Cory Vaillancourt

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Following the lead of several other municipalities, corporations and co-ops, the Town of Waynesville has temporarily suspended billing-related water and electric shutoffs for its residential customers in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic. 

Comment

As the greatest public health crisis in more than a hundred years continues to ravage both the physical and fiscal health of the world, the nation and the state of North Carolina, a group of 15 Democratic candidates is calling for the immediate expansion of Medicaid.

Comment

As expected, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued an order earlier this afternoon directing residents to avoid all unnecessary activity outside the home.

Comment

On the morning of March 26, the Haywood County Board of Commissioners became the latest public body in North Carolina to issue restrictions on movement in an effort to halt the spread of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Comment

As the Coronavirus Pandemic continues to spread, Haywood County and all four of its municipalities will now prohibit non-essential activity through April 16.

Comment

Tuesday, March 17 started like almost any other day for Dave Angel, owner of Elevated Mountain Distilling Company in Maggie Valley. 

Comment

Last Tuesday, on what would normally be a bustling St. Patrick’s Day, owner Dan Elliot sat in his empty Sweet Onion restaurant in the heart of Waynesville’s downtown tourist district just after sharing some difficult news with his staff of 34 employees. 

Comment

The Republican Second Primary Election between Lynda Bennett and Madison Cawthorn in the 11th Congressional District will now be held six weeks later than originally scheduled.

Comment

As a professional multimedia artist and photographer living in Western North Carolina since 2002, Luba Petrova still remembers the first piece of art she ever created.

Since the beginning of the year, the Second Amendment sanctuary movement has swept through North Carolina, with the majority of counties passing resolutions in opposition to any potential measures that might infringe upon the right to bear arms. 

Comment

Of all the socioeconomic and educational weaknesses lain bare by the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 perhaps none is more disturbing than the fact that the closure of public schools has resulted for many children not just in a loss of education, but also a loss of nutrition. 

Comment

Waynesville’s Russ Avenue Ingles already has one of the largest commercial footprints in Haywood County, but if plans filed with the Town of Waynesville’s Development Services Department by the regional grocer come to fruition, it will get even larger. 

Comment

Haywood County Schools board members got their first look at a proposed budget for the next fiscal year last week, which contained few surprises and continued to concentrate on some much-needed capital improvement projects. 

Comment

There’s a strong, long-held sentiment here in rural Western North Carolina that the region is often overlooked when balanced against the state of North Carolina as a whole, but unofficial results from the March 3 Primary Election show that the counties that make up this rugged, mountainous region are more important politically than ever before. 

Comment

A tweet issued by President Donald Trump on the evening of March 6 made Rep. Mark Meadows’ next move pretty clear, but clarity’s in short supply when it comes to who will represent the 16 counties of Western North Carolina in Congress for the rest of the year. 

Comment

Days after uncertified results from the Democratic Primary Election showed Buncombe County Sen. Terry Van Duyn finishing second to Raleigh Rep. Yvonne Holley, Van Duyn’s decided not to call for a runoff.

Comment

After more than two months of speculation as to his next move, Western North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows will become President Donald Trump’s next chief of staff, as declared by the president in a tweet earlier tonight.

Comment

Republican voters in seven western counties have again decided that a candidate from Franklin, in Macon County, should be their voice in the N.C. Senate.

Comment

It looks like one of North Carolina’s longest-running political feuds will go another round. 

Comment

When Canton businessman Brandon Rogers led the county commission ticket in 2016, he helped narrow the Democratic majority from 4-to-1 to 3-to-2. 

Comment

Once Judge Richard K. Walker announced he wouldn’t seek re-election, four Republicans from three of the seven counties in the 30th Judicial District jumped into the race.

Comment

Last fall, few people expected to be devoting so much time, energy and money to two Primary Election races in North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District. 

Comment

When Super Tuesday dawned in Western North Carolina, most voters awoke to torrential downpours, but the heavy rain doesn’t seem to be keeping them away from the polls.

Comment

Six Democrats are competing for their party’s nomination in the lieutenant governor’s race; one of nine Republicans also seeking the seat left vacant by Republican Dan Forest’s run for governor will face off with the winning Democrat in November.

Comment

With the departure of Lt. Gov Dan Forest – running for governor and with a primary contest of his own – comes nine candidates seeking to replace him. The winner of the GOP primary will face one of six Democrats competing against each other for the right to do the same.

Comment

Charlotte Republican Ronald Pierce will again challenge incumbent Commissioner of Insurance and fellow Republican Mike Causey. In 2016, Pierce finished third in a field of three in the contest for the Republican nomination that eventually went to Causey. One candidate — Causey or Pierce — will face the Democrat Causey beat in 2016, Wayne Goodwin. 

Comment

The office of State Auditor might be the most unnoticed, misunderstood agency in the state, but the job is tremendously important — keeping track of how the state’s agencies spend their money. Longtime Auditor Beth Wood, a Democrat, has a primary challenger for the first time this year. The winner of that Democratic Primary Election will face one of two Republicans in November. 

Comment

On Tuesday, March 3, Republican Primary voters will be asked to choose between three candidates for the Secretary of State race. The winner will face five-term Democratic incumbent Elaine Marshall in November. 

Comment

Two Republican candidates, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest and Rep. Holly Grange are seeking their party’s nomination for the November gubernatorial election. Although Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper has a primary opponent, he’s expected to cruise to victory on March 3, setting up a match with either Forest or Grange.  

Comment

Three Republican candidates have thrown their hat in the ring with hopes of taking out U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis during the March 3 Primary Election. The winner will face one of five Democrats also seeking the seat in November. 

Comment

The Smoky Mountain News: What do you think the biggest issue is in the primary right now?

Comment

Audio purporting to depict the full context of a discussion in which Lynda Bennett can be heard expressing disdain for President Donald Trump raises serious doubts about allegations that she’s a “never Trumper.”

Comment

Waynesville’s elected officials, administrators and department staff were supposed to spend Feb. 21 talking about the year’s upcoming budget — which they did, for nearly six hours — but the board also took immediate action on several issues deemed too important to wait. 

Comment

There are plenty of arguments for getting money out of politics, but anybody who wants to get money out of politics must first have money to get into politics to get money out of politics.

Comment

When most people think about exciting election action, they don’t often think about judgeships. 

Judicial races are not usually contested, they’re not usually competitive and so they’re not usually talked about much, for all of those reasons. 

Comment

(Editor's note: This story was originally published on Feb. 22, but has been updated with new information as of Feb. 25.)   

A Smoky Mountain News investigation into a mysterious handout distributed at polling places during early voting casts serious aspersions on the legitimacy of an endorsement of congressional candidate Lynda Bennett by a previously unknown, hastily formed political action committee with ties to one of her campaign consultants.

Comment

In Fitzgerald’s fields they toiled, sun-dappled and rain-soaked, caked in mud and in blood and in sweat. They raised corn and peas and potatoes and children and they always had plenty of butter and honey and wool so long as with ceaseless toil they coaxed the stubborn mountainside into giving up its seasonal blessings.

They worked about as hard as, and had about as much as, any other poor white Reconstruction-era Waynesville farmer except for the rights expressed in that document which begins, “We the people” because they were still somehow less than that. 

Comment

Two years ago, voters in Haywood County made some decisions at the polls that were at odds with not only the contemporary political climate in Western North Carolina, but also with almost two centuries of tradition. 

Comment

Although there was more than a little wrangling over logistics, the Town of Waynesville has finally announced the membership of its newly created homelessness task force. 

Comment

The 2018 General Election was a momentous one for Democrats still smarting from the stunning 2016 loss by one of the most unpopular presidential candidates in history to one of the most unconventional presidential candidates in history. 

Comment

Last September at a Macon County GOP event, Franklin Republican and five-term Sen. Jim Davis announced that he wouldn’t be seeking re-election to his seat in the North Carolina General Assembly. After a short speech by Davis, party officials whisked an American flag off a handsome white rocking chair and presented it to Davis as a sign of gratitude for 10 years of service in Raleigh as well as 10 years of service as a Macon County commissioner. 

Comment

Less than a year after it finally found new owners, a historic building in downtown Waynesville is beginning to attract new tenants. 

Comment

Much misinformation is being spread about the state of and the fate of Frog Level’s community-based food ministry — namely, that the community or the town pushed to close The Open Door, that The Open Door will cease operations, that a hip new Asheville bistro will soon gentrify the space and that Haywood Pathways will simply pick up the slack. 

Comment

North Carolina’s attorney general may be the top law enforcement officer in the state, but the AG also serves as general counsel for all state agencies, represents the state in litigation and advises the governor and General Assembly on questions of law. 

Comment

From the mountains to Manteo, it’s easy to see that agriculture is North Carolina’s largest industry, but while driving through or flying over this vast state it’s much harder to see the challenges that threaten it. 

Comment

Haywood County didn’t pass a Second Amendment sanctuary resolution on Feb. 3, but what commissioners did pass was somehow something more. 

Comment

While it’s not exactly a “Second Amendment sanctuary” resolution, a proposal to declare Haywood County a “Constitution Protecting County” does include some explicit language in regard to the Second Amendment and will be heard by commissioners for a possible vote at their next meeting Monday morning. 

Comment

When five-term N.C. Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, announced his surprise retirement at the Macon County GOP headquarters last fall, it wasn’t much of a surprise that he’d asked two-term House Rep. Kevin Corbin, a Republican also of Franklin, to succeed him in the Senate. 

Comment

The opening act of what promises to be a protracted melodrama played out in the Historic Haywood County Courthouse last week before a large group of citizens representing a microcosm of modern-day America and modern-day American ideals.

Comment

Franklin Police Chief David Adams will have some big shoes to fill when he becomes Waynesville’s new police chief, but according to Waynesville Town Manager Rob Hites, Adams is the right person to fill them. 

Comment

Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.