Swain County will be receiving $577,000 in federal funding to help meet the many needs of its public school system.

While Swain County pushes forward with a lawsuit against the federal government to collect $38.2 million it’s owed in settlement money, U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-Asheville, said he’s still pursuing the money on his end as well.

Swain County didn’t include any funding for capital projects in the 2017-18 budget, but commissioners are hopeful their state representative might be able to find some available funding.

Swain County commissioners will hold a public hearing at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 22, to hear feedback from the community prior to passing a proposed $15.6 million budget for 2017-18.

A federal judge has dismissed Swain County’s breach of contract lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Interior to collect $39.2 million owed to the county from the 2010 North Shore Road settlement agreement.

Karen Williams only had a handful of students in her beginner class when she first took the band director position for Swain County Schools 14 years ago, but today she has an average of 50 beginner students a year and the program continues to grow.

While many local school districts are struggling to make ends meet these days, Swain County Schools is facing a much steeper battle to qualify for state and federal funds the district feels its students deserve. 

“We’re struggling as most boards are trying to look at our financial situation and fund things we crucially need,” said Superintendent Sam Pattillo.

Bryson City aldermen are quite aware of the rift created in the community over the Fry Street closure issue, but say they welcome residents and businesses alike to participate in the local government process.

A large-scale rescue effort involving multiple animal welfare agencies resulted in the removal of more than 400 animals from a puppy mill in Clarkesville, Georgia, last week.

A fleet of new mountain bikes has come home to roost at Swain County High School, thanks to a donation from Bryson City Bicycles.

In December 2016, the bike shop landed an award from Synchrony Financial that granted it $10,000 to grow the business and another $10,000 earmarked for a community project of its choosing. Bryson City Bicycles was one of only five small businesses nationwide to land one of the Working Forward Small Business Awards, and co-owner Diane Cutler had no doubts about where in the community she wanted to invest that $10,000.

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