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Last week, a 23-year-old Georgia man was killed in a pedestrian accident in Franklin. While attempting to cross the Highlands Road exit near the 441 by-pass, Jimmy Ebarb of Ellijay, Ga. was struck by an oncoming truck. Ebarb died from injuries sustained during the accident.

After investigating the accident, no excessive speed was found to be a factor, and no alcohol was found on either the driver or the victim.

It was late, and dark, and in a poorly lit area of the road. This tragedy poses a serious question of pedestrian and bicycle safety throughout Franklin and ways to prevent accidents.

On average, about 100 people are killed in North Carolina annually as a result of pedestrian and bicycle accidents. While some accidents are not avoidable, often times, they can be prevented.

 

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Sirius XM Radio customers in North Carolina who had problems cancelling their contracts, got charged unauthorized fees or saw their rates jump unexpectedly will have an opportunity to get their money back, said Attorney General Roy Cooper.

“Consumers who enter into a contract with a business expect to be treated fairly,” Cooper said. “Sticking consumers with extra fees and ignoring their attempts to cancel is a bad way to do business.”

The consumer refunds are part of a multistate settlement in which Sirius XM will also pay a combined $3.8 million to North Carolina and 43 other states and the District of Columbia to resolve allegations that the satellite radio company’s advertising and billing practices misled consumers. The $3.8 million recovered through the settlement is separate from the funds that will be used to repay consumers and will be shared among the participating states, including $101,429.41 to North Carolina.

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Last week, United States President Barack Obama gave the State of the Union address, outlining his priorities for 2015 as well as touting his administration's accomplishments to date. While Obama's address focused on the country as a whole, Western North Carolina's Congressional representative Mark Meadows has his sights set on his district and how to directly impact his constituents.

With a new year under way and after a successful campaign to secure his seat as the representative for the 11th Congressional District, Meadows is ready to bring change to Western North Carolina. His first priority, jobs.

"I’ve spoken to countless constituents across the 11th District and I keep hearing the same thing: the American people want their elected officials to focus on growing the economy and getting Americans back to work," said Congressman Mark Meadows. "I’ve championed pro-growth policies during my time in Congress and will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle when possible.

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County leaders from across the state made a statement earlier this month when 89 out of the state's 100 counties sent leaders to the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) annual legislative goals conference.

Macon County Commissioner Ronnie Beale, who serves as president of the NCACC, noted that the attendance of this year's conference is a testament to the dedication of local governments to work on behalf of their citizens.

“We had representatives from 89 of 100 counties, which shows how important this process is to our members,” said Beale. “We are so incredibly grateful for the participation of so many counties. Our work is just beginning. The NCACC has had a positive relationship with the General Assembly in recent years, and we look forward to working with the legislature on these goals.”

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