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News General

Fred Alexander of Duke Energy presented Amy Ammons Garza with the 2012 Duke Citizenship & Service Award on Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce's Holiday Reception.

The award is given annually by Duke Energy to honor a citizen for their volunteer leadership and is a tribute to individuals who make a difference in their communities by using their time, talents and compassion to positively impact the lives of others.

Garza was nominated for her outstanding community service by Catch the Spirit of the Appalachia Board member, Norma Clayton.

Since the resignation of former Economic Development Director Trevor Dalton last September, Macon County has actively pursued a viable replacement. The county’s Economic Development Commission subsequently hired Tommy Jenkins, a Macon County native, on Nov. 1 to help in their efforts to attract and retain businesses throughout the county.

This position is particularly important considering the high rate of unemployment throughout Western North Carolina, with Macon County’s unemployment rate still hovering at 10 percent.

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An assault on a recycling center employee last weekend has authorities searching for a faceless culprit or culprits.

The incident occurred at approximately 6:43 p.m. on Saturday evening, when Otto Recycling Center employee Pam Keyser was preparing to shut down the facility for the day.

“I went out to turn on the [trash] compactor, like we always do toward the end of the day,” she recalled. “I turned it on and as I knelt to pick up some loose trash in front of the compactor, I felt something grab what I think were my overall suspenders from behind ... I was being pulled from behind.”

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According to Macon County Sheriff Robert Holland, the sheriff’s office is currently investigating Board of Education member Tommy Baldwin for recent allegations that Nantahala community members claim may include inappropriate conduct with a minor or similar allegations. “We can confirm that we are aware of the allegations and have initiated an investigation, and the investigation is ongoing,” said Sheriff Holland.

During the Board of Education meeting Monday night, Board Chairman Tommy Cabe issued a statement verifying that the board is currently aware of the investigation and informed the public that any questions and comments should be directed to the Sheriff’s office. Baldwin was not present at the meeting.

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