Archive for Jackson County

Former High School Coach Injured in Fatal Accident

Former Smoky Mountain football coach Lionel Brooks and his wife are recuperating after a fatal automobile accident which occurred over the weekend on Cowee Mountain.

A car driven by Kevin Kent Spurely, 57, of Conley, Ga hydro-planed and hit them head-on. Spurely was pronounced dead at the scene.

Law enforcement said some factors to the wreck include Spurely exceeding a safe speed limit for the conditions. At the time of the accident there was heavy rain and standing water on the road. Investigators said Spurely had unsafe tires on the rear of his vehicle.

Lionel, 74, and Linda, 66, are the parents of Franklin football coach Josh Brooks and Panthers athletic director Jay Brooks.

Lionel and Linda Brooks are both currently receiving treatment at Mission Hospital in Asheville.

Lionel Brooks was Smoky Mountain’s coach from 1990 and 1996. He was a defensive coordinator under former coach Boyce Deitz.

Murder Suicide Investigation in Jackson County

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office is conducting an ongoing investigation into the deaths of two people at 25 Mule Pen Road, Sylva, in the Savannah Community of Jackson County.

Deputies responded to the scene after family members found the deceased inside the home. Investigators believe the event to be a murder then suicide and are looking for no suspects related to this incident. Deputies were dispatched to the location on September 18, 2015 at around 11:17 a.m.

Judy Lee Nave, 65, and James Bruce Franklin, 51, of Whittier were found dead in the woman’s home by family members.

Cherokee Tribe Taking Over Food Program

Cherokee is assuming another state-operated program. For years, Commodity Food Distribution has been provided to members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians by state and local jurisdictions. Now, the EBCI Public Health and Human Services (PHHS) Division will administer the federal grant directly from the USDA and transition to the Cherokee Tribal Food Distribution Program on Thursday, Oct. 1.

During the transition, there will be a five day gap in service. The current Commodities Food Program will distribute in Cherokee for the last time on Wednesday, Sept. 23. The program will then shut down and re-open as the Cherokee Tribal Foods Distribution Program on Oct. 1.

The eligibility requirements for participation will not change nor will the location of the distribution facility which is still located at 2260 Old Mission Road in Cherokee. The hours will be extended though, and starting Oct. 1 will be Monday – Friday from 7:45am – 4:30pm.

For more information concerning the Cherokee Tribal Food Distribution Program, contact PHHS 359-6180 and after Oct. 1, contact the Tribal Food Distribution Center 359-9751.

Health Officials Warn Against Flu

As flu season approaches, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging all North Carolina residents to protect themselves by getting vaccinated against the flu.

“It’s not too early,” said Acting State Health Director Dr. Megan Davies, M.D. “The last three flu seasons have begun early in North Carolina, so we don’t want people to wait too long.”

During the past 2014 – 2015 season, North Carolina recorded its highest number of flu-associated deaths in the past six years. This is a reminder that flu can be a serious illness, especially for adults over 65, children under five, pregnant women and those with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease.

“Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your family from getting the flu,” said Dr. Davies. “This year’s flu vaccines protect against the H1N1 virus and other flu strains that are expected to be in our state during the coming season.”

In addition to vaccination, DHHS encourages everyone to use precautions to protect against the spread of flu and other viruses:

Wash hands frequently, preferably with soap and water or an approved hand sanitizer
Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then discard the tissue promptly
If you are sick with flu, stay home until you have been fever free for at least 24 hours

Study Predicts Fall Tourism Increase

Although many of us still may be shaking the sand out of our bathing suits from summer’s final trip to the beach over Labor Day weekend, a few students and faculty members at Western Carolina University have turned their attention to autumn and the mountains.

Students in a senior-level “Tourism Strategies” class taught by Steve Morse, economist and director of the Hospitality and Tourism Program in WCU’s College of Business, are predicting a noticeable increase in hotel occupancy rates in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park gateway counties of Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee.

The students analyzed October hotel room demand trends since 2009 using data supplied by Smith Travel Research, a leading source of information for the hospitality industry, to develop the third annual October tourism forecast for 21 counties in WNC. New for this year’s forecast is the inclusion of three counties on the Tennessee side of the park.

“The class took into account factors that influence travel demand during October in the area including dramatically falling gas prices, an expanding array of fall festivals and events, new attractions and venues, new destination marketing and promotion programs, and, best of all, predictions of a vibrant fall color show in the Smoky Mountain and Blue Ridge region this year,” Morse said.

“Gas prices in the Southeast are about 22 percent lower now than at this time last year,” he said. “The lower gas prices in 2015 means that the average family has an additional $1,100 to spend in disposable income that they are not spending on gas.”

Among the fall foliage forecasters cited by the students is Kathy Mathews, WCU associate professor of biology, who is calling for one of the best leaf-looking seasons in recent years because of drier-than-normal conditions in 2015.

In the tourism study, the WCU students divided 21 WNC counties into five groups, adding a group for the Tennessee counties. The students examined the total number of hotel rooms sold and the overall occupancy rates for October 2014; compared weekday and weekend occupancy rates from last October; and determined the average change in the number of hotel nights sold for October during the previous three years.
The students’ predictions for North Carolina regions:

Region 1 – Cherokee, Clay, Graham and Macon counties: A 5.2 percent increase in October 2015 tourism compared to last October. Among the reasons for the increase, the students said, is the opening this fall of the new Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino in Murphy.
Region 2 – Haywood, Jackson, Transylvania and Swain counties: A 4.4 percent increase in October 2015 tourism compared to last October. Among the factors, the students said, are increased entertainment options this fall at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort and three home football games at WCU this October.

Region 3 – Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Watauga and Wilkes counties: A 5 percent increase in October 2015 tourism compared to last October. Contributing factors include proximity to the Blue Ridge Parkway coupled with falling gas prices, the students said.

Region 4 – Burke, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell and Yancey counties: A 5 percent increase in October 2015 tourism compared to last October. The students again cited proximity to the Blue Ridge Parkway and cheaper gasoline as reasons behind the expected increase.

Region 5 – Buncombe and Henderson counties: A 4.2 percent increase in October 2015 tourism compared to last October. “A 4.2 percent increase for this October over last year is a very significant uptick for an already-strong tourism market in the Buncombe and Henderson areas,” Morse said. “They have launched new destination advertising and promotions programs and have extended their media reach into new feeder cities, with an increase in festivals and events around the growing craft beer industry.”

The students’ predictions for the three Tennessee counties:
Sevier County: A 4.2 increase in October 2015 tourism compared to last October. The students cited the strong tourism market in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville supplemented by new attractions and restaurants including Dollywood’s new four-star family resort hotel called DreamMore, the Jimmy Buffet-themed Margaritaville hotel and restaurant in Pigeon Forge and the Rocky Top Sports World complex in Gatlinburg.
Blount and Monroe counties: A 4.1 increase in October 2015 tourism compared to last October. Contributing factors include the expected vibrant fall colors and lower gas prices, prompting more travel along Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and along the Cherohala Skyway from Tellico Plains in Tennessee to Robbinsville in North Carolina

Jackson County Receives NCAAC Recognition

Commisioner NC

Jackson County Commissioner Brian McMahan was recognized by the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners for meeting the requirements for the Master level in the Local Elected Leaders Academy. A Master has completed a minimum of 66 credits (18 orientation credits + 30 focused in-depth credits + 18 elective credits).

The Local Elected Leaders Academy, a partnership with the UNC School of Government, the N.C. Association of County Commissioners and the N.C. League of Municipalities, offers local elected officials the knowledge and skills needed to lead and govern their communities.

County commissioners are recognized for their participation in both educational programs and service to the Association. The starting place for earning credits is the orientation program, the Essentials of County Government. As commissioners increase education and service, they earn credits toward recognition at three levels: Practitioner, Master and Mentor. The NCACC tracks credits and recognizes participation every year at the Annual Conference.

“LELA recognizes county commissioners who have dedicated themselves to becoming effective local leaders for their communities,” said NCACC Executive Director Kevin Leonard. “The roles and responsibilities of county commissioners are constantly changing, and the LELA program helps them keep up with the latest information.”

Welcome Home Parade for Mountain Faith Band

Sylva will roll out the red carpet for our favorite hometown heroes, the Mountain Faith Band! They are on their way home from New York City.

A “Welcome Home Parade” for the Mountain Faith Band is planned for 6:30 p.m., on Thursday, Sept. 10. The Sylva-based bluegrass/gospel group advanced all the way to the semifinals of NBC’s nationally-televised show “America’s Got Talent.” The group performed live twice at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, before being eliminated from the competition on Wednesday, Sept. 2.

The parade will start at Mark Watson Park, proceed down Main Street, circle to Mill Street and conclude at Bridge Park. There will be a reception at the Bridge Park after the parade. Refreshments will also be provided. The public is invited to attend this free event.

The Mountain Faith Band will greet fans, sign autographs, have CDs, apparel, and other merchandise available for purchase.

Entertainment will be provided by the Triple Threat Dancers, the Smoky Mountain High School (SMHS) Marching Band and SMHS cheerleaders will participate in the parade.

Everyone is encouraged to attend and fill Main and Mill Streets with supporters and well-wishers.

The parade is being organized by the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, the Town of Sylva and Jackson County Parks and Recreation.

Volunteers Needed For River Clean Up

The Land Trust for the Little Tennessee (LTLT) is hosting a Little Tennessee River BigSweep on Saturday, September 12 from 10:00-1:00 p.m.
Volunteers are asked to meet in the lower parking area at Big Bear Park in Franklin, wearing clothes and shoes suitable for picking up trash in the river. Canoes and boats would be helpful but are not necessary to participate. Gloves and bags will be provided.
BigSweep Coordinator Guy Gooder has been coordinating these cleanups since 2005. The Franklin native believes in giving back. “I hate the thought of someone enjoying a day on the river kayaking or fishing and looking down to see a beer can or tire.”
Gooder says volunteers over the years have enjoyed the challenge. “When you contribute to the care of a place of recreation, you get a lot of fulfillment. This river is a wonderful attraction for people and we should all be good stewards of our environment.”Bigsweep dumpster

Final Autopsy Report Complete for Sylva Hiker

Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials received the final autopsy report from the Sevier County Medical Examiner’s Office for Susan J. Bennett, known as Jenny, of Sylva, NC. Bennett was reported missing and discovered off trail by rangers in the Greenbrier area of the park above backcountry campsite 31 on June 8. The report concludes that Bennett died of environmental hypothermia due to cold exposure from partial submersion in Porter’s Creek.

Bennett was found in a sitting position in the creek with her head resting on rocks. According to the final autopsy report, she had bruises on her right hip and elbow consistent with a fall. However, she did not have any internal or musculoskeletal trauma. Bennett did have a toxic level of diphenhydramine concentration in her blood which is considered a significant contributing factor in her death and points towards an intentional overdose.

Bennett, age 62, was an avid hiker in the Smoky Mountains and maintained a blog about her trips. She was a member of the Smoky Mountain Hiking Club and often liked to hike off trail in the park.

SECU Donates to the Community Table



The State Employees Credit Union (SECU) recently held a Food Drive and Bake Sale to benefit The Community Table. Funds were also raised on a special day that for $20 SECU employees were able to “buy” the perk of being able to wear jeans and t-shirts. $900 was raised along with several boxes of food. SECU plans to kick off another food and fund drive for The Table in November.

Former Sylva Resident Hired as Assistant City Manager of Morganton

20150827-Martson, Sonja-6x4Sonja Marston is Morganton’s new Assistant City Manager. She was chosen, after a detailed process, from a pool of more than 50 applicants from around the country. Sonja’s professional experiences and leadership qualities make her the ideal fit for the position.

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity. Morganton has been a special place to me since my days at Freedom High, and I have spent much time here over the years,” Marston said. “The economic future is very bright for this community and I cannot wait to work with this amazing team to continue to move it forward.”

As Assistant City Manager, Sonja’s duties will include creative participation in the leadership team, advising and assisting the City Manager and the department heads in planning and administration, interaction with State and Federal governments, and cooperative engagement with other local governments and private sector partners. Sonja will be particularly focused on all aspects of economic development including an active role in the efforts to reuse and redevelop the state properties to be vacated by Broughton Hospital.

Since 2011, Sonja has served as the Dean of Workforce Innovations and Economic Development for Southwestern Community College in Sylva, and she previously served for eight years as Director of Advancement for SCC. Sonja has spent the last several years working with multiple Economic Development organizations, state and local agencies and the private business community to grow the local economy and further educational opportunities for the local workforce.

Marston earned her bachelor’s degree in computer information systems and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Western Carolina University. She started her career as a banking executive in the Sylva area.

City Manager Sally Sandy said that Sonja’s recognition and understanding of the need to connect education and the economy will serve the community well as Morganton continues to transition to a 21st century community and a community of choice for millennials.

“Sonja’s experiences and enthusiasm for building partnerships between the public and private sector will be a great fit for Morganton,” Sandy said. “She has worked with local advanced manufacturing, the tourism and hospitality industry, higher education, and the financial services industry.”

Sonja’s experience in finance, economic development, management, and education equip her with a diverse set of skills that make her an excellent choice for the City. She has a proven history of team building both within her own organization and among a variety of public and private groups by garnering input, promoting support, and completing actions. Throughout her career, she has established successful working relationships with elected officials, State and Federal agencies, and the business community.

“She displays remarkable creativity and energy, and is a passionate advocate of accomplishing goals through teamwork,” Sandy said. “We welcome Sonja Marston to the City of Morganton, and look forward to her participation on our team.”

Sonja grew up in Burke County, but has lived in the Sylva area since she was a teenager. Sonja is married to Brian Marston of Morganton, and has three grown children.

Sonja will begin work Sept. 28, 2015.

School Bus Safety: What You Need To Know

Every day millions of students use school buses as transportation to and from school. Although school buses represent the safest form of highway transportation, there are a number of safety factors of which both student and drivers should be aware. Hoping to ensure school bus safety, Sheriff Greg Christopher encourages caution whenever school buses are present.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an average of 134 people die in school transportation-related traffic crashes each year and more school-aged pedestrians have been killed during the hours of 7 to 8 a.m. and 3 to 4 p.m. than any other time of day.

“Children are often eager to get off the school bus because they are excited to tell their parents about all of the fun they had at school that day,” said Christopher. “It is crucial that parents re-enforce the school bus safety rules children learn at school.”

Christopher also suggests that parents drive their child’s bus route with them to practice the proper safety precautions they can take to help ensure their child enjoys a safe ride to and from school.

Teachers return to school Monday, Aug. 17, and students will begin classes Wednesday, Aug. 19. Parents are encouraged to discuss the following safety measures with their children:

— Always arrive at the bus stop at least five minutes early.

— While the bus is approaching make sure to stand at least three big steps away from the curb; wait until the bus has come to a complete stop; the door opens; and the bus driver says that it’s okay to board.

— Always walk on the sidewalk when preparing to cross the street near a bus. Make eye contact with the driver so that you are sure he or she sees you.

— Never walk behind the bus.

— If you are walking beside the bus, walk at least three giant steps away.

— Use the handrail when entering and exiting the bus. Take extra precautions to make sure that clothing with drawstrings and book bags do not get caught in the handrail or door.

— Never stop to pick something up that you have dropped when a bus is stopped. Tell the bus driver or wait until the bus has driven off to avoid not being seen by the driver.


— Remember that children are unpredictable in their actions. Take extreme caution when traveling in a school zone.

— If there are no sidewalks, drive cautiously. Be more alert to the possibility of children walking in the road.

— Slow down and prepare to stop whenever you see yellow school bus lights flashing.

— Never pass a school bus when there are flashing red lights and the stop arm is extended. This is a sign that children are getting on or off the bus. Motorists must wait until the red lights stop flashing, the stop arm is withdrawn, and the bus is moving before they can start driving again.

— Learn and obey the school bus laws in North Carolina.

Hit and Run in Cullowhee Hospitalizes 12 year old boy

A 12-year-old boy was hit on a bicycle around 7 p.m. last night off Old Cullowhee Road in front of Carolina Village Apartments.

August Lusk, of Sylva, was riding his bicycle when a truck attempted to pass him. The vehicle hit the boy from behind knocking him off his bike. The truck fled the scene of the accident. NC Highway Patrol is trying to locate the driver of the black Ford truck with a tan camper top.

Two people witnessed the accident and provided a description of the truck, but authorities have not yet identified the owner. Glass from the broken headlight was found in the road after the accident.The vehicle is believed to have damage to the front right headlight.

The boy was airlifted to Mission Hospital in Asheville and is listed in serious condition.

Anyone with information about the owner of the truck should contact the N.C. Highway Patrol Clyde office at 828-627-2851 or *47 after hours on a mobile phone.

Homicide Arrest in Cullowhee

On August 12, 2015 Deputies with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence located on Setting Sun Lane, Cullowhee, North Carolina. Deputies with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office along with Agents with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation located Jennifer Sellers deceased inside the residence. Also located at the residence was eighteen year old Daniel Sellers, the son of Jennifer Sellers.

Upon further investigation investigators obtained sufficient probable cause to arrest Daniel Sellers. Daniel Sellers has been charged with murder and is being transferred from the Jackson County Detention Center to a North Carolina Department of Corrections facility that is better suited to meet his medical needs. This is an ongoing investigation.

Abducted Jackson County Girl Found

A missing girl has been found. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office wants to report that Phoenix Coralee Crawford has been located in Greenville, South Carolina.

Investigators with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office while following up on leads for the whereabouts of Phoenix Coralee Crawford and her mother, Samantha Diane Crawford were able to determine a possible location.

With the assistance from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, Investigators were able to locate Phoenix Coralee Crawford and Samantha Diane Crawford. Currently Samantha Diane Crawford is in custody in Greenville, South Carolina awaiting extradition back to Jackson County, North Carolina. Phoenix Coralee Crawford is in good health and is being reunited with her family.

Investigation into Suspicious Package at Cashiers Bank

On August 3, 2015, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the Jackson County Emergency Management Office and informed of a suspicious package at Macon Bank, 500 US Highway 64 East in Cashiers, North Carolina. The Cashiers/Glenville Fire Department was already on scene at the bank and was speaking with bank personnel. A determination was made to proceed with protocol dealing with unknown and suspicious packages.

Deputy Sheriffs arrived on scene and along with fire personnel set up a secure area around the bank and adjacent areas. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation was contacted to respond with their bomb unit.

During the course of the investigation into the package, a determination was made the package had potential to have been an unscheduled weekend delivery. As a result, the package was examined and determined no longer be suspicious. The scene was cleared and business at the bank was allowed to resume to normal.

NAACP Public Forum on Law Enforcement with Sheriff and Police Chiefs

The Jackson County Branch of the NAACP invites the public to attend “Jackson County Justice: A Public Forum on Law Enforcement” at 11am on Saturday, August 15th at Liberty Baptist Church. This event is part of a series of public forums designed to strengthen communication between members of the justice system and all members of our communities. The first of the series will focus on Law Enforcement and will feature Jackson County Sheriff Chip Hall, Sylva Police Chief Davis Woodard, and Western Carolina University Police Chief Ernie Hudson. We invite members of the public to submit questions about local law enforcement to be answered during the event. Some of the questions we have asked them to address focus on policies, officer training, use of force, public feedback, oversight, and use of cameras.

In the current climate of increased visibility and scrutiny of law enforcement practices around the country, we want to encourage an ongoing, proactive conversation with local law enforcement officers. We are pleased that Jackson County’s law enforcement leaders have welcomed this opportunity to address residents’ questions and concerns. Through this event and others, we hope to strengthen the kinds of communication and education needed for ensuring effective policing practices and fostering a shared sense of community.

Questions about Jackson County law enforcement may be submitted by anyone, any time before August 15:
On our website: http://jacksonncnaacp.org/event/150815-jackson-justice/
By e-mail: legalredress@jacksonncnaacp.org
By mail: PO Box 788 Sylva, NC 28779
In person: In comment boxes or during the event

Future events in the Justice series will take place in the fall and spring and will focus on other aspects of the law, including forums with local prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, and more. Similar events are also being planned for areas west of Jackson County. For more information about the series, contact legalredress@jacksonncnaacp.org.


Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital, both Duke LifePoint hospitals, announced that their employed physician practices will feature new names that highlight their association with the hospitals. The name changes will also reflect their affiliation with Duke LifePoint Healthcare, as each practice will be labeled ‘A Duke LifePoint Physician Practice’.

For years, physicians and staff providing care in more than a dozen practices in Jackson, Swain and Macon counties have been employed by Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital. Renaming the physician practices strengthens the connection to the hospitals, which have collectively served Jackson, Swain, Macon and Graham counties and the surrounding region for more than 150 years.

“Only the practice names are changing. Patients will receive the same high quality care as always, with the same physicians and staff and in the same locations,” said Steve Heatherly, CEO of Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital. “The new names reflect our commitment to provide our patients continuity and coordination of care by highlighting a clear connection between the physician practices, the hospitals, and Duke LifePoint Healthcare. We’re pleased to share this new identity structure with our community.”

The names of the Duke LifePoint physician practices located at Harris Medical Park, 98 Doctors Drive, in Sylva will change as follows:

· Sylva Medical Center will be known as Harris Medical Associates
· WNC Pediatric and Adolescent Care will be known as Harris Pediatric Care
· Mountain Valley Surgery will be known as Harris Surgical Associates
· Mountain Regional OB/GYN will be known as Harris Women’s Care
· Mountain Care Urology will be known as Harris Urology

The names of Harris Medical Group practices located on the Medical Park Loop on the Harris Regional Hospital campus will change as follows:
· Mountain GI will be known as Harris GI Associates
· Western Carolina Pulmonary and Sleep Consultants will be known as Harris Pulmonary and Sleep Center

Practices located inside the hospital will change as follows:
· WNC Hospitalist Service will be known as Harris Hospitalist Service
· Sylva Orthopaedic Associates and Carolina West Sports Medicine will merge forming Harris Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine
· The urgent care facility located in the Walmart Plaza in Sylva will be known as Harris Regional Hospital Urgent Care

Other changes:
· The Center for Family Medicine with offices in Franklin and Cullowhee at the Western Carolina University Health and Human Sciences Building will respectively be known as Harris Family Care – Franklin and Harris Family Care – Cullowhee
· Swain Medical Center at Swain Community Hospital will be known as Swain Family Care

These changes follow the official renaming of the hospitals in April, when the hospitals transitioned to Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital, each becoming distinguished as ‘A Duke LifePoint Hospital’. Additionally, the outpatient facility in Macon County was renamed Harris Regional Hospital Medical Park of Franklin. New signage is currently under construction and expected to display later this summer and fall.

Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital joined Duke LifePoint Healthcare in August 2014 and have embarked on an awareness campaign highlighting the hospitals’ legacies in the community and the commitment to making communities healthier together. Duke LifePoint has committed to investing a minimum of $43 million in capital improvements at Harris Regional and Swain Community Hospitals over the next eight years.

In the coming months, Harris Regional and Swain Community hospitals will build a new Emergency Department at Harris, complete the New Generations Family Birthing Center at Harris, and evaluate restoring operating room capabilities at Swain Community Hospital.

Jackson County Offers New Services in Cashiers

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office will be providing easier access to some administrative services to residents of southern Jackson County beginning July 7, 2015. These administrative services will be offered at the Sheriff’s Office substation in Cashiers on Frank Allen Road on the first Tuesday of the month from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Currently, these services are only offered at the Sheriff’s Office in Sylva.

Administrative services to be offered:
Fingerprinting for concealed weapon permits
Fingerprinting for job applicants
Collection of unwanted medicines
Applications for gun permits
Applications for concealed weapon permits

For those interested in gun permit applications, the Sheriff’s Office has begun accepting online gun permit applications. Application and payments can be made online. These permits are still required to be picked up in person. Residents of southern Jackson County can pick their permits up on these dates if requested. You can visit www.sheriff.jacksonnc.org to apply.

Grant provides railroad improvements in Sylva

The Blue Ridge Southern (BLU) will receive a grant from Freight Rail and Rail Crossing Safety Improvement to provide upgrades to the railroad’s infrastructure. Blue Ridge Southern is the state’s newest short line railroad. This 92-mile railroad, previously owned by Norfolk Southern, was purchased by Watco Companies in 2014.

Blue Ridge Southern serves Asheville, Canton, Waynesville, Sylva, Fletcher and Hendersonville and connects with Norfolk Southern’s terminal in Asheville. It serves Evergreen Packaging, Duke Energy, Kimberly-Clark, Wilsonart and other customers.

Work will be ongoing over the next several months.