Christine Cole Proctor was home alone with her big sister at the family cabin on Forney Creek when she heard an unfamiliar rumble climbing the isolated mountain road. It was a car — the first they’d ever seen scale the rugged route.
Anybody who’s been to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the last few years has seen it — overflowing parking lots, mobbed trails and narrow mountain roads lined with cars. They’re visual symptoms of a national park bursting at the seams with unprecedented levels of visitation, hitting a highwater mark in 2021 at 14.1 million visits.
The N.C. House of Representatives last week condemned the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s controversial proposal to enact a parking fee with passage of a resolution that calls on Congress to block the plan.
After three abnormal school years due to the Coronavirus Pandemic that included free breakfast and lunch for all public-school students, schools across North Carolina are returning to the paid model of nutrition services. Now, a confluence of factors has necessitated a sharp increase in school meal costs.
If the Maggie Valley Board of Aldermen accepts the proposed FY 2022-23 budget, taxes will remain at $0.40 for the upcoming year without change. With this rate, the town will continue to have the lowest property tax rate of any municipality in Haywood County.
In response to the news of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) proposing fees for parking, now is an opportunity to flip the script. While other groups are finally being recognized after too long being ignored, marginalized and even intimidated, the GSMNP has an opportunity to bring to light those who lost their livelihoods, homes and communities to make way for the Park.
Declining revenues and a growing list of capital improvements are both putting the squeeze on Waynesville’s finances, but a proposed 2-cent increase in property taxes might not be enough to address them all.
A parking fee proposed for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has earned support from organizations ranging from the National Parks Conservation Association to the North Shore Cemetery Association — but also opposition from a growing list of governments and elected officials.
Since its official opening in 1934, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has been free to enter, to park, to hike, to explore. The intervening years have made free access a core principle of the park’s identity, cherished by residents of gateway communities like Bryson City and Gatlinburg — many of whom are descendants of the families forced from their homes to make way for the park’s creation.
George Vanderbilt first opened Biltmore, his magnificent private estate, to family and friends on Christmas Eve 1895. Today, his descendants continue welcoming guests with that same spirit of gracious hospitality.
We’re all aware that many items in the supermarket have increased in price, so it will be no surprise to discover that this year it will be more expensive to put a Thanksgiving meal on the table. Here are some ways to save: