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Municipal Election for the Town of Franklin and the Town of Highlands is Nov. 3, 2015. This election is for the registered voters of the municipalities of Franklin and Highlands. The ballot will include offices for the following: Town of Franklin Mayor, Town of Franklin Alderman and the Town of Highlands Commissioners. This is not a countywide election.

The polls will be open for voting on Election Day from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Eligible residents who are not registered to vote or those registered that need to make changes must do so by Friday, Oct. 9, 2015 at 5 p.m.


With more than half a million dollars missing from the budget over the last four years, Macon County Public Health Director Jim Bruckner informed the Board of Health that the N.C. Health Directors Association was moving forward with a law suit against the state for withholding the funds.

Other than a check for $33,000 that Macon County received last week, the North Carolina Department of Medicaid Assistance (DMA) hasn't paid counties in the state the correct amount of Medicaid Cost Settlement Funds since 2011, which leaves $600,000 owed to Macon County.

In July, Bruckner first made the board of health aware of the situation and explained that the problem dates back to 2011 because the methodology used to determine Medicaid Cost Settlements was changed.


Project set to be completed in time for PumpkinFest.

Within the next month, the crosswalks across Main Street in Franklin are poised to get a facelift. With a unanimous vote Monday night, the town of Franklin Board of Aldermen approved seven new thermoplastic crosswalks for Main Street.

The crosswalks will replace the existing crosswalks along main street and will resemble the brick pavers currently in place in front of the town's gazebo. The town approved a contract in the amount of $27,298 with Oliver Paving Company out of Charlotte. According to Franklin Town Manager Summer Woodard, the company has a three to four week lag before the project can begin, but once started, Oliver Paving will take about three days to complete the work, which will be done primarily at night to minimize interference with traffic.


A federal criminal indictment unsealed in Asheville charges 16 men and women with narcotics conspiracy operating in Swain, Cherokee and surrounding counties, announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Of the 16 defendants named in the indictment, 15 have been arrested by law enforcement.

The indictment is the result of a joint federal, state and local investigation, targeting the distribution of methamphetamine in Western North Carolina.

Acting U.S. Attorney Rose is joined in making the announcement with Daniel R. Salter, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which oversees the Charlotte District Office; Charles Addington, Deputy Associate Director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Division of Drug Enforcement; C.J. Hyman, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Charlotte Field Division; Christopher Kuvlesky, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Atlantic Field Office, National Park Service, Investigative Services Branch; Colonel William J. Grey, Commander of the North Carolina State Highway Patrol; Sheriff Curtis A. Cochran of the Swain County Sheriff’s Office Chief Ben Reed of the Cherokee Indian Police Department Sheriff Robert L. Holland of the Macon County Sheriff’s Office; and Sheriff Danny Millsaps of the Graham County Sheriff’s Office.


After being given a list of local organizations requesting grants from the town's nonprofit funding pool two weeks ago, members of the Franklin Town Board of Aldermen spent Monday discussing each grant request and how to stretch the $40,000 budget allocation to cover the 13 applications which totaled $66,000.

First, the board of aldermen arranged the non-profit requests into alphabetical order and then went down the list one-by-one to discuss each request. The board took each request and either funded the full amount requested and the maximum amount allowed of $5,000, which they did for three organizations, REACH, KIDS Place, and Habitat for Humanity, or decreased the amount requested enough to ensure that each qualified organization received funds.

Halfway through the process, Alderman Farrell Jamison noted that the board was running out of available non-profit funding and the organizations that were lower on the list were going to get less based on how they appeared on the list alphabetically.


United States currency may not be the only place to find the national motto, "In God We Trust," in Macon County. Macon County Commissioners could vote as early as October on whether or not to add the motto to public buildings at the request of the U.S. Motto Action Committee.

Last week, former Davidson County commissioner and current member of the U.S. Motto Action Committee Kevin Lanier spoke to Macon officials about adding the motto to public buildings in the county. Lanier spoke on behalf of the action committee who have been petitioning local governments across the state to display the motto since 2002 when Davidson County voted to do so.


Electricity will be shut off if violations go uncorrected.

Over the last couple of months, volunteers and members of Father's House located on Jim Mann Road have been working to bring the facility up to code in hopes of avoiding being shut down by the county.

Earlier this summer, citing building and environmental issues at Father's House, which operates as a church and homeless shelter, Macon County officials advised the center's pastor, Lowell Monteith, that the power would be shut off to the building if the violations were not corrected by month's end. While the building was not brought up to compliance, the county was unable to cut the power to the operation because the building's electricity was connected to neighboring buildings.

While the county debated their next move, members of Father's House have been taking advantage of the extra time to improve the facility in hopes of meeting the county's requirements. Dr. Gordon Mercer, church member and WCU professor, updated commissioners last Tuesday to let them know of the improvements made to the shelter.


When Congressman Mark Meadows first sought to represent the 11th Congressional District, he ran on the promise of improving constituent services throughout the 17 counties he represents. Now in his second term, Congressman Meadows stands true to that mission and last Wednesday spent the day visiting with residents of Macon County.

"The best way to know what people in my district need and want is to ask them," Meadows said last week. "And one of the best ways to do that is to be in the district and to see folks face-to-face and to really listen to their concerns."


At the close of the 2015 non-profit funding pool application process for the town of Franklin, 14 local non-profits applied for a piece of the $40,000 pie that town officials set aside each year. With a $5,000 cap per request, the application requests totaled $66,000, which means over the next few weeks, town aldermen have to review each request and either decide not to allocate money to a specific non-profit or to not allocate the full amounts requested in order to stay within the budgeted $40,000.

Non-profit Requests

Appalachian Animal Rescue
Amount requested: $5,000 -- reoccurring
Purpose of funds: Funding would be used to assist low income residents with costs associated with the spaying and neutering of pets. Appalachian Animal Rescue is a no kill animal shelter. The more pets that are spayed and neutered means fewer animals on the streets and fewer being picked up by animal control.


A simple change in the wording of a traffic sign – from “Share the Road” to “Bicycles May Use Full Lane” – could help clarify the rules of the road for bicyclists and motorists, according to a North Carolina State University study.

“‘Share the Road’ signs are common but what that means in terms of how drivers and bicycle riders should interact can be ambiguous,” says George Hess, natural resources professor and co-author of the study in PLOS ONE. Some bicyclists complain that motorists consider them to be in the way, while some motorists accuse bicyclists of hogging the road.

Misunderstandings on the road can be deadly. “Personal safety probably ranks as the most important factor deterring people from commuting by bicycle, so anything we can do to improve safety, and perceptions of safety, is incredibly important,” says co-author Nils Peterson, also a natural resources faculty member.


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