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Casino Planned For Cherokee County
by John Madewell
A new law makes live poker, black jack and roulette available within a three hour drive to North Carolina.
That same agreement opens the door for even closer gambling.
North Carolina and the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation have agreed to live casino dealers at Harrah's in the town of Cherokee, North Carolina.
And the table's now open for a new casino in Cherokee County just across the Polk County, TN line.
Steve Coleman lives in Murphy and is 1/16th Cherokee. He has also been involved in acquiring the land for the proposed casino in Marble.
Coleman motions to a forested peak off of Highway 74 and explains the plan, "It's going to go back in there because it's on trust land. The tribe brought this front part so we could have access to the trust land."
The casino itself has to be on trust land. Coleman says there are two tracts of "trust land." One is 205 acres, the other is 250 acres. The tribe bought another roughly 340 acres to provide highway, rail and direct entrance to the proposed casino.
"It means a whole lot to us as far as being able to have another gaming facility."
But there is opposition in Cherokee County and neighboring Polk County. Carol McPherson opposes the casino morally and for financial reasons. "It takes money away from families."
Yvette Welch also stands against the casino. Welch said, "Health care, education reform, we've got a lot more issues and not only in Polk County, North Carolina, Georgia, but all across the United States."
The compact also opens the table for live dealers at Harrah's in the town of Cherokee, which is about an hour down the road.
Supporters say that move will bring in 400 jobs. Back at the proposed Marble casino, in Cherokee County, live dealers will not work the floor at first but may down the road.
Snowbird council member Diamond Brown said long range plans envision a resort destination. The compact allows two more casinos in the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation.
Tribal chief Michell Hicks said Marble is first priority. Coleman is good friends with the chief and his father used to be a tribal council member.
He knows the 796 acres of land well and believes a casino will add a major boost to the local economy. "It'll mean a whole lot. When you start bringing in gaming, I'm not so big on the gaming, but it's going to bring a lot of jobs with it."
The U.S. Department of Interior still has to sign off on the compact but that is expected.
The state receives 4 percent of gross receipts in the first five years. That percentage progressively rises up to 8 percent over the last 10 years of the compact.
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Last Update on March 10, 2014 17:07 GMT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama's top economists say the nation is on track to make economic progress over the next two years, but say it would do even better if Congress would enact the additional spending he proposed in his most recent budget. A divided Congress in an election year is not likely to heed that call.
In their annual report to the president, the Council of Economic Advisers says the nation's economy would grow by 3.3 percent in 2014 and 3.5 percent in 2015. It adds that unemployment would drop to 6.4 percent in 2015 and 6 percent in 2016. February's unemployment rate was 6.7 percent.
That forecast assumes that Congress would approve $56 billion in spending that is above the limits set in a bipartisan budget agreement earlier this year.
DUBLIN (AP) -- Yes, they have more bananas.
Fruit supply companies Chiquita of the United States and Fyffes of Ireland said Monday they had agreed to merge to create the world's biggest banana supplier.
The all-shares agreement means the two companies will become ChiquitaFyffes PLC, be traded on the New York Stock Exchange and be headquartered in Dublin, a more tax-efficient corporate base.
The companies said the deal, which requires shareholder and regulatory approval in Ireland and the United States, would generate $40 million in pre-tax savings through more efficient operations.
Current Fyffes and Chiquita shareholders each would own half of a combined operation expected to generate $4.6 billion in annual sales.
The two companies said the merger would create a banana behemoth that ships more than 160 million crates worldwide, about a quarter more than either of their main rivals, Dole and Del Monte. ChiquitaFyffes also would become the world's No. 3 distributor of pineapples and melons.
OAK BROOK, Ill. (AP) -- McDonald's says a key sales metric dropped 1.4 percent in the U.S. in February, yet again hurt by tough winter weather.
Global sales at locations open at least 13 months dipped 0.3 percent.
In the Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific region, sales declined 2.6 percent mostly on softness in Japan as well as weakness in Australia and a shift in the timing of the Chinese New Year.
Europe was a bright spot, with sales up 0.6 percent on a strong performance in the U.K. and growth in France.
McDonald's Corp., the world's largest hamburger chain, has been dealing with competition from rivals like Burger King and Wendy's, who also have value menus and special offers.
It is also trying to adapt to shifting eating habits by introducing items that are positioned as healthy or fresh.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Sbarro says it's filing for Chapter 11 reorganization, marking the struggling pizza chain's second trip through bankruptcy court in less than three years.
The filing comes shortly after it closed 155 of its U.S. locations. It still has more than 800 locations worldwide.
Sbarro had also filed for bankruptcy protection in April 2011 and emerged a few months later, saying that it significantly cut its debt and received a capital infusion. A new CEO then led a push to revitalize the chain's image by touting new recipes and ovens. But the efforts apparently didn't take hold.
Sbarro, based in Melville, N.Y., says its strategy of store closings and balance sheet restructuring will improve its profitability and reduce outstanding debt by more than 80 percent.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Alabama-based Peco Foods says it will build a new poultry plant, hatchery and feed mill in northeast Arkansas in a $165 million operation expected to create 1,000 jobs in two rural counties.
Gov. Mike Beebe announced the development Monday alongside Peco Foods President, CEO Mark Hickman and other local and regional leaders. The company plans to build in Randolph and Clay counties with the first phase of groundbreaking planned for next month.
Peco Foods is receiving more than $4.5 million in state and local incentives with additional tax breaks planned.
Hickman says the company picked Arkansas because of its "outstanding workforce," noting that its existing poultry plant in Batesville has been a success.
Based in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Peco Foods is the eighth-largest poultry producer in the country.
DALLAS (AP) -- American Airlines is getting more than $425 million from selling takeoff and landing slots at New York's LaGuardia Airport and Reagan National Airport outside Washington.
That price was disclosed Monday in comments filed in federal court in Washington by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The department says the value of those slots shows that it drove a hard bargain last year when it settled its antitrust lawsuit against the merger of American and US Airways. The airlines agreed to give up slots at LaGuardia and Reagan and gates at five other big airports.
The Justice Department filed its response to public comments on the settlement. Consumer groups, lawmakers, the Detroit airport and Delta Air Lines lodged complaints about the settlement.
NEW YORK (AP) -- American Airlines and JetBlue Airways Corp. are ending an agreement that allowed travelers to add connections to their itinerary on each other's aircraft.
The termination of the interline sales agreement is effective Monday.
The companies also said that they are ending a reciprocal frequent flyer program accrual agreement. Travelers won't earn miles or points when traveling on eligible routes run by the other airline beginning April 1.
All American AAdvantage miles or JetBlue TrueBlue points already accrued through the partnership will be credited to customers' accounts and are not affected.
Last month Delta announced changes to its frequent flier program. Starting next year, Delta customers will earn miles based on how much they spend, not just miles flown.
American Airlines Group Inc. is the holding company for American Airlines and US Airways.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court has sided with a Wyoming property owner in a dispute over a bicycle trail that follows the route of an abandoned railroad. The decision could force the government to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to compensate landowners.
The justices ruled 8-1 Monday that property owner Marvin Brandt remains the owner of a 200-foot-wide trail that crosses his 83-acre parcel in southern Wyoming's Medicine Bow National Forest. The trail once was the path of a railroad and is among thousands of miles of abandoned railroads that have been converted to recreational trails.
Chief Justice John Roberts said the government was wrong to assert that it owns the trail.
The government says it faces compensation claims involving 10,000 properties in 30 states, possibly topping $100 million.
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