Inside WNC: Swain County

Written by on April 24, 2014 in Data, Inside WNC, Maps and Graphics, Region, Resources, Special Reports, Swain, Top News Comments Off
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Inside WNC is a permanent feature from Carolina Public Press that profiles each of the 18 westernmost counties of North Carolina. This is your guide, including direct links, to elected officials, key agencies and departments, plus information on the county’s wages, housing, education and more.

Swain County, N.C., map courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau, via Wikipedia

Swain County

Swain County is bordered by Haywood County to the east; Jackson and Macon counties to the south; Graham County to the west; and Tennessee to the north.

Map courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau

U.S. Census Bureau maps

Geography and Population

Land area in square miles: 528
Persons per square mile (2010): 26.5

Population, 2013 estimate: 14,058

American Indian or Alaska Native: 27.7 percent
Asian: 0.5 percent
Black: 1.3 percent
Hispanic or Latino origin: 4.4 percent
White non-Hispanic: 64.4 percent
People reporting two or more races: 4.3 percent
Source: U.S. Census Bureau


U.S., State and Local Officials, Key Agencies

U.S. elected officials

U.S. Senate
Sen. Richard Burr (R)
Washington address: 217 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3154
Fax: (202) 228-2981
Email contact form

Asheville address: Federal Building, 151 Patton Ave., Suite 204
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Phone: (828) 350-2437
Fax: (828) 350-2439

Information on Burr’s support, sponsored bills, etc. from GovTrack.us

Sen. Kay Hagan (D)
Washington address: 521 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-6342
Fax: (202) 228-2563
Email contact form

Asheville address: 82 Patton Ave., Suite 635
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Phone:  (828) 257-6510
Fax: (828) 257-6514

Information on Hagan’s support, sponsored bills, etc. from GovTrack.us

U.S. House: 11th Congressional District
Rep. Mark Meadows (R)
Washington address: 1516 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6401
Email contact form

Hendersonville address: 200 N. Grove St.
Hendersonville, N.C. 28792
Phone: (828) 693-5660

Information on Meadows’ support, sponsored bills, etc. from GovTrack.us

N.C. Elected Officials

N.C. Senate District 50
Sen. Jim Davis (R)
Address: N.C. Senate
16 W. Jones St., Room 2111
Raleigh, N.C. 27601-2808
Phone: (919) 733-5875 and (828) 342-4483
Email: Jim.Davis@ncleg.net

N.C. House District 119
Rep. Joe Sam Queen (D)
Address: N.C. House of Representatives
16 W. Jones St., Room 1017
Raleigh, N.C. 27601-1096
Phone: (919) 715-3005 and (828) 452-4286
Email: Joe.Queen@ncleg.net

County Officials and Agencies

Swain County Board of Commissioners
Chairman: Phil Carson
Address: Administration Building
101 Mitchell St.
Bryson City, N.C. 28713
Phone: (828) 488-9273
Email: p_carson@swaincountync.gov

County Manager: Kevin S. King
Address: Administration Building
101 Mitchell St.
Bryson City, N.C. 28713
Phone: (828) 488-9273, Ext. 2231
Email: manager@swaincountync.gov

Sheriff: Curtis Cochran
Address: Sheriff’s Office and Jail
95 Brendle St.
Bryson City, N.C. 28713
Phone: (828) 488-0159
Email: n/a

Swain County Department of Social Services
Interim Director: Sheila Sutton
Address: 80 Academy St.
Bryson City, N.C. 28713
Phone: (828) 488-6921
Email: sheila.sutton@swaindss.org

Swain County Health Department
Director: Alison Cochran
Address: 545 Center St.
Bryson City, N.C. 28713
Phone: (828) 488-3198 ext. 2002
Email: alisonc@swaincountync.gov

Member of the Southwestern North Carolina Planning and Economic Development Commission (Southwestern Commission), which covers the westernmost part of the state, specifically Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties.


County Seat

Bryson City
Population (2010): 1,424
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Town Government Office Address: 45 Everett St., Bryson City, N.C. 28713

Bryson City Council
Mayor: Tom Sutton
Address: 45 Everett St.
Bryson City, N.C. 28713
Phone: (828) 736-6068
Email: brysoncitymayor@dnet.net

Town Manager: Larry Callicutt
Address: 45 Everett St.
Bryson City, N.C. 28713
Phone: (828) 488-3335
Email contact form

Bryson City Police Department
Chief of Police: Rick Tabor
Address: 200 Main St.
Bryson City, N.C. 28713
Phone: (828) 488-3050
Email: n/a


Eastern Band of Cherokee

Tribal Government

Principal Chief: Michell Hicks
Address: n/a
Phone: n/a
Email: n/a

Tribal Council
Chairman: Jim Owle
Address: 47 Fauline Enloe Road
Cherokee, NC  28719
Phone: (828) 497-3993
Email: jimowle@nc-cherokee.com

Tribal Administrator: Jeremy Hyatt
Address: PO Box 455
Cherokee, N.C. 28719
Phone: (828) 497-2771
Email: jerehyat@nc-cherokee.com

Tribal Operations Office
Address: 67 Council House Loop
PO Box 455
Cherokee, N.C.28719
Phone: (828) 554-6721
Email: n/a

Cherokee Indian Police Department
Address: 468 Sequoyah Trail ( PO Box 1330)
Cherokee, N.C. 28719
Phone: (828) 497-7405
Email: n/a


Law Enforcement Agencies

Swain County Sheriff’s Office
Address: Sheriff’s Office and Jail
95 Brendle St.
Bryson City, N.C. 28713
Phone: (828) 488-0159
Email: n/a

Bryson City Police Department
Chief of Police: Rick Tabor
Address: 200 Main St.
Bryson City, N.C. 28713
Phone: (828) 488-3050
Email: n/a

Cherokee Indian Police Department
Address: 468 Sequoyah Trail ( PO Box 1330)
Cherokee, N.C. 28719
Phone: (828) 497-7405
Email: n/a


Voter Information

Swain County Board of Elections
Director: Joan Weeks
Address: 1442 U.S. 19 South
Bryson City, N.C. 28713
Phone: (828) 488-6177
Email: swain.boe@gmail.com

Chairman: John Herrin
Address: 1442 U.S. 19 South
Bryson City, N.C. 28713
Phone: (828) 488-6177
Email: swain.boe@gmail.com


Court System

Judicial District 30A
Swain County Courthouse
Address: 101 Mitchell St
Bryson City, N.C. 28713
Phone: (828) 488-2288
Email: n/a

Clerk of Superior Court: Hester G. Sitton
Phone: (828) 488-2288
Email: n/a

District Attorney Michael Bonfoey
Phone (Swain County office): (828) 488-8723
Email: n/a

Office of the Attorney General for the Eastern Band of Cherokee
Attorney General Annette Tarnawsky
Phone: (828) 497-7433
Email: annetarn@nc-cherokee.com


Economy and Employment

Unemployment rate, January 2014: 12.3 percent
Unemployment rate, January 2013: 19.3 percent
Source: N.C. Department of Commerce – Labor and Economic Analysis Division

Top three industries, by employment (2010, most current):
Accommodation and Food Services: 2,460
Retail trade: 521
Construction: 389
Source: County Business Patterns, U.S. Census Bureau

Largest Employer (Third quarter of 2013, most current): Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
Source: N.C. Department of Commerce

Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau
Bryson City-Swain County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center
Executive Director: Karen Proctor Wilmot
Address: 210 Main St.
Bryson City, N.C. 28713
Phone: (828) 488-3681 or (800) 867-9246
Email: chamber@greatsmokies.com


Wages, Housing and Education

Per capita money income in past 12 months (2012 dollars) 2008-2012: $20,904
Persons living below poverty level 2008-2012: 22.5 percent
Median household income 2008-2012: $43,426
Median owner-occupied housing value: $123,900
High school graduates, age 25+ (2008-2012): 80.3 percent
Bachelor’s degree or higher, age 25+ (2008-2012): 18.4 percent
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Number of homeless (January 2013 point-in-time count, most current): 77
Source: North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness

Child poverty rate in Swain County: 32.3 percent in 2012
swainSource: NC Child


Education

Swain County School District
Four-year cohort high school graduation rates, as of September 2012: 80.8
Source: N.C. Department of Public Instruction

Swain County School District Board of Education
Address: 280 School Dr.
Bryson City, N.C. 28713
Phone: (828) 488-3129
Email: n/a

Board of Education Chairman: Charles “Chuck” McMahan
Address: 280 School Dr.
Bryson City, N.C. 28713
Phone: (828) 488-3129
Email: cmcmahan@swainmail.org

School Superintendent: Sam Pattillo
Address: 280 School Dr.
Bryson City, N.C. 28713
Phone: (828) 488-3129, Ext. 229
Email: spattillo@swainmail.org


Higher education*

Southwestern Community College Swain Center
Address: 60 Almond School Road
Bryson City, N.C. 28713
Phone: (828) 366-2000
Email: n/a
Enrollment: n/a


Top Healthcare Providers*

Cherokee Indian Hospital
Address: 1 Hospital Road
Cherokee, N.C. 28719
Phone: (828) 497-9163
Email: n/a
HCAHPS Patient Perceptions Survey 4/2012-3/2013 rankings:
Rate 9 or 10 Overall: 71 percent
Always Clean and Quiet: 79.5 percent

MedWest-Swain
Address: 45 Plateau St.
Bryson City, N.C. 28713
Phone: (828) 488-2155
Email contact form
HCAHPS Patient Perceptions Survey 4/2012-3/2013 rankings:
Rate 9 or 10 Overall: n/a
Always Clean and Quiet: n/a

Swain County Health Department
Director: Alison Cochran
Address: 545 Center St.
Bryson City, N.C. 28713
Phone:  (828) 488-3198 ext. 2002
Email: alisonc@swaincountync.gov


Crime and Law Enforcement

Crime Rate Per 100,000 (2012): 3,420.8
Violent Crime Rate: 421.9
Property Crime Rate: 2,998.9
Number of registered sex offenders: 41
Source: N.C. Department of Justice


*Listings are for entities headquartered in the county and do not include satellites, branches or other service information for others with operations in the county.

Editor Angie Newsome and contributors Kathleen O. Davis and Micah Wilkins supplied additional research to this report.

This page will be regularly updated. Contact us submission@carolinapublicpress.org with updates or questions.

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About the Author

Katie Bailey

Katie Bailey is a contributing reporter and photographer with Carolina Public Press. Contact her at bkbailey@live.unc.edu.

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