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fr cullowheeThis November could prove to be the do or die month for the planning effort in Cullowhee when Jackson County commissioners decide whether to give the thumbs up or down on the next pivotal step in Cullowhee’s journey to become an official planning district.

Whether a grassroots movement to spark planning in Cullowhee dies or moves forward will rests with the next Jackson County board of commissioners.

A group of Cullowhee residents have called for development guidelines. Without standards, Cullowhee is vulnerable to unattractive development according to proponents. But, they need the county’s blessing to put them in place.

fr tillisSince the headquarters of the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad moved from Dillsboro to Bryson City in 2008, the little picturesque tourist village in Jackson County has been waiting for its gravy train to return.

fr conceptautoA grand goal of bringing sidewalks to the main commercial drag in Sylva has elicited protests from one business owner who claims he’s the victim of costly and unrealistic goals of creating a walkable community along a five-lane highway.

The ordinance was discussed and drafted; Jackson County’s legal counsel had reviewed it; and it had the stamp of approval from the county manager.

Once it got passed, the county would be able to corral and rein in protestors.

fr econsurveyAfter several stumbling blocks, disbanded boards and departed directors, proponents of a Jackson County economic development program hope to soon be back on course.

fr cullowheeThe vision is grand: a snaking, multi-use recreational path along the shores of the Tuckaseegee River — approximately 20 miles stretching from East Laporte to Whittier — lined with trees, dotted with parks, fishing spots, river access, picnic tables and pedestrian bridges.

A race for Jackson County commissioners this fall has come down to a contest of the Joneses.

The similar names on the ballot — Mark Jones versus Marty Jones — will no doubt keep voters on their toes when they walk into the polling booth. The views of the two candidates, however, are anything but identical.

The three MedWest hospitals in Haywood, Jackson and Swain counties laid off 82 employees this week to cope with shrinking revenue and declining patient volume.

The layoffs are part of a larger workforce reduction in recent months. Another 79 positions at MedWest hospitals have been eliminated through attrition.

A new taxi service will be coming soon to Sylva.

The Sylva town board last week unanimously approved a taxicab business license for Brian Paquin, who plans to launch 24-hour, seven-day per week service under the name Freedom Taxi.

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  • Books that help bridge the political divide
    Books that help bridge the political divide Time for spring-cleaning.  The basement apartment in which I live could use a deep cleaning: dusting, washing, vacuuming. It’s tidy enough — chaos and I were never friends — but stacks of papers need sorting, bookcases beg to see their occupants removed and the shelves…
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