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News State / Region

A different perspective on ‘raising the age.’

The Macon County News has been following the progress of Senate Bill 434 that would raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction from 16 to 18. While the bill unanimously passed the House judiciary Subcommittee A on June 20, it failed in a Senate appropriations committee. The issue now moves to the Legislative Research Committee for review. Proponents continue to push for adoption of the initiative. Following is an editorial from a different perspective.

Senator Thom Goolsby
9th District – New Hanover County

A move is afoot to change North Carolina’s definition of an “adult criminal.” Currently, if you are old enough to drive a car, you are old enough to be treated as an adult when it comes to criminal offenses. This means that 16 and 17-year-olds are adjudicated in adult criminal court when they are accused of committing a crime.


Last week, Bob Hall, the Executive Director of Democracy North Carolina, the nonpartisan group that uses research, organizing, and advocacy to increase voter participation and reduce the influence of big money in politics, travelled throughout Western North Carolina to educate people on the importance of voting in the upcoming election.

According to Hall, who visited Haywood, Buncombe and Henderson counties last week, his trip was centered around the organization's mission statement which states, “We envision a government that is truly “of the people, for the people and by the people,” where barriers to vote or serve in public office are removed. We want people to have confidence in their political system and feel ownership of their government.


Western North Carolina voters had a unique opportunity last Saturday, to meet four members of the North Carolina Council of State, three State Court of Appeals Judges, one candidate for Supreme Court, candidate of Lieutenant Governor, and several local candidates.

A vision of Macon County's Ben Utley and organized by the Jackson County Democratic Women, the rally, which was held at the old Jackson County Courthouse, gave voters from all over Western North Carolina the chance to hear from the candidates.


Candidates for North Carolina 50th District State Senate district incumbent Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, and former Democratic State Sen. John Snow of Murphy were guests at the August meeting of the Macon County League of Women Voters (LWV).

LWV, a non-partisan group, has become known for holding candidate forums around election time to give voters the opportunity to meet with candidates and learn their stance on pressing issues facing the upcoming election. This November will mark the second time in N.C. political history these two candidates have been on the ballot together. Snow held the seat for six years until Davis unseated him in 2010 by less than 200 votes.

Susan Ervin moderated the forum and began by asking candidates what issues they felt were most important going into the November election.


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