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After serving on the Macon County Board of Commissioners for six years, Commissioner Kevin Corbin announced Monday afternoon that he will not be seeking re-election to the commission, however, he will be filing to run for the North Carolina House of Representatives.

Corbin said his decision has not been something he has taken lightly, and after current House Rep. Roger West announced Monday morning that he would not be seeking re-election, Corbin made the decision to step up.

"Roger told me in a conversation two years ago that he 'might not' run so I have been evaluating this and considering it for a while now," said Corbin.


Creating vibrant downtowns and a robust economy for North Carolina’s 26 westernmost counties was the focus of the LEAD:Tourism conference held at Western Carolina University on Tuesday, Nov. 10.

Presented by the WCU College of Business and held at the Ramsey Regional Activity Center, the conference drew some 100 attendees from across Western North Carolina, including government officials, business leaders and cultural heritage representatives. Topics included strategies for downtown revitalization, best practices for small town main street development, turning local assets into community pride and tourist spending, and the role of creative arts in downtowns.


Takes next steps to win millions for economic development

For six months, local leaders in the region have been hard at work developing a Community Revitalization Plan to guide the region’s economic future. They unveiled the plan Nov. 9, which will determine whether the region will advance in the America’s Best Communities (ABC) competition for a chance to win the contest’s $3 million grand prize.

The comprehensive plan coordinated by the Southwestern Commission aims to fuel the momentum behind ongoing efforts to establish a recognized brand for the region, support and assist in the expansion of existing business and industry, create an environment which supports and fosters entrepreneurship, promote and expand regional tourism opportunities, reduce isolation, revitalize and strengthen communities, and expand community capacity. By putting this at the heart of the community’s plan, local leaders believe they have constructed a strategy that can drive the community forward.


The U.S. Department of Justice has awarded a $1.75 million grant to the Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice to enhance transitional services for inmates as they prepare to leave prison.

The Bureau of Justice Assistance award came through a competitive grant titled Justice Reinvestment Initiative: Maximizing State Reforms. This award will help North Carolina continue implementation of the Justice Reinvestment Act of 2011 by further integrating evidence based practices into programming in state prisons – particularly through the preparation of inmates for release and successful reentry to the community.

With this funding the state prison system will redesign its minimum custody levels to ensure inmates receive specific pre-release planning and preparation based on assessed risk and needs. A risk-needs-responsivity tool created by George Mason University will help determine programming needs and appropriate prison facility placement for high risk felons preparing for release. The grant funding will also be used to strengthen the evidence-based programming options for incarcerated felons and increase the number of local reentry councils established in the state.


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