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Wednesday, 19 July 2017 14:37

Many cultures, one community

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The 34th annual Folkmoot International Festival will return to Waynesville this weekend for 10 days worth of folk dance performances across the region. This year’s lineup features 10 performance groups from around the world coming to Western North Carolina to share their culture through music and dance. 

Wednesday, 19 July 2017 13:59

A million dollars worth of warmth

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As the sturdy old stake-bed dump truck — held together largely with rusty steel coat hangers — scrambled up the mountain laden with over a cord of firewood, the man behind the wheel finally found the address and pulled up the driveway.

Although Richard Reeves has spent the last 12 years splitting wood in an empty lot off Lea Plant Road in Hazelwood, he certainly hasn’t been alone in that endeavor; a plethora of locals — in that paradoxical individualistic, communal mountaineer spirit — give what they can, when they can, how they can.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017 13:53

Russ fuss averted? NCDOT prepares new plan

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Public outcry over North Carolina Department of Transportation plans to eviscerate historic Walnut Street during Russ Avenue improvements slated for 2022 has, apparently, been heard loud and clear.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017 13:51

Candidates continue filing for office

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Sign ups for 2017 municipal elections close at noon Friday, July 21. The election will be Tuesday, Nov. 7, with early voting running Oct. 19 to Nov. 4 and absentee ballot requests open Oct. 6-31.

The Jackson County Board of Elections’ attempt to exert a new level of independence from the county commissioners resulted in an hour-long — and, at times, contentious — meeting between the two boards July 11.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017 13:47

Vice Chief position remains vacant

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This month’s two full days of Tribal Council sessions included discussion on everything from research requests to drug policies to power bills, but one topic was noticeably absent from the agenda — the process for selecting a new vice chief.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017 13:45

Jackson launches citizen’s academy

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Jackson County residents will have the chance to get grounded in local government with the launch of a citizen’s academy this fall, an endeavor that county commissioners approved unanimously during their July 17 meeting.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017 13:43

Waynesville animal shelter closes

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Duke’s Animal Haven off Stamey Cove Road in Waynesville has suddenly closed its animal rescue facility with little explanation.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017 13:41

Haywood Regional expands behavioral health unit

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Haywood Regional Medical Center, a Duke LifePoint Health hospital, has completed a 17-bed expansion to its behavioral health wing on the sixth floor.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017 13:40

Swain County receives federal funding for schools

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

Wednesday, 19 July 2017 13:38

Macon pushes forward with broadband expansion

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Macon County’s concerted efforts to bring better broadband capabilities to residents are moving right along.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017 13:36

Sylva passes food truck rules

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Sylva’s proposed food truck ordinance passed unanimously at the town meeting July 13, one year after the town board began researching the topic in the wake of Waynesville’s food truck woes.

A 14-month process to overhaul Jackson County’s splintered planning ordinances is now underway following the county commissioners’ unanimous approval of a $66,000 contract for Raleigh-based Stewart, Inc. to lead the project.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017 20:31

Meadows' first challenger drops out

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Moments ago, Congressman Mark Meadows' first Democratic Challenger, Matt Coffay, announced that he would be dropping out of the race due to what he calls "extenuating personal circumstances."

As first reported in the Smoky Mountain News back in April, Coffay – who announced his candidacy at a health care rally in Waynesville – became House Freedom Caucus leader and Western North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows’ first publicly declared challenger.

Coffay would have faced an uphill battle both financially and demographically against the powerful three-term incumbent congressman from Cashiers who recently moved to Asheville.

The full text of Coffay’s statement appears below.

Matt Coffay announced today that his campaign in North Carolina’s 11th congressional district will discontinue due to extenuating personal circumstances.

“The last few months have been an incredible journey, campaigning across western North Carolina 6-7 days a week, talking to so many of you throughout the 11th District,” Coffay said. “Unfortunately, I have had sudden personal circumstances occur that are beyond my control. After extensive deliberation with my loved ones as well as with my campaign staff, I’ve decided that I have to drop out of the race in order to address these acute personal needs.”

The Coffay campaign remains committed to progressive causes across western North Carolina. Momentum created from the course of the campaign thus far will be focused on continued efforts to sustain the movement across the district and bolster the Democratic party in North Carolina.

“I’m very proud of the incredible amount of work that we’ve been able to accomplish, the movement we’ve catalyzed, and the amount of support we’ve received — all in a relatively short amount of time,” Coffay continued. “We deserve a Congressman that represents the middle class and working families, not by someone whose interests lie with the top 1%. For this reason we wish our primary opponent, Phillip Price, and any other Democratic candidates who come forward the best of luck in the fight to defeat Mark Meadows.”

Wednesday, 12 July 2017 14:02

Mission threatens to cancel BCBS contract

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Mission Health System is threatening to cancel its contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina if they can’t get rate negotiations that are more favorable.