Jackson County’s planning board is knee-deep in a page-by-page rewrite of the county’s steep slope rules — a controversial process that seems destined to rekindle past disputes over protecting the mountainsides versus stymieing development.
A sweeping slate of mountain building regulations passed by Jackson County commissioners nearly six years ago were both commended and condemned as some of the most restrictive in the state. They took aim at unsafe building practices on steep slopes, but also reined in over-zealous development some feared would mar the mountainsides.
Officer Michael Harrison has confiscated everything from buck knives and Airsoft pistols from students at Swain High — but never a real gun. Until last week.
Harrison and the principal discovered a .22 Remington rifle and assorted ammunition in the tool-box of student’s pick-up truck left behind in the school parking lot after the 17-year-old was arrested for unrelated charges.
By Becky Johnson & Andrew Kasper • Staff Writers
For two years now, Jackson County’s planning board has systematically combed over and rewritten some of its development rules once hailed as the most protective — yet restrictive — in the state.
Aimed at reining in the previously unbridled and laissez-fare construction industry, the regulations put on the books six years ago ushered in a new era of oversight and standards.
Nestled deep in the mountains between Sylva and Cashiers, the scenic U.S. Forest Service Balsam Lodge is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year with a makeover. Throughout the summer and fall, portions of the lodge were restored by student carpentry and facilities maintenance crews from the Oconaluftee Job Corps Civilian Conservation Center, a job training center for at-risk teens located in the nearby Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The Smoky Mountain News takes note this week of some of the newsmakers of 2012 by handing out our annual awards. Back issues of the newspaper never fail to reveal a variety of humdingers: the funny, the astonishing, the interesting, the dismaying. Some we’d like to forget, others we love to relive for the good laughs they bring.
For those who made the list, hats off to you for giving us something to write about this year. For those who didn’t, there’s always 2013.
Federal authorities have dropped deportation proceedings against 10 Latino men, all suspected illegal immigrants, who were arrested at a Jackson County license checkpoint in May.
Margie Bradley has called a ramshackle shack in the hills of Cullowhee “home” for almost 60 years. The ceilings sag, the floor is made of plywood and the wind enters through the numerous cracks scattered about the windows and walls.
Most people have heard of a sightseeing tour, perhaps a wine or beer tasting tour, and maybe even the all-encompassing pleasure tour. But Sylva residents got an ear-dose when they followed a musician and sound expert on a not-so-common sound tour around town.
The economic situation seemed to be looking up in Jackson County: unemployment was on a steady decline; the real estate market was rebounding; and tourists were finding more expendable income to travel.
Since the town of Sylva’s curbside recycling program was reinstated about five years ago, its participation has stagnated, with the vast majority of residents not partaking.