Maggie Valley mudslide lawsuit settled on the eve of trial

A lawsuit casting blame for a massive landslide in Maggie Valley four years ago was settled at the 11th hour last week.

A jury pool had been called in, a judge seated on the bench and attorneys on both sides were lined up in preparation for a trial that was two years in the making.

But a last-minute out-of-court settlement was reached between the parties and the jury sent back home.

The suit was filed by a couple whose home was in the path of the landslide. They claimed an extensive retaining wall that snaked a few hundred feet across the face of the mountain at Ghost Town in the Sky amusement park collapsed, triggering the landslide. The couple sued the engineers and builders of the wall, along with the former owners of Ghost Town, for damages.

The settlement has not yet been filed in court. See next week’s issue of The Smoky Mountain News for more on the outcome.

Maggie Valley mudslide lands in court

fr landslideA lawsuit casting blame for a massive landslide in Maggie Valley four years ago is headed to a jury trial in Haywood County this week.

A couple whose home was in the path of the landslide have sued a bevy of parties they claim are responsible.

Canton wins Camp Hope appeal

fr camphopeA two-year court battle over the ownership of Camp Hope concluded last week when the N.C. Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that the property belonged to the town of Canton.

Private schools, public money, heated discourse: School stakeholders debate new N.C. voucher program

coverIt’s been six months since the N.C. General Assembly passed a budget earmarking $10 million for school vouchers to low-income students, but the issue is just heating up in Western North Carolina. On Jan. 9, Macon County became the first school district in the four-county region to add its name to a lawsuit decrying the program as unconstitutional, but they’re not the only ones talking about it. 

In a unanimous vote at the Jan. 28 school board meeting, Jackson County also added its name to the litigation, and Haywood County discussed the issue at its Jan. 13 meeting when chairman Chuck Francis made an impassioned request that the board vote to join the lawsuit. However, the vote died on the floor without a motion to carry it forward. Swain County’s school board has not discussed the issue, and its next meeting is not until Feb. 10.  

PETA files federal lawsuit against USDA over treatment of captive bears

fr usdaAn animal rights groups has sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture, hoping to force the agency to set stricter standards for bears living in enclosures. 

Lucrative licensing fees on sweepstakes machines may have been bad bet

fr sweepstakesMaggie Valley has become the latest town in North Carolina to face the threat of a lawsuit regarding licensing fees charged to sweepstakes parlor owners.

Cherokee Bear Zoo in legal crosshairs

Two enrolled members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians plan to sue the owners of the Cherokee Bear Zoo if they don’t make some substantial changes to their grizzly bear habitats.

Sweepstakes to cops: your move

A woman charged with illegally operating sweepstakes-style video gambling machines got off in court this week after prosecutors dismissed the charges.

Razing the sweepstakes: Police handcuffed in latest standoff with successor of video gambling

coverSweepstakes-style video gambling is making bold forays into the rural communities of Western North Carolina, back for yet another skirmish in the decade-long war against the betting devices. 

State lawmakers have tried to ban them. Police have tried to bust them. Judges have tried to reprimand them. 

Rally cry to save Camp Hope persists in wake of lawsuit

fr camphopeThe town of Canton is not out of the woods yet in its fight to keep Camp Hope, a public recreation area in Cruso.

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