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News General

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.

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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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In attempt to improve efficiency, the county's Animal Control department will be moved under the administrative control of the Macon County Public Health Department.

"Over the past few months, I have put a lot of thought and deliberation into possible ways for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of Macon County's Animal Control," said County Manager Derek Roland. "I feel the employees in this department do an excellent job serving the citizens of Macon County. At the same time however, I am confident that a change in departmental structure will result in a higher level of public service."

With Roland's recommendation, commissioners unanimously voted to move animal control to the health department where it will be overseen by Dr. Jimmy Villiard, a licensed veterinarian and public health employee.

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For the first time in the program's history, the Macon County Community Funding Pool allocation was increased from $50,000 to $75,000, allowing more non-profits in the community to apply for grants for the year.

The Community Funding Pool (CFP) was established to help the Macon County Board of Commissioners allocate tax-generated funds to local non-profits in a fair and efficient way. The CFP Task Force is comprised of citizens chosen by the board of commissioners to consider applications and make recommendations to the board, who make final funding decisions.

The Community Funding Pool received 20 applications from 19 agencies which totaled $123,909. The requests in 2015 were up from 2014 when 15 agencies applied for funding, with a total requested amount of $94,500.

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