An alternative solution for N.C. 107

By Carl Queen • Guest Columnist

As a long-time resident of Sylva — 48 years — I have had a front row seat to the evolution of N.C. 107 as it transgressed from a mostly rural two-lane highway into its current bustling five lanes. I moved to Sylva in 1970 to attend Western Carolina University where I spent the next four years pursuing both undergraduate and graduate degrees. 

Living in a garage apartment on the west side of Sylva, I traveled N.C. 107 to WCU almost daily for four years.  Beginning at the intersection of U.S. 19 and N.C. 107, the road at that time known as Cullowhee Road ran through a mostly residential area with very few businesses along its path. 

Sylva food pantry to get new roof

The Community Table in Sylva will get a new roof to the tune of $18,000 after Town of Sylva and Jackson County commissioners voted unanimously to contribute to the project. 

Sylva shakes up TWSA board

Sylva commissioners voted Dec. 13 to remove former mayor and longtime Tuckaseigee Water and Sewer Authority board member Brenda Oliver from TWSA, citing a desire for “fresh” and “out-of-the-box” ideas on the board. 

The face behind the lens: Longtime journalist to hold photo showcase

For over 25 years, journalist Quintin Ellison has roamed our region documenting the people, places and things that make up the distinctive history and culture of Western North Carolina. And now, she finds herself on the other side of the conversation. 

In an upcoming showcase of her photography, Ellison will be displaying moments of mountain life frozen in time, captured from behind the lens by someone who spreads the urgent nature of what’s inside each image. It is a heritage that — for the most part — is rapidly disappearing from our daily lives, whether you realize it or not. 

Sylva residents speak out against road plans

A Sylva town meeting this month drew a crowd of people to speak against the N.C. 107 road plan, but before the public comment period began Nov. 8 Mayor Lynda Sossamon reminded attendees of a few ground rules. 

TWSA to develop ideas to help displaced businesses

With the N.C. 107 project continuing to move forward, the Tuckaseigee Water and Sewer Authority is beginning to talk about the part it could play in keeping affected businesses in Sylva. 

Sylva to choose new TWSA board member

The Sylva Town Board is considering who it should choose to replace Commissioner Harold Hensley on the Tuckaseigee Water and Sewer Authority Board when the calendar turns to 2019. 

Business built in community: City Lights serves up tasty food and town involvement

City Lights Café is a fixture in Sylva, a frequent stopping place for downtown workers in search of a cup of coffee, students looking for a place to snack and study or tourists needing a quick and healthy bite before continuing their exploration of Jackson County. 

Practicing toward perfection: Law practice a team effort for majority-female firm

Sylva attorney Kim Carpenter’s legal career started after law school, but the year she spent beforehand working with the Swain County Department of Social Services planted the seeds. 

TWSA considers policies to help displaced N.C. 107 businesses

There’s still more than a year to go before the N.C. Department of Transportation starts acquiring right-of-way for the N.C. 107 project in Sylva, but businesses are already making decisions about whether to leave town, and governmental entities are already having conversations about how to entice them to stay. 

Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.