Subscribe  |  Contact  |  Advertise  |  RSS Feed Other Publications

News Headlines
Wednesday, 29 June 2016 16:03

A look at how local governments utilize the web

Written by

coverHaving a website used to be an added bonus for local governments, but now it has become a necessity and the public and the press have higher expectations for online services and transparency.

Governments get graded

Online presence a must for modern government

The Smoky Mountain News editorial team decided to evaluate and score the websites of four Western North Carolina counties, six municipalities and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to see whether local governments are failing, meeting or exceeding those expectations.

Revolutionary War hero General “Mad” Anthony Wayne once told George Washington, “Issue the order, Sir, and I will storm the gates of Hell.”

Supporters of Mad Anthony’s Bottle Shop & Beer Garden on Branner Avenue are no less fired up about a ruling handed down by the Waynesville Town Board last night that now renders their food truck a pricey parking lot decoration.


Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:59

Governments get graded

Written by

fr web govtJournalists responsible for news gathering in a rugged and mountainous four-county (Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain), 2,111-square-mile swath of Western North Carolina that happens to contain two sovereign nations, 11 towns, 32 unincorporated communities, 44 townships, 150,000 people, and the most visited national park in the country often rely on local government websites and the accuracy and timeliness of the information contained therein.

fr webmaggieYears ago, the Town of Maggie Valley used to be known as a place where governance didn’t always take place in full sunshine. 

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:52

Canton plans to beef up town website

Written by

fr webcantonThe Town of Canton’s website was the subject of discussion during recent budget hearings, as some questioned the need for spending $25,000 (plus $5,000 for marketing) on a new one. 

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:50

Bryson City website needs more attention

Written by

fr webbrysonConsidering Bryson City didn’t even have a website until 2009, it’s no surprise that it lags behind the other municipalities’ web presence.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:48

Swain County’s website lacks basic information

Written by

fr swainwebWith the lowest population and the lowest county budget, Swain County also scored the lowest among the four-county website comparison. 

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:46

Cherokee’s web presence a work in progress

Written by

fr webcherokeeThe Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ website received the lowest score of any of those reviewed by The Smoky Mountain News, coming in with an overall 1.4 out of 5. 

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:43

Sylva’s website scheduled for a makeover

Written by

fr websylvaSylva’s website, last overhauled in 2010, will be getting a facelift this year after the town board voted to spend $3,000 on a redesign of the town’s website and logo.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:41

User-friendly website a priority for Jackson

Written by

fr webjacksonKelly Fuqua doesn’t have a problem saying she’s pretty proud of Jackson County’s website. Before she overhauled it in 2011, the site was getting “complaint after complaint,” and she sank a lot of work into fixing the problem. 

fr webfranklinThe town of Franklin’s website is a great example of a small town going the extra mile to encourage public participation in local government.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:36

Macon’s web presence has come a long way

Written by

fr webmaconMacon County’s government website started 16 years ago with a shoestring budget.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:35

Waynesville website a reliable resource

Written by

fr webwaynesvilleAs the largest town west of Asheville and the county seat of Haywood County, Waynesville is the economic engine of the region, driving development and investment from Canton to Cherokee. Accordingly, its burden is high — some of the most important interactions residents will have with any local government occur on its website, almost 90 times each day. 

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:32

Haywood County’s website gets the job done

Written by

fr webhaywoodHaywood County’s website tied for the highest ranking in the area despite earning design scores that were sub-par.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:14

Online presence a must for modern government

Written by

fr web govtGo back in time 25 years, and a town with a website — any website, no matter how terrible the fonts or funky the navigation — would have been seen as glitzy and ahead of its time. But these days, having a website is the bare minimum of what citizens expect from their government’s online presence.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 15:06

Haywood school board responds to lawsuit

Written by

haywoodA lawsuit filed by a Waynesville parent and attorney in May regarding the closure of Central Elementary School is beginning to see some action.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 01:46

Shooting suspect wanted in Haywood

Written by

fr suspectHaywood County Sheriff’s deputies are looking for an armed and dangerous suspect involved in a June 26 shooting incident in Canton.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 01:44

Staggered payments for Cherokee Minors’ Fund

Written by

fr minorsfundWhen teen members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians come of age, they find themselves in sudden possession of a six-figure bank account. But the overnight windfall comes with risk, many tribal leaders believe, and Tribal Council took a monumental vote to change the way money is paid out to their young people — in installments rather than as a one-time payment. 

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 01:42

Canton a ‘workplace of first choice’

Written by

haywoodCanton’s new budget includes a provision making it the first living wage certified government in Western North Carolina, but at the town board meeting June 23, aldermen took that measure one step further. 

election timeAlthough the upcoming general election has much of the nation’s attention focused on just two candidates — a controversial populist and a former Secretary of State under investigation for mishandling classified material — local races offer considerably more palatable choices that will have a direct impact on the lives of area residents. 

WCUStudents pursuing health careers at Western Carolina University will soon have ample chance for hands-on learning right on campus if plans for a new medical office building on Little Savannah Road move forward as expected. 

Page 1 of 2