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Voters Head To Polls In Eastern Band Of Cherokee Elections

A yellow flag with red and blue circle around a gold star.
The Eastern Band of The Cherokee Nation flag.

Voters will cast their ballots this week in elections for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians tribal government.

Blue Ridge Public Radio’s Western North Carolina reporter Lilly Knoeppsat down with the two candidates running for principal chief of the Eastern Band: current Chief Richard Sneed and longtime tribal council member Teresa McCoy. They shared details about their platforms and issues affecting the tribal community, including the pressing concern of how to diversify income for the tribe, especially as the South Carolina-based Catawba tribe lobbies for a new casino outside of Charlotte.

Twelve tribal council seats and three school board seats are also up for reelection. Host Frank Stasio speaks with Knoepp in advance of the vote on Wednesday, Sept. 5.

In addition, Knoepp previews “Exploring Southern Appalachia,” a new series from Blue Ridge Public Radio that delves into the persistence of stereotypes about the region’s residents and how the film “Deliverance” played a lasting role. BPR contributor Cory Vaillancourtalso worked on the series.

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Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.