Swain celebrates new emergency service structures

fr helipadTwo newly completed infrastructure projects in Swain County are welcome additions for the emergency services staff.

WCU and hospitals partner for better health care

fr wcyLeaders of Western Carolina University, Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital announced the expansion and formalization of a partnership focused on ensuring access to quality health care in North Carolina’s westernmost counties.

‘In God We Trust’: Local governments asked to display national motto

fr mottoMembers of the U.S. Motto Action Committee have been making their way around the state asking county commissioners and town boards to display the national motto, “In God We Trust,” prominently on government buildings.

SCC gets input on future of Swain campus

fr sccswainWhat should the future of Southwestern Community College look like in Swain County five to 10 years from now?

Swain to dissolve outdated ordinances

swainSwain County commissioners will hold two public hearings at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, before deciding whether to dissolve ordinances regulating meat markets and campgrounds.

Swain elections board hires lawyer for county dispute

swainSwain County Board of Elections has retained an attorney to provide guidance on an ongoing dispute between the board and the county regarding retirement benefits for Elections Director Joan Weeks.

Swain County working toward securing trash site

swainBeginning in January, Swain County residents will no longer have 24-hour access to the county’s trash and recycling convenience center. 

Swain County to get rid of parking lot potholes

fr potholesAfter hearing numerous complaints about the enormous potholes plaguing the county administrative building parking lot, Swain County commissioners agreed it was time to repave it.

Swain to begin enforcing ‘false alarm’ rules

Beginning Sept. 1, Swain County Sheriff’s Office will have the authority to issue citations and fines for residents who have faulty alarm and security systems. 

Swain County commissioners approved a False Alarm ordinance several months go to address the timely and costly problem of responding to vacant houses when a security alarm is set off. Sheriff Curtis Cochran told commissioners the excessive false alarms were a burden on the sheriff’s department’s limited resources. The department responded to more than 1,000 security alarm calls in 2014 and a majority of them were the result of faulty alarm systems. 

The sheriff hopes the new ordinance will encourage part-time residents to update their security systems to prevent this problem in the future. Cochran assured commissioners his deputies would use common sense when enforcing the ordinance and take into consideration the elderly who may have problems working their systems. While he said warnings would be the first step, violators could be issued a $50 fine if deputies respond to a false alarm call at their home.

Residents can appeal a citation to the county manager and commissioners. 

“About 150 letters have been sent out to people we know have these alarm systems — the same ones who have been called before,” said County Manager Kevin King.

Swain residents want common sense animal control

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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