The cold front that caused significant snowfall in much of the northern parts of the nation resulted in very cold temperatures in Western North Carolina.
Parts of Macon County received a dusting of snow on Tuesday morning which lingered into Wednesday in Winding Stairs Gap and in the higher elevations where the temperatures hovered near the freezing mark.
Photo by Vickie Carpenter
Last week, United States President Barack Obama gave the State of the Union address, outlining his priorities for 2015 as well as touting his administration's accomplishments to date. While Obama's address focused on the country as a whole, Western North Carolina's Congressional representative Mark Meadows has his sights set on his district and how to directly impact his constituents.
With a new year under way and after a successful campaign to secure his seat as the representative for the 11th Congressional District, Meadows is ready to bring change to Western North Carolina. His first priority, jobs.
"I’ve spoken to countless constituents across the 11th District and I keep hearing the same thing: the American people want their elected officials to focus on growing the economy and getting Americans back to work," said Congressman Mark Meadows. "I’ve championed pro-growth policies during my time in Congress and will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle when possible.
After hoping to make it through the 2014-15 school year by the skin of their teeth, Macon County Schools is once again bracing for significant budget shortfall.
In 2014-15, the school district was dealt a hand that consisted of a $188,946 reduction in teacher assistant funding, an additional cost of $131,619.93 to cover the salary increase passed by the state to cover the locally paid teachers, and a salary increase of all other locally paid employees to the tune of $34,224.62. Those budget adjustments came after the school district developed the year's budget, meaning the school system had to scramble to make ends meet to account for the $354,666.52 shortfall.
Last Tuesday and Thursday, the Macon County Public Library celebrated Winnie the Pooh’s birthday with fun, games, and sweets.
The Children’s Library staff, Maggie Kennedy and Cristen Dando came dressed as Winnie the Pooh and his pal Tigger and read tales from the dynamic duo’s adventures in the 100 Acre Woods.
The event was part of National Winnie the Pooh Day, which was celebrated on January 18.
Citizens in Macon County officially have a new location to seek treatment when needing dental services. The Macon County Public Health Department has expanded the dental clinic options as the grand opening for the new adult dental facility was held last Thursday. More than 100 visitors stopped in to tour the new facility and about 70 participated in free health screenings. The clinic provides services for patients 18 and older.
The facility actually opened a few days prior to the ceremony. The new clinic, located at 108 Macon Center Drive, is a 2,000 square foot facility, more than twice as large as the last clinic.
“The facility was expanded from 800 square feet to 2,000 square feet,” said Jimmy Villiard, Personal Health Section Administrator at Macon County Public Health. “In addition, we were able to expand from three dental chairs to four. Panorex x-ray capability was also added. The Panorex allows for full-mouth x-rays.”
Dr. Villiard is responsible for managing the dental services for the health department. He was also the project coordinator for the construction of the new clinic.
In addition to the extra space and upgraded equipment, the clinic's expansion will allow the health department to begin offering dentures for adult clients. The clinic also offers comprehensive dental care and can serve as a patient’s primary dental provider. Dr. Bruno Kaldre and his staff offer a full spectrum of preventive, restorative, cosmetic, and emergency care.
“Access to dental care has been a consistent need identified in Macon County’s Community Health Assessment,” said Villiard. “This clinic is open to all residents of Macon County. Because fees are assessed on a sliding scale, based on the income of the client, the services are accessible to almost everyone in the community, regardless of income. In addition, the clinic is one of the few in Macon County that accepts Medicaid reimbursement for dental care. Oral health is an important component of overall wellness. Most significantly, poor oral health can lead to cardiovascular medical complications.”
While the dental clinic's upgrade was approved and supported by county commissioners, Macon County Public Health was able to use Medicaid reimbursement monies to cover the project costs, so no local funding was allocated to the project. According to Villiard, the project came in on budget.