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News

Two Republicans reveal reasons for seeking the seat.

With the conclusion of the filing period for the 2014 election, candidates are gearing up for the campaign season. While many candidates will not see their name on the ballot until the November general election, several local and state offices will have a primary in May to decide between candidates of the same party.

The Macon County News will present candidate profiles on all primary candidates between now and May, and will then profile candidates vying for seats in November.

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Macon County Sheriff's Office detective Amy Stewart recently received honors from the North Carolina Department of Justice. The award, the Advanced Deputy Professional Law Enforcement Certificate was presented by the N.C. Sheriff's Education and Training Standards Commission on March 5, 2014.

Stewart, who has worked with the sheriff's office for nearly 20 years, said she was honored to gain the recognition.

“I've worked hard to achieve this, but I did it so that I could have the skills to do my job better and to help the community as much as I can. I look forward to continuing to work hard for the betterment of the area that we live in,” she said.

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The most important job you have as a parent is keeping your child safe. Each year thousands of young children are killed or injured in car accidents. In the United States during 2011, more than 650 children ages 12 years and younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes, and more than 148,000 were injured.

The western North Carolina community has come together to help host Buckle Up, Baby!, a free car seat safety clinic to help battle the alarming statistics.

Local law enforcement officers along with Angel Medical Center and Safe Kids NC have teamed up to host Buckle Up, Baby! to provide families in western North Carolina with the opportunity to get their car seat checked by certified car seat technicians.

 

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The Macon County Sheriff’s Office, Highlands Police Department and Franklin Police Department will participate in Operation Medicine Drop (OMD) on Saturday, March 22. OMD is a partnership of Safe Kids North Carolina, NC State Bureau of Investigation and local law enforcement agencies, to encourage the disposal of unused, unwanted and expired medications.

OMD helps prevent accidental poisonings, overdoses and drug abuse while protecting our environment. Since 2010, more than 50 million dosage units have been collected.

On Saturday, March 22, medications will be collected from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Kmart and Walmart in Franklin; and Highlands Pharmacy and Main Street Pharmacy in Highlands.

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Due to a budget shortfall brought on by the Federal budget sequester, Macon County commissioners voted to allocate Macon Program for Progress (MPP) $13,000 in emergency funds.

The $13,000 requested by MPP Executive Director Chuck Sutton, is needed for administrative costs associated with operating the HUD section 8 Rental Assistance Program.

This is the second time commissioners have allocated emergency funds to the program due to a budget shortfall as a result of the sequester. In June, MPP requested $12,000 in anticipation of 30 percent of federal funds being deterred. That request was made based on projected funding levels through the calendar year of 2013. Since the sequester, funding levels have not returned to original amounts, causing another shortfall in administration funds.

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The League of Women Voters and Venture Local Franklin will host the initial Community Town Hall Discussion Series on Monday, March 31, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Tartan Hall. The goal of this first discussion is to bring together ideas concerning the design and use of the gazebo property.

Organizers hope to have elected officials, designers, businesses, local groups, citizens, performers and any other stakeholders in attendance.

From 6 to 6:30 p.m., attendees will have the opportunity to peruse designs and speak with any designers or elected officials who may be present.

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A Macon County man charged with murder was given a $200,000 bond last Wednesday.

"In the criminal justice system, we have judges and magistrates who are required to set the bonds of defendants,” Sheriff Robbie Holland said of the bond. “While I may or may not agree with the amount set, the fact still remains that bonds are entirely at the discretion of the judicial officials."

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Macon County commissioners voted Tuesday night to change engineers for the Parker Meadows recreation project.

After soliciting bids for the remaining portion of the project, commissioners elected to cut ties with the Asheville based firm Civil Engineering Design, and instead contract with the Franklin-based CEtech Engineering.

The county has worked with Mike LoVoy of Civil Engineering Design since the inception of the recreational complex. LoVoy completed all the preliminary design and engineering work for the proposed project. After county leaders voted to complete the recreation project all at one time instead of in phases over the next few years, they decided to bid out the engineering portion of the project.

The two bids considered, one from LoVoy and the other from Larry Lackey of CEtech, were relatively similar in bidder cost. Although LoVoy’s bid of $49,500 was slightly less than Lackey’s $49,750, LoVoy’s contract left out elements such as travel expenses that would result in additional costs.

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As in the case of Commissioner Ron Haven’s candidacy challenge, another candidate for commissioner was challenged regarding his place of residence. Candidate for county commissioner in District II, Gary Shields, was made aware of a challenge to his residency last week.

Macon County voter Vic Drummond filed the candidate challenge, citing that based on reasonable suspicion and belief, Shields does not meet the requirements for county commissioner office due to not living within the district in which he filed. Drummond filed on Wednesday to drop the challenge.

The document, filed and notarized, states “I, Victor L. Drummond, being a qualified voter in the Macon County Commissioner District II and duly sworn, do hereby file this withdrawal of challenge to the declared candidacy of Gary Mack Shields for Macon County commissioner of District II, and withdraw that challenge not only as to the qualifications of Gary Mack Shields as a candidate of the 2nd District Commissioner race, but also withdraw the challenge to Gary Mack Shields’ qualifactions as a voter in the Precinct of Millshoals.”

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The question regarding Commissioner Ron Haven’s residency was answered Tuesday morning when the Macon County Board of Elections unanimously decided to not uphold a candidacy challenge filed by Macon County District II resident Charles Nichols.

“I am thankful for all of the support I have received from so many Macon County Citizens from all parties,” said Haven in a statement. “I will continue to serve Macon County to the best of my ability with our other commissioners in obtaining the best place to live on earth.”

With the aid of local attorney Orville Coward Jr., Haven testified under oath to the Board of Elections and in front of a packed courtroom that although he owns property at 750 Mill Creek Road, he resides at 433 East Palmer Street in Franklin.

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published: 10/18/2013
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