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Articles by Aallyah Wright, Capital B

Aallyah Wright is Capital B's rural issues reporter.

Featured Article

This story was originally published by Capital B.

After a year-long legal battle with a railroad company over their land, landowners in a rural, majority-Black town in Georgia may be forced to sell their homes. 

In an initial decision on April 1, a Georgia Public Service Commission officer approved a proposed rail spur in Sparta. Several property owners had refused to sell the land to Sandersville Railroad Co. In March, the centuries-old, white-owned private railroad company sought to acquire the property through eminent domain — a process that allows the government to take private land for public use. However, property owners must receive fair compensation. 

The company petitioned the state’s public service commission to condemn the land parcels from 18 property owners along Shoals Road. The railroad company planned to construct a 4.5-mile rail spur that would connect the Hanson Quarry, a rock mine owned by Heidelberg Materials, to a main train line along a nearby highway. The proposed project would create 20 te... Read more