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News General

Great Smoky Mountains Parkway reopens after January landslide

Just 90 days after a devastating landslide erupted in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson, North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Principal Chief Michell Hicks, and Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) Construction Operations Engineer Emmett Melton reopened the road to traffic, finishing the project 30 days ahead of schedule. On January 16, torrential rainfall caused a landslide to wash away a portion of U.S. 441 near Newfound Gap Road, taking away thru-access from Cherokee to Tennessee.

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County, town offers letters of support for grant funding.

The addition of a new child care facility in Macon County is one step closer to reality since Franklin Town Manager Warren Cabe issued a letter of approval on behalf of the town in support of the Macon Child Care and Educational Center (MCEC). The letter was issued on March 18 to the Rural Economic Development Center in Raleigh. MCEC is currently in the process of securing a grant from the Building Reuse and Restoration Program that would allow them to proceed with their plan to open the childcare facility. The center was also required to get a letter from the county commissioners expressing the same sentiment.

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It has been brought to the attention of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office of a scam taking advantage of local church organizations’ generosity. The scam involves one or more con-artists making an appearance and/or calling and trying to elicit money.

The story used is that a family’s vehicle has broken down or has been involved in an accident on their way home, usually out of state. To make the story more convincing, names and numbers of law enforcement, a tow truck company, or a mechanic may be provided.

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Officers with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and the North Carolina State Bureau of investigation executed a search warrant for the residence located at 3941 Pine Creek Road, Cullowhee, N.C.

As a result of the search, Claude Gregory Coggins, 50, was charged with felony possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, trafficking methamphetamine, possession with intent to sell and deliver Schedule II controlled substance, maintaining a dwelling to keep controlled substances, possession of drug paraphernalia, assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer and resist, obstruct or delay a public officer.

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