Cory Vaillancourt

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

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

The debate over whether or not Haywood County should declare itself a “Second Amendment sanctuary” entered a new phase Tuesday night after hundreds packed the Historic Haywood Courthouse and dozens addressed commissioners, with most speakers expressing a single resounding opinion: yes, it should.

Comment

Proposed changes to and clarifications of cemetery ordinances prompted by public outcry in Waynesville will soon undergo a period of public comment before possible adoption by the town’s Board of Aldermen. 

Comment

The town of Waynesville’s homelessness task force has gotten off to a slow start, but things should start to move much more quickly in the coming days. 

Comment

Longstanding plans for a park near the Pigeon Street corridor are about to move forward, as are other plans designed to connect — physically and symbolically — Waynesville’s bustling Main Street with the town’s historic African American neighborhood. 

Comment

Sure, your local civic organization, athletic club or hobbyist group probably has a treasurer — the person with the checkbook who pays the bills, monitors the bank accounts and regularly reports on the income and expenditures of the bake sale, or the fishing rod raffle.

Comment

After a long career in public service, North Carolina’s current Commissioner of Labor Cherie Berry — who you probably know if you’ve ever stepped foot in a North Carolina elevator — is calling it quits. 

Comment

Proposed changes to and clarifications of cemetery ordinances prompted by public outcry in Waynesville will undergo a period of public comment before possible adoption by the town’s Board of Aldermen.

Comment

Almost seven months after the retirement of its longtime police chief, the Town of Waynesville is getting closer to naming his replacement. 

Comment

Despite the urgency of the area’s homelessness problem and the cacophony of citizens clamoring for a task force to begin work on the issue, Waynesville’s Board of Aldermen remains focused on getting it right, as opposed to getting it right now. 

Comment

A Pisgah High School teacher who had been under investigation by Haywood County Schools since late last year is no longer with HCS, according to Superintendent Dr. Bill Nolte. 

Comment

As Primary Election season sets in, a number of statewide races will have voters making some serious decisions at the polls. Few contests hold more consequence for the prosperity of the state as a whole than the one for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Comment

Only twice since 1972 has the state of North Carolina supported a Democratic candidate for president. But if a years-long trend in party registration continues, Republicans could have an easier time holding on to the Tar Heel state and its 15 electoral votes this fall.

Comment

The vigorous debate over the necessity of “Second Amendment sanctuary” resolutions has finally begun to trickle into North Carolina, and elected officials are increasingly being asked to weigh in on the controversial topic. 

Comment

Although voters approved a 2018 ballot measure requiring photo identification at North Carolina polls, voters won’t have to produce IDs during either the March 3 Primary Election or the Nov. 3 General Election. 

Comment

A pair of deaths from what’s being called a “flu-like illness” rocked Haywood County last week, underscoring the importance both of prevention and of recognizing the symptoms of what can still be a very dangerous virus.

Comment

By Cory Vaillancourt • Fake News Editor | It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That’s right, it’s time for our annual installment of the Fake News Freakout, in which we take stories that sprout from a small grain of truth, harvest them, and then process them into a multi-layered cake of mockery and silliness frosted with fraud. 

Comment

You may be familiar with the concept of the “little free library” — those small outdoor cabinets stuffed with donated books intended to feed the imaginations of young and old alike — but the sobering reality of the nation’s roaring economy is that it’s given birth to a disturbing new permutation of the popular donation-based book boxes: the “little free pantry,” stuffed with food intended to feed Western North Carolina’s increasingly poor and hungry children and adults.

Comment

For just the third time in American history members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted to approve articles of impeachment against the President of the United States, but Western North Carolina’s Republican Congressmen Mark Meadows and Patrick McHenry weren’t among those supporting the charges.

Comment

Santa Claus was especially good to Western North Carolina Democrats this year, delivering from his sack one big item on their wish list, and stuffing their stocking  with another gift that wasn’t expected, but was met with great appreciation.

Comment

As first reported by Politico earlier this morning, Western North Carolina’s four-term Republican congressman Rep. Mark Meadows, R-Asheville, will not seek a return to his NC-11 seat in 2020.

Comment

 

UPDATED Dec. 19: Hours after this story was posted, Rep. Meadows announced he wouldn't seek reelection to the seat mentioned in this story. More on that here

 

The 2018 Democratic Primary Election winner in North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District, Phillip Price, ended speculation about another potential congressional bid against Rep. Mark Meadows, R-Asheville, by endorsing one of Meadows’ other Democratic challengers.

Comment

Calling it a campaign promise kept, newly-minted Waynesville Mayor Gary Caldwell announced during the first few moments of his term the creation of a homelessness task force.

Comment

The town of Waynesville swore in Haywood County’s first openly gay elected official — Biltmore Farms Director of Information Systems Anthony Sutton — last week, but the real story may be the retirement of a once-controversial and divisive issue in American politics.

Comment

Local Realtors are about to experience a change most of them will barely notice, but the merger of the Haywood County and Charlotte-based trade associations that govern them could have a noticeable effect on the regional affordable housing crisis.

Comment

Accusations of animal cruelty have been swirling about Haywood County stable operator James Lunsford for much of the year but finally evolved into formal charges and a civil suit earlier this fall. 

Animal welfare groups allege Lunsford mistreated more than a dozen horses in his care, along with a number of other animals, but Lunsford says he’s being unfairly targeted by overzealous nonprofits hoping to use him to raise money. 

Comment

Haywood County resident James Lunsford, 65, is currently the subject of an animal cruelty lawsuit filed against him Oct. 11 in and by the county of Haywood. 

Comment

It appears that some progress is being made in the fight against drug addiction in Haywood County, but a recent presentation to Haywood County commissioners proves there’s still a long way to go.

Comment

Super PACs are starting to make a big-time impact on small-town Western North Carolina politics, and not everyone thinks that’s a super idea.

Luther Jones, a Sylva resident who came up short in his bid for a commission seat last month, said he wants to keep outside money out of local politics, but it may be too late for that. 

Comment

If you think seems a bit early for candidates to be filing for the 2020 elections, you’re right — a change to state law pushing back North Carolina’s Primary Election from early May to early March means that candidates have already begun filing for a host of offices. 

Comment

After months and years of litigation, a Wake County court decided Dec. 2 that North Carolina could proceed with the 2020 elections using newly-drawn congressional maps, and that there would be no delay in the sign-up period for the March 3 Primary Election. 

Comment

After four terms in the N.C. House of Representatives, incumbent Rep. Michele Presnell (R-Burnsville) announced earlier today that she would not seek a fifth term.

Comment

For nearly all of its 128-year history, the University of Alabama’s football program has been synonymous with gridiron excellence. Thousands of young men have gone there to play the game they love, and played it to win. 

Boasting a 73 percent winning percentage over almost 1,300 games, Alabama has laid claim to 14 division titles, 31 conference titles and 17 national championships while producing legendary NFL stars like Joe Namath, Ozzie Newsome, Cornelius Bennett and Derrick Thomas, along with at least one legendary coach — Paul “Bear” Bryant. 

Comment

For most, childhood is a time of growth, learning and stability nurtured by fertile environmental and economic conditions that ultimately prepare young people to become the leaders of tomorrow. 

In much of North Carolina, the future’s not nearly that bright. 

Comment

Waynesville’s new mayor and aldermen haven’t even been sworn in yet, but based on how the board’s most recent regular meeting transpired, a new dynamic in how town government will operate in the future appears to be taking shape. 

Comment

A consultant with the North Carolina Office of Charter Schools recommended that Shining Rock Classical Academy’s charter should be renewed for five years despite ongoing concerns about the school’s lack of transparency, and the state’s director of charter schools has refused to answer why. 

Comment

A recent property donation to the Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministries could help create jobs, add value to agricultural products and feed the hungry in Haywood County, if local agricultural and food service sectors can demonstrate there’s a need. 

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.