Elections director wins lawsuit

After years of fighting with county commissioners, a judge has ordered Swain County to fund retirement benefits for Elections Director Joan Weeks.

Aquarium project slowed, but end is in sight

By Michael Glover • Guest Columnist

This is in response to the letter “Disappointed in New Aquarium” from Chuck Harrell of Whitter, which appeared in the July 3 edition of The Smoky Mountain News.

The Appalachian Rivers Aquarium has already proven to be a great asset to Swain County Tourism and to the local community. Our soft opening is going on during the months of June and July (Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) with free admission. Our visitor count numbers have far exceeded our expectations and is a hit with all ages. We are very truthful with each visitor that we are still working on this project and all have been understanding. We will begin charging a small admission fee once the remaining tanks are filled with fish; however, the donations we have received from visitors has been exceptional. We appreciate the community and visitor support!

Single stream increases recycling in Swain

Swain County has had a recycling program in place since the 1990s, but a recent change over to a single-stream recycling program has increased participation among residents. 

Bryson City builds on fishing tourism with new aquarium

With fly-fishing tourism on the rise in Western North Carolina, a new attraction in Bryson City will bring visitors up-close and personal with up to 50 species of freshwater fish. 

2007: Journey from the Road to Nowhere

If you can’t understand why people in Swain County are distrustful of the federal government, then you are among those unfamiliar with the history of the infamous Road to Nowhere. 

2014: Transition to for-profit health care

Area hospitals finally found some steady financial footing in 2014 after years of floundering, trying to keep their heads above water as providing health care to rural Appalachia became more challenging. 

Swain on track to pass status-quo budget

In preparing the proposed budget for 2019-20, Swain County continues to hold the line on the county’s low property tax rate, but it will mean that some funding requests and county needs will have to wait another year. 

Trying to get most out of North Shore funds

Now that Swain County has finally received the entire $52 million from the federal government for the North Shore Road settlement agreement, county commissioners want to make sure they’re making the most of that money. 

Swain uses closed meetings for contract talks

Swain County commissioners typically hold two meetings per month, and it’s not unusual for them to have a closed session on the agenda. 

SBI investigates threats to Swain sheriff, deputies

Swain County Sheriff Curtis Cochran recently called upon the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation to investigate alleged threats against himself and several other law enforcement officers. 

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