Jessi Stone

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law enforcementAs allegations of police brutality continue to dominate the news all across the country, many law enforcement agencies have turned to body cameras as a possible solution.

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election artIncumbent Mark Meadows, R-Cashiers, will face a challenger in next year’s election to represent the 11th District of North Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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fr animalcontrolAfter conducting research and gathering public input for several months, an ad hoc committee finally has a working draft for what might be Swain County’s first animal control ordinance. 

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election timeSix candidates have signed up to run for two commissioner seats in Macon County next year.

haywoodCanton’s outdoor pool has given the community a place to gather, play, exercise and relax for more than 70 years.

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election timeSeven candidates will be vying for two commissioner seats in Swain County next year.

fr mottoPublic officials aren’t required to place their hand on a Bible to be sworn into office, but a majority of them still do.

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fr bobscottIn the last couple of weeks, Franklin Mayor Bob Scott has been called un-American, arrogant and an asshole, but he’s taking it in stride knowing he made a decision based on his conscience and not on fear.

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schoolsNew Smartphone applications are being developed every day, and many of them are helping teenagers keep secrets from their parents.

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maconFive candidates are running for two commissioner seats in Macon County and there are still five days left to sign up for the race.

fr camphopeIt has cost Canton half a million dollars to keep ownership of a piece of property it already owns.

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fr treeexperiencePeople can buy a real Christmas tree just about anywhere these days — from the big box stores to the side of the road.

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fr treepickingSome like them tall and thin. Others like them shorter and thick.

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fr treegrowingThe Christmas tree business is not a get-rich-quick kind of industry. Once a seedling is planted, it takes about eight years of growth before the tree can fulfill its Christmas destiny.

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coverWith more than 25 million real Christmas trees sold in the United States every year, growing Christmas trees is a thriving industry for farmers in North Carolina.

SEE ALSO:
• A real tree takes real work
• The art of picking the perfect Christmas tree
• Christmas tree farm experience

“I think real trees are holding their own,” said Tom Sawyer, owner of Tom Sawyer Christmas Tree Farm in Cashiers. “There’s been more of a resurgence of people lately who want the real deal.”

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maconWith the sign-up period for the 2016 election underway, two more candidates have tossed their hats in the ring to run for commissioner in Macon County.

franklinAs the demand for services continues to grow, Franklin will begin its search for a full-time fire chief to run the Franklin Fire Department.

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fr ghosttownAlaska Presley has had plenty of good intentions and ideas for Ghost Town in the Sky since she bought the rundown amusement park out of foreclosure in 2012.

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canton millFollowing an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, the United Steelworkers Local 9-507 in Canton has to redo its election of officers before March 31, 2016.

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fr frystreetWhile November is usually still a busy time for downtown Bryson City merchants, Paige Christie said her sales are down a third over last year.

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fr brunckRoberta Brunk could have easily become a victim of circumstance. Growing up in an abusive home and being moved around to different foster homes and schools could have permanently shaped her life and set her up for disaster, but she didn’t let that happen.

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fr broyhillLinda Morgan, executive director at Broyhill Children’s Home in Clyde, said she’s seen the pendulum swing many times during her 42 years working in the system. Some years the cottages at Broyhill are sparsely occupied, but the children’s home has been at capacity with 50 children for a solid two years.

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fr newfostersAs Caroline Kernahan talked about why she wanted to be a foster parent, her 4-year-old daughter Claire climbed into her lap and asked when her new brother or sister would be coming to stay with them.

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fr fosterneededDonna Lupton, director of social work in Haywood County, admits that fostering a child or teen isn’t for everyone.

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coverIn a perfect world, every child would have a loving family and a safe home to return to at the end of the day, but it’s not a perfect world. The reality is that thousands of children are removed from their homes each year in North Carolina.

ALSO:
Compassionate parents needed
• Couple opens their home, heart for foster children
• Broyhill provides family setting for foster kids
• Broyhill upbringing brought peace to Brunck

Foster care agencies continue to see the number of foster care cases increase and the opportunities to reunify those children with their biological parents decrease. It’s a trend many Western North Carolina counties are experiencing. 

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election timeAs candidate sign-ups get underway, Swain County commissioner incumbents plan to seek another term.

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haywoodDespite the recent election, the Maggie Valley Board of Aldermen still has an empty seat to fill.

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fr hawthorneWhile the former Hawthorn Heights teen shelter presented a number of challenges, the only challenge for teens moving into the new shelter will be calling dibs on their favorite room.

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fr corbinMacon County Commission Chairman Kevin Corbin announced his plans Monday night to run next year for the North Carolina House of Representatives.

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fr storywalkFranklin will soon be joining other communities around the world who are incorporating a love for reading with a love of the outdoors.

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fr smallbizWhat would Western North Carolina’s small towns be like without a strong base of small businesses?

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franklinEveryone was a bit surprised on Nov. 3 when the election results came out in Franklin — even the candidates who were elected.

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fr franklinfacesYoung people growing up in a small town usually have one main goal — to get out.

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fr ghosttownGhost Town in the Sky will no longer be a western-themed amusement park come next summer, according to a recent announcement.

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fr distilleryMaggie Valley Board of Aldermen welcomed Dave Angel to town Monday night after approving his request for a special exception permit to operate Elevated Mountain Distillery.

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fr wolfeJerry Wolfe is a storyteller. Whether he’s telling a story of his people at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian or retelling his years spent in the U.S. Navy, the 91-year-old remembers every detail.

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fr busdriverAlice Bradley says she’s just an old country girl who isn’t used to the applause and compliments that come with being in the spotlight.

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election timeAs the municipal elections were coming to a close last Tuesday night, it became clear that the race in Bryson City would be too close to call. 

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fr homelessLowell Monteith is tired of hearing “No.” It seems like everywhere he turns for help, the answer is always the same.

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election timeRep. Michele Presnell, R-Burnsville, has announced her intentions to run for a third term, but two Democrats have stepped up to challenge her for the chance to represent the 118th District of North Carolina.

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election timeBryson City’s town election may be too close to call given that there were eight provisionary ballots left to count on election night.

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election timeThe Franklin Board of Aldermen will soon have some new blood leading the town into the future.

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election timeAfter a long day at the polls, Ralph Hamlett and Gail Mull were heading to The Imperial on election night to celebrate their re-election to the Canton Board of Aldermen.

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election timeMaggie Valley had the opportunity to select new leadership in this election, but residents voted for incumbents to continue the progress made over the last four years. 

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fr franklinFranklin beat out 47 other small towns this year for the title of “2015 Top Small Town” in Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine. 

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fr helipadTwo newly completed infrastructure projects in Swain County are welcome additions for the emergency services staff.

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fr carolinanightsA brand new craft distillery is looking to set up shop in the former Carolina Nights dinner theater building in Maggie Valley, but the owner will first have to get special permission from town aldermen.

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out frThanks to some fortunate happenstance and a lot of hard work from the staff at the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee, a piece of property in downtown Franklin will go from being a potential environmental nightmare to a model example of restoration and redevelopment. 

“We wanted to improve the area, but we didn’t think the opportunity would be available so quickly,” said LTLT Executive Director Sharon Taylor. “But our organization is in a perfect position to take the title of that property and it’s a win-win for everyone.”

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fr martinGirl Scout Elizabeth Martin has remained quiet and humble for the last couple of weeks as local leaders shower her with accolades.

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fr inglesIngles Markets has gotten approval for a few minor changes to its site plan as it moves forward with a $7.5 million expansion project off Russ Avenue, which includes a Chick-fil-A, gas station, car wash, a parking lot makeover and additional retailers.

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