Angel Medical Center has been located in downtown Franklin for 60 years, but hospital officials are looking into the possibility of building a new facility out on U.S. 441.

With sunshine spilling into the taproom of Currahee Brewing Company in Franklin one recent afternoon, brewmaster Taylor Yates is all smiles. A hearty beverage raised high, the sun’s rays are a cherry on top of the big news currently floating around the facility.

“For us being so new, this is a huge thing,” he said. “We’re still trying to get established. Something like this on a national level just does wonders for us. When you’re new, it really gets you that exposure and notoriety you hope for.”

Women in Business 2017

Women owning their own businesses is nothing new, and in fact North Carolina is among the nation’s leaders in this area. Still, those we interviewed for our annual series on Women in Business illustrate their inspiring success stories and unique challenges.

Before Karen Walston began running her first extermination route 16 years ago, she had no plans to become The Bug Lady of WNC. At the time, she was doing a part-time office job for a bigger pest control company, but when she asked for more hours she got more than she bargained for.

This past summer, I reviewed The Leader’s Bookshelf for The Smoky Mountain News. After seven years of interviewing many of the nation’s top military leaders, Retired Admiral James Stavridis and R. Manning Ancell put together a list, with reviews and other information, of the top 50 books recommended by their military comrades. They included reviews of other books as well, recommendations so inspired that I headed for the library and my local bookstore to see what I could find of them.

Why not?

Why not include Greensky Bluegrass in the sacred — sometimes stale and stuffy — pantheon that is bluegrass music? Why not include the Michigan group in the annual celebrations of string and acoustic music, which mainly originated in Western North Carolina and greater Southern Appalachia? Why not consider the quintet a direct descendent (a rebellious one albeit) of the original rebel himself — Bill Monroe?

Several parents made it clear during a recent Swain County commissioners meeting they want to have more recreational opportunities for their children.

What started as a discussion about private vendors selling concession items at the rec department during youth sporting events quickly became an airing of grievances regarding the lack of programming for residents at the rec center.

A spate of early announcements by local candidates hoping to gain seats in the North Carolina General Assembly may have voters feeling like they’ve been here before — because the candidates certainly have.

It’s September in the hills when Western Carolina University’s fall foliage forecaster Beverly Collins attempts to quantify the quality of the annual color show in Western North Carolina through a scientific-based prediction. And Collins is anticipating a good display across the mountains this year.

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