Jessi Stone

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fr rickbrysonRick Bryson, a current alderman in Bryson City, has his eyes on Washington, D.C., as he plans a run to represent North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District.

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fr maconhealthA new program will enable a limited number of Macon County residents to seek primary medical care at the health department beginning this fall.

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fr cantonclinicWithin six months, a primary care medical clinic for Evergreen Packaging employees went from being on the chopping block to expanding its services.

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folkmoot preservingEach year international groups from all over the world travel abroad to share their traditional folk dances and songs with other cultures. 

They spend hundreds of hours researching, learning and rehearsing these songs and dances. They spend a lot of money on authentic costumes to accurately represent their heritage and they spend even more to go one tour and share their work with others.

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coverThere are two types of mayors — the ones who show up to shake hands and kiss babies and the ones who take an active role in their town to make it a better place. 

Maggie Valley Mayor Ron DeSimone certainly fell into the latter category.

SEE ALSO:
• Family and friends honor DeSimone’s memory
• DeSimone dies in construction accident
• Write-in likely to run for mayor in Maggie following tragic death

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fr desimoneyoungAs family members and friends took turns paying tribute to Ron DeSimone at his memorial mass on Tuesday, one word kept being repeated — love.

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fr desimonefuneralLast Friday started out just like many other workdays for Maggie Valley Mayor Ron DeSimone.

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haywoodThe town of Maggie Valley is small and only an average of 300 residents vote in any given election, but this year’s race for spots on the town board is shaping up to be full of competition.

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haywoodTwo new candidates have signed up to run against incumbent candidates Gail Mull and Ralph Hamlett for the Canton Board of Aldermen.

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franklinSeveral young residents have signed up to run for a seat on the Franklin Board of Aldermen while the race for mayor will be uncontested. 

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election timeThe election for the Bryson City Board of Aldermen looked like it would be a landslide for the incumbents early last week, but that had all changed by last Friday as four more people signed up to run for office.

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folkmoot buildingWith just days until the 32nd annual Folkmoot USA international dance and music festival is set to kick off, the Folkmoot Friendship Center in Hazelwood is a frenzy of activity. Construction projects are finishing up, fresh paint is drying on the walls, beds are being prepared for the performers and new Executive Director Angie Schwab is squelching fires left and right.

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folkmoot directorQ&A with new Folkmoot Executive Director Angie Schwab, who took the reins in March from former director Karen Babcock.

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fr brysonpavingWith so many roads needing to be repaved in Bryson City and so little money to do it with, the town board of aldermen has to make tough decisions and try to prioritize a short list of projects each year.

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sylvaBased on public input and survey results, it appears the overwhelming majority of folks in Sylva are opposed to creating two-way traffic in the downtown area. 

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law enforcementTwo officers with the Franklin Police Department are back on duty while the N.C. State Bureau of Investigations continues to look into a deadly shooting involving the officers.

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maconLinda McKay, owner of N.C. Mountain Made in downtown Franklin, said her business couldn’t afford to lose another summer festival, so she took it upon herself to create a new one.

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fr animalcontrolSwain County is one of only two counties in North Carolina that doesn’t have any type of animal control ordinance, but Commissioner Ben Bushyhead is hoping to change that with the help of the community.

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fr maconshootingThe North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations is conducting an investigation after a man was killed during a June 30 altercation with two Franklin police officers.

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fr ghosttownDespite aiming for a July opening, Ghost Town in the Sky will stay closed for the entire 2015 season.

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coverIlluminated neon lettering indicated full occupancy on many of the hotels in Maggie Valley during the Fourth of July weekend.

SEE ALSO: Ghost Town will remain closed for 2015

“No Vacancy” signs translate into dollar signs for accommodation owners as well as all the other businesses in the valley. Despite Ghost Town in the Sky not opening this year, Soco Road traffic was bumper to bumper, every parking lot was packed and tourists lined the sidewalks on Saturday evening waiting for the fireworks to begin.

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brysoncitySwain County Board of Commissioners approved a $14 million budget last week with little discussion or debate. 

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brysoncityTwo longtime Bryson City aldermen plan to run for another term in office, and so far only one possible name has surfaced to run for one of the two seats open in the November election.

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maconIt was clear from the 2013 election results in Franklin that voters wanted change. The 2015 Franklin election will determine whether voters want to continue in the direction the mayor and board of aldermen have been taking the town.

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fr meadowsU.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-Cashiers, recently paid the political price for not toeing his party line.

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haywoodAfter two years of getting a feel for Canton politics, two Canton aldermen hope to continue their work for another four years.

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fr maggieThe political dynamics in Maggie Valley have definitely changed in the last two years.

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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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