All 12 seats on the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ Tribal Council are up for grabs this year.

As the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ leaders mull the fate of bear zoos on the reservation, representatives from two of Cherokee’s three bear zoos have said they are being unfairly harried because of one bad egg.

Cherokee Tribal Council was asked to green light the construction of a second $110 million casino and hotel near Murphy last week but instead voted to table the issue for further study.

The new casino could add about 800 jobs to the area and expand Cherokee’s market reach, according to projections by the Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise, which is advocating for the project.

fr cherokeecocasinoThe Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians could decide soon whether to move forward with a second casino near Murphy, but some tribal members are raising concerns.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians could see an estimated $2.2 million evaporate from its budget in March if Congress does not reach an agreement on the federal budget and mandatory, across-the-board cuts of 5.1 percent known as sequestration kick in.

The threat of sequestration was supposed to be an incentive for divisive lawmakers to come to an agreement on where to rein in spending and where to raise additional revenue.

Tribal Council for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has postponed any action that would ban bear zoos from the reservation for good.

A few tribal members called on Tribal Council last week to revoke the business licenses for any private establishments that display caged animals for profit on the reservation and force those establishments to release the animals.

fr littlejohnA woman was sent to jail for nine years this week for her role in the death of toddler who likely succumbed to hypothermia on the floor of a single-wide trailer one bitterly cold night in Swain County two years ago.

fr 441landslideThe Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the National Park Service are offering up to a $500,000 incentive for early completion of landslide repairs to U.S. 441 through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park — indicating both entities’ concerns about the road closure’s effects on Cherokee’s economy.

fr bearpitsFederal regulators temporarily suspended operations at Cherokee bear zoo and fined its owners $5,000 for repeated animal welfare violations.

fr adventureparkA $93 million family adventure park in Cherokee would likely turn a profit during its first year of operation, according to early projections from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ finance department.

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