News Headlines

fr watiaYMCA of Western North Carolina is getting ready to break ground on Camp Watia, a summer camp in Swain County to serve children in the region. 

Ken and Nancy Glass of Buncombe County purchased the pristine 900 acres near Fontana Lake about 10 years ago and donated it to the YMCA of WNC with conservation in mind.

fr students“When will I ever use this in real life?” is often the question students have when faced with difficult subjects in math and science. Swain County educators have tried to answer that question by introducing STEM projects into every classroom.

coverMore than 10 million people now have health care coverage because of the Affordable Care Act, and Swain County residents benefited from the new law more than any other county in North Carolina. 

According to data released by Enroll America, a nonprofit with the goal of maximizing the number of Americans enrolled in health coverage, the percentage of uninsured residents in Swain County decreased from 25 percent in 2013 to 14 percent in 2014.

It wasn’t the first time Swain County Manager Kevin King had to tell his commissioners that the numbers were off on the Solid Waste Fund. But this month he added an asterisk of oomph. 

“This is probably one of our worst years so far,” King said, explaining that the fund had a $100,000 deficit. 

fr womenscareA shake-up in the medical world of maternity care and childbirth means more choices for pregnant women in Jackson, Swain and Macon counties, but also heightened competition for the profitable labor and delivery line.

Two new obstetrics practices were launched within weeks of each other this fall, both catering to women in Jackson, Macon, Swain and beyond. The number of existing practices in the region doubled nearly overnight. 

The Swain County Sheriff’s Office responds to its share of security alarms. Between January and the middle of November, the department has responded to 1,019 such calls — and rarely is there an actual need for its services.

“We may have one call like this, thinking back, where someone is actually in the house,” Swain Sheriff Curtis Cochran informed the Swain County Board of Commissioners recently. 

fr ymcaSwain County will soon be home to a YMCA camp. 

The camp — called YMCA Camp Watia — will be on land located near the Almond Boat and RV Park.

“Probably 5 miles from the highway,” said Swain County Manager Kevin King. “I think it used to be a tree farm.”

fr swainmuseumInside and out, the Swain County Heritage Museum is an ode to history. The very building that houses the museum long served as the courthouse in Bryson City, and now serves to usher visitors through all those many years gone by.

Stories from the 2014 midterm election:

fr magistrateIn the short walk from the doors of the Swain County Courthouse to the steps outside it, a couple of people stopped Gilbert Breedlove to shake his hand, ask him if it was true he was resigning his post as magistrate judge and express support. After holding the job for nearly 24 years, this was the last day that Breedlove would spend his working hours in the courthouse.

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