25th Annual Leaf Lookers GEMBOREE :: Friday, October 17 - Sunday, October 19 at the Macon County Community Building

- published 8/21 (Larry) old link: http://www1.cfnc.org/applications/NC_Community_College/apply.html?application_id=1527

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News General

Horton ‘guardedly optimistic’ that state won’t pass its own budget crisis on to counties

County manager Jack Horton has proposed a balanced budget of $42.4 million for Macon County for Fiscal Year 2011/2012. In a presentation to the board of commissioners on Tuesday, Horton presented a budget proposal which he said was essentially a “flat, no-growth budget.” The proposed budget is one percent (0.98%) higher than the original budget for the current fiscal year, however it is 1.37 percent lower than the current year’s revised budget (which is now just above $43 million). No property tax increase is requested or recommended in the proposal.

Though the state budget is still uncertain, Horton told the commissioners that he is “guardedly optimistic” that counties won't be forced to bear the brunt of the state's own financial crisis. “We have been assured by our legislators that the state will not balance their budget on the backs of the counties this year,” Horton said. He cautioned, however, that “with the General Assembly still in session, we remain concerned that the state will shift additional responsibilities and/or reduce county funding to correct its budget crisis. We hope that is not the case, but we can only wait and see.”

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As American consumers are increasingly replacing their “old fashioned” cell phones with state-of-the-art smart-phones, Franklin tourism promoters have decided to invest in a smart-phone application that will promote area businesses, events and attractions.

Smoky Mountain Host, a tourism and marketing organization for the seven western- most counties of North Carolina, is looking to launch a new smart-phone application this month that will give visitors information to plan their trips and guide them on tours of the mountain region while they are here.

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The Tourism Development Authority (TDA) of Franklin recently held its monthly meeting on Monday at the Boiler Room.

Biker rally advertisements in sight

Authority members unanimously voted to award a grant to Sylvia Cochran, president of U.S. Rider News and national editor for U.S. Rider News, a motorcycle enthusiast publication. Cochran organizes several motorcycle rallies around the country, including the annual Reunion Run in Helen, Ga., held in the first week of June. The Helen event is now in its 11th year. Cochran’s request was for $4,000, which would pay for promotional expenses. The TDA sponsored Biker Rally event is scheduled for August 27-29 of next year.

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For new recipients of Social Security, other federal benefits

Plan estimated to save taxpayers $1 billion

The U.S. Department of the Treasury is retiring the paper Social Security check for millions of baby boomers and others applying for federal benefits, a move that will save taxpayers $1 billion over the next 10 years. Beginning May 1, 2011, anyone newly applying for Social Security, Veterans Affairs or other federal benefits will need to choose an electronic payment method – paper checks will no longer be an option. People currently receiving their federal benefits by paper check must switch to direct deposit by March 1, 2013.

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