Park it Forward: Congress won’t pay for Smokies maintenance backlog — you will
After years of inaction by Congress led to a massive $262 million deferred maintenance backlog in America’s most-visited national park, it will now be up to visitors to pony up their own money to support the park’s most basic staffing and maintenance needs.
Pay to play: Smokies parking tags now on sale
Starting March 1, Great Smoky Mountains National Park visitors will have to pay to park. As the date approaches and annual parking tags go on sale, park management is working to iron out the details and communicate them to the public.
WCU Trustees approve tuition, fee increases
“Extraordinary” inflation and the need to match state salary increases will prompt increases to the cost of attendance at Western Carolina University next year, according to the 2023-2024 schedule of tuition and fees the Board of Trustees adopted at their Dec. 2 meeting.
Booming Times, Busted Budgets: Growing visitation strains resources in and around the GSMNP
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.
Smokies adopts parking fee
Starting March 1, visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park will no longer be completely free — a first for park history.
Counting cars: Smokies updates decades-old visitation estimator
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.
N.C. House opposes Smokies parking fee
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.
‘Lunchflation’ plagues WNC schools
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.
Maggie Budget proposes additional staff
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.
The story of one family among thousands
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.