For 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.
Two 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.
Despite 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.
Franklin’s proposed budget prioritizes a number of long-range infrastructure projects without increasing the tax rate.
After 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.
An undercover investigation into illegal gambling resulted in the seizure of more than 300 gaming machines from convenience stores across the state last week.
Opposition 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.
Shining 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.
A 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.