News Headlines

op frI’m not sure it represents a new philosophy or perhaps is just an acknowledgement of reality, but the decision by the state Department of Transportation to hold off on any further planning for the massive Southern Loop project in Jackson County was certainly welcome news.

It was September 2001 when the controversy over this proposed bypass erupted in Jackson County and made its first appearance in the pages of The Smoky Mountain News. Malcom MacNeil, the former owner of the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, was circulating a petition from the very outset that garnered more than 500 signatures to get the state to back off the project.

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad and Jackson County reached an impasse on an economic development agreement last week after two years of negotiations.

fr trainThe news of stalled talks between the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad and Jackson County was met with mixed feelings in the little village of Dillsboro, which once served as the hub for the bustling scenic railroad.

fr hwy107A decade-long tug-of-war over what to do about Sylva’s congested commercial strip of N.C. 107 took an unexpected turn last week.

It’s not quite the Jetsons’ flying car, but Jackson County is moving toward its own fleet of new-age vehicles powered by the emerging alternative fuel propane.

Recycling receptacles are coming to downtown Sylva soon, at last giving shoppers and strollers a green option for pitching their bottles, cans, cups and last week’s copy of The Smoky Mountain News.

The debate over the Jackson County Tourism Development Authority budget was bumped up another notch last week when dozens of business owners and members of the Cashiers community flooded a budget meeting demanding more money for the Cashiers visitor center.

coverCharged with stealing, 15-year-old Charles Eason was sentenced to work on a prison chain gang.

It was 1882, and the teenager from Martin County soon found himself side-by-side with other convicts, many two and three times his age. Mostly from the eastern part of the state, the gang was sent to construct the railroad lines in Western North Carolina.

Cullowhee community activists have finally made headway in a push to create a community land-use plan to regulate growth and development in the area.

The effort to introduce zoning laws in Cullowhee is being taken up by Jackson County Commissioners at an upcoming workshop at 2 p.m. June 17 at the county’s Administration and Justice Building near Sylva.

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