- published 3/27 (Larry) - unpublished ?

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The largest association of educators in the state is calling for a boycott of all businesses owned by Art Pope, a North Carolina business man and political insider who has contributed millions of dollars to conservative groups pressing for the elimination of caps on charter school funding. The decision to call for the boycott was made last week at the annual convention of the North Carolina Association of Educators.

Art Pope is the president of Variety Wholesalers, Inc., and a director of the conservative political advocacy group, Americans for Prosperity.

 

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Franklin advertises to hikers and outside markets

The Tourism Development Authority of Franklin recently approved grants that would advertise Franklin in markets outside county limits.

Franklin a hiker’s haven

The Town of Franklin is fast becoming a sanctuary for Appalachian Trail hiker’s passing through it, as tourism development officials have taken steps to cater to their wayward dollars.

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NCAE Releases New 'Fund Schools First' Report Showing Negative Trends in Education

Teachers and education advocates from across North Carolina rallied last weekend in the state capitol, protesting the severe cuts to education funding proposed by the Republican majority in the General Assembly.

Delegates from the Macon County chapter of the North Carolina Association of Educators joined over 1,200 NCAE members from every district in the state to rally in downtown Raleigh to raise public awareness about the pending threat major budget cuts to education pose for the future of North Carolina. The NCAE is calling for the General Assembly to make a major philosophical shift and make education a higher priority in the upcoming budget. The March 18 rally was planned as part of the annual meeting of NCAE delegates.

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A non-profit organization employing 63 individuals from Swain, Jackson and Macon counties is seeking to aggressively expand its operations and the number of people with disabilities it serves in the region.

Webster Enterprises is a private 501- C3 community rehabilitation program that provides training, evaluation and job placement services to people with disabilities in the tri-county area. Last year, Webster celebrated 35 years of serving these communities by committing to a revitalization of its facilities and programs which had in recent years seen a decrease in capacity and participation due partly to economic factors.

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If you are looking for a job, or if you are an employer who needs to hire someone, plan to attend Southwestern Community College’s Job Fair Thursday, March 31, on the Jackson Campus. The free event will be held from 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Balsam Building and is open to the community.

Local employers will be on hand to provide information about their organization.

“Job hunting isn’t easy in these tough economic times,” said organizer Patty Kirkley, SCC Career Planning and Placement Coordinator. “At Southwestern, one of the ways we can help people in the community is to bring all these employers together in one location.”

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The Macon County Republican Party held its annual convention on Saturday, March 12, at the Macon County Community Building. About a hundred people attended.

At large officers continuing their positions were Joyce Handley, Larry Hollifield and Carla Miller.

Former Chair Gary Dills and Vice-chair Vince West were presented with plaques of appreciation for their work for the party.

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Soft subsoil ups construction costs over $170,000

A $4.5 million sewer line project being funded jointly by Macon County and the Town of Franklin has run into problems that will likely lead to significant cost overflows. The issue, which brought a halt to progress on the project in December, means the southern end of the Little Tennessee River Greenway may remain closed for some time to come.

With the project currently at 65 percent completion, engineers say that a section of the planned sewer line along the bank of the Little Tennessee River passes through soil that is much softer than expected and which will require additional and costly stabilization measures.

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Community objects to release of statement to media

Three members of the Board of Directors for the Swain County Department of Social Services resigned last Thursday, March 10, in the continued in-fighting between the DSS and the county commission.

The Swain County Board of Commissioners released a statement last Wednesday calling for the board’s resignations after they failed to suspend the director of the DSS during an emergency DSS board meeting on Tuesday.

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The Macon County Board of Commissioners will not ask the county planning board to prioritize consideration of an amendment to the High Impact Ordinance. Some residents of the Clarks Chapel community have requested the amendment as a way to preempt the development of a training course for dirt bikes in their neighborhood.

At a December meeting of the county board of adjustments, after meeting stiff resistance from neighbors, Herman “Bud” Talley withdrew a request for a variance that would have allowed him to develop an officially sanctioned, mile-long, motocross racetrack on his 45-acre farm in Clarks Chapel. While Talley has stepped back from his plans for an official facility, he has publicly stated that he is still considering a training course that would operate under the limits proscribed by the High Impact Ordinance.

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The Macon County Board of Commissioners gave Macon County Transit the go-ahead to apply for state and federal grants that will help keep the transportation service rolling smoothly for another year.

On March 8, commissioners unanimously approved a resolution stating their commitment of $39,922 in matching county funds. With the approval, the funding request will now be up for review by the state and federal Departments of Transportation, as MCT now begins their grant seeking process.

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published: 10/18/2013
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