Arts + Entertainment

Haywood County residents won’t be down a Burger King when the state Department of Transportation starts its major reconstruction of the Lowe’s interchange.

fr setzerThe regional head of the N.C. Depart-ment of Transportation has been demoted after nine years at the helm of road building decisions in the mountain’s far western counties.

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.

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.

fr bridgesDelvin Adams stood at the top a ladder leaning against the underbelly of a bridge near Harmon Den in Haywood County, banging the rustiest looking metal beam with a hammer.

Twice in one week, the mountainside along Holder Branch Road in Canton slid away — and that was twice too many for 34-year-old mother of three Dara Parker.

coverThe tragic death of a railroad worker investigating a fresh landslide along a rail line last week highlighted the hidden, yet inherent, risks for workers who are first on the scene in the aftermath of a slide. 

Joseph Drewnoski, 33, of Waynesville, was buried and killed by a landslide in the middle of the night while surveying tracks for storm damage near Black Mountain following a weekend of unrelenting rains. Norfolk Southern Railway got a report of a landslide on the tracks in the middle of the night and sent Drewnoski and another worker to check it out.

The construction of a bridge and entrance road to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ second casino in Murphy has jumped from not even on the radar to the front of the N.C. Department of Transportation’s list of top road-building priorities.

fr mccoybridgeMacon County residents hoping to save an old metal truss bridge spanning the Little Tennessee River scored a small win, but the victory is bittersweet.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is in the middle of buying nearly 40 Haywood County properties that stand in the way of its plans for redesigning “malfunction junction” — the interchange where Lowe’s and Shoney’s are — but there are still a few holdouts.

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Reading Room

  • A strange mix of books crosses my desk
    A strange mix of books crosses my desk The first weeks of 2018 have seen some offbeat books shamble across my desk and into my fingers. First up is John Buchan’s Mr. Standfast, also known as Mr. Steadfast. Buchan, a Scottish novelist and politician who served as Governor General of Canada from 1935…
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