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News General

With more funds available for Macon County education in federal and state dollars this year, Macon County Schools (MCS) finance director Angie Cook presented members of the board of education with a 2015-16 budget resolution which highlighted a few areas in which funds have been able to be increased this school year.

A few years ago, in the midst of budget cuts across all levels of funding, the board of education made the hard decision to no longer pay for officials for sporting events out of the school district's local budget. Schools then became responsible for funding the officials, which are mandatory to hold athletic events. Some schools turned to their respective athletic budget reserves while others turned to booster clubs and PTO organizations. With additional funds available for the 2015-16 school year, Cook informed members of the board that half of the funds needed for officials would be placed back into the budget this school year.


Macon County’s Business Development Center (BDC) was established in 2009 to help budding entrepreneurs build on their work to create viable, competitive businesses in Macon County. With success stories like Tektone, which started in the business development center in 1989 with six employees and has since grown to a national brand employing 75 people, the business development center offers low rent and resources to get businesses started in their respective industries.

Last week, Macon County Economic Development Director Tommy Jenkins presented commissioners with a lease agreement for Vitrum La Collezione, which was unanimously approved. With the lease agreement and Vitrum La Collezione locating to the business development center, the center is now at capacity with five tenants.

The BDC was originally constructed as an incubator facility in the late ’80s. Although funded in part with Appalachian Regional Commission and Economic Development grants with the intent of fostering a business development center, the facility was seldom used for its intended purpose and over time has been used in various capacities – as a warehouse, a community college space and as storage for local manufacturers. The county wanted to revamp the space in 2009 and provide a service to local business hopefuls.


One-stop voting opened today (Thursday) for the 2015 municipal elections which will fill three seats on the town of Franklin Board of Aldermen and three seats for the Highlands Commission. Voters can cast their ballots early for the municipal elections with one-stop voting locations located at the Macon County Courthouse and the Highlands Civic Center.

Early voting will run until Saturday, Oct. 31, at 1 p.m. Candidates for the Franklin Board of Aldermen election will be profiled over the next two weeks for Macon County News readers. All six candidates seeking office were given the opportunity to answer the same questions.


Just before 8 a.m. on Monday morning, authorities in Rabun County received a call reporting a fire at popular Clayton, Ga., restaurant Mama G's. Authorities reported no one was in the building at the time of the accident and despite the Italian restaurant being a complete loss, no one was injured.

The building was completely engulfed in flames by the time the fire department arrived on scene and the only piece of property that was salvaged was a storage facility out back. The investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.


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