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News General

Macon County Sheriff's deputies spent nearly nine hours on Friday working a standoff that resulted in one individual being taken into custody under an involuntary commitment.

Around noon on Friday, MCSO deputies initiated a welfare check on a Macon County resident after dispatch received calls from someone out of state concerned about the resident. A police welfare check occurs when a report is made to law enforcement about an individual who may be in some sort of peril, usually in that person's residence.

On Friday, dispatch received a call from a woman that said her friend had threatened suicide over the phone. When officers went to the address, they were confronted by a person within the residence.


Pat Betancourt touts communication and work ethic.

Patrick Betancourt, the new director of the Macon County Department of Social Services (DSS), moved here from Union County where he was the Social Work Program Administrator.

“I’ve been working in DSS now for a little over 20 years, so Union’s just a little bit bigger county, but other than that, all pretty familiar,” said Betancourt.

“One of the things I can speak to that is completely different here in Macon County from anywhere else I’ve ever worked is, probably the most positive thing that we have is, on a regular basis, our Mental Health providers will come together in the same room with our Child Welfare workers and we’ll staff cases ... it was pretty amazing the first time I saw this take place at one of these meetings where, quite literally what happened was, one of the mental health providers said, ‘We can’t pick this particular child up for this particular service but we know that that service need is there, can somebody else pick them up?’ and the next provider just seamlessly said, ‘Yup, we got ‘em, we’ll check in with the family or we’ll do whatever needs to be done.’ I have to say that’s unique to Macon County, or to this region,” said Betancourt. “It’s not something I’ve experienced anywhere else. I think that ongoing communication, those ongoing staff meetings, really set us up for a place where we’re that much more successful with child welfare.”


Macon and Jackson County have yet to reach an agreement on the great border debate for properties that fall on the county lines in the Highlands/Cashiers crossover.

While Macon County's full request for funding from Jackson County wasn't met, some relief will be provided in the upcoming budget cycle. Earlier this year, Jackson County commissioners approved a new fire tax for homes that are technically located within Jackson County, yet receive fire services from the Highlands Fire Department. The fire tax is expected to generate $50,000 in revenue that will be directly allocated to the Highlands Fire Department.

And while Jackson commissioners acknowledged the fire costs associated with the 300 homes in question, it doesn't address the other essential services provided by Macon County to those homes such as trash, recreation, 911 and EMS. Commissioner Jim Tate, who has led the discussion from the beginning addressed that very issue last month.


Shortly after 1 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon a Macon County paramedic was sent to the hospital to be treated for a dog bite she sustained while caring for a motorcycle accident patient.

Dispatch received a call regarding a motorcycle accident around 1:20 p.m. on Tuesday at the intersection of Louisa Chapel Road. The caller advised dispatch that she had the driver of the motorcycle in her car and was attempting to transport him to the hospital. While reportedly en route to the hospital, the motorcycle driver become more visibly ill, causing the driver to pull off the road to wait for paramedics.


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