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Laura Vargas awarded 2014 Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award

Each year, Duke Energy works with counties across the state to identify a member of the each community who has worked selflessly throughout the year to help others. In Macon County, Duke Energy works alongside the Chamber of Commerce to solicit nominations from the community identifying an individual who has gone above and beyond to help friends and neighbors. After nominations are narrowed down, one person is selected to be the recipient of the Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award.

On Tuesday night, Lisa Leatherman presented Macon County resident Laura Vargas with the 2014 Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award.

Caterpillar closing costs 150 local jobs

After 20 years in Macon County, Caterpillar Precision Seals (CAT) will be closing their doors and moving to Mapleton, Illinois, taking 150 jobs with it.

Since 1995, Caterpillar has operated a plant in Macon County at the county’s Industrial Park off 64W. Generations of family members have worked for the plant and as of Thursday, will now have to find some other means to make ends meet.

The announcement doesn't mean the plant is closing tomorrow, instead it gives a timeline to have the Franklin location closed by 2016. The news was a surprise for local residents.

Union Academy holds mid-year graduation

Way to go, graduates!

Friends and family of the fall 2014 graduating class of Union Academy gathered last Friday to watch their graduates walk across the stage.

“I am proud of these students for having completed their requirements for graduation,” said Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin. “This is a tremendous accomplishment for students, their teachers and also their families. I am excited about what the future holds for these students.”

With a message from guest speaker Terry Bell, long time educator in Macon County, he admonished students to never stop learning.

Commissioners prioritize capital outlay items

Requests considered on basis of safety and dire need.

Each year the Macon County School System asks that principals at all county schools develop a capital outlay request for each school. The school board prioritizes projects based on funds available from county commissioners for capital outlay improvements to the school system. This year, the school board prioritized projects based on safety and dire need. Those requests are then present to Macon County Commissioners, who vote to allot funds for the completion of the identified projects.

Requests are listed by school for the 2015-16 school year. Projects identified by the school system as being a priority for this year are underlined. The priority projects total $413,100.

- published 8/21 (Larry) old link: http://www1.cfnc.org/applications/NC_Community_College/apply.html?application_id=1527

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William ShillingLast Thursday, William Shilling, 51, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor counts of simple physical assault and simple non-physical assault. Shilling is an attorney with the Macon County Department of Social Services.

According to documents on file at the Macon County Clerk's office, an arrest warrant signed by magistrate Miciah Leatherman states that there was probable cause to believe that Shilling inflicted physical injury to his child, who is less that 16 years old. “The physical injury inflicted caused a red mark on the victim's abdomen, and was inflicted by other than accidental means,” reads the warrant.

The complaint and motion on file states that Shilling assaulted the child after an altercation over the child's grades. According to his wife Cheryl's testimony, the child “got a ‘C’ last grading period in Algebra, Bill took a steak knife, punched it into the wall, jerked and removed it off the wall, removed all of [the child's] gaming systems devices, and told him if he didn't improve his grades, he would beat them into him and clear his room so it looked like a prison cell.”

The warrant continues to claim that Shilling allegedly threatened to physically harm his wife Cheryl Shilling and their son by saying, “I will kill you and I will burn the dogs alive and I will burn the house down.”

An additional warrant states charges of assault on a female after Leatherman found probable cause that Shilling forcefully used his chest to push the victim into a wall in the couples’ residence.

District Court Judge Donna Forga issued a Domestic Violence Protective Order forbidding Shilling from contacting his wife or minor son until Feb. 24.

Additional documents on file at the Clerk's Office signed by Judge Forga, report that in Cheryl Shilling’s request for the domestic violence protective order, on Feb. 9, William Shilling threatened to have Cheryl involuntarily committed and to remove their son's limbs to torture the child. Forga's report states that on Feb. 8, Cheryl claims that Shilling threatened to blow his own brains out and has threatened to drive their vehicle into a ravine making the child an orphan. It also states that Shilling has reportedly said that he wants to bludgeon the child. The document also states that the couple owns two handguns, one in their home and one in the law office.

Shilling was originally released on a $500 bond under orders not to have any contact with his wife or son due to a domestic violence protective order. On Feb. 15, he was once again arrested after sending an email to his wife, and leaving a letter addressed to the child, violating the protective order. Due to the violation, Shilling had to spend 48 hours in jail.

In response to the allegations against him, Shilling has filed a series of documents with the Clerk of Court’s office claiming that his wife's allegations are “baseless and wholly exaggerated.” He requested that the court release monies, personal items, his vehicle; grant visitation with the minor child and custody of his dog, and return office items.

Shilling is scheduled to appear in court on March 7.





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