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In the days following the passing of the the State's budget, state agencies and departments are still working on the details and researching the impact the new budget will have. Regional mental health agencies quickly learned the new budget meant that an adjustment would be needed to brace for $110 million in funding cuts across the state.

North Carolina is comprised of eight regional mental health agencies, including Smoky Mountain LME/MCO, which oversees the 23 westernmost counties in the state. The $110 million funding cut will vary from regional agency to regional agency, based on that agency's fund balance.

Macon County Commissioner Ronnie Beale, who was appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory to the state's task force on Mental Health, explained that the funding cut was passed down by the state because of the amount of money being held in the mental health agency's respective fund balances.


Governor Pat McCrory and Secretary of Transportation Nick Tennyson announced that the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Southeast Corridor from Richmond to Raleigh (R2R) has been signed by the Federal Railroad Administration, the State of North Carolina, and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“This is a significant step toward making high performing rail in the Southeast Corridor a reality,” McCrory said. “Rail is a critical component of our 25-Year Transportation Vision that will improve connectivity throughout the state and strengthen our economy.”

The Raleigh to Richmond project is a critical segment for the Southeast Corridor, which links southeastern states to the vibrant Amtrak Northeast Corridor at Washington, D.C. This will provide great synergy that will result in increased rail ridership throughout. The FEIS document and decision address comments from residents, elected officials, businesses, and agencies throughout the planning process.


Same level of TAs; drivers education fully funded.

Nearly 80 days after the budget was due, state lawmakers have finally reached an agreement and with Gov. Pat McCrory adding his signature to the final product on Friday, North Carolina now has a budget in place.

"The budget submitted to me by the General Assembly includes many of the goals and ideas we put forward to provide the tools North Carolina needs to continue what we have accomplished during the past three years,” said Gov. McCrory. “Now we can work together to implement a common-sense vision for our great state that includes job creation, education, healthcare and transportation.”


Law enforcement agencies in Macon County joined officers across the country this past weekend in ramping up patrol to keep drivers safe on the road. With summer coming to an end and families making time for one more vacation over the Labor Day weekend, law enforcement agencies were extra cautious in hopes of preventing crashes and saving lives. Macon County law enforcement joined agencies across the state with added patrol and checkpoints set up to keep the roads safe.

"We have an obligation to utilize every tool available to keep our community safe and checkpoints are one of those tools that help keep drunk drivers off our area roadways," said Macon County Sheriff Robert Holland.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 2009-2013, nearly 500 drunk drivers died in Labor Day vehicle crashes across the country. During the 2013 Labor Day holiday alone, almost half of the 18- to 34- year-old drivers killed in crashes were drunk. But the drivers are not the only ones who lose their lives.


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