At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.

News in brief

Long’s Chapel accepting Pre-K applicants

The Long’s Chapel Child Enrichment Center has recently become a N.C. Pre-K Program Center. The NC Pre-K Program is designed to provide high-quality educational experiences to enhance school readiness for eligible 4-year-old children. 

The CEC is also undergoing an extensive remodeling project that will be complete by fall 2020, including fresh paint, new flooring, new rugs, new window coverings and new furniture. 

“We are also expanding from seven classrooms to nine classrooms,” said Belinda Marr, Director of the CEC. The CEC’s new facilities also include secured entrances and check-in areas, a brand new indoor playground, a new comforting room for breastfeeding mothers, and an amphitheater area. 

One of the new classrooms being built will be the dedicated N.C. Pre-K classroom with a certified teacher and teacher assistant by partnering with Region A Partnership for Children and the N.C. Pre-K Program.

Enrollment packets are ready for pickup at the CEC located at 133 Old Clyde Rd, Waynesville and are due by July 31. Children must have turned 4 on or before Aug. 31. 

For more information, contact Belinda Marr at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 828.476.4153.

 

Jackson attorney takes on state role

The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners held the 2020 Summer County Attorneys Conference in partnership with affiliate organization, the North Carolina Association of County Attorneys. This was the first year the annual event was held in a virtual setting, and it drew about 150 attorneys from counties and departments of social services throughout the state.

During the business session of the conference, Jackson County Attorney Heather Baker was sworn in as President of the N.C. Association of County Attorneys. A native of Jackson County, Baker is a member of the North Carolina and 30th Judicial District State Bars. She is also a former Assistant District Attorney for the 30th Prosecutorial District, and former president of the 30th Judicial District Bar. 

The conference covered several timely topics including legal aspects of county management and operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, Public Health Law, affordable housing programs, legislative and case law and ethical issues related to pandemics. 

 

Haywood GOP elects new officers

The Haywood County Republican Party Executive Committee held a special meeting on Thursday, July 16, to elect three new officers.

Vice Chairman Kay Miller opened the meeting by welcoming over 30 members and guests. 

She then asked Mark Delk, 2nd Vice Chair of the 11th District, to chair the remainder of the meeting. Under Delk’s leadership, the Haywood County Republican Party Executive Committee held elections.

When the votes were tallied, Delk announced the winners — Kay Miller, chairman; Dana Underwood, vice chairman; and Beth Justice, secretary. 

The new officers join Treasurer Pat Carr and Finance Chair David Eachus.

The next meeting of the Executive Committee of the Haywood County Republican Party will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug 13, at the Republican headquarters, located at 297 N. Haywood St., Waynesville.

 

Franklin sets graduation plans

Franklin High School graduation ceremonies will take place from 9 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1, with 5-minute time slots available. 

Appointments will be on a first come first serve basis through Ms. Vargas at Franklin High School. Call 828.524.6467 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Seniors and their families will need to utilize the circle drive at the front of the school. Everyone will be required to wear a face covering except the senior while getting his/her picture made.

With the volume of students, the only photo opportunity available will be for the senior only. The 2020 prop will remain on display for families to come back to campus for group pictures later in the evening on Saturday or anytime on Sunday. This event will happen rain or shine.

If a senior chooses to not participate on Aug. 1, they can pick up their diploma any time between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday after Aug. 1 in the main office at Franklin High School.

Receive our FREE Friday Xtra newsletter

Go to top