Advances to 2-A Western Regional championship
The Franklin High School Lady Panthers have made school history. After becoming the 2-A sectional champions last Friday when they defeated the Lexington Yellow Jackets, 62-46, the girls made their return to Greensboro where they lost last year to the Tuscola Mountaineers. This year, experience and skill would help the Panthers achieve a different outcome.
On Tuesday night, after making the four hour drive to the University of Greensboro, Franklin took on the (23-3) East Rutherfordton Cavaliers in the 2-A Western Regional semifinals.
A former Macon County youth sports coach was sentenced to 33 to 50 years in prison on Friday after pleading guilty to sex crimes against a child. Christopher Lee Burk was sentenced in Macon County court and will be spending at least the next three decades incarcerated by the North Carolina Department of Corrections.
“Burk pled guilty to three counts of sexual offense on a child by an adult, three counts of first degree sexual exploitation of a child, one count of child abuse by committing a sexual offense, and three counts of indecent liberties,” said Assistant District Attorney Ashley Welch. “He received an active sentence of 33 years minimum to 50 years maximum. On the three indecent liberties charges he received three, 16 to 29 month sentences and those were suspended and he will be on five years of supervised probation on those if he lives long enough to serve his active sentence. He must be on satellite based monitoring for life and must register for 30 years after his release as a sex offender.”
Schools throughout Macon County are celebrating reading this week. Iotla Valley Elementary celebrated Read Across America Day with students and teachers dressing up as their favorite book character.
Guest readers like School Board member Tommy Cabe, and Macon County Children's Librarian Maggie Kennedy visited the school to read some of the children's favorite books.
Iotla Valley decorated the school from top to bottom with themes from Dr. Seuss books and others, coinciding with Dr. Seuss's birthday on March 2.
Iotla Valley will end their Reading Celebration Week on Friday with Hidden Reader Day.
Charles Nichols files challenge with board of elections.
Macon County’s commissioner candidate line-up could be changing. Tuesday morning, Debbie T. George, Interim Director for the Macon County Board Elections sent out a public notice regarding the calling of candidacy.
On Monday, March 3, Charles Nichols challenged the candidacy of Commissioner Ron Haven. Haven is seeking re-election to his District 2 commission seat.
Town board agrees to discuss resolution of ownership.
The debate regarding the Nikwasi Indian Mound may soon see a resolution. Monday night, Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Michell Hicks spoke to the Franklin Town Aldermen in hopes of beginning talks regarding the preservation of the historic landmark.
“I have a simple request … obviously the Eastern Band feels, for many reasons, that the mound should be back in the name of the Eastern Band,” said Hicks. “I understand that may not be a simple task as it relates to the history of the mound and the responsibility of the town. One of the things that is important to us as a tribe is to make sure that we are at least part of the process of protecting these lands, these areas that are so rich from a spiritual and cultural perspective. I feel a true responsibility as a tribal leader. As requested by many of our tribal leaders, we want to do our best to do the right thing.”
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.