Four lose their lives in the line of duty in 2014
The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #81 of Jackson and Macon Counties held the annual Law Enforcement Memorial Service last Friday on the courthouse square.
With flags flying and law enforcement officers from across Western North Carolina in attendance, guest speaker Ashley Welch addressed the crowd.
"I am grateful for the opportunity to speak to you, my hometown, today and to honor the servicemen and women who lost their lives protecting us," said Welch. "But I wish I was here under different circumstances. I wish I was just here to thank you for your service and dedication to your community, but unfortunately I am not. I am here to remember those who lost their lives in the line of duty."
During its annual budget retreat, the town of Franklin presented a budget reflecting a one cent tax increase for the coming year.
Due to the property tax revaluation in Macon County this year, the town's property value declined by $7,281,676 in assessed value, equating to a 1.014 percent reduction. Factoring in the new tax base, the town would need to increase the current tax rate of .27 to .2727 to maintain a revenue neutral budget.
Since 2007, the town of Franklin's tax base has grown on average by 2.07 percent. In applying a growth factor to the town's current tax rate of .2727, to produce a revenue neutral tax rate, the town would need to increase the rate to .2784 cents per $100 valuation.
After Stephen Siller lost his life in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, his family set out to honor his life and legacy by establishing The Stephen Siller Tunnels to Towers Foundation.
One Franklin businessman was honored this week for his support of the Staten Island based charity, and was given a piece of steel from Ground Zero.
Tom Tastinger, of Tastinger's Floor Covering, Carpet One, was presented with a piece of steel from the fallen World Trade Center by Charlie Gussamann, a retired FDNY (Fire Department of New York City) member.
How county contributions compare to state allocations.
Over the last 10 years, public education in North Carolina has shifted, as the state's structure has changed in order to accommodate for student enrollment growth, the rise of charter and virtual schools, and other factors that have caused state dollars to be stretched a little further.
Looking at data over the last decade, school enrollment in Macon County has increased by about 250 students. Funding from the state has gone from $20.3 million in 2005 to $24.6 million in 2014 with a difference of more than $3 million between 2008 and 2009. On the local level, beginning in 2007, the county provided $6 million, and by 2014, was up to $7.3 million. After the jump is a look at public education funding in Macon County over the last 10 years.
The 17th Annual Burns Night Dinner will be held at Tartan Hall on Saturday, Jan. 19. This supper, with a traditional five course menu, is held world wide on Jan. 25 or as close to the date as possible. This year is the 254th anniversary of Robert Burns’ birth.
Celtic customs are dramatic and colorful and contributed to the politics of Great Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries. After centuries of fighting across the border, the English monarchy conquered the clans of the Scottish Highlands in 1745. Every attempt was made to eradicate Scottish customs. Speaking Gaelic and Olde Scots was forbidden, for example, and schools and businesses were required to use only English. Born a generation after the Battle of Culloden, Robert Burns, a farmer and a poet from Ayrshire in Scotland, wrote down many of the Gaelic folk songs and pub melodies that were almost forgotten. He also set many of his poems to old tunes.
Burns was a handsome, musical young fellow and not a very good farmer. Instead, he became an entertainer in the salons of Edinburgh.
Although he died in his 40s in 1796, he is considered the National Poet of modern Scotland to this day for retaining a rich musical culture that was almost lost. Robert Burns suppers are now held on every continent. It is often asked, “How did a country musician become a worldwide celebrity?” During the 19th century, Great Britain was an imperialist super power. Its military was largely staffed by Scots. Wherever these soldiers were stationed (India, Australia, South Africa, Canada. etc), they loved and taught Burns’ songs around the campfires and in the classrooms until the songs were known universally.
The Burns Night meal incorporates a number of Scottish events including the “Calling Out of the Clans,” a parade of present guests carry their clan banners, form a pattern, a circle or an “x” and call out the name of their district or clan. The Haggis, a meatloaf of liver, other meat and oats is carried at the head of a parade of officials and the “Ode to the Haggis” by Robert Burns is performed in Scots dialect. Arthur Hays, a lawyer from Murphy, does this at the dinner here. Other recitations may include the “Immortal Memory of Robert Burns,” and Scottish songs by local vocalists. This year, an octet from the “Carolines” and “Men Macon Music” will perform. The entertainment is held together with piping by Jean Hayes and music by the “Caledonia Swing Band” from Georgia. Scottish Dancing completes the evening (Elaine and Bob McCollum will be instructing) and concluding with “Auld Lang Syne.”