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Richard S. (“Dick”) Jones Jr., of the Franklin law firm Jones, Key, Melvin & Patton, P.A., received the John B. McMillan Distinguished Service Award from the North Carolina State Bar at its recent Annual Meeting in Raleigh.

The DSA is one of the highest honors awarded by the State Bar as it seeks to recognize those who have both cultivated knowledge of the law and enhanced public confidence in the law.

Among several criteria for the award is the devotion of professional time and resources to ensure equal access to justice for all those who, because of economic or social barriers, cannot afford or secure adequate legal counsel. Jones grew up in Franklin during the Great Depression and his mother served on the county’s ration board. His father had served as a North Carolina State Senator but was primarily a practicing lawyer in Franklin. His grandfather (George A. Jones), prior to his service as a Superior Court Judge, started the law firm in Franklin that continues to this day.


Republicans sweep elections in Western North Carolina

Voters came out in droves for the 2012 election, wanting a chance to make a difference from local to presidential politics. Despite chilly weather, people of Western North Carolina headed to the polls on Tuesday and saw lots of changes in current leadership.

While preliminary results put President Barack Obama winning re-election nationally with both the popular vote and the electoral college votes, he narrowly lost North Carolina with 48.29 percent to Governor Mitt Romney's 50.45 percent of the vote.


Projected DHHS unspent funds will pay for enrollment spots

Last week, Gov. Bev Perdue issued Executive Order No. 128 authorizing the expansion of the NC Pre-K program to serve up to 6,300 additional children by Jan. 1, 2013. An estimated 1,000 of those children can begin being served immediately in Pre-K classrooms across the state.

On Aug. 21, the North Carolina Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed a lower court ruling mandating that the State not deny any eligible “at-risk” four-year-olds admission to the North Carolina Pre-Kindergarten program.


New law brings new plates by December 31

The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles has introduced new permanent plates and a new process for their issuance. A new law passed by the General Assembly requires all currentlyissued permanent plates to be cancelled and re-issued under new eligibility rules by Dec. 31, 2012.

Vehicle owners, depending on their eligibility for permanent plates, must purchase either replacement permanent plates or standard “First in Flight” plates by the December deadline. New orange and black plates will replace the current silver and black permanent plates. Beginning Oct. 15, DMV will no longer issue silver and black plates. A one-time $6 fee is required for permanent plates; standard registration plates cost $28-$33.


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