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News General

Changes to a state law are doubling the cost some Macon County parents are now paying for child care. The change, which took effect across the state on October 1, altered the way North Carolina determines eligibility for child care subsidies and has affected thousands of low income families across the state.

“We are confused and disappointed when the young families who are trying their hardest by working and remaining in school are the families who lose services,” said Sheila Hoyle, director of Southwestern Child Development Commission. “It seems to me that these are the families that our public policy makers would want to offer a hand to. These are families who have a chance of becoming self-sufficient.”

Before the legislation change, all children under 13 qualified for child care subsidies if their parents earned less than 75 percent of the state median income or about $50,244 for a family of four.

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Last Thursday the Macon County Planning Board held its monthly meeting and took another look at a possible noise ordinance that could be adopted by the county commissioners in the future.

Last month the board was tasked by commissioners to take a look at some approaches to an ordinance when members of the community voiced complaints about noise from neighbors. At that meeting they considered the ins and outs of adopting a fair policy. At this month's meeting, the same concerned citizens were present and Sheriff Robbie Holland was there to give his perspective on the issue.

He said over the last three years, the number of noise complaints were small in comparison to other things.

“I would say that of the calls we got, probably less than one percent were for noise,” he said. “Of the complaints we get, none are about animals making noise. It's usually neighbors who are being loud. They may be yelling, revving motors, or playing their music too loud.”

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Last week, Macon County’s phone services experienced an interruption that caused some voicemails to not be retrievable by county departments. The problem has continued throughout the week but is expected to be corrected later this week.

According to Andy Muncey, the county’s IT Director, on the evening of Monday, Oct. 13, the telephone link between the Macon County Courthouse and the Macon County Detention Center and Human Services building faulted. Other data connections between the sites on the same fiber bundle remained active. The link fault caused interruption to services at other sites as well.

Throughout the events, there were no interruptions to 911 or dispatch services.

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On Oct. 20, at approximately 6:38 p.m., the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call at 77 Paniolo Drive, Sylva, regarding a shooting. The caller stated to the 911 operator that he had shot his father. Dispatchers kept the caller on the phone, instructed him how to check for breathing, and eventually how to conduct CPR.

Deputies arrived on scene a short time later and assisted with CPR. West Care EMS arrived shortly thereafter and continued CPR with assistance from the Balsam-Willets Volunteer Fire Department’s first responders.

Deputies secured the shooting scene, then obtained and served a search warrant. Deputies were assisted by agents with the NCSBI during the search. As a result of the investigation and after conferring with the District Attorney’s office, the caller, identified as Travis Lindsey Heffner, was arrested and charged. The deceased is Kenneth Rodney Heffner, 47, father of the suspect, of 14 Gentle Ridge, Sylva.

 

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