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News General

Board members were eager to see the final numbers of the fall intersession after viewing a presentation highlighting the week, which took place from Oct. 10-14, at the October Board of Education meeting. “One of our goals is to get our students reading and math scores up, and we looked at the intersession as a way to do that,” said board member Stephanie McCall.

The intersession was beneficial for the students who attended, but board members showed concerns about whether the week was cost effective due to low participation numbers. The intersession was available to all students and the school system encouraged parents to become involved, but only about 400 students attended the interession on any given day, which amounts to about 10 percent of the entire district’s student population.

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Macon County Commissioners voted to take seven constructions standards up for discussion when they reconvened last week for a continuation of October’s regularly scheduled meeting. Commissioners discussed altering construction standards, which encompassed the minimum allowed standards, with the intention of providing safe and adequate protection while serving to decrease liability to people involved in all areas of development, under consideration and further review.

According to Lewis Penland, Chairman of the planning board, the proposed construction standards were taken directly from the recommended Safe Slope Development Ordinance which was developed by the Safe Slope Development Workgroup. “The workgroup—made up of a grading contractor, a builder and developer, a planner, a geologist, a hydrologist, a realtor, and a planning board member—spent two years studying slope development issues and taking testimony from a variety of professionals in the building, construction and engineering fields,” said Penland.

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Officers with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office recently arrested a man charged of numerous counts of statutory rape.

On Oct. 23, investigators with the department began investigating an incident of sexual assault that reportedly occurred in the Sapphire community of Jackson County on the same date.

According to statement released by JCSO in late October, private security firm, Blue Ridge Public Safety, was the initial agency to respond to the report, with Jackson investigators taking over the investigation later that evening. Deputies, along with the North Carolina Bureau of Investigations, searched the scene of the event that evening.

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Last Saturday authorities in both Jackson and Macon Counties continued their operations to get prescription pills off the streets. Often used as narcotics, the two agencies collected thousands of outdated and unwanted pills from citizens in their respective communities, who had an excess of such medications.

Held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, the Macon County Sheriff’s Office and the Franklin Police Department collected 14,884 pills in the parking lots of Wal-Mart and KMart. Dubbed “Operation Pill Crusher”, the event has collected over 100,000 pills since the operation first began at the beginning of the year.

“This last collection is less than what we got last time, but we’re satisfied with the numbers we got,” said Macon County Sheriff Robert Holland on Monday. “That’s over 14,000 less pills to hit the streets.”

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