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.

fr margiebradleyMargie 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.

fr silentwalkMost 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.

fr recyclingSince 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.

fr cashiersABCA Jackson County resident has taken it upon himself to show county decision-makers that a Cashiers ABC store is a must.

After more than a year of wrangling, a new Jackson County tourism authority was finally created this week, its board members officially named, and formal marching orders handed down.

The overhaul of tourism operations in Jackson County are intended to bring a new approach to tourism marketing and promotions, and hopefully increase tourism. Past tourism marketing efforts were stymied by turf wars and duplication of efforts by similar agencies.

out frOutdoors enthusiasts and diehard mountain bikers are waiting in anticipation the winter opening of a seven-mile mountain biking and hiking trail in the Sylva and Cullowhee area.

The trail will be the first of its kind accessible by foot, or bike, from the Western Carolina University campus and is expected to be a vital link in a recreation system that may one day expand to connect county, regional and even state trails.

Jackson County is crafting a new long-range recreation master plan to set priorities and guide spending for its parks, open spaces and recreation centers during the next five years.

But, the process can be a tug-of-war between residents with varied interests, each advocating for their favorite pastimes — soccer versus softball fields, an indoor swimming pool versus greenways, a skatepark versus tennis courts. It can also be a balancing act for county recreation staff trying to delegate limited resources among competing goals.

A group of Western Carolina University students are leading a charge to get N.C. 107 from Cullowhee to Cashiers designated as a scenic byway, but they first must appeal to skeptical county commissioners for their backing.

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