Remembering a great leader: First MLK commission established in Swain County

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer

When Denise Tyson realized she would have to trek to another county to take part in celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, she did just what the famous civil rights leader would have done — she took a stand.

Fed OKs $6 million for North Shore Road payment

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer

After 64 years, it looks like the battle over the North Shore Road in Swain County may have finally reached a resolution.

Swain’s subdivision ordinance tabled after stiff opposition

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer

Nearly 200 people packed a Swain County public hearing on Dec. 10 to voice their opposition to the county’s first-ever development regulations — a subdivision ordinance dictating road widths and grades.

New mayor embraces new face of Bryson City

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer

The election of Brad Walker, Bryson City’s new mayor, is more than just a changing of the guard — it’s representative of how the tiny Swain County town has transformed in recent years from a remote location in the Smokies to a much sought-after tourist destination.

Transfer tax would help Swain schools

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer

After several years of trying to secure funding for school improvements, Swain County officials say that money generated by a land transfer tax may be the answer they’ve been looking for.

Tax opponents organize in Macon, Swain

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer

A property transfer tax that could potentially bring nearly a million dollars a year to county coffers is meeting fierce opposition in two Western North Carolina counties where the tax will appear on the November ballot.

Swain urged to tap into motorcycle tourism

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer

The roar of motorcycles is a familiar sound in the mountains of Western North Carolina. And for many business owners, it’s music to their ears.

Bikers mean warm bodies to occupy beds, eat in restaurants, and shop in stores. This means dollars for the local economy. So why aren’t counties doing more to advertise to this fast-growing segment of the population?

Swain voter fraud investigation sent to feds

The North Carolina State Board of Elections has concluded its investigation into allegations of voter fraud in Swain County, but a final decision on whether the activities amounted to wrongdoing is still pending.

Swain nearly ready to vote on road rules

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer

Swain County’s first-ever planning board is nearly finished with its first project — drafting an ordinance to regulate road construction — and will send it on to county commissioners to review next week.

TDA changes ramrodded by county manager

By Scot Warf

As past chairman of the Swain County Tourism Development Authority (TDA), I feel compelled to share with the community the events surrounding the recent hostile takeover of the Swain County TDA. In the fall of 2006, Kevin King, Swain County Administrator and Finance Officer, called me to ask whether the TDA would be interested in a new visitor center facility. I told him I would have to ask my board members to get their feelings on the issue. Mr. King told me that he would rather that I not ask too many of our board members because he wanted to keep this issue quiet.

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