A picture perfect Christmas
Beautiful weather and one of the largest number of entries ever added to the enjoyment of the festivities and excitement at this year’s annual Christmas Parade on Sunday, December 1.
All along the route, record crowds gathered to enjoy the festivities and get a glimpse of Old St. Nick, who was the traditional last entry in the parade.
The categories being judged were Grand Champion, Best Use of Theme and Most Original.
Newly-elected aldermen Barbara McRae and Patti Hallyburton Abel joined the other members of the Franklin Town Board Monday night along with new mayor, Bob Scott.
The new board set to work right away when Town Planner Derek Roland brought to their attention an application to amend the text of the Unified Development Ordinance for Outdoor Display of Goods. The action that would be taken at the meeting would be whether or not to send the application to the Town Planning Board for its consideration and recommendations.
Last Tuesday night Macon County Commissioners unanimously voted to hire Franklin native Derek Roland as the next county manager. The application process to replace long-time county manager Jack Horton began after Horton announced his retirement earlier this year. For the past three months, commissioners reviewed the 38 applications received and carefully considered each applicant's requirements. After narrowing the applicant pool to two individuals and conducting extensive interviews with both candidates, the unanimous decision was made to offer the job to Roland at an annual salary of $100,000.
Christmas season officially under way
The holiday season kicked off last Friday night with Franklin's Annual Christmas Tree Lighting. According to Linda Schlott, Franklin's Main Street Director, the 22-foot tall tree took four people three hours to set up and another three hours to get it fully decorated. Standing tall next to the Gazebo on Main Street, this year's holiday centerpiece is garnished with approximately 250 ornaments and 1,500 twinkling lights.
“This year’s Tree Lighting was the largest crowd yet,” said Schlott.
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.